[Wolves] Laptops

Adam Sweet adamsweet at gmail.com
Thu Mar 15 13:13:29 UTC 2018

On 15/03/18 11:48, Andy Chamberlain wrote:
> Hi Adam
> Good meeting last night.
> Thanks for the info on laptops. I can"t remember the other place you
> said to look for the recond machines. I bet with 4GB of ram Linux would
> work well.
> Oh by the way I left about an inch of the murky pint no ill effects yet
> in fact slept like a dream!!
> Oh well best go before I get into trouble for not putting enough Linux
> related stuff on here!!

Hi Andy

The main one I mentioned was Ebuyer and signing up to their daily deals
email. They quite often have some HP laptops going pretty cheap when a
new model is due out. I got my Mrs an Intel 6 series i5 with 8GB RAM and
a 250GB SSD for £400 last year. The 7th series one is currently on offer
for £450:


Most of the HP 250 G5s are going


and the 450 G4s are going pretty cheap after trade in deal:


The only downside to these is the case is kinda cheap on the 250 and the
screens on both are only 1366x768 on the cheaper ones, which is to be

The site you're probably on about for older generation refurbs and
graded stock was:


Also worth a look are:



4 GB is the least you want these days. Depending on your workload, 8GB
is better but you can always add more later for about £30 from Crucial
if you find the machines grinds on the disk due to swapping.

If you can afford it, an SSD is always worth the investment, they are
around 20 times faster than a spinning HD. You'll find your machine
boots and is usable in less than 10 seconds, instead of 1 minute (or 3
mins under Windows). If you don't need the storage space, a 120GB SSD is
a good trade off.

If an SSD is out of budget, then a regular hard disk will do but look
for a 7200 RPM one. Anything less than that will feel laggy, especially
if your machines swaps to disk. Again you can always add an SSD later
for around £35.

As for processors, I'd avoid anything with Intel Celeron or Pentium
processors, or any AMD processors that don't say they are Ryzen. They
are all on the low end of performance and you'll feel the lag, if not
immediately then within a year or two.

An Intel i5 probably hits a sweet spot in price/performance terms. Most
people don't need an i7 and I believe that an i5 is the same chip as an
i7, with certain features turned off and a lower performance ceiling
while an i3 is an entirely different chip.

I don't have much experience with i3 processors, the one I touched was a
really sluggish older machine that may well have had other problems, but
as Iain said last night, his experience with i3s wasn't much better.
Others here may have more experience than me and disagree. The most
likely problem is that i3s are in cheaper machines with less RAM
(increased likelihood of swapping) and slower disks (which means
swapping is painfully slow).

That said, based on the workload you described (web browsing, word
processing and a piece of specialist software I can't recall), an i3
might well be perfectly sufficient.

As I said last night though, more money spent smartly buys you time
before your machine starts to feel sluggish. Software gets fatter over
time and a CPU is the one part you can't really upgrade in a laptop. An
i3 with 4GB and HD might be OK for 2-3 years. An i5, with 8GB and an SSD
should be good for 4-5. Windows ages horribly on older hardware. Linux
is better but machines still start to feel slower over time.

Intel processors are named by their chip type and series. So an i5 7200
is a 7th gen i5. I believe 8th gen has not long come out. Performance
increases over the generations have been incremental, maybe around
10-20% each time. An older i5 would probably be a better investment than
a brand new i3.

For my money, get the best machine with the newest i5 you can and up the
RAM and add an SSD later if money allows.


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