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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #31  
Old 20th July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

Ian, that is ONE VERY TASTY SPEC for how much well rare - I know kit prices are coming down pro rata, BUT THATs a great buy !
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  #32  
Old 20th July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

That's a really good spec for a price you can't refuse. As I said, as long as you've got the slots to serve it, memory upgrades are cheap.
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  #33  
Old 20th July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

Been reading that Inspiron 15Rs with Core i7 CPUs and nVidia GT 525M GPUs can get a little hot. Well no change there, then - my current laptop runs very hot even though I run an under-volting utility for the CPU!

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  #34  
Old 21st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

Cool! I saved 240 on this Amazon deal:

Amazon Amazon




And that deal reckons the full price should have been 900 - so that's less than half price for my refurb. Just goes to show you can make big savings with a little bit of research.

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  #35  
Old 21st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

I've had two dell refurbs (desktops) both been great buys.
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  #36  
Old 31st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

It took a frustrating 11 days to get here but I now have a spotless refurb Dell Inspiron 15R N5110 laptop with 15.6" 1366x768 screen, Core i7 2670qm (quad core Sandy Bridge 6MB cache 2.2-3.1GHz), 750GB WD Scorpio Blue 5400RPM HD, nVidia GeForce GT 525M discrete graphics with 1GB DDR3 dedicated VRAM. It came with 2GB DRAM but I had 8GB waiting to replace that (29) and the total price including RAM upgrade and a spare 2GB DRAM was 458 delivered.

Wow is it fast - lag is virtually a thing of the past with Lightroom 4.1 and I haven't even started to mod it yet (main HDD being repalced with an SSD and am replacing the DVD drive with a 7200RPM Seagate Momentus hybrid (semi-SSD) HHD. Lots of people have had success over-clocking the graphics as well.

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  #37  
Old 31st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
It took a frustrating 11 days to get here but I now have a spotless refurb Dell Inspiron 15R N5110 laptop with 15.6" 1366x768 screen, Core i7 2670qm (quad core Sandy Bridge 6MB cache 2.2-3.1GHz), 750GB WD Scorpio Blue 5400RPM HD, nVidia GeForce GT 525M discrete graphics with 1GB DDR3 dedicated VRAM. It came with 2GB DRAM but I had 8GB waiting to replace that (29) and the total price including RAM upgrade and a spare 2GB DRAM was 458 delivered.

Wow is it fast - lag is virtually a thing of the past with Lightroom 4.1 and I haven't even started to mod it yet (main HDD being repalced with an SSD and am replacing the DVD drive with a 7200RPM Seagate Momentus hybrid (semi-SSD) HHD. Lots of people have had success over-clocking the graphics as well.

Ian
I wouldn't recommend overclocking the graphics, there is no need unless you're an ultimate pc gamer! ;p
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  #38  
Old 31st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

Fascinated by two things in particular. One, the fact that you can replace the DVD drive with a HDD, and second I'm interested in the hybrid drive itself. I've heard of them but, not knowing exactly how they work (is it by having effectively a larger cache?), not aware of how great the benefits can be.
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  #39  
Old 31st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

I love using an SSD, It's great and amazing.

For those who don't know what an SSD is:

Basically it's alot faster then HDD's and the power up time for windows is alot faster.

Basicaly it's faster to read and write files!

I installed a 60gb SSD just for windows and keep my programmes on my other HDD.
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  #40  
Old 31st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

I like the idea of the hybrid drives, provided they work as well in practice.
I'll get one next year when they're tried and tested and ... cheapish.
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  #41  
Old 31st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

The 750GB Seagate Momentus is a latest-generation drive and the fast flash memory cache is doubled in size (8GB I think). The flash memory stores files that are frequently accessed, accelerating performance because the cached files can be read several times faster than if they were stored on the hard disk itself. The system needs to 'learn' which files are used the most so performance improves with use. It definitely improves performance noticeably if there are very frequently stored files on the drive that can be cached. However, this may not be the case with all users and even 8GB may be too small for optimal caching.

For those that don't know what an SSD is, the term stands for Solid State Disk. It's basically a large and very fast flash memory drive (the same kind of memory as used in memory cards and USB sticks). Data can be written and read very fast and with hardly any latency (delay) compared to an conventional hard drive. It's ideal for storing the operating system on because the OS contains many files that are read frequently. SSDs don't suffer performance loss through file fragmentation. Their main disadvantages are cost (which is reducing, but a 256GB SSD drive still costs several times that of a conventional 500GB hard disk, size; 256GB is almost the highest capacity you can currently buy, and there are some concerns that SSD drives will wear out because flash memory cells do eventually fail after many thousands of repeated operations. The wear concern does seem to have been addressed by a process called wear-levelling that prevents physical areas of the memory map enduring concentrated activity by moving files to less used areas of the map. In normal use SSDs should last several years and usually longer than the host computer's expected life.

SSDs start at around 32GB and a good size to get is around 128GB. This is more than enough for, say, Windows 7 and all your programs plus a reasonable amount of data. The laptop I am replacing has a 120GB SSD and I just need to keep an eye on large unwanted files cluttering up as there is no second drive.

The Dell Inspiron 15R I have bought is physically larger than my old 12 inch screen laptop and some large laptops have dual hard drive bays, but in my case I am swapping out the DVD optical drive for a second HDD caddy. They cost around 20 and completely replace the optical drive.

You can also get caching SSDs which supplement a conventional hard disk. These are more common on desktop systems.

Ian
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  #42  
Old 31st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by KyleSmith View Post
I wouldn't recommend overclocking the graphics, there is no need unless you're an ultimate pc gamer! ;p
The main reason I need GPU performance is to hardware accelerate Adobe Mercury Engine Playback for Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 (video editing). But to be honest although it's apparently quite easy to overclock the GeForce 525M to GT 540M specification, the performance gain is only around 10%. I might actually be more interested in undervolting the GPU to reduce heat at the same performance level as I read that my model of Inspiron 15R is susceptible to over heating in extreme load circumstances. Premiere Pro CS6 might be an example of extreme load!

Ian
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  #43  
Old 31st July 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

English please ?

Only joking, I dabbled with overclocking a while ago and found i t not worth the hassle, benefits in the real world were not worth the heartache.
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  #44  
Old 1st August 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

I undervolt the CPU in my out-going laptop because it runs so hot. The temperature can hit 80C plus under heavy load. Using RMClock software to undervolt the CPU it rarely exceeds 70C and in normal use is more like 50C - although that's still hot by CPU standards.

There is information on how to undervolt and overclock the nVidia GeForce GT 525M GPU in my new laptop. This can make the 525M perform like a 540M and not increase heat. Or simply you can reduce heat without gaining a performance advantage. Both possibilities could prove useful.

Ian
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  #45  
Old 2nd August 2012
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Re: Speccing a laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
The main reason I need GPU performance is to hardware accelerate Adobe Mercury Engine Playback for Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 (video editing). But to be honest although it's apparently quite easy to overclock the GeForce 525M to GT 540M specification, the performance gain is only around 10%. I might actually be more interested in undervolting the GPU to reduce heat at the same performance level as I read that my model of Inspiron 15R is susceptible to over heating in extreme load circumstances. Premiere Pro CS6 might be an example of extreme load!

Ian
If I was you I would see how just normal clocking goes for adobe premier performance, If you're not happy then you may want to think about OCing.
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