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Buying A New Laptop.

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#1 i.i


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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:01 AM

Our family got our first computer three and a half years ago. It's a P4, 2.6GHz with 1GB of DDR RAM and an ATI graphics card. It cost around 700. I'm currently looking into buying a laptop for myself, and Dual Core processors seem to be the new thing. But most of the laptops I see only have 1.5 to 1.9GHz. Why so low? Now I understand that Dual Core doesn't mean "double the processing power" and that it only actually improves multitasking performance, and only in specific applications. Do you recommend Dual Core, does it improve performance overall, even in this GHz range and would I notice much compared to my current computer.

Ideally I would like a "high-end" laptop somewhere in the region of 500-800 from a reputable UK seller. I don't play games so graphics cards are not a priority but I would like at least 1GB of DDR2 RAM.

What would you recommend and where should I look?


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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 01:16 PM

There is multi-tasking and the there is multi-threaded applications. A application written to make use of multiple cores is a multi-threaded application as opposed to a single-threaded application. These are slowly becoming more common. Multi-tasking is when you run several applications at once. The applications themselves need not be multi-threaded for you to be multi-tasking and make use of dual cores.

Another important thing is that GHz is not a performance measurement. A 2.4GHz processor is not necessarily faster than a 1.4GHz processor, even if they have the same amount of cores. Why are the GHz lower? After the NetBurst-into-flames and other thermal and power issue the philosophy of processor design changed and now focuses on different goals.
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#3 acklan


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Posted 14 July 2007 - 07:03 PM

Something you need to consider is whether or not you will be mobile with your computer.
If you will not be leaving the house, or at least very seldom, you should consider a "Desktop Replacement". One of the biggest killers of electronics is heat, and notebooks get very hot. The Desktop Replacements appear to do a better Job that the more traditional notebooks. The are much large, sometimes more than twice as big, hence disperse the heat a little better.
The second, but not the only consideration, will be if you go mobile. If you plan to pack the computer you need to know how portable you need it to be. Do you need a sub-notebook with a 10.1" screen that weights in under 1 kg., or will a slightly bigger notebook meet your needs and still be portable?
I actually had three notebook (When I thought I needed a notebook). A clunky 15.4" Desktop Replacement for the house. A sub-notebook for when I traveled, and a less than Desktop replacement I keep at work for personal work I needed done. I now have a Gateway M400 at work (and for travel) that use away from home and a full desktop computer at home, not a notebook.
No matter which one you go with be sure and spend $20 USD on a notebook cooler. It is a device you sit your computer on and it draws the heat away. Cheap at twice the price. It will greatly increase the life of your computer.
All things being equal I would not have a notebook computer unless it was absolutely necessary.
I hope I have not confused you. Good luck.
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