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 Post subject: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:35 pm 
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Semen Strong
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My laptop died and I am looking for a replacement.

I found this, which is so cheap - but has an AMD Dual Processor and I was wondering if it is complete shiitake. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Lenovo+-+Id ... Id=8814652 Am I better off going with the Intel Pentium here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/9 ... ndows.html

Also, even the guys at B&H were telling me that Windows 8 sucks and is the worst thing ever, which was kind of off-putting when all the cheaper laptops have Windows 8. How bad is it and are there alternatives that I could look into? Is it worth paying extra to get Win 7 http://www.staples.com/Lenovo-G580-5937 ... uct_193689

So I am between 3 Lenovo options - the cheapest with Win 8 and AMD processors, the middle with Win 8 and Intel processors and the most expensive with Win 7 and an Intel processor.

Also, if you know a of cheap laptop that would be super-awesome too, esp if you stuck a link in your response for me! I had a Lenovo at work and it was pretty decent and had Sonys at home, which seem a bit pricy now. I have often thought I'd love to buy refurbished to avoid the whole Made in China issue, but then I worry about getting something that is just a complete lemon and having no recourse.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:44 pm 
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You can format and put Windows 7 on anything you want if you hate 8. I haven't used 8 other than noodling around on store models, but it seems most of the criticism is that it's optimized for touch screens. Someone currently using it can shed more light on this, but I believe you can customize it to work better/more like 7 if you want.

I haven't compared current benchmarks, but AMD is good stuff quality wise. Until the core 2 duos, I always built my computers with AMD whenever possible. If you go with an Intel chip, I would get at least an i5, but preferably an i7. i5s are going to be underpowered and are older technology. Still fine now, but if you are planning to keep what you buy and not upgrade for a number of years, I'd avoid it.

Newer processors are dripping out now (Haswell) that don't have huge performance gains but do significantly improve battery life, so you should be able to get good deals on the older chips now (or wait if battery life is an important feature for you).

(I would not buy refurbished)

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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:47 pm 
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Oh those are cheap! My reply is completely not helpful then. My reply sort of assumed a $600 or so price range. I had no idea you could get anything for less other than a netbook.

This also changes what I said re: Windows 7. 7/8 have similar system requirements, but 8 has a lot of optimization for lower memory use and to be a better user experience on tablets/netbooks, etc, so its probably going to actually run BETTER on lower end machines than 7 would. Again, someone currently running it could probably tell you more. So 7 could actually be a fairly crappy user experience on a lighter notebook than runs fine with 8.

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Last edited by lavawitch on Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:49 pm 
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I just bought a laptop with Windows 8 on it, so I'll offer my two cents.

Windows 8 is a little weird, but it's not terrible. It did give me an "OMG what the fizzle is this?" moment when I started it up though. The Windows 8 interface is more akin to a tablet or smartphone, so if you're used to using those then you will get used to it. You can also install a 3rd party app to make it look like previous versions of Windows - I installed one called "Classic Shell" and it was a tremendous help while I was first getting used to the OS. Another thing - if you have software that you were using on an older version of Windows that you want to use on Windows 8, you may run into problems installing it or using it. There are workarounds in some cases, but if you have some really expensive piece of software you need to use it might be something to research first. Also, they've removed access to some weird things on Windows 8... you have to do this workaround to get into the setup BIOS menu for example, but if you don't know what that is it's probably not the kind of stuff you have to worry about.

As for the processor, it depends on what you want to do. Are you the kind of person who has like 800 things and tabs open at once? I certainly am, and if you're like me I'd look into something with a quad-core processor with Windows 8. If you're not like that then dual core is probably fine.

I don't think the laptop you linked to is total shiitake for an entry-level computer, but if you're willing to spend a little more and consider refurbished models you can get something a lot faster. For example, the computer I just bought was a refurbished Toshiba Satellite - $399 before tax for a quad-core processor, 8 GB memory and a 750 GB hard drive. It's not the highest-end computer in the world, but it is very fast and I think it was a really good deal for the price. I bought mine off Woot.com (which sells all kinds of crepe but often electronics), and NewEgg is another good place to check out for refurbs and new models. I can understand your concern about getting a "lemon" refurb, but you can buy a third party warranty (through companies like Square Trade) that will cover you for a year or two, depending on how much you want to spend. The warranty on my $400 computer was something like $60, but even when you add that to the price it's still cheaper than a new model (something like $600). Just some things to consider!

edited to add: My computer has an AMD processor and it is very fast, but it's quad-core like I said. Not total shiitake at all.


Last edited by Limone on Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Regarding Windows 8 being optimized for touch screens - I don't really know about that. The interface is smartphone-esque as I said, but you can easily click on everything with a mouse. It's no different than if you had set things to open with a single click on older operating systems.


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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:53 pm 
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I second new egg as a good place to look. I've ordered stuff from them for years. Usually there isn't any problem, but on the rare occasion that there is, they are very easy to deal with.

tigerdirect.com is also about the same experience as I've had with newegg. I just pick whichever has what I want cheaper or with a free shipping deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:12 pm 
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This one is a bit more than the ones you posted, but the specs are significantly better:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834312468

I found a benchmark page that might help you decide if the extra $ is worth it:
http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-2 ... e-i5-3210M

My main concern is looking forward a few years--the small bumps can make the difference as to whether things still work smoothly or not. Almost anything you buy today will do everything you want it to do now.

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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:43 am 
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Semen Strong
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Thanks LW and Limone! I appreciate the feedback. It turns out New Egg has a NJ facility, so buying through them would mean paying $35 in taxes, so I went through B&H and got this instead; http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/8 ... ows_8.html

As always, I ended spending a lot more than I wanted to!

Limone, which third party vendor did you buy your insurance from? I am guessing that with a toddler it makes sense to get some, or maybe not?

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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Tofulish, I bought a warranty through Square Trade. With a little one around I don't think it's the worst idea ever to get a warranty - though truthfully, you're just as likely to spill a cup of water or coffee or whatever on it by yourself, haha. More info on their laptop warranties here: http://www.squaretrade.com/laptop-warranty

Tax is a killer on stuff like that. I live in NY and had to pay sales tax on my laptop, which brought it up to $500, but I STILL feel like it was a good deal.


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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:37 pm 
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That looks like a great choice! Nice deal for an i7 too. I hope you enjoy it.

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"a vegan death match sounds like something where we all end up hugging." -LisaPunk


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 Post subject: Re: Laptop Questions - Windows 8 and AMD processors
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:32 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Thank you so much for the information! I was so overwhelmed and I couldn't have a decent discussion about what was important to me until I read your posts.

Thank you again so much <3

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