Topics

New laptop : advice needed

Patrick
 

Hi there,

I'm about to replace my current machine, but something is puzzling me : for a given set-up (same  or very similar proc, graphic card, RAM etc) is it worth spending extra money on a reowned brand (Dell), or would a Lenovo / Acer laptop unit be a good choice ?

Can I expect from a Dell to offer better components, better lifespan ?
From a radio / DXer point of view, can I expect less RFI ?


For less than €1100 (£980), we have an i7-8750H proc, 8Go RAM, 1To HDD + 256 Go SSD, GTX 1060 GC, not to bad for the price ...
What can be wrong ???
The only downside is the 15" monitor, I would prefer a 17".

Do you have some laptops to recommand in this price range (mainly for radio, using an SDR, up to 6 MHz BW recording / playing).
Just checked HP home page : ouch ! Much more expensive (despite huge discounts) and 8550U processors fitted.

Thanks a lot !

Bjarne Mjelde
 

I've had a couple of Lenovos, one very cheap one (don't bother) and one Thinkpad. The quality of the charger was good on both, no noticeable RFI. The quality of the charger is likely the most important part when buying a laptop for DX-ing. This is a while ago though.
Dell is good (I'm writing this on a new Latitude), but is it better than the Lenovo you pointed at? Impossible to say.
--
Bjarne Mjelde
arcticdx.blogspot.com
Remote rx: arcticsdr.proxy.kiwisdr.com:8073/

M0ZEH
 

My Lenovo is better in terms of ports in/out.  I have a Dell and Lenovo desktop and the Dell performance is crap when comparing.
Steve m0zeh 

Jim Gilliam
 

Jumped in and bought the latest Microsoft Surface Pro 6. I don't think I'll ever jump back out. It can be a computer or it can be an iPad. Works great with my 6600.

Jim, K6QE

Sent from Outlook



From: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io <main@SDR-Radio.groups.io> on behalf of M0ZEH <m0zeh@...>
Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 11:28 PM
To: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] New laptop : advice needed
 
My Lenovo is better in terms of ports in/out.  I have a Dell and Lenovo desktop and the Dell performance is crap when comparing.
Steve m0zeh 

Courtneygunn@...
 

Just a reminder that Lenovo bought the IBM Laptop/Desktop portfolio, along with their engineers. This doesn't necessarily guarantee ongoing quality but does give it a good starting pedigree.


Courtney
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something." - Plato


From: Bjarne Mjelde <bjarne.mjelde@...>
To: main <main@SDR-Radio.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 6:28
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] New laptop : advice needed

I've had a couple of Lenovos, one very cheap one (don't bother) and one Thinkpad. The quality of the charger was good on both, no noticeable RFI. The quality of the charger is likely the most important part when buying a laptop for DX-ing. This is a while ago though.
Dell is good (I'm writing this on a new Latitude), but is it better than the Lenovo you pointed at? Impossible to say.
--
Bjarne Mjelde
arcticdx.blogspot.com
Remote rx: arcticsdr.proxy.kiwisdr.com:8073/

Stu C
 

At work corporate office had a preference for Dell laptops, nobody was that enthused but after a number of years I grudgingly agree.

The oldest working laptops here are Dells with a sliding scale of other brands tried by this or other offices.

The worst in our narrow tests were Toshiba, heaven only knows why but they all died just outside warranty. Fujitsu not far behind (that was mainly in Singapore)

For some reason the Lenovo laptops used by the guys in Singapore have more failures than the Dell/HP's used in the UK, that could be in part related to weather, we don't get the temperatures or levels of humidity over here so there is less of a swing between air conditioned offices and outside.

HP's have been OK but like all of these brands they do a range so we can't compare Dell workstations to HP (or Lenovo) budget range, or visa versa, compare like models and they are pretty close. I bought my dad a new consumer HP and the build is much lighter than a few year older one I got of Gumtree, personally I bought a consumer HP NV6 with i7 mobile processor, and it has been powered on most of the time for the last few years, still going strong. That CPU has a TDP of about 35W and needs the fan running hard when loaded, the laptop you are looking at the CPU is more like 45W peak so keep the intakes clear!

To try and cut this down, the brand is not the end of it, the level of kit is important. The Lenovo looks high spec and will probably be fine for a couple of years at least if you keep it cool, do I think it will be running in four years? 80% likely but if you let the fans clog up it could die at 18 months. With all of these "almost desktop" spec components putting them in a laptop pushes thermal engineering, things getting hot shorten their life, to be honest if I had the space I'd spend that amount of money on a desktop unless you must have the form factor.

If you said to me you were going to hand over a bunch of five year old laptops for me to maintain I'd probably be a little relieved if it said that boring Dell on the box.

If you handed be a box of MS surface* to support I'd hand it back and get my coat 

Stu

*(at least he versions that have a fixit score of 0/10).

On 10/01/2019 13:56, Courtneygunn via Groups.Io wrote:
Just a reminder that Lenovo bought the IBM Laptop/Desktop portfolio, along with their engineers. This doesn't necessarily guarantee ongoing quality but does give it a good starting pedigree.


Courtney

"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something." - Plato


-----Original Message-----
From: Bjarne Mjelde <bjarne.mjelde@...>
To: main <main@SDR-Radio.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 6:28
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] New laptop : advice needed

I've had a couple of Lenovos, one very cheap one (don't bother) and one Thinkpad. The quality of the charger was good on both, no noticeable RFI. The quality of the charger is likely the most important part when buying a laptop for DX-ing. This is a while ago though.
Dell is good (I'm writing this on a new Latitude), but is it better than the Lenovo you pointed at? Impossible to say.
--
Bjarne Mjelde
arcticdx.blogspot.com
Remote rx: arcticsdr.proxy.kiwisdr.com:8073/

BobS
 

I too am firmly in the Microsoft Surface camp, but that's a personal preference.  Although I do not agree with your assumption that Dell is a better brand than Lenovo.  I have a 6 year old Lenovo that's still going strong. 

I/O is very important.  Be sure to get a computer that has USB C and USB 3.1.  While almost all SDRs today are just USB 2.0, it's safe to assume we will get new SDRs with more bandwidth and that require the latest connectivity.

I'd also only consider an i7. You may find an i5 that'll do the job.  Having two or three SDRs running does require CPU power.

Bob

erik@...
 

Hi,

I mod laptops in my sleep, so to speak.

NOTHING matches warranty like Dell, not nowhere. If that is important to you, then the Precision line with ECC RAM is your game for professional work, and Alienware for all else.

I suggest you get the most CPU you can get:

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-gaming-laptops-and-notebooks/new-alienware-area-51m-gaming-laptop/spd/alienware-17-area51m-laptop

You can put 9900K in that. My buddy & I overclocked (reliably) our rigs, and his IPC (instructions per clock - though I expect you know this,sorry) beat me out for 8% with full custom water-cooled, AX1500i etc, and I pulled three power stations' current doing the same.

Dell won't pull an 'Acer' on you & expire your warranty when you open your rig for whatever reason. They state this unequivocally.

They come next business day (with parts).

The idea with this laptop is - if its electrically & physically compatible with MXM format - you are going to get more upgrades in future.

Whilst the first 1070Ms launched in that funny Dell format (DGD?), the standard MXM sizes came out later (as we expected), and now my AW18 rocks one. This is far from the first laptop I've done similar with.

Up to 30% GPU with SDR Console and Ettus B210....CPU, not so much lower perf mode ~13% high perf mode <9%.

Me.

Siegfried Jackstien
 

and these beasts start at 2.5 k bucks .... hmmmm

what a stationary pc could i buy for 2.5k??

an i9 ... with 16 gig ram, 256gig ssd 3000gig second drive .... graphics nvidia 2080... in a nice watercooled case .... and i may have some hundreds left for a nice 4k screen

but that will be one of the "slower" i9 with 8x3600megs clock (around 2.2k euros)

for around 5k euro you already can get an i9 with eighteen cores!!!! ... and with 64 gig ram

i am sure you can not overload such a beast with a few sdr setups

maybe with an xtrx octoboard (close to 1 gig bandwidth ... exactly 8x120 megs)

i do not need such a big bw or such a fast pc

(but if you wanna give it to me for free i would take it hi hi)

dg9bfc sigi

.....


Am 11.01.2019 um 15:49 schrieb erik@...:

Hi,

I mod laptops in my sleep, so to speak.

NOTHING matches warranty like Dell, not nowhere. If that is important to you, then the Precision line with ECC RAM is your game for professional work, and Alienware for all else.

I suggest you get the most CPU you can get:

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-gaming-laptops-and-notebooks/new-alienware-area-51m-gaming-laptop/spd/alienware-17-area51m-laptop

You can put 9900K in that. My buddy & I overclocked (reliably) our rigs, and his IPC (instructions per clock - though I expect you know this,sorry) beat me out for 8% with full custom water-cooled, AX1500i etc, and I pulled three power stations' current doing the same.

Dell won't pull an 'Acer' on you & expire your warranty when you open your rig for whatever reason. They state this unequivocally.

They come next business day (with parts).

The idea with this laptop is - if its electrically & physically compatible with MXM format - you are going to get more upgrades in future.

Whilst the first 1070Ms launched in that funny Dell format (DGD?), the standard MXM sizes came out later (as we expected), and now my AW18 rocks one. This is far from the first laptop I've done similar with.

Up to 30% GPU with SDR Console and Ettus B210....CPU, not so much lower perf mode ~13% high perf mode <9%.

Me.

Siegfried Jackstien
 

correct me if i am wrong

the i9 from dell costs above 4k ... so then we are close to that eighteen core beasty

https://www.csl-computer.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=14553&cPath=5_128

18x2600megs (boost up to 4400megs)

64 gig ram (gee my first pc had 4 megs only)

500 ssd

6tera harddrive

wow ... a gamers pc :-)

dg9bfc sigi

Am 11.01.2019 um 15:49 schrieb erik@...:

Hi,

I mod laptops in my sleep, so to speak.

NOTHING matches warranty like Dell, not nowhere. If that is important to you, then the Precision line with ECC RAM is your game for professional work, and Alienware for all else.

I suggest you get the most CPU you can get:

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-gaming-laptops-and-notebooks/new-alienware-area-51m-gaming-laptop/spd/alienware-17-area51m-laptop

You can put 9900K in that. My buddy & I overclocked (reliably) our rigs, and his IPC (instructions per clock - though I expect you know this,sorry) beat me out for 8% with full custom water-cooled, AX1500i etc, and I pulled three power stations' current doing the same.

Dell won't pull an 'Acer' on you & expire your warranty when you open your rig for whatever reason. They state this unequivocally.

They come next business day (with parts).

The idea with this laptop is - if its electrically & physically compatible with MXM format - you are going to get more upgrades in future.

Whilst the first 1070Ms launched in that funny Dell format (DGD?), the standard MXM sizes came out later (as we expected), and now my AW18 rocks one. This is far from the first laptop I've done similar with.

Up to 30% GPU with SDR Console and Ettus B210....CPU, not so much lower perf mode ~13% high perf mode <9%.

Me.

Larry Dodd
 

I agree Siegfried. I’ll take an i7 desktop over any laptop. More flexibility, reliability, and choices. I understand the desire for portability that a laptop offers. For serious computer power especially for 24/7 operation a new desktop rules IMO. 
Larry K4LED


On Jan 11, 2019, at 11:29 AM, Siegfried Jackstien <siegfried.jackstien@...> wrote:

and these beasts start at 2.5 k bucks .... hmmmm

what a stationary pc could i buy for 2.5k??

an i9 ... with 16 gig ram, 256gig ssd 3000gig second drive .... graphics nvidia 2080... in a nice watercooled case .... and i may have some hundreds left for a nice 4k screen

but that will be one of the "slower" i9 with 8x3600megs clock (around 2.2k euros)

for around 5k euro you already can get an i9 with eighteen cores!!!! ... and with 64 gig ram

i am sure you can not overload such a beast with a few sdr setups

maybe with an xtrx octoboard (close to 1 gig bandwidth ... exactly 8x120 megs)

i do not need such a big bw or such a fast pc

(but if you wanna give it to me for free i would take it hi hi)

dg9bfc sigi

.....


Am 11.01.2019 um 15:49 schrieb erik@...:
Hi,

I mod laptops in my sleep, so to speak.

NOTHING matches warranty like Dell, not nowhere. If that is important to you, then the Precision line with ECC RAM is your game for professional work, and Alienware for all else.

I suggest you get the most CPU you can get:

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-gaming-laptops-and-notebooks/new-alienware-area-51m-gaming-laptop/spd/alienware-17-area51m-laptop

You can put 9900K in that. My buddy & I overclocked (reliably) our rigs, and his IPC (instructions per clock - though I expect you know this,sorry) beat me out for 8% with full custom water-cooled, AX1500i etc, and I pulled three power stations' current doing the same.

Dell won't pull an 'Acer' on you & expire your warranty when you open your rig for whatever reason. They state this unequivocally.

They come next business day (with parts).

The idea with this laptop is - if its electrically & physically compatible with MXM format - you are going to get more upgrades in future.

Whilst the first 1070Ms launched in that funny Dell format (DGD?), the standard MXM sizes came out later (as we expected), and now my AW18 rocks one. This is far from the first laptop I've done similar with.

Up to 30% GPU with SDR Console and Ettus B210....CPU, not so much lower perf mode ~13% high perf mode <9%.

Me.

Patrick
 

Thanks for your replies and advices, guys.

What seems to be coming out of this topic is there's no reliable company, that ensure consistent quality and above all a "clean" power supply (that's actually my biggest concern !).

Of course, my question was not : "is this specific Lenovo better than a Dell ?"  This laptop was an example, amonst many other, of what one can find under $1000.

Whatever the brand is, are there some points one MUST check before purchasing a laptop intended to radio / SDR ?

Regards
Pat




Siegfried Jackstien
 

best would be is you can test that pc on the computer shop ... and take a radio with you

and next would be ask at the computer shop if you can change the psu if it is too noisy (say 14 days turn back and free change agreement)

and ... i would not use a pc case with lots of cut-outs and led strips inside (those funny looking gamer pc) but with a well shielded case

....

years ago i worked for a company that sold modded pc to military, embassy etc ... and they used a few dozen ferrites on all cables (internally and externally!!) ... plus used some self sticking al shielding an all unused holes, gap etc

a well filtered psu was also mounted ...

those pc were nearly rf free when put in the measuring chamber

i am guessing such a modded pc is also the right thing for sdr useage

(no... no ... do not buy such a beast ... they are very expensive ... but copy the moddings on your own pc)

dg9bfc sigi

Am 11.01.2019 um 17:57 schrieb Patrick:

Thanks for your replies and advices, guys.

What seems to be coming out of this topic is there's no reliable company, that ensure consistent quality and above all a "clean" power supply (that's actually my biggest concern !).

Of course, my question was not : "is this specific Lenovo better than a Dell ?"  This laptop was an example, amonst many other, of what one can find under $1000.

Whatever the brand is, are there some points one MUST check before purchasing a laptop intended to radio / SDR ?

Regards
Pat




Stu C
 

While playing SDR here I found that big brand PSU's, the type supplied by Dell, HP, Lenovo in the millions (probably) are well sorted on the RF side.
If a large company is going to make the same basic designs for many models, over a few years, they can justify building and approvals testing them to the most stringent market regulations.
Those "Direct replacements" on Ebay not so much, or at all, I've bought a couple that were just beyond awful.

If you do test in a shop you'd probably want to load the thing well, that laptop probably runs a 120W or more PSU (I'm too lazy to read the spec), how it runs ticking over might not be the same under decent load.

I also found here HDMI cables can be a bigger source of RFI than (good) power supplies or decent laptops main boards. I did make some small copper loops and go over the consumer HP in front of me and it was pretty clean unless the coil was within a couple of inches.

Stu

On 11/01/2019 17:57, Patrick wrote:
Thanks for your replies and advices, guys.

What seems to be coming out of this topic is there's no reliable company, that ensure consistent quality and above all a "clean" power supply (that's actually my biggest concern !).

Of course, my question was not : "is this specific Lenovo better than a Dell ?"  This laptop was an example, amonst many other, of what one can find under $1000.

Whatever the brand is, are there some points one MUST check before purchasing a laptop intended to radio / SDR ?

Regards
Pat




yo7fb
 

Now i use dell laptops, magnesium case- cableless joint different hardware mens low rfi.
For future seriously i think for the image atash. 

Kriss Kliegle
 

Don't forget that SDRC is remote capable via the server service. Mount an old laptop and SDR out and away from all the OTHER noise makers you are going to hear. None of my eight SDR radios are used directly, 2 are 9.6 miles away, 3 are in the repeater shed 350' away, and 3 are in the house. All but one are connected to little Acer Netbooks with Atom processors. The Airspy HF+ didn't play well with those, so it's on my XYL's i3 laptop. Most of my QRM is from the ethernet cable, choked with a 2.4" 31 mix core to tame it.

73 Kriss KA1GJU

erik@...
 

Aye $2.5k USD, my current laptop was nearly 4k GBP.

There is a price to pay for performance & portability. I'm sorry, I should have mentioned that I am a 'road warrior', and always living out of a suitcase.

My crazy high-end Desktop PC, I see for ~6 weeks a year. For the rest of the time it supports cancer research.

You can configure a full-sized PC for less money - but the 9900K is the king of the IPC hill just now. And a full sized PC won't be portable, and arguably, there is not a better cpu....

f1hdi
 

I have one from Hystou running two spyserver instances, the model with a i7 and 2 serial , usb2 & usb3.

Beware a fan was mandatory as the case/pro overheated ... .

73 Jean-Marc

Le 11/01/2019 à 20:34, Tatamare a écrit :

Now i use dell laptops, magnesium case- cableless joint different hardware mens low rfi.
For future seriously i think for the image atash. 

Joe Puma
 

I like these specs you’re throwing around. I plan to build a PC soon, I’m a music Vidéo director in NY and use a Mac Pro now for edited but I am a PC guy at heart. 

Joe
Kd2nfc 


On Jan 11, 2019, at 11:29 AM, Siegfried Jackstien <siegfried.jackstien@...> wrote:

and these beasts start at 2.5 k bucks .... hmmmm

what a stationary pc could i buy for 2.5k??

an i9 ... with 16 gig ram, 256gig ssd 3000gig second drive .... graphics nvidia 2080... in a nice watercooled case .... and i may have some hundreds left for a nice 4k screen

but that will be one of the "slower" i9 with 8x3600megs clock (around 2.2k euros)

for around 5k euro you already can get an i9 with eighteen cores!!!! ... and with 64 gig ram

i am sure you can not overload such a beast with a few sdr setups

maybe with an xtrx octoboard (close to 1 gig bandwidth ... exactly 8x120 megs)

i do not need such a big bw or such a fast pc

(but if you wanna give it to me for free i would take it hi hi)

dg9bfc sigi

.....


Am 11.01.2019 um 15:49 schrieb erik@...:
Hi,

I mod laptops in my sleep, so to speak.

NOTHING matches warranty like Dell, not nowhere. If that is important to you, then the Precision line with ECC RAM is your game for professional work, and Alienware for all else.

I suggest you get the most CPU you can get:

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-gaming-laptops-and-notebooks/new-alienware-area-51m-gaming-laptop/spd/alienware-17-area51m-laptop

You can put 9900K in that. My buddy & I overclocked (reliably) our rigs, and his IPC (instructions per clock - though I expect you know this,sorry) beat me out for 8% with full custom water-cooled, AX1500i etc, and I pulled three power stations' current doing the same.

Dell won't pull an 'Acer' on you & expire your warranty when you open your rig for whatever reason. They state this unequivocally.

They come next business day (with parts).

The idea with this laptop is - if its electrically & physically compatible with MXM format - you are going to get more upgrades in future.

Whilst the first 1070Ms launched in that funny Dell format (DGD?), the standard MXM sizes came out later (as we expected), and now my AW18 rocks one. This is far from the first laptop I've done similar with.

Up to 30% GPU with SDR Console and Ettus B210....CPU, not so much lower perf mode ~13% high perf mode <9%.

Me.

yo7fb
 

Merci for info Jean-Marc, i'm intrested much on rfi ,what about noise generated, specifically on hf?
À bientôt! 73, yo7fb .