Dell Inspiron 17R - Good deal?

paulbed4d

Active Member
If my old Acer is beyond repair, I'll soon be looking for a new laptop.

I don't use my laptop for gaming but I do use it for photo and video editing. Nothing too serious, family stuff, but it needs to be able to handle that.

I need a decent screen, deffo full HD, 17 inch would be nice, but not essential. I need a laptop but it doesn't need to be particularly portable. It will be regularly shifted from room to room in the house but very rarely leave the house. Battery life isn't important either as it will be plugged in most of the time.

I need 1 tb of storage. I also need a DVD writer.

I'm not sure how much ram I need or what type of processor. I guess I will need a dedicated graphics card for video editing?

Budget wise, I want to pay as little as I can to get what I need.

I'm not particularly bothered what brand it is.

I've had a look around and spotted the dell Inspiron 17r for £650. I think that will do all I need it to do. It's an i7 but only dual core. Will that really matter? The spec for the dell is set out below?

Thanks for your help guys.

Processor
Help Me Choose
4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4500U Processor (4M Cache, up to 3.0 GHz)
Operating System
Windows 8.1 (64Bit) English
Video Card
AMD Radeon™ HD 8870M 2GB GDDR5
Memory1
Help Me Choose
16GB 2 DIMM (2x8GB) DDR3L 1600Mhz
Hard Drive
Help Me Choose
1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Optical Drive
Help Me Choose
8X DVD+/-RW Drive Tray Load
Display
44cm (17.3") LED Backlit Display with Anti Glare and FHD resolution (1920 x 1080)
Wireless
Intel® Wireless-N 7260 BGN + Bluetooth 4.0
Digitally Delivered Software
Help Me Choose
-- Select --
Choose Options
Productivity Software
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I guess I will need a dedicated graphics card for video editing?
No, although they're called graphics cards they're only used heavily for some types of graphics. Typically three dimensional ones like modelling or gaming. Traditionally video editing didn't use them at all. While in recent years some of the high end packages have started to use them in a few suitable areas, lower end packages and cut down versions still frequently make no use of them.

Also, if you're planning to use Intel's quick sync encoding technology (which is much faster but slightly lower quality than CPU-only encodes) you may not want to bother switching back and forth.

In short, check to see what your video editing package of choice supports.

I'm not sure how much ram I need or what type of processor.
How old is your 'old acer'. Unless it's become too slow after two years then chances are you're not pushing the boundry and a mid-range chip and 8GB of memory would do fine. Although I don't do video editing so I'm just guessing. I have heard you want a decent hard drive though, so the 5400RPM hard drive and no SSD may be a bit of a weak point.

Performance of this low power (U suffix) i7 is somewhere between a standard power (M suffix) i3 and a standard power i5. You may be paying extra for the low power consumption which it sounds like won't be much benefit to you - although the lower heat output presumably allows for a thinner laptop if that interests you.

The screen on the 17R looks like good quality by laptop standards. All in all in looks like a good package to me, although I'm not sure how much use you'll see of the graphics card and I'd much rather have had 8GB of ram and an SSD.
 

paulbed4d

Active Member
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I use an oldish (3 years) version of Cyberlink PowerDirector to edit. I've had a quick look on the website but can't seem to find the recommended spec. I'll check the disc when i get home.

Yeah, what you have said pretty much corroborates what i've read on the internet. I agree, power consumption isn't an issue for me, but i can't find anything else that comes close to this spec for this money.

I thought the slow hard drive might be an issue. However, i need something large to store everything on. I supose i could get a smaller SSD and use an external hard drive for the bulk storage. However, i'd prefer to have everything in one place. I understand that i can get a ssd to accompany the hard drive, but those packages are much more expensive. Could i add a SSD to this laptop later if need be?

In terms of RAM, my Acer is about 5 years old. It's an i3 with 4gb. I'm video/photo editing on it now, but its slow. It's managable, but slow.

The 17r more or less ticks all my boxes. Sounds like a hard disk upgrade and possibly a better processor might be desirable. I could reduce the cost by reduccing the amount of RAM, but i've found that RAM isn't that expensive.

Decissions, decissions.

The Acer goes to the shop tomorow. Lets see what they say!

Thanks again
 

paulbed4d

Active Member
I think it does have a second bay which will be handy for upgrading.

Sounds like this will do what i need it to do. i guess if I could change anything, i'd change the processor to a more pwerful but less power efficient one. Power efficiency isn't a priority for me. I dont think dell allow you to customise your lap top any more tho.
 

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