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Mollox

Budget Laptop

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Need a laptop for my folks...

Nothing too fancy, mainly email and internet and the tiniest bit of word processing. I'll use it when I'm there so it can't be utter pants. I'm thinking a budget of £500 and want it normal-sized rather than a netbook.

Some of the Acer models look alright...has anyone got any advice or suggestions? +++

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Nothing specific. But keep checking hotukdeals for, er, deals. +++

Asus X5DIJ Laptop, Intel Core 2 Duo T5870, 3GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 15.6 TFT, DVD-SM, GMA - HotUKDeals Forum

Asus X5DIJ Laptop, Intel Core 2 Duo T5870, 3GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 15.6 TFT, DVD-SM, GMA X4500M, WLAN, BGN, Webcam, Vista Home Premium *UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 7*

£379.50

Edited by Sponge

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I'm currently working on the missus' Acer and the keyboard is sh1te. I mean really sh1te - if I don't bang the keys hard ust look how many letters are missed.

Th uick brown fox jumped over he lazydogs back.

4 - in a small sentence. That could get (does get) annoying. It is a Travelmate 2450.

Tosh are one of my clients (yes we get discounts but you can find a better deal online!) and we use them exclusively and they are good bits of kit. I've got one for working from home which is 7 years old and still going strong.

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I've had a few Acers over the years, currently typing this on a 5920G HD laptop, they've all been great, never had any problems.

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Thanks for the tips chaps....

The Toshiba's look alright. However, is it me, or are people just trying to make computers and processors even more complicated just to confuse us? Am on the Toshiba site (looking at L500-19z and L450d-11v) and really struggling to work this out.

It even looks that the most expensive ones aren't necessarily the best/fastest, they just seem to have more things.

Struggling with ranking processors too - I'm guessing Intel core2 Duo is what we really want?

+++

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I'll ring a contact at Tosh Europe HQ to see what they would say about which one is the better option - or indeed which letter is the best (long have I berated their naming strategy).

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Thanks for the tips chaps....

The Toshiba's look alright. However, is it me, or are people just trying to make computers and processors even more complicated just to confuse us? Am on the Toshiba site (looking at L500-19z and L450d-11v) and really struggling to work this out.

It even looks that the most expensive ones aren't necessarily the best/fastest, they just seem to have more things.

Struggling with ranking processors too - I'm guessing Intel core2 Duo is what we really want?

+++

Tosh know how to confuse with the models. :confused:

But they are great bits of kit.

Stick to the Core 2 Duo stuff. If it says Celeron Duo - ignore it. And only buy it with Windows 7 already installed.

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Ok then,

So the "L" range is entry (of the Satellites) followed by A, P then U. The T range is some low powered light version or something.

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Hehe thanks - the thing is, its an "L" I want (its a budget laptop) its the million and one derivatives within the L (450 or 500 etc) and then 19z or 11v that's confusing me - pesky things!

Do you know if there's a ranking list online anywhere that just says "here's a hierarchy of processors" the ones at the top are better than the bottom ones?

Damn Intel/AMD naming conventions aren't helping either.

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White Macbook. Only 750 quid and it's less spec than all of those mentioned, but it's very shiney. What's not to love.

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For £500 I'd have a look at the Dell's but not the standard models on the XPS, they offer far better support / service than the standard models and pick the right one the build is better to boot.

Either that of get a Lenovo (Ex IBM) they are built to last and the specs and bang for you buck has got much better.

If you are just using it to surf, for me personally I'd not get a 15.4 I'd get a 13" screen. Smaller but still with a good resolution and you won't find your knee going numb after a while. +++

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why do you give a shite about the cpu mollox? noway you'll (or your folks) tell any difference when surfing etc as long as its all standard stuff. asus laptops are fine. dont both spending over 400.

dont get a netbook though.... you'll notice they're slower if you doing anything half intensive.

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By the way, re CPUs, am running a Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5ghz on this laptop and its not very impressive. Photoshop hangs lots and it certainly doesn't seem 10 years better than my trusty Pentium III 666 Mhz of Joy :grin:

Funny how they do that eh....

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Then your machine is f*cked.

Those processors are incredibly capable. People are still hung up on Ghz and that's not really how you measure performance anymore.

The Pentium was great design but the C2Ds make it look like a toy.

The future is parallelism and how to do it - processing multiple streams. It's hard than it sounds +++

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By the way, re CPUs, am running a Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5ghz on this laptop and its not very impressive. Photoshop hangs lots and it certainly doesn't seem 10 years better than my trusty Pentium III 666 Mhz of Joy :grin:

Funny how they do that eh....

You've probably got alsorts of power saving bollox on it. Remove all that and you should see a massive speed increase.

that power saving crap usually halves the processor speed!

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How do you remove all the power saving crap then?

Go to Power Settings in Control Panel and change that to Always On.

You might also need to disable LAN POWER SAVING in the BIOS and change the INTEL Speedstepping to disable (should run faster then)

+++

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By the way, this little ASUS (X5DIN) is brilliant. Easily feels like £1k of kit for just £400.

So much so that I'm tempted to buy one for home as a 'runabout' - this despite needing to buy a full-spec one as well soon.

At £400 I can't see how you can go wrong. Top marks.

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Right, I'm about to buy another one but they have the X5DIJ model instead of the X5DIN I'm typing on.

The only differnce I can see is that the DIJ has the Intel GMA 4500m GPU instead of the GeForce G102m GPU on this one.

Does anyone know if that's going to make any difference? Seems slightly inferior but I could be wrong.

Ta +++

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I think the GeForce is better, but not by much.

Notebookcheck: Comparison of Graphic Cards

NVIDIA GeForce G 102M

The Nvidia GeForce G 102M is an integrated (onboard) graphics card for laptops with dedicated graphics memory. Instead of GDDR memory, cheap DDR2 or DDR3 main memory modules can be used. Therefore, the performance lies beyond the Geforce G 105M. The core of the G102 M is based on the 9400M G core.

The performance of the G 102M should be slightly above the old 9400M G and compareable to other entry level GPUs like the GeForce 9300M GS. Therefore, the graphics adapater is able to display older games (like Doom3) in high details fluently and new (not too demanding games) in low details fluently.

The current consumption of the mGPU should be a bit higher than the 9400M because of the used descrete DDR2 or DDR3 memory (9400M has a 12 Watt TDP for the whole chipset.

The chipset supports Hybrid-SLI (HybridPower) in conjunction with some GeForce 9x00M cards like the 9600M GT. HybridPower is a technique to choose between the integrated and dedicated graphics core, if performance or battery runtime is needed. Up to now the user has to use a tool to switch between the GPUs. (in Windows Vista, XP is not supported and MacOs needs a reboot according to Nvidia - at time of announcement). GeForceBoost to boost the performance (using SLI) is not supported in the MacBook Pro.

As the 9500M G, the Geforce G102M features 16 stream processors that do the work of the former dedicated pixel- and vertex-shaders. The unified shaders of Nvidia are 1-dimensional (AMD has 5-dimensional shaders which leads to the higher number of shaders).

The 102M can help the CPU in decoding HD videos. It features the PureVideo HD engine (VP3 video processor). Furthermore, the chip can be programmed using CUDA and can accellerate some operations in Photoshop CS4.

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500M

The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M (GMA 4500M) (sometimes also called GMA X4500 M) is a DirectX 10 capable integrated shared memory graphic card for laptops. The mGPU is integrated in the Intel GM40 and GL40 chipsets and designed for cheap laptops.

Compared to the GMA 4500M HD, the 4500M features a slower core clock (400 MHz versus 533MHz) and is thus a bit slower in games.

The chip itself is capable of supporting the CPU to decode HD videos, but because of the slower clock rate, the 4500M has troubles decoding 1080p videos fluently and therefore has no full Blu-Ray logo support.

The gaming performance of the 4500M is not really good. Only less demanding 3D games and very old games may run fluently in low detail settings. Sims 3 and F.E.A.R. for example achieved 30 fps (with stutters) in low deatails and low resolustions (combined with a fast CPU). 2D applications, games and Windows Vista / Windows 7 Aero are supported without any performance problems.

Compared to other modern integrated chipsets like the GeForce 9400M or the Radeon HD 3200, the 4500M is clearly the slowest especially for 3D games. Still the power consumption of the chip is quite competitive, so it may be the right choice for office tasks.

Edited by Sponge

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