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Q: The fastest laptop in 2003? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: The fastest laptop in 2003?
Category: Computers
Asked by: optisite-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 05 Dec 2002 23:09 PST
Expires: 04 Jan 2003 23:09 PST
Question ID: 120204
Who is going to make the fastest laptop in 2003? Will there be any
laptops available in early 2003 with more than a gig of ram? If so,
how much ram, and when will they be available? Thank you.
Subject: Re: The fastest laptop in 2003?
Answered By: haversian-ga on 08 Dec 2002 02:12 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hellow optiste-ga,

Forecasting the future sure is fun, isn't?  Brightshadow is right, but
with the usual forward-looking-statements disclaimers, I believe your
question can be answered.

Picking on Dell, we can use the Internet Wayback Machine to see what
offerings they had in 1996-2001 and extrapolate.  Representative links
from the Machine (images not always provided - this is normal):
1996 - Wayback machine not cooperating
1997 - Wayback machine not cooperating
1998 - 266Mhz Pentium -
1999 - 400MHz Celeron -
2000 - 850MHz P3 -
2001 - 1.2GHz P3 -
Dell now lists up to a 2.2Ghz P4 as their top laptop.

The numbers seem to be alternating between 50% and 100% improvement in
clockspeed, which would lead me to conjecture that we would see
somewhere between a 3.5GHz and a 4.0GHz chip in a laptop by the end of
2003.  Intel has just reached 3.0GHz in their desktop chips, which
makes these speeds seem even more attainable.  Note that the chips
only run at full speed when plugged into A/C power.

I am not so confident as brightshadow that we will see 2G laptops in
2003.  Previews of next-generation laptop chipsets like the ATi 320M
list 1GB as the maximum amount of RAM to be installed.  Laptops will
not ship with more than 2 memory sockets due to size constraints (and
many have only 1), which would require 1GB on a 200-pin SODIMM.  512M
DIMMs are now available, which could indicate that 1G DIMMs would be
by the end of 2003, but I suspect availability will be driven more by
demand than technical ability, and I don't see laptops flying off the
shelves today with even 512M, let alone 1G yet.  Anything that
requires 2G of RAM these days needs a faster chip and faster drives
behind it, so there is little cause for that capacity in a laptop.

I hope this is the answer you were looking for - if you would like
some harder numbers and spec sheets, ask for a followup and I will
find them for you.

optisite-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thanks for your thoughts - helped our research.

Subject: Re: The fastest laptop in 2003?
From: brightshadow-ga on 06 Dec 2002 00:41 PST
Most US manufacturers purchase their laptops from Chinese
manufacturers anyway, so your question can't be easily and
definitively answered. :)

I imagine laptops with 2GB ram configurations are probably doable.

The "fastest laptop in 2003" is also too vague.. it will depend on the
fastest mobile processor available in 2003, and on what you're doing.
For what you do, the latest Macintosh laptop may be the fastest
solution for you. Alternately, it may be a PC laptop. It may also be a
RISC processor based laptop of some sort (i.e., a sparcbook, etc.)

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