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Laptop Buying and Maintenance Guide (Windows)

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bikidas2060

https://www.intel.in/content/www/in/en/products...
If you have a doubt about what kind of laptop to buy then consider this.

  • Normal Laptop If usage is limited to web surfing, watching movies, casual audio/video editing, document and spreadsheet works.
  • Gaming Laptop If you play games, edit videos frequently, work on demanding apps.
  • Thin and Light Laptops If you travel often.
  • Ultrabooks If you work on the go. 🙂
    Gaming laptops weigh a lot. The power brick adds extra weight. The battery life is less. Heavy duty components generate more heat. Bulkier heat management systems are required. A normal laptop will have light weight energy efficient components. So, technically a normal laptop should last longer than a gaming laptop. And gaming laptops demand more maintenance which we will discuss later. Ultrabooks are great but they come with either soldered memory/storage or both. So, upgrading ultrabooks will not be possible all the time. If you are buying Ultrabooks check for Intel Evo certification (https://www.intel.in/content/www/in/en/products...)

Buying Guide

  • Display Use flicker free (PWM free) displays. Prefer IPS panel. For outdoor visibility min 300 nits is required. OLEDs often use PWM to control brightness. I have sensitive eyes. I get headaches from it. 🙂 Majority of people go fine with displays with PWM control. IPS/OLED (Multimedia Work), TN (Low end laptops have it. Rough n tough laptops might have em). Aspect ratio is another overlooked term. 16:9 (1.77), 16:10 (1.6), 3:2 (1.5) are typical ratios are found. It is calculated by Length/ Breadth of laptop’s display. In 16:9 panels Length>> Breadth and in 3:2 panel Length > Breadth. For multimedia watching 16:9/16:10 work great. For coding/ working on large set of data 3:2 is the best. You get to read more lines and you get more workable vertical screen real estate. 4K/2K are battery hogging things.
  • RAM Take min 16GB of RAM. It will be really great if you choose Laptops with upgradable RAM. DDR5 is making debut. I think 3200MHz is the new norm in the Laptop world.
  • Storage An SSD is faster and more expensive than a traditional HDD. If combo drives are available such as 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD then it is absolutely fine. Choose SSD over HDD. NVMe > SATA III in terms of speed. Dell confuses people with Class 35 and 40. Refer this https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1529476-.... Class 40 means NVMe. That’s it. SLC>MLC>TLC>QLC. In consumer market we will get to choose between TLC and QLC. Take TLC. M.2 SSDs come at 2280/2260/2240/2242 shapes. Last two digits represents length. Take the lengthier one among the available options. 🙂 (Lenovo allows that thing) Read in details here https://www.faceofit.com/m-2-2280-vs-m-2...2/, OPAL storage specs give you extra data security https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opal_Storage_Spec...
  • Processor
  • CPU Which processor to buy? H versions will demand more power than their U counterparts. So, you have to make a bargain. H version (Gaming, video editing, photo editing, suitable for apps requiring more resources, lesser battery life in comparison to U ones), U version (Daily mundane tasks, web surfing, light photo editing, working on office suits, more battery life). Intel’s processor codes are as followed. i9>i7>i5>i3>pentium/celeron (in terms of performance). Let’s take an example Core i7 1165G7 of https://www.amazon.in/HP-Pavilion-13-3-inch-Cer... Core i7(Brand Name) 11(Generation Indicator) 65(SKU numeric digit) G7. Suffix codes G1-G7 Graphics level (processors with new integrated graphics technology only), E Embedded, F Requires discrete graphics, G Includes discrete graphics on package, H High performance optimized for mobile, HK High performance optimized for mobile n unlocked, HQ High performance optimized for mobile n quad core, U Mobile power efficient. Source: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/process... AMD scheme https://www.drtechtips.com/amd-ryzen-cpu-names-... Which one to buy? Don’t make a fuss. Most of us won’t be using full power of the laptop. If you are paying a premium for your laptop, then ensure you get the top notch hardware. U (For travel, basic usage, battery conservation), H (Gaming and demanding stuff). 12th Gen Intel processors are really great. 🙂 Very nice article on choosing a Laptop CPU https://in.pcmag.com/processors/141673/how-to-c...
  • GPU Integrated GPUs will give you better battery life than dedicated ones. AMD’s Vega series used to work better than its Intel counterparts. Intel’s Iris Xe is doing really well these days. Discreet graphics are great for gaming and video editing. Nvidia’s GTX1650 should do basic gaming, video editing. RTX 2060/3060/3070/3080 should do demanding gameplays n GPU accelerated Data Science Stuff easier. GTX 1660 TI is a nice intermediate between the two extremes. MX450s/MX350s come with thin laptops. Check this comparisons https://www.notebookcheck.net/Iris-Xe-G7-96EUs-... MAX Q vs Normal ones https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/max-q-defi...).
  • Battery More watt hours means a bigger battery and a bigger battery means more space occupied.
    https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/711766/medium/7931141csm_Dell_Insp5310_28_3169bfbe34.jpg?1631714054
    Source: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-Inspiron-13-...
    That means you can’t add a mechanical SSD.
    https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/711767/medium/7931141WpV3ySM.jpg?1631714061
    Check mine. 🐒🐒 56 Wh battery. But it has space for mechanical HDD.
    See, you are making a tradeoff. Better battery life means you need to depend upon SSD. SSDs are costly so you should expect to spend more money. 🙂
  • Chassis Metal vs Plastic. Best laptops come in both metal and plastic bodies. So, it’s okay. I choose plastic over metal chassis. 🙂
  • Touchpad Bigger one means better. Textured one means better. But nothing works well as compared to Macbook touchpad. 🙂
  • Where to buy and which brand to buy Where ever you get the best deals. If you want a customized laptop then Dell(Only Latitude and Precision laptops https://www.dell.com/en-in/work/shop/business-l..., https://www.dell.com/en-in/work/shop/business-l...) , Lenovo (https://www.lenovo.com/in/en/d/customise-to-ord...) and Azom(https://az...o/) allow you to do the same in India. I am really really really pissed at Dell and HP laptops. Take an example of HP probook 635 aero https://www.hp.com/in-en/shop/laptops-tablets/h.... It costs 88k. But it gives subpar display. HP and Dell ain’t got no soul. They charge hefty price for everything. Best value for money and robustness is provided by Asus. Acer provides cheap things but people complain of its build and longevity. Lenovo is good for customization. Thinkpad (Lenovo), Latitude (Dell), Travelmate (Acer) are solidly built laptops. They use high quality plastic and components. They come with military grade endurance ratings. Asus Tuf and LG Gram come with military grade endurance ratings. Best things about Gram and Thinkpads are most of them come with three year standard warranty. Lenovo even offers 3 years ADP for a premium. In terms of Gaming performance MSI, Alienware(Dell), Legion(Lenovo), Rog (Asus), Predator (Acer) and HP (Omen) stand out in the crowd. Dell documents everything properly. So, in case you need some assistance then you can always download files and stuff. Asus just wipes the product history just like that. Lenovo, HP keep the documentation alive for a while. MSI’s forum is really helpful. People are very much into DIY stuff. Lenovo keeps things a bit low key. So, if you want a ton of support then buy a Dell. If you want support from forums a lot then buy a Dell. If you want good warranty offers then buy an Asus. If you want tons of good things at a budget then buy an Acer. If you want DIY things buy an MSI. MSI gives best things but support is bad in India. If you buy from online e-stores then Laptop manufacturers give better offers with Warranty and ADP. So, before buying from Amazon and Flipkart check if your product is eligible for ADP upgrades. Always choose ADP. If you buy directly from manufacturer’s website then you might get a better deal. People sometimes get better deal at Offline shops. Buy the cheapest option available if you get to choose between Online and Offline stores.

Things to do/don’ts after buying a laptop (After Receiving It)

  • Register it at its official website.
  • Avail the extra offers if you want to.
  • Buy couple of Microfiber Clothes. Wipe your display and laptop’s body with it.
  • Keep the invoice at a safe place.
  • No need of buying fancy Cooling Pads. If your laptop is a gaming laptop then it will have bigger intake vents. The cooling pads might blow debris into em. And it might cause damage. So, do yourself a favor and buy a laptop stand instead. If you want to cheap out things like me, then buy a laminated exam board. Remove the metal clips and bolts used to fasten the metal clip. Put your laptop on it. 🐒🐒 It will cost you around 65 rupees. Don’t forget to buy me some candies.
  • Keep the vents clean. Don’t apply thermal paste if your laptop uses thermal tape. Choose wisely
    https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/711767/medium/7931141WpV3ySM.jpg?1631714061
    I opened my laptop today and I was shocked to see this. The service center guy had wantonly applied Thermal Paste on the chip which was supposed to be covered by Thermal Pad(Ride side of the large metal cover). 😣
    https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/711768/medium/793114183EscQA.jpg?1631714071
    Happy Engineer’s Day. The Engineer in me just got awake. I opened the fans and cleaned em. Applied new Thermal Paste and wiped out the unwanted Thermal Paste. https://www.amazon.in/Thermal-Grizzly-Kryonaut-... is an amazing product. 🙂🙂🙂🤗
    https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/711769/medium/7931141KUVFE4D.jpg?1631714078
    (Before) Source: https://imgur.com/K...4D
    https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/711770/medium/7931141C7lyTdr.jpg?1631714081
    (After) Source: https://imgur.com/C...dr
  • Don’t use edges to open the laptop.
  • Keep a spare pendrive and make it bootable rescue drive.
  • Don’t keep food and drink near the laptop. Don’t engage in gluttony in front of your laptop.
  • Don’t drop your powerbrick. Don’t twist the wires. Manage your wires properly.
  • Use the manufacturer provided battery conservation techniques. Plug and use your laptop. If you are among them, who charge the device and use it then you are doing a wrong thing. You are just wasting your battery cycle.
  • Please check with your Laptop manufacturer if they are okay with you opening the laptop. Otherwise ask your technician. If you know what to do then do it. You should experience no problems at all other than risking voiding of the warranty.

Deal Wiki

Missed this: Update your drivers and install latest windows update. 🙂🙂🙂 Use AC supply to update your Bios. Please research well about recovering your laptop BIOS. If BIOS gets corrupted then either we can revive it by a bootable flashdrive or reflash the BIOS by taking it to appropriate service center guys.
Edit: how often thermal paste n pads should be changed. By @andromeda
A little intro:

Two different surfaces when placed together will never match evenly. There will always be gaps in between them.

Thermal paste between the CPU and Heat sink creates an even surface and covers 100% of the surface area of the CPU. This allows the heat to transfer from the CPU to the Heat sink, keeping the CPU cooler and at a nominal operating temperature.

Now recent designs mandate thermal pads because there is a decent gap between the heat sink and CPU. Only pads can fill in such huge gap. If they are close to each other, thermal paste will suffice. I usually use thermal paste betwen the CPU & thermal pad, thermal pad & heat sink.

Not using thermal paste between the CPU and the heat sink will cause it to eventually overheat and fail. This may not happen straight away but it will happen and in a much shorter time than if you use the thermal paste.

How frequent should they be changed?
There is no such rules IMO. Below are a few I follow.

If you happen to detach the heat sink for any reason, replace them with new as old thermal pads are under screw mounting, they may not cover the gaps as earlier once repositioned. I once replaced a motherboard on my friend’s laptop. The old thermal pads are in good condition, but I went with new part as I don’t want to reuse even slightly delated pads. The other reason being I anyway have spare, what good use they serve if we don’t put them to use.
If they look punctured or dried up, they definately need to be changed
I don’t usually remove the interface if it is normal dusting/cleaning. I blow the dust away, clean with alcoholic wipe or IPA and be done with it. If it still behaves like heat engine, I will then look at thermal pad part.
If the laptop uses only heat sink compound (paste) I’ll remove it, clean, and reapply another fresh layer even if I do normal cleaning. Heat sink compound comparatively hardens much faster than pads, and when hardened it kind of becomes insulator preventing heat to transfer

Edit: be careful about user reviews regarding hinge issues. By @ULYSSES

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Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Thank you bhai… Efforts highly appreciated

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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I am planning to buy a laptop for coding in this diwali sale. What are your views on the new Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra(Top Variant)?

Deal Newbie Deal Newbie
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I am planning to buy HP laptop is it good or Dell laptop is better?

Hunk Hunk
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Ok. Best thermal paste for high performance applications ​that does not have pump out effect is Gelid GC Extreme. This is available only in India. Source is legit.
https://www.amazon.in/dp/B002P5W4RU/ref=cm_sw_r...

Next best thing is Cooler Master Maker Bank. Nano is sadly unavailable in Amazon.
https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07VFXLKNH/ref=cm_sw_r...
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut https://www.amazon.in/dp/B011F7W3LU/ref=cm_sw_r...

Best Thermal Pad is Carbonaut by Thermal Grizzly
https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07PHLJYWK/ref=cm_sw_r... . Problem is this is electrically conductive.

If you have a normal laptop HY510 should do the job. Don’t go for expensive ones. Liquid metal will ruin aluminium and copper matterial. Stay away from them. Not worth it.

Buy Taparia kit https://www.amazon.in/dp/B0733T6DDB/ref=cm_sw_r...
You only need Ph 0/ Ph 1 screwdrivers. Taparia sounds value for money. Otherwise buy 2 in 1 ph0/Ph1 set. 🙂🙂🙂

Hunk Hunk
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Whenever you avail on-site warranty, then make sure that you take a before and after photo. 🙂 If anything is amiss then call the customer care immediately, don’t call the engineer. Same applies for depot visits. Notify the support team within 24 hours. Otherwise they ll say that you have damaged your laptop.

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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bikidas2060 wrote:

Ok. Best thermal paste for high performance applications ​that does not have pump out effect is Gelid GC Extreme. This is available only in India. Source is legit.
https://www.amazon.in/dp/B002P5W4RU/ref=cm_sw_r...

Next best thing is Cooler Master Maker Bank. Nano is sadly unavailable in Amazon.
https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07VFXLKNH/ref=cm_sw_r...
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut https://www.amazon.in/dp/B011F7W3LU/ref=cm_sw_r...

Best Thermal Pad is Carbonaut by Thermal Grizzly
https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07PHLJYWK/ref=cm_sw_r... . Problem is this is electrically conductive.

If you have a normal laptop HY510 should do the job. Don’t go for expensive ones. Liquid metal will ruin aluminium and copper matterial. Stay away from them. Not worth it.

Buy Taparia kit https://www.amazon.in/dp/B0733T6DDB/ref=cm_sw_r...
You only need Ph 0/ Ph 1 screwdrivers. Taparia sounds value for money. Otherwise buy 2 in 1 ph0/Ph1 set. 🙂🙂🙂

biki 22g where is thermal paste applied in laptop and what is use for it?

Hunk Hunk
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kukdookoo wrote:

biki 22g where is thermal paste applied in laptop and what is use for it?

Bhai on CPU n GPU. It acts as a thermal interface matterial.

Missing