I am in the market to purchase a new laptop. Currently I’m using a 5 year old Inspiron 9100 with XP Pro, Pentium 4 3.0 GHZ, 1 GB RAM. The computer has served me well. Only drawbacks are the fans that sound like a jet & the weight – it’s like a brick. Lately, I’m having intermittent pink haze/black screen issues. Instead of continuing to put additional money in the machine, it’s time to invest in a new unit.
I use the following software on the computer: Calyx Point 7.0, McAfee Total Protection 2009, Office 2007 Professional, Adobe CS4 Web Premium, HP OfficeJet 8500 Premier, Quickbooks Pro 2009, BlackBerry Desktop Manager v5, Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred v10. I have a router, but it’s 5 years old, so I anticipate I’m going to have to replace.
So, my dilemma… Do I move to Vista 64-bit, or stay with a 32 bit OS. Everything I’ve read indicates if you are using Vista 64-bit, you should have 6+MB of ram. Most of the Dell laptops, only allow up to 4MB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz. Also, if I stay with a 32bit OS, will I be able to utilize the Intel Core 2 Duo technology? I’ve checked the Vista website to see if my software is compatible with 64-bit and everything indicates it is (except maybe Dragon and I think there is now an update). I want a system that will last 4-5 years like this one has, so I’m trying to look to the future when I build/purchase this new unit.
I like Dell. I can get an EPP discount. I like the in-home service. I can’t be without my computer for weeks. I use it every day from 5AM – 11PM, often with 3-4 applications going at the same time. I travel with it occasionally. We’ve set a budget for $2000.
Any recommendations? Can someone tell me if I’ll be able to utilize the Core2 technology with a 32-bit system?
1) There is no reason that you need to have 6gb of RAM on a 64-bit OS. None. You could run it with 2-4 and have no issues what so ever.
2) Intel's Core2's are 64-bit enabled. This means that they CAN run a 64-bit OS, not that they HAVE to run it. It won't make any difference on a Core2 (or any other 64-bit capable CPU for that matter) whether you go 32 or 64.
I personally don't see much of a reason to go to a 64-bit OS at the moment. The only reason would be if you need to have more than 4gb of RAM at your disposal. Keep in mind that in the 4-5 years you want to keep your laptop you may end up changing the OS anyway since Windows 7 is right around the corner and who knows what they will have next.
Honestly, if you like Dell and are happy with your past experiences, then just stick with them. I feel that they make a solid product and I have not personally had any issues with their support.