Help me pick a new computer
June 20, 2012 1:46 AM   Subscribe

Processor and general build quality question: Should I buy a Samsung Series 3 305V5A-T04AU Notebook or HP Pavilion dv6-6B00TU Notebook?

The Samsung has a AMD Quad-Core A8-3510MX Accelerated Processor (1.8GHz-2.5GHz, 4MB L2 Cache).

The HP has Intel Core i7-2670QM 2.2 GHz.

Sammy has 8gb
HP has 6gb, but I'll upgrade to 8gb


I'll be using it for image editing (GIMP and RAWTherapee), screencasting (BBFlashback Pro), and 3D modeling / animation (Blender) - all at a serious hobby level, but not pro. As well as general entertainment, Internet and checking MeFi constantly.

I know the i7 is much better than the A8, but will I notice the difference, given my usage?

How do the two laptops compare just in terms of build quality and battery life? Has anyone here had bad experiences with either model? Noisy fans? Quirky behaviors?

The HP is about $150AU more than the either one worth the saving/extra expense?

Any other options I should consider (aiming at around the $900AU mark)?
posted by man down under to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I have a Samsung Series 3, but not that particular model; my usage is much lighter than yours so I can't speak to the processor speed. I'll just say that I love this computer. Last month I had to send it in for a repair, and the people at Samsung were efficient and kind and professional in a way that I have never experienced from a computer company.

My experience with HP has been much worse, and my last HP laptop had its hinge break after a few months of light use.
posted by Jeanne at 3:52 AM on June 20, 2012

I like Samsung as a brand, and nice build quality. The six hundred billion unnecessary dollars HP has charged me for printer consumables over the years mean I figure they can get stuffed. I have had nice HP laptops in the past that was a distant past though and not a pavilion.
posted by mattoxic at 5:12 AM on June 20, 2012

You will definitely notice the difference in processor speed and the Intel chip should get you longer battery life. The battery will probably last longer either in terms of how long one full charge lasts or in how many tasks you're able to complete on charge. Probably both.

You might look at something with a Core i5 processor. It should still be a solid step up from the A8 and should still have most of the same features at the i7. With what you're going to be using it for, you still notice a solid difference between the i5 and the i7 but either will be much faster than the AMD chip.
posted by VTX at 7:33 AM on June 20, 2012

I have a Pavilion dv7, last-generation core i5, so not exactly comparable, but I have to say, this is the loudest laptop, with the most annoying fan, I have ever encountered. It would be one thing if, when the machine gets hot, the fan comes on and cools things off. Instead, the fan comes on briefly, loudly, wheezes, then shuts itself off...then a few seconds later comes back on, wheezes, shuts itself off. Meanwhile, the temperature is going through the roof. I've actually had to turn the processor down below 100% in the power settings to try to cure this...which brings into question the whole point of getting the machine. While it sleeps, it snores, in that same startling fashion, wheezing out of nowhere.

I haven't been able to use it for the gaming or graphics I'd planned, because of the noise and how ineffectively it cools itself down.

Again, not the same model, not the same processor, so maybe your experience would be different, but I'd definitely try looking up reviews based on the fan.
posted by mittens at 7:58 AM on June 20, 2012

Great help - thanks for the heads-up about the noisy fan. I should have googled 'DV6 noisy fan' earlier...

I think I'll get a Samsung 300V5A-S0AAU Series 3 Notebook, which has an i5 processor and I can upgrade to 8gb...

...unless anyone has a reason for me not to?
posted by man down under at 2:19 PM on June 20, 2012

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