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  • I’m looking at getting myself a new notebook.  I’d prefer 17", 1 gig ram, a video card w/ at least 128 mb of non-shared ram, and i’m still wondering if i should turion 64 vs. the Core Duo as my processor.  Any thoughts as to preferred manufacturers (Dell vs. HP etc.) or answers to the intel vs. amd question? 
    (and yes - i’ve visited cnet, pcmag, tomshardware and anandtech, and yes, i’m aware that with AMD’s takeover of ATI it’s just a matter of time until AMD-ATI machines come out - as opposed to all the nvidea crap that’s out there . . . ).


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    AMD duel core is the way to go. but get 2 MB of ram.



  • OK, while we are at it…

    I am replacing my desktop… ordering it either this weekend or next.

    I want to be able to game, use Java no matter what is running in the background, store pics and a few vids.  I need a Windows based system, and I need Microsoft Office, including Powerpoint and Publisher, as well as Norton. Also still need a 3 1/2" disk drive. Flat panel 20" ish monitor, color 4-in-1 print/scan/copy/fax (does not ahve to be fast, but does need good resolution).

    I pretty much know what I need on the monitor and printer.  And I am definitely leaning towards Dual Core.  Also guessing about 100gig HD.  But, what else?

    Not looking super top of the line.  But do not want it obsolete in 6 months either…



  • @Imperious:

    AMD duel core is the way to go. but get 2 MB of ram.

    i used to be a huge AMD fan, but the Intel DuoCore is beating the 64+ at most benchmarks as far as desktops go, and the Intel DuoCore is apparently a better laptop processor - less heat produced/power required - than the Turion 64.
    Also i believe that you meant 2 GB of ram.  I’m really not sure that this is necessary, but it is definately a thought.

    NC - you want to game - you’re looking prolly at a Dual Core 2-something.  You want a big bus, and 1-2 gb Ram.  Get a dedicated videocard - something maybe ATI x1600 w/ 256-512 (depending on cash vs. Doom-play).  Your hard drive should have 100 GB minimum for a desktop (i’ll settle for less in my notebook . . . just 'cuz i have a desktop with room for another harddrive).



  • I’m thinking Imp meant GB…


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes GB not MB… woops. The duel core thing really brings up FPS in shooters as long as you got a good Radeon card. If your hardcore gaming at least 2… I got 3 GIG.

    If you dont do gaming or graphics then just get the “best deal”

    check out frysoutpost.com for good prices.



  • @ncscswitch:

    OK, while we are at it…

    I am replacing my desktop… ordering it either this weekend or next.

    I want to be able to game, use Java no matter what is running in the background, store pics and a few vids.  I need a Windows based system, and I need Microsoft Office, including Powerpoint and Publisher, as well as Norton. Also still need a 3 1/2" disk drive. Flat panel 20" ish monitor, color 4-in-1 print/scan/copy/fax (does not ahve to be fast, but does need good resolution).

    I pretty much know what I need on the monitor and printer.  And I am definitely leaning towards Dual Core.  Also guessing about 100gig HD.  But, what else?

    Not looking super top of the line.  But do not want it obsolete in 6 months either…

    If you want a affordable but good PC, I recommend you make yourself a custom made PC.  Id go for an AMD processor.  ASUS makes really good motherboards, so Id buy an ASUS with a AMD Sempron (I think those processors clock in at about 2.4 GHz and if you want you can overclock it.)  If you want a PC that can game, I recommend sufficient RAM and a decent video card.  RAM helps smooth out the graphics in games and also loads you into games fast.  1 GB stick of DDR RAM or two 512 MB should help you very well in that and if you ever want more just buy an extra stick (assuming the motherboard you get has enough slots.)  Make sure that the RAM sticks have a good speed.

    Video cards are debatable.  I myself love Nvidia.  I have a Nvidia 5600 Ultra and it still runs some of the newest games that come out.  Its also affordable, should cost no more than 80 US dollars.  Now if you want to run some of the newest games on high settings, you might want something more powerful, like a Nvidia 6600, or for overkill just get a Nvidia 7800.  Of course those are more expensive, but if you dont care about the graphics too much, then a 5600 Ultra will do it for you.  100 GB of HDD is good.  You can hold plenty of games and full length movies on it.  If you ever want more just add another HDD and put it as your secondary drive.  Make sure that the RPM on it is good.  If you care how fast your HDD responds to getting files, then RPM will matter.  If you dont care and just want the extra space, than any RPM is okay.  You mighy also want to buy yourself a DVD/CD burner.  Also if you are one of those people that have to have good audio (Im not), then get a soundblaster sound card.  They are the pwnage.  Other little extras you might want are like TV tuners, wireless mouse and keyboard, etc.  As for Office, Powerpoint etc., you can get those from torrents on the net.

    I really wouldnt recommend you buying a PC from Dell or any other company when you can make a damn good PC for a cheaper price.  If you absolutely have to buy a PC though and dont want to bother making a custom machine, then by all means buy one from a company.  I made my machine with about 500 bucks like 3 years ago and it still handles all of the latest games out there.

    For PC parts to buy for a custome machine, look no where else than newegg.
    http://www.newegg.com



  • i like MW’s thoughts.  I used to build systems like this - AMD processors w/ the Asus mboard.  The thing is for gaming if you’re not going with the now-faster intel duocores, then you want at least the AMD 64+.  Also for some reason the last AMD/Asus system i had burned out my mboard right before my trip to Belize.  Irksome!
    w.r.t. video cards - the buzz i’ve heard lately is that ATI’s are superior to the Nvidea cards, but to Tomshardware.com or Anandtech.com you must go.



  • CC (and less so for Switch) - You still haven’t given us the most important piece of info to help your decision.  What do you want to DO with your laptop?  That is the easiest way to cut to the chase.  I bought a Toshiba (I’m starting to like them better than Dell, who usually takes my business) Qosmio earlier this year and it is sweet - probably right up your alley.  They are being phased out (maybe already have) and I got mine for a steal.  Here’s a link to check it out: http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/cmod.to?seg=HHO&coid=-30600 
    You might be able to find it cheaper.  Answer my question and I can help you more.

    And MW - you’ve got good insight, but I think for hardware newbies, some would prefer to have a customized set.  I completely agree that building your own pc is economical, fun, and rewarding, but I’m not sure some people here are wanting to go that way.  If they are, then your advice is pretty good.

    Also, if you need something like MS Office, try Openoffice.org.  It’s free, and has a majority of the functions of MS Office, and should work for you fine.  I’m not knocking MS Office (I got a free Biz edition copy  😄 ), just giving you another option.



  • Switch, I’m upgrading my computer soon, and I’ve been looking into barebones kits.  That might be an attractive option if you go AMD.

    On the AMD v. Intel question, I would go AMD, particularly their new AM2 processor line, which will allow you to take advantage of DDR2 RAM.  Think of it this way:  AMD is on their fourth generation of 64-bit processors.  Intel is really on their first.  Plus, AMD is a bit better for gaming in terms of frame rates, etc.  I hadn’t heard that Intel dual core is faster, in part because Conroe doesn’t come out until tomorrow.  Once that happens, we’ll see what the specs are, but I’m going with Athlon 64 3800+ AM2 because you can take advantage of the better RAM.

    Have you seen Tom’s Hardware’s CPU comparison?

    http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html

    And, whatever you do, DO NOT BUY A VIDEO CARD RIGHT NOW.  Wait at least until ATI and nVidia have released their new line that is DirectX 3D compatible later this year (finger’s crossed).  The stuff they are advertising say they are Windows Vista compatible, but that’s not the same thing.  Even if you get a top of the line today, you’ll be replacing it once DirectX 3D only games come out (Halo 3 next year, anyone?).


  • 2007 AAR League

    Unless you really need the portability of a laptop, spend your money on a desktop more bang for the buck.  Definetly go for the Dual Core, AMD usually paves the way on processor breakthroughs but Intel isn’t far behind.  Either one is good I’ve used both for years and haven’t come to a conclusion about which one is better. Â



  • Well, I am not a hard core gamer.  My gaming consists mostly of this site (type, and move on a board… but I hope to upgrade to drag and drop, e-mail the map 😛 )  I also enjoy some Black Isle games like Icewind Dale, Baldurs Gate type games.  So I am not going to need the kind of vid/procesor capacity that it takes to run something like, say Halo 3.  Mostly it will be a web browsing, photo editting, office program and LIGHT gaming system (though I may try a few more “active” games, but not looking for hard core).

    My main problems right now are simply decay and RAM.  Over 4+ years, and 2 MAJOR virus hits as well as a few minor ones, I have lost a number of functions on my PC (not to mention my entire business database of MSDS sheets and links once stored in Outlook).  And with the background crap runnign on this old Gateway (right now I have 34 processes running, with the desktop sitting idle and my etnernet wire pulled I am still running 29) even a simple Java application is more than I can handle (thus my problemw with Triple A).  And it takes about 30 seconds for Firefox to even open… nearly 2 minutes for Windows Media Player to launch if I click a vid link.

    With that info in mind… does that change anyone’s recomendations?

    Oh, specs on current system:
    Intel Celeron  1200 MHz
    Intel 82815 Graphics Controller
    128 MB Ram (I know that is my main issue…)



  • It doesn’t really change my opinion, Switch.  I too like the Black Isle games (although it doesn’t exist anymore), and they are upgrading to directX 3D sometime over the next couple years as well.  It’s part of the reason I want to upgrade my computer.  I don’t play Halo, but everything in terms of hardware is moving in that direction, it seems (and unfortunately).  The integrated graphics controller often becomes obsolete pretty quickly, but if you’re not looking to purchase new games, then it should be fine.

    With Conroe coming out today, the prices are breaking on chips, so I would wait just a bit before scoping out the new processors and making a selection.  Plus, there’s the whole August roll out of new product, which should lead to a further price break.



  • @ncscswitch:

    Mostly it will be a web browsing, photo editting, office program and LIGHT gaming system (though I may try a few more “active” games, but not looking for hard core).

    Then the card I suggested to you will be perfect.  The Nvidia 5600 Ultra will do the job to play any of todays games (at the very least of low settings) and its not too expensive.  I will stress the fact that you need RAM.  It is very important to have that.  If you want to run multiple programs on your PC without it being choppy, get yourself at the very least 1 GB.  😉



  • @jsp4563:

    Unless you really need the portability of a laptop, spend your money on a desktop more bang for the buck.  Definetly go for the Dual Core, AMD usually paves the way on processor breakthroughs but Intel isn’t far behind.  Either one is good I’ve used both for years and haven’t come to a conclusion about which one is better. Â

    For me i need the portability.
    Also i am wanting this for “moderate” gaming - Star Wars, Black Isle, etc. - not Doom or Halo (yet).  Also i want this for the next 5-6 years (like my last notebook).

    Also an FYI -
    http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/07/14/core_2_duo_benchmark_results/

    for those loving the AMD right now (historically my favorite processor).



  • Wait, were you going for a “top of the line” Conroe?  For me, it’s about cost.  I’d prefer lower benchmarks with a better price/performance ratio.  But that article you linked is really encouraging for Intel.  Since I’ll be going for a desktop, I’m a little concerned about whether Conroe can handle DDR2 RAM, which is really where the power is coming from.  But, it looks like a good deal.

    As for the laptop lasting 5-6 years…well, good luck!  🙂



  • @Chengora:

    As for the laptop lasting 5-6 years…well, good luck!  🙂

    I dunno about that, I’ve been working on some Pentium MMX laptops lately that run pretty beautifully with a custom installation of Slackware Linux.  If it weren’t for their awful resolution and the fact that the 16MB of RAM gets a little choked when dealing with Java intensive web-apps, I would probably use one just for the web.

    As for your system, switch, no one deserves a celeron for a desktop.  Since you don’t need top of the line I’d recommend a Sempron or a single core Athlon (with the recent price slash they are quite nice and the Athlons are better than any P4).  Dual core if you’re willing to spend more than $150 on the processor alone.  As for video cards, ATI Radeon x1600’s should be able to do just about anything you demand of them, or maybe Nvidia 7600s as they should be comperable in price and performance.

    Other than that, if you’re building it yourself get a dependable power supply.  No sense risking your shiny new components with a psu that has the potential of frying them.  I trust Enermax, Antec, and Thermaltake mostly, but there are others that build quility components.



  • Well, it is here, and I am slowly getting it set up.  The old dinosaur is relegated to an e-mail reader for Angel 🙂

    New unit is an HP Pavilion a1540n

    Running an AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 4200+ with 2 gigs of RAM.

    I even upgraded the old Celeron system for Angel… replacing the old 19" CRT with a 19" flat panel 🙂

    In a few weeks, once I have a chance to download and check out the mapping programs, etc, I may even be able to clear my games queue!  🙂


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Get this one:

    http://www.sagernotebook.com/pages/notebooks/product2.cfm?ProductType=5950&SubType=V

    19.0" Wide Viewing Angles WSXGA+ Active Matrix LCD Display with Super Clear Glossy Surface
    AMD Turionâ„¢ 64 ML-44 Processor
    1GB DDR SDRAM at  400MHz [Expandable to 2GB]
    Dual Nvidia GeForce GO 7900 GTX PCI-Express 16X Graphics with 512MB DDR3 Video Memory in SLI mode
    80.0GB (SATA 5400rpm) SATA 150 Hard Drive
    8X DVD ± R/RW/ 4X +DL Multi Drive & Softwares
    12 Cell Smart Li-ION Battery
    Gigabyte Super 802.11 ABG Wireless LAN, Bluetooth Wireless, Intergrated 1.3M High-Resolution Video Camera, 4-in-1 Card Reader
    Optional external 3.5" 1.44MB USB Floppy Drive
    3D Stereo Audio AC’97 / SRS WOW
    Touchpad with Scrolling Slider
    1 Type II PCMCIA Slot
    Infra Red, Wireless Fast IR interface
    5 USB 2.0 Ports
    1 IEEE-1394 Port (4 PIN)
    Other Ports: 1 S/PDIF out, 1 Line-in, 1 Headphonet, 1 Microphone in, 1 Infrared,1 DVI out port, 1 S-Video-Out, 1 TV-in Port (Requires Optional TV-Tuner Module), 1 RJ-45, 1 RJ-11
    Additional Features: Integrated 10/100/1000Mbps LAN & V.90 56K Fax/Modem, Optional TV-Tuner Module with Remote.
    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Auto Switch 110/220V AC Adapter, AC power cord, User’s Manual, Utility CD
    Dimension (H) x (W) x (D) : 1.2"~1.9"x18.7"x13.5"    Weight: 14.55lbs. with Battery
    One year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty. (3 year Warranty Plan optional.)
    Lifetime Free Technical Support

    And they say Laptops cannot make desktop gaming system replacement units!  Bah!



  • @Jennifer:

    Get this one:

    http://www.sagernotebook.com/pages/notebooks/product2.cfm?ProductType=5950&SubType=V

    19.0" Wide Viewing Angles WSXGA+ Active Matrix LCD Display with Super Clear Glossy Surface
    AMD Turionâ„¢ 64 ML-44 Processor
    1GB DDR SDRAM at  400MHz [Expandable to 2GB]
    Dual Nvidia GeForce GO 7900 GTX PCI-Express 16X Graphics with 512MB DDR3 Video Memory in SLI mode
    80.0GB (SATA 5400rpm) SATA 150 Hard Drive
    8X DVD ± R/RW/ 4X +DL Multi Drive & Softwares
    12 Cell Smart Li-ION Battery
    Gigabyte Super 802.11 ABG Wireless LAN, Bluetooth Wireless, Intergrated 1.3M High-Resolution Video Camera, 4-in-1 Card Reader
    Optional external 3.5" 1.44MB USB Floppy Drive
    3D Stereo Audio AC’97 / SRS WOW
    Touchpad with Scrolling Slider
    1 Type II PCMCIA Slot
    Infra Red, Wireless Fast IR interface
    5 USB 2.0 Ports
    1 IEEE-1394 Port (4 PIN)
    Other Ports: 1 S/PDIF out, 1 Line-in, 1 Headphonet, 1 Microphone in, 1 Infrared,1 DVI out port, 1 S-Video-Out, 1 TV-in Port (Requires Optional TV-Tuner Module), 1 RJ-45, 1 RJ-11
    Additional Features: Integrated 10/100/1000Mbps LAN & V.90 56K Fax/Modem, Optional TV-Tuner Module with Remote.
    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Auto Switch 110/220V AC Adapter, AC power cord, User’s Manual, Utility CD
    Dimension (H) x (W) x (D) : 1.2"~1.9"x18.7"x13.5"    Weight: 14.55lbs. with Battery
    One year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty. (3 year Warranty Plan optional.)
    Lifetime Free Technical Support

    And they say Laptops cannot make desktop gaming system replacement units!  Bah!

    That laptop there is a tad bit overpriced Jennifer.  You can make the same kind of gaming laptop with Alienware for like 500 bucks cheaper.

    http://alienware.com/Configurator_Pages/aurora_m9700.aspx?SysCode=PC-LT-AURORA-M-9700&SubCode=SKU-DEFAULT

    @ncscswitch:

    Well, it is here, and I am slowly getting it set up.  The old dinosaur is relegated to an e-mail reader for Angel 🙂

    New unit is an HP Pavilion a1540n

    Running an AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 4200+ with 2 gigs of RAM.

    I even upgraded the old Celeron system for Angel… replacing the old 19" CRT with a 19" flat panel 🙂

    In a few weeks, once I have a chance to download and check out the mapping programs, etc, I may even be able to clear my games queue!  🙂

    Sounds like a pretty good PC Switch.  I see that you went with the extra RAM……which is very good.  The AMD Athlon Dual Core is pretty damn good.  What video card do you have and what was the total price for the PC?



  • NVIDIA 6150


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Mech:  That’s just an “off the shelf” model.  Last time I checked, Alienware did not even make a comperable model.

    The one you linked does NOT have

    1. SLI 256MB Graphics cards
    2. 19" Clear View Technology, Zero Dead Pixel Guarentee Screen
    3. Has a 60GB 5400rpm Drive, not an 80GB 7200 rpm Drive.
    4. Has 1024MB DDR 233 RAM, not 1024MB DDR 400 RAM
    5. Comes with the ML-34 not the ML-44 processor
    6. Comes with a CDRW not a DVD +/- R/RW

    If you do all those upgrades on Alienware (except the monitor size, which cannot be done, they don’t offer one that big) the price jumps to $3,338.00 vs Sager at $3,229.00 and Sager’s got a bigger screen.



  • Mine was under $1100 😛


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @ncscswitch:

    Mine was under $1100 😛

    The one I’m going to buy, probably, is only $946.86 with $150 mail in rebate and $50 instant rebate.

    But if you wanna go full desktop replacement, it’s gunna cost you what a desktop cost in 1995-1999, about $3k for a good one.



  • I thought I did rther well… respecteable PC, 19" flat panel, and 3-in-1 printer/scanner/copier, plus a nice assortment of software.

    With Angel’s flat panel, the router, cables, etc. the total was under $1500, and we have $65 in mail in rebates.

    Sales were pretty impressive last week due to NC’s Sales Tax Free weekend this weekend.  PC’s up to $3500 are included in teh sales tax exemption, so retailers had some serious sales the past couple of weeks trying to get folks to not hold off on buying PC’s until this weekend to avoid sales tax (they still have sales quotas to hit int he weeks before Tax Free Weekend 🙂 )


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