Notebook vs. Desktop


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Laptop Upgrade vs. Desktop Upgrade

Laptop upgrade isn't as extensive as a desktop because a laptop is very proprietary...

I was asked why use a Desktop over a Notebook and why not upgrade a Notebook.

Some of the inherent problems for laptop upgrade:

  • High powered Laptops are prone to over heating.
  • Small video
  • Small key board
  • Touch pad too close to keyboard
  • Short Battery lifetime/failure

And so on.

Also 99% of all laptops are proprietary, such as

  • Video screen: not many laptop manufactures have interchangeable video screens from one model to another.
  • CD/DVD/Blue Ray drive is made for a specific model.
  • Notebook improvement is only with in the processor/memory version that the motherboard sockets can accept, that is if you have a P4 then your motherboard will not accept a Core 2 or i series processor.
  • If the memory is DDR 2 and the processor is a Core 2 then the max FSB will be what the processor is rated at.
  • You can not do a laptop upgrade for the motherboard, each laptop motherboard was designed a specific make/model, taking a newer laptop motherboard and putting it in an older case will not work because the location of the screw holes/standoffs, hard drive, CD/DVD drive, and ports will not match the older case.
  • An older power supply might not have sufficient power for a newer motherboard.
  • Laptop BIOS settings are set to the default of the original specifications, you can not overclock or change the FSB in most laptops through the BIOS.

Personally I use laptops in place of desktops/servers because of space constraints in my office. I could empty out a closet and build a rack for say four or five servers with all the electrical, networking, and air but that would be expensive vs. two laptops and a server under my work bench.

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Preference is personal I would think. However when I want to upgrade my desktop I buy the parts and have a good time doing so.

When I upgraded my old T-30 laptop I could only go three steps up in speed on the processor (P4) and two steps up on the memory speed from 400 to 533 MHZ. It made it a lot faster, not as good as a Core 2 Quad.

When I upgraded my desktop from a P4 I did so with a new motherboard that would accept a Core 2 processor.

In addition these features were with the new motherboard:

  • The motherboard also has four memory slots vs. two in most laptops.
  • It also has two video slots for PCIe cards vs. an embedded video controller that may use shared memory from the system memory.
  • The motherboard has 8 USB ports, most laptops have 2 to 6.
  • The desktop motherboard has six SATA, one IDE, and one floppy controller interfaces.
  • The motherboard BIOS allows for customization ranging from overclocking to array for the hard drives, the startup sequence, and more.
  • Also I can use HDMI video with my Desktop most Laptops are still VGA (a few newer ones have HDMI external ports).

You would be very constrained with a laptop as far as upgrades are concerned where as a good / excellent tower case has no constraints at all (mine are over 10 years old).

Do you think a laptop is preferred over a desktop?

The next time you are in a Bank or a commercial office look around, how many are desktops and how many are laptops?

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Laptop upgrade is possible but not extensive as a desktop.

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