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Why are laptops so slow?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by cgworkman, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    I was browsing laptops online and in stores this last week, and I noticed that most of "brand new" models are pretty slow. My current laptop is a Dell 5100 running at 2.66GHz with 512MB of RAM. I noticed a lot of the "newer" models are running at 1.something GHz or maybe a tad faster... Why the step backward? Feature wise they're lesser models compared to mine - which is almost 2 years old.

    what's up?!? :help:
  2. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Look at the chache size and compare it to yours. Also, hit up Intel's website sometime and look at their articles on their mobile processors. To boil it down to the very basics, you can double the clock speed of the proc and that's the equlivant to what you model's is. I.e. a modern P4M @ 1.5GHz = 3.0GHz. Read their site, it explains it with high details. Also, note, clock speed isn't everything in a system... heck, it isn't much really.

  3. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    I'm aware of the "total package" as opposed to just the RAM or clockspeed, etc. I've just been out of the loop and wasn't aware of the new strides they've made with processors. I'll definately check that out.

  4. Are these laptops running AMD's?
  5. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    If you're asking me...I don't think any of the ones I saw were.
  6. oyvind2305


    Dec 3, 2004
    Intel launched the Pentium4 Mobile platform to give you Pentium 4 with lower power consumption (equals longer battery life, or smaller lighter battery) and lower heat dissipation (equals less need for noisy fan hence quieter).
  7. Nigel Tufnel

    Nigel Tufnel

    Dec 8, 2004
    Clockspeed only has relevance within a specific line of chips, such as comparing centrinos to centrinos. Different chip architechtures work differently. All the clock speed means is how long it is between operations on the chip. If you have a clock speed of 3 ghz and it takes you 8 clock cycles on average to perform an instruction your computer will be just as fast as another computer with a clock speed of 1.5 ghz that takes an average of 4 clock cycles to perform an instruction.
  8. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    For instance, red computers are much faster as are computers with flames painted on them.

    brad cook
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    And neon lights in the case and on the fans make your computer faster and run cooler.
  10. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    Weight.. Battery life. Laptops were not meant to play games ( Video edit, etc), so they have no need for real speed.
  11. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Check out alienware (overrated in my opinion), or Asus notebooks. Asus makes a machine that's about 2800 bucks, and it is quick and powerful.
  12. AMD's coming out with a mobile 64 bit processor very soon. That should be interesting.
  13. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That is a good way to get speed. Double the bandwidth, and you don't need such cycle speed coming from the processors. That means less heat. Also, when you get above a certain point, the transistor switching starts to blur, and everything gets unstable. So, branching out the bandwidth is going to really open up the power capability of our computers.
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Not really, the big thing that 64 bit processors do is enable more RAM to be addressed. Where a 32 bit processor caps out at 4 GB, a 64 bit processor can achieve something like 16 exobytes of RAM. But in a laptop you're generally not likely to see room for any more RAM than 2 GB. So having a mobile 64 bit processor won't be all that big of a deal, in and of itself, unless the processor is coupled with many other neat features and capabilities.
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The other thing about laptops these days is that companies stopped trying to replace the desktop(though there are still a handful of such behemoth laptops around). They realized that consumers value things like long battery life, lightweight, small and simple more than "able to play doom 3 at max settings ***?!" in a laptop. Coupled with more efficient processors PC companies finally caught up to what apple has been doing for years. :smug:
  16. Personally in the small space of my dorm room I happen to like my "behemoth" desktop replacement. Its nice to have enough power to play Half Life 2 and its peers without stressing my system to the max... and my laptop only weighs 8 pounds. I can't complain. Best screen I've ever seen too.
  17. groovit


    Oct 12, 2004
    New Hampsha
    With the 64-bit architecture, isn't it true that Windows is, as yet, only a 32-bit OS? That would mean that it would use only half of the chips processing power, correct?
  18. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    No. Again, the primary advantage to 64-bit systems is the ability to access more RAM. The other advantages, as mentioned before, generally come from improved chip architecture which isn't necessarily directly connected to the fact that the chip is 64 bit. That said, consumer 64 bit chips are all backwards compatible with 32 bit systems, so you'd still be able to take advantage of the improved architecture, even if the programs and OS you're using cannot recognize the extra RAM.

    In short, 64-bit does not mean that the chip processes things 2 times faster than 32-bit.
  19. I say ad a 50 shot of nitrous to that baby!!!

    The laptop isn't slow, your just to fast! ;)
  20. There is actually a winXP 64-bit beta available for free. (expires in a year) The retail version should come out soon. However, you can't really take advantage of the 64-bit processor without 64-bit programs that take advantage of it as well as the OS.

    However, even without the 64-bit benefits, at the same clockspeed they'll still run much faster; my Athlon 64's clocked at only 2.0Ghz, but it runs like a 3Ghz 32-bit would.