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  • Laptop Advice?

    So I decided to migrate from desktop to laptop and am aiming for some kind of desktop replacement. Now there are several ways I can do this … I can go for a laptop with 16” or better screen with additional switching ATI or nVidia video card with the idea that, powered, I would use the better graphics, on battery the onboard Intel video to save power.

    I can get a Sony Vaio VPCF13Z0E/B 16.4" Core i7 Laptop (6GB,640GB)]Sony Vaio VPCF13Z0E/B 16.4" Core i7 Laptop[/url] for £900 or so the basic spec of which is, Core-i7 (1.7 turbo to 2.9), 6GB, USB3, 640GB/7200, 16.4” screen with 1920x1080 (1920 x 1200) & blu-ray reader which is very good as the laptop sells for between £975 and £1200 elsewhere. Alternatively I can get a Samsung R780 17.3" Core i5 for £723 or so the basic spec of which is Core-i5 (2.66 … I think they have a slight turbo as well, not sure), 4GB, USB2 (oh well), 640GB (not sure on spin rate), 17” screen (1600 x 900) with blu-ray.

    Both look good and yes, I’d like an i7 but I’m not sure I’d like it THAT much when I can save £150 on the Samsung and that’s still over what I’d originally wanted to pay (£700 max) … also I’m not that much of a gamer anymore.

    One option I’m looking at is to go for a lower spec machine with onboard video but buy some kind of docking station such as the Targus Expresscard Card Docking Station (though as far as I can tell the Samsung has no ExpressCard slot) but I’m not quite sure what kind of video they use in these devices … I’d like it to support 1gb net, HDMI/DVI, USB 3 etc. the basic idea being that I can more-or-less plonk my laptop down and with minimal reattachment get on and work as if on a desktop (with a large external monitor, keyboard and mouse). I like this idea because the laptop will likely be used at my desk most of the time.

    Any advice or info welcome

    Keke
    J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
    The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

  • #2
    Re: Laptop Advice?

    I don't know of any docking stations with a built in graphics card. Every dockable laptop I've worked with has used its built in graphics with the output passed through to the dock.

    I also don't know of any laptops with two graphics chipsets. If they exists, I would think you'd have to shut down and restart since graphics cards generally aren't hot-swappable.

    Laptops with more advanced graphics will chew through the battery a little faster - that's the trade-off you make. To compensate you can get a bigger battery. You could also get a solar charger (although opinion is divided on how effective they are).
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

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    • #3
      Re: Laptop Advice?

      Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
      I don't know of any docking stations with a built in graphics card. Every dockable laptop I've worked with has used its built in graphics with the output passed through to the dock.
      That would be true of high-end docks but I'm talking about a relatively low end laptop and a USB or similar docking station such as the Targus one linked.

      Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
      I also don't know of any laptops with two graphics chipsets. If they exists, I would think you'd have to shut down and restart since graphics cards generally aren't hot-swappable.
      Here you go

      http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2335861,00.asp

      Keke
      J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
      The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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      • #4
        Re: Laptop Advice?

        OK Ö so I ended up winning a Sony Vaio on eBay. Not quite as high spec as the one I was looking at (only 4GB memory, 500GB HD & 1600x900 screen) for £752 including delivery.

        I figure the memory can be upgraded some time so isnít an issue and screen kinda works for me (in the sense that I couldnít get my head around buying a monitor the only difference of which was size as opposed to resolution). The HD is the worst part of the "downgrade" being smaller and slower (5400rpm) but I figure if the RPM would simply be solved by a disk exchange at a later time.

        So yeah, thanks for the advice Ö in a few days Iíll have a Sony Vaio (with Blu-Ray & USB 3)

        Keke
        J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
        The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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        • #5
          Re: Laptop Advice?

          HDD spin speed on a laptop has very little impact on performance unless you install an SSD. There is a 35% performance boost between a 5,400rpm and a 7,200rpm 3.5" HDD. There is not the same boost on most laptops. I replaced my 5,400 with a 7,200 thinking Windows 7 could use the kick. It made NO difference in performance what so ever. Win 7 times on my laptop were the same for both drives. What I do have now is the faster spinning HDD generating a lot more heat.

          I notice the new Macs have the faster HDD but they possibly have the appropriate chipset to utilise the faster transfer rate. Who knows and I really can't be stuffed doing lots of research to find out. Laptops & Notebooks have traditionally been slower than an equivalent desktop. Maybe the SSD will level that out a little.

          On another note, the WD 10,000rpm Raptor used to be signicantly faster than the old 7,200rpm HDDs. Last time I looked on Tomshardware this was no longer the case. If I remember correctly a 7,200rpm Seagate Barricuda was almost as quick with data transfer as the Raptor. Again I can't remember if that was Burst or Sustained transfer.

          I would suggest you run the Windows Experience Index on your Sony and see what is actually "slowing" it down. Without knowing your machine specs I would hazard a guess and say Graphics. A plugin Graphic Adaptor may fix that but is it seriously worth the time, money and effort to gain an extra point or two?
          1 1 was a racehorse.
          2 2 was 1 2.
          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
          2 2 1 1 2

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          • #6
            Re: Laptop Advice?

            OK but I haven't even got it yet

            Keke
            J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
            The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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            • #7
              Re: Laptop Advice?

              So yeah ... I now have the laptop and it is, indeed, a wondrous thing to behold

              First thing I did was remove Norton backup and Symantec Anti-virus along with a few other things and replace them if needed with ones I like because they tend to grind system performance down so I got the system up to a reasonably fast boot time. Then I started to put the things on I wanted including other drivers and system boot/logon time increased quite significantly.

              Obviously I can test some of the driver issues by disconnecting hardware and seeing what affects what at boot time but what I'd like to know is, is there a utility anyone knows of that can provide a listing of drivers/applications and the time they take to load into the system?

              Keke
              J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
              The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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              • #8
                Re: Laptop Advice?

                Originally posted by Kyuuketsuki View Post
                So yeah ... I now have the laptop and it is, indeed, a wondrous thing to behold Keke
                But I thought you said it was a Sony Vaio. Click image for larger version

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                Assuming you have Vista Click image for larger version

Name:	pukey.gif
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ID:	464822 or Windows 7 Click image for larger version

Name:	clap1.gif
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ID:	464823 then click:
                Orb
                MSConfig
                Boot
                Advanced options
                Tick Number of processors and select all processors available
                Ok
                Ok

                This will assist with boot speed. Also suggest you enable Hibernation and set it to hibernate when you close the Lid. This will speed up start up/running times.
                Last edited by biggles77; 19th April 2011, 12:06.
                1 1 was a racehorse.
                2 2 was 1 2.
                1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                2 2 1 1 2

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