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Laptop Reliability

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by snowkiwi, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Wait, they still sell laptops with harddrives?!
     
  2. Chimay

    Chimay Loaded Pockets

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    Yep, hard drive there is a generic term for either a disk based drive or SSD. SSDs, have gotten a lot better, but MLC drives and TRIM options (particularly with journaling filing systems) can still devastate a SSD drive.
     
  3. microbe

    microbe EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    My previous laptop - black HP Envy beats i7 running Windos 7 Professional - died after exactly 5 years of humble service. Sudden death hard disk failure.
    Just picked up a new one today. The speed difference from this machine - 5th gen i7 - is amazing.
    256 GB SSD, 8GB RAM, touch screen, convertible, Windows 10 HP Spectre. I hope it will last 5 years to.
     
  4. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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    I've only bought one laptop so far, a Toshiba which cost me a lot of money close to 10 years ago now, it's just started to play up, something wrong with the battery charging circuit, it just stops the charging process after a minute or so.

    Like all other things, it's a throw away item nowadays, I'll never spend big bucks again, I'm looking at a Asus X205TA next, seems to be popular, all the hi st stores are sold out. I don't play games or use any fancy software, just surf the Web and use Word etc so a light, silent running, long lasting battery life is all I need really.
    It will no doubt become obsolete soon enough, either due to software or failure so it's no big deal.
     
  5. DuncMan

    DuncMan Loaded Pockets

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    Agreed entirely. Work exclusively on MacBook Pros and have done for man years. Very few probs and I change every 6 or so years.
     
  6. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Oh in my mind a hard drive is one of them spinning platter things (SSDs are not being 'driven'... tho i agree they can be just as hard if thrown right).

    Im known to have killed a laptop hdd or two in my life (all by falling when powered on) but i have not managed to do so with an ssd! And is that incorrect journaling/wearing out on ssd's really such a giant issue as some people make it out to be? The math i have seen on the subject suggest that even if you are as stupid as you can be when writing to 'modern' ssds itll still outlive the lifetime of any desktop or laptop anyways by quite a bit.

    Oh and on a second note, killing a hdd isnt the same a killing a laptop. Drives are one of the few things you can actually replace quite cheap and easily.... AND if you take old fashioned harddrive apart you'll find some really awesome signalling mirrors inside!
     
  7. Chimay

    Chimay Loaded Pockets

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    So killing any one component really isn't killing the laptop. You can replace most components on most laptops. MacBooks and a few others aside since they solder ram and CPUs etc onto the motherboards. Even then you can often find another motherboard at a fraction of a new laptop price if you shop around etc.

    As far as the SSD life this is particular to MLC drives and TRIM options. MLC has multiple places to write per cell in the SSD. Off the top of my head (and I've not had coffee yet this morning) this means each cell can be written to 6x or more often than with a SLC drive with the "benefit" of higher capacity. Then you combine that with A bad TRIM configuration (Macs in particular can wreck havoc on unsupported SSD/TRIM implementations) and all of a sudden you are looking at significantly more writes per cell. The drive should still last a few years of heavy use, or if you are just the occasional web user then it could last longer than you keep the laptop. I suppose I look at it from a heavy use perspective, 8+ hours a day and not just web usage which honestly is not the typical laptop usage.

    SLC drives aren't much of an issue since the cells only store one "write" at a time. Modern SLC drives theoretically can outlast the old platter hard drives.

    Then if you run a VM (virtual box, parallels, etc) on a SSD the number of writes jump even further since you have two levels of OS, journaling, etc going on, again not entirely common for Joe Blow to do, but can have significant impacts on storage life.
     
  8. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Depends on the component very much. Like a car, a flat tire isnt too bad a broken part but a blown engine can be the end of the story. For me there's a huge difference between replacing a hdd thats behind its own little door held down with 2 screws in total vs having to pull an entire laptop apart to get to some lcd ribbon cable or motherboard.

    But you make a valid point, a laptop with a broken hard drive is just as useless as one that has some other random part broken down that prevents it from normal operation... How easy or hard failures are to repair have nothing to do with reliability, its the issue arising in the first place that determines how reliable any device is.
     
  9. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    Did anybody see the SSD test that I think techcrunch did?

    Yeah..don't worry about them. Anything negative you've heard about the good, modern drives comes from hdd companies desperately trying to stay relevant to consumer uses.
     
    ran23, chaosmagnet and Chimay like this.
  10. SuzukiGS750EZ

    SuzukiGS750EZ Loaded Pockets

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    I just bought a new laptop after having my old one for 8 years. I had windows 7, then 8, then 8.1, then 10. Finally said I need a new laptop. Both dell. Be one is core i7 6th gen, 16gb of ram, 1tb hybrid drive, 4gb nvidia dedicated graphics card, Windows 10. My last three computers have been laptops. If I had room for a desktop, I'd buy one. The last one I had I built up and even made it my TV with a TV tuner card in it, could record shows to an external hard drive, copy cassette, dvd, etc. I had my shelf stereo hooked to it via av cable. Anyways, back on subject. Laptops are nice because they're portable and still offer power. I bought my new laptop for 1k $ shipped. Brand new. The thing I like about them is they can go anywhere. I've only ever had to reinstall operating systems on my dells, other than that no hardware failures. When I had a computer repair job on the side, I saw a lot of hp desktops have issues, they were the main culprit.
     
  11. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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    I've just discovered that the charging problem seems to be with the year or so old battery rather than the circuitry in the laptop, I tried the old battery and the charge light etc works fine.
    That will teach me for buying a non original battery,.....but the Toshiba ones are a crazy price. My laptop states that this battery is 75% full, I'll try running it right down then plug it into the mains, see if the charging process works then, I doubt it, I'm guessing that a cell has gone period??
     
  12. Chimay

    Chimay Loaded Pockets

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    So many things can go wrong with a battery that old (assuming it's the original battery from the 10 year old laptop). Keep in mind that with a battery that old the cells do have a memory. So if you charged it at 30% all the time, eventually the battery will think that 30% was the empty point. So if you want to try and salvage this battery discharge it completely, plug it in while it is turned off and charge it until full, then repeat. If the battery life doesn't improve or become more stable after a few full discharge/recharge cycles like that then there's something actually wrong.

    If the original battery has just sat for long periods of time it may be difficult or impossible to get it to work anywhere near how it did originally because the chemicals in the battery have probably been degraded by non-use.
     
  13. kd7dvd
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    kd7dvd EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Either buy a macbook or the second cheapest [whatever brand] unit at Fry's. These are the only units where you get what you pay for, if not more.
     
  14. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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    Thanks for the advice, the battery that I'm having the problem with is only a year or so old,.....I will try discharging it completely though.
     
  15. RogerStenning

    RogerStenning EDC Junkie

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    Have a Toshiba Satellite Pro C855-29M, the hard drive died irreparably under Windoze 8 (kept crashing), so I had to replace the drive. For ease of doing that, I replaced it with a like-for-like via an Amazon marketplace retailer (OEM part sealed in the original packaging), which fitted perfectly; I didn't bother reinstalling Windoze; for some time, I'd been meaning to change over to Linux, and took the opportunity to do so, using Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS. It's halted a couple of times under Firefox, but nothing major, and cold rebooting is easy enough - although I'm taking daily incremental backups to an external USB hard drive, even so. Next upgrade, once they come down in price from the silly money they are now, will be a decent 1Tb SSHD :) Performance-wise, it's a bit faster under Linux than Windoze; most of the software I used under Windoze I have replaced with similar open-source packages (such as The Gimp, Open Office, and so on, but for the most of the rest, I can use WINE, which works well enough (Campaign Cartographer and a few others); there are a couple of others that won't work under either, but I can jog along without those, truth be told ;)
     
  16. trfkcop

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    I have two Lenovo Thinkpads I bought used on the "Bay". Going strong after several years. Not bad for $65.00 machines.
     
  17. enine

    enine Loaded Pockets

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    The problems with CR is they lump all the 'windows' brands together. So the cheap Inspirons and such bring the average down. The old pre-lenovo thinkpads, Latitudes, etc are more in the 5-6% range.
    Apple also gets the numbers skewed, I've ran into Apple users whose $3000 macbooks needed service 6 times in their first year yet rated them 5 star while the same company has 25 6 year old Latitudes with 0 service calls. I saw a lot of those in the GEM space, they buy 100 Dell, HP, IBM, etc and have 1-2 Problems. They buy 10 Apples and have 1-2 problems.
     
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  18. Rusty412

    Rusty412 Loaded Pockets

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    I've had a MacBook Air for the past 2 1/2 years, no issues at all. Use it everyday, as my personal computer. I had one scare, it was off and closed, holding it at the top of the stairs and dropped it. It cartwheeled down a flight of carpeted stairs, end over end, hit the bottom step and flew across the landing and bounced off of the wall. Thought for sure it was toast. Picked it up, turned it on with no visible damage or problems. This is the first apple computer I've owned, and other than the learning curve of Mac OS it has been great.
     
  19. Anonymous Romanian

    Anonymous Romanian Loaded Pockets

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    HP - Motherboard problems or other components failing
    Acer - overheating and causing graphics card failure
    Dell - battery problems (Alienware is another league but big, bulky and heavy)
    Asus - no problem, except difficult to find drivers
    Lenovo - pretty reliable after they bought Vaio
    Samsung - no clue
    MSI - they were good with netbooks
     
  20. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    I agree with you. In addition, Windows laptops fail at a rate of less than 20% in the first three years. I don't really keep a laptop for longer than two years. Apple is reliable but seldom discounted.