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Gaming, 3D, and Entertainment Laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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March 9, 2010 2:47:11 AM

Hey all, I'm basically looking for a laptop that can handle gaming, 3d modelling/animation/etc (using Maya primarily), some post production work in After Effects, and watching movies and what not in HD and the like (though I suspect this shouldn't be a problem since my current laptop can handle that).

Here goes. Hope I am doing this right, following this guide and all.

1_What is your budget?
$1000 (CAD preferably)

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15" - 17"

3_What screen resolution
My current one is 1680x1050 (love it) but anything 1366 x 768 and higher is nice. The higher the better.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
desktop replacement laptop. I'll be bringing it to work and to and from my parent's place to do some gaming and work. Hopefully it doesn't exceed 10lbs. My current is about 7-8lbs.

5_How much battery life do you need?
Of course the longer the better but since I'll most likely have an outlet near me when I use it I don't need that long of a battery life since I won't play demanding games on battery alone. So at least 2hrs? Mine lasts about 4-5hrs I believe.

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
all the following I would like playable fps. I'm not TOO picky when it comes down to it, esp. if there is no option to show framerate but the higher the better of course. Hopefully at least 40fps on these settings :)  (high and max are generally the same in this case)
Bad Company 2 (max but AA is not necessary)
Aion (max)
COD: MW2 (max but AA not necessary)
Borderlands (high with 2x AA but again, not necessary)
Team Fortress 2 (max)
L4D2 (max but AA not necessary)
Dragon Age (max but AA not necessary)
Mass Effect 2 (max but AA not necessary)
Final Fantasy XIV (max with some AA hopefully. Yes I know there is little information on specs...or I could be wrong. And no gameplay videos as of yet but I want to be prepared)
Crysis (high, no AA, about 30fps or higher would be nice) - no biggie if it can't do this since my desktop can only handle this on the highest settings but no AA and only get around 30 fps on average as well. Unless I look at the ground or am in less demanding areas in which I'd get around 50+)

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Watch movies
Photoshop
After Effects/Video Editing
3D Rendering...Maya
Word processing
Surf the web

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
Not picky at all but the bigger the better. At LEAST 160GB. My current one has 80 and it's barely enough sometimes. I'm sure the ones now harbour at least 250 or 320 if I'm not mistaken.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.
tigerdirect
Canada Computers
Futureshop
Best Buy
Newegg

Generally don't buy things online but I'll make an exception this time around. And I tend not to buy computer related items from Futreshop/Best Buy unless they are on sale and are cheap cause they are generally overpriced I think, compared to say CC and Tiger Direct.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible haha. Mine has lasted me 4 years but it's getting too slow with the things I do. so I'd say a few years at least. I'm not that into keeping up to date or changing laptops often though.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray
ROM/Writer,Etc ?

A DVD R/W would be nice and being able to watch Bluray would be a plus but not necessary.

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Asus - been hearing good things and seeing good things
MSI - thought they were bad but heard from a friend they're not bad at all
HP - lots of people have one, but how good are they really?

I don't know about other brands but I'm pretty much open to any brand that's trustworthy, has good warranty and customer service. I don' really trust Gateway cause I hear their laptops blow up? Correct me if I'm wrong. That could have been a long time ago though.
Acer I don't know if they're good but from what my father says they aren't that great.
Apple - not sure if this applies but I do not like them and won't consider buying one.

As far as other brands, I'm open to anything.

13_What country do you live in?
Canada

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
My current laptop is:
Lenovo 3000 N100 series
17", 1680x1050, not a full keyboard but a nice one
Centrino Duo (Dual Core T2300 @ 1.66ghz 1.67ghz)
Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family (integrated graphics 128MB I believe)
2GB RAM (ddr2 I'm assuming)
80GB HD
has bluetooth (barely tough it at all)
built in wireless (what laptop doesn't have that nowadays)
DVD R/W
4 USB ports (love this aspect of it) - would like around the same amount if not more. Minimum 3 though.

Other specs I would like on laptop:
keyboard that feels nice and responds well and is smooth when typing, like the Lenovo one. Full keyboard though.
at least 2GB RAM
a dedicated GPU
media keys are not necessary but would be nice. lighted keys would be fantastic but again not necessary.

Hope that is enough information. Thanks to everyone in advance!

Best solution

March 9, 2010 5:15:53 AM

for 1000 CA and with the specs you are looking for I would say This one is a decent choice.


If you can squeeze a bit more into the budget This one is even better.
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March 9, 2010 8:03:46 AM

Hey Maverick, thanks for the quick reply. It's still a rather big toss up for me unfortunately. I love both but the more expensive one has a smaller screen but a much better cpu. I don't know how the GPUs match up however. I checked notebookcheck.ca but the 325M doesn't seem to be on there at all. No stats or benchmarks so it's hard to judge.

I honestly don't know which to choose out of the 2 if I were to go for one of those (still open to options). One has a bigger screen/res and more HD space (not sure how good Optimus Technology is) and the other has a faster CPU and possibly better GPU too :(  Everything else is pretty much the same. Decisions, decisions.
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March 9, 2010 8:23:44 PM

Hello,

Another idea:

MSI GE600-002US Intel Core i5 430M 4GB 320GB 16IN WXGA Radeon HD5730 Windows 7 Premium Notebook from NCIX.com $949.99 CAD

or

Acer Aspire AS7740G-6488 Intel Core i7 620M 4GB 500GB 17.3IN HD+ Radeon HD5650 WIN7 Premium Notebook

$1,099.99 CAD

from the same website.

You may be able to find them at the shops you mentioned if you do plan on going that way.
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March 9, 2010 10:11:41 PM

Chainzsaw said:
Hello,

Another idea:

MSI GE600-002US Intel Core i5 430M 4GB 320GB 16IN WXGA Radeon HD5730 Windows 7 Premium Notebook from NCIX.com $949.99 CAD

or

Acer Aspire AS7740G-6488 Intel Core i7 620M 4GB 500GB 17.3IN HD+ Radeon HD5650 WIN7 Premium Notebook

$1,099.99 CAD

from the same website.

You may be able to find them at the shops you mentioned if you do plan on going that way.


ooo I totally forgot about ncix!!! I'm going to have a look at that now. I was leaning more towards the more expensive ASUS earlier (ASUS N61JQ-X1) but now that I have this new site and these new options I will consider them as well. Thank you kindly!

Hopefully someone will be abel to find one that's less than $900 and gives fantastic specs. The CPU doesn't have to be insane like the ones mentions so far haha just the GPU has to be good :) 
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March 10, 2010 1:49:50 AM

3py0n said:
ooo I totally forgot about ncix!!! I'm going to have a look at that now. I was leaning more towards the more expensive ASUS earlier (ASUS N61JQ-X1) but now that I have this new site and these new options I will consider them as well. Thank you kindly!

Hopefully someone will be abel to find one that's less than $900 and gives fantastic specs. The CPU doesn't have to be insane like the ones mentions so far haha just the GPU has to be good :) 



Keep in mind that the CPU does matter somewhat when gaming. The MSI for 949 at NCIX is about as low as I would go on GPU from ATi. THe GTX325M is about the same as a GTS240M.
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March 10, 2010 3:30:33 AM

Maverick4396 said:
Keep in mind that the CPU does matter somewhat when gaming. The MSI for 949 at NCIX is about as low as I would go on GPU from ATi. THe GTX325M is about the same as a GTS240M.


Hrmm...yea initially I was just going to go for something around 700-800 but after looking around and what not it doesn't seem possible to get a good laptop for that price. After having been shown the crazy ASUS one from newegg that was $1,049 I'm really considering that one. It has all I want and then some! But I'm going to wait a bit for the price to go down as my dad suggests.

I haven't set my heart on anything and am still considering options! Thank you all so far for the wonderful help!
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March 17, 2010 7:46:46 PM

After some more intensive searching I found out Amazon has the laptops I'm considering at fair prices.

Here are the 3 models.

N61JQ-X1
N61JQ-X1

N61JQ-A1 (only difference from A1 is 500GB instead of 320GB and 1 year more of warranty i THINK)
N61JQ-A1


G51JX-X3

G51JX-X3

I think the A1 is just a waste of an extra $100+ since the 180gb to me isn't a BIG deal...and I really don't wanna go any higher in price...

As for the X3, it really caught my eye. The screen isn't as bad as the other 2 (slightly smaller) but the resolution is fantastic...though it could have an impact on the gameplay/fps since it's so big. I didn't mind the 1366x768 tbh. The gpu is the new Nvidia GTS 360M which I can only assume it's better than the 5730. On notebookcheck, it doesn't have many stats for it, so can't say. And it runs hot...but then again so does the X1/A1. This one has a backlit keyboard too!! So that's a big plus. Only downsize is the cpu is slower than the X1/A1 since it's an i5. Not sure how big of an impact that has.

Thanks in advance everyone!
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March 27, 2010 12:22:41 AM

Best answer selected by 3py0n.
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