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Iclamae's avatar

How good is the Inspiron 15?

Asked by Iclamae (2409 points ) October 28th, 2009

I’m looking into getting a new laptop and Dell has a deal for some laptops on their website. This includes the Dell Inspiron 15. It’s shown here: http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/laptops_great_deals/fs.aspx?refid=laptops_great_deals&s=dhs&cs=19, as the second computer from the left. I don’t know much about computers, I just need something that will run Office and maybe some games later on like team fortress 2. Have you had any experience with this computer?

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10 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

I don’t have that specific laptop model, but I do have the B130. It’s a few years old, but the only real problem I’ve had with it is the battery dieing quickly. Other than that, I think Dell has some pretty decent laptops. If you’re looking to play a lot of hardcore games like Team Fortress, I would recommend getting one with the most RAM.

Check here for some user reviews: Amazon

gussnarp's avatar

OK, you’ve got a dual core processor, that’s good enough. You’ve got 3 gig of RAM, that’s probably the bare minimum. You are going to want to upgrade to 4 gig if you want to do any gaming at all, and 4 gig is your max RAM. I supposed that’s good for a laptop. But the kicker is the integrated graphics. They sort of do an almost bait and switch here in listing it under video card, but it’s not a separate video card, it comes with the processor. That means you probably can’t upgrade, and it won’t be good enough for any serious gaming.

This machine might work for you and it’s fine if it fits your budget. I’m not a gamer, so I don’t know how intense Fortress 2 is, but you really need a standalone video card and a lot of RAM for serious gaming. In a laptop 8 gigs is a lot of RAM. This is going to cost you though.

buckyboy28's avatar

It is very good for a budget machine. You will be able to play games, but they will be sluggish, and the graphics will be subpar.

It is really a great deal for the money, and there are ALWAYS deals on Dell.com.

patg7590's avatar

these people are lying to you. You can’t play any decent games with an integrated video card, unless it’s one of the ones in the new macbook/macbook pros.

BhacSsylan's avatar

You can play games, it just depends on the game. Most, like Team Fortress 2, you wouldn’t be able to, but I assure you games can be played on it.

Also, Macbooks, at least the macbook pro, doesn’t have integrated graphics. They have an NVidia card. So, it’s just a standard graphics card.

patg7590's avatar

@BhacSsylan the Macbooks and Macbook Pro 13” have integrated graphics. The NVIDIA 9400m. The 15” and 17” MBP’s have both integrated (NVIDIA 9400m) and discrete (NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT) graphics. source

gussnarp's avatar

You know, this graphics card business is interesting. Computer manufacturers are making it really difficult for people to know what their computer will do. Maybe it’s just that we’ve come so far that people think it doesn’t matter. Dell should really not be listing the video card on these machines in a separate box for “Video Card” when it is integrated graphics. In the “Video Card” box it should say: “integrated graphics, no stand alone video card”.

These days processors are sort of a moot point. A dual core processor is fine for most purposes, but you should certainly not get a single core anymore. Quad core is really only if you need extreme performance. The secret is RAM. Running Vista? Kiss 2 gigs of your RAM goodbye, so you’re going to need a lot. Playing serious games or doing any intensive graphics work? Get yourself a standalone video card, preferably the NVIDIA GeForce. If you get integrated graphics you often cannot even upgrade your video later.

patg7590's avatar

@gussnarp sorry to be the apparent bitch in this thread

I think that all the components weigh in on what kind of computing experience you have. For example, I would take a higher clocked Intel Core2Duo over a Quad-Core any day, simply because many applications cannot currently utilize more than two cores. The brand of your processor also can tell you alot about how it will perform. (celeron<centrino<pentium<dual core<core2duo<i5<i7 etc).

RAM definitely has a large effect on overall performance, I have 4GB in my MBP. Vista was just a terrible operating system because among other reasons it needed very powerful hardware to run smoothly at all. Windows 7 is running just fine on a dinosaur of a machine here (Pentium 4, 2.6GHz, (single core), 1GB ram.)

A faster hard drive is going to make everything snappier.

A lighter operating system (like Ubuntu) or even lighter applications is/are going to make even the meekest hardware run much much better.

Maxing out your RAM is definately a good idea, it is the cheapest way to make sure you’re getting the most out of all your hardware. All I’m saying is that RAM isn’t the only thing that matters.

cheers

gussnarp's avatar

@patg7590 Sure, it’s not the only thing, but RAM gives you the biggest bang for your buck. If you want to see improved performance that you notice, more RAM is what will give it to you. If you know about clock speed, then it’s not likely you’re being fooled by a manufacturer.

I’m just trying to say that manufacturers are being deceptive. They call integrated graphics a “video card”, they push the processor because people think it’s going to be the key to speed, while selling you minimal RAM. I think it’s bad for people who don’t know the details and are trying to buy a computer.

Glad to hear Win7 is working on a 1 gig machine. I had a similar experience with XP, installed it on an ancient machine running win98, and got much better performance than with 98.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@patg7590 Ah, i see the issue. I consider that a graphics card. Basically, it looks like they just took an NVidia card and merged it with the motherboard. I don’t think there’s any difference there from a standard NVidia M except for upgradability.

The dell, on the other hand, has a “Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD”. They don’t just come out and say integrated graphics, but it’s certainty not capable of being on a standalone card.

@gussnarp In general, each subsequent system of an OS, while usually made for better machines, makes better use of the components, so they tend to run smoother. Also, 7 was built off the Vista core, and they mostly improved that and made it run better, so it make sense that it still runs well on older systems.

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