New Laptop Question

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New Laptop Question

Postby domromer » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:40 pm

I'm about to start college again in the fall and I need a new laptop. It would be used mostly for photoshop, and dreamweaver. My neighbor builds customs computers and offeredto build this one up for me. Have a look at the specs and tell me what you think.

Total price 1,287.00

Brand: Ecpxs MSI custom
Model: Element S100a

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
CPU Type: AMD Turion 64 x2 TL-50 ( 1.6Ghz)
Screen: 15.4" WXGA
Memory Size: 2GB DDR2
Hard Disk: 120gb
Optical Drive: DVD Super Multi
Graphics Card: NVIDIA Geoforce Go 7600
Video Memory 256mb

Thats the short version of the descption. I can add more if need be. The total list is 3 pages long!
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Postby domromer » Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:37 pm

anyone..buller..buller
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Postby k-os » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:18 pm

I found this one on Best Buy's website. It's got a 1.8GHz AMD CPU and 160GB Hard drive. The only downside is the graphics card is not as powerful but it still has at least 256mb of video memory. I know while looking in store at Best Buy there were some pretty nice laptops over the $1000 range.
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Postby J-Man » Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:37 pm

Well I was going to chime in, but I'm an Apple guy...I know, that and Discraft.
http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nnmm=browse&mco=2F15A1DE&node=home/macbook/macbook

Can you say...no viruses :wink:
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Postby some call me...tim? » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:25 am

J-Man wrote:Can you say...no viruses :wink:


I use a PC and I can safely say "Yup!" (I can also play games and upgrade my computer how I like.) :wink:
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Postby garublador » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:28 am

Do you know if the program you're going into has a preference between Macs and PC's? If not, definitely look into that before you get a computer. Also look for student discounts if you get a Mac.
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Postby garublador » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:40 am

ZAMson wrote:
garublador wrote:Do you know if the program you're going into has a preference between Macs and PC's?


Art building = not a single PC


That's sort of what I was getting at, but you never know. I'd rather hear that he checked first rather than spent the money on the wrong thing.
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Postby domromer » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:20 pm

garublador wrote:Do you know if the program you're going into has a preference between Macs and PC's? If not, definitely look into that before you get a computer. Also look for student discounts if you get a Mac.


The classes themselves use Macs, but we need to know both mac and pc, so I planned on using macs at school and pc's at home. Macs are cool, but I'm not into paying for advertising. I also spoke to most of my teachers last semester and they said it's Ford or Chevy, what ever floats your boat. Pretty much all agreed that Macs no longer have the huge edge in the graphics work. I'm just not sure about buying a custom laptop. I don't really know enough about the components to tell if it's a good deal or not.

My other option is a Dell. I know people bitch about Dell a lot, but I've had nothing but good luck with them. I've never had to deal with their customer service.
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Postby SkaBob » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:39 pm

Dell customer service is quite good if you pay extra for the plan with the US based call center. If you don't, well, they're just like anyone else...

Decent specs on that laptop...I'd compare it with retail models and with dell, and compare specifically the CPU and video you get at that price, because those are the two parts you can't swap on almost all laptops. And remember, every 6 months the computer industry rotates it's product lines and drops it's prices.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:39 pm

Just my 2 cents...I'm by no means a guru but I know more about computers than most people. I built my own PC from the ground up and would never buy a prepackaged desktop unit (Dell, Gateway, Compaq...whatever), I just feel that you pay too much of a premium on convenience and limit your options that way. That being said though, if I were to buy a laptop, I'd most likely go with one of the big names like the ones I just mentioned. With my desktop, if something goes wrong, I feel competent enough to reach in, dig around and replace anything that's broken, with a laptop though...I'd be worried about messing things up too much. Though being neighbors with a computer tech guy, and him being the one that built it, changes things quite a bit. Also, even though I'm pretty anti-Apple through and through, I will say that they do put a good laptop together.
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Postby Parks » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:03 pm

Being used mostly for Photoshop and Dreamweaver just screams Apple. Macs are generally the best for graphics and audio applications. Macs are also very secure and OSX is fast even on a laptop. I also assume since its a laptop its not meant to be a gaming machine, so the lack of games for the Mac shouldn't hurt you.

However, if you do decide to go with a Windows laptop, definately make sure that it comes with XP instead of Vista. You'll thank me later since Vista is widely frowned upon due to all kinds of compatibility issues, even by MS fanboys and excited early adopters. Give it a year or two and some Service Packs and it could be a good OS.

Get the second level support option (i.e. Gold Support if you got through Dell).

The lowest level support that you get with laptops will be some phone number where you'll sit on hold for 30 minutes for the pleasure of speaking with an English-as-a-second-language rep that is just going off a script and can't actually help you with real problems.
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Postby steezo » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:05 pm

That laptop should run about $900-$1000-less if you find a sale (which there always is) So I'm guessing labor is $200. I'm sure you can find the same machine from either Dell or Apple for the same price with warranty-Will this guy help maintain your computer compents? I work in the industry and I have a friend that builds computers. Building is always better but only if you know what your doing and only if you can maintain the computer. Also, if you are going to go with AMD than you will need at least x2 2.0ghz proc-otherwise you will not be happy in 2-3 years with your computing proformance.
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Postby steezo » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:07 pm

Also-you don't need a 120g hardrive in a laptop-put that moneyy towards a better processor and get a good external hd that you can carry with you.
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