Need advice for a productivity laptop

Sep 7, 2018
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I’m planning on replacing my older laptop, which has a 3rd generation quad core i7, 8GB memory, and an SSD. It’s getting long in the tooth and I need something faster for the next few years.

What sort of specs could I afford with a budget of $800? Buying used on eBay probably.

My main requirements are:

    17” (or larger?) screen with “medium” resolution. In other words big enough for side-by-side windows, but not so high-res that fonts and icons are tiny.


    Noticeably faster than my current laptop. I’ll have it for a few years so it should run current software well.


It’s mostly for business productivity software, Internet, and some content creation (photo and video editing). I don’t think the software I use would take much advantage of a GPU, but disk and memory I/O are probably factors. Raw CPU speed is not as important as overall responsiveness of the system, I don’t care if a Photoshop filter takes an extra few seconds, but can’t stand waiting for menus to appear after clicking....if that gives an idea of my priorities.

So far in my research it sounds like a 6th gen quad core i7 would be available at the price, but I don’t really know what other specs to look for or what trade offs to make. I just don’t want to get sucked into buying the fastest processor or something, at the expense of overall performance.

Thanks for your help!
 

jojesa

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Dec 6, 2006
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That's why I recommended them, and they cost less than half you paid for the Samsung 870Z5E.
Don't pay to much attention to CPU speed when it comes to productivity apps, since apps are optimized to take advantages of new CPUs architecture from both Intel and AMD.
You also could consider a laptop with AMD Ryzen 2700U which perform as good and sometimes even better than laptops with Core i7-8550U and they usually cost less...but I don't see any larger than 15"

You could create a Windows 10 installation media with the latest version from Microsoft site and perform a clean installation on your current laptop and you will get a bit of performance boost.
Just allow Windows to install drivers and if any driver is missing you could then use the Samsung Update app to download and install drivers and even bios updates.
 

jojesa

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Dec 6, 2006
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For less than your budget you could get a Dell G3 17 3779 at Micro center
17.3" Gaming Laptop Computer - Black
Intel Core i5-8300H Processor 2.3GHz;
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB GDDR5;
8GB DDR4-2666 RAM; 1
TB 5,400RPM Hard Drive

Also, with that budget, you could get an Dell Inspiron 17 5000 series refurbished with a year warranty from Dell
Core i7-8550U Quad Core CPU (1.8GHz, up to 4.00 GHz)
8GB DDR4 DRAM
256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive Class 40 ( or 2TB HDD)
1TB SATA3 2.5inch 5.4K RPM Hard Drive
17.3 Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display
Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
Intel HD Graphics
Windows 10 Home 64bit English
 

jaslion

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Dec 17, 2012
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I'm suprised that system is having trouble opening menu's and whatnot. I still use my msi gt70 with a I7 3630qm for heavy productivity work (3d modelling, video editing,...) and it's still going quite strong. Maybe you are just running out of ram or the laptop is full of dust causing it to overheat and slow down to a crawl.
 
Sep 7, 2018
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I’m also surprised, enough that I’ve thought about figuring out how to wipe the system and reinstall everything. OTOH, it’s five years old and I’ve been upgrading the software always to the newest version (Photoshop CC, Windows 10).

I’ve never seen the ram “full” before. It’s almost as if the system feels like it’s in a constant sleep state and takes a fraction of a second to wake up and respond to input. I mean, it’s not like there’s a delay all the time, but often enough to be annoying. For instance I might have Photoshop up (idle) and go to open Windows explorer...and have to wait a second for it to pop up.

My desktop computer at work which is a 4th gen i5 with a HDD and the same RAM is much more responsive.

Anyways, maybe I’ll try wiping the system and see I’d that helps. I’d probably still want to buy something bigger, but possibly I can scale back the specs I’m searching for.
 
Sep 7, 2018
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I should add that ive played with all the system power settings and they don’t help. But it could be a driver issue - it was built for Windows 8 (or 7? I forget) and there were a few hiccups getting it upgraded to 10. Some of the Samsung settings no longer have any effect, so maybe it’s permanantly operating in some kind of hobbled performance state.
 

jojesa

Distinguished
Dec 6, 2006
396
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19,210
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That's why I recommended them, and they cost less than half you paid for the Samsung 870Z5E.
Don't pay to much attention to CPU speed when it comes to productivity apps, since apps are optimized to take advantages of new CPUs architecture from both Intel and AMD.
You also could consider a laptop with AMD Ryzen 2700U which perform as good and sometimes even better than laptops with Core i7-8550U and they usually cost less...but I don't see any larger than 15"

You could create a Windows 10 installation media with the latest version from Microsoft site and perform a clean installation on your current laptop and you will get a bit of performance boost.
Just allow Windows to install drivers and if any driver is missing you could then use the Samsung Update app to download and install drivers and even bios updates.
 
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