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Thread: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

  1. #31
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Knifeshade's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Josef K. View Post
    Well I am open for everything.

    Here is my main issue though: Maybe I can get a tablet now, I already have a good functioning PC at home, if I get a laptop that would mean I have two, and maybe I can sell the PC and get some cheaper tablet in return, but I really want to have a tablet, the gadget side of me just wants it sooo badly.

    I am basically a traveling student so I think an ipad is more worth to break the communication barrier at school since they really have outdated computers, that most do not even work.

    Basically if I have a PC is the tablet the way to go, and can someone run me down with some good choices of them?
    But what will you be using it for?

    Say, if you'll be reading a lot of notes or textbooks, sure, a tablet would be a great addition. Reading on a tablet is better than a laptop, and infinitely better than carrying a lot of books.

    Say, you need to mimic the workflow you have from home to your school too, then a laptop is more powerful and productive than a tablet.

    See what I'm getting at?
    -

  2. #32
    MangaHelper 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member kkck's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Well, I might have the chance to upgrade my laptop soon enough. I don't actually have a desperate need for that however it is a good opportunity still. New hardware is always awesome... Anyways, the only feature I would actually really want that I don't have right now is HD an HD output. Anyone has a recommendation topping at 600-700 US dollars? Perhaps something more gamer friendly would be nice too (although I wouldn't want a laptop that heats up too much or is too loud) I have no issues with any brands for the most part (although I am not about to go for an apple, I don't feel I have the need to change from windows just yet). I have been going through amazon and best buy but I have yet to find something I am confortable with. I found a bunch of acer and asus laptops but I am unsure of whether those brands are reliable (I have a better opinion of acer though).

    ---------- Post added March 09, 2013 at 01:01 PM ---------- Previous post was March 08, 2013 at 06:44 PM ----------

    Also, what should I go for as far as processors go, intel or amd?

  3. #33
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Knifeshade's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Quote Quote:
    Anyways, the only feature I would actually really want that I don't have right now is HD an HD output.
    Could easily rectify that with something like a DVI-HDMI cable. (only downside is it won't carry sound)

    Quote Quote:
    Well, I might have the chance to upgrade my laptop soon enough. I don't actually have a desperate need for that however it is a good opportunity still. New hardware is always awesome...
    What's your current laptop?
    -

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  5. #34
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    HDMI cables can carry audio signals, I guess this is what kkck meant when he said "HD output".

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  7. #35
    MangaHelper 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member kkck's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Actually the dvi-hdmi is precisely what I need right now. I own an epson projector and I have had a sound issue which the dvi-hdmi cable would solve. My projector has no sound output and using the projector's sound was inconvenient. My current laptop does not have an hdmi output but I had trouble when I used other laptops which did (I never found a way to have only image carried in the cable, it always went along with audio).

    My current laptop is an satellite L655 which is a pretty basic, cheap but 100% reliable model, almost 2 years with it and no problems whatsoever. The only inconvenience I had with it was that it did not have an HDMI output.

    Going through best buy again I found this one which seems pretty nice.
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+...8#tab=overview

    It does not have any reviews but it seems like a good deal as far as specks goes. and the price (and it has exactly what I was looking for in regards to actually having a graphics card and hdmi output).

  8. #36
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    When you say DVI-HDMI cable, do you mean DVI connector at one end and HDMI at the other? Since DVI specification doesn't let transmission of audio signals, I guess it wouldn't be a problem. You can choose which device will be used to output sound in audio settings.

    The price of Toshiba Satellite is reasonable but I have doubts that it can meet what you expect from a CPU and graphics card. According to the info I found on the web, it's a low-end processor which has integrated graphics chipset which doesn't have dedicated graphics memory.

  9. #37
    MangaHelper 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member kkck's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    I went through the audio settings in the laptop I was using at the time however I completely failed to find an option to choose where to output audio. I was not the only person looking for that either that time....

    Well, laptops in general are not fit for gaming.... What I meant by being more gamer friendly was basically "better than what I have" which at this point is nothing. I don't think laptops even come with dedicated graphic memory (I have never seen one myself). Checking the specks again the processor is indeed not that fast and the graphics card is indeed on the low end but it is still better than what I have currently.

  10. #38
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Knifeshade's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    They do. If it comes with a discrete GPU, it'll have its own dedicated memory (often either 1GB or 2GB).

    - - - -

    So uh, what will you be using the laptop for? Casual stuff, or will it be a workhorse?

    It's important so we know what parts to look out for, you see. If it's a casual machine, you really don't need more than 4GB of RAM, but if it's otherwise, you might benefit from more.

    If it's a casual machine, you could most definitely get by with a ultrabook-class CPU, but if it's a workhorse, you might benefit from the performance of a standard CPU.

    See what I'm getting at?


    - - - -

    Now my opinion is....

    That Toshiba laptop you linked is no good. At the budget you've got, avoid AMD CPUs altogether, as Intel CPUs generally outperform them across the board.

    When it comes to brand, I tend to put brand somewhere near the bottom of the list in things to look out for, my belief is all brands have their good and bads. By that, they all make solid high-end stuff and they also make cheap low-quality low-end stuff. It's just the general nature of the business when you need to bring things to the market that need to range from the very low to the very high. I've seen far too many people slag a certain brand off when they bought their cheapest laptop and expect it to perform like their most expensive, and when it doesn't they're all like XYZ brand Is T3h suxXorz donT bUy dEm. =/

    Of course, I'm not saying bad brands don't exist, if they legitimately have a bad track record (I know HP did in the past) then, well yeah, it's best to avoid them.

    What I do look for in a laptop though is.....the storage. Forget about CPU and RAM right now, storage is most important at the moment.

    The holy grail of storage is like so, from best to worst: SSD, HDD + SSD, HDD.
    The storage is the first thing one should look at because it's easily the biggest bottleneck in a PC. There's no point in having the highest-end mobile CPU if you're paring it with a 5400 rpm HDD. A decent CPU plus an SSD would probably give the same overall experience, if not a better one.

    To put it into context, what I'm saying is there really is no point in you spending $700 on the best gear that has a mechanical HDD, if I can get one for $500 that has less decent gear but has SSD caching. My $500 one would feel just as fast as your $700 one (but I would have $200 in my pocket).

    This is the main reason why ultrabooks and Macbook Airs are so popular (not price-wise, but performance-wise).

    But not everybody can afford a laptop with a SSD, or not everybody can live with the capacity restrictions of an SSD. So we have a hybrid in the form of a HDD paired with a SSD (which is commonly used for caching, so they're commonly small amounts (anywhere from 24 to 40GB)).

    To put into context, quick browse on Best Buy gives:

    $699 - Lenovo U310 - 13.3", 500GB + 32GB SSD cache
    $695 - HP Envy 14 - 14", 500GB + 32GB SSD cache
    $674 - Acer S3 - 13.3", 128GB SSD
    $649 - Dell Inspiron 14z - 14", 500GB + 32GB SSD cache
    $649 - Samsung NP540 - 13.3", 500GB + 24GB SSD cache
    $658 - Asus S56 - 15.6", 750GB + 24GB SSD cache

    In the 600-700 bracket, I would look at those laptops first, and then trickle down if they're not to your liking.

    e.g: if a 13" display is far too small, the the Asus is the only stand out so far, etc.

    And then next we have all sorts of little things to choose like CPU, RAM, and display size, etc etc etc. But we need to determine what you're most likely to use the laptop for first.



    - - - - - -

    And now the elephant in the room.

    Quote Quote:
    Well, I might have the chance to upgrade my laptop soon enough. I don't actually have a desperate need for that however it is a good opportunity still. New hardware is always awesome...
    The elephant in this room is Haswell. Intel's next microarchitecture. The first wave of CPUs should be a couple of months away. As a rule of thumb, I never recommend to buy new stuff if something newer is around the corner. New thing comes out, and the old stuff drops in price, right. To give an analogy, I'd hate to be the guy who buys an iPhone 5 a few days before the announcement of the iPhone 6.
    Last edited by Knifeshade; March 11, 2013 at 05:00 AM.
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  12. #39
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by kkck View Post
    I went through the audio settings in the laptop I was using at the time however I completely failed to find an option to choose where to output audio. I was not the only person looking for that either that time....
    When you go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound > Manage audio devices, you can see the list of audio devices on the system. For example, I have speakers, earphones and digital sound. If you buy a laptop that has HDMI output, you can set it as the default device when you need to.

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  14. #40
    MH Senpai 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member M3J's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Knifeshade View Post
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    What would be the best for battery life? I mean, using this loaner laptop made me realize ohw much I should have focused on battery instead of high-end performance and graphics.
    Last edited by Knifeshade; March 12, 2013 at 08:26 PM.

  15. #41
    MangaHelper 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member kkck's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Knifeshade View Post
    Spoiler show
    Well, I intend on using the laptop for work and for every day stuff. As far as work I just need standard stuff, my work does not particularly require huge amounts of horsepower. It is more for my private stuff that I could really use a few improvements. The improved performance from having an SSD would definitely be convenient for both things though. It is for my private stuff for which I could use an improvement. I do some casual gaming so I wouldn't mind a laptop which could yield better results. A nicer screen, an HDMI output, better speakers... basically a device more suited for media consumption. As far as display I would prefer a 15-16 display.

    Well, that is definitely something to look for. My main issue there would be that the opportunity for me to upgrade would be gone by then. As I mentioned earlier I am not desperate to upgrade either though, its more of an opportunity that presented itself so perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to wait and see what happens later. By the time the new architecture is out there it will make more sense to change my laptop than right now on every regard....

  16. #42
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Knifeshade's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Quote Quote:
    What would be the best for battery life? I mean, using this loaner laptop made me realize ohw much I should have focused on battery instead of high-end performance and graphics.
    Does the loaner have awesome battery life or something? IMO, combination of three factors, in no particular order: CPU, battery, screen.

    A larger screen will consume more power than a smaller screen. Having a larger battery is always a good thing. A power hungry CPU will consume more power than a lesser CPU.

    e.g: your Sony laptop with the quad-core prcocessor. It's a 45W CPU. The ULV processors that go in the MacBook Air/ultrabooks are 17W. Granted, the former would have better performance, but the latter come with SSDs so it never feels slow. You'd probably only notice the difference in benchmarks. To put into perspective, the ARM SoC that goes into tablets are ~5W. Less power, more hours.


    Quote Quote:
    Well, that is definitely something to look for. My main issue there would be that the opportunity for me to upgrade would be gone by then. As I mentioned earlier I am not desperate to upgrade either though, its more of an opportunity that presented itself so perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to wait and see what happens later. By the time the new architecture is out there it will make more sense to change my laptop than right now on every regard....
    Well on the flipside, you'll have more money saved up to buy something even better, if the opportunity arises again. It's really just a matter of if you can wait it out if there isn't a necessary need. It's understandable if your laptop's broken down and you need it now, but that's not the case.
    Last edited by Knifeshade; March 12, 2013 at 09:33 PM.
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  17. #43
    MH Senpai 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member M3J's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    It lasts about four hours, at least, I think. Not 100% sure though. But it's a Lenovo, small and all that jazz.

    I know. It's why I bought a larger battery. However, do you know what would be a good battery for VPCF1390x?

  18. #44
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Knifeshade's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

    Uhh, it's a laptop, so there's not much choice? Either you buy the largest battery Sony can offer or you buy some dodgy brand-you've-never-heard-of that states it'll fit your laptop from eBay or something....
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  19. #45
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Knifeshade's Avatar
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    Re: PC Hardware, Building, and Advice

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