Getting myself a computer for college, some quick questions

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Foie, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. Foie
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    Member Foie That one guy

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    So, I'm configuring a 13.3inch laptop at HP's website for college. I plan to do some light to medium gaming with it, nothing big though.

    Here are the specs so far:

    HP Pavillion dv3t:

    • Espresso Black
    • Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
    • Intel Core?2 Duo Processor P7350 (2.0GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
    • FREE Upgrade to 3GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm) from 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    • FREE Upgrade to 320GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
    • 512MB NVIDIA GeForce G 105M
    • 13.3" diagonal WXGA High-Definition HP LED BrightView Infinity Widescreen Display (1280 x 800)
    • LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support
    • [For BrightView Infinity Display] Webcam Only
    • Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-card
    • No Included Mobile Broadband
    • Full Size Backlit Keyboard
    • 50% OFF!! One 6 Cell and One 9 Cell Lithium Ion Batteries
    • Microsoft Works 9.0
    • 2-year HP Pick Up and Return

    Now I have 2 main questions regarding performance and value:

    1) Would it be better to get 4GB of ram and downgrade to a C2D T6500 processor? (The price would remain the same)
    2) Should I get Windows vista 32 bit or 64 bit? The price is the same for both. (And can 32 bit use 4gb of ram?)

    Thanks for the help fellow tempers [​IMG]
     
  2. DeMoN

    Member DeMoN GBAtemp Guru

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    1. Nope, 3 GB of RAM seems ideal for that laptop. And you don't want a slow processor.
    2. Get 32-bit for better compatibility, you only need 64-bit for 4GB of RAM or more.
     
  3. shadowkillerdrag

    Member shadowkillerdrag GBAtemp Regular

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    i think you should keep the current processor and upgrade to 3 gb ram and keep the 32 bit os.
    Also I think you should be able to do some light gaming with that video card (not so sure since im not that laptop smart)

    Generally most tasks dont current require upwards of 4 gb or higher ram.
    I should know i have 8 gb of ram and i only go over 2 gb when gaming.
    32bit OS would have the most compatability with software as well in my perspective. Since a lot of my programs dont have 64bit drivers soo i stuck with my 32 bit os
     
  4. Foie
    OP

    Member Foie That one guy

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    Alright, thanks for the tips. What about in the future with windows 7? Will 32 bit still be the better option? Because the free windows 7 upgrade is tied to what operating system I get. If I go with 32 bit vista I'll get windows 7 32 bit.

    Oh, and what would be better, a wireless b/g/n card, or a wireless g card with bluetooth?
     
  5. Cermage

    Member Cermage GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Are you going to be using bluetooth? if so go for the latter. if not go for the former, its useful having multiple wireless drafts. though b is kinda outdated and n isn't widely used yet.
     
  6. UltraMagnus

    Member UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

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    it would be helpful to know the price of this laptop, so we can give recommendations of alternatives. Personally I find any screen smaller than 15 inch too small, and to be honest a thin 15 inch laptop is more portable than a thick 13 inch one.

    as for wifi B being outdated, most systems will dynamically switch between G and B as B although slower has a larger range
     
  7. DeMoN

    Member DeMoN GBAtemp Guru

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    You should find out if your college uses Wireless N.
     
  8. DSGamer64

    Member DSGamer64 Canadian, Eh?

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    Seems ok, though battery consumption is always an issue. My brother has a HP DV2000 laptop and to be honest, it's crap as it is horribly unreliable and the general consensus that I have gathered based on reading reviews of HP laptops is that they are generally poorly constructed and fragile for the most part. Don't order direct either, buy online or in a store and save yourself the hassles of dealing with warranty services if you have to get it fixed, that way you aren't having to make a bunch of phone calls to have your computer fixed plus you don't have to pay to have it shipped away.

    Windows Vista on laptops is terrible though as it is so battery consuming, you should really wait until Windows 7 is out or at least until the back to school sales get fired up, which should be in a couple of weeks. RAM upgrades are always cheaper if you do it yourself and buy from an online retailer, so you can afford to be cheap and get the lowest amount of RAM in a computer and upgrade it yourself for less money then what the manufacturers sell, same goes for hard drives.

    Though you could always get an Asus N10 netbook which has a 9300M GS 256MB dedicated graphics card that you can use to play games as well as swap to a generic onboard graphics processor for doing your school work and that might be sufficient, but that model is a bit expensive for a netbook to be honest.
     
  9. Jiggah

    Member Jiggah GBAtemp Maniac

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    Go for the upgrade, why wouldn't you? It's free. There's nothing wrong with 64-bit, unless you're using some old software that the school is too cheap to update (AutoCAD, MatLab), you should have no problems, 32-bit applications install just fine in Windows 64-bit. Vista is fine as well, you'll have plenty of RAM and the processor is decent enough, though I'd recommend a clean install using the OEM key after you activate it.
     
  10. Wabsta

    Member Wabsta you fight like a dairy farmer

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    lolwut.
    My battery is used better in vista then in XP [​IMG]

    And dude, don't take a 13 inch..
    That's just too small, just take a 15.4inch, that's not too big, and not too small, it's perfect.
     
  11. DrOctapu

    Member DrOctapu Magnificent Bastard

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    I'd run ubuntu on it. Windows 7 doesn't interest me.
     
  12. DSGamer64

    Member DSGamer64 Canadian, Eh?

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    My brother gets 3 hours of battery life with an extended battery for longer life using Windows Vista and dual core processing, I got 3 hours on my computer with a 6 cell battery using XP and a single core processor, not to mention his computer has 3GB's of RAM and mine has 1GB as well as a smaller screen, so explain as to why he gets the same battery life out of his computer that I do and his is twice as powerful and has a much bigger battery. My computer is 3 years old, his is not even two as well.
     
  13. Jiggah

    Member Jiggah GBAtemp Maniac

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    This makes no sense. His is more powerful and yet still has the same battery life, that's a good thing.
     
  14. Law

    Member Law rip ninjacat that zarcon made me

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    I think what he's trying to say is that his older computer with XP and a weaker battery gets the same amount of time, and he is trying to suggest that the extended battery would get more than 3 hours on his XP computer. thus (he thinks that) Vista uses up more battery than XP.
     
  15. Jiggah

    Member Jiggah GBAtemp Maniac

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    Of course it's going to get more time out of the extended battery on his machine. The newer machine is much more powerful than the older one. You'd also have to factor in other components i.e. screen sizes, graphics cards, etc.

    The idea is that it isn't a fair comparison that XP gets more battery life than Vista. Had he stated that by putting XP on his brother's machine had some how magically increased the battery life than it'd be a reasonable comparison. That's exactly what wabsta stated though, and the result was in favor of Vista.
     
  16. Raki

    Member Raki GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well I guess his Laptop is weaker, but not as power efficient as new Laptops are. So it could be that his Laptop and his brother's laptop use about the same amount of power, but have different Batteries and OSes
     
  17. DSGamer64

    Member DSGamer64 Canadian, Eh?

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    XP is far less resource intensive, why do you think they use it on netbooks and can wind up with 8 hour battery life on a 6 cell battery using single core processing? Seeing as how there is only about a year and a half difference between two laptops and one has superior specs and a bigger battery, even with dual core technology being more battery efficient you should be able to get 4 hours of battery life out of a 9 cell battery but since Vista requires far more resources to run smoothly, it eats up more battery power when running multiple applications over an XP machine.
     
  18. Jiggah

    Member Jiggah GBAtemp Maniac

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    You keep pointing out that a better spec laptop will drain the battery more, my answer is "no duh." I'd completely expect a better spec laptop to drain the battery faster.

    Why does a netbook use less power or have XP instead of Vista? Uh...maybe because of the under performing Atom CPU and the lack of a dedicated GPU.

    My point is the claim that XP is somehow more efficient based on two completely different setup is extremely deceiving. "Efficiency" is such a loaded term to use.

    To the OP:

    Get the 64-bit Vista and get the upgrade coupon to Win 7 with it.
     
  19. Athlon-pv

    Member Athlon-pv GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Supposedly you can get a free Vista -> W7 upgrade from MS (purchase after July), use google [​IMG] or email them [​IMG].
     

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