Need help w/ new laptop upgrade options

By phkhgh
Aug 13, 2007
  1. Hi, My wife is looking at new laptops – mainly Dell Inspiron 1720 or 1721. A few questions about the processors, graphics cards and sound cards options. If the upgrade prices for the processors are worth it, and if the upgrade choices in video / sound cards are worth having, or be better to just wait for sales at retail stores on video / sound cards.

    I’d like to use her laptop for converting music from old vinyl / reel to reel. Would like to convert, edit & clean up a fair # of VHS tapes. Also concerned about the ‘standard’ processor / video / sound card becoming obsolete too quickly.

    The std AMD processor is Turion 64 x 2 TL 56 (1MB cache / 1.8GHz). It can be upgraded to the TL 60 (1MB / 2GHz) - $75 more; or TL 64 (1MB / 2.2 GHz) - $150 more, but regardless the only video card option w/ any AMD processor seems to be Integrated ATI Radeon Xpress1270 (64MB dedicated local frame buffer).

    The std Intel processor is Core 2 Duo T5450 (1.66GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 667 FSB).
    Upgrades are T7100 (1.8GHz, 2MB, 800 FSB) for $50 more; T7300 (2GHz, 4MB, 800 FSB) - $125 more; T7500 - $225 more; and the T7700.

    With Intel processors, std video is Intel Integrated Graphics Media Accel. X3100.
    Available upgrades are NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS w/ 128 MB dedicated – for $100 more, or NVIDIA GeForce Go 8600M GT w/ 256 MB dedicated – for $200 more.

    With both Intel & AMD processors, the std sound card is Integrated High Definition Audio 2.0.
    Upgrades are Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy HD Software Ed ($ 25 more), and Express Card SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Card ($75 more).

    Also, the std battery is 56 Whr Lithium Ion (6 cell). Can upgrade to 85 Whr (9 cell) for $79, but I've heard some of these laptop batteries can be really expensive to replace. No experience w/ how long they last.

    Thanks for all the input.
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