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Urgent! Buying computer tomorrow

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August 3, 2002 2:49:55 AM

I heard that in some cases a p3 is faster than a p4. I am looking for a laptop, and when i went to the store (Best Buy - more on that later) I was going to get a 1.2 Ghz P3-M, but they said I should upgrade to a 1.5 Ghz P4-M for an additional price of 50 US Dollars. Is the P4 processor faster and worth the money?

Here's the deal with best buy. They told me that my notebook battery would die within the year (the memory would eat it up) and that I would need to replace the battery every year for $250. Naturally, they have a service plan (280 US dollars) that covers the battery and rest of the computer. They also told me that if the battery dies I can't plug my computer into the wall and use the AC adapter (That's BS right - please tell me!?). I'm guessing that they were talking crap to me, but I wanted your opinion.

I would really appreciate answers to both my questions.

-Buttfacepooper

PS. They wouldn't let my buy the computer without the service plan. They kept nagging and nagging until I just decided to leave.
August 3, 2002 7:02:26 AM

"I heard that in some cases a p3 is faster than a p4. I am looking for a laptop, and when i went to the store (Best Buy - more on that later) I was going to get a 1.2 Ghz P3-M, but they said I should upgrade to a 1.5 Ghz P4-M for an additional price of 50 US Dollars. Is the P4 processor faster and worth the money?"

I would go with the p3 myself. The p3 will beat the p4 at the same speed yes. However the high speeds of the p4 should give it the advantage. But 1.2 p3 to 1.5 p4 if there is much difference I don't think it would be worth the $50.

"Here's the deal with best buy. They told me that my notebook battery would die within the year (the memory would eat it up) and that I would need to replace the battery every year for $250. Naturally, they have a service plan (280 US dollars) that covers the battery and rest of the computer. They also told me that if the battery dies I can't plug my computer into the wall and use the AC adapter (That's BS right - please tell me!?). I'm guessing that they were talking crap to me, but I wanted your opinion."

If you battery does die within the year its probably the crappy kind that uses memory. Instead of paying for a new one each year get one of the good batteries which will last you basically forever. As to if the battery dies you can't turn on the laptop even when plugged in that is bull. I know a few people whose batteries are totally dead who just plug their laptops in.

"PS. They wouldn't let my buy the computer without the service plan. They kept nagging and nagging until I just decided to leave."

My solution would be to shop somewhere else. They can't force a service plan on you. Try a different salesman, talk to the manager or try somewhere else.
August 3, 2002 8:55:59 AM

why don't you try building your own computer? That's in my opinion the best way to go. You can check www.anandtech.com and you will find great guides with computer specifications depending on your need. If you want a laptop anyway I have read that in some cases the Pentium 3 is faster or comparable to the Pentium 4. If you are going to get a slow Pentium from 1.0 to 1.5, I would say go for a Pentium 3 of the same speed.

IF YOU WANT TO BUY YOUR COMPUTER GO TO WWW.NEWEGG.COM OR WWW.GOOGLEGEAR.COM, they are the best online stores. Don't buy from Bestbuy, they have a horrible costumer service. I have a friend that couldn't return his computer because BestBuy has bad costumer service and won't let you return computers at all! Beware
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August 3, 2002 10:18:34 AM

lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride(Ni-mh) batteries do not suffer from the memory effect. Stay away from Nickel Cadmium(Ni-Cad) batteries(I don't think they use it anymore anyway).

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August 3, 2002 11:12:43 AM

Yeah, if it comes with a Ni-Cad battery, look for a li-ion (lithium-ion) one. Really i'd suggest getting it soon as unless yoru laptop is a particularily popular brand or uses a fairly generic battery, it can be hard to get one later.

TBH, if your laptop comes with a nicad, i'd be suspect about where else theyve cut corners.

Many computer retailers make a lot of money on the "insurance" and "extra warranty" etc, often more than they make on the actual product sale, and sales staff are commonly paid commission or kept on/fired based on how much of it they flog you. here in the UK, credit card providers try and sell you insurance for what they are legally obliged to cover you for (without charge) anyway...

[edit: $250 for a battery?? thats like £170. Laptop batteries here cost around £100 for expensive Li-on ones /]

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=14094" target="_new">My Rig</A>
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August 3, 2002 7:55:55 PM

OK, this is going to be complicated, or simple, depending on your technical knowledge.

Basically when the P4 was introduced, the 1.4 was slower than the PIII 1000EB is some benchmarks, faster in others, and overall about the same speed in applications. Later they improved the P4 with a revised core and more cache, that gave it an extra 5% performance. But....

The newer PIII laptop CPU is the PIII-m, which ALSO has a revised core and more cache. So it also gets a 5% gain over the previous PIII!

And you're looking at a 1.2GHz PIII-m. Which would likely outperform the newer P4 1.5 still.

Also needing to be considered is the memory type. While the early test showed the P4 1.4 matched the PIII 1.0, that was when all P4's used RDRAM. Now P4's can use 1.) RDRAM, 2.) DDR SDRAM, or 3.) standard SDRAM. You're looking at a PIII laptop that MIGHT outperform the P4 laptop with RDRAM. It would CERTAINLY outperform that P4 laptop if the P4 uses any kind of SDRAM. DDR SDRAM makes the P4 about 5% slower than with RDRAM, and non-DDR SDRAM makes the P4 up to 30% slower than with RDRAM.

Oh, and the P4 produces much more heat! If you've ever had a hot laptop sitting in your lap, this will mean a lot to you! Strike 3 against the P4.

So depending on the type of memory used on the P4, you either get 1.) Similar performance with the PIII, probably just a little better 2.) Noticably better performance with the PIII 3.) Much better performance with the PIII. In any case, it looks like the PIII-m wins!

Furthermore, the P4 uses MUCH MORE ELECTRICAL ENERGY than the PIII. That means the PIII-m, if equiped with the same sized battery, will run longer on a single charge. Strike two against the P4.

About that battery: Laptops used to run the battery charge and the power to the mainboard parallel, so you could run your laptop without the battery. Most newer laptops run them serial, so that the power from the power pack has to go through the battery to get to the mainboard. I think the main reason for that is to simplify the power pack, as the battery helps filter out noisy power, so they don't have to use as many capacitors to filter the power pack's power. What this means is that most laptops will not run without a battery. BUT they will run with a battery that doesn't hold a charge! So unless the battery is missing or the cells are internally shorted, you can run the thing off the power pack even with a bad battery.

<font color=blue>By now you're probably wishing you had ask more questions first!</font color=blue>
August 4, 2002 1:50:14 AM

umm..dude, why dont you try building a laptop. Parts are like impossible to come by. Building your own desktop, great idea. Building your own laptop, most likely impossible.(for a reasonable price.)

<font color=blue> "You can observe a lot just by watchin'." </font color=blue>
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