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Laptop build questions for East or others

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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:21 pm

I am very disapointed that avadirect does not offer hitachi drives. Although I have found them to be a bit noisy at times all they are great hard drives. (that is unless you happen to get a defective one which seems 100x less likly then your odds with western digital, I will get to that after though)

My personal experience with samsung hard drives is with there desktop drives. A while back I had 2 of there 80gb ide drives in my system (An athlon 2100+ at the time) They well outlasted the life of the system. (If i remember correctly I used that system for about 5 years before going over it and selling it as a used pc) If my memory is correct I think that I built that system around 2004, In more recent years I had to put a hard drive in a customers laptop. It was a ibm t60 and as such uses ide hard drives which are damn near impossible to find these days. I ordered a samsung 160gb drive from tigerdirect. Its been about a year now and the system as yet to come back. Based on my experience with samsung drives I would recommend them

That being said the best drive that they offer from samsung is the 500gb spinpoint mp4. Not only does it have the most storage but it has the fastest spinspeed and largest cache. (Not to mention its $1.95 cheaper then the slower variant the M7 which also has less cache ram, wtf?)

My second choice would be a toshiba drive. From what I have seen they have an about average life span and toshiba stands behind them

I would go with the MK6461GSYN. It has a 7200rpm spin speed and a 16mb cache.

My third choice would be seagate. I had a below average experience with seagate but not the worst I have had. In my old system (the lian li v2000 based one, You guys probably remember) anyway I had 3 1tb seagate drives in the system. The drives worked alright but there health was starting to deteriorate after 3 years. (This is when I purchased the hitachi 2tb drives to replace them) seagate prides them selves in offering a 5 year guarantee, When I went on there website to rma the drives I was told I had an invalid serial number (These drives are full retail drives purchased at bestbuy, Not oem drives) In seagates defense I never actually called them about the problem and gave them a chance to make it right, They probably would have too.

This being said 3 years is not a bad lifespan at all for a hard drive. Mind you these drives were run more of less 24/7 No data was lost off of them either do to a sudden unpredictable failure (western digital) and I appreciate that.

The best seagate that avadirect seems to offer is the momentus XT 500gb 7200rpm hybrid drive, I have never owned a hybrid drive so I cant say if they are any good or not. All I know is no other manufactures are following suit. This leads me to the conclusion that either seagate has a patent on the hybrid drive concept or it does not work very well. I suppose that you could use the integrated 4gb ssd to backup anything important you had on the drive. (4gb is still a decent amount of room to store business documents such as word files powerpoint presentations etc.)

This is the drive my friend just ordered in his sager. I cant ask him his opinion though as its not scheduled to arrive until this friday.

Now about western digital. I have never seen a company with such low quality control. A while back I was exclusively using western digital hard drives, Big mistake. I have never seen so many brand new defective drives within the warranty period, I had to eat each one to make it right and then pursue it with western digital through there rma process. The worst drive out of all of them failed within 48 hours of loading windows on it, The windows install corrupted over and the bios detected the smart status as bad. Mind you this was not a refurbished drive but a brand new one.

I ended up having to purchase replacement drives at my expense for all of my customers, All of which were pissed off a new drive failed to begin with requested a different brand. I ended up replacing all of the failed drives with seagates. I ended up giving a couple of the replacement western digital drives to a friend and the other few I used up myself because I could not in good conscious sell them to a customer.

This is the sole reason I hate western digital. There drives use to be really good back when I still used a pentium 2 but there quality has steeply declined since then, That is how they can afford to undercut all of the other drive manufactures prices.

Personally I wouldn't mess around with traditional drives anymore in a laptop. They are far too sensitive to impact.

So to summarize (Or if your lazy) If I had to pick a drive from the ones they offer that wasn't solid state I would go with the samsung mp4.

Maybe invest in a 32gb flash drive to backup with. They can be had for about $50 + shipping now.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:16 am

Thanks! The drives really had me lost. I still have not made up my mind which company to go with yet, but streamlining the choices on the AVA site helps.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:55 am

xoticpc does not guarantee what drive they will use for most of there options. Your only guaranteed options are a seagate hybrid or a specific intel ssd.

The rest of the options just specify the capacity, spinspeed, and cache. Not very comforting.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:17 am

That is true. In a way, it makes things easier for the unwashed computer heathens such as me -- the number of choices on the AVA site are daunting, to say the least. On the other hand, Xotic also offers free shipping and a cash discount, so there are pluses.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:37 pm

Well I was looking over the x7200 again for you. I stand corrected avadirect does offer IC Diamond, They have the full name typed out and I didnt notice because I was looking for it under the abbreviation. Its called Innovation Cooling, Diamond 7. From the reviews I have read that is suppose to be top notch compound.

As you are probably already aware the nvidia quadro line of video cards is ment for sharp precise rendering, Not fast graphics. They are not suited for gaming. They are made for programs such as autocad and 3dmax despite them having double the ram of the 580's it would be a mistake to buy them for gaming.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:47 pm

Like I said, I am going with the 580m cards. No, I am not looking at a Quadro! (Already have a pair of Quatros in my basement. /rimshot.)

As much as I have appreciated the help that you have given so far, I am going to task you further. Let us say that I give up the desktop replacement platform and instead go for a high-powered "standard" laptop, but still with a single 580m and likely a 2720 or 2820 for a mobile processor. Any recommendations? The only choice that AVAdirect has is the Clevo P170hm. I read some very mixed reviews of that platform. (One of the consistent knocks that Clevo keeps getting is the keyboard, which has a non-standard layout. That criticism is levelled at the 7200 as well.) Any other manufacturers that will use that card? If I am going with a single card, then I definitely want a 580m. Depending on the price, with that configuration I may even consider the 2920 for a processor, though that is a definite step up (but in my test builds still cheaper than the 7200 with a pair of 580s and the desktop processors.) AVAdirect seems to stick with Clevos. What are your thoughts on the P170 or any other manufacturer's platform that will allow me to use that card -- and if so, what are my best options for resellers?
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:18 am

If you are truly considering something more portable you may want to consider the NP8150. It has a 15.6" lcd. More importantly it uses 2nd generation intel artecture and supports upto 16gb of ram.

The NP8170 feature wise is essentially the same laptop as the NP8150 with a 17" screen.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:24 am

The 17" is a must. I am not going to use an external monitor. That means either the Clevo or Sager version of the 170, unless there is another platform that you know of that I should look at.

Interestingly, I tried configuring that platform on Digital Storm's website, and since there is a 10% instant discount, it came out nearly the same as AVAdirect, with the three year upgrade for the AVA -- and that was with the 16gb of RAM. (Digital Storm's warrently defaults to lifetime support, three years labor and one year parts at no extra.) I then tried doing a build on the 7200 and it also came out very similar to AVA. Any experience with Digital Storm? Their desktops seem highly regarded, at least according to the reviews. Not so sure about their laptops.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:27 am

Knowing my needs as I have given them, any thoughts on the DTR build vs. the high-end mobile build?
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:52 am

If you want a 580m about your only other choice looks to be alienware.

The only laptop brands I would recommend are sony and surprisingly acer. I cant really say anything positive about hp/compaq laptops after the dv series fiasco.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:10 pm

Clevo/Sager it is. Any thoughts on the 7200 platform vs. the 170? I am going to be using this as a gaming rig, and will run photo editing software as well (probably the most taxing productivity software that I will use.) What would be your gut instinct on whether or not I would be content with a single 580 and the slower mobile CPU? Would I regret not taking the full plunge?
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:25 am

It really comes down to what you are going to use the laptop for and price. The x7200 is comparable to the d900t/k/c/f It has desktop architecture and as such is huge, The x7200 will have the power of a desktop. The 170 is better if you plan to actually use it as a laptop. It is lighter and thinner and thus more portable. Being it has a mobile cpu it will get better battery life then the x7200 which uses a lga1366 desktop cpu.

The icing on the cake is that the 170 is cheaper, uses the current generation intel mobile cpu and supports upto 16gb of ram.

Don't get me wrong If I was buying a laptop right now I would probably end up buying a x7200 for the sear power. But then again I liked my d900t and found its portability to be adequate. If you have not owned a d900t I will tell you most users would consider it a challenge to use portability do to its weight, the heat generated and its short battery runtime.

I saw my friends new clevo yesterday and although we didn't do anything too gpu intensive I was impressed with the few games that we did run on it.

If your order from xoticpc be sure to use the promo code "cashrebate" to get 3% off.

I just configured a 170 with the best everything you could get on it. It came to $3737.42 (except the upgraded screen, I haven't looked into what the difference is) after the promo discount.

Actually I take that back the x7200 comes with bluetooth and came to $3685.04 fully optioned with 580 sli including the extra power adapter for sli. (again without the upgraded screen)

So if you are going to leave it on your desk most of the time I would definitely go for the x7200.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:38 pm

Have Iago's concerns been addressed?

Was going to ask a question of my own, but did not want to hijack during the critical decision-making stage.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:48 am

Ask away. Nothing critical here. (I am ordering this week, by the way.)
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:52 pm

I was just wondering between the Digital Storm x15 or Digital Storm xm15 laptops. I'm looking for a multipurpose laptop that I can use for modest work (e.g., running Office 2010, Acrobat X and few other, non-taxing software suites), studying, and playing the odd game (maybe two over a year). So, a pure gaming computer, while fun, would be completely overkill for me. I love video games, but only have time to casually game on the PC. Heck, even my PS3 gets little use. Heavy Rain took me about six weeks to get through because I didn't have the time to just sit down and play!

I also want portability and decent battery life so that I can use the computer on the go and away from a power source, if need be. Would either of the laptops mentioned be suitable? Or are there better alternatives?

I'm not concerned about laptop speakers. I'll use a headset during serious use.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:20 pm

If you want something that is portable powerful and half way decent on battery the NP8150 is a really nice system and can be configured with a handful of different video cards price and battery life being the only restrictions.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:18 pm

I am assuming that is the platform that Digital Storm uses for their x15, since everything else seems to be the Clevos. Interestingly, the prices between AVAdirect, Sager, XoticPC and Digital Storm are all withing striking distance of each other, when you factor in the various instant discounts, cash rebates and other things. It really comes down to warranty, service or personal preference right now. The other major one that I looked at was OriginPC, given the glowing review that their 15" model got in PC Gamer, but they definitely come in on the high side compared to the others. The real surprise was Digital Storm being not too much more expensive than the others.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:07 am

Where are you ordering from?

I haven't confirmed if the x15 is based on the NP8150. I'll do some digging and find out. Even though I won't game that much, I have decided that I at least want a 560M card, though I may find myself opting for the 580M, just to be safe.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:03 am

Both the x15 and 8150 share the Clevo P150HM chassis.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:43 pm

It seems to be Clevo/Sager wherever you go.

I am not sure which one I will use. I am going to configure the same builds tonight and see what happens.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:51 pm

Thanks for the clarification.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:40 pm

Digital Storm uses some nice components

http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=1032629&mpage=1
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:46 pm

That case is massive!
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:09 am

That is one of the downsides with the Digital Storm website; they do not list precisely what components that they use. But most of the reviews that I have read have been glowing, especially the "professional" reviews. On the other hand, most of those reviews are of their desktops. But the company seems to have a good reputation, with better support that a site like AVAdirect will give.

No time last night. I am hoping to get done a little early and get the builds going today.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:24 am

Ah, well ignore my question in the other thread (we have some cross-thread conversation happening).

I also like the look of Digital Storm. They're not a Voodoo or Falcon Northwest, but their prices aren't as bloated either. I have noted in some professional reviews that Digital Storm is criticized for building rather bland-looking machines. I actually prefer a more subdued look over a crazy-looking machine with a plethora of blinking LEDs. I kinda like Digital Storm's bland look.

One big plus for Digital Storm is that they ship their builds free of bloatware. I like that. And since their true mobile builds use Sandy Bridge processors, battery life should be decent when using the computer for non-gaming tasks, since the integrated Intel GPU will be used, not the NVIDIA card.
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