Why do the laptops on sale today... suck?



  • With a few hundred pounds' of Christmas spending money I go online and look at the range of laptops (this in the UK) provided by all of the major online retailers.  And I have to say, the hell man?  What use is 768 vertical pixels?  Why do I have to spend >£650 to get anything with a nVidia card? (an absolute MUST because Intel won't run UDK and ATI cards have severe stability issues with the editor toolkit)  Why does everything come with a stupidly overpowered CPU, tonnes of RAM (2Gb is just fine for video editing/modelling/mapping/scripting/proper programming/etc under 7) and a silly screen that blows its area out the sides where people who work can't use it?  What use is a screen that doesn't diffuse reflections?  Makes it kinda useless on the bus where I plan to do work I can't do on my existing Eee 701.  And then we have the software.  Oh, you bundled £40 worth of security software with it I've never heard of?  That's great but I'd rather have the £40 thanks because it's going straight to Silicon Hell with the rest of the junk when I reformat it as soon as it's out of the box.<br><br>Seriously, anywhere in the UK I can get a decent laptop that's useful for work (in particular games development) and not just a shiny piece of junk?  Also, how about options for getting them blank, just about every laptop I've seen bought in recent times even up to a friend's £700 Acer with a quad core Phenom II has been abysmally slow out of the box because of all the CRAP they ship with.  ARGH!



  • What does your ideal laptop look like?

    @nexekho said:

    Seriously, anywhere in the UK I can get a decent laptop that's useful for work (in particular games development) and not just a shiny piece of junk?

    You want to develop games... on a laptop? Hell, I don't even like playing games on a laptop.

    @nexekho said:

    Also, how about options for getting them blank, just about every laptop I've seen bought in recent times even up to a friend's £700 Acer with a quad core Phenom II has been abysmally slow out of the box because of all the CRAP they ship with.  ARGH!

    That's why I buy Dell. They're the only PC maker (as far as I know) who doesn't install a lot of crap on the machine, and also ships an OS disk-- by default. (Oh, and it's not a "recovery" disk, it's an actual OS disk from Microsoft. The drivers/apps are on a second disk.)



  • Ideal laptop?  Dual core Athlon or maybe a Phenom, 2Gb of RAM, nV9500GT or whatever that's equal to in this new number system they've conjoured up.  1280 or more vertical pixels with a matte filter.  120Gb HDD, blank.  Probably not making this easy, eh?  :p Just looked at Dell, don't know if this is specific to the UK but every single one of them comes with an overpowered CPU, tonnes of RAM and a naff GPU unless you're willing to spend close to a thousand.  And a subscription to McAffe or however it is spelled.



  • @nexekho said:

    every single one of them comes with an overpowered CPU, tonnes of RAM and a naff GPU
    I've never encountered anyone who wants a LESS powerful computer.

    I don't know what "naff" means but I will assume it's not good.  With a laptop, it tends to be a package deal.  If you're OK with a  weak CPU and little RAM, then they assume that you don't want a good GPU either. In most cases this is not an completely unreasonable assumption on their part. 



  • @nexekho said:

    Ideal laptop?  Dual core Athlon or maybe a Phenom, 2Gb of RAM, nV9500GT or whatever that's equal to in this new number system they've conjoured up.  1280 or more vertical pixels with a matte filter.  120Gb HDD, blank.  Probably not making this easy, eh?  :p Just looked at Dell, don't know if this is specific to the UK but every single one of them comes with an overpowered CPU, tonnes of RAM and a naff GPU unless you're willing to spend close to a thousand.  And a subscription to McAffe or however it is spelled.

    There's a lot of companies in the US that'll build a laptop for you to spec, although I don't know what parts they have available. And most of them seem to prefer Intel CPUs. (It might be that your ideal combination is impossible for some reason or another.) I dunno if any ship to the UK. For example, take a look at these guys and see if they have something that meets your exacting standards.

    Which BTW are kind of odd. Only 2 GB of RAM? Also I don't know what "naff" means, or why having *more* RAM is a bad thing. And the price is... well, you're looking for a rare combination of components, so I don't know why you'd expect it to be cheap.

    As for the McAfee subscription, if you go Dell and are picky, just re-install Windows from the disk that ships with the laptop, and you'll have a 100% completely clean install. It won't install the McAfee trial or the Dell "help center" or anything at all. I think that's the best you'll get as far as "blank HD" goes.

    Failed to post multiple times-- this forum is going down in flames! -- ok tried like a dozen times, still no posting. I'm scared.



  •  I don't want piles of RAM and a load of CPU power, because speaking from a years' experience of using a lightning fast single core/2Gb desktop, I don't need it nor can I really afford it.  What I DO need is a GPU capable of running the software I use.  In the case of a desktop, I can buy a cheap CPU and a small amount of RAM alongside a decent GPU and easily pull a solid 60FPS on UDK/Max/Bl multitasking Photoshop/Blender/UDK without any slowdown.  I don't know what you guys are doing to need anything more than 2Gb and a 2.7 Athlon64, but I don't have the £250 extra to spend on 4Gb and a Core i5.



  • It just keeps getting better

    Tried to repliy to another thread, but I forgot and added a tag.  I got the error message but this time it DIDN'T post my reply.  So I re-typed my post and submitted again with no tag.  Got the error message again and the reply was still not posted.   Somehow, I suspect that in a few minutes / hours multiple poss by me will show up.

     Edit:  This was typed as a reply to the "Tags can no longer be added?" thread but ended up here.   WTF?

     

     

     

    File under:  He's dead, Jim.

     



  • @nexekho said:

    I don't know what you guys are doing to need anything more than 2Gb and a 2.7 Athlon64
     

    Play large, rich games with Everything Turned On at near- or full-HD resolutions.



  • @dhromed said:

    @nexekho said:

    I don't know what you guys are doing to need anything more than 2Gb and a 2.7 Athlon64
     

    Play large, rich games with Everything Turned On at near- or full-HD resolutions.

    Run Visual Studio plus other development tools in a VMWare environment.



  • @b-redeker said:

    @dhromed said:
    @nexekho said:
    I don't know what you guys are doing to need anything more than 2Gb and a 2.7 Athlon64
    Play large, rich games with Everything Turned On at near- or full-HD resolutions.
    Run Visual Studio plus other development tools in a VMWare environment.
     

    Run Firefox. Which by itself is currently using 1GB of my 4GB RAM. Xorg is using another 800MB, and various other apps take the total to 3GB in use.



  • @nexekho said:

    Dual core Athlon or maybe a
    Phenom
    Laptops already have enough heat issues and I think the
    Phenoms are among the hottest.

    @nexekho said:

    1280 or more vertical pixels
    I've never met a standalone monitor that had 1280 vertical pixels.  This one is 1050 and I've seen them up to 1200.

    Also I'm sure you want a large (dimension) screen to go with your large resolution, which will require a very large and heavy battery



  • @pjt33 said:

    @b-redeker said:

    @dhromed said:
    @nexekho said:
    I don't know what you guys are doing to need anything more than 2Gb and a 2.7 Athlon64
    Play large, rich games with Everything Turned On at near- or full-HD resolutions.
    Run Visual Studio plus other development tools in a VMWare environment.
     

    Run Firefox. Which by itself is currently using 1GB of my 4GB RAM. Xorg is using another 800MB, and various other apps take the total to 3GB in use.

    Run Dolphin. With games in it.



  • Run Firefox. Which by itself is currently using 1GB of my 4GB RAM.

    It will cache a lot if you've got spare RAM. Most of it irrelevant because it's some site you visited once this session. Right now with 24 tabs open Opera is using 220Mb without any noticeable delay.

    Play large, rich games with Everything Turned On at near- or full-HD resolutions.

    Just finished New Vegas on full settings at 1920x1080, pretty nice.

    Visual Studio plus other development tools in a VMWare environment

    Ah, yes. Corporate bloat. :p

    Anyway, I solved this by buying a previous gen high end laptop for the price of a current gen mid range laptop... got my nice screen (17in @ 1600x1200 which is close enough) a decent nV GPU, 2Gb of RAM and a dual core Athlon... it's blazing fast.



  • @nexekho said:

    Run Firefox. Which by itself is currently using 1GB of my 4GB RAM.

    It will cache a lot if you've got spare RAM.

    ^- The WTF

    Firefox *really* shouldn't be second-guessing the OS on the caching thing. (And on the amount of free RAM thing, for that matter. We're not using MacOS 8 anymore, memory managers are pretty sophisticated now.)



  • @nexekho said:

    It will cache a lot if you've got spare RAM. Most of it irrelevant because it's some site you visited once this session.
     

    For a long time people have been complaining about the large amount of memory used by Firefox and the Mozilla developers just keep saying "it's not a bug -- it's a feature".   I don't mind the caching.  I've got 8 GB of RAM and I might as well put it to use, otherwise there's no point in having it..  Unfortunately, Firefox's caching seems to be totally retarded and doesn't do a very good job of speeding up the display of previously viewed pages, which is pretty much the whole point of caching.


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