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Need Help Finding Gaming/Media Notebook

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  • Notebooks
  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
November 18, 2009 3:11:08 AM

Hey all.

I’m a college student in the market for a new notebook sometime in the next 6-10 months or so, and I’m already getting frustrated in my search. I do video editing and subtitling as a hobby, so that’s going to be this computer’s main function outside the classroom. Also, while I’m not a hardcore gamer with a need for a machine that can max out a game’s specs, I do want something that can put in a respectable performance on whatever game I feel like picking up and killing time with. At current I have a three and a half year old Dell Inspiron E1405 that can’t even load Battle for Middle Earth II. (Extremely sad, considering the game isn’t all that much younger than the computer.) I live on the east coast, go to college in Hawaii, and I’ll be attending a study abroad program next year in Japan. Having to do as much traveling as I do I don’t get the luxury of having a powerful desktop at home and then a more portable notebook or netbook for being on the go. This computer is going to be my main (and probably only) machine.

So here’s my “Wish List":

Hard Drive: MINIMUM 1TB split between two 7200RPM HDDs (Trust me, the space is necessary. So is the RPM speed.)

Processor: at least 2GHz, preferred 3.0GHz (preferred i7 processor). I’m not an expert on CPUs so if anyone into video and media editing has any suggestions for which one to get please send them.

Memory: 4GB MIN., 6 or 8GB preferred.

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (or XP Pro) with Windows Small Business/Student edition

Battery: Not looking for a miracle here. I know that for the performance I’m looking for, the amount of time I’ll be spending unplugged isn’t going to be long, but if anyone knows of a computer with something greater than an hour long battery life without me having to shell out $100+ extra for a better battery, I’d be grateful.

Weight: I’ll be lugging this thing around all day to classes, so I’d prefer something under 10lbs.

Upgrade-ability: Absolutely! This computer’s going to be my close companion for at least the next three years, so I need something that can change with the times as much as possible.

Warranty: MUST be global. I need one that’s fully covered for parts and labor (shipping’s lovely too!) and I need it to last at least three years and not give me a hassle about being outside of mainland US. Something extendable would be nice as well.

These don’t have to be the basic features. Being able to customize the specs before purchasing the machine is fine. I would like to see a price of less than $3500 though. (I priced one machine at $3200-ish, but cheaper would be very welcome.)

The following is not intended to sound like I’m yelling. Quite the opposite, actually. Still, large print gets people’s attention, and I really don’t want people to waste their time typing out a response only to tell them that their recommendation is worthless to me. So here it goes:

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I CONSIDER A DELL COMPUTER OR ANY COMPUTER MADE BY A COMPANY OWNED BY DELL, INCLUDING ALIENWARE.

I won’t go into the whole sob story, but the bare bones of it is that I have spent the entirety of the three years I’ve owned a Dell wishing I had the finances to get a different machine. One that isn’t determined to make me replace every piece of hardware on it a minimum of three or more times (The only parts on this thing that haven’t been replaced are the battery, which is almost dead anyway, and the DVD drive). The warranty is the only reason I still have a working computer at all. My Dell is the reason I wish there were lemon laws on computers, so I don't want another one.

So far my search has lead me to the ASUS G51J-A1, but I haven’t fallen in love with it so please let me know if you have a better suggestion, even if it's an upcoming model.

Thanks a lot!

More about : finding gaming media notebook

November 18, 2009 3:18:35 AM

There are lemmon Laws on Dell If the same piece breaks three times... check ur warranty...
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November 18, 2009 3:26:09 AM

Back in the day when this thing was 3 months old and already being a problem, Dell wouldn't do anything more than ship and fix it for free. Now I'm so done with their product I don't even care anymore. It'll be 4 years old as of June '10, time to just get a new one, since even if they did replace it I wouldn't want another machine from them anyway.
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Related resources
a b D Laptop
November 18, 2009 2:48:45 PM

I highly recommend you look at this: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8760-built-clevo-w870cu-...

It may be a little on the heavy side for your tastes, but not many 15'' notebooks come with the capability of having 2 HDDs. Otherwise, it has everything you need for under $3000. XoticPC does International Shipping, but I'm not sure how they handle their warranties. They have a live chat option, so that would certainly be something to ask about.
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November 19, 2009 1:52:34 AM

Thanks. I looked at Sager a while ago, but I don't think I looked at that model. I'll go check it out. ^_^
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November 19, 2009 2:29:39 AM

Just out of curiosity, how many of the components on Sager laptops can be upgraded? Stuff like the CPU, RAM, optical drive, etc.? Because if those components can be switched out at a later date that would allow me to buy the rig cheaper now and then worry about customizing it to perfection later.
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a b D Laptop
November 19, 2009 3:06:17 AM

Quote:
An upgradeable laptop...Quit smoking that stuff... Check the specs yourself, quit asking us to do your legwork! You've kept your laptop plugged into the AC outlet with the battery attached...stupid...Have you paid for the Gold level service Dell provides? I work on the US Army's computers, Dell provides THE BEST service support compared to HP, Toshiba, and Panasonic. That's a fact from someone who provides support for more than 3000 computers and 5000 users...


Ok, take your anger and go right back out the door with it. The purpose of the forum is to ask questions. And, you obviously don't know much about laptops these days if you think that laptops can't be upgraded.

Hikaru: The CPU can be upgraded so long as the socket type remains the same. RAM can be upgraded on pretty much all laptops these days. HDDs, yes. Optical Drive so long as you find one that fits in the laptop's chasis. Aside from the motherboard, the biggest problem you will have is with the graphics card. The card is replaceable, but they are really tough to find. Your best bet is to go through the manufacturer and see if they can do it.
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November 19, 2009 3:18:57 AM

My anger at IDIOTS like you is what prods me to respond to "ANSWERING QUESTIONS". How many laptops do you work on during a standard work day? How many laptops do you personally know that can be upgraded in a significant way? If it's just the Sager, then what's the point of even answering MY response?

"Aside from the motherboard, the biggest problem you will have is with the graphics card. The card is replaceable, but they are really tough to find. Your best bet is to go through the manufacturer and see if they can do it."

Yeah, see if they can do it...that sounds like 100% from someone that doesn't know anything!
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November 19, 2009 3:34:13 AM

Hey, LostAndStupid, Cat got your keyboard?
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a b D Laptop
November 19, 2009 3:37:52 AM

marcellis22 said:
My anger at IDIOTS like you is what prods me to respond to "ANSWERING QUESTIONS". How many laptops do you work on during a standard work day? How many laptops do you personally know that can be upgraded in a significant way? If it's just the Sager, then what's the point of even answering MY response?

"Aside from the motherboard, the biggest problem you will have is with the graphics card. The card is replaceable, but they are really tough to find. Your best bet is to go through the manufacturer and see if they can do it."

Yeah, see if they can do it...that sounds like 100% from someone that doesn't know anything!


*Sigh*

Rants aren't going to get you anywhere with me. Do not come in here and tell me what I do or do not know based on two posts that you have seen from me.

I know for a fact that my Sager can be upgraded (CPU, RAM, HDD and yes even the GPU if I wanted to shell out $800 at the time). I know for a fact that my brother's Dell Inspiron can be upgraded (CPU, RAM, HDD and GPU if it was done through Dell). I also know for a fact that the Asus G50/51's G70's and the Gateway FX laptops can be upgraded.

Now, are these upgrades as easy as they are on desktop platforms? Hell no. CPU upgrades in laptops for the most part require a good deal of research as well as almost completely disassembling your laptop and in most cases voiding the warranty. RAM and HDDs are a good deal easier. For most laptops RAM is replaced by simply opening up a compartment, taking out the old RAM and putting in the new stuff. HDD's aren't that hard either. I've done it on my Sager and my girlfriend's HP Pavilion laptop.

Would you like to continue to argue and call me names? Or have I made my point?
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November 19, 2009 5:46:52 AM

lostandwandering said:
*Sigh*

Rants aren't going to get you anywhere with me. Do not come in here and tell me what I do or do not know based on two posts that you have seen from me.

I know for a fact that my Sager can be upgraded (CPU, RAM, HDD and yes even the GPU if I wanted to shell out $800 at the time). I know for a fact that my brother's Dell Inspiron can be upgraded (CPU, RAM, HDD and GPU if it was done through Dell). I also know for a fact that the Asus G50/51's G70's and the Gateway FX laptops can be upgraded.

Now, are these upgrades as easy as they are on desktop platforms? Hell no. CPU upgrades in laptops for the most part require a good deal of research as well as almost completely disassembling your laptop and in most cases voiding the warranty. RAM and HDDs are a good deal easier. For most laptops RAM is replaced by simply opening up a compartment, taking out the old RAM and putting in the new stuff. HDD's aren't that hard either. I've done it on my Sager and my girlfriend's HP Pavilion laptop.

Would you like to continue to argue and call me names? Or have I made my point?


lostandwandering, thanks so much for your information so far. I went to xoticpc and I like what I see on the machine you recommended. However, while on their site I came across the Asus G72J-A1 (currently on pre-order). The thing that caught my eye was that it had most of the features I want without me having to upgrade it for extra cost, and came out to be about $500 less expensive. This however comes with an Intel Q9000 processor, instead of the i7. Is there really a huge difference between them, or are they really so similar it's not even worth mentioning? And what about the 'extreme' versions? I've read mixed reviews on how much better performance they really give. At this point I'm down to choosing between these two models.

I sent an email to xotic to ask about their warranties so now it's just a matter of waiting for their reply to see what my options are should I run into trouble when I'm abroad.
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a b D Laptop
November 19, 2009 1:12:11 PM

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the Q9000 because of its low clock speed. At least with the i7's they can increase their clock speed with single and dual threaded applications. If you think you can get away with the Q9000 though, it'll certainly save you some money. As for the Extreme Editions, no they are generally not worth the tremendous amount of money they want for them. You get a higher clock speed and the ability to overclock, but overclocking generally isn't a good idea with laptops.
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