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Dell XPS M1730 or M1530 The Dilemma

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 19, 2007 12:14:25 PM

Ok, I'm going up to Washington D.C. in about a month to be a congressional Page, and while I'll be working the vast majority of the time, I'd still like to have my own computer with me, so time to get a laptop....

But here's the issue, the main thing I do with laptops at this point is game, which is why I looked at the M1730:

CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7500 ( 2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB, 4MB Cache)

OS: Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate Edition - English

GPU: NVIDIA®SLI™Dual GeForce®8700MGT with 512MB GDDR3 Memory

Wireless Networking:
ntel® PRO/Wireless 4965a/g/n Mini Card

Hard Drive:
Speed: 120GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)

Memory:
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz

Bluetooth Options:
Built-in Bluetooth capability ( 2.0 EDR)

Physics Game Accelerator :
AGEIA PhysX™ 100M Processor (Just so you know, you can't select or deselect this thing)

Which comes out to about 2800ish before tax and shipping. It's still about 10 pounds and doesn't last long on a battery, as you can imagine. Plus, the power brick is gigantic.

Then I was screwing around and found the XPS M1530:

CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7500 (2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB, 4MB Cache)

OS: Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate Edition - English

GPU: 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT

Wireless Networking: Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-card

Hard Drive: 160GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive

Memory: 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (2 Dimms)

Bluetooth Options:
Built-in Bluetooth capability ( 2.0 EDR)


And this one is about 1000 dollars less and about 4 pounds less and an inch less thick from what I understand. Coming to 1 inches thick and a bit less than 6 pounds. A big question is here, what's the difference between an 8600M and a 8700M. I assume the latter is more powerful, but by how much?

Also, will the latter be able to play games like World In Conflict on highish settings. (I know it will run WoW, that doesn't take much heh) Another question is how long will either last running new games on High Settings? (Starcraft 2 is another major thing I'm waiting for, of course I don't expect outlandish settings to come out of that either)

Any input would help, and if you need more information about either one I'd be happy to provide it, also, here's the two builder things... assuming the links work.
XPS M1530: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us...
XPS M1730: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us...
December 20, 2007 1:41:59 AM

Don't overlook the fact that the M1730 has "dual" 8700M cards and a PhysX accelerator. That will overshadow the single 8600M by quite a nice margin when it comes to gaming.

If you're really wanting a true gaming laptop, then I would wait for the 8800M.

I highly doubt the 8600M will run any of the new games on high settings.

The M1730 is your obvious choice for gaming, but only you can decide if the extra $1000 is worth it.
December 22, 2007 5:11:38 AM

Also remember that PhysX is kinda gimmicky. *laughs* But it is hardware, and I can't say that it's useless, so it does have to be mentioned.

I'm not sure if the M1730 can handle high settings on WiC right now, at least with high framerates. My laptop (with a single 7950, which will beat a single 8700, and probably only be slightly overpowered by the SLI) can run it smoothly at medium. But I keep the framerate high, 45-60 if I remember correctly, so it depends on what you feel like.

Also, remember the M1730's battery life is horrendous. Keep that in mind as well.
!