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Three Rivers Region

Started by dedgren, December 20, 2006, 07:57:49 PM

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0 Members and 4 Guests are viewing this topic.

Will12

Good luck with the laptop David!

FrankU

And when you're in the computer shop: maybe you invest just a tiny amount of money in an external HD? That gives you the opportunity to make backups... Or maybe it's even enough if you have a large USB stick? Depending on the filesizes you need to backup.
I wrote a very tiny backup and shutdown bat file that copies all desired directories and then shuts down the computer. The simplest way to make backups every time I stop working.
It is my greates feat in "computerprogramming" and I am happy with it every day. No need to buy and install complex and expensive back-up software.

catty

Quote from: dedgren on February 07, 2012, 09:42:41 PM
...I have installed a great freeware program called RealTemp [linkie] and at least I have some sense of how close I am to frying my processor and GPU....

I've been using SpeedFan to do the same thing, if I notice the temperature going up I switch on a small desk fan next to the computer and that seems to keep things from getting   ()flamdev()
I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" DEATH thought about it. "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE.

Shadow Assassin

Why not an Asus laptop? The newer ones have really beefed up in terms of cooling capacity. My roommate has an Asus gaming laptop (I have an Asus as well, though it's not really a gaming laptop, but a high-performance one) and it runs pretty cool. It's a 17" model, not sure what model it is exactly, but it cost him A$1200.

Mine is a 15" model, but it runs a lot hotter (model is Asus N61). Not much in the way of cooling for the 15" models, so maybe a 17" is the way to go.
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mike3775

The main issue I have seen with laptops is that they put the exhaust or intake on the bottom of the units, and most people do not allow air flow underneath when they use anything when they have it sitting, so there is no airflow

I bought a laptop fan that you place the laptop on top of and plug into a USB slot that alternates between blowing and sucking air from the bottom(and back) and I have never had any issues with laptop heat again since I started using those

gn_leugim

That is true. I also felt heat problems with mine till I bought a support for it, with extra fans. now it works nicely :)

Tarkus

#10466
My current laptop (a Toshiba) was a Costco purchase as well.  Aside from wearing the finish off it and the battery going wonky, in the 2 years I've had it, it's done pretty well.  No overheating problems at all, and it's got a NumPad (which is very useful for my purposes, since the  music notation software I use is heavily reliant on it).  I do recommend Toshiba, as my very first laptop I got back in 2001--with 256MB of RAM, an 18GB hard drive and a 1GHz Celeron--is still running (albeit it makes a snail look like a Funny Car).

The specs on the one you linked look pretty solid on it--particularly the 8GB of RAM bit with potential expansion to 16GB, and the sound system looks surprisingly good for a laptop.  That processor also appears to be a quad-core, which they've only recently (within the past year) started fitting into laptops. 

There's only two things that give me pause. The first, obviously, is the fact that it's an HP (I can totally vouch for the hit-or-miss with cooling difficulties).  The second is fact that it has an Intel processor in it.  I'll admit, I'm kind of an "AMD fanboy" (despite the fact that I have friends who work at Intel), mainly as they tend to be inflated in price (they act as if they have a monopoly), and I had some really bad experiences with Intel processors about 10 years ago . . . I had 3 fresh Pentium III processors die on me over 2 years (the Slot 1 "Katmai" Pentium IIIs were just absolute garbage processors).  They seem to have learned from their mistakes there, but I still haven't shaken that experience, and every processor I've bought since 2002 has been an AMD.  It also seems AMD's market share is dipping again (particularly in the laptop department), making it a bit hard to find an AMD laptop sometimes, unfortunately.

-Alex

JoeST

Quote from: Tarkus on February 08, 2012, 12:21:40 PM
I'll admit, I'm kind of an "AMD fanboy"
Remember this? :D


and 8GB of RAM?!? I've used harddrives smaller than that, recently! :o lol

Good luck finding a working laptop thats worth the effort, or the cost.

Its pretty saddening how the quality and usability of mass-market/'pop' personal computing has fallen to such near-unusable levels. All these 'modern' applications have such huge footprints and yet are so darn flaky, it gets to the point where you need that 8GB RAM, 2TB HDD, 16 core monster just to open Microsoft Word and it be responsive, for it to crash after five minutes of typing. And yet people live with it because they dont know how to USE computers. They think that the web browser (IE most of the time, which is sooooo slooooooooow, and doesnt even work half the time, crasheing every ten seconds) IS the internet, and that they have to google url's and (every techies pet peeve) use the arrows on the scrollbar to move up and down pages XD

ARGHHH
</rant>

sorry about that, I was basically only coming in to parade my old avatar for some quick lols... yeah I'll get my coat

Good luck again David, and I'm thoroughly excited for your next next instalments :D
Copperminds and Cuddleswarms

mayorfabz

I certainly am no expert on the subject, but I would also advise on Toshiba. I have tried Acer (crappy hardware), Sony (epic fail) and lenovo over the years, and I am almost embarassed to admit that during these 3 computers' lifetime, my wife's Toshiba was working like a charm, and still is.

Good luck on your purchase, can't wait for the fabulous stuff you'll bring us with it!

Fabien

jdenm8

@Tarkus, Intel hardware has drastically improved of recent.

My laptop runs a 2.2Ghz AMD Athlon X2 64. It's sluggish, runs incredibly hot and gives overall bad performance. The 2.4Ghz AMD Turion X2 I had before that IMO performed better. Not to mention that is runs an ATI HD3200, which feels like the worst graphics card ever made, stealing vital RAM from the system because they were too cheap to give it dedicated GRAM.

I haven't had much experience with HP laptops, I've only had a Medion one before the Acer (Medion laptop reliability is excellent, my old one survived two 2.5m falls and would still be running had my father not pulled it apart because of something my brother downloaded) so I can't comment on it, but I'd look for one that has a dedicated graphics card in place of that Audio. That Audio is where most of the price tag is going.

If you're planing on playing SC4 on it, I should mention that the desktop version of that GPU has severe issues with SC4, having any inkling of shadows makes it keel over and leave a smelly, yellow puddle in the middle of the floor. I dunno what the Laptop version would be like, I imagine it would be the same or worse.


"We're making SimCity, not some dopey casual game." -Ocean Quigley

Kitsune

yes... I have an acer 13.1 inch - its my travel laptop and has been around the world. It has two video cards - the intel integrated one, and a discrete ati with its g-ram (its a 5450).  I've never played sc4 on it.. but it runs civ 5 fine (for some reason... when traveling... conquering the world is more fun then building a city  ()flamdev()) . For a 17 inch these days - the reason they are so cheap is because a new gen is coming out in March. That being said.. discrete graphics is prolly best for you with the work you do. I've had bad experiences with HP (I've only owned one ... and it needed repairs 10 times over its 2 year life). Acer has been ok. I second the asus comment - they are nice laptops, very nice laptops.
~ NAM Team Member

Haljackey

I've heard bad stories about HP Pavilion laptops... They don't seem to last very long before encountering problems. Of course every model is different, so I'm not sure which ones are good and which are bad.

I've used a Toshiba Satellite laptop as a work computer since 2007 and the thing still works fine today. The only problem with it is my battery lasts less than half an hour because it's old and can't hold a charge as well, and the fact that it runs Windows Vista :P.

Then again, I haven't done many demanding tasks on it. I leave performance and gaming to my desktop PC (which thankfully runs Windows 7 :)). If you want a laptop to do this sort of thing, it might be worth it to invest more now to get a good laptop with good reviews.

dedgren

#10472
Thanks, everyone, for all the input.  The warranty return box from HP showed up by Fedex today- I loaded up the laptop and turned it right around.  After it comes back, I'll use it as a spare.

So tomorrow's the day.  I'm going to stop by Best Buy to check out some of the brands you've recommended.  Hard to beat Costco's additional year warranty on laptops, though.

Here's what I'm computing on in the interim.



That's a midline HP desktop hooked up to a Sony home theatre system (way old- 2002 or so) and a 47" /120 cm Vizio flat screen.  The Vizio makes a great monitor.  Pixels in the graphics program are about half an inch/1.2 cm wide...

Back tomorrow.


David

928660




D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]


I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

buddybud

Quote from: dedgren on February 07, 2012, 03:13:22 PM
Just a quick post
...my trusty HP's fan failed late yesterday.  I think a month of non-stop work on graphics had something to do with that.
David
926554

I have an hp laptop myself. Can't complain but i do find that it tends to go fan crazy if i don't have it elevated. I use 3 little taped up boxes about 1/2 inch high under it and it makes a HUGE difference. With out them my computer fan goes into overdrive at the smallest little performance hit.

That being said, laptops are a tough nut to crack since almost everything is integrated. The old "weakest link in the chain" becomes rather important since any failure can cause the whole to be unusable. I would avoid dell as i have worked for them and have some horror stories to fall back on. Hp seems to be hit and miss. Really though the main thing is a goooood warranty since they are quite difficult to self service compared to a desktop. Make sure you read the fine print and also remember that more expensive does not always mean better.

Anyways have fun shopping!
Bud

Rady

Quote from: dedgren on February 09, 2012, 12:37:54 AM
Pixels in the graphics program are about half an inch/1.2 cm wide...

Easier to identify and select then, aren't they?

:D
If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It's much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.

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mike3775

Quote from: dedgren on February 09, 2012, 12:37:54 AM


That's a midline HP desktop hooked up to a Sony home theatre system (way old- 2002 or so) and a 47" /120 cm Vizio flat screen.  The Vizio makes a great monitor.  Pixels in the graphics program are about half an inch/1.2 cm wide...

Back tomorrow.


David

928660[/font][/size]

I just hope you don't get used to that big screen as a monitor.  When I did that for a temporary measure when my 22 inch monitor died, I used a 32 inch LCD as a monitor and when I finally got the new monitor a week later, I was so used to the bigger one, I couldn't stand going back to a 22 inch model.

FrankU

Quote from: dedgren on February 09, 2012, 12:37:54 AM
Pixels in the graphics program are about half an inch/1.2 cm wide...


Aargh! That's about the size of one small city tile, isn't it?  :shocked2:

ldvger

David-

Ok, I'll chime in on the computer advice/debate.  First of all, you could replace the dead fan, but my guess is that's why you mailed it off to HP, huh?  If you are determined to purchase a new laptop, I vote with the person who recommended Dell.  My last 3 desktops and current laptop (which just had it's 7th birthday and is still going strong) have all been Dells.  Prices are very competetive, warranty can't be beat, customer service (once you get a live person, and that takes a while, I admit) is very good, and the product itself really can't be beat, IMO.  If you have any hardware savvy at all, you can custom spec your dream machine online and it usually builds/ships within 24-48 hours, a feature I especially prefer over ready-made computers as it seems THIS computer had rhe RAM I want and THAT one has the video card I want, etc., but none have all the specific stuff I want.  Another thing I really appreciate about Dell is that they use name brand components, so drivers and replacement parts (if/when needed) are usually a snap to find, if not from Dell then the component manufacturer, a BIG plus if, like me, you've ever owned a computer built out of generic junk parts.  For my money and from my experience with Dell, I'll probably never buy anything else.  Great company, great products, great service...what more can you want?

My only other advice is, if you go with Dell, write down the specs you want BEFORE you go to the website and start building your dream machine AND make sure you're sober, hahahaha.  I decided at around midnight one night to buy my laptop, after about 4-5 glasses of wine, and while I did get my dream machine, it was about 50% above my allowable budget at the time, a minor issue I shrugged off when I hit the "order now" button and which somewhat alarmed me the following morning.  I struggled with the cost but now consider it best money I ever spent, given the laptop's advanced (for a computer) age and still 100% flawless performance.  It's only real sign of age is the video card, as I wasn't much into online gaming at the time and I bought the laptop as a mobile work station to run CAD on, so it's a little too low in RAM and video capabilities to allow me to play Lord of the Rings Online. 

Be sure to let us know what you decide on, curious minds will want to know!

Lora/LD

Shadow Assassin

Sorry, Lora... but with regards to Dell quality, I beg to differ.

QuoteOk, I'll chime in on the computer advice/debate.  First of all, you could replace the dead fan, but my guess is that's why you mailed it off to HP, huh?  If you are determined to purchase a new laptop, I vote with the person who recommended Dell.  My last 3 desktops and current laptop (which just had it's 7th birthday and is still going strong) have all been Dells.

I've had nothing but bad experiences with them. My other roommate's laptop has been sent back to Dell no less than five times. Following have been replaced in the laptop:
- 2 hard drives
- 2 motherboards
- Power supply controller on the motherboard + new power supply brick.

My sister's Dell, while a little bit better, still had issues:
- Replaced screen (LCD screen had a defect)
- Replaced video card (defect with one of the ports)

I've also dealt with other Dell PCs where they've had things go wrong within 12 months of them being bought. For some reason, motherboard and hard drive issues seem to be the most common with them.

Now, that being said: Dell, at least, despite their (many) faults, have decent warranty services. They replaced my roommate's laptop's motherboard free of charge despite being out of warranty.

David, I guess it's a real case of YMMV with laptop brands, isn't it?
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mike3775

I have had isues with Dell laptops, HP laptops, Compaq laptops.  The only laptop I have ever owned that has never given me issues is the Winbook J3 laptop I bought at Sams Club back in 2002(and is still used by my kids today). 

With the way computer companies all use outside vendors for things, and some probably using the same companies, the odds of something happening are high for all brands. 

Overall I prefer HP laptops, and thats only because I have had slightly less issues with them then anything else.