Computer selection

<p>I was thinking, will I NEED a laptop for College, or will making my own computer suffice (as in a tower, monitor, speakers, etc?). Because I figured I could make a super bad-ass computer (6 core, 6 gigs ram (maybe more, though I won't need it)) as opposed to buying a mediocre laptop :/</p>

<p>Having a desktop is fine provided you think you're only going to study in your room and you plan on only taking paper notes. Frankly, I always found working in my room to be too distracting, so I studied in the library, and then it was nice to have a laptop because particularly during finals or other peak study periods the libraries and computer labs were packed and every computer station was in use. </p>

<p>You might think about it this way: You don't NEED a laptop, but you don't NEED a super bad-ass computer for college either. This isn't going to be your forever computer or your primary gaming machine or anything like that. It's a functional computer for papers and studying and academic stuff, with maybe some facebook thrown in. After you graduate is the time to build your own computer, when you're settled and don't have to worry about storing a custom built computer over the summer. I'd go for the laptop for versatility's sake.</p>

<p>I don't have a laptop, and I've never been unable to get a computer in a library to work on (though I have had to go to a couple of places to find one before). This will depend on the college you are going to, and if it's one which has an active forum here, you could try asking there.</p>

<p>I would go with a laptop. I'm required to have my laptop in some of my classes, such as Econ for online experiments & quizzes. The super bad-ass desktop won't help you in that scenario. You really don't NEED a super-bad ass computer, regardless...this computer doesn't need to last you forever, just for the next few years.</p>

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The super bad-ass desktop won't help you in that scenario.

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<p>The free-to-rent laptops at the library might.</p>

<p>YMMV based on school.</p>

<p>Desktops are harder to steal, find a cheap one to minimise risk.</p>

<p>If I were you, I'd go ahead and build that bad-ass desktop. You really want one, and chances are, it'll cost much less than a good laptop (with 1/4 the power).</p>

<p>However, for those few cases where portability will matter, I suggest you drop $250 on a netbook.</p>

<p>I originally had one $1000 laptop that worked for me, but I wanted a lot more power -- full four cores with hyperthreading. So, I built myself that desktop for $600. I figured my Thinkpad T500 was too heavy to lug around everywhere, so I purchased an Asus EeePC for $260. I haven't really used my old laptop since. The gap between a desktop and a netbook is quite tiny.</p>

<p>Thanks for the input guys.</p>

<p>@Excell blue: The only problem is that my budget is kind of small. I don't want to spend too much on computers. I mean, I was expecting the 6 core to last a long time (I mean, it will cost close to $700 or so), if I got one, but I don't want to buy a 6 core AND a laptop.</p>

<p>I think I'll just sit with the cheapest duo core laptop or so (with 4 gigs of ram).</p>

<p>Do not buy anything you will cry over if it gets stolen.</p>

<p>Well, I will cry over anything that get stolen, even if I buy a $250 laptop. :(</p>

<p>Isn't there a program that tracks a laptop if it gets stolen? My friend told me about it, saying that the chances you will get your laptop returned to you is laughable if you lose it.</p>

<p>But I know what you mean.</p>

<p>OnStar for laptops? No, not worth it. This is especially true when most police departments refuse to help.</p>

<p>To be quite honest, if I were you, I'd cut down the desktop to $500. Lots of RAM is useless unless you actually use it. Also, IMO, while six core will last a while, it'll be cheaper for you to purchase a quad-core processor now and upgrade two years later when you feel it's necessary. Chances are, however, that the quad core in a desktop will last you all four years. Just remember that even with 4GB RAM and a quad-core processor, your desktop most likely still beats out a $3000 laptop in specs.</p>

<p>If you budget is really $700 total, the laptop you get is likely going to be pretty bad and need upgrading pretty soon anyways.</p>

<p>Well, actually, I don't exactly have a budget. It's more like my parents say that if I want to make a 6-core, they don't want me wasting my money on a laptop too. If I get a laptop... no need for a 6-core.</p>

<p>We actually found a $400 duo core laptop with 4 gigs of ram, I mean, it won't outperform a 6 core.. but it'll get the job done.</p>