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  #1  
Old 07-21-2008, 01:46 PM
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Laptop question

Someone is offering me a laptop for $50. I don't know much about the techy stuff about these things so please help me out.

My needs are pretty basic. I want to surf the internet, pay the bills on the internet and watch streaming movies on Netflix. The question is: will this thing do the job? Obviously, watching a movie that's 'jerky' is not going to work but is that a function of RAM? if not, is it easily added to?

These are the specs:

IBM thinkpad with windows XP Professional Version 2002
IBM Intel Pentium III
543 MHZ
192 MB

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Old 07-21-2008, 01:50 PM
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RAM is not RAM. It is hard to find memory for older model computers at any stores. You can mail order most of them, but the older memory costs significantly more than modern modules. I'm not sure what that takes, but it isn't the same as what they use now.

That CPU is probably too slow for decent streaming video performance. If the machine lacks hardware graphics support, it will be even worse.

Expect to need a new battery for it.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
RAM is not RAM. It is hard to find memory for older model computers at any stores. You can mail order most of them, but the older memory costs significantly more than modern modules. I'm not sure what that takes, but it isn't the same as what they use now.

That CPU is probably too slow for decent streaming video performance. If the machine lacks hardware graphics support, it will be even worse.

Expect to need a new battery for it.
Gotcha. Thanks. So can you give me general spec guidelines as to what I need to just watch streaming movies? Nothing fancy, I just want the images to 'flow' and not be 'jerky'
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenTay View Post
Gotcha. Thanks. So can you give me general spec guidelines as to what I need to just watch streaming movies? Nothing fancy, I just want the images to 'flow' and not be 'jerky'
First off, you need a fast broadband connection. Second, you don't need a lot of computing power to watch movies but you do need decent power. The laptop you mentioned probably won't do the job. Look for at least a p4 or above and you should be good.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:11 PM
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I have an older Thinkpad A21, 800mhz PIII, 512mb, running XP and it streams internet video well, although it's generally used in the garage for the Mercedes DVD and CD-ROM guides. I wouldn't consider a PIII processor slower than 733mhz for anything but basic web browsing.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by powerpig View Post
First off, you need a fast broadband connection. Second, you don't need a lot of computing power to watch movies but you do need decent power. The laptop you mentioned probably won't do the job. Look for at least a p4 or above and you should be good.
that's good all-encompassing advice. i'll look for a p4 and above! many thanks!
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:28 AM
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I've seen some really good deals on Craigslist lately. Whatever you get, NEVER run XP with less than 256 MB of RAM (I recommend 512 or more), unless you don't mind if your computer is a slug!
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:07 AM
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Have someone load Linux for you and set it up and this laptop will serve you well.

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