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New laptop for graphic design

by scatteredshadows / May 8, 2010 6:37 AM PDT

Hello folks,

Would appreciate your suggestions based on the following parameters.

? Windows 7
? I7 820 or better
? 8gb RAM
? 1gb graphics card; don?t need any exotic configurations, just a relatively high performance single card
? Blu-Ray ROM would be nice but not essential
? 320 gb, 7200 rpm HD minimum; not willing to pay a huge premium for a SSD, though I would consider paying for it if the rest of the system beats other options available.

? Adobe CS5 (working with large RAW photos in Photoshop/Lightroom and complex Illustrator and InDesign files)
? Web Design
? Light 3d rendering, some video editing
? Occasional gaming
? Your standard web & video consumption
? Will use equally at home, office and client sites

? I don?t play games very often, especially networked games but when I do play, I?d like good resolution and framerate even on current games. I?m not looking for bleeding edge gaming performance by any means.
? Would prefer lighter and a bit more expensive over heavier and a bit cheaper, but if a bigger laptop offers significantly better performance potential, I?d definitely consider it. 14-16 inches would be ideal. Will consider a 17? display though.
? Ideally, I?d like this laptop to remain contemporary enough to perform professional design work for about three years.
? Not interested in refurbished/reconditioned machines unless they offer a bulletproof warranty AND clearly superior bang for the buck.

? Sony F series
? Dell Studio XPS
? HP dv6t Quad

What other manufacturers that compete on reliability, build and component quality?

I?m looking for value, but I don?t want to be cheap. I like to spend money where it makes a noticeable difference under real world conditions.

Many thanks.

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I'm going with unreliable.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 8, 2010 2:11 PM PDT

Your specs are pushing the envelope of laptop design. Not matter who makes the final unit, being this far out on the curve means you are likely to see failures after 2 years.

Need more proof? What warranty are they offering?

If you can accept the short life span that happens from cramming all that into this small space, the Sony WINS hands down because of the BLU RAY. Need proof? Look at the AVATAR fiasco.


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New laptop for graphic design
by scatteredshadows / May 9, 2010 7:24 AM PDT

Thanks for the reply, Bob.

Do you think that a 17" form factor would be more likely to hold up than a 15" configuration, or are current higher end laptop components likely to be less durable no matter what kind of enclosure they are placed into? Core 2 Duo processors were pretty new when I bought my current machine, but I haven't really had any reliability problems after 3.5 years. Of course, when it was new, my current laptop was more middle of the road than what I'm looking for now.

As for the Blu-Ray, it's definitely not a necessity. With bigger external flash drives and more bandwidth for transferring giant files, I'm not sure how often I'd use BR data discs and I rarely watch movies on my current machine. I'm mainly thinking about getting one as a futureproofing move.

No matter what I get and from whom, I'm going with the 3 year warranty to protect my investment. Clearly it's better to not have to exercise the warranty, but since I back up religiously, hardware failures wouldn't be too disastrous.

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We did get an i7 laptop.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 9, 2010 10:18 PM PDT

And it is as expected. The heat pours out (not just this model but all do that.) These are not "laptops." I can only repeat it so many times that these will make fine desktop replacements where you can set it up to not block vents and can put up with the fan. It is not as quiet as the middle of the road machines (i3, most i5's).

But yes it is fast and what a savings of space in the office. Since we have the environmental under control and don't use it as a laptop I expect the life span to be closer to the norm.

I am actively inquiring and chatting with all that picked up an i7 laptop and the stories are pretty much the same. This is not a laptop.

Hope that helps.

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I would look at the
by orlbuckeye / May 9, 2010 10:55 AM PDT

Asus and Toshiba laptops. Laptops with the SSD nowadays use the SSD for the OS to boot faster.

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by edu_mkt / September 2, 2011 9:42 AM PDT

Those look like good specs for running Lightroom. You'll probably want a bigger hard drive or 2 hard drives now (a year after the original post).

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