Could someone reccomend a good laptop for a database developer?


D

Data Girl

I am currently in the market for a work / personal use laptop in the base
$800 - $1,300 range. I've been out of the loop for the past few years due to
raising kids and am not currently up to speed on the latest hardware / 64bit
platform stuff.

Here are the major applications I'm intending to run:
MS Office 2007
Visual Studio.NET
SQL Server 2005 (Developer Edition for non-production testing purposes)

I've already determined 2GB RAM and a dual core CPU are requirements.

Before making a purchase, there are a few essoteric questions I need
answered that are probably beyond the scope of what the sales floor guys
could answer and would appreciate any incite from the perspective of a
fellow professional techie.

- How to the Intel Centrino Duo vs. AMD Athlon 64 X2 compare in terms of
performance and multitasking?
- My company does not support Vista yet, so I'm wanting to go with XP
Professional. However, do I need to be running the 64bit version of XP to
run 64bit enabled applications optimally?
- Several years ago, one of my coworkers had a Gateway laptop with a
removable HD. While at home, he could pop out his work HD and insert his
personal HD. I'm not talking about an external USB type HD; this was a
bootable device that mounts internally. What is this device called, and if I
order from some place like Dell, could I request this as an option to the
conventional fixed HD? Also, if anyone has had experience with this type of
device, could you confirm what licensing issues this presents for XP,
becuase it would result in (2) different installs.
- Can you offer any other general advice or reccomend a specific model in my
price range?
 
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B

Barry Watzman

This is actually easier than you are making it.

For the CPU, you want an Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo (Core 2 Duo is
slightly better and also more expensive ... the difference is not great,
however). Both processors do come in a variety of speed ranges. Forget
about every other processor. The one you want is one of these two.

[Centrino is ***NOT*** a CPU ... it's a designation for a variety of
"all Intel" machine configurations, e.g. Intel CPU, chipset, Video, LAN
and WiFi. Fine, but having a better (but non-Intel) video or WiFi
option makes the machine "non-Centrino".]

You may not now be able to buy a laptop that doesn't come with Vista.
It would have been better to have made this purchase before January
30th, you would have gotten BOTH XP and Vista at no additional cost (you
can still get that option, until March 15th, ***IF*** you can find a
machine with XP preloaded and the free Vista upgrade offer. But they
have pretty much disappeared already). You can probably install XP on a
machine that comes with vista, but, amazingly, XP drivers for models
that come with Vista are often NOT readily available.

Hard drives that are externally changeable have pretty much disappeared,
however it's not difficult to change the hard drive in any current
laptops (on most laptops, one screw and you are there). All current
production laptops use SATA 2.5" hard drives. Don't discount the
usability of external USB hard drives, either 2.5" or 3.5". In most
cases, you can even boot from them.

The really good news is that your price targets are too high, you won't
have to spend any more than the low end of your estimate. I'm going to
recommend that you look at the Dell E1505 and the Toshiba A105
(discontinued, but may still be found) and the A135 (the replacement for
the A105, almost identical).

You can EASILY get a machine very close to what you want for $800 if you
are a savvy buyer (watch the sales and for Dell, the deals at
www.techbargains.com). EVERYONE has a Toshiba A135 model (or several)
on sale this weekend, that includes Best Buy, Circuit City, Office
Depot, Staples, etc. Price range from $549 to $799, and the $749 and
$799 models will pretty much have everything you want and need except
that they may only have 1GB of memory, so you may need to add memory
after the purchase. You can also get a loaded up Dell E1505 for $800
(look for the special order code that gives you a 20% discount on any
E1505 selling for $999 or more, then configure you $1,000 E1505 and only
pay $800 for it; there was even a 25% code available but I think it's
gone now.).
 
D

Data Girl

Barry Watzman said:
This is actually easier than you are making it.

For the CPU, you want an Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo (Core 2 Duo is
slightly better and also more expensive ... the difference is not great,
however). Both processors do come in a variety of speed ranges. Forget
about every other processor. The one you want is one of these two.

[Centrino is ***NOT*** a CPU ... it's a designation for a variety of "all
Intel" machine configurations, e.g. Intel CPU, chipset, Video, LAN and
WiFi. Fine, but having a better (but non-Intel) video or WiFi option
makes the machine "non-Centrino".]

You may not now be able to buy a laptop that doesn't come with Vista. It
would have been better to have made this purchase before January 30th, you
would have gotten BOTH XP and Vista at no additional cost (you can still
get that option, until March 15th, ***IF*** you can find a machine with XP
preloaded and the free Vista upgrade offer. But they have pretty much
disappeared already). You can probably install XP on a machine that comes
with vista, but, amazingly, XP drivers for models that come with Vista are
often NOT readily available.
I'm still seeing adds for units with XP, but sales papers are usually out of
date on specs.
Hard drives that are externally changeable have pretty much disappeared,
however it's not difficult to change the hard drive in any current laptops
(on most laptops, one screw and you are there). All current production
laptops use SATA 2.5" hard drives. Don't discount the usability of
external USB hard drives, either 2.5" or 3.5". In most cases, you can
even boot from them.
So I can easily unscrew the IDE drive from the slot, pull it out, and insert
another drive of similar specs? I would be doing this maybe every day, once
in the morning and then once again in the evening (assuming I find enough
free time to boot up in the evening). I guess most people are just using
Partition Magic, but I'd rather not even take my personal data into the
office, so swapping HDs is what I'm really wanting.

I'm no HW techie, but I'm thinking that the data transfer on a USB2 external
HD would be too slow for serving the OS and applications?
The really good news is that your price targets are too high, you won't
have to spend any more than the low end of your estimate. I'm going to
recommend that you look at the Dell E1505 and the Toshiba A105
(discontinued, but may still be found) and the A135 (the replacement for
the A105, almost identical).

You can EASILY get a machine very close to what you want for $800 if you
are a savvy buyer (watch the sales and for Dell, the deals at
www.techbargains.com). EVERYONE has a Toshiba A135 model (or several) on
sale this weekend, that includes Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Depot,
Staples, etc. Price range from $549 to $799, and the $749 and $799 models
will pretty much have everything you want and need except that they may
only have 1GB of memory, so you may need to add memory after the purchase.
You can also get a loaded up Dell E1505 for $800 (look for the special
order code that gives you a 20% discount on any E1505 selling for $999 or
more, then configure you $1,000 E1505 and only pay $800 for it; there was
even a 25% code available but I think it's gone now.).
I actually got a quote from a Dell sales guy who works with our office. It
was for $2,100, but included MS Office, 3 year service plan, fancy leather
carry case, etc. the works; perhaps more stuff than what I really need. So
long as I can boot it up, connect to the office LAN, and run my apps
crispily, then I'm happy.

Thanks
 
V

Venom

I understand you can still insist on XP Pro as the OS with most
manufacturers.
 
G

General Schvantzkoph

I am currently in the market for a work / personal use laptop in the base
$800 - $1,300 range. I've been out of the loop for the past few years due to
raising kids and am not currently up to speed on the latest hardware / 64bit
platform stuff.

Here are the major applications I'm intending to run:
MS Office 2007
Visual Studio.NET
SQL Server 2005 (Developer Edition for non-production testing purposes)

I've already determined 2GB RAM and a dual core CPU are requirements.

Before making a purchase, there are a few essoteric questions I need
answered that are probably beyond the scope of what the sales floor guys
could answer and would appreciate any incite from the perspective of a
fellow professional techie.

- How to the Intel Centrino Duo vs. AMD Athlon 64 X2 compare in terms of
performance and multitasking?
- My company does not support Vista yet, so I'm wanting to go with XP
Professional. However, do I need to be running the 64bit version of XP to
run 64bit enabled applications optimally?
- Several years ago, one of my coworkers had a Gateway laptop with a
removable HD. While at home, he could pop out his work HD and insert his
personal HD. I'm not talking about an external USB type HD; this was a
bootable device that mounts internally. What is this device called, and if I
order from some place like Dell, could I request this as an option to the
conventional fixed HD? Also, if anyone has had experience with this type of
device, could you confirm what licensing issues this presents for XP,
becuase it would result in (2) different installs.
- Can you offer any other general advice or reccomend a specific model in my
price range?
The Core2 Duo is about 30% faster on a clock for clock basis then the
Athlon 64 X2, keep that in mind when comparing systems.

Why do you want a removable hard drive? You can get a reasonably large
laptop drive, the biggest are 200G. If you need multiple OS environments
to test your software you should use VMware, it's a lot easier to switch
between virtual machines then to do multibooting. I don't know if anyone
makes a laptop with plugable drives, you can certainly put plugable drive
cages into a desktop system.
 
A

Alfred

This is actually easier than you are making it.

For the CPU, you want an Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo (Core 2 Duo is
slightly better and also more expensive ... the difference is not great,
however). Both processors do come in a variety of speed ranges. Forget
about every other processor. The one you want is one of these two.

[Centrino is ***NOT*** a CPU ... it's a designation for a variety of
"all Intel" machine configurations, e.g. Intel CPU, chipset, Video, LAN
and WiFi. Fine, but having a better (but non-Intel) video or WiFi
option makes the machine "non-Centrino".]

You may not now be able to buy a laptop that doesn't come with Vista.
It would have been better to have made this purchase before January
30th, you would have gotten BOTH XP and Vista at no additional cost (you
can still get that option, until March 15th, ***IF*** you can find a
machine with XP preloaded and the free Vista upgrade offer. But they
have pretty much disappeared already). You can probably install XP on a
machine that comes with vista, but, amazingly, XP drivers for models
that come with Vista are often NOT readily available.

Hard drives that are externally changeable have pretty much disappeared,
however it's not difficult to change the hard drive in any current
laptops (on most laptops, one screw and you are there). All current
production laptops use SATA 2.5" hard drives. Don't discount the
usability of external USB hard drives, either 2.5" or 3.5". In most
cases, you can even boot from them.

The really good news is that your price targets are too high, you won't
have to spend any more than the low end of your estimate. I'm going to
recommend that you look at the Dell E1505 and the Toshiba A105
(discontinued, but may still be found) and the A135 (the replacement for
the A105, almost identical).

You can EASILY get a machine very close to what you want for $800 if you
are a savvy buyer (watch the sales and for Dell, the deals at
www.techbargains.com). EVERYONE has a Toshiba A135 model (or several)
on sale this weekend, that includes Best Buy, Circuit City, Office
Depot, Staples, etc. Price range from $549 to $799, and the $749 and
$799 models will pretty much have everything you want and need except
that they may only have 1GB of memory, so you may need to add memory
after the purchase. You can also get a loaded up Dell E1505 for $800
(look for the special order code that gives you a 20% discount on any
E1505 selling for $999 or more, then configure you $1,000 E1505 and only
pay $800 for it; there was even a 25% code available but I think it's
gone now.).


Data said:
I am currently in the market for a work / personal use laptop in the base
$800 - $1,300 range. I've been out of the loop for the past few years due to
raising kids and am not currently up to speed on the latest hardware / 64bit
platform stuff.

Here are the major applications I'm intending to run:
MS Office 2007
Visual Studio.NET
SQL Server 2005 (Developer Edition for non-production testing purposes)

I've already determined 2GB RAM and a dual core CPU are requirements.

Before making a purchase, there are a few essoteric questions I need
answered that are probably beyond the scope of what the sales floor guys
could answer and would appreciate any incite from the perspective of a
fellow professional techie.

- How to the Intel Centrino Duo vs. AMD Athlon 64 X2 compare in terms of
performance and multitasking?
- My company does not support Vista yet, so I'm wanting to go with XP
Professional. However, do I need to be running the 64bit version of XP to
run 64bit enabled applications optimally?
- Several years ago, one of my coworkers had a Gateway laptop with a
removable HD. While at home, he could pop out his work HD and insert his
personal HD. I'm not talking about an external USB type HD; this was a
bootable device that mounts internally. What is this device called, and if I
order from some place like Dell, could I request this as an option to the
conventional fixed HD? Also, if anyone has had experience with this type of
device, could you confirm what licensing issues this presents for XP,
becuase it would result in (2) different installs.
- Can you offer any other general advice or reccomend a specific model in my
price range?
For one with a swappable hard drive I believe the IBM thinkpads had
that ability. I have a T20 that has a clip holding the drive in place.
Easy swapped and rebooted in minutes. Unfortunately I don't know if
later models have this.
 
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B

Barry Watzman

Re: "
Hard drives that are externally changeable have pretty much disappeared,
however it's not difficult to change the hard drive in any current (on
most laptops, one screw and you are there). All current production
laptops use SATA 2.5" hard drives. Don't discount the usability of
external USB hard drives, either 2.5" or 3.5". In most cases, you can
even boot from them.So I can easily unscrew the IDE drive from the slot, pull it out, and
insert another drive of similar specs? I would be doing this maybe every
day, once in the morning and then once again in the evening (assuming I
find enough free time to boot up in the evening)."

***end quote - reply:

First, any laptop that you buy new today will have an SATA drive, not an
IDE drive.

However, I'll say that almost no matter what you are doing, there are
better ways to do it than changing the drive twice a day.

$2,100 is about 3 times more than what you need to spend. Even for a
Dell (E1505 would likely be the model that you want).
 
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H

Howard Huntley

I have a HP dv9000z 17" which has dual hard drives built in. I am sure
that it can be configured to boot from either drive. Vista(high end)
comes with a lock which will encrypt part of a drive or another drive.
I don't know how that helps you? The system is too big and too heavy
for work. I still have my 15.4 Toshiba.

Password=howard
http://imageevent.com/hhuntley/computerlab


Barry Watzman said:
This is actually easier than you are making it.

For the CPU, you want an Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo (Core 2 Duo is
slightly better and also more expensive ... the difference is not great,
however). Both processors do come in a variety of speed ranges. Forget
about every other processor. The one you want is one of these two.

[Centrino is ***NOT*** a CPU ... it's a designation for a variety of
"all Intel" machine configurations, e.g. Intel CPU, chipset, Video, LAN
and WiFi. Fine, but having a better (but non-Intel) video or WiFi
option makes the machine "non-Centrino".]

You may not now be able to buy a laptop that doesn't come with Vista.
It would have been better to have made this purchase before January
30th, you would have gotten BOTH XP and Vista at no additional cost (you
can still get that option, until March 15th, ***IF*** you can find a
machine with XP preloaded and the free Vista upgrade offer. But they
have pretty much disappeared already). You can probably install XP on a
machine that comes with vista, but, amazingly, XP drivers for models
that come with Vista are often NOT readily available.

Hard drives that are externally changeable have pretty much disappeared,
however it's not difficult to change the hard drive in any current
laptops (on most laptops, one screw and you are there). All current
production laptops use SATA 2.5" hard drives. Don't discount the
usability of external USB hard drives, either 2.5" or 3.5". In most
cases, you can even boot from them.

The really good news is that your price targets are too high, you won't
have to spend any more than the low end of your estimate. I'm going to
recommend that you look at the Dell E1505 and the Toshiba A105
(discontinued, but may still be found) and the A135 (the replacement for
the A105, almost identical).

You can EASILY get a machine very close to what you want for $800 if you
are a savvy buyer (watch the sales and for Dell, the deals at
www.techbargains.com). EVERYONE has a Toshiba A135 model (or several)
on sale this weekend, that includes Best Buy, Circuit City, Office
Depot, Staples, etc. Price range from $549 to $799, and the $749 and
$799 models will pretty much have everything you want and need except
that they may only have 1GB of memory, so you may need to add memory
after the purchase. You can also get a loaded up Dell E1505 for $800
(look for the special order code that gives you a 20% discount on any
E1505 selling for $999 or more, then configure you $1,000 E1505 and only
pay $800 for it; there was even a 25% code available but I think it's
gone now.).


Data said:
I am currently in the market for a work / personal use laptop in the base
$800 - $1,300 range. I've been out of the loop for the past few years due to
raising kids and am not currently up to speed on the latest hardware / 64bit
platform stuff.

Here are the major applications I'm intending to run:
MS Office 2007
Visual Studio.NET
SQL Server 2005 (Developer Edition for non-production testing purposes)

I've already determined 2GB RAM and a dual core CPU are requirements.

Before making a purchase, there are a few essoteric questions I need
answered that are probably beyond the scope of what the sales floor guys
could answer and would appreciate any incite from the perspective of a
fellow professional techie.

- How to the Intel Centrino Duo vs. AMD Athlon 64 X2 compare in terms of
performance and multitasking?
- My company does not support Vista yet, so I'm wanting to go with XP
Professional. However, do I need to be running the 64bit version of XP to
run 64bit enabled applications optimally?
- Several years ago, one of my coworkers had a Gateway laptop with a
removable HD. While at home, he could pop out his work HD and insert his
personal HD. I'm not talking about an external USB type HD; this was a
bootable device that mounts internally. What is this device called, and if I
order from some place like Dell, could I request this as an option to the
conventional fixed HD? Also, if anyone has had experience with this type of
device, could you confirm what licensing issues this presents for XP,
becuase it would result in (2) different installs.
- Can you offer any other general advice or reccomend a specific model in my
price range?
 
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