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Computers at library

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Old
03-14-2005, 01:29 PM
  #1
IceKatsRHot
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Computers at library

If anyone visits the computer labs at various libraries specifically the ones at universites would know the computers are way above average...

I'm looking to either buy a desktop or a laptop but I'm concerned I'm going to spend the money on and for the wrong stuff wanting to make my computer run as smooth and as fast as they do at the university libraries...

What is the main thing that these computers have that is making them so fast besides the obvious high speed connection for the internet?

Is it the 500+ MB of ram or the 3.0+ processor speed? That makes the programs on the computers open and close without a problem?

I'm sure the 1.0 GB of ram will help me out the most but what else should I look into upgrading on the laptop?

Thanks

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03-14-2005, 02:08 PM
  #2
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For software to load fast - hard drive running at 7200 rpm (or more)
For software to remain highly responsive even when you open tons of different windows - At least 512 MB of ram (although most people can do with much less).



Responsive games - decrease detail level of game and get a midrange to low range graphics card or if you want to see the game at top quality, get one of those 1000 dollar graphics card (not worth it for almost everyone).


Basically, a computer is as fast as your slowest component. If you have a top end CPU with 64 MB of ram and an old hard drive, you'll swear all the time trying to run solitaire.


ALso, defragment your computer at least once a month (i do it almost every day). This should keep your hard drive fast. BTW, give us the specs of your laptop and we'll try to help you out.

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03-14-2005, 04:56 PM
  #3
IceKatsRHot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerberus
For software to load fast - hard drive running at 7200 rpm (or more)
For software to remain highly responsive even when you open tons of different windows - At least 512 MB of ram (although most people can do with much less).



Responsive games - decrease detail level of game and get a midrange to low range graphics card or if you want to see the game at top quality, get one of those 1000 dollar graphics card (not worth it for almost everyone).


Basically, a computer is as fast as your slowest component. If you have a top end CPU with 64 MB of ram and an old hard drive, you'll swear all the time trying to run solitaire.


ALso, defragment your computer at least once a month (i do it almost every day). This should keep your hard drive fast. BTW, give us the specs of your laptop and we'll try to help you out.
Don't have the laptop yet so this is what i'm trying to figure out before i get one, i would love for it to run as smoothly as those do in the library at my university...

I looked up the system under control panel and it had 502 (or something strange like that) RAM plus 3.2 GHZ processor, thats all it showed

But what you told me, I'm thinking of finding one with a 7200 larger than average harddrive and either 512 or 1024 RAM would be my best bet..

Don't mind spending the money just don't want to go overboard with the laptop so I want to spend the money in the right areas

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03-14-2005, 05:13 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceKatsRHot
Don't have the laptop yet so this is what i'm trying to figure out before i get one, i would love for it to run as smoothly as those do in the library at my university...

I looked up the system under control panel and it had 502 (or something strange like that) RAM plus 3.2 GHZ processor, thats all it showed

But what you told me, I'm thinking of finding one with a 7200 larger than average harddrive and either 512 or 1024 RAM would be my best bet..

Don't mind spending the money just don't want to go overboard with the laptop so I want to spend the money in the right areas
With a laptop, you'll have a hard time finding a 7200 rpm (rotations per minute) hard drive because they take so much power to run (which is bad for a laptop, unless you like it when your batteries last 15 minutes). If you want speed, you should go with a desktop computer (for about 1000 dollars you can get a very top end computer). A laptop is constrained heavily by battery life and weight. So if you buy a laptop, you should expect it to be slower than a desktop computer. Not that much slower, mind you, but slower nonetheless.

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03-14-2005, 05:32 PM
  #5
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There's really no need to get more than 512MB of RAM unless you're going to be doing stuff like weather simulations, video production or some other number crunching. Windows swaps very, very aggressively and most of the time, it won't even hit full usage on 512MB. Having a gig of RAM will almost never even help out with your super-detailed games.

Applications firing up lightning-fast is a combination of hard drive speed (RPM), processor on-chip cache size and speed, processor speed, obviously, and RAM size and speed, with various other little factors. With those factors in mind, be aware that many laptop hard drives are slower 4800 or 5400 RPM models, while most desktop hard drives sold now are 7200. Also know that often, a laptop processor will be keeping various components throttled, so its clock, power usage and overall speed may be lower than the maximum. This happens especially in extreme thermal conditions or when the laptop is running solely on battery.

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03-14-2005, 11:03 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battousai
There's really no need to get more than 512MB of RAM unless you're going to be doing stuff like weather simulations, video production or some other number crunching. Windows swaps very, very aggressively and most of the time, it won't even hit full usage on 512MB. Having a gig of RAM will almost never even help out with your super-detailed games.

Applications firing up lightning-fast is a combination of hard drive speed (RPM), processor on-chip cache size and speed, processor speed, obviously, and RAM size and speed, with various other little factors. With those factors in mind, be aware that many laptop hard drives are slower 4800 or 5400 RPM models, while most desktop hard drives sold now are 7200. Also know that often, a laptop processor will be keeping various components throttled, so its clock, power usage and overall speed may be lower than the maximum. This happens especially in extreme thermal conditions or when the laptop is running solely on battery.
seems as though the only benefit of a laptop is having the portability but with the sacrafice of speed..

with the many laptop hard drives running at speeds such as the ones you said, would i still have the applications firing up just as fast or maybe a bit slower without much of a different that goes unnoticable..

not going to be using the laptop for games or anything of such, basically will be for the obvious online usage and for homework..

my biggest pet peev is having a computer running slow, so i just want one more than capable so i won't really have to worry about that problem when working

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Old
03-15-2005, 01:30 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerberus
With a laptop, you'll have a hard time finding a 7200 rpm (rotations per minute) hard drive because they take so much power to run (which is bad for a laptop, unless you like it when your batteries last 15 minutes).
Intel Pentium M (Dothan) @1.6Ghz (2.5Ghz P4ish)/Intel i855PM/ATi Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo 128mb (9600 Pro)/Infineon 1024GB PC2700/Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 60GB 7200rpm 8mb cache/Intel Pro 2200BG

Medium power settings, screen brightness @ medium = 4.5 hours battery life

Medium power settings, screen brightness @ low = almost 5 hours battery life

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Old
03-15-2005, 11:11 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerberus
With a laptop, you'll have a hard time finding a 7200 rpm (rotations per minute) hard drive because they take so much power to run (which is bad for a laptop, unless you like it when your batteries last 15 minutes).
Not necessarily true as top_gun just pointed out. There ARE 7,200 RPM drives out there and they have power saving features that don't adversely affect battery life that much.

I have a 7,200 rpm HDD (there are also 10,000 rpm HDD - but THEY are the ones that are hard to find) and I can get 5+ hours of battery life, rather easily.

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03-15-2005, 02:14 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueAndWhite
Not necessarily true as top_gun just pointed out. There ARE 7,200 RPM drives out there and they have power saving features that don't adversely affect battery life that much.

I have a 7,200 rpm HDD (there are also 10,000 rpm HDD - but THEY are the ones that are hard to find) and I can get 5+ hours of battery life, rather easily.
I'm sure it takes more power than a 5400 hard drive. Anyways, the other side effects of a faster drive are: more expensive, hotter and noisier laptop. Although they are probably all negligible anyways.

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