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Thinkpad Question


Columbia Jet Fan

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Looking for a new computer...Primarily used for work (excel, word, power point) but also will be used for playing poker which I do as a supplemental income.

My questions are first (basic):

1. For performance, what is the most important customizable option? Load up on RAM/Memory, Hard Drive? Processor? What do each do for your overall performance/what do they do period?

2. If I buy an external Hard Drive can I buy a smaller hard drive for the laptop or will that compromise performance?

And more specific...

3. I am thinking of getting a Thinkpad but can't decide between the SL Series and the T series (and within T series the T61 or T400). My question is are you better off getting an older model and getting all the best features (most memory hard drive, etc) or getting the newer model and not getting as much stuff in it (for price reasons)...

ANY Help would be greatly appreciated, will add rep.... I basically want a really powerful machine, I dont really care about graphics or anything I just want something that will work as fast as possible for as long as possible....

THANK YOU!!!

-CJF

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I'm not the biggest techie here, but these are my impressions:

- RAM. As much as you can put on there, which appears to be 3 gigs.

- HD speed (RPM) is more important than HD size for performance. Unless you download movies/videos, you will never run out of a the lowest level of HD space (80 gig), so don't make yourself nuts over it. If you do download movies, get an external to keep them on & move over 1 or 2 at a time if you want to watch them on a plane/train/etc. Unless you have 2+ hard drives and RAID configure them, more HD space will have no impact on your every-day computer speed.

- Processor speed won't make much difference for what you're using it for. 1.5GHz, 2.0GHz, 2.5GHz, 3.0GHz, whatever. If you load up on RAM, you'll never know the difference in word & excel & powerpoint & internet. Unless you do ridiculous graphics/video intensive gaming, or are a big graphics guy, don't waste your money on that. BUT the # of cores will make it faster.

- Processor type is more important. Quad over Duo if that's an option. But they're all fast enough nowadays unless you're really, really picky or run a lot of graphics or like to keep 20 open windows/tabs. Otherwise don't worry about it, as you're not going to end up with a Celeron-type processor no matter what you do.

- Operating system: if you can still get XP, do it. Vista is a gargantuan resource-eating monster. If you don't have at least 2 gigs of memory and run Vista, your computer will suck. If you're forced into Vista, don't bother with a new laptop if you're only going to have 1 gig of RAM. Because a $200 used Pentium III with half that RAM will work better.

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Thats awesome stuff SE, thanks so much....

I tried to rep you but apparently I need to spread it out...I'm a SE homer I guess...

Also I can get 4G of ram which is nice I guess?

Also my only option is duo...SE or anyone, you think I should look outside of thinkpads for quad processors or is it not worth it? I was reccomended thinkpads for work related activity

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Thats awesome stuff SE, thanks so much....

I tried to rep you but apparently I need to spread it out...I'm a SE homer I guess...

Also I can get 4G of ram which is nice I guess?

Also my only option is duo...SE or anyone, you think I should look outside of thinkpads for quad processors or is it not worth it? I was reccomended thinkpads for work related activity

For the type of applications you're using (no gaming/intense graphics) I wouldn't make yourself nuts over the duo/quad thing. A duo-core with 3-4 gigs of RAM will be plenty fast.

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Thats awesome stuff SE, thanks so much....

I tried to rep you but apparently I need to spread it out...I'm a SE homer I guess...

Also I can get 4G of ram which is nice I guess?

Also my only option is duo...SE or anyone, you think I should look outside of thinkpads for quad processors or is it not worth it? I was reccomended thinkpads for work related activity

I rep'ed Sperm for you.

If you are buying a Windows laptop stick with the Thinkpad. I am a big fan of the T Series myself. The Centrino DUO will be fine for what you need. More than enough actually.

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Duo is fine. I'm not even sure if Microsoft's Office Applications do a good job of multithreading between four cores, so you might end up getting better performance with a faster processor speed on two cores versus a bit slower on four. Get the 4 gigs of RAM if possible. RAM nowadays is so cheap and speeds up computers so much it's no question. Get XP (if possible). For a speedy computer, try getting something like an 80 gig 7200 rpm hard drive. That should be decently-priced. 10000 rpm shouldn't be necessary, neither are SSD's.

I'll look through the Thinkpad stuff in a little while if I can.

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Duo is fine. I'm not even sure if Microsoft's Office Applications do a good job of multithreading between four cores, so you might end up getting better performance with a faster processor speed on two cores versus a bit slower on four. Get the 4 gigs of RAM if possible. RAM nowadays is so cheap and speeds up computers so much it's no question. Get XP (if possible). For a speedy computer, try getting something like an 80 gig 7200 rpm hard drive. That should be decently-priced. 10000 rpm shouldn't be necessary, neither are SSD's.

I'll look through the Thinkpad stuff in a little while if I can.

Thanks a lot WE and everyone who responded in this thread...really appreciate the responses

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