Advice on buying new notebook

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dr00bie

New Member
#1
I am helping a friend out on deciding which notebook to buy, and now I have turned to this group. Here are the specs,

Notebook #1

Gateway brand
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
15.4" Widescreen Ultrabright WXGA Display
1024 MB DDR RAM
100 GB HDD
ATI Mobility Radeon X600
DVD+/-RW Multiformat Double Layer Drive
802.11g Integrated Wireless
Windows XP Home
7.5 lbs

Notebook #2

Toshiba brand
Intel Pentium M Processor 760
17" WXGA Trubrite Widescreen
1024 MB DDR2 RAM
100 GB HDD
Reads and Writes DVDs and CDs
802.11g Integrated Wireless
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
7.8 lbs

All of the above specs are from the actual tags at Best Buy. My friend plans on using it for her child who is in High School, but also for digital pictures and maybe video. If someone could help me out in deciding, I would be greatly appreciative.

Thanks!
Drew Laing
 
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dr00bie

New Member
#3
I forgot to add the prices...

Gateway - $1449.99
Toshiba - $1799.99

Thanks,
Drew
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#4
dr00bie said:
I forgot to add the prices...

Gateway - $1449.99
Toshiba - $1799.99

Thanks,
Drew

Toshiba is generally a better product than Gateway. :)
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#5
That Gateway model is very similar to mine. I like it for the most part. You will only get about 2 hours on a battery, but otherwise it's a very powerful machine, and the screen is very nice with many brightness levels. If you're not really looking for mobility, then I think it would work out for you.
 
Hoyle

Hoyle

New Member
#6
Well, neither is very mobile. I think the Toshiba has two advanatages: Larger Screen, and lower TDP CPU.

I think the Gateway has a faster CPU, and probably much better video card. And XP home is probably preferable to MCE.

Given the size of these screens, and the heft of these notebooks, they'll have large batteries anyway, and I doubt the battery life difference will be significant. I think for the price I'd probably go with the Gateway (they have excellent built quality lately, by the way), especially if I was going to game or do professional 3-D applications where the nice GPU and faster CPU would be helpful, but the huge screen on the Toshiba is tempting.
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#7
Yeah, the X600 Mobility is basically the same as the old Radeon 9600 pro, but with the PCIe interface. The Athlon64 4000+ should be a 2.6ghz 1mb core on the 90nm process. It's a power hog compared to the PM, as it's a 62W CPU. That's not bad considering the clock speed.

And ditto on the quality of Gateway notebooks. The one I'm using is very well made and very accessable to upgrades, including the CPU.
 
Hoyle

Hoyle

New Member
#8
Yeah, the X600 Mobility is basically the same as the old Radeon 9600 pro, but with the PCIe interface. The Athlon64 4000+ should be a 2.6ghz 1mb core on the 90nm process. It's a power hog compared to the PM, as it's a 62W CPU. That's not bad considering the clock speed.
True, but it wouldn't be so bad under typical moderate loads. My 3000+ (130nm) was getting ~4 hrs of battery life (the battery is 20 months old now, alas) with moderate use due to Q&C/performance scaling, even while it only got 90mins if you pegged it at 100% the whole time.
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#9
Every try RMclock on your 3000+? It works pretty well these days, if you don't mind it running in the system tray. I've got it working on a Turion MT32 (replaced a 3700+), and my P-states are 800mhz @ .8v and 1800mhz @ 1.15v. Unfortunately, I only got an extra 30 minutes of battery life out of the deal. This suggests that ATI's chipset (at least the one in this machine) doesn't really save much energy.
 
Hoyle

Hoyle

New Member
#10
Yeah, I did try a more updated version not long ago. Seems like maybe my NF3 was a little too early for it. I can run it, and it appears to be working, but a number of CAD and other computationally intensive apps crash out eventually. At this point, I could probably double my battery life by buying a new battery!

As far as your machine, I have a suspicion that @1.1v a Turion uses only a few watts, and at .8v, it uses less, but that the difference gets mostly washed out by the background overhead. I think you're probably seeing most of the saving when the chip it maxed out.
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#11
Yeah, and you can't go any lower than .8v. Oh well. :) ****s that RMclock doesn't work for you. I've found it to be as seamless as Powernow drivers. I wonder if it's the chipset or something else? It's not like ATI's mobily chipset is that great either.
 
Shinma

Shinma

____________
#12
If the Toshiba is chosen,
Suggest that you enter a BIOS password that is easy to recollect.
Unless you are willing to deal with the mobo replacement for such a possibility.
 
Tuttle

Tuttle

Resident Cynic
#13
Most notebook manufacturers are getting like that. IBM have the same sort of policy as Toshiba -- replace the motherboard, not under warranty. Not certain about Gateway though.

Any sort of password like that is best written down and kept away from the laptop. That way you can always get at it if you need to.
 
Hoyle

Hoyle

New Member
#14
I wonder if it's the chipset or something else? It's not like ATI's mobily chipset is that great either.
Not sure, really. Like I said, it FUNCTIONS allright, but it almost seems like on this machine when load is suddenly applied the multiplier change goes through slightly AHEAD of the Vcore change. It actually works if I make a [email protected] and a [email protected] set of states (which DOES knock down max TDP, since this chip is 1.4v stock... it's never had any problem running [email protected], though). But if I try something like changing the lower Pstate to .8[email protected] (MORE than enough), it will run fine until it tries to switch to 1.8 Ghz... and then BSOD, artifacts, solid lock... all makes me think it's trying to run [email protected] which this chip cannot do.
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#15
Maybe you should add a few intermediate P-states? It might help ramp up the VID a little faster. Once you define the high and low P-states, it can automatically determine the rest of the VIDs. Could be you just need a newer version of the program, or have you already tried that? I just like it because it reduces the amount of fan spinup.
 

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