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Old 12-17-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
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Question HP Envy Choices

Hello. I am new to the community. I'll be 100% honest with everyone, I know next to nothing of computers. I know my fair share and can get around the internet just fine, but the ins and outs, programs, video cards, specs, they all mean nothing to me. I am however in the market for something new. Right now I am using a HP G60-235DX. It's pretty old now and has seen its days. So I'm looking at "Building my own computer" from HP.com. So which computer am I looking at getting you ask? Well, two options actually.

1) HP ENVY 17 series | HP® Official Store (HP Envy 17)
2) HP ENVY 17 3D series | HP® Official Store (HP Envy 17 3-D Series)

Now you're asking yourselves (don't deny it), why would he get such a nice computer if he doesn't program, game, or do much of anything other then surf the web, watch and upload (TymHollerup's Channel - YouTube) some YouTube videos, convert music to iTunes, and watch some movies, ect? Answer... Even though this computer will probably not be used to its FULL potential... I worked for it. And I mean I worked! I put in 50 hours a week (minimum), and I've been saving $415 a week for the past 5 weeks now! In 4 more weeks (Jan. 15, 2012) I plan on placing the order. I'll have roughly a $3,500 budget. Why so much you ask? Well because I want the BEST! And I mean the best. Well at least one of the best anyway. So, I'll be upgrading her to 16GB of RAM and getting a 2.156T Hard Drive! That's for sure. But wait... There's more! Don't you love those commercials. LOL. Here's where my questions lye. Now as mentioned earlier, I'm not that smart when it comes to specs and computer stuff, so PLEASE bear with me as I try to make these questions as simple as I can.

1) I'm seem to be leaning toward the Envy 17 3-D as oppose to the regular Envy 17. This is simply because of the laser cut design. http://computershopper.com/var/ezweb...nvy-17-lid.jpg Sexy right? Now, I don't know if the Envy 17 (non 3-D) offers this. Does anyone know for sure? Because if I don't need 3-D, I'm not going to get it. I will however get it if the Laser Sketch ONLY comes on the 3-D version.
2) Obviously both these computers are the same for the most part. One has 3-D, one doesn't. Is 3-D REALLY that great of an upgrade?
3) There are 3 Processors. 2670QM (2.2 GHz), 2760QM 2.4 GHz), and a 2860QM (2.5GHz). What's the difference? What's a processor do? Seriously. I don't know. And are these worth the extra $150-$350?
4) 1GB Discrete Graphics AMD Radeon. That's pretty good I assume?
5) In the Hard Drive options there are 2 upgrades higher than the 2.128TB Multiple Drives (128GB mSATA SSD + 2x1TB 5400 rpm HDD) I'm getting. One is a SSD 300G. And the other is a 1.05TB 7200 rpm Dual Hard Drive (SSD 300GB + 750GB 7200 rpm). How big are these in GB's/TB's? I'd like the biggest if possible. Is a 5400 rpm a big difference from a 7200 rpm?
6) Since there are 2x1TB and 1 SSD, does that mean I can assign each thing to their own spot? For example all my I-Tunes collection (105.43 GB) to my SSD, or one of the two 1TB Hard Drives?

So there's my questions. And I know each and every one of you probably feels as though I don't "deserve" to own a computer this nice - and "what a waste". But honestly, this means a lot to me because I did actually earn this, and I'll feel like Mayra (I already have her name picked out) was made just for me. So regardless of how you see my decision, please help me if you can. I would greatly appreciate it because if it weren't for people like you (computer "geeks") we'd all be in the dark!!! LOL. And tbh, this world wouldn't be what it is today medically or scientifically. Thanks again if you actually read all this. I can get long winded at times.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:19 PM   #2
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Ok PC Enthusiast, don't smite me for this...

If you want the best and you really have a $3,500 budget, get a MacBook Pro. I have a (at one time very highend) HP laptop and wish I would've gotten a Mac. I love windows, but if you're video editing and working with audio, Mac is the way to go. You don't program, game and didn't mention anything else, so there's nothing binding you to the Windows OS.

Go here.

Select more RAM (8GB is honestly enough)
Select the 128GB SSD Hard Drive
Scroll to the bottom and select the 4TB Thunderbolt RAID system

This should put you at $3,648.00... and it's a freakin sweet setup. The programs that come with OS X Lion for audio and video editing are going to trash any program you have to 'save up again' for because you purchased an inferior overpriced HP product.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:08 PM   #3
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Default Thanks for the help, but...

Hold on a second... Problems. First off, you suggested a 4TB Raid External Hard Drive. That's $1,100!!! I just bought a 3TB Seagate External Hard Drive for $99 on Black Friday! Second, 128GB SSD is NOT going to be ANYWHERE near enough! I use that much in music alone! That's not including my YouTube videos or anything else. So that won't do. Third, I use to play poker professionally (until America decided we could no longer play online for real money [hence why I now have a "real" job]) and still play regularly for fun money on Ultimate Bet, PokerStars, ect. A lot of sites which don't support Mac. And those that do, wish they wouldn't. At least from what I've heard anyway. I thank your suggestions (really I do. Even if I do sound a bit "prick like" right now), but honestly the computer I type on right now is an HP and I swore I wouldn't leave them without good reason. I've looked at a lot of other companies and computers, but no one can provide a 2TB+ (the 156 SSD is just a bonus) Hard Drive and over 8GB of RAM (whether I need that much or not). Most all of the laptops on the market max out at 8GB of RAM and 1.5TB of Hard Drive space. I want the Biggest & the Best I can get!
And honestly, yes I will have $3,500. But I should have said only $3,000 is available for budget. I really should save the rest. I have been messing around on the site a bit (and yes I did even click your link) and I have Mayra all tricked out (16GB RAM 2.156TB HDD) at $2,929.18 (3 year warranty and tax included). I'll be posting an unboxing video on YouTube once I get her. Sometime in the beginning of February 2012.
Again, I appreciate you trying to get me to "cross over" to the Mac Side, but I just don't think I can do that. However it may be, do you think you may be able to help answer any of my listed questions?
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
1) I'm seem to be leaning toward the Envy 17 3-D as oppose to the regular Envy 17. This is simply because of the laser cut design. http://computershopper.com/var/ezweb...nvy-17-lid.jpg Sexy right? Now, I don't know if the Envy 17 (non 3-D) offers this. Does anyone know for sure? Because if I don't need 3-D, I'm not going to get it. I will however get it if the Laser Sketch ONLY comes on the 3-D version.
2) Obviously both these computers are the same for the most part. One has 3-D, one doesn't. Is 3-D REALLY that great of an upgrade?
3) There are 3 Processors. 2670QM (2.2 GHz), 2760QM 2.4 GHz), and a 2860QM (2.5GHz). What's the difference? What's a processor do? Seriously. I don't know. And are these worth the extra $150-$350?
4) 1GB Discrete Graphics AMD Radeon. That's pretty good I assume?
5) In the Hard Drive options there are 2 upgrades higher than the 2.128TB Multiple Drives (128GB mSATA SSD + 2x1TB 5400 rpm HDD) I'm getting. One is a SSD 300G. And the other is a 1.05TB 7200 rpm Dual Hard Drive (SSD 300GB + 750GB 7200 rpm). How big are these in GB's/TB's? I'd like the biggest if possible. Is a 5400 rpm a big difference from a 7200 rpm?
6) Since there are 2x1TB and 1 SSD, does that mean I can assign each thing to their own spot? For example all my I-Tunes collection (105.43 GB) to my SSD, or one of the two 1TB Hard Drives?
  1. That's really personal preference. The laser cut design is nice, sure, but it doesn't provide any benefit to the operation of the PC.
  2. Some users swear by 3D some get sick from it. If you like the design and added feature, go for it.
  3. The difference is in the cache size and overall processing speed. You asked what a processor even does so there's some fundamental things you need to know about the CPU (Central Processing Unit) to understand the need for cache. The best way I can explain it in laymen terms is simply, anything you tell the computer to do (using calculator to multiply two numbers) requires processing to determine an answer or produce the desired output. When you start rendering video, you're taking a lot of a certain type of information and turning it into another type of information. Now, the CPU has umpteen trillion transistors that make decisions at the speed of light. When you click your mouse, that invokes some program. That program is then fed to your CPU in a series of 0's and 1's so your computer knows what to do when you click that program. Now, when you start processing large amounts of information, you start running into an issue called 'bottle neck' 'ing. This means that your computer can only run as fast as the slowest process. You also run into a situation where the operation fails or errors out because the CPU is processing information faster than the rest of the computer can feed it. So faster 'temporary storage' was created, labeled cache, to help with a multitude of processing scenarios (more than I described but those are some basic ones). The short of it is is this. If you purchased three of those computers, each with a different processor and then start processing a 5 minute YouTube video, you're going to see the fastest processor shine through by seconds or fractions of a second. If you processed a 2 hour video, you're going to see the difference in minutes. The difference is there, but whether or not it's worth it is up to you and whether or not you can wait the extra ten seconds for your video to finish.
  4. Again, bottle neck. What model are you going with? The will tell us how fast that 1GB of RAM is. Less RAM that processes information exponentially faster than a greater amount of slower RAM makes a huge difference.
  5. The xx00RPM is how fast the drive spins. 5400 RPM is a little slower than 7200, but you'll have the OS on an SSD so...
    Also, 1024GB = 1TB
  6. No. You shouldn't even spend the money on a 300GB SSD. An SSD (mainly due to it's current high cost per GB) is only practical for use with the OS, or Windows Drive. You would want a smaller SSD, save some money and you would still get the speed benefit of having an SSD as your Windows Kernel (the core of everything you see on your monitor) is going to be housed on the faster SSD Harddrive. Put Windows on the SSD and your Data in an organized file structure on the external or secondary Harddrives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
First off, you suggested a 4TB Raid External Hard Drive. That's $1,100!!! I just bought a 3TB Seagate External Hard Drive for $99 on Black Friday!
If you already have external storage, then don't go that route. That 4TB MAC drive will run circles around the 'bargain' harddrive you purchased though... BUT, if you already have external storage, then by all means keep a good deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
Second, 128GB SSD is NOT going to be ANYWHERE near enough! I use that much in music alone! That's not including my YouTube videos or anything else. So that won't do.
Again, an SSD's main application is to house your Operating System and core programs for faster operation... not data such as music and video storage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
Third, I use to play poker professionally (until America decided we could no longer play online for real money [hence why I now have a "real" job]) and still play regularly for fun money on Ultimate Bet, PokerStars, ect. A lot of sites which don't support Mac. And those that do, wish they wouldn't. At least from what I've heard anyway.
You can get a free solution to virtualize a Windows Operating system and you can simply run just about any Windows program (basic programs for sure) in a Virtual Machine. It's like having Windows, in a Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
the computer I type on right now is an HP and I swore I wouldn't leave them without good reason. I've looked at a lot of other companies and computers, but no one can provide a 2TB+ (the 156 SSD is just a bonus) Hard Drive and over 8GB of RAM (whether I need that much or not). Most all of the laptops on the market max out at 8GB of RAM and 1.5TB of Hard Drive space. I want the Biggest & the Best I can get!
You can get plenty of laptops on the market and then purchase a 16GB SODIMM to fit in your laptop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
Again, I appreciate you trying to get me to "cross over" to the Mac Side, but I just don't think I can do that.
I wasn't trying to get you to switch over to the Mac side, as I'm not even a Mac fan. I don't own a Mac product, but I do know that professional video editors typically choose Mac because for that extra buck, you get a lot of power. There's other benefits to Mac and I just figured that if you ever wanted to go Pro with your online YouTube series', you might want an industry standard computer. Buying a Windows PC will not stop you from doing anything at all and by all means go for the Envy, just thought I would help you make a better long term investment with your money.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:53 AM   #5
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No. You shouldn't even spend the money on a 300GB SSD. An SSD (mainly due to it's current high cost per GB) is only practical for use with the OS, or Windows Drive. You would want a smaller SSD, save some money and you would still get the speed benefit of having an SSD as your Windows Kernel (the core of everything you see on your monitor) is going to be housed on the faster SSD Harddrive. Put Windows on the SSD and your Data in an organized file structure on the external or secondary Harddrives.

Again, an SSD's main application is to house your Operating System and core programs for faster operation... not data such as music and video storage.
I appreciate all the help you've given me thusfar iPwn. But I do have just a couple more questions. Okay I guess I'll list the 3.

1. I don't like it when an External Hard Drive starts Auto saving/working on my computer. I was told that when I hook my new Seagate up for the first time I can right click and "Format" it (which obviously clears all data) and I should then just be able to drag & drop into the Hard Drive freely without having to have an auto start. True? Because again, I'm more the copy & paste (or drag & drop in this case) type guy.
2. This question is going to sound dumb to you probably, but if you could answer it plainly for me, I sure would be thankful. You talk about saving the OS. Now I know that's the Operating System (Windows 7), but where on earth do I find that so I can go to my C Drive and drag & drop it into my SSD?
3. Computers are ever changing and I understand that. That's also why I want this computer, I feel that I'll have a 6-12 month jump start with this machine on anything else (PC wise) out there in the market! I did hear however that Windows 8 will be out soon. Do you know when and how hard is it to upgrade my PC to run the latest OS? Also, do you think this PC (with the set-up I chose) run circles around any "stock" model that's out there for the next year or so? I want this PC to last at least 5-7 years! This little 320GB kicker I got from Best Buy for $500 has lasted close to 4 years already!
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
1. I don't like it when an External Hard Drive starts Auto saving/working on my computer. I was told that when I hook my new Seagate up for the first time I can right click and "Format" it (which obviously clears all data) and I should then just be able to drag & drop into the Hard Drive freely without having to have an auto start. True? Because again, I'm more the copy & paste (or drag & drop in this case) type guy.
A lot of external drives will have that software regardless of whether you format them or not. They actually have a hidden partition that houses the backup software and you cannot access that partition from Windows. There is probably software out there that will delete these partitions but I've never used any personally. I run the software that comes with the drive and disable the backup function.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
2. This question is going to sound dumb to you probably, but if you could answer it plainly for me, I sure would be thankful. You talk about saving the OS. Now I know that's the Operating System (Windows 7), but where on earth do I find that so I can go to my C Drive and drag & drop it into my SSD?
The new PC Should have Windows already installed on the SSD so you shouldn't have to go through copying it, but if you do, see below.

Unfortunately, it's not that easy. The Windows interface will not allow you to copy a lot of system files and you usually have to do it through the command prompt. The best way to get an entire windows drive over to another drive is in safe mode with a command prompt command. When you get your new laptop, it will have Windows on it with all the extra HP crap. Uninstall the bloatware or leave it, up to you, and then start the computer in Safe Mode. Make sure that before you boot into safe mode you know which drive is your SSD. Open a command prompt and type the following:

"Xcopy C: X: /h/i/c/k/e/r/y"

Replace X: with the drive letter of the SSD

I doubt you'll have to go through this though. HP should know better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tym Hollerup View Post
3. Computers are ever changing and I understand that. That's also why I want this computer, I feel that I'll have a 6-12 month jump start with this machine on anything else (PC wise) out there in the market! I did hear however that Windows 8 will be out soon. Do you know when and how hard is it to upgrade my PC to run the latest OS? Also, do you think this PC (with the set-up I chose) run circles around any "stock" model that's out there for the next year or so? I want this PC to last at least 5-7 years! This little 320GB kicker I got from Best Buy for $500 has lasted close to 4 years already!
Unless they change Windows 8 from the developers preview they put out, I wouldn't install Windows 8. It's no better performance wise than 7 and they only (as far as I can tell) changed the interface to be more tablet friendly.

As far as the technology portion of your question goes... if you purchased that laptop the same day it was released, it's going to be 'outdated' by the time it ships to you. That's the great thing about the computer market. There's so much competition in each component category that manufacturers are constantly 1-up'ing each other. While it's true that your setup will be better than many PC's on the market, it's not going to be the de facto "top of line" for long.
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