I've been laid up for a while. My father brought me in a laptop but
grabbed an old x220 i5 with an HDD. It wasn't *too* bad - everything worked
but a bit slow to open qubes. Once open the qubes were perfectly usable.
Fortunately, a friend picked up some others from my desk (Thanks Rani).
So there I was, time on my hands, and 4 laptops - only 2 with drives
though. :-( And it turned out that they were pretty much identical
So I put together some scripts for git and wget, a selenium session,
and wrote a test plan. Cadged a screwdriver and got to work swapping
out RAM and disks. I ran each test 10 times, and averaged results.
The timings are:
Login - Time from entering disk password to login screen
Desktop - Time from entering password to KDE desktop
Browser - Time from clicking Menu to open disposable web browser to
loaded home page (www.qubes-os.org, of course) This required starting
sys-net, Tor and disposableVM.
Open in DispVM - 8 qubes running, including one streaming YouTube,
one playing music from attached USB,one running selenium session.
Measured time taken to open 42 page Word document in a disposableVM.
And here are results, (hope this table works):
| i7 HDD | Login | Desktop | Browser | Open in DispVM |
| x220 16 | 80| 28 | 133 | 73 |
| x230 12 | 79| 27 | 136 | 51 |
| x230 16 | 77| 26 | 135 | 50 |
| i7 SSD | Login | Desktop | Browser | Open in DispVM |
| x220 16 | 13| 04 | 034 | 18 |
| x230 12 | 12| 03 | 033 | 18 |
| x230 16 | 11| 03 | 033 | 16 |
| i5 SSD | Login | Desktop | Browser | Open in DispVM |
| x220 16 | 13| 05 | 039 | 17 |
Completely unscientific, and undoubtedly ymmv. If it matters, the RAM
was Crucial, so was SSD. The HDD was a WD Blue.
It's obvious that switching to SSD makes *huge* performance difference.
I was surprised how well the x220 performed, and the i5 too. But on the
"Open" test you could hear the fan thrashing away on the i5. Ear plugs
There you are - pretty much what you'd expect. Add RAM if you can,
but prioritise getting a good SSD.
Conclusion - If money is tight, you can still get a good Qubes experience
with an x220 or x230 - pick one up for less than $300 and start upgrading
when you can.
Incidentally, one of the x230s was corebooted. I really found it hard
to see a difference in boot time from stock BIOS. Otherwise performance
was much the same.
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