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Reviews of Dell?

Zeppelin5083Zeppelin5083 Fenton, MIPosts: 410Member

Hi all, I'm looking into getting a new laptop on Black Friday and wondered if anyone had gotten a Dell before, and if they would recommend it or not.

Please leave details as well!

Also, for a minor/occassional gaming PC with most of the use coming through Photoshop and Sony Vegas Movie Studio, would these specs work?

 

Retail Software - All WIN8

Inspiron 15R Notebook (Inspiron 7520)

Windows 8, 64-bit, English

3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM (6MB cache, up to 3.2Ghz)

8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz

750GB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive

AMD Radeon™ HD 7730M 2GB

8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)

Stealth Black Anodized Aluminum

15.6" Full High Definition (1080p) LED Display

48 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery

Intel® Centrino® Wireless 2230, 2x2 bgn + Bluetooth

Waves MaxxAudio 4 + Skullcandy Speakers

Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet card

English Backlit Keyboard with Multi-touch Touchpad

Power cord, 125V, 3.2 Feet, US

SRV Software for 2230 WIFI Wireless Card

Wireless Display Application & Driver

 

It's right around $1,000 for the laptop, but I'll have to get Microsoft Office as well, so we are right around $1,100.

The laptop is the Inspiron 15R Special Edition link here: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=fndom46h&model_id=inspiron-15r-se-7520&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19

 

Thanks!

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,777Member Uncommon

    $1000 is an awful lot to pay for that hardware.  Does it do anything special that isn't obvious from the specs?

    The Radeon HD 7730M might be the lowest end discrete video card of the current generation; it's close enough to the GeForce GT 640M that it's not clear which is slowest.  They're both crippled with DDR3 video memory.  It will run nearly any games at reduced graphical settings, but don't buy it with the idea that it's going to be a powerful gaming system.  It's a little faster than modern integrated graphics, but the margin is small enough that if that's your desired level of performance, you might want to think about just getting integrated graphics.

    A 5400 RPM hard drive is glacially slow.  That's one of the sacrifices that laptop manufacturers often have to make to hit a $500 price point, but $1000?  And in a laptop without any obvious redeeming features that most $1000 laptops wouldn't have, to justify having to cut back elsewhere to make room?

    On the bright side, the processor is fast.  I don't know how processor-intensive the programs you mention are, but if they need all the CPU power you can get, then an Ivy Bridge Core i7 is the right way to go.  Then again, if you're running programs that need all of the CPU power you can get, a desktop is the way to go, not a laptop.

  • Zeppelin5083Zeppelin5083 Fenton, MIPosts: 410Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    $1000 is an awful lot to pay for that hardware.  Does it do anything special that isn't obvious from the specs?

    The Radeon HD 7730M might be the lowest end discrete video card of the current generation; it's close enough to the GeForce GT 640M that it's not clear which is slowest.  They're both crippled with DDR3 video memory.  It will run nearly any games at reduced graphical settings, but don't buy it with the idea that it's going to be a powerful gaming system.  It's a little faster than modern integrated graphics, but the margin is small enough that if that's your desired level of performance, you might want to think about just getting integrated graphics.

    A 5400 RPM hard drive is glacially slow.  That's one of the sacrifices that laptop manufacturers often have to make to hit a $500 price point, but $1000?  And in a laptop without any obvious redeeming features that most $1000 laptops wouldn't have, to justify having to cut back elsewhere to make room?

    On the bright side, the processor is fast.  I don't know how processor-intensive the programs you mention are, but if they need all the CPU power you can get, then an Ivy Bridge Core i7 is the right way to go.  Then again, if you're running programs that need all of the CPU power you can get, a desktop is the way to go, not a laptop.

    Dude, you need to start charging. Thanks again!

  • Cod_EyeCod_Eye jarrowPosts: 1,016Member
    Dell? you need a really good slap.
  • Zeppelin5083Zeppelin5083 Fenton, MIPosts: 410Member
    Originally posted by biggarfoot
    Dell? you need a really good slap.

    That's why I'm asking! My old one is an Acer but the years have started to take their toll... I just saw that one, and the specs looked good but I'm unfamiliar with laptop video cards.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,777Member Uncommon

    Let's back up.

    First of all, why are you looking to get a laptop in the first place as opposed to a desktop?  There are some legitimate reasons to buy a $1000 laptop, but it takes some major sacrifices to fit a laptop form factor.

  • Zeppelin5083Zeppelin5083 Fenton, MIPosts: 410Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Let's back up.

    First of all, why are you looking to get a laptop in the first place as opposed to a desktop?  There are some legitimate reasons to buy a $1000 laptop, but it takes some major sacrifices to fit a laptop form factor.

    I already have a desktop. The laptop is for use when I travel. I need a portable laptop that can run Photoshop and Vegas fine (Vegas renders a lot of video, and I know the i7 is the better way to go for that). These 2 come first. I can do without the gaming aspect if I need to. It's not a dealbreaker if I can't play an MMO on it.

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    I bought a laptop to use mainly for work when i travel out of town. It has a 7730m gpu in it.

    Overall it does pretty well. I can play GW2, Skyrim, Batman AC/AA, fallout 3 & NV, Borderlands 2, ect on decent settings. Not the best but easily playable at a decent framerate.

     

    I paid less than $700 for it, and it has a 7200 rpm 750g HDD, 8g ddr3 1600 RAM, ect.

    IMO thats too much for that laptop.

  • extolroxextolrox Reno`, NVPosts: 22Member
    I would say if your going the route of having an amd GPU in your laptop and getting bang for your buck get something with an A 10  APU from AMD. as far as Dell  goes it is hit and miss with them I would say look more at samasung  or HP for the low end Laptops.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,777Member Uncommon

    If high processor performance is your main priority, then you should look for something with a Core i7-3630QM rather than a -3632QM.  It's basically the same processor, except with a 45 W TDP rather than 35 W.  The higher TDP allows the processor to clock higher, which gets you better performance.  They're probably even the same price, but a 45 W TDP means that the laptop needs a beefier CPU cooler, which makes it a little heavier and thicker.  That's why the 35 W bin even exists.

    How portable do you need the system to be?  If you're only going to move it around every week or so, then you may be better off with an extra-portable desktop.  Using real desktop parts gets you vastly better performance for the same price.  The downside is that it's more of a pain to move it, so it's not what you'd want to do if you're going to have to move it around every day.

  • AmjocoAmjoco Layton, UTPosts: 4,777Member Uncommon

    I know what Quizzical is saying. I have a decent laptop but I go to my son's house every weekend and take a portable desktop that is fairly high-end for much less, and does more than a laptop. I built it and if anything goes wrong I know how to repair it...unlike a laptop I'm fairly screwed on. There are many nice cases out like this with handles to make it easier to get it around!

    Death is nothing to us, since when we are, Death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.

  • FizbanFizbanFizbanFizban ValenciaPosts: 6Member
    seems good to me
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,777Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Amjoco

    I know what Quizzical is saying. I have a decent laptop but I go to my son's house every weekend and take a portable desktop that is fairly high-end for much less, and does more than a laptop. I built it and if anything goes wrong I know how to repair it...unlike a laptop I'm fairly screwed on. There are many nice cases out like this with handles to make it easier to get it around!

    Getting something with handles like that is nice if you're going to put it in the back of a truck and want it to be easy to carry around.  If the problem is more one of packing it for travel, then it may be better to go with something extra small like this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163207

    That would easily fit in a typical backpack or suitcase--and while leaving a fair bit of room for other things, rather than filling the whole backpack or suitcase.

    But again, whether that's even an option depends on how you're going to use it.  If you want to run it on the battery a lot, then you need a laptop, since the laptop will actually have a battery.  There are a number of form factors that all exist for practical reasons.

  • Zeppelin5083Zeppelin5083 Fenton, MIPosts: 410Member

    OK, I think I found a decent one. Thoughts?

     

    lenovo IdeaPad Y580

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,777Member Uncommon
    That should work on performance grounds.  But you should be warned of the cut corners:  a 5400 RPM hard drive is slow, and a 1366x768 monitor resolution is small.
  • Zeppelin5083Zeppelin5083 Fenton, MIPosts: 410Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    That should work on performance grounds.  But you should be warned of the cut corners:  a 5400 RPM hard drive is slow, and a 1366x768 monitor resolution is small.

    The resolution I have on my old laptop is 1440 x 900 and I am fine with that, even if its a bit smaller I should be ok.

    RPM on a hard drive is mostly the speed at which it can copy and move files around, correct?

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,173Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Zeppelin5083
    Originally posted by Quizzical That should work on performance grounds.  But you should be warned of the cut corners:  a 5400 RPM hard drive is slow, and a 1366x768 monitor resolution is small.
    The resolution I have on my old laptop is 1440 x 900 and I am fine with that, even if its a bit smaller I should be ok.

    RPM on a hard drive is mostly the speed at which it can copy and move files around, correct?


    Putting it broadly, yes - but it also affects how fast that drive can read files. That affects quite a lot with regard to computer performance.

  • Zeppelin5083Zeppelin5083 Fenton, MIPosts: 410Member
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

     


    Originally posted by Zeppelin5083

    Originally posted by Quizzical That should work on performance grounds.  But you should be warned of the cut corners:  a 5400 RPM hard drive is slow, and a 1366x768 monitor resolution is small.
    The resolution I have on my old laptop is 1440 x 900 and I am fine with that, even if its a bit smaller I should be ok.

     

    RPM on a hard drive is mostly the speed at which it can copy and move files around, correct?


     

    Putting it broadly, yes - but it also affects how fast that drive can read files. That affects quite a lot with regard to computer performance.

    Is there a huge difference between 5400 and 7200?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,777Member Uncommon

    Everything dependent on the hard drive will take about 1/3 longer.  There are various optimizations that can be made, so the rotation rate doesn't tell you everything about performance.  But they're not going to put nearly as much work into optimizing performance on a cheap 5400 RPM hard drive as a 7200 RPM hard drive, as anyone who cares about performance is going to get at least a 7200 RPM hard drive if not an SSD anyway.

    For gaming purposes, it probably won't affect your frame rates, but it will mean everything takes 1/3 longer to load.

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