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Old 08-05-2009, 10:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying a laptop for gaming

Hi all,

I'm buying a new laptop mainly oriented towards gaming but I'll also be using it for engineering come September when I'll start university. I've been looking around but I'm still a bit clueless in some aspects.

I'm looking at a budget of around 800-900 euros roughly, so far I've managed to come to the following conclusions:

Chances are I'll be looking at an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, hopefully 2.2GHz or even 2.4GHz if I get lucky.
3-4GB RAM (am I right in saying that very few computers seem to come with 64 bit Vista which could make good use of that last gig of RAM? What's the main advantage of 64 bit over 32 bit, if any for my use?)
Something like a Mobility Radeon HD 3650 or 4570 (ironic thing is while the latter seems to be ranked higher on the Notebookcheck benchmark tests, somehow the 3650 seems to outperform it in games sometimes. Can anyone shed some light on this please?
HDD I'm not too fussed about, 250GB should be enough. The standard is 5400rpm right?
As for the rest of the specs, can't really think of many other things that need mentioning. Ideally I'm looking for a 15.4" screen, no smaller but would be fine with a bigger one (I don't mind if it's heavy or large, I'm looking for performance over mobility - same goes for battery life, I don't really mind). However I've found that as a general rule of thumb, if two laptops are similarly priced and one has a bigger screen then the system specs tend to be worse.

I've got a few questions:

For gaming would 2.26GHz in a dual core be good or would I really notice a 2.4GHz? [by gaming I don't mean Crysis at high settings, I'll be happy if I can run games like Stalker: Clear Sky, Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty 4, Farcry 2, etc well]
What's more important, processor speed or the graphics card? I found a really well priced ASUS back in Barcelona with a 2.4GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, Radeon HD 3650, etc for 800 euros but I moved away last week and here I can't seem to find anything like that in that price range, it's either the processor which is slow or the graphics card which is really crap.

So far I've found the following, any comments?

16" screen
Intel C2D 2.26GHz
320GB HDD
4GB RAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD4570

ASUS M51TA-AP007 [slightly out of my budget]
15.4" screen
AMD Turion 64 x2 2.2 GHz [is this like a couple of years where in a desktop an AMD was regarded as better for gaming than an Intel?]
320GB HDD
4GB RAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650

Acer AS5536G-744G32MN [very well priced, about 700 euros]
15.6" screen
AMD Turion 64 x2 2.2 GHz [again, same question as above]
320GB HDD
4GB RAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570

Asus M51VA-AP016 [the one I found in Barcelona super well priced, ideally I'm trying to find this one but I can't seem to find it anywhere outside of that store in Barcelona]
15.4" screen
Intel C2D 2.4GHz
320GB HDD
4GB RAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650

Acer Aspire 7738G-754G50Mn
17.3" screen
Intel C2D 2.26GHz
500GB HDD
4GB RAM
GeForce GT 130M 1GB [what are the opinions on this graphics card?]

Right now the two most likely ones seem the ASUS X61SL-6X083 and the Acer Aspire 7738G-754G50Mn (albeit this one is a bit big but somehow the price still seems fine]

All comments & help really appreciated.

Cheers,
-Gabor
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a laptop for gaming

Firstly, I would be checking out http://www.techist.com/forums/f84/la...g-list-165525/ and I would not be getting any thing less thatn a Class 2 Graphics Card on the laptop.

You might want to have a look at MSI Range of gaming notebooks too.
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