|Originally posted by Divine_Madcat
For school, maybe 2. Course, once 64bit is really here, it wont matter, since stuff will stop comin out in 32 bit.
Listen.. get the sager by all means. But please, dont expect it or ANY other laptop to last more than 2-3 years MAX for usablity.....
The move from 32 to 64 bit is not the end of the world. In the Unix space we went from 32 -> 64 bits about 5 years ago (You PC guys are only just catching up
). The 32 bit software that runs now is most likely going to run in 64 bit compatibility mode. Intel/Microsoft are not going to *instantly* make 32 bit software obsolete. Even M$ does not have the resources to bring out all 64 bit software at once.
And so what if 64 bit software does start appearing, your existing software is not going to fall over and die from a heart attack. It still continues to work - it is just you don't get all the nice new features in the new revision.
Given the course is 4 years and didn't want to replace it before I finished, I would go with any laptop that has the maximum expandability in memory. More than anything else memory is what you will run out of first. I would probably keep my existing PIII Toshiba another year or so if I could put more memory in it. It is the applications I am now using that demand more. Sure CPU/GPU speed is important but memory will be more your limiting factor.
As to the lifespan of an LCD you have to remember 3.5 years is average. My previous laptop got 8 years out of the LCD. Near the end I had dim backlighting and a couple of lines across the screen. It still worked until I could afford the (then - 1999) top end Toshiba I now have. Extended warranty will probably provide you with a replacement LCD (if they are still available as spares down the track). If not they might just pay you the equivalent in $ and send you away. Check the fine print as they say.
Any of the reputable laptops, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, HP (no so sure after the x1000 debacle) and of course Sager have models that allow for decent memory expandability. Pick any one that can accept up to 2Gb of memory. More would be nice but that is top end right now. Pick a CPU/GPU that matches your expected needs (I tend to go for the fastest right now and leave it alone until I replace the entire laptop).
You could wait for 64 bit CPUs, 12 Gb mobos, 240 Gb disks, but in the meantime you have to get assignments done, games played and friends to impress
. You could wait forever and never have had the enjoyment of ever using your laptop, whatever brand it is.