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Help Pickin A Laptop?

Discussion in 'Computers, Games, Electronics etc' started by newb, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. newb

    newb phresh VIP

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    Ok, so I dont anything about Laptops. I could look at specs for different ones all day long, and still not know which one would be better. Im lookin to buy one in the near future to use for things like photo editing (mostly this), internet browsing, loading my Zune, and burnin CD's. I know a few things I need, but its all the no brainer type of stuff.

    -A quality, decent sized screen. (For photo viewing, and maybe watching a movie)
    -Lots of RAM. (Trying to avoid lag while making brush strokes in editing)
    -Lots of USB ports. (Will be hookin up a mouse, card reader, external HD, printer, and Zune. Not all at once, but hookin up 3 at once would be nice)
    -CD-R/W drive. (For backin up photos, buring discs, and wathing the occasional video)

    Thats all I can think of now. Suggestions would be good tho. Im not so worried about size and weight, or battery life since I wont be using it away from a power source very often. Also, Im tryin to stick in the 400-500 dollar price range, give or take a bit. Not lookin for a specific brand, but dont want cheap crap. Again, suggestions on what to look for would be cool. Thanks.
     
  2. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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  3. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member VIP

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    I have had pretty good experince with dell in the past but that was a few years ago when I got the last one. I use a Dell for work and its been just fine, but its a few years old. Most full size laptops will have a card reader in them these days anyway so that may free up a port for you.

    It seems like most laptops are all pretty much the same these days, its just a matter of price really. Check out cnet.com and do some side to side comparissions and see what the editors have had to say about them too.
     
  4. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    Vostros are well-built machines, they seem to be kind of like what dell 'used to be'
     
  5. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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    well in terms of performance, i would go with anything that has Intel dual-core at the minimum and you should be okay.

    anyway, a few things to consider if you want to spend the extra in terms of "performance upgrades" from most improvement to least.

    1) intel released a new cpu micro. arch. for mobile, the Core i xxx series. i7 quad is the fastest then i5 followed by i3. All the iX series have hyper threading sans Pentium and this will help a great deal for encoding and editing.

    2) solid state drives. depending on model, most can read and write faster than any regular laptop drive.but then again very limited space and expesnive. or you can upgrade to a 7200rpm hard drive and have better performance and plenty of room.

    3) discerte graphics, particularly nvidia with CUDA. adobe is working with nvidia to improve rendering and such with CUDA enabled cards. basically use video card processor to help out.
     
  6. newb

    newb phresh VIP

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    I looked at a few different makes, but Dell slipped my mind. The Vostro sure seems to be a good fit, the price is right too. Thanks.

    Thanks to everyone else, input is appriciated.
     
  7. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    too expensive for his budget

    expensive not a lot of space. 7200rpm drives from an OEM is hard to find, and they are generally more expensive due to the fact the target user is getting a higher speed processor, so OEMs dont generally offer them in the $500 price range.

    these are still in the first generation and dont even compare to the external cards yet.
     
  8. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    I would pick up one of those Vostros from Newegg in a second if I had an extra 400 bucks to spend. That's a great price for what it is.
     
  9. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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    1) according to anandtech:
    AnandTech: CES 2010: Arrandale Arrives

    dell will be offering i3 laptops starting at $570. i think that extra $70 would be well spent on an i3 setup vs the older core 2 duos, especially if he is going to do alot of editing. more cache and hyperthreading plus updated uarch.

    2)dont have to upgrade through vendor. i mean, im sure as hell wont upgrade my ram when buying laptop or desktop through the vendor, or any part that i can replace myself as a matter of fact. can get a 320gb 7200rpm wd black for $75 through the egg:

    Newegg.com - Computer Hardware,Hard Drives,Laptop Hard Drives,7200 RPM

    and according to madshrimps, it gives standard 5400rpm drives a good 25-35% thumping:
    MADSHRIMPS - Hardware Reviews ,Crazy Projects, Modding Tutorials and Overclocking

    another test on a mac platform:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/135197/2008/08/scorpioblack.html

    not very hard to do. but i guess if you dont want to void warranty or risk damaging the device, it wouldnt be worth upgrade via vendor.

    3)external video cards? i havent seen any in action or benchmarks so i cant comment on that. but in terms of CUDA support, even the 8400gs supports it:
    CUDA-Enabled GPU Products - NVIDIA

    but i agree its in the early stages and who knows if it will even take off. but nice to know if it does, you have a gpu that supports it.


    anyway, like i said it was just some suggestions if he wanted more performance as he mentioned $4-500 with breathing room,especially if he was gonna do some editing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  10. newb

    newb phresh VIP

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    About the i3 laptops:

    How much better are they? Am I just gettin the better processor, or what? Just need a break down I guess.
     
  11. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    i3's, especially the mobile arch, haven't been out long enough to review and get solid benchmarks out.

    I found one place with benchmarks from what looks to be a japanese site.

    Core i3 3.06 GHz vs Core 2 E8400: Clarkdale Benchmarked - CPUs - CPU-Components

    And due to those I'm prepared to eat my words about the i3, but i still think the initial price is probably going to be higher than what you get back in performance. at least for 2-3 months.
     
  12. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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    Core i3 series is a refresh of core 2 duo. The most important additions I can think from the top of my head is:

    1) you get an L3 cache.
    2) Hyperthreading
    3) Slightly improved IGP packed with CPU.
    4) FSB is eliminated and memory controller moved on to the IGP.
    5) produced on smaller die which translates reduce power consumption and makes them cheaper to make.
    6) New instruction sets (no really useful as of now).


    if im forgetting anything or am wrong, please chime in.

    here is a benchmark of two mid tier mobile processors. Core 2 Duo P8xxx vs Core i5:
    Test Setups And Software - Review Tom's Hardware : Intel?s Mobile Core i5 And Core i3: Arrandale Is For The Rest Of Us

    and to make matters even better, with the low tier series Core 2 Duo T6xxx vs Core i3, its even a more advantage for i3 because of the mentioned increased cache.

    lastly, you'll definitely want the new H55 chipset because 1080P goodness with lower processor consumption and true HD bitstreaming from HDMI.
     
  13. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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  14. newb

    newb phresh VIP

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    Like I said earlier, I know squat about laptops lol. You might as well be speakin another language.

    Could you put this into terms that tell me how it will help me edit and store photos and music?
     
  15. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    the links that we posted show that the i3 is 1.2x - 2x faster than the core2.

    The only downside is there's no direct comparison of the entirety of the two mobile line ups which make it difficult to make an informed opinion.
     
  16. newb

    newb phresh VIP

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    Ya I understand its faster. I reffering more to the 1-6 list that endless posted. I dont understand any of that.
     
  17. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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    iirc there is a mobile cpu database ranking them by synthetic benchmarks. i know anandtech and tomshardware has one too and includes 'real world' apps, but i think they cover only desktops.

    anyway, based on the reviews so far, im pretty confident to say westmere spanks penryn throughly while providing same or slightly better battery life with a superior gpu.

    as for putting in plain english, a new i3 with hyper threading example would be:

    -you have two, 2 man teams working at DMV. team 1 has no hyper threading, so they cant multitask as well. they can either register cars, print id cards, etc... but no more than one task at a time. however, team 2 has hyper threading. they can process papers, print id cards and give driver license test at the same time. so they can do more work than team 1 given the same amount of time.

    now give than analogy, lets throw in more cache (memory) for team 2:

    -team 1 has less memory so people have to repeat to them what they want to do. which delays how fast the process can go. however, team 2 has a higher memory capacity so they only to be told once and then proceed with the request.

    now all put together, you can see team 2 is superior in working more efficient and faster with more memory and multi-tasking ability.

    probably not the best analogy but i just came up with it, lol.
     
  18. whiterabbit06

    whiterabbit06 Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill? VIP

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    I would reccomend this one.
    Newegg.com - ASUS K50 Series K50AB-X2A NoteBook AMD Turion X2 RM-75(2.20GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 - Laptops / Notebooks

    $649.99

    It is a little higher than you were asking but it has 4gb ram which is more than enough for what you need, more ram means faster loading. It has a separate video card which means the main board doesnt have to work as hard to show video which is good for editing. It has a 350gb hdd for storing a lot of files. It has 4 USB ports and a built in memory card reader.
     
  19. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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  20. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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    its VERY had to recommend AMD laptops unless they are dirt cheap. the only thing they have over intel is there igp, but even then with intels new chip, its pretty much par.

    why not amd for mobile? there turion x2 gets spanked by intels old core 2 duo and with i3, its murder. the only amd based mobile i would get is something with turion II, which is their newest chip that is about same as core 2 duo. but with i3 coming in, there is no reason no to choose a system based on i3 unless the laptop is like 300 bucks.
     
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