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Old 09-07-2008, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying First Laptop

This will be my first time buying a laptop, so I need a little bit of help on choosing the right one for me. I will be using it for everything I suppose, a little gaming and probably some Web Design/Photoshop on the go, so something with a bit of grunt would be good.

I want to spend around $1330 ($1600 AUD), so what I want to know is how would a low end MacBook compare to a normal laptop of the same price, in terms of performance?

Are their any laptops/brands/features that I should steer clear of?

Here is a HP laptop that I have been looking at, which I can get for $1599 AUD with a free external HDD:

HP Pavilion DV5-1007TX Notebook
Intel® Centrino™2 Duo Processor T9400 @ 2.53 GHz, 6 MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB
320GB HDD
4GB RAM
15.4” Widescreen @ Max 1280 x 800
NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT 512MB dedicated
DVDRW with Lightscribe
Altec Lansing® speakers
Vista Home Premium 32bit
HP Pavilion Webcam with Integrated Digital Microphone
Bluetooth wireless networking
Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Intel® WiFi Link 5100 Intel 802.11 a/b/g/n

HP Pavilion dv5-1007tx Entertainment Notebook PC (FK688PA) specifications - HP Home & Home Office products

Looking at the laptop GFX card list on this forum it seems that the GeForce 9600M is half decent. How would this go playing new-ish games?

Are their any better laptops (available in Australia) for the same price?

Any feedback or help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

I have the 8600M GS (slightly less than the 9600 in the dv5) in my HP laptop. I personally like the older dv2000/6000/9000 style better than the new looks, but that's just my opinion. As for the hardware, that should do everything you want it to. I don't recommend MacBooks or any Mac product because they're more expensive than an equivalent PC system with the same hardware and the OS doesn't have much compatibilty.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

Thanks. I don't expect to be playing the games on full setting, but it would be nice to play quality games here or there.
I think the new series look pretty nice, but that's pretty irrelevant for me.
I don't really know much about Macs, but I know a lot of graphic designers tend to go for them. A shame they are so expensive.

Also what are the HP's like on battery life?
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

If you plan on gaming while on battery, it won't last a long time. I can get a nice long runtime out of my laptop if I lower the brightness and cut processor speed (still plenty fast enough to browse the Web, type documents, do basic stuff, download, upload, listen to music, watch videos, etc).

What games do you plan on playing? I am able to play the Source engine games (Half Life 2, Counter Strike Source, Garry's Mod, Team Fortress 2) on near full settings at 1680x1050 resolution at a smooth FPS. I hope to get Spore today as well, it should be able to run that easily. However, I overclocked my 8600M GS using a BIOS modification to get better performance.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

I doubt I would be gaming much while on battery. I would think most of the time I would have my laptop plugged into the wall anyway, which kinda defeats the purpose of a laptop I suppose, but I just need to go from place to place.

Approximately how long does your battery last if you have it on low settings?
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

Keep in mind that is only 32-bit, it will not utilize the 4gb potential, only >3.4 of it...
Bettery life is about 3 hours, granted your computer isn't running at <60% capacity.
but I do liek that computer, it looks to be really nice. Looks like something I might be interested in
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

So you think I would do best getting 64-bit then to make the 4GB worthwhile?
3 hours isnt too bad, I'd be happy with that. Can you take the battery out when using the power?
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

I just bought a Gateway M6862 from bestbuy for 599 (~640 after taxes) and its amazing, fast cpu, 4gb ram, nice video card. I would highly recommend it
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

Are the specs similar to the one I posted?
Gateway laptops aren't available here in Australia I don't think, but I may be to try out that PriceUSA website that I posted that ships stuff here. Thanks.

Also, still wondering whether I should get Vista 64-bit?
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying First Laptop

take a look at some acers,their worth a look
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