Lookin to buy a laptop... help please!

Like the title says, I'm looking to buy a new Laptop for personal/gaming use. I've been looking around and have found some things I like, but i was hoping for some more input / ideas / suggestions etc. Thanks!!

I've mostly been looking around Dell XPS laptops or possibly Alienware laptops. One thing i'm curious is if people think the 'accidental damage' coverage is worth it or not? I know dell offers it, but I'm not so sure alienware's 'protection plan' covers accidental damage or anything. I dont really care about 24/7 phone support or anything like that, mainly concerned about possible accidental damage plans.

Also, as I said this laptop is pretty much for gaming and personal use. I see a lot of laptops that have several different graphics cards and was wondering if anyone had any advice on whats better for gaming?
Example cards:
256MB ATI Mobility™ Radeon® X1900
256MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7600
**Dual 512MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7900 GS - SLI Enabled
512MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 7950 GTX

**It'd seem that this is the obvious choice to me, however alienware offers this only with 'AMD Turion™ 64 Mobile' processors... where as all others I can get 'Intel Core 2 Duo' cpu's.

I dont know the difference on the CPU's all that much, but i'm just assuming the core 2 duo cpu's are better. If so would it still be better to downgrade the cpu to an 'amd turion 64 mobile' in order to have the dual 512 sli's?

Basically, I'd appreciate all advice anyone could offer. Also feel free to look at Dell and Alienware or any other place you think may be good and build a system and link it here for me to look at. The more comments the better.

1. Advice on 'coverage plans'... Are they worth it?? (i only care about product warranty stuff, ex. monitor gets dead pixels, vid card dies etc. I dont care about 24/7 phone support or anything)

2. Graphics cards: Whats the best for me?

3. Processors: Worth downgrading for the gfx card?

4. Show me what you've put together!! If you can leave comments as to why you chose it etc.

Overall, I'm looking to spend roughly $3000. + or - some so if you build and its a little over its ok, no biggy.

Thanks a ton!!

13 answers Last reply
More about lookin laptop please
  1. I am not a fan of laptops as gaming machines, 2 years and then you wont be able to play any new games on it, but if you still have your heart set on one, go with a c2d and the 7950gx2

    but really you should get a desktop if you are serious gamer.

    Oh and if you decide on ordering a 3,000$ / dell than make sure to get the replacement plan, becuase you will be replacing something on it!
  2. SLI is almost never worthwhile, performance or cost or power consumption-wise. Especially on a laptop, stick to the best single-chip solution (in this case, the 7950). High-end AMD x2 or Intel C2D won't make too much of a difference for gaming, as the graphics hardware is the key for that. However, the C2D will probably provide equal performance with lower power consumption (or better performance with the same power consumption).
    Get as much RAM as you can, and see if you can still get a laptop with XP, as Vista likely won't be a help until the end of the year.
  3. Awesome, thanks for the input!

    So you guys think I should pass on the SLI and go with the single chipset? Also you think I should get the C2D as opposed to the turion 64? The SLI only comes with turion 64 cpu atm.

    Also, as a side note... I'm going for a laptop as a gaming PC due to the fact that currently, and for quite some time I tend to have a lot of free time, but am only home for about 2-3 nights a week, and even then its only to sleep. So the best option really is either a backpack with a desktop stuffed inside or a nice laptop.

    Also, I'm not really all that concerned with battery life, as everywhere I go i always have a power source to plug into.

    Having said that, does that change anything? would that make the SLI's worth it now etc? Just curious, thanks again!
  4. I vote C2D.
  5. Accidental Dmg protection on a laptop is a MUST!!!

    Especially if you are talking Alienware or Dell XPS, as both are expensive and you'll cry the first time one accidentally does something it shouldn't and needs to be replaced.

    Soda being spilt, food, bumping the table, whatever can happen usually does when it involves a laptop.

    Honestly, if you got the money, and it isn't a problem, Alienware is your best bet.

    But ADP is a must have on a laptop. Not so on a desktop as they are easier to diagnose/fix in my opinion.
  6. Accidental coverage MAY be a rip. I added mine to my homeowner's coverage through my insurance agent (who is also my father). I never had to actually use it as my laptop is 4 years old and still runs fine. Anyway, the coverage was much less than an "accidental plan" would have been, so I would suggest taking a look into that. Having never had to call in with an accident, I don't know how easy either would be to deal with.
  7. Well, like you ive been looking for gaming laptops around 3000 and i found this site http://www.pctorque.com/ which actually has some good customization for reasonable prices. Only problem is ive never heard of them and i dont how good their warranties are. One thing that i do know is that you absolutely must get the accidental damage unless you want to be paying 1000+ to replace your busted laptop screen after ur buddy sat on ur bag or something stupid. If you can find a warranty that covers spills i would definitely get it.

    *edit* looking around a little bit more that site also has an option to have the laptop shipped to them first to avoid taxes...
  8. Ok, so I looked around a bit more and This is what I'm considering unless anyone has anymore suggestions:

    Dell XPS M1710:

    Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 (2.16GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB)

    17" UltraSharp Wide Screen UXGA Display with TrueLife

    2GB DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM

    100GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive

    8X cd\DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with Double-layer DVD+R write capability

    512MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX

    Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy HD Software Edition

    Integrated 10/100/1000 NIC

    Intel PRO/Wireless 3945a/g

    3 Year Hardware and Accidental Damage (everything but theft and fire)

    Total: $3,364.74

    Also, I can get this with either XP or Vista Home Premium for the same price... I'd prefer XP, but eventually I'm sure I'll want to switch to Vista, so should I just do it now? Have there been many problems as far as running games is concerned? And isnt vista 64 bit? wouldnt that work better with my C2D? Just curious... Let me know what you think! Thanks!
  9. 17" WUXGA+ LCD (Glossy 1920x1200) Qty: 1
    Intel® Core 2 Duo® E6600 2.4GHz (1066FSB, 4MB L2 Cache) Qty: 1
    2048MB* DDR2 667MHz Qty: 1
    1x nVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX w/512MB in SLI Qty: 1
    100G (7200rpm) SATA Qty: 1
    Add 2nd 100GB 7200RPM SATA HD Qty: 1
    No 3rd Hard Drive Qty: 1
    Built in 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet / LAN Network Card Qty: 1
    RAID 0 (Data Strip) Qty: 1
    (No USB Floppy Drive Selected) Qty: 1
    12 Cell Smart Li-Ion Battery Qty: 1
    Free Notebook Carry Case Qty: 1
    AC Adapter w/ Power Cord Qty: 1
    Intel 3945ABG 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Qty: 1
    No Office Software Qty: 1
    Built-In Bluetooth Module Qty: 1
    Sager 1 Year Warranty, Lifetime Tech Support Qty: 1
    3 Year ADP Warranty - Labor/Parts Only Qty: 1

    the processor isnt a mobile processor thats the desktop core2.
    and that has 2 100gb hds in Raid 0.

  10. Hmm... The laptop is actually for my girlfriend... So I'd really prefer to go with a company I've heard of, esp since the warranty from dell has accidental coverage because I'm sure she'll spill something on it or drop it at least 5 times a month. However I'm definately going to keep that site in mind for when I build my laptop next! Thanks!
  11. I read recently that 8800go mobile chipsets should be out soon, if you would prefer to wait, but it depends on your timeframe. If you are buying today then what you have selected is probably the best performance you will get.

    good luck :wink:
  12. Wow... Unfortunatley I have to have this laptop by mid april, so I need to order soon. But thanks for that info, I'll definately save and hold off until it comes out before I build a laptop like this for myself.
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