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Time to buy a new notebook?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 7, 2007 9:50:41 PM

Hi, I currently have a Dell Inspirion 6000 notebook which is about a year and a half old. Since I am away at college this is my primary computer which I use for homework, games (currently Half Life 2, I tried Oblivion at low settings, but it wouldn’t run :(  ), photo editing, etc. The specs are: 1.86 Pentium M, 1.5 gb ram, 80 gb 5400rpm hard drive, and an x300 gpu with 128mb ram. Lately I've been finding that my computer is slow when loading apps and starting up. I regularly run programs to defrag, fix registry problems, and to get rid of spy-ware, ad-ware, and viruses (I haven't had one yet!). I also have uninstalled programs which I don't need and removed unnecessary startup programs. However, even after doing these things excessively, my computer is still quite slow.
The question I have is whether it is an opportune time to upgrade to a new laptop. I have looked around for laptops around $1000-1500, and the only performance increase I can see is the processor. I’m wondering if I should wait maybe another year to get a bigger performance increase because my laptop working ok right now. Thanks for any input.

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a b D Laptop
April 8, 2007 4:08:55 AM

There is never a truly good time to buy something tech related because there is always something new coming out. The choice is 100% personal. I think there are some other options you could try before buying a new laptop. make that one since I now see you have a good amount of RAM. Try a complete re-install of windows using the disk that came (or should have come) with your laptop. I did this with my desktop and it fixed a lot of lag problems. The best time to buy a laptop, price wise, is late spring/summer when companies are offering discounts for all the new college students. You could expect to see decent price drops. If you decide to buy a new laptop post back with your exact price range (res I did see your 1000-1500 estimate) and any companies you would either prefer to buy or stay away from.
April 9, 2007 1:05:28 PM

You could upgrade to a 7200prm HD for a lower cost performance increase. It won't get you quake but you could build another rig for the price difference.

Coupled with a complete re-install the difference would be very noticeable.
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a b D Laptop
April 9, 2007 1:52:16 PM

The HDD is a good idea. I hadn't thought of that. I would still try the re-install first before I spent the money on a HDD.
April 11, 2007 6:18:13 AM

Yeah I like that idea a lot. I went on Newegg and they only offer Seagate and Hitachi hds. I think I'll try reformatting my computer and installing a faster hd because I like the idea of having a 7200 rpm notebook hard drive , but before I do that I have a couple of questions. I went on Newegg to see what options were available and they only had two brands, Hitachi and Seagate. Which brand is better known for notebook hds? The second question I have is if I'll really feel a difference with 7200 rpm hd. I looked up the specs of my current hd and it doesn't seem like it's too much slower... but I really don't know much about hd performance. Thanks for the help.

Here are the links:

Newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Old hd
http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=81820000000700000...
a b D Laptop
April 11, 2007 2:14:54 PM

I'm not sure about performance in numbers, but what I do know is this: My brother has an Inspiron 9300 and my dad has a 6000. Both have the same proc and same amount of RAM. The 9300 has a 7200rpm drive while the 6000 only has a 5400rpm drive. The 9300 is faster on startup and app loading by a few seconds. As far as companies, I think that Hitachi is more prevalent with laptops and Seagate is used more with desktops. I don't it will matter because both are good companies. What you should think is this: If you have the money and believe that it would be a worthwhile upgrade, then go for it. Otherwise don't. Try reformatting before you buy it though to see if it made a difference.
!