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spank

Help me choose a new computer!


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CODOR said:

This is like advising someone to get a Video iPod instead of a home theatre.


Bollocks, the two are entirely different. If I'd said a laptop is a better alternative to (for the sake of argument) a mainframe, you'd have a point. Both can crunch numbers, but only one can go and visit its mother at Christmas :P

AirRaid, you're in a minority where you're standing. Most people I know find it a pain to move their computers to our house just when they need to be fixed, let alone for a quick blast on UT.

And I see everyone dodged my most dangerous point - the only reason you even need to keep upgrading your desktops so often is because everyone and their mother happily laps up every tiny development in desktop hardware. You should really be more discerning, give the industry cold feet for a while and see how well they take it. I havent spent a penny on upgrades for nearly 4 years, and I'm quite happy where I am thankyou very full wallet.

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I wasn't talking about every tiny development.

I've had the same CPU for ages, but I upgraded my graphics card about a year after I did my CPU/Mobo. I rarely have the money to afford an entirely new system, so I have to upgrade bits at a time. If I had a laptop, this would be flat out impossible.

Early next year I want to upgrade my CPU. This will necessitate a new Motherboard, new ram and a new GFX card, but I'll still be able to keep everything else from my old system. This is my point. Not buying every second new graphcs card that comes out, or a slightly better sound card or minutely faster RAM. For as long as I can remember I've only bought a new Graphics card every 2 generations of nvidia hardware. And in thelast 6 years I've had a whopping three processors. This is not jumping on every little inconsequential hardware release that hits the shelves. It's called upgrading smartly, on a budget.

Edit: And yes, my PC has been the same for about 2 years straight now, with the exception of a larger hard drive because I ran out of space.

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You're still not understanding what I'm saying. You dont (or shouldnt) really want software to continuously outgrow your computer at an alarming rate. Why should the every new whizbang game force you to relegate 90% of your hardware to the bin (and it is 90%, the fact that you can keep your old hard drive and keyboard when you replace your hardware does not count as an 'upgrade' in my opinion).

Not only is it a waste of money, its an offensive amount of general waste. It wont be tires filling up landfills in a couple of years, it will be Geforce 15-millions and Athlon Alpha 2 Turbos.

I'm saying get one good system and stick to it, but to the current generation of gamers, this request does not compute. So have it on your own head when you chuck money away to play Quake MCMXVII

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chilvence said:

I'm saying get one good system and stick to it


Did you read my post? I have done exactly that. But however good the system is originally, there will come a time when you'll want to upgrade/replace it for something newer. Like an Athlon Alpha 2 Turbo. That time is nearly upon me, having had my system for about 2 and a half years now.

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I upgrade my desktops Incrementaly also since my very first computer. i have allways had three generations of pc's running in concession for "hand me downs" (more if i wanted to go back as far as 386's) the third just being upgraded with an fx5200 and losing a radeon 7000, while my main rig just recieved a x1650 pro 512mb card and lost a 6600/256 to my 2nd rig ect.. the only stuff that ever made it to my local landfill would be hardware thats totaly dead, and that hasnt added up to much in the past (maybe a 2400 baud modem or two) look at craiglist in your area, people are still selling pII-pIII's for $20-60. any pc that can still write and print out a word document, and connect to the internet is still a viable pc today and the market is there for it. they thought at one time the landfills would be choked in this manner by discarded pc's but it hasnt quite happened on that scale, and most do get recycled for there plastic and other components.

But true you cant upgrade a laptop quite like a desktop, thats why i still remain pro-desktop. just consider a laptop if your in school, or in a bussines that requires you to remain connected on the go.

..

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Airaid, of course I read your post. I said replacing the CPU, ram, gfx and motherboard all at the same time is not an upgrade, its a new computer.

Regen said:

But true you cant upgrade a laptop quite like a desktop, thats why i still remain pro-desktop. just consider a laptop if your in school, or in a bussines that requires you to remain connected on the go...


Arg, this is whats driving me batty. It's the ridiculous assumption that laptops are automatically an office machine or classroom machine, spoken through the nose like a true snob. Fuck them both, its a mountaintop machine or an ocean going machine, nothing less.

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chilvence said:
Bollocks, the two are entirely different.

That was my point; so are laptops and desktop computers. Occasionally using a laptop for gaming is fine (and I do it all the time), but it's not a complete replacement for a desktop-based gaming rig. Besides, a high-end laptop will cost between 1.5x and twice the price of an equivalently powered desktop computer.

I'm not saying anyone has to use one or the other, just that even the newest laptops aren't really suited for the latest-and-greatest games. Fortunately Doom is a 13-year old game, so getting it to run isn't really a problem...

And I see everyone dodged my most dangerous point - the only reason you even need to keep upgrading your desktops so often is because everyone and their mother happily laps up every tiny development in desktop hardware.

For what it's worth, I'm still using the computer I built in 2002. ("Desktop" might not be a good name for it since it actually sits on the floor and eats dust.) Since then I've replaced the hard drive once (pre-emptively since I felt the old one was about to crash), and added two new hard drives and an associated RAID card, a new sound card (to fix some issues I was having with capturing video), added a DVD burner (which didn't exist for less than $500 in 2002). Aside from the hard drive and possibly the burner, try doing that with a laptop without being forced to replace everything...

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CODOR said:

That was my point; so are laptops and desktop computers.


They may be different, but really you're just trying to give your argument weight with an overexaggerated analogy.

As to the rest of what you're saying, IMO so called 'high end' laptops are a complete waste of space. Not only do they barely last half an hour when seperated from the mains, they have a stupid tendency to crash or overheat should you for some strange reason decide to use the machine on your lap. Regarding upgrades, all laptops that I've seen (apart from Macs if I remember) come with at least one pcmcia slot, usually two, and mostly have provisions in place to upgrade the hard drive and memory capacity. With the combination of those 3 options, the only thing you have to worry about is the chip and the onboard graphics. If it doesn't fit into any of those categories, then its a usb device you're talking about.

The laptop I'm using right now cost about the same as a desktop of similair spec (roughly 400 pound), and has a perfectly adequate ati chip for running games with. While I have to admit it sweats a bit on games that have Doom 3's level of graphics complexity, thats not taking into account the fact that those things have come at a boom and will eventually level out nicely until the next major 3d-rendering paradigm shift.

The last one on the pc I would say was Quake, and between then and now I have owned one Voodoo3 graphics card, one TNT, and two ATI Radeons (one exploded from a dodgy power supply, I like ATI just fine), and I'd guess that around 2/3rds of the time I've upgraded was either a result of hardware failure, or in anticipation of hardware failure. The rest of the time was spent on trying to get old games to work again, which I guess shows you where I stand in all this.

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chilvence said:
As to the rest of what you're saying, IMO so called 'high end' laptops are a complete waste of space. Not only do they barely last half an hour when seperated from the mains, they have a stupid tendency to crash or overheat should you for some strange reason decide to use the machine on your lap.

Now this I can agree with, and it's part of what I'm trying to say: if you need high-end, go with a desktop. Ordinarily what I've been referring to as "gaming" needs a pretty powerful system, but only for someone playing the newest and most hardware-challenging games. From the sounds of it, neither of us fit into that category, so a laptop is sufficient (possibly with a mouse and external keyboard where necessary).

Except that as I type this I'm also encoding the audio track for a DVD, which requires a fair amount of processing power (not as much as the video though, which I'll be doing later). So I'd have to say I'm better off with a desktop system, at least for this use...

Regarding upgrades, all laptops that I've seen (apart from Macs if I remember) come with at least one pcmcia slot, usually two, and mostly have provisions in place to upgrade the hard drive and memory capacity. With the combination of those 3 options, the only thing you have to worry about is the chip and the onboard graphics. If it doesn't fit into any of those categories, then its a usb device you're talking about.

To be totally fair I've added a USB sound card to my laptop (technologically not as good as the PCI one in the desktop, even though it's newer, but it works for me and it's better than the onboard one). It's still difficult to add additional storage, but it's not impossible: there are 2.5" USB enclosures that can be powered from the bus so they require no external power supply. One still has to rely on either an electrical outlet for an external burner or the manufacturer creating a burner module, though (I realize that most laptops will come with a DVD burner now, but I suppose the same thing will apply when people want HD-DVD and/or Bluray readers).

Unfortunately many of these external devices still require cables dangling from the laptop. Enough of them and you'll want to leave the laptop in one place rather than disturb them. May as well hook up a keyboard, monitor, and mouse, and leave it there :-)

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Well, thats settled it then. When your laptop has grown roots into its surroundings, it's time to buy a completely new one. But don't forget to water it once a day.



Heh, recovering from that momentary lapse, I would like to add that when I meant upgrading the storage, it should be perfectly possible to replace whatever hard drive is actually in the laptop and use the old drive as extra storage. I actually have plenty of old desktop hardware to hand myself (it just drops into our house like junk mail), so if I did that it would probably end up in an improvised network file server, where I could connect to it with my wireless router. Aside from that, I've learned enough by now to know that no matter how much disk space I have, the amount of data I keep instantly grows to suit within about 2 days. God bless the 'net.

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