Beenthere

Why no 12" power user notebooks?

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I've been looking for a new notebook PC but desire a reasonably fast one. It seems as though HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, etc. do not use any respectable CPUs/APUs in the smaller, lighter notebooks. Am I really the only one who desires a reasonably fast notebook with a 12" diagonal screen width? I see E-350 and Atom powered 12" stuff but they are basically netbooks and not practical for my needs.

For me under 4 lbs. and 12" is perfect. Bigger or smaller just doesn't work well for me. I don't want a tablet or toy. Am I the only one who desires lightweight, portable power? Evidently the mass marketers do not see CPU/APU power as a requirement in the sub 14" laptop segment?

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Well you can find the 11" systems like the m11x. Those are out there, but not really "portable" in the sense of the classic Fujitsu systems of yesteryear.

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Going up a notch to 13in(check acer and asus lineup) may give you better options in the CPU department, but GPU will likely be lackluster.

What are you needs? For most people more ram and a SSD matter more than a fast CPU.

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I've been looking for a new notebook PC but desire a reasonably fast one. It seems as though HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, etc. do not use any respectable CPUs/APUs in the smaller, lighter notebooks. Am I really the only one who desires a reasonably fast notebook with a 12" diagonal screen width? I see E-350 and Atom powered 12" stuff but they are basically netbooks and not practical for my needs.

For me under 4 lbs. and 12" is perfect. Bigger or smaller just doesn't work well for me. I don't want a tablet or toy. Am I the only one who desires lightweight, portable power? Evidently the mass marketers do not see CPU/APU power as a requirement in the sub 14" laptop segment?

Lenovo X220

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Thanks for the responses folks. Intel CPU/graphics is a deal breaker for me but I'll keep looking. I do engineering work so I need resonable number crunching and graphics. If there was a reliable SSD I would consider it, but I am not impressed with consumer grade SSD reliability so far.

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It's just not easy to fit and cool a dedicated GPU, CPU and god knows what else in a 12" chassis. Some have tried, and usually resulted in an extra-thick and heavy machine. As mentioned there's plenty more choice available in 13" and with the new AMD APUs gaining ground there may be newer options in 12" coming out soon too.

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Go for the Low Voltage Sandy Bridge chips. They really do kick butt. You can find them in macbook air clones, or you will pretty soon. There have been a few articles on upcoming notebooks on tomshardware.

Dedicated graphics; Maybe stick around for Ivy Bridge; Sandy Bridge's 22nm shrink and see how much better then on-die graphics are improved by then

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I can't support Intel based on their numerous convictions for violation of anti-trust laws in an effort to eliminate fair market competition and good value for consumers. They've also been convicted of U.S. tax fraud several times so I'll pass on anything Intel. Performance wise their laptop graphic sucks by comparison to AMD's but Intel's i7 CPUs have better performance at the moment.

AMD has Llano now and Trinity coming so I may need to wait a little longer for vendors to drop these APUs into true notebook sized PCs.

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Yea I think AMD's APU chips have a better graphics processing unit inside of them than Intel's Sandy Bridge but the CPU in the AMD chip is weaker than Intel.

Maybe see about AMD Bulldozer and lowish-end dedicated graphics for your future lightweight laptop? I don't think AMD's Bulldozer architecture has any internal GPU options but definitively has more CPU horsepower than AMD's current stuff and might take it up to Core i7 levels.

I'd research what bad stuff AMD has done too, I'm sure their not 100% innocent either and your purchase won't really effect their hold on the market. But I know it's the principal of it.

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Well you can find the 11" systems like the m11x. Those are out there, but not really "portable" in the sense of the classic Fujitsu systems of yesteryear.

I second the Alienware m11x (Dell) if you need more than Intel graphics. Comes with an i7-2617M and a 2GB DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M.

Put in a Vertex 3 or Intel 510 and you're good to go.

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Thanks for the responses folks. Intel CPU/graphics is a deal breaker for me but I'll keep looking. I do engineering work so I need resonable number crunching and graphics. If there was a reliable SSD I would consider it, but I am not impressed with consumer grade SSD reliability so far.

Since your concerned with SSD reliability. Perhaps get a tried and true Intel 34nm G2 drive,MLC flash, it has been on the market for quite some time now and is considered to be fast in many ways compared to new SSDs. I've written 4,800 GB to it so far, no hint of wearing it out.

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Well if you're anti-Intel and that leaves your only choice as AMD for CPUs and that leaves you with basically no choice for reliable SSDs... then in that case you may have a good summer as AMD Llano chips are just coming out (but you're still screwed as far as SSDs go).

That said, yeah, Llano is basically a tweaked Phenom II core, so it's still slower than their Intel equivalents.

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Oh yeah sorry about forgetting about that. SSDs with the Sandforce 2xxx series chip seem to be reliable. OCZ is a good brand and seem to release firmware updates when needed.

So with AMD, your stuck with a APU that has a weaker CPU but a really good internal GPU. I'm talking AMD Liano and might fit your bill well. People say the power consumption numbers are really good with graphics-intensive work. AMD's successor to Liano will be 'Trinity', which will have Bulldozer as the the new CPU cores.

The wait for AMD 'trinity' might not be too far off.

If you go with Liano, you might want to get a dual core because the 35 watt quad core chips have lower CPU core speeds. A4-3300m? I'm almost positive no small laptops would cool a chip that is rated for more than 35w, unless it has dual fans or something.

There is the

A8-3500m 2.4GHZ/1.5GHZ 400GPU cores, quadcoreCPU 35w

and

A4-3300m 2.5GHZ/1.9GHZ 240GPU cores, dualcoreCPU 35w

With the A8, the CPU's turbo ability probably wouldn't activate as much because of all the extra transistors in it, causing the 35w thermal limit to be achieved easier. So, with A8 it looks like it has a far stronger GPU than the A4 but the single-core CPU performance will be less than the A4.

So A8 for GPU work/ multi-processor aware software. A4 for non-multicpu aware software. Who know though, the A8 might be able to keep 1 or 2 cores at full turbo(2.4GHZ) for a long time as long as everything else is idle.

IMO!

src:http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a8-3500m-llano-apu,2959-2.html

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I've been looking at the Llano A-series but have yet to find them in a 12" notebook. HP, Lenovo and others have them in 14" and up laptops. Alienware tells me they have made no commitment to the Llano A-series which is odd considering the excellent graphics capability.

Edited by Beenthere

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