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Another GAMING Laptop Question! I have selections....

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 10, 2007 5:28:26 PM

So I'm currently in a big dilemma. Every week I change my mind on getting a laptop or desktop. I originally wanted a 17" gaming laptop, but recently my budget has restricted me to less.. around $2000 (very popular budget it seems).

Here are my requirements:
Either 15" with 1280x800 res or 17" with 1680x1050 res GLOSSY
8600GT 256/512MB GDDR3 for 15" or 7950GTX 512MB for 17"
Any CPU whether it be desktop or mobile, as long as it doesn't bottleneck GPUs.
Sylish Chassis!!!
Battery life is .... not THAT important to me, considering everywhere I go, I'd probably plug it in.

Let me show you what I've come up with:
DELL Inspiron 1520 15.4" 1280x800
Expresso Brown or Ruby Red
Intel C2D T7300 2.0GHz
2GB DDR2 Dual Channel 667MHz
Nvidia 8600M GT 256MB not sure if it is DDR2 or GDDR3!! - very important, heard mixed answers from dell
160GB 7200rpm HD
CD/DVD Writer
Intel Wireless N
2.0Mpixel Webcam
PRICE: $1414 (Well within my budget, as long as its GDDR3 not DDR2. DDR2 pales in comparison)


SAGER NP5790 17" 1680x1050 (I've heard a lot of crap about sager, but I have no choice.. its within my budget)
Intel C2D T7300 2.0GHz
2GB DDR2 Dual Channel 667MHz
Nvidia GO 7950GTX 512MB GDDR3
100GB 7200rpm HD
CD/DVD Writer
Intel Wireless N
1.3Mpixel Webcam
Price: $2304 (Little over budget, but I'm worried about Sager's reputation. Is anything inside underclocked?)

Asus C90S or C90P 15.4" (If I can wait, not sure. Hoping to buy maybe beginning of Aug)
This is a BAREBONE laptop! With a LGA 775 Socket for Desktop and Mobile processors.(Conroe and Memrom)
Nvidia 8600M GT 512MB GDDR3!!!!
CD/DVD Writer
2.0Mpixel Webcam
Intel Wireless N
Intel 945Chipset (Around summertime its coming out with C90P with bearlake chipset, don't know dates)
Buying these parts from online:
Intel E6420 2.13GHz - $180
Hitachi 160GB 7200rpm HD (forgot which) - $250
Corsair 2GB 2xSODIMMS 667MHZ - $83
PRICE: $1562 ($1049 barebone + $513) Battery life is absolute crap, 88mins but I can live with that.

Please help me out! Help a poor gamer.
Thanks!
July 10, 2007 5:57:42 PM

check with Killer Notebooks, see if he can build something to your liking.
July 10, 2007 9:14:40 PM

Since battry life plus heating. I would go with Killernotebooks. dell vid catds are under clocked because of heat.
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July 11, 2007 1:14:47 AM

chikit said:
I originally wanted a 17" gaming laptop, but recently my budget has restricted me to less.. around $2000 (very popular budget it seems).


Doesn't have to if you want a GF8600MGT.
I'd say get the ASUS G2S, it's under $2000 and comes with a T7500 CPU, GF8600MGT, and lotsa other nice little goodies like support for eSATA.

That's what I'm looking at, but I prefer a chassis like the HP or Gateway or even the ASUS A7 series. But rememebr that is about being a notebook that can run on battery, you seem to be ok with it being more of a Luggable than worrying about battery time on the plane , etc or heat issues.

If you want desktop replacement there's some different options out there, and usually a mixed bag. But the recommendation to check out K|N 's selection is a pretty wise option. Even if you don't go with it, it's a good starting point at least to get the juices going.
July 11, 2007 2:07:21 PM

Are you sure that an 8600M GT can power a 17" 1650x1050 or 1920xwhatever res? I'm looking for maximum performance, so I think i'll stick to an 8600m gt with a 15.4". I agree with you the gaming chassis on the asus' aren't very nice. I mean we ARE gamers but thats not all we do. And it makes us stand out. I've looked at K|N's selection, I originally started there as I know they make kickass machines but, currently they only have the Wakizachi with the 8600m GS and the Executioner on offer. The wakizachi doesnt fit my gaming needs, and the executioner is too expensive.

I was thinking whats the difference between the Sager NP5790 and the Executioner? I know KN has better build quality, service, better brand components, heatsink mods, tweaks.. etc but ultimately isnt it the same parts under the hood? e.g 7950gtx, C2D CPU, 2GBs ram? I'm really interested in the Sager because it's so cheap for what you get. and for the same price of a top 15.4" I could get a 17" with a gtx!

Whats so good about eSATA at this point? is it as fast as normal internal sata?

So none of my selections are any good?
July 11, 2007 7:03:39 PM

chikit said:
Are you sure that an 8600M GT can power a 17" 1650x1050 or 1920xwhatever res?


Anything less than SLi really won't power 19x12 even 16x10 will be at the edge of the GF7950 sometimes. For me it's about the 2D that's the res I'm going with, but for you, definintely you want a more reasonable level, especially with the GF8600, which will struggle in some games at 1440x900; or you need more powerful graphics.
No matter what it's diminishing returns as you go further into the future. I can handle (but still dislike) interpolation. I wish I could do a more powerful graphics card, but I do need something that I can run on battery for presentations. So unfortunately for me 19x12 and a medium graphics card is my pick for me personally. At some point you have to compromise something, and for me I'll compromise a bit of interpolation for great 2D and mobile performance. I think that 16x10 or 14x9 and a GF7950GTX is a best fit for your needs.

Quote:
I'm looking for maximum performance, so I think i'll stick to an 8600m gt with a 15.4".


Well maximum performance (at the cost of portability) would be something like your 3rd option, but with a GFGO79xxGTX series solution. The Gf8700 is nice, but it still only competes with the GF7900GS and that will get slow.

Quote:
I'm really interested in the Sager because it's so cheap for what you get. and for the same price of a top 15.4" I could get a 17" with a gtx!


Well and that may be the right balance for you. I think a 17" with 1440x900 resolution and GFGO7950GTX would be a solid solution. I mention K|N as a good starting point, it gives you some good options up front, but of course you take it from there and find the best fit.

Quote:
Whats so good about eSATA at this point? is it as fast as normal internal sata?


It's not quite as good as interal SATA, but it's close and improving. From what I've seen sofar it's better than most 5400 RPM drives. Sofar the latency is a bit of an issue though, but ti's pretty good and like I said improving.

Quote:
So none of my selections are any good?


No they're fine, but it's a question of balance. I think for what you're looking for all your selections are about 60% there, and I'm certain there's other options better matched. Unfortunately it's not my market segment, so the ones I know of are in passing. But I have a feeling you'd really benefit most from something that a desktop replacement kind of thing since you're not battery-centric, whereas for me that's an issue.

I think others who've been looking at this segment would likely be able to get you the specific models better. But the ones you listed even made me say 'meh' from the limited ones I've seen.
I mean really the type for you is definitely a desktop CPU with a GF7950GTX or dual GF79xx cards in SLi, and unfortunately just not familiar with which ones to recommend to you.
July 18, 2007 6:01:29 AM

chikit said:

DELL Inspiron 1520 15.4" 1280x800
Expresso Brown or Ruby Red
Intel C2D T7300 2.0GHz
2GB DDR2 Dual Channel 667MHz
Nvidia 8600M GT 256MB not sure if it is DDR2 or GDDR3!! - very important, heard mixed answers from dell
160GB 7200rpm HD
CD/DVD Writer
Intel Wireless N
2.0Mpixel Webcam


Sorry to sort of hijack but I'm also looking at this lappy with this exact build (except colour :p  )and had a few questions.

First of all I'll be using this for a few things.
-Work, I'll most likely have this plugged in most of the time so battery time isn't an issue.
-Uni, Battery time is an issue here, would like this to live for around 3 hours off battery with light use.
-Light gaming, want to be able to take this to a LAN if I can't get my desktop there or anywhere else where I'm away from my PC but can get power. Will be happy with running at low settings in my games.
-Shut girlfriend up, want this to be able to be used by my gf for a few hours on battery while she lies in bed on MSN so I can finally get some gaming in.

So the questions I have are,
-Is the Core 2 Duo T7300 suitable or would it be advisable to get a slower clocked CPU for power conservation (only if it's a moderate or big difference in consumption).
-Can anyone confirm on whether Dells 8600M GT is DDR2 or DDR3?
-Is getting a 7200RPM drive worth the extra power consumption, I think I would cry after using my PC with a raptor in it then using a laptop with a 5400RPM Hdd in it but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make if theres a significant increase in battery life.

If I could get some advice that would be great.

Thanks,
a b D Laptop
July 18, 2007 2:16:49 PM

We'll give it a go:

1) Battery life: Cnet did a review of the 1420 ( i know you're looking at the 1520) that had good specs. Using a 9-cell battery the laptop lasted 3.5 hours while play DVD content. So this shouldn't be too much of a problem. It's specs: Vista Home Premium, Core2 T7300, 2gb of 667 RAM, 8400GS and the 160gb 5400rpm HDD.

2) Stick with the T7300 if you want to play games. Maybe drop to the T7100 if raw performance isn't that important.

3) Off of Dell's website it's the DDR2
Quote:
NVIDIA® GeForceTM Go 8400M GS with 128MB DDR2 dedicated graphic memory
NVIDIA® GeForceTM Go 8600M GT with 256MB DDR2 dedicated graphic memory


4) Yes, I think it's worth it and yes you would cry from the difference.

All told I think you could expect 3 hours on the laptop with the changes you want. That's not bad considering it's a dual core laptop with a dedicated video card.


After some digging I found this review of the 1520:http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3821&review=Dell+Inspiron+1520.
To quote them:
Quote:
Effective battery life under heavy processor load with high performance settings appears to be about three hours with the 9-cell battery. You could probably extend that to four hours or more by disabling wireless, turning down screen brightness, and using less intensive applications. The 9-cell battery does extend about 3/4” from the back of the laptop, but this does not seem especially noticeable given the already larger size of the notebook.


Exactly what you were looking for.
July 18, 2007 10:46:41 PM

Cheers mate that's what i was after. Anyone know if theres a substantial performance difference between T7100 (1.8ghz,2mb cache) and T7300 (2.0ghz 4mb cache) and do you thing the difference is worth AUS$150

8600M GT is what I'll be getting but should I keep the stock wxga+ screen (1440x900) or move up to wsxga+ (1680x1050)? I know I would get less gaming performance with the higher resolution but would having the higher reso be worth it in regard to 2D mode and movies?

The 7200RPM hard drive and 9-Cell battery are set in stone then thanks.

Also one other thing, for sound there is an option for 'Integrated Sound' or 'Integrated Soundblaster Audigy Advanced HD Audio Software' for an extra AUS$20. Now from my guess this is just better sound drivers but I could be wrong so does anybody now the story behind this and whether it's worth it?

Thanks again.
July 20, 2007 7:10:18 PM

locky28 said:
Cheers mate that's what i was after. Anyone know if theres a substantial performance difference between T7100 (1.8ghz,2mb cache) and T7300 (2.0ghz 4mb cache) and do you thing the difference is worth AUS$150


Only if you're using heavy productivity apps or doing stuff that benefits the most like video editing, which likes speed and large cache size. Also just happens to be what gaming prefers too. Thing of the added cache being equivalent to about 100mhz for those apps. Where the performance differe would be like the same core running at 2.1ghz versus the 1.8ghz. As for being worth $150 aussie dollars, don't know, Id' say no for most things, but I would pay for it, but if those apps were that important to you you'd have mentioned them I'd think. Here it's usually a better choice with it being about $50U or $75-100 CDN, but if it were $140CDN I might pause and look over where the money could be spent elsewhere cause I'd start thinking about the money buying orther apps, or worse yet, buying beer.

Quote:
8600M GT is what I'll be getting but should I keep the stock wxga+ screen (1440x900) or move up to wsxga+ (1680x1050)? I know I would get less gaming performance with the higher resolution but would having the higher reso be worth it in regard to 2D mode and movies?


Higher resolution would be better IMO. Based on my experience, the GF800MGT will struggle with most gaames at 14x9 anyways, so you'll be dealing with a level of interpolation or turning down features, and it will only get worse with time. For me resolution is king, but then again I'm focusing on 2D and 3D that's not as fps sensitive for my work, and then 3D gaming that I know will be interpolated. If I thought you'd be able to game at native most of the time, I'd say stick with the 14x9, but since you're likely to be out of native alot, go with 16x10, but that's my personal view. 1280x720/800/1024 would be a different story, but I'd hate to go that low for 2D just to make games a little sharper.

Quote:
The 7200RPM hard drive and 9-Cell battery are set in stone then thanks.


Good call IMO.

Quote:
Also one other thing, for sound there is an option for 'Integrated Sound' or 'Integrated Soundblaster Audigy Advanced HD Audio Software' for an extra AUS$20. Now from my guess this is just better sound drivers but I could be wrong so does anybody now the story behind this and whether it's worth it.


It's just added software effects, I'd say forget it, save the money and put it towards a real audigy plug-in, because the standard azallia is good quality sound. The features you really want are only available on the new ExpressCard XFi, or my older PCMCIA based Audigy 2Zs (which can't play Oblivion so I play with the dang C-media intergrated!).

I'd say forget about it, but $20 AUS is pretty cheap compared to the usual $25US. It almost makes it a what the heck item, but I'd personally go for the dedicated Xpress card solutions which will have better op amps and better quality.
!