Due to the closed and integrated nature of the notebook computer, users often encounter hidden pits when purchasing. Here ’s a serious reminder: Be sure to keep your eyes open, and don’t be blinded by the bright specs or words. It ’s natural to go to the physical store to fight the sellers and call them traitors. Even if you buy on the e-commerce platform, manufacturers often hide some critical specs from the text of the promotional copy. Now, let us go into the details of the major 4 hidden laptop components you need to know before making your purchase.
List of 4 Hidden Laptop Components you Need to Know Before Making Your buying Decision
In this section, I will be explaining in-depth 4 major hidden laptop/notebook specifications that you may need to consider before you make your purchase. Knowing these concealed sub-components of laptops will help you to choose the right computer for your need.
1. The Screen: 100% sRGB is the best
Apparently, the screen is an important component that directly determines the computer experience. However, there is more to what makes a good screen than meets the eyes. In the beginning, it was mainly in resolution. In the 1366 x 768 era, finding a laptop with a 1080p is equivalent to finding a good screen. But some users bought and wonder why is my 1080p viewing angle so narrow? So, the keywords became IPS.
So at that time, if the parameters were only written in FHD, then the probability was that it was a TN screen. Now that IPS has been basically popular, people have begun to pursue the color of the screen, and notebooks with high color gamuts will basically have a 72% NTSC in the parameters.
So if you come across an introduction like the one in the picture above, Don’t be misled by the colorful circle on the left. This is actually a 45% NTSC IPS screen. So when you see 72% NTSC, can you buy it with confidence?
In fact, it is not the case. Since most of the daily scenes used by our computers are in sRGB space, a good 72% NTSC screen can generally reach 99% ~ 100% sRGB, but there are some general screens that only cover 80% sRGB, but also 72 % NTSC, this is because of different standards and color coverage.
Relationship Between Color sRGB and NTSC
From the above, it is easy to see that 100% sRGB is approximately equal to 72% NTSC, but the converse is not true. Today, if you still see manufacturers advertising their screens with 72% NTSC, its sRGB coverage is basically only about 80%. Therefore, it is recommended to choose Models marked with 100% sRGB.
Just labelling “high color gamut” separately, while the actual effect is “72% NTSC” is often not so good.
Of course, if you have higher color requirements, you can of course purchase those models marked with “100% Adobe RGB”. But if the factory pre-calibration is not marked, the color standards are often very general, and you need to use a color calibration instrument to adjust it a bit. If you don’t want to toss yourself, then you can pay attention to whether the color difference (ΔE) value is marked.
Generally, it is quite good if it is lower than 1. Of course, if you can’t find it, you can see if there is PANTONE color certification.
Final Thought on Screen with Respect to Color Gamut/RGB
Several of the machines, such as the Magic 15, and the Certified D, such as the Concept D, can perform very well.
However, pursuing a wide color gamut under Windows is not always beneficial. The reason is that the color management of Windows is very basic. If the notebook does not come with color management software, 100% Adobe RGB wide color gamut screens are displayed in most scenes. It’s wrong. It looks more colorful because the colors are oversaturated.
So, I personally recommend choosing only 100% sRGB when purchasing a laptop. If you are in an industry that needs to rely on screen quality and color reproduction. additionally, please buy enough MacBook computers as they will serve you better.
For gaming notebooks, high-refresh screens are not as blind as last year’s 144Hz. Some poor 144Hz screens have entered the market.
Sadly, for lower-grade 120Hz IPS, it can basically be determined to be a 45% NTSC low color gamut screen. For this one, you can directly fight customer service, and they will basically get through. If you want to avoid the trouble of tossing, then you can buy a 240Hz screen directly.
2. Hard disk: Stay Away From Low-Capacity QLC
The second in the lineup of the 4 hidden laptop components you need to know has to do with Harddisk.
The squeamishness in hard disks has gradually increased in recent years. At present, there are still models with mechanical hard disks, most of which are SMR, that is, shingled hard disks. This type of hard disk is characterized by cheap and large capacity, but the disadvantage is that it is prone to failure.
How to identify an SMR HDD is actually very simple. If the cache of your mechanical hard disk is more than 64M, then there is a high probability that it will rollover.
So I believe that if you are smart, you will definitely choose a pure solid-state(SSD) notebook, but there are actually many solid-state lighting points. Not only is there a difference between SATA and NVMe, after the release of Intel 660p, but there is also now a difference between TLC and QLC SSD.
Regarding QLC, in a word, it is “slow the dragon, slow the worm”. When the QLC capacity is large enough, it can provide a sufficient amount of SLC Cache, and if your cache is unfortunately exhausted, continuous reading and writing will fall to the level of mechanical hard drives, but fortunately, 4K reads are still much higher than mechanical hard drives, So the daily use gap is not as large as on paper.
How to Choose the Best SSD for Your Laptop
So how to avoid lightning in this situation? To be honest, manufacturers generally don’t actively tell you what solid-state hard drive is used, so the main way to get the hard disk model is media evaluation out of the box. Find more articles on the post and evaluation websites.
Although inefficient, it is the most effective way. But this is not 100% reliable, because for manufacturers, there is often more than one hard disk supplier, there is a phenomenon of prize-winning. But to be honest, I haven’t seen Triple-level cells(TLC) in quad-level cells (QLC) yet. It is basically a mix of TLC solid states, such as PM981 and SN720, 760P and SN500. The QLC is basically one of Intel 660p and H10.
3. Graphics: Not Necessarily Strong Performance Alone
Of course, today’s laptop graphics cards are not like those that used weak DDR3 video memory in the early years. But there are still some strange combinations. For example, for some models, the i7-1065G7 using Intel 10th generation Core Icelake is equipped with an NVIDIA MX230. As the biggest enhancement of the 10nm Core, the actual performance of the G7 core graphics card can reach the MX250 level of 8W.
For a class of people, in some scenarios, the MX230 is not even as good as the G7. In the true sense, it can turn off the independent display to improve performance, but this machine should mainly be offline, and there is an independent display that is really easy to sell.
Laptop’s GPU Power Consumption
In addition, the new point of attention on the graphics card is the power consumption of the graphics card. Under Lao Huang’s precise knife method, the notebook graphics card has different performance with the same name, which is related to the TDP given. For the MX250, it can be identified by the core code in GPU-Z.
1D13 in Device ID indicates that this is a full-blood 25W MX250. The core code of the 8W low-power version is 1D52. In gamebooks, this situation is even more widespread. The TDP of the default version of the RTX 2060 is 80W.
A large number of evaluation results show that the performance of the RTX 2060 is very limited compared to the lower-grade GTX 1660Ti under the default 80W.
Therefore, some folks in the country choose to use vBIOS to manually unlock the TDP to 90W. Of course, there are some rare models such as the Spirit Blade 15 basic version that can be switched to 90W through the built-in software to unlock the full blood performance.
This problem still exists for higher-end graphics cards, but the low-power version will clearly make a Max-Q endnote. For example, the default TDP of the RTX 2070 Max-Q and RTX 2080 Max-Q is at least 90W, and the ROG ice blade 3s equipped with 115W full of blood RTX 2070 performance can be close to RTX 2080 Max-Q.
Therefore, when buying high-end models, try to choose full-blood RTX graphics cards, which is more cost-effective. For example, the HP Shadow Elf 5Plus, which I personally like, can provide full-blood RTX 2070, and the price is good.
4. Cooling: The Number of Fans and Heat Pipes Doesn’t Necessarily Mean the Best
For notebook cooling, the biggest misunderstanding is naturally that the heat only recognizes the number of heat pipes or fans. This is because when we buy a notebook, we can know the most about the cooling system, that is, the number of heat pipes and fans.
So, many buyers will subconsciously use the number of fans and the number of heat pipes to determine the cooling capacity of the notebook computer. But in fact, heat dissipation is a whole system. The ultimate purpose is to bring the heat out of the fuselage, not only heat pipes and fans, including fins, thermally conductive materials, or even internal heat dissipation layout will have a huge impact on the final heat dissipation results.
For notebook computers, a complete heat dissipation module includes a thermally conductive material, base, heat pipe/heat equalizing plate, fins, fan, air inlet/air outlet, etc.
The first three items determine the thermal conductivity, that is, the heat is conducted from the chip to the heat sink. The efficiency of the chip and the next three items determine the heat dissipation efficiency. It is still the efficiency of removing heat from the fuselage.
If any of this is not done well, it will become the bottleneck of heat dissipation. The number of heat pipes or fans cannot represent the heat dissipation system Overall effectiveness. Let ’s take a look at the role of the components of the cooling system one by one, I believe everyone knows how important they are in the cooling system.
Thermally Conductive Material
The heating elements in notebook computers basically revolves around the CPUs and GPUs. The heat they emit first comes into contact with not heat pipes or soaking plates, but heat-conducting materials, which are often referred to as silicone grease or Thermal pads.
Sadly, the composition of this part did not receive much attention from manufacturers in the early years. Now, the CPU of the notebook computer has been greatly improved on the GPU. As a cost, the heat generation has also been steadily increased, and the importance of thermally conductive materials has become apparent. After all, it determines the efficiency of the core’s heat transfer to the heat pipe.
Poor quality thermally conductive materials affect overall heat dissipation performance. For example, some Alienware gaming books have a direct impact on the heat dissipation effect due to the poor performance of the thermal grease used.
Also, some manufacturers use better thermal conductive materials in their products. For example, Lenovo Y7000 2019 series uses Shin-Etsu 7921 as the factory silicone grease. Gigabyte’s new AERO 15 uses violent bear silicone grease, ASUS ROG Super God X and HP Phantom Genie X even uses liquid metal as a thermally conductive material. The heat dissipation performance of these machines is very good.
The other side that is in contact with the thermally conductive material is the base. In theory, direct contact with the heat pipe is the best solution, but this is limited by the heat pipe treatment process.
Heat pipe (or soaking plate)
The heat of the base is taken away by the heat pipe. The main factors affecting the efficiency of the heat pipe are the width, length, quantity and degree of bending. But in fact, because the heat pipe has a very high heat conduction efficiency, in fact, as long as the heat pipe can completely cover the core area, it is sufficient.
The picture above is the disassembly of the Razer Blade 13 Stealth Edition 2019. It can be seen that a very thick main heat pipe is connected in series with the CPU and GPU cores, and two auxiliary heat pipes are responsible for the CPU and GPU respectively. This is enough for the i7-1065G7 and GTX 1650 Max-Q of this machine.
However, since the heat pipe is the thing that can be most intuitively noticed when disassembling, many manufacturers begin to put together the number of heat pipes as a marketing method. But no matter how many, heat pipes are more efficient than heat conduction, it’s a little trickier than the machine below.
About VC Liquid-Cooled
VC liquid-cooled, Vapor Chamber. Maybe many people heard this term for the first time at the Xiaomi press conference a while ago.
In fact, this is the vacuum cavity soaking plate that has been used on high-end graphics cards for many years. I have to say that marketing this mobile phone manufacturer will always be Walking in the forefront, after all, a heat pipe can also be called liquid cooling.
Back to the product, the most famous heat-dissipating plate on the notebook is naturally the Razer Blade 15, and the new 17 also uses this design.
The vacuum cavity soaking plate is currently the best solution for heat transfer efficiency, but it is not without its disadvantages. First of all, the cost is much higher than the general heat pipe solution. At present, the cheapest product is Lenovo Y9000X. On the other hand, because of the huge area, a large area of high temperature will appear on the C surface. However, this problem is solved by adding two fans to the battery position.
So in general, there is no major problem in the heat conduction section of the notebook. Therefore, what really restricts the heat dissipation system is actually the discharge of heat, that is, the real heat dissipation link is the biggest bottleneck of the notebook.
One of the key links is the fins. For notebooks, the larger the fin area, the better, and the material is pure copper. However, due to the limitation of the internal space of the notebook, in addition to those super brick books that are really indifferent to volume and weight, generally thin and light gaming books basically compromise on the fin area.
- Fan and inlet and outlet
The fan and the air inlet and outlet together determine the convection efficiency of the heat. So, in many gamebooks, you can see the very huge heat dissipation opening at the bottom.
In recent years, you can also see that many notebooks have been changed to four outlets, which is the same reason. But these are not as effective as a violent fan, so large size fans on thick machines can often have very good results.
Best cooling Formula for Laptops
Therefore, a powerful cooling system formula has emerged: good thermal conductive material + enough heat pipe + large area cooling fins + large air volume fan + large air inlet and outlet area, let us look at excellent heat dissipation that meets these requirements.
List of Some Laptops With Great Cooling System
- The Lenovo Rescuer Y7000 2019 model can be said to be a representative of an excellent cooling system. Although the three-heat-pipe dual-fan design looks mediocre, it is pre-coated with Shin-Etsu 7921 silicone grease. Although the heat pipe is small the diameter is large enough, the fan air volume is also large This makes it the best front-line notebook for heat dissipation within 10,000 yuan.
- The other notebook is the HP Shadow Elf 5Plus. This model allows me to see Quanta’s strength as a first-line ODM. There are three heat pipes responsible for core cooling, two of which are connected in series, and the other is solely responsible for the GPU. The space utilization of the 17-inch model is very good, and the cooling fins and fans are very huge. Although there are not many heat pipes, it can stabilize the huge heat of i9-9880H + full blood RTX 2080, and the keyboard temperature is also kept very good.
- The thermal performance of Gigabyte AERO 15 also impressed me. The reason is that the area of the fins placed on the four air outlets and the size of the two fans are not bad. The most important thing is that the C side of the AERO 15 can also enter the wind, which increases the air volume and makes the temperature of the keyboard very low.
Therefore, when you buy a laptop, you must open your eyes and refuse to be not blinded by the bright surface specifications or words.
For a user who does not know the laptop hardware, they may step on the thunder at any time. More inquiries are indispensable. Please ask your trusted friends and relatives to help you check it out. See more professional media or user reviews and opinions (such as this article). I hope everyone can buy a notebook that he or she likes.