Could someone reccoment a good laptop for a database developer? - Part II

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Data Girl, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Data Girl

    Data Girl Guest

    The other day, I posted a question regarding what I should look for in a new
    laptop. Here are the specs I have decided on:

    * Intel Core 2 Duo or Core Duo (seems to be higher in regard than Athlon
    X2).
    * 1 GB RAM (I'd prefer 2 GB, but seems to only be bundled with models a step
    higher than my price range of $800 - $1000).
    * I'm not all that interested in HD size, any size over 80mb, but I am
    looking for >= 5,400 rpm.

    Here are my remaining questions:

    At Best Buy and CompUSA, I was most impressed with the HP Pavilians. Some
    models are in my price range, their specs are competitive, and the monitors
    look good. I've seen some low priced and well equipped Acer models as well,
    but I've also heard that Acer is not held in high regard. Also, I saw some
    affordable Gateway models. HP, Acer, Gateway, Sony: what are your general
    opionions on brand?

    Basically, what is the difference between a Core 2 Duo and Core Duo?
    Specifically, is a Core 2 Duo T5500 (1.66 Ghz) "faster" or at least capable
    than a Core Duo T2600 (2.16 Ghz) when multitasking a couple of CPU hogs like
    MS Office and Visual Studio.NET ?

    As I mentioned in my previous post, my employer requires that our laptop run
    XP Professional. Attempting to purchase a new laptop (or refurbished) laptop
    with XP Pro severely limits my options. A dealer may have 1 or 2 models in
    stock with XP Pro, but it's never the component configuration I'm looking
    for. So, I'm going to get something with Vista Business, buy XP Pro off of
    eBay, then wipe down the laptop and install XP Pro. In another year or so,
    I'll wipe down again and re-install Vista when our IT director trusts it
    enough to allow it on our network.
    Anyway, my question is whether or not there could be an issue with
    installing XP Pro on these latest generation of laptops, assuming I start
    fresh with a re-formatted HD ?

    Regarding laptop monitors, I can see a monitor on display and tell if it
    looks good, but I don't know it's capability for things like watching DVD
    movies or using a HD tuner. There is so much variation and buzz words: WXGA,
    SXGA+, UXGA, TrueLife, widescreen, TFT, etc. What should I be looking for in
    a moderately priced laptop?

    When I'm looking at a laptop on display, is there a system performance
    utility bundled with Vista or something I can run from the command prompt?
    Perhaps something I that will measure the model's comparative CPU / IO
    speed, internal specs, etc. I guess I could carry something on my USB drive
    and plug in, but I don't want to install it.

    Thanks again.
     
    Data Girl, Feb 26, 2007
    #1
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  2. Data Girl

    Peter B. P. Guest

    I have a MacBook Pro, 2.33 Ghz Core2Duo, 2 GB RAm, 120 GB 5400rpm HD.

    I use JDeveloper and SQL Developer on it, and it works great.

    http://apple.com/macbook/
     
    Peter B. P., Feb 26, 2007
    #2
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  3. Data Girl

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    You'll definitely find them at 5400RPM but getting 7200RPM or higher
    would be much more expensive.
    I own a Gateway Turion model, no major problems with it, good enough
    support. In the consumer space, they are all pretty much the same, no
    difference. Plus the laptops are all usually made by the same small
    group of manufacturers and rebadged to whatever brandname you like.
    Core 2 Duo is brand new architecture over Core Duo, much much faster.
    But basically the easiest way to tell the difference is that Core Duo
    does not have 64-bit capabilities, but Core 2 Duo does.
    You'll find the operating systems disks that are supplied with these
    laptops are heavily customized for these laptops. They'll include all of
    the pre-configured drivers that are specific for your machine. When you
    buy an retail XP disk, you'll have to scrounge around looking for and
    downloading all of the drivers that you're missing. They don't include a
    separate disk of drivers with these machines (that would be way too
    convenient), they just package one pre-configured XP installation with
    all of the drivers installed already.
    Most laptops are wide-screen nowadays, meaning they have a 16:10
    width-to-height aspect ratio rather than a 4:3 ratio. 16:10 is very
    close to the proportions of a wide-screen tv which is usually 16:9, so
    you're better off watching DVD's on such a screen (you'll see less top &
    bottom black bars).

    And if you don't like the way your laptop screen looks, then you can
    always just shut the laptop case and attach a regular monitor to it via
    the VGA port.

    Yousuf Khan
     
    Yousuf Khan, Feb 27, 2007
    #3
  4. Data Girl

    Judd Guest

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/02/27/dual_core_notebook_cpus_explored/

    Definitely stick with the Core 2 Duo. They are MUCH faster than the Turion
    which is slower than even the Core Duo. I have a Turion and do really like
    it, but it's not a speed demon. With the Core 2 Duo out now though it
    doesn't make sense to buy anything else due to the performance being so much
    greater.
    I have an HP and I do love their LCDs. Toshiba also has very good LCDs.
    The HPs have the full keyboard which you will like. Dell has the half
    keyboard and it absolutely sucks to use.
    Stick with Core 2 Duo. It's 64-bit and it's dual core which will be
    requirements in the near future. Always better to future proof. If they
    are too expensive, then get the Turion X2 which has the same features but
    not nearly the performance. The Core Duo (and also going by Pentium at the
    very lowest end) is a 32-bit dual CPU architecture that is 1 generation
    behind the Core 2 Duo. It is slower and only 32-bit so only buy a system
    with a Core Duo if you only want to use it for the next couple of years.
    If it's XP, then you are probably stuck with Core Duo systems unless you can
    find some refurbished Core 2 Duo and Turion systems out there. These
    laptops come preconfigured with drivers, etc. so they are a bear to change
    OS's on.
    Most of the wide screen laptops have almost the same format as wide screen
    DVD's in aspect ratio. The only other thing to look for is brightness,
    contrast ratio. In general, the more letters, and the higher down the
    alphabet you go, the better the screen. Look at the video system more than
    anything. Not all laptop video cards are made the same. The one's with
    onboard graphics are generally cheaper and don't display full screen DVD's
    with the best of clarity. What they can do is save you on battery power
    quite a bit though, so you can run through 2 DVD's on 1 charge if you have a
    long flight. The one's with the really good video cards (look for nvidia
    cards with their own memory, not shared memory) will suck your battery dry
    so you'll only get 1 DVD watched out of them on a single charge. The good
    news is the DVD will play like it does on your High Def TV.
    I/O is about the same, they all have USB, and some will give you options for
    firewire if you want to connect external drives. Some also have multiports
    for micro and mini SD and other digital media. The biggest thing you want
    to make sure it has is wireless access so that you can get on the net at an
    airport, coffee shop, or wherever else they have wireless. Make sure it's
    the latest standards and make sure it's built in (most are)!

    I've had great luck with HP these days as far as laptops go, so I'll give
    them the thumbs up. I also like what Apple has now, but they are MacOS
    which doesn't fit your criteria.
     
    Judd, Feb 28, 2007
    #4
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