Recommendations for a new computer...

  Pipperpa 16:27 28 Nov 2010

I presently have a Dell XPS M1530 Laptop that is just over 2 years old. It has its glitches but all in all it has been a good work horse for my purposes. Currently I am having trouble with it stalling a lot and taking up to an hour to turn on as I have to manually turn it off and restore it several times before it will finally get to my password screen. It has windows vista, Intel Core 2 duo processor (2.2GHZ) and 3gb of ram. Up until I have made the most of it. It was a brilliant computer when I bought it but now I am wondering if it would make sense to get a desktop for my purposes. Otherwise anyone got an idea as to why it stalls on start up?

I am an Architectural Student going in to my year out next year and uses labour intensive programmes such as AutoCAD, ArchiCAD and Photoshop. I also do the normal things such as photos and email (currently all my photos and music are stored on an external hard drive in an attempt to speed up my machine).

I am looking for a laptop or desktop that has around about these specs. Hopefully not to expensive but I realise that it is probably going to be quite steep! The specs have been decided by looking at the most recent specs of all the high programmes that I use. I currently have only Photoshop CS4 and AutoCAD Architecture 2010 on my laptop. They work alright when used solely and on the power lead.

TFT - 1024 x 768 minimum resolution with 1280x1024 screen with true colour being preferable

Operating System
Windows 7 64 bit (all programs are going to be 64 bit in their new versions)

3ghz + intel processor secc2 technology

Lithium Ion – As high a battery life as possible with spec

Hard Drive
720rpm 500Gb minimum

4gb Minimum 6 or 8gb+ preferred

1gb dedicated preferable, 526mb dedicated will do

What I am struggling with is processors. Is say a Intel i5 processor with a higher GHZ but lower mb better than a Intel i7 processor with a lower Ghz? Say a Intel® Core™ i5 Processor 660 (3.33GHz, 4MB) compared to a Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 870 (2.93GHz, 8MB)? Especially as all the programmes desire 3GHZ.

I realise that what I desire and what I can get are two different things. These I realise are high specs even to todays standards but if I was to fork out the money I would like something that will last me a bit longer than 2 years!

Sorry about the length of this post. Your help is much appreciated. Thanks.

  The Kestrel 17:02 28 Nov 2010

It would help if you gave some idea of your maximum budget for the laptop.

  Pipperpa 17:45 28 Nov 2010

Sorry about that. It is that I would be able to increase my budget if it meant that I would get a computer that would last and be reliable. I would say that something around the £800 mark would be desirable as that is what I spent on my present laptop and my feelings are that I should be able to find something with a higher spec for the same price 2 years present laptop went down to £500 within 2 months of me buying it.

The problem mainly is down to the processors. I have a pretty good understanding about ram, graphics and hard drive but little understanding of the processors on offer today. That and how an upgrade to a 64 bit OS affects everything in comparison to the 32 bit as my current OS is Vista 32 bit Home Premium.

  ukpostcode 17:47 28 Nov 2010

We bought from novatech last year & have had no trouble.
Reliable build, good service when we bought it & it runs nearly 24/7.
We paid £1k for a pc that is still a good spec even a year older.
If you need to add extras they are easy to deal with.

  shellship 18:09 28 Nov 2010

Speak to Cougar Extreme (lots of positive comment on this forum) and explain what you want to do as you have above. They will be most helpful and make suitable recommendations. Don't know if they do laptops though, only desktops. click here

  The Kestrel 20:13 28 Nov 2010

This Asus, with an i5 core seems the nearest to your specs I can find within your budget click here. Core i7s, with 1 exception are £1K plus click here.

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