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advice on pc build.


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#41 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:38 AM

 

 

The difference in performance between a laptop and an equally priced desktop is not somewhere around 20% or 30%, but rather around 8-10 times. It's even more drastic with what are they called... ultrabooks, convertibles (that is, tablets with an attachable keyboard)?

 

Hyperbole much?

 

Please show me how to build this as a desktop for < $200.

 

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8250s-clevo-p157sm-p-5870.html

 

What about that? I see "starting at $1750", not "<$200". Mind you, "starting". Not worth reading any further.

 

For $1750 you get a beast of a desktop. One that, regardless of colorful advertizing and buzzwords, performs a task in 1 second that takes 10 seconds (wall clock time) on an equally priced laptop.

 

Oh please. You know your claim is ridiculous. The base specs include:

 

Intel® Haswell Core™ i7-4700MQ (2.4GHz - 3.4GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 780M 4,096MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11
16GB - DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS)
750GB 7200RPM [Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache]
6x Blu-Ray Reader / 8x DVDRW Super Multi Combo Drive
 
You stated that the equivalent desktop would have been 8-10x cheaper, so show me how to build this for less than $200. A huge chunk of that price is the video card. If we dropped it down to a 770M instead of a 780M, you could cut $400 off the price with otherwise equivalent hardware. If we go with the 765M, we can get the same laptop for under $1k which even further destroys your ridiculous 8-10x claim.
 
I'm not saying desktops aren't cheaper for equivalent specs, I'm saying your numbers are bullshit.


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#42 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6621

Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:36 AM


You stated that the equivalent desktop would have been 8-10x cheaper, so show me how to build this for less than $200.

This is a stupid argument but that is absolutely not what he said, at all. Not that what he actually said is accurate -- or even meaningful. It was a nonsensical claim, but you transposed "performance" and "price". He compared his desktop (presumably first gen Core) to a first gen Atom piece of junk, too.


Edited by Promit, 25 June 2013 - 11:38 AM.


#43 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:32 PM

This is a stupid argument but that is absolutely not what he said, at all. Not that what he actually said is accurate -- or even meaningful. It was a nonsensical claim, but you transposed "performance" and "price". He compared his desktop (presumably first gen Core) to a first gen Atom piece of junk, too.

 

You're right. I read that completely wrong. 



#44 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7116

Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:14 PM

Regardless, claims of 20-30% and 8-10x are equally misinformed. A "typical" high-end (not enthusiast) Desktop is probably 50-100 percent faster in CPU terms and 200-400 percent faster in GPU terms. That's a pretty reasonable observation, I think. So, even if you're in the position of working on a game that targets the highest-end desktop PCs, a typical higher-end laptop still probably falls into the band of hardware you want to support, albeit at some "sane" resolution like 1080p. In fact, its quite reasonable to take the view that all that extra GPU power on a desktop is usually spent simply pushing more pixels, rather than spending 2-4x the compute resources on the same number of pixels, so the CPU disparity probably is the primary difference.

 

Of course, if you're a programmer building a huge application, you want as many of the fastest cores that you can afford, and if you're a 3D Modeler, artist, or Engine developer you want as much GPU as you can get too, and you can get more of those things in a desktop.

 

I'm in the exact opposite position as Samoth -- My 6 month old laptop is rather easily 2 or 3 times faster than my 3-year-old Overclocked desktop in every respect but graphics. The Quadro K2000M (Kepler-based, 384 cores) doesn't have nearly the same throughput as the Radeon 6990 in my desktop -- but the Quadro has the same hardware capabilities, and enough throughput to run games like borderlands at 1920x1200, with high settings at greater than 60 fps. If you choose well, a laptop won't stop you from doing anything at all, you'll just reach the finish line a little more slowly -- and without breaking the bank.

 

Comparing any "fat core" like an i-Series Processor, Core-2-duo, or even the ultra-low-end Pentium and Celeron-branded parts is unfair -- You're talking a clock-speed advantage of 1.5x minimum and 4x maxium, out-of-order execution, 2-3x more instructions in-flight, more cache, more memory bandwidth, wider SIMD. Architecturally the Atom mixes technology that was between 1 and 3 major generations old when it was introduced -- its even further behind now (the next-gen Atoms are more modern, notably they incorporate out-of-order execution for the first time, and will come in 4-core SKUs).

 

If one isn't moved by the portability argument at all, absolutely build yourself a nice desktop, but if portability is a requirement or simply a nice-to-have then you can have a "good" laptop for the price of a "really good"--but not "enthusiast"--desktop. If you can have both, more power to you.


Edited by Ravyne, 25 June 2013 - 01:20 PM.


#45 skytiger   Members   -  Reputation: 258

Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:21 PM

Portability or needing a UPS



#46 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4684

Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:21 AM

 


You stated that the equivalent desktop would have been 8-10x cheaper, so show me how to build this for less than $200.

This is a stupid argument but that is absolutely not what he said, at all. Not that what he actually said is accurate -- or even meaningful. It was a nonsensical claim, but you transposed "performance" and "price". He compared his desktop (presumably first gen Core) to a first gen Atom piece of junk, too.

 

a) Yes exactly.

b) No, he compared his first gen core to his latest gen Atom junk, and an entry-level second-gen core desktop to a notebook that has "core i5" printed on it in big letters.

 

In the first case, what takes one second on one takes 10 seconds on the other, and in the other case, what takes 1 second on the first takes 5 seconds on the second. No point arguing about some theoretical stats on paper if what you get out of it in real time is as telling as this. Laptop simply can't keep up with desktop (at comparable price). If launching an office program takes close to 1 minute, and if copying three pages of text over to Outlook keeps the laptop busy for 3 seconds (which is "no delay" on desktop), there's no arguing about.

 

Though as I said, performance is not what laptops are designed for either, so it's a silly endeavour in the first place. A laptop is something you can take with you, that's it first and foremost important design criterion (actually, the only important one). Buying a laptop instead of a desktop to do dekstop tasks (and more, claiming that buying a desktop does not make sense because you can instead buy a laptop) is silly. That's what I'm saying.



#47 skytiger   Members   -  Reputation: 258

Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:50 AM

Simple common sense:

 

- If you rely on your PC you need a UPS

- A 700W UPS costs £600

- Laptop has UPS built-in

 

Therefore laptop wins on price/performance IF you consider the UPS

 

Given that laptops (like my Alienware M17x) can do everything a desktop can do (multiple hard disks, multiple monitors, powerful GPU, quadcore hyperthreaded CPU)

it very rarely makes sense to buy a desktop

 

Also nobody pays the sticker price for Alienware ... you always get 15% to 25% off the website price by typing in a coupon code

 

A few years ago there was one big reason NOT to buy laptops - the GPU drivers were specific to the manufacturer

 

That is no longer the case, my drivers come direct from NVidia - so they are always up-to-date, just like a desktop



#48 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2290

Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:14 AM


Simple common sense:
 
- If you rely on your PC you need a UPS
- A 700W UPS costs £600
- Laptop has UPS built-in
 
Therefore laptop wins on price/performance IF you consider the UPS

 

Even with that factor, the desktop will still come out on top for price/performance, once you amortise the cost of the UPS over it's expected lifetime (a UPS will typically last several years, whereas most people upgrade their computers every 2-3 years). 

 


A few years ago there was one big reason NOT to buy laptops - the GPU drivers were specific to the manufacturer

 

Call me when they settle on a standard hardware interface so I can upgrade the gpu. 


if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#49 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4684

Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:51 AM

Simple common sense:

 

- If you rely on your PC you need a UPS

- A 700W UPS costs £600

- Laptop has UPS built-in

Not sure where you buy them, but a standard APC UPS costs between 99 and 150 euros here, depending on where you buy it and on how many Watts (anywhere from 500 to 800) you want. That's much closer to £100 than to £600.

 

Replacing the UPS battery after 3 years costs around 42.80€ at Amazon (original manufacturer parts). I could probably find them cheaper too, but at that price it's not worth wasting my time looking.

Replacing the laptop battery (again, using original manufacturer parts) costs around 120€. Of course you can get third-party laptop replacement batteries for around 40-50€, too -- but you must not compare apples and oranges.

 

Also, laptop batteries (at least the ones I've had) tend to actually break after 2 years, or after being through airport controls 6-8 times (no idea what the hell they're doing to them!). I replace my UPS batteries every 3 years because .... well, because they're 3 years old. But actually, I'm replacing them without an urgent reason. I still have to see one failing.


Edited by samoth, 27 June 2013 - 08:53 AM.


#50 froop   Members   -  Reputation: 636

Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:51 AM

I don't understand the whole UPS thing. We had like one blackout in the past 10 years here. Even if I lost 5 minutes of work (I use ctrl+s a lot), it doesn't justify paying for some special device or switch to a laptop. Can someone explain the necessity of UPS?



#51 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3480

Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:14 PM

I don't understand the whole UPS thing. We had like one blackout in the past 10 years here. Even if I lost 5 minutes of work (I use ctrl+s a lot), it doesn't justify paying for some special device or switch to a laptop. Can someone explain the necessity of UPS?

it allows for safe power downs(and protects from surges too i believe, but a surge protector is good enough for this). i'm not sure why skytiger is so obsessed with them, fairly certain that's litterally been his entire argument.  could a mod lock this thread? it's becoming a bit pathetic(mostly because skytiger keeps saying "UPS!!!!!", clearly he's gotten screwed in the past, and is out to ensure noone else meets a similar fate), and i no longer need help at this point(i do thank everyone that has pitched in thus far though).


Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#52 skytiger   Members   -  Reputation: 258

Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:31 PM

For £100 you get a 250W UPS ... a powerful PC won't even boot on that

 

The UPS protects the PC from dirty power, not just power cuts

If anybody on the local substation uses a power tool, for example, your PC will be damaged

You know all those forum posts "my PC started acting weird" "after reinstalling windows it was OK" ...

Many times that will be caused by dirty power

 

The worst thing is when your data is corrupted, but you don't realise for months, and you have backups of corrupt data also

 

I learnt this the hard way, setup a new PC from scratch and the builders next door started a power tool ... machine started random BSODs

no way to know if permanent damage has occurred ... but I bought a UPS and reinstalled windows and all was well after that

 

If you use a PC to earn a living - you need a UPS



#53 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7116

Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:56 PM

Skytiger, I think you're overstating the cost of a a UPS. I bought a 900w UPS for around $160 USD, and it runs my old desktop (900w PSU, Radeon 6990, 6 hard disks, OC'ed Core 2 Duo) and 30" LCD just fine for about 40 minutes in the case of a power outage -- not enough to continue on with my workday, but enough to finish up what I was doing and shut down nicely.

 

But I'll say again, Samoth, that your experiences are what I'd consider atypical. I've never experienced quite the disparity you say you've seen between a new (non atom) laptop and generations-old desktop. If anything, it probably isn't the hardware components, but the hardware configuration. I can imagine that a laptop with <= 4GB ram, combined with a low-power 4200rpm hard disk, and aggressive spin-down of the disk to save power might behave similar to the way you describe. My higher-end laptop, which I've got about $1600 USD into, is snappy as can be -- I've been choosy about the hardware, granted, but its hardly and expensive or exotic configuration. Again, I'm not saying you don't get more for a same-cost desktop, just that the performance picture you're painting is atypical.

 

Regarding the latest-gen atom argument, that's a bit of a misnomer and you can be forgiven for not understanding. All Atoms to date have the same internal architecture as the first Atoms. They've done a feature shrink and eaked out ~200 Mhz headroom at the high-end, but only the as-yet-unreleased next-gen atom actually changes the execution engine at all.



#54 Vortez   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2697

Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:15 PM

In the last 5 years, the only time my pc is shutdown, is when there's been a power cut. The only thing that broke in my computer was 2 video card, and it wasn't because of the power surge but because they where both fanless and i like to play games for an extended period of time. Although id like to get one (power cut was becoming anoying a couple of years ago), i dont see that as a "vital" component imo. As long as you have a good power bar to protect from power surges and brownouts, it should be enough.


Edited by Vortez, 27 June 2013 - 03:16 PM.





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