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Best money spent: CPU, harddrive rpm, video card?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Hard Drives
  • Mobile Computing
Last response: in Mobile Computing
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February 15, 2005 4:18:52 AM

I am about to invest in a notebook and not have a desktop, but I need a quiet, cool computer for taking notes in quiet classrooms. I want to be able to play games too. Please help me with your suggestions to where the money is best spent.
CPU: Centrino 1.8 or 2.0 ($500 question in my case)
Video card: Intel Extreme Graphics 64mb or ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 128mb? ($500 question)
Ram: 2 sticks of 512; 1 of 1024; 2 of 1024 [+$150/+$400]
Hard drive: Fujistu 100gig 4200rpm; Hitachi 60 gig 7k60rpm? (not much difference in price...but to last 5 years, more hard drive is tempting) I could ask my dealer to consider a 5600 Momentus 100gig hard drive...but let's assume that it would cost ME $200 more than the Fujitsu.
Now...please bear with me with these prices...I know they might be a little steep and not reflect reality, but if these options were this expensive, where would $500 go the fartherest in gaming and databases, while maintaining quiet and cool performance? Specifically, would you rather have a Centrino 1.8 with a Radeon 9700? Or a Centrino 2.0 with the Intel 64mb card? Also, could I be okay with the Fujitsu 4200rpm 100gig hd, or should I go for the 60gig 7600rpm or pay more for a 100gig 5600rpm hard drive?

More about : money spent cpu harddrive rpm video card

February 15, 2005 5:58:26 PM

Quote:
CPU: Centrino 1.8 or 2.0 ($500 question in my case)
Video card: Intel Extreme Graphics 64mb or ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 128mb? ($500 question)

Well, firstly, as you apparantly know, Centrino is the way to go for lots of power and no heat & noise.

Quote:
Ram: 2 sticks of 512; 1 of 1024; 2 of 1024 [+$150/+$400]
Hard drive: Fujistu 100gig 4200rpm; Hitachi 60 gig 7k60rpm?

Memory on a notebook system is very important - more so than a desktop system because of the huge bottleneck due to comparatively slow hard drives. BUT don't neglect the hard drive. As tempting as more space is, there is nothing that slows a notebook down more than a slow hard drive (opening programs is slower, loading games, booting to ur OS etc. etc.). So to give you my honest opinion, i would go for the smaller faster hard drive - depending on the notebook design, you may be able to add a second hard drive (for instance Dell's D-Bay Modular design) at a later stage.

Quote:
Now...please bear with me with these prices...I know they might be a little steep and not reflect reality, but if these options were this expensive, where would $500 go the fartherest in gaming and databases, while maintaining quiet and cool performance? Specifically, would you rather have a Centrino 1.8 with a Radeon 9700? Or a Centrino 2.0 with the Intel 64mb card? Also, could I be okay with the Fujitsu 4200rpm 100gig hd, or should I go for the 60gig 7600rpm or pay more for a 100gig 5600rpm hard drive?

My opinion: Centrino 1.8GHz + MR9700 (the Intel Extreme is absolutely useless, can't play anything decent on it), with the 60GB 7200rpm HDD (will speed up large databases quite considerably), and then use the rest of ur budget to work out RAM (512MB minimum).

Regards,
RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
February 15, 2005 6:06:52 PM

Good gaming laptons are big and clunky and have short battery lives. Oh and the run hot and loud.

For taking notes you need something not too powerful, but portable.

I would build a gaming rig for home, then buy a cheap used laptop for taking notes. But thats me.

However if you don't mind lugging arroung a 8-12 pound noisy beast and quick charging it between classes then more power to you.

Intel Extrem(-ly weak) Graphics makes playing modern games almost impossible. They don't even have any memory, it just uses some of your system memory. Even a game like the Sims will be hurting.

2 sticks of 512. Games barely need 512 let alone 2GB!

The 7200 rpm drive should load games faster.

---
PS Actually I would probably be one of those lugging arroung a 7-9 lbs laptop daily, but I also know people who purchased one but then ended up using it mainly as a desktop replacement because it was too big and heavy to drag to class.

Go to a store, pick up one the same size and shape as the one you are looking at. Decide if you will actually take it with your or if it will sit on your desk forever.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Codesmith on 02/15/05 05:53 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 16, 2005 8:02:15 PM

Quote:
Good gaming laptons are big and clunky and have short battery lives. Oh and the run hot and loud.

Not true. Take for instance BenQ's Joybook 7000:
- Pentium-M
- Mobility Radeon 9700
- 14" WXGA Widescreen (yes, 14")
- DVD+-R/RW Drive
- 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
- 4-5hrs battery life
- Weighs 1.95kg

While that may not be the best gaming laptop, it is certainly 'good'.

Quote:
For taking notes you need something not too powerful, but portable.

...or ideally powerful and portable. There are plenty out there (Latitude D810? - Definitely Decent graphics, beautiful display, loads of power - and it isnt that heavy. What about a Satellite Pro M30?? HP/Compaq nx7010??? As I said, there are plenty out there).

Quote:
However if you don't mind lugging arroung a 8-12 pound noisy beast and quick charging it between classes then more power to you.

I've never had to recharge my D800 between classes. Still plays all games (struggles a bit with HL2).

Quote:
Intel Extrem(-ly weak) Graphics makes playing modern games almost impossible. They don't even have any memory, it just uses some of your system memory. Even a game like the Sims will be hurting.

Nicely put, Intel Integrated graphics are bad news unless you are an actuarial science student!

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2 sticks of 512. Games barely need 512 let alone 2GB!

But what about large databases? They certainly need more RAM than the avg game.

Quote:
The 7200 rpm drive should load games faster.

not just games... everything. A client of mine had an old Latitude CPx (P3 500MHz) - after putting in a 7200rpm HDD, it was a new pc (same OS, just ghosted, so it can't be blamed on new installation!!) - The difference was incredible.

Quote:
Go to a store, pick up one the same size and shape as the one you are looking at. Decide if you will actually take it with your or if it will sit on your desk forever.

Some good advice. And while you are their, take a look at the different displays and different resolutions.

Notebooks are personal things and no one person can tell someone else what they want...

Regards,
RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
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