I'm looking for a new laptop with a dual core cpu for design work, I currently have a 1.73ghz pm, 1gb ram, r x600. what would a good upgrade be for around $2000nzd ($1000)?
Do intergrated graphics still suck for non gaming apps? I would mainly be using it for cad (solidworks) and photoshop, indesign, ilistrator, freehand. so would a dedicated gpu have advantage appart from not stealing system ram?
How do core 2 duos compare to turion x2s? I'm more interested in performance than bat life but would want ok bat life (something round 2 hours) and which would be best in the price range.
Yeah I'd say you're going to want better than integrated for 2 reasons, a integrated robs the system memory which is vital for things like CAD and pro 3Dapps. IMO the best fit is a large VRAM chip in the low-mid level range. And IMO something new with GPGPU potential is also the way to go. So something like a GD8400 or HD2400 with 256 or 512MB of real VRAM (not turbo Cache or HyperMemory) would be the best route, and then get the most powerful CPU you can afford, and after that chose a fas HDD and large memory amount. The Memory and HDD can be upgraded easier than the CPU and VPU, so I'd focus on those two and then try and make the others the best you can.
I'd suggest target of a T7500 (usually the best value) and above for CPU, 2 GB RAM , and at least a 5400 RPM HDD, but preferably a 7200RPM drive.
And while he graphics aren't essential I would prefer the future flexability that a GF8400 and HD2400 offere over something like a GF6150 or X200 or even low descrete of the previous generation.
Dell is a good starting point because of their ease of customizability.