T3 -- is it still worth getting?

Discussion in 'Palm' started by mikez6, Feb 12, 2006.

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  1. mikez6

    mikez6 Mobile Enthusiast

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    Hi all,

    Well after much assistance from all of you on this forum, I have finally quit waffling and the answer to "Is the Tungsten T3 still worth getting?" is....

    YES!

    To recap: I have had a TT since it debuted (I replaced a Toshiba Pocket PC with the Tungsten T) then I decided to upgrade when the TX debuted, so I orderd a TX from Palm.

    BUT.....I just didn't warm up to the TX. I missed the compact form and slider of my old TT, and the TX seemed very slow at times.

    SO....I decided to investigate the T3, and that's where you all came in with your help and advice.

    NOW.....I have a TX which I will return or ebay, AND....two T3's:eek:

    I got a refurbished unit from PDA Parts, which convinced me to make the T3 my choice despite its pitiful battery. However, the refurbished T3 had more "miles" on it than I was comfortable with so I bought a "brand new" T3 in a sealed box from Expansys -- which I will keep! I wonder if it qualifies for the original warranty? (It's off to ebay for the refurbished T3 as well.)

    The T3 is very, very nice. I hope to use it for some years to come.

    Thanks again for all of your answers.

    Mike
     
  2. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    WOOHOOO, Way to go Mike !

    Have fun ! I know you will :D
     
  3. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Excellent choice, mikez6.
    I'm sure you will enojoy your new toy as much as we do.
     
  4. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    BTW I just realised T3 is the last of the Mohicans as far as RAM based Palm PDAs is concerned...

    And it blows those NFVS-devices just out of the water for all I care :)
     
  5. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    :D :D :D Absolutely true, H.
     
  6. jazzlover

    jazzlover Mobile Deity

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    In what way(s)?
     
  7. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    In several ways, actually. Here are some I can think of:

    - NVFS palms use NAND flash memory. This memory in itself is slower than the DRAM memory used on the T3. What's more, NAND flash does not support XIP (execute in place), meaning that programs and databases can't be run from the flash. They must first be copied to a RAM cache, and they are launched from this cache. When you exit the program, it remains in the cache, so the next time you launch the same program it will start much faster. However, the cache is limited (about 10MB, I think), so eventually it fills up with recent programs, and no new program can be launched until the cache is flushed, or the palm resetted. It can even be too small to run very large programs. NVFS palms will flush the cache to make room for newer programs, but this takes some time. The T3 (and all RAM-based palms) run programs directly from ROM and RAM, so this extra step is not needed. This is why the T3 (or any RAM-based palm) doesn't suffer from any lag when launching and exiting programs, as do palms with the current implementation of NVFS. For example, when I exit EDGE, it takes my T3 about 3 seconds to return to the launcher. On a friend's T5, this takes about 15 seconds.

    - Slow booting times. After a soft reset, a T3 takes about 5 seconds to fully boot. A T5 takes much longer (I haven't timed it, but I think it's at least 45 seconds). This can be very frustrating because many programs are still not fully compatible with NVFS palms, so you have to wait a long time after a crash to start using your palm.

    - Heap memory. T3 has 12 MB of heap RAM, three times what current NVFS palms have. This means that some programs run much better on a T3. Some programs even refuse to run on palms with 4MB unless you use a third-party program to enlarge the heap. However, small heaps are also common on many RAM-based palms (my T2 had just 800KB of heap), so this problem is not exclusive to NVFS palms.

    - Flash memory can store info only in blocks. On any RAM-based palm, a database occupies exactly the same amount of RAM it has. A 32KB db occupies 32KB of RAM, etc. On NVFS palms, dbs claim whole blocks of memory even if they are actually using just the first few bytes. This is why the Treo650 with 25MB available to the user can store much less info than the Treo600 with similar amount of RAM.

    The one and only advantage of current NVFS palms IMO is that the info is not lost when the battery gets fully discharged. Big deal. I have BBVFS, and it will restore my T3 in about 3.5 minutes if I ever run out of battery.

    Having said all that, I still think NVFS could evolve into great devices, but not in their current memory implementation. I think the cache should be increased to at least twice its current size, the heap should be at least as much as the T3 has, and a more efficient memory manager should be built into the device. Or better yet, get rid of the cache and NAND flash and start using NOR flash to simplify the cumbersome launching and saving process. However, I don't think this will happen soon given the much higher cost of DRAM and NOR flash compared to NAND flash.
     
  8. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    As raspa said ... :)
     
  9. Shinno

    Shinno Crazed Owl

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    would like to add, t3 is totally worth getting still.. i began with a tungsten t then switched to the ipaq 4155, and never used it. i'm waiting for my 'like new' t3 in the mail. =)

    some T3's were selling on ebay for $300+!!!!! WTF?

    it's madness.
     
  10. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    No just the simple economic mechanism of demand and supply ... :rolleyes:
     
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