gstrub

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Yes life is tough, if I don't spend my NIH institutional allowance it will go back to the government...we can't have that can we?

I need some advice from experienced people here. I am not considering a Mac. Due to Dell's user friendly configuration website, I put this system together, and have some questions at the end.

XPS M1530, Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T9500 (2.6GHz/800Mhz FSB, 6MB Cache)

Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate Edition

4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (2 Dimms)

Full Hi Definition, glossy widescreen 15.4 inch LCD (1920x1200) & 2.0 M

256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT

Speed: 250GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive Free Fall Sensor

Slot Load Blu -ray Disc (BD/DVD/CD read/write)

ExpressCard Sound Blaster X-Fi® Xtreme Audio Sound Card

Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-card


So my question is, are there major issues with Dell laptops that would direct me to another company? Also, there is a 64G solid state drive option, but it is like $500 for 1/4 of the space. What's the deal there?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
G
 

187502

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Here's what I came up with for $4005:

COLOR - Tuxedo Black
PROCESSOR - Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T8300 (2.4GHz/800Mhz FSB, 3MB Cache)
OPERATING SYSTEM - Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate EditionLCD AND CAMERA - Full Hi Definition, glossy widescreen 15.4 inch LCD (1920x1200) & 2.0 M
MEMORY - 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (2 Dimms)
HARD DRIVE - Speed: 250GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive Free Fall Sensor
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE - Slot Load Blu -ray Disc (BD/DVD/CD read/write)
VIDEO CARD - 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT
WIRELESS CARDS - Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-card
BLUETOOTH AND WIRELESS USB - Built-in Wireless USB capability plus Belkin 4-port hub
BLUETOOTH AND WIRELESS USB - Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth Internal (2.0+Enhanced Data Rate)
BATTERY OPTIONS - 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
SOUND OPTIONS - Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy HD Software Edition
PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE - Microsoft® Office Professional 2007 - Small Business + Access database
GAMING ACCESSORIES - Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller - PC
GAMING ACCESSORIES - Logitech 5.1 Channel G51 Surround Sound PC Multimedia Speaker System
GAMING ACCESSORIES - Steelseries 5H v2 USB Gaming Headset with Pull-out Microphone
COLOR COORDINATED BAGS - Timbuk2 Black 15.4" Laptop Messenger Bag
NETWORKING & ACCESSORIES - Linksys WRT600N Wireless N Simultaneous Dual-band Gigabit Router
TV TUNERS - AVerTV Hybrid NanoExpress ATSC TV Tuner w/ Perf. Gyroscopic Remote Control
POWER OPTIONS - 90 Watt Spare AC Adaptor with 3FT Power Cord
WARRANTY AND SERVICE - 4Yr In-Home Service, Parts Labor- Next Day
ACCIDENT AND THEFT PROTECTION - Accidental Damage
ENVIRONMENTAL OPTIONS - Recycling Kit and Plant a Tree for Me
 
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gstrub

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With the $599 instant savings the config I listed was ~$3900. I didn't list some of the other otions I am getting (router, HDMI-DVI converter, BlueTooth HUB, etc) My question is:

Is the SSD worth it? I read about SSD on Wiki and it sounds cool as hell, I'm just concerned 64G will be a little small.

Also with Dell in general...it looks like to get the top specs (2.6ghz, 4G RAM) Dell will be doable for under 4K.
 

BlazerMed

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SSD is great. You never have to worry about breaking moving parts since it's essentially just a bunch of RAM chips. It's just a matter of whether the tradeoff of limited capacity is worth not worrying about breaking the harddrive.
 

187502

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With the $599 instant savings the config I listed was ~$3900. I didn't list some of the other otions I am getting (router, HDMI-DVI converter, BlueTooth HUB, etc) My question is:

Is the SSD worth it? I read about SSD on Wiki and it sounds cool as hell, I'm just concerned 64G will be a little small.

Also with Dell in general...it looks like to get the top specs (2.6ghz, 4G RAM) Dell will be doable for under 4K.
As far as the 2.6 Ghz, it's not worth it. You won't really see any difference over 2 to 2.2 Ghz dual core due to the bottleneck from the HDD. Concerning the SSD, it's also a waste, and might actually cost your some performance. All the stats I have read for current mid-range SSD's is poor. The only reason to get an SSD would be to lighten the system, but the difference wouldn't really be that significant.

SSD is great. You never have to worry aboutbreaking moving parts since it's essentially just a bunch of RAM chips.It's just a matter of whether the tradeoff of limited capacity is worthnot worrying about breaking the harddrive.
If you think SSD's are built off of RAM you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. SSD's are built off of flash technology, similar to what you find in SD cards, stick drivers, etc...

Drives built on RAM are typically called RAMDisks.
 
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gstrub

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I found this video on YouTube:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJMGAdpCLVg

It shows side by side comparisons of speed, temperature, shock, blah blah and the SSD blows the HDD away. The computer boots up twice as fast, opens programs faster, etc.

Keep in mind I have to spend this money. If I don't spring for the extra speed and SSD, where would that money be better spent?
 

southerndoc

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I found this video on YouTube:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJMGAdpCLVg

It shows side by side comparisons of speed, temperature, shock, blah blah and the SSD blows the HDD away. The computer boots up twice as fast, opens programs faster, etc.

Keep in mind I have to spend this money. If I don't spring for the extra speed and SSD, where would that money be better spent?
Although that video is accurate in its tests, it doesn't test write speed for one reason: SSD's are significantly slower than HDD's when it comes to write speeds. In fact, SSD's can take up to 5 times as long to write a file. If you're using something that is memory intensive and needs virtual memory, if you are trying to write video files, or if you are trying to write a large document, you will find that you'll have significantly longer times with the SSD than the traditional hard disk.
 

Mariah246

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Anyone have prior experience with the M1530? Looks like an intriguing system.
 

Sanad

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Looks like you want a system that'll game too! Why not go for alienware or gateway's FX series? 4000$ is a lotta money! You'll probably get an extreme edition processor for that price in your lappy!
 

XoQo

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I am not considering a Mac. /QUOTE]

I'm a PC/WinXP person myself (let the groans begin...) but the Macbook air looks damn nice and i've been drooling over it for months. You can use BootCamp and run Windows on Apple's hardware if you aren't a MacOS fan.


just a thought.


have fun spending your $$ and post what you end up getting :)
 

Mariah246

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heck for 4 grand might as well get a refurb macbook air and then spend the remainder on a windows laptop or desktop

wasteful to blow it all at once considering it'll be obsolete the minute you crack open the box
 
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gstrub

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I should clarify that this $ is not to go blowing on myself, per se. This notebook will be property of the university, and it will likely remain here after I graduate. That limits me to buying 1 notebook. It also would probably not be appropriate for me to purchase an Alienware gaming machine, as it would not only be conspicuous but also because we get a huge discount at Dell, meaning I can get more for the dollar. Also this money will not be wasted all at once, it HAS to be spent all at once, soon! After a certain time they take what money remains and re-fund my grant to the full $4200 again. So anything left before that I lose unless I spend it, and I will likely need the next $4200 for interviews, boards, etc.

I am going with the XPS1530 I think, maxed out, with the SSD, blueray burner, LED screen, etc. I will keep you posted on how it works out.
-G
 

xanthomondo

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Although that video is accurate in its tests, it doesn't test write speed for one reason: SSD's are significantly slower than HDD's when it comes to write speeds. In fact, SSD's can take up to 5 times as long to write a file. If you're using something that is memory intensive and needs virtual memory, if you are trying to write video files, or if you are trying to write a large document, you will find that you'll have significantly longer times with the SSD than the traditional hard disk.
I thought SSDs were proving to be unreliable so far?
 

acrunchyfrog

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What about trying a tablet pc out? The convertible tablets from Fujitsu are supposedly top o' the line, and are a pretty penny as well.
 

EMH

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If getting two (desktop and laptop) isn't an option then make sure to throw in a couple big LCD monitors and plenty of accessories. Pass out what you can't use and make some friends.

In my experience carrying a heavy laptop gets old. At this point I'm wanting to sell my 14" WS tablet and get one of these smaller laptops that are going to be cheap this summer.