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I need a laptop for school

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February 3, 2013 6:17:38 PM

I will be starting collage in the fall and I'm in need of a new laptop. I will be taking computer programming and database classes and need a computer that can handle multitasking well. I will also be using this laptop for my other hobbies also which include graphic designing in Photoshop and video editing in Sony Vegas. I've been looking at these: http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-V3-571G-6407-15-6-Inc... and http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Satellite-L955-S5370N-15-... but I don't really know what hardware I need and if these are outdated or not. I'm completely open for suggestions though.

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a b D Laptop
February 3, 2013 6:31:26 PM

The acer is better.

6 GB ram vs 4 GB ram is a little iffy. 6 GB forces single channel mode which cuts down on speed.

You could buy 8 GB ram for about $45 and drop it in. Either way, video editing and photoshop love RAM and 4 GB could be cutting it close.

Hardware on those laptops looks good get an intel processor ix-3xxx series (ivy bridge). If you can an i7 laptop would offer about twice the cpu speed but would cost more (starting at $700). A dgpu might be useful for your video editing.
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February 3, 2013 8:43:18 PM

whyso said:
The acer is better.

6 GB ram vs 4 GB ram is a little iffy. 6 GB forces single channel mode which cuts down on speed.

You could buy 8 GB ram for about $45 and drop it in. Either way, video editing and photoshop love RAM and 4 GB could be cutting it close.

Hardware on those laptops looks good get an intel processor ix-3xxx series (ivy bridge). If you can an i7 laptop would offer about twice the cpu speed but would cost more (starting at $700). A dgpu might be useful for your video editing.


So I should definitely go with the Acer?
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February 4, 2013 5:11:23 AM

At this price point you're going to be hard pressed to find anything that really does media editing well. You can do it, but it will be a bit slow when doing processor intensive operations. If it was me, I would go with the Acer and upgrade the RAM myself at some point in the future. 4GB will be fine for a while, but if you find that it's slowing you down upgrading is relatively cheap.

Your other choice is waiting on sales at Newegg or other stores. Look for an i3 or i5 processor and 4GB+ RAM and read the reviews closely.

The one thing you will hate if you start doing media editing is your screen. If you can get a laptop with a full HD screen (1920x1080) you will have a much better time in Adobe apps.
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Best solution

February 4, 2013 5:21:54 AM

You are starting school in the fall? Consider waiting for back to school specials. AMDs Richland and Intels Haswell should be out soon, certainly by fall. (I am assuming fall for you is the same months as fall for me, though we may be in different hemispheres.)

Richland and Haswell are promising a substantial boost to graphics performance, which is quite important for image manipulation. It doesn't hurt if you want to play a game or two either.

Be sure to get a computer with 8GB of RAM, and be sure it is in two 4GB sticks. The memory bandwidth is the reason (same as what Gundy said) to want that.

Of importance is hard drive speed. 5400RPM is slow, and if you run out of RAM, images get written to the HDD, considering the 4GB of ram, running out isn't unimaginable.

I'd also vote for the Acer between those two options, because of the dGPU, though I still recommend waiting.
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February 4, 2013 5:31:41 AM

Gundy said:
At this price point you're going to be hard pressed to find anything that really does media editing well. You can do it, but it will be a bit slow when doing processor intensive operations. If it was me, I would go with the Acer and upgrade the RAM myself at some point in the future. 4GB will be fine for a while, but if you find that it's slowing you down upgrading is relatively cheap.

Your other choice is waiting on sales at Newegg or other stores. Look for an i3 or i5 processor and 4GB+ RAM and read the reviews closely.

The one thing you will hate if you start doing media editing is your screen. If you can get a laptop with a full HD screen (1920x1080) you will have a much better time in Adobe apps.


Here's the thing... I've been using a little Acer netbook for the last two years to do things it was never designed for, like Photoshop and programming with VB.net, and it's surprisingly been very good. I don't think the screen size is going to matter for me at all. I would really just like a MUCH better experience doing these things. So, I've decided to go with the Acer Aspire V3-571G-6407 and I'll defiantly consider upgrading the RAM in the future. I read most of the reviews and compared it to many other laptops and I just keep coming back to it.

Thanks for the suggestions guys, they were much appreciated :D 
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February 4, 2013 5:37:05 AM

Robert Pankiw said:
You are starting school in the fall? Consider waiting for back to school specials. AMDs Richland and Intels Haswell should be out soon, certainly by fall. (I am assuming fall for you is the same months as fall for me, though we may be in different hemispheres.)

Richland and Haswell are promising a substantial boost to graphics performance, which is quite important for image manipulation. It doesn't hurt if you want to play a game or two either.

Be sure to get a computer with 8GB of RAM, and be sure it is in two 4GB sticks. The memory bandwidth is the reason (same as what Gundy said) to want that.

Of importance is hard drive speed. 5400RPM is slow, and if you run out of RAM, images get written to the HDD, considering the 4GB of ram, running out isn't unimaginable.

I'd also vote for the Acer between those two options, because of the dGPU, though I still recommend waiting.



Thanks, but I really need a laptop now as a replacement for my slow little netbook. I have considered waiting because of everything you just said but like I said, I need a replacement now.
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February 4, 2013 5:37:21 AM

Best answer selected by Rc1111.
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February 4, 2013 5:50:55 AM

Dang it!I meant to select gundy as the best answer. I'm sorry :( 
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