XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

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XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:52 pm

Hi all, The pending death of windows XP is making me think about finally upgrading my beloved 7+-year old Thinkpad -- my main development machine for data fusion algorithms and studies of complex and nonlinear systems. I currently have a Merom in my Thinkpad (2.16GHz T5800 Core2 Duo, 65nm) with a small SSD, and I don't find it to be terribly slow for my research, except for the terrible Intel GMA 965. I've comfortably run several hundred thousand Monte-Carlo runs for customers on this boy and lugged it all over the country and vacations. But it's about time...

I live and breathe MATLAB, though my personal copy of said product is <ahem> R2006b, and I am not interested in spending $5000 for a new license on my researcher salary. I also do C++ (gcc/MSVC10 with the Boost uBLAS library), Mathematica, image and video processing, and have really wanted to take up CUDA programming in my free time. You know, after I put the wife and kids to bed.

I have identified the Lenovo Y510p as a likely candidate, and it seems fairly well suited. It's got a Haswell i7, "enough" RAM, and an nVidia 750m card for GPGPU programming. I can take the mechanical HD out and swap a real sized SSD, sticking the mechHD into an UltraBay. It should be within my budget once Christmas and confiscatory Tax bills are paid, but I have a nagging feeling that I just have not kept up with TR stuff enough to know what I'm missing. Are there other comparable laptops (like Alienware?) that don't cost twice the Y510P? I'd like:
  • i7 quad core or better
  • discrete video card, preferably nVidia since it seems MATLAB has a native GPGPU interface to it
  • SSD >= 256GB
  • >= 8GB RAM
  • 1080p display, though I will mostly have this slaved to a dedicated monitor
  • A decent keyboard
  • An SD card slot and enough USB/etc,
  • room for a 2nd HD? or spend the extra money on a 480GB SSD
What else is out there that I have missed?

Thanks,
Sandman
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:15 am

Since you are looking at the Lenovo Y510p already, I would say you should look at the analogous ThinkPad - the W540. It is going to be a beast and should be a worthy upgrade to your older Thinkpad (though you may not like the new Thinkpad keyboard as much, but it is still the best unless you switched sides to Apple). Buy an SSD and upgrade yourself (I don't think the W series requires 1.8" SSD, but do double check) just as you said. That should do it. Also, do compare if you preconfigure loads of RAM vs buying them yourself also.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:19 am

I made the mistake of replacing my old thinkpad with Ideapad once... (bulky old SL500 with U410) build quality is noticebly worse on ideapads, keybord sucks, etc. ...
So I returned U410 and bought a Thinkpad again... T430u this time and I am realy happy with it so far. The new keybord isnt bad at all and everyting works as expected.

If you need a quad core and dont want to spend a fortune, I would recomend Thinkpad Edge... something like E440 or E540, they arent as nice as original Thinkpads but refinitely much better than Ideapad
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:39 am

Picked up a Y510p for my son as a basic gaming laptop (mostly Minecraft), and it's a fine system overall. Note that you'll need to download new drivers from Lenovo IF you are going from Win 8 to Win 8.1. About the Ultrabay...let me know what you find. My plan was to upgrade via that route at some point, but real, available, model-specific Ultrabays for sale seem to be totally MIA; may be my Google-fu was untrained and weak. Let us know what you actually get.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:05 am

dodozoid wrote:I made the mistake of replacing my old thinkpad with Ideapad once... (bulky old SL500 with U410) build quality is noticebly worse on ideapads, keybord sucks, etc. ...
So I returned U410 and bought a Thinkpad again... T430u this time and I am realy happy with it so far. The new keybord isnt bad at all and everyting works as expected.


Thanks for that. The lesson is to go checking out at a brick and mortar, I suppose.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:20 am

Just throwing out some contrast, but I left Thinkpad behind recently and have been very happy about it, so I thought I'd share.

I got a Dell Latitude E6530, and it can be easily configured to hit all your marks. The keyboard isn't quite as good as my X220's was, but it's better than the X230/X240 IMO, and I've come to really appreciate the backlit.

My E6530 has a nice metal chassis, the lid has a low profile rubber rim that partially seals in the keyboard/touchpad area when closed, it has pad plus stickmouse just like Lenovo did. Has Nvidia switchable graphics, and the switchable can be easily disabled, which leaves you on the Nvidia directly. This is uncommon and wonderful. Supports proper docking stations.

I do wish the trackpad was larger, other OEMs are getting on the larger touchpad wave, Dell is lagging. I don't like having the SD slot on the front edge, it's not flush and I tend to leave my SD insert for long durations (months).
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:22 am

Many thanks, all. With the coupons and the work discount, the y510P would probably come out to <$1k. I can't find a W for less than $1500

I have gotten so spoiled with the SSD/multi-threaded compile. On the same machine, a single-threaded full compile of my main simulation with a mechanical HD takes 28 minutes; on the SSD/multi-threaded, it takes just a little more than 2.

Re: Ultrabay - I have found the following, which has the same parts number according to the maintenance manual.
http://www.mini-laptop-accessories.com/2nd-hard-drive-hddssd-caddy-adapter-lenovo-ideapad-y410p-y510p-p-27401.html
From what I can gather, however, the SLI graphics adapter for the 410 is MIA. I think the lesson is to buy SLI all at once, rather than trust that they will produce it later.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:37 am

Forge wrote:Just throwing out some contrast, but I left Thinkpad behind recently and have been very happy about it, so I thought I'd share.

I got a Dell Latitude E6530, and it can be easily configured to hit all your marks. .


Wow - that is exactly why I asked y'all here. Thanks for the pointer. It's a nice-looking machine.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:42 am

duke_sandman wrote:
dodozoid wrote:I made the mistake of replacing my old thinkpad with Ideapad once... (bulky old SL500 with U410) build quality is noticebly worse on ideapads, keybord sucks, etc. ...
So I returned U410 and bought a Thinkpad again... T430u this time and I am realy happy with it so far. The new keybord isnt bad at all and everyting works as expected.


Thanks for that. The lesson is to go checking out at a brick and mortar, I suppose.


Go to Micro Center, ya hippy. It's just off of I-66 and Nutley. Or Lee Highway/Rt 29 and Nutley. Or Arlington Boulevard/Rt 50. It's probably your best chance for seeing this stuff in person. Though, I guess go to http://www.microcenter.com/ and change the store to that one in VA and make sure they have it in stock first. You can do that with Best Buy, too, though it's been long enough since I lived there I can't even remember where there are any Best Buys.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:52 am

duke_sandman wrote:
Forge wrote:Just throwing out some contrast, but I left Thinkpad behind recently and have been very happy about it, so I thought I'd share.

I got a Dell Latitude E6530, and it can be easily configured to hit all your marks. .


Wow - that is exactly why I asked y'all here. Thanks for the pointer. It's a nice-looking machine.


I also love my E6530. Been a great machine for me.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:21 pm

How's the Trackpoint nub on the Dell? I had the older E6400 once and it was not as good as almost any Thinkpad. Build quality was fine but I do still prefer Thinkpad's keyboard, even the newer "chiclet" style. For me, I simply typed better on the thing.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:36 pm

Forge wrote:I got a Dell Latitude E6530, and it can be easily configured to hit all your marks.

I don't like having the SD slot on the front edge, it's not flush and I tend to leave my SD insert for long durations (months).


I like the styling of the E6540 model better then the E6530. I don't like the offset keyboard because of the keypad though. I like the E6440 better because of the keypad.

The location of the SD card is one of those weird UI things that doesn't make a lot of sense. On former models, it was in the perfect spot to be covered up by the pads on the E-View Stand.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:33 pm

Offeset keyboards on laptops need to die in a fire.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:15 pm

FF - Honestly, I don't use them much, I'm a pad person, I guess. Both the Lenovo and Dell sticks move about the same, most people have more attachment to the rubber nub style than anything else, and on my 6530, I'm actually using a Lenovo nub. Needed just a few min with a razor blade to adapt it.

Flatland_Spider - Actually, my E6540 should arrive tomorrow. Work scrapped the 6530 I'm using, and I hand-rebuilt it. Switched out for a 1080p panel, replaced the bent top lid, a few other things. I'm moving to the 6540 to get the Haswell i7 4C/8T instead of the Ivy i5 2C/4T I have now, and the AMD 8790M should be faster than the NVS 5200M that the 30 has (Plus it'll be clearly and completely mine). Pretty much all my other upgrades can come with, and I'll flog the 6530 off on eBay soon, if things work out.

The offset keyboard/numpad thing doesn't bother me, all my desktop keyboards have that layout. My X220's keyboard was nice, but just a little too small to comfortably type long term.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:25 pm

I would go with a Thinkpad T-series machine if you want portability or W-series if you must have the larger screen. Those are enterprise level systems and are noticeably better in quality than the consumer line systems. After years of Dells at previous jobs I would not trust them. With that the one and only TP I bought new in 2011 had to go through replacement motherboards twice before they gave me a good one so lemons do happen with TPs. As a someone who's taken apart many laptops in the past there are only 2 brands of systems I would consider for myself: Apple and T/X/W Thinkpads. HP Elitebooks are a distant third. Everything else is not worth it, imho.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:32 pm

Got a leftover T-series StinkPad from the wife's job. The instant Kubuntu 14.04 LTS hits I've got a travel lappy.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:22 pm

Hitting the intial post again a little:

i7 quad core or better - This is not a hard mark to hit.

discrete video card, preferably nVidia since it seems MATLAB has a native GPGPU interface to it - This drives the price up a bit, but not insanely so.

SSD >= 256GB - See second HDD reply

>= 8GB RAM - Hell yeah. I have 16GB in my laptop right now, and I think it was between 100-150$. The only downside is longer hibernation times, but how often do you do that? Most of the time, if I'm hibernated, it got there from suspend+timeout.

1080p display, though I will mostly have this slaved to a dedicated monitor - This mainly requires paying attention and sticking to your guns.

A decent keyboard - This is very subjective. You'll want to test drive.

An SD card slot and enough USB/etc, - This shouldn't be an issue. SD is pretty close to 100% of the market, even Macs, and "enough" USB is subjective but easy to work around.

room for a 2nd HD? or spend the extra money on a 480GB SSD - This is a problem. Very few laptops offer room for 2+ HDDs, and they tend to be huge DTR tanks. In my Dell, I have my Samsung 830 Pro 256GB in the standard internal bay, a 32GB SD card pretty much permanently inserted, and a removable (but nearly-permanent) HDD in a caddy in the option bay. 500GB spinner. When I move to my E6540, I'll be adding an mSATA 32GB to that list, since I have some laying around. I'll also switch the 500GB 7200rpm I have now out for the 500GB hybrid that the E6540 comes with. I'd say get the biggest SSD you can afford without too much trouble, since you'll keep it a long time. Keep alternate ways to add storage in mind. I am a big fan of my current SSD + bay HDD method. It gives good size and good price. I rarely used the DVDRW anyways, and it's in my bag, so a 30 second switch out with no shutdown.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:04 pm

Forge wrote:FF - Honestly, I don't use them much, I'm a pad person, I guess. Both the Lenovo and Dell sticks move about the same, most people have more attachment to the rubber nub style than anything else, and on my 6530, I'm actually using a Lenovo nub. Needed just a few min with a razor blade to adapt it.


The TrackPoints for Dell and Lenovo are roughly equivalent. I have a Thinkpad T420 for my personal laptop, and I use Dells at work. The nub style does make a difference.

Flatland_Spider - Actually, my E6540 should arrive tomorrow. Work scrapped the 6530 I'm using, and I hand-rebuilt it. Switched out for a 1080p panel, replaced the bent top lid, a few other things. I'm moving to the 6540 to get the Haswell i7 4C/8T instead of the Ivy i5 2C/4T I have now, and the AMD 8790M should be faster than the NVS 5200M that the 30 has (Plus it'll be clearly and completely mine). Pretty much all my other upgrades can come with, and I'll flog the 6530 off on eBay soon, if things work out.

The offset keyboard/numpad thing doesn't bother me, all my desktop keyboards have that layout.


I've always like how Dell published their service manuals out in the open.

I have a maxed out E6450 for work. It was either that or the M3800. The M3800 lost because it comes with a USB Ethernet adapter.

It bothers me. I line up my keyboard so the middle of the monitor lines up with the middle of my keyboard on my desktops.

Forge wrote:room for a 2nd HD? or spend the extra money on a 480GB SSD - This is a problem. Very few laptops offer room for 2+ HDDs, and they tend to be huge DTR tanks. In my Dell, I have my Samsung 830 Pro 256GB in the standard internal bay, a 32GB SD card pretty much permanently inserted, and a removable (but nearly-permanent) HDD in a caddy in the option bay. 500GB spinner. When I move to my E6540, I'll be adding an mSATA 32GB to that list, since I have some laying around. I'll also switch the 500GB 7200rpm I have now out for the 500GB hybrid that the E6540 comes with. I'd say get the biggest SSD you can afford without too much trouble, since you'll keep it a long time. Keep alternate ways to add storage in mind. I am a big fan of my current SSD + bay HDD method. It gives good size and good price. I rarely used the DVDRW anyways, and it's in my bag, so a 30 second switch out with no shutdown.


The Dell Precision M3800 has the ability to hold two drives, and it is super thin. It's Dell's answer to the MacBook Pro, and it actually comes fairly close to equaling it. The let down is Windows, no Thunderbolt, and a USB dock, if you're into that sort of thing. The upside 3200x1800 display, 512GB mSATA SSD, 512GB SATA SSD, and thin.

I'm still slightly annoyed Dell didn't have the option of Optical delete and mSATA+SSD when I ordered my E6540.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:40 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:I've always like how Dell published their service manuals out in the open.

Oh God yes, that, and they plan ahead for people to be rummaging around in the guts. Works for me, and it allows them to use marginally-trained field techs. Win-win.

Flatland_Spider wrote:I have a maxed out E6450 for work. It was either that or the M3800. The M3800 lost because it comes with a USB Ethernet adapter.

Meh. I rarely use my ethernet, and a USB dongle is less preferred, but not a deal breaker for me.


Flatland_Spider wrote:The Dell Precision M3800 has the ability to hold two drives, and it is super thin. It's Dell's answer to the MacBook Pro, and it actually comes fairly close to equaling it. The let down is Windows, no Thunderbolt, and a USB dock, if you're into that sort of thing. The upside 3200x1800 display, 512GB mSATA SSD, 512GB SATA SSD, and thin.

I'm still slightly annoyed Dell didn't have the option of Optical delete and mSATA+SSD when I ordered my E6540.

Do you mean two full sized 2.5" drives, or 2.5"+mSATA? If two full sized, Holy Hell, I shorted myself. If 2.5"+mSATA, then ok. I liked the semi-kinda-almost-4K screen, but that was pricy. 1080p at 15" is dense enough that my eyes can't get much better, and that res makes gaming more troublesome, have to scale half-res instead of running native.

Ninja edit (while still writing, even): Mother of Gord. Just spent some time with that manual. I'm half-regretful, but only half. It's not quite as tinker-friendly. M.2/NGFF Wifi, that's a PITA. Means I'd be ordering yet another replacement instead of using something from stocks (my E6540 is planned to run an Intel 7260AC+Ultimate6300+mSATA at this point). The extended battery nukes the internal 2.5" slot, so you're down to mSATA only at that point.

Still, I may have to stalk eBay next tax return season for an M6800, just to get the Loaded-With-Extra-Everything experience fully dialled in. My E6540 will do fine till then.

Ninja Edit 2: The Gerunding: http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-la ... eview.html - I really like this talk of CRT-like resolution choice, since the pixels are fine enough that you can't tell. I may be dissatisfied sooner than I'd hoped.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:50 pm

Forge wrote:
Flatland_Spider wrote:I've always like how Dell published their service manuals out in the open.

Oh God yes, that, and they plan ahead for people to be rummaging around in the guts. Works for me, and it allows them to use marginally-trained field techs. Win-win.

Flatland_Spider wrote:I have a maxed out E6450 for work. It was either that or the M3800. The M3800 lost because it comes with a USB Ethernet adapter.

Meh. I rarely use my ethernet, and a USB dongle is less preferred, but not a deal breaker for me.


Flatland_Spider wrote:The Dell Precision M3800 has the ability to hold two drives, and it is super thin. It's Dell's answer to the MacBook Pro, and it actually comes fairly close to equaling it. The let down is Windows, no Thunderbolt, and a USB dock, if you're into that sort of thing. The upside 3200x1800 display, 512GB mSATA SSD, 512GB SATA SSD, and thin.

I'm still slightly annoyed Dell didn't have the option of Optical delete and mSATA+SSD when I ordered my E6540.

Do you mean two full sized 2.5" drives, or 2.5"+mSATA? If two full sized, Holy Hell, I shorted myself. If 2.5"+mSATA, then ok. I liked the semi-kinda-almost-4K screen, but that was pricy. 1080p at 15" is dense enough that my eyes can't get much better, and that res makes gaming more troublesome, have to scale half-res instead of running native.

Ninja edit (while still writing, even): Mother of Gord. Just spent some time with that manual. I'm half-regretful, but only half. It's not quite as tinker-friendly. M.2/NGFF Wifi, that's a PITA. Means I'd be ordering yet another replacement instead of using something from stocks (my E6540 is planned to run an Intel 7260AC+Ultimate6300+mSATA at this point). The extended battery nukes the internal 2.5" slot, so you're down to mSATA only at that point.

Still, I may have to stalk eBay next tax return season for an M6800, just to get the Loaded-With-Extra-Everything experience fully dialled in. My E6540 will do fine till then.

Ninja Edit 2: The Gerunding: http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-la ... eview.html - I really like this talk of CRT-like resolution choice, since the pixels are fine enough that you can't tell. I may be dissatisfied sooner than I'd hoped.

Ninja Edit 3: Son of Revenge of Gerund: The USB ethernet dongle isn't desirable, but changing the size of the hallowed and ancient DellPlug.... Unforgiveable. Even worse? There's a little adapter to convert Classic DellPlug to the new DellMiniplug. Another bit to lose! I'd need to order about 4 or 5 USB adapters and about 10 of the AC adapters. I'll pass for now.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:45 am

It's mSATA plus 2.5" SATA. I've been buying everything I can with mSATA drives. It shaves a little bit of weight, and allows for more drives. I haven't noticed any speed differences on the newer mSATA drives compared to the 2.5" SATA drives.

My laptops spend a lot of time plugged into Ethernet, so that is kind of important to me. A Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter would work, but a USB Ethernet adapter is a black mark. I would have compromised with using a dock if the dock wasn't USB 3 as well. I have other complaints about the dock further down.

I didn't know about the miniplug. That is disappointing. I went through the same thing when I bought my T420, and I found out Lenovo had changed the plug size when it was delivered. That wouldn't be a deal breaker for me, however.

The biggest omission is not using the Dell docking connector. I have a ton of docks at work, and the M3800 can't use any of them. Then it's USB3, as I mentioned. All Dell had to do was add one Thunderbolt port, and everything would have been good.

It's a good looking machine, and it's so close to being geek nirvana. USB3 instead of a Dell dock connector really kill it, and I can't bring these into the work ecosystem. The Precision guys at work have been asking for something like this, and it would be nice if I could buy it for them.

I would probably pick one of these up for personal use though.

Also, the Dell XPS 15 is built on the same chassis, so the two are very similar.

The M6800 is nice, but it's a boat anchor. 32GB of RAM, four large hard drives, faster procs, and Quadro video cards are the things that set the Precisions apart from the Latitudes. I'd like a second hard drive in my E6540 and 120 more vertical pixels, but aside from that, I'm happy with my decision.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:27 am

Switching to the XPS offers GeForce instead of Quadro, I'd image. Still the power plug, geh. E6540 seems a better idea overall. I like my advanced docks and standard power bricks.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:19 pm

Yes, GeForce instead of Quadro. 91WHr 6-cell battery as standard and no second disk are the other two big differences.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:22 pm

Ugh. Switching from Quadro to GeForce doesn't bother me any, the things I beat a GPU with are more often games anyways, but losing the option for a normal sized disk (2.5") bugs me.

I feel much better about my E6540 now, and someday UPS might actually bring it to me. Apparently they have no idea where it is now, somewhere between FL and PA, but they couldn't even guess as to where.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:15 am

Forge wrote:Ugh. Switching from Quadro to GeForce doesn't bother me any, the things I beat a GPU with are more often games anyways, but losing the option for a normal sized disk (2.5") bugs me.



The second kid means that my "game-playing" days are long in the rear-view mirror; I would simply spec out integrated graphics and that would be the end of it. I just worked on a project running a set of Monte-Carlos on a fairly large cluster at my customer's site that took multiple months to run to completion. Speeding up some of the matrix algebra would make a meaningful difference to my development.

This is what has me enamored: http://www.mathworks.com/discovery/matlab-gpu.html which is why I was looking at nVidia over AMD/ATI.


...someday UPS might actually bring it to me. Apparently they have no idea where it is now, somewhere between FL and PA, but they couldn't even guess as to where.


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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:50 am

Flying Fox wrote:How's the Trackpoint nub on the Dell? I had the older E6400 once and it was not as good as almost any Thinkpad. Build quality was fine but I do still prefer Thinkpad's keyboard, even the newer "chiclet" style. For me, I simply typed better on the thing.



They still make **** mice? I must admit, I'm rather shocked. I haven't seen one of those TrackPoint-Style Pointers in ages (2006, to be exact). What's the advantage of using that, over the usual touchpads, or even a decent wireless mouse these days?
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:23 am

Hz so good wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:How's the Trackpoint nub on the Dell? I had the older E6400 once and it was not as good as almost any Thinkpad. Build quality was fine but I do still prefer Thinkpad's keyboard, even the newer "chiclet" style. For me, I simply typed better on the thing.

They still make **** mice? I must admit, I'm rather shocked. I haven't seen one of those TrackPoint-Style Pointers in ages (2006, to be exact). What's the advantage of using that, over the usual touchpads, or even a decent wireless mouse these days?

A semi-recent (new enough that it has an EFI BIOS) HP EliteBook I have from work has one. I don't like 'em either, never really got the hang of 'em. I vastly prefer a real mouse, but can live with a touchpad in a pinch.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:34 am

Hz so good wrote: What's the advantage of using that, over the usual touchpads, or even a decent wireless mouse these days?


trackpoint vs. mouse: environments that dont allow you to use a mouse... such as cars for example
trackpoint vs. touchpad: you have to find the answer by yourself, if you get used to trackpoint, you will consider touchpad a wasted real estate on your laptop.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:45 am

Personally, I'm a pad people, but I do see value in a nub. Its easier to use for sweeping movements when you don't have a lot of room. The big killer feature for a nub is typing, though. It makes the hand and wrist position for mousing almost identical to the one used for typing. I've seen long time think pad owners who move the mouse around without any notable change in their typing speed.

Ups found my package last night but lost it again today. Apparently their internal track has it in Willow Grove.... But I only found that out after a half hour drive to their hub in West Chester. Bastages. Monday it is, I guess.
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Re: XP's slow death is forcing my hand.

Postposted on Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:27 pm

Hz so good wrote:What's the advantage of using that, over the usual touchpads, or even a decent wireless mouse these days?

First thing first: pad or nub, a real mouse is always preferred.

Usually, "business" class laptops will have both the trackpoint and trackpad, with the only exception the older X series Thinkpads (they have since added it back a couple generations after Lenovo took over). Like Forge said, the biggest advantage is the typing position. Using the trackpoint you do not have to move the fingers further away from the base positions compared to using the pad. I also find the cursor movement from one side of the screen to the other faster than using the pad. Scrolling with the middle button and the nub also feels faster than to use the side of the pad. However, the new advantage of the pad is multitouch gestures. I don't disable the pad myself but I still use the nub more.
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