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Buying new laptop. Which one of these 3 would have a better processor (is AMD a good choice?) (link with specs included)?

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April 12, 2013 7:01:46 PM

I'm getting a new laptop for school soon, and I'm looking for something that will be able to play Sims (my current laptop has a horrible graphic card, can't even play Sims 2 on it), watch videos (i want to be able to watch them on tv, but a few of these laptop don't specify if the HDMI has a audio output (some don't even say if you can plug headphones!! )), and of course I'll have Microsoft office on it so I can do my work for college. I also want something easy to carry around and durable. So, after days of shopping online, those are the 3 I'm currently interested in.

BTW: I used future shop as links because I like the way they list the specs, but I might not buy from them.

1. Toshiba L850-00F (AMD-4500):
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/toshiba-toshiba-...

2. Lenovo Ideapad P500 (Intel i5-3210m):
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/lenovo-lenovo-id...

3. Toshiba L850-00Y (Intel i5-3230m)
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/toshiba-toshiba-...

I'd like to know what you guys think since I have no idea what I should choose. I was thinking maybe the first one, but I've heard really good and really bad things about AMD.

Thanks in advance for your time.
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April 12, 2013 7:14:54 PM

What version of Sims specifically?

I like the Lenovo.

The 499 Satelite looks crappy. 1.9 ghz seems slow. The 8 GB of ram is good, the 1tb drive is good too but I don't like some of the reviews. 5 hours battery only lasts 2.5 hours...

I think my favorite is the Lenovo. 6 hour battery, 6 gb ram, 750 gb drive... but i5 is better than that AMD. It is a refurb which means the retail price is 50-100 bucks more. I've had good Lenovo's in the past and I trust the brand more than Toshiba.

Best of the CPU's but only beats the Lenovo slightly. 8 gb ram, 750 gb drive. I don't think you get much for the extra $150. 5 hour battery again.

Honestly, I would shop around. Look at Tiger and Newegg. I would also check out http://www.techbargains.com/

Basically, you can do better.
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April 12, 2013 7:29:27 PM

Thanks for your reply. I have almost the whole collection from sims 1 to sims 2 (didnt get sims 3 since my laptop could not support the sims 2 collection and also, since i don't play that often). I'm not much of a gamer, but I do spend quite a lot of time on my computer during summer or holidays.

I had the same opinion about the first laptop. Apparently it is automatically boosted to 2.5ghz when you need it, but I'm not too sure of that. I think it would be written 2.5 instead of 1.9 in the specs since it would be better to show off.

I trust both Toshiba and Lenovo. I've been shopping around but as I mentionned in my other post, i used future shop because i like the way they layout the specifications (I know I could get a slightly cheaper Toshiba somewhere else, but I've never heard of Tiger or Newegg) , but futureshop is the only place that has the refurbished Lenovo. The thing is with the lenovo, I'm not sure if the sound would go through the HDMI and it doesn't say if you can plug headphones in (but I guess you can, cause most laptop have an audio output)

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April 12, 2013 7:38:01 PM

All laptops have standard audio ports.

www.newegg.com
www.tigerdirect.com

I use both sites frequently for PC hardware. I've purchased at least 4 netbooks from newegg and at least 2 laptops from newegg... along with 20ish desktops (mostly in parts) from newegg.

If you are close to a large number of PC retailers, I recommend getting some hands-on time with various laptops. Across the board, specs are going to be similar based on price... but if you like a feature or the feel of one more than another that's going to be game changing for you. All said and done, I am going to dislike a Compaq or HP computer much more than a Dell or Lenovo based on previous experience.
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April 12, 2013 7:41:59 PM

Get the 3rd option since it has Intel Graphics 4000, it will play any sims game on Ultra-High. The other laptops are not so suitable for gaming.
Crystal07 said:
Thanks for your reply. I have almost the whole collection from sims 1 to sims 2 (didnt get sims 3 since my laptop could not support the sims 2 collection and also, since i don't play that often). I'm not much of a gamer, but I do spend quite a lot of time on my computer during summer or holidays.

I had the same opinion about the first laptop. Apparently it is automatically boosted to 2.5ghz when you need it, but I'm not too sure of that. I think it would be written 2.5 instead of 1.9 in the specs since it would be better to show off.

I trust both Toshiba and Lenovo. I've been shopping around but as I mentionned in my other post, i used future shop because i like the way they layout the specifications (I know I could get a slightly cheaper Toshiba somewhere else, but I've never heard of Tiger or Newegg) , but futureshop is the only place that has the refurbished Lenovo. The thing is with the lenovo, I'm not sure if the sound would go through the HDMI and it doesn't say if you can plug headphones in (but I guess you can, cause most laptop have an audio output)



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April 12, 2013 7:48:35 PM

mjmacka said:
t if you like a feature or the feel of one more than another that's going to be game changing for you. All said and done, I am going to dislike a Compaq or HP computer much more than a Dell or Lenovo based on previous experience.


I agree that going in stores can be a game changer. I already know that I dislike most Asus and HP. And I'm going shopping in stores (since I've only been looking online so far). It's good to know that all computers have audio ports... I don't have much computer knowledge as you can see :lol: .

The problem with me is, I'm very difficult when it comes to making decisions... I did not find anywhere where I could try the first Toshiba or the Lenovo which makes me even more hesitant about both. If it wasn't for the AMD in the first toshiba, I think it would be the one i'd choose.
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April 12, 2013 8:08:48 PM

It requires a dedicated card. I would have to know your current laptop to know for sure but most low/mid ranged laptops are able to play older games without issues. My little brother's netbook can play WoW.
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April 12, 2013 8:12:29 PM

Do you know how to adjust the graphics settings in a game? I've played Sims 2 before I think it was the "..." symbol at the circular menu at the corner. Lower all the settings if it doesn't help get the laptop I recommended to you since it will crush the other two choices, and it's worth the price with its HD 4000 graphics.
Crystal07 said:
mjmacka said:
Sims 1/2 will play on anything modern. Sims 2 requirements are for 800 mhz processor, 256 mb ram and a video card with (gasp) 32 mb of memory.

http://compsimgames.about.com/od/thesims2faqs/f/systemr...


:ouch:  Are you serious?? Then my current one must be crap!


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April 12, 2013 8:37:49 PM

Yes asalikus, I did have the lower setting on my sims, but some times the grass would end up being the color of my sims hair or some other random texture, and the colors would not always show up right (often a black screen and I couldn't do some commands without having the game crash (the game was also incredibly slow)). I tried reinstalling and a bunch of other stuff and it never worked properly. Even very basic games don't always work on this laptop, which is a shame because the work on our family's 7 or 8 year old desktop (which wasn't the most expensive thing either).

Mjmacka - I have a 3 year old Gateway MS2273 (not 100% sure) but I think that's it. I can't tell you much about the processor other than it's an Intel dual core. And for the video/graphic card it's a family chipset (or at least, it has those words in it). I've had to get it repaired (with the warranty) once because the power button cracked and was way too sensible. Then the battery stopped working (it wasn't covered by the warranty) so I just bought a huge one which last up to 8 hours, compared to the first one which barely lasted 1.5. After that, the power button broke again :pfff: . And it's also very heavy (more than 12lb). It doesn't have any virus (and I contantly update and remove old files/picture) and I constantly back up my pictures and files on USBs because it crashes often and now internet explorer and google chrome don't often function very well. The only thing that I found to work without any major problems is Opera.

Anyways, sorry for this very long rant about my current computer. I'll go to bed since it's getting late over here. I'll come back tomorrow (maybe after going to see different laptops) and I'll update on what I might buy.

But, I also have an other question. I've talked to someone who absolutely hates windows 8 and it telling me it's the worse since windows 95 and personally, I haven't heard much about that other than it takes time to get used to... What do you guys think about windows 8?
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April 12, 2013 9:10:00 PM

It's kinda hard to compare them since they on different price level. 500, 550, 700..........

for reference I'm usually using "notebookcheck" website, they had very good info there..

edit: they also had some benchmark number for specific game on laptop
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April 13, 2013 7:08:22 AM

I would compare Windows 8 to Windows Vista. Both are functional but neither are well liked. There are still more people using Windows Vista than you would think... quite a few of the clients my company supports use it.

If you end up going with a Windows 8 laptop install a "windows bar" like Classic Shell Win8 Start Menu.

Windows 8 is much more suited for phones or touch interfaces than normal laptops.
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April 13, 2013 7:42:06 AM

The AMD will perform on par with any i3 intel mobile solution and the integrated GPU is DRASTICALLY better...intel graphics suck...period.

i3 is 2 cores, AMD A8-4500m is 4 cores...
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April 13, 2013 8:33:09 AM

Performance is going to depend on the game since it can vary. The link below has benchmarks for the Radeon HD 7640G which is in the A8-4500m APU. There are a total of 9 benchmarks.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7640G.69836....

Looking at the low settings benchmarks. The Radeon HD 7640G is the baseline and the Intel HD 4000 is being compared to the HD 7640G. For example, the Intel HD 4000 provide 61% better performance in Dirt Showdown and has 9% worse performance in FIFA 12.


Dirt Showdown: +61%
Diablo III: +14%
Anno 2070: -9%
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: +1%
FIFA 12: -9%
F1 2011: +24%
Deus Ex Human Revolution: +2%
Dirt 3: -1%
StarCraft 2: +7%
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April 13, 2013 8:34:25 AM

8350rocks said:
The AMD will perform on par with any i3 intel mobile solution and the integrated GPU is DRASTICALLY better...intel graphics suck...period.

i3 is 2 cores, AMD A8-4500m is 4 cores...


True, but we aren't talking about graphically demanding games here or a gamer. This is a student who plays old versions of the Sims. The CPU and GPU are not really what are in question here. All 3 laptops will play the Sims 1/2.

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April 13, 2013 9:26:39 AM

If you can wait to buy a new laptop for school then I suggest you wait.

AMD and Intel are expected to release new processors, Richland APU (AMD) and Haswell (Intel), by June. The Radeon HD 8670M is the most powerful graphics core so it will naturally only be in the post powerful Richland APU. Intel mobile CPUs will have either the Intel HD 4600 or the more powerful HD 5000; depending on which mobile Intel CPU you buy. I've read somewhere that the HD 5000 series is further broken out by the HD 5100 and HD 5200 models (having higher clockspeeds), but so far no solid info.

The current estimated increase in graphics performance is 20% - 40% increase for the HD 8670M vs. the current HD 7660G. The Intel HD 4600 is expected to be 20% more powerful than the Intel HD 4000 and lastly the expectations for the Intel HD 5000 is a 50% - 100% increase in performance over the Intel HD 4000. Based on video demo of the HD 5000, but no actual benchmark numbers, it does seem to appear that the Intel HD 5000 is likely 75% - 100% more powerful than the Intel HD 4000.

Here are some limit of info for the Radeon HD 8670M, the Intel HD 4600 and apparently the Intel HD 5200 (so I guess the HD 5000 series does have some different models). I didn't know this info was available when I started writing this reply... apparently there is alos the Radeon HD 8690M.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-8690M.86339....
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-8670M.87211....
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4600.861...
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-5200.909...

In short, this basically means that the performance of integrated graphics is expected to improve in the near future. Based on what is stated in those links I provided, the current estimate of the above integrated graphic cores are as follows:

Radeon HD 8690M = between the nVidia GT 640M LE and GT 640M
Radeon HD 8670M = between the nVidia GT 630M and the nVidia GT 640M LE (closer to the GT 630M)
Intel HD 5200 = between the nVidia GT 630M and the nVidia GT 640M LE (closer to the GT 640M LE); so it is potentially equal to or will be better than the Radeon HD 8670M
Intel HD 4600 = between the nVidia GT 610M and the nVidia GT 620M (closer to the GT 620M).


Since the new graphic cores are being compared to nVidia's graphic solutions, the current graphic cores stacks up as follows:

Radeon HD 7660m = between the nVidia GT 625M and the nVidia GT 630M (much closer to the GT 625M)
Radeon HD 7640m = slower than the nVidia GT 620m
Intel HD 4000 = roughly half way between the nVidia GT 610m and GT 620m
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April 13, 2013 11:55:06 AM

8350rocks said:
The AMD will perform on par with any i3 intel mobile solution and the integrated GPU is DRASTICALLY better...intel graphics suck...period.

i3 is 2 cores, AMD A8-4500m is 4 cores...


First of all, I want to thank all of you! You guys are awesome, I never expected this many detailed answers. I've heard that intel graphics aren't the best, but all of these laptop have integrated graphics so I'm not expecting the best. My budget is really low right now, but I need a new laptop before I leave for college. Right now, the only computer games I play are sims and other very basic games, but I'm not saying I might not get skyrim, command and conquer or others games once I leave since I'm not gonna be bringing my ps3. Though, the most demanding I would play would probably be skyrim, like I might not even get it (I don't know yet). Seeing the different of performance between games (thanks to jaguarskx) the difference of only 1% for skyrim
and like mjmacka said, sims 1 and 2 don't require a powerful computer to play, I think I'll be going for the first Toshiba. It's the cheapest, has most of the specs I'm looking for and I think I'll give AMD a try. If the battery doesn't last, I might just buy an other off ebay.

Other than that I went in store to see the Toshiba's, but they had none :pfff:  !! The only had HP and Acer on display. So I tried 2 of the Acers they had (one had the same AMD processor as the Toshiba and the other one had Intel). It's really hard to test the performance of those computers when they have absolutely nothing installed on them (and when they aren't even connected to internet), but I got to try windows 8. My conclusion, I'll try it, but it's gonna take some time to get used to that's for sure. I don't like the application page and it's obvious that it was made for touch devices.

I think this will be last question I have; The first Toshiba has 4 cores, but a processor speed of 1.9ghz and the others have only 2 cores but a speed of over 2ghz. Which one do you think would be faster/better and why?
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April 13, 2013 12:10:15 PM

I went on the notebookcheck and saw that skyrim's speed is not the best, so I might just not get it. But my last question wasn't the last one. I'm wondering, since the processor and video card and everything else is more performant than any other laptop I ever used, I would like to know if the chances of it over heating are any higher? I tend to have my laptop on me most of the time, unless I'm playing games, then I will either make some space on a desk or I will sit at the kitchen table. For everyday usage would it heat too much? I might get a lapdesk if it does.
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April 13, 2013 12:33:02 PM

Each core in an Intel CPU can process more instructions than in an AMD CPU per Hz. Therefore, at the same clockspeed an Intel CPU is more powerful than an AMD CPU. It has been some time since I've seen performance charts, but I think the difference is 20%. Therefore, a 2.0GHz Intel CPU would be equivalent to a 2.0GHz Trinity APU.

However, there is also the number of core to deal with. If a program / game uses only one or two cores, it will perform better on the Intel CPU than the AMD APU. If a program / game can make use of more than 2 cores, then the AMD APU can potentially be more powerful. I believe the Sims 3 only makes use of one core. It should run equally fine on either an Intel Core i5 or an AMD Trinity. The FPS is limited to 30 FPS from what I've read. If you were to play games like BattleField 3 (multi-player mode only), ARMA II or Crysis 3, then the Trinity APU should provide you with better performance because those games can take advantage of more than 2 cores.

I'll note that the Dirt Showdown +61% performance difference in favor of Intel is likely to be a unique case. Not sure what's going on there.

If gaming is your priority, then you should probably go for the AMD APU laptop. The Intel CPU laptops makes for a more balanced choice.
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April 13, 2013 12:41:01 PM

Regarding overheating, that differs from model to model so you need to research reviews of the specific models you are looking at to find out if there are any potential issues.

The laptop is only to potentially overheat if you are doing something very CPU intensive such as playing games for a prolonged period of time. If you are only surfing, typing, reading or watching a movie, then chances are you don't really need to worry about overheating under those circumstances.
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April 26, 2013 6:51:21 PM

I could get any of those 4 laptops with a huge discount (I know someone who knows someone who works at Dell and how is also willing to contribute as a grad gift)

http://www.dell.com/ca/business/p/vostro-3560/pd

I was thinking maybe the 3rd or 4th option... The specs seem to be the same for all of them except for the first one which is I3, the second one has windows 8 and the third and forth are the same except for the memory, one has 4 and the other one has 6. I was thinking maybe I should go for the one who has 6, but it's almost 300$ more expensive. I would not pay the difference, but its still a huge different. Would the difference really show?

Mine has 4gb (2.20ghz dual core) and it has always been slow.
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