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Need a system recommendation! Laptop or Mini ITX for my particular needs?

Hey guys, 

 

Was in the process of brainstorming my next build. I had assumed I would be best off by building another PC to cater to my needs, but now I'm not so sure that that's the best call if a decent, pre-built laptop could cover all the bases. 

 

Here the deets from the sticky post. 

 

Approximate Purchase Date: no rush.  Don't mind waiting for parts to come in, or for something to come back in stock. 

 

Budget Range:   For a prebuilt, I'd like to stay under $1000. I have a bit more wiggle room if I'm assembling. 

 

System Usage from Most to Least Important: This will be used primarily to replace our cable box. I'm anticipating a lot of media usage. Playing video files off an external HD, netflix, etc. But also some light browsing, potentially streaming live events, as well. 

 

Are you buying a monitor:  No, I'll be using my TV as the primary display. 

 

So,  need a PC to watch movies on my TV. If I go with a laptop, it'll almost always be closed, so screen quality does matter too much. I'd like some extra RAM just to handle tabs. And it probably goes without saying, but I'd like it to be wifi and bluetooth compatible as I won't be using ethernet, and will be using a wireless keyboard/mouse. 

 

I know that's a ton of info, but I'm just getting back into the PC game, and there's a ton of options. I realize I don't need a monster rig to play movies, so I'm hoping there's a decent laptop out there that will be able to handle my needs. 

 

Links/specific models are much appreciated. And I'd be happy to provide more details if I left anything out. 

 

Don't be afraid to ask! 

 

Thanks! 

 

 

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Oh ok just get some random i5 or ryzen apu prebuilt with an ssd and call it a day really. Hp has got some neat offers rn with a ryzen 4600g equipped system for around 500$.

 

Since it's a stationary system always plugged in you don't want to go for a laptop here. Really form your usage even a low end i3 or amd ryzen athlon desktop will totally do the trick as long as it has 8gb of ram and a ssd.

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In my experience (and I'm sure there'll be other who disagree with me), desktop processors always feel smoother not just in games but also just general computer use (moving mouse around, opening 500 tabs, have 5 chat apps open, things like that).

 

I think this is because of the severe power limit on laptops compared to Desktop chips. Most desktop chips are pushing 200W these days, while a really powerful laptop charger is only 200W for a gaming laptop and usually goes around 60-90W. That laptop power is for the entire machine not just the CPU while the 200W number on desktops is just for the CPU (whole machine is like 700Wish). From just the power alone, you can see laptops are severely limited and I think this power restriction cause it to turbo in a much restricted manner even if the CPU IPC, architecture, and max turbo is the same.

 

If mobility is not a requirement I'd stay away from laptops in general (even gaming ones).

 

BTW Certain tiny computers like the intel NUCs use laptop CPUs with external (laptop) power chargers, the restrictions also apply to those.

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Id suggest just spending 50-100$ on a pi4 kit (like one of those cannakits) and use that. It would be plenty for your use.

I am still TechWizardThatNeedsHelp, just less of a mouthfull.                                     This is not financial advice. I am not a financial advisor. I am not tiable for what you do

ALWAYS REMEMBER: FULL SPECS IN A TROUBLESHOOTING QUESTION AND TO NOT BE A DICK IF SOMEONE CANT FIGURE OUT THE ISSUE

My beautiful, but not that powerful, main PC:

prior build:

Spoiler

 

 

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49 minutes ago, jaslion said:

Oh ok just get some random i5 or ryzen apu prebuilt with an ssd and call it a day really. Hp has got some neat offers rn with a ryzen 4600g equipped system for around 500$.

 

Since it's a stationary system always plugged in you don't want to go for a laptop here. Really form your usage even a low end i3 or amd ryzen athlon desktop will totally do the trick as long as it has 8gb of ram and a ssd.

Awesome. I figured I could disable the screen, but it seems like a bonafide system is the way. Thanks! 

47 minutes ago, StackUnderflow said:

In my experience (and I'm sure there'll be other who disagree with me), desktop processors always feel smoother not just in games but also just general computer use (moving mouse around, opening 500 tabs, have 5 chat apps open, things like that).

 

I think this is because of the severe power limit on laptops compared to Desktop chips. Most desktop chips are pushing 200W these days, while a really powerful laptop charger is only 200W for a gaming laptop and usually goes around 60-90W. That laptop power is for the entire machine not just the CPU while the 200W number on desktops is just for the CPU (whole machine is like 700Wish). From just the power alone, you can see laptops are severely limited and I think this power restriction cause it to turbo in a much restricted manner even if the CPU IPC, architecture, and max turbo is the same.

 

If mobility is not a requirement I'd stay away from laptops in general (even gaming ones).

 

BTW Certain tiny computers like the intel NUCs use laptop CPUs with external (laptop) power chargers, the restrictions also apply to those.

500 tabs is very like me. I just built my first gaming rig, and it feels great. But I don't have any windows laptop experience to compare it to. Was mac for quite a while. Mobility will never be an issue aside from moving it to replace the TV or moving it to another TV, but I don't see either of those happening often. I asked a few other places and got recommended the NUCs. Didn't realize it was a laptop CPU, kinda defeats the purpose. I appreciate the heads up! 

46 minutes ago, HelpfulTechWizard said:

Id suggest just spending 50-100$ on a pi4 kit (like one of those cannakits) and use that. It would be plenty for your use.

Now this is an idea I hadn't considered. Giving me something else to research! 

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23 minutes ago, TheLootGoblin said:

Awesome. I figured I could disable the screen, but it seems like a bonafide system is the way. Thanks! 

500 tabs is very like me. I just built my first gaming rig, and it feels great. But I don't have any windows laptop experience to compare it to. Was mac for quite a while. Mobility will never be an issue aside from moving it to replace the TV or moving it to another TV, but I don't see either of those happening often. I asked a few other places and got recommended the NUCs. Didn't realize it was a laptop CPU, kinda defeats the purpose. I appreciate the heads up! 

Now this is an idea I hadn't considered. Giving me something else to research! 

My not a laptop recommendation is because for one you'll ruin the battery. Secondly it costs more for a equally good machine and thirdly you can't upgrade much in a laptop making it last less long.

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58 minutes ago, jaslion said:

My not a laptop recommendation is because for one you'll ruin the battery. Secondly it costs more for a equally good machine and thirdly you can't upgrade much in a laptop making it last less long.

Enough said! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! 

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