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Old 08-19-2010, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Notebook Comparison

Hey all! I am looking to invest between 1000 - 1500 pounds on a new laptop. I use my laptop a LOT from games to solidworks CAD modeling. I am looking into some portability so I excluded alienware from this comparison. I currently have a 17 inch acer aspire that is getting quite old. I am interested in the 15 inch market. I am basically interested in a mix of portability and power. My favorite models are currently MBP and Sony Vaio. I would appreciate your opinions on the following systems.

One more thing: My friend has the MBP 15 and the lcd quality is amazing. Even games such as wow look really great and I was wondering on the lcd quality of the vaio laptops. I would welcome and input on this matter.

Hdd space is not a priority for me. I am looking for a 7200 rpm one though

1.
Ok so the MBP - 1838 pounds ( 1530 after student discount )
# 2.66GHz Intel Core i7
# 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
# 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
# SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
# MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display
# None
# Backlit Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)


2.
Sony Vaio F series £ 1,329.01 16 inch

#

* Intel CoreTM i7-740QM, 1.73GHz
* Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
* Premium Black
* 320 GB Serial ATA (7200 rpm)
* 8 GB 1333MHz DDR3-SDRAM
* DVD disc drive
* 41.6 cm LCD, 1920x1080, webcam
* NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 330M 1GB


3. Sony Vaio E series £ 858.98 15 inch ( + a ram upgrade )

#

* Intel® CoreTM i5-520M, 2.40GHz
* Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
* White
* 320 GB Serial ATA (7200 rpm)
* 6 GB 1066MHz DDR3-SDRAM
* DVD disc drive
* 39.4 cm LCD, 1920x1080, webcam
* ATI MobilityRadeon HD5650 1GB
* Office 2010 Starter
* No protection
* No Adobe® Creation
* No Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom

# Also Included

* HDMI(TM) output
* English QWERTY keyboard
* Battery life up to 3 hours
* 1 AC Adapter
* Ports: 3 USB + 1 e-SATA/USB
* SD and MS card slot
* English documentation
* Wireless LAN + Bluetooth®
* English operating system


* Office 2010 Starter
* No protection
* No Adobe® Creation
* No Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom

# Also Included

* English QWERTY keyboard
* SD and MS card slot
* 1 AC Adapter
* Wireless LAN + Bluetooth
* HDMI(TM) output
* English documentation
* English operating system
* Battery life up to 3 hours


I have a few questions :

1. The E series looks like a good choice money wise. How would the different GPU and i5 processor affect the performance. ( I know it only comes with 6gb ram but I am planning on upgrading to 8 right away )
2. Although I would most likely use windows, my favorite design is the MBP. Its more sleek and looks more 'professional'. How is the MBP processor different from the Sony Vaio F series and how much would the 4gb ram affect the performance for nowadays requirements ? Is 8gb overkill ?
3. Although I really like the MBP ( just the look not the os ) its quite a bit more expensive. And my final question is: How much better are the specs on the Vaio F and E series ? Is apple just overpriced ?

I would really appreciate any advice ! Im stuck in between these models and I'm not sure which is of better component quality and longer life expectancy, and how the GPUs and processors differ !

Thank you
Regards
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Notebook Comparison

I never worked with Sony laptops and never heard of MBP. I'm not in the UK, though.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Notebook Comparison

Sorry for not specifying MBP = mac book pro
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Notebook Comparison

Well my biggest concern would be the graphics adapter. You wont want anything that is using shared resources. You will want a dedicated GFX Card since you will be doing CAD. Last thing you would want is to get a machine that has 4GB of RAM only to have 1GB of that dedicated to the Video Adapter and only really having 3GB to use for the system and CAD. That will cause you major problems when you start doing some intensive work.

To try and answer your questions:

1. The CPU would have an effect. While the i5 is a great CPU it isnt as good as the i7. The video card is good though. It would help with your rendering.
2. The MBP has a more powerful CPU. But the RAM could be a concern. Since it looks like it uses onboard video. So you would have shared resources. I wouldnt think that would be a good choice for CAD.
3. I would really consider the Sony F Series. It is by far the best bang for the buck. you get a dedicated video card and 8GB of RAM. Yes Apple products are over priced, and by that much as well.

I sell some Sony units at work and they are very sturdy and very well built. Since they dont give a model for the CPU's i cant really tell you the exact difference. Also not being a hardware guy that isnt my area of expertise. I am a software guy. But from what i see your best bet is the Sony Vaio F Series. While still expensive, you get the best combination of CPU and GPU.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Notebook Comparison

((^Or just listen to Mak^))

oh, Macbook, OK

Macs do have good hardware. Only the software is a little iffy if you don't know OSX. If you are not familiar with it, you can always run a virtual machine of Windows on top of OSX. Look at VirtualBox. Macs were always overpriced. You pay a premium for their software.

I'm not sure if those can take up to 8GB. But what you are using it for, would not be overkill, CAD needs that extra burst. The i5 and i7 are well matched. IIRC, the i7 has Quad cores, i5 has Duos. (don't quote me on that though)
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Notebook Comparison

Thank you so much for your replies ! I do however have to apologize for not including the gpu for the MBP ! It uses a dual GPU with an inbuilt intel accelerator for battery saving and NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 512 MB for more intensive apps ! (sorry mak)

Mak ! you say you had some experience with sony vaio ! how did the HD LCD quality seem to you? Were the colors vibrant and attractive?
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Notebook Comparison

Honestly i still would choose the Sony Vaio F Series. While the MBP does have a good combination for the video, to me it isnt worth the price. I mean when you can get double the RAM and still pay less, it is a no brainer.

Yes i have had some experience with them. They are very good. Colors were great. Much better than the HP, eMachine and Compaqs we sell. Were a bit more colorful than the Acers we sell. Of all the machines we have in store i recommend the Sony First then the Acer. Only cause Sony gets you the most bang for the buck.
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