8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2015 2:50 PM by JFPhoton

    Cheap laptop...?

    AABBCCJuile Level 1

      Hi all! I have an iMac desktop computer where I do all of my graphic design (using the Creative Cloud software). I have found recently that it would be helpful to have a laptop. But... I can't justify the expense of a new Apple laptop. So  I was thinking of getting a cheap Windows laptop. But... after looking up the requirements for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator (all different), I'm totally confused now. I just chatted with Dell support, and they recommended laptops running i3 processors. Well, those are all thousands of dollars. I was hoping to buy something at CostCo for less than $500. Am I being completely unreasonable? I don't mind if it's slow. I won't be doing the bulk of my work on it. I just need it to work so I can go away once in awhile and not leave clients in the lurch. Has anyone bought a cheap laptop that works well enough? Or am I being completely unreasonable about this?

       

      Thanks!

       

      julie

        • 1. Re: Cheap laptop...?
          Pattie-F Level 7

          You should check the requirements for the specific programs you use:

          FAQ: What are the system requirements for the Creative Cloud Desktop App and each Creative Cloud App?

           

          Premiere Pro has some of the most demanding requirements, others may be somewhat less demanding.

          • 2. Re: Cheap laptop...?
            AABBCCJuile Level 1

            Thanks... I did check. And each program has its own requirements. And when I look onnline at the laptops... their specs are different. I can't figure out how to compare processors, for instance. I have no idea if an Intel Pentium 4 is better or worse than an Intel Pentium 3558U processor.

             

            • 3. Re: Cheap laptop...?
              AABBCCJuile Level 1

              Or a Intel® Celeron® Processor N3050. What is that? I don't know enough about PC computers, I guess.

               

              • 4. Re: Cheap laptop...?
                RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                the pentium or celeron cpu's you are listing would be very slow, basically only good for browsing the web and emails.

                 

                you may be fine with a laptop around the $500-600 range. they should have an intel i5 or i7 cpu, with 2 "cores". most should have 8gb of memory. they will have various screen sizes and resolutions. 1280x800 or higher is recommended for most of adobe's software. the code names for these intel cpu's should look like i5-x2xxx or i7-x5xxx. the "x" being a number or letter, like i5-5200U. the i7 of this type is only slightly faster than the i5, so much so that its in scam territory for misleading consumers.

                 

                the i7 cpu's with 4 cores are the powerful ones, they are twice as fast of the 2 core cpu's. these are about 20% slower than a typical i7 desktop computer. this may be more than you need, they are also around $800-900 to start. their code names would look like i7-x7xxxx.

                • 5. Re: Cheap laptop...?
                  AABBCCJuile Level 1

                  Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all that to me. I really appreciate it. It sounds like the i5 of i7 versions are what I need.

                  • 6. Re: Cheap laptop...?
                    TheOnlyDrGonzo

                    I'm in exactly the situation, I have an iMac but need a cheap Windows Laptop for when I'm visiting clients. I'm currently considering this Dell one..

                     

                    http://www.dell.com/uk/business/p/inspiron-17-5759-laptop/pd?oc=bn75908&model_id=inspiron- 17-5759-laptop

                     

                    Obviously from the link I'm in the UK, so don't know what the equivalent US one would cost.

                    • 7. Re: Cheap laptop...?
                      RjL190365 Level 4

                      stephenp72988794 wrote:

                       

                      I'm in exactly the situation, I have an iMac but need a cheap Windows Laptop for when I'm visiting clients. I'm currently considering this Dell one..

                       

                      http://www.dell.com/uk/business/p/inspiron-17-5759-laptop/pd?oc=bn75908&model_id=inspiron- 17-5759-laptop

                       

                      Obviously from the link I'm in the UK, so don't know what the equivalent US one would cost.

                      In the US, that laptop currently costs $1,100 (originally $1,230). At that price it is a poor value due to the following reasons (aside from the typical slow 5,400-RPM hard drive being used as the system disk):

                       

                      1) The CPU, despite being branded an i7, has only two physical cores. In fact, the i7-6500U is simply a mobile i5 with more L3 cache (all mobile i5's are only dual-core and not quad-core).

                       

                      2) The AMD Radeon R5 M335 is a lousy GPU to begin with: It uses really lousy DDR3 graphics RAM, and is a weakling GPU which combined with the extremely low graphics memory bandwidth results in an MPE OpenCL GPU-accelerated Premiere Pro performance that's hardly any faster than MPE software-only performance.

                       

                      In other words, it is a big waste of money.

                      • 8. Re: Cheap laptop...?
                        JFPhoton Level 3

                        ......look for a used or refurbished quality Asus gaming laptop. After lightning destroyed my existing laptop a year and a half ago, I found a "refurbished" Asus G750 JW for only $850, instead of the normal price of up to $1,400. It came " stock" with a single, crappy 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive and only 8 GB of memory. However, it had the 17 4700HQ CPU which turbos up to 3.5 Ghz on all four cores, ( 8 threads) under load AND it came with a 2GB video memory NVidia 765m GPU. It arrived in "like new" condition with all the original plastic on it. This was the second "refurbished" Asus laptop I have bought over the years and both arrived in this same " like new" condition and operated flawlessly. Self upgrading the memory to 24GB and installing two fast SSDs into the machine was easy....and costs LESS to do now.

                         

                        The newer i7 laptop CPUs don't really offer hardly any improvement in speed over the i7 I have,so, considering a slightly "older" model is OK. What HAS improved are the NVidia GPUs....the newer laptops have 4 or even 6 GB versions of the 9xx series mobile GPU. The 2GB 765m version I have is overclockable, ( not the 9xx series anymore), but only 2GB is marginal if trying to edit 4K...4 or 6 is WAY better.

                         

                        Also, the newer laptops may have a faster storage setup. Some have variable RAID configurations, so that one SSD can be the "boot drive" holding only the operating system, programs, and Windows page file, while a combination of 2 or more SSDs, ( usually m.2 ), can be made into a super fast RAID 0 to put all your media files, project files, and all else on for high performance.

                         

                        Soon, ( if not ALREADY ), some laptops may come with the incredibly fast PCI SSDs. As they typically run at over 2 GB/sec. READ and 1.5/sec. WRITE....SIMULTANEOUSLY.....these new devices are IDEAL for demanding video editing......ALL files can go on this ONE drive, as long as it is BIG enough !  With the new high speed external connections like Thunderbolt and USB 3.1, connecting high speed external drives is a breeze.