View Full Version : Laptop Speeds not easy to understand =\

20-06-2006, 12:09 PM
Hey all.

My computer is just about to crap itself and I am looking at getting a latop to replace this huge machine.

I understand desktop clock speeds, I have a 2.8ghz p4 HT at the moment and find that its not quiet fast enough for me to be using, I do alot of .avi to .dvd video transfers (to burn to a dvd) and the CPU is alright at rendering the video but would like it to be a little faster. I pretty much understand all the desktop specs but when it comes to laptops I have no idea.

I used to work for dick smiths and understand that laptop CPU's are usually about 1/2 the clock speed (around 1.8ghz) but the key differant is that though the are opperating at 1/2 the speed, they are doing double the work at that speed, basically evening it out (please correct me if I am wrong) to reduce the heat and power they use/produce.

I do not need a good graphics card at all, I havn't played a computer game in about 2 years but I do need a good CPU and alot of ram to keep windows under as fast as possible and to get through say mp3 to cda converstions, avi to dvd, and basic running speed up. A big hard drive is not a huge must, as I have a 200gb SATA at the moment and will just put that in a case and have all my music and videos on that and all the operating system files and documents I need on the laptop itself. Battery life doesn't really bother me, I am planing on using the laptop at uni and can just plug it into a power jack while there and at home.

Just wondering if someone could give a quick run down of the specs in a laptop and what to keep an eye out for and if there are any recommendations for a good laptop that isn't going to bust my wallet.



20-06-2006, 12:34 PM
Firstly set your self a budget.

You will want 1GB of ram. I have this in my laptop and its pretty damn quick with it too.

You may want to go with something that has a 64bit CPU, just to somewhat future proof it and it will boost your performance, if your program supports 64bit that is...

ASUS have some nice laptops at the moment.

20-06-2006, 12:38 PM
The major limitation in what you want to do means that you will want a fast CPU, and there is just no way to dissipate the heat it must generate in a laptop with such high CPU intensive applications.

Therefore the CPU will "speedstep" down to concerve the heating effect, which is the opposite of what you need.

My advice is to stay with a desktop.

20-06-2006, 12:46 PM
Yeah, a desktop would be the best option, but a laptop for uni is very handy....

20-06-2006, 12:49 PM
I really do want to go for a laptop.

To be honest, it doesn't REALLY matter if the CPU speed isn't great, I can put say a avi to dvd on over night and burn it in the morning and then leave the house, that wouldn't bother me.

I do do ALOT of downloading and the only thing that scares me with a laptop in the whole heat issue.

My mate has a Ultra Laptop, it has a 3.4 P4 HT, 2gb ram, geforce 6800 256mb. the thing is a complete desktop replacement (but costs around 5k) and averages about 60 ~ 70 fps on HL2 but has been sent in 3 times to the place where he got it due to the motherboard failing and they wouldn't say wether it was heat or what the problem was ....

I know you can basically leave a desktop on for a week and not do too much damage to it but is this the case with a laptop?

Can anyone make a recommendation for a laptop that will run windows really quickly (I hate having to wait for files to open, programs like firefox or winamp or what ever), doesn't need to play games at all but a DVD burner would be nice and has a nice screen?

I have had a look at DSE web site but couldn't come up with must, the spec confussed me .....

20-06-2006, 12:53 PM
I leave my laptop on 24/7. I just make sure nothing is blocking the vents, and i have the fan speed set to high, so it stays really cool.

20-06-2006, 01:02 PM
I think what this guy is primarily questioning is the difference between quoted laptop CPU speeds vs desktop speeds. Ie, how does say, a Pentium M Processor 740 (1.73GHz) compare with a desktop P4 3.00GHz.

20-06-2006, 01:18 PM
Yea, I am question that aswell as the heat issues.

Is there a big differant between Pent. M and Pent. C??

If I am looking for something along the lines of 3.00ghz desktop speed in a laptop, what should I be looking for and do laptop use the same FSB clocks as desktop or is there another thing to look out for there ..

Thanks for all your help

20-06-2006, 08:14 PM
Pentium Ms are faster clock for clock than Pentium 4s.
Pentium Ms are clock for clock about even with AMD's Athlon 64.
Core Duo/Solo are slightly faster clock for clock than AMD's Athlon 64 (and Turion 64)
Roughly, a Pentium M 740 at 1.73Ghz is approximately about as fast as a Pentium 4 3.2Ghz.
Personally, I'd reccomend a Core Duo, T2300 (1.66Ghz Dual Core), BUT if you're on a budget, the Pentium Ms are still very good.
Look for a light laptop, you may regret buying anything bigger than a 15.4" but I'd go 14.1" because it takes less space and is lighter.
I say this because I sometimes take my laptop to Uni - it's 15.4" and quite thin and light for a 15.4" (~2.6kg with no optical drive) - and I find it quite heavy (unless its in a backpack).
If you can afford $2k, I'd look at the HP Compaq Presario 1801 - its a 12.1" Widescreen, weighs only 1.6kg without DVD burner (probably 1.8kg with it), comes with 2GHz Pentium M (very fast), 512MB Ram (best to add at least another 512), 80gb Hard Drive, DVD Burner - dual layer, wireless and bluetooth (connect to uni wireless internet), integrated graphics, you won't be able to play games on this thing ;)
Link off PriceSpy: http://www.computerdirect.co.nz/products/product.asp?KEY=9368&grp=NOT
Good luck and I hope I answered your question :)

Edit: Oh, and don't worry about heat in Pentium Ms - they use way less power than the Pentium 4s, and run way cooler!

28-06-2006, 10:38 AM
Found this review:
If it wasn't for its dismal performance, we'd have no problem recommending the B1801TU for mobile professionals and students alike due to its attractive, lightweight design, impressive battery life and rich feature-set. As it stands though, we suggest giving this one a miss.