New Computer: Break with Tradition or Stick to the Status Quo?

For awhile now, I have been wondering what makes one computer better than another. With this assignment, I was able to finally figure that out. I have always had a dell computer, even back when I didn’t have a laptop. My family had a Dell. I got my current laptop in June of 2013, so it’s a little old. Below you can see the specs of my computer compared to those of the Windows and Macs in the COMM Lab.

Current Computer 

MANUFACTURER & MODEL: Dell XPS12 9Q23

CPU NAME & SPEED: Intel Core i5-3337u CPU @ 1.80 GHz

HARD DRIVE TYPE & STORAGE CAPACITY: Hardrive with 128 GB

RAM: 4 GB

VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Intel HD Graphics

MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080 px; with touch support

LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE: 12.5 in

BATTERY LIFE: 5 hours

WEIGHT: 1.5kg (ultrabook)

DATA PORTS: 2 USB ports; power port; audio port; mini-card port

VIDEO CONNECTIONS: mini-display port

CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 2011

Windows Computers in Lab

MANUFACTURER & MODEL: Dell SX2210

CPU NAME & SPEED: Intel Core i7-3930k @ 3.20 GHz

HARD DRIVE TYPE & STORAGE CAPACITY: SSD & HD (I could not find this information, but I’m assuming this)

RAM: 32.0 GB

VIDEO CARD DETAILS: (couldn’t find this either)

MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080px

LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE: 22in

BATTERY LIFE: n/a

WEIGHT: 9.9 lbs

DATA PORTS: 3 audio; 3 USB; 1 CP/MD; 1 MD; 1 SD; 1 SD Mini and SM

VIDEO CONNECTIONS: CD drive

CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 3263

Mac Computers in Lab

MANUFACTURER & MODEL: Apple Macbook Pro 15-inch late 2013

CPU NAME & SPEED: Intel Core i7 4850HQ @ CPU 2.3 GHz

HARD DRIVE TYPE & STORAGE CAPACITY: 1 TB of SSD

RAM: 16 GB

VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Nvidia GeForce GT 750M 2048MB

MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 2880 x 1800px

LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE: 15in

BATTERY LIFE: 8 hrs.

WEIGHT: 4.46 lbs

DATA PORTS: 1 audio; 2 USB; 2 Thunderbolts; 1 power port

VIDEO CONNECTIONS: 1 HDMI

CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 3066

After looking at these comparisons, I could physically see how my computer compares to the ones in the COMM lab and I quickly realized that although I have some good things with my computer, I probably need to update it soon. The following two sections –first the Apple option and second the Windows –show the specs for my ideal computers.

Apple Option

MANUFACTURER & MODEL: Macbook Pro 13-inch (Early 2015)

CPU NAME & SPEED: Intel Core i7-5557u

HARD DRIVE TYPE & STORAGE CAPACITY: 16 GB of Hardrive; 1tb of SSD

RAM: 8GB

VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Intel Iris Graphics 6100

MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 2560 x 1600px

LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE: 13.3in

BATTERY LIFE: 10hrs

WEIGHT: 3.45 lbs

DATA PORTS: 2 USB; 2 Thunderbolts; 1 SDXC card slot

VIDEO CONNECTIONS: 1 HDMI

CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 2989

COST: $1299

Windows Option

MANUFACTURER & MODEL: Dell XPS13 9343

CPU NAME & SPEED: 5th gen Intel Core i7-5500u @ CPU 3.ooGHz

HARD DRIVE TYPE & STORAGE CAPACITY: 256GB in SSD

RAM:8GB

VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Intel HD Graphics 5500

MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 3200 x 1800px

LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE: 13.3in with infinity touch display

BATTERY LIFE: 15hrs. 12min. (some reviews agree with this, but others say 7hrs.)

WEIGHT: 2.6lbs

DATA PORTS: 2 USB; 1 audio port; 1 noble lock; 3-in-1 card reader

VIDEO CONNECTIONS: 1 mini-Display port;

CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 2640

Cost: $1599.99

After doing all of this research, I realized I still have a lot to learn and a lot of questions that have not been answered. One question has always been one of mine: is the virus rumor true? Many people have argued that Macs are better because they are less prone to viruses. Is this true? If so, why? Also, what is the difference between video graphics cards? What’s an Iris graphic card? And finally, how do you find the specs for a CPU (or case with everything in it) for a desktop computer?

With these questions still in mind, I am left to choose between my two options. I found the Apple option by exploring the Apple website, which provides visitors with all the specs and allows one to compare computers. Since I am accustomed to Dell computers, I looked at Dell for my other, windows option. (Sidenote: I hate their website. It’s horrible and confusing) Through this research, I realized that my computer had some good characteristics –like weight, display resolution and lots of ports –but I found that these newer options gave me increased speed and memory things that my computer lacks.

In the end, I chose the Apple computer. This decision was extremely difficult for me because I distrust Apple and I grew up on Dell. But I decided I needed a change. The XPS13 is the newest edition of my own computer, and although both are good, I have had too many annoying issues with my current computer. Besides, the Apple computer is cheaper, has a better processor, possesses more ports and has TONS of storage. It’s great! If I had the money in my hands this second, I would go out and buy the Apple Macbook Pro 13inch (Early 2015).

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