Author Topic: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?  (Read 3018 times)

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Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2018, 09:21:20 pm »
It's a pretty standard £450 HP laptop 15-bw**** is the model number, it has 4Gb memory and I have windows 10 installed. It's only a few months old, 6 or 8 I think.

4 GB is probably not enough these days. You should think about upgrading to 8 GB. I would do that before doing the SSD.
No need to buy a new laptop since your current one is only 8 months old.  I second the upgrade to 8GB DRAM before getting the SSD.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2018, 09:30:24 pm »
Actually, I think the SSD would be wiser. Swapping to HDD is nightmarishly slow. Swapping to SSD, not nearly as bad! (Remember that much of the slowness of swapping is because of seek times, not throughput. SSDs' throughput is several times that of an HDD, but the seek times are literally a hundred times better on an SSD!!!)

Of course, I absolutely agree that an upgrade to or beyond 8GB RAM should also be done, especially since it's cheap.

But if you can only do one, the SSD will improve performance substantially in all situations, while adding RAM will only prevent slowdowns in RAM starved situations.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2018, 09:35:19 pm »
A different perspective is that swapping happens when you don't have enough physical memory. Ideally you don't want a machine to swap. If you can prevent swapping by adding more memory, that is a more direct solution than speeding up the swapping process.
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Offline rdl

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2018, 09:52:31 pm »
SSDs and RAM are both fairly cheap, so there is no point in not upgrading both. Only if money was tight and you had less than 4 GB would RAM be best to upgrade first. An SSD alone will make the most noticeable improvement overall and small ones are dirt cheap these days. The only computer in this house that still has spinning disks is a FreeNAS machine, because 16 TB of storage is just too expensive for me using SSDs.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2018, 10:21:16 pm »
A different perspective is that swapping happens when you don't have enough physical memory. Ideally you don't want a machine to swap. If you can prevent swapping by adding more memory, that is a more direct solution than speeding up the swapping process.
As I wrote before: Windows always swaps even if there is more than enough RAM. With 4GB (or more) any significant amount of memory into the swap space will make the PC crawl to a halt so it is completely useless. Nowadays swap space isn't needed but it is typical for Microsoft to leave it enabled. Nowadays when I install Linux I never add a swap partition.

I'd also strongly recommend to disable swap when using an SSD because you'll wear the SSD quicker.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 10:36:45 pm by nctnico »
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Online tooki

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2018, 02:52:17 am »
A different perspective is that swapping happens when you don't have enough physical memory. Ideally you don't want a machine to swap. If you can prevent swapping by adding more memory, that is a more direct solution than speeding up the swapping process.
It's not a "different perspective" that swapping occurs during memory starvation, that's fundamental. :)

My point was this: a TON of the time we spend waiting for a computer to respond to any user interactions is disk transactions. ALL of those are slowed down by a hard disk, all the time, even when memory is NOT starved. Removing those hard disk delays by adding an SSD will provide a bigger overall speed improvement for everyday tasks than just adding another 4GB of RAM, even if swapping isn't eliminated.

Look at what the OP said they use the computer for: web browsing. There's no reason to assume that memory starvation is a big problem. But using a hard disk is guaranteed to be holding the system back! And THAT is also why if only one upgrade is possible, I'd do the SSD first.

But of course, since neither of those things is expensive, IMHO it'd be dumb to not upgrade both.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 02:54:54 am by tooki »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2018, 04:59:59 am »

As I wrote before: Windows always swaps even if there is more than enough RAM. With 4GB (or more) any significant amount of memory into the swap space will make the PC crawl to a halt so it is completely useless. Nowadays swap space isn't needed but it is typical for Microsoft to leave it enabled. Nowadays when I install Linux I never add a swap partition.

I'd also strongly recommend to disable swap when using an SSD because you'll wear the SSD quicker.

As I said earlier, I had swap disabled for a while and with 8GB of RAM I was constantly running out of memory and getting errors, having to close programs to keep them from crashing, it's not a given that you can just turn it off without consequence. I also have not noticed a great slowdown from enabling it.
 
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Offline Terry01

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2018, 11:12:24 am »
Looking at what everyone has posted I think the best option may be to pick up something 2nd hand around the £750 ish mark then add some extra SSD for say a couple hundred more or there about.
Just rough figures not set in stone, just see what's available when it's time to pull the trigger and get the best I can in both Hard disk and SSD combined at the time.

I think 2 or 3 weeks time i'll be ready.

I defo feel better equipped now. I know 1k is no fortune but it would be silly to chuck it away when there is so much knowledge and help available here with a few clicks. I easily know more than double what i did a few days ago now when it comes to what to be looking for.
Amazing what you can get from just a single post!

All the  advice is very much appreciated, thanks everyone who posted!
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Offline Deridex

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2018, 04:24:00 pm »
As far as I remember, Schenker is a boutique store, so their stuff is as good as the ODM they chose for any given machine...
Haha, you might just want to google the Schenker Laptops. I think they are quite decent.

About Lenovo: I had very mixed expierences with em. For now i would probaly not choose lenovo.

About a SSD: I think that is definitly a must have.

Depending on what you want to do with the Laptop: I think Intels integrated GPUs are quite weak as soon it comes to somewhat challenging workloads . So there a dedicated gpu comes into the game.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2018, 05:14:09 pm »
Around the start of the year, Intel released some CPUs that use AMD IP for the integrated GPU. That should tell you something about how far behind Intel's own integrated GPUs are...

Lenovo is actually really popular because they're commonly available lightly used for very cheap. I recall the T420 is the first one to support a mSATA SSD for those who want to have a HDD and a SSD.
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Offline IanB

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2018, 05:39:26 pm »
Lenovo is actually really popular because they're commonly available lightly used for very cheap.

And why might there be so many lightly used laptops no longer wanted by their original owners?
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2018, 05:41:02 pm »

As I wrote before: Windows always swaps even if there is more than enough RAM. With 4GB (or more) any significant amount of memory into the swap space will make the PC crawl to a halt so it is completely useless. Nowadays swap space isn't needed but it is typical for Microsoft to leave it enabled. Nowadays when I install Linux I never add a swap partition.

I'd also strongly recommend to disable swap when using an SSD because you'll wear the SSD quicker.

As I said earlier, I had swap disabled for a while and with 8GB of RAM I was constantly running out of memory and getting errors, having to close programs to keep them from crashing, it's not a given that you can just turn it off without consequence. I also have not noticed a great slowdown from enabling it.
I OTOH never had such problems and I've been using my machines with the swap disabled for at least a decade. Ofcourse you have to be aware that your system will run out of memory when you open a lot of applications.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2018, 06:30:49 pm »
Lenovo is actually really popular because they're commonly available lightly used for very cheap.

And why might there be so many lightly used laptops no longer wanted by their original owners?

Corporate upgrades mostly, a lot of companies upgrade hardware on a time cycle, especially for upper management that likes to have new toys and typically don't heavily use them anyway.

I fished 5 or 6 older Lenovo laptops out of the e-waste bin at a previous job and have had several of them in service around my house for quite a while now. They're older i5 machines and one i7, not the greatest screens but still perfectly serviceable computers and unless the problem was the hard drives which were removed when they were decommissioned, there's nothing wrong with them.
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2018, 06:32:14 pm »
This.

I paid I think £300 for my new in box T440 which was 3 years old at the time. Lots of corporates buy a bulk of them and don't even issue them to users. Stuffed an extra 8Gb stick out of a duff machine and a Samsung 840 Pro SSD I had lying around and it goes like stink.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2018, 06:33:14 pm »

As I wrote before: Windows always swaps even if there is more than enough RAM. With 4GB (or more) any significant amount of memory into the swap space will make the PC crawl to a halt so it is completely useless. Nowadays swap space isn't needed but it is typical for Microsoft to leave it enabled. Nowadays when I install Linux I never add a swap partition.

I'd also strongly recommend to disable swap when using an SSD because you'll wear the SSD quicker.

As I said earlier, I had swap disabled for a while and with 8GB of RAM I was constantly running out of memory and getting errors, having to close programs to keep them from crashing, it's not a given that you can just turn it off without consequence. I also have not noticed a great slowdown from enabling it.
I OTOH never had such problems and I've been using my machines with the swap disabled for at least a decade. Ofcourse you have to be aware that your system will run out of memory when you open a lot of applications.

Which is why I'm not saying that disabling the swap will *always* cause problems, but it's something to be aware of and not just blindly do without reason. Whether it works well depends on the amount of memory you have and the sort use you do. I tend to have a lot of programs open at any given time, some of them pretty heavy duty stuff and that sucks down a lot of memory, for someone who just does one thing at a time it may not matter.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2018, 06:44:08 pm »
Corporate upgrades mostly, a lot of companies upgrade hardware on a time cycle, especially for upper management that likes to have new toys and typically don't heavily use them anyway.

Well, sure. But the comment was "lightly used". Where I work it is typical to replace and upgrade laptops on a 3 year cycle, but over those 3 years most laptops get heavily used and suffer all sorts of wear and tear. They may still be serviceable with a good clean and refresh, but I would not call them lightly used.
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Online bd139

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2018, 06:58:49 pm »
They are usually graded.  Typically the lightly worn ones are ones which were put into service at the late end of the company's lifecycle. Anyone with more than about 50 machines tends to do a full hardware refresh/rollout every 3-5 years. They buy up to 75 machines up front to cover that and new starters. Some of them are never used, some are lightly used, some are destroyed and most are quite worn. Lots of them go straight in WEEE or are stripped for parts to tidy up units that have been dropped and have cosmetic problems.

One of the best things I've seen is a friend of mine who does recycling who was paid nearly £5000 to take away nearly 300 HP desktop machines that haven't even been opened because they didn't officially support windows 10 on the spec sheet on the purchase order despite the manufacturer stating that they did on their web site. He made about £50-60k out of that in the end just on ebay.
 

Online Ice-Tea

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Re: Help selecting a decent all rounder laptop around the £1k mark pls?
« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2018, 08:30:34 pm »
Haha, you might just want to google the Schenker Laptops. I think they are quite decent.

I didn't have to Google them, I know them from a few years back. And I didn't say they were not decent, I said they were only as good as the ODM making them. In this case: Clevo.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Schenker-XMG-Apex-15-Clevo-N950TP6-Laptop-Review.301664.0.html


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