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HP 6930p or Dell E6410?


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#1 MattB85

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 06:43 PM

My Compaq Evo N620c is approaching six years old, and though I really don't want to replace it I suppose it is time to get a new notebook (for reasons unknown to me Compaq crippled the N620c with a 32MB ATI Radeon 7500 which was slow even in its day). I've narrowed my choices for a new notebook down to either a refurbished HP Elitebook 6930p (the HP 8440s are out because I don't like 16:9 screens at all) or a new Dell Latitude E6410. I don't replace my notebook very often, so longevity is a concern and I tend to buy high-end configurations so they will stay current longer. I do play some games and would like to have enough graphics power to play games that are coming out this year but I don't intend to use it primarily as a game machine. Whatever I buy will need to be acceptably usable for the next 4-5 years and make it through two years of business school. I'm less concerned about price than I am about value (ie how much more am I getting by spending more money). Specifications are as follows and prices may be somewhat negotiable:

HP Elitebook 6930p ($1,217 shipped):
Intel T9550 2.66Ghz
4GB RAM
80GB SSD
Windows XP downgrade from Vista (comes with an upgrade to Win7)
14.1" WXGA+ screen (CCFL backlit)
ATI Radeon Mobility HD3450 256MB
DVD+/-RW LightScribe
Intel ABGN WLAN
HP QuickLook
6-cell Battery
Docking station w/legacy port support
4-year onsite warranty

Dell Latitude E6410 ($2,266 shipped)
Intel i7-620m 2.66Ghz
4GB RAM
500GB 7200RPM HDD
Win7 64-bit
14.1" WXGA+ screen (LED backlit)
nVidia NVS3100m 512MB
DVD+/-RW
Intel Ultimate-N WLAN
Latitude ON Flash
6-cell battery
E-port plus w/legacy port support
5-year onsite warranty

Which of these configurations offers the best "bang for the buck"? I like the SSD in the HP and would configure the Dell with one but the 256GB SSD option on the Latitude is $825 which is not worth the cost in my opinion. I also have had a great experience with my two previous notebooks (Compaq Armada E500 and Compaq Evo N620c) but I have no real preference between Dell and HP at this point.

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#2 ReviverSoft

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 08:38 PM

The Nvidia NVS3100m is a professional "Quadro" series graphics card, which although not a sensible option for gaming, will perform better than the ATI HD3450.

The i7-620M is also a better performer, in comparison to the T9550.

For storage, I would suggest the 7200rpm HDD over the SSD for now (keeping the latter aside for a future upgrade?)

All in all, given that you need this machine to stand the test of time(next few years), I would without doubt, recommend the Dell Latitude E6410.

Edited by ReviverSoft, 01 June 2010 - 08:40 PM.

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#3 MattB85

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 09:34 PM

The Nvidia NVS3100m is a professional "Quadro" series graphics card, which although not a sensible option for gaming, will perform better than the ATI HD3450.

The i7-620M is also a better performer, in comparison to the T9550.

For storage, I would suggest the 7200rpm HDD over the SSD for now (keeping the latter aside for a future upgrade?)

All in all, given that you need this machine to stand the test of time(next few years), I would without doubt, recommend the Dell Latitude E6410.


Yeah I know neither of them are particularly good graphics cards for gaming, but they do seem to be the best I'm going to get in a thin and light form (I don't want a bulky desktop replacement...at that point I'd just get a desktop). I know the HP 8440w offers the nVidia FX380M, but I couldn't deal with the new narrow 16:9 widescreen. My current notebook's screen is 4:3 SXGA+ which I wish were still available, but I guess WXGA+ is about as good as I can get now.

Why do you recommend the HDD over the SSD (other than capacity)? Are there reliability issues with the Intel X25s like HP uses in the 6930?

#4 ReviverSoft

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 01:27 AM

^ Give this a read. :blink:
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#5 MattB85

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 09:01 AM

Thanks for the link. I've read that Intel's intended lifespan on the X25 SSD is 20GB/day of writing every day. That seems like far more use than the average user puts on their drive, so I'm not sure the lifespan is as big an issue as it's made out to be. What exactly does an SSD do when the write limit is exceeded? Does it become essentially read only or does it completely fail? I'm also not sure the performance benefits are worth the tradeoffs of lower capacity and a much higher price.

#6 ReviverSoft

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 06:36 PM

What exactly does an SSD do when the write limit is exceeded? Does it become essentially read only or does it completely fail?

Indeed. Cells that exceed the write limit will not be used anymore, marked unusable that is.
So you are looking at a capacity that will eventually REDUCE.

I'm also not sure the performance benefits are worth the tradeoffs of lower capacity and a much higher price.

Well, there is an obvious difference (compared to HDDs) in performance and PC hardware 'enthusiasts' will continue to invest in SSDs. But the question is, do YOU really need a SSD, given its Pros & Cons?

Moreover, you can always switch (upgrade) to a SSD in the future.

Edited by ReviverSoft, 03 June 2010 - 06:42 PM.

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