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Message boards : Number crunching : What is the best laptop to buy for PrimeGrid crunching?

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Message 26507 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 1:48:47 UTC

My trusty Dell Latitude D620 video failed Saturday night. All my data is still on the SATA drive and intact. I'm transferring all the files now over to a removable drive at the moment. This is the 2nd video failure I've had on a D620 for my home laptop. It seems to be their weak point.

So, I am in the market for a new laptop. I checked the Dell scratch & dent site. It has models there I don't recognize and I hesitate purchasing something that doesn't come with a good recommendation from the good folks here. This forum is the one that got me to buy a powerful scratch and dent server "for my wife" (really for crunching) and a GTX 460 Fermi graphics card, both for cheap and I am very happy with it.

So recommendations for a Dell laptop???

____________

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The "Shut up already!" badge:  This loud mouth has mansplained on the forums over 10 thousand times!  Sheesh!!!Discovered the World's First GFN-19 prime!!!Discovered 1 mega primeFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de Primes321 LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,063,182)Cullen LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,005,249)ESP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,001,789)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,145,754)PPS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,770,021)PSP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,632,269)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (34,096,374)SR5 LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (8,182,777)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,011,264)TRP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,737,347)Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,195,123)321 Sieve Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,038,793)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (4,170,256)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,059,304)PPS Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,110,788)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,035,522)TRP Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,051,121)AP 26/27 Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,090,096)GFN Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (64,593,307)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,135,447)
Message 26511 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 5:55:33 UTC - in response to Message 26507.
Last modified: 21 Sep 2010 | 5:57:27 UTC

Best recommendation for a Dell laptop?

Something that's not a Dell, or a laptop. :)

Seriously, though, if you're looking for crunching and portability, my recommendation is this:

Buy a desktop AND a netbook. Crunch on the desktop. Carry the netbook around. Total cost is about the same as a laptop, but you'll get a smaller, lighter, easier to carry portable computer (which is pretty darn good at 'normal' computer tasks), and a desktop that's much better for crunching AND is running at full power 24/7 AND isn't running at the brink of thermal catastrophe. It is not a coincidence that laptops break more frequently.

Netbooks can run up to 12 hours on one battery charge, and are much smaller and lighter, making them much more convenient to carry around. I'd recommend an Asus EeePC -- they more or less invented that kind of machine, and their netbooks are really nice. It's worth it to get the biggest battery available, and stick with 1 gig of ram rather than expanding to 2 gigs. You'll get the best battery life that way. (The wife's netbook gets charged less frequently than her cellphone, and she's on the computer a LOT.) Try to get an Atom N450 or later processor. The N270 that preceded it is not only slower, but uses almost double the power.

Don't buy a netbook over the Internet. Go buy it in a store. They are smaller than you're used to, and the keyboards of different models vary enough so that you'll want to actually try typing on them before buying.

Some caveats about netbooks: the small size comes with a price. The screens have fewer pixels than you're used to, and they don't have CD drives (although you can get an external USB powered DVD drive for about $50.) The built in graphics probably won't be able to play HD video. These things are not intended to be desktop replacements.

As for Dell -- I never, ever, recommend them to consumers, because my experience with their tech support has been insanely awful. Their support for corporate customers is good, but for consumers it's the worst I've ever seen anywhere. It's like a bad caricature of horrible Indian customer service outsourcing.

For good customer support, oddly enough, I recommend buying from Best Buy, possibly with their extended warranty. Actually, if you buy a full size laptop, DEFINITELY buy it from Best Buy with an extended warranty. Best deal around. For one, after two years when the laptop battery is shot to hell, you'll get a new one. Even better, when your laptop dies, you get a new one. My daughter's 2.5 year old HP AMD Turion X2 laptop died, so now she has a brand new HP Core i3 laptop, courtesy of Best Buy. The laptop was free, but I did spring for a new 3 year extended warranty for it. I've never actually dealt with HP support, only Best Buy's, and they're pretty good. Best thing about it is they're just down the street, in person, and speak English, instead of some disembodied voice from halfway around the world.

If I'm not building the computer, what I do is decide roughly what I'm looking for (CPU type, graphics, etc.), and then watch the Best Buy circulars and website for a sale on something that fits my criteria. Their sale prices are often pretty good. Laptops, I usually get an extended warranty. Desktops, I usually don't since I'll just buy replacement parts if it breaks. The risk is if it gets some hard to diagnose problem after it runs out of the manufacturer's warranty period.

Netbooks probably are not worth getting an extended warranty for because they're so inexpensive to begin with, so the warranty would be more than 50% of the purchase price.

I guess the last piece of advice I have is about the processor for the desktop. My recommendation would be either onle of the slower i7s (good bang for the buck), or the AMD Phenom II x6 1055 (I think that's the number). Although I haven't used the AMD chip myself, others have been saying good things about it. And since it has six real cores, it will do six LLRs more efficiently than the i7 with its hyperthreading will.
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Discovered the World's First base 116 Generalized Cullen prime!!!Discovered 13 mega primesEliminated 7 conjecture "k"sDiscovered 1 Sophie Germain pairDiscovered 1 Fermat divisor2012 Tour de Primes highest prime count2012 Tour de Primes most Mountain Stage primes2015 Tour de Primes highest prime count2016 Tour de Primes highest prime countFound 23 primes in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 mega prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 2 primes in the 2018 Tour de Primes Mountain Stage2019 Tour de Primes highest prime countFound 22 primes in the 2019 Tour de Primes321 LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (100,829,118)Cullen LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (103,870,990)ESP LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (103,603,483)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (108,461,080)PPS LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (340,378,747)PSP LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (108,003,110)SoB LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (135,747,083)SR5 LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (193,516,451)SGS LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (160,609,713)TPS LLR (retired) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (235,439)TRP LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (121,443,822)Woodall LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (101,447,725)321 Sieve Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (203,510,966)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (83,794,448)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (285,139,652)PPS Sieve Double Ruby: Earned 2,000,000,000 credits (2,107,748,969)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (203,523,358)TRP Sieve (suspended) Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (201,489,157)AP 26/27 Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (119,562,131)GFN Double Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000,000 credits (1,193,153,736)PSA Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (259,058,048)
Message 26519 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 12:37:07 UTC

As usual, Mike's advice is very well thought out and with much of it I agree. Netbooks are very nice devices if all you do is e-mail, light word processing, and some light web surfing. But since you asked about replacing a full-size laptop, I assume that you are looking for something a bit more powerful.

Here I am going to disagree with Mike's advice, at least in part. I like Dell laptops, but NOT all of them. My advice is to stay away form the "home" user laptops entirely. I have seen lots of failures in the Inspiron line of portables; they generate more heat because of poor chasis designs; and Mike is right about customer service. I have two Dell laptops, both from the business/education side of Dell and both from the Dell Outlet...my trusty old D510 Latitude and my Vostro 1510. I like the Vostro line alot. It has a sturdy case with decent ventilation, it is relatively light compared to similarly sized competitors, it is aesthetically pleasing, and it has a very nice feel for typing.

I crunch 24/7 with both laptops. The old D510 has been doing BOINC for several years now without issue and the Vostro has since I purchased it as well. I am, however, very careful with heating issues. Both machines are sitting atop multi-fan coolers. Both laptops are blown-out regularly, as are the coolers (Indeed, this is one of the things I like about the Vostro chasis--the relative ease of opening it up for cleaning). Both have heat monitoring software active. A word of caution here...the Vostro has a discrete GPU that can generate extra heat if used for crunching...if you elect to crunch with a laptop GPU, the advice regarding cleaning and heat issues is doubly important.

Mike is dead on with the ASUS netbook suggestion. They are excellent. ASUS is also a very nice choice for the laptop market if you are going on the high end. Their gaming laptops are really nice! Though, for entry and mid-level you might look elsewhere for better price with comparable quality.

I am a bit surprised by Mike's discussion of HP (though he actually does not recommend that brand specifically). The university here recently switched from Dell to HP and then back again. The laptops from HP have been absolute junk...they still work, sort of...but after 1 year they are falling to pieces, literally! HP used to make some really nice machines (my wife's personal machine that is due for replacement is an HP from a few years ago), but since the merger with Compaq things have unfortunately gone down hill for them.

As for customer service, I frankly don't use it. Almost any company I have tried has too many idiots as level 1 and level 2 support. I save the extended warranty money and fix things myself. I am surprised by Mike's recommendation of Best Buy. They have some good deals, but around here their salesmen and customer support techs are...well...I'll just say that I wouldn't trust them to replace the battery in my wristwatch correctly. :)

That said, the replacement warranty Mike mentions does sound nice.

Also, I have to disagree with Mike's implication that laptops are on the brink of thermal catastrophe. Laptops fail quite often, but the overwhelming majority of laptop problems have nothing to do with heat. Mostly, it is simply dropping the darn things. As far as non-accidental damage, other things just break because portable devices are designed with thinner/light weight/etc. components. The three things that have been most common in laptop breakage around here have been 1) video (not the card, but the cable between the circuit board and LCD panel), 2) the keyboard, and 3) the latches for the LCD panel. Laptops are designed with low power and low heat components that generally work well unless 1) there is really bad case design, 2) it is used on an improper surface (e.g., on a blanket, etc.), or 3) dust is allowed to build up too much (obviously, things like fan failures also cause problems as they do in desktops if not noticed and replaced quickly).


When you make your final purchase choice, I hope you'll let us know what that is and how you like it after you've had it for a bit.




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The "Shut up already!" badge:  This loud mouth has mansplained on the forums over 10 thousand times!  Sheesh!!!Discovered the World's First GFN-19 prime!!!Discovered 1 mega primeFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de Primes321 LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,063,182)Cullen LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,005,249)ESP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,001,789)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,145,754)PPS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,770,021)PSP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,632,269)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (34,096,374)SR5 LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (8,182,777)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,011,264)TRP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,737,347)Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,195,123)321 Sieve Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,038,793)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (4,170,256)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,059,304)PPS Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,110,788)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,035,522)TRP Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,051,121)AP 26/27 Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,090,096)GFN Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (64,593,307)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,135,447)
Message 26520 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 14:31:00 UTC - in response to Message 26519.

Yes, I specifically didn't recommend the HP brand.

As far as actual hardware goes, I'm currently kind of agnostic, aside from liking Asus netbooks. (I'm also fond of EVGA if you want an Nvidia GPU, but that's the lifetime warranty speaking rather than the hardware.) I'm more concerned with service and warranty than with the hardware.

Most manufacturers, while trying to put out a product that won't be an RMA nightmare, are also concerned with profit margins in what is essential a low-margin commodity market. I don't really believe any one manufacturer, at least in desktops, is a lot better than any other.

Laptops have a lot more differentiation, but to be honest, I've had problems with almost every brand I've ever had, even the king-of-the-hill grand daddy of them all, the IBM Thinkpads back when IBM actually still made them.

So I won't argue with Scott's opinion of HP laptops. To be sure, I just had one fail this year!

As for Best Buy... I don't use their sales people. I do my research online, and go to the store to see stuff in person (displays or keyboards). The extent of my interaction with their sales staff is usually "Can you go get a model XYZ for me, please?" That's assuming I'm not placing the order online.

Their Geek Squad, however, seems to actually know what they're doing, at least in the store near me. Of course, before I bring a machine to them, I've already diagnosed the problem, copied the data off the hard disk, etc., so my criteria for "good service" is pretty much not treating me like a noob, coming to the same diagnosis I do, and promptly fixing the problem. That's not a very high standard to meet, admittedly, but I'm amazed at how many service organizations fail miserably.

If you have an XBox, you're aware of the massive hardware problems they've had ("Red Ring of Death.") As far as I can tell, from personal experience as well as conversations with everyone I know who has an XBox, until very recently the XBox failure rate was astronomical. It's actually higher than 100%. I know of nobody who has had an XBox who hasn't had a failure. We've got 2 XBoxes and have had at least four failures. Why do I bring this up? The first one we bought at Best Buy, and got the extended warranty. When it failed, rather than mailing it back to MSFT and waiting a LONG time (they were really swamped), I just walked into BB and walked out with a new one.

As for my "thermal catastrophy" comment, I guess it's a matter of semantics. If you crunch on a laptop, and don't give special care to the cooling, there's a good chance of running into thermal problems. Not necessarily hardware failures, but the systems will slow down when they get too warm. That's not what you want when crunching. If you treat a laptop the way my teenage daughter does (who somehow sees nothing wrong with a laptop sitting on top of a blanket), it's going to run a little toasty!

There was also that wide-spread problem with Nvidia laptop graphics chips, which caused a lot of manufacturers to issue bios updates that kept the fans running continuously. There were a lot of laptop video failures associated with that.

I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinions. Mine aren't any better than anyone else's, and we're not going to have the same experiences. Sometimes hardware choices are pretty obvious: once Intel's Core2 chips came out, they clearly had better CPUs than AMD (faster AND cooler running). It took a few years for AMD to recover from that. Usually, however, hardware recommendations are a lot like religion or politics. Ask 2 people for their opinions and you'll get at least three different choices.

I've got three HPs right now. The reason? The first one was simply a very good deal that I got from Best Buy. Among other things, it had a LightScribe DVD burner. The biggest reason for for preferring HP after that, other things being equal, is that I can use the same LightScribe media in all the DVD burners. That's pretty much it. I just won't go near Dell because of the customer service. I don't want to ever have to deal with that again.

By the way, my son (who has a very nice C2D laptop with him at college), has asked if he can trade that for a desktop plus a netbook. The desktop for the heavy lifting (read: Games), and the netbook to tote around. That's what a lot of students seem to be doing now. It's something I think makes a lot of sense, and I think is often a better choice for someone who is looking for a "desktop-replacement" laptop.
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Message 26521 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 14:58:58 UTC

I used or sold or otherwise had infuence over something like 30 HP laptops. Based on that experience, I strongly recommend to stay away from them (mostly because of failures).
____________

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Message 26522 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 14:59:53 UTC - in response to Message 26520.

as they say - your milage may vary. ;)

i am using dell-laptops for many years now and i'm quite happy with them - maybe because i stay away from their cheap ones...

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Message 26524 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 18:00:18 UTC

If you are crunching on a laptop for any amount of time, I would recommend a laptop cooler.

From past experience, mileage may vary.

I have an old IBM Thinkpad 600e that crunches 24/7 with no problems.
____________

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Message 26526 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 22:32:30 UTC

My laptop that died Saturday had been crunching since 24/7 January 2010. It was fairly efficient at it for an older laptop (Dell Latitude D620 with oodles of options). It is my primary machine. The wife uses the server class T7500 and I used the laptop. I'd remote into the T7500 when I'd check on it for crunching reasons.

My laptop is a quasi-work machine that I use for side work when it comes along, so I need a laptop that can run engineering programs and that I can take to an industrial site. When I am not doing a side job, the laptop crunches away. I have supplemental cooling and it gets "dusted" monthly, plus I monitor the temperatures of the CPU's in the Windows 7 tray.

I rarely use any technical support, so I don't care about Dell's dismal support. When I have a warranty item, I troubleshoot it myself, get on the phone and nurse them to the correct diagnosis.

I just recently got a company HP laptop for my "regular job". It's falling apart already; not impressed with HP's. No crunching on it, since the machine doesn't belong to me.

In conclusion: No netbook. No additional desktop. No HP laptop. And since I have been relatively pleased with Dell, although not ecstatic. The only modern Dell model line laptop I saw suggested yet was the Vostro and the core that's been suggested is the i7. I agree with the i7. I'll look into the Vostro this evening.

Are there any other Dell laptop recommendations?

Thanks!

FA



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The "Shut up already!" badge:  This loud mouth has mansplained on the forums over 10 thousand times!  Sheesh!!!Discovered the World's First GFN-19 prime!!!Discovered 1 mega primeFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de Primes321 LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,063,182)Cullen LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,005,249)ESP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,001,789)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,145,754)PPS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,770,021)PSP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,632,269)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (34,096,374)SR5 LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (8,182,777)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,011,264)TRP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,737,347)Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,195,123)321 Sieve Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,038,793)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (4,170,256)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,059,304)PPS Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,110,788)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,035,522)TRP Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,051,121)AP 26/27 Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,090,096)GFN Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (64,593,307)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,135,447)
Message 26527 - Posted: 21 Sep 2010 | 23:01:02 UTC - in response to Message 26526.

With regards to the mobile version of the i7, pay careful attention to the differences between the mobile i7 and the mobile i5.

If memory serves, the difference between the mobile i5 and i7 is that the i5 is two cores and the i7 is four cores. However, for whatever reason (I suspect it's because power consumption and heat dissipation is limited in laptops), the i7 runs at a significantly lower clock speed than the i5.

Look at the wikipedia Core i7 and Core i5 pages.

Actually, looking at the i7 page, there's also dual core versions of the mobile Core i7 that run at higher clock speeds.

More cores? Higher clock? Pick your poison. I suspect a quad core chip will get more crunching done, even at the slower clock speed.

It's not terribly clear to me what the difference is between a dual core i5 and a dual core i7.

What I'm trying to say is that the distinction between i5's and i7's is kind of fuzzy, and there's significant variation within the i7 and i5 families as well. Choose the processor carefully. There's quad core i5 CPUs (in the desktop line, anyway), and dual core i7s.

BTW, I agree with everyone else that the Vostro is a good choice within the Dell line. They do seem to be well built.
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Message 26544 - Posted: 22 Sep 2010 | 22:59:56 UTC

Thanks for the recommendations so far. :-)

I was with a consultant today for other reasons that is a big fan of ASUS laptops. I know they are THE pick for netbooks, but what about for laptops?

Does anyone out there have an ASUS laptop or know anyone that does? How are they?

This would be new territory for me.

FA


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The "Shut up already!" badge:  This loud mouth has mansplained on the forums over 10 thousand times!  Sheesh!!!Discovered the World's First GFN-19 prime!!!Discovered 1 mega primeFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de Primes321 LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,063,182)Cullen LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,005,249)ESP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,001,789)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,145,754)PPS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,770,021)PSP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,632,269)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (34,096,374)SR5 LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (8,182,777)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,011,264)TRP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,737,347)Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,195,123)321 Sieve Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,038,793)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (4,170,256)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,059,304)PPS Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,110,788)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,035,522)TRP Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,051,121)AP 26/27 Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,090,096)GFN Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (64,593,307)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,135,447)
Message 26545 - Posted: 23 Sep 2010 | 1:15:40 UTC - in response to Message 26544.

As far as Asus laptops: I don't know. They make the best netbooks, they're good at motherboards, they're good at video cards. You'd think their laptops would be good too.

But not necessarily. The feature set people look for in a netbook is very different from that of a laptop. So I would expect the reliability and quality to be there, but whether they get the features and ergonomics right is a different question.

I don't know anyone that has had one, sorry.
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Message 26546 - Posted: 23 Sep 2010 | 1:29:53 UTC - in response to Message 26526.

You might check out the Toshiba's Portégé R700 line which is sort of similar to Vostro line:
http://laptops.toshiba.com/laptops/portege/R700

It's light yet includes dvd-drive and the top model has an i7-620M processor. It does get rather warm around the processor so cooling is important.

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Message 26547 - Posted: 23 Sep 2010 | 4:35:39 UTC

AnandTech (sort of where my team is) endorses the Toshiba Portege R700 series, with a few exceptions at the high end.

Also see their review of an Asus. You might also be interested in some other mobile device reviews.
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Message 26635 - Posted: 26 Sep 2010 | 19:33:47 UTC

I am deferring my laptop purchase until early 2011. The reason is two-fold. 1) I have a lot of unpaid medical bills, which obviously must be paid. 2) Since I have no prospects for any side-work between now and the end of the year, I can use my primary employer-issued HP laptop with a 2nd HD caddy in place of the existing optical drive until year's end.

I bought a SATA HD drive caddy (w/o drive) for $42. I have already removed the SATA drive from my dead Dell Latitude and copied all the files (including the hidden and "protected" ones) using Knoppix which ignored the Windows 7 security of all the files. I then copied these files to my wife's Dell T7500 machine into a new partition, and recovered my email and important documents. I'll be like this until Tuesday when the caddy arrives. Then I'll reformat the ex-Dell SATA drive, secure it in the caddy and place it in my employer's machine where I'll install Windows 7 (64) and reload all my programs, email, user files and documents on it. I've already setup the HP BIOS for multi-boot.

Thanks for the advice, everyone! I'll resurrect this thread in a few months, when my revenue stream allows me to purchase my own laptop. Then I'll buy the best one out there and transfer over to it in a more orderly fashion.

FA

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Message 32513 - Posted: 9 Feb 2011 | 13:24:25 UTC

Well, the time has come to purchase my own laptop, instead of using my employer's as a surrogate machine. (Our home "has" two functioning machines - one Dell T7500 server with three NVIDIA 460 Fermi cards and one 260; and my laptop (broken since December) which I use for side work, general home use and crunching at night).

I am no longer loyal to a brand-name as I stated in my first post, so I am considering any known name-brand except for HP.

Asus and Toshiba seem to put out some excellent machines. Both have laptops that use 640M Fermi graphic cards. Unfortunately, not a lot a lot has changed in the market between September 2010 when I started this thread and today, February something, 2011. I am looking at Asus and Toshiba laptops because they have 460M Fermi cards in them for Cuda work. The Asus G53JW-A1 looks to be good candidate for a crunching laptop, but I am open to suggestions for superior laptops/notebooks.

I am aware that Asus loads their machines with bloatware, but I'll image the machine after my initial purchase, then reformat it and install a fresh Windows 7 (64) Business opsys on it, and reload the Asus drivers from their driver disk.

All comments, suggestions, and recommendations are appreciated!

FA





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Message 32520 - Posted: 9 Feb 2011 | 13:55:12 UTC

I've only had 2 Laptop's in my life & Both were Sagers, Expensive but they do the job and run fairly cool. The Cooling potential is the main thing to look for in a Laptop if it's going to run BOINC. The one I have now has a Q6700 @ 2.67GHZ, I'm sure they make one with a faster processor now since I've had this one for a couple years now. It run's in the mid 60c Range running 24/7 ... http://www.sagernotebook.com/

NOTE: I checked and if Moneys no Object you can get the X980E in one Model now from Sager ... Their Highly Customizable too to fit your Price Range
____________

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Discovered the World's First base 116 Generalized Cullen prime!!!Discovered 13 mega primesEliminated 7 conjecture "k"sDiscovered 1 Sophie Germain pairDiscovered 1 Fermat divisor2012 Tour de Primes highest prime count2012 Tour de Primes most Mountain Stage primes2015 Tour de Primes highest prime count2016 Tour de Primes highest prime countFound 23 primes in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 mega prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 2 primes in the 2018 Tour de Primes Mountain Stage2019 Tour de Primes highest prime countFound 22 primes in the 2019 Tour de Primes321 LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (100,829,118)Cullen LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (103,870,990)ESP LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (103,603,483)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (108,461,080)PPS LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (340,378,747)PSP LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (108,003,110)SoB LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (135,747,083)SR5 LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (193,516,451)SGS LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (160,609,713)TPS LLR (retired) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (235,439)TRP LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (121,443,822)Woodall LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (101,447,725)321 Sieve Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (203,510,966)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (83,794,448)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (285,139,652)PPS Sieve Double Ruby: Earned 2,000,000,000 credits (2,107,748,969)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (203,523,358)TRP Sieve (suspended) Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (201,489,157)AP 26/27 Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (119,562,131)GFN Double Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000,000 credits (1,193,153,736)PSA Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (259,058,048)
Message 32526 - Posted: 9 Feb 2011 | 14:11:07 UTC


I like the G53 ASUS series that you are looking at (it would be a very high candidate for me if I had the cash to replace my Vostro right now). You might want to take a look at the N53SN and N53SV from ASUS as well (i7 CPUs and the 540M or 550M GPU which are about half the speed of the 460M...maybe a bit more--96 vs. 192 shaders, but higher clocks on the 5xx series). I cannot see clearly how well ventilated the G53 case is, whereas the N53 series looks more like the well ventilated ASUS case designs from last year.


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Message 32549 - Posted: 9 Feb 2011 | 17:17:24 UTC - in response to Message 32513.

Seen Sandy Bridge yet??

For example, Tom's hardware mobile comparison but the desktop comparison was really impressive. (That statement also includes the related chipset flaw.) However, not sure how it crunches or the cost.

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Message 32711 - Posted: 11 Feb 2011 | 17:21:19 UTC

I run an ASUS laptop with an ATI card installed 24/7 for the last 4 months.. They are better made then any other laptop I have ever owned and this is the only brand I will buy from now on...

As far as the temps, make sure you have a cooler on the bottom and you won't have any problems... ASUS uses dual fans so all the heat is pushed out the back..

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Message 32720 - Posted: 11 Feb 2011 | 20:18:09 UTC
Last modified: 11 Feb 2011 | 20:19:37 UTC

For what its worth, I have been running an HP (dv9330us) pretty much 22/7 since May 2007. I have not had any problems with it and it runs 20 F cooler than the slightly faster Dell 630.
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Credit: 3,917,342,282
RAC: 1,846,058
Discovered 1 mega primeFound 2 primes in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 2 primes in the 2019 Tour de Primes321 LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,148,880)Cullen LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,773,730)ESP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,084,793)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,356,142)PPS LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (13,710,248)PSP LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,084,850)SoB LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,014,268)SR5 LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (11,169,992)SGS LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (6,132,465)TRP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (6,568,836)Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,612,313)321 Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (39,822,143)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (127,922,665)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (30,984,158)PPS Sieve Double Ruby: Earned 2,000,000,000 credits (2,017,939,042)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (8,134,964)TRP Sieve (suspended) Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,013,696)AP 26/27 Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (105,833,611)GFN Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (150,385,601)PSA Double Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000,000 credits (1,370,700,486)
Message 32723 - Posted: 11 Feb 2011 | 20:28:46 UTC - in response to Message 32720.

For what its worth, I have been running an HP (dv9330us) pretty much 22/7 since May 2007. I have not had any problems with it and it runs 20 F cooler than the slightly faster Dell 630.


Hey Murphy, what do you do with the other 2 hours that the laptop is not running ?
____________
@AggieThePew

Michael Millerick
Volunteer tester
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Joined: 4 Feb 09
Posts: 634
ID: 35074
Credit: 126,245,244
RAC: 1,276
321 LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,063,954)Cullen LLR Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (665,748)ESP LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,025,432)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (589,484)PPS LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,542,435)PSP LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,134,556)SoB LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,064,898)SR5 LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,043,015)SGS LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,072,821)TRP LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,026,807)Woodall LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,042,977)321 Sieve Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,096,785)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (4,911,344)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,077,092)PPS Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (45,225,274)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,034,014)TRP Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,070,774)AP 26/27 Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,913,157)GFN Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (4,388,283)PSA Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (47,256,391)
Message 32725 - Posted: 11 Feb 2011 | 20:31:38 UTC

Just as a general trick I want to throw out there for anyone with laptops:
What I do to cool mine is I put a metal baking pan upside down on my desk and set my laptop on the base of the pan. The fans on my laptop still run at close to full speed, but the metal pan is able to conduct heat away fast enough from the laptop that it doesn't get hot enough to where it decreases performance.
Just a little trick some of you may want to try.
____________

mfbabb2Project donor
Volunteer tester
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Joined: 10 Oct 08
Posts: 510
ID: 30360
Credit: 8,262,518
RAC: 2,908
Eliminated 2 conjecture "k"s321 LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (134,814)Cullen LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (384,721)ESP LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (290,033)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (433,839)PPS LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (130,151)PSP LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (404,367)SoB LLR Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (650,245)SR5 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (79,682)SGS LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (105,354)TRP LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (152,517)Woodall LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,434,921)321 Sieve Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (20,307)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (200,096)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (85,743)PPS Sieve Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (726,293)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (20,039)TRP Sieve (suspended) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (100,597)AP 26/27 Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (267,459)GFN Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,429,487)PSA Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (211,837)
Message 32728 - Posted: 11 Feb 2011 | 20:57:04 UTC - in response to Message 32723.

For what its worth, I have been running an HP (dv9330us) pretty much 22/7 since May 2007. I have not had any problems with it and it runs 20 F cooler than the slightly faster Dell 630.


Hey Murphy, what do you do with the other 2 hours that the laptop is not running ?

Drive to and from work.
;-)
____________
Murphy (AtP)



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