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Old 11-12-2012, 04:19 AM   #16
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I think your 2nd link is wrong.
It is - Sorry. It was a long night. That's the Toshiba.
2. http://www.elara.ie/productdetail.as...ode=ECE2525568
That's the one to beat at the moment, then. Weeding through the unexciting crud on ebay atm. It seems I can rule out the entire range of some manufacturers based on this. Maybe try some English suppliers then.
Quote:
Nvidia Optimus
Aargh! The thought of paying good money to do that to myself is horrifying.
 
Old 11-12-2012, 04:38 AM   #17
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What is it you like about the Toshiba? The blu-ray burner, the 17.3'' screen or the 1600x900 resolution?
 
Old 11-12-2012, 07:09 AM   #18
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The 17.3" (or similar) screen is a must, I've decided. Don't care so much about the resolution.
The rest of it - it was the package - the mix of features. The bd-re is nice but not essential; I can't imagine writing many blu ray disks. I'm not large into SSDs.
 
Old 11-12-2012, 07:46 AM   #19
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O.K., if you want 17''+ that knocks out a lot of laptops on elara.ie

The isue I have with that toshiba is that its 1000+ euro for a dual core hyperthreading i5 (i5-3210M- 2.5GHz, 3.1GHz turbo, 3MB cache, 2 cores/4 threads)

http://ark.intel.com/products/65708

I really wouldnt get it, theres a slightly lower model (4GB RAM, not 8GB, 500GB HDD, not 750GB, no blu-ray) which costs a lot less. Same CPU, same Raedon HD GPU.

http://www.elara.ie/productdetail.as...PSKFPE00400MEN

You can get a HP Pavilion dv7-6b57ea 17.3'' with a i7-2670QM with hyperthreading for only a tiny amount more than the toshiba L870-149 (i7-2670QM- 2.2GHz, 3.1GHz turbo, 6MB cache, 4 cores/8 threads)

http://ark.intel.com/products/53469

http://www.elara.ie/productdetail.as...=WCEQG738EAABU

Slightly older i7 tech vs band new i5, but nothing wrong with the older i7s. They have got a lot more CPU power thanks to the extra cores and larger cache. No bluray burner, but that is no great loss IMO. Blu-ray is a long way from market saturation.
 
Old 11-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #20
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Thanks Cascade, you're doing the work for me.
elara.ie seem the least obsolete of Irish suppliers (others are dabs.ie, computerpartsireland.com, or the expensive komplett.ie). They don't stock anything - perhaps that's why.

Blu ray isn't going to make it IMO - it's not better enough to be worth it. And I have blu-ray/dvd ROM already, and don't envisage writing blu-ray disks. You'll notice also I have abandoned the AMD preference.
I was paying little attention to the cpus, as I'm hardly going to stress any of them. I should have been watching a bit better.

I'm weeding through crud in ebay as I get time. I wanted to pick something to beat locally, and you seem to have done that for me. I can often knock a few off then by going abroad.

Have you (Has anyone) a list of Nvidia Optimus cards to avoid them? Bumblebee is OSS at it's best, but realistically it sucks performance wise.
 
Old 11-12-2012, 12:43 PM   #21
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Hmmm...I really should have done this a while ago, just caught up in the moment.

Intel iX is pretty much everywhere now. You still get some 'Pentium' and 'Celeron' branded CPUs but they are just more cut down versions of the i3 CPUs. They all use Intel HD video (intel video on the CPU). Its still nothing amazing and is crap for gaming, but has decent support with linux and thats all you need really.

Optimus is also prety much everywhere now. All the current nVidida mobile GPUs support optimus, and it started a fair while ago, as far back as GT3XXM in early 2010. You can pretty much assume that any laptop you see with a GT/GTX3XXM or newer (4XX, 5XX, 6XX) is using optimus.

I'm still a little unsure about how the new AMD GPUs work with Intel iX series CPUs. I know a while ago there was a lot of switchable graphics laptops around, which were almost as much of a pain as optimus. From what I can tell the newer AMD Readon 6XXXM and 7XXXM GPUs never seem to be sold as switchable graphics, its always hardwired (thank goodness for that) but no doubt theres some model out there that isnt.......but anyway, you should be faily safe with Intel iX + AMD GPU systems. I wouldnt pay any extra for them, and an intel only system is prefable IMO.

Its justa pity that almost all the larger laptops those with quad-core i7 CPUs (yes, intel makes dual core i7 mobile CPUs just to be confusing) seem to have an added GPU, mostly nVidia GT5XXM or GT6XXM.

I'd sort of noticed you had dropped the AMD option. I possibly would have suggested one, but I cant find any AMD laptops of 17'' or bigger screen. If you saw a 17'' AMD A8 4XXXM or A10 4XXXM (quad core) setup its probably worth a look. Decent on CPU video, not as fast as a i7 quad core, probably a bit faster than the i5 and i7 dual cores. Power consumption is a little higher, but they should be a lot cheaper. If they are around.

*edit- dabs does have one laptop that caught my eye, a HP Pro Book 4740s (i5-2450M)-

http://www.dabs.ie/products/hp-probo...51220000&src=3

Probnably because I kinda like the Pro Books I've seen, and I know they are very linux compatible. Err....in part from this list, which you could find useful-

http://www.linuxnow.com.au/nsintro.html

Just a pity that dabs doesnt have the i7 quad core version.

That linuxnow site also shows how much you guys are paying for older stuff. HP ProBook 4740s (B7C22PA) would be the newer equivilent of the one I linked at dabs. More RAM, 8GB vs 4GB at dabs, newer CPU, 820 euros.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-12-2012 at 05:03 PM. Reason: typos
 
Old 11-13-2012, 04:32 AM   #22
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Optimus is also prety much everywhere now. All the current nVidida mobile GPUs support optimus, and it started a fair while ago, as far back as GT3XXM in early 2010. You can pretty much assume that any laptop you see with a GT/GTX3XXM or newer (4XX, 5XX, 6XX) is using optimus.
That effectively rules out any laptop with nvidia graphics. Those are the Nvidia models on offer. Wikipedia has an amusing piece about optimus which mentions Linus giving them the 'middle finger' in some speech he gave.

I haven't actually dropped the AMD option. I stopped avoiding Intel chips altogether.
From my perspective AMD needs to be taken over, or a merger. They have the best GPUs for linux atm, but it's just time until the advancing complexity of the Intel offerings allows them to leverage their lower fab size and outperform everything. A couple of years, imo. And they have a linux commitment from the get go. Meantime the amd hd 7xxx stuff goes well on the binary blob. I read recently about the 'switchable graphics' getting kernel support soon.

As for that 'savage little gpu' on the rasberry pi my son was talking about, I sent him this:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTIxNDk

I have added that m/c from dabs.ie and the others to my short-listed bookmarks (Now I have 8, and rising)and pumped up the paypal account so I can pick a winner and pay for it. I'll stop soon. Thanks for the perceptive update which has undoubtedly saved me a lot of trouble or the price of some piece of crap.
 
Old 11-13-2012, 11:15 AM   #23
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OK, finished on ebay (Finally). I decided late in the day to go for a quad core cpu as I'm future proofing myself a bit on this box. I don't expect to do this again in a long time. I am now close to buying (= sick of looking and am down to 2
1. http://www.ebay.ie/itm/HP-Envy-17-30...item1c2d28906c

2. http://www.ebay.ie/itm/HP-Pavilion-d...item3a7b96cf84

The Envy (1) is better in every spec with a 160G SSD but much pricier (1302 vs 851). I'm like the donkey between two haystacks who doesn't know which way to turn. I'm not sure the envy is worth the extra 450 (~ US$600). I am also reading weird stuff about both the video chips. But there's a lot of extra stuff in the HD7690 vs the HD7470.

Now they both have intel and AMD graphics. The question that I can't get answered is: Which one does the hdmi feed come out of? I don't want to plump for one over the graphics to find I have to use the comparatively crappy Intel thing for hdmi.

Lastly, Cascade, when this thread is marked "Solved," (!) you'll have to write up something we can all point people to, as you appear to be the LQ expert on this subject of "What to Buy" comparisons.
 
Old 11-13-2012, 11:45 AM   #24
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Usually the Intel card only outputs to VGA, and the nvidia or ATI card outputs to HDMI. That's how it is on pretty much every laptop I've seen. If I were to invest money for a long time, it would not be into a laptop, but rather a desktop.
 
Old 11-13-2012, 10:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
The Envy (1) is better in every spec with a 160G SSD but much pricier (€1302 vs €851). I'm like the donkey between two haystacks who doesn't know which way to turn. I'm not sure the envy is worth the extra €450 (~ US$600).
HP Pavilion is a 'remanufactured' (a.k.a. 'reapaired RMAed') system. I've never been that confident about remanufacutered laptops.

HP Envy is amazingly expensive, and 'remarketed'. Which as far as I know means the same as 'remanufactured'.

I'd grab the Pavilion over the Envy. Easy to buy and install a SSD in the Pavilion. Though I havent chedked the chipset in the Envy, I'd guess its the same as the Pavilion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
I am also reading weird stuff about both the video chips. But there's a lot of extra stuff in the HD7690 vs the HD7470.
Are you planning on using the system for games? If not, the difference between the HD7690 and HD7470 is how fast it will eat battery and heat output..

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Now they both have intel and AMD graphics. The question that I can't get answered is: Which one does the hdmi feed come out of? I don't want to plump for one over the graphics to find I have to use the comparatively crappy Intel thing for hdmi.
Intel might not have the same speed for gaming as the ATI/AMD GPUs. That doesnt make the Intel video that crappy.

I'd still try to avoid Intel/AMD GPU laptops unless you know it will work. I cant get hard confimation about what video chip is wired up to what with the intel/AMD setups, and I cant confirm that it will work with your linked laptops. Sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Lastly, Cascade, when this thread is marked "Solved," (!) you'll have to write up something we can all point people to, as you appear to be the LQ expert on this subject of "What to Buy" comparisons.
LOL, thanks. I think I'm just the guy here who most likes poking hardware. TobiSGD knows at least as much as me.

Are you sure you want a 1000 quid laptop? You could get a realy nice desktop for much less than that, and not have to worry about what port is wired up to what video chip.
 
Old 11-14-2012, 03:41 AM   #26
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I'd grab the Pavilion over the Envy. Easy to buy and install a SSD in the Pavilion. Though I havent chedked the chipset in the Envy, I'd guess its the same as the Pavilion.
HM 65 chipset in both, I think. I'm careful enough, but 'remarketed' in a well run shop doesn't scare me.
Quote:
Are you planning on using the system for games?
Maybe Minesweeper :-). Not doom or quake. I'm not into mass murder, rape, pillage, spiritism, or grand larceny. What's out there to play?? :-)).

Quote:
I'd still try to avoid Intel/AMD GPU laptops unless you know it will work.
What other option have I got? Intel/Optimus? Or, at the cheap end, Intel alone?

Quote:
I cant get hard confimation about what video chip is wired up to what
OK - It's ebay. I'll ask them. That usually sorts the men from the boys.
 
Old 11-14-2012, 05:09 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Maybe Minesweeper :-). Not doom or quake. I'm not into mass murder, rape, pillage, spiritism, or grand larceny. What's out there to play?? :-)).
Plenty of games are that arent in those categories....I dont think that they will do much for you though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
What other option have I got? Intel/Optimus? Or, at the cheap end, Intel alone?
Intel with intel video, or AMD with AMD video. Anything else has some risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
OK - It's ebay. I'll ask them. That usually sorts the men from the boys.
That could be a funny exchange. Good luck.
 
Old 11-14-2012, 01:53 PM   #28
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@cascade9:
Quote:
Plenty of games are that arent in those categories....I dont think that they will do much for you though.
No, I'm not on mega doses of caffeine, speed - so I'm not competitive. The kids had Micro Machines on a Sega megadrive with 4 joysticks (2 extra in the game cartridge) - racing little cars around on jacks seats, snooker tables, bath rims - that was fun. And the later Space Quest RPGs were fun (5 & 6 I think, mebbe 7. Was there 7?). It's the only game where they would laugh their heads off as they were killed off in some crazy way. Maybe 'Guitar hero' if you're into that.

Quote:
Intel with intel video, or AMD with AMD video. Anything else has some risk.
I'm not going for Intel video. Period. AMD w/AMD are very rare in the screen size. So I'm taking the risk.



@H_TeXMeX_H:
Quote:
Usually the Intel card only outputs to VGA, and the nvidia or ATI card outputs to HDMI. That's how it is on pretty much every laptop I've seen. If I were to invest money for a long time, it would not be into a laptop, but rather a desktop.
That's a relief on the hdmi, thanks for that. It's a good test of a seller to ask something. I take the point about the desktop, but my needs are a little unusual. The crappy desktop has died, and I don't want a powerhouse on the desk. This laptop is springing charging issues and is only fit to be a desktop. Better have a large screen with entertainment features.
And I'm bound to be caught by something - it's the universal rule in these parts. Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame) is an Irish name. Whatever you buy - anywhere, anytime - someone bought a better one cheaper last week, or somebody would have warned me if they knew I was going to buy that. And yes, we pay 200 over the odds here for PCs
 
Old 11-15-2012, 01:50 AM   #29
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IMO the point of a laptop is to be portable, and 17''+ screens really hurt that.

Laptops are also not meant to last that long.

Spending $X on a desktop will always give you more performance than a laptop, desktops tend to have better lifespans as there isnt the push toward miniaturisation, cramming hot parts net to each other (etc.).

I wouldnt touch those 17.3'' i7 laptops. Sure, they are a quad core...it probably not going to last that much better than a much cheaper dual core.

€1302 or similar on a laptop doesnt make as much sense to me as spending half that amount on something with 60-70% of the performance of the 'top end' laptop (and that is 60-70% on CPU heavy tasks, on the desktop you'll never see a difference).

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
I'm not going for Intel video. Period. AMD w/AMD are very rare in the screen size. So I'm taking the risk.
Why risk it? The AMD GPU is going to do exactly nothing for you. It could even be a right pain in the future. The intel video runs with the open source drivers well. The AMD GPU will need closed drivers to get full performance and be as power efficent as it can. The open source drives may get to the closed source drivers level on power use and performance in the future.....so far it has never happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
That's a relief on the hdmi, thanks for that.
I wouldn't bet on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Better have a large screen with entertainment features.
What 'enteratinment features'?

Last edited by cascade9; 11-15-2012 at 01:54 AM.
 
Old 11-15-2012, 03:44 AM   #30
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IMO the point of a laptop is to be portable, and 17''+ screens really hurt that.
Laptops are also not meant to last that long.
Agreed in general. But this is for me. The big screen is a ;must have' and everything else is variable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Spending $X on a desktop will always give you more performance than a laptop, desktops tend to have better lifespans as there isnt the push toward miniaturisation, cramming hot parts net to each other (etc.).
Parts are not exactly spread out on a desktop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
I wouldnt touch those 17.3'' i7 laptops. Sure, they are a quad core...it probably not going to last that much better than a much cheaper dual core.
Funny, but I found the dual cores were not significantly cheaper. I filtered to quad core because there's simply too many options for the time I have to put into this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
€1302 or similar on a laptop doesnt make as much sense to me as spending half that amount on something with 60-70% of the performance of the 'top end' laptop (and that is 60-70% on CPU heavy tasks, on the desktop you'll never see a difference).
That's a piece of material advice I will follow. Thank you. I couldn't make up my mind on that. But this isn't for my desk. I have to retire my present laptop there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Why risk it? The AMD GPU is going to do exactly nothing for you. It could even be a right pain in the future. The intel video runs with the open source drivers well. The AMD GPU will need closed drivers to get full performance and be as power efficent as it can. The open source drives may get to the closed source drivers level on power use and performance in the future.....so far it has never happened.
From what I read, it never will. AMD are not open sourcing their UVD so there's this fancy decoder in there which OSS can't use or won't be able to.
What Intel GPUs run well? I seem to meet large numbers of guys with 3000 and Sandy Bridge on these forums struggling for any form of video normality like I was with the ATI rs690 4 years ago. I am anxious not to repeat that. I will go off and check some recent reviews of the intel graphics

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
I wouldn't bet on it.
I've asked the sellers anyhow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
What 'enteratinment features'?
hdmi, and a decent sound & display of it's own. It's for _me_ in _my_house_ and unusual things are important. I agree this sounds weird. But it's about our lifestyle.

Last edited by business_kid; 11-15-2012 at 03:47 AM.
 
  


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