Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield
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how to upgrade the Vizio
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Feb 8, 2013

Jim Cockfield wrote:

I've also seen forum posts confirming that the Vizio CN15-Ax (A1 through A5) models do have two DIMM slots (contrary to what you see in it's specs), and that this memory works in one if you want to bring it up to 16GB total:

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Laptop-Memory-CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10/dp/B0076W9Q5A

You could also use a Mushkin or Crucial mSATA SSD as a primary drive, replacing the included 32GB mSATA SSD used for Cache (and I've already seen it confirmed that the Mushkin mSSD models work in that Vizio).

You can get the new 480GB model for $429 at Newegg (sold out now, but expecting more of them in next week):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226379

That would put you at $1526.88 delivered for a laptop with a 15.6" 1080p IPS Display, Core i7 3610QM CPU, 16GB of 1600Mhz DDR3, 480GB mSATA SSD with the latest Sandforce SF-2281controller (also used by other high end SSDs, including Intel Models), and you'd also have a 1TB Hard Drive for additional storage.

Here's a tutorial page about them showing what you need to do to upgrade the memory and mSATA SSD in that Vizio model.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/vizio/694157-my-cn15-a1-tutorials.html

The Vizio CN15-Ax models are all identical (same Intel HM77 chipset, 1080p IPS display, etc.), except for the amount of memory preinstalled and the OS preinstalled (for example, the CN15-A2 uses Win 7, and the latest CN-A5 uses Win 8, but they're identical otherwise).

If you wanted to go that route, I'd probably stick with that exact 2x8GB set of Corsair memory I linked to using 10-10-10-27 timing; as I've also seen reports of it working in Dell models with that same Intel Chipset (even though Dell says it's limited to 4GB DIMMs for 8GB total, that 2x8GB set of Corsair memory works fine in them).

Here's one post discussing that about Dells:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50681648

If you scroll down in that Tutorial Thread about the Vizio, you'll see that the Corsair set like that does work in the Vizio (one poster got a bad DIMM in the first set, with the replacement set working fine for 16GB total using that Corsair set of 2x8GB with 10-10-10-27 timing, as he linked to at amazon).

Again, nothing around can match the resolution of the MBP Retina model you appear to be looking at. But, if it were my money, I think I'd compromise a bit and go with something offering much better "bang for the buck" with a 1080p IPS display instead.

Unfortunately, we don't know much about the color space coverage that Vizio has available yet (as I haven't found any reviews testing the display).  But, I doubt they could be any worse than the HP Envy models mentioned earlier in the thread (and they may end up being much better).

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JimC
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