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CruisingWiki

Buying a new laptop for the boat (part 2of2) ….

In part 1 of this posting I was trying to see how best to approach the task of getting a good replacement laptop for my old Dell XPS M1530 (deceased).

After digging around the web, and trying to judge what was good and what was lacking with my old laptop and the uses to which it was put, I came up with some selection criteria.

Pleaese look back at post 1of2 if you haven't read it already, but in summary here are my selection criteria:

    • Benchmark software capability – MaxSea TZ (3D graphics + real time signal processing from instruments)
    • Screen size – 15” (adequate for charts, and larger would mean more power consumption)
    • HDD – 320Gb (minimum)
    • RAM – 4Gb (minimum)
    • Battery Life 3 hrs (minimum)
    • TDP rating 45watts (or less, an idea of heat dissipation, indirectly power consumption)

    That is when the fun started.

    Top of the list overall in my table published before (look back here) is the Intel i5 2540M. it has a very high 3D and Whetstone score and its TDP consumption is 35watts.

    However, most popular Sandy Bridge processor options for Intel’s based laptops on the market are the Core i3-2310 and i5-2410M which are more affordable to the manufacturers.

    So my task was effectively to find the cheapest laptop with the following spec:

    • CPU – Intel i5 2540M / i5-2520M / i5-2430M / i5-2410M / i5-580M
      (all score over 30,000 on both 3DMark06 and Whetstone benchmarks)
    • Screen size – 15”
    • HDD – 320Gb (minimum, 500Gb preferred)
    • RAM – 4Gb (minimum, 8Gb preferred)
    • Battery Life 3 hrs (minimum)

     

    Search Tip – By the way in order to search easily for a specific processor like I am suggesting –  type this command into the Google search box:

    • i5 2540M site:simplyacer.com
    • or i5 2540M site:amazon.com
    • or i5 2540 site:.co.uk -amazon (only looks at sites in the UK, but omits amazon )

    … this uses the Google “site:” directive – and that way you can search specifically for one particular item – in this case a particular CPU on a specific web site without getting bogged down with a boggling number of results.

     

    So what does the search come up with?:

    The laptops that use the i5 2540M processor are pricey and include the following…

    • Fujitsu Notebook CELSIUS H910 – £3,527 !!
    • HP Notebook 8560w – £1,949
    • Lenovo Notebook ThinkPad T420s – £1,417
    • HP EliteBook 8460p – £1,147
    • Dell XPS 15 Laptop (n00x5m21) – £680

    But, here is a surprise, you can also get this i5 2540M CPU in some laptops for much less….

    • Acer Aspire 5750G – with 8Gb RAM / 500Gb HDD and the built in Intel HD 3000 graphics for £480
    • HP Pavilion g6-1384ea – with 6Gb RAM / 750Gb HDD and the built in Intel HD 3000 graphics for £499

     

    Changing CPU models down a notch, and you come up with a variety of good contenders:

    • i5 2430M … HP Pavilion g6-1217sg – £500
    • i5 2430M … Sony Vaio VPCEH2N1E/W.CEK – £486
    • i5 2430M … Toshiba Satellite C660-258 – £480
    • i5 2410M … Acer Aspire 5755G-2434G50Mics – £668
    • i5 2467M … Toshiba Satellite C660-2EV – £450

     

    Final choice….the Acer Aspire 5750G – with 8Gb RAM / 500Gb HDD …lets see if this lasts 4 years 🙂

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