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Old 07-03-2009, 12:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for a laptop, few questions

Hey everyone, been a while since I've been around here. I'm thinking of buying a laptop for college soon, and I'm looking around the 600-750 dollar price range. I have gift cards to Best Buy and bhphotovideo.com, so if I could find a good deal from one of those two sites, that would be great, and if not, then it's okay. This computer is going to be used a lot for multimedia purposes, a small amount of gaming, and school work. It's got to be a reliable brand, and I'm leaning towards a good warranty as well. I like larger/heavier laptops, 15 inches and up. I really don't mind the extra weight, as I won't be traveling with it too much.

My first question is about processors. I have seen AMD Athlon X2, AMD Turion X2, Turion X2 Ultra, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Duo Mobile, and Centrino (are the last two different?) in this price range. Which of these will give best performance, and which should be avoided?


Secondly, what graphics types would be enough to run the Source engine, and other mid-level spec. games? I have seen laptops in this price range with the Intel 4500MHD chip, which I assume is garbage. I have also seen the ATI HD3100 and HD3200, the NVidia 9300M, Geforce 105M, and a few laptops if I remember with the 9500GS chip, and maybe one with the 9600M GT. I'm not looking to play Crysis, I'm just looking to be able to play CSS, call of duty 4/5, L4D, and TF2, and other moderate games like that. And no, I don't need to max them out, they just have to play smooth on decent settings. Gaming is not my top priority.


Any answers and recommendations would be great. I saw a few very nice looking deals on some HP laptops at my Best Buy store yesterday, for the DV6t and DV7t, for under 700. Once I get some more advice, I'll go back to the store and look again.

Thanks a lot, and hope everyone around here has been doing well!
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan_Kaizer View Post
My first question is about processors. I have seen AMD Athlon X2, AMD Turion X2, Turion X2 Ultra, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Duo Mobile, and Centrino (are the last two different?) in this price range. Which of these will give best performance, and which should be avoided?
With out this turning into an AMD vs. Intel debate,
AMD is more for value for money
Intel is more for performance.

Avoid laptop that use desktop CPUs. I have seen a few of those. Make srue you are getting a Centrino processor.
Apart from that, it's not the cpus that i seem to avoid. It's more of centain brands. Eg. Acer, Compaq, HP Pavillion.
If you want to roll back to from Vista to XP, make sure there is driver support for it. Otherwise it's a pain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan_Kaizer View Post
Secondly, what graphics types would be enough to run the Source engine, and other mid-level spec. games? I have seen laptops in this price range with the Intel 4500MHD chip, which I assume is garbage. I have also seen the ATI HD3100 and HD3200, the NVidia 9300M, Geforce 105M, and a few laptops if I remember with the 9500GS chip, and maybe one with the 9600M GT. I'm not looking to play Crysis, I'm just looking to be able to play CSS, call of duty 4/5, L4D, and TF2, and other moderate games like that. And no, I don't need to max them out, they just have to play smooth on decent settings. Gaming is not my top priority.
You might want to look at this list
http://www.techist.com/forums/f84/la...g-list-165525/

The higher, the better. Currently I am using a 9600GT 512Mb, and I am rather happy iwth it. I would not be paying any extra money for Geforce 105M as it slower that the 9600GT.

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Any answers and recommendations would be great. I saw a few very nice looking deals on some HP laptops at my Best Buy store yesterday, for the DV6t and DV7t, for under 700. Once I get some more advice, I'll go back to the store and look again.
Over all it comes down to how much money you want to spend.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

Is Acer a brand I should avoid completely? This laptop looks like a good deal:

Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS5739G-6132 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T6500(2.10GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 250GB HDD DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GT 130M - Laptops / Notebooks
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

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Acer Aspire rank as the 3rd in my list of laptop brand not to buy.

1. Any thing Compaq (Poor quality build)
2. HP Pavillion (not much better than Compaq)
3. Anything Acer (poor quality build and too much bloatware. The Aspires are pieces of junk, the Extensa and Travelmate series is not much better.)
4. Sony (Good quality build, but over priced. No online driver support)
5. Cheap Toshiba Satelite (Not the same quality as Satelite Pro or Tecra)
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

I saw a really nice Asus gaming laptop today at best buy for $999, with a nice Core 2 duo processor and I believe a GTX 260M gpu. Looked very solid. I'll see if I can get that, it all depends.
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

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Acer Aspire rank as the 3rd in my list of laptop brand not to buy.

1. Any thing Compaq (Poor quality build)
2. HP Pavillion (not much better than Compaq)
3. Anything Acer (poor quality build and too much bloatware. The Aspires are pieces of junk, the Extensa and Travelmate series is not much better.)
4. Sony (Good quality build, but over priced. No online driver support)
5. Cheap Toshiba Satelite (Not the same quality as Satelite Pro or Tecra)

I've had serious issues with Dell's in the past so I'd replace one of the above.

On the flip-side, what's your top brands?
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

I guess Dell need to fit some where in that list. Personally i am a little biased toward dell as blame them for flooding the market with computers with all their specials offers they had around 2003 to 2005, thus making it harder for every one else to make money from selling computers.
I would put that at number 5 after Sony. My main beef with Sony is the fact they don't have driver online driver support.
NEC needs to be put on that list too due to the fact that their spare parts are extremely expensive.

I don't have a priority list for my favorite lists. However brands that I do like are

MSI - Good value for money, but they do go a little crazy with void if removed warranty tags
Asus - Little more expensive that MSI, however they do have higher end laptops for the serious gamer.
HP - The commercial and corporate laptops are good
Toshiba - I trust Toshiba more than I turst HP. However Toshiba just does not have the same range.
Lenovo - They are a good sturdy build, but they are rarely available in any other color except black.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

My Acer is just fine... 8930, with barely any bloatware... stupid games, but thats it.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

I really like the asus laptops, pretty good specs for the price and rather decent quality.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop, few questions

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My Acer is just fine... 8930, with barely any bloatware... stupid games, but thats it.
Sorry, I still have issues with Acer. Especially thier e-mpowering software. I still can not get over the occassion times where i have found that the acer e-mpowering software is required to make the acer recovery CD work. Great idea provided that your computer's OS is still working
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