Looking for potential replacement for Dell Precision M6500

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by rlk, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. rlk

    rlk Notebook Geek

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    I've been quite happy with my M6500, which I've had since 2011, but it's getting a bit long in the tooth CPU-wise and I wouldn't mind a higher resolution screen than the 1920x1200. Unfortunately, the options I've looked at all have compromises: the M6800 offers decently fast CPUs on the high end but no screen resolution above 1920x1080; the M4800, amazingly, offers a higher resolution (3200x1800) but is only 15", and the newer 7710 offers some nice options but only one 2.5" drive bay (I currently have 3 2.5" + 1 mSATA). I'd prefer a higher resolution so I could use smaller fonts and get more on the screen. I haven't seen a lot of obvious options out there, but maybe there's something I don't know about.

    I do a lot of photo stuff and have a copy of my images (currently >2TB) on my laptop. On vacation I routinely process a few hundred photos per day; when I shoot sports I might review 2000-3000 and select 10% for further processing. The Core i7-920XM is a bit sluggish by contemporary standards. Cloud storage isn't a good option for me since my internet connection is 1500/368 DSL, and I want a local copy anyway.

    Anyway, The Sticky:

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? <$2000 (used is fine, and almost certainly will be the case)

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen (my camera and laptop bags can hold 17" laptops; anything bigger would present logistical problems in that regard).
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator. USA, but not averse to buying from a trustworthy overseas seller if I have eBay/Amazon type buyer protection.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Dell (I've had a good bit of experience working inside them; all of my laptops, over the past 17 or so years, have been high end Dells).
    b. Dislike:
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed? Yes, or used; I'm going to trash any preinstalled image without even booting it anyway and install Linux on it or replace the boot drive.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook? Photo/video editing, software development.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both? Both, but I don't mind being a pack mule.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games? No.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need? 1 hour; 2 would be better for use in meetings.

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK? Online is fine as long as the specs and description are all there.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc. Linux

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. (Scroll down to see screen resolution information.) 1920x1200 or higher; higher would be better.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.) More concerned with color accuracy and gamut; everything else being equal would prefer matte.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you? No, but robustness and serviceability are important; I'm particularly hard on keyboards and usually have to replace them every 18 months; I'd like that not to be every 6.

    15) When are you buying this laptop? Within the next year or so.

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last? >5 years.

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive? 4 TB at a minimum; 6 TB would be much preferred; would also like an mSATA/nVME stick for root/boot/swap/home directory.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner? No.

    ==========
     
  2. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    Yeah the Dell business outlet will super be your friend here.

    Have you looked at the 7710?

    Some really really powerful configs.

    http://outlet.us.dell.com/ArbOnline...i9fe8ELVYnWOtmnMg7pvn8KagOUNkACCQ1tL29pfaKw==

    One for like 1800 has overkill everything except the screen which is still 1080p. But the one for like 1400 is 4K with a smart config you could upgrade down the line for more storage and ram.

    I'm a big fan of this model and the business outlet.
     
  3. rlk

    rlk Notebook Geek

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    The 7710 was my obvious choice until I realized that it only has one 2.5" drive bay and no optical drive to replace (that's 2 bays less than my M6500). It does have 2 M.2 slots, but 2TB M.2 devices are extremely expensive and I don't need that kind of speed for image storage (ordinary spinning rust is reasonably satisfactory for that purpose).

    I was angling for an i7-6920HQ -- that's about 10% faster than the 6820, and the Xeons don't really offer any more until you're up at the 1545.

    I wasn't familiar with that site, though. If nothing else, it's a useful reference to set the market for shopping on eBay, if I do decide to go with the 7710. Thanks!
     
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  4. ThatOldGuy

    ThatOldGuy Notebook Deity

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    The most storage you can get is going Clevo these days (without getting a 18" laptop or giving your first born son to Panisonic for a Toughbook)

    The P870KM has 3 M.2 bays and 2 2.5" bays. And way overpowered for what you do (desktop CPU and SLI capable). Also very large even for 17"

    Next best is the P670HS, has 2 M.2 Bays and 2 2.5" bays. More reasonably speced for a Photo/Video editing machine; and reasonable size and weight for 17" notebook.

    The P775DM is similar to the P670HS, but has desktop CPU

    I'd recommend the P670HS: http://www.hidevolution.com/evoc-p670hs-g-custom-built-gaming-laptop-w-nvidia-gtx-1070-w-g-sync.html

    The absolute most storage capable machine with dedicated graphics and good CPU is the Getac X500 server with 7 2.5" bays and 1 M.2. Is a 15" machine but 4" thick (Expansion base can can be removed) Cost about $9000, but seriously Bad@$$

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  5. rlk

    rlk Notebook Geek

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    The P670HS (in its many incarnations) looks like a reasonable choice. Unfortunately, it appears to be limited to 1920x1080.

    One other thing I'm concerned about is parts availability and (self)-servicing. I suspect the Clevos are easy enough to service, but I'm less sure about parts availability (particularly aftermarket -- if I'm looking for 5-8 year lifetime, I need to be able to find parts easily. There don't appear to be nearly as many aftermarket machines and parts available for it, and I don't want to have to go the depot repair route.

    It looks like I have compromises whatever I do. The Dell M6800 is limited to 1920x1080, and probably an TN screen to boot (which I'd really like to get away from). The M4800 goes higher, but it's 15" and its screen doesn't appear to be IPS either (at least I didn't see it advertised as such). A lot of these machines are surprisingly expensive on the aftermarket, too. The Clevo/Sager/Eluktronics screen is 1920x1080, but at least it's IPS. The 7710 has just one 2.5" drive bay, essentially limiting me to 2TB inside at least until 4TB laptop (9.5mm) drives come out, if they ever do, but they're certainly plentiful.

    If there were a practical way to stick a newer screen in an M6800, that would probably do what I want, but discussions I've seen on the net suggest that this would be very difficult if it's doable at all. I'm reasonably experienced with working inside these things, but that project might be a bit more than I want to deal with.
     
  6. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    I have been running my Clevo for 8 years plus, I am still finding parts. If you get a popular model you will find parts. However, I recommend you wait for the new 17 inch model: http://www.clevo.com.tw/clevo_prodetail.asp?id=1051&lang=en

    As for what is currently available to you for your specs and budget: search result .
    You can see and change the search parameters using the "Refine results" button in the upper-left part of the search results page. You can also click on the laptops for more information. (EU/US) stands for Europe/USA only model.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
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  7. rlk

    rlk Notebook Geek

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  8. rlk

    rlk Notebook Geek

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    Finding information on Clevo systems is like pulling teeth. But it looks like all of the 17" machines that have 2 2.5" bays and a UHD screen also have desktop processors, which is overkill. Some of the 15.6" laptops, interestingly, do have 2 such bays and UHD screens. I just don't know how satisfied I'll be with the (physically) smaller screen.
     
  9. ThatOldGuy

    ThatOldGuy Notebook Deity

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    P670HS has normal BGA notebook CPU and 17" screen with 2 2.5" bays
     
  10. ThatOldGuy

    ThatOldGuy Notebook Deity

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    I'm not sure if you considered it. it may be simpler to have external HDD and get what Laptop you like best and not worry about bays

    A 5TB USB powered external for just $140: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...115&cm_re=external_hdd-_-22-179-115-_-Product
     
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