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buying a new highend laptop for school

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August 12, 2007 4:16:43 PM

i am buying a new high end laptop for school im contemplating the purchase of either an alienware Area-51® m9750 or Aurora™ m9700 the price after i customized them both to my liking i have to make this decision

Dual 256MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7900 GS - SLI Enabled Area-51® m9750 for a total of 2800

or a single 512MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7950 GTX Aurora™ m9700 for a total of 2500

what do you think! :) 

August 12, 2007 4:58:12 PM

Hi,

one of my friend have buy last month an alienware with dual 7950gtx in sli.

He also added 4gb ram.

Now the problem is that alienware does not give new drivers for sli cards, for xp x86 x64 or vista.

If you upgrade to 4gb ram or vista, you may have difficulties to get a new driver for the video cards.

If someone else confirm you that there are new custom drivers somewhere for x64 or vista, go for the m9750.

But I suggest the m9700.
August 12, 2007 5:04:55 PM

I think if you're going to have it for school, you should get a really cheap 600 dollar laptop, so you don't slack off and play games in class, like everyone I know who has a half decent laptop (and some who don't). If you need more horsepower to do things like rendering and stuff, build yourself a cheap yet powerful desktop, so you can run that at home, and slack off there too, as well as a portable 2.5 inch hdd, like the western digital passport. Make sure it's one that you don't need an extra power cable for, those ones just suck.

besides, those fast gaming notebooks are huge, heavy and the batteries don't last at all, they won't do you any good in school.
Related resources
August 12, 2007 5:13:39 PM

I agree... spend money on a cheaper laptop... and use the money you saved for beer.
August 12, 2007 5:34:44 PM

mac book pro
some class work does need a system with a big screen or a mid-range video card.
August 12, 2007 5:43:42 PM

skittle said:
I agree... spend money on a cheaper laptop... and use the money you saved for beer.


I stand corrected, beer is more important than computing horsepower. buy a crappy laptop and use the rest for beer.
August 12, 2007 6:16:50 PM

I would really suggest against buying a gaming laptop for school. I know it would be really awesome to have and to play on, but it's extremely overkill. These laptops have large screens and carring it around is a pain. Trust me, my Thinkpad T60 is a pain to carry around. Especially with other books in my bag. And when will you ever need so much graphics horsepower in school? I don't think its a good idea to spend 2.5K so you can play a game with all the settings turned up.... in class.... Especially if you already have a desktop.

OTOH, I would suggest a gaming laptop if you were going away to college and this laptop would be your school laptop and main gaming rig. That makes sense, because you can still game without bringing/buying a second computer. But ideally, I'd spend $1500 on a desktop for all your gaming needs, and ~800 for a small Dell to use at school.

Just my 2 cents....

To answer your question, I think that a 7900GS SLI setup is faster than a 7950GTX. But since it is for school, I recommend getting the 7950GTX because it's still ridiculous fast (for a laptop), and will save battery life compared to having two graphics cards in SLI. So I say m9700 even though the other one is faster.

Hope this helps.
August 12, 2007 6:30:40 PM

I understand that you need a laptop for school. I've been looking at college the past few weeks and found that the college requires a very very high end laptop, not even the one I have will suffice:
http://www.bagley.msstate.edu/prospective_students/computer_initiative/college_specifications/index.php

So it's not just a want for a high end laptop for college, more of a need.
I can't help you with choosing your laptop though, I would research what you want and what you might want later and always remember the warranty with laptops.
August 12, 2007 6:35:49 PM

highend you say? that link your provided says a minimum of 2.4ghz P4..2GB ram...120gb harddrive...1024x768....... thats a fairly low end laptop.

only things you need to upgrade from a cheap laptop are:ram and harddrive... the cheapest things to upgrade.


and if your really intent on playing games and owning a laptop. buy a cheap laptop.. and build a midrange gaming desktop. you will save money (as opposed to buying a highend laptop). and get accidental damage protection..**** does happen..espically in college..
August 12, 2007 7:13:33 PM

i understand that it would be cheaper to get a low end laptop and a good desktop but im going to school for engineering with a minor in computer science, not to mention i do a lot of audio editing on the side. im not a big gamer i play games very casually

i just love computers and i want the ability to do ANYTHING i want on the go over a friends house, on campus, im class with no limitations.

its very hard to spend 1800 on a decent laptop and not forward the extra 600 or so to take in above and beyond for a marginal increase in price
August 12, 2007 7:21:20 PM

My idea of the perfect school laptop (or one for any other purpose) is one that is small, lightweight, and low-powered, because I have to lug it around campus, I want the battery to last all day, and I don't want the temptation of playing games in class. If I want to game, I use my desktop which is fairly powerful.

My main concern would be battery life, I've never owned one, but I've heard that when they're cranked up all the way playing a 3D game, those types of notebooks only get like 20-30 minutes of battery life, although I'm sure they throttle back a little if you're just running office.

If you are going to school to do CAD/ 3D work, then they might be a good idea
August 12, 2007 10:52:22 PM

better but im sure it uses twice the power.

speaking of power what can you expect from these computers as far as battery life goes
August 12, 2007 11:30:01 PM

I would also recommend not getting a really high end laptop for a few reasons.

1. Your new 2500 dollar laptop could grow legs somehow and become someone else's 2500 dollar laptop.

2. If something happens with your laptop more than likely you cant fix it. You have to send it in and have the company fix it if you still have a warranty and they will have it for 2 weeks. Where if you had a desktop you can prob fix it yourself.

3. You could pick up a ok laptop for like 700 bucks and then spend 1300 on a SWEET desktop and 200 on a nice monitor save yourself 300 bucks and that desktop will eat any 2500$ laptop alive.
August 13, 2007 1:32:25 AM

If you are going to a school where you will be sleeping, I can understand not wanting a desktop as its a pain to bring in to school, and if I were him I wouldn't mind having a less value for money laptop (he had just better make absolutely certain to get a computer lock and try and make the school liable if it gets stolen), and if he's using it in lessons where he NEEDS a good graphics card (engineering right?) then he's hardly going to lug a desktop and screen around with him
August 13, 2007 1:41:32 AM

ya how bad could a 9 pound laptop possibly be to lug around, in high school i had to carry around on a daily basis 3 books that where at least 6 pounds each
August 13, 2007 11:38:20 AM

I agree that it will be a pain to carry a powerful laptop however if he NEEDS it for his work then I don't think there is going to be much of an option
!