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Author Topic: Have some laptop hardware questions  (Read 839 times)
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Graham
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« on: June 06, 2010, 03:11:04 AM »

I am not exactly in the loop when it comes to hardware, especially on laptops.  Here are a few questions I have.

How big of a difference is there between the Core i3, i5, and i7 processors?  Are Athlon II processors decent?  How good is an Athlon II P320?

Have Intel Integrated Graphics gotten any better?  While I don't need this to play the latest games, I would want something that can handle some 3D graphics.

Does the Atom processor work well, even with Win 7 and a gig of RAM?  We might get this for my wife, but she'd want iTunes on there, and some software from her work that would allow her to remotely log in.

Is 1600x900 resolution a huge advantage over 1366x768?

Anything else I should look at?
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Jaddison
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 03:13:47 PM »

I will only answer what I know very well from my own laptop experience.

The more RAM the better.  Highly recommend 4 especially if there is no dedicated graphics card.  6 would be very sweet with Win 7

Look at the hard drive speed.  Most companies stick 5400 RPM drives in laptops, there is a huge difference when you have a 7200 RPM or higher.

Screen resolution depends on how good your eyes are.  1600x900 will put more information on screen but it will be smaller, many of the older people I work with roll back resolution so they can see better
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 04:24:23 PM »

Quote from: Jaddison on June 06, 2010, 03:13:47 PM

6 would be very sweet with 64bit Win 7

Fixed that for you... on the off chance anyone ends up with a 32bit version of the O/S. icon_wink
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Daehawk
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2010, 05:53:42 PM »

4 gigs ram min with Win 7.
Get a dedicated vid card for gaming. Intel still sucks.
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2010, 05:56:25 PM »

win 7 you'll want 4 gigs of ram.  look for a nice nvidia or ATI card.  from what I've seen the i5 is the happy medium between a weaker i3 and a more expensive i7.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 05:58:05 PM by CeeKay » Logged

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Thin_J
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2010, 10:15:59 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on June 06, 2010, 05:56:25 PM

win 7 you'll want 4 gigs of ram.  look for a nice nvidia or ATI card.  from what I've seen the i5 is the happy medium between a weaker i3 and a more expensive i7.

I also recommend the i5, but will say I was pleasantly surprised by the i3 rig I slapped together for my parents a few weeks back. It's a damn nice system. Runs just as nicely as my supposedly faster i5 based laptop.
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Graham
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2010, 10:45:06 PM »

Here are the laptops I'm looking at:

Gateway
17.3" LCD 1600x900
AMD Athlon II P320
4GB DDR3
ATI Radeon HD 4250
320 GB HD
Win 7 Home Premium (not sure if it's 32-bit or 64-bit)
$800

Gateway
15.6" LCD 1366x768
Intel i5-430M
4GB DDR3
Intel GMA HD
500 GB
Blu-ray/DVDRW drive
Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit
$780

Sony
16.4" LCD 1600x900
Intel Core2Duo T6600
4GB DDR2
320 GB HD 7200 RPM
ATI Radeon HD 4650
Blu-ray burner
Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit
$800

MSI
16" LCD 1366x768
Intel Core2Duo T6600
4GB
320 GB HD
GeForce 8200M G
Win 7 Home Premium
$450

Going to look at a few others, but any suggestions would be appreciated.  It will probably be used for typing, online browsing, and some occasional gaming.  (My home PC rig was built around five years ago and I doubt I'll be upgrading it soon.)  I will use it for travelling, but most of the time I will be using it at home.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 10:47:11 PM by Graham » Logged

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Daehawk
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2010, 11:09:48 PM »

Always heard Asus makes the best laptops. If / when I get one it will be an Asus model.
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2010, 12:02:56 AM »

if you're looking at core2duo you might want to check out the Alienware M11x.
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Graham
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2010, 01:42:39 AM »

I thought that the core2duo was slower than the i3.  Is that inaccurate?
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Jumangi
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2010, 03:02:21 AM »

No the core2duo would prob be about on par with the i3 at same clock speeds. For a laptop its still a fine chip. IMo you should look at physical designs when going with a laptop too. Can't think just internal specs. I really suggest shopping locally if you can so you can see the systems, how the screens look, how the keyboard feels etc. That can matter allot and isn't something that is seen on a spec sheet.


Oh I'll add in checking on the battery. One of the ways cheap laptops with maybe on the surface good specs get that price is by putting in a shitty battery(along with poor LCD displays) that gives you maybe 2 hours before crapping out. If you want something for plane trips etc thats something too look at too.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 03:10:12 AM by Jumangi » Logged
Graham
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2010, 05:29:57 AM »

Quote from: Jumangi on June 07, 2010, 03:02:21 AM

No the core2duo would prob be about on par with the i3 at same clock speeds. For a laptop its still a fine chip. IMo you should look at physical designs when going with a laptop too. Can't think just internal specs. I really suggest shopping locally if you can so you can see the systems, how the screens look, how the keyboard feels etc. That can matter allot and isn't something that is seen on a spec sheet.


Oh I'll add in checking on the battery. One of the ways cheap laptops with maybe on the surface good specs get that price is by putting in a shitty battery(along with poor LCD displays) that gives you maybe 2 hours before crapping out. If you want something for plane trips etc thats something too look at too.

The battery life isn't that important to me.  Most of the time I would be using it at home attached to the power.  Some typing while at the airport would be nice, but I don't think I would use it much on the plane.  That's what the DS and PSP are for.
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2010, 10:55:39 AM »

Quote from: Daehawk on June 06, 2010, 11:09:48 PM

Always heard Asus makes the best laptops. If / when I get one it will be an Asus model.

Just make sure they dont have known Heat issues, like my G2S....
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 06:09:50 PM »

I just picked up a Toshiba laptop over the weekend from Best Buy that seems pretty nice and within the specs you are looking for.  

16 inch screen
Intel Core i3 processor
4 gigs of DDR 3
500gb 7200 Hard Drive
Windows Home Premium 64-bit
Intel integrated graphics
12 cell batter for 8+! hours of batter life

679.99

After a week with it I can't find much I don't like about it although it can't hold a candle to my MacBook Pro.  smile  It does have a "chicklit style" keyboard like the Macs do and the keyboard has a seperate numeric pad which is kind of nice to have - but not everyone may like this type of keyboard so they may want to try it out first on a store display or something. 

Here's the model and SKU number if you want to check it out:  Model: A665-S6050 | SKU: 9988697

« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 06:11:59 PM by deadzone » Logged
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