So I bought a new computer.

Lightning strike fried not only my trusty desktop PC last night, but my monitor too. Since I didn’t really have the funds to replace it with a new tower- at least not without spending a week mucking around on TigerDirect, etc.- I ran out this morning to all the stores within 20 miles which sell laptops.

Never had one before, but since I don’t play top-end games anymore I didn’t think the performance loss would be a big deal. Since my old system was based around an Athlon XP 2200+ processor, it wasn’t like I was ever surfing the leading edge of the processing power wave (well, not since I built it, anyway).

It’s a Toshiba Satellite L505D. $550 at Staples; Google seems to think that’s the best possible price. What I don’t know is whether I should have bought something else entirely.

AMD Turion X2 2.2GHz dual-core processor. I lost track of processor speeds when all this dual-core and quad-core stuff came out, so I have no idea how fast that actually is.

It came with 32-bit WinXP Home Pro. Is that bad? I know everything is going 64-bit, but I don’t know if that means this system will be obsolete next year. I assume not since it comes with the free Win7 upgrade.

Also, what do I need to do differently with a laptop? Blow it out more regularly, I’m guessing (it feels pretty warm just sitting here), but what else?

How much RAM does it have?

As for how good it is - it really depends what you are intending to use it for. it will be better than fine for internet browsing, word processing, using windows applications other than games, and even playing a wide range of not-too-demanding games.

It is almost a given that laptops get toasty on your lap. Don’t worry about that. I reckon things like that need ‘blowing out’ after a year or so.

For ‘blowing things out’ I recommend this…

Absolutely love mine. Very powerful blast of air (but maybe that’s just my super-human gripping power at work)

ETA: I wanted to mention how I love your username and how it sometimes fits with what you are posting. “I bought a new computer, and I’m really not all that bright so…” :smiley:

3GB of DDR2 RAM. It’s this guy.

Even better (I was assuming 2gb)

Yep that’s a very nice computer indeed.

Welcome to the world of laptop computing! You’re gonna love it.

“WinXP Home Pro”? That doesn’t make sense. Either you have XP Home Edition or you have XP Professional Edition.

As for what else you might need, I recommend using a USB keyboard and mouse day-to-day. For one thing, they will be more comfortable than the built-in keyboard and mousepad/pointing stick. Second, you want to minimize the possibility of spilling something in the computer. (Ideally, I recommend an external monitor too, so you’re not hunched over the laptop screen.)

Home Premium, not Pro :smack:. And I was wrong- it’s Vista. And it sucks.

I already have a USB mouse, but i’ll definitely be getting a USB keyboard adapter because typing on top of the desk just ain’t working.

It’s got an “eSATA/USB combo” port on the side. What’s it for?

Wrong about something else, too - it’s this one, not the first one I linked to.

Yep, Vista does suck. But 7 comes out in 11 days, and its much better.

An eSATA/USB combo port is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a single hole in the case that has the connections to be both a normal USB port, for everything USB is good for, and an eSATA port. eSATA is external SATA. It’s an external version of the internal hard drive connector, allowing you to use external hard drives at internal speeds of 3.0 Gbps, instead of the much slower speeds USB is capable of.

Ah. I guess combo ports make a lot of sense when space is at a premium, although there’s all sorts of unused space on the front and back of the base.

Well, you got a better computer than you had, and it’s portable. That would be enough to say you did well, but let’s look at the specs.

Your hard drive is a bit slow, but you probably wouldn’t notice a difference anyways. And the Radeon 3100 is a onboard chip, but it can run Crysis at about 20fps, so I don’t see a big problem with trying some pretty intense games, if you don’t mind the FPS.

For a 32-bit OS, 3 GB of RAM is quite good. You can’t use more than 3.5ish, anyways. So all that’s left is your processor. According to, you more than tripled your CPU.

Yeah, I’d say you did good. Real good.

Is there a webpage which will analyze my system specs and tell me whether I can run Game X? I built my old system, so I was able to overclock it and add fans, memory and so on as necessary, but given the constraints of the board, processor and nicest graphics card which was compatible with the board (GeForce 5200FX) about the highest-end game I could manage was HL2 (and it crashed a lot unless I kept the graphics settings low).

CanYouRunIt has you covered.

Select your game and hit the button. It’ll tell you how you stack up for the minimum and recommended system and where you’re falling short.

Thanks, that’s exactly what I was looking for!