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Laptop thoughts

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  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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March 17, 2006 10:27:45 AM

Hi all!

You are probably bored with all the "help me buy" threads, but I would greatly appreciate some input and thoughts on the subject.

First question is AMD vs Intel. Since I want to really splash out on a new system I was wondering what your thoughts are on the to-of-the-range processors from these manufacturers. Which one in more future-proof?

Furthermore, I have read somewhere that AMD is planning to release new dual-core chips that take advantage of DDR2. Is it worth the wait?

The other question is regarding the upcoming software from MS, Vista. From what I've seen on the web it looks good, better than XP. But the downside is that it will probably be released... well.... only God knows when. Is it also worth the wait?

And finally, I was looking at Alienware Aurora series as an option, but the problem is that it comes only in blue. I mean BLUE??? What the hell were they thinking. Anyways, has anyone seen one up close and personal? Is it really that horrible?

Thanx for taking the time out to read my post and thanx for input.

More about : laptop thoughts

March 21, 2006 12:25:16 PM

AMD products are, right now, the fastest things you can get: best bang-for-bucks. A X2 3800+, with good air cooling, can be overclocked quite a lot provided you have a good mobo - and it's dual core. Waiting until Intel gets out their next product is an option, but you'll have to wait to be sure it's tested and true. About AMD's DDR2 support, right now it brings very little benefit: you'll have better performance from a dual channel DDR solution than from a single channel DDR2 - so DDR2 may no be worth the wait.

If all you want to do is game, focus on your video card: the Nvidia 7900 series looks nice.

About the OS: WinXP home won't be supported after June 2006, so you'd better get a Pro version (the 64-bit version is similarly priced), or go Linux until Vista comes out.

They're doing very nice 3D desktops on some Linux distros...
March 22, 2006 12:10:55 PM

Thanx, Mitch, I almost gave up on seeing any replies in my thread. :D 

I have sadly overlooked AMD's goods in favour of more stablished Intel, however these days it seems to me that AMD is making a far better product than Intel. At least thats what many reviews ae saying. Looks like hyper-threading was a nice gimmick for a while, but nothing compares with dual-core and in that field AMD has taken the lead.

I do however get confused when it comes to various names and designations for chips. I would not be able to tell the difference straight away between Turion and Prescott 8O . It took me a while to figure out that Intel dual-core chips are not available on laptops, got too distracted with fancy Intel acronyms and lingo.

You are right there, about the video card. However what still concerns me is that apparently Vista will require DirectX 10 to run at full capacity and it is unclear (at least to me) whether current generation of GeForces are capable to do DX 10. I hate to drone on and on about Vista, but seeing that I am an advanced lamer when it comes to computers my general strategy is to invest as much as possible in a system and be content with it for at least 2-3 years. And Vista seems to be the way to go these days because XP, Pro or otherwise, is just too old and annoying these days. Thats pretty much why I whine indecisevely about getting a new laptop.

Since futureproof is the word here I was also wondering: If DDR2 for AMD is nothing toget excited about, why do they bother at all?Why not go for DDR3 straight away, just like they boasted they would?
March 22, 2006 8:16:10 PM

Supposedly in May AMD will be releasing the Turion X2 (dual core) notebook chip. That coupled with the ATi x1600 graphics card with 256 MB of memory should provide for you well into the future (Vista 64 bit).

March 22, 2006 9:15:00 PM

And Vista has been postponed till January, 2007, so we still have some time to enjoy the good ol' Windows XP Home/Pro.
I heard Vista can make use your jumpdrive as RAM! That's pretty..."rad"? lol. :twisted:
March 22, 2006 9:52:32 PM

That's pretty cool.

*Since most of the notebooks now are coming with memory card slots, *and since the cost of the cards are getting so cheap (I saw an 80x Kingston 2 GB card for $59 AR this weekend)
*and since Windows Vista will be able to utilize over 2 Gigs of system memory
*and since notebooks usually come with only 2 memory slots
*and since the memory / flash memory will be faster (and use less battery power) than hitting the hard drive

Vista may be able to actually take us to the next level of mobile computing. Could be the first time ever that we aren't just getting the MAC's sloppy seconds.

March 23, 2006 7:07:45 AM

Top of the line cards are basically compatible with DirectX 10 - which introduces a new programming methodology and technology, and actually doesn't require more than what these cards can provide. For example, all Geforce 6xxx and over are Vista-ready.

Why not jump to DDR-3: because DDR-3 is still much more expensive than DDR2 (which is now on par with DDR), and AMD processors have integrated memory controllers: they have to redesign it every time they change RAM technlology, and right now DDR2 is all the hype.

Maybe DDR3 support from AMD will come with a new core design...

About Vista: it's already 2 years late, is losing features all the time, WILL be unstable as soon as it's out, is a resources hog...

As I said in another post, Intel puts out faulty products quite often: 286 had a memory addressing bug, original Pentium had a FPU bug, Pentium III 1.13 GHz couldn't run reliably, MHT was faulty... On AMD's side, I have yet to see a product not living up to its expecations.
March 31, 2006 2:09:47 PM

Well, I know what I am waiting for now. PPU for laptops. Goddamit this never ends :roll:
March 31, 2006 9:35:25 PM

At some point you just have to say I need a laptop and I am going to buy it. Tech keeps moving so just find what you need and find what your future needs will be. Once you do that find the middle ground on price and personal likes. I just got a HP I hate HP but I need a laptop as my mom wanted a laptop. She got my dell C400 great little laptop for on the go and I bought a Turion 2.0Ghz will the ATI X200. This thing runs great I knew what I wanted a laptop that I could use for school for one more year and be ready for vista(with lower video settings on ATI X200(128MB)) Just go by want you need and want find the middle and move on a purchase. If it's for work don't go cheap. I have had this is my second HP my first one was a peice of crap. My Dell C400 was great for so long and light I never need to get a new laptop. I even played Halo on it.
April 1, 2006 3:21:35 AM

I've been looking at the sony sz series. I like the premium model but its way too expensive. I've been pricing them and usually the sz110 model which has dual 1.83 1gb ram 100gb hd costs like 1900. I found this website http://www.kellocity.com/proddetail.php?prod=05558 with the sz120 model. I wonder if anyone knows anything about it. Its ridiculously cheap and i dont know if this website is credible. If it is, its an amazing deal. Thanks for the help.
April 1, 2006 6:45:21 AM

I still use an IBM a21m, of which I've expanded the RAM and replaced the HD, under Linux. A laptop is a laptop, if I want 3D I'll tweak my desktop system.
April 3, 2006 2:27:57 PM

Thanx guys, you actually made me reconsider my whole position on the subject. At the end of the day laptops are for work and desktops are for games. Anything in-between is an overweight, underperforming monstrosity.

Unfortunately you can never buy a PC that would be cutting edge for longer than 3 months. I guess if it is sheer power I need I would be better off with a desktop and pray that it has enough slots for Central Processing Units, Video Processing Units, Physics Processing Units and any other Money Processing Units that the good folks at NVidia, Intel, AMD and others can throw at you. :) 

Anyways, for business stuff my laptop seems to do enough so far, so I've decided to wait till summer to get a new one. I'll be better off in terms of finance and choice then anyways.

Thanx guys
April 3, 2006 3:50:04 PM

With the X-Box 360 out, and the PS3 coming out in November at $399... it's almost easier to just get a console game. Comparing to a desktop computer here... I mean, the thing is almost as portable as a laptop, you can play it on your tv which is much bigger than your monitor (Sony SXRD is freaking awesome), it has internet playability... for gamers it's an ideal solution and you don't have to constantly beat yourself up because you didn't wait just 10 more minutes for the Hantoon-Rantoon which makes your current system obsolete because YOURS can only do 99 million processes per second while Hantoon-Rantoon enabled systems can do infinity +1 processes per second.

Laptops of course are in a different category with portability that includes your sound, screen and battery. Take them with you on a train, plane or automobile and if you have to... I guess you could do other work on it to. Not that I am condoning work, or suggessting that work should be done...

Playstation 3 write-up.
Quote:
The PlayStation 3 will feature the much-vaunted Cell processor, which will run at 3.2GHz, giving the whole system 2 teraflops of overall performance. It will sport 256MB XDR main RAM at 3.2GHz, and it will have 256MB of GDDR VRAM at 700MHz.

Sony also unveiled the PS3's graphics chip, the RSX "Reality Synthesizer," which is based on Nvidia technology. The GPU will be capable of 128bit pixel precision and 1080p resolution--some of the highest HD resolution around. The RSX also has 512MB of graphics render memory and is capable of 100 billion shader operations and 51 billion dot products per second. It also has more than 300 million transistors, larger than any processor commercially available today. It will be manufactured using the 90nm process, with eight layers of metal. The RSX is more powerful than two GeForce 6800 Ultra video cards

Quote:
PLAYSTATION 3 SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Cell Processor PowerPC-base Core @3.2GHz
--1 VMX vector unit per core
--512KB L2 cache
--7 x SPE @3.2GHz
--7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs
--7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE
--*1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy
--Total floating point performance: 218 gigaflops

GPU RSX @ 550MHz
--1.8 TFLOPS floating point Performance
--Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
--Multi-way programmable parallel Floating point shader pipelines
--Sound Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-based processing)

MEMORY
256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz
System Bandwidth Main RAM-- 25.6GB/s
VRAM--22.4GB/s
RSX-- 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read)
SB2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)

SYSTEM FLOATING POINT PERFORMANCE:
2 teraflops

STORAGE
--HDD Detachable 2.5" HDD slot x 1
--I/O--USB Front x 4, Rear x 2 (USB2.0)
--Memory Stickstandard/Duo, PRO x 1
--SD standard/mini x 1
--CompactFlash(Type I, II) x 1

COMMUNICATION
--Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x 3 (input x 1 + output x 2)
--Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g
--Bluetooth--Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)
--ControllerBluetooth (up to 7)
--USB 2.0 (wired)
--Wi-Fi (PSP)
--Network (over IP)

AV OUTPUT
Screen size 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI out x 2
AV multi out x 1
Digital out (optical) x 1

DISC MEDIA
CD
PlayStation CD-ROM
PlayStation2 CD-ROM
CD-DA
CD-DA (ROM),
CD-R,
CD-RW
SACD Hybrid (CD layer),
SACD HD
DualDisc (audio side)
DualDisc (DVD side)
PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM
PlayStation 3 DVD-ROM
DVD-ROM
DVD-R
DVD-RW
DVD+R,
DVD+RW
Blu-ray Disc
PlayStation 3 BD-ROM
BD-ROM
BD



April 3, 2006 8:27:06 PM

Considering that the PS3 will be running Linux with support from Sony, the PS3 will be more of a gaming-oriented computer than a game console... If you connect it to a LCD HDTV, it'll be even more so.
!