Finally, a new notebook!


catilley1092

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After 2 weeks of massive searching, comparing specs, everything, I finally found a notebook that hopefully will meet my needs. It's a MSI, I got a decent deal on it, actually I found it on eBay, then when I looked up a review on it, it led me to Newegg, where they had it for $50 less.

It's not the top of the line, but for the price, and Newegg's offerings, it had the best overall scores (PassMark), especially in the video card, and one site considered it the best sub $1,000 gaming notebook on the market. The CPU, I could beat, but the GPU, I couldn't. At least I ended up with a 1GB dedicated graphics card, which for some strange reason, even on a few that cost over $1,000, had either Intel HD graphics or ATI Radeon 4250 graphics, both integrate ones. At that price, why cheap out on the graphics? Screwing the customer is the only reason that I can come up with.

One other thing about MSI, they include install & driver discs with their notebooks, something that many others lacks these days. Along with 6GB RAM, all of their $699+ models had this, plus 7200rpm HDD's & USB 3.0 ports. No eSATA, but my budget forced some compromise, USB 3.0 will give me speedy backups, once I buy a USB 3.0 HDD enclosure. I already have plenty of drives to use in it.

Here is my purchase:Newegg Receipt.jpg

I had a little luck on my side too, my old notebook died suddenly last Tuesday, while attempting to install once again XP (with it's reinstall disc). I guess it was it's time to go.

Hopefully, by early next week, I can be back on the folding team again, and can be more competitive this time around.

Thanks to the ones who advised me through this, especially c_c, Nibs, Thrax & yodap.

Cat
 

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Nibiru2012

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Cat I am happy for you, now all you need to do is get rid of that wannabe HP desktop aka vertical notebook and get a real desktop unit.

Now send us the video of your old notebook being blown to smithereens by 2lbs of C-4 explosive! :D :eek:
 

catilley1092

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It's probably in the scrap pile at Square Trade, other than recycling it, I see no other use for it. Unfortunately, someone probably buys their junk, pieces it together, and resells it. But not to me.

No more refurbs for me, period. I'd rather walk to the library about 3 blocks away, and use the ones there, before buying another piece of junk, that includes all-in-ones, HP's & Dell's, too.

Had it not been under warranty, there were several times that I'd loved to put my fist through the monitor.

I'll be updating my specs soon, as this "PC", for lack of better terms, will take the place of my old notebook, being a playtoy, and be a secondary computer. It's still covered by warranty until Nov 2012, who knows what will occur between now & then? I had to use some of the money that I saved towards my new one (that I'll personally build, so I'll know what I have) for the notebook.

But at least I won't have to buy another AV for a while, ESET NOD32 is still good until 2/7/2012. And I'll wait until I know there's no bugs in the new one before using the Anytime Upgrade Key that I bought, to be safe. I saved $20 on that, counting taxes. And the cooling pad was rated as good, too.

Cat
 
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yodap

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Good job cat. I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Core i-5. Don' forget to eliminate the crapware (if any) and you'll be updating for a couple of days also.

I would LUV to see a notebook (especially a Dell) explode!!!
LOL! I'll try not to let ms_yodap see that one cliff.
 
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catilley1092

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I hope not, yodap. I spent a lot of time looking, twice I blacked out in front of the computer while looking.

There was one last thing that I needed, a USB 3.0 enclosure, I looked & looked, most of the low cost ones were junk. The few good ones that I found, cost almost as much as some 1TB HDD's did.

Finally, on Amazon, I found the answer, and many customers are very satisfied. There's a special adapter that you plug into your USB 3.0 port that converts it to an eSATA connection. Many backup drives of the past had both USB 2.0 & eSATA inputs, this converter allows the user to keep what we have.

I have 2 such enclosures, a pre-built Seagate Free Agent, and one that I built with a Vantec enclosure. So this not only saved me money, it also needs no additional wires for power (or enclosures), except the extender cables that I bought (one 3 foot, one 6 foot length) to connect the adapter to the drives. One is behind the desktop, one is on the top of my computer desk, these cables will reach both (I got a discount for purchasing all 3 items). The total cost to me was a tab over $33, a decent enclosure (and all had some bad ratings) cost at least $45 (the better ones cost even more), there were a few HDD's for slightly more than that.

But while I was there, and I saw these while shopping for the notebook too, was a lot of network attached storage devices, many that could hold up to 4TB (usually 2TB x2) HDD's, and most even had Gigabit Ethernet, along with wireless, with BitTorrent clients built in.

Too, if one drive fails, there a warning, and the user can take necessary action. As low cost as these devices are, and many 1.5, 7,200 rpm HDD's are less than $70, this looks like a option for me to consider, in the coming months. In fact, it's so cheap (and secure) that I can't justify not looking into this type of backup plan. It will allow me 24/7 backups w/o any additional wires, except the power cable to the device.

I'm sitting on two 1TB drives now, but as cheap as 1.5 & 2.0TB HDD's are becoming, I can have a total backup system for as less than $300. But I'll need to do some more looking to see what I want. Netgear has some options for the device, and Seagate Barracuda & WD Intellipower both has 1.5TB HDD's for a little as $59.99. 2TB's are $10 more. This looks like the direction that I want to go in.

It's going to take me about 3 to 4 months to come up with the cash, but I believe that it can be worked out. We'll see.

BTW, my notebook is supposed to be here on Friday, so hopefully I can be back on the team early next week. I need to break it in, some users says to allow the thermal paste to settle in before doing anything very demanding. I plan to run a couple of the simple clients for the final break in, then decide which client is right for me, which should be a GPU one.

Cat
 
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Nibiru2012

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catilley1092

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Nibs, I bought the BYTECC adapter from Amazon last night. It was a combo deal, the three items will arrive in separate packages. I only had to pay shipping on the adapter, the cables were sent free.

Thanks for your suggestion, I just bought the Vantec drive enclosure a couple of minutes ago. That was the first place I looked last night, either I missed it, or it just posted today. USB 3.0 Super Speed enclosures are hard to find a deal on, many wants the price of a full drive for them. I'm not giving $50 for a HDD enclosure, that's too much.

One thing for sure, I'll have plenty of backup devices on hand. Those 1.5TB, 7200rpm drives for $59.99 at Amazon are looking good. But I'm through spending for the month.

Funny thing, both of my packages from my original purchase (notebook, software upgrade & cooler) from Newegg were shipped the same day (from NJ), but one's in VA, the other (the notebook) is in Greensboro, only 20 minutes away. That's weird, as they were together at first.

But both are supposed to be here tomorrow.

Cat
 

catilley1092

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Nibs, Newegg is on the ball today, that HDD enclosure is already on it's way to me.

Thanks for the link!:beer:

Cat
 

Nibiru2012

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If your an email subscriber, there's a ton of discounts starting today 4-15-2011

A lot of items at 10% Off... including all external HDD cases.
 
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yodap

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BTW, my notebook is supposed to be here on Friday, so hopefully I can be back on the team early next week. I need to break it in, some users says to allow the thermal paste to settle in before doing anything very demanding. I plan to run a couple of the simple clients for the final break in, then decide which client is right for me, which should be a GPU one.

Cat
The FAH GPU Tracker V2 program is your friend. Easy to manage your different clients.

http://https://www.w7forums.com/f-h-gpu-tracker-v2-t8447.html

Having said that, keep a very close eye on the temps. SpeedFan sees the gpu temps as well as the cpu.

http://http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
 

catilley1092

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I get Newegg's emails daily. Some of those "Shell Shockers" are good too.

The notebook came today, I'm on it now. It runs good & fast, and cool, even after hours of use. Fortunately, MSI doesn't put near as much "crapware" on their computers as HP, the only two programs that I had to remove was Norton AV, and Norton Online Backup. I used Revo Uninstaller Pro (free trial) for this.

Another first, the notebook came with separate OS/data partitions, but I shrunk the OS further, and extended the data one. I'm impressed so far, it does have the power. It tore through the SP1 install (less than10 minutes, after download). My HP took almost 30 minutes to install it.

Finally, I'm not used to notebooks that I can actually lay on my lap and not get burned:D Even after hours of use, just got through burning my recovery discs, and it's still cool. I haven't even taken the cooler out of the box yet, probably all that I'll need it for is folding.

yodap, I'll check that app out, thanks.

Nibs, that drive enclosure will be here Monday, thanks for the tip.

Intel ROCKS!

Cat
 

yodap

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Hey cat, whats your WEI score with that graphics card?
Here's ms_yodap's Dell.
 

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catilley1092

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It's 4.6 with the integral card, I need to re-run it, I just figured out late last night how to toggle between the Intel & Nvidia Cards. I'll post the results as soon as I run it.

In fact, it was the Aero Graphics that held it to 4.6. But I didn't know how to make the other kick in yet.

I do like the startup time, it takes less than half of the time that it takes my desktop get to the login screen. That i5 must have something to do with it. Being that my desktop consists of mainly notebook parts, it would be nice to find a good notebook MOBO w/the CPU already installed, that would make for a fast upgrade.

But I do believe that my PSU would have been OK for that last CPU that I found for it, as this notebook runs on a 65 watt PSU, whereas the desktop has a 90 Watt one. And the notebook is far more powerful. I should have bought that CPU when I could have bought it new for $35 (OEM packaging, no fan or heatsink). The fan & heatsink that I have would have worked fine.

I may look again for that part in the future, mabye sometime this summer. That would give me 2 machines to use for folding.

Cat
 

Thrax

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If your system is Intel+NVIDIA, it automatically switches between discrete and IGP when a 3D load is asked of the system. Look into NVIDIA Optimus or AMD PowerXpress 4 for more info on seamless GPU switching technologies.
 
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catilley1092

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Here it is yodap. I used the PDF reader that shipped with the notebook (Nuance). Never heard of it before, but figured I'd try it out.

The score didn't improve, but there was a note that stated some software apps may see additional performance benefits.

Thrax, I'm going to check that out. The system is at the recommended setting for switching (automatic). I also have Turbo Boost on demand, it's beside the power button.

PS: It won't upload in PDF form, I'll need to convert the file another way. But here are the quick specs

Processor:6.9
RAM:6.9
Graphics:4.6
Gaming Graphics:6.5
HDD:5.8

Cat
 

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