Bought a PC this weekend... feeling nervous!

h0kie99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 31, 2004
82
0
VA
I love my iBook... LOVE IT. But I just started working in a new job where I must have a PC. So, I toyed with the idea of laptop vs desktop... since I already have an iBook, everyone was suggesting a desktop PC, but I can't be limited in my mobility with this new job. I don't need anything fabulous, just the basics. I'll do most of the work on my mac, and just the PC-related stuff on the PC. Anyway, I got a Dell laptop. I'm getting mixed messages from my friends regarding this choice. Some say Dell sucks. Others say that for what I need, it'll do me right.

Not that there's anything I can do about it now, but... did I make an okay choice?? For $1200, I hope so!
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
73
Solon, OH
h0kie99 said:
I love my iBook... LOVE IT. But I just started working in a new job where I must have a PC. So, I toyed with the idea of laptop vs desktop... since I already have an iBook, everyone was suggesting a desktop PC, but I can't be limited in my mobility with this new job. I don't need anything fabulous, just the basics. I'll do most of the work on my mac, and just the PC-related stuff on the PC. Anyway, I got a Dell laptop. I'm getting mixed messages from my friends regarding this choice. Some say Dell sucks. Others say that for what I need, it'll do me right.

Not that there's anything I can do about it now, but... did I make an okay choice?? For $1200, I hope so!
I hope you bought a notebook that has a Pentium M inside. Those processors are the best Intel offers for notebooks. They say that battery life for a Pentium M-based notebook can be as high as 10 hours! Usually, Pentium M notebooks are marketed under the Centrino mobile technology brand, so if you see that Centrino logo on your Dell, feel confident that a Pentium M processor is inside (as well as a wireless card).
 

h0kie99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 31, 2004
82
0
VA
Yikes, this is what I got... (however, I'm not TOO concerned with a kick ass battery life... my main concern is that I didn't get screwed overall)

Mobile Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 518 with HT Technology (2.80GHz, 533MHz FSB)
Memory 512MB,333MHz,2 DIMMs
Dell Wireless 1350 Internal Wireless (802.11b/g, 54Mbps) Mini-PCI card

I only got 30GB of hard drive space because I don't need that much storage room -- especially since I have my iBook with all that space as well.
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
73
Solon, OH
h0kie99 said:
Yikes, this is what I got... (however, I'm not TOO concerned with a kick ass battery life... my main concern is that I didn't get screwed overall)

Mobile Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 518 with HT Technology (2.80GHz, 533MHz FSB)
Memory 512MB,333MHz,2 DIMMs
Dell Wireless 1350 Internal Wireless (802.11b/g, 54Mbps) Mini-PCI card

I only got 30GB of hard drive space because I don't need that much storage room -- especially since I have my iBook with all that space as well.
The hard drive's small, but if that's all you need, then I'd say you didn't get ripped off. You got a decent deal. It wasn't an incredible deal, but it's by no means horrible either.
 

h0kie99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 31, 2004
82
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VA
Should I try and change it to the Pentium M model? It is about $150 more overall... but the speed is only 1.6GHz...?
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
73
Solon, OH
h0kie99 said:
Should I try and change it to the Pentium M model? It is about $150 more overall... but the speed is only 1.6GHz...?
That 1.6 GHz Pentium M absolutely spanks the 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 in terms of battery life, and gives it a good run for its money in raw performance too. Don't be fooled by the megahertz rating of the Pentium M - it's more powerful than it may first appear. Let me tell you one thing - a 1.6 GHz Pentium M will beat a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 in a surprising number of benchmarks.
 

ewinemiller

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2001
445
0
west of Philly
h0kie99 said:
Should I try and change it to the Pentium M model? It is about $150 more overall... but the speed is only 1.6GHz...?
A 1.6 Pentium M is about the same effective speed speed as a 2.8 Pentium 4. Depending on the task one or the other may be slightly better, but overall they are very similar in performance.
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
73
Solon, OH
ewinemiller said:
A 1.6 Pentium M is about the same effective speed speed as a 2.8 Pentium 4. Depending on the task one or the other may be slightly better, but overall they are very similar in performance.
Like I said earlier, don't let the Pentium M's low megahertz fool you into thinking it's horribly slow. Thanks for the clarification ewinemiller. I guess it comes down to this: is an extra $150 worth it to you for an extra 5-9 hours of battery life?
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,137
1,162
East Coast
wrldwzrd89 said:
I guess it comes down to this: is an extra $150 worth it to you for an extra 5-9 hours of battery life?
C'mon, isn't this overstating the battery life a little? Does the Pentium M really get 5 to 9 hours more life than a Pentium 4? Assuming that a P4 gets 1.5 hours, that would be saying the PenM gets 6.5 to 10+ hours.

I wonder what you would have to do to get 10+ on a single charge. Maybe have the screen turned off, the hard drive turned off, and just about everything else useful as well. ;)
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Not to be argumentative or anything, but which are the Pentium M laptops that get 10 hours of life? Are you talking about 10 hours with a second battery pack that fits on the bottom of the computer (the ones where there is an extra slab the entire footprint of the notebook which goes on the bottom)?

I looked at reviews of the V505, T40 series, and 700M and they all indicate 2.5-5 hours of life.

If there are some that reliably get 10 hours, I might want one as a second computer.... There is a copy of MS Office for students in the family already that has unused licenses, so I wouldn't have to buy much software for it.
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
mkrishnan said:
Not to be argumentative or anything, but which are the Pentium M laptops that get 10 hours of life? Are you talking about 10 hours with a second battery pack that fits on the bottom of the computer (the ones where there is an extra slab the entire footprint of the notebook which goes on the bottom)?
It would have to be, there is no single battery that can power a laptop for 10hrs. My boss has a T42 with a 2nd battery which rather neatly fits in the hot-plug (CD/DVD/FDD) bay. On a VERY GOOD day he would just squeeze 10hrs out of that+the standard battery together.
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
73
Solon, OH
mkrishnan said:
Not to be argumentative or anything, but which are the Pentium M laptops that get 10 hours of life? Are you talking about 10 hours with a second battery pack that fits on the bottom of the computer (the ones where there is an extra slab the entire footprint of the notebook which goes on the bottom)?

I looked at reviews of the V505, T40 series, and 700M and they all indicate 2.5-5 hours of life.

If there are some that reliably get 10 hours, I might want one as a second computer.... There is a copy of MS Office for students in the family already that has unused licenses, so I wouldn't have to buy much software for it.
To be honest...I don't know. I thought that some Pentium M notebooks could get 10+ on a single charge, but I don't know which ones nor do I remember where I got that from. Just ignore my 10 hours of battery life claim, since I can't back it up.
 

Converted2Truth

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2004
608
0
Hell@HighAltitude
My friend in law school just bought a Gateway 1.5 centrino laptop, and it only gets two hours battery life. All he's doing is typing. There's no way for any laptop to get that kind of life out of a battery. Sleep mode mixed with use maybe, but ya... no way

Edit: Oh, and go with the centrino 100%. Those desktop processor laptops only get 30 minutes of battery life. I'm not kidding. You can't even watch half a DVD with them.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
wrldwzrd89 said:
To be honest...I don't know. I thought that some Pentium M notebooks could get 10+ on a single charge, but I don't know which ones nor do I remember where I got that from. Just ignore my 10 hours of battery life claim, since I can't back it up.
Hmmm, no worries. :) How great would it be if the iBook or PB 12" could get 10 hours? :D
 

DougJrS

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2004
175
0
Kansas City
I have (actually - I "have" it, but my company paid for it) a Dell latitude D600. If I am just working with non cpu intense applications (usually email and a TN3270 emulator) I can get 5~6 hours out a single battery. If I am just surfing the net I can get closer to 6~8 hours. I have gone 4 hours working away like I do when it is docked at work, but when I was done I didn't check to see how much of the battery was left.

I have never used the DVD player while on battery, but my old Dell laptop would only play 1 on a full charge.

Here are the specs for my system from support.dell.com:
General Information
Computer Model Latitude D600
BIOS Vendor Dell Computer Corporation
BIOS Version A13
BIOS Date 07-09-04
Windows Version Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Processor
Manufacturer Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1400MHz
Clock Speed 1.4GHz
L2 Cache Size 1024
Memory
Available Memory 33.53 %
Page File Size 1014.3Mb
Available Page File 65.89 %
Virtual Memory 1525.5Mb
Available Virtual Memory 55.05 %
Memory Slot 1 [DIMM_A] 512Mb
Network Card
Adapters Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet Driver
NOC Extranet Access Adapter
Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection
Storage
Drive Type Drive Size Total Available Space User Available Space
C: NTFS 27.92Gb 21.98Gb 5.933Gb
Hardware
Type Description
DVD/CD-ROM Drives HL-DT-ST DVD-ROM GDR8082N
Disk Drives IC25N030ATMR04-0 27.94Gb
Display Adapters Microsoft SMS Mirror Driver
MOBILITY RADEON 9000 32Mb
IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers Intel(r) 82801DB Ultra ATA Storage Controller-24CA
Primary IDE Channel
Secondary IDE Channel
Keyboards SMS Virtual Keyboard
Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mice and Other Pointing Devices SMS Virtual Mouse
Alps Touch Pad
Monitors Default Monitor -
Default Monitor - (Standard monitor types)
Sound Devices SigmaTel C-Major Audio
USB Controllers Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C2
Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C4
Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C7
Intel (r) 82801DB/DBM USB Enhanced Host Controller


Doug
 

Steven1621

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2003
796
0
Connecticut
i'd say if you plan to use your ibook predominately, why spend so much on a PC? You should have got a cheap desktop or a used laptop. just my thoughts though...
 

bubbamac

macrumors 6502
Dec 24, 2003
260
0
First things first.

Before you ever hook you Dull up to the internet, use your iBook to go to www.zonelabs.com and download ZoneAlarm. Get the free version, they make you look for it! Burn it to a disc, and make sure that's loaded and running on your Dull before you ever hook up to the internet. Then, once you've got your internet hooked up, first thing is to install an anti-virus program, get it updated and set up. Then, run Windows Update until there aren't any more, and then - only then - open IE and download Firefox.

And yes, Dell sucks nowadays. If you need customer service, under no circumstances go to the "home user" prompt if you can justify the "business user" prompt by any means. (this is for phone support, BTW)

Good luck. I just spent 6 hours reinstalling Win98SE on the little lady's Dull after MSWord decided it didn't want to play nice. Can't just reinstall the app, no, that didn't work. Gotta start from scratch. Yea, that's right. One app has a bad day, you've got to reinstall the whole dang system.
 

Squareball

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2004
167
1
Palo Alto, CA
bubbamac said:
First things first.
Before you ever hook you Dull up to the internet, use your iBook to go to www.zonelabs.com and download ZoneAlarm. Get the free version, they make you look for it! Burn it to a disc, and make sure that's loaded and running on your Dull before you ever hook up to the internet. Then, once you've got your internet hooked up, first thing is to install an anti-virus program, get it updated and set up. Then, run Windows Update until there aren't any more, and then - only then - open IE and download Firefox.
Of course you can download from your ibook FireFox, zonealarm and your anti-virus software's latest definition as well as (possibly) XP SP2 network installer (it lets you download the entier thing and install it from the exe). Once that is in place do the windows updates and then never open IE again ;)
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Mechcozmo said:
Its in sleep mode. That's why it last so long. :D
Seems like there ought to be a Windows user joke right about here. :D

Oooh, got it: Once I realized that I could get the CD tray to stay open by holding down the power key while I already had it open, I found that I could get as much battery life as I needed from my laptop. Of course, I still don't understand why a coffee cup holder should need batteries.... :rolleyes:
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
homerjward said:
http://www.sharpsystems.com/products/pc_notebooks/actius/mm/20p/
that system purports to get 9 hours battery life on 1, albeit extended capacity, battery. sounds like a load o' bs though.
Hmmmm...Yeah, seems a shame to take a 2 lb laptop and strap a huge battery on it. Also it seems to be a Transmeta, not a Pentium M..... Not that that's anything against it, just that we were discussing Pentium M vs. other Pentium line processors on the battery life front.....
 

bubbamac

macrumors 6502
Dec 24, 2003
260
0
Squareball said:
Of course you can download from your ibook FireFox, zonealarm and your anti-virus software's latest definition as well as (possibly) XP SP2 network installer (it lets you download the entier thing and install it from the exe). Once that is in place do the windows updates and then never open IE again ;)
I like the way you think!
 

Rod Rod

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2003
2,174
2
Las Vegas, NV
Is there a way of password-protecting applications in Windows XP? If I were to get a Windows machine for the house, could I set it up to require a password for IE to launch? Thanks.
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
Rod Rod said:
Is there a way of password-protecting applications in Windows XP? If I were to get a Windows machine for the house, could I set it up to require a password for IE to launch? Thanks.
Not exactly. You could probably set permissions on the .exe to only allow certain users to execute it (You'd need NTFS & possibly Pro rather than Home). But if you did that to IE you'd probably cause a whole world of problems as IE is so deeply integrated in to XP.