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  1. #1
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    The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    Processor Choice

    1. Pentium M

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipset...doc.aspx?i=2129

    Overview:
    This processor runs at low wattage - 21W to be exact - to provide amazing battery life. Notebooks with this processor usually have weak batteries, yet have amazing battery life, running from 3 to 5 or even 8 hours. These notebooks also tend to be lighter, since the Pentium M can be easily cooled. Processor speeds range from 1.5ghz to 2.16ghz. The Pentium M can only use DDR333.

    Performance: High
    The Dothan core is roughly equivelent to the AMD64 in performance. Therefore, a 2.0ghz Pentium M is roughly equal to a 2.0ghz AMD64 Mobile.

    Note: Performance ratings are for the top processor of the class (755).

    Business Applications: High
    Multimedia Encoding: Mid-Low
    Gaming: High
    Workstation: Medium

    Supports: MMX, SSE, SSE2


    Tweak Support:
    unknown - PM me or post here for multi adjustment/fsb adjustment software.



    Pros:
    1. Low power
    2. Low heat output - lighter notebooks!
    3. Powerful (if choose the 755)

    Cons:
    1. Expensive
    2. 1.5ghz-1.8ghz chips offer lower performance
    3. No 64bit support
    4. Low memory bandwidth

    Overall Mobile Performance rating: 9.5


    2. AMD 64 Mobile

    This is just a lower voltage version of the AMD64 socket 754 with a 1MB cache. There is the DTR (71W) version the Mobile (62W) version, and the True Mobile (35W) version. The Mobile is just a DTR set at 1.4v, which is a setting all DTR models can run. Therefore, choose a DTR whenever possible, as you can tweak it to run at 1.4v (or less!) with programs.

    Performance:

    Note: Performance of a 3000+ 2.0ghz desktop compared to the 2.0ghz Dothan and 3.2ghz Pentium 4

    Business Applications: Mid-High
    Multimedia Encoding: High
    Gaming Performance: High
    Workstation Performance: Mid-High

    Supports: MMX, SSE, SSE2. Next gen will support SSE3.

    Tweak Support:

    See my guide. There are so many tweaks for this, I wrote a guide specially for it!

    Pros:
    1. Cheap - a $200 AMD64 is roughly as powerful as the $500 755.
    2. Immensely tweakable, thanks to PowerNow! and 3rd party tweak programs.
    3. 64 bit support
    4. Hardware antivirus support (I doubt its usefulness)

    Cons:
    1. Higher heat output
    2. Higher power intake

    Overall Mobile Performance Rating: 9

    3. Celeron M/AMD XP M/Sempron

    Both chips use low volts 25W to 45W, depending on model. AMP XP is more powerful, but uses a bit more power. These are the lowest model processors you should get. The Sempron is basically the same thing as an AMD XP.

    3. Others

    Try not to fall for the EVIL PENTIUM 4 TRAP! Especially now, since the Prescott is a battery-draining, lap-scorching 110W monster.

    I will however, reap criticism on the lesser laptop processors.

    Pentium 4 M
    High Heat - If you value your lap, don't buy this!
    High Power intake - Bye bye batteries!

    Pentium 4
    See above Pentium 4 M, then multiply the suckiness by 2!

    Pentium 4 Extreme Edition
    If you get this for your laptop, you deserve to be butt-raped by Goatse man.


    Celeron
    1. It's a crappy Pentium 4! WOW!

    AMD Sempron
    Roughly same TDP and power intake as the AMD64 DTR, but much less powerful. nuff said.


    OK, now on to the Mobile VGA cards!

    nVidia 6800 go/ATI M28
    The mother of all mobile VGA cards! They all sport 12 pipes and 256bit memory. The M28 kicked some 6800 butt in Anandtech's latest review, but that's probably because it was a lower-clocked version (300/300). These are slightly less powerful 6800 nU/X800 Pro video cards. Remember that X800 Pro easily beats the 6800 nU.

    There is no information regarding heat/power, but I will assume that it's higher than others.

    Pros:
    1. Extremely powerful!
    2. Pci-Express format
    3. Upgradable modular design
    4. Possible multi-GPU support

    Cons:
    1. Expensive
    2. Higher thermal output
    3. Higher power intake


    Radeon 9800
    This is about equal to the performance of a Radeon 9800 desktop version. It is built from the X800 core, except it's limited to 8 pipes. It still have 256bit memory, fortunately. Unfortunately, it's only sold in Dell computers at the moment. This will soon change, due to the entrance of the 6800/M28. It uses the AGP format.

    Pros:
    1. Very good performance

    Cons:
    1. AGP interface
    2. Non-upgradable (since it's the best AGP card)
    3. Rare

    Radeon 9700/9600
    This is basically a Radeon 9600 Pro. The 9700 is simply a speed bump of the 9600. The only other improvement is the use of low-k tech, which means cooler GPUs. This has been on the market the longest out of all the 'high end' GPUs.

    Pros:
    1. Decent performance
    2. Common to find

    Cons:
    1. AGP interface
    2. Most likely non-upgradable
    3. Uncomparable to Desktop GPU performance (9600XT is now low end)

    Radeon X600
    This is the first PCI-Express GPU. It's basically a X800 core limited to 4 pipes and 128mb memory. The good thing is that it's most likely upgradable. The power of this processor is comparable to the Radeon 9700 Mobility.

    Pros:
    1. PCI-Express
    2. Upgradable
    3. "High end" performance

    Cons:
    1. Performance is high for a laptop, low for a desktop.

    nVidia 5700/5650 go
    This is the second-highest nVidia offering. It is no match for the Radeon 9700/9600, because it uses the old FX architecture, which even nVidia fanboys now admit is crap. High clock speeds, high power consumption and lower performance describes this GPU. There is a reason why the Radeon 9700 Pro is used in most gaming laptops... hinthinthint... However, nVidia remains the OpenGL leader, so if Doom3 is your #1 priority, then go for it!

    Anything that is not a GPU listed above is not good for playing the latest games on your laptop, unless you wish to run them at 800x600.




    Recommended Notebooks:

    1. Ultra-Highend DTR - Price: Unlimited
    This is for the user that doesn't want to move the computer from his desk, aside from lugging this thing to LANs.

    I recommend the Hypersonic Aviator EX7

    http://secure.hypersonic-pc.com/scr...sid=Aviator_zx5

    All DTRs with the 6800 go (M28 has not even been released yet!) use the Pentium 4. However, since this is the DTR category, we will overlook the fact that the laptop weighs 12lbs.

    Pros:
    1. nVidia 6800 go: nuff said
    2. 17" screen
    3. Hypersonic has a GREAT dead pixel policy
    4. Gigabit ethernet
    5. RAID 0 Hard drive

    Cons:
    1. 12lbs - I'll overlook this since it's a DTR
    2. Pentium 4 - Again, only P4 laptops carry the 6800 go... sigh...


    2. Midrange Gaming Notebook - Price: ~$1500-$2000
    This class is for the user who doesn't mind lugging 7-8lbs or so and wants top-notch gaming performance at a decent price.

    I recommend the Ibuypower Battalion 101 S Turbo

    http://www.ibuypower.com/ibp/store/...or.aspx?mid=123

    This is my notebook. Great price, for a great AMD64 notebook based off of the awesome Uniwill chassis. I like the Widescreen aspect too.

    Pros:
    1. AMD64 processor
    2. Radeon 9700 128mb
    3. 15.4" widescreen

    Cons:
    1. Some people don't like Ibuypower
    2. Weight: 7.8lbs
    3. 1280x800 resolution is distained by the SUUUUUUXGA freaks
    4. Radeon 9700 128mb - No Radeon 9800 or 6800/M28 computer in this class avail

    3. Lightweight Gaming Machine With Long Battery Life That's Cheap
    Some people want it all. Of course, that means you have to balance out the specs. If you focus on everything, you end up with a laptop that's mediocre with everything.

    I recommend the Acer TravelMate 3201XCi

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...-115-143&depa=3

    Fortunately, ACER specially designed a laptop for you guys who want it all. It's not the greatest performer (about equal to an AMD64 2600+), has decent - but not great game performance (Only 64mb VGA RAM), and has a pretty darn good weight of ~5lbs. Good thing it's upgradable.

    Pros:
    1. Above average battery life
    2. Newegg is a trustworthy store
    3. Acer is a trustworthy brand
    4. Above average VGA card
    5. Great weight

    Cons:
    1. Mediocre performance (1.5ghz Banias = 1.5ghz AMD64)
    2. 64mb VGA

    4. The Cheap-@$$ Miser's Notebook
    Ahh, the person who wants the cheapest notebook. No doubt it's crap, but hey, whatever floats your boat....

    I recommend the Acer Notebook TM2301LC

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...-115-153&depa=3

    Pros:
    1. It's cheap ($699)
    2. 15" LCD panel
    3. 6.2lb is pretty light

    Cons:
    1. Crappy Celeron M
    2. Crappy 30gb hd
    3. only 256mb RAM
    4. Integrated Intel Extreme(ly cr@ppy) VGA


    (c)2004 by Shadowmage
    All rights reserved
    Last edited by Shadowmage; 12-21-2004 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    waaah... no one likes my guide...

  3. #3
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    I disagree with the rating you put on the celeron M. Its actually a banias core with half the cache and now power saving mechanisms. The battery performance is not that great and its a bit hotter than the banias, but per ghz rating it is only about 100 mhz slower than the banias clock for clock.

    so a 1.5 ghz celeron M will be comparable to a 1.4 ghz pentium M banias.
    Just walk up to a girl and say "If you were x^2 I'd wanna be (1/3)x^3 cause I'd be the area under your curves." -salutethyshorts

  4. #4
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    I put Celeron M with AMD XP M, thx

  5. #5
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    I smell sticky! thread i mean


    My Games Updated 9/12/05

  6. #6
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    Nice info!

  7. #7
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidsoul
    Nice info!
    Just one suggestion: ultraportables? like... the sub 3 lbs laptops?
    I really should start posting again... and stop lurking...
    "Gaming"/Computer I use if lappy is not powerful enough:
    -1700+@10x219
    -Epox 8RDA+
    -Crucial Ballistix PC3200 (2.85vdimm 2.5-2-2-8)
    -Radeon 9600 Pro
    Laptop:
    IBM T40 (1.3 GHz P-M, 768 MB RAM, 40 GB 5400 RPM HD, CDRW/DVD)
    PDA: Sony Clie PEG-TG50

  8. #8
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    hmm.. i should call it thin & lights. Ultraportables are usually the super thin laptops without even CD drives.

    BTW, I'm adding some more info and links.

    EDIT:

    I've decided to put the extra info as completely different posts, mostly due to size.
    Last edited by Shadowmage; 12-21-2004 at 01:30 PM.

  9. #9
    Joined
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    3

    Cool Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    Nice info on elaborating the Pentium M. I'm going to get one of those, but none of the laptops come with any good graphics card. I want it to be a powerful laptop

  10. #10
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    if you are talking about thin and lights the Sony S360 - S270 are a very good one

    see sig it weighs in at 4.2lb
    Apple MackBook Pro Intel vers duel booted with Vista

    Windows desktop system in work.

  11. #11
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    Thanks for clearing up the difference between the Pentium M processors and the older power hungry desktop models... I was just about to ask what the difference was.

    What's this Centrino chip now? When I see a C I think of Celeron and stay away from it...

    It doesn't appear that way... How does that stack up with the M processors???

    The Geforce 6800 Go is now available on Pentium M processors btw. I'm looking at buying one soon....


    Q9300 with 4 GB DDR2 1066 RAM
    UltraSharp 2408WFP (needs to be RMA'ed) on GeForce GTX 285 on two 18 amp 12V lines
    Audigy X-Fi Fatal1ty w/ Logitech Z-5500 & Sennheiser HD 280 Pro and HD 595
    plus the usual stuff in a poorly designed Antec P180 PW case

  12. #12
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    ok,checking the web.@ IBuyPower how is the mobilty 256 ATI Radion X700 pci express 3d video.I may have to go to Miami for up to 2 months.I don't want to carry my tower and 100 pound monitor.So i've been looking at laptops.Wanted amd and 6800.,.,but can;t find one thats not almost 3000$..so i want to be able to play whatever game i want.So video is top of the list of,gotta have in a laptop.This video is listed as new on the web site.i am looking at the Battalion 101 G600.Any thoughts about this video?
    http://www.ibuypower.com/ibp/store/c...mid=144#header
    thanks for any amd all help.
    abit nf7s.2,512 simpletech. amd 2800+aqyha0351xpmw@180*12.5
    antec 430watt true power, syncMaster 906 bw lcd.XP sp1
    1 wd153ba@ 7,200rpm.1 wd 80 gig @7200rpm, nvidia Gforce 6800nu@128megs.Wdc wd 800jb sata.Liteon LH-20AL

  13. #13
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    That's a very interesting laptop. I'm actually thinking of upgrading to this

  14. #14
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    Not to forget that you can easily get 25% off on a 3k Dell...

    I'm looking into that in three months...

    Hopefully they'll be at XPS Gen 3!!!


    Q9300 with 4 GB DDR2 1066 RAM
    UltraSharp 2408WFP (needs to be RMA'ed) on GeForce GTX 285 on two 18 amp 12V lines
    Audigy X-Fi Fatal1ty w/ Logitech Z-5500 & Sennheiser HD 280 Pro and HD 595
    plus the usual stuff in a poorly designed Antec P180 PW case

  15. #15
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    Re: The "What Laptop Should I Buy?" Guide!

    Yeah this guide hasn't been updated in a looong time. Maybe I should get to work again

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