Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB or 64 GB laptop?
09-14-2016, 02:48 PM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2016 09:26 AM by StephenG1CMZ.)
Post: #1
 StephenG1CMZ Senior Member Posts: 811 Joined: May 2015
Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB or 64 GB laptop?
I would like to get a laptop for compiling Visual Studio Community (and running a Prime emulator too).
Having previously nudged and broken spinning disks (many years ago), my preference would be a diskless laptop. These are available with 32 GB storage + 32 GB microSD (no SDXC!) and 2 GB RAM. Windows takes about half the 32 GB.

Visual Studio is said to be around 4-30 GB depending how complete you want it.

Has anyone used Visual Studio on such a laptop? Is it practical?
Should I try to instal to internal SD card or external USB drive (with many components probably fixed on the internal 32 GB storage)?
Alternatively, are modern spinning disks reliable enough to forget diskless laptops?

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
09-14-2016, 04:52 PM
Post: #2
 Accutron Member Posts: 111 Joined: Aug 2014
RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop?
You can get a laptop with a much larger SSD than 32GB. All of my of my machines currently have Crucial 480GB or 512GB SSD boot disks, both desktop and laptop. I only use spinning disks for mass storage - currently 8x4TB Seagate ST4000DM000, but I have a drive making scary noises right now so I'll probably be going back to Western Digital next time. I wouldn't waste my money on anything in the 'netbook' or 'Chromebook' class. They are just paperweights waiting to happen.

The best performance and reliability for your money is going to be a used business class laptop that's a couple generations old, and install whatever capacity 2.5" SSD you want, up to 1TB. Anything with a Sandy Bridge or newer i3/i5/i7 is going to have plenty of power for something like Visual Studio, but the newer generations have much lower TDP and therefore better battery life versus performance. If you're concerned about personal security, datamining etc., I'd avoid anything newer than Windows 7, and anything running a brand new Skylake (i3/5/7-6xxx) processor. If you want decent integrated graphics, don't get anything older than Haswell (i3/5/7-4xxx).

Conventional spinning disk HDDs are sufficiently reliable, even in laptops, as long as you don't seriously abuse the computer. The big advantage of a SSD boot disk is speed.
09-14-2016, 06:43 PM
Post: #3
 StephenG1CMZ Senior Member Posts: 811 Joined: May 2015
RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop?
My budget won't stretch beyond 32GB, although if I could find one with SDXC instead of 32 GB SDHC card reader... There's also the download to pay for.
Or I might just get a Raspberry Pi, which can compile in only 8 GB.

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
09-14-2016, 06:59 PM
Post: #4
 Nick Member Posts: 64 Joined: Aug 2016
RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop?
In my experience, I create virtual machines for Windows + <various development / testing> on 40GB discs so that's the traditional minimum for Win 7 and below, I'd say.

However, Windows 10 is surprisingly small. If you only installed a subset of VS Community (the default) and Windows 10 you could probably do it on the primary 32GB disc.

Additionally, if you were to format the SD card as NTFS (undocumented) you could use the "virtual directory" feature of NTFS to map additional space onto your main drive. Also, you could supplement your storage by using compression in some places and disabling or limiting certain features like hibernate or virtual memory.

If you want to "try before you buy" download VirtualBox (free) and create the virtual drives in the size you plan to use. Download a trial of Windows 10 (the enterprise trial is usually readily available) and VS Community for the features you plan to use. Don't forget extras such as SQL Express or any others.

I wouldn't recommend VS on a rPI... I've tried it on an rPI3 and it's no more useful as any good text/code editor -- the IDE features from VS that make complex tasks so fluent are missing. But, it's technically possible... that's how C/C++ was written for years.

2 GB RAM is tight.... close to the theoretical... 4GB minimum... you can likely upgrade that for ~$20 shipped or less and get 3GB (if the laptop is 32 bit). Yes, an external USB HDD could supplement or even extend your disk but you trade off the ability to code + netflix from the sofa somewhat. External USB flash drives are good, you can get the ones now "nano size" that mount flush so they don't bump into things and you can leave them in (good if you're mapping folders to them). 09-14-2016, 08:43 PM Post: #5  jch Member Posts: 93 Joined: Dec 2014 RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop? I'm still using my old Desktop, Pentium 4 @ 3 Ghz / 2Gb Ram / 32 Gb HDD (no SSD) partition, Windows 7 Pro 32 bits and Visual Studio Express 2008 with decent response time. Even with Avast AV ! About 1'10 to rebuild Free 42 Decimal. But, though HP Museum forum browsing is acceptable, once Firefox has started, I've got too much latency when dealing with the Web, especially when flash player gets in ! 09-14-2016, 11:14 PM Post: #6  Don Shepherd Senior Member Posts: 659 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop? (09-14-2016 04:52 PM)Accutron Wrote: I wouldn't waste my money on anything in the 'netbook' or 'Chromebook' class. They are just paperweights waiting to happen. If you don't need Windows (and I don't), the Chromebook is a great device at a fraction of the cost of a Win PC. I left Windows months ago and never looked back. It is so nice to boot in 6 seconds. 09-15-2016, 09:03 AM (This post was last modified: 09-15-2016 09:05 AM by Vtile.) Post: #7  Vtile Senior Member Posts: 384 Joined: Oct 2015 RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop? A few months ago I thought I install MS Visual Basic ide for my computer.. The installation size of it disagreed (win7 + office were enaugh to fill my 120Gb SSD *SICK!*). If I can avoid it (non work) I will. Running Lazarus & freepascal now .. free, but faster (top 3 for popular languages) than basics and I can compile my small programs for every major (and many minor) platforms. Plus I can use the same IDE and compiler in both my linux netbook and win desktop. Plus standalone and small(ish) executables, top notch. 09-15-2016, 02:45 PM (This post was last modified: 09-16-2016 06:55 AM by HrastProgrammer.) Post: #8  HrastProgrammer Member Posts: 144 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop? (09-15-2016 09:03 AM)Vtile Wrote: Running Lazarus & freepascal now .. free, but faster (top 3 for popular languages) than basics and I can compile my small programs for every major (and many minor) platforms. Plus I can use the same IDE and compiler in both my linux netbook and win desktop. Plus standalone and small(ish) executables, top notch. +1 I am working with Free Pascal & Lazarus for quite some time and, among the other things, used it to port my Tranzistow and other software synthesizers from Windows to Linux (both 32- and 64-bit). I am even running Lazarus IDE on Raspberry Pi 3 alone ... I also work with Visual Studio 2015 on my daily job and I cannot really recommend it for development on computers with only 32GB disk and 2GB RAM. http://www.hrastprogrammer.com/hrastwerk/ http://hrastprogrammer.bandcamp.com/ 09-16-2016, 06:46 AM Post: #9  debrouxl Member Posts: 249 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop? 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of main internal storage are on the low side for running VS + a host of other day to day applications over the long term. Don't underestimate the slowly growing, but eventually high cost of lower / lost productivity caused by lower storage access performance on the SD card, less RAM cache for storage, dubious reliability of external SDHC / SDXC cards, time spent cleaning up your storage areas more often because you're closer to the limit, etc. Chromebooks are indeed pretty nice machines, at low cost. The USD200-400 models, i.e. most models, are obviously not suitable as computation powerhouses - that is mostly left to USD1000 non-Mac computers, or significantly more than that for the overpriced Apple stuff - but still usable computers for many use cases / users. 09-16-2016, 11:43 AM (This post was last modified: 09-16-2016 11:43 AM by damaltor.) Post: #10  damaltor Member Posts: 230 Joined: Dec 2015 RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop? Do not use VS on such a low-end laptop. 32G of storage might somehow work, though 32Gb of microsd space is a joke. also VS tends to make lots and lots of small files which are bad news for a memory card with a slow serial interface. also, imho 2gb ist not enough to really use VS. 09-19-2016, 02:29 PM Post: #11  Dave Britten Senior Member Posts: 1,309 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop? You're going to want 64 GB of internal storage (not 32 GB + 32 GB microSD) at a minimum for VS2015. I've got an Asus T100-TA convertible tablet with 64 GB storage and 2 GB of RAM, and it gets the job done okay. 09-27-2016, 10:30 PM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2016 10:40 PM by StephenG1CMZ.) Post: #12  StephenG1CMZ Senior Member Posts: 811 Joined: May 2015 RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop? (09-14-2016 06:59 PM)Nick Wrote: In my experience, I create virtual machines for Windows + <various development / testing> on 40GB discs so that's the traditional minimum for Win 7 and below, I'd say. However, Windows 10 is surprisingly small. If you only installed a subset of VS Community (the default) and Windows 10 you could probably do it on the primary 32GB disc. Additionally, if you were to format the SD card as NTFS (undocumented) you could use the "virtual directory" feature of NTFS to map additional space onto your main drive. Also, you could supplement your storage by using compression in some places and disabling or limiting certain features like hibernate or virtual memory. If you want to "try before you buy" download VirtualBox (free) and create the virtual drives in the size you plan to use. Download a trial of Windows 10 (the enterprise trial is usually readily available) and VS Community for the features you plan to use. Don't forget extras such as SQL Express or any others. I wouldn't recommend VS on a rPI... I've tried it on an rPI3 and it's no more useful as any good text/code editor -- the IDE features from VS that make complex tasks so fluent are missing. But, it's technically possible... that's how C/C++ was written for years. 2 GB RAM is tight.... close to the theoretical... 4GB minimum... you can likely upgrade that for ~$20 shipped or less and get 3GB (if the laptop is 32 bit).

Yes, an external USB HDD could supplement or even extend your disk but you trade off the ability to code + netflix from the sofa somewhat. External USB flash drives are good, you can get the ones now "nano size" that mount flush so they don't bump into things and you can leave them in (good if you're mapping folders to them).

I had not considered trying VS on Raspi - I assumed that if I got a Raspi because a 32 GB laptop would struggle, that I would use its tools rather than Microsoft's.

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
11-07-2016, 06:36 PM
Post: #13
 LinusSch Junior Member Posts: 7 Joined: Oct 2016
RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop?
If it was me, here in Sweden, I'd buy a used ThinkPad for about 30 EUR and a 120 GB SSD, used or on a deal about 45 EUR (just avoid shoddy no-name stuff). Coding is so much faster and easier on the hands with a good keyboard.

For ultimate money-saving, I'd give up on running Visual Studio, buy a Raspberry Pi (old model can be found for less than 10 EUR sometimes) and go look for a Linux IDE or just pile any required functions onto the extensible editor of your choice. But I'm not so sure an SD card is any more reliable than a spinning drive, unless subject to shocks.

Actually, I might recommend the editor route regardless of hardware - no matter how good Visual Studio is it can't possibly be better than a system tailor-made for yourself, can it? (but be warned you could potentially sink an awful lot of time into creating such a system)

Just a few thoughts that fled from my head. :) /Linus
11-08-2016, 07:48 PM
Post: #14
 BruceH Member Posts: 251 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop?
You could try Visual Studio in the cloud and that way you won't have to buy a new laptop? There's a free trial.
11-09-2016, 10:34 PM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2016 10:35 PM by StephenG1CMZ.)
Post: #15
 StephenG1CMZ Senior Member Posts: 811 Joined: May 2015
RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop?
As an update to the specs I first searched for, Argos are now advertising 64 GB laptops with 32 GB SDHC card reader around £200-220, and 64 GB laptops with SDXC card reader for £279... originally I had not seen any SDXC laptops without disks, now they are being advertised.

I was considering it for the free Visual Studio Community (free if you ignore download costs), and would want to use it offline, so the Cloud version would not suit me.

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
11-09-2016, 11:07 PM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2016 12:06 AM by Vtile.)
Post: #16
 Vtile Senior Member Posts: 384 Joined: Oct 2015
RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop?
I still would try out the FPC&Lazarus. Costs nothing (1gb download) and you get full pro grade selfcompiling RAD with pretty hefty basic libraries included. Big boys have also told that it do have support for inline ASM and support for C libraries atleast on some form. It is not same as Pascal at 70s...

That is if thes VS in not a must to have for some reason.
FreePascal is as far as I know. Fully TurboPascal7 and Most parts compatible with Delphi up to IDK pretty late versions. Lazarus is the IDE with components libraries etc. FPC is selfcompiling and Lazarus is fully written in FPC.

I noticed you did mention some old BASIC listings in another topic. If you are after a BASIC environment I would take a look of FreeBASIC project, I only know it di ecist and have been around atleast ten years now.
11-10-2016, 12:19 AM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2016 09:14 AM by StephenG1CMZ.)
Post: #17
 StephenG1CMZ Senior Member Posts: 811 Joined: May 2015
RE: Has anyone used Visual Studio on a 32 GB laptop?
(11-09-2016 11:07 PM)Vtile Wrote:  I still would try out the FPC&Lazarus. Costs nothing (1gb download) and you get full pro grade selfcompiling RAD with pretty hefty basic libraries included. Big boys have also told that it do have support for inline ASM and support for C libraries atleast on some form. It is not same as Pascal at 70s...

That is if thes VS in not a must to have for some reason.
FreePascal is as far as I know. Fully TurboPascal7 and Most parts compatible with Delphi up to IDK pretty late versions. Lazarus is the IDE with components libraries etc. FPC is selfcompiling and Lazarus is fully written in FPC.

I noticed you did mention some old BASIC listings in another topic. If you are after a BASIC environment I would take a look of FreeBASIC project, I only know it di ecist and have been around atleast ten years now.

The key advantage of VS is that it is Microsoft and it is standard - many jobs ask for Microsoft Visual Studio experience. There are several languages available.

The key disadvantages are that it is resource-expensive (hence my query about whether it would install and be usable on the laptop) and that it has to be downloaded (which will be expensive, if not impractical).

To my mind, the main alternative would be the Raspberry Pi, which has several compilers pre-installed on a 8 GB SD card - avoiding the inconvenience of a download. It is less expensive, but is lacks the all-in-one packaging and portability of a laptop and is not available on the high street.

Or the HP Prime PPL, which is not as popular as C or Java or Python, but can be emulated on a phone and is pocketable - usable in places I wouldn't use a laptop, cheap and convenient....but very few jobs ask for HP PPL experience.

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
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