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Looking for good advice

Last response: in Mobile Computing
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December 1, 2003 8:00:04 PM

Alrighty then.
The time has come for me to get a laptop. However, I so cannot make up my mind. So I'm turning to you guys for wisdom. My budget $2000. My choice brands, Dell or HP. My uses, school/web stuff, light gaming (Warcraft3, NWN, UT2K3)
The problem I'm having with dell is trying to choice between the Pentium M 1.6 and the P4 3.06 HT. I've heard some heat issues with the 3ghz system. Just how hot are we talking here? Dangerous to rest-of-hardware kind of heat? How much more performance (not talking battery) will the 3ghz offer over the 1.6?

I do plan to get the 60gb 7200rpm hd, xp pro, and 512mb with either system.
So any advice on what CPU will give me the most bang for my buck? I need the laptop to be uber-stable and last me along, long time (thats why im worried about heat from the 3ghz)
Thanks!

~m0j0

More about : good advice

December 2, 2003 2:23:56 AM

Go with a Pentium M system. I also recommend getting a good carrying case. I am suggesting the Pentium M system because they are lighter for ease of transport, run cooler and have a longer run time on battery power.
On a side note the Pentium 4M 3.06 is not HT enabled. Only the desktop version is HT enabled.
The difference between a 7200RPM and a 5400RPM hard drive is minimal. I would use the money saved on the selection of a slower hard drive to pay for an upgraded graphics card.
A 1.5GHz Pentium M runs on par with a 2.4GHz Pentium 4M.
I would get a single 512MB memory module because that will leave an open memory bank for future memory upgrades. A single 512MB module costs more than two 256MB modules but I think it is worth the cost to have the free memory bank for a future upgrade.

<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.page3.com/" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>
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December 2, 2003 4:25:17 AM

Yeah,thanks for the advice, Im seriously starting to consider the Pentium M 1.5ghz. Anyone know how well the 128mb 5600 FX will handle, say UT2k3? Is it clocked anywhere near the same as its desktop counter-part?

~m0j0
December 2, 2003 5:45:00 AM

My Inspiron 5150 is HT enabled. Well at least it appears to be. I wouldn't know for sure but the bios has an option for it and in the contol panel\system\hardware it lists Intel P4 3.06 twice

:cool: :eek:  :redface: :frown: :lol:  :mad:  :eek:  :smile: :tongue: :wink: :evil: 
December 2, 2003 6:54:24 PM

Anyone know how fast the DDR is on the home HP laptops? I cant find it listed anywhere. Im guessing DDR 333, but could be wrong. If 266, I'll just go with Dell and their 333 :( 

~m0j0
December 2, 2003 8:10:58 PM

I would disagree to the minimal difference on the 7200rpm drive. I find it much more responsive using it for day to day activities. Especially when copying files and ripping movies, etc

I also highly recommend the Pentium M system, it runs cool, smooth and fast.

On RAM, yes one 512MB chip obviously will enhance your upgrading choices for RAM, but I find my 1GIG RAM overkill and can safely say that you will never need more than 512MB ram even with the most demanding applications. You are buying a laptop afterall and not a Xeon Server :-)


cheers and good luck

Opel Superboss, now that was a car!
December 2, 2003 9:40:22 PM

Quote:
My Inspiron 5150 is HT enabled. Well at least it appears to be

If you have HT, Task Mgr will show two CPU's (you know, CTL+ALT+DEL)



<b> “Liberals have many tails and chase them all.” – H.L. Mencken <b>
December 2, 2003 11:08:39 PM

Hi thanks. I was wondering why the graph was divided into 2 sections.

:cool: :eek:  :redface: :frown: :lol:  :mad:  :eek:  :smile: :tongue: :wink: :evil: 
December 3, 2003 12:22:08 AM

You are right.
Intel does have P4m cpu's with HT enabled.
I was not aware they had released HT enabled P4m processors.
Intel has two varities of P4m processors.
The ones with HT enabled are:
3.20 GHz, 3.06 GHz, 2.80 GHz, 2.66 GHz
The ones without HT enabled are:
3.06 GHz, 2.80 GHz, 2.66 GHz, 2.40 GHz

<A HREF="http://www.intel.com/products/notebook/processors/mobil..." target="_new">http://www.intel.com/products/notebook/processors/mobil...;/A>

<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.page3.com/" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>
December 4, 2003 2:33:16 PM

Hey hey
http://www.thunderboxpc.com/mobile.htm
Anyone know anything about these laptops? Its the only laptop with a9600 pro I've seen for less than $2000.
The M-56. Pretty sweet, uses DDR400. I really like the 40gb 5400rpm 8mb cache hd.

~m0j0
December 4, 2003 5:19:37 PM

Wow, I love the Sager laptops. Looking at a setup with p4 2.8ghz, 9600 pro, the DDR400 sounds awesome.

~m0j0
December 4, 2003 9:51:45 PM

Just an FYI ... I bought a 5680 and it is a nice notebook. If you were considering it, I'd jump over on the TalkNotebooks.com forums and read through there ... for the most part, those people love them. And, I have to say after having this 5680 (which isn't really mine - I bought it for my Dad) .. it is a nice setup. Screen is incredible with the UXGA 1600x1200 ... and the 9600 really seems to work well.
December 6, 2003 2:47:44 PM

SAGER 4780 has an Integrated Subwoofer. I can see it now, laptop bouncing with every rocket explosion in UT ;) 

~m0j0
December 6, 2003 3:22:11 PM

Post a link to the SAGER 4780 please ...



<b> “Liberals have many tails and chase them all.” – H.L. Mencken <b>
December 22, 2003 10:51:03 AM

Went to Sarasota to visit <A HREF="http://www.thecomputerroom.net/j2ee/tcr/home.htm" target="_new">The Computer Room </A>. This is the retail "front" for PCTorque ("run" by Adam Alter) -
PCTorque is a mail order distributor and Adam runs the notebook forum. I like the looks and solid feel of the Sager notebooks - just wish that they had the P-M processor, although the Sager people told me that the P4 runs circles around the P-M. But there are trade offs - heat and battery life, I assume.

Anyone with comparisons of P4 v P-M battery life & any heat issues?


<b> ...more people are driven insane through religious hysteria than by drinking alcohol - W.C. Fields </b>
December 22, 2003 4:28:38 PM

I've had a P4-m and a P-M notebook. Put it this way, the P-M can run with passive cooling (i.e. no fan at all) at moderate usage. When it is running full tilt, then the fan comes on slightly. The P4-M would need to have the fan running all the time at moderate usage, only at idle would it run cool enough to warrant passive cooling. Now a standard "desktop" P4, like the ones Sager use, will be running at full speed the whole time. It will get hot. I know, from experience. So hot, that you can't touch the bottom with your hand for more than 10 seconds, without getting 2nd degree burns. This also adversely affects battery life, obviously, as there is no powersaving features on the CPU. You might manage to get an hour off of one battery on an average sager, whereas on most other notebooks, you should get 3-4 and on high performance P-M notebooks, you can stretch 5hrs with one battery.

The Sager people may have told you that the P4 "runs circles around the P-M", but if they did, they are idiots and have no idea what they are talking about. A 1.7GHz P-M competes quite admirably against a 2.8GHz P4, and the performance increase of a 3.2 or even 3.6GHz P4 is not enough for it to "run circles" around anything.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
December 22, 2003 6:24:16 PM

Their performance claims are based on Gaming benchs, I assume - which is often not the principal use of notebooks. Their assumption is that most people keep the laptop plugged into charger most of the time - and this is the bases of their superior benchmark claim. They admit they get hot. A big reason they defend the use of the P4 is that that's all the make (or have) - so I'd defend it too, in their position. But - they are nice looking books.


<b> ...more people are driven insane through religious hysteria than by drinking alcohol - W.C. Fields </b>
December 22, 2003 9:11:29 PM

nice looking? Alright, some of them aren't all that bad. But they are not all that sturdy. They aren't constructed out of firm material, they illustrate a lot of structural flex. Their gaming performance claims don't have all that much ground to stand on. The P-M is much like the AthlonXP core, in that it does a lot more instructions per clock-cycle than a Pentium 4. The only difference is, that it does it better than the AthlonXP too. It's rather pointless to judge gaming performance by CPU speed (in notebooks), unless you regularly play games at 640x480 resolution, because the graphics processors regularly become the bottleneck before the CPU does, at native resolution or anything above 1024x768. So their standing point in that regard is also quite weak.

But as I've said in previous threads, while 'finesse' isn't a word that may be used to describe Sager (or their duplicates), "Brute-force" certainly is. If you don't need battery life, and won't be using your 'laptop' on your lap, and pure power is all that you want, then a Sager is for you.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
December 23, 2003 6:12:50 PM

Jake, Rap -
From my limited experience with a SAGER 5680, it seems like a nice notebook and well-built as well. Flex ... I didn't notice any. I'll be using it in the next couple of days and I'll see again how it feels but from what I recall the build-quality seemed quite nice to me. My dad, who I bought it for, really likes it and is mainly using it as a backup system when he needs too and whenever he wants to be on wi-fi ...

Battery life - with TWO batteries, the 5680 got 1.5 hrs ... so, Rap would be really close with the 1/2 hour on 1 battery or maybe .75 hr. Not that bad with 2 batteries ... but I plug in a lot and my Dad doesn't use battery too often.

Heat - honestly, I didn't see it getting that hot. Yeah, I think it might get warmer than my other notebooks but not that much. I don't think if I left my finger on there that I'd get a 2nd degree burn .. but I'll test that again too!! ;) 
December 23, 2003 9:36:09 PM

I have had both the 5680 and the 4780 notebooks from Sager (actually, the 4780 was from Eurocom, but it makes no difference). While they both performed well, they did not perform as well as I would've hoped: For instance, my P4-m 1.7GHz, 64MB M9 Dell notebook performed better in 3D Games and benchmarks than the 2.4GHz P4, 64MB M9 Eurocom notebook (same amount of RAM) - I mean it has better components, surely it should perform better?

While the 5680 did not experience all that much structural flex, the 4780 warped terribly. The 5680 also creaked to a certain extent (e.g. try picking the notebook up just by the bottom right corner. Or try to "bend" it by gripping the bottom left and top right corners and flexing the notebook. Unless they have radically altered the internal design, you'll see what I mean).

When I refered to the 2nd degree burns (an exageration, I might add - although not by much), I meant that if the notebook had been running full steam ahead for an hour or so, it was very painful to touch the bottom (specifically the memory area).

As far as batt life, I actually said 1 hr per batt.(that's what I got with mine, although I didn't have an M10 graphics unit), but 1.5 hours on TWO batts? that's not exactly good. I would say that that isn't so much a notebooks, as a small desktop with redundancy in case of a short power failure :p 

Anyway, if you need it, it's great. And don't get me wrong, Sager fill a very important niche in today's market, and they do a very good job at it too.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
December 24, 2003 10:29:47 AM

The thing that attracted me to Sager initially was 2 things:
1st - Generally rave reviews on the TalkNotebook forum (Sager run), &
2nd - Good reviews here on THG.

Rap has been the the most vocal critic I've noticed so far - but he sounds knowledgeable and I'm listening.

I was attracted to Sager by the fact that I can get one without an OS - since I own two WinXP Pro disks & don't want to pay for a 3rd OEM disk from Dell. I've heard that Dell Latitude's are fine (Quanto, I believe) - but you have to buy the OS and other components I already own.
Jake

<b> ...more people are driven insane through religious hysteria than by drinking alcohol - W.C. Fields </b>
December 24, 2003 12:55:10 PM

Jake,
Quote:
1st - Generally rave reviews on the TalkNotebook forum (Sager run)

That was one of my reasons as well. There are so many users over there and most of them - I'd say a very large % of them - love their Sagers. Now, granted, they do state problems but when there's that many users and a large % love the product they are talking about ... there's something to it.

Also, I don't think that TalkNotebooks is "SAGER run" ... but is run by PC TORQUE ... and they are a reseller for Sager.

have a merry Christmas!
December 24, 2003 4:09:24 PM

Ok firstly, I'm not JUST a critic, :p  I do think that Sagers are good portable 'power-house' computers, just not good notebooks.

Both of you were attracted to Sager by a their good reviews in the 'Sager' forum (aka TalkNotebook), which is fair enough. But you have to understand, that if you go to a Dell or Compaq forum, you will find that they will also be dominated by "rave reviews" - so basically, you have to take everything with a grain of salt... and in some cases a tablespoon.

Quote:
I was attracted to Sager by the fact that I can get one without an OS - since I own two WinXP Pro disks & don't want to pay for a 3rd OEM disk from Dell.


This I agree with whole-heartedly. Unfortuneately the situation with Dell can't be helped, as their agreement with MicroSoft forbids them to sell any notebooks without an OS (or with another OS), otherwise Microsoft won't let them sell ANY systems with an MS OS. But yes, I wasn't too fond of giving MS MORE of my money :(  *grumble grumble*.
Quote:
Also, I don't think that TalkNotebooks is "SAGER run" ... but is run by PC TORQUE ... and they are a reseller for Sager.


TalkNotebooks was originally part of the SagerForums, and is predominately visited by Sager users.

Lol, who cares its christmas, I wish both of you the best for the festive season, and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
!