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Old 22nd September 2010, 15:27   #1546
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Can you achieve this versatility with a desktop? Maybe Yes / Maybe No
Certainly yes! What can you do with a laptop that you cannot do with a desktop/tower? I think the answer to that is nothing. There is no functionality available in a laptop that you can have in a desktop. You want wifi in a desktop? Add a wifi card and you have it. Cabling not relevant.

There are some lifestyle decisions here, and they are more to with stuff like looks and decor, and portability still counts even if it only required to move across the room. These are personal needs and personal tastes, which are valid, but nothing to do with the comparative abilities, power or upgradability of a system.

In terms of the corporate world, there is a certain amount of status in being given a laptop that you can take home. Why, I find it hard to tell, because who wants to take work home? It's like the hatchback thing. If they give you a 3.something Ghz machine with 4Gb ram and the fastest available hard disks, are you going to say, "but I wanted a laptop!". If they give you a BMW 3 series, are you going to say, "but I wanted a saloon!"

The other side of the coin is that even a moderate laptop has all the processing power most people need for browsing, e-mail, word-processing, even in the office environment. This does not make it in anyway superior, because so does a 486 (or even 386, 286!).
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Old 22nd September 2010, 15:53   #1547
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I think the bottomline and the only thing to be considered in a laptop is whether portability is critical. Not portability across rooms but across roads. That portability has a huge cost in terms of specs, scalability, and performance. Most importantly, there is very little choice or customisation. Negligible in India and less in UK (my brother in UK knows how hard it is to get a decent, customisable laptop).Get stuck with what the OEM supplies at big markups, lousy service, and useless paid for junkware. Do not want all this??. No problem. They do have an ancient, third grade spec DOS-based laptop with 13-14 inch screen, and some core 2 duo discarded stuff.

Laptops are still in the 14-15 inch screen size and second rate configs. In a desktop, those screen sizes went out with CRTs, and those configs can be had at a substantial discount. Even the teens screen sizes are now going out. Further, the OEM loads all the crap which has to be paid by the consumer (similar problems in OEM purchased desktops which are only overpriced). Perhaps Cyberlink/McAfee are surviving only because of this.

For an average person who wants portability, portability,... and portability above all; laptops are OK. For others, they would spend their money wisely and get their money to go much further, if they purchase a desktop. I configged my initial desktop with core i 7 920 (13-14K), 1 TB HDD, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, MSI X58 M, Nvidia 1 GB graphic card, Coolermaster, other minor accessories all for a grand cost of around 40K in June 2009. In March 2010, for my wife's sister, I arranged a HP DV6... 21... laptop with i3, 15 inch screen, 3 GB RAM, 320 gb HDD, win 7 hp 32 bit, other junkware etc for a total price of Rs. 60 K. That diff of 20K has bought me an additional 5 GB RAM (Rs. 8000) Rs. 8000 for a 2*1 TB Seagate HDD, Rs. 6000 for a WD Caviar black 1 tb. They are not sitting there idly but being used. If one's purpose is to only watch movies on PC, who would watch on a 14-15 inch screen with cheap resolution and with a paid for bloatware when one can buy a 20-25 inch screen and download VLC for free. For web browsing, try and see the diff between a 15 inch screen and a bigger desktop screen.

Trust me, Moore's law applies as much to desktops as to laptops. Perhaps, even more so.

Last edited by vasudeva : 22nd September 2010 at 16:04.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 16:17   #1548
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PassMark Intel vs AMD CPU Benchmarks - High End

One of many useful benchmarkers. See where the top end laptop CPUs land up. Also see what is their price compared with similar performance desktop CPUs.

On the same site, one can also see graphic and HDD benchmarks. The story is the same. Just do not look for much or any of any laptop configs in the top half or even on the first page.

To see the compromise, one should either compare prices of similar spec hardware on desktop and laptop, or compare what a given performance desktop CPU at some cost would cost on a laptop. The i7 920XM (that Lenovo one laptop for $4000+ is also benchmarked there). The good news is that it is in high end CPU. The bad news: the cost and the fact that comparable desktop CPUs can be had for much less.

Last edited by vasudeva : 22nd September 2010 at 16:36.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 16:44   #1549
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
The other side of the coin is that even a moderate laptop has all the processing power most people need for browsing, e-mail, word-processing, even in the office environment. This does not make it in anyway superior, because so does a 486 (or even 386, 286!).
Web browsing is no longer tame in terms of CPU / RAM requirements. Try opening digg.com / gmaill.com on some ancient system.

And video playback can bring even newer systems to its knees. Codecs (E.g. h264) that are used today can peg most 2004 era CPUs to 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
I think the bottomline and the only thing to be considered in a laptop is whether portability is critical. Not portability across rooms but across roads.
For corporate users, laptops bring a unique value. That is if a desk has docking station with 2 large monitors, keyboard/mouse.

This gives usability benefits of desktop (multiple screens, keyboard with numeric keypad etc) with space saving + power backup of a laptop. You need UPS only for networking + voice gear, laptop will work with smaller screen during powercut.

My laptop us 4 RAM slots, has i5 CPU, 8 GB RAM, and cost is 850 USD. Good enough for running 2 Windows 7 and a Mac Os VM.

For quantities of 500 or more, cost in India is same as US. Dell/HP do not supply laptops with OS by default for enterprise. Most enterprise would have their own OS image and site license for MS Windows + Office etc.

IT adds laptop's MAC ID + hardware ID to repository, Laptop will automatically be initialized with default image + encrypted hdd as soon as it powers on and looks for OS on network (since HDD would be blank).
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Old 22nd September 2010, 17:03   #1550
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@vasudeva & @Thad E Ginathom : I am not disagreeing with the advantages of cost and performance that a Desktop offers at the point of time of purchase (The hardware goes obsolete in 18 months!
In a corporate world, I am beginning to see laptops getting doled out to developers as well. Atleast in my organisation, laptops are more (irrespective of hierarchy).
The portability itself is reason enough for me. Consider the case I am travelling to Calcutta on a train and there I need to check my mails. Carrying one of those net connectivity USB dongles (Photon+ etc) I can do it pronto in 5 mins! Yes maybe I wont get onto a train every now and then but 'cmon everyone is getting more and more mobile with each passing day! I remember days when my Dad carried along a briefcase containing files both form his work as well as health maybe a small picture album or so on and so forth. Today for me, I am incomplete without my laptop. I have all the stuff that I need with me at anytime and at anyplace...
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Old 23rd September 2010, 00:02   #1551
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All a matter of preferences and requirements and, not least of course, personal freedom of choice. For me, when I travel, one of the things that I am getting away from is the ordinary day in front of my computer, but even so, it is conceivable that, one day, my portable player might be replaced by a notebook PC!

Netfreak, yes, it is a shame that it was never a priority of Firefox (plus a handful of extensions) to be lightweight. Correction noted and taken on board. Now I've moved to Linux, I don't notice how heavy FF is, but I guess remember the times when, under Windows, it just stopped for a while.

Casting my mind back to office (office? what's that?) days, I was reflecting how upgrade was often more a matter of status than need. The only people in my office who were always in actual need of more power were the accountants who crunched numbers in spreadsheets. Some of that crunching took hours, overnight, even.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 18:56   #1552
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Its been just a week since i finished my dream build.

The config:

Processor : AMD Phenom II X6 - 1090T Black Edition.
Motherboard : ASUS M4A785TD-V-EVO (AMD 785G Chipset).
Memory : Transcend 2 GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM (to be upgraded to 4GB with next pay check).
Graphics : XFX ATI Radeon 5750 PCI Express with 1GB GDDR5 RAM.
Storage : Seagate 1 TB HDD.
Connectivity : Netgear WG311v3 54 MBps wireless PCI card.
Power : CoolerMaster 600 Watts SMPS.
Enclosure : Zebronics "Pleasant" cabinet.

Cooling:
Exhaust : 1 x 92mm fan(in rear) + 1 x 120mm fan(in smps).
Intake : 1 x 120mm fan(in front with DIY mesh grille) + 2 x 80mm fan(on LHD).

Display: Acer H203H 20" LCD monitor with DVI in.

The Computer & Configuration Thread-06092010231.jpg
The Computer & Configuration Thread-06092010230.jpg
The Computer & Configuration Thread-06092010224.jpg
The Computer & Configuration Thread-06092010228.jpg
The Computer & Configuration Thread-06092010227.jpg
The Computer & Configuration Thread-06092010229.jpg

PS : The old TV tuner card was removed to allow more air circulation to the graphics card

Last edited by badboyscad : 23rd September 2010 at 18:59.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 19:16   #1553
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Very nice pics! You have a lot of fan power there: is it noisy?

Am I right to think that the big fans move more air with less noise than the smaller ones do?
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Old 23rd September 2010, 20:10   #1554
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Very nice pics! You have a lot of fan power there: is it noisy?
Yes, the front 120mm intake fan is a little noisy(read humming). Remaining fans are almost silent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Am I right to think that the big fans move more air with less noise than the smaller ones do?
Not necessarily, the 120mm intake fan(in front) is from a rack mount server and it is the only noisy fan in my setup but it blows a lot of air.

Idle CPU temperature is 19 degrees centigrade.
CPU temperature while gaming(crysis ,mercenaries etc) is 28 degrees centigrade.
Motherboard temperature varies from 30 to 34 degrees centigrade.
HDD temperature hovers between 30 and 32 degree centigrade.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 20:19   #1555
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Nice rig there badboyscad - place a filter in front of the intake fan (very thin layer of sponge would a DIY).
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Old 23rd September 2010, 22:33   #1556
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Thanks for the fan details.

I had a mystery noise recently: at first I thought it was an new AC compressor on some nearby building, then I thought it was the fan in my PC, then I realised it happened sometimes when the PC wasn't on and only... when plugging in my external drive, did I realise it was that! New furniture, and somehow it sets up a vibration in the desk it is on. Pick it up: noise stops.

I would never have imagined that something so small could make such a deep sound
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Old 23rd September 2010, 22:37   #1557
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Quote:
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Nice rig there badboyscad - place a filter in front of the intake fan (very thin layer of sponge would a DIY).
and I thought that was my invention!

Yes but this helps, keep the internal parts much cleaner.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 22:45   #1558
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badboyscad, would suggest a better PSU. A corsair p'rhaps ?
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Old 23rd September 2010, 22:49   #1559
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Finally got my Dream Laptop
Toshiba Qosmio X505
Processor: Intel Core i7-720QM (1.6ghz upto 2.8ghz)
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M 1 GB GDDR5
HDD: 320 GB @ 7200 rpm
RAM: 4 GB DDR3 (1066 mhz)
Screen: 18.4 inches
Resolution 1680x945 pixels

Last edited by kadanaJ : 23rd September 2010 at 22:50.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 22:55   #1560
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Idle CPU temperature is 19 degrees centigrade.
CPU temperature while gaming(crysis ,mercenaries etc) is 28 degrees centigrade.
Motherboard temperature varies from 30 to 34 degrees centigrade.
HDD temperature hovers between 30 and 32 degree centigrade.
Wow! My temprature figures are about 1-1.5 times of yours (I have a AMD Athlon II X4 635)

Could someone give me idea about the locations to add a fan in my cabinet? Have attached some pics of my cabinet below.

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2 fans will cost me about 1.5-2k. So by adding a bit more cash, should I opt for water cooling? Will that help me in this scenario? And what are the hassles of water cooling?

Last edited by prateekm : 23rd September 2010 at 22:57.
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