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5 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 138982 23-Jan-2014 20:15 Send private message

Hi guys, 

I'm wanting everyone's opinion please. After many years I'm heading back to study this year and am required to get a computer for the course. Unfortunately I don't have great knowledge in this area and don't want to buy a dud computer I guess you could say lol. 

The requirements for the computer specifications are - 

CPU 2 Ghz Intel Core
2 Duo or equivalent processor
RAM 2GB
Hard Drive 250GB
Optical Drive DVD Burner (reads/burns CD and DVD)
Sound Card
Operating System Windows 7
Video Card 256MB VRAM
Internet etc

I'm guessing some of these are just basic? ? If so what do I look for to make things work faster and easier?

Could you all please advise me of some computers I should look into getting.

Thanks heaps guys, lets hope I survive being back at 'school'.

Cheers mate

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Aussie
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  Reply # 973154 23-Jan-2014 20:26 Send private message

What would your budget be?

Gettin' down on Friday
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  Reply # 973173 23-Jan-2014 20:58 Send private message

Lenovo have some pretty sweet deals at the moment: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/y410p/




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gzt

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  Reply # 973211 23-Jan-2014 21:28 Send private message

What is the course? It's unusual to specify VRAM.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 973212 23-Jan-2014 21:33 Send private message

Thats like a reasonable computer from 2008. Almost anything now will match it easily except maybe a sub $500 AMD ULV notebook.



5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 973296 24-Jan-2014 06:53 Send private message

blakamin: What would your budget be?


Hey mate, 

to be honest $1000 as I see computers are quite cheap these days in comparison to when it began yet you can get quite good ones.



5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 973297 24-Jan-2014 06:55 Send private message

michaelmurfy: Lenovo have some pretty sweet deals at the moment: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/y410p/


Cheers mate but I don't have much knowledge of that brand and I ponder on whether its worth taking the risk due to postage etc



5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 973298 24-Jan-2014 06:56 Send private message

gzt: What is the course? It's unusual to specify VRAM.


Hey mate, 
Great feedback! Am doing Engineering papers so maybe that will fit the reason why!?



5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 973299 24-Jan-2014 06:58 Send private message

Dairyxox: Thats like a reasonable computer from 2008. Almost anything now will match it easily except maybe a sub $500 AMD ULV notebook.


Thanks mate, can you recommend a specific comp to go look @ at a shop maybe or site?! 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 973317 24-Jan-2014 08:00 Send private message

Check out Lenovo's fom the nz site

The E431 is an amazing price at the moment and the E330 is great too if you want a more portable laptop



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  Reply # 973327 24-Jan-2014 08:20 Send private message

The Lenovo US site has great deals, the NZ one not so much. Lenovo's a good brand though, they're built like tanks, and the one time I needed service for my Mums it was quick and easy.

The thing I find looking for laptops is it's very difficult to find a decent processor (Intel i3 or better), SSD, and 10-12" touch screen for sub $2000 (my partner likes very small laptops). You can get any two of those for $500 - $750, but the third costs heaps. If anyone find one I'm interested.




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  Reply # 973344 24-Jan-2014 08:58 Send private message

Totalnuub74:
gzt: What is the course? It's unusual to specify VRAM.


Hey mate, 
Great feedback! Am doing Engineering papers so maybe that will fit the reason why!?


Any sort of CAD/design as part of the course ? Could explain the VRAM requirement.

Look for laptops with dedicated video/gfx memory rather than the shared option.





gzt

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  Reply # 973366 24-Jan-2014 09:43 Send private message

Totalnuub74:
gzt: What is the course? It's unusual to specify VRAM.


Hey mate, 
Great feedback! Am doing Engineering papers so maybe that will fit the reason why!?

That would be it. Do they have a list of software you will install? A list would help firm up the actual requirement because software packages nearly always specify a minimum and then a recommended configuration. Always best to shoot for the recommended instead of the minimum.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 973607 24-Jan-2014 15:35 Send private message

You probably don't require much in the way of hardware, so I would recommend a windows 8.1 tablet computer - one that also has a keyboard. If you are a student you can make use of the Office 365 student deal.

Also, worth getting an external monitor for use when at home (easer to use a big screen).




TwoSeven

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  Reply # 973688 24-Jan-2014 17:05 Send private message

Totalnuub74:
CPU 2 Ghz Intel Core
2 Duo or equivalent processor
RAM 2GB
Hard Drive 250GB
Optical Drive DVD Burner (reads/burns CD and DVD)
Sound Card
Operating System Windows 7
Video Card 256MB VRAM
Internet etc


As others have pointed out, these are low-end specs. I'd suggest the following specifics:
  • Avoid any cheap PC with a low-end processor including 32-bit processors as most PCs now have 64-bit processors. You're likely to get one with an Intel i3 or i5.
  • Get more than 2GB system memory/RAM. Most PCs have 64-bit Windows installed for which 2GB is the minimum system memory. You should have at least 4GB as that will allow more programs to run at the same time without having to swap memory contents to disk using virtual memory.
  • A graphics card with 256MB dedicated memory is specified but you should be looking for at least 1GB of dedicated memory to prevent sharing of system memory.
You will likely pay $900-$1,000 for a laptop like this. While you may not use all the hardware to start with I bet you will before the year is out because you will be using design/visualisation software that needs it.

gzt

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  Reply # 974908 27-Jan-2014 08:42 Send private message

For example this ticks all the requirements in a good quality package:

http://shopap.lenovo.com/nz/en/laptops/thinkpad/edge-series/e440/?sb=:000000AD:00000768:

It's a good all round machine. This machine and almost anything you will buy these days has Windows 8.

It is possible some of the software the university provides supports only Windows 7 and not the latest operating system. Maybe others can comment on that possibility or rule it out as unlikely.


Edit: That's the Lenovo NZ site btw. The reason you don't hear of Lenovo so much is because they rarely market to consumer retail. Lenovo took over IBM's laptop brand many years back. They are well known in the corporate size arena. Personally it's the only brand I recommend. IME build quality is very consistent and very few failures compared to other brands I have seen in action.

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