Author Topic: Computer Selection Advice  (Read 4991 times)

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Offline Xeda112358

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Computer Selection Advice
« on: February 18, 2012, 06:00:14 pm »
Okay folks, my trusty laptop of about two to three years has finally started to give out on me. I bought it new with a 1.6GHz processor, 3GB DDR2 RAM and 160GB hard drive space. That is still about all I need, but it has had quite a few problem in its short life:

After about a month, the screen started acting up and I finally took it apart (with no prior knowledge) and I found a component was over heating very easily. I broke the screen casing when I opened it (because I felt the warm spot and opened there), but since then, the screen has not acted up and has worked fine. About 9 months ago, either our dog or my little brother tripped on the charger cord and yanked it hard enough to break it, so the charger has been patched up and still doesn't work as well as it could (we used a charger tip from a 15 year old laptop that is very slightly too small). About 3 months ago, my battery finally gave out and no longer holds a charge longer than 10 to 15 minutes. Coupled with a faulty charger, I have learned to save my progress often. About two weeks ago, I started to notice that when saving to my hard drive, I would occasionally get a message saying that I could not save there (though I still have about 49 GB left). I am suspecting that my hard drive is having issues, now.

Here is what I want to do. I do not have very much money on hand, but I feel like I will need a new laptop. I want to try to take 2GB of the RAM I have on this laptop and put it in the new computer (laptop, most likely), so I am fine with a computer that doesn't have much RAM. A 160GB hard drive is more than enough for me as I mostly use my computer for programming and development as well as math and homework. Since 1.6GHz is pretty much outdated, I suspect that 2.6GHz is going to be what I should expect. The computer can be small or clunky, it does not matter. I figure that if it is small, it will last longer on a charge. I need to be able to access the internet for school and I will need to view .doc files and PDFs. I don't use my computer for games or most of the other garbage that comes with new computers preinstalled, so I don't need a bunch of features.

Does anybody have any tips, ideas, or help? I am currently searching for a computer with the following stats:
32- or 64-bit processor
I am okay with 1.6 GHz or better
120 GB hard drive or more
1 or 2GB RAM (if I am able to take 2 or 3 from this to put it elsewhere)

I still don't know how I will copy my hard drive data or remove the RAM and install it to the new computer.

Thanks much!

Offline nxtboy III

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 06:05:42 pm »
Well what are you going to do on this? Just mostly more business-like processing documents and stuff?
Also how much money do you have?
And do you need a desktop or laptop computer?

Offline thydowulays

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 06:09:24 pm »
Xeda, have you thought of Craigslist? You can get some pretty good local deals on it for cheap. As far as a really decent laptop goes that you want, if you want a brand new one, dell.com has some pretty good deals for $500 bucks, if that's not too expensive.
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Offline Xeda112358

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 06:13:42 pm »
I plan to do my regular programming (so I will have WabbitEmu and Brass) and I need to be able to use LaTeX and TeXMaker for writing math papers and I use Open Office and Notepad for editing documents. I would prefer a laptop since I will be able to use that if the power goes out and I can transport it easily. As for the money, I have a few thousand dollars saved up, but most of that is going to be used for bills, tuition, and books for next semester and as well car insurance if I finally get around to getting my license. I would prefer to spend less than $400 if possible on this computer.

Literally, all I have used in the past year is :
Paint
Windows Media Player
WabbitEmu
Brass
TeXMaker
NotePad
CMD.exe
Chrome
Open Office (the spreadsheet tool and word processor)
a few other miscellaneous tools

So I really use it for business purposes.

Offline nxtboy III

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 06:19:06 pm »

Offline thydowulays

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 06:20:00 pm »
Well, I did a little researching for you, and this would be your best bet:
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-AS5532-5535-Laptop-Notebook/dp/B002TYCFEO
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Offline Xeda112358

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 06:23:31 pm »
@nxtboyIII: That seems like a bit much for what I need (and I would still prefer a laptop)
@Thydowulays: That is what I have right now, but I bought it for 40 dollars less 2 and a half years ago :)

I would like to stay on the lower end of the price spectrum, if possible

Offline nxtboy III

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 06:25:44 pm »

Offline Xeda112358

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 06:43:22 pm »
This is what I am looking at as my favorite option at the moment:
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0360478
It is almost exactly the same specs as what my computer has, except it is 1.5GHz instead 1.6GHz and it has DDR3 RAM instead of DDR2.

Offline saintrunner

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Offline BlakPilar

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2012, 09:22:52 pm »
Most of the lower prices that you're going to find are going to be from eBay, which isn't that bad of a place to shop online now-a-days with the whole buyer protection thing. The Toshiba Satellite series is very good (mine's an L675 and I have experienced no problems when doing the things you want to do). A good way to shop based on price, that I've found, is Google Shopping. Here, for example. The only downside to that is you need to know what you're looking for. As for an actual recommendation, I would say definitely go with the Toshiba Satellite C655 (here it is on the Toshiba site if you want to see the specs).

Offline Xeda112358

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 09:28:29 pm »
If I could use ebay I would definitely take that O.O I might see if I can set up an ebay thing to get that, thanks!

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Computer Selection Advice
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 12:03:25 am »
Just be careful if you get an used one. A laptop usually lasts fewer than 2 years if used often and 4 if not used often, and make sure you got a warranty or that the seller is trustable, in case someone tries to sell you a broken laptop (especially on stuff like classifields).

Nowadays in stores they got rather cheap laptops compared to before, though. If you want one for work mostly, then you don't need a powerful machine. That's unless you plan to do complex video or music editing, however (Windows Movie Maker and Audacity will run fine on a 2004 desktop).