Laptop time?

sedrosken

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I'm still biding my time waiting for the price on the 16GB kit of RAM I want to buy for my work laptop to go down. I wonder if I shouldn't bite the bullet and go straight to 32, but I don't want to pay those prices -- then again, I don't even want to pay for the 16GB kit, I feel that should have been the base config of the machine. But, the SKU that had 16GB from factory also had an i7, which I don't need (the difference between the i5 and i7 for this gen is just clocks and cache), and cost almost twice as much all-told, so maybe I should just suck it up and grab the RAM I need. I'm also contemplating buying a bigger SSD -- I'm not having space issues... yet... but if I move my AD lab from my work desktop, I'll definitely start to feel the pressure.
 

Mercutio

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I'm pretty sure Steelec is just the most insanely kitted out WinPE I've ever seen. The damned thing has OFFICE (2007, granted) in it.
 

Tannin

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Having got all this lovely new kit, I won't be using it for another month or two. I'm off to the old house for a month or so shortly, and I'll take the old laptop because it is compatible with the stuff there (screens mostly, and there is a docking station) and I can't be bothered looking around for and possibly buying adaptors and stuff (HDMI or DP to DVI, maybe other things). The only things I can't run on the old Thinkpad are the latest version of music recording and photo editing applications, and I won't be wanting those things over there anyway.

I hear you on factory configs and crazy pricing, Sedrosken. Speaking of crazy pricing, I'm laughing at the "Black Friday special" discounts scam. The Kingston hard drive I bought on a "Black Friday special" is now selling as standard for that exact same price, and the Samsung drive I ordered yesterday is cheaper now that it was when the specials were on. Mind you, Black Friday is mostly an American thing, a lot of the rest of the world pretty much ignores it. In this country, "Black Friday" always means 13 January 1939, the dreadful day when the temperature passed 45c (about 115f) with a scorching northerly wind, and bushfires killed 71 people in Victoria.
 

LunarMist

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How do you prevent laptop battery drain in storage? In the old days the battery could be removed and later some units had a button that would disconnect it internally until power was applied. However, my LG machine has no controls over the battery and loses power each day. I'm sure the battery will be completely dead after a few weeks of disuse. 😡
 

Mercutio

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It's just like phones. The batteries are entirely internal now and we don't get a choice in how they're configured, unless we feel like pulling the bottom plate off.
 

Mercutio

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I've sighed and decided that I'll probably get a Thinkpad X1 Extreme gen 4. The ones that have an RTX3050 can have two DIMMs and two SSDs in them, and I can get a WQHD screen on one, even if I'm not overly fond of a 16" laptop. I've looked through most of the offerings at around $2500 and nothing is ticking all my boxes. Unfortunately, the X1 Extreme is also Extremely-Backordered, and I can't even get one until June. Ouch.
 

LunarMist

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It looks like they are 11th gen Intel. I thought there would be Alder Lakes by the Summertime.
 

Tea

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Sign. Nearly March and we haven't got around to using the new lappy for anything much yet. Still using the old one because someone is too lazy to finish off all the data transfer and configuration stuff.
 

Mercutio

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It looks like they are 11th gen Intel. I thought there would be Alder Lakes by the Summertime.

I'm tempted to go next-gen, but I'm not sold on the Alder Lake approach. It's still more CPU cores, but AMD is offering higher efficiency on a smaller number of cores. I'm a bit stuck, since Intel doesn't have great support for AMD on professional systems and I'm really not comfortable with the gaming/content creation models from Asus or Razer or Gigabyte that undoubtedly will have a quality AMD offering. At the moment, I don't carry my Thinkpad on trips and I don't expect it to be great with content creation tools, but I think that if I got a new system, I would want and expect that, which would make the matter of durability more important.

There's also the question of what AMD's next-generation product will offer, since I have chosen to punt on the question of a new laptop until the summer anyway. Things were a bit easier when Intel was the only serious offering in the laptop space.

Still using the old one because someone is too lazy to finish off all the data transfer and configuration stuff.

Working on a new system of myself is usually pretty traumatic because I have to think about all the commercial software licenses I have to move, plus security certificates, plus finding highly specific application configs that may not be amenable to moving and THEN dealing with user data. Most of my data lives on shared drives anyway, but there's always something. It's one thing to hop on a machine I'm going to reset in a couple days. It's something completely different if I expect to keep it for months or years. I feel your pain.
 

Mercutio

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I've spent about a week with some Acer Aspire 5s. These are 12th gen i7s with 8GB of soldered in RAM but also a DIMM slot and both 2.5" and nVME. The 15.6" screen is nice and bright and that's the only positive thing I can say about this system.

What's wrong? The AC adapter just... falls out. Poor fit for the jack. The conductor is maybe a centimeter long. In this age of fast chargers and USB C power delivery, this thing has a 45W transformer that takes 150 minutes to charge a notebook that, brand new, runs for 80 - 90 minutes on a balanced power plan doing nothing but browsing the web on text-intensive sites.

Waking one up from sleep is likewise a crap shoot. So far, I've gotten more inaccessible boot device errors than successful wake up events. Surely a brand new $800 laptop can't be that bad, right? They're easy to take apart, and I've pulled and tested SSDs and the RAM and they're fine as far as I can tell. This is a native Windows 11 machine but I recall Windows 2000 having better power management than these guys.

Is it fast? Also no. Not really, anyway. Maybe I'm not doing the things that make the performance cores go zoom, but it looks like thermal throttling taketh away what Intel theoretically giveth, as conversion of 50 CR3s to JPGs wasn't subjectively any faster than the 4c/8t 7th gen i7 mobile in my Thinkpad. I didn't break out a stopwatch, but if I can't tell the difference from five years worth of CPU progression, what are we even doing with these things?

I can also flex the entire plastic body of the notebook with my hands. I'm not trying to break anything, but I'm not used to notebooks that bow like that either.

I know this is a rebadged something or other from a Taiwanese ODM but I've seen better construction and quality control on $150 Chromebooks. Honestly, if Lenovo Duets had a better keyboard and more local storage, they'd be objectively better in every possible way regardless.

I'm setting up several of these for kids just starting high school and I'm honestly pretty close to eating the restock fee to not see these again, because I know if I give these to kids, I'm going to see all of them. Probably sooner rather than later.

I'm just posting to vent but if someone come across this in a Google search, this is a good subject for a test involving lighter fluid and your favorite method of rapid oxidation thereof.
 

sedrosken

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I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality on my Inspiron I bought for work, I intended it to last only until I could find a deal on something Enterprise-grade, but it's pretty much still brand-new after lugging it around for my job for nearly a year. The only things I'm really missing (numpad, native Ethernet) I could have gotten by going up a size to the 15.6" model. The 11300H is plenty for anything I'm doing with it including messing around with some VMs. The stock 8GB of RAM was not enough for my use case though, and within a couple months I asked my boss if I could spend a little company money to give it an upgrade.

But this is a machine that I only got for $650 shipped because there was a huge promotion going on, the list price for that model was 900 dollars.

Regarding the build quality on those Acers, Merc:

It's become depressingly common for companies to design one small board meant for a tiny chassis, and then leave the rest of the shell empty. Maybe they put a bigger battery in, maybe sometimes they give you a beefier cooler, but those times are very rare indeed. I had a 17" VivoBook from ASUS that had the board from a 12 inch model with literally most of the volume just being air. The cooler would have been generous for a 12" model, but wasn't anywhere near what I expected from a 17" laptop. Those chassis' would feel a lot stiffer if they were backed up by literally anything, but that doesn't help them in their pursuit of profit.
 

Mercutio

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Numpads on laptop keyboards are an abomination. If my hands are off-center from the screen, that's going to do nothing but piss me off. I also hate absolutely enormous touchpads, but they just keep getting bigger and bigger on everything for no reason I can excuse.

Acer has ALWAYS sold poorly constructed machines with good specs. That's its whole deal. These machines are just a particularly bad example of it. I think the ease with which the dc jack comes out might be a design feature though, since this is the first laptop in a while that still has the DC input soldered to the motherboard instead of a modular component.

I try to tell people to avoid Acer hardware for just that reason. I usually advocate for Asus as a consumer brand if I have to, or Microsoft if a tablet or 2 in 1 is appropriate. In this case, I didn't buy the hardware; I was asked to set the machines up and "kid proof" them with parental controls and registry edits. I delivered the systems and offered my reservations about the quality of the computers. I told my customer I don't want to see the machines again. 14 year old boys are going to break them.

A PC being full of unused space is fine, but I do like to open a laptop and find that there's at least room inside for a 2.5" drive. Mechanical drives as containers of bulk storage are still appropriate for at least some people and it should require research and a special purchase to get that.
 

Mercutio

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Also, my order for an extremely backordered Thinkpad X1 Extreme was canceled on July 1, which Lenovo didn't bother to tell me. I only just took the time to look today after seeing the post I made about it in February. It also didn't put me on a list to get an X1 Gen 5 model, and at this point I can only choose which shady Amazon reseller to buy from that I might have some kind of X1 Extreme during this calendar year.
 

sedrosken

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Numpads on laptop keyboards are an abomination. If my hands are off-center from the screen, that's going to do nothing but piss me off. I also hate absolutely enormous touchpads, but they just keep getting bigger and bigger on everything for no reason I can excuse.

I agree RE: touchpads, but I have to beg to differ on the numpad thing. I used to think like you but I came around the second I actually had to use this thing for a spreadsheet. I just wish it was possible to get a 14-incher with native ethernet and a numpad, even if they had to condense it a bit and go edge-to-edge to do it. The native ethernet thing you can solve by going upmarket and getting something intended for business use, the keyboard not so much.

A PC being full of unused space is fine, but I do like to open a laptop and find that there's at least room inside for a 2.5" drive. Mechanical drives as containers of bulk storage are still appropriate for at least some people and it should require research and a special purchase to get that.

I find that having actual PCBs and stuff in the dead space adds a ton of structural stability and helps lend it a feeling of build quality. Mechanical drives as bulk storage are fine, heck, I still use them myself, but I think they're falling out of fashion on all but the heftiest of portable workstations.
 

Mercutio

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If I have to work on a spreadsheet (note: this is not something I do), it can wait for a computer with a full keyboard. I'd RATHER have a 14" screen than 15", but I the thing I just bought is actually closer to 16", just to get the rest of the specs I need. I will say that I have USB3 to ethernet adapters in my normal carry bag and they've been fine for me.

The Acer laptops I was bitching about a few posts ago have a condensed numpad. I didn't hate it as much as the ones where my hands are a full three inches to the left of center, but I still hate it. Numpad people can buy some kind of little bluetooth keyboard but the ergonomics of either sitting off-center from a screen or keeping your hands off to one side of your body are hideous either way.
 

Mercutio

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Shady Amazon reseller seems to have done me right. The warranty from Lenovo started July 29th 2022. This system wasn't sitting around in a warehouse anywhere, apparently. I wish I'd done this instead of waiting six entire months for Lenovo to not ship me one.

Six screws get the bottom off an X1 Extreme, and it was dead simple to add a 32GB DIMM and to slot in a pair of 2TB drives. This laptop is a little bigger than I'd like, but unlike most other laptops with huge (16" in this case) displays, this guy does not flex anywhere. Even the display by itself is rigid. It's not a featherweight (it's 4lbs; lighter than my T470p by just a bit), but rather than feeling heavy, I'd say that it feels solid.

11th generation Intel Cores, even mobile ones, are a bit zippier than the ones in my big desktop, but here I can actually see an objective change; letting Topaz Denoise AI loose in CPU mode, it needs 2 - 3 seconds less per image than if I have my Threadripper do the same work. This machine also has a 3050Ti mobile, but I haven't gotten around to testing that, since I'm still in the process of downloading all the updates and drivers for every other thing I need. I'm downright excited to see the two Thunderbolt ports on this guy as well. I have Thunderbolt drive enclosures and a dock that adds another three displays if I want to set this up as a desktop.

This is the nicest screen I've seen on a Thinkpad. It's 100 nits brighter than the one I'm used to, and I feel like 2560x1600 is a sweet spot for a laptop screen. No notes at all on that front.

The fingerprint reader in the power button is, near as I can tell, instant. That's so, so good. I'm used to the older versions that require a finger to be placed just so in order to work right.

The webcam isn't bad for a builtin. The mic kind of sucks. I don't know what I was expecting. It's tinny and faintly noisy.
I'm expecting to see 4 - 5 hours of battery life, new, out of this guy. The 170W AC brick is large enough that I didn't just have a second one on hand; that's never happened to me before.

And the price was right. $1750, delivered with 16GB RAM and a 500GB SSD (plus the money in the drives and DIMM I swapped in, I guess)..
 
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Mercutio

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Final observation on the X1 Extreme? An RTX 3050TI mobile is the fastest mobile graphics I've had in a laptop but it does almost nothing for any of my content creation software; I think Topaz Denoise and Sharpen are faster on the CPU than the GPU, or else they aren't using the GPU even when I tell it to. It's not bad at all for the games I own, though. Not bad at all. It can't keep up with Cyberpunk 2077 but the other titles I own all run fine if I switch to 1920x1080 or use medium settings instead of full blast.
 

LunarMist

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If you had the choice of MS Surfaces or Lenovo Yogo at work, which would you choose?
Neither have video or anything special that I can request. Thanks.
 

sedrosken

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Between only the two, I've been more impressed by the build quality of the Surfaces, and I've had both in hand, although the Yoga wasn't particularly recent. I'm actually waiting on backorder for a Pro 9 through work right now -- the only thing I'll really be missing over my current laptop is native ethernet, and while it'll be a pain, I can adjust to a dongle for the huge increase in mobility it'd offer. The screens are really nice and for what I'm actually doing on my work machine day to day, it'll be plenty powerful, and at my desk I use a USB docking station anyway.
 

ddrueding

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I ran a half-dozen Surface Books (the last generation of their laptop, with the removable hard keyboard) and was disappointed in the design quality. Keyboard failed to connect reliably and the power button got jammed in the frame a couple times. As the whole thing is epoxied together, the only way to remove the power button was with a drill and work with a damaged unit until it was replaced.

I have a bit more faith in Lenovo to do things properly.
 

LunarMist

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I'm pretty sure it would one of the smaller Surfaces, not the big brick with removable keyboard. I asked for clarifcation on which models are involved. I doubt any have enough ports naturally. (I need the power, video, keyboard/mouse, USB-LAN and dongle for the headset.)
 

sedrosken

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Well, no, the Surface won't have enough ports. The Pro 7+ had one USB-C and one USB3 type A with a headphone jack and magnetic charge port. The 9s have dual USB-C and I can't quite remember but I think they drop the headphone jack. It's not really designed for someone like you who actually uses the ports. Then again I'm not sure the Yoga is either, that's also a pretty road-warrior-esque laptop, but it's been a hot minute since I've had one. You're probably best off using a Thunderbolt/USB-C dock or something for your desk peripherals.

dd, I had to deploy and manage about 250 of the actual Surfaces, not the Books -- though they were pretty evenly split between the Pro 7+s and Pro 9s. I've got one of the Pro 9s on order for me, and my boss and our project manager have them. The actual Surfaces themselves are pretty okay. About as good as anything else you'll see on the market now, at least, and everyone seems to be getting worse on that front unfortunately. They could do with a price drop, of course, but I doubt Lunar's spending his own money.

I do have complaints, though. They don't seem to have fans, not ones that I could hear or feel running, so they'll thermal throttle if you look at them funny. The RAM and storage is soldered, but that's pretty much expected with the form factor, though you could argue they could put a SODIMM/m.2 cover under the kickstand. The display is a bit too high res for the size, even at 200% DPI it's a bit small, and not everything respects DPI settings.
 

LunarMist

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The Surfaces I've seen in the office are just like small laptops with a regular keyboard and around 2.5-3 lbs. I'm leaning towards the Lendovo depending on all the specs. I could get a small port thingie, but will probably have to pay for it myself. At home, I'm running a KVM to a second disply input using USB and HDMI from the laptop. At the offices most of the dicking stations are really old, all USB 3.0.
 

LunarMist

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It's some kind of Lendovo docking station of ~2015 vintage. The point is that the USB A has not the thunderbowls/USB 4 videos nor charging via PD. If the new laptop had a paucity of ports, I need the use a device that can do a lot with one socket. At home I don't want a full docker, just something that powers itself. Currently I have the HDMI port and three USB ports in a ~5 YO Lendovo.
Sorry to complain at IT to people in that industry, but it's just horrible for me. I cannot even ask a simple question about what models are being offered without communicating through the BOT and creating an incident. Now they are asking for a screenshot. :(
 

Mercutio

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I'm usually looking for more for wireless connectivity in dicking stations, but big kudos if someone manages to work Thunderbolt into the name of theirs.

re Surface: I like them as devices for students and that is how I am most familiar with them, but I do think an individual needs to pay for an extra service plan for them. Broken screens suck.

One thing I will say that regardless of product line, Lenovo has the best trackpads and keyboards out there, something I've found to be true for Yoga and Ideapad Flex just as much Thinkpads or Legion gaming devices. The detachable keyboard is IMO the worst aspect of Surface tablets, although devices that are used primarily as tablets probably won't share that complaint.
 

LunarMist

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I avoid the Wi-Fi whenever possible. At home everything is low speed (1GbE) wired other than the Andorid mobile devices. Of course it's a psychically separate network from the NAS storage 10Gb or 2.5GbE.
At work the Wi-Fi is as good (slow) as the ethernet on the docking stations. I mostly use Wi-Fi for mobility in different areas. It's useless in elevlators though.
 

LunarMist

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The new model laptops are the bulls hit. The ones from 2021 had a fingersprint reader for logins. Now those bastrads have eliminated it so the options are to type in a password or use the Windows facial Hello. I'm not sure if 13th generator makes sense but future may be drastic with inadequate portes.
 

ddrueding

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The Windows Hello facial works really well on my Dell XPS 15. I did prefer the fingerprint reader, but it isn't terrible? The port shortage is certainly a thing. A USB4 dock (or monitor with a USB hub integrated) is just about required for more than mobile computing. The lack of a single USB-A port when all the wireless mouse dongles (looking at you, Logitech) are only USB-A is infuriating.
 

LunarMist

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I don't want a camera on me and showing the surrounding location. The camera is covered with a label on my personal machines since the BIOS is missing. My work computer is normally folded closed unless I'm in a designated location, not at home.
Would a generic USB fingerprint reader work on the Windows Hello? Many of the ones on the Amazon have weak reviews.
 

sedrosken

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I'm not a fan of Windows Hello without the fingerprint reader either, but I get along fine with a PIN. I believe, incidentally, from my experience working in the POS industry, that those USB fingerprint readers are intended for that sort of purpose -- POS software can typically use a fingerprint to login, but I don't see that working very well with Windows itself.
 

sedrosken

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A friend gifted me their old MacBook Pro, specifically, the 12,1 Early-2015 13-inch model, since they upgraded to an M1 Pro. Kicking the tires on it, it's an 8/256 model with the "2.7GHz Core i5" meaning the 5257U. macOS Monterey is predictably unwieldy on it, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple made it fatter specifically to make these dual-cores look bad compared to the M1. But, I now have a Mac with which to test Intune deployment characteristics for macOS devices and to recover APFS drives with, so... I still ended up dual-booting Debian.

I find it hard to believe that 8/256 is still a base model for them even now. macOS is more memory efficient than Windows, to be sure, but I still saw it as quite the limit -- even on Linux it isn't a fun limit to navigate around. I'm using GNOME for my environment, which isn't my first choice, but it's the only one other than I think KDE to competently handle DPI scaling. I'm of the opinion that the Retina screen is great on macOS if a tad cramped, but it's more of a pain in the ass than it's worth under anything else. I have it set up in a way that I can live with now, I guess, but having a screen that's higher res than my main desktop display at less than a quarter of the size comes with some hurdles. The 16:10 ratio is much appreciated and I'd forgotten how much I loved it -- I'm glad to see it making a comeback, I don't think it should have ever died. That said, I also think I'd have been better served by a 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 screen than this 2560x1600 pain in the rear.

Window management under macOS is frankly rather pitiful without third party applications. Even Windows can quarter-tile now. Then again, GNOME was stuck dual-tiling at first too... but that was a setting, I think, rather than a whole other application.

Broadwell is quite long in the tooth now, and a dual-core in this day and age is, put bluntly, a limit, but it handles itself surprisingly well all-considered. The beefier iGP in the form of the Iris Pro 6100 is appreciated, even if it can still struggle a bit and doesn't have much in the way of modern codecs. h264ify to the rescue! This still does way better than the Chromebook I installed custom firmware on and shoved Linux onto for my personal laptop use. This is in good shape, but it was actually used and I don't feel bad continuing to actually use it, it's taken a couple of dings over the years.

I thought I might replace the battery but it's still at 85% of its design capacity, it just never lasted all that long. That said, my privilege might be showing with me saying that ~4h mixed-load is a bad runtime. In an interesting reversal, I do actually get better runtime on Linux than macOS. And my thermals are managed better too with a little daemon I found. Apple really prioritized a quiet laptop over one that could adequately cool itself -- I guess they figured it would throttle before it killed itself, but it is a bit nerve-wracking to see my temperature spike to 105. I may yet pull this apart and repaste the heatsink, but my friend told me he'd done it himself less than a year ago, and that Apple stuff just kind of runs hot no matter what you do. I think I might be boosting higher under Linux than macOS, too, which is weird -- they say 2.7GHz in the documentation both on Apple and Intel's end, but I've clocked this thing boosting to 3.1 when the thermal situation is right. I remember noticing similar behavior from Haswell-U -- boosting to 2.whatever it was supposed to under Windows, but clocking a bit higher under Linux in the right circumstances.
 

LunarMist

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I'm about to push the plunger. Last question is what happens to Windows 10 on the 13th gen? Is the affinity of the CPU cores completely out of control by the software or is it under the OS, i.e., how much difference from 11 is there in programs that are not particularly made for 11 or before there was 11? I briefly searched the internet for programs, but they are just controlling the number or percentage of cores used rather than the P vs. E style cores. It might be a too extreme reduction from 4P+8E to 4P. I know for sure that all-core operation is power limited in the models I looked at. If I install 10 Pro and upgrade the license can I then update to 11 Pro without creating a Windows account? I'd rather not succumb to 11, but want options just in case 10 is not feasible. The base OS would be 11 Homes and I surely do not want to do a full install of every program.
 

Mercutio

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Windows 10 isn't fully supported by Intel Thread Director. You need to be running Windows 11 in order for the system to properly prioritize Pcores vs. Ecores. AMD is currently competitive in every aspect of laptop-grade CPUs and if you're dead set against Windows 11, you're probably better off just getting something with an AMD CPU. You can even find some that have discrete nVidia GPUs.

You CAN, 100%, build Windows 11 install Media that doesn't force account creation. I've detailed several ways to do this in other places on this forum. You can use Rufus or an Autounattend.xml to skip MS Account creation. You can also sign in to a non-existent Domain account during an install of Windows 11 Professional if you just want to keep things simple.

Here's a valid file you can save as autounattend.xml that you can plop on to whatever media you use that'll skip Microsoft Account creation. You'll probably want to change the ProductKey to whatever key you plan to activate, although if you don't, that's a valid trial key. This will skip and turn down all the OOBE stuff and create a user account named LunarMist that has no password by default.

<!--************************************************* Windows 10/11 Answer File Generator Created using Windows AFG found at: ;http://www.windowsafg.com Installation Notes Location: Notes: Created for LunarMist to use. **************************************************--> <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend"> <settings pass="windowsPE"> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <SetupUILanguage> <UILanguage>en-US</UILanguage> </SetupUILanguage> <InputLocale>0409:00000409</InputLocale> <SystemLocale>en-US</SystemLocale> <UILanguage>en-US</UILanguage> <UILanguageFallback>en-US</UILanguageFallback> <UserLocale>en-US</UserLocale> </component> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <DiskConfiguration> <Disk wcm:action="add"> <DiskID>0</DiskID> <WillWipeDisk>true</WillWipeDisk> <CreatePartitions> <!-- Windows RE Tools partition --> <CreatePartition wcm:action="add"> <Order>1</Order> <Type>Primary</Type> <Size>300</Size> </CreatePartition> <!-- System partition (ESP) --> <CreatePartition wcm:action="add"> <Order>2</Order> <Type>EFI</Type> <Size>100</Size> </CreatePartition> <!-- Microsoft reserved partition (MSR) --> <CreatePartition wcm:action="add"> <Order>3</Order> <Type>MSR</Type> <Size>128</Size> </CreatePartition> <!-- Windows partition --> <CreatePartition wcm:action="add"> <Order>4</Order> <Type>Primary</Type> <Extend>true</Extend> </CreatePartition> </CreatePartitions> <ModifyPartitions> <!-- Windows RE Tools partition --> <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add"> <Order>1</Order> <PartitionID>1</PartitionID> <Label>WINRE</Label> <Format>NTFS</Format> <TypeID>DE94BBA4-06D1-4D40-A16A-BFD50179D6AC</TypeID> </ModifyPartition> <!-- System partition (ESP) --> <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add"> <Order>2</Order> <PartitionID>2</PartitionID> <Label>System</Label> <Format>FAT32</Format> </ModifyPartition> <!-- MSR partition does not need to be modified --> <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add"> <Order>3</Order> <PartitionID>3</PartitionID> </ModifyPartition> <!-- Windows partition --> <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add"> <Order>4</Order> <PartitionID>4</PartitionID> <Label>OS</Label> <Letter>C</Letter> <Format>NTFS</Format> </ModifyPartition> </ModifyPartitions> </Disk> </DiskConfiguration> <ImageInstall> <OSImage> <InstallTo> <DiskID>0</DiskID> <PartitionID>4</PartitionID> </InstallTo> <InstallToAvailablePartition>false</InstallToAvailablePartition> </OSImage> </ImageInstall> <UserData> <ProductKey> <!-- Do not uncomment the Key element if you are using trial ISOs --> <!-- You must uncomment the Key element (and optionally insert your own key) if you are using retail or volume license ISOs --> <Key></Key> <WillShowUI>Never</WillShowUI> </ProductKey> <AcceptEula>true</AcceptEula> <FullName>LunarMist</FullName> <Organization></Organization> </UserData> </component> </settings> <settings pass="offlineServicing"> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-LUA-Settings" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <EnableLUA>true</EnableLUA> </component> </settings> <settings pass="generalize"> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm> </component> </settings> <settings pass="specialize"> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <InputLocale>0409:00000409</InputLocale> <SystemLocale>en-US</SystemLocale> <UILanguage>en-US</UILanguage> <UILanguageFallback>en-US</UILanguageFallback> <UserLocale>en-US</UserLocale> </component> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP-UX" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <SkipAutoActivation>true</SkipAutoActivation> </component> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-SQMApi" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <CEIPEnabled>1</CEIPEnabled> </component> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <ComputerName>LMNotebook-PC</ComputerName> <ProductKey>W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX</ProductKey> </component> </settings> <settings pass="oobeSystem"> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <AutoLogon> <Password> <Value></Value> <PlainText>true</PlainText> </Password> <Enabled>true</Enabled> <Username>LunarMist</Username> </AutoLogon> <OOBE> <HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage> <HideOEMRegistrationScreen>true</HideOEMRegistrationScreen> <HideOnlineAccountScreens>true</HideOnlineAccountScreens> <HideWirelessSetupInOOBE>true</HideWirelessSetupInOOBE> <NetworkLocation>Home</NetworkLocation> <SkipUserOOBE>true</SkipUserOOBE> <SkipMachineOOBE>true</SkipMachineOOBE> <ProtectYourPC>3</ProtectYourPC> </OOBE> <UserAccounts> <LocalAccounts> <LocalAccount wcm:action="add"> <Password> <Value></Value> <PlainText>true</PlainText> </Password> <Description></Description> <DisplayName>LunarMist</DisplayName> <Group>Administrators</Group> <Name>LunarMist</Name> </LocalAccount> </LocalAccounts> </UserAccounts> <RegisteredOrganization></RegisteredOrganization> <RegisteredOwner>LunarMist</RegisteredOwner> <DisableAutoDaylightTimeSet>false</DisableAutoDaylightTimeSet> <FirstLogonCommands> <SynchronousCommand wcm:action="add"> <Description>Control Panel View</Description> <Order>1</Order> <CommandLine>reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ControlPanel" /v StartupPage /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f</CommandLine> <RequiresUserInput>true</RequiresUserInput> </SynchronousCommand> <SynchronousCommand wcm:action="add"> <Order>2</Order> <Description>Control Panel Icon Size</Description> <RequiresUserInput>false</RequiresUserInput> <CommandLine>reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ControlPanel" /v AllItemsIconView /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f</CommandLine> </SynchronousCommand> <SynchronousCommand wcm:action="add"> <Order>3</Order> <RequiresUserInput>false</RequiresUserInput> <CommandLine>cmd /C wmic useraccount where name="LunarMist" set PasswordExpires=false</CommandLine> <Description>Password Never Expires</Description> </SynchronousCommand> </FirstLogonCommands> <TimeZone>Pacific Standard Time</TimeZone> </component> </settings> </unattend>
 
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LunarMist

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If I upgrade 10Pro to 11, will it work on the correct threads or need an account? I looked at a bunch of laptops and am back to square one. Either they are big bricks or suffer from inadequate M.2 or ports. If I run that stuff, will it accept a legit 10 Pro key rather than 11?
 

Mercutio

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Threading will work correctly once you upgrade to Windows 11. There is no requirement that you have an account. I have two Windows 11 PCs that are not signed in to a Microsoft account. Both are still getting updates.

Lenovo P1s weigh 4lbs, have 2x DIMM and either 2x m.2 (with an RTX 4050) or 1x m.2 + bigger GPU. Either way, it also supports Intel Quickpath. That's an Intel CPU, but it's also a workstation-grade machine rather than some gamer nonsense. I think the XPS 15 will also get you 2xm.2 on Intel.

You might actually be served well with a Framework modular laptop. Down side there is that you'll have to wait to get it. They come in 13" and 16" chassis and allow you to pick between Intel and AMD CPUs.
 

LunarMist

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The P1 series is intriguing, though a bit heavier than I'd like. Maybe I'll get the 13th gen in the current form factor, and then 14th gen in the performance machine. When will we have 14th gen in like the P1?
 

Mercutio

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From experience, my biggest issue with the larger screen of the X1 Extreme / P1 is just surface area. I had to have my photography bag modified a bit to accept the slightly larger screen than the 14" stuff I'm used to.

The P1 gen 6 was JUST released. We have a long wait to see a new one. If you can hold out a year, cool, but from what I've seen, it sounds like Intel 14th gen is going to be even more power hungry than 13th gen was.
 

LunarMist

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Oh, it's not available in 14"? Then I'll go with a 14' 1360P for now since it is already tough for the smaller bags under the seats. Some planes have bras installed even in the higher classes. :(
It should be relatively easy to swap the 2x 4TB. I'm not buying any more NVMe SSDs now and those have a crazy lifespan like 5PB writes each.
 
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