Buying notebook tips

August 19, 2014

I decided to look into buying a notebook from http://www.microsoftstore.com/ since they are quite cheap.

Intel_ARK_ComparisonChart_2014_08_07

Looking over the comparison above, I decided to get the $249 Dell Inspiron 15-3531 Laptop.

I considered getting the $369 Acer Aspire V3-111P-P6VM Touchscreen Laptop since it is a 11″ laptop.  Unfortunately, I wanted a laptop that can easily change the hard-drive and the battery.  Therefore, a 15″ is what I decided to get.

June 25, 2011

ARM may enter the race to try to take some notebook market share from Intel and/or AMD.  ARM is well known by manufacturers for their low power consumption CPUs.   ARM CPUs are used in all mobile phones that I know of.  Therefore, it will be interesting to see if ARM can survive in an Intel and AMD dominated notebook market.

ARM can be read at http://www.techeye.net/chips/x86-notebook-manufacturers-buy-into-arm-processors

June 22, 2011

With the introduction of the Sandy Bridge, 2nd generation, processors from Intel, I decided to look into the not-so-obvious differences between  the different 2nd generation Intel CPUs .  I am assuming that the 2nd generation Intel CPUs is Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors.

From what I can see, the 2nd generation Intel CPUs are pretty much the same except for the fact that the I3 does not have Turbo Boost Technology.  Furthermore the I3 do have some models that do not have a video card integrated into the chip and one model that is soldered onto the motherboard.

Turbo Boost Technology as told by Toms’ Hardware at http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/turbo-boost-overclocking,2512.html is overclocking a CPU.  Intel’s overclocking method is designed to allow the CPU to overclock, run faster then it is designed for, itself without melting.  Therefore, the 2nd generation Intel CPU will overclock when needed, but will slow down when it either does not need to overclock or problems will arise if it continues overclocking.

Therefore, I do not believe that Turbo Boost Technology is a must have for a 2nd generation Intel CPU to pay a premium price for.  If the price is reasonable, I will buy one.

AMD’s Llano CPUs, which is the competitor to Intel’s 2nd generation CPUs, can be seen at http://www.amd.com/us/products/notebook/apu/mainstream/Pages/mainstream.aspx#3.

To answer the question of which CPU is faster and/or better, looking online should answer that question.  We all have our biases and/or loyalties, therefore, one will rarely get an honest answer from individual users.  I, like many users online, rely on hardware testers reviews for an unbiased opinion.

June 19, 2011

When it comes to purchasing a notebook, I always look for a separate video card.  In the case of a Dell Inspiron, the one for $649.99 is the one I will go for.

The ones that are cheaper have an Intel HD Graphics/HD Graphics 3000 with up to 1.6GB Dynamic Video Memory which shares the memory with the CPU.  Therefore, a minimum of 2.5 GB of RAM will be available to the CPU if one decides to allocate 1.5GB of RAM to the video card.  This is assuming that the notebook has 4GB of RAM.

Since the Video memory is dynamic, the amount of RAM allocated to the video card will vary.  Therefore, the video cards will use 1.5GB of RAM only when required to render images.  In any case, I have a preference to keep the CPU RAM away from the greedy hands of the video card.

As for the CPU and harddrive, I put more weight on the price.  If the price is too high, I will go with the cheaper model.  In the case of the $749.99, the I5 maybe a better deal than the I3 model.

A faster CPU and/or larger hard drive is always better, but the extra performance boost and/or space should justify the extra cost.  Therefore, keep that in mind when determining the need for speed and/or space.

As for the other notebooks such as the Alienware or the XPS, the model chosen maybe based on what one is planning on doing with it.  Furthermore, personal preference of the CPU and/or the video card’s dedicated RAM, and/or the other bells and whistles may also come into play.

Unfortunately, a separate video card comes at a price.  Shorter battery life.  Therefore, if longer battery life is necessary, then integrated is the answer. For improved performance, increase the amount of RAM to accommodate both the video card’s and Window’s RAM requirements.

If possible, I always try to get the longest lasting battery.  It seems that Dell provides a primary battery that cannot be upgraded or downgraded.  Therefore, if one is given a choice, getting a longer lasting battery is an option one should consider.

Therefore, choosing a notebook is a simple process.  The biggest challenge is finding a company to buy a notebook from whether it be HP, Dell, Acer, Sony, Toshiba, or Asus.

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