Thread: [Help] My Laptop Setup
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Old February 7th, 2013, 07:42 PM
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InMooseWeTrust
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Okay, here's some responses, in no particular order:

-I actually NEED Windows. I'm a Biostatistics major/Geography minor at Penn State. There's a lot of software I need for classes that's Windows-only, which I know can't be WINE'd. (If there are Linux versions, torrents are hard to find for that). It's also a pain to use the campus wi-fi with Linux because it requires special software and weird security settings (tried it before). And I'm not going to sit for hours in the computer lab just to get homework done.

-I have another laptop (older Toshiba) that I can use for redundant tasks while at my apartment. It sucks performance wise but it's useful for managing stuff and downloading torrents, because I can leave it on while I work on the main one.

-I have no shortage of storage space. I have a 2 TB and a 3 TB external hard drives, with their own power supplies. For portability, I have a 500 GB hard drive that I ripped from a dead laptop and reformatted and cased. It fits in my pocket and I have it in my laptop bag for short term file storage. I also have flash drives. For long term, things get well-organized into the two big ones.

-I'm not a hardcore gamer so I don't need things like top of the line graphics, although the graphics and audio (my music collection is FLAC and plays on WinAMP) are rather nice. I watch HD videos, and both 720p and 1080p seem to run just fine on VLC Media Player if I'm not multitasking.

-Quilzel, my laptop has slightly better specs than yours. It doesn't make sense to buy a new one when you consider I paid around $600 for this two years ago.

-The only things filling up beyond 100GB right now in my laptop's internal are torrents and video editing things I've done. And my FLAC collection, half of which I never listen to and don't mind archiving. There's no reason why they can't be external. Windows is 20ish, games and other stuff I use day to day are maybe 50 GB more, if that. I uninstall something right away if I know I won't use something for a long time. Those archives go into external.

-I multitask like a maniac during weekdays. I have stuff open from all my classes, along with endless Firefox and Chrome tabs. I do get a lot of issues with lag as a result. Then I try to open Finale for my music composing class and.... X_X I'm going to get around it by putting stuff like Pagefile on my RAM drive, which I will be able to with more RAM. Maybe I shouldn't try to render Camtasia in the background at the same time, but I gotta do what I gotta do. My laptop somehow always survives, and overheating is really rare. This is where the hard drive bottlenecks before anything else.

-My laptop doesn't have a touchscreen, which Windows 8 appears to be built for. I actually like the old Windows interface, which 7 perfected. I've tried using Macs and iTampons before and I got extremely frustrated with the interface. It's sad for me to see Windows 8 going in that direction. And Windows 7 will be supported for many more years, so it's not some ancient OS that's out of its prime. And a 64 bit machine means I can upgrade into the stratosphere.

-I will clean the fan when I have to take it apart for the hard drive (mine doesn't have an opening underneath). But anybody know anything about heat sinks?

-I'll be happy if my SSD lasts more than a year, but by then I'll buy a bigger, sturdier one for a reasonable price. Maybe then I'll put this one on my old Toshiba? And the shelf life for the newer SSD's coming out in the market now (like the one I got) are a lot sturdier than their predecessors.

-I don't play any games that won't run on XP SP3, which I might need to VMWare anyway. So compatibility won't be an issue. I'm also eager to try using a server OS because I've never used one before.

-Upgrade cost? Around $32 per RAM card (2 total for 16GB, costing $64). $86 for 120 GB SSD (lucky auction). $70 on a new battery when this one is close to its death, which will be a year from now. CPU and other hardware can wait. $15 to replace worn out keyboard with an identical new one. Maybe $150 for a 256 GB SSD next year

-My Toshiba laptop is running a 1.8GHz Centrino and 3GB DDR2 RAM. I got it with 512 RAM before Vista even came out, secondhand refurbished. It was probably two years old at that point. I bought it in summer 2007. It was my only computer for four years, and I even installed 7 on it (ran better than under XP). I want to try to get a couple more years out of it. The motherboard is compatible with 64 bit Core Duo, and I'm REALLY tempted...

-I got the 3TB this past Black Friday at Best Buy for $99. I wasn't even in line; I just showed up and they had a lot in stock. I actually like that store.

-I live in a tiny apartment and I'm extremely mobile. It makes more sense for me to have five hard drives than five computers. Desktops are big and heavy and central Pennsylvania is in the middle of nowhere, and I drive/travel a lot.
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Last edited by InMooseWeTrust; February 7th, 2013 at 07:50 PM.
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