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I am customizing a laptop online. I will have it in college so it needs to qualify for the type of work I will be doing.

It is a Dell Studio 15

Here is what I have chosen:


Software & Services

COLORS Black Chainlink

PROCESSORS NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i5-430M 2.26GHz (2.53GHz Turbo Mode, 3M cache)

OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English

MEMORY 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz

HARD DRIVE 500GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)

MOBILE CONNECTIVITY Internal Mobile Broadband not included

WARRANTY AND SERVICE 3 Year Basic Service Plan

VIDEO CARD Intel® HD Graphics

HD DISPLAY 15.6” High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera

WIRELESS CARDS Dell 1501 Wireless-N
KEYBOARD Back-lit Keyboard

BATTERY OPTIONS 56 Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell)

BLUETOOTH Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth Internal (2.1)

OPTICAL DRIVE 8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
SOUND OPTIONS High Definition Audio 2.2


My Accessories

OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2010

SECURITY SOFTWARE McAfee SecurityCenter, 36-Months

DATASAFE ONLINE BACKUP Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year


ALSO INCLUDED

PROCESSOR Studio 15 Laptop

INTEGRATED WEBCAM No Touch Software

Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9, Multiple Languages



I am majoring in architecture, where these are the requirements:

Processor: 2.0Ghz
Memory: 2 GB
Hard Drive: 80GB
Optical Drive: CD-RW/DVD-Rom
Wireless: 802.11B/G


I have some questions:

1. What is the importance of the video card? I will be running large programs and cant have them lag or anything. Did I choose the correct video card or should I get the "ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5470, 1GB" for $150?

2. Did I choose the correct wireless card for the requirement? I dont understand what the B/G means. The one I chose has "n" in it, so will it not work?
My other choices are:
Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N 6200
Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250

3. I know I have enough RAM according to the requirements, but im a casual gamer. Would I need more than 4GB?

4. Is the 2.26Ghz Intel Core i5 processor what I need? I dont understand which one i need.

5. If you notice anything that should be upgraded or downgraded, please comment


Thank you for the help and answer/comment on whatever you can.
 

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1. Video Card is important, it is what processes and transmits images to the screen. But for CAD and whatnot..ram(memory) is MUCH more important. Though if you do plan on gaming..I recommend upgrading.

2. You chose fine. B/G/N are all wireless network protocols...from oldest to newest. N is backwards compatible..so it'll work on a B or G setup.

3. 4gb is plenty..I have 4gb in my desktop right now.

4. The processor you picked is fine..it's a laptop..they're not known for their blazingly fast speed.

5. If they're charging for the McAfee..drop it and get something like avast! or some other BETTER, and free, virus software. And if the online backup costs..get rid of it and get a USB thumbdrive for backups. Keep in mind if you DO decide to go with the 1080 resolution..it'll require a better videocard or you will probably notice some slowing down.



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There are other free programs that meet those needs.
I use Firefox with Adblock and Noscript (all free).. that keeps me from getting virusses from websites and their advertisements. In case I DO get something I use avast! and Malwarebytes's program. Again..all free.
Just trying to save you money man, lol.
If you're worried about getting one through the school's network or something..turn hard drive sharing off. It should be off by default anyway.



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In that case.
Get the 1080, get the videocard (just to be safe), axe the Mcafee.
I seriously don't know anyone who still uses McAfee. My grandfather uses this bundle stuff that Insight(our ISP) gives out to its customers. It is such a royal pain in the ass. It won't let you do ANYTHING until you turn half of it off.



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I agree...DO NOT USE McAfee. I think Dell also sells Trend Micro...that's a MUCH better choice.

The updated videocard couldn't hurt...everything else looks good.
 

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i would recommend upgrading the memory to 6 or even 8 GB. if you like to multi-task with multiple programs running at once, get the bigger memory.

and definitely upgrade the video card to the radeon HD 5470 they offer.

and if you plan on taking your laptop to school with you a lot, i would recommend getting the 9 cell battery, just for longer battery life. or buy a backup battery.

with all that your sittin at around $1360 which is pretty cheap.

i have a 17" macbook pro with 2.66GHz processor, 8 GB memory, 500GB @7200RPM hard drive, and anti-glare display for $3000. macs tend to be a little more expensive than PC's but with a mac you definitely get what you pay for.
 

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i would recommend upgrading the memory to 6 or even 8 GB. if you like to multi-task with multiple programs running at once, get the bigger memory.

and definitely upgrade the video card to the radeon HD 5470 they offer.

and if you plan on taking your laptop to school with you a lot, i would recommend getting the 9 cell battery, just for longer battery life. or buy a backup battery.

with all that your sittin at around $1360 which is pretty cheap.

i have a 17" macbook pro with 2.66GHz processor, 8 GB memory, 500GB @7200RPM hard drive, and anti-glare display for $3000

Honestly check Dells Outlet section...........

They always have machines discounted @ about 20% less than what you would pay for something you are getting them to build.

You could probably pay the same now but end up with a better i5 processor or even an i7 and upgraded video card. Just throwing that out there, and some even have a larger battery already chosen with the deal... Also as noted above do get a bigger battery if you plan to be away from a power outlet. If you end up buying a 2nd backup battery it will cost you another 140-160 and thats no fun. Just pay another 75$ or so and get a 9cell or even a 12 if theres one available.
 

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definately upgrade the video & make sure it has it's own allocated memory!!!
Graphics & CAD programs will use every bit of it, as far as multi programs at once, if you're running a graphics\CAD program, you'll probably want everything else closed.
 

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