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Laptop for College

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April 14, 2008 2:01:14 AM

I am looking for a laptop for college. I have a budget of up to $3000, (this includes shipping, warranty, and tax). I will be an aerospace engineering student in the fall. I game and it would need to be able to handle engineering apps. If anyone has any suggestions on a brand and/or parts, it would be much appreciated. I would like to get as much bang for the buck as possible. Thanks

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April 14, 2008 2:51:26 AM

It would probably be better if the price was in the $2500. Although if $3000 is absolutely necessary or significantly better, it could be arranged.
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April 14, 2008 6:41:49 AM

The Clevo is also sold by other companies like Killer Notebooks and XoticPC, if you contact them, they might be able to offer you a competing price for the laptop.
a c 244 D Laptop
April 14, 2008 9:27:15 AM

lostandwandering said:
The Clevo M570RU rebranded as the Sager NP5793.

How I configured:
WUXGA+
Core2 T9300
GeForce 8800mGTX
Vista Home Premium
4gb RAM (the combo special)
100gb 7200rpm HDD
8x DVD burner
1 year warranty
Total 2529.00 (add your shipping charge)

http://www.sagernotebook.com/product_customed.php?pid=51114&action=customize



thats a killer config
April 15, 2008 12:58:52 AM

I am wondering if it is worth to get the upgrade to Vista Ultimate over Vista Premium. Any suggestions?
a b D Laptop
April 15, 2008 1:10:56 AM

I'm not a Vista user, but from what I gather it's only worth it if you feel you need the extra networking and security features of the Business edition.

Quote:
The Clevo is also sold by other companies like Killer Notebooks and XoticPC, if you contact them, they might be able to offer you a competing price for the laptop.


Yes, K|N would be a good option if you are willing to push your budget a bit. It's the same basic unit as the 5793, but he has added modifications to the heatsinks to allow the unit to run cooler and has come up with his own "turbo button" which OC's the CPU (both the base T9500 and the upgraded X9000). Add onto that the fact that you are getting support directly from the owner and not a run around like Sager might give you (they will handle certain issues and then reroute you for others). Is it worth it? That's for you to decide www.killernotebooks.com
a c 244 D Laptop
April 15, 2008 8:55:53 AM

Enginerd said:
I am wondering if it is worth to get the upgrade to Vista Ultimate over Vista Premium. Any suggestions?


No if u ask me unless u need extra security features
April 15, 2008 2:31:20 PM

the oem version of utimate will be offered for free...
April 15, 2008 4:09:06 PM

Holly hell. Aerospace R&D? get a sparcbook, and load up matlab or macsyma.
April 15, 2008 6:21:18 PM

The General Dynamics Sparcbook? I don't think you need something that's...not sure what the word for it is, specialized? Runs the Solaris operating system, 650 mhz Ultrasparc IIi processor...4 gigs of ram...it doesn't seem to match up to what a student will want. Plus it doesn't mention anything about a graphics card, so rendering would take a long time...unless I'm mistaken about the configuration. It's the first time I've heard of it
April 15, 2008 9:41:36 PM

Im not really sure about the whole "sparcbook" idea. I mean, I still want to play games and have a compatible system with many apps. On another note. I was thinking the T9300 b/c it has the 6mb of cache and it has a good clock (2.5Ghz). Good Choice?
On a graphics card, it seems that the 8800m GTX is the most powerful of the market right now and should last a while in the entire spectrum of things. Though on some websites, lets use alienware as an example, it is $500 more for it over the 8600m GT. And $350 over the 8700m GT. Is it worth it.
Next, in a builder's, more experienced than mine, mind, do you think it is a good idea to get Vista Ultimate over Vista Premium, in a yes or no answer? (Of course taking into account that I am a student and other factors.)
Also, Sager and KillerNotebooks have been mentioned as places to shop. Are there any others to look at, besides the obvious (Dell XPS and Alienware)?
Also should I buy the Laptop with low memory (RAM) and install more ram myself? I calculated the cost and it seems over all I could save about $100. (Except with the Sager deal.)
Does a Hard Drive with a faster speed, 7200 vs 5400, really matter that much?
Is it a good idea to get a long warranty, 3 years, or is it not worth it after 1 or 2 years?
Thanks for all the advice.
April 15, 2008 11:35:54 PM

ibm, *cough*, i mean, lennovo. Highly energy efficient. perhaps useful for you? I would recommend buying a few new batteries now, for the laptop, because used ones are terrible. And keeping them in cold storage or something. Because by the time yours are failing they may have stopped making them. </shrugs>
April 16, 2008 12:23:07 AM

1) Well, there are a few other high end computer companies out there, like Falcon Northwest and VoodooPC, but 3000 dollars is barely enough to scrape the bottom of their laptop lines. You can check out Gateway if you'd like, they're making the move into the gaming PC sector with their FX series. I'd almost suggest against considering Alienware, I've heard mixed reviews about their customer support.

2) If you can save money by getting your own RAM, go for it, since it's so cheap now.

3) Yeah, there's a noticeable difference between a 7.2k and 5.4k RPM hard drive, at least in my opinion. If you're willing to wait longer for loading, then don't bother, but in most laptops, it's an annoying bottleneck, because you can't overclock a hard drive, and it just slows load times. Luckily they're easily upgradeable.

4) If you're extremely careful with your laptop, you can probably swing by with the 1 year, but then again, if you're covered by warranty and your hard drive decides to melt, the company will replace it for you. If you can afford it, get the higher warranty, I think at least. It's a precaution, and some peace of mind.
April 17, 2008 12:02:50 PM

How does this look?

Gateway® P-172X FX Edition $2,369.92 1 $2,369.92
Customized Options
Processor Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T8300 (2.40GHz, 800MHz FSB, 3MB L2 cache)
Operating System Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (32-bit) SP1
Memory 4096MB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (2-2048MB modules)
Hard Drive 320GB 7200rpm Serial ATA hard drive w/ Raid 0 (2-160GB hard drives)
Optical Drive 8x Multi-Format Dual Layer Slot Load DVD-RW w/ DVD-RAM
Chassis Intel® PM965 Chipset
Display 17.0" WUXGA TFT Active Matrix (1920 x 1200 max. resolution)
Web Camera Integrated 1.3 Megapixel Web Cam
Wireless Network Integrated Intel® 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N Wireless Networking
Fingerprint Reader Fingerprint Reader
Accidental Damage Plan Three years accidental damage plan [$99.99]
Adapter 120 Watt AC Adapter
Application Software Microsoft® Works® 9.0 & Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 (60-day complimentary trial)
Backup Media Cyberlink Power2Go (for Windows Vista® Home Premium and Ultimate)
Battery Primary 9 Cell Lithium Ion battery (7800mAH) w/ 1 Yr. limited battery warranty
Bluetooth Bluetooth® 2.0+EDR
Color FX Design with Copper Core Accent
Download Tracking 2906041R - P-172X FX Edition - DOWNLOAD TRACKING
Expansion Slots One ExpressCard™ Type 54
Extended Service Plan 3 Yr. Consumer Mobile Primary Battery Replacement Service Plan (requires 3 Yr. or greater limited warranty) [$69.95]
Finished Goods Brushed-metal precision-touch multimedia control panel, featuring smooth-cut keys and touch-sensitive volume adjustment.
Media Card Reader 5-in-1 media card reader (Memory Stick®, MemoryStick Pro®, MultiMediaCard™, Secure Digital™, xD-Picture Card)
Modem Integrated V.92 56K modem
Operating System Backup Media Windows Vista® Home Premium Backup Media (32-bit)
Security Software Norton Internet Security™ (60-day live updates)
Software Documentation End User License Agreement for Non-Microsoft Software
Standard Software Adobe® Acrobat Reader® 7.0
Warranty 3 Year Premium (Tech Support - Parts - At Home Service) [$199.99]

Subtotal: $2,369.92
Coupon Savings -$50.00
Est. Shipping & Handling1 $49.00
Estimated Tax3 $151.19
Total: $2,520.11
April 17, 2008 6:28:02 PM

Wow, looks pretty damn sweet, though just wondering if you really want RAID 0 in a laptop. I always found that the hard drives get hot because there's no active cooling over them, and while I don't have any experience with your model, I wonder if two hard drives will cause a heat buildup...just a precaution, but otherwise it looks sweet.
April 18, 2008 9:49:19 PM

Since it comes with 32-bit Vista should I get 64-bit Vista now and do a full install or wait until compatibility increases and get an upgrade?
Also do you think it is beneficial to get 64-bit (since it increases RAM capacity)?
April 28, 2008 2:41:24 PM

I would like to thank everyone for all their help.
This the final configuration that was ordered.

Customized Options

Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T8300 (2.40GHz, 800MHz FSB, 3MB L2 cache)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (32-bit) SP1
4096MB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (2-2048MB modules)
320GB 7200rpm Serial ATA hard drive w/ Raid 0 (2-160GB hard drives)
8x Multi-Format Dual Layer Slot Load DVD-RW w/ DVD-RAM
NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800M GTS with 512MB of GDDR3 discrete video memory
Intel® PM965 Chipset
17.0" WUXGA TFT Active Matrix (1920 x 1200 max. resolution)
Integrated 1.3 Megapixel Web Cam
Integrated Intel® 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N Wireless Networking
Fingerprint Reader
Three years accidental damage plan [$99.99]
120 Watt AC Adapter
Microsoft® Works® 9.0 & Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 (60-day complimentary trial)
High-Definition Audio- 2 Channel, Built-In speakers, embedded microphone, headphone/speaker jack, and microphone jacks
Cyberlink Power2Go (for Windows Vista® Home Premium and Ultimate)
Primary 9 Cell Lithium Ion battery (7800mAH) w/ 1 Yr. limited battery warranty
Bluetooth® 2.0+EDR
FX Design with Copper Core Accent
1.3"-1.70" (H) x 15.75" (W) x 11.75" (D)
2906041R - P-172X FX Edition - DOWNLOAD TRACKING
One ExpressCard™ Type 54
3 Yr. Consumer Mobile Primary Battery Replacement Service Plan (requires 3 Yr. or greater limited warranty) [$69.95]
(3) USB 2.0, VGA Connector, V1.2 HDMI Connector, IEEE 1394 Firewire Port, e-SATA and Kensington Lock Slot
Brushed-metal precision-touch multimedia control panel, featuring smooth-cut keys and touch-sensitive volume adjustment.
Full-Size Keyboard, Synaptics Touchpad with Vertical Scroll and Dedicated Multimedia Panel
5-in-1 media card reader (Memory Stick®, MemoryStick Pro®, MultiMediaCard™, Secure Digital™, xD-Picture Card)
Integrated V.92 56K modem
Integrated RealTek 10/100/1000 Ethernet Adapter
Windows Vista® Home Premium Backup Media (32-bit)
Norton Internet Security™ (60-day live updates)
End User License Agreement for Non-Microsoft Software
Adobe® Acrobat Reader® 7.0
3 Year Basic (Tech Support - Parts - Factory Labor) [$159.99]

All for $2,193.98 (includes tax. shipping, and a Targus Bluetooth Laser Mouse)

Can't wait to benchmark it!!
a c 244 D Laptop
April 28, 2008 3:11:40 PM

wow thats a killer config mate :)  hope u will enjoy it :) 

btw: i hope someday those gateways will become availabe in UK so i can tell my uncle to get one for me :D 
April 29, 2008 1:26:34 AM

Does anyone have an idea of the kind of performance I should get? (Games, apps or other stuff.) Thanks in advance.
April 29, 2008 2:57:56 AM

Hm...8500-9000 on 3dMark06? So you can probably playing just about anything short of Crysis on high. My guess at least, I can't back this up :p 
April 29, 2008 3:17:55 AM

With the brand new laptop, i'm kinda wary of overclocking. I would like to overclock, because I know it gives great *free* performance benefits, but i'm just afraid im gonna ruin a brand new laptop. (If anyone is wondering I have already checked with gateway and the BIOS are unlocked.) Is there a *safe* range anyone could recommend that would not cause any damage or degradation, on both the cpu and gpu?
April 29, 2008 4:24:55 AM

Well, there's /always/ going to be degradation, but you just want to minimize it to a point where it's irrelevant because you'll have replaced your laptop by then. I have about a 10% overclock on all my components, which I'm guessing is alright. Hopefully I won't run into any problems. If you're really wary, 5% maybe? You won't really see much benefit from such a small OC I think.
April 29, 2008 10:04:22 AM

In the past, I have only done overclocking on a desktop. What sort of thermal and vcore limit should i look for, since it is a laptop? (I know that mobile processors are rated higher in thermal spec.(around a 100C, i think)) Thanks in advance.
April 30, 2008 5:28:18 AM

I didn't touch any voltages, I just upped the FSB with Clockgen. In terms of thermal, a mobile CPU has a max temp of 100 degrees celsius, so it depends on how good your chassis is at cooling. Mine's pretty sweet, and even overclocked it only hits like 50-55 degrees when playing games.
May 16, 2008 11:23:36 PM

Just arrived off the UPS truck! Can't wait to benchmark. Give you the results when I get them, probably over the weekend.
a c 244 D Laptop
May 17, 2008 11:43:43 AM

Hope u will enjoy this beast :) 
a b D Laptop
May 17, 2008 3:39:35 PM

how ironic, i just got an np5793, and i'm majoring i aeronautical engineering. ha!
May 18, 2008 8:02:34 AM

The graphics cards are pretty safe to overclock, I do it with my 8600m gt. I dunno about mobile CPUs though.. I've been told it's pretty dangerous.
a b D Laptop
May 18, 2008 7:15:46 PM

dmacfour said:
The graphics cards are pretty safe to overclock, I do it with my 8600m gt. I dunno about mobile CPUs though.. I've been told it's pretty dangerous.


Heat is more of an issue with laptops so in that regard yes it is more dangerous. Most laptops also don't give you the options in the BIOS, so you are forced to use software utilities which I have found rarely give a stable OC. setFSB wasn't able to produce a stable OC past 2.19ghz which is pathetic on a 2ghz stock CPU. My 7950GTX OC's rather easily on the other hand.
May 19, 2008 1:07:02 AM

Yeah, it's heat mostly. Depends on your cooling system, I know my system runs pretty cool for a gaming laptop, so I OC'ed it a bit for fun. I got a stable overclock from 2.16 (original) to about 2.4. After that, Windows was fine, but 3DMark06 wouldn't run. I chickened out at 2.5, in which Orthos wasn't posting errors, and everything except 3DMark06 was fine.
!