Re: Looking to by a new computer

Richard Holloway

Apologies if I missed an earlier part of the thread, but I’m seeing "college student" and “computer" and not a lot of detail as to the intended use of a new machine….

i7’s are great as others have suggested, but they are expensive and may not be justified on a student’s budget. In a few years, when you’re out of school, i7’s will probably be middle-of the road processors, and far more affordable, and you may want to have the latest, greatest i9, or whatever comes out by then-- once you have more money to spend.

i5’s are more intended for the mainstream and even an i3 may be decent enough for your intended tasks, and as fast or faster than some competing processors.

If you have a ton of data to store, then drive space is important, but multiple TB's of drive space may well be overkill. Same thing with the RAM. “The more the better” is true up until you have a bunch of ram sitting constantly idle that you paid a few hundred dollars extra for. Look at the programs you want to run and look at that they ask for.

Sure, if you’re editing an audio project with dozens of tracks and many precessing effects applied, you’ll need a lot of RAM. Same thing if the machine will be editing video or such, but a basic audio project should not need all that much RAM for basic editing of a few channels.

Maybe the OP can clarify the needs for the system?

I have both i5 and i7 processors I use in both PC & Mac systems, generally with 8 or 16GB of ram. For most tasks, there is very little difference. Certainly a USB 3 port is faster than a USB 2, but mostly I find that the media I attach is slow enough that USB 3 is not that much faster than USB 2. Down the road, we’ll see more effective use of USB 3, but for now, may peripherals will cause the PC fall back to USB 2 speed anyhow. The same was true as we migrated from USB 1 to 1.1, and then to USB 2.

Case in point: last week I needed to transfer a couple of 4TB drives' contents to run full backups of some files. I thought it would be worth doing this over USB 3 as the computer and both drives were USB 3 compliant. What should have run in theory in a small fraction of the time, in reality ran maybe 25% faster than it would have with USB 2.

On the solid state drive issue, yes, they’re faster and more reliable, but it depends on how intense your processing needs are as to how much speed increase you’ll see, so focus on the reliability aspect. If you need a lot of storage, you will spend a lot more for a big solid state drive, but they are indeed nice. No matter what drive you get, you should still backup regularly to an external drive, especially for a laptop that could be stolen, and any machine can be lost to a break-in, surge or fire. When that happens, the only safe backup if an off-site backup to a removable drive or the cloud.

I don’t think the post suggesting that SSD’s are 99 times better was intended to be taken literally, but just to be clear, an SSD (from what I have read and those I have used) might be anywhere from 30 percent faster up to maybe 3 times faster. How long do you spend waiting on data transfers and documents to open? If you cut a one second wait down to seven-tenths of a second, or even one-teth of a second, who cares? On the other hand a 10 minute data transfer dropping to 3 or 4 minutes, is a big deal, so again, it really depends on what you need to do with the machine.

If budget is not unlimited, find a decently configured i5 on sale with a pre-black-friday sale and grab it. You’ll be fine and save a bunch of cash.

If the budget is wide open, then sure, grab a loaded i7 with all the trimmings and have fun...

On Nov 24, 2015, at 12:54 AM, Kelly Pierce via Jfw <jfw@...> wrote:

I would focus on the processor. Intel released its new line of
Skylake processors in september. I aim for an i7 processor, usually
the fastest available. I also edit audio and have k1000 installed on
my machines. You will never be disappointed with a top end i7
processor running your machine.In fact, I search out computers with
the processor I want and the other elements of membory and disc space
seem to fall into place.


On 11/23/15, Mario via Jfw <jfw@...> wrote:
Tom, look at the amount of memory or what is known as Random Access
Memory or RAM. the more gigabytes the smoother the experience and
functioning of the system will be.
you can then look at the hard drive or what is known as storage of
programs, documents, music, video, etc. the more gigabytes, the more
space you'll have to save stuff.
is the hard drive an ssd (solid state drive) or the traditional platter
type? ssd's are about 99 times better, faster and more reliable than
platter hd's. ssd's are more commonly used for bootup drives that hold
the operating system and the programs you'll use, while hd's are used
for storage of docs, and other stuff.
how many and what version of USB ports are there.
3 is faster than 2.
what other ports are there, where are the ports located.
the keyboard is essential as it's the primary input peripheral,
speakers are essential, especially for us blind persons, unless you use
a refreshable braille display, which does not replace the monitor that
usually comes with the computer.
there's allot to consider without getting into the technical, and rather
confusing, stuff.
others may have more to contribute to your query.

On 11/23/2015 11:15 AM, Tom Macha via Jfw wrote:
HelloHello, I am looking to purchase a new laptop. I am a college
studentstudent. What should I look for when it comes to system
requirements? I am using Jaws 16. Thanks, Tom Macha
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