Guys, I am really in the need for your opinions on this...
I am gonna try to be very specific;
I would like to buy a laptop to be used for music production (already have a software for it, Cubase SX)
I already own a firewire external soundcard which I am in love with (m-audio firewire 410)
I am in the urgent need of buying this laptop, which needs to have a good performance for these really CPU consuming programs and plug ins (specially for the music software, I use lots of VSTs on Cubase) with a possibility to connect a second monitor (which I have to when I work with these editing music softwares)
and the most important thing is it needs to come with the latest version of Windows XP, not Vista, as some of the external hardware for music production that I have, do not work with Vista yet.
I would prefer a solid PC with a fast CPU and fast harddrive, fast response time, with of course, really can be upgraded in the span of next 5 years.
It doesnt need to be big screen, but I prefer a medium solid reliable, with a decent battery life.
I have the ones that comes with so many Photo-video software all waiting to be installed, backed up ready for usage, like recently HP made me puke when I used one of them, with all these software that came with it, to basically promote for usage with HP printers, digital cameras and all that, Of course I wanna have the ability to do those things on the side at times, but I want the best 'clean slate' strong PC to begin with to start installing my own stuff and don't wanna deal with any preinstalled crap that makes the decisions for you if you know what I mean.
I will be really looking to get it this labor weekend, if you just know what I am talking about, any kind of info, opinion, even specific models that I should look into, everything is appreciated.
Killernotebooks.com's Wakizachi. It's a 15.4'' rock solid laptop with excellent support. The company doesn't add any other software other than what you request. It's a little on the expensive side, but should be worth the money. Too many companies add bloatware, but K|N is one of the few that doesn't. Check out the Exectutioner review in this section for an idea of what you will/can get.
If you have an issue with the price send the guy an email. He will most likely be willing to cut you a deal. To be honest, that laptop isn't too overpriced. You are paying for his personal support though.
I'll let you in on a secret. Quite a few of the high-end laptop builders like Alienware, Voodoo, WidowPC and killernotebooks.com take the same basic systems and re-brand them. K|N does some stuff to their systems to make them unique and perform slightly better. Most use Clevo, Asus and MSI systems and slap their label on them. My personal experience was with sagernotebooks.com and I wasn't really happy with the purchasing experience. I couldn't be happier with the laptop itself, but the company did some things that rubbed me the wrong way. You could try other companies like XoticPC.com (who ignored 2 of my e-mails), but I'm not sure what the experience will be like. I have talked to Mark (owner of K|N) and he is very willing to help you every step of the way to make sure you get the system that you want. I know this sounds like a major sales pitch for him, but my final choice came down between K|N and sagernotebook.com and I chose the wrong one. From what I can tell, Sager's support is going to be no better than Dell's.
Speaking of which, take a look at some of their (Dell's) stuff, it isn't all that bad IMO.
If you want to look around:
I have been really reading a lot, and doing a lot of search, sort of making a list of vendors and manufacturers upon my final decision, I am not in a rush, although I might wanna check out labor day sales tomorrow...
one thing, in all the custom sites, or even others, they don't list the manufacturers or models of motherboards on a laptop.
its usually something like this;
Processor & Chipset
Intel® Centrino® Pro w/ Santa Rosa Chipset
Chipset: Intel PM965 Crestline and ICH8-M
800 MHz System Front Side Bus Speed
so here which is the one that has something to do with Texas Instruments chipset issue?
on customizing options, you don't even get a dropdown menu for motherboard, it starts with processor and then to graphics card and so forth, so it's hard to tell whats going on with motherboard on a laptop,
what do you reckon?
Most of the newer laptops use the 965 chipset. For laptops there isn't anything higher to the best of my knowledge. I'm not really sure who manufactures the boards themselves. That may be something you could ask the distributor.