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  #31 (permalink)  
Old March 25, 2011, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 3.0charlie View Post
Ok, it's 100$ over your budget, but it's a lappy with the new i7 quad, 6Gb of ram and the GT550M as GPU. And it's a 17".

XPS 17 Laptop Details | Dell Canada

Be aware that the 3D models DO NOT have Optimus. They run the GPU all the time. Goes for Dell, ASUS and maybe other makes as well.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old March 26, 2011, 08:43 AM
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Well, I bought the HP. Currently doing the initial update / delete crap software. I'll do a mini-review with some benchmarks once I get it cleaned up.

First surprise was that it does indeed have a form of power saving graphics which wasn't clear from the documentation.... the main GPU is a 6650M, but the chipset also has a 4250M which can be set to enable when on battery power.

edit: Soooooo slow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm praying to the PTB that it's the crapware + indexing + initial defrag that's messing this puppy up. Mem usage is less than 40%, and CPU usage is peaking at 50%, but yet it's still sooooooooooo bloody slow!!!!!!

If it keeps this up, it'll be returned in under 24 hrs.
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Last edited by sswilson; March 26, 2011 at 09:53 AM.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old March 26, 2011, 11:22 AM
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I always do a clean install when I buy a laptop...but that's just me. Goes much quicker than uninstalling programs and much cleaner.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old March 26, 2011, 11:41 AM
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I always do a clean install when I buy a laptop...but that's just me. Goes much quicker than uninstalling programs and much cleaner.
Yeah, that's probably what I should do..... It's actually the recovery disk process that's taking sooo bloody long, but it's 6 disks and those are taking about 20 minutes each, so maybe it's my nicotine craving body that's making it seem so long......... ;)
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Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
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Old March 26, 2011, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
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I always do a clean install when I buy a laptop...but that's just me.
Seconded! It is the only way!
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old March 26, 2011, 07:59 PM
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Seems to be running fine now. Civ IV ran well at 1600X900 with the recommended settings (didn't max them out), but there are some "blocks" missing from some of the terrain. Currently installing all of my steam games (DAO specifically) to see how well it runs something a little bit more challenging.

Another surprise for me is how handy I find the fingerprint reader. Aside from using it for passwords, you can also set up individual fingers the same way you would hotkeys........ (HWC gets my index finger, bill payments get the one beside it....... :) ).
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Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

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  #37 (permalink)  
Old March 27, 2011, 07:32 AM
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How does it recognize what finger your using??? I would assume you had to scan them all before hand, but that is an interesting feature.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old March 27, 2011, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keltron 3030 View Post
How does it recognize what finger your using??? I would assume you had to scan them all before hand, but that is an interesting feature.
You can scan as many of your fingers as you wish, and then assign whatever tasks you wish for each individual finger that's already been scanned.... as to how it recognises what finger you're using... that's what a fingerprint scan is all about..... :)

Something I haven't played with is the ability to assign multiple tasks to individual fingers.... I don't really have that many tasks which require me to have more than one program up and running, although I suppose I could set it up for my monitoring programs.

On another note..... DAO seems to run fine on high (didn't bother trying ultra) settings so I'm more than happy with that.
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MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old March 27, 2011, 05:23 PM
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Update: DAO 1600X900 @ high / max textures w/ 2X AA settings is fine. Looks to be around 30 FPS. Overall, I'm pleased with the performance for the price, although, as SKYMTL has pointed out many many times... WTH are laptop manufacturers putting out gloss screens?!?!?! I'll have to have a look for those screen covers (I used to have an older 15" one that hung off of the front of standard CRT screens).
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MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old April 3, 2011, 02:50 PM
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Ongoing update........

Well, after a week of use, I'm still happy with my purchase, although it's going to need a few tweeks to get it just right.
  • I'm not sure if anybody makes a laptop with decent speakers, but in spite of the so called "subwoofer" the sound on this thing bites the big one.... Headphones solved that issue (found a Sony set on sale at wallymart.... ;) ), and I suppose I could output digital audio over the HDMI cable, but either an optical or coax digital out would have been nice.
  • The proc (AMD X4 P960) is sufficient for most tasks, but the lack of L3 cache paired with slow RAM, and relatively slow HDD is noticable on many tasks. (I know... what do I expect from a sub-$1K laptop.... ;) ). 7XXX SMP2 was running close to 12 minutes TPF for a whopping 2800 PPD.... ;)
  • Out of all the things in the minus column, I'm probably least pleased with the glossy screen. Even without attempting to view something under direct sunlight, it's extremely difficult (under household lighting) to get a good angle to view without glare.
  • Battery life appears to be decent, looks like I'd get 4 -5 hrs of normal use, and three hours of full gaming.
Left to tweak:
  • There is a second drive bay, but apparently no drive caddy/cabling. Quick search shows that there are third party kits available for around $40, but there are some questions as to whether or not they work with the newer dv7 models (most information available is for Intel based units so I'll have to dig a little deeper to ensure compatability). I'd like to drop either an SSD or possibly one of those hybrid drives in, but I may end up settling for a standard 7200 RPM 2.5". The only other option is to use an external drive hooked up to the Esata port, but my current Esata caddy is a bulky 3.5" unit and I'd rather not use that. (Although I do have a 1T HDD I could throw into it for that.... ;) ).
  • I've got to find somebody who sells screen treatments for 17" laptop screens.... I know there was a thread here a while back, I'll have to dig it up.
  • It's currently running 1066 DDR3 memory. I'd like to bump up to better memory, but I'm not sure if the bios would bump up the speeds, or if I'm stuck with what it selects.
edit: Hrmmmmm..... they don't have my model listed, but pulled this link from SKYMTL's "looking for a business laptop" thread........

PAVILION LAPTOP LCD SCREEN FROM $44. HP ACER TOSHIBA DELL APPLE COMPAQ. Notebook screen, laptop display, notebook lcd, laptop tft, screen DELL, ACER lcd, screens SONY, lcd DELL, ACER lcd. DV7-4104CA&brand=HP-Compaq&size= (exact link not working, but that's the main site).

If I can get my hands on a matte screen for around $100 it'd probably be worth it.
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MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP

Last edited by sswilson; April 3, 2011 at 06:09 PM.
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