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BrianG
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09.29.2011, 08:42 PM

I still prefer a full custom built desktop at home as everything is a lot easier/cheaper to fix, and they can do anything with power to spare. Other times, I use my phone for internet/email/etc. I have a couple of older still perfectly usable laptops but they hardly get used unless I travel for vacation or something.

By the way, has anyone tried Ubuntu 11 yet? It's the first time I installed Linux on a new box and and old box where it found all the hardware perfectly. Usually, I have to fiddle with the command line to get stuff to work. And the UI seems quite usable too. I find myself working with it more and more unless I want to play games or something.
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hemiblas
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09.29.2011, 11:43 PM

I'm also curious on the fix for the old hp dv series laptops. I have one that works for about 5 minutes and then stops working. I think its a mb or video issue and something overheats on the mb.

I'm also agreed with the guys that say to buy a separate computer for an htpc. I always buy a cheapo laptop for around 400 or so and then put my money into my main pc.

You might want to check sites like techbargains.com. They will have coupon codes on a lot of the dell stuff posted regularly.
   
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TexasSP
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09.29.2011, 11:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by snellemin View Post
If you want a good desktop, AIO or laptop from HP, buy the commercial units. Take it from me, as I work there.
Damn straight, because their non consumer/home units suck!

The Nvidia 8600 (can't remember the rest of the model number) had major issues due to flawed components. They failed in every computer they were in including Mac's.

Little note, Mac's fail too. I have seen it several times. They also use the SAME components as PC's and have for quite a few years now. So if you buy an equivalent PC with like components hardware reliability will be equal. My other big issue with Mac is their non-compatibility with much of what I use. Funny thing is that every client I have using a Mac runs bootcamp with Win7. You know what OS they use most of the time?????? Win7.................. Mac's will always have limited market share due to their limitations they put on themselves.

J, I highly suggest checking out the Samsung offerings, they have everything you want, are priced competitively, have good warranties without a buy up, and are of very high quality. If you plan on storing Media I strongly suggest getting a high capacity external hard drive and storing it on there. Easiest thing is to tie it into your wireless router and access it over your network. If you want a movie or something to take with you on the go, copy it over.

I own XPS machines and I loved them, I am just not happy with what they have become in recent years. If you are buying a Dell, the XPS is the way to go though. Fortunately Dell's servers still seem to be top notch which is mostly what I install with a few HP's thrown in here and their.

In the end I deal with computers from ALL manufacturers day in and day out. I see what works and what doesn't. I only perform service and do not do retail so I am pretty unbiased as to what people buy and use from a sales standpoint. I simply recommend what works. I put everything in from high end brand new units to refurbished and off lease units. I see the good and bad and base my opinions on this. My customers like it because I give straight answers and don't feed them bull because I happen to have a contract with XYZ computer company.


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Last edited by TexasSP; 09.29.2011 at 11:55 PM.
   
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rawfuls
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09.30.2011, 11:41 AM

Oh boy, well to begin with, everything that TexasSP has said, is pretty much what I was going to say.

The Samsung Series 9's have been really awesome, we sell them quite frequently at work..

The HP's, such as the DV2/6/7/9 series are notorious for their GPU chip soldering jobs.
It's quite pathetic really.
Now that's it's school, I really only work once a week (Saturdays) but even then, I'm seeing at least 2-3 reflow or motherboard replacements just sitting on the shelves waiting to be picked up or waiting for parts.

Toshbia's aren't bad, however they're definitely not my cup of tea.
They feel way too cheap IMO, and we haven't worked on many due to hardware issues, but the amount of crapware they put on is absurd.

Dell XPS laptops are pretty nice really, they're customizable and all that jazz, their warranty is also fantastic.
They're usually pretty good, I'd much rather grab a refurbished laptop over a new laptop, if you can get an extended warranty.

IMO, if I were to get a PC, I kinda of want something nice and thin, like those Samsung Series 9, or the Thinkpads, which seem to take on anything and just keep going.

Overall, either way, whatever you get, I'd recommend wiping it right away, and reinstalling Windows.

This way you don't need to deal with all that crapware manufacturers put on, with all their trials and nonsese.

Just my 2 cents; good luck!
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TexasSP
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09.30.2011, 04:07 PM

I used to reload windows when I purchased new PC's, however now I just download and run CCleaner and remove it all.

The Dell warranty is nice though and next day on site repair is awesome. Another nice thing with the XPS line is you get XPS support which is US and Canada based.

I am with you on the Toshibas. They seem nice but have cheap outer components and buttons always seem to come off much like the Sony Vaio's.

Another one to check out is Prostar. They have a great reputations for high end customizable laptops. I have one client that has had one for 4 years with literally zero issues.

http://www.pro-star.com/


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Last edited by TexasSP; 09.30.2011 at 04:10 PM.
   
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JThiessen
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09.30.2011, 04:25 PM

I'm gonna go check out those Sammy's.

On another forum, someone recommended ASUS as a possibility. They have some unique features, but I'm not thrilled with the RAID array.

I'm also on the fence about what SSD would do for me. Cost isn't really an issue, but I am concerned that I'd kill the low memory with them. Are there aftermarket means of increasing or aleviating this. It seems that graphics are what I end up freezing my machines with most of the time.


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TexasSP
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09.30.2011, 04:44 PM

To me, the SSD's are too high priced to be worth it at this point. They are fast and almost impervious to damage though. Don't think you really need or would benefit from RAID with what you described. There are also hybrid drives which are faster than standard but much less costly than SSD.

Asus are okay, but to me they still need to prove themselves a little more. I have seen them have issues.

Make sure to get 6-8 gb of memory and a 1gb or better graphics card and you will be okay on that front. At least a core I5 or I7 and you will be rocking!


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rawfuls
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09.30.2011, 04:56 PM

I've seen some nice Asus one's out there, they're pretty nice, though I haven't really dealt with them too much.

As far as SSD goes, they're amazing, but for the price, I'd pass.
But if cost isn't an issue, then by all means go for it.
However, if somehow your SSD does become corrupt & crashes; retrieving the data is next to impossible; or so I've heard.

However, with TRIM support and all the goodies supported by OS's, you should be quite fine.
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hemiblas
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09.30.2011, 10:26 PM

The 120 gig SSD's have come down in price a bunch and at around $150 with 500mb/s they are super fast. Big problem is you still have a lot of them failing. I say give it some time, but they will get there eventually. I decided to go raid 0 with the 1tb samsung drives for my home pc and it smokes.
   
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snellemin
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10.01.2011, 01:13 PM

I've been using SSD drives for a while now and none have failed in my laptops, portable drives and desktops. But for desktops I still prefer a WD 10Krpm drives.


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nativepaul
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10.01.2011, 02:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JThiessen View Post
I use the pc for the normal bill paying/accounting, email, porn surfing, blah, de blah...
Get an IBM/Lenovo thinkpad without a doubt, they are as good a laptop as anyone's, but as far as I have seen are the only ones to have forward and back web navigation hotkeys above the cursor keys, it makes web surfing much easier 24/7 but especially so if you need easy one handed operation.

It grinds my gears, no one would buy a mouse without forward and back buttons these days, yet on laptops were expected to trudge all over the screen with the trackpad/rollerball/nipple or remember the 2 button combination hotkeys and use both hands which is a PITA. What REALLY grinds my gears is that some Mfg's laptops have a pair of blanked off caps above the cursor buttons where they could easily put forward and back buttons but chose not to for whatever reason, GRRRrrrr! Anyway god bless IBM for their quality of life improvements, I shall be sticking with you at least until the others catch on to the importance of ergonomics.

I dual boot with windows XP to run all my old software (its an old machine, but I have a desktop too so am not bothered about upgrading often) and Ubuntu which I primarily use for browsing (and Brian Ubuntu found and installed drivers for all my stuff automatically on both my and my dads laptop, installing was much easier than with windows) which is a good solution for getting the security of a Mac (and lower temps/longer battery life, Ubuntu asks a lot less from a PC to run than Win does) with the compatibility, design variety and price of a Windows PC.

If you do buy an IBM laptop and follow the tip above to reinstall windows to remove all the bloatware, i would recommend you back up and reinstall the IBM hard drive software as it senses a zero G freefall situation and parks the hard drive before it hits the ground avoiding any damage, my 2004 IBM T42 has fallen of the arm of my armchair onto the wooden floor in my lounge countless times without damage and I see that as a testament to the software.


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Last edited by nativepaul; 10.01.2011 at 02:40 PM.
   
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whitrzac
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10.02.2011, 02:04 AM

or... you could just install non oem drivers for the touchpad to enable multitouch...
   
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JThiessen
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10.02.2011, 02:11 PM

I don't use the touch pad at all - can't stand trying to move around with it. Wireless/bluetooth mouse all the way for me.

I think I have narrowed it down to the HP 3D 17", the XPS 17", or an ASUS. I've got a business discount at Dell (@16% off), a 30% off with HP, nothing for ASUS. I looked at the Sammy's, but they dont appear to have the specs that I want - thier website details are not geared towards "technical" shoppers.

HP has a dual drive available - so I could get both SSD and standard - I'd have to go back and configure it to get the specs.

Frustrated trying to find local places that carry high end laptops. One of the downfalls of the internet I guess. I'd pay a little more to be able to have one today instead of waiting 2 weeks for one to be built, but it appears that I dont have that option available to me.


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JERRY2KONE
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Laptops - 10.02.2011, 05:00 PM

We have 8 laptops in our family. Three of them are Macbook Pros. The only reason we have the Apples is because the school our kids go to require them. The one I am using right now is a Toshiba and it works great for $700. Intel I-5, 360gb Hdd. We have a 6 year old Dell that still works, and we use that one for visitor that stay with us on vacation. Otherwise we hate it. We also have two HP laptops and they seem to work just fine for the money. If I have learned one thing it is that you can make just about any laptop last a long time if you truly take care of it, and keep your anti-virus up to date. Its pretty easy today with automatic updates as long as you keep your software current.

Considering your first post about considering $1800 for a laptop I would just get yourself a decent Toshiba, Lanovo, or HP laptop for around $700, and then build yourself a pretty nice desktop to do all of your household PC stuff including the home theater setup. We have a ten year old Compaq desktop in the kids TV room for a media PC, and they stream all of the TV shows they want and listen to music anytime they feel the need. I have a home made desktop as our Command Center that controls all of our network needs and keeps an eye on everything the kids are up to computer wise. Trust me you don't need a $2000 laptop to be satisfied. deversify and this way you have a back up in case anything goes wrong. Use a portable HDD and do periodic backups and you will never run into a problem with a dead PC again. Hell you can get a terribite Passport that fits into your shirt pocket for under $100. If that is not big enough to store your backup data needs, then you need to be using a server.


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JThiessen
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10.02.2011, 06:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JERRY2KONE View Post
If I have learned one thing it is that you can make just about any laptop last a long time if you truly take care of it, and keep your anti-virus up to date. Its pretty easy today with automatic updates as long as you keep your software current.

Considering your first post about considering $1800 for a laptop I would just get yourself a decent Toshiba, Lanovo, or HP laptop for around $700, and then build yourself a pretty nice desktop to do all of your household PC stuff including the home theater setup. We have a ten year old Compaq desktop in the kids TV room for a media PC, and they stream all of the TV shows they want and listen to music anytime they feel the need. I have a home made desktop as our Command Center that controls all of our network needs and keeps an eye on everything the kids are up to computer wise. Trust me you don't need a $2000 laptop to be satisfied. deversify and this way you have a back up in case anything goes wrong. Use a portable HDD and do periodic backups and you will never run into a problem with a dead PC again. Hell you can get a terribite Passport that fits into your shirt pocket for under $100. If that is not big enough to store your backup data needs, then you need to be using a server.
I just remembered there is Fry's about 30 miles south of us. I'm going to run down there as soon as I come to grips with the fact that the Seaflops have no chance of winning.....

Like I said before, I do plan to build a HTPC. Honestly though, that's going to be a while down the road. Gotta get the room finished first (its all framed and mostly wired. Got some additional house electrical to wrap up before I can start soundproofing and sheetrocking).

My idea of using this as a part time HTPC is if I've got video that I'd like to watch on the big screen, I can just send it wirelessly to it as needed. But that might be a naive look at it - not sure if I have the correct equipment yet to receive wireless like that (I think my PS3 can do that...)

I agree with the antivirus. I've been very happy just using the Microsoft Defender system. The only times I've ever had any issues is with XP updates. Just restore back to previous config and good to go.


Losi 8T 1.0, Savage Flux - XL style, LST XXL, Muggy, 3.3 E-Revo Conversion and sitting outside 425hp, 831 Tq Dodge Ram Turbo Diesel. It SMOKES
   
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