Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.
This forum spotlight covers getting data off broken notebooks, the Outer Worlds from Obsidian, and analyzing RAM requirements.
How Much RAM Do You Need?
One of the more insightful threads I’ve read of late is this one, discussing how much memory (or RAM) you should have in your computer. The capacity is the most important; for a Windows 10-based computer, 8GB of RAM is the minimum for smooth operation and some multitasking capability. However, our enthusiast members are recommending twice that – 16GB – for general usage. If possible, they’re even recommending 32GB for future proofing.
The RAM density and speed also matters. Using dual-rank memory modules, for instance, can yield substantial performance increases. Notebook users don’t usually have the option to use faster memory, since notebook BIOSes are usually locked down, so going the dual-rank route makes sense.
Some of today’s notebooks use LPDDR4 memory; the LP prefix means it’s soldered to the motherboard and can’t be upgraded. If you’re buying a notebook with that type of memory, it’s a good idea to get at least 16GB from the factory.
(The memory in the photo is Corsair ValueSelect.)
A Practical Notebook Recommendation
I like going the whole nine yards when shopping for a gaming notebook, but there’s something about getting a highly practical notebook for work under the four-figure mark. One member is looking for one around $700 for programming and general use. The requirements are an anti-glare screen, a good keyboard, and a useful life of four years. The recommendations from our members (myself included) stayed in the business world; a Lenovo ThinkPad E-series is the top contender.
For getting things done and long-term use, a business notebook is generally the way to go. In general, they offer more rugged designs, better after-sales support, and don’t make you pay for looks or other flashy features that you don’t need for work purposes.
Getting Data Off a Broken Notebook
One of our forum members was given a notebook with a smashed screen. Somehow, it still boots into Windows after being thrown down a flight of stairs. The notebook is clearly beyond repair, so now it’s a matter of getting the data off it. Since the screen barely works, it’s necessary to hook up an external monitor. The member reports that the VGA port no longer works. My suggestion was to try the laptop’s DisplayPort connection instead, or to find a USB monitor for temporary use.
It would be nice to just take out the storage drive and copy the files off that way. Alas, the notebook’s storage drive is encrypted, and there’s no way to do that.
The Outer Worlds Pre-Order
A new role-playing game (RPG) from Obsidian Entertainment, The Outer Worlds is now available for pre-order from the Epic Games Store and the Microsoft Store. (The game is ages 18+, just FYI.) It’s getting solid mainstream reviews, and our members are generally mirroring that.
There’s some grumbling about it not being available on Steam. The least expensive way to play it is to try the Xbox Game Pass.