HP ENVY Touch Smart 17t Quad E4S80AV Questions

Discussion in 'HP' started by agn727, Aug 13, 2013.

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  1. agn727

    agn727 Newbie

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    I'm upgrading from a 4.5yr old HP HDX 18t with a dead screen. This will be (at least) my 4th HP notebook - all previous ones died sometime after the warranty expired. I've had dozens of laptops from all the other major brands over the years, too. None have ever made it to their 5th birthday. But I'm hard on them. Though I have desktops, too, the notebook is my 'main' computer. And, aside from frequent rebooting or shutting down for an hour to drive it to my girlfriend's a few times a week, it is NEVER turned off.

    As I await it's delivery (to be shipped by 8/20), here's my configuration and some questions:

    • ENVY TSmart 17t Quad
    • Windows 8 64
    • 4th generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4700MQ Processor
    • Included 2 Year Warranty
    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M Graphics with 2048MB of dedicated video memory
    • 17.3-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
    • 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    • 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
    • NO mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
    • No Additional Office Software
    • No additional security software
    • 6-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
    • Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
    • Backlit Keyboard
    • HP TrueVision HD Webcam w/ integrated digital mic
    • 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth(R)

    Total (after tax, shipping and coupon code): $1097.53

    1)-mSATA.
    I can never have enough storage. I have plenty of spare 1TB drives laying around to populate the bays. But I've never had an SSD. I'm assuming we can use both 2.5" bays (and that hopefully they come with cages even though one bay ships empty) PLUS the mSATA slot. In other words, does the mSATA slot kill one of the other bays when used? If all 3 drives can be functional at once, I'm going to order an mSATA to have on hand now. However, I'm not sure how big a drive to get. I download a lot from usenet. Isn't constant file downloading and unraring/unzipping going to chew up the life cycle of an SSD? I'm talking 40GB a day on average... If so, I guess I only need an mSATA big enough for Windows and programs. I'd also need to figure out how to keep my temp/swap files off of my mSATA boot drive to prolong longevity, no? Hopefully my entire understanding of mSATA life cycles is flawed... Also, any SSD technologies I should avoid? And, is it just me? Or, are mSATAs more expensive than other SSDs?

    2)-Graphics.
    I'm not a gamer beyond a few casual Facebook Flash games - although even those could stress my HDX 18t at times. But I do watch 1080p mkvs and mp4s in Media Player Classic and VLC Player. And those, too, could oftentimes seem slow to respond on my HDX 18 with NVidia GT 130M video card. Perhaps the GT 740M is overkill for me and the integrated solution would've been fine. Will it be possible to disable the 740M and rely on just the Haswell solution in order to save battery power? Does it do that automatically as called for?

    3)-Windows 8 Fresh Install.
    I expect it will be possible to back-up and delete the recovery partition. But can I also create Win8 install discs and do a clean installation? And, when 8.1 comes out, create clean discs of that, too, eventually?

    4)-Finger Print Reader.
    Does the HP fingerprint reader software finally work with the Chrome browser? I only use it to logon now because I won't abandon Chrome. Yet, it's inclusion, was a big reason I went with the HP over MSI, Toshiba Qosmio, custom Clevos and ASUS G750 laptops. Well, that and the value aspect.

    I'll also be interested to see what upgrades other owners of the ENVY Touch Smart 17 recommend? Wireless card? Upgrade the video card, if possible? Best Extended Warranty deal? Best Win8 Start Button? I have a feeling I'm going to hate Win8 from trying the preview release a while back. But I guess I'm afraid to get left behind...

    Thanks for any advice or suggestions you make here. And for reading through all of this! I really do appreciate it!
    -Andrew
     
  2. agn727

    agn727 Newbie

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    Well, FedEx estimates delivery for my HP ENVY Touch Smart 17t on Friday the 23rd. So, yesterday I went ahead and ordered a 240GB mSATA drive.

    I suppose my plan is to do the initial setup when it arrives and clone the drive somehow. Any suggestions on cloning software?

    Then, when the mSATA arrives next week, I'll have a decision to make. Should I use a program like Macrium Reflect to make the mSATA my boot drive? Or, should I do a fresh install of Windows 8 to the mSATA?

    Though I'd prefer to go the clean install route, I'm still not sure if it's possible to create Win8 install discs from the new laptop. So, I'm thinking about downloading the Win8.1 preview and installing that. It doesn't expire until early next year. And, just maybe, the Win8 key built into the ENVY will keep that copy running permanently...?

    I'd still appreciate any advice at all...
     
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