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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Kington, Herefordshire. I used to live on a boat on the English waterways
    Posts
    177

    Default Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    I need a new laptop and I believe if it will run DP it will do everything that I need. The decision is what to get.

    The current computer is a DELL N5010 with 8GB RAM P6100 processor running at 2GHz

    It's OK but it takes a month of Sundays to get going and I notice that the HD is running at 100% for ages.

    Does anyone have thoughts about a good machine to get?

    Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    36,527

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    You might try first updating your hard drive to a SSD. They are faster and the capacity is larger and the cost on these has really come down. See if that makes a difference. Other than that probably another DELL. They usually offer a lot of computer for the best price.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    9,329

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    I'd always gone for Sony Vaio then Samsung, but my Daughter's DELL Inspiron is solid in comparison. As Gary's says go for SSD and, essential, 16+GB RAM.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: occasionally serviced XDPX, purposely unserviced XDPX12 & XDPX11 (32/64-bit), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7 and lots of 'permanently-owned' licences back through time (to CC's Artworks)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Kington, Herefordshire. I used to live on a boat on the English waterways
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Thanks, both.

    Would it be a good idea to upgrade this old computer with an SSD and another 8GB RAM, then? It needs a new battery, too. At the moment with only five mins from full charge to shutdown it has to be replaced.

    For environmental reasons I would like to hang on to this one but is the processor up to performance?

    N

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    36,527

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Not sure but consider the cost of a new battery, new SSD drive (I got a 1TB SSD recently for my DELL desktop and the price was about $150), and more RAM. Probably not all that much. And if it is still not up to snuff then wipe the drive and donate it to a school or charity.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    I've been building/repairing for a living for 19 years. Customers are driven by 2 things - price and what they need the machine to do. Using the latest DP and MS office as the most power hungry software, I would recommend as a minimum:
    CPU - 2.4GHz (Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 3)
    RAM - 8 GB
    SSD - 256 GB (see below)
    The rest (video card, Bluetooth and all the sparkly bits) are irrelevant unless you have a specific need, and virtually all manufacturers supply them. I threw the video card into the irrelevant basket because all modern onboard graphics will handle HD.

    The SSD is THE most important part. Don't be swayed by large capacity HDDs. Laptop HDDs are the slowest of all, running at 5400. I would be nearly tempted to say keep what you have and swap out the HDD for an SSD, but at 2GHz dual core you may be disappointed. If price is restrictive you would be better off swapping your existing HDD for and SSD rather than dropping too far below the above specs.

    If you buy new, try and go for a 256 SSD which will house your OS and programs. A second 1TB HDD can be fitted into the DVD drive (make sure the laptop has one) with the use of a dirt cheap converter available on ebay. If you're even slightly tech minded you can then move your libraries (default location for documents, pictures, music etc.) to the HDD and have the benefit of both large storage and high speed. If you don't feel confident, find a local repair shop, NOT a franchise or big store. The price should be very reasonable to fit the HDD tray and move your libraries. I'm in Australia so pricing wold be useless, but I do this type of fit-out in 45 minutes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    9,329

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M View Post
    I've been building/repairing for a living for 19 years. Customers are driven by 2 things - price and what they need the machine to do. Using the latest DP and MS office as the most power hungry software, I would recommend as a minimum:
    CPU - 2.4GHz (Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 3)
    RAM - 8 GB
    SSD - 256 GB (see below)
    The rest (video card, Bluetooth and all the sparkly bits) are irrelevant unless you have a specific need, and virtually all manufacturers supply them. I threw the video card into the irrelevant basket because all modern onboard graphics will handle HD.

    The SSD is THE most important part. Don't be swayed by large capacity HDDs. Laptop HDDs are the slowest of all, running at 5400. I would be nearly tempted to say keep what you have and swap out the HDD for an SSD, but at 2GHz dual core you may be disappointed. If price is restrictive you would be better off swapping your existing HDD for and SSD rather than dropping too far below the above specs.

    If you buy new, try and go for a 256 SSD which will house your OS and programs. A second 1TB HDD can be fitted into the DVD drive (make sure the laptop has one) with the use of a dirt cheap converter available on ebay. If you're even slightly tech minded you can then move your libraries (default location for documents, pictures, music etc.) to the HDD and have the benefit of both large storage and high speed. If you don't feel confident, find a local repair shop, NOT a franchise or big store. The price should be very reasonable to fit the HDD tray and move your libraries. I'm in Australia so pricing wold be useless, but I do this type of fit-out in 45 minutes.
    Cheers Chris, it is kind that you are already giving back to the TG community. My minimum RAM is still 16GB as I run some VMs occasionally.

    I might have a go at fitting a HDD to an external enclosure rather than swap out a DVD bay. I have an old 20GB Firewire enclosure as well as a USB one and three spare SSDs to all mix around.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: occasionally serviced XDPX, purposely unserviced XDPX12 & XDPX11 (32/64-bit), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7 and lots of 'permanently-owned' licences back through time (to CC's Artworks)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    The reasoning behind swapping out the DVD is to move the Libraries (default location Windows uses) which would keep the speed of the SSD and no noticeable drop in transfer rate when accessing the Libraries because the DVD is connected via SATA. Going to USB/Firewire is the more cumbersome/slower route.

    Do the DVD swap and buy an external DVD if you need to retain an optical drive. Good old YouTube shows how simple it is - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LmQJI1Vl4g.

    My personal method is:
    Copy the Libraries onto a backup drive
    Delete the Libraries content from C:
    Clone HDD to SSD via USB
    Swap HDD for SSD and ensure it boots
    Install HDD to DVD converter
    Format HDD
    Move Libraries from SSD to HDD (C:\Users\*name* RIGHT click each Library > Properties > Location > Move)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Kington, Herefordshire. I used to live on a boat on the English waterways
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M View Post
    The reasoning behind swapping out the DVD is to move the Libraries (default location Windows uses) which would keep the speed of the SSD and no noticeable drop in transfer rate when accessing the Libraries because the DVD is connected via SATA. Going to USB/Firewire is the more cumbersome/slower route.

    Do the DVD swap and buy an external DVD if you need to retain an optical drive. Good old YouTube shows how simple it is - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LmQJI1Vl4g.

    My personal method is:
    Copy the Libraries onto a backup drive
    Delete the Libraries content from C:
    Clone HDD to SSD via USB
    Swap HDD for SSD and ensure it boots
    Install HDD to DVD converter
    Format HDD
    Move Libraries from SSD to HDD (C:\Users\*name* RIGHT click each Library > Properties > Location > Move)
    Thanks for the help everyone.

    Some questions on the above.

    1. Where do I find all the libraries/
    2. Will a drag and drop of all the folders on the HDD be OK to produce the clone?

    Not at all sure that I am up to this...

    N

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Theo, your best method would be - Gatwick > Brisbane > Gold Coast > Surfers Paradise. Spend the day on the beach while I do the job, night out at Platinum nightclub and return trip the next day. Easy!

    With all due respect, and based on your above questions, I would call a couple of local repair shops for quotes. The job isn't particularly hard but does require a basic knowledge of how Windows operates. The difference between copying and cloning is exactly the same as twins and Dolly the Sheep. Twins may look the same, but they are not the same.

    For the sake of completion, bearing in mind I have access to better tools and software than the average user, I would:
    Clone the existing drive to a spare HDD so I have a fail safe way in case things go pear shaped (I use either MiniTool or EaseUS software, but there is perfectly good free software available)
    IF the existing drive and all the data will fit on the SSD I clone to the SSD, physically swap the drives and job done!
    IF the existing drive and all the data is larger than the SSD, I delete all Documents, Pictures, Music etc from within the Libraries (NOT the Libraries themselves)
    Clone the existing drive to the SSD
    Swap the existing drive for the SSD

    Moving the Libraries:
    Boot into Windows from your new SSD, open File Explorer and format the old HDD by RIGHT clicking the old HDD and choosing format (quick)
    From within File Explorer navigate to the HDD and create your new Library folders (Docs, Pics, Desk, Downloads, Music, Video are the usual)
    From within File Explorer navigate to - C:\Users\user name
    RIGHT click each of the Libraries you want to move and choose 'Properties'
    Click the 'Location' tab
    Click 'Move'
    Navigate to the corresponding folder on the HDD and click 'Select Folder'
    You will be asked if you want to move the contents, say yes even though the existing folder is empty
    Copy the original Library data from the first cloned drive to it's new home on the HDD

    Cloning the original drive to a spare HDD is a perfect backup and relieves all the worry of something going wrong because you can simply clone it back again. It's like stepping back in time.

 

 

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