Yep – it’s that time of the…month(?) again. I am trying to find myself the best laptop for the best price, without putting myself on the bleeding edge (aka. The money burner).

I found some nice benchmarks which match desktop and laptop based cpu’s here:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmarklist.2436.0.html

Pos

Manufacturer

Series                 

Model

Codename

FSB

L2 Cache

MHz

TDP

SuperPI 1M*

SuperPI 2M*

SuperPI 32M*

3DMark06 CPU

Sysmark 204SE

Dhrystone

Whetstone

1

Intel

Core 2 Extreme (Desktop)

QX6700

Kentsfield

1066

8192

2666

130

19

   

4022

 

49149

33043

2

Intel

Core 2 Extreme (Desktop)

X6800

Conroe

1066

4096

2930

75

17

   

2568

 

26984

18725

3

Intel

Core 2 Duo (Desktop)

E6700

Conroe

1066

4096

2660

65

     

2354

     

4

AMD

Athlon 64

FX-62

Windsor

1000

2048

2800

125

     

2149

     

5

Intel

Core 2 Duo (Desktop)

E6600

Conroe

1066

4096

2400

65

21

52

1384

2074

 

21958

15261

6

Intel

Core 2 Duo

T7700

Merom

800

4096

2400

34

21

53

1266

1949

 

22156

15341

7

Intel

Core 2 Duo

T7600

Merom

667

4096

2330

34

22

55

1455

1997

257

21111

13696

8

Intel

Core 2 Duo

T7500

Merom

800

4096

2200

34

23

54

1344

1860

 

20064

13945

I currently have 2 options – I can either get a laptop-specific set of hardware and keep it all nice and standard, or I can go for what they are calling a white-box. Essentially, it’s a box that looks like a laptop, feels like a laptop (by George, I think it actually is one), but you can utilize desktop hardware in it.

Having said that, I have found (Well actually, Damian Edwards found it for me) one place which offers the ultimate in both accounts:
The laptop version:
http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/configure.asp?c1=3&c2=15&id=2249

The Whitebox:
http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/configure.asp?c1=3&c2=15&id=2218

Notice in that second one there that you can beef that sucker up using Q6600’s, E6700’s and the like. Where as the first one only allows the standard laptop specific cpus, such as the T770 merom (the top of the range at the moment for laptops).

If you look at the benchmarks above, you’ll notice the desktop hardware absolutely kills the laptop specifics (even though the laptop specifics are indeed, unreal). You’ll notice also that pioneer are offering a core 2 extreme X6800 (Conroe) which sits in a lovely number 2 position there, and has roughly 400 more marks than the T7700. However, check out the price difference…($1500 to $930)..ouch!

Also, the T7700 is santa-rosa, which I believe gives you some better power consumption, and an 800MHZ Front Side Bus (which of course will not stand up to the core 2 extreme desktops which is running at a lovely 1066 – but it’s not far off it to say the least). The pioneer also sports the first quad core offering in a notebook in the second link there – a quad core Q6600 2.4gighz 2x4mb cache and a 1066 FSB…and it’s actually cheaper than the X6800, coming in at a lovely $653 (not bad, it’s actually cheaper than the T7700 santa rosa…).

Having weighed up these options, going for a santa-rosa because it’s the latest and greatest technology might be a good idea, but if you look at the speed difference – it makes you wonder why you wouldn’t go for a whitebox with an e6700…because you’ll also get the 1066FSB…and it’s also cheaper!

So what’s next on the list?

Ah yes – graphics cards. There is no way you can go past a dual nVidia SLI GeForce Go 8800 GTX with 2x512mb on pci express…direct 10 enabled, goes like the clappers with one card…double that and you’re sold.

Ram? Either take the 4gig from pioneer at $529 or try get it imported for cheaper (might be able to get it from newegg, then shipped from a mates place for maybe under 300 if you are lucky.

Harddrive? Well, here’s another exciting thing about the pioneer – it has a 32gig solid state disk (SSD) option. Solid state disks are basically ram disks – no moving mechanical parts = super read / write speeds (unless it’s linear I hear). It will cost you a whopping $582 extra for one of them, but its probably worth it seeing as you are investing in such a speedy CPU, you don’;t want no bottlenecks. I’d probably install the OS on a secondary drive, then put my page files on the SSD.

100GB 7200 for $126 – yep, sold.

3rd hardrive option? Are they insane? Obviously not – I don’t think I’d bother with a third harddrive, not until I fill the first 2 – good to know its optional though.

You can also go for a bunch of raid configurations – I hear raid-0 is the best, so maybe you want to buy the third drive and run raid-0…hmm J You can set it up yourself though I guess, unless it’s hardware set up. IT’s only $43, but you’ll lose some space I guess? (I don’t know too much about raid configurations, except mirroring, which then I know you’ll lose some space).

Wireless 3945AGM – Sold, at $49

DVD burner – sure.

Operating system – MSDN for me, so I’d opt out.

One carry bag, and away you go. The total configuration looks like this:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.67G 4M Cache 1066M FSB Processor [+$310]

17″ Widescreen WUXGA+ (1920×1200) TFT Screen

Dual nVidia SLI GeForce Go 8800 GTX 2x512MB PCI Express Graphics [+$399]

4GB (2 x 2GB) 667MHz DDR2 RAM [+$529]

32GB SSD Solid State Disk Serial-ATA [+$582]

100GB 7,200RPM Serial-ATA Hard Drive [+$236]

100GB 7,200RPM Serial-ATA Hard Drive [+$236]

No Raid

Intel Pro Wireless 3945AGM Module [+$49]

1.3M Pixel Build in Camera free (Why not?)

8x DVD-/+RW Dual Layer Drive

No Operating System

Carry bag (Free!)

System Total: $6840 RRP (Inc-GST)

That’s AUD buddy.

Can I really justify spending $6840 on a laptop? Well, salary sacrificed I am paying it in pre-tax dollars, so maybe I can!

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About cosier

Matthew Cosier is the Chief Technology Officer at Hazaa. We are a group of experienced consultants based in Melbourne, Australia who solve business problems using Microsoft Technology. For more information, please visit http://www.hazaa.com.au

One response »

  1. Aris says:

    holy shit 6k is a lot! but i understand those high end specs (cpu+gpu) can be expensive.. anyways enjoy!

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