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  • Nov 10th, 2017 12:50 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 27, 2007
1321 posts
29 upvotes

Laptop questions

I was planning on building/configuring a desktop but now I'm thinking about investing in a laptop.

Will it come to about the same total price?

I don't game or won't game on the laptop, for sure.

I was looking at a demo in a Best Buy store. It's an Asus Zenbook UX430UA w/ i5-8250U. It only has 8gb of RAM though. The Asus website mentions something about 'onboard' memory. Does that mean you can't upgrade it to 16gb? On a Crucial website, it has a section for 'adding/buying' ram for that particular model of laptop, though. It's confusing?

I guess you can try to buy a 16gb version but I was just curious.

Costco has a Dell Inspirion 7000 i7-8550U with 16gb of RAM. I'm not in the market yet (not ready to buy) and was hoping there might be some discounts/sales around Xmas time although I'll see what's available around Black Friday.

So, the main 2 (wait, 3?) questions: 1) can you upgrade the ram on any of these thin laptops? 8gb to 16gb; 2) Which to choose if you go with one of these laptops - Asus Zenbook (model, mentioned), Dell (same), Acer (Swift 3/Spin 3?), HP Probook

Edit: Hey, a 4th question!: 4) Is it worth it to wait or configure a 16gb version of the (same) model of whichever brand is chosen?

The Acer review on this site mentions that the memory (8gb) is soldered (on).....so, these laptops aren't upgradeable for memory?
https://www.ultrabookreview.com/16888-a ... 52-review/

Edit #2: if anyone cares or considers replying... ;-) ..... I compared the Asus and the Acer (in the review above) and agree with the points regarding the Acer. It was a good price but the Asus (matte) display looked way better to me. I could view it at various angles and I preferred the matte display over the glossy one (in general). The price of the Acer was pretty good, though. I was hoping to find a laptop with the same specs but 'the display of the Asus' for about $1K.
14 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25455 posts
2766 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
You want my opinion?

If you don't need to be mobile, stick with a desktop.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 27, 2007
1321 posts
29 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Nov 6th, 2017 11:37 pm
You want my opinion?

If you don't need to be mobile, stick with a desktop.
Yeah, sure. :) 60 or so views and only your reply so far. So, I welcome it for certain. :)

Does anyone 'need' mobile, though? I just thought it's convenient, compact, portable and I think laptops hold their value far better than desktops or desktop hardware.

I remember becoming frustrated that these laptops are so much $$ so I looked on kijiji for used/old ones. Thinkpads and other Dells of older generations were on there for big $$$. Do people think they will get that money or what?

I am not sure if anyone is buying what they are asking for but it seemed high to me.

If I go with a desktop, I would/will have another assortment of questions....what form factor, AMD or Intel, which cpu.... ugh. I think the laptop cpu I was asking for is a good choice for that budget - if I could get it. So, it made it easier. But, I understand the reasoning behind investing in a desktop....it looks like a micro-ATX build can be a decent compromise and it much more upgradeable than a laptop? Is that (part of) your reasoning?
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Nov 15, 2011
1751 posts
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Saint John
Laptops break more easily than desktops and are not easily repairable. Unless you actually need one, get a desktop. Not to even mention the much larger, nicer IPS display and ability to buy a good mouse and keyboard.

Whatever you get, the RAM isn't that important. 8 vs 16GB today for the average user is irrelevant. What you want to make sure you is an SSD as a boot drive. Most "BestBuy" computers" (Shuddders) don't include them by default because consumers are stupid and uniformed. A well built i5 with 8GB and and an SSD will blow your socks off in terms of everyday computing performance. Buy a single 8GB module now and add a second one down the road should you ever actually need it.
FEEDBACK: RFD HWC Heat
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 1, 2017
21 posts
5 upvotes
Get an off lease Dell SFF

I got an i5 4570S, 8GB RAM , and 120GB Intel SSD for 210$

That should be able to handle all your non gaming, photoshopping needs

Add a new case, power supply and a 1080 and you got an impressive gaming rig for under 1000$
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25455 posts
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East Gwillimbury
teleguitar wrote:
Nov 7th, 2017 4:48 pm
Does anyone 'need' mobile, though? I just thought it's convenient, compact, portable and I think laptops hold their value far better than desktops or desktop hardware.

If I go with a desktop, I would/will have another assortment of questions....what form factor, AMD or Intel, which cpu.... ugh. I think the laptop cpu I was asking for is a good choice for that budget - if I could get it. So, it made it easier. But, I understand the reasoning behind investing in a desktop....it looks like a micro-ATX build can be a decent compromise and it much more upgradeable than a laptop? Is that (part of) your reasoning?
Don’t buy with the intention of reselling. You’ll be disappointed in the return. It’s worse than a used car. Notebooks will have lower resale value because the battery will be in question, physical wear will not be easy to replace.

A desktop will have a higher resale value because you can sell the individual components and recover more of your investment.

AMD vs Intel, that’s more of a preference, same with form factor. Personally, I like ITX if I need discrete graphics or NUC if I don’t. Yes, a desktop is more upgradable than a notebook. More importantly, you can get a comfortable keyboard, a decent mouse, not some trackpad and multiple large screens. The average life of a notebook is 3 years. The average life for a desktop is 5 or more. Since you’re not a gamer a NUC or Brix maybe a good choice.
Jr. Member
Jan 4, 2008
197 posts
88 upvotes
Toronto
Oh boy,

Alright if you're looking at new laptops. The ASUS zenbook line is good quality, however their driver and tool support down the line might suck. The Dell Inspiron you have there is decent because it is the 7000 series, he lower end stuff is bad.

Dell's latitude line although looks a bit more boring has very good build quality starting at the 5000 series.
Dell's XPS line is very nice, but of course that's a premium.

Acer low - medium end, don't even consider in your options, just dont bother its crap. Im sure a lot of people will disagree but it's just not there.

Lenovo - avoid, the build quality is ok, but spyware, its in the board I'm sure of it, also every Windows image that they tinker with is broken as crap probably because of tampering as well. For people stuck with Lenovo I always recommend they just outright find a OEM or retail key and install from a clean Windows image straight from MS media creation, volume licence image or etc. DO NOT USE THE ONE THAT IT SHIPS WITH IT WILL ALWAYS BE TRASH

Other user above mentioned Dell Refurbs which are off lease, yes if you don't want the Shiny new new this is the way to go, get them while they're 30%+ or more off and you can even have a Optiplex desktop AND latitude laptop (might only be 720p which sucks but sometimes there is 1080p for more usable desktop space, more lines in excel example). These are great machines, these previous gen i3 and i5 will take on any task you are doing at it.

If you are splurging there is also the new Surface laptop line. Very sleek and build quality should be top notch, however it is the first generation of that product line so be wary.


That being said there is only one constant to all everything above. That's SSD solid state drive, no batter what you buy it will feel slow as crap and be a waste of money if the drive is not a SSD, many of the options will not come with an SSD at the pricepoint so you will have to account for putting one in yourself.

Add : Also forgot to emphasis on Desktops. If you want a desktop but has a very low profile, go check out the new Dell Optiplex Micro's. They are tiny, pack a great punch and with pro support warranty you dont need to worry about them for 3 or more years.

2: as for ram 4GB will suffice, if you have an SSD the paging file will be decently fast as well. 8GB is a nice spot you wont have to worry about most workloads.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 27, 2007
1321 posts
29 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 10:22 am

Don’t buy with the intention of reselling. You’ll be disappointed in the return. It’s worse than a used car. Notebooks will have lower resale value because the battery will be in question, physical wear will not be easy to replace.

A desktop will have a higher resale value because you can sell the individual components and recover more of your investment.

AMD vs Intel, that’s more of a preference, same with form factor. Personally, I like ITX if I need discrete graphics or NUC if I don’t. Yes, a desktop is more upgradable than a notebook. More importantly, you can get a comfortable keyboard, a decent mouse, not some trackpad and multiple large screens. The average life of a notebook is 3 years. The average life for a desktop is 5 or more. Since you’re not a gamer a NUC or Brix maybe a good choice.
What about micro-ATX / mATX? If I go for a desktop in which I build myself, should I try for the motherboards with two M.2 slots?

The ITX boards are expensive and I don't think there's too many 8th gen boards yet. Right?
turtleh wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 10:37 am
Oh boy,

Alright if you're looking at new laptops. The ASUS zenbook line is good quality, however their driver and tool support down the line might suck. The Dell Inspiron you have there is decent because it is the 7000 series, he lower end stuff is bad.

Dell's latitude line although looks a bit more boring has very good build quality starting at the 5000 series.
Dell's XPS line is very nice, but of course that's a premium.

Acer low - medium end, don't even consider in your options, just dont bother its crap. Im sure a lot of people will disagree but it's just not there.

Lenovo - avoid, the build quality is ok, but spyware, its in the board I'm sure of it, also every Windows image that they tinker with is broken as crap probably because of tampering as well. For people stuck with Lenovo I always recommend they just outright find a OEM or retail key and install from a clean Windows image straight from MS media creation, volume licence image or etc. DO NOT USE THE ONE THAT IT SHIPS WITH IT WILL ALWAYS BE TRASH

Other user above mentioned Dell Refurbs which are off lease, yes if you don't want the Shiny new new this is the way to go, get them while they're 30%+ or more off and you can even have a Optiplex desktop AND latitude laptop (might only be 720p which sucks but sometimes there is 1080p for more usable desktop space, more lines in excel example). These are great machines, these previous gen i3 and i5 will take on any task you are doing at it.

If you are splurging there is also the new Surface laptop line. Very sleek and build quality should be top notch, however it is the first generation of that product line so be wary.


That being said there is only one constant to all everything above. That's SSD solid state drive, no batter what you buy it will feel slow as crap and be a waste of money if the drive is not a SSD, many of the options will not come with an SSD at the pricepoint so you will have to account for putting one in yourself.

Add : Also forgot to emphasis on Desktops. If you want a desktop but has a very low profile, go check out the new Dell Optiplex Micro's. They are tiny, pack a great punch and with pro support warranty you dont need to worry about them for 3 or more years.

2: as for ram 4GB will suffice, if you have an SSD the paging file will be decently fast as well. 8GB is a nice spot you wont have to worry about most workloads.
If I go for a laptop, it would probably be between the Asus and Dell (the one I mentioned). I have noticed that Lenovo quality has really went down the tubes as lots of people are complaining. I didn't think Acer was still that bad. The Swift and Spin lines are no good either?

I don't like the look of the refurbished/Optiplex desktops. You get no hdmi port and the power supplies are tiny and not really upgradeable - if you need a new one, you are stuck getting a 'compatible' PSU instead of any PSU - also the size restricts you. The price is right, though. I prefer the option to upgrade to 16gb since I might use virtual machines and I often use up RAM doing other tasks. However, a cheap machine for $200, one can't complain. But, the lack of hdmi and no easy option for upgrading the video card and the limitations with the psu, seem to cause more inconveniences than benefits.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25455 posts
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East Gwillimbury
teleguitar wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 1:57 pm
What about micro-ATX / mATX? If I go for a desktop in which I build myself, should I try for the motherboards with two M.2 slots?

The ITX boards are expensive and I don't think there's too many 8th gen boards yet. Right?
Nothing wrong with mATX, if you don’t mind a bigger box under your desk. The main advantage for microATX is the expansion slots. But I think you have a hard time finding an expansion card that’ serves any function. Everything you need is onboard.

Having 4 memory slots might be a bonus, since most if not all ITX boards only have 2

I don’t see a need for multiple m.2 slots. Just get a larger m.2 drive and a NAS for your storage needs.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 27, 2007
1321 posts
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Gee wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 2:10 pm
Nothing wrong with mATX, if you don’t mind a bigger box under your desk. The main advantage for microATX is the expansion slots. But I think you have a hard time finding an expansion card that’ serves any function. Everything you need is onboard.

Having 4 memory slots might be a bonus, since most if not all ITX boards only have 2

I don’t see a need for multiple m.2 slots. Just get a larger m.2 drive and a NAS for your storage needs.
I've been interested in an ITX build for a while now (posted on it a long time ago). :) Yes, the limited 2 RAM slots kinda sucked but I might only go up to 16gb because of cost. Most if not all of the ITX boards allow a capacity of 32gb. The AMD Ryzen hardware has no onboard graphics option so I either need to move my current card over or buy a new graphics card. Is the 750 gtx good enough? I guess it's better than even the latest/most recent integrated Intel graphics of the 8th gen processors?

I like having a build that is easy to move around and is portable if I ever need to (move it). I hate large towers now. :-) That's why a small mATX or ITX is it if I go with a desktop. It sucks (as everyone knows) that Intel don't have the cheap boards yet for the 8th gen chips. I'm not ready to buy anyway so maybe it's a good thing (as long as the prices don't go up on current chips and memory). :)

An ITX might be a good compromise if I don't get a laptop. Although, a few mATX cases looked kinda small? Are you familiar with the BitFenix Prodigy M, Fractal Design Node 804 and Thermaltake Core V21? I'd want something no larger than those. The size of the ITX cases (and choices) are even better.
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
teleguitar wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 5:15 pm
Is the 750 gtx good enough? I guess it's better than even the latest/most recent integrated Intel graphics of the 8th gen processors?
If you don't game, the onboard graphics is fine.
teleguitar wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 5:15 pm
I like having a build that is easy to move around and is portable if I ever need to (move it). I hate large towers now. :-) That's why a small mATX or ITX is it if I go with a desktop.
As I get older, I like smaller machines too. Don't like moving big heavy machines. I'm slowly converting all my machines to ITX and NUCs
teleguitar wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 5:15 pm
An ITX might be a good compromise if I don't get a laptop. Although, a few mATX cases looked kinda small? Are you familiar with the BitFenix Prodigy M, Fractal Design Node 804 and Thermaltake Core V21? I'd want something no larger than those. The size of the ITX cases (and choices) are even better.
I have a few Prodigy cases, but ITX versions. Not a big fan. The handles make it really unstable and it is easy to tip over. The Node 804 is a great case and the Core V21 has rounded edges that I'm not too crazy about.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 27, 2007
1321 posts
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Gee wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 5:24 pm
If you don't game, the onboard graphics is fine.

As I get older, I like smaller machines too. Don't like moving big heavy machines. I'm slowly converting all my machines to ITX and NUCs

I have a few Prodigy cases, but ITX versions. Not a big fan. The handles make it really unstable and it is easy to tip over. The Node 804 is a great case and the Core V21 has rounded edges that I'm not too crazy about.
Well, the AMD option doesn't have onboard graphics (at the moment) - if investing in a new desktop. Right?

I guess the gtx 750 card I have now could go into a new build - or should I just keep my current desktop (LGA 775/Q6600) as a backup/2nd system? I was going to sell the individual parts but they're not worth much any more.

I liked the idea of the NUCs, too. I looked at Intel and Gigabyte. I'm not sure if there's another notable manufacturer? I liked either but then I worried about heat production and fan noise after reading about some complaints. I thought you can almost build an ITX system as small....but, with more options and you can get a 'normal-sized' PSU or at least a SFF PSU if needed.

Thanks for the feedback about the Prodigy cases. Yeah, I read that the handle is flimsy and they still haven't 'fixed it.' Too bad. I was mostly interested in it because of the shape/size and the new (?) design in which it has two window panels now? I'm glad that at least one of those has a thumbs up. :) I thought the Node 804 kinda looks like a big microwave.... but, the specs show it as lighter than I would have guessed. :) I think the Core V21 has good reviews but I am not familiar with complaints about the edges.

The itx cases offer even more choices. I think the Ryzen itx boards are not much cheaper than the Z370 itx boards but one or two definitely are. The itx form factor motherboards are more expensive than either ATX or mATX and there's less to choose from but the specs look pretty good. Some have two M.2 ports and the more expensive ones offer the higher tech. Realtek audio and Intel LAN network. I'll probably want to try wireless with them, though.
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Aug 2, 2004
25455 posts
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East Gwillimbury
teleguitar wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 7:45 pm
I guess the gtx 750 card I have now could go into a new build - or should I just keep my current desktop (LGA 775/Q6600) as a backup/2nd system? I was going to sell the individual parts but they're not worth much any more.

I liked the idea of the NUCs, too. I looked at Intel and Gigabyte. I'm not sure if there's another notable manufacturer? I liked either but then I worried about heat production and fan noise after reading about some complaints. I thought you can almost build an ITX system as small....but, with more options and you can get a 'normal-sized' PSU or at least a SFF PSU if needed.

I'll probably want to try wireless with them, though.
Not worth keeping the Q6600. A new system will be more energy efficient and considerably faster.

If you like the NUC, there are two other manufacturers in this space. MSI has the Cubi and Zotac has the Z-Box. I only mentioned the Berix and NUC because I’ve personally used them. I’m not a fan of the Z-Box and I haven’t tried the Cubi. ASUS is not playing in this space currently.

A lot of ITX systems have built in WiFi. Notably Gigabyte and ASUS.
Sr. Member
Sep 16, 2006
669 posts
82 upvotes
Pickering
This question is not forum worthy. It's called google. It's called youtube. Google (your laptop) memory upgrade and check youtube with the same query. Somebody has done it and filmed it, from upgrading RAM in some obscure laptop to sticking a gerbil up their arse and filming it and its all on the internet for your viewing pleasure. Don't use others as search engine monkeys which is exactly what happens with these threads. Somebody else has to google it and spoon-feed your helpless @ss the information. Im sick of it.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 27, 2007
1321 posts
29 upvotes
Mistersprinkles wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 11:36 pm
This question is not forum worthy. It's called google. It's called youtube. Google (your laptop) memory upgrade and check youtube with the same query. Somebody has done it and filmed it, from upgrading RAM in some obscure laptop to sticking a gerbil up their arse and filming it and its all on the internet for your viewing pleasure. Don't use others as search engine monkeys which is exactly what happens with these threads. Somebody else has to google it and spoon-feed your helpless @ss the information. Im sick of it.
I would suggest that you stick a gerbil up your a$$ but I support animal rights and I think that would be abuse towards it. IF you don't like a post then ignore it and go find a thread or post you're interested in. I'm not interested in your two cents and you can stick your comments up you know where, too.

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