Minimum amount to spend on computer hardware for super fast web surfing?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by roark37, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    First off, do most of you feel you have super fast web surfing now? I know "super fast" is subjective but I mean do sites fully load nearly instantly with no lag. And I am talking mainly about surfing only with say 1-to at most 5 tabs open and usually only 1 or 2. And I want to ignore networking hardware as I have doccix 3.0 modem with around 75-80mbps speed with ethernet so just assume that as a given. If I were to buy a new computer to provide the fastest web surfing possible with the least amount of money what would you recommend? And what things should I be focused on? I was thinking in order RAM then SSD then processor does that sound right? And this is just for web surfing as no interest in games or editing movies or anything else like that so I figure a 2k gaming rig has to be overkill as I assume the point of diminishing returns must be way lower cost than that and was the guessing the amount for a Windows machine would be in the 5-600 range but it does not have to be windows. And how much of a factor in surfing speed do you think things like software are like choice of operating system or using ad blockers?

    I was thinking that probably the cheapest choice would be a chromebox with 4gig of ram and haswell processor that can be bought new for $200. From many reviews I have read for strictly web surfing I have found many comments that claim that machine is faster on the web than the owners other more powerful computers. Does anyone know if that is true?

    Anyway was curious what everyone would suggest. Thanks.
     
  2. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    IMO the biggest time/delay problems come from the speed of the internet and from the network delays, and not from the performance of the computer used for navigation.
     
  3. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

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    right,

    but the hardware will make a difference with sites that have graphical content and thus tax resources, and there's YouTube videos
     
  4. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I agree.
    Using adblocker and blocking unnecessary 3rd party content increases loading time speed significantly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No.

    I agree that first, you must have a decent Internet connection - and you have that. As for computer hardware, just about any component in your system can become a bottleneck But when it comes to viewing web pages, I would put the drive below RAM, graphics and CPU. And as for RAM, that is quantity over RAM speed. And while I certainly recommend SSDs over hard drives these days, and while a SSD will generally greatly improve overall system performance, the drive really has little to do with displaying webpages IF you have enough RAM, CPU and graphics horsepower.
     
  6. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies and interesting answers as not what I expected so I am glad I asked. But to give more information my best computer is still low end as it is a Windows 7 laptop I paid only 250 for brand new in 2012. It has 4gig of ram and a celeron processor but no separate graphics card. But to me it flies on the internet in general compared to my other devices and I do think it is fast but still some "heavy" sites like NY Times, Boston.com, Yahoo etc still have a slight lag. They do load almost instantly but not fully so you can't scroll for a small delay. But reading your replies do all of you generally experience that same slight lag on heavy sites like that? Another laptop I got a little over a year ago at one of the Xmas sales for 150. It is a small Asus with windows 8.1 and has some good features like super light and decent build quality but with 2gig ram and 32gig ssd(but not "real" ssd but something called e-ssd or something like that) and atom processor. I do notice a real difference between this machine and the other as this does experience more lag. It is enough of a difference that if I was surfing for extended time then it would bother me. So I figured another step up at least from my "good" laptop would maybe be noticeably faster too as the 4gig best one only gets around 7500-8000 Octane Score but I am not sure how well that correlates to browsing speed. But I don't currently use an ad blocker but for those heavy sites I described and based on these answers it seems that alone can make a big difference so I'll try that soon. Thanks.
     
  7. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I have much slower internet connection speed than you, so my bottleneck is network speed and for me blocking unnecessary content from downloading made biggest difference ( I use bBlock Origin and block 3rd party frames and scripts). I don't experience any slowdown on "heavy" sites, because uBlock makes those heavy sites light.
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Some lag could be due to the sites being busy sites and downloading a bunch of images takes time too. And yes, ad blockers can help in some cases to speed up times - but sadly, more and more sites are blocking access to users using ad-blockers! :(

    If that 4Gb Celeron system is using 32-bit Windows, then only about 3.4GB of RAM is usable for your apps - but some of that is being taken for your integrated graphics too. This means your slower Celeron is forced to spool some data back and forth the page file on the slow hard drive. So as I noted above, there are many things that can bottleneck a system.
     
  9. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Minimalist does ublock origin block 3rd party frames & scripts by default or does it have to be set up that way? And do you only recommend ublock origin or would others like Ghostery & Disconnect etc help speed too? And at what point is the gains from blocking offset by having more stuff running?

    Bill I think my 4gig celeron laptop is 64bit Windows if that matters. Would 8 gig of ram make a noticeable difference in surfing speed? And is that more than enough even with integrated graphics or would having separate graphics card improve speed as well.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It does matter. 64-bit will allow the full use of the 4GB of RAM. And if your motherboard supports 8GB of RAM (many don't so check first), then that will definitely improve performance - in fact, going from 4GB or less to 8GB generally provides the best bang for your money.

    As for a graphics card, in most cases a card over integrated always improves performance - at least with graphics oriented tasks. This is because the GPU on cards typically faster, cards come with their own RAM tweaked for graphics processing, and because cards come with their own RAM, the previously stolen system RAM used by the integrated graphics is released back to the CPU to use so you get even a little more of a RAM boost. As for ad-blockers, I use Adblock Plus for IE.
     
  11. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    Any old hardware, like a Dual-Core, 4 GB of RAM, GeForce 6800GT, etc, will do Internet just fine. It would probably cost what, like 150 USD overall (with case, MOBO, etc)? It's very cheap over there.

    I'd focus more on the internet connection itself than the harware. Remember, bandwidth alone doesn't dictate how fast/snappy you browse the web. Picture things like roads and cars:

    - Bandwidth is how large a road is, or how many lanes it has. The bigger the bandwidth, more cars can travel on this road.
    - However, it's not smart to have such a large road when the TRAVEL DISTANCE is higher than it should be. This is PING, it's how long the information takes betwen your machine and webservers.

    You can have 50 Mbit of bandwidth, but if you have +100ms of PING you won't feel how snappy the connection is. It's like traveling 10 miles on a road with 10 lanes, but taking 1 hour to do so because the trajectory is long. It's much better to take 15 minutes (lower ping) and on a road with less lanes (less bandwidth).

    And if you want to game, "ping is the king". Anyone with a 200 KB/s connection + 5 ms ping can beat a 100 Mbit bandwidth guy with 50+ ping.
     
  12. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    You have to set 3rd party frames / scripts blocking, it's not enabled by default. I have to warn you that it might break some sites for which you will either have to make exceptions or unblock 3rd party for that specific site. Even if you don't use this feature using 3rd party filters will improve speed also. IMO you don't have to use other extensions since they mostly use similar filters and you don't gain much by adding them.
    You can get more info about blocking mode of uBlock Origin here: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Blocking-mode
     
  13. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Typo? Increases speed, decreases loading time.
     
  14. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I have my thoughts but simply put browser, security software & OS can conceivably choke very fast browsing.
     
  15. PaleDark

    PaleDark Registered Member

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    How would you define a super-fast browsing?
    How much difference speed improvement (in percent) would you considered as fast (or super fast) in browsing speed?

    Just a thought, since I was thinking deep that
    1) if spending $200 on hardware to improve the browsing speed to 10-20%, would that be worth?
    2) how many % speed increase to be consider a significant improvement?
     
  16. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    Yes, typo. Thnxs :)
     
  17. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    PaleDark that is hard to say as I know "super fast" is very subjective. But I was just trying to get a sense of what would be needed to achieve it and I'm pleasantly surprised to find from these answers even cheaper than I thought. I have always had low end machines thinking that(correctly imo) that for my uses the extra power not likely to make a difference. But lately, say in the last year I have noticed slightly more lag at times on some sites and its a compromise I no longer want to make if it can be avoided. I am not sure if the ads/scripts have gotten worse lately or more resource intensive or maybe I'm just more sensitive to it. But when getting a new machine I will likely spend 1-200 more to get more responsiveness if I can.

    A separate question for everyone that is off topic but loosely related is I also have an old pc with atom processor and 1gig of ram that has XP on it. And it has got pretty sluggish so I posted here about trying linux on it and for some recommendations. Several suggested Lubuntu and yesterday I tried it, not on the old pc but as a live usb for my "good" Windows 7 laptop with 4 gig ram. Lubuntu live ran great, better than great really and browsing with the default Firefox seemed very fast. In fact it seemed an improvement over the laptop when browsing from Windows 7 so I ran Octane benchmark from Lubuntu live and got just over 12000 which may not seem very high to some but with Windows 7 it usually gets only 7500-8000. Does it make any sense that a live usb would be faster than the normal laptop installed? And if Lubuntu is this fast live am I right in thinking that it would be even faster installed? Lastly in my normal use with Windows 7 on the laptop I usually use Chrome portable although I have it on the hard drive directly. Would the portable version installed as I have it be slower than Chrome installed in the normal way? And by the way I use a very minimal Windows 7 environment with no external firewall or anti virus and I have very little installed on it in case anyone is thinking those could be the problem. Or is this just an example of how much leaner Linux can be than Windows?

    Thanks again.
     
  18. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    On a machine with 4GB RAM, LiveCDs will load just about everything into RAM, and so run very fast. So it might well be slower when installed.
     
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