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Help me choose a laptop please!

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August 18, 2013 8:36:41 PM

Hi. I'm currently going through school and really need a laptop with around a $500 budget. The battery life doesn't matter and the screen size doesn't matter. What I would like is a laptop with the capability to play most 2012 era games at 60 fps on low. I was looking at the HP ENVY 15z-j000. I've had my HP G61 for 4-5 years now and am looking for a replacement. Also Windows 7 anything is preferred as I do not like Windows 8. However if the computer is very good then I will just deal with Windows 8.

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August 18, 2013 9:34:55 PM
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Check out this laptop: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It should play all modern games with setting on low-medium. Its a wicked value. I hope this helps.
a b D Laptop
August 18, 2013 10:18:03 PM

I agree with him. Just spent the day with his help looking at laptops and after going back and forth on this system for two days I have actually decided to go ahead and buy it. I have checked Amazon, Tiger Direct, Best Buy, Dell, and Newegg. For the price up to about $750 no laptop beats this one in both CPU and graphics performance. A few have better CPU performance but the graphics on them is more lacking.

I know how you feel, I use Windows 8 every day at work and I can't stand it, but I am just going to downgrade it to Windows 7 first thing after it gets here so you can always do that a little later.
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August 19, 2013 8:21:02 AM

Wow. Thank you for finding this laptop! I also appreciate how you looked through multiple websites IInuyasha74. Once again thank you.
August 19, 2013 9:40:27 AM

byogamingpc said:
There are trade-offs both ways. The one I linked has more RAM and a better CPU while yours has a little better GPU.


I thought A8 and A10 were quad-cores and the i5 linked was a dual core.
a b D Laptop
August 19, 2013 2:28:54 PM

Hello, let me clear up these questions you are having.

First, stick with the laptop we originally linked. The first one byogamingpc linked is out of stock, and because it was more of a test run for the system there is no telling if there will be more. It has a few advantages, but nothing is a huge advantage.

The second laptop which you yourself listed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is a good bit worse. While it has a better CPU, the graphics in the system are much lower and over all not worth it.

Finally for the laptop byogamingpc suggested last:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DKFFFXO/ref=as_li_q...

It is a complete trade off and a viable option, but again not completely superior. The CPU is better and by a decent margin. If you are only doing web browsing, videos, typing, and games you will not notice much about the increased CPU performance. While the graphics chip in the system is significantly worse. CPUboss is the worst type of comparison to use.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-720M.902...

This gives more information on the graphics processor. The graphics processor in terms of graphics performance is probably about 1/3rd weaker than the other. On top of that the width of the data paths between on the dedicated RAM and the Graphics processor is only half as wide. At best I would say the 720M will give only 75% of the performance of the 8750M, and thats really a high estimate.

Thats also leaving out that the APU inside of the system has a second graphics processor. You have not only the 8750M but you have the 8550G. You can crossfire with these two graphics and use both of them at the same time giving you another large boost in performance in graphics over the other laptop.

So if you wish to have pretty decent graphics and a better processor get the Intel based laptop off Amazon, but if you want a bit worse CPU and significantly better graphics for gaming get the laptop we listed at the top of the page.


ANd as for RAM, I am still debating if I want to buy the laptop off Newegg at the top of the page myself, my only other consideration is to wait until Janruary for the next evolution of AMD processors. However, if I buy the one off Newegg, for an extra $60 you can buy an 8GB stick of RAM and place in it giving the system 12GB of RAM. That would shore up one of the weaker points of the system and make the system quite powerful all around.
August 19, 2013 8:50:09 PM

IInuyasha74 said:
I agree with him. Just spent the day with his help looking at laptops and after going back and forth on this system for two days I have actually decided to go ahead and buy it. I have checked Amazon, Tiger Direct, Best Buy, Dell, and Newegg. For the price up to about $750 no laptop beats this one in both CPU and graphics performance. A few have better CPU performance but the graphics on them is more lacking.

I know how you feel, I use Windows 8 every day at work and I can't stand it, but I am just going to downgrade it to Windows 7 first thing after it gets here so you can always do that a little later.


IInuyasha74 said:
Hello, let me clear up these questions you are having.

First, stick with the laptop we originally linked. The first one byogamingpc linked is out of stock, and because it was more of a test run for the system there is no telling if there will be more. It has a few advantages, but nothing is a huge advantage.

The second laptop which you yourself listed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is a good bit worse. While it has a better CPU, the graphics in the system are much lower and over all not worth it.

Finally for the laptop byogamingpc suggested last:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DKFFFXO/ref=as_li_q...

It is a complete trade off and a viable option, but again not completely superior. The CPU is better and by a decent margin. If you are only doing web browsing, videos, typing, and games you will not notice much about the increased CPU performance. While the graphics chip in the system is significantly worse. CPUboss is the worst type of comparison to use.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-720M.902...

This gives more information on the graphics processor. The graphics processor in terms of graphics performance is probably about 1/3rd weaker than the other. On top of that the width of the data paths between on the dedicated RAM and the Graphics processor is only half as wide. At best I would say the 720M will give only 75% of the performance of the 8750M, and thats really a high estimate.

Thats also leaving out that the APU inside of the system has a second graphics processor. You have not only the 8750M but you have the 8550G. You can crossfire with these two graphics and use both of them at the same time giving you another large boost in performance in graphics over the other laptop.

So if you wish to have pretty decent graphics and a better processor get the Intel based laptop off Amazon, but if you want a bit worse CPU and significantly better graphics for gaming get the laptop we listed at the top of the page.


ANd as for RAM, I am still debating if I want to buy the laptop off Newegg at the top of the page myself, my only other consideration is to wait until Janruary for the next evolution of AMD processors. However, if I buy the one off Newegg, for an extra $60 you can buy an 8GB stick of RAM and place in it giving the system 12GB of RAM. That would shore up one of the weaker points of the system and make the system quite powerful all around.


+1 to this. The only thing is that CF doesn't work because the GPU is a lot better then the iGPU in the A8. Therefore you only have one GPU.
a b D Laptop
August 20, 2013 7:01:10 AM

Maybe. I found a site somewhere that someone bought one. They didn't list if they used AMD Catalyst or Radeonpro or some other tool, and they could have been lying but they said it worked. It doesn't officially support crossfire but you can still get it to work. Sort of like how you can unofficially get an AMD Radeon 7750 and an a10-6800k to crossfire despite the graphics card way outclasses it. The performance boost is lower, and it might honestly be better to leave crossfire off, because the battery lose is probably greater than the performance increase, but going by what they said it does work.
August 20, 2013 11:26:28 AM

IInuyasha74 said:
Maybe. I found a site somewhere that someone bought one. They didn't list if they used AMD Catalyst or Radeonpro or some other tool, and they could have been lying but they said it worked. It doesn't officially support crossfire but you can still get it to work. Sort of like how you can unofficially get an AMD Radeon 7750 and an a10-6800k to crossfire despite the graphics card way outclasses it. The performance boost is lower, and it might honestly be better to leave crossfire off, because the battery lose is probably greater than the performance increase, but going by what they said it does work.


I actually found that it did work too, however it should be disabled for the reasons you just listed and the fact that dual graphics uses the lowest common denominator. In other words the GPU performs only as well as the iGPU. In this case, with the GPU so much better, it will probably cause negative performance gains(losses) or will not perform significantly better. Not only that, but it will cause the dreaded microstuttering issue. AMD dual graphics is mostly a disaster. In almost all laptop configs it doesn't increase performance significantly, it causes microstuttering or it causes negative performance "gains". This has been shown through multiple reviews. That being said it is still a great choice when dual graphics is disabled.
a b D Laptop
August 20, 2013 12:28:14 PM

I agree with you, working the crossfire is risky in this case and could have little to no performance gains, if not then loses. Still a great laptop though.

Btw kirilmatthew, check out AMD Catalyst 13.8Beta I think it is. It fixes the micro stutter issue reducing it by an enormous percentage, I think it was like 90% reduced. Its now to an unnoticeable point. SLI still has less of them but its a heck of a lot better.
August 20, 2013 12:34:51 PM

IInuyasha74 said:
I agree with you, working the crossfire is risky in this case and could have little to no performance gains, if not then loses. Still a great laptop though.

Btw kirilmatthew, check out AMD Catalyst 13.8Beta I think it is. It fixes the micro stutter issue reducing it by an enormous percentage, I think it was like 90% reduced. Its now to an unnoticeable point. SLI still has less of them but its a heck of a lot better.


Its a great release but unfortunately it isn't compatible the dual graphics so it doesn't help either.
a b D Laptop
August 20, 2013 12:42:03 PM

No it is. Check it out buddy,
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7195/amd-frame-pacing-exp...

The 7990 gave the same micro stutter issue as a crossfire set of cards. Using 13.8Beta it is way down in micro stutters though, and crossfired 7970's is actually experiencing less micro stutters on Tomb Raider at least. It works on multiple cards.
August 20, 2013 12:54:07 PM

IInuyasha74 said:
No it is. Check it out buddy,
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7195/amd-frame-pacing-exp...

The 7990 gave the same micro stutter issue as a crossfire set of cards. Using 13.8Beta it is way down in micro stutters though, and crossfired 7970's is actually experiencing less micro stutters on Tomb Raider at least. It works on multiple cards.


What I meant was dual graphics as in iGPU and dedicated GPU. It doesn't fix this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dual-graphics-cross...
a b D Laptop
August 20, 2013 1:03:39 PM

Oh yea in that you are right. The integrated stuff is still buggy with crossfire. Lets hope Kaveri can do better :p 
August 20, 2013 1:07:56 PM

IInuyasha74 said:
Oh yea in that you are right. The integrated stuff is still buggy with crossfire. Lets hope Kaveri can do better :p 


I think drivers will be the main point of focus. Kaveri may eliminate the need for it though. The iGPU should be quite powerful.
a b D Laptop
August 20, 2013 1:11:32 PM

Drivers are a big part of it, but also since Kaveri will be the GCN and not the old 6000 series whatever I think that will be a huge help too. It might even lead to the current drivers working for them just fine, so I think it will take a lot of the work off fixing it. We will see. Anyways, I think we have taken this guy's thread way off course lol.
August 20, 2013 1:15:10 PM

IInuyasha74 said:
Drivers are a big part of it, but also since Kaveri will be the GCN and not the old 6000 series whatever I think that will be a huge help too. It might even lead to the current drivers working for them just fine, so I think it will take a lot of the work off fixing it. We will see. Anyways, I think we have taken this guy's thread way off course lol.


Yeah, let's just leave it at that :p 
!