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What the #$&% is up with new notebook computers in 2019?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by Bobby H, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Actually, no. I do not mind notebooks that are a bit thicker and even heavier if need be. Some product reviewers lose their minds if a new notebook weighs more than 5 pounds. I can haul around a 5 pound notebook very easily. 5 pounds is nothing. Even 10 pounds is no problem whatsoever. I'd very much rather that computer companies make high end notebooks thicker and equipped with proper ventilation rather than be thin and "elegant." I think Apple is largely to blame for this meaningless contest over which notebook is the most thin. That's because they're selling computing hardware, phones and other devices as status symbol pieces of jewelry rather than tools to get a job done.

    I guess the proper category is "desktop replacement." I don't care about having giant amounts of battery life. If that was the most important factor then I would get an ultra-portable such as a Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Air. I'm willing to trade greater amounts of computing power in return for shorter battery life. I'm not going to be hanging out at Starbucks for 6 hours. I don't see any need for my own personal notebook to sport a 12 hour battery life.

    BTW, I own a 2nd gen iPad Pro. I bought it in part for the portability, but mostly for how good the Apple Pencil is at drawing on screen.

    The throttling issue, inadequate thermals, etc is still there in 2019 notebooks with the Core i9 CPU. Dell's newest XPS-15 7590 model suffers from it. So does the latest MacBook Pro models. The Core i9 and even some Core i7 models have to be under-volted as a compromise.

    Most newer thin/light computers in the category of Dell XPS, MacBook Pro, Razer Blade, etc only come with SSDs these days. I don't have too much of a problem with NAND Flash-based hard drives. But I would never store anything of value long term on one since they can go from perfectly operational to 100% dead without any warning.

    I don't need a high end Quadro-based video card (or Xeon CPU either), but I will not settle for a cheap integrated graphics chip that feeds off main system memory either. A good quality, dedicated graphics board that doesn't drain the battery too fast would be the right balance for my purposes. I'm putting more emphasis on the computer screen and ample amount of RAM above other priorities, such as the type of CPU or dedicated graphics board. Any reasonably good dedicated graphics board can drive multiple monitors and accelerate mainstream graphics applications. If I need brute force Quadro power in my home setup then I don't even need to be looking at anything in a notebook form factor. I would be stuck with desktop towers instead, where the REAL Quadro boards live (along with extreme high prices for those boards). Unfortunately that means having my leg chained to a computer desk at home. I am not going to do that.
     
  2. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Johnny here is a vegan, glutton-free cooler for your mac book

    vegan cooler.jpg
     
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  3. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I get the impression (and this is just my impression, it may not be the case), that some of the requirements/desires/wants for the new laptop are at odds with each other.

    You want to be in X laptop category, but some of the spec needs brings you more to Y laptop category that you don't want to be in.

    Part of that is what you already stated, lack of options (which helps vendors in the production process). They kind of "force" you into certain levels that you don't want or in the past, didn't need to be in.



    There was a question mentioned, that I haven't seen an answer to and that is what are your software needs? The exact software you'll be using on this computer? I could just assume Adobe/Corel (mainstream applications that even the "normies" are aware of and may use), but "mainstream graphics applications" in general carries a huge swath of programs and their resource needs. Some are more efficient then others etc. You may also want to use Flexi on this computer, although I wouldn't consider that apart of "mainstream graphics applications" with respect of even "normies" using it, much less even knowing about it.

    Given that this is for the home setup, you may also use "mainstream graphics applications" that you don't normally use in your business (or is this is an exact workflow clone of your business workflow?). I just don't know. My home setup has programs that I don't use (or use a lot) in my business day to day operations, so either one is quite possible in my mind.

    I've got one of the 1st gen cintiq tablets (only computer that I have that still has Win (8.1) on bare metal) that runs CS6 just fine on it. Not a whole lot of mult-tasking with it, just one Adobe program at a time, but it works and it works fine for my needs (as a portable computer to do work while on the road, but not meant as a replacement workstation).


    There exists a real possibility that you should be looking that as well, despite the fact that you don't want to be chained to the desk at home. Especially if you are wanting to continue to look at the consumer level products, but with prosumer needs and desires.

    Have to keep in mind, the majority of the computing population (which in turn drives the specs offered on consumer laptops) does not have the same needs as the ones that would be in our category. Especially in today's computing environment. While I think desktops will continue to exist, it will be due to our prosumer needs that will help them to stay around.

    If portability is at such a high demand in your quest for a replacement laptop (which it should be if looking at a laptop in the first place), like this post seems to show with not liking what you are finding, may have to either temper your expectations or look at the laptops that have the "fake" graphics cards (whenever "fake" or "real" are used, I always have to wonder if some true by definition is happening. May not be, but without knowing the specifics of considering one group "real" and one group "fake", that's the first thing that my mind goes to ("no true scotsman" example)).

    Only thing that I can suggest if wanting to stick within the consumer lineup is either temper your requirements, or look at brands/places that you wouldn't normally look if the customize options of your go to places don't work out for you, or think about changing what category your looking in.
     
  4. brycesteiner

    brycesteiner Member

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    Your own words certainly put this at odds and not sure if you are being serious or not about your search.
    Any of the new notebooks are tremendously faster than what you have now. Especially with the SSD's. I see you are not a fan of SSD's but I've never had one go bad in the last five years. Over the last 30 years I've had many harddrives fail - some without notice - others just losing slowly.

    Like I said, I can easily render 4k video in FCPx while exporting from RAW pictures from CaptureOne, while the Affinity is exporting a PDF for print/cut, and running virtual machines, on the 6 core i9. I don't wait on it very often. I had the 2018 i7 MBP 4 core with the mid-grade video card, I upgraded this year to the 2019 i9 6 core with the best video card, and it's been great. Most of time it's waiting on me. It literally is a desktop replacement when I have dual 4k screens connected keyboard and touchpad - by one cable.
     
  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I haven't had an SSD fail yet and in fact, I have had one that had well over the write amounts that the OEM was giving it.

    I've only had a couple of mechanical drives fail and they were very, very slow. I was able to get stuff off (using CLI tools as to keep everything cool) that weren't backed up.

    Either one of these situations can be mitigated by having good backup practices in place. And use them often.
     
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  6. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I don't want a Core i9 CPU in a new notebook, but would like the freedom to max out the RAM capacity and have a good, but not necessarily top of the line video card. It's not that hard to understand.

    Far too often if you want to max out a particular feature in a computer the manufacturers force you into a package where a bunch of other maxed out categories come along for the ride, such as that over-priced, over-heating i9 CPU. Obviously the game is squeezing customers for extra money. They can't just have a single configuration page for a given model of desktop or notebook computer. They make you start from a pre-set "package" with lots of choices already made.

    This is a sign industry forum. Obviously the machine will be used for a pretty wide variety of graphics work, including video/motion graphics work and some 3D modeling/animation.

    You are not reading my comments clearly. Where exactly did I say that portability was a "high demand" want in this system? Battery life and portability is not a binary yes/no situation. There are varying degrees of portability. I don't care if a notebook is bulky and weighs 10 pounds. It's not necessary for it to have 12 hours of battery life either. On the other hand some models, such as Alienware's Area 51 notebook, have battery life so short it's a wonder why it has a battery at all. I think a "happy medium" of say 2-4 hours of battery life in a somewhat high end notebook is a fairly reasonable demand. The MacBook Pro and Dell XPS notebooks both easily do that, even the models with the i9 CPUs and horrible thermal performance.

    As for "fake" graphic cards, yeah I put integrated graphics chips into that category. Those things are only good for cheap (and disposable) notebooks used for just browsing web pages and basic office productivity use. I'm not interested in buying anything like that. Even if I wanted to do so most such notebooks come pre-configured or confined to very low hardware specifications (cheap CPU, puny amounts of RAM, etc).

    I have already accepted that the next notebook I buy will most likely have a solid state hard drive. I understand the performance advantages they have over old fashioned drives and that will be a plus. But there are possible pitfalls. On the bright side Samsung or Western Digital (I forget which) has a new breed of SSDs coming out where if a single NAND chip fails it won't take out the whole drive. The chip will be allowed to fail in place while the drive takes various measures to protect the data on it. The only consequence will be reduced disc capacity rather than a completely dead drive.
     
  7. Category5

    Category5 Member

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    That’s not true at all. Non-workstation graphics cards don’t support OpenGL, which is what “mainstream graphics applications” use for GPU acceleration. A whiz-bang multi-monotor setup running on a high end GTX Card doesn’t do anything to accelerate your Adobe software that a basic built in card doesn’t do. It will make your games look super cool, but nothing else.
     
  8. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Ladies ladies, you need to buy better fitting underwear to keep it from bunching
     
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  9. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    I do not think Bobby H is even looking for a laptop. He just likes to ramble on about his knowledge of the subject. He probably gave a dissertation of his toys his parents bought him as a kid.
    I think he needs an Etch A Sketch. Fast, no battery or graphic card and lightweight and durable.
     
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  10. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Hence at odds with each other.


    Uhhhh, not quite as obvious as that. Not every sign maker uses video/motion graphics software and/or 3D modeling/animation. NOT that there aren't some that do, but NOT everyone does. I don't know which one you fall under etc. Besides that, software still isn't known either.

    Now with modeling/animation, does it also have to handle rendering (actually even 2D animation can be problematic, especially if creating/editing in HDR)? Or do you have a dedicated render farm or outsource to one?



    Oh, maybe that's the impression that one gets when reading this:

    When I read that (now it is just me), I'm thinking that someone really wants to be portable, otherwise why be so against a desktop option when what you are looking for in laptops is not doing it for you?

    Now another reason for a laptop at the desk to where portability isn't a driving factor, would be smaller form factor, smaller real estate footprint in other words. But since you don't want to be tied to the desk, that doesn't seem like a reason for you either.

    I never mentioned battery life. If wanting to do some serious work on a laptop, that comes at the price of batter life. I figured battery life was low on totem pole myself. My interest/concern in this topic is more from CPU/RAM/VRAM etc. And with regard to those, may have to temper your expectations.


    I was referencing your talking about quadro cards on laptops versus desktop ("where the real quadro lives according to you).

    As seen here:


    That's were my talking about true by definition was coming from.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  11. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Although I could be classified as a computer hobbyist, and once upon a time I played games on computers, I have no desire to go home and do more sign work at home. And when I am with my wife and family, I don't want to have a laptop on my lap nor a phone in my hand. The time I have there is limited enough. Work can stay at work. The laptop I do have I use when we are traveling so I can check email, look things up, etc. But not to do work.
     
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  12. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Unless you are on a Mac, then those programs need Metal support (or do some work around) as OpenGL has been deprecating along their current OSs.
     
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  13. Category5

    Category5 Member

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    True. My comment was more aimed at pointing out the odd “I want to do professional level stuff, but I unconditionally refuse to do it with a professional level computer!” attitude. It’s just odd that an individual, who claims to want exactly what workstation grade laptops were created for, insists that he doesn’t need one and is steadily complaining that consumer grade machines don’t meet his needs. I give up.
     
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  14. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    A small, lightweight laptop with a long battery life is actually really nice to have if you're working at home and you don't want to be chained to the desk. I never thought either were that big of a deal and I used to buy beastly Windows laptops, but I never bothered to take it away from my desk much. Couple years ago I got a Macbook Air, which is miniscule yet still more powerful than my last laptop, and it runs everything I need (mainly Ai/Ps/Id). The size, the weight, and even the magnetic charger plug that pops off makes it easier to move it around the house, take it to a cafe or library, etc.

    P.S. Not a fanboy – it's the only Apple product I've ever owned, but I do love it.
     
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  15. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Well the OP should talk to my SIL. Her last gaming laptop cost roughly $4000. No that is not a typo.

    That being said I agree with Unclebun. When I'm done with work I'm done. Don't need to drag that s%$t into my free time. We are here for a finite time and I choose to have more fun and be a little more broke. How's that saying go? People that know they're drawing their last breaths never say; "Gee I wish I would have worked more"
     
  16. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    It's hard to do when you have a home office...

    My home office doubles as a YouTube studio for my 7 year old... we argue about who's work is more important and who has to get kicked out... sometimes it me :(
     
  17. AF

    AF Active Member

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    If it is for home why not just a traditional desktop machine? Cheaper and more power than a laptop and you can build your own.
     
  18. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I do not want a desktop machine for reasons I mentioned earlier. The creative process isn't always a 9-5 thing. Sometimes I bring my work home. Or I might be working on artwork that has nothing to do with my day job. When I'm away from the day job I just don't want to be confined to another computer desk. Even working from a coffee table in the living room while watching TV is a lot better than being stuck at a computer desk. It's also nice to have the option of leaving the house.

    Not at odds with each other at all. Running a computer with a very ample amount of RAM does not require a totally top of the line CPU. Maybe you missed what I wrote earlier about the Core i9 being a waste of money in just about any notebook. That CPU overheats and throttles way down. Why spend all that extra money for a CPU that's going to heat up the notebook hotter than hell and bog down to speeds considerably slower than a Core i7?

    This freaking thread isn't about anyone getting to "vote" on what kind of computer I'm going to buy. My complaint at the beginning of this thread was about computer manufacturers building case designs (notebook cases in this instance) where the "elegance" of the case risks compromising any top flight hardware put inside of it. Then they limit the customer's choices on being able to tailor the guts inside the notebook to get really good performance without overheating the system.

    Adobe's video-centric applications are demanding enough without even bringing 3D modeling and animation applications into it. As I said before, there's no such thing as having too much RAM when you're using After Effects. Then there's the issue how performance demands are going to increase over the next several years. I'm not buying a new computer every 2-3 years. I'm going to buy something that's built to last, but also isn't going to cost an insane amount of money either.

    Do you not realize that notebooks can be used on a coffee table with the AC adapter plugged into a wall outlet and then taken to other locations to run off the battery with varying amount of frequency? As as I said earlier, "portability" is not a absolute binary situation. You're trying to characterize it like that to somehow argue that I just need to buy a desktop machine. If I'm going to be stuck at a stupid desk I might as well just stay at the freaking office that much longer.

    That's a complete mis-characterization and misunderstanding of my comments and complaints from the beginning of this thread. My problem is Apple, Dell and others are selling high/higher end notebooks with serious thermal issues that cause their top of the line CPUs to overheat and throttle way down. If you want to avoid that problem by downgrading to a less hot CPU then everything else in the package gets downgraded too. The really annoying thing is these companies have been fully aware of these thermal issues for years and are doing little, if anything at all about it.

    In the end the choices of a new notebook get shoved to two extremes. One extreme is buying a much cheaper yet far less hot notebook that won't last nearly as many years. The other extreme is breaking the bank account for something along the lines of a Lenovo ThinkPad P73, Dell Precision 7730 or something else similarly thick, heavy but featuring at least some acceptable thermal ventilation. And those systems, like Alienware's Area 51 gaming notebook, naturally have to run hooked up to a wall outlet nearly 100% of the time.

    Dell and Apple both are selling systems in the middle of those two extremes, Dell more so on price point with its XPS-15. By the way Dell's Precision 5540 notebook is the same thin/light form factor as the XPS-15, but with Mobile Xeon CPUs and mobile Quadro video boards being options. The fully tricked out offers look attractive. I could buy a Dell XPS-15 with a Core i9, 64GB of RAM, 4K OLED screen and other options for $2700. It's very tempting until you see the complaints about the Core i9 and its thermal issues.
     
  19. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    What you are wanting and what you are seeing are at odds with each, because it's not offered. Or atleast not offered in ways that you find acceptable.

    My not like it, may not think that it's necessary or anything along those lines, but it is what it is now.

    Personally, I would be looking at Xeons, but that was already eliminated. I wouldn't be bothering with these lines in the first place.


    That's not the point of what I was talking about when I made that post.

    Things change. Have to adapt to that (just like with your complaints about Corel's latest iteration, and yes alot of those complaints on Corel were bug related, the point that I'm trying to get at is that situations change and thus decisions as well). Not saying like it, not saying to even understand why. Adapt the best that you can.



    I wish you luck on that one. I think that's one of those 3 choices and can pick 2 type of deal.

    Although, bare in mind, with the majority of software out there (I would include the OS as well at least from one vendor), going on the rolling release model, that may not work out for you anyway. In part due to hardware, but also how quickly things accelerate as well.

    Yet another reason why I don't like the rolling release model on work related computers.

    It doesn't matter about the varying degrees of portability that you are wanting. You are wanting to do both of those things. To even do either one, is going to require a portable form factor to do it (or at least easily anyway depending on the coffee table).

    Thus is part of the reason why I'm saying your valuing portability highly, because you want to do those things.

    What I'm trying to get across is that you need to work within the choices (rather or not they suck or whatever) that are available now given the form factor that you are wanting. You may have to temper your expectations depending on explicitly you are wanting or look harder and maybe at different brands (although I personally wouldn't do that, but for effort of trying to be complete with available options for the purpose of this thread, I'm throwing it out there, I would stick with the traditional brand name, but maybe that isn't the best thing to do anymore, I dunno).

    That tends to be a universal thing across many industries. Unless you want to pay out the wazoo to get it radically customized.


    You know, I've seen (or at least how it appeared to me, so take it for what it's worth) that one company you mentioned looking at has done that on multiple issues and before they admitted that yea, there is a problem, they have done everything to spin it otherwise.

    So I'm really not all that surprised. If one really wants them to change, have to hit them where it counts. And for them (like everyone), that's in the pocketbook.


    Personally, I like the Lenovos. I have both a laptop and and my main workstation are Lenovos. Now, they have an extra feature that most on here wouldn't take advantage of, but for me it's great (Dells do as well on certain lines (also very expensive lines)).

    With regard to "breaking the bank", you have to remember you are wanting to do work related tasks on the computer and these are designed for intensive work. Yes, that work may not be as frequent as your office rig, but it is still work. It is still related to generating money. That should help diminish that ROI.


    You know, everywhere that I go that would cater to this type of computer use tend to have plenty of outlets to hook up the computer.

    And since I'm personally used to having my laptops always plugged in (I actually remove the battery as to not kill that by doing this, of course, that makes plugging in mandatory), that wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. Now that's just me. It's portable enough even with doing that (and I'm defining portable in this instance as not only changing the room, but also changing the physical address(technically going from room to room is enough to quality as just changing location) of the computer when it's being used for my work). Again, for me, your experience may vary.
     
  20. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    Im not sure why gaming laptops are even on topic for a work station.

    If you look had enough, there's this brilliant company called lenovo. They they have a model called the "Think Pad" and in that Think Pad range they have the "P Series"

    Have a look at the P1 Gen2

    CPU Choices?
    i7 9750H
    i7 9850H
    i9 9880H
    Xeon E-2276M

    That's quite a range!

    Ram? No worries
    16gb up to 64gb.

    Storage?
    512gb M.2 up to 2tb M.2

    Not enough? it supports 2 M.2 cards. up to 4tb!!

    On board Graphics?
    NVIDIA Quadro T1000 or T2000 Max-Q 4GB GDDR5 graphics. What more could you need?

    If that's not enough of a laptop for you. look at the P53 range.
    You can spec it up with a NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q 16GB GDDR6 Card and a UHD Display

    The Laptop you "want" is available. Stop looking at consumer grade stuff like the dell XPS (i own one and they're great. It does my medium format 50mp 16 bit RAW files)
     
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