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Gaming notebooks and pricing

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 22, 2006 4:47:20 AM

Hi,
Let me first thank you for readomg this post. I'm sure this topic has come up before, but I wanted to ask about 2 specific laptop configurations and about laptop gaming in general.

First off, here are the 2 laptops I've narrowed it down to, with prices for both:

1) The XG Action Notebook 6000 from www.buyxg.com

Specs
NOTEBOOK: MSI MS-1039 Notebook 15.4" Glare WXGA 1280x800 Pixel w/ Mobility Radeon X1600 Video, Turion™64, & 802.11g Wireless

CPU: Mobile AMD Turion™64 MT-40 CPU @ 2.2GHz 1MB Cache Ultra Low Voltage 25Watt w/ HyperTransport Technology
MEMORY: 1GB PC3200 400MHz DDR SODIMM Memory (Corsair Value Select)
VIDEO: Built-in Mobility™ Radeon® X1600 256MB PCI-Express X16 Video
LCD: 15.4" Glare WXGA TFT LCD Display Max: 1280x800 Pixels
HDD: 80GB 7200RPM ULTRA ATA 100 HARD DRIVE
CD: 8X DVD REWRITABLE DRIVE
MOTHERBOARD: ATI RX 480M + ATI SB 400 Chipset Mainboard
BATTERY: Li-Ion 8-Cell PACK, 14.4V x4400 mAh

Total price: $1346

This laptop also comes with 5% off and free shipping, which brings the grand total to $1279



The other site I looked at was www.killernotebooks.com because I saw a lot of people refering to their on this forum. There I was interested in the eliminator, being the closest config tot he one above:

Specs:

CPU: Mobile AMD Turion™64 MT-40
MEMORY: 1GB CAS 2.0 DDR 333
VIDEO: Built-in Mobility™ Radeon® X1600 256MB
LCD: 15.4" WXGA (1280x800)
HDD: 80GB 7200RPM ULTRA ATA 100 HARD DRIVE
CD: 8x Dual Layer DVD Burner
MOTHERBOARD: ATI® RS 480M + ATI® SB 450 Chips
OS: ??? (Doesn't say if it icludes Windows)
BATTERY: 6 cell 4400 mAh

Total price: $1715 (I don't see any specials listed).


There are a few differences in the additions to each laptop (# of memory card reader slots, ports, etc), but nothing I would consider essential to gameplay.

So now for the questions.
1) Can either of these laptops be considered "gaming" laptops. I don't play HEAVY graphics intensive games, the main kind of games I'm wondering about is World Of Warcraft and the new Dungeons and Dragons MMORPG. With my current laptop (MT-32, 1 gig, 128 shared video memory) World of Warcraft plays horrible, bordering on unplayable. Now while I'm not looking for super high quaity cranked up to the max settings, I would like to play WoW fluidly and with crisp graphics. Anyone have any experience with that game and a laptop as configued above? Or about my configuration and the WoW in general?

2) There is a big difference in prices for these 2 similarly configured laptops, $436 to be exact. Is there any reason for the drastic difference in price? Is there somthing I'm not seeming between the different sellers? I have used www.buyxg.com before, got my girlfriend a gaming desktop from them, and have no complaints about my experience. I'd like to hear other peoples opinions though, especially if you got a laptop from them.

Thats about it, if I can think of anything else I'll add to this post. Thanks again for reading.

Edit: The Eliminator also comes with free shipping, forgot to add that.
June 22, 2006 2:04:50 PM

Well, I have no idea how their doing it because I can even get the parts for that price. That may give you an indication of the difference in the quality of components we are using.

I have a 100% No Dead Pixel guaranty. Most of these other guys, if they have one at all, is what I call a "tough luck" dead pixel guaranty, that means 5-7 dead pixels, usually 4 of which have to be in "the field" of the screen.

WOW! I don't know if you have ever seen a dead pixel on a laptop, but it is just this huge colored dot that never changes on your screen. Like bright green or something. It looks terrible.

Second, they are using a "Value Select" RAM for their memory. That is a big difference from 2-2-2-5 timing RAM that is equivalent to the fastest overclocking RAM you can get for your desktop, made by only Patriot, and usually in short supply. I also noticed the brand of DDR400 RAM they use isn't "officially" supported, and I have only found 1 DDR400 chip that will work with this system which is SuperTalent.

Third they have a regular 802.11 wireless card instead of a a/b/g/G+ 108 Mbps with built in RangeMax Extender. This might not be any issue to anyone at all, but I like to build systems that aren't already obsolete.

I don't know what their tech support is, so I can't speak to that, but I couldn't see it being very good... I mean, how could they afford to staff it? For that matter, who is building your system? Is this OS configured, or is this just an OS thrown in the box you need to install? Did they upgrade the BIOS, or do you have to crawl around the internet to find it, then use the worst utility in the world (believe me, I have to use it every day) to upgrade it? Are they giving you the driver disk from the ODM or do they have an upgraded driver set? If I need a driver, where do I get it?

Finally, and probably most important, the reseller is essentially where your waranty work comes from. So this guy you are buying your notebook from is either taking one heck of a risk for no compensation I can see, or you can guess what happens to you when something happens to your notebook.

I personally fell out of love with this ODM for good reasons I won't get into here. If someone as small as me thinks that an ODM is a joke, they must be pretty goofy.

I would recommend you go with them because like I said. I can not even get my components for that price.
June 22, 2006 2:21:24 PM

The Killer Nanobot looks good, anybody know what the price will be? How does the video card in it compare to geforce go 7400. I was looking at a Dell XPS m1210 and was wondering how it would compare with the nanobot.
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June 22, 2006 2:27:28 PM

Wat components would you like in it? I have to get around to making the order page for that. The 7400 is going to be more powerful card for sure.
June 22, 2006 3:27:48 PM

I was looking for a portable laptop that with as much video game power that can fit into a portable like the nanobot with out getting to hot to handle or to expensive. If a 256 meg 7400 can fit it would be great.
I was also looking for a 40-80 gig 7200 rpm hd and 1 gig ram. Does the nanobot have an internal cdrw?
June 22, 2006 4:24:40 PM

I think it is not really what you are looking for because it has an ATi 200M integrated graphics card, it does have a dual layer CD&DVD burner though.

This is what ATi says about the 200M
Quote:
Built-in DirectX™ 9.0 and OpenGL™ graphics for gaming
The Radeon® Xpress 200M offers a Radeon® graphics core, that is a derivative of Radeon® X300 PCI Express technology designed for DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL compatible games. It offers high-performance graphics, unleashing the competitive power you need for playing the latest game titles on your notebook.


I will tell you honestly, it isn't going to be great for gaming because of the video card, it will have plenty of power, and if you want portability you can't beat 4.5 lbs fully loaded. This is one of the reasons I haven't developed an order page for it. I just don't know how viable it is. Ask VooDoo PC though and yea, it's a gaming rig called the Envy a:228 and it will be about $750 more than me.

In a nutshell here is the performance levels of the cards in order in near this class:
ATI Radeon X300/200M
Nvidia Go6200
Nvidia Go7300
ATI Mobility X1300

Nvidia GeForce Go6400
ATI Radeon X600
Nvidia Go7400
ATI Radeon X1400
June 22, 2006 4:59:29 PM

The X200M does play the new games. If he doesn't mind slow FPS. Plus it is the bottom of the barrel for vid cards.
June 22, 2006 11:33:57 PM

It looks like it is also direct X 9 for Vista.
It is one cool little monster, if you are looking for small.
June 23, 2006 1:23:37 AM

One thing about the X200M. It's better than my ole TI4200.
!