Performance questions?

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I'm in the market for a new laptop. (I currently have a Dell inspiron
8100 UXGA) I mostly do use it for on location CAD and graphics work.

The bigger the screen the better so 17" is the choice. Perhaps the
knowledgeable folks here could give me some performance statistics and
recommendations. i.e. what kind of performance increase between a 5400
HD and 7200 HD. Is the increase enough to be visible?

5400 v 7200 HD

Athlon 64 mobile 3000 v Pentium 3.

1mb v 2mb ram

17" wsxga v 17" wuxga

ATI Radeon 9700W/128 vs Nvidia 6800 w/256

I realize there are a lot of parameters to these but general ideas would
be fine. Is there any one item that would make the most difference?


Re: Performance questions?

Nicholas wrote:
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Screen:  You are probably looking at a 17" diagonal 16:10 widescreen,
not a 17" diagonal 4:3 traditional screen.  There is a significant loss
of vertical resolution in a widescreen that might be important to your
graphics and CAD work.

A 17" widescreen has a height of 9.00" and a width of 14.42".  The
vertical height of 9.00" is the same as a 15" normal 4:3 screen.  This
is not so bad, I've done CAD work in a 15" normal LCD but am a whole lot
happier in a 17" normal 4:3 LCD screen.

As a side note, the 15.4 inch widescreen LCD has the same vertical
resolution as a 13.6" 4:3 traditional screen.  I get a better
appreciation for the vertical loss in widescreen mode since I've had 14
inch traditional LCDs.

Other comparisons that might make a difference in your work:
SXGA - 1280x1024  WSXGA - 1600x1024
UXGA - 1600x1200  WUXGA - 1920x1200

The WUXGA is going to squeeze of lot of very small pixels onto the
screen.  I find that the Dell UXGA were too small for detail work; the
WUXGA would be the same for me, only worse on a 17 inch widescreen vs a
17 inch LCD monitor.

HD: I find that a 7200 rpm drive beats a 5400 rpm drive hands down.

A64M vs P4 (you have P3, typo I think):  Go with A64; the P4s are far
too hot and do not offer anywhere near the level of performance as the

Nvidia vs ATI:  Go with the Nvidia simply for the VRAM, although many
think ATI performance has lagged Nvidia's.


Re: Performance questions?

Thanks for the info, My main programs are AutoCAD, Sketchup and Corel. I
understand that Sketchup has had problems with ATI so nVidia would be
playing it safe.  Now to sort through all that is available out there.

Quaoar wrote:
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Re: Performance questions?

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Yes but so will the reduction in battery time.

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Get Pentium M

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1GB RAM for CAD graphics and XP SP2

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