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I Want To Buy A Laptop (suggestions)


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#1 magman68classic

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 11:29 PM

So i am enrolling as a software engineer at university of michigan. what specifications for a laptop do you all think i should get?

Thanks for the help.

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#2 just me

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 08:02 AM

I am surprised that the University of Michigan has not recommended a specific make and model as well as a list of recommended software. Often collages/universities not only make these recommendations but also arrange for discounts with the manufactures.

#3 magman68classic

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 10:00 AM

they did, but I like to build my computers to my needs.

a professor there said to make sure it can handle windows vista and microsoft visual studio.net

also he said to make sure it has a good graphics card (which i dont know much about)

Either (NVIDIA or ATI) would be fine (the middle of the line graphics cards in Dells or
HP's are generally OK)


School Store

They have a deal with dell/apple. im a windows guy so i only considered the dells

#4 gatetech72

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 03:19 AM

If you are looking to get a new laptop you will want to get one with atleast 1 gig of memory. The battery should be an 8 cell or more for long lasting life. Sticking with the normal 6 cell battery will not last long time wise. Gateway has some laptops that will come with the Microsoft Office sw already installed.

#5 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 08:40 AM

I would go for a hp. I got a hp zv6000 with the AMD 3200 cpu in it. Which is not bad for a laptop.

All my hp's have been reliable. The 8 cell batteries last a while on this one and HP makes a 12 cell which can run up to 3.5 hours they said.

#6 magman68classic

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 10:42 AM

I'm looking at this one.

-Acer Aspire
-1 gig RAM at 533 (DDR2)
-120 GB HD
-ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
-Intel Core Duo at 1.66GHz
-Dual Layer DVD burner
-1.3 Megapixel camera
-8 cell lithium ion battery (3.5 hours)

BUT

I know the Intel Core 2 Duo should be installed soon, so should I wait for that to be built in, or just get ^^^ that one now

Edited by magman68classic, 19 July 2006 - 10:44 AM.


#7 gatetech72

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 05:51 AM

I would not trust Acer.. If you are looking for a Intel Dual Core I know gateway started to sell them.

#8 graveangel

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 07:53 AM

Can i just ask why you wouldnt trust Acer?
Ive seen the odd bad review,but nothing different to any other.
But,if you have first hand experience then id like to know what you think. Ive been considering buying one, excellent features!

Edited by graveangel, 20 July 2006 - 08:04 AM.

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#9 magman68classic

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:30 AM

Everyone I talked to highly reccomends Acer....EVERYONE

#10 usasma

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 10:43 AM

Do a bit of research on Vista - it's gonna be the high point of your hardware requirements.

I'd suggest the fasted CPU you can afford
2 gB of RAM
a fast, large hard drive
a vid card capable of handline DirectX 9.0c on the hardware level.
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#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 05:06 PM

Ahhh, a fellow University student :thumbsup: I bought a Sony Vaio laptop for my first three years. It was a good laptop (It survived a fall the top bunk and still worked as well as travelling 3000 miles over 3 years) but I found that dragging it to class was a real pain and some professors won't allow laptops to be on in the room, some do though. I sold my laptop and got a desktop from Velocity Micro for performance. I seriously considered getting a laptop from them but decided against it because I wanted to be able to easily make mods to the hardware. I'm not too familiar with the Intel Duo but I've seen reviews at HardOCP that shows it's not that much more powerful than AMD's FX Dual Core and cost's $500 more, but if you're futureproofing your PC go for the Intel Duo. The config on your Acer looks good, but I'd get the max ram you can and at least a 7000 RPM hard drive with enough space to hold Vista as well as a top of the line vid card.

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#12 magman68classic

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:13 PM

2 gB of RAM


it comes with 2 512 mb of RAM, so it would be about $200 to upgrade to 2 GB, right?

a vid card capable of handline DirectX 9.0c on the hardware level.


a professor told me to make sure it has a good graphics card, so i think ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 will be good enough, do you?

The config on your Acer looks good, but I'd get the max ram you can and at least a 7000 RPM hard drive with enough space to hold Vista as well as a top of the line vid card.


it is Vista capable, one of my friends recently bought the laptop and it says on the box that it is capable.

one of my other friends told me the Intel Core 2 Duo shouldnt raise the price, but if anything lower it.

this computer has a HD speed of 667, so will getting a 700 make that big of a difference?

Here is the link again

Edited by magman68classic, 20 July 2006 - 09:14 PM.


#13 usasma

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:36 AM

I just got 1gB of RAM for about $120. Try http://www.crucial.com for decent prices on decent memory (they've also got a "configurator" that'll automatically pick out the correct chips for you.

Also, it depends on how many open slots you have. If there are none open, you'll have to take out the 512's and replace them with 2 - 1 gB chips. If there's 2 free slots you'll be able to add 2-512 mB chips which will get you up to a total of 2 gB.

But the point is that the memory isn't essential right now - and Vista will run acceptably with only 512 mB (and some performance tweaks).

Although I prefer nVidia graphics, yes the X1600 will do. The hard drive is a 5400 rpm model - but I didn't see an upgrade option to a 7000 rpm drive (but my Toshiba has a 5400 rpm drive that works just fine!) There will be a noticeable diference - but not a drastic difference. Optimizing your pagefile along with the 1 gB of memory should minimize this.
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#14 DJBPace07

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:16 PM

The Vista capable means it can run Vista, but it may not run it very well. Since this is a laptop, high RPM's on a HD can be difficult to achieve. The higher the RPM's the faster the computer can access the HD which is needed for Vista and certain apps. You can run your applications on this computer as it's configured now, buy you may want to upgrade certain features to make it reasonably fast in the future. The graphics card for the laptop is good, ATI's highest notebook card is the X1800 so you're not far from top the line in graphics cards. Have you considered getting a laptop built for you to your own specs? That way you can control what goes into the laptop.

Edited by DJBPace07, 21 July 2006 - 02:19 PM.

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#15 magman68classic

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:58 PM

Thanks for all the input

Have you considered getting a laptop built for you to your own specs? That way you can control what goes into the laptop.


I have thought about it, but i dont know where to do it. I would like to get an Acer motherboard, so if you know of any stores/webistes, then let me know.

Thanks




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