Understanding laptop speed

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

I have a 2.4GHz desktop. It's a couple of years old, and the newer desktops
with the fastest clock speed are in the 3.8 GHz range. I'm thinking about
getting a laptop but I'm confused about their speed. So many are advertised
as being super fast but they are listed as 1.6 GHz, or thereabouts. OK, some
are 3.2 GHz 'hyperthreaded" Pentiums - what ever that is. Some of my friends
complain about the speed of their laptops - and I would be totally bummed
out if my new laptop were slower than my current desktop.

So my question is, how do I determine the speed of a laptop. To be specific,
by speed I'm talking about the time it takes to LOAD, or to CLOSE, MS Word.
It just takes forever on a desktop. Is this primarily a function of RAM and
disk speed, rather than clock speed? Same thing with loading PhotoShop or
even Dreamweaver. It takes a long time. How can this process be sped up. How
do I find a laptop that can do that job rapidly? Thanks for your ideas.
4 answers Last reply
More about understanding laptop speed
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    On Tue, 12 Jul 2005 10:04:21 -0700, "Bob Richardson" <bobr at whidbey
    dot com> wrote:

    >I have a 2.4GHz desktop. It's a couple of years old, and the newer desktops
    >with the fastest clock speed are in the 3.8 GHz range. I'm thinking about
    >getting a laptop but I'm confused about their speed. So many are advertised
    >as being super fast but they are listed as 1.6 GHz, or thereabouts. OK, some
    >are 3.2 GHz 'hyperthreaded" Pentiums - what ever that is. Some of my friends
    >complain about the speed of their laptops - and I would be totally bummed
    >out if my new laptop were slower than my current desktop.
    >
    >So my question is, how do I determine the speed of a laptop. To be specific,
    >by speed I'm talking about the time it takes to LOAD, or to CLOSE, MS Word.
    >It just takes forever on a desktop. Is this primarily a function of RAM and
    >disk speed, rather than clock speed? Same thing with loading PhotoShop or
    >even Dreamweaver. It takes a long time. How can this process be sped up. How
    >do I find a laptop that can do that job rapidly? Thanks for your ideas.
    >
    >

    Computer speed is more than pure processing power. Take into account
    RAM, video processor, hard drive speed, and bus speed. Also, keeping
    your OS nice and clean really improves performance. Compare an analogy
    to an F1 race car, to get around the track takes more than HP.

    One thing to keep in mind is the that Laptop processor (Pentium M's)
    do more things(instruction processing) per clock cycle. They are
    slower in clock speed, but a 2.13 Pentium M is near as fast as the
    Desktop 3.4's. A laptop will suffer a bit in bus speeds and video
    performance, but with enough RAM they usually hold their own. Also,
    hard drive speeds are slightly slower in laptops, due to the speed of
    laptop drives. But things are changing and improving in laptop
    speeds.

    Look at a laptop with dedicated video processor, capable of lots of
    RAM, and a decent processor. I prefer the Pentium M's (part of the
    Centrino brand) for battery life. Mine lasts up to 4hrs for me,
    compared to a 'desktop replacement', which you may only get 1-2 hours
    battery life.

    http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=dothandesktop&page=1

    Happy hunting. Do your homework. You'll be a lot happier in the end!

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

    samurai <sammer003@yahoo.ca.spam> wrote:
    : Computer speed is more than pure processing power. Take into account
    : RAM, video processor, hard drive speed, and bus speed. Also, keeping
    : your OS nice and clean really improves performance. Compare an analogy
    : to an F1 race car, to get around the track takes more than HP.

    : One thing to keep in mind is the that Laptop processor (Pentium M's)
    : do more things(instruction processing) per clock cycle. They are
    : slower in clock speed, but a 2.13 Pentium M is near as fast as the
    : Desktop 3.4's.

    Actually, for many tasks the 2.13GHZ Pentium M will probably be faster
    than the desktop 3.4GHZ P4.

    A laptop will suffer a bit in bus speeds and video
    : performance, but with enough RAM they usually hold their own. Also,
    : hard drive speeds are slightly slower in laptops, due to the speed of
    : laptop drives. But things are changing and improving in laptop
    : speeds.

    : Look at a laptop with dedicated video processor, capable of lots of
    : RAM, and a decent processor. I prefer the Pentium M's (part of the
    : Centrino brand) for battery life. Mine lasts up to 4hrs for me,
    : compared to a 'desktop replacement', which you may only get 1-2 hours
    : battery life.

    Agree that Pentium M/Centrino is the way to go for a laptop these
    days. But note that Centrino includes not just the Pentium M CPU but
    an Intel chipset and probably integrated video. Personally I think
    dedicated video is becoming a non-issue these days unless you really
    require high-speed graphics and/or gaming.

    Andrew
    --
    ----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
    *******************************************************************
    ----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
    ----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
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  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Thanks Andrew and Samurai for all the good info. Yes, I had planned to use
    this laptop primarily like a desktop, and travel with it infrequently.

    Another consideration was the fact that many (most?) MS application will now
    allow you to load them on only one desktop and one laptop computer. The
    money saved on some software will help defray the additional cost for a
    laptop. At least that was the thinking. I now think that this is a very
    minor issue.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Bob Richardson" <bobr at whidbey dot com> wrote:

    > I have a 2.4GHz desktop. It's a couple of years old, and the newer
    > desktops with the fastest clock speed are in the 3.8 GHz range. I'm
    > thinking about getting a laptop but I'm confused about their speed. So
    > many are advertised as being super fast but they are listed as 1.6 GHz, or
    > thereabouts. OK, some are 3.2 GHz 'hyperthreaded" Pentiums - what ever
    > that is. Some of my friends complain about the speed of their laptops -
    > and I would be totally bummed out if my new laptop were slower than my
    > current desktop.
    >
    > So my question is, how do I determine the speed of a laptop. To be
    > specific, by speed I'm talking about the time it takes to LOAD, or to
    > CLOSE, MS Word. It just takes forever on a desktop. Is this primarily a
    > function of RAM and disk speed, rather than clock speed? Same thing with
    > loading PhotoShop or even Dreamweaver. It takes a long time. How can this
    > process be sped up. How
    > do I find a laptop that can do that job rapidly? Thanks for your ideas.

    Well, on my eMachines M6811, which has a fast processor but a slow disk,
    Word 2003 opens after a cold boot in 3.5 seconds the first time and 1.5 the
    second and subsequent. I don't use Photoshop, so can't comment.

    Running off battery with the disk spun down it might take longer--the disk
    would have to spin up first before it would load and the CPU may be
    throttled down. That though is a function of the energy management and not
    the processor.

    If you want fast, go for an AMD64. If you want good battery life go for a
    Pentium M. There is no good reason to go for a Pentium 4 in a laptop
    anymore--the Pentium M is an upgraded PIII, and the fact that Intel found
    it necessary to resurrect that architecture for laptops tells you how
    poorly suited to that use the P4 is.

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
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