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Old 11-17-2007, 02:22 AM
rickman
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Default New Laptop for work

I am looking at a low end Dell laptop, the Vostro 1500, as a new
computer for work. I may supplement this later with a new desktop
unit for crunching FPGA designs, but I will also be using this laptop
for this sort of work. I am looking for advice on the differences in
CPUs for FPGA work and anything else that is relevant.

I know that parallel ports are going the way of the serial port and
the dodo bird, but I can live with that. Most tools are available as
USB devices now.

This particular computer comes with WindowsXP rather than Vista. From
what I have heard, that is an advantage. But I notice that the
internal bluetooth adapter is specific for XP and others from Dell are
specific for Vista. Any idea what is up with that? Is there any
significant advantage to using XP pro over XP home?

This machine also has the "Intel(R) Integrated Graphics Media
Accelerator X3100". Is that just another way of saying "integrated
video"? Several of my other machines have had integrated video and it
does seem to drag down the CPU noticeably. Any idea if I will notice
the drag on the Core 2 Duo? They also offer an Nvidia Gforce 8400 GS
adapter for $100 and an 8600 for $200 more. Any idea if these are
worth it? The 1500 says it has "VGA video output & S-Video". Does
that mean I can connect two monitors for dual display?

The CPU is a T5270 (1.4 GHz, 2 MB cache) with upgrades to various
processors for significant money. The first stepup is to a T5470 (1.6
GHz) for $75 and others range up to $575! I am thinking I can live
with the slower processor. The memory is 2GB.

I was looking at the Vostro 1000 earlier this week with an AMD TK-53
processor (1.5 GHz, 512 KB cache) and a smaller hard drive. It was
$50 more so the 1500 looks like the better deal. Are there any
significant differences in the two CPUs for FPGA work? I guess the
small cache of the TK-53 would make it significantly slower for FPGA
work.

I saw a thread from earlier this year discussing some of this. I
wonder how much laptops have improved since then.


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