• Scariest Story Contest

    Now that it's getting close to Halloween, we're running a contest to hear your scariest stories! These can be scary stories that you've experienced or stories that you've heard and the story with the most reactions will win!

    JOIN CONTEST

Technology Have to spend $4000 on a laptop/advice

gstrub

Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2002
750
8
  1. Resident [Any Field]
    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
     
    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
     

    gstrub

    Member
    15+ Year Member
    Dec 6, 2002
    750
    8
    1. Resident [Any Field]
      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.
       
      About the Ads
      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.
       

      gstrub

      Member
      15+ Year Member
      Dec 6, 2002
      750
      8
      1. Resident [Any Field]
        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

        life is good
        Volunteer Staff
        Verified Expert
        15+ Year Member
        Gold Member
        Jun 6, 2002
        13,128
        2,833
        Atlanta
        1. Attending Physician
          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.
           

          Sanad

          Full Member
          10+ Year Member
          7+ Year Member
          Sep 16, 2006
          41
          2
          1. Medical Student
            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

            PGY1 Retractor
            10+ Year Member
            7+ Year Member
            Aug 11, 2004
            141
            0
            1. Resident [Any Field]
              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

              Full Member
              10+ Year Member
              7+ Year Member
              Mar 8, 2008
              337
              1
                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
                 

                gstrub

                Member
                15+ Year Member
                Dec 6, 2002
                750
                8
                1. Resident [Any Field]
                  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

                  nom nom nom
                  Removed
                  10+ Year Member
                  Apr 2, 2006
                  15,650
                  30
                  the island of Doctor Moreau
                  1. Resident [Any Field]
                    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?
                     

                    EMH

                    Hospitalist/Nocturnist Hologram
                    15+ Year Member
                    Aug 16, 2005
                    766
                    5
                    43
                    Arkansas
                    1. Attending Physician
                      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.
                       
                      About the Ads
                      This thread is more than 13 years old.

                      Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                      1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                      2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                      3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                      4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                      5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                      6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                      7. This thread is locked.