Quiet (but powerful) notebook for business professor

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Elminst, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Elminst

    Elminst Some Network Guy

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    Please don't start a personal argument in the thread. Thank you.

    @Maleko48
    Thank you for the recommendation. Stata is not able to use CUDA for processing, and my wife doesn't game. So, I'm afraid the 1050 would be wasted. Otherwise, the specs look good. Weight might be an issue (2 lbs heavier than both the Dell 7480 and the E480 is significant) and at the high end of our preferred price range. That said, we'll keep it in mind.

    If there are any other recommendations that don't have a dedicated GPU, I'd like to hear them.
     
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  2. RampantGorilla

    RampantGorilla Notebook Evangelist

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    Try the E480, but I wouldn't be surprised if it has the same fan problems as the Latitude. The fans won't turn on when the machine is idle, but when running Stata, the fans will ramp up. Have you tried getting another Latitude from the college and seeing if it also has the same problem?
     
  3. Elminst

    Elminst Some Network Guy

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    The issue is not the occasional ramp up, it's that the fans are constantly pegged at max as soon as it's turned on. I would expect the fans to ramp up during sustained statistic crunching, but certainly not when just surfing Pinterest.

    She has not requested a replacement Latitude yet. Hers was special ordered for her, so it's not their standard config, so they'd have to purchase another. However, if the antivirus is the issue, any new laptop the college provides is going to come mandatory loaded with the same thing.

    Hence the idea that we can find something that will do what she needs and buy it ourselves. Then she is not beholden to the college IT dept. They have no issues with hooking up outside devices (3000+ students bringing their own stuff), but we'd control what gets installed. And, she can take it with her if she leaves this job.
    She was able to crunch all her analysis for her dissertation on the 5 yr old Lenovo U410 (3rd gen i7). From what I can tell, Stata cares more about RAM and HDD speed than actual CPU power. So any of the newer 7th or 8th generation CPU and 16Gb of RAM should be sufficient to get it done faster. It's just a question of how the fans perform under normal use (surfing, office, email).
     
  4. Maleko48

    Maleko48 Notebook Evangelist

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    So a friend of mine just bought a Dell Inspiron 7573 and he loves it. It has the 8th gen CPU and no dedicated graphics. I believe he said his gets about 3 to 4 hours of battery life on Linux which means it will probably do a little better on Windows which is what it ships with but my friend doesn't use Windows anymore. You might even be able to get the 7th gen version of it for even cheaper. He bought his at Best Buy as an open box special. Shouldn't be too hard to find one second hand even if you wanted to go that route. If you consider it you should try researching its thermal system a bit more though because it's hard to know how it would handle being heavily loaded. The reason I strongly recommend the 7567 is because it has an adequate thermal handling system which will allow you to use your hardware to the fullest extend and not have to deal with throttling.

    Also, one other thing I thought was worth mentioning... If your wife has been using her current laptop with an HDD, the HDD is your limiting factor. As soon as you move from HDD to SSD you are going to need a strong CPU to take full advantage of your SSD. Additionally the CPU consumption of that Stata program will likely go UP due to it no longer being bottlenecked by an HDD.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  5. Kent T

    Kent T Notebook Virtuoso

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    How about a contrarian choice. Since the mandatory corporate anti-virus scans get in the way, and being a University owned laptop, why not get a personal Dell Latitude similar to what university provides, but you can control what runs on it when data crunching? Unless you dislike the laptop otherwise?
     
  6. 9ac3

    9ac3 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I would recommend getting a Clevo N141WU from either XoticPC or AVADirect. You can get sth like i7 8550u with 16 gb RAM, 250 gb SATA SSD + 1 TB HDD for just over $1000. It has a Matte screen with a 1080p FHD display.

    The battery life will last for 4 hrs so I think it would be a great buy for your wife's purpose.
     
  7. rlk

    rlk Notebook Consultant

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    One cheap option might be to blow the dust out of the cooling fins. I used a Dell Precision M6500 for years. After a while I noticed that when doing heavy image processing the fans would howl and sometimes the performance would drop to something like 10% of normal and would not come back without suspend/resume. A can of compressed air, blowing the ducts and cooling fins out thoroughly, put a stop to that until they got dirty again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
     
  8. Fred_Huang

    Fred_Huang Notebook Enthusiast

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    I am not expert in data science nor hardwares so I would just summarize what I read about personal data crunching machines.

    CPU: i5, ideally i7+ (more cores, more threads, more power)
    RAM: 16GB, the more the better
    GPU: not necessary unless image data included
    Build quality: any major brand with large business product lines should be fine: Lenovo, Dell, HP.

    Research groups usually have their own clusters or use university's clusters for computation. So I think going 1 level above your wife's current laptop hardware should suffice (like 8GB->16GB, i5->i7) for the future's work. Plus, more and more people now just rent AWS/AZURE for computation and use their own computer basically as a terminal (requires some setup though). The Stata site also

    Honestly I think $700 is a little tight with a moderate CPU + large RAM and SSDs from a well-known brand. Definitely look at official outlet store for good deals. But $900 can get one of this.

    But again, I think any combination of [6th/7th generation i7 + 16GB + 256 GB SSD + 1T HDD] from a well known business line will be sufficient. Intensive computation always takes place on the cloud nowadays. And you want to make compromise between power and battery life/portability. I would just search Thinkpad/Dell/HP's outlet store and bestbuy/BH deals for this combination and choose the best price + battery life.

    Sorry if I couldn't be of more help. Good luck.

    EDIT: But if, just if, your wife is not planning on working with clusters in any foreseeable future and does her research all on this personal computer, I would recommend put in slightly more budget and sacrifice a little compactness to find a model definitely with a fast i7 CPU and additional slots for future ram/ssd upgrades.

    EDIT2: She might want to consult with IT department if there is any university regulation preventing using personal computer for public-funded research or enforcement of certain security softwares on it. Like the IT department's speculation, the fan noise might purely be the result of a tight/broken enterprise grade AV (but upgraded hardware definitely will tolerate the same load with lower temps so I don't know).
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  9. vs40

    vs40 Notebook Guru

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    If 13.3" is OK, look at Clevo N131WU
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...-8th-gen-tb3-4x-aluminum-and-13-3-qhd.812990/
    • Aluminum body
    • 1080p or QHD+ display
    • i5-8250U or i7-8550U
    • m2 NVMe slot + 2.5"
    • 2*RAM slots, up to 32GB RAM
    • Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4 and Display Port
    • Optional SIM-Card slot.
    • Battery life is not great, but for your purposes "on a desk 95% of time" it does not matter.
    Review with 1080p + i7-8550U
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Tuxed...-500-GB-32-GB-FHD-Laptop-Review.260362.0.html
     
  10. 9ac3

    9ac3 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yes, this also a good alternative to the Clevo N141WU I mentioned. I think the QHD display of the 13.3" will suck the battery life a bit faster than the 14 inch FHD one. I personally prefer a 14 inch screen for coding and data work in Stata and Excel. If only the N141WU had an IPS screen with a Matte finish...
     
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