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Old 07-28-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
ratdude747
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Default Laptop Upgrades revisited

Tonight while minding my own business, I noticed that my current laptop was using 3gb of 4gb available... Uh Oh. Must have been all the chromium tabs I had open or closed in cache... didn't notice anything until I checked out of curiosity. Oh, and this was under arch linux and gnome 3.8.

My current laptop is Dell Latitude D630 that aside from the stock CPU (a C2D T7700) and RAM (2x 2GB, run at 667MHz), as been tricked as far as I can push it... two 9 cell batteries, Nvidia Quadro 135NVS (post 2009 chip, no bumpgate) Wireless N (intel 4965), fingerprint reader, 250gb Caviar black (triple booted no less), Sony DVD RW DL, dell truemobile 365 BT 2.1.

There was another thread where I asked this, and the conclusion was to upgrade the slow 160GB 5400RPM Caviar Blue... but due to this memory shortage and the gang rape prices to upgrade to 8GB (Not doing some halfsie 6gb upgrade, I want all my RAM dual channel), I'm wondering if the time to upgrade to something DDR3 is due.

Other than the RAM usage, the laptop is in decent shape. I keep the cooling clean, and despite some abuse, the only persitent issue is the damned hinge screws never stay tight. The lack of an integrated webcam also sucks, as I have to use a clip on cam for video skyping (works, but getting the camera to stay where I want it is a PITA. The base has some missing paint, and the RAM cover is bare (tried to plastidip it, peeled right off like the original paint). The rugged construction has really been nice minus it being kinda heavy (my back hates me for lugging it around).

Long term, my question/discussion is whether I should eventually upgrade the RAM (and perhaps the CPU as well if I'm gonna blow $$$ on it)... or perhaps look into getting something business grade (not consumer or wannabe business i.e. dell vostro), like say a DDR3 Latitude or the like. Maybe consumer if the build quality was on par... but I haven't seen much of that.

I did kinda like an HP DV9 I did a screen job on, but given that despite a metal lid it somehow cracked a screen (owner caried it in a canvas tote bag, probably nailed it on a table corner or the like), the build quality had me less than inpressed (typical quanta horseshit?)

Spec wise, I do like having bluetooth, but I honestly never use it much (multibooting and bluetooth pairing never mix). Wireless N wifi with decent reception and dualband is very much a good thing... I could care less about touchpads and trackpoints, as I always prefer a mouse. Size wise, my 14" screen isn't bad but a bit bigger wouldn't be a bad thing either. I'm flexible there. And I love high res screens... I'm young and nearsighted, so for me they work. Plenty of USB ports is a plus, and a bigger plus is some sort of 1394 (for my DV cam, yes, I use that old of a camcorder).

And FYI- unless the pricing is very good, I'm not so interested in a apple laptop... not 100% opposed but having worked on one, they can be a pain (I guess it's OK if you're used to it). And if I did, I'd have to quad boot it somehow (Mac OS 10.x, XP x32, 7x64, Arch x64).

Not looking to spend the $$$ either way any time in the next few months unless I get a really good steal.

Please try to stick to hardware... Not looking for a browser discussion or OS discussion.

So, thoughts or comments?
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

knowing you, you would probably try to get a dual xeon laptop :P

Dell doesn't really make the vostro series anymore. I recently got a nice Acer 771G series, it has bluetooth, but no firewire. 17" screen and...a second hard drive bay. Not just that, the second bay can fit 15mm HDD's (WD 2TB Green 2.5" drives will fit)

I hate the fact there is no synapitics touchpad support, but i'm getting used to ELAN...and this keyboard

nice i5, GT730 (can play games). Looks like a good quality build outside and in (though I didn't go all the way in)

edit: oh yeah did I forget to mention 4 memory slots?
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

nevermind on the 4 memory slots. Even though its technically possible for an i5 (via intel spec), acer disables booting if you have more than two sticks on my model. But I hear the i7 771G's can take all 4 sticks
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

Nah, not xeon for a laptop... Not that I wouldn't mind a used but newer Dell precision... I know the ones topcat got lucky with looked pretty awesome. But in honesty all a precision is a more enterprise Latitude D8xx/E8xxx...

I thought Acer had shitty build quality... 235, how would you say the quality is on yours?
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

excellent. The plastic around the keyboard is tough..the black plastic where the touchpad is, not so much but its ok, and above the keyboard is a nice Dolby speaker bar, I can attest to the very decent sound quality. I dislike the fact its an ELANtech/ALPS compatible touchpad only, and can't get the synapitics drivers (I MISS MY CHIRAL SCROLLING!). There however are compatible synapitics ID's listed in the hardware, the synapitics utility won't see the driver even though its installed, I also tried the synapitics driver for the 772 series (hasswell version of this laptop, with a GT 750M and GTX 760M) without luck

I thought about taking this back and getting a 772, then I saw not only is the lowest model more expensive, but it has a button-less touchpad. No thanks. I actually got this 'open box' for $150 less then what newegg usually offers it for, the previous owner had fucked up win8 by trying to enable and use the admin account and got locked out. I just wiped the damn thing and put win7 on it.

its got a full keyboard, and takes some getting used to, I personally think the touchpad is just a tad too close to the keyboard, but the Elan software has a TP-Rejection feature that helps with this fact

other thing I do not like is there is no mic on the webcam. The webcam itself is good. I captured 1280x720 video from it with virtualdub with no frame droppage and fairly well quality. There is a mic port next to the headphone port and thats it. Even my mothers $349 cheapo lenovo has a webcam mic, and this laptop usually goes for $699 @ NE (sold out right now-and they sell out fast)

the 77X is acers brand new line, and they seem to do it well. There is also a 15.6" (551) and so on, but only the 17" ones have two drive bays. Oh yeah, no raid, but, with win7 pro you can always software raid it.

its been getting good reviews all over the net

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...&q=Acer%20771G

edit: oh yes the power button is in a BAD place. If you pick up the laptop from right under screen, you run a very high risk of hitting the power button and shutting windows down (this happened to me many times). I just went into power settings and disabled the power-shutdown function so the power button does nothing

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Old 07-28-2013, 07:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

Samsung Laptops are the Master Race!

Build quality is the most superb of any laptop I've yet to disassemble (I'm a tech who's disassembled at least 3,000+ laptops so far). Can't go wrong with any of them.

I'd steer away from most of today's HPs and Dells.

Also, IBMs T series have a 14" screen with a 1600 x 900 resolution, just saying...
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

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Samsung Laptops are the Master Race!

Build quality is the most superb of any laptop I've yet to disassemble (I'm a tech who's disassembled at least 3,000+ laptops so far). Can't go wrong with any of them.

I'd steer away from most of today's HPs and Dells.

Also, IBMs T series have a 14" screen with a 1600 x 900 resolution, just saying...
Lenovo Ideapad P400T is 14" 1600x900

Anyway, Samsung laptops look nice too.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

My d630 has a 14.1 1440x900

I don't like samsung. I've had crappy luck with them... never used their computers though.

As for the lenovo- the best buy I'm working at tonight has them... not sure what to say. Not bad... my only concern durability.

Edit- the p400 has intel 4000 graphics. How crappy are those?

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Old 07-29-2013, 12:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

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My d630 has a 14.1 1440x900

I don't like samsung. I've had crappy luck with them... never used their computers though.

As for the lenovo- the best buy I'm working at tonight has them... not sure what to say. Not bad... my only concern durability.

Edit- the p400 has intel 4000 graphics. How crappy are those?
It plays Minecraft nicely. GTA IV is incompatible with Intel HD Graphics drivers and doesn't work at all.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

Why would you buy a laptop from Best Buy lol?

What, you're going to get geek squad support too?
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

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Why would you buy a laptop from Best Buy lol?

What, you're going to get geek squad support too?
You copy&pasted your own reply! Seriously, you posted the exact same thing a few threads ago.

Now you're just playing "dumb and ignorant." Everyone here has seen your "comments" that you still haven't replied to.

Keep backpeddling...
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:31 AM   #12
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

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Why would you buy a laptop from Best Buy lol?

What, you're going to get geek squad support too?
backpeddle and backpedal and backpedal and......
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

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Why would you buy a laptop from Best Buy lol?

What, you're going to get geek squad support too?
he is considering buying it from me as I don't want mine - he works at best buy (well sort of not really but ask him about it if you care I don't want to explain lol) so it gave him a change to try it out.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

Ahhh, so solely for the employee discount, etc, etc.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:49 AM   #15
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Ahhh, so solely for the employee discount, etc, etc.
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(slap) get outta here


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Come on, Tray-Sloc, reply already! Just don't do so while "backpedaling" and using a mobile device at the same time, you could "hurt yo-self real bad."
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

lol @ "Kaboom" following me around - and formatting like this.

^I guess the concept of (paragraphs) is alien to you.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:40 AM   #17
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

I have a Samsung laptop (R525) and while it's reliable enough (2 years without having to reinstall Windows is pretty damn good in my book!) the plastics on the case are less good.

I've had to epoxy one part near a lid hinge and there are no grilles left over the HSF in/out ports due to the plastic becoming brittle with the heat from the CPU/GPU.

I have only had it apart on one occasion (to clean the HSF and apply new compound after an overheating incident) and it was fairly straightforward but now the plastics are getting brittle I'm not sure I'd want to risk it again.

Also: I really don't trust Samsung HDD's, mine gets backed up to a WD external drive weekly!
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

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Now you're just playing "dumb and ignorant."
He's not playing.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:04 AM   #19
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

I'm still partial to the Dell Latitude series. Mainly because that's our standard at work, and I can get 3 year old units for dirt cheap. I know their reliability, and parts can be had easily on ebay.

One of the best buys (no pun intended) out there on the used market. I consider laptops a lot like cars, if you cna stand one thats a couple years old, buying used saves a ton of $.

If the 630 was too heavy, you won't like the weight of the 6500. The 4300 is lighter, smaller screen though.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Laptop Upgrades revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesloc View Post
Why would you buy a laptop from Best Buy lol?

What, you're going to get geek squad support too?
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesloc View Post
Ahhh, so solely for the employee discount, etc, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesloc View Post
lol @ "Kaboom" following me around - and formatting like this.

^I guess the concept of (paragraphs) is alien to you.
Guess what? For violating Topcat's "no more bullshit from you" ruling, you just got permabanned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smason View Post
I'm still partial to the Dell Latitude series. Mainly because that's our standard at work, and I can get 3 year old units for dirt cheap. I know their reliability, and parts can be had easily on ebay.

One of the best buys (no pun intended) out there on the used market. I consider laptops a lot like cars, if you cna stand one thats a couple years old, buying used saves a ton of $.

If the 630 was too heavy, you won't like the weight of the 6500. The 4300 is lighter, smaller screen though.
I was actually thinking along the lines of a used dell latitude. I never said I wanted to buy new! Just DDR3 based.

I like the latitudes... very solid. Heavy too, but I can put up with that. Yeah, the D630 is a slug, but it's also a form of weight training...

I'm less keen on the 4xxx latitudes... if they're like the later D4xx ones, they have crappy 1.8" hdds and no opticals (or some chunky base that attaches to the dock port).

That being said, Here's what I have to say about the lenovo P400:

-It's not too shabby. Appears to have a 4 core i7 (8 threads).
-Not sure on the eveness of the RAM... IIRC DDR3 is triple channel, so 8gb isn't even (unless it's run as dual on laptops)
-The GPU is meh. For what I do, it *should* work, however, in the long term, intel could pigf*ck it linux wise like they did the i915/i855 a few years ago (why I upgraded to my D630 in the first place).
-The HDD is also mixed. It's BIG, but also SLOW (5400 RPM). If I got it, an eventual 7200 upgrade would be tempting (and no, I wouldn't SSD)
-the Build quality seems decent... I've seen far worse... I've seen better too, most of which is buiness/military class though.
-win 8 sucked... I hated it. even with a touchscreen, it was BS.
-the keyboard is OK. Not very clicky... it's backlit, which bumps it up from "mediocre"
-The lack of 1394 (and expresscard) is a bit of a bummer. I'd have to kiss DV editing on the road goodbye (like I ever do that... my DV cam still sucks a bit, but it's what I have).
-the lack of touchstrip also sucks a bit, but for a really newer laptop, at that price I wouldn't expect it.

For my use, I'd give it a meh. It's not bad, but there's a lot of unknowns as well. Not quite what I was lookign for (too consumer-ish). Probably not for me.

---

How my employment works:

I work for a couple of Merchandising companies. We're contracted by vendors and stores to do work. I'm currently doing overnights at the local best buy as they're currently getting redone. In addition to overnights, I've also done store resets, furniture (shaped object) builds, general merch work, display construction, and one of my favorites, Best Buy warehouse work (I've done other stores besides them, such as walmart, walgreens, and home depot). We DO sometimes get employee discounts... and one happens to coincidentally be with lenovo (but nowhere near as nice as the best buy one, which I wish we did get).

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