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Topic: Where to get advices for buying a laptop? (Read 75 times)

  • konstantin
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Where to get advices for buying a laptop?
I used a PC till now, bought in 2002. It was an Intel D865PERL mainboard and it had 2 GB of RAM, 2.4 Ghz HyperThread CPU (512K cache), 500 GB SATA HDD. Finally the mainboard run down, so I decided to by a laptop instead of it. Problem is I never had a laptop, nor my acquitances have, so I can't get advices from them.

Which brands to avoid? I heard bad things from Acer laptops. I can choose from: Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Fujitsu, and Asus models. Some of them comes with 2 years of warranty, other come with 3 years of warranty.

What amount of memory should it have? 2 GB was enough for me for my 32 bit Arch Linux systm, except when running Chromium. I have read somewhere that 64 bit OS and 64 bit apps use twice as RAM,so at least 4 GB of RAM or even 8 GB would be better. I just read somewhere that it is better to buy 16 GB of RAM.

I can choose 14" and 13.3" laptops instead of the usual 15.6", which are better to carry somewhere, but maybe the display is too small. I used a 15" CRT display till now, and a 17" formerly. I read somewhere it's better to buy a model with full HD display (1920x1080) instead of the 1366x768. Of course I can connect an external display to the laptop if display proves too small. Some of the laptop lacks of a HDMI port, shoud I avoid them?

I thought that 256 GB of SSD storage would be sufficient for my needs, and it is faster than a ordinary HDD. Do a 64 bit OS and 64 bit apps use twice as much storage space on a hard drive as well compared to a 32 bit OS?

I would prefer a low noise, less heating, low energy consumption laptop, which is reliable and long lasting. I used my former PC for 15 years till its mainboard run down finally. I can choose Celeron/Pentium Dual Core, Celeron/Pentium Quad Core, i3 and i5 series. Non-i series supports only 8 GB of RAM which can be an issue in the future, I think. I read somewhere that I should choose i3-6xxx or i3-7xxx and same with i5 and avoid i3-5xxx, i3-4xxx, etc. I would stuck on i3 due to the budget. However I think that the lowest performance laptop which can be bought today would exceed my old, run down config. I excluded/wouldn't prefer AMD quad core processors, because they consume more energy, 20 watt TDP instead of 15 watt, and there is no low-TDP mode which consumes only 10 or 7.5 watt in case of an i3-6xxx and i3-7xxx.

What about graphics hardware? As far as I know it is now embedded into the processor (various Intel HD series). But sometimes there is a dedicated GPU which can be an Nvidia or AMD Radeon. I have no clue which would be better to choose.

I plan buying in two weeks because right now I am using an even older computer which had run down supplied with an Athlon XP. Budget is 910 USD / 850 EUR.

  • Last Edit: 2017-03-22, 20:55:49 by konstantin

  • Frenzie
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Re: Where to get advices for buying a laptop?
Reply #1
A laptop is much less likely to be usable for 15 years, if only because compared to a desktop it's much weaker but physical durability is worse too. It doesn't even really sound like you're looking for a laptop given you say things like this:
Of course I can connect an external display to the laptop if display proves too small. Some of the laptop lacks of a HDMI port, shoud I avoid them?

What amount of memory should it have? 2 GB was enough for me for my 32 bit Arch Linux systm, except when running Chromium. I have read somewhere that 64 bit OS and 64 bit apps use twice as RAM,so at least 4 GB of RAM or even 8 GB would be better. I just read somewhere that it is better to buy 16 GB of RAM.
64-bit uses a little bit more memory but more like 50-100MB on 4GB. Nowhere even remotely close to twice. I would, however, call 4GB the bare minimum for a sensibly usable system. Just think of how much Chromium uses.

I thought that 256 GB of SSD storage would be sufficient for my needs, and it is faster than a ordinary HDD. Do a 64 bit OS and 64 bit apps use twice as much storage space on a hard drive as well compared to a 32 bit OS?
No, except in the sense that modern software tends to use more RAM.

I can choose 14" and 13.3" laptops instead of the usual 15.6", which are better to carry somewhere, but maybe the display is too small. I used a 15" CRT display till now, and a 17" formerly. I read somewhere it's better to buy a model with full HD display (1920x1080) instead of the 1366x768. Of course I can connect an external display to the laptop if display proves too small. Some of the laptop lacks of a HDMI port, shoud I avoid them?
I would go for 1920x1080 if at all reasonably possible. Are there actually laptops without HDMI ports? I thought they all came with (micro-)HDMI ports.

What about graphics hardware? As far as I know it is now embedded into the processor (various Intel HD series). But sometimes there is a dedicated GPU which can be an Nvidia or AMD Radeon. I have no clue which would be better to choose.
Doesn't really matter if you have no specific demands. Embedded Intel is good enough for most things and surpasses decent dedicated GPUs from 10 years ago.

I read somewhere that I should choose i3-6xxx or i3-7xxx and same with i5 and avoid i3-5xxx, i3-4xxx, etc.
"Avoid" is just a rather strong way of saying you probably generally want to prefer newer over older. But sometimes you can get the previous generation, which really cannot be called worse enough to "avoid" by any stretch of the imagination, for much less money.

  • ersi
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Re: Where to get advices for buying a laptop?
Reply #2
I would prefer a low noise, less heating, low energy consumption laptop, which is reliable and long lasting.
The short answer: It doesn't exist. The best kind of laptop would be modular so you can personally take it apart and clean and fix it when needed (after the warranty has expired). PC's are built for this, but laptops generally not.

Since your budget is fairly good, you can aim for an MSI gaming laptop with a huge screen (17" or so) or a smaller one with very good other hardware. In my opinion, an overall good things to look at is Dell XPS, comes with 13" to 15" FullHD screens and many different hardware configurations.

A video card is good for two things. First, extra monitors. But laptops generally don't have many holes for monitors. And even when they can bear out 2+ extra monitors (extremely rare), the result is that you cannot take it along wherever you wish. PC is truly the way to go for a multi-monitor system.

Second, a separate video card is important if you are a gamer. Otherwise not so important.

If you are not very mobile (think carrying the laptop around daily), then PC would be a much better choice.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Where to get advices for buying a laptop?
Reply #3
If you are not very mobile (think carrying the laptop around daily), then PC would be a much better choice.
Cheaper and more durable.

  • konstantin
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Re: Where to get advices for buying a laptop?
Reply #4
Thanks for the useful infos.