Need Laptop Advice (1 Viewer)

yourbeliefs

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Something Profound
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Sep 20, 2007
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My wife has been wanting a new laptop for a while (even though her current one works fine.) So for Xmas I want to get her one. More than anything she wants one that is fast. I've been looking online and trying to customize one that will fit what she needs but also won't break the bank. Unfortunately it's been a little while since I configured a computer that wasn't made just to play games well (which, may I add, is nearly 4 years old but still runs current games at a respectable level) so I need some advice. She mainly will use the computer for web browsing, MS office stuff, possibly video viewing (DVD and internet video, not BD), as well as Photoshop.

So here's my questions:

1. How much emphasis should I put on processor clock speed vs front side bus & cache? For example, would I be better served with an Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P7450 (2.13GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache) versus an Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6600 (2.20GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)? Also, do I need to spring for a 2.53 GHz/1066Mhz or will something lower work good as well? Or should I look into a Quad Core that has slower clock speed per processor (1.6GHz)?

2. Should I spring for DDR3 versus DDR2 memory?

3. I've never been a big fan of Intel GMA. But, getting a dedicated video card shoots up the price by usually at least $100. She's not going to be installing Team Fortress 2 on her laptop anytime soon (no matter how much I wish upon a star) but she'll be using Photoshop, and I don't know if that'll run like crap with a GMA card. Can someone give me any feedback on that? I've been reading that PS cares more about RAM and processor speed than it does GPU, but I just wanted to verify. Also, gaming aside, is the overall experience and speed of the system positively affected in a noticeable way by a dedicated card?


I'm looking to keep the price around $1,000. Also, don't suggest an Apple computer because that isn't an option.
 

mike123abc

Too many cables
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4 Things in your case:

1. I would go with the core 2 vs the quad. On a laptop probably less multi tasking.

2. Lots of memory, DDR2/3 makes much less of an impact over having more ram to start with

3. Graphics processor is better, they put hardware accelleration into Photoshop

4. If you can afford it, an aftermarket SSD. You can pick up an Intel 80GB G2 SSD for around $230 if it is big enough for your case. If you cannot fit on it, well it is a lot more for the next size up unfortunately.
 

yourbeliefs

Thread Starter
Something Profound
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Sep 20, 2007
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4 Things in your case:



3. Graphics processor is better, they put hardware accelleration into Photoshop

.
I read that was true only in the newer versions. We'll be using CS2 (assuming I can get it to install on Windows 7 64-bit.)
 

yourbeliefs

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Something Profound
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I ended up splurging a little bit and got her a Dell XPS. The way it's configured I really can't imagine that this won't be enough to handle what she needs. Hell, I may start using this thing as well, as it's probably comparable to the power of my desktop. Specs:

1 Intel® Core? 2 Duo P8700 (3MB cache/2.53GHz/1066Mhz FSB)
1 Obsidian Black with Leather Accent
1 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1067MHz (2 Dimms)
1 Edge-to-Edge HD+ Widescreen 15.6 inch WLED LCD (1600x900) W/2.0 MP
1 ATI Mobility RADEON® HD 3670 - 512MB
1 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
1 Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
1 Integrated Gigabit (10/100/1000) Network Card
1 Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9, Multiple Languages
1 8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
1 High Definition Audio 2.0
1 Dell Wireless 1520 802.11n Half Mini-Card
1 Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 - Word, Excel + PowerPoint
1 McAfee SecurityCenter, 15-Months
1 6-cell Battery
1 2 Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis - Important Information
1 1Yr LoJack for Laptops Theft Protection
1 15.6 HD+ WLED Display in Obsidian Black with Leather and 2.0 MP Webcam
1 Intel® Core? 2 Duo Processor
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
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Sep 29, 2003
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Sounds good. I would bet that with that machine, she should be good for 7-8 years.

My current laptop is at end of life. Bought it in 2003, but bought the best I could find. Got nearly 7 years out of it, so I consider it a bargain.
 

BuddyBoy

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Apr 13, 2006
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CS4 was the first version of Photoshop to utilize OpenGL GPU acceleration. If you're running a version older than that, it's not going to utilize any of the 3D acceleration on your video card.
 

Ilya

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Consider extending the warranty to at least 3 years.
 

SatelliteGAL

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I have been pricing and watching the XPS 16 for myself. It's a beautiful machine. I want the red one :) Right now I can get the core i7 for almost the same price as the core 2 duo. I have one in a saved shopping cart but just haven't been able to push the button.
 

Frank Jr.

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I have been pricing and watching the XPS 16 for myself. It's a beautiful machine. I want the red one :) Right now I can get the core i7 for almost the same price as the core 2 duo. I have one in a saved shopping cart but just haven't been able to push the button.
I like the color red also. I do not like the ability to customize it. My wallet gets smaller and smaller. It seems to be a great laptop anyway you get it.....
 

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