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  1. #1
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    Need some advice on choosing a laptop

    I'm helping a friend who's going to buy a laptop. Price is a concern, and we're trying to get something with both reasonable performance and reasonable price. The initial purchase will be a Win 7 Pro laptop, eventually upgrading to Win 10 (no point in getting Win 8, or a touch screen).

    Will Windows 7 Pro (and eventually, Windows 10) perform well with just 6 GB of RAM? What's the RAM "sweet spot" for these OS's?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Here's one that I just bought for that express purpose ( it's already $90.00 cheaper than what I paid last week ). It's got 8 GB of ram and it's pretty fast. This is a win 7 Pro ( downgraded from 8.1 ).
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...348&CatId=4935

    Hope this helps

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    Thanks, Lumpy. That looks like a nice machine, something I might get for myself, but it's a bit too expensive (and a bit of overkill) for her. For example, she doesn't need an i7 processor or a hybrid drive. An i5 processor and a 1TB standard drive would be suitable, and bring the price down significantly. Dell has models available for about $480 (with 6 GB of RAM) and $650 (with 8 GB of RAM).
    Hence my original question about performance vs. RAM.

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    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't get less than 8 GB in this day and age.
    Another note, you may have a hard time finding a computer with win 7 now. Most of them that I saw were win 8 when I was looking around but I think I saw a couple on tigerdirect with i5 and win 7.
    Last edited by lumpy95; 2015-07-09 at 19:09.

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    Lumpy, I also think 8 GB should be the baseline, but if $$$ comes into play, how much would Win 7 and Win 10 suffer with 6 GB?

    I disagree that Win 7 computers are hard to find. This site:

    http://www.dell.com/us/p/laptops#!fa...~0~5930680&p=1

    turned up many options with only about 5 minutes of searching. Similarly for HP and Microcenter.
    Last edited by LesF; 2015-07-09 at 22:46.

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Les,
    If $$$ come into play then it makes no difference whether it's 8 or 6 GB. As I said earlier, I wouldn't go with less than 8 GB myself. The amount of ram you need is commensurate with what you plan on doing with the computer.
    If I remember correctly, the bare minimum is 2 GB ( I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, LOL ).
    Glad you found a lot of win 7 computers.

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    I am a huge fan of ASUS machines. I will happily sell them to clients any day & twice on Sunday, as the saying goes. They are very good/excellent, have terrific Features, are extremely well made, sturdy construction & great warranty (better than most).

    I highly recommend either of these, for you!

    http://www.asus.com/ca-en/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/K550JD/

    http://www.asus.com/ca-en/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/K555LA/

    Both can be nicely Upgraded to Windows 10.

    Here are some (well 3, anyway), ASUS, actual, laptops @ just slightly over $500 @ tigerdirect.ca. Pricing should be/would be slightly less in US dollars.

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...e6,Mfr;Mfr_107

    I can't say enough good about ASUS machines. Every customer who has bought one from me loves them & any friends who have them wouldn't trade them for the world.

    I must say, though, @ this point in time, buying a not-originally-Win10 machine does seem a bit silly, just to do an unnecessary Upgrade to Win10. If one, already, owns a non-10 machine, by all means Upgrade... BUT, if a new purchase, just buy a Win10 machine in the 1st place. Again, make it an ASUS!! You'll not regret it.

    Compared to ASUS, I do not recommend HP, Dell, Acer or others.

    As far as RAM is concerned, for average use, 8Gs is plenty. 64 bit w/ less than 4Gs would make absolutely no sense, @ all*. Heck I have 8 in my own PC and the thing just flies.

    The claim for Win10 is minimum 1G for x86 and 2Gs for x64. Although, we know 10 does run nicely on old(er) not very robust gear w/ even lower specs... most laptops these days have, @ least, around 4 to 8Gigs... so most will be over the suggest minimums, anyway.

    * x86 will not use more than 3.5GB of RAM no matter how much is available. x64 will use all that is available.

    Again, smartest, simplest, route, NOW, would be just buy a new Win10 ASUS or, @ least, an 8.1 ASUS that one might find on sale, due to Win10 being a few days away.

    Although, I did sell an ASUS 8.1 very recently (oh, they are SO nice!)... customer is going to migrate it to 10 @ the end of July but, there was no reduction in price from ASUS... why should there be when it's a given it's going to be Upgraded, anyway, so, still, being an 8.1 machine means nothing in terms of price breaks. Ergo, since we are SO close, never mind Upgrading, save time & trouble & just buy a Win10 machine in the 1st place. They are not going to be more expensive than the norm just because they are Win10 machines.

    The only reason not to start w/ a Win10 laptop would be because of some imperative need to buy a machine tomorrow, rather than hold off for just a few more days.
    Last edited by Drew1903; 2015-07-10 at 04:50.

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    Drew,

    Thank you for that information.

    There are a couple of reasons not to buy a Win 10 machine at this time.
    First, Win 10 is not yet released (July 29 is the date, I believe). Even then, Win 10 probably won't be ready for prime time, and I believe that she should wait for several iterations before actually upgrading (I know I'll wait before upgrading my machines). I also believe that was a recommendation in one of the Windows Secrets newsletters.

    As for Win 8.1, neither of us likes the 8.1 format, nor the touch screens necessary to take best advantage of it, so that's out strictly because of preference.

    I looked at the links you provided, but didn't see any Win 7 ASUS machines, so that's a non-starter, I'm afraid.

    That being said, I would certainly consider an ASUS machine if I could actually find one in a brick-and-mortar store that I can actually look at, and that meets our requirements.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Um, touch screens are not necessary. I've got a non-touchscreen desktop and I have no problems with 8.1. I have beaten into submission though - without any third party apps. I wouldn't go back to Win 7 if you paid me! YMMV

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    access-mdb,

    I guess I don't know what you mean by "third party apps". Are you saying that win 8.1 includes all the (Microsoft) apps you'll ever need or want? I doubt that.
    I find the 8.1 format cluttered and annoying. I know that you can change it to be "Win 7 - like", but then, Win 7 is better at that than Win 8.1, so why would you bother.

    Win 7 is arguably the best Windows version currently available, assuming you're using a computer (as opposed to a tablet). Win 10 sounds like it might be a viable upgrade. Win 8 is not (IMHO).
    Last edited by LesF; 2015-07-10 at 14:08.

  11. #11
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    I meant apps like startisback and the like. I was just pointing out that touch screens aren't needed, despite what some people say. I much prefer the start screen to 7's start menu, which I find too fiddly. As I said your mileage might vary and we all have our likes and dislikes.

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    Les,

    Firstly, ALL my references were to July 29 or shortly thereafter; hence my saying wait a few days.

    It is not true that 8.1 requires Touch for an optimum experience. And the same applies to Windows 10.

    One mustn't buy into negative hype. Such stuff can, always, be read from somewhere but, does not make it so nor is it helpful. We (MS, The Build Team & Insiders) have been working having Win10 ready for release for a very, very long time. And it will be. It, the whole concept, is brilliant!!

    The point was, it didn't matter about 8.1, 7 or whatever since, would be Upgraded to Win10, anyway. Which is , also, why not bothering to go through all that & just buy a Win10 machine in the 1st place, @ this point in time, made good sense.

    Same as when I advise my clients in an effort to help them take the wisest, most efficient & sensible route w/ things & look @ the long-term. Ergo, never mind 7 or 8.1 or the Upgrade process or balking @ Windows 10 and just wait until around the end of July & buy a Windows 10 laptop from the onset.

    As I said, the only reason my recent client bought an 8.1 ASUS then, rather than waiting for Windows 10, was due to him wanting to buy a machine from me, following his brother's recommendation & he was only visiting Calgary for 2 days for flying back to his home. Otherwise it would have been a Windows 10 ASUS as soon as they were available.

    In other words it is smart & worth waiting for a Windows 10 laptop.

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    Drew (and access-mdb),

    I guess I need to clarify why I hold these opinions.

    I have never used Win 8 personally. Much of my information about Win 8 comes from reading reviews, and subscribing to the Windows Secrets newsletter. And also by looking at and playing with the Win 8 offerings at computer stores. Because I never use a tablet (which I understand Win 8 supports in it's "native" mode), I'm completely happy and comfortable with Win 7 (and have been using it on both of my computers for several years). I understand that Win 8 does not require a touch screen, and can be configured to look and act somewhat like Win 7 (with some help from third party apps, as access-mdb describes). However, since I (and the person that I'm helping) do not like the Win 8 format (and, as far as I can tell, MANY others also do not like it), and since the release of Win 10 is imminent, there's absolutely no benefit to getting a Win 8 computer at this time.

    As far as waiting for Win 10 to be released before purchasing a computer, that is, of course, an option, assuming that the purchase occurs on the 29th or shortly thereafter. However, based on comments and recommendations by the reviewers in the Windows Secrets newsletter (and my own experience with Microsoft's new OS releases), I do not believe that Microsoft will "get it right" on the first public release. Since the update path for Win 10 will be incremental and continuous (as opposed to periodic service pack releases), I prefer to "let it cook" in the court of public testing until at least some of the initial kinks are ironed out. I can only guess at how long that time period will be, but it's certainly longer than she wants to wait before purchasing a computer (she needs it so that she can do some of her work from home).

    Also, I see that we've strayed off-topic from my initial question (which has been answered). While I enjoy following and participating in this discussion, it has now morphed into "our" thread, and will not affect the purchasing decision.

    Thanks, all, for your replies.

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