Unlike magazines, computer websites or even search engines, I receive no income or compensation from vendors or manufacturers, so my information and recommendations are based solely on facts, real world benchmarks, failure rate statistics, countless hours of extensive research, and consumers' long term best interest.
If you'd like help finding the best computer for your needs, that should last for 10 to 20 years possibly longer, instead of the 4 year industry average, click HELP.
But first, please let me arm you with knowledge seldom found elsewhere, that will help you make the best decisions.

Greetings,
My name is Rich, the Founder of Trusted Consumer Consultants.
I've been configuring computers for friends, family, and clients
since the mid 1990s, and I have a passion for research and teaching.
I created this page to teach consumers very important things about the computer industry, with the hope that it prevents you from making big mistakes when purchasing a new computer.

Before you purchase a new computer, there are a few things that you should know…
The following companies don’t manufacture computers.
They are all just vendors, who market, rebrand and sell computers.

Kind of like car dealerships. They may order the vehicle, customize it, put their dealership’s name on it, and sell it, but they don’t manufacture the vehicle.

Most vendors also load the computers they sell with lots of bloatware, on top of the garbage that Microsoft includes in Windows 10.

The following companies are the ones that
actually manufacture most of the world’s laptops!(ODMs)
All of those vendors have some of the worst customer care.
All the vendors that Trusted Consumer Consultants recommends have a minimum 8 of 10 customer review scores.
Trusted Consumer Consultants never accepts any compensation from vendors, so my only loyalty is to the consumer.
  • Customer Reviews are just the beginning of good vendor vetting. Learn More!

    Most vendors are eliminated from my consideration by their customer review scores. Those who score at least 8 out of 10 are looked at even further. A great review score only matters if the reviews reflect a vendor’s determination to quickly resolve legitimate issues. Reviews about how great a computer was soon after purchase, mean nothing, as many people are content with slow, frustrating garbage. It’s the words of their customers, about how well problems were RESOLVED, that is one of the hallmarks of a great vendor. Some vendors will have a suspicious number of great reviews (extremely disproportionate to their percentage of the market) on one site and no reviews on another. When I check social media, many of their customers are raking them over the coals, often for legitimate issues that are still unresolved after months of fighting with the vendor!
    If a vendor takes care of their customers’ legitimate problems quickly, then I look at their business history. I look for deceptive advertising. (Great computer vendors typically spend very little money on marketing, relying mostly on word of mouth advertising.) I search for class action lawsuits and court records. I look at their past mergers and the likelihood of them selling out, like Alienware (who was always overpriced) did with Dell. I want to make sure that all the vendors I recommend are stable companies, who will be there to uphold their warranties. I search news articles, techie forums, and other places, for as much info as I can get about their history and business practices, e.g., do they install bloatware like most of the big vendors do?
    If the vendor makes it past all of that, only a dozen have so far, then I start comparing their prices. Some vendors have a higher markup on their lower end systems, because lower end systems have higher failure rates that require more customer service. While other vendors have a higher markup, on the computers typically bought by people who don’t care about cost.
    There is a huge difference in reliability and longevity for similar components from different manufacturers.

    Although I only configure quality computers, I always care about cost. I look for the best prices, from the best vendors, for the reliability and capabilities that people require for computers that last for 10 to 20 years or more.

These are the surveyed failure rates of the following vendors…
apple

Apple Inc.

Survey doesn’t include massive number of recent Macbook keyboard problems.

samsung

Samsung Electronics 삼성전자

acer

Acer Inc. 宏碁股份有限公司

hp

HP Inc.

asus

AsusTek Computer Inc. 華碩電腦股份有限公司

lenovo

Lenovo PC International Limited 联想集团有限公司

dell

Dell Technologies Inc.

toshiba

Toshiba Corporation / 株式会社東芝

microsoftsurface

Microsoft Surface

…over just 2 years.
  • There's a HUGE difference between searching, and RESEARCH!

    Some people are obsessed with crafts or photography, others with sports or auto mechanics. My obsession is research.
    But most people don’t know what real RESEARCH is. Research isn’t just googling and reading. Anyone can do that. REAL research is knowing what to search for, and weeding out 95% of the “information” that you read.
    If I do a google search for “most reliable laptop”, EVERYTHING in the first 100 results will be garbage (unless this page eventually makes the ranks). Page after page of websites that are paid for marketing the unreliable mainstream brands, that I’ve already shown have pathetic customer review stores, deplorable business practices, and outrageous failure rates.
    Research is finding the gold nugget in the garbage dump full of iron pyrite, and knowing how to find it. For instance, instead of searching for most reliable laptop, I will instead search for computer reliability survey failure rate, and scour through page after page of raw data, looking at statistics and eventually finding a consensus among many reliable sources. Determining which sources are reliable, and which ones are just another marketing ploy, or just woefully uninformed, comes from years of experience.
    While I appreciate the information I gain from some YouTube videos, each techie’s review is based on ONE experience, and ONE group of tests. When I look at the data from real world benchmarks of a particular component, there are thousands of benchmarks from owners, not advertisers.
    With cheap garbage computers, the range of those benchmarks often have a huge span of results. It’s the narrow span showing consistency that is the hallmark of excellent quality control. In other words, if a I research two cars, with data on both cars from thousands of owners, the first car’s top speeds range between 40MPH to 120MPH, the second car’s top speeds range between 110MPH to 120MPH, then I know that the second car manufacturer has better quality control and is the better product.
    That is the difference between “searching” and “RESEARCH”!
    I was going to use the simile of finding diamonds among glass crystals, but the value and rarity of diamonds is a marketing scam too.
The failure rate of computers I recommend are…

UNDER

…over 10 years!
Mostly due to owner abuse. “Oops, I spilled my coffee!”
  • Learn why most computers are cheap garbage.

    In the early days of PCs, there were many IBM clones. IBM used off the shelf parts. The BIOS was the only part that was original IBM design. Compaq used the “Clean Room Design” to create the BIOS of their first computer in 1983, followed by Phoenix in 1984, who sold their BIOS to other computer manufacturers.

    So anyway, all these companies are using off the shelf parts, selling hard disk computers typically ranging in price around $2,000 to $3,000. Some of them had innovations that made their system better in one aspect or another, but customer service was typically the main competition factor, since off the shelf parts were comparably reliable. Of course there were other companies like Atari, Commodore, Apple, etc., that ran some proprietary operating systems.

    In the mid 1990s (when I started custom configuring computers), prices dropped down into the $1,500 to $2,500 range. Then in 1998, a company called eMachine put out an invitation for bids, for the cheapest computer components that anyone could manufacture, and sold the cheapest, slowest, most unreliable piece of crap computers for under $500. Within six months they had the 4th highest PC sales. So the companies who had been selling good, reliable, fast PCs (comparably speaking) for 10 years, decided to sacrifice their reputation for higher market share, and one by one, Compaq, Gateway, HP, Packard Bell, & Dell started selling cheap garbage too.

Now that you realize much of what people think they know about computers is wrong, let’s start educating you about what makes a quality computer that lasts for more than 10 years.
  • Why I typically recommend laptops, not desktops.

    Most people assume that a quality desktop is cheaper than a quality laptop. But actually a quality laptop that is configured to last for over 10 years is about the same cost as a desktop with identical components.
    A quality “desktop replacement” laptop will be upgradable, with room for up to 4 storage drives, RAM capacity up to 64GB, and ports to plug in nearly every type of peripheral device.
    Quality laptops have wonderful advantages over tower case desktops, besides being portable. They take up a lot less vertical space, are engineered to not waste energy, have a battery backup, have built‑in biosecurity (fingerprint reader and facial recognition / webcam), and can be secured wherever you take it with a Kensington lock. All laptops that I recommend have a Kensington security slot.

    Below I configured a “desktop replacement” laptop (which is a highend laptop with a desktop CPU). I also configured a desktop with identical components, from the same vendor. The ASRock motherboard chosen was the cheapest reliable motherboard with Thunderbolt 3.
    I configured the cheapest; ATX tower case with a 5.25″ drive bay for the card reader / front USB ports, 150W TDP fan, and 450W power supply.
    Both have CPU & GPU coolers using Nano Diamond thermal paste.
    Components TCC configured
    “Desktop Replacement” Laptop
    Desktop with comparable components Notes
    CPU i7‑8086K Desktop CPU i7‑8086K Desktop CPU Since the ridiculously overpriced Alienware sold out to Dell, who eventually discontinued Desktop CPUs in their laptops, most people are unaware that there are still laptops with the power and performance of desktops. But a desktop CPU does not guarantee a reliable, quality laptop. Off the shelf vendors’ goal is to maximize revenue and profit margins. Customer satisfaction is irrelevant.
    Graphics Card NVidia GTX 1060m 6GB NVidia GTX 1060 6GB A high performance gaming laptop can be configured with dual GTX 1080s. But such gaming power increases the cost of desktops and laptops about $1200, and SLI has many flaws.
    RAM Crucial 1x16GB DDR4 2666MHz CL16 Crucial 1x16GB DDR4 2666MHz CL16 Both laptop and desktop have a maximum RAM capacity of 64GB.
    PCIe SSD Samsung 500GB 970 EVO Samsung 500GB 970 EVO Laptop has room for 2 PCIe SSDs.
    SATA SSD Samsung 1TB 860 EVO Samsung 1TB 860 EVO Laptop also has room for 2 SATA SSDs for a total of 4 drives, with a maximum capacity of 12 Terabytes of storage space, with currently available drives.
    Card Reader 6 in 1 Card Reader 6 in 1 Card Reader MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini‑SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS‑II
    Audio Sound BlasterX® Pro‑Gaming 360° Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3 The desktop doesn’t include speakers, which are necessary for sound, but can be included with the display.
    Wifi AC 9260 1.73Gbps wireless T9E 1.3Gbps wireless To be fair, I chose the cheaper, slower 1.3Gbps wireless PCIe card, rather than the 2.1Gbps costing $41 more.
    Thunderbolt 3 1 port 1 port Laptops are available with 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports. Finding a desktop motherboard with Thunderbolt 3 capabilities was challenging. Most motherboards still do not have this capability, destined to become the peripheral standard for the next 15 years.
    USB 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
    4 x USB 3.0 Ports
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Header
    3 x USB 2.0 Headers
    Gen 1 = 5Gbps.
    Gen 2 = 10Gbps.
    Other ports 2 Mini DisplayPort 1.3
    1 x HDMI
    1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
    1 Line‑in Jack
    1 Line‑out jack
    1 x RJ‑45 LAN Ports
    3 Mini DisplayPort 1.3
    1 x HDMI
    1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
    1 Line‑in Jack
    1 Line‑out jack
    2 x RJ‑45 LAN Ports

    1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard
    1 x D‑Sub
    1 x DVI‑D
    If you use legacy peripherals, such as PS/2 keyboards, DVI or VGA monitors, then you may have no choice but to stick with a desktop, or use adapters that will connect to those devices. There are very few connectors that don’t have a USB adapter.
    The desktop also requires a display, mouse, and keyboard, that aren’t necessary with a laptop. But I recommend using a wireless keyboard, mouse, and display with the laptop, when in the home or office, for maximum comfort, productivity and enjoyment. So the expense of these devices could reasonably be added to both.
    The laptop also includes a 2.0M FHD webcam and fingerprint reader.
    Price $2,265.00 $2,142.00 Not including mouse, keyboard, display.
    Obviously anyone looking for a reliable, quality desktop that will serve for 10+ years, will spend considerably more, with a better tower case, higher quality wifi, better fan(s), power supply, CPU cooler, etc. Plus the keyboard, mouse, and display, webcam, etc…

    My opinion is that the only people who benefit more from a desktop towercase are:
    1. 3D / CAD engineers and video editors, if they use software that can benefit from 18 core, 36 thread CPUs that aren’t available in any laptop. People who render or compile data / files that can take a while, cutting that time in 1/2 is awesome. Software not written for so many cores runs faster on fewer core higher GHz CPUs that run cooler and use less power.
    2. People who often swap hardware, like PCIe GPUs, and are capable of building their own desktop. When I owned my last desktop 15 years ago, my tower side panel was usually off. But with the speed of laptop ports (especially Thunderbolt 3), hooking up external drives is easier with a laptop and the right adapter.
    With wireless networks, printers, keyboards, mice, and even Miracast HDMI, it’s possible for a business owner to unplug their laptop, take it home, plug it in, and be connected to everything (after the simple initial configuration). With the proper Hibernate settings, you don’t even need to open the laptop screen, just turn on the TV, and grab your wireless mouse and keyboard.
    97% of the people, 99% of the time, wouldn’t be able to tell the difference on the display between a 6 core and 18 core CPU, and it’s not worth the extra $1000 to see pretty numbers in a benchmarking program. Once the price drops from $1400 to $400, and it’s available in a laptop, provided there aren’t any cooling issues (TDP 165W vs 95W), 18 core CPUs might be worth it.

Just as most people are oblivious, or assume the opposite of what I’ve taught you so far, most people are also under the assumption that technology advances so quickly that every current laptop is destined to become obsolete in just a few years. While this is mostly true with off the shelf laptops, it is not true of all laptops. A well configured, quality, custom laptop will have components that are rarely, if ever, found in off the shelf laptops, or even in most desktops.
Developing Technology
I keep a close eye on developing technology, and easily spot trends that shape the future of computers. For instance, Thunderbolt 3 is the USB port of the future. Just as I foresaw USB (Type A) replacing printer, mouse, and keyboard connections in the mid 1990s, it’s easy to see that Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps Type C connector) is the connector of peripheral devices in the future. Its design, and Intel’s stated intent to make it royalty free, insures its inevitable adoption by most peripheral manufacturers. Any new laptop without Thunderbolt 3 will become prematurely obsolete.
A desktop CPU in an off the shelf laptop is not an option, but it is an option with custom configured, quality laptops. It’s pathetic that no magazines include any laptop with an i7‑8086K desktop CPU, as being the “fastest gaming laptops”.
When the goal is to maximize longevity of a laptop, the CPU is a major factor. Choosing a laptop CPU that is 30% slower than the desktop CPU, essentially shortens the longevity by 30%. This is a major topic, when helping someone find the right computer. The trade off for all that power is power consumption / shorter battery life, and about a $400 price difference, because of the extra cooling, larger battery, power supply, room for more storage, RAM, etc.
Central Processing Unit
(CPU)
  • The solution to remote computing, without sacrificing performance, is power inverters and power banks.

    In order to make a laptop battery last longer, you have to lessen the power that the computer uses, and that is done by using lower performance components (ie. CPUs and integrated GPUs).
    My recommendation, rather than sacrifice performance, is to use a pure sine wave power inverter in the vehicle…
    …and a pure sine wave power bank elsewhere, when you’re going to be away from an outlet.
    Cigarette lighter charging cable
    Portable solar charger
    Optimizing your screen brightness, disabling bluetooth and wifi when you’re not using them, etc. can help too.
    When taking your power banks on a commercial airline, tape safety covers with electrical tape to get through security. While tape is only required for battery contacts, not power banks, it should imply that you’re safety conscious and know the precautions and regulations (links below) better than they do, and hopefully save the time of closer inspection.
    I recommend a quality waterproof backpack large enough to carry a 17.3″ laptop [17″ (w) x 12″ (d) x 2″ (h)] and enough room for the power supply, a couple of power banks, a power inverter, and personal items, that conforms to airline carry on dimensions (even though slightly deeper) [22″ (w) x 14″ (d) x 9″ (h)].
    To avoid having to check your bag, it’s recommended that you board the aircraft as soon as you are allowed. If asked to check your bag, tell the flight crew that you have two power banks, and an expensive laptop with an 85 watt hour lithium ion battery and irreplaceable data, that you need for work you planned on doing during the flight. Please choose someone who doesn’t need their carry on during the flight.
    Good luck! With the added seats and fully booked sardine cans, most flights require some passengers to check their carry-on.

    If you fly and use your laptop, read on for more information about power banks, airplanes, FAA regulations and lithium ion battery fires…
    I spent about a week straight researching power inverters and power banks. It turned out to be a rabbit hole that seemed to go on forever. My research for even better options continues…
    FAA regulations limits lithium ion batteries to twenty 100Wh batteries. Or “with airline approval” two 100Wh – 160Wh. (See below about airline approval.) Wh = Watt Hour.
    Power banks are allowed in carry-on bags only. They are never allowed in checked baggage.
    As you may know, low quality, cheaply made lithium ion batteries can catch fire, and the energy stored in the battery can be converted into heat energy – more fire. In the passenger cabin, the flight crew can attack the fire, with water, soda, or a Halon ABC extinguisher. (Lithium ion batteries are Class B).
    The regulation is in Watt Hours (Wh) because it can apply to Lead Acid, Nickel Metal Hydride, as well as Lithium Ion, and other battery technologies.
    Lithium Ion batteries’ nominal voltage is 3.6 volts. which at 160Wh converts to 44,444mAh. Milliamp Hours (mAh) is the typical measurement of lithium ion capacity. So, no lithium ion battery above 44,444mAh * 3.6v = 160Wh is authorized aboard a commercial passenger aircraft.
    Then I came across a post about modified sine wave, and that opened a whole new can of worms, because Modified Sine Wave power sources, which are cheaper and far more common than PURE SIGN WAVE, can have a detrimental effect on electronic devices, their power supplies, and batteries within them. Finding pure sine wave power inverters and power banks that met all of my other criteria was sooo frustrating, but it was worth it!
    Above, I linked to the power bank on Amazon but you can get it from their likely source in Asia on Alibaba if you dare.
    (See this YouTube review for more information about the vendor branded power bank.)
    The top 10 carriers in the U.S.’ pages expressing lithium ion battery policies:
    Southwest Airlines – Doesn’t mention Watt Hour limits. Just quantity of 20.
    Delta – Specifically mentions the 160Wh limit of 2.
    American Airlines – Specifically mentions the 160Wh limit of 2.
    United Airlines – Specifically mentions the 160Wh limit of 2.
    JetBlue – Specifically mentions the 160Wh limit of 2.
    SkyWest – Mentions policies of partner airlines, Alaska, American, Delta, & United.
    Alaska Airlines – Specifically mentions the 160Wh limit of 2.
    Spirit Airlines – Specifically mentions the 160Wh limit of 2.
    Republic Airlines – Mentions policies of partner airlines, American, Delta, & United.
    Frontier Airlines – Says to review TSA regulations which defer to the FAA regulations.

    On a further note about laptop battery life… Unfortunately, for reasons that even I haven’t been able to ascertain, laptop batteries are pathetically weak, maxing out around 86Wh. I’ve tried hard to find out why all laptops (except where their light weight is the main selling point) don’t have 98Wh, or 158Wh batteries? Instead of 2 hour battery life, and batteries as pathetic as 35Wh.
    Anyway, get a couple of 151.2Wh (42,000mAh) power banks, and get up to 6 times as much time away from an outlet, without pulling your hair out waiting on a frustratingly slow laptop. I also recommend keeping your laptop battery charged, using your power banks first.

Storage Drives

Fastest real world benchmarks in each class.
Sequential Read/Write/Mixed Average:

SATA HDD

SATA SSD

PCIe SSD

Random Read/Write/Mixed Average:

SATA HDD

SATA SSD

PCIe SSD

Price Per Gigabyte

SATA HDD

SATA SSD

PCIe SSD

PCIe is another standard, seldom seen in off the shelf laptops, necessary for longevity. Very few off the shelf computers have adopted this standard, but it is the way that computers will connect to storage devices for well over the next 10 years, just as SATA has been the standard for the last 15 years. Technologies still in development, such as Z‑SSD & 3D XPoint use the PCIe standard. Again, any laptop without PCIe will become prematurely obsolete.
The fastest SATA III SSD drive sequential read speed is around 4.2Gbps. No SATA drives comes close to 6Gbps! Yet almost every vendor deceptively uses SATA III’s THEORETICAL 6Gbps in their marketing! PCIe Gen3’s theoretical maximum transfer rate per lane is 8Gbps. So the PCIe x4 (the standard for storage drives) has a theoretical maximum of 32Gbps. But the fastest PCIe drives, according to real world benchmarks, currently max out around 22.4Gbps.
Most cheap off the shelf laptops come with Hard Disk Drives (HDD – fastest speed 1.7Gbps). Not only are HDDs incredibly slow compared to Solid State Drives (SSD), but they are also notoriously unreliable. HDDs typically last for 0 to 6 years. An HDD that lasts for more than 6 years (52,500 hours) is so rare that there are techie forums where they brag about HDDs that have lasted longer. This is why I never configure a computer with an HDD. Like buying a flammable storage shed that is destined to catch fire with everything you have in it. It’s just a matter of “when?”.
SDDs on the other hand have been the subject of 18 month long torture tests, where they typically survive 3,000 to 9,000 writes per sector before failing. If you rewrote all the data on an entire hard drive every week, 3,000 writes would be equivalent to 60 years (52*60=3120). Sector reads (typically twice as common as writes on the OS drive, and four times as common as writes on storage drives) are theoretically unlimited. HWiNFO can give you the details of your drives.
The next thing that has a major impact in laptop performance and longevity is the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Most off the shelf laptops have what is referred to as Integrated Graphics. Which is a part of the Central Processing Unit (CPU), that shares resources including RAM.
A quality laptop, built for longevity, will have a GPU that is separate from the CPU, with its own RAM. A graphics card is essentially another computer, dedicated to rendering image data, and piping the image to the display(s). A quality laptop will have a GTX 1060m graphics card. For serious 3D gamers, it’s possible to have two GTX 1080m graphics cards, but the cost difference over a single GTX 1060m is around $1200. Only SLI games can take advantage of dual cards. But most hard core gamers say that SLI isn’t worth it.
Graphics Processing Unit
(GPU)
Random Access Memory
(RAM)
Random Access Memory (RAM) is another important factor in longevity. When a computer doesn’t have enough RAM, it uses the pagefile, which on the fastest PCIe drive, is about 20 times slower than RAM, 400 times slower with an HDD drive. Not having enough RAM is like trying to move a 3 bedroom household with a minivan rather than a semi.
Most off the shelf laptops are limited to 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and rather than install one 4GB chip, cheap laptop vendors fill both slots with two 2GB chips. So if you want to upgrade RAM later, you have to replace both chips, rather than just adding another chip, and you’ll always be limited to 16GB.
I always configure laptops with the largest chip that will fit in each slot, with the only variable being how many slots to use. All laptops that I recommend have a max RAM capacity of 32GB to 64GB.
Column Access Strobe Latency (CL) is an important factor when choosing the best RAM that is often totally ignored. A 2400MHz RAM chip with a CL of 15 (12.5ns) is faster than a 3000MHz chip with a CL of 19 (12.6ns). Lower is better. Currently 2666MHz quality RAM with a CL of 15 (11.25ns) is the fastest option available in a quality laptop.
The formula for RAM timing is: 2000 / MHz * CL = ns.
Most vendors don’t mention the manufacturers of the components in their laptops, and for good reason!
My research of the failure rates of components, such as RAM, storage drives, GPUs, wireless LAN, and even thermal paste is extensive and continuous.
Failure rates for manufacturers, most often used by vendors of cheap laptops, are many times that of the most reliable manufacturers.
Each component is important, like the engine, transmission, alternator, battery, etc. of a vehicle. A one year failure rate of only 3% means that the component is 10 times more likely to fail than a manufacturer with only a 0.3% failure rate. The failure rate of a computer is equal to the failure rate of all components added together. When configuring a laptop that serves for well over a decade, choosing the right manufacturers, and components with the lowest failure rates is every bit as important as choosing the right technologies!
Reliability
  • A comparison of many different laptops.

    Below, I compare a few of the most popular laptops. When I configure a laptop for someone, I configure it based on their specific needs, with no influence from outside sources, just my knowledge of reliable components, and the information they share with me about what they use the computer for. If a client’s needs are basic, I don’t recommend a high performance GPU or high capacity SSD drives, but if they tax their computer like I do, then I make sure it has the power they need for many many years to come. If cost is an important factor, I explain the sacrifices they can make, and the impact of those sacrifices over the long term.
    Laptops TCC configured high performance Laptop Cheapest TCC configured Laptop MAXED OUT MacBook Pro Amazon’s #1 selling “gaming laptop” Amazon’s #1 selling laptop
    Display 17.3″ 3840 x 2160 15.6″ 1920×1080 15.4″ 2880 x 1800 15.6″ 1920×1080 15.6″ 1920×1080
    TCC configured system’s graphics cards are capable of external display resolution of 7680×4320@60Hz. I highly recommend a wireless keyboard, mouse, and TV display(s), when computing in the office or at home.
    CPU 5.0GHz turbo 8th Gen i7‑8086K DESKTOP CPU 4.1GHz turbo 8th Gen i7‑8750H laptop CPU 4.8GHz turbo 8th Gen i9‑8950HK 3.8GHz turbo 7th Gen i7‑7700HQ 3.4GHz turbo 7th Gen i3‑8130U
    The i7‑8086K CPU in this high performance Laptop (not including the substantial impact of other hardware) is approximately
    30% faster than the i7‑8750H
    21% faster than the i9‑8950HK (higher number and it is slower)
    62% faster than the i7‑7700HQ
    114% faster than the i3‑8130U, based on an average of thousands of real world user benchmarks.
    But with higher power comes higher energy consumption and shorter battery life.
    Cores / Threads 6 cores / 12 threads 6 cores / 12 threads 6 cores / 12 threads 6 cores / 12 threads 2 cores / 4 threads
    Cache 12MB Smart Cache 9MB Smart Cache 12MB L3 cache 6MB shared L3 cache 3MB shared L3 cache
    RAM 32GB 3000MHz DDR4
    2 empty slots
    64GB max capacity
    16GB 2666MHz DDR4
    1 empty slot
    32GB max capacity
    32GB 2400MHz DDR4
    No empty slots
    32GB max capacity
    16GB 2400MHz DDR4
    No empty slots
    32GB max capacity
    8GB 2133MHz DDR4
    No empty slots
    16GB max capacity
    MacBook Pro RAM is soldered and not upgradable.
    OS Drive
    Seq. Read Speed
    512GB PCIe SSD 2579MB/s 512GB PCIe SSD 2579MB/s 512GB PCIe SSD 1500MB/s 256GB M.2 1278MB/s 1TB 5400 RPM HDD 140MB/s
    PCIe is the future of non‑volatile storage. Most current laptops don’t even have PCIe slots for NVMe storage drives.
    Quality SSDs have a typical life expectancy of 60+ years, based on torture test 3000+ writes per sector and weekly rewrites of the entire drive.
    HDDs almost always fail in 0 to 6 years. I never consider them as an option for my recommendations.
    Storage Drive 1TB SATA 521MB/s
    1 Empty PCIe slot
    1 Empty SATA slot
    None
    1 Empty PCIe / SATA slot
    None
    No empty slots
    None
    1 empty SATA slot
    None
    No empty slots
    Laptops that I recommend can have room for up to 12 Terabytes of PCIe & SATA drive space.
    Most off the shelf laptops come with one drive, and don’t have room for any more. The drives are often cheap Western Digital or Seagate drives, which are too unreliable to ever be considered by Trusted Consumer Consultants.
    Graphics Card 6GB Nvidia GTX 1060 External display max resolution: 7680×4320@60Hz
    Max external displays: 11 (daisy chained DPs)
    75.3GP/s pixel rate
    4GB Nvidia GTX 1050
    External display max resolution: 7680×4320@60Hz
    Max external displays: 11 (daisy chained DPs)
    46.56GP/s pixel rate
    4GB Radeon Pro 560
    External display max resolution: 5120×2880@60Hz
    Max external displays: 2 58.05GP/s pixel rate.
    6GB Nvidia GTX 1060
    External display max resolution: 7680×4320@60Hz
    Max external displays: 1
    75.3GP/s pixel rate
    Intel HD 620 Integrated Graphics
    External display max resolution: 4096×2304@60Hz

    Max external displays: 1
    3.45GP/s pixel rate
    If you really need virtual reality gaming power, the twice as powerful GTX 1080 has a pixel rate of 111GP/s, but costs $680 more; or two 1080s (yes, in a laptop!) for $1202 more.
    The high performance laptop in this example, with a single GTX 1080 will benchmark in the top 1% fastest computers (including desktops) in the world!
    My 4 year old, $2400 personal laptop still scores in the top 8% of computers, and top 2% of laptops worldwide.
    Thunderbolt 3 ports 2 One huge drawback to this inexpensive yet reliable system is the lack of Thunderbolt 3 4 None None
    Thunderbolt 3 is the future of external connections. Being royalty free is imminent. Apple and Intel developed Thunderbolt, so it’s the only port on the Macbook.
    No USB‑A, HDMI, or DP ports.
    Other Ports 1xHDMI
    2xDisplayPort
    4xUSB  3.0 (A) &
    3.1 (A & C)
    In/Out/Mic/Optical Audio jacks
    RJ‑45LAN
    6 in 1 SD card reader
    1xHDMI
    2xDisplayPort
    4x USB 2.0 (A) &
    3.1 (A & C)
    In/Out/Mic/Optical Audio jacks
    RJ‑45 LAN
    6 in 1 SD card reader
    NONE 1xHDMI
    4xUSB 2.0 (A) &
    3.1 (A & C)
    RJ‑45 LAN
    SD card only reader
    No audio jacks
    1xHDMI
    4xUSB 2.0 (A) &
    3.1 (A & C)
    No audio jacks
    You can extend your desktop to 3+ external displays with most TCC configured laptops (1 to HDMI, 2 to DisplayPort. miniDP to HDMI adapters are available). Or go wireless!
    Mac Book Pro? Only ONE external display.
    6 in 1 reader reads MMC / RSMMC / SD / Mini‑SD / SDHC / SDXC (up to UHS‑II) cards.
    Webcam 1080p 1080p 720p 1080p None
    Fingerprint reader
    Bluetooth
    Wifi
    Yes
    Yes
    1.73Gb/s Dual Band ac wireless
    Yes
    Yes
    1.73Gb/s Dual Band ac wireless
    Yes
    Yes
    Air Port 288Mb/s
    None
    Yes
    800Mb/s 802.11ac
    None
    None
    800Mb/s 802.11ac
    Operating System Windows 10 Home 64bit USB backup Windows 10 Home 64bit USB backup Unix based Mac OS X Windows 10 Home 64bit Windows 10 Home 64bit
    Apple forces customers to pay a lot for just about everything that will run on their proprietary operating system.
    Weight 7.5 lbs. 5.51 lbs. 4.02 lbs. 5.64 lbs. 5.27 lbs.
    Just like cars, a more powerful engine and more accessories adds to the weight, unless you sacrifice durability. I don’t!
    Much of the weight is from the cooling system necessary for powerful CPUs & GPUs.
    Battery life:
    basic usage / maximum performance
    2.5 / 1 hour(s) real world 5+ / 1.5+ hours real world 6.5 / 1.2 hours real world 4.2 / 0.9 hours real world 7 / 1 hour(s) real world
    The cost for performance is energy consumption / battery life. Technology does not exist for 10 hour battery life and top 1% world benchmark performance. But power inverters & power banks offer an excellent solution to extend time away from an outlet, without sacrificing performance!
    Other solutions include dimmer screen brightness, sleep, hibernate, and other software / services settings, disabling Bluetooth / wifi, when not being utilized.
    Then there’s always the solution of a reeeeally long extension cord. ;‑)
    Price $2,470.00 $1,274.00 $3,499.00 $999.00 $379.99
    To upgrade the Macbook from 512GB OS drive to 4TB, add $3200.
    To upgrade TCC configured laptop’s 1TB storage to 4TB, add $860.
    A high end TCC configured laptop can hold up to 4 PCIe & SATA drives, with a total storage capacity of 12 Terabytes. But at an added cost in the $250 to $400 per terabyte range.
  • Choosing the wrong vendor can cost hundreds of dollars more, for the exact same laptop!

    The price difference between lowest and highest priced vendors, for the exact same laptop, is often hundreds of dollars ($615 in this case)!
    Here is one example of a TCC high performance laptop, with a desktop CPU, and all the exact same hardware, including manufacturer.
    “NOTES” list something unique about each vendor:
    System specs:
    Display: 17.3 Full HD screen with G-sync
    CPU: i7-8086K Desktop
    GPU: NVidia GTX 1060m 6MB
    RAM: Crucial 1x16GB 3000MHz
    OS Drive: Samsung 500 GB 970 EVO PCIe SSD (NOT HDD)
    Storage Drive: Samsung 1TB 860 EVO SATA SSD (NOT HDD)
    OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64bit USB Recovery (Except vendor 7)
    Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen2, DisplayPort, HDMI, 2.0M webcam, Dual band wifi etc…
    Upgradability:
    64GB Max RAM, 4 slots
    4 Drive slots: 2 PCIe, 2 SATA (up to 12TB total, with certain vendors)
    VENDOR PRICE NOTES
    Vendor 1 $2,425 Linux OS available.
    Vendor 2 $2,598 “No branding” option.
    Vendor 3 $2,608 $5 to “remove bloatware” (I assume they’re talking about Windows 10 Bloatware.)
    Vendor 4 $2,643 Textured wraps and LASER etching.
    Vendor 5 $2,923 LED notebook cooler option.
    Vendor 6 $2,949 6 FREE thermal protection upgrade options.
    Some vendors don’t offer a choice. I’m trying to get those who do to carry Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. -5°C lower temp than average thermal paste. -20°C on delidded Intel CPUs.
    Vendor 7 $2,978 Umbuntu / Pop! OS. No Windows 10 option. (Both OSes are free. The high price isn’t warranted.)
    Vendor 8 $3,040 Prema Custom BIOS.
    Vendor 9 £1,975 / $2,536 Multiple Keyboard / Plug options for different countries.
    A few of the vendors who have passed the vetting process, were not included in this comparison, because they didn’t offer this particular model of laptop. This configuration contains very basic options for a top performance laptop. Some options may match the consumers needs better, but only be offered by a couple of vendors.
    That’s why knowing all available options is so important.
    When helping someone purchase a laptop, the first priority is to match reliable, quality hardware, to the consumers long term needs, without wasting money on options they’ll never need. Then look for the model(s) of laptop(s) and quality vendor(s) who will most closely match those needs at the most affordable price.
    If, with all you’ve learned, you are still more interested in finding a cheap computer, than a fast, reliable one, then here is the cheapest Windows 10 garbage with a keyboard.

Bad Advice Everywhere You Look.

Magazines
I always configure the most reliable consumer laptops, and often configure the fastest laptops on the planet, with desktop CPUs, the fastest GPUs, and benchmarks in the top 1% in the world. Yet every magazine list of “top laptops” is full of nothing but garbage from the biggest vendors, with the most deplorable customer service.
It’s shocking to me, that even Consumer Reports’ “objective voice” never includes any laptops with desktop CPUs, or vendors with excellent customer reviews in any of their computer recommendations.
It’s obvious that every list in any magazine has nothing to do with real world benchmarks, customer satisfaction, and low failure rates. Their lists are nothing more than the most popular computers sold by their advertisers. I can’t prove it (yet), but it is obvious that computer magazine articles are written by computer vendors, where most of their revenue derives. Just like federal laws are written by government lobbyists.

Please help educate other consumers.

THANK YOU!

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Just reading this page, you already have vital knowledge that most techies are oblivious to.
With all due respect to all the great techies out there, who also can tear down and rebuild a computer, diagnose almost any problem, fix software problems without formatting the storage drive, are an encyclopedia of diagnostic software programs, and have gotten their friends’ computers working again, most of them are experts at solving problems rather than avoiding them in the first place.
There are very few techies who conduct in depth research into failure rates, customer reviews, hardware manufacturers, and the history of the companies that they recommend. Most of them suggest the same garbage that you find listed in magazines, or are limited to custom building a desktop, with the same hardware problems. While my obsession is reliability, performance, all of the information necessary to make the best choice, and recommending laptops that serve their owners many times longer, without the frustration.
A Techie Friend
Your local PC shop
Some local PC shops have one big advantage. You can likely walk out of their store with a computer the same day. But you’re limited to what they have on hand. Choosing only among their inventory is a short sighted solution, where you either compromise your needs, or you spend a lot more than you should, and you’ll likely be limited to the same lousy vendors with high failure rates and deplorable customer care.
Local PC shops have two useful functions. Repairs of unreliable computers that are out of warranty, and renting a computer while a reliable one that matches your needs is being built.
You are your own techie friend. You know how to fix most computer problems, and have researched the real world benchmarks of CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, RAM, etc… If you keep up on emerging technologies, also know the failure rates of all of the manufacturers, the customer reviews and detailed history of the vendors, and you get such information from more reliable sources than magazines, blogs, and forums, then there probably isn’t anything on this page that you weren’t aware of. I’d like to offer my hand for a virtual handshake. But if you’re not quite as passionate and obsessed with research as I am, then to save time, frustration, and money over the long term, you might want to consider my help.
Yourself

The computers that I recommend will never be influenced by anything other than consumers' best interest.

I will never recommend computer vendors whose customer satisfaction ratings are below average.

Trusted Consumer Consultants will never become a publicly traded company, where shareholder profits conflict with consumers' best interest.

My Promise to You

  • EMPTY