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Help with picking laptop (not sof related) 
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Netherlands

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Hi lads,

Since there is a lot of technical knowlegde on this forum I thought this is a good chance for the community to prove its worth  :mrgreen:

I'm going to buy a new laptop/ultrabook (whatever you wanna call it), mainly for work and multimedia. I've got my eye on something but i'm not sure if it's the right thing. I know enough about that stuff to not buy utter shit but advice is always a good thing in this case.

What I want to do with my laptop:
- Microsoft Office, mainly huge excel files.
- Adobe Creative Suite (photoshop mainly, making banners and fronts for folders)
- Run multiple programs at the same time fluently
- Longest battery life possible

So. What are my choices:
Processor:
- Intel Core i3-6100U Dual Core @2,3GHz 3MB cache
- Intel Core i7-6500U Dual Core @2,5GHz 4MB cache
- Intel Core i5-6200U Dual Core @2,3GHz 3MB cache (only at a more expansive party though)

SSD/HDD:
- PCI-e SSD 256 - 512 GB @2.150/1.260MB/s (reading/writing)
- Normal SSD @540/520MB/s up to 1TB

2nd SSD
- SSD's up to 1TB

Memory
- 4GB - 16 GB


What I have in mind (setup costs about €675/£580/$755)
Processor:
- Intel Core i3-6100U Dual Core @2,3GHz 3MB cache
With cost and battery life in mind. But will it be enough for the tasks I want to use it for?

SSD/HDD:
- PCI-e SSD 256 @2.150/1.260MB/s (reading/writing)
Rather spend my money on quicker storage than an expensive (+€160) i7, smart thing or not? :P And Will I really notice the difference in loading times between a ''standard'' SSD and this PCI-e thing?

2nd SSD
- SSD 240GB SATA-600 @540/520MB/s
For extra space for files. HDD is not an option and the PCI-e SSD's are more expensive. Will install the most used programs and OS on the PCI-e SSD

Memory
- 8GB DDR3 SODIMM 1600MHz
Should be enough right?



So any comments, ideas, tips and tricks? Please let me know so I won't waste my money some fucked up peace of junk :)


17 Nov 2016, 08:50
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Netherlands

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Emirate wrote:
What I want to do with my laptop:
- Microsoft Office, mainly huge excel files.
- Adobe Creative Suite (photoshop mainly, making banners and fronts for folders)
- Run multiple programs at the same time fluently

- Longest battery life possible

So. What are my choices:
Processor:
- Intel Core i3-6100U Dual Core @2,3GHz 3MB cache

Will do it's thing but after 1,5/2 year's you will notice that you cheaped out on the cpu.
- Intel Core i7-6500U Dual Core @2,5GHz 4MB cache
Will get you an extra year, 3/4 year's.
- Intel Core i5-6200U Dual Core @2,3GHz 3MB cache (only at a more expansive party though)

SSD/HDD:
- PCI-e SSD 256 - 512 GB @2.150/1.260MB/s (reading/writing)
- Normal SSD @540/520MB/s up to 1TB

2nd SSD
- SSD's up to 1TB

Memory
- 8GB - 16 GB


What I have in mind (setup costs about €675/£580/$755)
Processor:
- Intel Core i3-6100U Dual Core @2,3GHz 3MB cache
With cost and battery life in mind. But will it be enough for the tasks I want to use it for?
It will be enough for now, but it's not future proof gotta buy new one around 2 or 3 years later.
SSD/HDD:
- PCI-e SSD 256 @2.150/1.260MB/s (reading/writing)
Rather spend my money on quicker storage than an expensive (+€160) i7, smart thing or not? :P And Will I really notice the difference in loading times between a ''standard'' SSD and this PCI-e thing?

PCI-e has double the speeds as 2,5" ssd, so yes you would notice this.
Aldough 500MB/s will be noticed agains 1000MB/s, I would rather future proof this. And have that extra year of not buying a new one.


2nd SSD
- SSD 240GB SATA-600 @540/520MB/s
For extra space for files. HDD is not an option and the PCI-e SSD's are more expensive. Will install the most used programs and OS on the PCI-e SSD

Memory
- 8GB DDR3 SODIMM 1600MHz
Should be enough right?
Y


Ideally..

- Intel Core i7-6500U Dual Core @2,5GHz 4MB cache (Cheap out on this and buy a new one in 2+ years)
- Normal SSD @540/520MB/s up to 1TB  (Check if there is PCI-e/M.2 slot available, in 2,5/3 years add PCI-e ssd or M.2 ssd)
- 8GB or 16GB If it doesn't bump price to much. (8GB would need to upgrade in 2,5 years 16GB)

With this you can upgrade the laptop to blow some new life in through it and not be totally useless after 4 years.
after 3 years you could buy upgrade pack PCI-e/M.2 SSD + 2x8GB DDR.
Yanking out a i3/i5 wouldn't be worthy of being recommended or suggested
cheap out on the ssd now and buy the expensive pci-e/m.2 ssd in 3 years or so which probably won't be as expensive as now.


17 Nov 2016, 10:45
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Netherlands

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Sauron wrote:
Ideally..

- Intel Core i7-6500U Dual Core @2,5GHz 4MB cache (Cheap out on this and buy a new one in 2+ years)
- Normal SSD @540/520MB/s up to 1TB  (Check if there is PCI-e/M.2 slot available, in 2,5/3 years add PCI-e ssd or M.2 ssd)
- 8GB or 16GB If it doesn't bump price to much. (8GB would need to upgrade in 2,5 years 16GB)

Thanks for the feedback. Clears some things up for me :)

Yeah I figured the i7 would be a faster cpu, the only thing I thought was weird is that there's not much difference performance wise: Intel Core i7 6500U vs i3 6100U. Unless you overclock or use the turbo function frequently that is. I've got an i7 in my current laptop (dnno which gen) and its worse than the current i3's even though it's some sick octa core(?)...still runs photoshop fluently though once its started (which takes about 4 minutes :lol: ). So what exactly is the difference and in what tasks will I notice I chose the cheaper CPU? Mainly looking at photoshop and office applications here (which are always optimized for outdated systems...)

There are slots for PCI-e/M.2. Good point on it not being as costly in a few years as it is now.


17 Nov 2016, 11:22
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Netherlands

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Emirate wrote:
Yeah I figured the i7 would be a faster cpu, the only thing I thought was weird is that there's not much difference performance wise: Intel Core i7 6500U vs i3 6100U. Unless you overclock or use the turbo function frequently that is.

I've got an i7 in my current laptop (dnno which gen) and its worse than the current i3's even though it's some sick octa core(?)...still runs photoshop fluently though once its started (which takes about 4 minutes :lol: ). So what exactly is the difference and in what tasks will I notice I chose the cheaper CPU? Mainly looking at photoshop and office applications here (which are always optimized for outdated systems...)

Gimme the current laptop model number.

Turbo/SpeedStep is always used depending on thermal/battery throttling/CPU load.

Opening up photoshop will go faster if the computer won't have to wait for HDD, if you do have SSD in the old one and photoshop takes 4 min, there has to be something wrong or the ssd has the speeds of a hdd.

6500u has more Cache, which is used to store files quickly needed by the cpu, other files that aren't needed as quickly will go to ram.
If the ram is full, it will go to swap which is a large file on sdd/hdd.
Only real world case I can give you is.
You probably have noticed this a lot on Windows XP or any vista/win7 computer with a single HDD for that matter, swap/hdd was uber slow so.

Quote:
Cache performance
Cache performance measurement has become important in the recent times where the speed gap between the memory performance and the processor performance is increasing exponentially. The cache was introduced to reduce this speed gap. Thus knowing how well the cache is able to bridge the gap in the speed of processor and memory becomes important, especially in high-performance systems. The cache hit rate and the cache miss rate play an important role in determining this performance. To improve the cache performance, reducing the miss rate becomes one of the necessary steps among other steps. Decreasing the access time to the cache also gives a boost to its performance.

CPU stalls
The time taken to fetch one cache line from memory (read latency due to a cache miss) matters because the CPU will run out of things to do while waiting for the cache line. When a CPU reaches this state, it is called a stall. As CPUs become faster compared to main memory, stalls due to cache misses displace more potential computation; modern CPUs can execute hundreds of instructions in the time taken to fetch a single cache line from main memory.

Various techniques have been employed to keep the CPU busy during this time, including out-of-order execution in which the CPU (Pentium Pro and later Intel designs, for example) attempts to execute independent instructions after the instruction that is waiting for the cache miss data. Another technology, used by many processors, is simultaneous multithreading (SMT), or—​​in Intel's terminology—​​hyper-threading (HT), which allows an alternate thread to use the CPU core while the first thread waits for required CPU resources to become available.


If the quote above isn't clearing anything up maybe this is more clear. LLT: Cache / Sram end is at 3:43.

My conclusion ultrabook still suck balls for performance.
Intel-Core-i*-****U
Quote:
H – High performance graphics
K – Unlocked
M – Mobile
Q – Quad-core
R – Desktop processor based on BGA1364 (mobile) package with high performance graphics
S – Performance-optimized lifestyle
T – Power-optimized lifestyle
U – Ultra-low power
X – Extreme edition
Y – Extremely low power


Just FYI, Just because I can sell something really well doesn't mean I know shit about it.
Just FYI, Just because I can sell something really well doesn't mean I know shit about it.


17 Nov 2016, 14:27
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Netherlands

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:lol: pretty much the reason why I wanted to put my own thing together instead of buying some pre-made rig which always gives me the idea i'm getting screwed over.

Wouldn't know the model number of my current laptop...All I know it has an i7 and a 7200rpm HDD. The laptop fell once about a year ago and since then it slowed down a shitload. Also starts beeping every once in a while when booting. Well, not surprised though, the thing is from summer 2010... Compared its cpu with the i3 here: Intel Core i7 720QM vs i3 6100U

And yes, ultrabooks/laptops suck money vs performance wise. But that's why I have a desktop as well  :smile: Want this thing to be light, easy to carry and quick while running office apps. Most demanding thing i'll do on it is create some banners...

Thanks for the feedback!


17 Nov 2016, 15:11
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There is a difference between multithreaded and single thread performance.

Multithread are apps that can use all the cores/ threads.
In this case, i5 > i3 and i7 > i5.

Many games are single threaded. Most games use only 2-3 threads.

Single thread performance of an i3 could be better than i5/ i7.

More cores = more tasks (threads)

Generally speaking, region and SSPEC aside:

i3 has 2 cores 4 threads
i5 has 4 cores 4 threads
i7 has 4 cores 8 threads

Core i3 supposed to be locked but i5 and i7 are unlocked (an i5 with higher "Bus" frequency could outperform an i7 even at higher core frequencies!

(There are dual core i5s region depending)

YOu want your RAM to be at least twice the size of the biggest "file" you be opening or working on, these days with the price, 16GB should be min or 8GB with the best timing and latency.

Battery life is almost same with most notebooks, the capacity reduces fast, see the price difference in 6 and 9 cell batteries.

If you move your notebook much or give it lots of "loving" SSD is the way to go but check the endurance (which the numbers could be played with) or ensure you have the latest design and manufacturing date if at all possible.


17 Nov 2016, 15:57
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Get a spare battery on you if you're worrying about the life span  :mrgreen:


17 Nov 2016, 16:48
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Netherlands

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Emirate wrote:
Wouldn't know the model number of my current laptop...All I know it has an i7 and a 7200rpm HDD. The laptop fell once about a year ago and since then it slowed down a shitload. Also starts beeping every once in a while when booting. Well, not surprised though, the thing is from summer 2010... Compared its cpu with the i3 here: Intel Core i7 720QM vs i3 6100U

cmd->systeminfo should say model number near the top.

Since it fell it has been throttling the cpu, opening it up and cleaning dust + new thermal paste on cpu would make it regain the turbo ability.


17 Nov 2016, 17:05
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I missed the "drop" part.

Depending on how hard and at what angle it fell, I would check all the parts that can move.
Memory modules should be taken out and re-inserted.
Use a live CD (UBUNTU or HIRENs) to check the hardware as well as the HDD and Optical drive.
CPU Fan.

Sauron's idea is best, opening and cleaning = new life

If you go as far as doing the Thermal Paste, make sure you clean the old paste if any with Electrical Contact Cleaner and even hone with 1000Grit sand paper then more cleaner before thin layer of Arctic Silver 5

Some make and models are super easy to get to the heat sink and fan and some, you have to completely disassemble and flip the system board, hope yours is easy access.


17 Nov 2016, 17:34
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Trekker wrote:
Thermal Paste


Oh, silly me. I have this computer for 9 years and no wonder why I'm always complaining recently that its always overheating for the minor task it requires some power. I never changed that thermal paste. Not even once. Maybe some quick dust cleaning by using an air compressor but it's not much effective (better than nothing for sure).

Luck that I'm planning to get a new computer from a friend soon this year.


17 Nov 2016, 18:07
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Netherlands

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On that note Acadie
GPU's released to date, need to be cleaned on the regular(3 months) if you don't have any dust filters.
The thermal pad's of the Vram will get clogged on all sides which will work as isolation fabric..


Last edited by Sauron on 17 Nov 2016, 18:39, edited 1 time in total.



17 Nov 2016, 18:22
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Acadie, if it is a "Desktop", much easier to fully disassemble, clean and re-assemble.

All slots and sockets should be cleaned as well as the contacts on the add-in cards and memory modules. (I have used erasers to clean my RAM modules)

After 9 years I'd be more worried about the Power Supply.

Either use CPUZ or a Multimeter to check DC outputs of the +3.3V, +5.0V and + 12.0V rails, Idle and under load
(PCWizard from CPUID same guys that do CPUZ, gives more info, good for checking Notebook battery's designed versus fully charged "current" capacity and see if a battery recalibration/ reconditioning is needed or possible)

get the no install executable.
PC-WIZARD | Softwares | CPUID

Tolerance for the "+" rails should be + %5 and + %10 for the "-"

Clean steady power is most important with any electronic device

Max output on each rail and combined output is of high importance as well

Older AGP systems more with the +3.3V and + 12V rails
Newer PCI-E systems, +5.0V and + 12.0V rails

EDIT: new link
Download PC Wizard  - MajorGeeks


17 Nov 2016, 18:48
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@Trekker Oh yes, what I like especially is the Iphone-buying kind of type.
That uses a cheap $1 / $5 dollahstoroh charger XD.

Oehh let's be innovative and have so much courage in this cheap charger for my precious $600+ phone.

^^,)


17 Nov 2016, 18:52
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So true @Sauron
When I did system build and repairs, I got a lot of consoles, tablets and cell phones as well.

Most iPhones (minus the physical damages) had to do with battery and/ or the port due to using cheap basis and cables.

Got to be very careful with car USB port/ s, Inverters, new AC Receptacles with USB charging port /s as well (specially when the phone is $$$)


17 Nov 2016, 19:10
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Acadie wrote:
Get a spare battery on you if you're worrying about the life span  :mrgreen:

Might actually do that  :mrgreen:

I might be able to make it run a bit quicker again after removing the dust and checking the parts but in my opinion that's not really worth the hassle. This laptop is 17 inch and weighs a lot :p One of the reasons I wanted to buy an ultrabook is because they're light and small and thus easy to carry. After walking days on airports and foreign offices carrying a 17 inch laptop with this weight is kind of a pain in the ass. Not to mention I sometimes can only take one bag with me which is instantly filled for 75% by laptop + adapter  :mrgreen:

So is it worth to go through all that hassle right now? Not for me. But I might give it a shot later on, make it my movie laptop or something like that....Dust and this thermal paste might be the major reason for my laptop overheating though.

Fun fact: I wanted to look up the model number for sauron but my laptop answers with a bluescreen with some mumble about drives haha. As for that...can't find the modelnumber anywhere

Btw, thanks for the feedback guys


17 Nov 2016, 22:14
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Heat and power fluctuation corrupt data as they are travelling on the circuit board or being written/  read.

Drop usually "kills" the HDD, RAM modules might have come slightly out even other modules.

Booting with a Live CD will let you know if the hard drive and/ or its data are okay or not.

9 cell battery = 1.5 X 6 cell battery! most notebooks come with 6 cell.

Download CPUZ the "no setup" version, run, save results in text file (Tools at the bottom) post or PM. I'm sure Sauron can read it too to get system information.

CPU-Z | Softwares | CPUID

That "laptop" still has many years of use but I agree it is not a "notebook" ;)


17 Nov 2016, 22:40
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Had a problem with my old laptop (the transfer from windows 7 to windows 10 fucked it up basicly and it constantly overheated and needed constant maintenance), so bought a cheap replacement. I don't really play any other games that need a big graphics card, so that made the budget a little tighter aswell. Got an I5-6200U 2.3ghz, which supposedly can be sped up to 2.8ghz. The videocard is a 2GB Nvidia Geforce 940MX and it has 6 GB ram (DDR4). Also, I have a 100gb SSD and a HDD that has 1 TB. This seems to work brilliant for the things I'm doing and only cost me €450.


21 Nov 2016, 13:50
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