I will share my laptop experience both with FS
and in college.
I had a Dell Inspiron, 256MB RAM, 30GB HD
, Nvidia GeForce 4 graphics card. Not too shaby for when I bought it (June 2002).
I used FS2002 and it worked very well. Then I upgraded to FS9 and it had some trouble when I went to airports whose default scenery is somewhat elaborate (ie. LHR
). Now the real problem came when I installed Ultimate Traffic. The busiest airport I could fly to was MIA
, and I had to have traffic between 75-80% which was not much. At that time I flew small planes so I didn't really care much, but whenever I tried going to bigger airpors (ie. LHR
) my framerates would drop to around 3-4 fps!
The other problem came with freeware add-on a/c. Kitty Hawk's 737s worked rather well, not producing big declines in fps. POSKY's a/c reduced fps a little, but it was bearable. Ifdg airbuses were the problem. Not only because it dropped fps a lot but because sometimes it would decide not to load the textures and I'd be flying with a grey a/c.
As far as the experience in college with a laptop, some people recommend against it. For one, I hardly ever took it to school. Sometimes I'd take it to class, but I found taking handwritten notes was better (esp. because before a test I would type up a summary of the notes on Word which would help me memorize/study the subjects). Also, most unversities have very good computer labs. Where I go (Florida State Univ.) we have around 5 PC
labs accessible to all students, as well as computer labs exclusive to the different colleges (in the College of Social Sciences we have around 5 or 6 pc labs), so the bottom line is that your laptop will not really be a necessity, esp. if you might be working with higher end programs such as R2
, SPSS, SAS, etc, which licenses run in the thousands of dollars.
The other con to laptops is that they are a favorite for thiefs! So beware.
EDIT: Forgot to mention that last October my graphics card fried and I started to get the Blue Screen of Death 10 mins after startup, every time I turned on the PC (could've been my res settings). Eventually I had to get a new PC and I just got another Dell, but a desktop this time. Not the top of the line, but close (except for the graphics card). The advantage of a desktop is the ease to be able to add or replace components.
[Edited 2005-04-06 05:09:56]