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centrino 1.4 or 1.6 processor? Please help.

by LNLN / November 30, 2004 10:03 AM PST

I ordered an hp dv1000
specs:

Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition with SP2
- Intel(R) Pentium(R) M Processor 710 (1.4 GHz)
- 14.0" WXGA BrightView Widescreen (1280x768)
- Intel(R) Extreme Graphics designed for Pentium(R)
- 512MB DDR SDRAM (2x256MB)
- 60 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive
- DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive
- Intel(R) Pro/Wireless 2200 802.11BG WLAN
- Microsoft(R) Works/Money
- 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
- HP dv1000 Remote Control
was this a good purchase in general? Not a gamer, I'm a college professor but online quite often and want to be able to burn cds/etc. Thanks.

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Re: centrino 1.4 or 1.6 processor? Please help.
by KenSanramon / November 30, 2004 1:25 PM PST

This DV1000 series HP notebook (just released in September) is 5.3 pounds with the unique 14" widescreen and instant on DVD/CD playing functions (without booting the computer operating system) and also a built in remote control that fits in the PC card slot.

This is an extremely popular model for people who want portability and light weight but it has the following drawback:

** Shared/integrated video memory (not dedicated video memory). That is essential for gaming but also for higher end video programs but you may in fact not require that. You are fine for internet surfing (you have the 54G wi-fi card built in), Microsoft office, and burning CD's (you did not get a DVD burner which costs more).

I assume you ordered this custom at hpshopping. If so I would have ordered 2 things differently:

1) By ordering below a 725 1.6 Pentium M Dothan processor you do not have the current cpu with the 2mb L2 system cache which is on the cpu and makes things load faster... by ordering the 710 1.5 you have the Pentium M Banias cpu with only 1/2 the L2 cache or 1mb. If ordering custom you only saved perhaps $50-$75 at most not getting at least the 725 1.6 Pentium M or higher (ordering above the 1.6 is not worth it).

2) For perhaps another $25-$50 you could have ordered the 5400rpm hard drive option which has up to 50% faster seek time. The 4200rpm hard drive is fine for most people but if ordering custom for very little extra cost the faster hard drive gives faster boot up times and speeds up your computer whenever using the hard drive alot.

3) Note that the widescreen versus a square screen is superior for Spreadsheets (as you get more columns but slightly less rows to the top and bottom) and also you can view widescreen DVD's full screen. You will view many web pages, however, on a slightly smaller portion of the LCD (13" or so) as the widescreen is not square. On the 15.4" HPZT3000 / Compaq X1000 model I have (which also has Dedicated video RAM) you end up with about a 14" webpage which is better.

So, if you can live with viewing square web pages on a 13" or so size and you don't need dedicated video RAM this is a great lightweight notebook and you will get around 4 hours battery life using wi-fi or up to 5 hours or so not using wi-fi (DVD and CD playing will last longer than similar Centrino models as you will not have the operating system running if you elect to use the quick start feature as well).

But it is very unfortunate you did not at least order the full Pentium M 725 1.6 Dothan processor with 2mb L2 system cache ........

Note that there is a dedicated forum for the HP DV1000 notebook -- I don't know it firsthand but either do a google search or go to X1000forums.com and do a search there as it is referenced in a post there (that is my home notebook forum).

Finally, if you decide you like that notebook but would like to have at least the full 1.6 Pentium M 725 processor and/or the 5400rpm hard drive HPshopping gives you a 30 return policy. They will even pay for the shipping to pick it up.

You would have to reorder another computer with the specs you wanted at that point but at least you have this option with hpshopping at no cost to you. With a retail store you can't customize it at all and most charge restocking fees if the notebook is not defective (Fry's electronics does not but you have 14 days only - Costco does not and you have a full 6 months return policy and you can order HP/Compaq custom order notebooks through costco.com...)

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Re: centrino 1.4 or 1.6 processor? Please help.
by LNLN / December 1, 2004 4:28 AM PST

Thank you very much for your detailed reply. If I were to keep things as they are, would the computer be fully obsolete (ie, completely unusable and ancient) in a year? I do realize that the minute you take the item off the shelf the technology is obsolete, but I hope you understand what I am trying to ask here. Also, if I up the processor to 1.6, would the battery life decrease significantly? Thank you very much again. I do appreciate your reply.

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Re: centrino 1.4 or 1.6 processor? Please help.
by KenSanramon / December 1, 2004 6:28 AM PST

I have a 1.4 Pentium M Banias processor myself as I bought a retail Compaq X1360US (retail prebuilt Compaq X1000) just before the Dothan processors were released.

If you are extremely price sensitive the 1.4 Pentium M is fine (but under no circumstances get a Celeron Pentium M) but you have 1/2 the L2 system cache and you are only saving at most $100 or perhaps even less.

I would get the Pentium M 725 1.6 and cut costs on the RAM (which you can add later yourself if you fill only 1 slot of 2) or the hard drive (which you can upgrade yourself later if inclined also), etc.

The most critical thing is dedicated video RAM (which is not upgradeable) but you are getting shared/integrated RAM on this model so you don't have to worry about that issue (you have no option).

Note also that you can order 256mb RAM 1 stick (notebooks have only 2 RAM slots -- 2nd slot for ZT3000,X1000, and DV1000 is under the notebook and easily accessible) you can save $100 by ordering 256mb RAM only and then putting in a 512mb PC2700 notebook RAM stick later yourself retail for under $100 (which would give you 768mb RAM cheaper than 512mb RAM from HP -- or if you want only 512mb RAM you can add your own 256MB ram stick later....

Do that to save money and get the full Dothan 725 1.6 Processor if possible as the 2mb L2 system cache will allow you double the on chip cache to open web pages, etc (instead of using relatively slower RAM or the hard drive).

The new Dothan chips were made with a new manufacturing process with smaller transistors so that allowed the L2 cache to be doubled. Supposedly they are slightly more efficient but at any rate I don't think you will see much difference between the 1.4 mhz and 1.6 mhz Pentium M's in terms of battery life.

I get 3.5 to 4 hours using wi-fi all the time on my Pentium M 1.4 -- some newer models at X1000forums.com have gotten in the 4.5 range -- if you turn down the LCD brightness when not needed and use the touchpad instead of an external optical mouse when possible you will save more battery life that way.......

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Re: centrino 1.4 or 1.6 processor? Please help.
by KenSanramon / December 1, 2004 6:32 AM PST

I forgot you already ordered it. You should be fine with the Banias 1.4 Pentium M if you already ordered but that is too bad.

This notebook will be great for you until Windows Longhorn 64 bit replaces Windows XP in late 2006 or 2007. Thus, you have 2.5-3 years of productive use and the price range of this notebook (under $1500) means you will spend under $500 per year for that use.

The Double L2 cache on the Dothan 1.6 means you would have faster web page access or program access in some cases (as your cache will be full more quickly on the Banias 1.4 than the 1.6) but otherwise the cpu performance would be similar.

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Re: centrino 1.4 or 1.6 processor? Please help.
by KenSanramon / December 1, 2004 6:37 AM PST

To clarify why you will have to upgrade your notebook when Longhorn 64 bit arrives is because the Intel Pentium M and Pentium 4M chips are both 32 bit processors (as is everything at the consumer level except for the Athlon 64 cpu).

HP/Compaq sells and Athlon 64 notebook and some people are buying that for the 64bit but it is still much heavier and uses much more batteries than the Pentium M (but it is already superior to the Pentium 4M).

When a low voltage Athlon 64 chip is released in the US in 2005 that may signal a big shift to AMD as if you can get Pentium M Centrino weight and battery life with an Athlon 64bit notebook that is a no-brainer purchase.

But until then the Pentium M (Centrino) is still the best cpu for true portable (not fixed desktop replacement) notebook users.

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