View Full Version : Bad time to buy a new portable?

06-10-05, 04:57 AM
This is more of a discussion question than something with a definite answer but I was just curious about everyone's thoughts. And be prepared for a somewhat lengthy post. Consider this: Windows XP recently had a 64 bit version released, but as of now there are few if any applications that run natively in 64 bit. Almost all cpus right now seem to be optimized for 32 bit processing( AMD included, since its hard to gauge how well they perform in 64 bit apps considering the lack of them). By the time 64 bit really becomes popular(mainstream) AMD will probably have released another line of processors that dwarf the power of the current line and are much better for 64 bit applications. Intel will have too of course, and I would predict that this will take place 'shortly' after Longhorn has been released(scheduled for next winter Q4 2006? I believe). The delimma then becomes, for someone who buys a laptop(basically unupgradable) in the winter of this year, is it a smart decision? Usually you can buy a computer without upgrading it and it would at least be usable for 3 to 4 years. However, if in one year's time or less everything moves to 64 bit and new applications become unusable it would almost make the said notebook look like an antique. No doubt that the 32 bit versions will still be popular for some time after the release of longhorn given the usebase. However, how strongly will microsoft push for everything to move to 64 bit? If they push enough, a 32 bit notebook may have a lifespan of just 2 years and become completely useless. I realize that is a lot of what ifs, but what do you think?

If none of this makes sense I'm only writing this because I can't sleep x_X

06-10-05, 08:43 AM
I think you have a very valid point, and my advice is that if you are in the market for a laptop you only do one of two things...

1) Purchase an Athlon64 based laptop to avoid being forced to replace it for 64bit apps, and maybe if you're lucky it'll work fine and dandy as more 64bit apps are released.

2) Purchase a cheap and/or used laptop with hardware that fits your specific mobile needs, and that way you won't feel bad when it's useless in a few years.

So in a nutshell, I'm saying do not purchase any expensive Celeron, PentiumM, Pentium4, or AthlonXP based laptops. If you wanna grab the $599 or $699 special at a local store, go for it. But if you purchase anything top-of-the-line that's NOT an Athlon64, you may regret it shortly.

It's funny you made this thread because I was just faced with this very decision recently, and in the end I got a used Dell PIII-750 laptop for only $350usd. The fact was I already have my A64 desktop for anything intensive... all I needed the laptop for was to surf the web. In a few years when I have more money and 64bit is more mainstream, then I'll buy a nice A64 based laptop ;)