So I bought a new laptop about a couple of weeks ago and so far I’m more than satisfied with its performance. Just when I thought that my old laptop was powerful enough to cater my needs for 10 years, I felt the urge of getting a better rig. I was motivated to buy a new one since one of my goals this year is to execute my personal projects (mostly video games and other types of visual media). Comparing my Dell Vostro 1500 with my new MSI CX61 reminded me on how fast the computing technology have progressed for the past five years. Though I must admit that both of my laptops were not top of the line during the time I bought them, a closer look at their specifications will be more than enough to tell a story.
Vostro 1500: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
CX61: Intel Core i7 2.4 GHz
One of the advatanges of waiting for years before buying a new laptop is that you can really tell the difference in processing power. With my Cx61, I’ve installed Visual Studio 2010, Unity 3D ver 4.0, and Adobe CS5 with half the time as my previous laptop. I have to say though, Vostro’s processor is not something to underestimate. I was able to use this laptop in the recently concluded Global Game Jam to create a full 3D game under 48 hours. Considering that the game project can be built in Unity under 10 minutes, I can say that it has exceeded my expectations given that it has been used for five years.
Vostro 1500: 2 GB DDR2
CX61: 16 GB DDR3
This is one of the specifications that makes the CX61 a good buy. Sixteen gigabytes of RAM. Seriously? Other brands that offer such amount of memory are way more pricey than this machine. With this, I’ve upgraded my OS to 64-bit since the 32-bit can only utilize up to 4 GB of RAM. With regards to Vostro, I’ve used it for fairly memory-intensive tasks like 3D Modeling and video editing. It can survive, though I’ve experienced some noticeable hiccups like when I use DAZ 3D.
Vostro 1500: NVidia GeForce 8600M GT (256 MB)
CX61: NVidia GeForce GT 645M (2 GB)
VGA cards evolved so fast for the last five years, I was not informed that NVidia now uses the Optimus technology. To keep it simple, it enables a notebook computer to switch between two video adapters either for maximum quality or minimum power consumption. This will utilize the machine’s battery life. Now my only nitpick is that the resolution of CX61 is 1366 x 768 with a display size of 15.3 inches. The height is a little off for me considering that my Vostro has a maximum resolution of 1280 x 800 with a display size of 15.4 inches.
Vostro 1500: 120 GB
Cx61: 750 GB
Five years ago, I thought 120 GB was more than enough to store every application that I need. After two months, I realized that it was not the case thanks to Wi-fi and Japan’s fast internet connection (Yes I bought my Vostro when I was in Japan). I decided to give a threshold to my file storage such that I’ll back up some of my files when I reach a certain number of gigabytes left for my hard disk. This resulted to over 70 backup DVD’s some of which are dual-layered and my disc binder is about to get full. With the CX61, I don’t think I’ll worry about that for a while… I hope. The funny thing is that with over six times the capacity of my previous laptop, I’m still itching to create some backup discs right now. Ah the force of habit XD.
It’s a good thing I found a budget laptop that still packs a punch when it comes to performance. I hope it’s the same for the durability department. My Vostro costs around 116,000 Yen (about 58,000 pesos) but given that it served me well for five years, I can say that I already got my money’s worth. My Cx61 only costs 37,500 pesos which is pretty low considering the specifications I mentioned above. Well I’ll try to create and play some games to do some benchmarking but that’s for another post V(^_^). If you have any questions regarding these two machines then feel free to post a comment below. (~-_-)~
For my next post, I’ll compare my almost six year-old phone Nokia N70 with my less than a year old phone Xperia Play.