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View Poll Results: Pick my laptop
Laptop 1 2 11.76%
Laptop 2 1 5.88%
Laptop 3 1 5.88%
Laptop 4 11 64.71%
Other: See my post 2 11.76%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pick my laptop

Been shopping around for a new laptop to replace my old one. Basically I'm looking for a laptop that is for school, programming and of course, gaming The laptop's gotta a large harddrive, wireless networking, don't care if it has OS or not, capable of dual booting (most laptop should be able to right?)

The reason I'm asking you guys to pick it out for me is that I haven' been keeping up with the latest tech shit going on, especially laptops.

My budget is $1500 and here's some of my choices:

Laptop 1
Description: Gateway MX6708
Price: 1400
Processor Type: Intel Centrino Duo T2300
Screen Size: 15.4"
RAM: 512MB DDR2 Dual Channel
Hard Drive: 80GB (5400 RPM)
Optical Drives: DVD+/-RW Multi-Format Double Layer
Graphics: 128MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1400
Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition
Processor Speed: 1.67GHz
System Bus: 667MHz
Battery Life: 3 Hours
Warranty: 1 Year Parts & Labour
Network Card: 10/100/1000 Mbps built-in Ethernet, Intel PRO Wireless LAN 3945ABG

Laptop 2
Description: SATELLITE A100-LE6
Price: 1400
Processor Type: Intel Pentium® M processor 750
Screen Size: 15.4 inch
RAM: 1GB PC-4200 DDR2
Hard Drive: 100 GB
Optical Drives: Built-in DVD Super-Multi Double Layer +-R Drive functions
Graphics: Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 915GM with 128MB DDR shared video memory
Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition
Processor Speed: 1.86 Ghz
Battery Life: N/A
Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
Network Card: V.92 56K Data/Fax Modem, 10/100 integrated Ethernet LAN, Intel Wireless LAN (802.11ag)

Laptop 3
Description: Asus A6Vc
Price: 1400
Processor Type: Intel® Pentium® M processor 740
Screen Size: 15.4 inch
RAM: 512 MB DDR2 533MHz SDRAM
Hard Drive: 100 GB
Optical Drives: Built-in DVD Super-Multi Double Layer +-R Drive functions
Graphics: NVidia® GeForce™ 6200 with TurboCache™ supporting 256MB TurboCache™ Memory
Operating System: Windows XP Professional Edition
Processor Speed: 1.73GHz
Battery Life: N/A
Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
Network Card: 10/100/1000 Base T PCI LAN on board, IEEE 802.11b/g

Laptop 4
Description: Acer TravelMate 4404WLMi
Price: 1200
Processor Type: AMD Turion™ 64 Mobile
Screen Size: 15.4 inch
RAM: 1 GB DDR333 SDRAM
Hard Drive: 120 GB
Optical Drives: Integrated DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive
Graphics: ATI® MOBILITY™ RADEON® X700 graphics, 64MB DDR
Operating System: Windows XP Professional Edition
Processor Speed: 1.8 GHz
Battery Life: N/A
Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
Network Card: Acer® InviLink 802.11b/g wireless LAN, Acer® SignalUp, Gigabit LAN

I'm leaning toward to Laptop #4. I welcome other recommendations of course
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One thing to keep in mind. All 15.4 inch screens are not alike. WXGA on a 15.4 inch screen just means you got bigger "blocks" or pixels on the screen and not a clearn crisp screen.

WSXGA or WUXGA are more money but BOY are they worth it.
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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mondak you are correct. i just got my new dell e1505 yesterday and the screen is very nice. i'm glad i paid the extra and got it. pictures and videos are more crisp and sharp.
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like dells personally, they have a lot of nice deals right now.
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Old 05-13-2006, 08:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had a Dell for five years. It finally had a MOBO failure.(Fairly common end to Dell's, I hear).

Bought a new Toshiba Satellite. Love it. Completely stable.(Fingers crossed now).

Word.... Buy the best screen you can afford. Like speakers in a stereo setup.

I got mine with a built-in memory card reader (SC, xD, Smartmedia). That is a great feature. I download pictures off my camera without a cord, super fast. I have an SD card on my Treo and can upload music, programs, pics, very easily. It is easily my most used feature.

Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2006, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Laptop #2 would be my choice. I like AMD, but Toshiba makes an excellent screen. The speed of the Toshiba, along with the HDD and memory, that one is a winner.
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Old 05-13-2006, 05:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm gonna have to say #1 for the Core Duo. As a brand, I prefer Toshiba, and I prefer AMD procs, but I'm not a fan of Acer these days, and if you'r going Intel, the Core Duo seems a better choice (for long term, since multithreading is becoming more prevelant finally).
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Old 05-13-2006, 07:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just got a new laptop myself from AVADIRECT. Other than the service being slow due to an unspecified "production problem" I have no complaints. Yay word-of-mouth.

I voted #4 -primarily because I dislike Intel- , but I it looks like the better deal based on its other specs as well.
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Old 05-13-2006, 08:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If #4 uses the Turion ML-34 you probably don't want it. That's the older 35W version. It runs hotter and reduces battery life vs. the 25W MT-34.

None of the processors will be as fast as the Centrino Duo. I'd guess speed rankings at:
Code:
          CPU    Video
System 1  1st    1st
System 2  2nd    4th
System 3  3rd    2nd
System 4  3rd    3rd
(cpu's will be close besides the dual-core)

Avoid system 2 if you really care about games. The video performance will be poor. I also haven't been impressed with chipset performance of recent Toshibas. Games will care more about the video and chipset differences than the relatively small differences among those CPUs.

I'd start by comparing screen appearance, then depending on the apps you'll run choose among the top three. For me it would be system 1 or 3 bumped to 1GB RAM. I usually prefer AMDs but not for this set.
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Old 05-13-2006, 08:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I recently replaced an aged Dell with a cheaper Toshiba, a M70-DL4, which looks very much to be the same specs as your potential Toshiba without the video card, maybe a better screen.

I hate the screen. Sure, it's widescreen, and I've gotten used to the shinyness. But the max resolution that displays in intended widesceen resolution 1280x800. (The video card will run higher, but the screen itself won't.) I used to run my dell, from 2001, in 1600x1200. I didn't buy it to game, I've gotten used to the big chunky text, but if I had to do it again I'd research screen resolutions much more.
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Base System: Asus Z71V Barebone Notebook w/ 15.4in WSXGA+ Widecreen LCD
Processor: Intel Pentium M Processor 740, 1.73GHz, 533FSB w/ 2MB Cache
Memory: Kingston 1GB PC2-4200 DDR2 SODIMM
Hard Drives: Seagate 120GB Momentus 5400.2 SATA Notebook HDD w/ NCQ, 8MB Cache
Optical Drives: Asus CD-RW / DVD Combo Drive Module for Z71 Series Notebooks
Network Cards: Intel 100/1000 Gigabit Lan
Modem : 56K Modem
Video & Graphics: Onboard NVIDIA GeForce 6600 Graphics
Built-in Display: 15.4in WSXGA+ Widescreen LCD Display

Went to a online site for a local store that allowed you to customize notebooks. I was disappointed with the lack of option for harddrive considering that they were selling some harddrive at 7200rpm but didn't allow it to be used for customized notebooks. I checked out voodoo.ca which is located here but they're a tad pricey

Keep the opinion coming guys!
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Which of the following processor would be the best for laptops?

MD Turion 64 ML-37 2.0 GHz
Intel Pentium IV 3.4 GHz
Intel Core Duo Processor T2300 1.6 GHz
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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That must be the Mobile P4 with HT. These chips eat power and create lots of heat. (and noise due to fans) I wouldn't consider it without asbestos jeans and always having a power outlet nearby.

Otherwise the Core Duo will be faster for normal use or multi-threaded apps. The Turion will be faster for some single-threaded apps.

ML series Turion eats 35W. The Core Duo T2300 31W. If you were looking at the ~26W MT-37 you might argue for the AMD based on heat and battery life.

With this set Core Duo is the way to go.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I would get what I got for 1300

Dell T2500 Duo Core 2.0
1 Gig Ram
7200 RPM 60G
17" UXGA 1920x1200
DVD-R
256M ATI 1400

You can find coupon codes on line, I found one for 750 off...

Runs Oblivon at 1400 x 900 Wide with on problems

Whatever you get, make sure it is a Duo Core right now, the high memory bandwidth is well worth it. AMD still run at 266 vs the Duo's are up to 667 DDR2
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Oh yeah the coupon was at dellasdeals.com

Della's Deals tons of non-pop-up coupons
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
That must be the Mobile P4 with HT. These chips eat power and create lots of heat. (and noise due to fans) I wouldn't consider it without asbestos jeans and always having a power outlet nearby.

Otherwise the Core Duo will be faster for normal use or multi-threaded apps. The Turion will be faster for some single-threaded apps.

ML series Turion eats 35W. The Core Duo T2300 31W. If you were looking at the ~26W MT-37 you might argue for the AMD based on heat and battery life.

With this set Core Duo is the way to go.
What about Pentium M series? How do they compare against the Duo Core?
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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M series are good. Depending on cache and clock it'll be similar in speed to Core Duo on single-threaded apps. But, the same money buys a faster clocked single-core processor. If you only run one thing at a time M might give you more bang/$. Same situation as Core Duo vs. Turion. The choice would come down to actual laptop configuration, price and how you plan to use it.

Really, there's so much more to a laptop than the specific processor. All my generalities assume the rest is equal. That's almost never the case. The best way to narrow your requirements is to try one. Buy your favorite and see if your priorities match reality. Not easy to do if you're ordering online but sometimes that makes buying local with liberal return policies a better route.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Well, I know that processor is not everything in laptops but there is couple of stores around here that are selling fairly similar laptop but are different in terms of processor type.

I've narrowed my choices to this:

HP DV8230
Processor Type: Intel Centrino Duo T2300
Screen Size: 17" WXGA
RAM: 1024MB DDR2
Hard Drive: 160GB 5400RPM
Optical Drives: 8X DVD+/-RW/CD-RW Combo Drive
Graphics: 128MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400
Average Battery Life: Up To 5.5 Hours
Cache: 2MB L2
I/O Ports: 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x IEEE 1394
Network Card: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
PC Card Slots: 1 x ExpressCard/54, 1 x Type I/II 32-Bit
Operating System: MS Windows XP Home Edition With SP2
Processor Speed: 1.66GHz
System Bus: 667MHz

Toshiba Satellite A100-JH2
Processor Type: Intel Centrino Duo T2300
Screen Size: 15.4" WXGA
RAM: 1024MB DDR2
Hard Drive: 100GB SATA 5400RPM
Optical Drives: DVD Super-Multi Drive +/-R Double Layer
Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon X1400
Average Battery Life: 2.5 Hours
Cache: 32KB/32KB L1, 2MB L2
I/O Ports: 5-In-1 Multimedia (SD, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MMC, 3 x USB 2.0, RJ11, RJ45, IEEE1394, External Microphone Port, Headphone Port, RGB, S-Video Out
Network Card: 10/100 Integrated Ethernet LAN, Intel Wireless LAN (802.11ag)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home
Processor Speed: 1.66GHz
System Bus: 667MHz Front Side

Acer Aspire 5672
Processor Type: Intel Centrino Duo T2300
Screen Size: 15.4" WXGA
RAM: 2048MB DDR2
Hard Drive: 120GB SATA 5400RPM
Optical Drives: DVD Super-Multi Drive +/-R Double Layer
Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon X1400
Average Battery Life: 3.5 Hours
Cache: 2MB L2 cache
I/O Ports: DC-in, RJ-11, RJ-45, VGA, DVI, Headphones/speakers/line, Microphone, S-video TV-out, IEEE 1394, FIR, Four USB 2.0
Network Card: 10/100 Integrated Ethernet LAN, Intel Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/q)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home
Processor Speed: 1.66GHz
System Bus: 667MHz Front Side

Asus Z71V (Custom Built)
Processor Type: Intel Pentium M Processor 750
Screen Size: 15.4"
RAM: 1024MB DDR2
Hard Drive: 100GB SATA 5400RPM
Optical Drives: CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive Module
Graphics: Geoforce 6600 128MB
Average Battery Life: 4.0 Hours
Cache: 2MB L2 cache
I/O Ports: One VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin, 5 USB 2.0 ports, Two Audio jacks, One RJ-11, One RJ-45, 1394 B Type jack, S-Video, Type II PCMCIA Slot
Network Card: 10/100 Integrated Ethernet LAN
Operating System: None
Processor Speed: 1.86GHz
System Bus: 533MHz Front Side

Just to remind, my laptop will primarily be used for school especially programming, playing dvds and maybe some gaming but that's not really a high priority.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Also, I'm not in any hurry to purchase a laptop until school starts again in September, so I can wait until something better comes out or when the price drops
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Also, I'm not in any hurry to purchase a laptop until school starts again in September, so I can wait until something better comes out or when the price drops
Ah, it always will. It always does. I'd wait until the back-to-school sales then. No point in letting it devalue indoors while you're outdoors.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Why are you not considering a Dell or is Dell becoming like MS and we are all supposed to hate the big evil corportation?

Dell when you find a sale or coupon has deals that blow the others away.

Just curious...
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Old 05-17-2006, 01:56 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The coupons are available for only Dell's US website, there wasn't any available for the Canadian website, plus I would prefer to purchase a laptop in person at a store rather than online. But I did find that there were couple of other links from the page you posted available for Canadian stores.
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:41 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I know the Core Duo bus is a hot one to jump on lately, but I gotta say, it's not some magic pill.

FWIW, I've been configuring a Dell Precision M90 for a client this week, and some of last. (My job is "IT professional," also, FWIW.)

Anyway, we've got this M90 pretty much completely tricked out from Dell. Check thier site for the goodies. She's loaded: core duo, 2gb, rabid gpx card, all that fun crap. It's mostly as fast as any other 2ghz p4 laying around the office. Okay? It's not some magic superfast PC that we're wetting our pants over. Core Duo = yah, it's quick in photoshop, and the FPS is surely good too. Not that we'll know, because there will never be a game on it.

My point is that expected, anticipated, "damn that's fast" increase in speed from the dual core just isn't there. In fact, there's less "ghee whiz" factor than I'd hoped. I keep trying to make it sweat running apps at the same time (mostly installers, as I load software) and the same ole bottlenecks are still there: HD and memory bandwidth.

Speaking of which, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Intel Core Duos have to go way the hell out to the FSB and back to share info between cores? Meanwhile the AMDs have thier hypertransport built into the core. Won't that make memory access faster for an AMD 64 over the Core Duo?

Either way, it's a far more underwhelming experiance on dual core than I'd hoped for.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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You won't notice it until you fire up a couple things at once. Say, let a spreadsheet chew on something and use photoshop. Or just try a multithreaded media app. Pshop filters, video conversion, whatever. It's a cheap way to get close to SMP which has a habit of growing on you once you load the system up.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:04 PM   #25 (permalink)
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That makes sense.

I'll have to do something like that.

thx.
word.
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:50 AM   #26 (permalink)
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That is true, being that I am in graphic arts I do tend to run 4-5 programs at once. So it is a good size improvement for me. (Runs faster then my desktop 3ghz at rendering eps's) Now I don't get a improvement on games

The Duo is not a gaming system, my thought was because he was programing, and from back in the day, running multiple apps while programing was almost a requirement. That is why I think a Duo would be better for him but not the casual gamer.

Personally I was seriously considering the AMD but chose the Intel because of the much slower memory on the AMD (HP dv8000 I think).

Planning for the future and Vista, I felt the Duo would last longer. I tend to keep PC's for 5 years on avg. I thought this route would last longer.

I don't want to start a AMD vs. Intel war. I seriously like AMD better but I just didn't like there laptop offerings. Now the new AMD's are Duo 64 chips like their desktop chips are quite interesting. Those will blow away the Intel in the long run.
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:29 PM   #27 (permalink)
 
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Two things appear to be true when I read this thread and its opinions on dual core/SMP systems. Computers are faster than people think and software does less than people realize.

A lot of people like to say that dual core processors are good when you are running multiple applications at the same time. There's more to it than that. They're useful when you are running multiple processor intensive applications at once and, even then, they both need to be active.

For instance:
Quote:
Originally Posted by japhyryder
That is true, being that I am in graphic arts I do tend to run 4-5 programs at once. So it is a good size improvement for me. (Runs faster then my desktop 3ghz at rendering eps's) Now I don't get a improvement on games

The Duo is not a gaming system, my thought was because he was programing, and from back in the day, running multiple apps while programing was almost a requirement. That is why I think a Duo would be better for him but not the casual gamer.
A typical programmer will have, running at once, an IDE, an RCS, some kind of reference library like the MSDN or a web browser, a music player of some sort, maybe an e-mail client and/or some other communication program, and probably a web browser to distract them or occupy their time while compiling their executable. Now, you might think, because of the dual core mantra, that a dual core processor would be awesoem for the typical programmer who seems to run an awful lot of applications at once but the reality is that all these programs do very little...

The vast majority of software sits around doing nothing but waiting for user input, including all the ones listed above. You can tell by pulling up Task Manager and viewing the processor load. It is typically very low, like around zero. Even when you are doing something, like typing in your e-mail client or your IDE, those programs simply read your key press, process it a bit, create some kind of output in response, then wait for what would appear to it as an eternity, if it were anthropomorphized, for the next key you type in. Because one core could easily do all this while still spending most of its time waiting around doing nothing, the second core will spend all of its time doing nothing and you'd have invested in it for nothing.

Even if you were doing something processor intensive, like actually compiling something from your IDE (and even then, that's usually IO bound), because all the other applications still do so little, one processor is enough to handle all your needs without you even noticing that you had any extra processing power from a second core. It still will have made no difference.

Really, one usually needs to go far out of their way to make use of that second core, like compiling something from their IDE while rendering something in their NLE. This isn't very common...
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:49 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeMissile
Really, one usually needs to go far out of their way to make use of that second core, like compiling something from their IDE while rendering something in their NLE. This isn't very common...
Knife, I'm going to disagree with you a bit on that. I say it's less about going out of their way than getting ahead of their system. Multi-core or multi-cpu systems have a wonderful additional headroom that has to be tried to be enjoyed. (Or tried to know if it's a benefit.) Some users sit waiting for one task to grind to a halt while others with the same job will flop out to explorer and open a few windows and a refresh their browser, etc. and grow impatient while the system clunks & grinds. They might have the same job but do things in different ways, and multi-core just handles that personality type better.

At the end of a tax year I once upgraded my/our six employee systems with BP-6 boxes. We were short one cpu for a small server so pulled one of the employee's. He didn't notice, and he wasn't any newbie. That started a sort of "Trading Places" bet where we partners would pull an employee's 2nd cpu and bet if they'd notice. Some did, some didn't. It seemed more about personality type than expertise or taste. We partners sure as hell noticed it, even those running normal desktop apps, but we were all interrupt-driven fiends to some degree.

There are certainly times where a faster single core is more appropriate, and dual-core isn't SMP, but given the right system specs much of the headroom improvement is similar. To me the decision has to include the expected tasks and the specific user.

I guess the short version is that some people are just more multi-core than others, even if their app list wouldn't normally indicate a benefit.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:57 PM   #29 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Knife, I'm going to disagree with you a bit on that. I say it's less about going out of their way than getting ahead of their system. Multi-core or multi-cpu systems have a wonderful additional headroom that has to be tried to be enjoyed. (Or tried to know if it's a benefit.) Some users sit waiting for one task to grind to a halt while others with the same job will flop out to explorer and open a few windows and a refresh their browser, etc. and grow impatient while the system clunks & grinds. They might have the same job but do things in different ways, and multi-core just handles that personality type better.
But that's my point... In the example of the "flop out" user you describe above, they would see no improvement in performance, whether they use a dual core system or not. The fact that you think they would exemplifies my point. People don't understand how programs work or what the second core buys them.

Quote:
There are certainly times where a faster single core is more appropriate, and dual-core isn't SMP, but given the right system specs much of the headroom improvement is similar. To me the decision has to include the expected tasks and the specific user.

I guess the short version is that some people are just more multi-core than others, even if their app list wouldn't normally indicate a benefit.
To tell you the truth, I don't really understand the point of your post. It sounds like you're trying to say that there are some people who would benefit from a dual core system while others wouldn't. This is, of course, true.

I must, therefore, conclude that you misunderstand my post. I'm not just saying that there are few people who would benefit from a dual core system. There are few people who would benefit from a dual core system even if they were the sort of user who constantly swaps between running applications. My point is that it takes more than that to expect any benefit from a dual core system...
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:03 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeMissile
But that's my point... In the example of the "flop out" user you describe above, they would see no improvement in performance, whether they use a dual core system or not. The fact that you think they would exemplifies my point. People don't understand how programs work or what the second core buys them.
"Flop out" meaning to go somewhere else and get work done because that app is taking too long. Sure they would see an improvement, unless the test were designed to prevent it.

Knife, I'm a bit baffled by your contention. The XP thread scheduler is neurotic and wasteful but it will show an increase in work with multiple cores and multiple single-threaded applications. NT has had parallelism built into the kernel since way back when. XP Home will see some less benefit due to its further restrained scheduling support vs. multi-core + HT. But the benefit is there to experience.

Try setting affinity (for a few more % benefit) with task mgr or one of many launch utils. Monopolize each core with separate tasks and time vs. disabling one core completely. I don't know how you interpret the increase in work as other than an increase in performance. Not only is it measurable, but it's obvious to users making rigorous use of multiple single-threaded apps. XP's scheduler is less efficient than tuned, multi-threaded apps, and it's possible to sabotage the benefit with I/O or common resource blocks, (including user input) but otherwise independent apps do eat this stuff up.

I did have a customer a bit ago who was disappointed with his dual-core laptop. He hadn't patched XP power management for multi-core use and it would never load up either processor. That thing was a dog. Now I couldn't pry it from his cold dead fingers.
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:25 AM   #31 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
"Flop out" meaning to go somewhere else and get work done because that app is taking too long. Sure they would see an improvement, unless the test were designed to prevent it.
Yes, I perfectly understood what you meant by "flop out." I can only imagine that you felt it needed clarification because you are just that surprised by my assertions. Of course, that's why I made them... If I told everyone what they already know, it wouldn't make for as interesting a post. It's always more fun to surprise people with things they didn't know, although I'm a little surprised that this is one of them...

Quote:
Knife, I'm a bit baffled by your contention. The XP thread scheduler is neurotic and wasteful but it will show an increase in work with multiple cores and multiple single-threaded applications. NT has had parallelism built into the kernel since way back when. XP Home will see some less benefit due to its further restrained scheduling support vs. multi-core + HT. But the benefit is there to experience.
There's nothing neurotic about the NT scheduler. It's a round robin scheduler and it's why you probably wouldn't see any benefit from the second core. Incidentally, there's almost no difference between Home and Pro and there's absolutely no difference "under the hood."

It seems that I have not sufficiently explained how my claims are true and I'm tempted to give a long and detailed dissertation but I want to make sure there's are no miscommunication first, since I would hate to exert all that effort just to find out that you all almost understood what I was saying, anyways. Wasted effort sucks...

Quote:
Try setting affinity (for a few more % benefit) with task mgr or one of many launch utils. Monopolize each core with separate tasks and time vs. disabling one core completely. I don't know how you interpret the increase in work as other than an increase in performance. Not only is it measurable, but it's obvious to users making rigorous use of multiple single-threaded apps. XP's scheduler is less efficient than tuned, multi-threaded apps, and it's possible to sabotage the benefit with I/O or common resource blocks, (including user input) but otherwise independent apps do eat this stuff up.
It is very hard for an application to use 100% of a single processor's power and, even when they do, they do so infrequently. For instance, IDE's only use the full power of the processor while compiling. The rest of the time, which happens to be the majority of its use, it's nothing more than an over-glorified word processor. It just sits there, doing nothing but waiting for you to press the next key. When you do, it does a little bit of something while still only using a fraction of the processor's computing power and then goes back to doing nothing but waiting for you. The vast majority of applications are like this. They do nothing but wait for you. So, surely, you can see that even if you have several applications doing this, you're still not utilizing the full power of even that single processor, much less a second core! I'm hoping that you already understand all this and that I'm just reviewing but, if you haven't, then I really must start from the very beginning! Otherwise, my second point should be of interest to you...

Secondly, even if you have an application that has sufficient computing needs to constantly utilize the processor, such as any video renderer, you still need another program to do the same to utilize the second porocessor. Otherwise, even on a single processor, your other applications will be content with the few quanta it will get from the scheduler since all they do is sit around waiting for user input, anyays.

Now, in the example above, if you did have a second processor/core, the other applications will be scheduled on it and there will be a literal increase in performance but it will be very slight and certainly not noticeable, which is what I'm referring to when I say "makes no difference." I mean, really, if you can't tell there's a difference, do you care that there was a difference? I can only assume it's this that you're thinking of when you're "a bit baffled" by my claims...

If there was anything you didn't understand, please point them out and I will do my best to clarify!
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