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Computer Decision Help

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October 3, 2012 8:23:16 PM

Hey guys, I'm new to tomshardware, and I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section.
I was hoping you guys could help me make a decision, because frankly I have no idea what might be better. I'm looking into the Alienware M14X gaming laptop, and theres two options for the same amount of money. To help make a decision, you should know I'm a full time college student, as well as a casual-dedicated gamer. Once I have a laptop with the capability, will play things Like Battlefield 3, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and the new game War of the Roses(which me current HP can't handle :(  part of the reason I'm replacing)

Both Options with the specifications I have picked come to $1,484.

Option 1
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3630QM (6MB Cache, up to 3.4GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)
Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit
***16GB (2 X 8GB) Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz***
750GB 7,200 RPM SATA + 32GB mSATA Caching SSD
14.0" High Def+ (900p/1600x900) with WLED backlight
Killer Wireless-N 1202 a/g/n 2x2 MIMO for Gaming & Video and Bluetooth 4.0
***1 GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M with Optimus™***

Option 2
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3630QM (6MB Cache, up to 3.4GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)
Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit
***8GB (2 X 4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz***
750GB 7,200 RPM SATA + 32GB mSATA Caching SSD
14.0" High Def+ (900p/1600x900) with WLED backlight
Killer Wireless-N 1202 a/g/n 2x2 MIMO for Gaming & Video and Bluetooth 4.0
***2 GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M with Optimus™***

I've put *** on either side of the differences between the two. This is probably way more info than needed, I just wanna be thorough. And this way someone can through in any extra advice they have, because its always appreciated :)  Basically I wanna know if I will notice a difference between 16GB of ram, and 8GB, and If I will notice the difference between the 1GB graphics card and the 2GB graphics card. And which option would be best. 16GB ram and 1GB graphics, or 8GB ram and 2GB graphics. Any thoughts are really appreciated :D 

More about : computer decision

October 4, 2012 1:39:39 AM

If I where you, I would get asus. As most of us on here can tell you since dell and alienware are now one company, alienwares quality of product has gone down. sure what they have is great to offer but your paying for the name just like an apple product. You can break those computers down and compare prices to desktop parts and save about 500-1000. I been looking at them myself recently but I think asus is the better buy look into an asus g75vw or others equal to it.

Here is a link to show you the differance. Im not a spokes person for asus but I have used a lot of there products and have never been let down by them.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Also your not going to really see a big diff in ram or the cards unless your a gear head and like to tweak every little thing in the computer and push its performance to the max. nothing out there requires more than 8 gigs of ram, if i remember correctly i think crysus uses 4 or 6 not to sure so eight would be enough.
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October 4, 2012 3:34:16 AM

I suggest if you want gaming performance get the better graphic card and less RAM. No one really uses 16 gigs of ram on games most the time. I believe 8 gigs usually is max for most the top games out there. The graphic card power is what really handles most of the graphic display so the larger memory in the graphic cards equals better game performance with high graphics play.

If it comes to either RAM or graphic card always go with better graphic card with RAM. I am thinking of getting something similar build myself with the Alien-ware MX=16.

I also did ALOT of comparison myself :fou:  A laptop equal to the current Alien-ware hardware with the 3rd generation processors is over $2000+ and most them do not have; dedicated video cards, led back-lit keyboard, and personal customization. The other ones that are not Alien-ware also have terrible cooling systems. Most the ones that are not Alien-ware try to sell you a gimmick of more HDD space but, mostly you only really need 500gigs max for most things installed. They also try to pawn off more RAM like it will really help but, it will not really. All of the other ones, I mean all of them, have smaller screens or equal too Alien-ware and cost MORE. On top of which most there other laptops only have the 2nd generation intel cpus and not the latest ones like Alien-ware does. Which means they do not suppose PCI express 3.0 only the PCI express 2.0.

Just do your homework on this before you buy it, or else you get one these "other" non-Alien-ware laptops and figure out this plain looking piece crap cost your twice and much and does not even perform close the Alien-ware builds. Besides upgrade your RAM to 16 gigs and HDD for laptop to 1 terrabyte or more will cost you probably $100 a piece at most so +$200 to upgrade it to full potential if you decide to go with those "other" laptops than Alien-ware. :sol: 
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October 4, 2012 3:40:51 AM

Oh yeah just read the guys post above and there is an example of what I am talking about. The CPU is an older-model CPU from intel that is 1.90GHZ fast compared to the lowest Alien-ware 3650 which goes at 2.4GHZ stock speed. The screen on this ASUS is 13.3' and the one I can get for same price on Alien-ware is 17.3. The graphic memory is SHARED which means it SUCKS compared to dedicated graphic card.

The SDD drive may be faster but 250gigs is not enough for most computer storage with all there programs now a days. When with alien ware 500gigs of HDD is better even though its a bit slower. Memory speed on this ASUS is 1333 frequency which will affect your performance compared to the 1600mhz ram which is standard on all Alien-ware laptops.

And yeah read that other stuff I said I do not like to repeat myself :pfff: 
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October 4, 2012 5:32:49 AM

all the same upgrades for alienware are available in asus laptops, even screen size, all depends on the series in wich you want to get for that current modle I like both companies dont get me wrong but asus to me has seemed to be the most benaficail and well worth the money to me. the highest g75vw series playes skyrim flawlessly max settings. As I said its a suggestion and to what vonscaper said which I would also have to agree on do some homework on what you really want out of a laptop.
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October 4, 2012 7:13:55 AM

Well here is what I plan on getting with a total of $1649.00 currently under the M16X Alien-ware option:

3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3630QM (6MB Cache, up to 3.4GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)
Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit
***6GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz***
***500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3Gb/s***
***17.3-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 60Hz WLED***
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 2230 With Bluetooth 4.0
2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660M

I've put the *** on either side of the differences between your build and mine. Well, I only invested about $200 more for the max resolution screen size I will explain later. First of all the 3rd Generation Intel Core is well worth this price alone. Windows 7 a given I hope for laptops.

Now the differences and let me explain why my choices make more sense and save money. First the RAM you only really need 8gigs at most yes but, I rarely, I mean RARELY EVVVVVVVVVVVVVER are you gonna use over 6 gigs. If you ever need more ram it will cost you between $50.00- $100.00 to upgrade depending on how much money you wanna waste on RAM you will probably never use. :non: 

Second, the 500 HDD is good enough to install and store pretty much everything. 750GB HDD is good if you storing very very large files I guess but, you can always buy that separately for less that $100 for like a 1TB. /COUGH the 32GB SSD might be good enough to install all your programs I guess and is really faster that a SSD by loads but, you might run out of room if you have alot of programs installed and content stored on that little SSD. Hint:when there is less than 10GB on any HDD or SSD it will slow down the performance of windows significantly. Odds are you will run out of space and end up installing them on your HDD anyway so the SSD is pretty much waste of money. :lol: 

Lastly, the your 13." (900p/1600x900) screen is good nuff I guess but, it is not max resolution. Trust me when I say investing in a max resolution screen for laptop is worth it. The screen and keyboard are pretty much forever and cannot be changed so they are things I like to invest in. The other changeable components you can downgrade to low as you want upon first purchase. Just wait to upgrade later on when the price drops significantly which it probably does once the next generation of products comes out. :sol: 

One more thing, for graphic based programs like the Adobe products or graphic intensive games performance really depends on the quality of the GPU in the graphic card. Generally, a 2GB graphic card is twice as fast or close too being as the 1GB card. If you have option to get a better graphic card for slightly more, DO IT, odds are prices on those graphic cards do not change in ALONG time. Because they rarely upgrade the PCI express versions maybe once every 5 years or so, depending on motherboards. However, by that time you will probably be getting a new laptop because your motherboard will be out of date but, the graphic card probably will not be.

Bottom-line: invest in graphic card, screen, and CPU are most important. 6GB of RAM and 500GB of HDD storage are good enough for most all systems to date. If you wanna update the RAM and HDD to SDD or bigger drive it will cost you not much more but, you will probably not upgrade anyway cause it is not needed for most gaming and graphic installations.

Good lucky, and remember do your homework how ever long it takes to get EXACTLY what you want. Else you end of with just increasing the retail price and it does not increase the performance or legacy of your new build.
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January 28, 2014 4:19:43 PM

check out asus you can get a laptop like that no problem my asus g75v has
16gb ram
gtx 670m 3gb
intel core i7 3630qm 2.4/3.4 turbo
blueray if I need it
750 gb hard drive with a 256 solid state running os with 1920x1080p high res screen it runs everything and I have had no problems with it had it for a year now still kicking and I run dual monitors both at 1920x1080p I paid 2000 for mine due to the extra coverage and repairs if anything goes wronf but it was really 1750 before hand. newegg purchase
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