(FOUND)Help me pick a Laptop......

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vestureofblood
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(FOUND)Help me pick a Laptop......

FOUND: For now I have made a choice. I decided since I couldn’t find exactly what wanted to just go with the most budget friendly option, that was half my original price point.
https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-VivoBook-R5-3500U-Graphics-F512DA-EB51/dp/B0…
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For $509 with tax and shipping I got:
Asus 15” with 1080p scree
8gb DDR4 Ram
256GB SSD
Ryzen 5 3rd gen CPU Quad Core R5-3500U. It has the single thread rating: 2006 and cross-prlatform rating: 10,421 vs the awesomeness of the 4500U at STR: 2462 and CPR: 18,118 but for what I will MOSTLY be doing I can live with that.
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I don’t intend to “store” much of anything on this. I have my shop pc for that, duplicate drives, and off site duplicates that have all been tested and updated within the past 8 months.
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Once it arrives and I try it out I will let everyone know if this was a good choice or if it will be like that crappy $600 dollar Samsung TV I bought at Christmas LOL! Had to go back and spend $1100 ish to get a sony Smile
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SUPER THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR YOU INPUT. YOUR HELP HAS BEEN SO VALUABLE TO ME!!!!!

————————————Original post below————————
Hi all,

I need a laptop primarily for working on my business away from the shop, but want very good performance streaming netflix/amazon etc and possibly some 1080p video editing. I would like something that performs equal or better than my current desktop.

What I need.
Budget: Prefer under $1000. New is great, but used is fine too.
SSD: Min 256 GB
RAM: Min 8gb but 16 is probly better
Graphics card: Required but not sure on spec.
Size: Bigger is better, I don’t care about compact. I’m thinking around 17” maybe? Could be flexible on this if need be.
Touch screen: Maybe

For reference the desktop I have that we need to rival or beat is

Dell Insprion
i7-7700 3.6 Ghz
16 GB Ram
64 bit OS windows home
256 GB SSD plus storage drive
Graphics card Yes, but forgot what.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Edited by: vestureofblood on 07/14/2020 - 17:06
CNCman
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I like this one for $865 , https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Gaming-Laptop-Gigabit-Windows/dp/B07YZ1CM55/... . We had one ASUS 17” gamer with a dual core, it lost one core and still worked for internet use. It overheated from dirty fan. I am certain you will get a load of input on this one. Wink
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You have more options with this one.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088T2JF3X/ref=sspa_dk_hqp_detail_aax_0?psc=1&...
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Aluminium or magnesium chassis and hinges, no gaming crap.
Mike

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Thunderay
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Try these 2 websites: Versus and CPUBoss Thumbs Up

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Used Thinkpad P series

jeff51
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One thing about the humble Dells is that through the web site you can get an extended warranty.
Which includes on site repair. Which beats a snazzier build all to hell when your business depends on it. In normal times it’s usually no more than 2 days.

Anything with an SSD and a halfway decent CPU should stream with ease as long as your broadband is fast enough.
And if you want, you can keep extending the warranty.

Others also offer this, but you got to order through their web sit on the business side.
ASUS is great, I use their motherboards all the time, but tech support is not up to keeping a business running.
All the Best,
Jeff

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Best bang for buck I would recommend MSI GF Series GF63 THIN 9SCX-005 priced very reasonably at $699.
It comes with 8gigs of ram but can add a 2nd dim of 8 gigs ddr4 at 2666 to double the ram, As for the GPU it holds the GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q should have no trouble editing 1080p videos for storage it has 256gigs of NVMe ssd along with a 2.5inch drive bay if you decide to add more storage to the system only caveat is its a 15.6 inch display opposed to the 17inch you were looking for.

jeff51
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Matt,
You should see if you can get a look at a 15.6” and a 17incher in person.
17 ok on a desk, but a bit large to actually use on a lap.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of numbers, having a seperate number keypad really helps.
Many 15inchers don’t theses days.
Or
Consider an extra monitor to do editing on. Makes life easier if there is enough pixels to play with.
All the Best,
Jeff

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Go for business class / commercial grade laptops only, not consumer or gamer cr@p. The build quality and support are leagues apart. It’s hard to understate this point. I recommend Dell Latitude/Precision or Lenovo Thinkpad lines. There’s also HP, but I’m not a fan.

Get something used for the best value. It’s not uncommon to see 70%+ depreciation after a few years, and if you don’t need the latest features or highest performance, this can be an excellent option.

If it’s for business, then new might be fine (or preferred) since you get a (longer) warranty and can write off the expense.

For the hardware specs, I suggest carefully thinking about your actual use case.
Anything can do streaming, so that’s a non-issue.
Video editing in any serious capacity changes the picture a lot, as well as the required budget. Weight, size, and battery life will be affected too.
Your requirements need to be clearly understood for good concrete recommendations of specific models.

Personal experience:

  • I’ve had Asus products and gaming laptop before, and while the hardware is typically very good, the customer support has become insufferable. Left a very bad taste of “never again”.
  • I got a used off-lease Dell Latitude at a huge discount to the original price, and it has been perfect for my mobile needs. The performance is fine, and the build quality is a joy to feel every time I use it. Plus, it still gets BIOS updates long after it’s been out of warranty and EOL. This is especially important with the endless revelations of CPU vulnerabilities. Just try getting BIOS updates for consumer laptops even one year after launch. Almost certainly won’t happen even if you pester the manufacturer support. Ask how I know…
Souichirou
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phouton wrote:
Go for business class / commercial grade laptops only, not consumer or gamer cr@p. The build quality and support are leagues apart. It’s hard to understate this point. I recommend Dell Latitude/Precision or Lenovo Thinkpad lines.

I would disagree with calling “gamer” laptops “cr@p” as if you look for specific use case and etc as well as the budget requirement from the OP a GOOD quality gaming laptop would run circles around the Dell Latitude/Precision or Lenovo Thinkpad’s EASILY for a fraction of the cost. Factor in the OP also possibly wants to do 1080p video editing which the “business/commercial grade” Dell’s or Lenovo within the budget would fail horribly at as they are generally meant for productivity tasks.

“Gaming” classified have come along way in terms of value and build quality for the price of the product, but to just label them crap is fairly ignorant.

As for BIOS updates sure but most of the recent vulnerabilities are hardware based and most of the patches to fix it are via the OS not the bios…. Though unless you are a high profile target or work for some fortune 500 company you wouldn’t be targeted.

For used laptops ? I would stay CLEAR as price to performance wouldn’t be worth it as used laptops are generally a generation or a few behind while limited to roughly sub 14 inch screens and for the price of an “business class / commercial grade laptop” you can get a mid to mid-high tier gaming laptop for sub $700 with a 9th gen intel i5 with a solid “DEDICATEDGPU that’s actually capable of video editing.

xevious
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phouton wrote:
Go for business class / commercial grade laptops only, not consumer or gamer cr@p. The build quality and support are leagues apart. It’s hard to understate this point. I recommend Dell Latitude/Precision or Lenovo Thinkpad lines. There’s also HP, but I’m not a fan.

Get something used for the best value. It’s not uncommon to see 70%+ depreciation after a few years, and if you don’t need the latest features or highest performance, this can be an excellent option.

If it’s for business, then new might be fine (or preferred) since you get a (longer) warranty and can write off the expense.

For the hardware specs, I suggest carefully thinking about your actual use case.
Anything can do streaming, so that’s a non-issue.
Video editing in any serious capacity changes the picture a lot, as well as the required budget. Weight, size, and battery life will be affected too.
Your requirements need to be clearly understood for good concrete recommendations of specific models.

Personal experience:

  • I’ve had Asus products and gaming laptop before, and while the hardware is typically very good, the customer support has become insufferable. Left a very bad taste of “never again”.
  • I got a used off-lease Dell Latitude at a huge discount to the original price, and it has been perfect for my mobile needs. The performance is fine, and the build quality is a joy to feel every time I use it. Plus, it still gets BIOS updates long after it’s been out of warranty and EOL. This is especially important with the endless revelations of CPU vulnerabilities. Just try getting BIOS updates for consumer laptops even one year after launch. Almost certainly won’t happen even if you pester the manufacturer support. Ask how I know…
I concur on used. If you can trust the source, a gently used laptop can be phenomenal value when selecting a brand with a great reputation. I’ve actually been using HP for the last 20 years and have been generally happy (casing quality is a little lacking though). It depends a lot upon the models, though. Some designs are crap. Lenovo (IBM originally) is clearly the leader. I’ve not used Dell in a long time, but from all I’m reading they’re nearly Lenovo level these days.

The trouble with laptops these days is that most now have built-in graphics hardware on the motherboard that CANNOT be replaced. It’s important to consider GPU specs, more so than CPU. The other thing is, if you go with a gamer used laptop, there is always the concern of how much heat wear it has gone through. Serious gamers tend to overclock their CPU’s too.

Where did you pick up your used off-lease Dell Latitude, phouton?

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I usually do a Refurbished from Newegg or Tiger Direct —- my preference is HP —easier to reload clean copy of Windows—Besides they come with hardly any crap software installed—I usually find one with a 3 yr warranty included—— SSD drive —Intel I7 Quad Core— 16gb ram —these are what Id want in a Laptop—I have bought lots of Refurbs —most of the time they look almost new—-This is just a couple I found real quick

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Edp...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Edp...

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HP Elitebook; many refurbs on Amazon.
I’ve been using the 8440p for number of years; it’s a refurbed simple model; I am not on the level you are but they come in different models; you might find one that suits you.

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Matt,
I re-read your desktop specs.
You are going to be hard pressed to get anything that will outrun that system in a laptop at any price.
And very unlikely at less that $1000.
Other than video production, (and gaming) almost any deceit laptop will do all you need.
But I again want to suggest that a laptop that needs to be sent in for warranty work – is going to put you out of business for like 30 days.
If it’s your only system, that could be a hard thing to live with.
If you have a backup system – and keep current external backups of your data – then all is well.
Not that laptops are all that unreliable. But computers tend to crap out when you most need them.
Just before tax time is always the busiest time for repairs in my shop.
All the Best,
Jeff

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Good advice—Always have a spare —when it comes to work place—two of every thing (at least) of essential work items —I’m a retired carpenter and I use to keep 7-8 saws and guns for a crew—I’ve seen days when it pours bad luck and you go through them all—- Facepalm

chops728
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Just received an email flyer with this one —looks close to what you’re looking for

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?Edp...SRCCODE=3WWEBEML4023&utm_campaign=3WWEBEML4023&_kla_id=578128c31b1b79f62bf6fbd67dbd5a5034f273f3bddc09f407fc2d2028982e95&utm_medium=main&utm_source=EML

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@Souichirou Yes, gaming/consumer laptops provide better price/performance “value” but how do you think that is achieved? By cutting costs on quality and support.

If you need a strong dedicated GPU, it increases costs a lot. That is why I previously had a gamer laptop. While it was good in hardware, I can tell you from general and annectodal arguments that the quality and support are highly underrated factors that come back to bite you later.

My gaming laptop’s BIOS did not support the full capabilities of the hardware, only the “max” specs they listed at product launch, and it was tremendously frustrating that Asus refused to address this. Meanwhile my now 5 year old Latitude has had over two dozen BIOS updates, from major vulnerability issues to more minor improvements like battery management optimization for improved longevity.

Additionally, the high performance parts combined with the drive towards thin chassis means that temperatures are often high, causing performance reduction via throttling and longevity concerns. That is less of an issue in enterprise gear.

In general, I would say most people overestimate their performance needs and underestimate the value of quality. Until recently, CPU performance was pretty stagnant over about a decade and people were fine.

@xevious I got an ultraportable a year ago from this Canadian wholesale enterprise refurbisher https://www.bauersystems.com/ I don’t know if they ship internationally, but there are many other similar companies. I check their inventory from time to time, but I’ve noticed that the selection is sparse lately.

About GPU modularity (MXM GPUs), in principle it sounds great. But upgrading requires BIOS updates to support new hardware, which, you guessed it, does not happen. Also, replacement GPUs of the same model in case your GPU dies are so exorbitantly expensive that it does not make sense to spend so much to revive an old laptop. So unfortunately, in practice they offer little to no benefit.

@jeff51 Yes, backups are essential no matter what device is used. Maybe you’ve encountered this fun and famous parable on the importance and types of backups: http://www.taobackup.com/

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Has anyone thought of the new Ryzen 4000 series laptops?
Been keeping an eye out on those and so far, rather impressive for what ya get for the money.
With these new APUs, ya may not need a dedicated graphics card within them, especially if you do not game. These have some cores of a graphics chipset already within them if ya need some 3D capability.

HERE is one example from NewEgg.

One factor I think many have not thought to think of: Laptops these days, especially the new ones, are practically non-upgradable. They solder just about everything down hard and getting anything beyond their “standard” is going to skyrocket the price.

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phouton wrote:

@jeff51 Yes, backups are essential no matter what device is used. Maybe you’ve encountered this fun and famous parable on the importance and types of backups: http://www.taobackup.com/

Had not seen that before.
I used to ask my customers (in days before the Web). How important is your data and the ability to get going quickly if something goes amiss?
Usually it was most important.

OK, says I. I’m going to turn off your computer and put it under my arm and walk out the door.
I’m also going to take any backup media I can find too.

How long will it take you to get up and running?
That always caused and uncomfortable pause.

Remember, I would tell them, I can replace anything in your computer – Except Your Data!

Most still didn’t backup in a timely manner or keep offsite copies.
All the Best,
Jeff

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phouton wrote:
@Souichirou Yes, gaming/consumer laptops provide better price/performance “value” but how do you think that is achieved? By cutting costs on quality and support.

That might have been the case in the past but as of now the quality and support has been pretty spot on depending on company whom provides it.
phouton wrote:

If you need a strong dedicated GPU, it increases costs a lot. That is why I previously had a gamer laptop. While it was good in hardware, I can tell you from general and annectodal arguments that the quality and support are highly underrated factors that come back to bite you later.

That is also false, you can get a solid dedicated GPU combo with a CPU with relatively low cost now, obviously it wont perform as well as a desktop system even at the top end but that’s a given by physical limitations.
phouton wrote:

My gaming laptop’s BIOS did not support the full capabilities of the hardware, only the “max” specs they listed at product launch, and it was tremendously frustrating that Asus refused to address this. Meanwhile my now 5 year old Latitude has had over two dozen BIOS updates, from major vulnerability issues to more minor improvements like battery management optimization for improved longevity.

Like I stated previously the major vulnerabilities that were recently patched were hardware vulnerabilities and the patches to fix them were baked into the OS running while the bios update was ONLY a partial fix which still required the OS to be patched, general bios updates are required for running “new” hardware released and being installed just clarifying a bios upgrade wont have any battery management optimization its more OS that would be optimizing the battery and like all things batteries will need to be replaced so no matter how “optimized” a system can be. Just like cellphones most if not all laptops now have internal batteries which are only good for so many cycles and need to be replaced depending on charge cycles.

phouton wrote:

Additionally,* the high performance parts combined with the drive towards thin chassis means that temperatures are often high*, causing performance reduction via throttling and longevity concerns. That is less of an issue in enterprise gear.

That is generally a misconception as the temps are only at those levels if you A.) running synthetic bench marks B.) running software that the system isn’t designed for specifically. The reason its “less” of an issue with enterprise gear is cause they generally run underpowered x86 processor and cant perform in comparison.

phouton wrote:

In general, I would say most people overestimate their performance needs and underestimate the value of quality. Until recently, CPU performance was pretty stagnant over about a decade and people were fine.

I also agree that mobile performance hasn’t improved by leaps and bounds but the improvements are not in performance BUT in TDP which means same or better performance at a far lower energy consumption which translates to longer battery life. In my books laptops are not meant to be a full on workstation but a stop gap to get work done while away from main computer.
raccoon city
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If you want a good video card, you probably should get a gaming laptop.

I haven't researched them in years, but it used to be hard to find ones that don't have overheating problems.

My gaming laptop doesn't overheat, but I hear it's difficult to do upgrades on a laptop compared to a desktop so keep that in mind.  :BEER:

I have an Asus G75VW, which was pretty good back when I bought it, but it could use some upgrades that I don't feel comfortable doing because laptops are fairly fragile.

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phouton wrote:
@xevious I got an ultraportable a year ago from this Canadian wholesale enterprise refurbisher https://www.bauersystems.com/ I don’t know if they ship internationally, but there are many other similar companies. I check their inventory from time to time, but I’ve noticed that the selection is sparse lately.
Thanks. I did check them out and there’s no indication of shipping policy… I’m presuming it’s just Canada.
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KnHawke wrote:
Has anyone thought of the new Ryzen 4000 series laptops?
Been keeping an eye out on those and so far, rather impressive for what ya get for the money.
With these new APUs, ya may not need a dedicated graphics card within them, especially if you do not game. These have some cores of a graphics chipset already within them if ya need some 3D capability.

HERE is one example from NewEgg.

One factor I think many have not thought to think of: Laptops these days, especially the new ones, are practically non-upgradable. They solder just about everything down hard and getting anything beyond their “standard” is going to skyrocket the price.

Ryzen 4000 (both mobile and desktop) definitely grabbed my attention. I think some of the stronger integrated GPUs can almost catch up with entry level dedicated graphics like MX250. It looks like a very good bang for the buck.

Umm, I want lumens but I want CRI too...

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Yes, the Ryzen 4000 with 8 cores is what you are looking for. 

Video editing is CPU intensive, and the more cores the better. The Ryzen 4000 series have currently the best price/performance ratio. 

I was choosing between a laptop and a desktop and bought the latter. A Desktop and Laptop can't really be compared. 

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ChibiM wrote:

Yes, the Ryzen 4000 with 8 cores is what you are looking for. 


Video editing is CPU intensive, and the more cores the better. The Ryzen 4000 series have currently the best price/performance ratio. 


I was choosing between a laptop and a desktop and bought the latter. A Desktop and Laptop can’t really be compared. 


I’m a liar.
I didn’t realize that Ryzen 5 and 7 were in laptops for less than a grand.
A 5-4600U with 6/12 Cores/Threads or better a 7-4800U 8/16 Cores/Threads.
The additional thread count will, I believe, be a noticeable improvement over your 4/8 count i7.
This is also some what dependent on how peppy a video card you currently have. And what software you are using.
These are some gaming rigs that hover around the 1K$. There are even some Dells in that range. 15.6” screens for that price.

All the Best,
Jeff

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jeff51 wrote:
Matt, I re-read your desktop specs. You are going to be hard pressed to get anything that will outrun that system in a laptop at any price. And very unlikely at less that $1000. Jeff

This is basically right. In order gain ALL if the specs I mentioned in the OP (meet or beat my desktop CPU/Ram/Graphics card) This is the closest thing I found in a 17”
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KBBKQ8X/ref=ox_sc_act_title_12?smid...
A great option, but that means going $100 over budget on something I will only utilize part of the time.
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I have decided that since I don’t absolutely have to edit video on this that instead of going over budget I am going to drop the bar just slightly.
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17” was my original thought, but it looks like there are more “deals” on 15-15.6”. If I drop the “need” to edit video to “can survive” editing video, that means I can also save cost on either the CPU or the GPU. Right now I am considering shooting for one of those Ryzen 5 4500U and dropping the video card. Or going for a slightly less powerful CPU and getting the card. According to pass mark that 3rd gen Ryzen is equal to my i7-7700 3.6GHz in single thread performance and beats it in cross platform!
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AMD-Ryzen-5-4500U-vs-Intel-i7-7700/...
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KnHawke wrote:
Has anyone thought of the new Ryzen 4000 series laptops?
Been keeping an eye out on those and so far, rather impressive for what ya get for the money.
With these new APUs, ya may not need a dedicated graphics card within them, especially if you do not game. These have some cores of a graphics chipset already within them if ya need some 3D capability.

HERE is one example from NewEgg.


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This is one I am considering. I’m not really familiar with newegg though. If order that and take the ram upgrade from the dropdown menu, is that going to come installed or just in a package with it? If I did take one of the 16gb options what is the difference between the two?
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The Ryzen 4000 series is remarkable. If you can live without dedicated graphics, that could be a good option. To know what hardware you need, stating the intended software and tasks would help.

The integrated Vega GPU might perform well enough, considering it beats some low-end recent GPUs, or even mid-tier GPUs from a few generations back.

Since you mentioned 1080p video editing, you probably want to restrict your search to 1080p screens, which that Acer does not have.

This looks like a really good deal if you can find it at that price: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd-ryzen5-4500u

phoronix wrote:
The most interesting value laptop I’ve found with the Ryzen 5 4500U has been the Lenovo Flex 5 15-inch 2-in-1 that has the Ryzen 5 4500U with a 1080p display, 2 × 8GB DDR4-3200 memory, Vega graphics, and a 256GB NVMe SSD all for just $599. The particular SKU is 81×20005US for those looking for a sub-$600 laptop.

Memory upgrades come pre-installed. Be careful, because many are soldered, in which case upgrades are not possible after purchase.

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vestureofblood wrote:
KnHawke wrote:
Has anyone thought of the new Ryzen 4000 series laptops?
Been keeping an eye out on those and so far, rather impressive for what ya get for the money.
With these new APUs, ya may not need a dedicated graphics card within them, especially if you do not game. These have some cores of a graphics chipset already within them if ya need some 3D capability.

HERE is one example from NewEgg.


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This is one I am considering. I’m not really familiar with newegg though. If order that and take the ram upgrade from the dropdown menu, is that going to come installed or just in a package with it? If I did take one of the 16gb options what is the difference between the two?
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NewEgg is effectively like Amazon, but dedicated to Computers. Incredible customer service to boot as I have bought parts from here for years when MicroCenter did not have what I need.
Personally, I would go with the dual-stick options to allow the multi-channel memory to function properly. The higher DDR4 number is simply faster.
Frankly, I’m surprised the Acer lappy I linked to allows memory and SSD/HardDrive upgrades, since many manufacturers are following Apple’s lead to make them as disposable as possible.

vestureofblood
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phouton wrote:
Since you mentioned 1080p video editing, you probably want to restrict your search to 1080p screens, which that Acer does not have.

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I’m glad you caught that. It never crossed my mind that anything being made in the know universe in 2020 would have anything less than 1080p. I’m not really sure if thats a deal breaker or not though. It would run 1080p content just downscaled right?
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At this point I’m sort of on the fence. Still considering the Acer
https://www.newegg.com/acer-aspire-5-a515-44-r4m5/p/N82E16834316900?Item...
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Or I found this Asus for a hundred bucks less, that has the full HD 1080p screen
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QQB7552/ref=twister_B08BXRBDK1?_encoding=UT...
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The processor on the Asus would be a downgrade for sure, but I’m really liking the price….

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jeff51 wrote:
Remember, I would tell them, I can replace anything in your computer – Except Your Data!

Most still didn’t backup in a timely manner or keep offsite copies.

Yeh. A friend of mine was losing access to her cloud account, her (only) computer was going wonky more and more (probably drive issues), and she was faced with losing all her pix and other important stuff. Talk about being boxed into a corner…

I’ve been ranting forever about not keeping anything on your desktop/laptop/anything that you’re not willing to lose or have fall into enemy hands. Keep it offline on, say, external usb disks, and only copy it locally when you’re using it. And back up the externals, preferably encrypted, and keep off-site if at all possible (hence the encryption on both disks).

I don’t trust “clouds” except for throwaway data, and in her case, the pay-by-the-month service was pulling the plug shortly or going to skyrocket their monthly rates or whatever. And if they go bankrupt without warning (at least without warning you)? Goodbye data.

My in-house network is on a physically separate router, not connected to the net, and I prefer wired-only (ie, wifi turned off). And I keep the NASes physically turned off unless/until I intend to use them. Less wear’n‘tear vs idling forever.

But leaving behind a laptop, or having it stolen, or just dropping it, and there goes everything on it. So any data on it other than the OS, better be secure.

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Matt, before you settle on a less than 1080p screen.
Open a low res window on your current system with about the same res as the laptop and see how it looks. Run the editing software.
The extra pixels let you have more of the timeline editing stuff open at a size thats easier to use.
All tht Best,
Jeff

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