Byte Me Article 364 – CPU’s Matter

5th May 2018

Don’t Be Stuck With A Lemon

It’s happened again!  A good customer of ours in Harvey Bay had their old laptop die suddenly and they thought that they needed to grab something quick.  The result of this was a trip to a local chain electronics store and the purchase of a Hewlett Packard 15-BW027AU laptop at $598.  This laptop had all the appearances of an excellent product, it has a 15.6” screen, 8GB of Ram and a 1TB hard drive – but it is a lemon!

We are labelling it a lemon because it has an AMD A6-9220 CPU which at best should be powering an android operating system on a tablet.  It takes a lot more power to run a comprehensive computer operating system such as Windows 10 and this CPU just doesn’t cut it.  So, what is the result of this purchase?

The laptop runs slow!  It takes a full minute to boot up, it takes a similar time to shut down, it takes 20 seconds just to open Microsoft Word – it took over 90 minutes just to install Microsoft Office 2016.  For comparison a new laptop running an Intel i5 CPU with all other specs the same will take 15 seconds to boot up, 12 seconds to shut down, 5 seconds to open Word and around 20 minutes to install Microsoft Office 2016.

So, what is my point here?  Basically, every command on this laptop takes around 5 times as long as it should, and keep in mind that this is while it is brand new!  The customer is hoping to get 4 years use from it and it is going to be a lemon for this entire time.  There is good reason for all of this if we look at the CPU specs.

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of the laptop and is really ‘powering’ the device, just the same as a car engine is ‘powering’ your vehicle.  The CPU that my customer purchased with their laptop has a power rating of 1506.  I had a look on the chain store’s web site and found the laptop that they should have purchased at $200 more.

For $200 more they would have purchased the same screen size, same amount of ram, same hard drive size – but with an Intel i5 8250U CPU which has a power rating of 7658.  That figure is correct, the Intel is just a fraction more than 5 times as powerful!

This is one of my biggest bug bears with the IT industry.  Manufacturers should be forced to display the CPU power ratings on their laptops, desktops and servers.  This should be mandatory!  We see the car industry needing to display fuel economy figures on the windscreens of new cars and this is a similar thing.

At present customers have no idea how powerful a laptop or desktop CPU is without recording the model number and searching the Internet.  This rarely happens and the result is that they can end up with a Lemon which is parading as an orange!

In this case, as soon as we found out about the laptop purchase, I talked to the customer myself and advised them of the situation.  They welcomed the phone call and told me that it all made sense as they had purchased it 2 weeks ago and has started to think that something was wrong with it – such was the lack of speed.

They called the chain store and as long as they still had the box and all of the parts, they were going to be allowed to pay the extra $200 and exchange it.  They said that next time they will wait the extra few days and purchase from us again instead. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

For more advice and assistance from Kerr Solutions, like and follow us on Facebook