Can you talk me out of getting a really fast laptop?

Episode 1008 (15:16)

Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA
Lenovo Thinkpad W530

Steve wants to get a new Lenovo laptop with dual SSD drives and 32 GB of RAM. He's looking at a Workstation model, which is a desktop replacement. Leo says first and foremost, 32GB of RAM is way too much for the average or even heavy user. His biggest jump in performance would be from 4GB to 8GB. From there out, the speed boost can get to the point where the cost-benefit isn't all that great.

Leo also says that an SSD drive is great for storing the OS and apps on, but an SSD drive for storage is really not practical. It would be better to get a larger spinning drive.

Leo also recommends the Haswell chips for better battery life, if that's an option. Leo says having more cache makes a difference, too. Steve is wondering whether he should upgrade from 6MB to 8MB of L2 cache. Leo's not sure that would make as much of a difference as it would to get one with the Haswell chip.

The other thing Steve should look at with SSD is what the bus is. Leo says I/O speed is important, and he should look for a laptop with the SSD on a PCI-Express bus instead of SATA. That's what Apple has done with their MacBook Air.

He's also wondering about the graphics memory. Leo says getting 2GB of graphics memory instead of 1GB is not the solution, and he'd be better of waiting for the Haswell processor.

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