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I've nursed along my old Asus Z71A for far too long. Maxed out the ram at 2 GB. Replaced the 80 GB EIDE drive with a 160 GB drive (no option for an SSD on the EIDE interface). Running W10 Pro on it... albeit very slowly! So I'm shopping for a new 15" laptop with a numpad on the keyboard (which knocks out a number of otherwise competitive laptops).

I'm considering the Dell Inspiron 15 7577 (i7-7700HQ, 1060 GMax GPU, 16GB ram, 256GB m.2 drive along with a 1TB spinner, 1080p display) for about $1200.

Inspiron 15-Inch 7577 4K Gaming Laptop | Dell United States

Since I tend to keep a laptop for a long, long, long time, I'd like to make the new one last equally long, if possible! So hopefully, this is a good one.

I prefer a gen 8 cpu, but there aren't too many laptops out yet with configs I like.. and the performance doesn't appear to be much different. So far.

UserBenchmark: Intel Core i7-7700HQ vs i7-8550U

UserBenchmark: Nvidia GTX 1050-Ti (Mobile) vs 1060

I'm not quite sure if the M.2 drive is SATA or PCIe though. From the description, it sounds like 4x PCIe, which is what I want.

I considered a Lenovo Ideapad 720s 15, but have read the cooling fans tend to be loud.

Any comments, thoughts, other suggestions?
 

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The M2 drive can be both. It's up to the motherboard to use whichever one it can.
That said M2 drive is the way to go. The interface is much much faster (up to 10x faster than even an SSD on a SATA bus).


Steve who has a Z170 system put together from Micro Center parts with a M2. Boots up in less than 8 seconds. Yes, they are that fast.
 

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I run Win-10 Pro on two computers, one in the truck's carpc (80G SSD and 8GB ram) and the Toshiba P55W (100GB SSD and 8GB of RAM) Satellite Radius. Both boot up under 30 seconds on cold boot. I have not had much experience with the M.2 drives, but the price/GB is very attractive with the M2s.

On the brand perspective, I have always had great results with Dell PCs. Lenovo is also a good contender in my book as I have used it and use it now for work. IMO the way Dell's internal frame is considered, they are always on the heavy side. Specs say the Dell you provided is around 6.28lbs and up, while the Lenovo is around 4.18lbs and up. That is a great difference in the weight along, but spec-ed the way you want, it might be on a heavier side with the Dell.

My money is on the Dell though.

PS: Looks like the MoBo needs to either have a M or B type socket to received the M.2 or use an adapter to accommodate it. Just reading the Wikipedia is fun. :|
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Still learning about the (new to me) tech. It's changed a bit... and fairly recently too.

Here are some resources I found helpful:

https://www.computershopper.com/feature/2017-guide-the-best-pci-express-nvme-solid-state-drives


I don't think I'm gonna wait on the Coffee Lake mobile cpu's to emerge. Meanwhile, I just have to make up my mind where to spend the cash. The AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 cpus also sound very promising. But not too many R7s in laptops yet... at least that are very affordable.

I converted my old PC (which still runs great on the core i5-2500k cpu) to an SSD for my OS drive quite a while ago. I had two Raptor main drive failures within a year of each other and moved to my first SSD then.

I recently converted my wife's Toshiba laptop from a TB spinner (slow) to a 250GB Samsung 850 Evo via cloning her HD. Now wish I'd spent the extra $50 and got the 500 GB version. But she still has plenty of space, even with the 250. That thing flies now!

So yeah, a 256GB m.2 NVMe drive backed up by a TB spinner is my current plan, once I find the right laptop.

Quick question... for those laptops that come with the hybrid drives (SSD and HDD), do they typically come from the factory configured in BIOS as raid? Or AHCI?

And I haven't had a Dell before. My last laptop for me personally was the old Asus Z71A that I bought custom. So no OEM bloat. Can I easily get the Win 10 files from Dell and wipe and reinstall Win 10 without needing an optical drive? The current W10 installs on my PC and old laptop were all upgrades from Win 8.1. I'd sure like to dump all the "freebie" bloat the OEMs now put on new computers.
 

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6 Pcs that I use (1 in the RL, 1 media, 1 Wife's Desktop, 1 wife laptop, 1 personal Laptop, and 1 laptop for work) were all either a Win-7 or Win-8 upgrade to Win-10. I have the Win-10 PRO upgrage from Windows website on my flash drive. It just requires the product key to install.

I also use the program Geek Uninstaller (https://geekuninstaller.com/download) to remove all of the non essential software and apps. It also does a registry sweep after the uninstall so there are no files left over.

I am not a computer expert or a computer geek by any measure, but know enough to keep my PCs running for normal day to day use. The extent of using my PC is to watch videos with our son, or do word processing/spreadsheet. No games and such so and i5 has been plenty for me. Heck my Dell Pc, which is now just acts as a hub is on Core 2 Quad. lol
 

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I have two laptops currently. My old warhorse a Lenovo Z570 and a newer Thinkpad T470. Only brand that has disappointed is Dell. I'm now trying to go with laptops that are charged by USBC connector. Thats a universal format.
 

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Have you considered a MacBook Pro? I used to be a diehard PC fan and build my own desktop PCs, but the build quality and performance of the Macs has won me over.

After buying two consecutive top-of-the-line Dell laptops and they were great, for a year or two, then the battery would crap out and shortly thereafter other things would go wrong, like dead keys, broken CD-Rom, dead pixels, etc.

I bought my first MackBook Pro in 2011, the DVD crapped out last year, but I never bothered to replace it ($40 on eBay). Everything else still works great so I sprang for a new battery and I still use it occasionally for surfing, formatting external drives and other odds and ends.

I edit a 30 to 100 photos at a time in Lightroom Classic every week, so I treated myself to a new MBP this fall when Apple rolled out their back-to-school special. I got 2-years 0% financing, a $100 Apple/iTunes credit and a set of Beats headphones ($300 value). I fully expect this MBP to last for at least as long as the last one.
 

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I have two laptops currently. My old warhorse a Lenovo Z570 and a newer Thinkpad T470. Only brand that has disappointed is Dell. I'm now trying to go with laptops that are charged by USBC connector. Thats a universal format.
I've been working with computers since 1983 and have been heavily involved with them all along the way. I primarily use Windows 10 and the Mac these days. My daily driver Windows laptop is a Dell XPS 9550. It has an NVME flash drive and was one of the first laptops to have a USB-C port. (I have the latest model MacBook Pro and it has four USB-C ports and nothing else.) I bought Dell's premium support and I've had to use it once. I find their support to be excellent these days. Other points in Dell's history that has not been the case. My Dell is two and half years old. I'm going to try to make it stretch as long as possible. That's one thing I love about the Mac I've got one that's seven years old and still running strong. I'll be lucky to make five years with the Dell, and four years is more likely. Here's my bit of advice to you, SpeedLever, the only model lines of Dell laptops I would consider are:

1. The XPS performance line, which is uniquely neither a business machine nor a consumer machine. Or maybe it's both. I have found that their pure consumer machines are not very good, not to mention the aforementioned software crap that gets installed on consumer boxes.

2. The Dell Precision mobile workstation line is probably my number one choice. Thin light laptops with power including potentially the Xenon chip and M.2 drive. They're not cheap, especially if you need a lot of storage space. But they are the best hardware that Dell makes in my opinion.

I have not had good luck with Lenovo. I was a ThinkPad user for 10 years. Much worse, however, is HP. Steer clear.

My two cents.
 

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Wow well over due for a new laptop!

As with most things there is a direct relationship to your investment regarding quality and the performance especially in laptops.
Unless you are a gamer there is no need for high-end video capabilities to surf the web and play Netflix.
Better to invest in the most current CPU with the greatest performance, fast RAM and fast storage.
What you loose with high end video chipsets on a laptop is reliability and battery life due to the need to feed the beast.
If you don't move the unit much then invest in external storage instead of onboard storage.
All brands fail when it comes to trying to make these units last over the long haul the heat kills them.

If the laptop is more of a desktop I suggest purchasing a desktop or integrated unit and a tablet.
This is a better combo today as most people don't haul a laptop any longer.
Cloud storage is the way to go for photos and important things reducing the demand on the local storage and providing redundancy.

I agree with the statement about the Apple ecosystem. It is a very attractive option from a hardware and integration standpoint although it has higher costs.
The learning curve is not steep especially for those who are windows power users. My wife is not a power user switched to Apple due to work about 5 years ago and loves it.
I have an IMac in fact its an older one, vintage 2010 and it is just as zippy as my Dell desktop which is also older and runs Windows 10 and Linux.
I also have a Fire 8 HD tablet which I paid $50.00 for and take it every where its very capable and I use it a lot more than I thought I would when I purchased it.
I also have a Google Pixel C which is a high end tablet for the most part I don't really need the power it has most of the time.

I use Windows 10, Apple IOS and Fedora Linux. I use Linux most of the time but would never encourage the average user to switch to it.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Guys, I appreciate the info and suggestions. Let me just say up front, I have zero, 0 , NO interest in a Macbook. I see enough iOS on my iPad Pro to take care of the Apple side of the equation. I appreciate where Apple comes from, but that walled garden holds no interest for me.

I have a Toshiba and a couple of Lenovos in the house that I maintain... for the kids and my wife. It's time for my laptop to be updated. My old i5-2500k desktop runs great and I have no need for another desktop. What I need is a new laptop that can function as a desktop when I'm away or need to take my PC off site.

I even have an old Thinkpad with a butterfly keyboard! (Think OS/2 days).

What I want is the latest cpu tech.. but Ryzen 7 laptops are more $$ than I want to spend, i7-8xxx cpus that are currently affordable don't appear to offer any performance gain over i7-7700HQ cpus. And I'm not sure I want to wait for the Coffee lake mobile cpus to hit the market.

I want an NVMe SSD, preferably 256GB or larger, backed up by a TB spinner. The graphics card (which I won't likely use a lot of) just comes along with most laptops that have the hardware I want. But if given the choice, I'll take the GTX 1060 over the 1050 Ti just because.

i7-7700HQ
NVMe 256GB + TB spinner (assuming 4x PCIe). I do not want an m.2 slot that runs on SATA.
16-32 GB DDR4 ram
Windows 10 Pro
lighted KB with a numpad

I'm thinking of either a 15.6 or a 17 inch display. Initially, I was thinking 15.6, but now might consider a 17 ips display.

Dell wants too much money for XPS machines So I'm considering the Inspiron 7577. The Thinkpad 52s is also more than I want to spend. So I'm trying to find the most for the money (up to ~ $1200) that I can find with a solid build and good support.

Maybe what I'm looking for does not exist in my price range. I sure hope that's not the case!
 

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Step 1. Download a FREE Linux distro of your choosing ( I love Mint).

Step 2. Restart computer with your new Linux boot disc and decide how much of you HD partition will remain on Windows. (0% for mine)

Step 3. Enjoy a fast, reliable computer for years that will not slow down with age, catch Viri or malware. Your old laptop will run as fast as a new one and gone are the days of Blue screen of death, spinning "I am thinking" responses, virus scans, malware scans and all of the other Windows non sense. Why do you think NASA, your TV remote controller and Android all run Linux?

You are a glutton for punishment on Windows. If you have a program that only runs on Windows you can run it in Wine that comes in Linux. There is a free version of Libre Office in it so no need to buy Adobe, Office or Word.

Yes, I work on computers quite a bit and went to Linux 8+ years ago and still can't believe how good it is.
 

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. The Thinkpad 52s is also more than I want to spend. So I'm trying to find the most for the money (up to ~ $1200) that I can find with a solid build and good support.

Maybe what I'm looking for does not exist in my price range. I sure hope that's not the case!
I think if it did you would have purchased it already!

In your case...I'd buy the Thinkpad 52 series the others won't last as long. IMHO

Maybe you'll find a refurb on NewEgg or Amazon to get to your budget?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Step 1. Download a FREE Linux distro of your choosing ( I love Mint).

Step 2. Restart computer with your new Linux boot disc and decide how much of you HD partition will remain on Windows. (0% for mine)

Step 3. Enjoy a fast, reliable computer for years that will not slow down with age, catch Viri or malware. Your old laptop will run as fast as a new one and gone are the days of Blue screen of death, spinning "I am thinking" responses, virus scans, malware scans and all of the other Windows non sense. Why do you think NASA, your TV remote controller and Android all run Linux?

You are a glutton for punishment on Windows. If you have a program that only runs on Windows you can run it in Wine that comes in Linux. There is a free version of Libre Office in it so no need to buy Adobe, Office or Word.

Yes, I work on computers quite a bit and went to Linux 8+ years ago and still can't believe how good it is.
I actually d/l and ran several distros of Linux sometime back on my old Z71A. I ended up with some corrupt data and had to work to fix it. I just haven't spent enough time in that environment to have any sort of comfort zone... and am probably not likely to now.. at least for a PC/laptop environment. Although I confess it does intrigue me to some extent.

I think if it did you would have purchased it already!

In your case...I'd buy the Thinkpad 52 series the others won't last as long. IMHO

Maybe you'll find a refurb on NewEgg or Amazon to get to your budget?
Hmm. Not for $1800+.
https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-p/ThinkPad-P52s/p/22TP2WPP52S?menu-id=ThinkPad_P52s
 

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I think if it did you would have purchased it already!

In your case...I'd buy the Thinkpad 52 series the others won't last as long. IMHO

Maybe you'll find a refurb on NewEgg or Amazon to get to your budget?
I'll stick with the Dell Precision 5520, but this ThinkPad P52s is cut from the same cloth. There are pluses and minuses in the configuration of both machines, but they are more similar than not depending upon how you configure.

Having had NVMe, I prefer the straight PCIe (probably M.2 in both the ThinkPad and the Dell is my guess without digging into it) configuration for storage.

You might want to look at gaming boxes that are shy of video, since you're toying with a 17 inch. Although they tend not to be light and thin, they tend to be a lot cheaper than these mobile workstations. ASUS might be a place to look for something with much lower cost but don't expect NVMe.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'll stick with the Dell Precision 5520, but this ThinkPad P52s is cut from the same cloth. There are pluses and minuses in the configuration of both machines, but they are more similar than not depending upon how you configure.

Having had NVMe, I prefer the straight PCIe (probably M.2 in both the ThinkPad and the Dell is my guess without digging into it) configuration for storage.

You might want to look at gaming boxes that are shy of video, since you're toying with a 17 inch. Although they tend not to be light and thin, they tend to be a lot cheaper than these mobile workstations. ASUS might be a place to look for something with much lower cost but don't expect NVMe.
Same cloth and similar pricing too for the Precision 5520 and TP P52s.

OK, a little confusion on my part. My understanding is that m.2 slots can either be SATA or 4x PCIe. Is that accurate?

Some laptops advertise NVMe SSDs and some advertise PCIe SSDs (I assume they are m.2). I also assume that both use the 4x PCIe bus and/or are the same thing, only described differently.

If I am confused about that, can you explain/elaborate?

Here's the Dell in particular that I'm considering:
Inspiron 15-Inch 7577 4K Gaming Laptop | Dell United States

I'm not crazy about the red on black KB lettering or the red backlight. But I like how easily I can get into the back of the laptop and change ram, m.2 drives, battery, etc.

The P52S and Precision 5520 are 50% more expensive. I'm just not gonna spend that much. I've drawn the line at ~$1200-ish. I'll probably add $60 to get Win 10 pro should I pop for that particular Dell I linked.
 

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I've been in the back of the Dell Inspiron 7000 a number of times. I bought this exact model for my son a couple of years ago. And I agree that it's refreshing how easy it is to take it apart and replace things, upgrade things. The flipside of that is that it's heavy. I don't think of it as a traveling laptop. Although it's not as bad as the machine he had before that, an HP 17 inch Envy. This machine, the Inspiron 7000, is a good daily driver. It's nothing special but we've had little problem with it. Believe me if my son can use a machine for two years with little problems, well, let's just say that's a trial by fire. The one problem we've had is that occasionally the power button doesn't work and it won't shut down. I think it's happened twice. Both times I wound up opening the case and pulling the lead off the battery. And it worked fine after that. Hasn't happened in six months or more. That's my only complaint. For me, the trackpad is not up to standard. But I'm real picky about that having been a Mac user for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Back when I did some part time work for the IT dept at a local school, I saw plenty of Dell laptops. They seemed pretty simple to upgrade the BIOS, etc. But that's been a while.

I'll use a wireless mouse with it anyway. So the trackpad is of minor importance.

For ~$1250-ish, I haven't been able to find another laptop as well spec'd as the 7577.
I7-7700HQ
16GB DDR4 ram (easily expandable)
256GB NVMe/PCIe 4x SSD
1 TB spinner
GTX 1060
2x2 dual band wifi
Win 10/pro

I expect to wipe it and reinstall Win 10/pro without all the bloat.

I found a version with white letters for about $10 cheaper here:
http://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/dell-laptops-and-notebooks/inspiron-15-7000-gaming/spd/inspiron-15-7577-laptop/cai157w10p2c615

The only difference I can see is in the URL... the cheaper version says 'work' in the URL. Go figure.
 

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Back when I did some part time work for the IT dept at a local school, I saw plenty of Dell laptops. They seemed pretty simple to upgrade the BIOS, etc. But that's been a while.

I'll use a wireless mouse with it anyway. So the trackpad is of minor importance.

For ~$1250-ish, I haven't been able to find another laptop as well spec'd as the 7577.
I7-7700HQ
16GB DDR4 ram (easily expandable)
256GB NVMe/PCIe 4x SSD
1 TB spinner
GTX 1060
2x2 dual band wifi
Win 10/pro

I expect to wipe it and reinstall Win 10/pro without all the bloat.

I found a version with white letters for about $10 cheaper here:
http://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/dell-laptops-and-notebooks/inspiron-15-7000-gaming/spd/inspiron-15-7577-laptop/cai157w10p2c615

The only difference I can see is in the URL... the cheaper version says 'work' in the URL. Go figure.


So Speed, did you decide to get this?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yep. Ordered it on 3/8. It should be in next week.

Already created a bootable USB drive so I can clean install Win 10 on it.
 

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Yep. Ordered it on 3/8. It should be in next week.



Already created a bootable USB drive so I can clean install Win 10 on it.

Curious: Did you opt for three years of premium support?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
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