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need help choosing processor

by boomergal / April 11, 2006 8:28 AM PDT

I am a medical transcriptionist and work via my company's platform over the internet, so I am constantly online (high speed). I want to buy a laptop to work off of when I am away from home. I also want to be able to burn DVDs and CDs off of it. I'm looking to get something with at leat 2GB RAM and 100 GB HD. My question is about the processor for this computer. I am so confused about what to look for and what would be best for what I am needing to do. Pentium 4 with hyper-threading, Pentium M, or Duo Core? I want whatever if the fastest, and I can't make heads nor tails of anything about these processors. It looks like greek to me. Please give me some advice! Thank you.

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My opinion
by joesmithers06 / April 11, 2006 9:31 AM PDT

Forget the Pentium4. It's a battery hog, and runs rather hot. Two very bad things with laptops.

Pentium M or Centrino chips are good choices. They were designed from the ground up to be mobile chips, so that means longer battery life and less heat.

Core Duo chips are very new, so hard to say. The major selling point is that they're dual core chips, or essentially two CPUs in one. The core solo is the single core version. Core Duo chips might be worthwhile if you're looking to try and future proof the system as much as possible, though for most of the system's life, that extra core is probably going to be more of a drain on the battery than anything.

One other option is Athlon64 or Turin based chips from AMD. On the desktop side of things, AMD has been trouncing Intel for some time now in the bang per buck arena, offering better performing chips at lower prices. I can't honestly say how well their mobile line compares, but it might be worth looking into. My guess would be that they stack up competitively against Intel's offerings on heat and battery drain, while likely keeping the performance edge. Maybe someone else here can offer up an opinion on these.

On a laptop, the main things you will want to concern yourself with are heat dissipation, battery life and overall performance, in that order.

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Thank you.
by boomergal / April 11, 2006 1:28 PM PDT
In reply to: My opinion

Thank you for the reply. I really appreciate your help. I needed it!

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one more question...
by boomergal / April 12, 2006 12:18 AM PDT

Okay, I have checked out computers, and I am down to choosing between a notebook with 100GB HD, 2GB RAM, and either a 2GHz Duo Core or a 2.26 GHz Pentium M. The duo core is a little more expensive, and I am willing to pay it if it is worth the money. Any suggestions?

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Probably not
by joesmithers06 / April 12, 2006 3:54 AM PDT
In reply to: one more question...

Given what you listed as your primary uses for such a computer, that second core would probably just be a drain on the battery and gain you little performance wise.

It's just my opinion, but if you're doing anything that requires a dual core chip on a laptop, you probably want a desktop instead. Something I'd suggest to you.

If you don't need the portability of a laptop, get a desktop. For what you're paying for a laptop with those specs, you could probably get a desktop that's about 2X as powerful. Not to mention a real keyboard, not one of those cramped little things that pass off as keyboards on PC laptops, and you could get a much larger screen. Something that could be invaluable to you if you do a lot of typing. Before you buy anything, I'd think long and hard if there's any way a desktop could work.

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thank you
by boomergal / April 12, 2006 8:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Probably not

Okay. Thanks for your help. I already have a desktop. I am specifically wanting a laptop for travel purposes, so I will keep what you have said in mind about the Pentium M's. I really appreciate your help.


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