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Thread: In the market for a new Laptop

  1. #1
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    Default In the market for a new Laptop

    I need to supplement my Alienware laptop as it is starting to show signs of age. Got an error message that a disk needed to be checked for consistency. It fixed itself,BUT my own experience on other machines tells me this is the beginning of problems.All of my data is backed up in about 3 different places so that should not be a problem. My question is what would people recommend as a good laptop to run Open Rails,MSTS etc. Any help will be as always greatly appreciated. Brian

  2. #2
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    Don't know what the specs are but your Alienware should handle OR, TSRE, whatever, just fine. Unless it's really old.
    You could get a new, larger SSD and just clone your current drive.
    16 gigs of RAM is almost a requirement nowadays.
    These are cheap compared to a new rig.
    Just stuff to think about.

    Randy

  3. #3
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    Nothing wrong with a new alienware, if you cannot upgrade the old as suggested --- if the budget will withstand the expense.
    Cheers, Gerry
    It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
    Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdayt View Post
    Don't know what the specs are but your Alienware should handle OR, TSRE, whatever, just fine. Unless it's really old.
    You could get a new, larger SSD and just clone your current drive.
    16 gigs of RAM is almost a requirement nowadays.
    These are cheap compared to a new rig.
    Just stuff to think about.

    Randy
    Thank you for your reply! It is about 8 years old but I really filled it up and of course I could just upgrade it as you suggest. The error message I received seemed an omen of trouble. Once again Thank You Brian

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Steele View Post
    Nothing wrong with a new alienware, if you cannot upgrade the old as suggested --- if the budget will withstand the expense.
    I actually was planning on that,but I wanted some input from you guys on whether there might be other options or something more favorable to running these simulators. I am hesitant to upgrade due to the error that popped up. I have no intention of scrapping the Alienware and if it does fail I will just have my computer guy fix it just like he did when my Toshiba failed after getting a similar error notification. He did and I still use it despite the fact that it is 15 years old! My man knows his business! Thanks Gerry for your advice! Brian

  6. #6
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    Hi Brian,
    The error you got might be a sign that the hard drive is beginning to fail - it could also be the result of a power supply glitch. If the remainder of the laptop is behaving itself, the most cost-effective solution would be, as suggested, to replace the hard drive. Give it some running time and if the error is repeated, that'd be the time to consider a replacement PC. If you take that route, you'd still have a new hard drive to use for backups, or whatever.

    Cheers,
    Ged

  7. #7

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    I have a 2014 Alienware, and after replacing the HDD with a SSD about two years ago, it performs like a brand new PC. It was also throwing the disk health error, which is understandable as spinning disks that are actively used (a few times weekly to daily) rarely last over five years without showing some signs of degredation or failure. It's mechanical. All machines eventually break. The solid state components? Less likely to fail unless there's an overheat or liquid event.

    Granted, my monitor is showing signs of pixel loss and the battery only works for about 45 minutes, but I almost never use it as a standalone, but instead have it plugged into wall power, and hooked up to dual monitors and a mouse/keyboard.

    As long as the fans continue to work, I have no intention of replacing the core machine. Even with the original $1800 price and how well it's held up in general, it's turning into the lowest cost per year laptop I've ever owned.

  8. #8
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    I bought my first laptop - middle of last year - after much research I went with an Alienware M17 R2, i9 2TB SSD, 16G ram Nvidia RTX 2080 - fortunate enough to have the budget. No regrets, love it, on advice of some other folks I know, I went with a service contract, although I'm usually very skeptical of those sorts of things...we'll see. Easily runs all routes in OR, and is a well designed machine, Win10 is taking some time getting used to,..but that's to be expected with a new OS. I'm impressed by the quality of the display and the keyboard.
    Cheers, Gerry
    It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
    Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
    Hi Brian,
    The error you got might be a sign that the hard drive is beginning to fail - it could also be the result of a power supply glitch. If the remainder of the laptop is behaving itself, the most cost-effective solution would be, as suggested, to replace the hard drive. Give it some running time and if the error is repeated, that'd be the time to consider a replacement PC. If you take that route, you'd still have a new hard drive to use for backups, or whatever.

    Cheers,
    Ged
    Thanks Ged for your advice. I had a feeling that the hard drive was starting to fail due to a problem similar to this on another machine. Your diagnosis of a power supply glitch is very intuitive as a couple of months ago the neighborhood where I live had all kinds of power problems that resulted in failures,flickering lights and so on. I disconnected the computer but I DID have to recover so it is entirely possible that this caused trouble in the hard drive. As I said elsewhere the computer did correct the problem itself and I am going to monitor it. Fortunately everything is backed up in at least 3 places so I am not worried about losing anything. I think I'm just getting itchy for a new one,kinda like just wanting a new car.Anyway thanks for your input,it is greatly appreciated.Brian

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eolesen View Post
    I have a 2014 Alienware, and after replacing the HDD with a SSD about two years ago, it performs like a brand new PC. It was also throwing the disk health error, which is understandable as spinning disks that are actively used (a few times weekly to daily) rarely last over five years without showing some signs of degredation or failure. It's mechanical. All machines eventually break. The solid state components? Less likely to fail unless there's an overheat or liquid event.

    Granted, my monitor is showing signs of pixel loss and the battery only works for about 45 minutes, but I almost never use it as a standalone, but instead have it plugged into wall power, and hooked up to dual monitors and a mouse/keyboard.

    As long as the fans continue to work, I have no intention of replacing the core machine. Even with the original $1800 price and how well it's held up in general, it's turning into the lowest cost per year laptop I've ever owned.
    Thanks Eric. I actually have the same machine that you have based on your report on its qualities.You are a good salesman! I am having similar things like battery degeneration and so on,but as you say everything gets old and begins to fail,including me.

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