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Looking to a new laptop

 
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LinksOcarina
The Anti-Fanboy


Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 11462

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Looking to a new laptop Reply with quote

Ok PC nazis, question for you.

My laptop has served me well for a while, but I am looking to finally get a gaming laptop that can pretty much perform as well as a standard PC system. The real question is, I don't know what to get or where to start, and i have a very, very limited budget of at most, $900 bucks.

Now on the flipside, I also know I can upgrade my current laptop, but I also don't know what is needed exactly to do this. So here is where hopefully you all can help.

So let me answer those questions you posed:

1. What are your other components / What components are you planning on buying? If we upgrade the computer, I would presume it would be a graphics card to add dedicated video RAM, which has been a block point for running anything on my machine. My current setup does a minimun of 64 mb, and I need at least 256 mb to run most modern games now a days.

2. What's your budget? under $900

3. What are you using your computer for? to primarily game without killing the system, but as long as it runs other things like skype and whatnot I can live with it.

4. What size is your monitor? To SLI or not to SLI? Uh...I don't know.


5. When are you buying? Should I wait?! As soon as I can, if possible. I want to beat the release of Window 8.

6. Are you overclocking? no

7. Where do you plan on buying from? At a store is preferable because they offer the "no payments" plans which will help. If need be I will go online, especially for parts.

8. Do you want any specific features? Just enough capabilities to actually run games. I mean, I don't care about features otherwise. A USB port and CD burner are standard now right? Then we should be good.

As for what computer I have, its a Windows 7 Home Premium Laptop made by dell.

Processor: Intel (R) Core (TM) 2 Duo CPU, T6600 @ 2.20 GHz
Installed memory (RAM): 4 Gigs
64 Bit Operating system
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LawnGnome



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 924

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does it have to be a laptop? I've always personally considered "gaming laptop" to be kind of an oxymoron. You can get way more on your budget if you go desktop instead, and then you can build it yourself too!
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NickKmet
I Eat Granola Bars


Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 3192

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LawnGnome wrote:
Does it have to be a laptop? I've always personally considered "gaming laptop" to be kind of an oxymoron. You can get way more on your budget if you go desktop instead, and then you can build it yourself too!


yeah, the only real advantage to having one is if you travel a lot, and want to take it with you. If I'd gotten a desktop for college instead of my laptop, the holidays would suck because I wouldn't be able to take it home with me.
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madster111
The Original Pie Lover


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 6185

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a better idea to do what i've been doing: gaming desktop, cheap laptop.

This means you get a gutless laptop with a 3-5hr battery life for portable and a PC that's more powerful than any gaming laptop currently on the market.
Can be done for $900.

Otherwise, these look nice:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834214875
+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215541

Would be best if you could spring for one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152339
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LawnGnome



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 924

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madster's suggestions give you a pretty good idea of what you can expect from a factory built gaming laptop on your budget, but let me try to entice you back into the realm of home built desktops and then put things into perspective for you:

$900-ish Gaming Home Build (All these prices I just took off of Amazon real quick. You can generally do better by shopping sales on multiple sites and doing some rebate mojo):

CPU: Intel i5 3450 - $185
GPU: GTX 660 - $230 (you could save $20 here and go with a HD 7850, which is a bit weaker, or spend more and get more power)
Mobo: Gigabyte H77-DS3H - $100
Monitor: (Assuming you don't have one) 1920x1080 @ 60hz - $100
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $58
PSU: Corsair 430W - $50
RAM: 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3 - $45
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1TB - $72 (could save $10-$20 here by going smaller)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit OEM - $90
Keyboard/Mouse: Wired combo - $15
Optical: DVD-RW - $15

TOTAL: $960 (a little over budget off Amazon alone but with some shopping around you could get near that exact build for $900 even)

GAMING PERSPECTIVE-
Just to give you the difference in power in terms of gaming performance:

Battlefield 3
GT 650M (laptop): Ultra 14 fps, High 32 fps
GTX 660: Ultra 42 fps
HD 7850: Ultra 34 fps

Skyrim
GT 650M: Ultra 24, High 42
GTX 660: Ultra 65
HD 7850: Ultra 65

For gaming, the GPU is really the heart of your machine. The other nice thing about going desktop is the ability and ease of upgrading. If you found yourself with an extra $100 or so down-the-road, you could throw a SSD in there easily. At purchase, if you ended up with more room in your budget you could chip in $10 or $20 here and there to upgrade various components. If you can wait & save a little more to expand your overall budget just a couple hundred bucks more, you can buy into a whole higher level of GPU power and even set yourself up for CPU overclocking later on. Just something to think about.
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cyberjim2000
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Joined: 28 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^The PSU seems a bit weak for that video card I think.
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LawnGnome



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 924

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberjim2000 wrote:
^The PSU seems a bit weak for that video card I think.


Although I was just mentioning that PSU to give a rough idea, It still works for it. The whole system only uses around 345W, and there's enough on the 12V rail for either of those cards mentioned (they both only require 1 power connector too). Not much room for expansion beyond an SSD or a Wi-Fi card, but an extra $10-$20 in the PSU would take care of that.
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LinksOcarina
The Anti-Fanboy


Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 11462

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to point out most of what you have there LawnGnome is gobblety gook to me, although I do know that GPU is a major component.

That said, the reason for the laptop is not due to travelling, but due to space. To be frank I have no space to put a desktop (which I want to do).

My father is about to do something risky, and quit his job to start working from home. He is basically converting the downstairs computer space to be his office.

Other than that, I could make a game setup on the old desk here, but most of the parts are being used by my father, basically.

So I am kind of stuck with the laptop idea for now. Still...the desktop might be best, what would be the ideal recommendation for a desktop then, other than building it from scratch?
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cyberjim2000
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend building it from scratch. It's honestly not that hard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIXAtNGGCw

If you still don't think you could do it I guess you could find a pre-built computer somewhere and replace the video card.
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Toddy



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If space is the reason why wanting a laptop, how about a small form factor desktop?
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emajo



Joined: 25 Sep 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your purpose of buying a laptop is merely for gaming then I think desktop is better than laptop.
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NickKmet
I Eat Granola Bars


Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 3192

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toddy wrote:
If space is the reason why wanting a laptop, how about a small form factor desktop?


You can definitely get smaller cases. I know of some excellent pre-built designs that are literally designed for LAN parties. Cases that can be picked up with one hand by a handle. My guess is you could find something small like that if size is really an issue.
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daylight savings time was introduced under a democratic congress. pretty clear that this is part of the liberal global warming farce, if we are extending daylight hours, of course temperatures will rise, THERES MORE DAYLIGHT!
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madster111
The Original Pie Lover


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 6185

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can save $90 by not buying Windows 7.

If you're really opposed to using a cracked copy of Win7, i will flat out give you one of the many Win7 licence keys i have sitting around here not being used.

Use the saved money to buy a HTPC case or something if space is really a concern. HTPC case and a 21.5" monitor can use up very little room, or hell, you could run it through your TV like i do and not even bother with a monitor. If you already have a PS3/360 you could stack the HTPC on or under them and run it through your TV to use up no more room than you were before. Then just grab a wireless keyboard+mouse (or USB extension cables) and you have effectively a more powerful 360 that you can watch porn on. Bonus points for hiding your PC and grabbing a 360 wireless receiver and pretending your heavily modified skyrim is on your 360 while your friends wonder why theirs look so much like arse in comparison.

A HD7850 is fairly cheap and will max out any current game at 1080p. Overclocks like a boss, too.
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LawnGnome



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 924

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, we're only talking a few cubic feet here in space to get a mid-tower case. I just want to encourage you again to build your own pc. I know it seems daunting, but it's actually pretty simple. That video series cyberjim posted is actually one of the resources I used when building my first gaming pc from the ground up. Watch it & then you'll understand the gobblety gook!

Everyone I know who starts building their own PCs has a "holy crap!" moment the first time when they realize how easy it is, the money they saved, and the sheer quality of a home built PC vs. the pieces of crap that almost all prebuilts are. Even custom rigs from iBuyPower or CyberPower pale in comparison to most home builds.
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