Which notebook computer to buy!?


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Zplus

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#1
Hi guys,
Hoping to get some feedback on what notebook to buy. Currently there are the Centrinos, Pentium M and Pentium 4 HT. I will need to run photoshop and do picture editing on the run... ANyone knows if a P4 3GHz performs significantly better then a Pentium M / Centrino 1.4GHz???

Thanks in advance guys... my PC is getting slow.

;)
 

theITguy

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#2
Hi,


May I know what is your current PC specs? If you know notebook/laptops are not meant for heavy duty stuffs like PS/video editing etc. Of course there are some who are built for such purposes, but they are normally not cheap and you are better off by using a normal PC to do it.


For P4 mobile 3Ghz, it may be fast but as long as your harddisk is not fast enough to read the big files (meaning those tiffs or PSD files), you will have to wait.... Pentium M 1.4Ghz is approximately similar performance to a 2Ghz P4 mobile. Do not ask me why is it slower but better, basically they are different in terms of structure and Pentium M is built for mobility (low power consumption. Centrino is actually Pentium M plus their chipset and wireless feature, basically using less performance wireless tech compared to what you can get from outside.


Cheap ones will be Dell. They do have a sale recently and check for their warranty (their warranty normally not so good for standard package). Toshiba is expensive but of good service, along with IBM (also very ex). Try to aviod HP or Acer, do not have very good experience with them among my friends and relatives. Sony you can forget, NEC might be good for the price but quality and performance I am not too sure.
 

hwchoy

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#3
TheITguy is right, I was using a Dell 5150 with P4 3.06 GHz CPU and 512MB RAM. It was no faster than my home SLS P4 2.4 GHz when running Photoshop, although it was much faster when running pure computation (SETIathome). Your limitation with notebooks would be the hard disks, don't think there are any 7200RPM drives with big buffers. My home PC uses 2×Maxtor 7200RPM drives with 8MB cache.
 

hwchoy

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I would also suggest to pay some attention to the LCD, they are not all alike. The reason I picked the Dell 5150 (which is monstrously heavy) is because of the ultra-sharp 15-inch UXGA screen (1600×1200).
 

hackie

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u wun go wrong with a 15.2" powerbook with at least 512MB ram.. :D

personally, i like wide screen laptops like acer aspire 2001wci, hp nx7000, compaq 1216.. all on centrino 1.4GHz, 15.4" WXGA (1280 x 800), dedicated graphic card ATi Radeon 9200 64MB.. acer n hp on 40GB HDD while compaq is 80GB.. acer comes with 512MB ram while the other 2 on 256..

n i wun go for Dell.. cos their service center is in Penang.. *sweat*
 

junyang

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Dell's service is very good here in Singapore.

I personally own a dell inspiron laptop... You just have to call the service hotline, and the next day a person will come collect from you.. The service centre here in Singapore is actually getronics at International Business Centre in Jurong east... They will deliver the laptop back to you when its repaired, about a week..

However, if you have on-site warranty, then its a different story
 

chrisleng

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Hi,

I do agreed that processor (CPU) does make your programs run faster but don't forget about these :

- hard disk speed , the amount of time disk-head need to create/access file . eg : cache file while processing image

- the memory size, the amount of data the system can use as "memory page". Sometime the type of memory also do play a part. Eg: compare DDR and SDRAM...

Regards
 

OzOn3

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#10
A centrino at 1.4ghz performs on par with a pentium 4m at 2ghz is because of the bus speed of the centrino mobos. The centrino mobos are at 800mhz i think. pentiums are around 400++ only..

Laptop aren't really good for heavy duty stuffs. Though mine is a overall performer..
I do some photoshopping
I play games like Battlefield, UT2k4, NFS:U
I do word processing (doh!)
And I multi-task like mad. Haha.

I using Acer Travelmate 430LC. hur hur. Old school man.
 

theITguy

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#11
OzOn3 said:
A centrino at 1.4ghz performs on par with a pentium 4m at 2ghz is because of the bus speed of the centrino mobos. The centrino mobos are at 800mhz i think. pentiums are around 400++ only..

Laptop aren't really good for heavy duty stuffs. Though mine is a overall performer..
I do some photoshopping
I play games like Battlefield, UT2k4, NFS:U
I do word processing (doh!)
And I multi-task like mad. Haha.

I using Acer Travelmate 430LC. hur hur. Old school man.

Ok, some corrections here:

1. Pentium M is a classic Pentium 3 core with major modifications that includes SSE2, use of DDR and a change of FSB to the one used on the P4 core. It is also heavily modified to suit for use on laptops, meaning low power usage (low voltage) and boasted by large L2 caches.

2. Pentium 3 core is known to perform better than Pentium 4 core speed to speed, without optimisation of SSE/SSE2. Such cases of better performance can be found in Video editing software like Adobe Premiere and those that required floating point unit (FPU), which P4 do not have (or not strong at all, I forgotten about this). P4 run floating point intensive programmes based on optimisation of programmes with SSE/SSE2 and until recently SSE3.

3. Pentium 3 core is designed originally to work up till the range of 1-1.2Ghz, and with modification to it the Pentium M managed to run at 1.4-1.6Ghz, even more later.

4. Front Side Bus speed for Pentium 4 starts at 100mhz and quad pumped. This also means it has an effective 400mhz bandwidth @ 64 bit. Effective speed of 400mhz does not equal to 400mhz speed, please take note. Current highest speed for Pentium 4 is 200mhz quad pumped (800mhz effective).

5. From what I knew of, Pentium M do not run on 800mhz, it runs on 100mhz quad pumped (effective 400mhz), same as the initial FSB of Pentium 4. If you have a Pentium M CPU, you can actually plug into a Pentium 4 mobo and run it, provided the motherboard supports it (do nto think any support it officially but it does work according to some people).
 

Zplus

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#12
Wow! Thanks for all the feed back. My PC is actually a AMD 1.2 Ghz.
Reason I am getting a laptop its becoz its showing its age and I want to do some work while I am not at home.

I initially thought of getting a P4 coz of the high megahertz but since then I have done some reading and it seems like the Pentium M / Centrinos are better suited and aren't exactly slow. Right now I am trying to decipher what is marketting fudge by Intel and what is fact. Hence this post.

Anyone actually tried both before?

I haven't really decided on what brand to get. Dell seems to be reasonably priced. Toshibas as out of my range.

:dunno: ;)
 

theITguy

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#13
Zplus said:
Wow! Thanks for all the feed back. My PC is actually a AMD 1.2 Ghz.
Reason I am getting a laptop its becoz its showing its age and I want to do some work while I am not at home.

I initially thought of getting a P4 coz of the high megahertz but since then I have done some reading and it seems like the Pentium M / Centrinos are better suited and aren't exactly slow. Right now I am trying to decipher what is marketting fudge by Intel and what is fact. Hence this post.

Anyone actually tried both before?

I haven't really decided on what brand to get. Dell seems to be reasonably priced. Toshibas as out of my range.

:dunno: ;)

Hi,

I do not see the need for you to spend $2K and get a laptop which performs less than 100% better. I bought a Athlon XP 1600 about 2 years plus back, now still running strong with PS or video editing stuffs, although I know it can be much faster with a P4 2.8 or 2500 XP etc.

I would think it will be cheaper for you to get a new mainboard + CPU + RAM (you will need at least 512MB, 1GB or will be preferred). A 2.8Ghz P4 plus a high quality Asus board with SATA/Firewire/USB 2.0 and 2x 512MB PC3200 DDR RAM will cost something like $820, which is quite highend and you can have money left to get a new harddisk and burn to backup your digital negative etc.


Of course if portability is a factor then go ahead with the laptop. :)
 

clive

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#14
any kind of centrino 1.4ghz or faster will do. try for 512mb ram

fujitsu...is more expensive when compared to those of similar spec from other brands. likewise IBM
 

otnaicus

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#15
tmc17479 said:
How about Fujitsu? Anyone got experience who their products?
I wouldn't go for Fujitsu... Had bad experience with their notebooks before. Similarly configured notebooks when compared to the Fujitsu I used to own ran much faster. Also, not very good on their design.

My bet will be on Toshiba. A premium on the price tag but is superbly reliable. I have one that is more than 6 years old and has not gone into the workshop once.

Good luck on your hunt... :)
 

nova19

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#16
otnaicus said:
I wouldn't go for Fujitsu... Had bad experience with their notebooks before. Similarly configured notebooks when compared to the Fujitsu I used to own ran much faster. Also, not very good on their design.

My bet will be on Toshiba. A premium on the price tag but is superbly reliable. I have one that is more than 6 years old and has not gone into the workshop once.

Good luck on your hunt... :)

i have a compaq presario notebook...generally it is working fine. but sometimes it will crash on me...i have a few multimedia applications inside: photoshop, macromedia flash, sound forge etc. i bought this notebook off from an IT fair...paid abt 2300bucks with a free HP printer, minidrive and up the notebook ram to 256mb.
 

justarius

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#17
I use a Dell Inspiron...going on strong eventhough it's been 4 years, but there are like a **** load of bad sectors now....

Anyway I had to replace my keyboard once under warrantry (too much gaming result in the arrows keys becoming wonky), and the technician came straight to my house the next day, replacing my keyboard and motherboard (some technical issue which I didn't quite catch). :thumbsup:
 

Ian

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#18
Zplus said:
Wow! Thanks for all the feed back. My PC is actually a AMD 1.2 Ghz.
Reason I am getting a laptop its becoz its showing its age and I want to do some work while I am not at home.

I initially thought of getting a P4 coz of the high megahertz but since then I have done some reading and it seems like the Pentium M / Centrinos are better suited and aren't exactly slow. Right now I am trying to decipher what is marketting fudge by Intel and what is fact. Hence this post.

Anyone actually tried both before?

I haven't really decided on what brand to get. Dell seems to be reasonably priced. Toshibas as out of my range.

:dunno: ;)
I've been running a Toshiba Centrino Notebook for the past year and here's the honest to god truth about them.

They are damned fast.

The actual reason they are fast is because they have a massive L2 Cache and use every clock cycle, unlike the P4 based processors. This means they are more effecient at processing information.

Now for some real world number crunching figures based on using seti@home CLI version with XP professional and all upgrade packs installed.

AMD XP-2200 with 1 gig Ram: 4hrs 01m 52s
Intel P4 2.4Ghz 533 FSB, 2 gig ram: 3hrs 57m 01s
Centrino 1.4Ghz, 1 Gig ram: 2hrs 48m 37s

The reality is that most 1.4-1.5Ghz centrino's will equal most 2.4Ghz P4 desktops in day to day operation, the reason being that notebooks are generally far better optimised systems being a wholestic design rather than a mish mash of parts.

I'd never go back to a P4 based notebook.
 

theITguy

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#19
Ian said:
I've been running a Toshiba Centrino Notebook for the past year and here's the honest to god truth about them.

They are damned fast.

The actual reason they are fast is because they have a massive L2 Cache and use every clock cycle, unlike the P4 based processors. This means they are more effecient at processing information.

Now for some real world number crunching figures based on using seti@home CLI version with XP professional and all upgrade packs installed.

AMD XP-2200 with 1 gig Ram: 4hrs 01m 52s
Intel P4 2.4Ghz 533 FSB, 2 gig ram: 3hrs 57m 01s
Centrino 1.4Ghz, 1 Gig ram: 2hrs 48m 37s

The reality is that most 1.4-1.5Ghz centrino's will equal most 2.4Ghz P4 desktops in day to day operation, the reason being that notebooks are generally far better optimised systems being a wholestic design rather than a mish mash of parts.

I'd never go back to a P4 based notebook.


The reality is seti@home does not stress the harddisk, and PS is a harddisk intensive resource eater most of the time (it uses scratch disk). seti@home is more like a measure of its relative strength in CPU power, without considering some other factors like harddisk, video display etc. Is it a better system than a P4, someone who uses that can only tell us.
 

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