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Buying a new laptop.

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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May 28, 2010 8:09:20 PM

Hi guys, I've been looking to purchase a new laptop. My budget is about $1,300 (including tax, shipping and handling, etc)

I intend to use the laptop for watching HD movies so I'd like it if it had a high resolution display, a blueray player + blueray burner also. I also want to use the laptop for video editing, gaming, web browsing, word processing, etc.

I might have a few windows/programs running at the same time.

I was looking at this Sony Vaio with these specifications,

* No Additional Video Editing Software
* Intel® Coreâ„¢ i7-720QM processor (1.60GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 2.80GHz
* 16.4" VAIO Display (1600x900) with NVIDIA® GeForce® 310M GPU (512MB VRAM)
* No Fresh Start
* Microsoft® Works
* No additional Photo Editing Software
* 4GB (4GBx1) DDR3-SDRAM-1333
* Blu-ray Discâ„¢ player/burner (reg. price $180.00)
* Norton Internet Securityâ„¢ 2010 (30 Day Trial)
* Keyboard Backlight
* Standard Capacity Battery
* Black
* No Engraving
* Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64-bit
* 500GB Hard Disk Drive (7200rpm)

I picked out the 7200 rpm 500gb and that's seems good. I also like the keyboard backlight, and the display seems good enough as well. I don't think the laptop has USB 3.0 and that is a bit of a concern for me. I mean, I don't plan to replace this computer for a while, and if the technology is out there already, I'm pretty sure more and more devices will make use of it soon enough to the point where USB 3.0 will become standard.

I was also reading about SATA III, and I have no idea if this laptop makes use of that hard drive technology or if it's even worth getting.

What do you guys think?

How good is this specific i7 processor? It has a 1.6 ghz standard clock-speed. I know that with the turbo ability, it can increase to up to 2.8 ghz, but I'm still skeptical. My old HP had an Intel Core Duo with 1.83 ghz and it was amazing for the duration of its life; will this processor be even more awesome? How does a newer processor with a lower clock speed relate to an older processor with a higher clock-speed?

What do you think of this Sony Vaio for that price?

Do you have other suggestions for about the same money or less?

Thank you!

Ohhhh, almost forgot! How good is that video card? I was reading about it, and I couldn't find anything about the 512 ram being dedicated. Also, the video card itself doesn't seem top of the line or anywhere close--I've been seeing a lot of video cards with at least 1 gig dedicated ram. How good of a video card is it really? The sonystyle.com website didn't give me a choice to change it/upgrade it. =(

PS. I don't mind if the computer is a desktop replacement. My old laptop was pretty big, and I've gotten used to it, actually, I would prefer to buy a laptop with a display of 15 to 17 inches.

Edit;

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benc...

According to this website ^

The 310m video card is ranked 109, my 2006 laptop's video card was a Geforce Go 7600 and that's ranked 130 on the website. It doesn't seem like much of an upgrade considering this new Sony is 4 years + newer than my old laptop. =(
Just further things to consider I guess. What do you guys think?

More about : buying laptop

a c 244 D Laptop
May 28, 2010 9:29:28 PM

Hello and welcome to the forums :) 
i7 720 is a great CPU for multi-threaded apps and its miles faster than your old 1.8 C2D,but don't expect great battery life from it
As for GPU,GT 310M is a low-end card for gaming,so consider another option for this purpose.
With that price range,this looks a decent choice
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+with+Intel%26...
It has a 5870M which destroys GT 310M in games
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May 28, 2010 9:55:29 PM

So basically, I'd be trading off the blueray player+burner for a better graphics card.

Is this a good trade off?

Also, I've noticed that that the Asus works with L2 cache instead of L3, what is the difference?

Edit: Any other suggestions that could possibly include everything I'd like?

i7 Processor
Blu-ray player/burner
HD resolution screen
At least 1 gb dedicated ram gpu
7200 RPM hard drive
USB 3.0
(Bonus) Sata III technology, built in webcam, bluetooth.
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a c 244 D Laptop
May 29, 2010 7:11:36 AM

That's a great trade for gaming IMO.
And both have the same CPU.(i7 720QM)
Well with your budget,its a little hard to find a good gaming laptop with Bluray driver.

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May 29, 2010 9:29:23 PM

How good is 330M in comparison? I might be able to get that with the Sony.
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May 30, 2010 1:48:52 AM

Trading off the Blue Ray player for a better video card is an Excellent idea ... Once you buy the software for the blueray drive and work out the kinks in it's palyability you will be wishig you had purchased a better card and thenspend ~$150 on a blue ray player separately.

PS if you find a Magnavox blue ray player ... get it ... the one I have is about a year and a half old, has never required updates, and was cheap as hell [$98 walmart]

:hello: 
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May 30, 2010 1:52:53 AM

PS

as far as Burning in Blue Ray goes ... I guess that depnds on how important burning in Blue really matters. Remember if you have a blue ray machine, they upconvert your DVD's into HD. Something to consider.
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a c 244 D Laptop
May 30, 2010 6:16:11 AM

InaPinch said:
How good is 330M in comparison? I might be able to get that with the Sony.

330M is faster than a 310M but its still significantly slower than a 5870m
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