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Old 08-11-2012, 09:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Choosing a laptop?

Hi forumers. This is my first post so I'm not sure if this is in the right section or not. Admins please move this if necessary.

Anyways, I'm getting a new laptop just because I need an upgrade. I'm using a six year old Sony Vaio which really is starting to get to me after a while. I'm looking for hopefully a quad-core 3rd Gen. i7 with an OKAY Nvidia graphics card. I've found multiple but I'm not sure if they're good. My budget is about 800-900 dollars. The less the better! Thanks guys.

Edit: I'm looking into playing Minecraft on maxed settings. I've heard of people playing it on max settings for only 700 bucks or less. Also, Starcraft 2 on normal settings HOPEFULLY, though it is not necessary.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

For 800-900, i7's are kind of slim and crappy.

I play Minecraft on my i3 laptop. Worked this fine. But I left everything standard. And I have an Intel HD 3000.

What beside Minecraft are you using it for? You don't need an i7 to play it.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

In reply to MindoverMaster's comment, I'll be using it for Starcraft 2. Not in Ultra settings because then definitely I would need a high end computer. Just normal settings.

Also, can you explain the difference between the i3, i5, and i7 processors, besides the Turbo Boost and Hyper Threading technology? I see i3 processors with the same GHz as i7s. How is this possible, and what does it mean?
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theryanzhuo View Post
In reply to MindoverMaster's comment, I'll be using it for Starcraft 2. Not in Ultra settings because then definitely I would need a high end computer. Just normal settings.

Also, can you explain the difference between the i3, i5, and i7 processors, besides the Turbo Boost and Hyper Threading technology? I see i3 processors with the same GHz as i7s. How is this possible, and what does it mean?
The i3's are clocked higher because they have less cores, and lack turbo boost/HTT. They also have less cache, and a lower end GPU among other things. You don't need an i7 to play minecraft, but if I were you I'd at least get an i5 to play Starcraft. With your budget, it's doable.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

Wait... what. Doesn't less cores mean less clock speed? Since there are more GHz in total in a quad core than lets say, a dual core, wouldn't it have more? Sorry I'm just a noob, I don't understand much of this stuff. Can anyone recommend me any laptops then? Preferably a 15+ inch with a fan. I have one without a fan and it can roast a pig while playing Minecraft in the lowest settings.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theryanzhuo View Post
Wait... what. Doesn't less cores mean less clock speed? Since there are more GHz in total in a quad core than lets say, a dual core, wouldn't it have more? Sorry I'm just a noob, I don't understand much of this stuff. Can anyone recommend me any laptops then? Preferably a 15+ inch with a fan. I have one without a fan and it can roast a pig while playing Minecraft in the lowest settings.
No. I'll try this example:

Take a core i3-2120: It has a clock of 3.3GHz. No turbo clock. Always runs at 3.3. It's a dual core, and it doesn't have Hyperthreading (HTT) meaning that it's just a dual core. It can't even act like a quad.

Then, take a 2500k: It has a base clock of 3.3GHz. Turbo clock of 3.3GHz. It's a quad core, and it doesn't have Hyperthreading (HTT) meaning that it's just a quad core.

Clock speed isn't the only factor that goes into a CPU's performance. If it was, the i3 would perform on nearly the same level as the i5.

You don't add up the the clocks of each core to make a total speed up. You compare the base speeds and, if applicable, the Turbo frequencies.

Here's an explanation on Turbo Boost:

The core-i series (bar the i3) have a base clock, which is what your processor normally runs at, and a turbo clock, that is switches to on demand. When you're just surfing the internet or using a single/dual threaded app, it'll turn off unneeded cores, and use the extra power to OC the active cores all the way up to the turbo threshold.




Sorry if this wasn't helpful; I didn't know the best way to go about explaining this for you.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

Oh, I see now! Thanks for the helpful insight. I saw that only i5 and i7 processors can Turbo Boost. If this is true, can you help me choose a laptop around $900 that can do this? Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

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Originally Posted by theryanzhuo View Post
Oh, I see now! Thanks for the helpful insight. I saw that only i5 and i7 processors can Turbo Boost. If this is true, can you help me choose a laptop around $900 that can do this? Thanks.
That's correct. Here's a good laptop in your budget with an i5, although it has a weak GPU. Don't worry though, it'll play Minecraft fine.

Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Series 7 NP700Z3A-S06US Notebook Intel Core i5 2450M(2.50GHz) 14" 8GB Memory 1TB HDD DVD Super Multi AMD Radeon HD 6490M (PowerXpress)

Or, if you want to look at an Ultrabook:

Newegg.com - Acer Aspire TimelineU M5-481TG-6814 Ultrabook Intel Core i5 3317U(1.70GHz) 14" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD + 20GB SSD HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

Thanks! I looked at both and the Ultrabook seems as if it has a better GPU, although the processor for the Samsung seems better. I'm sure both are good, but which would be a better choice for multitasking, while staying on a low temperature? I've had enough of burning laptops....
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Choosing a laptop?

The Ultrabooks GPU is slightly better; While the CPU in the Ultrabook is just a lower power i5. Still perfectly capable of multitasking.

As for temperature, the reviews I've seen said it kept cool.
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