Need Some Help Buying a Laptop

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#1
This probably should go in the computers & gaming section but since I spend most of my time here, I thought I'd start here and if the mods felt it should be moved, they would.

Anyway, the motherboard on my laptop is dying. The laptop is 4 years old and the extended extended warranty expired back in July. Long story short, I'm looking for new computer because I've been told it's expensive to replace the motherboard.

I've been looking around and am getting really confused by all the specs, especially the processors. For example, what's the difference between an Intel Pentium M Dual-Core T2060 Processor and an Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2060 processor?

What's the difference in RAM if one says 120GB (512/512) split hard drive and 120 GB HDD and one that just says 120GB HDD (5400 RPM)?

And if it's 1GB DDR 533 SDRAM is that better or worse than one that is 1024MB DDR SDRAM?

I'm stressing over this ... I'm getting grayer by the minute over this
 

Beeman99

Registered User
Mar 14, 2005
13,787
2
0
#2
I just bought a Macbook Pro, the one below the 17" model, and I love it. Fuck PC laptops, Macbooks are the shit
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#3
I just bought a Macbook Pro, the one below the 17" model, and I love it. Fuck PC laptops, Macbooks are the shit
I'll take that into consideration when I make my final decision, Beeman, but until then I still need someone to explain all the stuff I don't understand. When I bought my last laptop, there were two processor choices - Pentium IV and Celeron and all I needed to know was that Celeron was a slower processor. Now there are dual-core with all these numbers after it, there's different sizes of RAM and HDD space and I'm just getting more & more confused as I try to read up on this stuff.
 

Beeman99

Registered User
Mar 14, 2005
13,787
2
0
#4
What are you planning on using the laptop for? Is it just going to be used for basic email/web browsing/word processing etc, or games, or design, that'll factor in a lot into what you'll wind up wanting and needing
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,558
2,211
898
Florida's Nature Coast
#5
This probably should go in the computers & gaming section but since I spend most of my time here, I thought I'd start here and if the mods felt it should be moved, they would.

Anyway, the motherboard on my laptop is dying. The laptop is 4 years old and the extended extended warranty expired back in July. Long story short, I'm looking for new computer because I've been told it's expensive to replace the motherboard.

I've been looking around and am getting really confused by all the specs, especially the processors. For example, what's the difference between an Intel Pentium M Dual-Core T2060 Processor and an Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2060 processor?

What's the difference in RAM if one says 120GB (512/512) split hard drive and 120 GB HDD and one that just says 120GB HDD (5400 RPM)?

And if it's 1GB DDR 533 SDRAM is that better or worse than one that is 1024MB DDR SDRAM?

I'm stressing over this ... I'm getting grayer by the minute over this
The T2060 is Intel's basic dual core processor that runs at 1.6 GHZ. The T2060 designation is the key, the two different descriptions are the result of different wording.

The 512/512 split means the 1GB (1024MB) of RAM is installed as two 512MB chips, filling both slots. Meaning to upgrade to 2GB later, you have to pull out both chips and replace them with a pair of 1GB chips. This is a cheeseball cost-cutting move that laptop makers pull. It has nothing to do with the hard drive. Both 120GB hard drives you listed both probably run at 5400 RPM, and just the one of them has it listed in the description.

What are you looking to spend, and what kind of stuff do you want to do?
 

thelord68

There's always time for lubricant
Feb 24, 2003
1,277
0
0
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
#6
The T2060 is Intel's basic dual core processor that runs at 1.6 GHZ. The T2060 designation is the key, the two different descriptions are the result of different wording.

The 512/512 split means the 1GB (1024MB) of RAM is installed as two 512MB chips, filling both slots. Meaning to upgrade to 2GB later, you have to pull out both chips and replace them with a pair of 1GB chips. This is a cheeseball cost-cutting move that laptop makers pull. It has nothing to do with the hard drive. Both 120GB hard drives you listed both probably run at 5400 RPM, and just the one of them has it listed in the description.

What are you looking to spend, and what kind of stuff do you want to do?

Actually if the RAM is DDR2 (most likely on new laptops) , then having 2 RAM modules of the same size and make results in faster memory speeds ie. 2 x 512mb DDR2 (for a total of 1gb or 1024mb) is faster than 1 x 1gb (or 1024mb). Its not really a cost savings move. at current prices, a 1gb module is cheaper than 2 512mb modules.
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#7
What are you planning on using the laptop for? Is it just going to be used for basic email/web browsing/word processing etc, or games, or design, that'll factor in a lot into what you'll wind up wanting and needing
Sinn Fein said:
The T2060 is Intel's basic dual core processor that runs at 1.6 GHZ. The T2060 designation is the key, the two different descriptions are the result of different wording.

The 512/512 split means the 1GB (1024MB) of RAM is installed as two 512MB chips, filling both slots. Meaning to upgrade to 2GB later, you have to pull out both chips and replace them with a pair of 1GB chips. This is a cheeseball cost-cutting move that laptop makers pull. It has nothing to do with the hard drive. Both 120GB hard drives you listed both probably run at 5400 RPM, and just the one of them has it listed in the description.

What are you looking to spend, and what kind of stuff do you want to do?
I typed the T numbers wrong. One was T2060 and the other was 1.73GHz Intel Core Duo T2250.

If I'm understanding you, the higher the T number the faster the processor will run? And it's actually no benefit to have split RAM?

I don't need a lot of bells & whistles & am looking to spend under $1,500 with tax & shipping. I do the basic stuff - surf, email, word processing. Occasionally, I'll do some stuff in Paint Shop Pro (it came with the laptop & I didn't want to spend the $$ on Photoshop). Very rarely do I download music. I know I want a CDR/RW and a DVDR/RW, or whatever they're called. But even the DVD writer isn't all that important since most movies can't be copied, right?

Thanks again for your help. I can teach people how to turn a computer on and off, how to navigate the web, how to use Word and WordPerfect & MS Publisher. When it comes to what makes the whole system work, I am technologically challenged.
 

thelord68

There's always time for lubricant
Feb 24, 2003
1,277
0
0
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
#8
Back to the original question

The post current processors are Core 2 Duo > Core Duo > Pentium M > Celeron

The Core chips are the next evolution of the Pentium M, but with better power management.

Just got a Toshiba laptop for my friend on sale at Best Buy for $549.00 last week. Core Duo, 120gb, 1gb Ram, DVD everything drive, Windows Vista Home premium, 15.4" widescreen. Great battery life.

For any machine with Vista, 1gb ram is the minimum.

Laptop hard drives generally run at either 4800rpm or 5400rpm. Faster is better.

Some laptops are coming with AMD processors. Turions are the fastest. Mobile Semprons are the equivalent of an Intel Celeron. Mobile Athlon 64 are fast but use more power (hence less battery life) than the Turion.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,558
2,211
898
Florida's Nature Coast
#10
The T2250 Core Duo is better than the T2060 Dual-Core CPU because it's a higher clockspeed and the Dual-Core is a lower-performance processor than a Core Duo.

You can get an excellent laptop for way less than $1500.

Some more questions:

Do you want a big screen (like a 17")?

Or, would small and light be better for you?
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#11
Back to the original question

The post current processors are Core 2 Duo > Core Duo > Pentium M > Celeron

The Core chips are the next evolution of the Pentium M, but with better power management.

Just got a Toshiba laptop for my friend on sale at Best Buy for $549.00 last week. Core Duo, 120gb, 1gb Ram, DVD everything drive, Windows Vista Home premium, 15.4" widescreen. Great battery life.

For any machine with Vista, 1gb ram is the minimum.

Laptop hard drives generally run at either 4800rpm or 5400rpm. Faster is better.

Some laptops are coming with AMD processors. Turions are the fastest. Mobile Semprons are the equivalent of an Intel Celeron. Mobile Athlon 64 are fast but use more power (hence less battery life) than the Turion.
The Toshiba is one of the ones I was looking at. Then I saw an ACER and a VAIO that had different processor numbers and knew that it wasn't going to be as easy as it was the last time when I walked into Circuit City pointed at one and walked out with a laptop.

Sinn Fein said:
The T2250 Core Duo is better than the T2060 Dual-Core CPU because it's a higher clockspeed and the Dual-Core is a lower-performance processor than a Core Duo.

You can get an excellent laptop for way less than $1500.

Some more questions:

Do you want a big screen (like a 17")?

Or, would small and light be better for you?
Yeah, most of the ones I've been looking at have been less than $900. I like my 15" screen and would probably stick with the same size. If I were doing more advanced stuff, I might consider a larger one, for my purposes, I think size is fine.

Stalker2 said:
Check out Microcenter.http://www.microcenter.com/at_the_stores/westbury.html
They have some good deals there on laptops.I deal with them alot.
I'm less than 5 minutes from microcenter & get a lot of my peripheries there. Unfortunately, the last few times I went in there, I couldn't find anyone on the floor to answer any questions. Plus, I always like to have a general idea of what the tech is talking about so I'm not just shaking my head like an empty headed git. I hate when salespeople think you don't know anything and try to sell you something you don't need.

Okay!! As soon as I find where I hid my credit card, I'm going shopping :)

Thanks guys :love:
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#13

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#14
I just ordered this...now I'm going to lose sleep that I'm going to hate it. Again, thanks for the input - I am now semi-edumacated

Toshiba 2.8GHz Satellite AMD® Athlon™ 64 X2 DVD±RW Wireless Notebook - Vista® Home Premium (A215-S7407)
Processor:

· Type: 1.8GHz AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor TK-55
· 800MHz HyperTransport
· Installed Qty: 1
· Max Supported Qty: 1

Cache Memory:
· Type: L2 Cache
· Installed Size: 512Kb L2 Cache

Mainboard:
· Data Bus: 800MHz HyperTransport
· Chipset: AMD M690V chipset

RAM:
· Installed Size: 1GB / 4GB (max)
· Technology: DDR2 SDRAM
· PC5300 DDR2 RAM

Storage: 80GB (5400RPM) Hard Drive (SATA)

Optical Storage Type: DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive supporting 11

Formats
Graphics Controller:

· ATI Radeon™ Xpress X1200 128MB-319MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory
· 128-319MB of Video Memory (Shared)
· 15.4” diagonal widescreen TruBrite® TFT LCD display at 1280x800 native resolution (WXGA)


Audio Output:
· Integrated

Networking:
. Networking Device: Network Adapter Integrated
. 10/100 Fast Ethernet Network Adapter
· 56K V.90 Fax/Modem
· 802.11 a/b/gWireless LAN Integrated

Power Supply:
· Device Type: AC Power Adapter
· Power Provided: Lithium-Ion Battery

Operating System/ Software:
· Genuine Windows® Vista Home Premium
 

thelord68

There's always time for lubricant
Feb 24, 2003
1,277
0
0
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
#15
I just ordered this...now I'm going to lose sleep that I'm going to hate it. Again, thanks for the input - I am now semi-edumacated

Toshiba 2.8GHz Satellite AMD® Athlon™ 64 X2 DVD±RW Wireless Notebook - Vista® Home Premium (A215-S7407)
Processor:

· Type: 1.8GHz AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor TK-55
· 800MHz HyperTransport
· Installed Qty: 1
· Max Supported Qty: 1

Cache Memory:
· Type: L2 Cache
· Installed Size: 512Kb L2 Cache

Mainboard:
· Data Bus: 800MHz HyperTransport
· Chipset: AMD M690V chipset

RAM:
· Installed Size: 1GB / 4GB (max)
· Technology: DDR2 SDRAM
· PC5300 DDR2 RAM

Storage: 80GB (5400RPM) Hard Drive (SATA)

Optical Storage Type: DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive supporting 11

Formats
Graphics Controller:

· ATI Radeon™ Xpress X1200 128MB-319MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory
· 128-319MB of Video Memory (Shared)
· 15.4” diagonal widescreen TruBrite® TFT LCD display at 1280x800 native resolution (WXGA)


Audio Output:
· Integrated

Networking:
. Networking Device: Network Adapter Integrated
. 10/100 Fast Ethernet Network Adapter
· 56K V.90 Fax/Modem
· 802.11 a/b/gWireless LAN Integrated

Power Supply:
· Device Type: AC Power Adapter
· Power Provided: Lithium-Ion Battery

Operating System/ Software:
· Genuine Windows® Vista Home Premium
Configurations fine - Toshiba just released this model line with the AMD processors, the only caveat is that the battery on this model is on the small side capacity -wise, so don't expect more than 2 hours.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,558
2,211
898
Florida's Nature Coast
#16
It should do what you need. I don't know why it says 2.8 GHZ in the top line of the description, when it's a 1.8 CPU. Hard drive is a lil' small. But as long as you burn things like photos to CD's instead of letting them sit on the hard drive taking up space, you should be fine.

I'd look into upgrading the RAM very soon, considering of the 1GB that's installed, between 128MB and 319MB of it is being used by the video card. Some systems have dedicated RAM for the video, but many share the main RAM. Alot of people say you need 2GB to run Vista well. I think a basic user can get by with 1GB, but you really don't have 1GB since your video card could be using up to 1/3 of it.

You can replace the 1GB of RAM (which is installed as a pair of 512MB DIMMS) with 2GB of RAM (a pair of 1GB DIMMS) for $49 from Newegg.com:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146125

I hope you didn't pay more than $599 for it. :action-sm
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#18
It should do what you need. I don't know why it says 2.8 GHZ in the top line of the description, when it's a 1.8 CPU. Hard drive is a lil' small. But as long as you burn things like photos to CD's instead of letting them sit on the hard drive taking up space, you should be fine.

I'd look into upgrading the RAM very soon, considering of the 1GB that's installed, between 128MB and 319MB of it is being used by the video card. Some systems have dedicated RAM for the video, but many share the main RAM. Alot of people say you need 2GB to run Vista well. I think a basic user can get by with 1GB, but you really don't have 1GB since your video card could be using up to 1/3 of it.

You can replace the 1GB of RAM (which is installed as a pair of 512MB DIMMS) with 2GB of RAM (a pair of 1GB DIMMS) for $49 from Newegg.com:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146125

I hope you didn't pay more than $599 for it. :action-sm
computer was $627. I checked several sites and that was the average. With the 3 year extended warranty (includes accidental stuff & in home servicing) and shipping it was still under $750

Pictures etc get dumped onto an external hard drive almost immediately. I quickly learned my lesson after losing everything the first time I had to send it in for service.

Ordered the extra RAM before I posted this.

If it really sucks, there's always eBay
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,558
2,211
898
Florida's Nature Coast
#19
I don't think it's gonna suck. I did a quick search and found most places selling it for $599. If I tried harder, might be able to find it for less. Just wanted to make sure you didn't pay too much.

With the extra RAM, it oughta rock. You might be able to sell the old RAM on eBay for like $20 for the pair. The market is flooded with 512MB DIMMS from all these manufacturers doing this cheeseball maneuver.
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#20
I don't think it's gonna suck. I did a quick search and found most places selling it for $599. If I tried harder, might be able to find it for less. Just wanted to make sure you didn't pay too much.

With the extra RAM, it oughta rock. You might be able to sell the old RAM on eBay for like $20 for the pair. The market is flooded with 512MB DIMMS from all these manufacturers doing this cheeseball maneuver.
Returned it - the headline said it was 2.8ghz but it was only 1.8ghz ... there were a few other things that my sister discovered when I finally got her to look at everything.

I ordered this one tonight http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?EDP=38528134
eCost usually doesn't give refunds but I told them I was going to contact consumer affairs about their deceptive advertising and they caved. I knew they didn't want to lose the sale, so I figured I'd see what I could bleed out of them. Told them there was another one I was interested in but what could they do for me? I hung up the phone with $50 taken off the top in addition to the $50 rebate. They also gave me 2 day shipping for the price of ground shipping. I was going for overnight but they wouldn't go for it. Nor would they go for totally free shipping.

Now I just gotta make sure everything is backed up onto the external.

Thanks again for your help guys