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My eyes are beginning to bleed. 

I'm in the market for a new laptop. All the usual usage needs (word processing, netflix/movie watching, browsing, Pigeonwatch) but also a certain amount of video editing (in 4k/HD),  and the inevitable uploading with browsers open and active whilst it's ticking away. These are words, so I understand them. But computers only speak numbers, and am getting in a spin. So is there anyone out the who gets them?

I was under the impression that i7 is better than i5, which seems broadly true, except that with RED Vs ORANGE the i5 is at least as good if not better than the i7 on everything except cache, and the i5 RAM access speed for BLACK and GREEN are better than both! (All options quad core). 

Given my usage has anyone got any suggestions as to what's worth paying for, what's worth caring about and what's not really relevant? Any other options greatly appreciated. 

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Budget's around £600 and no more than £650. Oh and what I spend on the laptop, I can't spend on a new shed...

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Had the i5 Vs i7 chat at work this week, and i7 can multitask(cache difference) better than the 5, so for you editing the 7 is the better option, other than that not alot different. The 2 in 1s are nice to look at etc but will you use the tablet function much if not then not much point buying one. 

Only thing I'd suggest is that get a machine that allows you to upgrade the RAM. for video editing is suggest you get 16gb not 8gb. So either save a few more pennies to get it off the shelf or upgrade it once brought.

 

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Hiya

You may also want to consider a SSD drive over the usual HDD - helps for quicker startup, speeds up what needs to be stored/retrieved by the application.

I upgraded older laptops last year for not too much (compared to replacements) for few more years.

L

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Yes, SSD drives are the way to go. Consider too, an M.2 NVMe drive for the operating system, preferably Windows 10 Pro 64bit.

Don't dismiss an AMD Ryzen based laptop either. There is a huge Intel vs AMD debate over which is best but AMD have come on leaps and bounds and offer more bang for your buck as the saying goes.

I specced and bought a high end desktop for my 60th birthday a couple of years ago from my local but internationally renowned computer manufacturer. My last two desktops and laptop had Intel processors and I was all set to go with the Intel i7.

However, they recommended the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 with 8 cores for better performance and less cost. It's incredibly fast, stable and runs everything really well.

AMD now have the Ryzen 9 and Intel their i9 to add to the mix.

Just remember the graphics card can have a huge effect on performance too. If you intend to play modern games on your laptop then it's graphics power you need to a greater degree than a fast CPU. 

Good luck with your quest.

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1 hour ago, Loki said:

Hiya

You may also want to consider a SSD drive over the usual HDD - helps for quicker startup, speeds up what needs to be stored/retrieved by the application.

I upgraded older laptops last year for not too much (compared to replacements) for few more years.

L

Yeah all five are SSD and either 256 or 512gb. Space isn't so much of an issue; No video gets stored on the pc once it's been made as it's all either online or in a hard drive, so that's not a big factor.

 

2 hours ago, ShootingEgg said:

Only thing I'd suggest is that get a machine that allows you to upgrade the RAM. for video editing is suggest you get 16gb not 8gb. So either save a few more pennies to get it off the shelf or upgrade it once brought.

 

Is this complicated? Can you upgrade by 4gb, or would I have to up by 8gb? does it have to be exactly the same in all its specs?

If it's straightforward/cost effective, upgrading it at a later date could be a good option

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3 hours ago, chrisjpainter said:

Yeah all five are SSD and either 256 or 512gb. Space isn't so much of an issue; No video gets stored on the pc once it's been made as it's all either online or in a hard drive, so that's not a big factor.

 

Is this complicated? Can you upgrade by 4gb, or would I have to up by 8gb? does it have to be exactly the same in all its specs?

If it's straightforward/cost effective, upgrading it at a later date could be a good option

If the machine has a second slot then yes you can put 4 more in. The rest of the spec is fine looking at them

 

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HP have a reputation for being garbage according to anyone techy I know who I've asked.  So I'd scrub 80% of those options.  I think your budget is a bit low for what you want the machine to do.

Why a laptop as opposed to desktop?

The thing with ready-made computers is the manufacturers sell them simply on the strength of the processor speed, which is not the full picture.  It's damn complicated and I don't pretend to understand it fully.  However the quality of the motherboard is the absolute most important aspect. 

There are quite a few places online now that do custom builds according to your spec, and they will only use decent quality components that are compatible.  They build the machine, install your chosen OS & software and test it all before delivery.  I got my current desktop from computer planet, but just checked and they don't do laptops unfortunately - otherwise I'd recommend them.

How long do you want this machine to last?  Make sure you spend money wisely, even if it is a bit more than you're conditioned into thinking is the "price point" by the clowns like PC World etc who basically sell you a trash can with buttons on it.  Be realistic with your budget and the rest will come easy.

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In the finest tradition of the internet, I'm going to give an answer to a question that wasn't asked. I'm typing on a 2013 MacBookPro. Runs almost faultlessly and does HD video editing with ease. Mere mention of Apple seems to irritate people, but prior to the MacBook, I got through four cheap PC laptops in five years. All buggy and frustrating before crapping out. I was pretty anti-Mac prior to this point, but it's more than just specs on paper, it's how well the machine is built and compatibility of components. Downside is the price, buy once, cry once. It took me about a week of frustration to get used to MacOS, another couple of weeks of mild frustration, then all good. 

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3 minutes ago, Jim Neal said:

HP have a reputation for being garbage according to anyone techy I know who I've asked.  So I'd scrub 80% of those options.  I think your budget is a bit low for what you want the machine to do.

Why a laptop as opposed to desktop?

The thing with ready-made computers is the manufacturers sell them simply on the strength of the processor speed, which is not the full picture.  It's damn complicated and I don't pretend to understand it fully.  However the quality of the motherboard is the absolute most important aspect. 

There are quite a few places online now that do custom builds according to your spec, and they will only use decent quality components that are compatible.  They build the machine, install your chosen OS & software and test it all before delivery.  I got my current desktop from computer planet, but just checked and they don't do laptops unfortunately - otherwise I'd recommend them.

How long do you want this machine to last?  Make sure you spend money wisely, even if it is a bit more than you're conditioned into thinking is the "price point" by the clowns like PC World etc who basically sell you a trash can with buttons on it.  Be realistic with your budget and the rest will come easy.

I don't think so. My current, dying laptop's done it all okay, but given that it's dying, I'm looking for a a bit more than it's got. All the options above upgrade the important things from this one, although the RAM is still at 8, but a couple of the above options have spare slots to bump the RAM up at a later date, should I feel it's actually struggling. That would still work out cheaper than looking at anything with a 16gb RAM, especially as there aren't that many occasions where 16gb will genuinely give useful power. I'd disagree with the HP being garbage, and my cousin, who builds custom jobs rates them for plenty of stuff. I'd certainly say their build quality is better than Lenovo's in their ideapad range. Their thinkpads could probably survive nuclear war, but not so with the ideapads (I'm currently typing on one. Well I say typing. I'm using a wireless keyboard because the Lenovo's real one's died). I'd only get another if I felt the performance upgrades warranted taking a hit on their build quality.

Laptop's just so much easier and don't chain me to one rom in the house whilst doing stuff. It also means I can take it to the cafe overlooking Weymouth Bay and work with a significantly better view than a wall or a street!

I tend to use pcworld as just a shop window. Whenever I've asked anything of them, they're either clueless or just try to sell shiny stuff. Twice I've asked them if inserting extra RAM is possible and both experts just pointed me to the tech specs on their own website, which I knew didn't have the info!

3 minutes ago, Houseplant said:

In the finest tradition of the internet, I'm going to give an answer to a question that wasn't asked. I'm typing on a 2013 MacBookPro. Runs almost faultlessly and does HD video editing with ease. Mere mention of Apple seems to irritate people, but prior to the MacBook, I got through four cheap PC laptops in five years. All buggy and frustrating before crapping out. I was pretty anti-Mac prior to this point, but it's more than just specs on paper, it's how well the machine is built and compatibility of components. Downside is the price, buy once, cry once. It took me about a week of frustration to get used to MacOS, another couple of weeks of mild frustration, then all good. 

My partner uses a mac. I don't think I could take the hit to my pride...

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The trouble now is buying a PC as there is a world wide shortage in Graphics cards and prices both new and 2nd hand are quite silly. 
go for AMD as you will get more cores for your money although the 11th series i5 (non K) is getting very good feedback for price to performance although I don’t know how that transfers to laptop versions. 
 

or go Apple but that will blow your budget to get even a base model

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10 minutes ago, discobob said:

The trouble now is buying a PC as there is a world wide shortage in Graphics cards and prices both new and 2nd hand are quite silly. 
go for AMD as you will get more cores for your money although the 11th series i5 (non K) is getting very good feedback for price to performance although I don’t know how that transfers to laptop versions. 
 

or go Apple but that will blow your budget to get even a base model

Funny you should say that about the i5's. Dell have got a sale on at the moment with some of their laptops having the new 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 in them. They all give a big improvement over what I have now and because dell are nice (unlike Lenovo), they have spare slots to bump the RAM up to 16 (or even 32, but that would be overkill) very easily should I want to. 

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On 11/04/2021 at 10:49, discobob said:

 

or go Apple but that will blow your budget to get even a base model

Shiny good looking and over priced. Stuck to windows based machine for what you are wanting to do.

And as Discobob says, base model will be over your price point

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No real conclusion in this thread other than the budget isn't big enough.   This bit of the requirement "but also a certain amount of video editing (in 4k/HD)" has a big cost implication if it also has to be fully portable - though unless you are blessed with the eyesight of an eagle probably not useable in practical terms.

Full HD resolution is 1920x1080 and laptops with displays running this screen spec are not uncommon/fairly affordable.  Some can output at 4K so with a suitable external monitor you could use the Full HD laptop to edit 4K video files.

4K resolution is 3840x2160  to display this natively with the portability of a laptop then this lifts the cost into £1200 territory - example here:  ASUS ZenBook UX534FAC 15.6 Inch Ultra HD (4K) Laptop (Intel i7-10510U, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, 32 GB Intel Optane Memory, Full HD ScreenPad, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10), Blue

Truthfully a 4K Laptop display would need the Windows zoom feature cranked up so displaying the output to an external desktop display would, again, be the the most practical approach.   

 

Edited by Cosmicblue
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An update for you technophiles. I settled on a Dell Inspiron 11th Gen i5, decent speed and specs, as well as a free slot to bump the RAM up to 16gb, but it can go up to 32gb.

It arrived looking all shiny and squeaky clean. Literally. Every time you pressed the O or 1 keys, it squeaked on the way down and squeaked on the way up. It was really annoying! Other than that, it worked flawlessly. So I got an engineer out to replace the keyboard.

The engineer comes and replaces the keyboard. No squeak...but then neither does the power/fingerprint button work. At first it was just a bit wobbly, so the engineer had a bit of another play and...now it won't turn on at all. So he did the only thing an experienced engineer could do. He left.

I said I didn't want another engineer out as this was clearly a defunct laptop now after just two days, so a replacement is coming...in 7-15 days. I pointed out that this seemed excessive, given that they're offering next day delivery for that same laptop on their website, but apparently they're building it from scratch. Perhaps they don't trust the off-the-shelf ones - to be fair I'm not sure I do!  

So...in 7-15 days I might have a laptop that works. Then again, I might also get one that mostly works, so I could always call an engineer in and he can finish it off properly.

Fun and games, this laptop buying business!

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On 20/04/2021 at 07:39, Houseplant said:

One of the Inspirons I had was an excellent machine, the other two, not so much! Hope it works out for you.

Well...I have a new laptop, which actually works and is spot on. But Dell are an abomination when it comes to customer services! Getting rid of the one they broke has been an absolute nightmare. People promise to pick it up, they don't. they promise to call, they don't. I finally have a pick up time of this afternoon. And a delivery time, which is odd as I've not ordered anything! Nightmare

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