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Buying a Laptop


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#1
interpolarity

interpolarity

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I am buying a Dell laptop with XP (because I have heard bad things about Vista, and I can't afford a MacBook)
What extras (Memory, video card, etc...) should I get depending on the type of work I do?
I use the computer to surf the internet, play games on emulators, burn and rip DVDs/CDs, edit audio/video/photo, manage my website, listen to music, and watch videos/DVDs.

These are the options I have chosen. Anything that seems to little (or too much) please let me know... also, any other general suggestions would be appreciated :)
Jet Black
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5250 (1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
Genuine Windows® XP Home
Anti-glare, widescreen 15.4 inch display (1280x800)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100	edit
1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
120GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
CD / DVD writer (DVD+/-RW Drive)
Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini-Card
85Whr Lithium Ion Battery (9 cell)
High Definition Audio 2.0
Netgear WGR614 54Mbps Wireless-G Router
Windows XP™	
Intel® Core™2 Duo Label	
Inspiron 1520	
Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem

P.S. I hope this isn't in the wrong place... if it is, please move it... :)
thank you

Edited by interpolarity, 18 November 2007 - 02:00 PM.

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#2
dpends

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I too went through a lot of similar headaches when buying my first laptop. Based upon a good deal of advice from a variety of sources the decision became easier. The first was, if you are buying a laptop - don't skimp. Make sure it is loaded to the hilt (to serve your purposes). The reason is that it is not as easy to update a laptop as it is a desktop ... thus don't go short on yourself. Second - memory. You can not have too much. I would put in 2 gb based on your expressed purpose if games, as gathered is something you want to use it for. Third would be an independent video card:a dedicated video card rather than a shared one. While games is not my forte I do a great deal with video images and the extra memory and separate video card make an enormous difference when working with them. Last, but not least, would be to use a linksys router rather than any other kind (netgear was what I was going to purchase as well). The line was that while it is not a case of netgear devices don't work it is more that the Linksys series of routers work better, with fewer problems than most other kinds. (I can't prove that but I have never had a problem with mine). The advice came from sales people, techies, repair people, other users.
In fact all of the above were almost universal suggestions.
Likewise I have a 15.4 monitor. It is a nice size, quite 'portable' (weight etc is not overly heavy), is it more than adequate on the desktop and the clarity of the one you are looking at is very high. If I was doing it again there is no question that I would buy a 17 inch screen. Why? Bigger. Easier on the eyes and it is with two things you deal with directly, physically on a computer - the keyboard and the screen. (Another suggestion is to stick with the 15.4 inch screen and purchase a separate 19" monitor for desktop use (they are going for about $200 to 300 for a fantastic one ... HP has one with a 2000:1 contrast ration and 2ms response time for about $250.
Thus, if within the confines of my budget: (big factor)
2 gb memory
dedicated (separate) memory card 128 -256 ($$$ are again a factor)
Linksys router
Larger screen (so it is easier to play those games).
PS. The other factor is it is possible get a larger battery; battery life is so short that the larger one give a good degree more time (or get a second one)
All may not agree with the above but much of that advice came from folks on this website
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#3
interpolarity

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Tx for the advice... yeah, I am tight on budget....

I gave this computer everything my desktop computer has, but more disk space. This way, I thought, I could make a large enough virtual memory, so it doesn't matter if the actual memory is small. Is this skewed thinking?
and what is a linksys router?
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#4
dpends

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You have selected a Netgear router (I believe) with your computer configuration with Dell. The advice I received and pass on is that the best (not necessarily most expensive either) routers are made by Linksys.
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#5
jaimejd007

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I gave this computer everything my desktop computer has, but more disk space. This way, I thought, I could make a large enough virtual memory, so it doesn't matter if the actual memory is small. Is this skewed thinking?


IIRC, yes, this is skewed thinking. RAM (Random Access Memory) is the temporary memory your computer uses to allocate memory for programs being accessed at the moment and processes your computer is running, among other things. Hard drives and RAM are two different things. Getting more of one won't help the performance of the other. Yes, if you get a bigger hard drive you can store a bigger pagefile (which is a file used when there's not enough memory available from your RAM) in it, which would increase performance in certain cases, but for the most part, getting HDD disk space is used for storage and getting more RAM is used for faster processing.

-jaimejd007/Karasuhebi
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