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RAM/Processor Upgrade?


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#1
Larkhillv

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Hello, I am looking into buying a new laptop, but I am not sure whether or not to upgrade certain components. I know someone who bought a bare-basics Inspiron from Dell, and it has trouble opening things like Photoshop, so I am a little apprehensive about buying a bare basics laptop.

I'm looking to buy a new Studio 15 laptop from Dell. I am looking for something that I can use for Microsoft Word, recording/editing/listening to music and videos, Photoshop, PC games (Sims3, Diablo, etc), Firefox, and just for daily use.

Specs:
-Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate Edition, 64-bit SP1
-Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6400 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
-4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
-320GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
8X Slot Load Super Multi (DL DVD+/-R Drive + RAM support)
Intel® WiFi Link 5100 802.11agn Half Mini-Card

I talked to a Dell rep, and she suggested I upgrade to an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache) processor, and to upgrade the memory (I'm not so sure I'll need to have 6-8 GB of RAM). I just wanted another opinion before I shuck out 200 extra bucks on a computer.
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#2
edge2022

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What is your budget, and would you be ok with having a desktop?
A faster processor would help performance when editing videos, playing games, and using Photoshop. I don't think you need anymore than 4GB of RAM though, although you would benefit if you had a discrete video card instead of integrated graphics when editing videos and playing games.
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#3
strikermed

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I would agree with edge. I don't' think you need anymore than 4GB of RAM to do all that also. The Faster Processor might be a good idea, and a video card is also a good idea rather than running integrated graphics (from experience it always provides better performance).

Also, if your not apposed to a desktop you can get much more powerful hardware.
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#4
Larkhillv

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Well, I am also using it for classes and such, so portability is a must. My budget is about 900 bucks tops, and the Studio 15 from Dell is $700 as is with no upgrades.

The Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache)is an extra 125, and the 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 video card is an extra $75; the 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 is an additional $125.

So if I upgraded my graphics card and my processor, it would be exactly $900, plus tax, shipping, and handling.
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#5
edge2022

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If you want a good amount of power you should go with the better processor and the 512mb graphics card. It depends on what you are going to spend and how much you are going to do gaming/video + photo editing.
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#6
Larkhillv

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I'll probably only get the 256MB graphics card because of my budget, but I'm definitely upgrading the processor. Thanks for the help :)
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#7
edge2022

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That will still be a solid laptop...
Let us know when you get it, and how it works out for you. :)
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#8
Larkhillv

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All righty. I probably won't be getting it until mid-August or so, but I'll be sure to pop in now and then. I can't wait. My olde desktop is an utter piece of junk.
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#9
edge2022

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My olde desktop is an utter piece of junk.

We can try to make it run fast again (if it ever did)
What is the make/model of it? If it is custom made, then give an Everest Report; click on Everest Instructions in my sig, and follow the directions in the article.
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#10
Larkhillv

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I don't think it ever did, it's some no name junker. I think it's a PowerSpec PC, Pentium 4 2.80GHz, 224 MB RAM, 80 GB harddrive. I have a computer in my room that I never use because it's not connected to the internet and is also very slow (though not as slow as this one). I don't really plan on using either once I get my laptop, lol. The one I'm on now is like "the family computer", and it's the only one, aside from my brother's laptop, that even has internet access.
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#11
edge2022

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The processor is fast enough to make the computer run smoothly (I am using a P4 1.8 Ghz w/ 2GB RAM).
The bottleneck I see in that computer is the RAM... with at least 1GB it should be very fast. You can run the Crucial RAM scanner from here: http://www.crucial.com/index.aspx
RAM is the most cost-effective way to increase computer performance.
You could also try another OS... what OS is the slow computer running?
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#12
Larkhillv

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Both are running on Windows XP.
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#13
edge2022

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XP requires at least 1GB of RAM to run smoothly... upgrading RAM is the best way to go if you want to get some more life out of these computers.

Or you could try another OS... Ubuntu Linux is a good OS that can run on older hardware. It is also 100% free.
http://www.ubuntu.com/
Download it from here: http://www.ubuntu.co...ubuntu/download and follow the directions on the page after the download begins, to create a Live CD. Boot from this CD, and make sure that all your hardware works well with Ubuntu.
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