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What cpu speed on a laptop

jetinder

Active Member
I want a laptop (similar to an notebook), it would be used for the following
:-
Surfing the net.
word processing
listening to music
playing 30 year old ZX Spectrum games (via an emulator).

What speed CPU would be good or ok for all that ?
 

jezzer256

Active Member
'Speed' (measured in Ghz) these days is not a good indicator or a CPU's performance. There are lots of other features that determine how fast a processor will be at certain tasks.

For the things you mention, any modern CPU will be able to handle them fine. A standard Core 2 Duo CPU should do the job fine, or you could get away with a cheaper AMD model if price is a priority.

Jez
 
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jetinder

Active Member
I can't afford a new laptop with core 2 duo cpu, I can afford 3-5 year old laptop/notebook from ebay with a single core AMD or Intel cpu with speed of
:-
1.2 ghz
1.3 ghz
1.4 ghz
1.6 ghz
1.7 ghz

The idea is to have a 3-4 windows open, surf the net via wifi and word process while listening to music from UTube via wifi or from MP3 files.

But what cpu would be ok for the above ?

Adding more ram would speed up the laptop, but it won't give a laptop with 1.2ghz cpu the same speed as 1.6 or 1.7 ghz.

I don't think you can overclock any laptop cpus.

I don't need anything more powerful than the above as to me a notebook will be used when I'm outside for basic tasks such as the above.

If i need raw processing power my current PC with E6600 and 3gb of ram can handle anything i throw at it, if i need more power i will replace the E6600 with Q6600 G0 spec.
 

jezzer256

Active Member
I can't afford a new laptop with core 2 duo cpu, I can afford 3-5 year old laptop/notebook from ebay with a single core AMD or Intel cpu with speed of
:-
1.2 ghz
1.3 ghz
1.4 ghz
1.6 ghz
1.7 ghz

The idea is to have a 3-4 windows open, surf the net via wifi and word process while listening to music from UTube via wifi or from MP3 files.

But what cpu would be ok for the above ?

Adding more ram would speed up the laptop, but it won't give a laptop with 1.2ghz cpu the same speed as 1.6 or 1.7 ghz.

I don't think you can overclock any laptop cpus.

I don't need anything more powerful than the above as to me a notebook will be used when I'm outside for basic tasks such as the above.

If i need raw processing power my current PC with E6600 and 3gb of ram can handle anything i throw at it, if i need more power i will replace the E6600 with Q6600 G0 spec.

As I said, just looking at the speed in Ghz is pretty pointless. It's similar in desktop models - as you said, a Q6600 is a much better CPU than the E6600, yet they both run at 2.4ghz. I used to have Pentium 4 that ran at 3.6ghz - but it was still pants.

It would be useful if you could suggest a few models you're looking at, then we can compare the CPUs. It's a bit useless recommending a certain CPU because there have been so many in the past 3-4 years.

As you said, more RAM will definitely be a thing to look out for. In fact, for multitasking and basic responsiveness, a large amount of RAM is just as important as a decent processor.

Jez

PS No, you don't want to go overclocking laptop CPUs!!
 

jetinder

Active Member
Thanks for your advice :)

I feel a bit stupid asking these questions (as I've been working in IT for years and I am very good at fixing and building desktop PCs) but laptops have different physical design so are new to me.

I can't find much stuff on google to tell me the anatomy of a laptop motherboard or how to repair or upgrade the CPU of a laptop etc.

Some people have said laptop CPUs are welded to the motherboard (which i find hard to believe). if they are not welded then i could get a lower powered cheaper laptop and later on put a faster cpu in it.

Any way these are the models I am interested in
:-

Dell D610 Laptop - Centrino 1.73Ghz / 1G Ram / 40Gb Hdd

COMPAQ EVO N115 LAPTOP - AMD 1.2GHZ/128MB/20GB

HP Compaq NC6220 Laptop - 1.73Ghz / 1Gb Ram / 60Gb Hdd

HP Compaq nc4200 1.73Ghz/ 60 GB HDD / 1 GB RAM

Acer Aspire 1302XC laptop - AMD Athlon 1.6 GHz XP-M

Toshiba Tecra S1 1.4 ghz Intel Centrino Mobile 1.4GHZ/ HDD - 40GB/RAM - 512MB

HP Evo nc4010 Pentium M 1.7 Laptop

HP Omnibook XE4100 1.2ghz celeron M

HP Evo nc4010 Pentium M 1.5Ghz

HP Evo nc6000 Pentium M 1.7

IBM Thinkpad Notebook, Centrino 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM, 80G HD
 
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jezzer256

Active Member
I wouldn't bother upgrading a laptop CPU - there wouldn't be a lot of benefit; really you'd need to get a new type of processor to see any great effect. And that, of course, requires a new motherboard, which means a whole new laptop.

That said, laptop CPUs are not always 'welded' to the motherboard...

The laptops on that list are all pretty similar. The Pentium M 1.73ghz (also called centrino - it's the same physical processor) is fairly decent, so I would chose one of the options with that CPU. I would avoid the AMD processors listed, and also avoid the 1.2ghz Celeron.

I recently sold my Dell D610 - good little machine :)

Jez
 

jetinder

Active Member
Thanks for your advice, i appreciate it :)

Dell D610 looks like a great machine and will be on my "want to buy" list.

1.6ghz or more i great but I'll steer clear of anything below 1.5 ghz as although i won't do number crunching or video encoding, I will need some thing that can handle the latest version of Ubuntu, Windows or what ever software i put on it including anti-virus (some of which are use the CPU a lot).

With Desktop PCs most come with ATX or MicroATX motherboards, is there a similar standard in the laptop world.

Battery life ------ how long would an average battery last ?

For me the whole point of a laptop is for it to be portable and not be a desktop replacement, so i'd need battery life which would last 2-3 hrs minimum.
 

jezzer256

Active Member
With Desktop PCs most come with ATX or MicroATX motherboards, is there a similar standard in the laptop world.

Battery life ------ how long would an average battery last ?

For me the whole point of a laptop is for it to be portable and not be a desktop replacement, so i'd need battery life which would last 2-3 hrs minimum.

There isn't a standard for laptops at all. Pretty much each model has its own motherboard, in terms of physical shape. This means upgradeability is terrible. Just in case you're interested, there is a reasonably standardised graphics platform for laptops called MXM. However, this has only been taken on by a handful of manufacturers, and even then, not to any great extent :(

Battery life also depends from model to model, but my DC10 lasted perhaps 2 hours, depending on what I was doing. 3 hours is optimistic for a cheap 2nd hand jobby.

Jez
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Some people have said laptop CPUs are welded to the motherboard (which i find hard to believe). if they are not welded then i could get a lower powered cheaper laptop and later on put a faster cpu in it.

They're not welded obviously, but some CPUs are soldered to the motherboard while some are socketed. Even if you can upgrade it the motherboard and cooling system aren't going to allow you to stick in any significantly more powerful.

Dell D610 looks like a great machine and will be on my "want to buy" list.

1.6ghz or more i great but I'll steer clear of anything below 1.5 ghz as although i won't do number crunching or video encoding, I will need some thing that can handle the latest version of Ubuntu, Windows or what ever software i put on it including anti-virus (some of which are use the CPU a lot).

I don't know what the HP's are like but I'd avoid the 3-5 year old acer Aspire and consider the Tecra and Thinkpad laptops as they're also the well-built business ranges.

With Desktop PCs most come with ATX or MicroATX motherboards, is there a similar standard in the laptop world.

Nope, laptops are pretty much entirely proprietry, with the only things that are widely upgradable being the memory, hard drive and the battery (usually).

Battery life ------ how long would an average battery last ?

It's going to be highly variable - if the laptop has had 3-5 years of heavy use then the battery is going to be useless, I don't know what the best case will be for a laptop that's had little use.
 

jetinder

Active Member
Thanks for all your advice :)

This has opened my eyes, Its a huge mine field.

Because laptops don't have the same ATX standards as PCs, upgrading their cpu or replacing motherboard doesn't sound easy.

I'd still like a 1.6 ghz or higher laptop/note book with a 12 inch screen version so i can carry it with me all the time.

I might end up saving up for one and avoiding the any below £60 on e-bay.


When buying a new or 2nd hand laptop which are generally good brands and which are kak.

How long do new laptop batteries used in old laptops last ?

How long do new laptops and their batterys last ?

What about CD Rom drives or DVD -RW drives are these standard drives or are they one of those bespoke things tailured for different laptops.
 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
How long do new laptop batteries used in old laptops last ?

How long do new laptops and their batterys last ?

Batteries in new laptops last anywhere from 2 hours to 8 hours, that's light usage like web browsing. Halve it for video watching and knock off further chunks from every USB or Bluetooth peripheral you have attached.

What about CD Rom drives or DVD -RW drives are these standard drives or are they one of those bespoke things tailured for different laptops.

Well they all use slimline drives so there's the usual pricehike over desktop drives, some are definitely replacable but I don't know if they all are.
 

ducattigezzer

Active Member

jetinder

Active Member
No worries.

£195 is a lot of money.

On the laptop I won it currently needs a PSU = £20-ish, + 40gb hard drive = £30-ish + lan wifi card = £7 and thats it.

If it needs a new CD-rom that will be around £10-ish.

Still around £80 less than the £195 laptop.

1.8ghz cpu + 256mb PC2100 ram will be enough for my needs.

I'll see what happens, after its delivered I'll see what the good and bad things are.
 

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