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help with choosing a newer laptop please.


red dwalf
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I'm looking at buying a reconditioned laptop for use at starpartys and in the field,

I don't know a lot about computers or exactly what would be best for Astro use.

I would like a windows 7 computer but what is the differance between 32 bit and 65 bit machines ?

My budget is from 150 - 200 pounds and it would need to run mutiple applications at once and ideally a good graphics card capable of running the newer versions of stellarium, again I don't know anything about laptop graphics cards.

Can anyone recommend something suitable please or point me in the right direction.

Many thanks.

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The main reason for going for a 64 bit operating system is to be able to use more than 4GB of RAM. Drivers for 64 bit can be a troublesome for older gear, but that's generally not a problem these days.


I've got a 4 year old Acer laptop that was only medium spec when I bought it. It runs Stellarium fine, so I don't think you need a blazingly fast graphics card. I know there is a shop in Derby on Sadler Gate that does refurb laptops. No idea on prices though.


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Yeah stellarium isn't very intensive graphics wise, so you don't need to worry about a graphics card too much.


 


I don't know what else is needed of an astro laptop though, so that's as far as my knowledge goes :lol:


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Make sure it has plenty of Memory - memory is King. Thats RAM not disc space. As Leigh says 32bit limit is 4gb but remember that the machine has to be 64bit and you must be installing 64bit Windows. I have come across people running Windows 32bit on a 64bit hardware - runs but a waste.


 


Leigh is also correct on the 64bit drivers giving problems.


 


Simple test get the place/person selling the Laptop to install Stellarium and see if it runs ok - Then load  applications like Kingsoft suite (free) if they haven't got Microsoft equiv loaded.


 


If they want to sell the item they should be glad to demo the above for you.


 


Ebuyer are doing a good offer on a New Zoostorm Laptop only problem no operating system but if you have the correct license you could install the copy of windows you are using.


 


http://www.ebuyer.com/468931-zoostorm-pink-laptop-7873-9043       £204 with trade in plus as long distance buying you can return it within 7 days if you dont like it. 


Edited by BAZ
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A Dell 630D is still an excellent purchase for astro use. Tough and reliable and mine seems impervious to dew :) buy one with a small HD (usually cheaper) and fit a 256gig SSD Drive and it will fly on windows7

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I have a dell inspiron 6000 (bought in 2005). It failed on hd last year but mt dad's identical laptop bought same time failed last year. His was possibly an internal button cell on the internal clock? that the laptop came to life 3 months after at least 2 independent computer repair experts said it was the mother board and would cost ~£150-200) (at the time of inspection, turning on the power switch gave nothing - no life). My laptop failure was hd (possibly; shows zero bytes). But, I took the hd from dad's laptop and installed it into my failed laptop. It worked (but on sp2 xp, it would take days to update itself automatically).

Anyway, my question is; would a 2005 dell inspiron 6000 with 60gb hd and I think 512mb ram with 1.7ghz? processor be sufficient to use for controlling an heq5 (and a canon dslr)? Or would I need something more modern? (Even if it was a second hand small netbook I could use in the field?, whilst I buy a new laptop for normal everyday use in the house - and for astrophotography with a long cable into the house)? If the old laptops can be put to astro use, that would be great.

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I have a dell inspiron 6000 (bought in 2005). It failed on hd last year but mt dad's identical laptop bought same time failed last year. His was possibly an internal button cell on the internal clock? that the laptop came to life 3 months after at least 2 independent computer repair experts said it was the mother board and would cost ~£150-200) (at the time of inspection, turning on the power switch gave nothing - no life). My laptop failure was hd (possibly; shows zero bytes). But, I took the hd from dad's laptop and installed it into my failed laptop. It worked (but on sp2 xp, it would take days to update itself automatically).

Anyway, my question is; would a 2005 dell inspiron 6000 with 60gb hd and I think 512mb ram with 1.7ghz? processor be sufficient to use for controlling an heq5 (and a canon dslr)? Or would I need something more modern? (Even if it was a second hand small netbook I could use in the field?, whilst I buy a new laptop for normal everyday use in the house - and for astrophotography with a long cable into the house)? If the old laptops can be put to astro use, that would be great.

in short yes as long as you don't ask it to do much more

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I use a Dell D630 with dual core 2.4ghz 4gb Ram and a 256gb SSD drive it's runs all my image processing and controls the mount and camera with all the usual astro software it only cost me 140 and around 120 for the SSD. It's an excellent robust and easily to work with laptop. It even survived a drop onto concrete when I walked through the cables one night :shock:

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Have a look on the Dell Outlet:


 


http://www.dell.co.uk/outlet


 


I bought an Ultrabook some months ago for a significant saving.


 


They are returns / slightly marked / reworked computers at quite a saving.


 


Mine was as new but with no CDs or Manual. You just get their standard load for that model or better.


 


Ade


 


 


 


 


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Thanks Ade and Teslar. I have a lot of things to get (dslr, frac, mount- probably heq5) as well as a laptop to control. I already have 2 modded Philips web cams and 8.75"NR. But I want a modern system on goto mount.

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