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Laptop?
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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 1:56 pm
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My dad is in the market for a new laptop and he wants to go 64bit. He's interested in a custom machine but not one that he has to build himself like to buy all the parts separately and put it together. I told him that Dell.com was a good place to go for a custom machine like that (I know that Dell's aren't the best but they're not bad). He decided that was probably his best bet but then I started to think, does Dell sell 64bit machines online... I checked out their site and it doesn't seem to indicate anywhere whether it's 32 or 64bit.

Could someone help me out here? His other option would be to go custom from a local tech shop but he's going to try the online route first. If not Dell.com, what other sites could he go to that would build him a custom machine like Dell.com does? I'm not talking about something like NCIX or TigerDirect, I'm talking about something like what Dell.com has.

Thanks a lot,

Matt

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 3:54 pm
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By custom design, I'm not sure what you mean. Dell isn't a custom design shop, you pick the components you want and pay a premium for them. If you know what you're looking for, you can get it from somewhere else for probably a lot less money.

Myself, I prefer Acer. And I usually buy from Tiger Direct.

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 8:32 pm
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Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. What he's looking for is being able to get a better video card for example, but less RAM, or a better processor and a smaller hard drive. Usually, if you buy from a box store or something, and even from Tiger Direct, if you want a machine with a great video card, chances are it will come with tons of RAM as well or lots of some other componant that you don't want. Sorry, I'm probably still not being clear. My Dad has no use for large hard drives. He doesn't have a large music or video collection or anything, and so something like a 160 would be more than enough. However, he's getting Vista on this new machine and so he wants a lot of RAM, a nice processor and a good video card in order to get the most out of Vista, in order to have it not too slow. He wants to be able to get more than standard RAM, more than standard processor and a more than standard video card. If you buy something like that in a box store it will come with a 500GB+ HD, and he wants less than that, and to be able to save some money on the hard drive then. Similarly, if you get great specs like that, it will probably also come with like a BlueRay drive, and he has no use for that, he just wants standard DVD burning, it's that kind of customization that he wants.

So Zig recommends Tiger Direct (at least that's what I got out of your post)... what about the rest of you, sorry that I wasn't clearer in my first post.

Matt

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 9:27 pm
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I see what you're saying now. I will add this though: Hard drive space is cheap. The money you save by skimping on your hard drive isn't worth the hassle if you don't get enough. In the end, I think you save about 30 bucks between a 160 and 500 GB. That's my 8 cents (inflation sucks).

And yes, I recommend Tiger Direct heavily, but I don't think they'll do the customization you're looking for. They used to let you do something similar, to narrow down their search results by specifying what you want, and they show you what they have.

~shrug~

If it were me, I'd get the extra hard space even if I was sure I wouldn't use it. To each his own though.

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 9:34 pm
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Thanks for your advice Zig!

I'll keep this thread updated with what happens. My Dad told me to go and look and find him a laptop so I gotta find one. Any recommendations, as in ATI or NVIDIA, Intel or AMD, stuff like that. I'm leaning towards recommending a dual core Intel, 64bit, with an NVIDIA video.

Matt

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 9:44 pm
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I like AMD, and I like Nvidia.

Not for any performance reason or because they're better, but I have had better luck and rapport with their support departments.

YMMV (your mileage may vary)

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 9:48 pm
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Thanks, I'll keep updating.

Matt

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David Hartsock
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September 29, 2008 - 6:37 am
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Matt, I'll throw my .02 in here:

I prefer HP. You get decent bang for your buck. If you like HP sends me special offers once a week. If you let me know what size he wants 15" or 17" screen, I can post a link to save some cash.

All modern processors are 64bit, so you don't have to worry about that. Get the fastest CPU and best Video card you can afford. You'll be stuck with these for the life of the laptop. If your fathers eyes are good, at least with glasses, get the highest resolution screen you can get on the model you choose. Screen real estate is good, and a higher res means more real estate. Don't worry about the super bright display options. I think HP calls theirs Brightview or something similar. The difference isn't worth the price IMO.

Stick with their base hard drive size, if that's a concern. Spend your money on a DVD burner and other built in accessories - webcam, fingerprint reader, etc.

Buy the least amount of RAM you can get! Companies like HP and Dell charge a premium for RAM upgrades above the minimum. You can find 4GB (2x2GB) on sale at NewEgg for $50 to $70. Dell or HP would probably charge $150 to $200. You can change the Ram in about 60 seconds flat.

If your father has any intentions of using the laptop away from the house, or doesn't want to carry the power supply around the house, get the largest battery available.

Get a wireless card that does B/G/and N. N isn't ratified yet, but seems to work well. The cost of getting a BGN card over a straight BG card is minimal.

If you do buy from a retail store, don't buy their warranty. It will be too expensive, and their repair service isn't as fast as the OEM. Most manufacturers will let you get an extended warranty even if you buy the laptop at a retail store. I do recommend you get a warranty. There are too many things that can go break and laptops receive a lot more punishment than a desktop would. Major repairs (CPU, Vid card, mobo, screen) start in the neighborhood of $200 and go up from there. One repair during the life of the laptop and you'll more than pay for any extended warranty.

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SEGMAT
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September 29, 2008 - 8:30 am
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Thanks a ton! I'll talk to my Dad, he knows a fair bit about computers but his favorite computer right now is his old P4 laptop with 512MB RAM and a 10GB HD, running Win2K, and he hates new things, even XP! Anyway, so he doesn't know about new hardware or anything and that's why he told me to find him something. I'll show him what you wrote and then I'll get back to you, thanks for the HP offer, I like HP myself, that's my main rig right now, so I think we'll take you up on that.

Matt

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