Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Hmm. New laptop questions.

So, my laptop has been showing signs of wear lately; reluctance in booting, sluggishness with big files, stubborn refusal to wake from sleep... General things you'd expect from a refurbished computer that I bought for $600 after shipping 'just to try' more than 6 years ago.

The past two days have gone from minorly annoying to outright gasping... The boot cycle gets stuck and it needs more and more restarts to function, to the point where I had to restart in safe mode to do a final backup of my files. I'm pretty sure these are the death throes of my trusted laptop.

The timing could be worse, I suppose. I did, at least, get the anthology files off to the printer. And I do have enough saved up to replace it right now.

So, great Internet hivemind! It has been Lo, these many years since I shopped for a laptop. I need something AutoCAD and Creativesuite3 capable. 15 inch screen is a minimum. My working budget is around a grand, with some flexibility. I am not interested in being converted to a Mac. I quite enjoyed having a tablet pc last time around.

What drops of wisdom have you got for me?


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
frankly I go to the library & check Consumer Reports before buying anything over $100-
May. 9th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
I hope you get good advice!
I need a new laptop too, though I don't want to spend as much.
May. 9th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
You have got everything backed up to an external hard drive or something, yes?
May. 9th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
Oh yes! I squawk over the hassles of reformatting and reinstalling all my programs, but my files are all safe.
May. 9th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
I thought you were that smart, but just wanted to check.... :)
May. 9th, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
Dell Outlet. We buy all our PCs there, and have yet to have any problems.

*knocks wood*
May. 9th, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
I got my laptop there three years ago and it's still going strong.
May. 9th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
I can't help. You said no Mac.

*crawls back to the corner where the Mac's are shiny*
May. 9th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
Re: :(
Macs are shiny! I'd still rather be using the computer than learning a new one, though.
May. 9th, 2011 05:38 am (UTC)
I have an Asus which hasn't been too bad, though they may be a little expensive (haven't priced them recently). I do painting, programming & gaming on it.

From what I've heard, Dell are pretty good also. Sony Vaio are expensive, and I've heard mixed reviews but mostly positive. Generally avoid Acer - cheap and nasty from everything I've read/ heard/ seen.
May. 9th, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
This is the machine I'm using, at the moment:


Far as I can tell it exceeds the system requirements for those two programs by a good bit, though I didn't see any mention of video cards. The integrated HD 4250 isn't fantastic, though it hasn't mattered for me in terms of playback or the like.

If you really can afford closer to a grand, there's this:


It seems like what you're doing would benefit from having a more solid GPU, and the GTM540M is about as good as you're likely to get in a laptop in that price range.

There's not a lot between the two price ranges really, as the former is about as good as you can get around $600 and the next step up is a GPU that runs a few hundred bucks on its own, so.. jump to $1k.

You could find something at Dell for around a grand with what you're looking for, but it won't match the specs of that Samsung, which for what it's worth is a quad core of the i7 line (so 8 cores, effectively) so will be better at multitasking if you want to run multiple things at once (especially processor intensive things). The Samsung also comes with 4GB ran installed, but can be expanded to 8 if you ever feel like it's not up to pace. It's only got 2 slots though, so it's probably got 2x2GB in there atm and you'd need to get 2x4gb to max it out, and 4gb sticks of ram are on the expensive side.

Anyway, rambling. Either is a decent machine, but if the extra $300 isn't going to break your bank and this is a machine you're going to use a lot, I'd go with the Samsung.
May. 9th, 2011 06:03 am (UTC)
If you're up for opening it up, it might be worth trying to reseat the disk, or replacing just the disk, if the machine is otherwise buff enough for your purposes.
May. 9th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
Huh. If it's booting fine up until Windows and that's where it sticks (which is why I'm guessing as you said you could boot into Safe Mode), it sounds like that install is borked, but not necessarily the hardware. Have you ever reinstalled Windows on that machine?
May. 9th, 2011 11:26 am (UTC)
I like Dell too. You can get exactly what you want, or you can try to find their "seconds" web site where they have good deals on what other people wanted but didn't buy.


But trying to fix the existing computer would be more fun (for me)! Have you tried defragmenting your hard drive? Run msconfig from the DOS prompt (Run... option in my Windows menu) and told junk software to stop wasting your time? Scanned for viruses? A full reinstall would probably help, but is more work than (I think) a six year old computer is worth. If it's a desktop I'd try Kelkyag's suggestion of opening it up and at least blowing out the dust, but if it's a laptop I would not.
May. 9th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
In my experience it's easier (and sometimes no more time consuming) to do a full reinstall than to do a cleanup of a failing install. Maybe doing this sort of thing as a job soured me on any fun aspect of it. :)
May. 9th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
I last reinstalled Windows in October. I can't decide if it's worth reformatting this one, knowing how old and comparatively out-of-date it is now, or if the lure of shiny-shiny-new is going to win...
May. 10th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
That's not long at all -- I've usually only noticed really bad problems like you've mentioned on installs years old, not months! That bad update you mentioned would do it, though. What a bummer. :(
May. 9th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
I generally like Dells. They're usually good machines, but you sometimes do end up paying extra for the "name". Toshibas aren't bad either, and that's probably the way I'd go if the tablet part is important.

As for specs, make sure you get something that exceeds the specs for those programs by at least a little (especially since you'll want the new versions when they come out), and definitely get a dedicated graphics card. Neither of these should be hard to find, but the dedicated graphics card will up the price.

Just to make sure I wasn't saying things that would be impossible to find, I priced out a 15" Dell XPS with a Core i5 (2.5Ghz) and GeForce GT 540M for just under $1k.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

August 2019


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Keri Maijala