No Room At The Top

Published Date
01 - Aug - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Aug - 2006
No Room At The Top
a 40 GB hard disk, 256 MB of RAM, and a Reliance data card for Internet connection. I use my laptop to work on SQL and .NET applications. My problem is that the notebook is slow; I want your opinion on upgrading it. I would also like to play games on the laptop.
Yogendra Dubey

Your laptop is underpowered for any kind of gaming or high-end computing. Also, Intel's Celeron processor isn't good at number crunching compared to the Pentium M processor, so applications such as games, mathematical analysis software, etc. will take a performance hit. In addition, Celeron processors don't support multimedia extensions such as SSE3, so they can't take advantage of the optimisation codes utilised by many multimedia applications.

You can hardly upgrade this laptop; the only thing you probably can is the memory. SQL is a memory-intensive application, and will show better performance with an increase in memory. Don't expect any miracles, however.

Can You Go Better?
For my new cell phone, I have identified the Sony Ericsson P990i-scheduled to launch this summer-and the 02 Atom XDA as the best for me. Please let me know about phones with similar or better features in the same price range.
Prateek Monga

I'm assuming you want to buy one of these phones for typical business usage and not for things that the enthusiast would do-such as installing lots of applications, creating ringtones, and so on. Both the phones you've mentioned are targeted at business users. We at the Digit Test Centre haven't yet reviewed the P990i, and hence can't give you a clear verdict. However, based on our experience with the Sony Ericsson P800 and P910, we can say one thing: these devices tend to be bulky. As far as the Atom O2 is concerned, it is a typical Windows mobile device-it does crash and hang. If you can overlook that, it's a decent device, though it's expensive.

Take a look at Palm's Treo 650-I consider it the best amongst business phones. There are some little niggles that can be overlooked. Nokia's E61 is an excellent business phone for the price; however, do give the QWERTY keyboard a try before taking the plunge. The E61 is available for around Rs 19,000, and the Treo 650 is around Rs 25,000.

For A Few MB More
I have a Pentium 4 3.0 GHz on an Intel 915 GV/GL with 256 MB of DDR2 400 MHz RAM; I want to upgrade to 512 MB. What is the frequency of the module I'll require? Can you suggest a brand, and give me the approximate price for 256 MB?
Sujay Kumar

Your question has the answer! Your system has a DDR2 400 MHz memory module, so to upgrade it to 512 MB, you need either a 256 MB DDR2 400 MHz module, or you can get yourself a single 512 MB module and get some cash off your old stick. I'd suggest you get a 256 MB module-a Transcend, for Rs 1,100-that way, you can configure the motherboard to run in dual-channel mode.

All(Most) Worked Out
I want to buy a PC for gaming, entertainment and educational purposes. I have decided the configuration except for the motherboard: an Intel Pentium 4 Processor 630, 512 MB DDR RAM, 160 GB SATA HDD, DVD-Writer, NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TC graphics card, and driving wheel. What is your opinion on this configuration? I have allocated Rs 9,500 for the motherboard. Can you suggest a good one?

I think you should reconsider your configuration. Instead of the Pentium 4 630, which is a single-core processor, I'd suggest a dual-core processor, that is, the Pentium D. The cheapest dual-core from Intel is the D805 (2.66 GHz), available for as low as Rs 5,750-quite affordable.

As far as the motherboard is concerned, opt for one based on Intel's newly-launched P965 chipset. This way you keep an affordable upgrade path. If you want to upgrade to Intel's new Conroe processor, a P965 motherboard will natively support it, and since the D805 is relatively cheap, upgrading won't hurt too much. MSI and Gigabyte have motherboards based on the P965 chipset.

On the graphics front, opt for a 7300GS/GT-based card over a 6200 TC-based one. You can get a decent 7300GS-based card for around Rs 7,000 (check the Bazaar section in this issue for more details).

I'm Going Digital
I will be buying a digital camera sometime soon, and have a budget of Rs 15,000 or less. Could you suggest me some good models and also mention their exact price? I also want to know if there is a good gaming laptop for less than Rs 70,000.
If your budget can go up to Rs 15,000, we don't know what exactly you mean! A basic entry-level digicam from a reputed brand will set you back by about Rs 8,000. The Canon A420 and the Nikon Coolpix 3100 are a couple of the entry-level models you can look at. If you're talking in the Rs 13,000 range, you can get a very good digital camera from Canon or Sony. The Canon PowerShot A700 and the Sony Cybershot DSC-P200 are two good models.

Coming to gaming laptops, I don't like the idea of using laptops for gaming, for ergonomic reasons. For Rs 70,000, you can get yourself a great desktop gaming machine-forget about laptops!

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