Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Dell computers

Author: P. Massie

Date: 22:37:27 03/06/06

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On March 06, 2006 at 21:31:47, Fernando Villegas wrote:

>I have been thinking in getting a new notebook. My current one -I have it as a
>reserve in case the big one get crushed- is an old 1998 Armada model, still
>running Windows 95. I scarcely use it, mainly in holidays when I go out of the
>city and use it to write. It is in fact a typing machine with some old chess
>programs for leisure between a chapter and the next. Nevertheless, although I
>could still keep it for ever, I think that could be good idea a Dell, as much
>any of them offer 10 times more capabilities for a miserable price.
>Now the question:
>How good are those low price Dell machines? Any of you with some experience
>please tell me.

I manage a corporate IT department, so my group typically buys a few hundred
notebook computers each year.  Consequently, I'm pretty familiar with the major
brands (Dell, HP, IBM/Lenovo).

Dell sells two different families of laptops.  The Inspiron series is designed
for consumers.  It's cheap in every respect.  I generally wouldn't buy one.  The
Latitude family costs a bit more, but is designed for the corporate user, so it
intended to be considerably more durable.  Nonetheless, for the last year or so
Dell has had some serious quality problems on their notebooks (I'm typing this
now on a Dell Latitude 810).  They are going to be releasing a new family of
Latitude notebooks within a few weeks now that will be much faster
(incorporating dual-core processors) and MUCH higher in quality.  I feel quite
comfortable buying or recommending one of these machines, but not any of the

Also, as regards processors for chess, I have benchmarked the Intel Pentium M
family versus the AMD Turion (the notebook version of their Opteron chips)
family.  Clock for clock, the Pentium M is about 20% faster for most chess
programs than is the Turion.  The Intel desktop chips are very slow for chess,
but the notebook chips are designed very well and are very fast.


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