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Build gaming rig (<$700) and buy budget laptop or buy gaming laptop???

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October 7, 2009 8:55:26 PM

Hello,

Sorry if I posted this in the wrong section... I couldn't figure out where else to put it.
I have a budget of about $1,300, however, this budget is not set in stone... I'm a teenager, so this is my father's money going into this. I need a rig that can play games such as Call of Duty 4 at higher settings and more demanding games such as Crysis at meduim settings. My dilemma is that i'm not quite so sure If I should buy a gaming laptop (specs below)
Sager NP2098 (from Xoticpc.com)
- 15.6" HD 16:9 WXGA Super Clear Ultra Bright Glossy LED Screen (1366x768)
- Standard Dead Pixel Policy
- ~Intel® P8700 45nm "Montevina" Core™2 Duo 2.53GHz w/3MB L2 On-die cache - 1066MHz FSB 25 watt
- Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
- ATI HD4650 512MB PCI-Express DDR3
- No External Graphics Card
- No Video Adapter
- ~ 4,096MB DDR3 1066MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) (Requires Vista 64-Bit to utilize Full 4GB)
- None Standard--
- Standard Finish
- ~Combo 8x8x6x4x Dual Layer DVD +/-R/RW 5x DVD-RAM 24x CD-R/RW Drive w/Softwares
- ~ 320GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache)
- No Back Up Hard Drive
- No Floppy Drive
- Internal 3-in-1 Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS)
- Internal Bluetooth + EDR
- Built-in Intel® PRO/Wireless 5100 802.11 a/g/n
- No Network Accessory
- Built in 2.0 Megapixel Camera
- No TV Tuner
- Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included
- No Carrying Case
- Smart Li-ion Battery (6-Cell)
- No Dock/Hub/Adapter
- Integrated Fingerprint Reader
- No External Keyboard or Mouse
- No Notebook Cooler
- ~Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit Installed (64&32-Bit CD Included) + Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Upgrade Coupon w/ Drivers & Utilities CD's
- No Office Software
- No Software Bundle
- 1 Year Parts & Labor, Lifetime Sager Toll Free Tech Support
$1,054.00

Or I could build my own budget gaming desktop with the components listed below:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Note: even though I listed only one kingston hyperx 1gb Ram, I will probably purchase two or three of them for my rig)
And buy a budget laptop from a larger manufacturer (since I can't find a clevo/sager that would fit my budget), probably the Inspiron 15, unless someone can find a laptop for $500-$600 that's better than the Inspiron. If I chose the 2nd option, then I would be building my first desktop. I'm very confident in myself and in my technical knowledge that I will be able to build it. The total price, not including tax and the price of Windows 7 Home Premuim or Professional (by the time I make this purchase, Windows 7 will already be out), would be around $650, and the Inspiron 15 I configured would be around $600. The reason I am having this dilemma is because the Sager NP2098 boasts the ATI Raedon 4650, It would probably die faster than the combination of a custom built gaming rig and a budget laptop. What do you think?

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Or, for the second option, I could build a similar desktop but with different ati graphics with CrossfireX and a Phenom II x4 or Core2Quad/i7 for around $900-$1000 and a refurbished P4-M/Core2Duo laptop just for internet/email on the go for around $300-$400... Suggestions for the processor of the desktop? I think this one would be the best option, as long as I can convince my father to get this option instead of the one laptop (even though they are similarly priced, he is still a bit stubborn... :heink:  )

More about : build gaming rig 700 buy budget laptop buy gaming laptop

October 7, 2009 9:05:45 PM

That's an okay gaming laptop for now, but I seriously wonder how long it will be able to keep up with new games. Since the i7 mobile platform laptops are making their way to market now, I'd recommend holding off on the gaming laptop unless you can find a mobile i7 based one in your price range. Otherwise, I think you'll get much better gaming out of a desktop, and more flexibility for the future.

October 7, 2009 9:41:06 PM

If the choice is between having two barely adequite machines and one decent one I would choose one decent laptop.

Either of these laptops will game as good as anything you can build in the $500 range.

This Gateway has an nvidia 9800 mobile graphics card, 17inch LCD and a dual core 2.4GHz CPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This ASUS has an nvidia 240M (about same as the 9800M), 15.6 inch LCD and a dual core 2.8GHz CPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 8, 2009 2:45:25 PM

wathman said:
That's an okay gaming laptop for now, but I seriously wonder how long it will be able to keep up with new games. Since the i7 mobile platform laptops are making their way to market now, I'd recommend holding off on the gaming laptop unless you can find a mobile i7 based one in your price range. Otherwise, I think you'll get much better gaming out of a desktop, and more flexibility for the future.


What do you think about building a similar desktop, but with a Phenom II x4 or Core i5, and maybe a more powerful GPU, or the same GPU with Crossfire?
October 8, 2009 5:11:30 PM

Hi,
I'm sorry if it's too late or has anything copied or the thread is already answered as i didn't refresh and it took me long!

Here’s a good one…

CPU: Specs. (2.66GHz, 8MB L3C, HT :4C/4T, & Turbo V2) $200 / $??? (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
Intel i5 750

Main-Board: Specs. (XDesign, 2x PCIe2.0, 16GB - 2200+MHz Ram, & TurboV EVO) $170 / $??? (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
ASUS P7P55D PRO

GPU: Specs. (Stock clocks - 800SP, HPD, 1GB VRam, & DX10.1) $145 / $125 (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
XFX HD4870 vanilla

Ram: Specs. (4GB - D.Channel, 1333MHz, CL8, & DDR3) $80 / $??? (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
G.SKILL Ripjaws

HDD: Specs. (500GB, 7200RPM, 32MB C, & Single platter) $55 / $??? (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
Samsung SpinPoint F3

HSF: Specs. (??, ??, ??, & ??) $??? / $??? (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
??

DVD Drive: Specs. (DVD +/-RW, OEM, C 2MB, & ??) $32 / $??? (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
Lite-On iHAS324-08

Case: Specs. (3x 120mm fans, ATX/mATX, 20.7" x 8.4" x 19", & Exp. slots: 7) $70 / $??? (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GP

PSU: Specs. (650W, 52A:+12V, 2x (6+2)Pin PCIe connectors, Active PFC - 80+ certified, & CF/SLI Ready) $100 / $90 (MIR/promo/combo etc.)
Corsair 650TX

Total: $852.00 (approx) w/o Taxes, MIRs or Shipping fees.

Sig.. Medo
October 8, 2009 7:18:07 PM

That looks pretty good. What about the AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz? It looks like I would either get that or the Intel Core i5... I know that (as of now) the Intel performs better, but most applications are not quad core optimized... Which is better for budget gaming?
October 8, 2009 7:29:39 PM

Both are quad cores..
For budget gaming it depends..
  • If you're starting with a tight budget but are willing to add somethings in the near future like a second GPU then it's the AMD (Dual x16 CF)
  • If you're sticking with a single GPU but want to upgrade everything else then the Intel (i5/P55)..
  • If you're going to use SLI (nVidia) then currently there's no choice but i7/X58 which is the farthest it can be from the word budget ! (*That's because nVidia's chips for AMD are crap and any card worth being used for SLI will need more than the x8 of the P55/i5...)

  • Also the AMD would be better for OC'ing due to the unlocked multiplier (BE)

    If you want i can try and put an AMD system for comparison (make sure it'd come a bit cheaper!)

    See http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-272426_13_0.ht...

    Medo
    October 8, 2009 7:45:39 PM

    psycho sykes said:
  • Also the AMD would be better for OC'ing due to the unlocked multiplier (BE)
  • AMD CPUs rarely overclock more than 600MHz. The intel i5 and i7 overclock 1.2GHz or more. To me that makes intel the better overclocker.

    From the reviews I have seen the x8/x8 is maybe a 5% speed difference from x16/x16. Hardly a show stopper for dual GPUs. You would not want more than 2 GPUs on a P55 motherboard though.
    a b 4 Gaming
    October 8, 2009 7:48:12 PM

    dndhatcher said:
    AMD CPUs rarely overclock more than 600MHz. The intel i5 and i7 overclock 1.2GHz or more. To me that makes intel the better overclocker.

    I agree. Intel chips don't need unlocked multipliers to get 1GHz+ overclocks.
    a b 4 Gaming
    October 8, 2009 7:54:55 PM

    Psycho's desktop build and then a ~$500 laptop. That desktop will be great for games, I wouldn't call it "barely adequate", and these days laptops are cheap, and you can get some decent that much.

    Spend a little more on the desktop, and then go pick up a nice netbook from ASUS for ~$300, gives you all the mobility you need, and then you have a great desktop at home for everything else.
    October 8, 2009 7:55:46 PM

    ^ I prefer Medo :) 
    ^^ Sorry.. I meant the easier OC'er!
    I completely agree with what you said but Intel making their Extreme series CPUs for $1400+ (QX9770) while AMD launched their PII 955 for no more than $350 (I think) made me hate Intel so much! But i have to be honest...
    a b D Laptop
    a b 4 Gaming
    October 8, 2009 8:05:23 PM

    For $99, you can do a lot better than a 75% efficient Thermaltake. Check out Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, or Enermax. You can run a HD5870 with a 550W PSU and still have some headroom.
    October 8, 2009 8:40:17 PM

    Transmaniacon said:
    Psycho's desktop build and then a ~$500 laptop. That desktop will be great for games, I wouldn't call it "barely adequate", and these days laptops are cheap, and you can get some decent that much.
    That $850 build of Psycho's would be totally inadequite for gaming. :whistle:  There is no monitor and OS! :lol: 

    My assumption since he didnt say he already had those is that he will need them. I think even a $150 monitor and non-student win7 busts the budget.

    If psychos build and a netbook are within budget then thats better than either of the laptops I posted (other than no gaming on the go).
    October 8, 2009 11:59:50 PM

    Thanks, guys. :)  I think i'll go the route of building a decent gaming rig (you were right, I do need a monitor and speakers), probably a higher end AMD Phenom II X4 (socket AM3) BE, with Crossfire. I'll try to keep the desktop budget around $900-$1000 total, and I loved the idea of an ASUS netbook to go with it, but what about an MSI Wind? How does that compare to the ASUS Eee? Also, i'm going to need an os to go with it, so what's the difference going to be between Windows 7 Home Premuim (64 bit) and Windows 7 Business/Professional (64 bit)? I need this os to install on multiple desktops, so which one will do the job? Also, which of these mobo's should I choose?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    The casing will fit both micro atx and atx.
    October 9, 2009 2:42:24 AM

    Ok, let's ask this, what do you want the system to do? You want to game, but are you looking at a multicard setup such sli or crossfire? The thing about crossfire and sli is that every game may not support them. You may want to consider a decent motherboard with one pci express slot, use the money saved to get a higher end card and better power supply. Power supply, you may be spending too much for the thermaltake, look at a corsair or antec unit, you may be able to get a better one for less money than that thermaltake.
    October 9, 2009 5:33:22 AM

    @DNDHATCHER.. I didn't know that he needed a monitor and OS because he didn't state that and i didn't open all the links as i were late in the thread....
    He can use my build and get this monitor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... And any good speaker system..
    I think only the Ultimate can be installed on multiple desktops and still restricted :( 
    Also i prefer "Medo" or "Sykes"

    Medo
    a b 4 Gaming
    October 9, 2009 12:42:35 PM

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($59.95)

    CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($109.99 w/ $10 MIR + Free Shipping)

    Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($199.99 + Free Shipping)

    GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($169.99 + Free Shipping)

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($94.99 + Free Shipping)

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($54.99)

    XFX HD-585A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($259.99)

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($30.99)

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($29.99)

    ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1005HA-PU1X-BK Crystal Black Intel Atom N280(1.66GHz) 10.1" WSVGA 1GB Memory 160GB HDD Netbook - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($356.99 + Free Shipping)

    Total: $1,367.86

    This would be ideal if you don't need a monitor/OS, so let us know if you need those things.
    a b 4 Gaming
    October 9, 2009 5:21:11 PM

    Transmaniacon said:
    This would be ideal if you don't need a monitor/OS, so let us know if you need those things.

    aleccj1 said:
    (you were right, I do need a monitor and speakers)
    aleccj1 said:
    Also, i'm going to need an os to go with it, so what's the difference going to be between Windows 7 Home Premuim (64 bit) and Windows 7 Business/Professional (64 bit)? I need this os to install on multiple desktops, so which one will do the job?

    a b 4 Gaming
    October 9, 2009 5:36:06 PM

    Aw man I completely missed that in the netbook paragraph, alright well if you are a student, you can get Windows 7 for $30, otherwise its $100, plus say $150 for a decent 22" monitor, plus say $350 for a netbook, leaves you $700 for the tower;

    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($69.95)

    Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "Compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($69.99 + Free Shipping)

    Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($199.99 + Free Shipping)

    GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($139.99 + Free Shipping)

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($94.99 + Free Shipping)

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($54.99)

    XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($144.99 + Free Shipping)

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($30.99)

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($29.99)

    Total: $835.87

    It would be hard to trim this build down much more without sacrificing significant performance. I think your best option here is to go with an AMD build, using the Phenom 720 BE, in addition to the netbook.
    October 9, 2009 6:39:58 PM

    Yeah, I think the only way to get what I want is to get an amd phenom II x4 (of course a black edition), but what about cooling? I will probably overclock it eventually.
    !