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Questions before I pull the trigger on my first laptop...

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 12, 2008 12:17:49 AM

Well, thanks to the people on this board who told me not to buy a Dell (I had major issues witht he XPS 630) or any desktop gaming rig and instead build my own...got me off my a$$ to where I finally did my own with the help of these forums, to my exact specs, and it's the best machine I've ever owned and only cost about $2300 compared to similar machines selling for $5k.

It was a huge success and great accomplishment for me (very rewarding) and even though I spent hours each night reading and researching, by the time I was done it was a mini-hobby and I loved it.

Building your own laptop is not a very promising option right now but I think in a few years, it might be mainstream enough to warrant it.

Sooooooo... although I never thought I'd go back to Dell, I bought my fiancee an Inspiron e1505 a couple years back and that thing has been a HORSE. No problems at all *knock on wood*

So I thought well, if there is one thing left that Dell does ok with still, it is laptops. Most reviews for the XPS1530 or XPS1330 are very nice though just like with desktop hardware on NewEgg, you will always find issues that make you second guess. And laptops have even more given how people use them.

All that said, here are my questions:

1) In ordering the 1530, I plan to swap out the hard drive with one of the new 7200's coming out. Is there any reason I can't pull out one generic 250GB 5400 and throw in a new 7200 rpm drive? (I'll link it when I can find where I put the darn link)

2) From everything I've read, most suggest to go with the LED LCD from Dell instead of the regular one since it is thinner, uses less energy, is brighter, and runs less hot...but of course costs ~$150 more. Sounds like a winner, right? Just making sure there isn't anything else to be aware of.

3) I love to game but have my great desktop for it so I don't technically need such a 8600M GT but it can't hurt - as long as it doesn't run very hot when idle or not gaming. Anyone have any experience?

4) I went with the 9300 processor for the extra cache and because I'm hoping 45nm runs cooler in mobile chips as well vs. the 65nm. Is that a safe assumption?

5) I want to buy a second AC adaptor so I can have one running behind me desk where I will have it at home and one I can always keep in my bag as I'm too lazy to swap all the time. Is there a cheaper way to get one than through Dell? Not even sure what they charge...

THANKS!

BTW, here is what I can get with a great coupon+EPP for about $1495 not including shipping and tax:

(Note: The only way to get this price was to include what you see otherwise I'd have gone with cheapest hard drive and memory and upgrade them myselves but came out cheaper this way - Also I couldn't upgrade the battery with this deal so will call them to manually do it as need a 9-cell)

XPS M1530 (Tuxedo Black)
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T9300 (2.5GHz/800Mhz FSB, 6MB Cache)
4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (2 Dimms)
High Resolution, glossy widescreen 15.4 inch LED LCD (1440x900)
2.0 Megapixel integrated web cam
256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT
320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
Slot Load DVD+/-RW (DVD/CD read/write)
Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy HD Software Edition
Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-card
56 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
Warranty & Service 3Yr In-Home Service, Parts Labor, 24x7 Phone Support
Finger Print Reader XPS M1530
Verizon Wireless built-in cellular mobile broadband (EVDO Rev A)
Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth Internal (2.0+Enhanced Data Rate)
July 12, 2008 1:32:07 AM

I would not buy any higher-end Laptop from any company other than Dell.
The reason is their excellent In Home Service.
You may want to check to see if your warranty is the one that includes "Accidental Damage". When you get that one, they ask zero questions and fix EVERYTHING that may go wrong with your laptop - no questions asked.
July 12, 2008 2:33:49 AM

Ahhh well I'd never let an in-home tech touch anything of mine anyway. I've always been very good with the most intricate of hardware operations (I was an EE for a while in college on top of it) but just didn't want to hassle researching hardware to build my own.

Maybe it is all the horror stories I've read about the rental, untrained in-home 'techs' I've read (there was a website devoted to them if it is still around including some hidden video I was in tears laughing and watching) but most of them are pizza delivery guys just doing one-off installs for extra cash. Actually someone at Dell a few years back admitted as much to me and told me to always send it in if I can...though I think he would be fired if they knew all he admitted to me. We became quite friendly over an issue I had with a bad part and I think he felt sympathetic.

But back to the point...yes...the full protection thingy is nice I suppose as I got it for the laptop my fiancee has.

I'm about to put it to the test as the case has some cracks from wear and tear, the finish has come off in many places, etc. Lost a few screws as she is hard on it.

To me, that is all part of the full protection guarantee so it will be interesting to see how they handle it.

In many way I still have had such bad recent experiences with Dell in so many ways that I'm hesitant to use them but they seems like the lesser of all the evils out there in terms of price vs. performance...in laptops only.

Won't touch them anymore for anything else.
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July 13, 2008 12:12:23 AM

arrpeegeer said:


1) In ordering the 1530, I plan to swap out the hard drive with one of the new 7200's coming out. Is there any reason I can't pull out one generic 250GB 5400 and throw in a new 7200 rpm drive? (I'll link it when I can find where I put the darn link)


No problem at all, and actually quite a good option with the 320GB 7200s coming out right now.

arrpeegeer said:

2) From everything I've read, most suggest to go with the LED LCD from Dell instead of the regular one since it is thinner, uses less energy, is brighter, and runs less hot...but of course costs ~$150 more. Sounds like a winner, right? Just making sure there isn't anything else to be aware of.

Nothing else, and it is a good choice as long as you don't mind the cost.

arrpeegeer said:

3) I love to game but have my great desktop for it so I don't technically need such a 8600M GT but it can't hurt - as long as it doesn't run very hot when idle or not gaming. Anyone have any experience?

The 8600 is not a great gaming card, but it will be capable of running most games (even crysis) on some settings (don't expect to be able to crank it though). If that sounds fine to you, get it. It is certainly far better than the 8400 or intel graphics, which will have a hard time even running many modern games.

arrpeegeer said:

4) I went with the 9300 processor for the extra cache and because I'm hoping 45nm runs cooler in mobile chips as well vs. the 65nm. Is that a safe assumption?

It's a fairly safe assumption - it won't run cooler than some of the slower 65's, but it certainly runs significantly cooler than any of the 65's that are even remotely close in speed (like the T7600 or faster)

arrpeegeer said:

5) I want to buy a second AC adaptor so I can have one running behind me desk where I will have it at home and one I can always keep in my bag as I'm too lazy to swap all the time. Is there a cheaper way to get one than through Dell? Not even sure what they charge...

Not that I know of, and that does sound like a decent idea, but it will be fairly expensive. One thing that I would spend the money on is the 9 cell battery, as it should have an easy 3:30 or longer battery life with that one while doing generic tasks.

THANKS!


arrpeegeer said:

BTW, here is what I can get with a great coupon+EPP for about $1495 not including shipping and tax:

(Note: The only way to get this price was to include what you see otherwise I'd have gone with cheapest hard drive and memory and upgrade them myselves but came out cheaper this way - Also I couldn't upgrade the battery with this deal so will call them to manually do it as need a 9-cell)

XPS M1530 (Tuxedo Black)
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T9300 (2.5GHz/800Mhz FSB, 6MB Cache)
4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (2 Dimms)
High Resolution, glossy widescreen 15.4 inch LED LCD (1440x900)
2.0 Megapixel integrated web cam
256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT
320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
Slot Load DVD+/-RW (DVD/CD read/write)
Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy HD Software Edition
Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-card
56 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
Warranty & Service 3Yr In-Home Service, Parts Labor, 24x7 Phone Support
Finger Print Reader XPS M1530
Verizon Wireless built-in cellular mobile broadband (EVDO Rev A)
Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth Internal (2.0+Enhanced Data Rate)

Sounds like a good deal - I don't see anything wrong with it.
July 13, 2008 1:53:19 AM

cjl said:
No problem at all, and actually quite a good option with the 320GB 7200s coming out right now.


Is the same true for even faster 10000rpm and 15000rpm hard drives?
July 13, 2008 2:00:49 AM

There aren't any 10k or 15k rpm hard drives that fit notebooks.
July 13, 2008 3:01:18 AM

Nope. Those are for enterprise applications. Laptops don't have SAS ports.
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