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About CarterBeals

  • Title
  1. This guide looks like it has all the information I needed. Thanks for the help.
  2. How would I go about installing Windows from a USB? Would the Windows activation carry over?
  3. I am looking at purchasing a new laptop fairly soon - the new Dell XPS 15 looks mighty enticing. However, I had a couple questions before I commit to making a purchase. Due to my employment, I have the ability to purchase Samsung 9XX Series NVME SSDs at a slightly discounted price. My intention was to buy the model of laptop with the screen resolution and processor that I desired, and then upgrade the RAM and SSD manually. The Dell information page for the New XPS 15 lists its current SSD configuration as a "PCIE SSD," which as far as I can tell, indicates that the laptop would be capable of taking advantage of the increased speeds offered by Samsung Pros. The only hitch in my plan is that, to my knowledge, the XPS 15 only has one M.2 storage slot. Upon receiving the laptop, I was intending to reset Windows to remove any factory bloatware, and then promptly migrate it over to the new drive. However, I do not know the best way to go about cloning an M.2 drive. I've used external cloning devices to clone HDDs before, but I have not heard of such a thing for SSDs, much less those in an M.2 form factor. Even if said tool did exist, I don't really want to spend money on something I'd likely only use once. This leads me to my question - what is the best way to transfer the information from one M.2 SSD to another? Is it even possible? I would suspect there might be a way to do it by using an external HDD or a USB drive as an intermediary, but I do not know enough about this subject to be certain. Additionally, would the Windows license transfer over from one drive to another? I would hate to install the new drive only to find out that my copy of Windows was no longer activated. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  4. Give https://www.reddit.com/r/hardwareswap/ a try.
  5. I've currently got one Powercolor R9 280 in my system, and I have an opportunity to buy another one for $100. I've been planning on upgrading everything in my PC except the GPU, as I couldn't afford to do it all at once. This is what I'm working with for the time being: CPU: AMD FX 6300 GPU: 1x Powercolor R9 280 RAM: 16 GB DDR3 MOBO: ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 PSU: 500w I know I would need a beefier PSU to handle it, but as that's been on my upgrade list for awhile anyway, I don't have a problem ordering it before the rest of the parts. So yea, leads me back to my title question: Would it be worth $100 to get a second R9 280, which I can do now? Or should I just wait until I can afford something like a 1070, which I may not be able to do for several months? Also of note, I'm using a 1080p 60hz display, and that's unlikely to change until I can afford a nice ultra-wide, which isn't likely to happen in the near future. I feel like a 1070 would be even more overkill than 2 x 280s for what I do and play.
  6. I want to start out by saying I'm not entirely certain if this is the proper forum to be posting this. If it needs to be moved, kindly direct me to the proper location to ask this. Anyway, I'm currently a senior in high school. As I've been thinking about college, I've been deliberating over upgrading my PC situation. At first I was considering buying a high end gaming laptop, but after doing research on my own, most sources said it was better to get a more portable, less powerful (and less costly) laptop and invest the saved money in a desktop system. As much as I'd love to have a gaming laptop for the bragging rights, I recognize that it's not logical, or economically viable. I had not originally considered a desktop system when I was planning for college, but the idea appeals to me the more I think about it, with one problem; I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to my personal possessions, especially technology. If I'm going to be having a desktop system in my dorm room that I won't be able to have on my person, and thus in my sight, at all times, I'd want a little insurance on the safety and security of my device. I know there are software programs available that offer WiFi tracking services, such as Prey, for example (which I currently have installed on my phone). However, if for whatever reason someone were to try and steal my PC, and they had an ounce of computer experience, the first thing they would do is reset it to its default settings (wipe or replace hard drive, reset BIOS settings, etc). This limits the effectiveness of a software based tracking option. So that leaves hardware based. I know there are USB tracking devices that use GPS to log their location. My original idea was to discreetly hide one of these in my case, connect it to a USB header, find a way to configure the USB tracker to deposit it's data to online storage, and there we go, now I know where my PC is if it ever gets taken. However, I suspect that it's not that simple. Research online was confusing, so I figured I would ask here as I continue looking. So my question is, is there a device that does exactly what I'm looking for that already exists? Or am I going to need to get creative and jury-rig my own? I know realistically the chances of someone taking my stuff is pretty slim, but I'm a firm believer that you can never be too careful. I wanted to know if anyone has ever done anything like this, or if it's even possible. I'm fairly experienced when it comes to computers, but I recognize that I don't know everything, so if there are other alternatives that I haven't mentioned here, please let me know.
  7. Yea you hit the nail on the head here. My main priority is portability, with power at a close second. I wouldn't want to carry around a Core all day. And for $600, that could take a nice chunk out of a new desktop system. I'm more concerned about the performance of the Blade Stealth WITHOUT the Core, and how it compares to the other options.
  8. TL;DR at bottom for those that don't like reading walls of text. As I enter my senior year of high school, I've been considering what kinds of things I feel that I need to do to prepare for college, and one of the things on that list is acquire a laptop. I'm the type of person that heavily researches things before I purchase them, and in this case, that tendency is coming back to bite me, as all my research has made me incredibly indecisive. So first, let me explain exactly what it is I'm looking for. I intend to be using my laptop for school, work, and leisure. I'm at the point now where I can type faster than I can write, so I'm going to be doing a lot of note taking for school. Additionally, I dabble in music and video production, so I need something that has a decent GPU and processor. Lastly, I don't intend to be doing any intense gaming on this, I'd rather build a desktop system for that. However, I do like to play some lighter games every once in awhile, things like Starcraft, Modded Minecraft, World of Tanks, etc. So in a list, this would be some of the specific things I would want. -16 GB of RAM for audio production and video editing, as well as light gaming. -Solid processor for same reasons listed above, preferably i7. -Lightweight and portable -Good keyboard for typing all day for classes -Decent battery life for if I am on the move and can't be by an outlet -Dedicated graphics card would be nice, although I'm not opposed to integrated if it's the best option. -Large enough screen to be comfortable looking at for extended periods of time. -Resolution doesn't matter to me. 4K is nice, but 1080p has longer battery life. -Ideal budget between $1,000 and $1,500 USD -While not a deal breaker, I like my technology to be sexy and look nice as well. Lastly, I really like the idea of a 2-in-1. While it may not be useful all of the time, I could see having the option to work in tablet mode come in really handy in some situations. And no, I'm not interested in the Surface. With all things above considered, I've narrowed my choices down to a few options, and all have good and bad things about them. I will list each one, and say what I feel appeals to me and dissuades me from each particular ultrabook. Option 1) Lenovo Yoga 900(16GB RAM i7 512 GB SSD) ($1400) Pros: -Best specs for money -Hinge is sturdy Cons: -In reading reviews, I've heard people mention that the build quality of the Yoga is average at best, with lots of plastic. I've also heard mixed reviews of the keyboard. Option 2) HP Spectre x360 (16GB RAM i7 512 GB SSD) ($1500) Pros: -Premium feel with Ash Silver/Copper accents -Reviews speak highly of build quality and keyboard -Large trackpad -Most aesthetically attractive, in my opinion, of all options. Cons: -There has been talk of heat management being an issue, that the keyboard can get uncomfortably warm. -Also $100 more than Yoga for same specs Option 3) Dell XPS 15 (8 GB RAM i7 256 GB SSD) ($1500) Pros: -Highly acclaimed in reviews. -Large 15" display -Expandable memory, both RAM (Up to 32 GB) and SSD -Dedicated graphics card (GTX 960M) Cons: -Expensive. $1500 for base i7 model, with only 8 GB of RAM and 256 SSD. Model with same specs as Yoga and Spectre (16GB RAM 512 SSD) costs $1830. I could buy the parts separately and add them myself when I got the laptop, as both memory types are expandable, but at a base price with an i7 of $1500, it's already at the upper end of my preferred budget. -Not an 2-in-1 Option 4) Razer Blade Stealth (8GB RAM i7 256 GB SSD QHD Display ) ($1200) Pros: -Solid construction and build quality -RGB Keyboard (I'm a sucker for LEDs) -Least expensive of all presented options Cons: -Smaller 12.5 inch screen -Limited to 8GB RAM -Also not a 2-in-1 TL;DR Each of these options appeals to me in it's own way, which is what makes this decision so difficult for me. The Yoga gives me the specs I want, as well as being a 2-in-1, for the cheapest price, but has what some have called sub-par build quality. The Spectre, while slightly more expensive, has a solid build quality and beautiful aesthetic, but possible heat problems. The XPS 15 looks good, and having a bigger screen and a dedicated graphics card would be awesome, but it comes at a much steeper price. The Razer Stealth leaves me room in my budget to buy some peripherals in the same purchase, but has a smaller screen and less RAM. So after that essay, I'm open to any and all opinions and suggestions. What would you buy if you were in my situation? Are there other options that I haven't considered or researched yet? Thanks for reading and responding.