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  1. #1
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    Default Buying a new laptop

    I have an old desktop computer from 2005 or older. The thing has a single core 2.8 ghz processor with only 2 gigs of ram and a 75 gb hard drive. Aside from this guy being pretty ancient, my other reason for needing a new computer is for school and research data, so I need some portability. Computers have developed quite a bit since I got my old desktop, so I was hoping some of the tech guys here could help me out in seeing whats good in 2011.

    I could go the cheap route and get a cheap old laptop that'll do the very basics, but I think it's smarter to go ahead and invest some more money in a laptop that'll outperform my desktop at least, and provide good performance for the next couple of years. Namely, I'm thinking 2Ghz dual core, 3gb ram, and 150+ gb hard drive should suffice as a minimum for school, research, some photo and video editing, and the occasional game? The amount of gaming I'll do depends on how well the computer performs, but probably not much. Are there any other important specs/features I need to be mindful of in a laptop?

    My current current desktop works at a fairly smooth pace with windows xp, but it quickly starts lagging with multitasking many tabs in web browsers and multiple running programs. It also has a horrible time with video, be it internet streaming or native avi files. Almost always choppy. I want a laptop that'll be swift and have no video slowdown whatsoever. So can you guys point me in the right direction?

  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    The speed of a computer stands and falls with proper care. I see many people having older pc's so filled up to the brim with spyware, malware, unused drivers and background software crap they never use and find it odd their PC is as slow as a slug. :P

    That said, what's your maximum budget? I myself am a laptop person for a while now since I travel a lot, but I also want to be able to play any game without effort as well. I've a pretty nasty laptop that I'm extremely happy about and would recommend to everyone. But the price is rather high.

    I've an alienware laptop, 17", Good videocard, lotsa ram, SSD harddisk, all makes it a good laptop ofcourse, but also durability, cool factor (both internal and external *sunglasses* ), and qualitative stability makes it a very sound laptop. Before this one I had a high end Toshiba Qosmio which was pretty good but doesn't compare to the alienware I have now. (the qosmio keyboard keys started getting loose, etc, the alienware is made to stand the test of time!)


    Anyhow, enough about that.

    Important to factors to always consider is the fan location (For example, I hate laptops that blow out the hot air at its side towards my mousehand! air out the back is so much better!).
    As for ram, I'd personally go with at least 4 gigabyte with windows 7. Having a bit of overhead never hurts and some excess ram available can make a system run a lot more stable.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  3. #3
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    I saw one of these babies on sale for $325:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-...k.54257.0.html

    I'm thinking that's a mega-steal?

  4. #4
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    The speed of a computer stands and falls with proper care. I see many people having older pc's so filled up to the brim with spyware, malware, unused drivers and background software crap they never use and find it odd their PC is as slow as a slug. :P.
    Ahhhh, I've had this desktop for about 3 years now... and it is going on it's forth year. It is as quiet as when I first used it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    I've an alienware laptop, 17", Good videocard, lotsa ram, SSD harddisk, all makes it a good laptop ofcourse, but also durability, cool factor (both internal and external *sunglasses* ), and qualitative stability makes it a very sound laptop. Before this one I had a high end Toshiba Qosmio which was pretty good but doesn't compare to the alienware I have now. (the qosmio keyboard keys started getting loose, etc, the alienware is made to stand the test of time!)
    I saw an acquaintance of mine with her alienware laptop. I was like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    I saw one of these babies on sale for $325:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-...k.54257.0.html

    I'm thinking that's a mega-steal?
    Sort of depends on the specification of that specific laptop.

    But like what fluffywolf said, what is the maximum you are willing to pay? Do you want the extras stuff that come with alienware? (the lighting effects )

    Since you are doing mostly work and watching videos with it, you don't exactly need a gaming laptop like alienware. Video editing can be a slow task if you are using a slow processor....

  5. #5
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    I saw one of these babies on sale for $325:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-...k.54257.0.html

    I'm thinking that's a mega-steal?
    Makes one wonder what may be wrong with it though.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Makes one wonder what may be wrong with it though.
    Yea, it's likely bogus :P. Do you think quad core is the way to go for a new laptop though? My budget is topping out in the 300 range, but I also plan to get a used laptop for cheap, so maybe lets say... up to $600 BRAND new.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Gaming and notebook are two words which in my opinion do not fit together very well, but since you said your gaming ambitions go after your notebook and not the other way around, I see no problem with that.

    The reason for it is that for good gaming performance you need components which consume much power, and much power consumption means low battery life, much heat (which needs better cooling and thus makes the notebook louder and heavier and thicker) and very high prices in comparison to a desktop solution. Also it is not very comfortable to play on a notebook in comparison to a desktop, because you have a small display (even a 17" notebook is smaller than a, say, 22-24" monitor, and a big notebook again is less portable).

    If you want to use it for school and research, I think you would be well off with a notebook which should have a 13-15" display, 15" would imho be the maximum. The specifications that you named (2ghz dualcore, 3GB RAM, 150GB HDD) you will find easily met even in lower budgets nowadays, only critical point may be the graphics unit if you want to play. I don't know what your budget is exactly though. The key aspects you should look for though according to your budget are:

    -long battery life
    -decent display (you won't get some professional photo stuff on such a notebook, but you can at least look for the best you can get)
    -acceptable weight
    -shouldn't get too hot
    -not too loud (depends on your tolerance)
    -good quality of the notebook case

    Specifications you should look for:

    -Core i3 or i5 dualcore with over 2 GHz, ideally 2nd generation (they still sell in local stores the old stuff often)
    -2-4 GB RAM (4GB is even in low budget quite standard now though), better 4, more than 4 is not necessary though
    -ideally somewhat decent graphics solution (intel graphics should better be avoided if you want to play, but not always easy to find something better)
    -for higher budget: SSD can be nice too, but usually those have only very limited GB amounts

  8. #8
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Yea, it's likely bogus :P. Do you think quad core is the way to go for a new laptop though? My budget is topping out in the 300 range, but I also plan to get a used laptop for cheap, so maybe lets say... up to $600 BRAND new.
    Dual-core processors are fine if you aren't interested in heavy gaming or creating videos and stuff. My last laptop was a good dual-core and I didn't have much issues with it.

    It'd be a good idea to look at the lists on this site when buying a laptop:
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/mid_range_cpus.html

    I would try to get a processor at least 1500 benchmark. The benchmarks say much more about a processor than what they are being sold on. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  9. #9
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    AMD just released their Llano Fusion chips for Desktop computers. It's a CPU with the GPU integrated into its architecture. And it's low power, cheap for getting it with the cpu, and pretty fast. You can also get a graphics card and put it in crossfire with GPU in the CPU. So if you have a decent power supply and upgrade your desktop computer, it would cost somewhere around $300 (I think DDR3 is cheap, but I'm not sure).

    But if you want a laptop, what I saw on Newegg (my laptop is dying ) was pretty much the following: you're looking at a score of 3dmark06 around ~9000 and dual-core chips for about $900 or for around ~15000 and quad-core chips for about $1400. Intel chipsets are pretty shitty and get around ~1500. The Intel Sandy Bridge chips get around ~3000 I think though.

    You can pretty much get performance benchmarks of any laptop GPU you are unsure about on here. http://www.notebookcheck.net/Compari...rds.130.0.html

  10. #10
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    AMD just released their Llano Fusion chips for Desktop computers. It's a CPU with the GPU integrated into its architecture. And it's low power, cheap for getting it with the cpu, and pretty fast. You can also get a graphics card and put it in crossfire with GPU in the CPU. So if you have a decent power supply and upgrade your desktop computer, it would cost somewhere around $300 (I think DDR3 is cheap, but I'm not sure).

    But if you want a laptop, what I saw on Newegg (my laptop is dying ) was pretty much the following: you're looking at a score of 3dmark06 around ~9000 and dual-core chips for about $900 or for around ~15000 and quad-core chips for about $1400. Intel chipsets are pretty shitty and get around ~1500. The Intel Sandy Bridge chips get around ~3000 I think though.

    You can pretty much get performance benchmarks of any laptop GPU you are unsure about on here. http://www.notebookcheck.net/Compari...rds.130.0.html
    It's important not to compare desktop cpu's and mobile cpu's when benchmarking, and cpu benchmark is better for raw processing power whereas 3dbenchmark is better if you're looking to be into gaming.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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