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Old 07-28-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
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Computer Hardware Question

Soliciting advice on computer hardware again from the trusty Warpath community.

I recently set up a wireless N network in my house. My desktop in the basement connects to this network through it's wireless-N adapter.

I'm now looking for a laptop to add to the equation. I just want the laptop to successfully and smoothly do the following:

- Surf internet
- Email
- Stream video from sites like YouTube
- Pull up files, such as home videos of my kids which are housed on the desktop in the basement, and watch them on the laptop

As you can see I'm not asking it to do much. I don't need it to hold large files. It will not hold my music or video libraries, so it doesn't need much hard drive. Seems like one of those Mini Net Books would be perfect for my needs, except for the fact that I'm unwilling to have smaller than a 13 inch display. And I want something with an N adapter to take advantage of my existing N network.

So I've been looking at 13-15 inch laptops and trying to decide what hardware I need. I have the following questions:

Will a celeron processor be adequate to perform the above tasks?

Will 2GB of RAM be adequate?

Will Vista give me a headache because of the Celeron processor - or is Vista just a pain regardless of your processor speed?

Any other things I should be concerned with?

Thanks fellas.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:22 PM   #2
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
Soliciting advice on computer hardware again from the trusty Warpath community.

I recently set up a wireless N network in my house. My desktop in the basement connects to this network through it's wireless-N adapter.

I'm now looking for a laptop to add to the equation. I just want the laptop to successfully and smoothly do the following:

- Surf internet
- Email
- Stream video from sites like YouTube
- Pull up files, such as home videos of my kids which are housed on the desktop in the basement, and watch them on the laptop

As you can see I'm not asking it to do much. I don't need it to hold large files. It will not hold my music or video libraries, so it doesn't need much hard drive. Seems like one of those Mini Net Books would be perfect for my needs, except for the fact that I'm unwilling to have smaller than a 13 inch display. And I want something with an N adapter to take advantage of my existing N network.

So I've been looking at 13-15 inch laptops and trying to decide what hardware I need. I have the following questions:

Will a celeron processor be adequate to perform the above tasks?
Depends on the speed and OS, but if you're trying to save $, take a look at AMD procs.

Will 2GB of RAM be adequate?

For Vista? Nay, sir. But again, save coin by buying a laptop with minimal ram and upgrade on your own from Tigerdirect, Newegg, etc.

Will Vista give me a headache because of the Celeron processor - or is Vista just a pain regardless of your processor speed?

I run a quad core AMD proc at home with 8 gb's of ram. Never had an issue. Again, it depends on the specific hardware.

Any other things I should be concerned with?

Keep in mind that Windows 7 is just around the corner and from everything i've heard, it does a much better job of utilizing resources than Vista. Hell, they said it runs on an Atom processor, so you should be fine with the Celeron for the applications you mentioned.

Thanks fellas.
bolded responses above.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:06 PM   #3
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
Soliciting advice on computer hardware again from the trusty Warpath community.

I recently set up a wireless N network in my house. My desktop in the basement connects to this network through it's wireless-N adapter.

I'm now looking for a laptop to add to the equation. I just want the laptop to successfully and smoothly do the following:

- Surf internet
- Email
- Stream video from sites like YouTube
- Pull up files, such as home videos of my kids which are housed on the desktop in the basement, and watch them on the laptop
You'll be hard pressed to find a laptop nowadays that won't meet those requirements. What formats and resolutions are you shooting video on? If you're shooting in say 1080p from an HD camcorder you'll need something beefier. If it's like 480 pretty much anything will do that.

Quote:
As you can see I'm not asking it to do much. I don't need it to hold large files. It will not hold my music or video libraries, so it doesn't need much hard drive. Seems like one of those Mini Net Books would be perfect for my needs, except for the fact that I'm unwilling to have smaller than a 13 inch display. And I want something with an N adapter to take advantage of my existing N network.
I'd hold off of the netbook as most of the good ones are 300-500 bucks and you can get a solid 14 or 15 inch for that price. Plus typing on those things is a bitch.

Quote:
So I've been looking at 13-15 inch laptops and trying to decide what hardware I need. I have the following questions:

Will a celeron processor be adequate to perform the above tasks?
Yes, the newer celerons should be fine. How much are you looking to spend? It's not too much to get a better processor model.

Quote:
Will 2GB of RAM be adequate?
Yes. If it's expandable cool

Quote:
Will Vista give me a headache because of the Celeron processor - or is Vista just a pain regardless of your processor speed?
Vista after SP1 was pretty much fine. I hate how some of the settings are placed but as far as actual function, no big deal. A lot of desktop manufacturers are allowing a free copy of Windows 7 when it comes out, maybe they're doing the same for laptops, not sure. I have a Windows 7 build I've been playing around with and it's great. I was also able to run it on an athlon xp 2900+ with 1.25gb ddr RAM without real issue

Quote:

Any other things I should be concerned with?

Thanks fellas.
Nope, but what's your budget?
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

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Originally Posted by BleedBurgundy View Post
bolded responses above.
Curious as to why you think that 2GB isn't enough for Vista

but yeah, the amd x2 dual cores are cheap and solid
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:27 PM   #5
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryfuhl View Post
You'll be hard pressed to find a laptop nowadays that won't meet those requirements. What formats and resolutions are you shooting video on? If you're shooting in say 1080p from an HD camcorder you'll need something beefier. If it's like 480 pretty much anything will do that.



I'd hold off of the netbook as most of the good ones are 300-500 bucks and you can get a solid 14 or 15 inch for that price. Plus typing on those things is a bitch.



Yes, the newer celerons should be fine. How much are you looking to spend? It's not too much to get a better processor model.


Yes. If it's expandable cool



Vista after SP1 was pretty much fine. I hate how some of the settings are placed but as far as actual function, no big deal. A lot of desktop manufacturers are allowing a free copy of Windows 7 when it comes out, maybe they're doing the same for laptops, not sure. I have a Windows 7 build I've been playing around with and it's great. I was also able to run it on an athlon xp 2900+ with 1.25gb ddr RAM without real issue



Nope, but what's your budget?
Budget is in the $400-500 range. Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:28 AM   #6
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryfuhl View Post
Curious as to why you think that 2GB isn't enough for Vista

but yeah, the amd x2 dual cores are cheap and solid
Because it's a a resource hog and once he gets on adding his security suite of choice, he'll be feeling the difference, especially with RTS enabled. It WILL run, but it's going to be a drop off if he's used to running XP with the same amount of memory.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:38 AM   #7
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

I have a MSI Wind 10 inch netbook, and it pretty much does what you are looking to do. And while it takes some adjusting, typing on it isn't too bad. Mine has Wireless-N and bluetooth, and both work flawlessly. I wanted something I could throw in my bag and take everywhere with me, and the netbook is it. I don't do much more than surf the web and watch videos on it, and wouldn't recommend doing much more than that on it. However, there are plenty of 13-15 inch laptops in your price range that will allow you to do more...

Skip the Celeron. In your price range, there is no reason you can't get a Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent.

2GB of Ram will be adequate with Vista and what you are trying to do. I've been running Vista Business at work for almost 18 months, and it's been fine. I've noticed a lot of the newer laptops in your budget range are coming with 64 bit Operating Systems, so I'd make sure your laptop's Ram can be expanded.

I doubled the memory in my work desktop a few months ago (more Photoshop and Illustrator usage was hammering my system), but before then, I was able to do everything you are asking to do with 2GB and Vista.

Check out Dell's outlet. For my company, I've ordered several desktops and laptops from there and they've been great. Just be sure to uncheck the Scratch &Dent and Off-Lease boxes when searching their Outlet. The other nice thing about the Outlet (as opposed to buying new from Dell) is wait time. If you order new from Dell, they were about 3 weeks build time before shipping. Outlet will be in the mail to you the next day, since all they have to do is find your system, slap a UPS sticker on it and send it out the door.

Here are examples of what they have:
$499: Inspiron 1545 - 32 bit Vista Home Premium, Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 3 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, DVDRW, 6 Cell Battery, Wireless-N (System Identifier: ZRCT8W6R)

$569: Inspiron 1545 - 64 bit Vista Home Premium, Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, DVDRW, 6 Cell Battery, Wireless-G (System Identifier: Z2RG8FVR)

$609: Inspiron 1545 - 32 bit Vista Home Premium, Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, DVDRW, 9 Cell Battery, Wireless-N, Bluetooth (System Identifier: DDAK8W83)
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

Honestly, the Dell Minis are super cheap and we've been absolutely pleased with those where I work.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:59 AM   #9
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

I just got a Dell mini 12 not too long ago. I'm pretty happy with it. It's more than capable for basic stuff like internet and email.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:49 PM   #10
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

Matty, you have an iPhone, what the hell do you need a netbook for?
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:25 PM   #11
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

A guy needs his toys
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:31 PM   #12
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

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A guy needs his toys
I totally agree (as I make this post with my iPhone while watching baseball in HD).
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:28 PM   #13
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Re: Computer Hardware Question

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I totally agree (as I make this post with my iPhone while watching baseball in HD).
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