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Help! The right laptop for major multimedia

by multimediamaniac / June 7, 2007 2:48 PM PDT


I am looking for a laptop replacement that suits my average everyday use. Mainly, I need something that can support major multimedia use (80gb of music and movies). I also use applications such as Microsoft Word and Powerpoint (not usually at the same time). My issue is that my old laptop is a Pentium 4 with 1.83 ghz and windows xp. I recently purchased a hp 14.1 dv2000 series with 1gb of memory and 160gb of hard drive space with a amd x60-5n processor chip. After installing all of my music and video files I attempted to watch a movie and it was delayed and "choppy". It also had windows vista and only 512x512 L2 cache. I need a new laptop since mine has crashed and am not as computer savvy as I used to be. (especially with windows vista) I like the looks of the new hp computers but am worried since their max memory is only 2gb. Now that I have explained what my major use for this computer is, I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation for a laptop replacement under $1300.00 for me. I would like a 14" screen but am willing to except a 15" (no larger due to my use while traveling). I believe my major issue with the computer I specified earlier is the minimal L2 cache and memory but I don't want to build and buy a computer without someones expert opinion. I was thinking a intel core 2 duo T5300 with 2gb and 2mb memory would be sufficient but as I said I don't want to buy another notebook without someones experienced opinion. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated, I am not a huge gamer, just multimedia. PLEASE HELP!

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What CPU?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 7, 2007 10:07 PM PDT

Let's skip to what appears to make Vista happy.

- 2GB RAM.
- Dual Core CPU.
- 256MB Dedicated Video Ram. Turbocache is OK for most of us.

I couldn't determine which CPU you had before but a single core isn't cutting the mustard. There is also issues with some USB devices. I couldn't tell what you had.


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old cpu
by multimediamaniac / June 9, 2007 7:53 AM PDT
In reply to: What CPU?

my old cpu was purchased in 2002 it was a toshiba a25-s307. for it's time it was a fast machine. I have an external hard drive with most of my movies on it. I kept about 15% of harddrive space available. it had a pentium 4 processor and im not sure of the cache. I do know it only had 512mb of RAM. it blew circles around the computer I bought which was an HP 14.1" screen with an AMD dual core but it only had 512x512mb L2 cache and 1gb of memory. It's just frusterating that I have to incorporate 2gb of memory because windows decided to make their new operating system such a pig. Finding a windows xp computer is hard these days, I wish I would have updated BEFORE Vista came out BUT hindsight is always 20/20! So, you're saying I need 256MB dedicated video ram huh? Video graphics cards are something I know nothing about and "turbocache" as well... What I'm guesing you're saying is the 128MB NVidia graphics card isn't sufficient. I hope in this long drawn out reponse I have answered your question in SOME way! Thank you for your input it is GREATLY appreciated!

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Well thats the way computers go.
by orlbuckeye / June 9, 2007 8:17 AM PDT
In reply to: old cpu

I've heard that by the next MS OS the standard laptop will have 8 core processor, 32 gig of ram and a terabyte hd and will still be 32 bit. MS was thinking about making their next OS 64 bit only but it sounds like they are starting to waver from that idea. One thing about current Core 2 Duo processor won't even recognise 4 gig with 32 bit Vista.

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Humm ...

Octo-Core CPU : Native quad-core CPU are even not on the market yet. You'll see native mobile quad-core CPU maybe on mid-2008. Native mobile octo-core aren't for tomorrow...

32 GB : The actual standard for a low-end laptop is 1 GB, soon it will be 2 GB. It's simply irrealistic to have 32 GB of RAM in a laptop. Desktop PCs have for the majority 2 to 4 GB. Maybe in 6-7 years...

1 TB HDD : We have just realized a 1 TB HDD in the 3.5" format. Could be true, I agree.

32 bit OS : Microsoft will be obligated to build a 32 bit system, otherwise they will lose money. A lot of systems are still sold with a 32 bit CPU. But by the next OS, you'll see that almost all laptops will be sold with a 64 bit CPU, 32 bit will still exist, but won't be sold anymore. Most of laptops sold today have a Merom CPU ( Core 2 Duo ) which is 64 bit.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's not the CPU that recognizes the RAM, but well the operating system. 32 bit OS recognize only 4 GB of RAM, I don't think that the CPU has something to see with the recognition of the system RAM.

Microsoft won't wait as long as they did with Vista to bring on the market a new operating system. I've read somewhere that a team of testers il already working seriously on the after-vista. Six years between two OS, this makes a long time. I think MS will came with a new OS within the next 4 years.

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I remember Bill Gates saying the 64 K of memory will all we
by orlbuckeye / June 9, 2007 11:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Humm ...

will ever need. The numbers i used in my post were from an article in Eweek magazine about Microsoft and their next operating system. Those were the predictions they made. I do know one thing that the hardware will be much more capable than the Software when the next OS is out. AMD had 64 bit way before we had a 64 OS.

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RAM and video
by Igiveup2 / June 10, 2007 10:22 AM PDT
In reply to: old cpu

An AMD dual core processor should be up to the task with Vista. 1GB RAM is OK for basic browsing, word processing, etc., but marginal for multimedia. Some are satisfied, others are not. Since a shared memory video card uses system RAM, less is available.
There are also usually a lot of applications that are unnecessarily loaded into the startup configuration, and they can make a significant difference in performance since they eat up RAM without really doing anything. The Disabling Unnecessary Programs post under the Vista Tips and Tricks sticky thread outlines the procedure for cleaning up your startup configuration to free up more RAM and speed up your computer: Give it a shot and see if it solves your problem. Also read up on using the Vista ReadyBoost feature, which allows a thumb drive to be used as supplemental RAM.

Dedicated video memory is necessary for sophisticated and fast 3-d rendering applications such as advanced games, some advanced video editing, and some engineering programs, but not for mainstream multimedia apps. A chip with 256 MB shared RAM should be adequate for the uses you're describing. If don't get a good result after optimizing your startup configuration and trying ReadyBoost, and still want to replace your unit, an additional 1 GB of RAM would take precedence over dedicated video memory. Good luck!

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Of course I forgot something.....
by Igiveup2 / June 10, 2007 10:44 AM PDT
In reply to: RAM and video

If all else fails, you could upgrade the RAM in your existing unit rather than replacing it.

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thank you
by multimediamaniac / June 10, 2007 11:58 PM PDT
In reply to: RAM and video

I would like to thank everyone for their advise on my issue. It is greatly appreciated. I will keep your advise in mind when I am looking for a computer. Thank you again!

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