Thread: SOLVED Speccing a laptop
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Old 16th July 2012
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Ian Ian is offline
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Speccing a laptop

I'm finally retiring my current laptop (well, my 14 year old daughter, Lara, who has coveted it for ages, well inherit it). It's over 4 years old and was for the time small and lightweight with above average performance and, unusually, a Wacom digitiser touch screen; the HP Pavilion tx2130ea (2GHz AMD Turion x64 TL-60 and nVidia GeForce Go 6150 graphics, 1280x800 12.1 inch screen).

I have steadily upgraded it from 2GB RAM to 4GB and a 250GB hard disk to a 120GB SSD. It came with 32-bit Vista and now it runs 64-bit Windows 7 Professional. I even have a USB3 port via the PCIe slot(and FireWire 800 via the same slot). Actually for routine things like email, Office and web browsing it is absolutely fine, but it struggles with processor and graphics-intensive tasks like HD video, video rendering (Adobe Premiere CS6), and Lightroom 4 is noticeably slower.

So! This is what I am aiming for:

Absolute must-haves:

nVidia dedicated graphics with 1GB DDR3 (DDR5 preferably) RAM and at least 96 CUDA cores.

2nd generation Intel Core i5 Sandy Bridge CPU (both these and and the graphics spec. boost Adobe Premiere CS6 Mercury Engine performance considerably. Aiming for a Passmark CPU benchmark of about 4000 compared to under 1000 for the old laptop's TL-60 processor.

8GB RAM minimumn upgrade capacity

At least 1 USB3 port

A decent quality display (smaller the better -13.3 inch ideal, 14.1 inch OK, 15.6 inch acceptable but not ideal). Not too bothered by resolution but 1366x768 is the minimum.

I don't want a heavy unit either.

So, do any of you have anything to recommend - budget is only about 600 inc.VAT. Will consider refurbs -am keeping an eye on Dell's Outlet site, for example It's a tough spec. for the price I know!

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Last edited by Ian; 20th July 2012 at 04:21 PM.
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