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Thread: Laptop died - what is the replacement

  1. #1
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    Laptop died - what is the replacement

    Ahhh, never want the "no hard drive installed" message......

    Tried a couple of rescue efforts - nothing usable.

    Rather than getting a new hard drive and spending I don't know how many hours reinstalling windows, etc. And the laptop was a little dated....

    What would be a configuration for a replacement. Built a 'desk unit' w/ at the time top graphics card only to find out that still images aren't processed on the graphics card....

    I did notice a massive improvement when I went from a mechanical to SSD for the hard drive (until it failed)

    Thoughts?

    Mike
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    I built my home computer summer of 2021, so I am sure things have improved, but I have to say, it has no issues.

    CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12 cores)
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 3200 x 64 GB
    Storage (items in current use/photos of this year/software): Crucial P2 NAND PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD (2 TB)
    Long term storage (Previous years photos): WD 10 TB HD Gold
    Motherboard: ASUS AM4 TUF X570-Plus
    GPU: ASUS ROG GeForce RTX 3060 OC
    Power Corsair RM850
    CPU Fan: Noctua NH15
    External back up: WD 12 TB hard drive.

    As those are specifics from 2021, I was more thinking of that is a great baseline as that machine is not having an issue. I've processed videos and it renders quickly with even a moderate GPU from 2021. Files load quickly to SSD (thanks...motherboard and NVMe M.2 SSD), LR is fast (CPU, Motherboard, and SSD). Overall, very happy.

    That said, if I was in the market for a new computer in 2023, good chance I would just buy a laptop. In 2021, I was impressed by the Dell XPS and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus lineups. I am sure others are good as well, but even checking again and those seem to be good.

    If you want to tear into things, some online references that might help:
    • CPU benchmarks to compare different CPUs (Passmark). I remember finding a few of these benchmarks out there for CPUs.
    • SSDs. Perhaps there is even something better now, but make sure you get the NVMe M.2. Explanation here.
    • RAM. They have DDR5 now whereas it was DDR4 in 2021. DDR4 maxed out (not overclocked) at frequency ~3200 (as I recall), DDR5 is twice that (wiki talks about up to 51k Mb/s transfer speeds). A quick read, it makes some difference, but DDR4 still very fast.
    • GPU. As we have talked, when I've researched it, it was primarily used for video processing. So, if you do a lot of that, get a good GPU (granted, my mid-level RTX 3060 does just fine). LR tends to use the CPU.
    • For AMD, I recall there was benefit to the AM4-X570 motherboard. It was set up to transfer speeds to the NVMe M.2 SSD. And, yep, now they have AM5 motherboards. 2 yrs is a long time.
    • Another quick thing to look for is number and type of USB ports. Some are still USB A and different generations (3.1/3.2). Then, there is USB C, which is thinner and I believe also transmits more power.


    I hope that helps and that you can recover the files in your HD.

  3. #3
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    I have had several ASUS ROG, and presently do have the ASUS ROG Zephyrus lap top. It is very fast.
    I have had two ASUS ROG towers that were higher end. Both are still going strong. The one I bought two years ago updated to Windows 11 and has been very buggy.
    The first one I bought I had to return it to the factory. Both component wise have been exceptional, sometimes I thought they were buggy.
    I just bought a Corsair Vengeance from Best Buy for work. It is a highly rated machine, but when the first one arrived it had a big dent on the side of the panel once I unpacked it. Poor Quality Control. The second one has worked great.

    I do disagree with Brant on the laptop comment, I like the fact that I have enough ports to run multiple full size monitors on the tower. Sure the laptop has a monitor and keyboard built in but I do not find it efficient if I am at the desk with multiple monitors. The other thing is extra storage. The Corsair I was able to get a 1 TB SSD and a 2 TB HDD. The ROG Zephyrus was close to the same price and only a 1 TB SSD.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    Sure the laptop has a monitor and keyboard built in but I do not find it efficient if I am at the desk with multiple monitors. The other thing is extra storage. The Corsair I was able to get a 1 TB SSD and a 2 TB HDD. The ROG Zephyrus was close to the same price and only a 1 TB SSD.
    Have you tried running multiple monitors off your laptop? When at home, my work laptop plugs into 2 additional monitors via a docking station, so I work off 3 different screens all powered by a single laptop. Even while traveling, I power a second monitor off my laptop.

    As for the SSD, yep, can be an issue. Just checked Dell XPS, 2 years ago, I recall looking at a customized version with 2 x 2TB SSDs in it. That does not seem to be an option anymore, they only offer 1 TB, which is limiting for photography. Quick search on newegg, and Asus seems to have several 2TB options.

    But, towers may still have their place. Two years ago, I concluded that and built one. I was just impressed by how close laptops were getting.

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    I could put a second exterior monitor on the laptop, but it would have to be on the small port. The work around for the HDD that you lack with a laptop is to get an external hard drive. I had to add one so I could use Dropbox. The small screen size of the laptop is my biggest complaint, for me it is just too small. In my main office I have a 27" and 32" monitor and as a third it is hooked to a 50" TV and at times, I work off all three. For photography though I prefer the tower and I have a 27" BENQ.

    I will say the ASUS ROD Zephyrus from the moment I push the power button until it is loaded is just seconds. It is blazing fast. The only negative is that when I first started it new, there was something wrong with the video card. I had to reload it and reset everything once to get it to work correctly.

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    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    On the topic of external monitors, what are the thoughts about 4K versus the 'medium resolution' size of 2560 x 1440? I am using the latter with a 27" screen, and I like it a lot. But wondering if 4K is noticeably better at that size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Huyer View Post
    On the topic of external monitors, what are the thoughts about 4K versus the 'medium resolution' size of 2560 x 1440? I am using the latter with a 27" screen, and I like it a lot. But wondering if 4K is noticeably better at that size.
    Every one I have bought for several years is 4K even the 27".
    Early on side by side I thought there was a difference.
    I would say there is definitely a deference if you are watching a video that is 4K.
    But all monitors are not the equal. There are those that are better and there are other factors that impact the monitor.
    Contrast ratio, refresh rate, type of display and manufacture all matter.
    The last monitor I purchased I even weighed in the ability to add USB ports and card slots.
    Now there are 5K monitors and some TV's are 8K so 4K may be the new medium resolution.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    In terms of just resolution, it actually cuts both ways. Lower resolution panels actually make it easier to see flaws in an image. Higher resolution hides those smaller flaws better and makes for a more pleasant experience. I am also working on a 2560 x 1440 monitor (Benq SW2700). Its great. I am sure I'll someday have a 4K monitor, but I am in no rush.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Good to know! I'm presently drooling over this one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...reen_wide.html
    The 4K version is quite a bit more.

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone. My photo tower powers a 55' 10 bit Samsumg 4k tv, I have color calibrated it once. 1T ssd for apps and 4t and 15t mechanical drives for storage/back up.

    Can clearly see the difference when in 10 bit vs 8 bit color space. When going up, "oh that is nice" when going down to 8 bit it is "uggg what mud!!!"

    I was not displeased with the speed of my 2019 dell inspirion (1t ssd that made all the difference when I installed it)

    It seems my options are a new 2t ssd for a few hundred and all the time reloading windows or 2k on a new box and MAYBE shorter relod/config time
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

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