New Laptop - buying help!

  cthooli 20:41 13 Aug 2005

Not sure which forum so apologies in advance! Am looking to get a new laptop. ideally spending just under 1000. have narrowed the choice down to novatech but stuck between two models. they dont give too much info so not too sure. any help would be good! first laptop runs an AMD Athlon 64 3400 (2.4GHz??) with 1GB of ram 80GB hard drive and 128mb ATI Mobility Radeon 9700. (all other specs are similar its just the processor and graphics that i'm a bit stuck on) Second laptop runs 2GHz Intel Pentium-M with 1GB Ram and 200GB hard drive and 256MB ATI Radeon 9700 Graphics. Any advice whatsoever would be great?!? is processor speed that important these days? or is it about the ram? also are they the same graphics card. just with double the memory? hard drive doesnt mean that much to me. i'll never fill it! Anything at all would be helpfull. aiming to use the laptop for games vidoes and music. if anyone has bought either the Novatech Neptune or Crossfire post as well! Thanks very much in advance!

  Diodorus Siculus 21:04 13 Aug 2005

I'd go for the Pentium M as it is designed to run cooler. I've got a novatech at 1.5 and its excellent.

  cthooli 22:22 13 Aug 2005

anyone else? the DDR Ram that comes with the athlon is 400Mhz where as the pentium's ram is only 333MHz. much of a differenece? same goes with the processor. 2.0GHz compared to 2.4GHz? that coupled with the ram would lead me to think that the pentium would be slower. but it was twice as much graphics!

  LastChip 23:28 13 Aug 2005

A lot depends on the use you have in mind for the machine. If you are going to use it as a "small desktop" then by all means go for a more powerful machine, but if you want to use it as a laptop, keep this in mind.

Battery life is directly proportional to the equipment and processor you use. So the more powerful the machine, the less battery life (time) you will have.

The AMD will leave the Pentium M in the shade as regards performance for gaming, but at a cost. You wont achieve the battery life the P M will offer and it will run hotter. I would be surprised if you get much more than a hour of use before a recharge is needed.

In gaming, RAM has a big influence on overall performance. In general, the more RAM and the faster the speed, the better.

The processors are not really comparable. Intel's offering actually runs at 2 GHz and is the measurement that the AMD is compared to. Although the AMD runs at 2.4GHz, it actually compares to an equivalent Intel processor running at 3.4GHz, hence it's title. At least, that's what the manufacturers claim and to be fair, independent tests that have "benchmarked" these processors tend to verify the claim.

From what you have written, it seems the Intel chip is a 32 bit, compared to the AMD's 64. Although that wont make a great deal of difference right now, it will "future proof" the machine to some degree and there is no doubt, leading edge games of the future, will take advantage of 64 bit architecture.

  cthooli 00:36 14 Aug 2005

fantastic advice cheers. not really looking for portability! more of a desktop replacment really! link it with broadband for music and such. would like it future proof to some extent especially when it comes to games. 128 of graphics should be fine for some time i'm thinking? the amd processor seems to be alot faster than the intel and considering the amd comes with the faster ram then it looks like thats the best option!

  Completealias 00:55 14 Aug 2005

Remember that a laptop isn't as upgradable as a desktop system. Only the latest graphics chips that are coming out for laptops will be upgradable I'm yet to c one of these yets so buy the best that you can afford.

You will still be able to add more RAM and a larger hard drive later if you wish but the rest is all mounted onto the motherboard.

Make sure you get a PC card slot as then you will be able to add extra devices by this eg upgraded sound card.

  Completealias 00:56 14 Aug 2005

Opps You can also replace the optical drives as well

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