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Laptop newbie :-( Daughter needs a laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 11, 2004 8:15:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

My daughter needs a laptop for her uni work. She only has a budget of
around £800. She will be using a CAD program called ArchiCAD version 8 most
of the time and the min requirements to run this software are:

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP pro (ArchiCAD will
not start with Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 or Windows ME)

CPU: Intel® Pentium III, Pentium 4 or compatible CPU recommended.

RAM: 512MB minimum - Recommended: 1GB

Hard Drive Space: 500MB minimum free hard drive space required for full
installation for ArchiCAD 8.1. Free hard disk space is required according to
model complexity (over 1 GB recommended for complex models and 3D
visualization).

Video Card: Standard Open GL cards with onboard video memory of 64 MB, not
shared memory, are recommended. The required minimum resolution is 1024 by
768 pixels with 24 bit colour depth.

Display: 17" as minimum

I would assume that the software will run on Windows XP Home addition just
as well as the pro version, and she is sure that a display of less than 17"
is ok, as she is using a laptop of 12" at the moment for version 7 of
ArchiCAD without any problems.

I have been to the website of the developers of ArchiCAD
(http://www.graphisoft.com) and although they recommend Intel CPU's for
their software, users are managing quite well with high end AMD processors.

So, as I am a complete newbie to laptops, I need your help in finding a
laptop that will do the business for her and a very reasonable price. I
have looked at an Acer Aspire 1622LM, which appears to meet all the
requirements, but are their any others I should consider and where is the
best place to get it from?

Dave
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
September 11, 2004 8:15:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

In article <UwF0d.5048$jt1.53564559@news-text.cableinet.net>,
Dave <d-e-thomas@blueyonder.n_o_s_p_a_m.co.uk> wrote:
>My daughter needs a laptop for her uni work. She only has a budget of
>around £800. She will be using a CAD program called ArchiCAD version 8 most
>of the time and the min requirements to run this software are:
>
>Operating System: Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP pro (ArchiCAD will
>not start with Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 or Windows ME)
>
>CPU: Intel® Pentium III, Pentium 4 or compatible CPU recommended.
>
>RAM: 512MB minimum - Recommended: 1GB
>
>Hard Drive Space: 500MB minimum free hard drive space required for full
>installation for ArchiCAD 8.1. Free hard disk space is required according to
>model complexity (over 1 GB recommended for complex models and 3D
>visualization).
>
>Video Card: Standard Open GL cards with onboard video memory of 64 MB, not
>shared memory, are recommended. The required minimum resolution is 1024 by
>768 pixels with 24 bit colour depth.
>
>Display: 17" as minimum
>
>I would assume that the software will run on Windows XP Home addition just
>as well as the pro version, and she is sure that a display of less than 17"
>is ok, as she is using a laptop of 12" at the moment for version 7 of
>ArchiCAD without any problems.
>
>I have been to the website of the developers of ArchiCAD
>(http://www.graphisoft.com) and although they recommend Intel CPU's for
>their software, users are managing quite well with high end AMD processors.
>
>So, as I am a complete newbie to laptops, I need your help in finding a
>laptop that will do the business for her and a very reasonable price. I
>have looked at an Acer Aspire 1622LM, which appears to meet all the
>requirements, but are their any others I should consider and where is the
>best place to get it from?
>
>Dave
>
>
>


Check with the school's book store to see if the school has any sort
of a deal with any of the laptop manufacturers. Also ask what kind of
tech support is available on campus and consider going with whatever
they recommend. Ask if the campus has any shared high-quality
printing service. If it does then she can get away with the cheapest
small inkjet in her room. Big laser printers are _always_ cheaper on
a cost per page basis if the campus charges reasonable prices for
printing.

IMO, get the manufacturer's extended warranty (and NOT from
the store you buy from, or a third party.)

She's going to be working to tight hard deadlines, so backup and
contingency needs some thought. A CD burner in the laptop is a good
idea, and thede days you can get a combinded DVD reader-CD burner so
she can still watch the movies on the laptop. She can burn a copy
of whatever she's working on and use a campus computer if her's is
being serviced.

Get her two Kensington laptop security cables. One in the dorm room
attached to the furnature and one in the laptop bag. Laptops have
feet and I like to know I can turn my back on the my laptop and it
will stay where I left it.


--
Al Dykes
-----------
adykes at p a n i x . c o m
September 12, 2004 9:17:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Al Dykes" <adykes@panix.com> wrote in message
news:chv9lu$37g$1@panix3.panix.com...
> In article <UwF0d.5048$jt1.53564559@news-text.cableinet.net>,
> Dave <d-e-thomas@blueyonder.n_o_s_p_a_m.co.uk> wrote:
> >My daughter needs a laptop for her uni work. She only has a budget of
> >around £800. She will be using a CAD program called ArchiCAD version 8
most
> >of the time and the min requirements to run this software are:
> >
> >Operating System: Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP pro (ArchiCAD will
> >not start with Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 or Windows ME)
> >
> >CPU: Intel® Pentium III, Pentium 4 or compatible CPU recommended.
> >
> >RAM: 512MB minimum - Recommended: 1GB
> >
> >Hard Drive Space: 500MB minimum free hard drive space required for full
> >installation for ArchiCAD 8.1. Free hard disk space is required according
to
> >model complexity (over 1 GB recommended for complex models and 3D
> >visualization).
> >
> >Video Card: Standard Open GL cards with onboard video memory of 64 MB,
not
> >shared memory, are recommended. The required minimum resolution is 1024
by
> >768 pixels with 24 bit colour depth.
> >
> >Display: 17" as minimum
> >
> >I would assume that the software will run on Windows XP Home addition
just
> >as well as the pro version, and she is sure that a display of less than
17"
> >is ok, as she is using a laptop of 12" at the moment for version 7 of
> >ArchiCAD without any problems.
> >
> >I have been to the website of the developers of ArchiCAD
> >(http://www.graphisoft.com) and although they recommend Intel CPU's for
> >their software, users are managing quite well with high end AMD
processors.
> >
> >So, as I am a complete newbie to laptops, I need your help in finding a
> >laptop that will do the business for her and a very reasonable price. I
> >have looked at an Acer Aspire 1622LM, which appears to meet all the
> >requirements, but are their any others I should consider and where is the
> >best place to get it from?
> >
> >Dave
> >
> >
> >
>
>
> Check with the school's book store to see if the school has any sort
> of a deal with any of the laptop manufacturers. Also ask what kind of
> tech support is available on campus and consider going with whatever
> they recommend. Ask if the campus has any shared high-quality
> printing service. If it does then she can get away with the cheapest
> small inkjet in her room. Big laser printers are _always_ cheaper on
> a cost per page basis if the campus charges reasonable prices for
> printing.
>
> IMO, get the manufacturer's extended warranty (and NOT from
> the store you buy from, or a third party.)
>
> She's going to be working to tight hard deadlines, so backup and
> contingency needs some thought. A CD burner in the laptop is a good
> idea, and thede days you can get a combinded DVD reader-CD burner so
> she can still watch the movies on the laptop. She can burn a copy
> of whatever she's working on and use a campus computer if her's is
> being serviced.
>
> Get her two Kensington laptop security cables. One in the dorm room
> attached to the furnature and one in the laptop bag. Laptops have
> feet and I like to know I can turn my back on the my laptop and it
> will stay where I left it.

Thanks for the advice. She had mentioned wanting a laptop with a CD writer
built in, but I forgot to mention that in my original post.

Dave
Related resources
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
September 12, 2004 9:17:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

1 gig is a lot of memory. maybe you could pull the memory from the one she
has now, and
use it in the new one. Thing is, memory changes all the time so that's a
long shot. Almost nobody
needs a gig of memory, so you can reconfigure the 12" one by pulling half
the memory, and then sell some of the memory
separte from the laptop. You may be able to trade the excess memory in on
new memory for the new computer
too, depending on the dealer. You'll do better at a local screwdriver shop
with that.

Any new laptop will run her program. Best Buy, Staples, Office Max, Circuit
City, etc, all
have loss leaders almost weekly that sell for about $850 USD after rebates.
That's with
wifi built in, and a burner.

I don't think there's any real difference between them anymore. Anybody
still in
business is selling adaquate stuff. the things that go bad are usually the
things that move:
keyboards, hard drives, optical drives, fans, etc. You can usally get a 3
year warranty
for about $200. It's worth it because in 3 years odds are the optical will
go south.

Allen
September 14, 2004 4:41:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"!Allen Lasting" <bogus@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:C_adnQ0L6OwfONncRVn-iw@comcast.com...
> 1 gig is a lot of memory. maybe you could pull the memory from the one
she
> has now, and
> use it in the new one. Thing is, memory changes all the time so that's a
> long shot. Almost nobody
> needs a gig of memory, so you can reconfigure the 12" one by pulling half
> the memory, and then sell some of the memory
> separte from the laptop. You may be able to trade the excess memory in on
> new memory for the new computer
> too, depending on the dealer. You'll do better at a local screwdriver
shop
> with that.
>
> Any new laptop will run her program. Best Buy, Staples, Office Max,
Circuit
> City, etc, all
> have loss leaders almost weekly that sell for about $850 USD after
rebates.
> That's with
> wifi built in, and a burner.
>
> I don't think there's any real difference between them anymore. Anybody
> still in
> business is selling adaquate stuff. the things that go bad are usually
the
> things that move:
> keyboards, hard drives, optical drives, fans, etc. You can usally get a 3
> year warranty
> for about $200. It's worth it because in 3 years odds are the optical
will
> go south.

Thanks for all the advice. Pulling the memory from the old laptop is not an
option, as it only has 64mb in total. Which more or less worthless. I will
have to keep my eyes open for a special offer.

Dave
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
September 14, 2004 10:41:17 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Dave" <d-e-thomas@blueyonder.n_o_s_p_a_m.co.uk> wrote in message
news:UwF0d.5048$jt1.53564559@news-text.cableinet.net...
> My daughter needs a laptop for her uni work. She only has a budget of
> around £800. She will be using a CAD program called ArchiCAD version 8
most
> of the time and the min requirements to run this software are:
>
> Operating System: Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP pro (ArchiCAD will
> not start with Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 or Windows ME)
>
> CPU: Intel® Pentium III, Pentium 4 or compatible CPU recommended.
>
> RAM: 512MB minimum - Recommended: 1GB
>
> Hard Drive Space: 500MB minimum free hard drive space required for full
> installation for ArchiCAD 8.1. Free hard disk space is required according
to
> model complexity (over 1 GB recommended for complex models and 3D
> visualization).
>
> Video Card: Standard Open GL cards with onboard video memory of 64 MB, not
> shared memory, are recommended. The required minimum resolution is 1024 by
> 768 pixels with 24 bit colour depth.
>
> Display: 17" as minimum
>
> I would assume that the software will run on Windows XP Home addition just
> as well as the pro version, and she is sure that a display of less than
17"
> is ok, as she is using a laptop of 12" at the moment for version 7 of
> ArchiCAD without any problems.
>
> I have been to the website of the developers of ArchiCAD
> (http://www.graphisoft.com) and although they recommend Intel CPU's for
> their software, users are managing quite well with high end AMD
processors.
>
> So, as I am a complete newbie to laptops, I need your help in finding a
> laptop that will do the business for her and a very reasonable price. I
> have looked at an Acer Aspire 1622LM, which appears to meet all the
> requirements, but are their any others I should consider and where is the
> best place to get it from?

Make sure that you get a large format laptop like a Gateway M505 or Sony
K27. Smaller format laptops are designed such that the CPU will never run
at full speed except in brief bursts. CAD needs full sustained CPU
capacity. Look at the fine print on the spec sheet for a Sony X505 and
you'll see what I mean. This is an industry wide dirty little secret being
kept in the closet and many mfg don't even hide a disclaimer in their spec
sheets. One can also find similar disclaimers in the spec sheets for
Toshiba Tablet PC M200 & 3500.

The Sony A170 looks good and is 17".
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
September 14, 2004 10:44:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"!Allen Lasting" <bogus@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:C_adnQ0L6OwfONncRVn-iw@comcast.com...
> 1 gig is a lot of memory. maybe you could pull the memory from the one
she
> has now,

On a laptop, that's VERY unlikely to work. Buy 1GB with the laptop as new.
!