I wont talk too much about consumer hardware here. You may even expect some research about server technologies and architectures, but nowadays the Nehalem/Westmere/SandyBridge Xeons are doing so well on almost all workloads that there is very little need to talk about the best CPU for database servers (and lets be realistic, any current servers are probably Intel anyway, sorry AMD).
But this post is the exception to the rule. Recently I bought a notebook due to travel needs that I will have from the current job, and also the possibility of going back to postgraduate or specialization courses.
As I work with servers, I’m used to beefy hardware: a Core i5-2500k is my main desktop right now. It copes really well with even 3 or 4 virtual machines running at the same time to do some nice labs. So I was really worried that the performance of any notebook would be underwhelming to me. But then comes this little gem from LG.
With a fast dual-core i7 (3.2ghz turbo) and slimmer than most 14″ notebooks, I bought it with high hopes. And it delivered. I am able to use 2 or 3 virtual machines with no trouble – given the 4gb memory limitation, that I will increase to 8gb asap.
The screen is bright enough and has good viewing angles, the finish looks like something more premium (and expensive), but it is the size of it that dazzles me. Weighing 300gms less than any other 14″ in the market, and measuring 1cm less on width and depth, this powerful notebook fits on a bag of any 13.3″. It is lighter to carry around than any other notebook with similar hardware.
The low performance of the HDD is the only downside I can see on this notebook, but then ALL notebooks have really slow hard-drives. And this one tries to compensate for it with a discrete Nvidia GT520m chip – it might not be the best in town, but is marginally better than Intel HD3000 and helps on games.
One last bit of information to anyone searching for a new notebook: the keyboard from this one is almost perfect with respect to the positioning of keys. There are only two downsides about the layout: the INS key is shared with the DEL key (so we must use Fn+DEL to achieve INS), and in the brazilian layout the slash and interrogation keys have to be moved around to give place to Ç. It also lacks backside illumination, but as I will mainly work with this notebook I will always have a lamp behind my head so this is not a problem.
This keyboard also has Fn keys to control almost everything on the system: from wifi/display settings to mousepad and even cooling fan behaviour. Thats right, with a single key you change from performance-mode to silent-mode and the notebook will keep the clock of that i7 CPU under 1.2 ghz in order to reduce fan noise, with the free gift of achieving better battery life by doing this.
So, to summarize over 500 words about this notebook: buy it!!!