Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Yet Another Newcomer Looking for Laptop Suggestions

Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
Share
June 9, 2010 9:05:35 PM

Hi there, new guy here: I'm hoping to get a laptop in the next month or so. Any help you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated!

Q1: What is your budget?
A1: I can spend about $2,000 US, though this is far from a hard cap.

Q2: What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
A2: I'd prefer to avoid anything with more than a 15" screen, but if I have to go as bigger, I suppose anything up to 17.3" is doable. No 18" screens, though; that's just too big.

Q3: What screen resolution do you want?
A3: I'm not picky, but it needs to be at /least/ 900 pixels tall. 1440x900, 1600x900, 1650x1050, or higher. I suppose I'd cap it at 1920x1200, as any smaller will be too difficult to read on a typical laptop's screen.

Q4: Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
A4: Eh... so long as it's less than 8lbs (3.5kg), I'll be fine. It can be big, but not huge.

Q5: How much battery life do you need?
A5: Not much: two hours or more would be great, but I'll settle for less if it's necessary. I have a hobby of carrying an extension cord with me everywhere, so finding an outlet shouldn't be a problem.

Q6: 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)?
A6: The entire point of this laptop, aside from some minor work, is to play games on as high settings as possible. I currently intend to play Dawn of War II, Left 4 Dead 2, Crysis, Dragon Age: Origins, Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands (yes, I know about the DRM T_T), and many other games on High or Very High settings whenever possible. This rig has to be suitable for Starcraft II and Diablo III when they hit shelves.

Q7: What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
A7: I'll also be watching movies, programming in Java and Python, and surfing the net on the laptop, but its primary function will be gaming.

Q8: How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
A8: At least 60GB: just enough to get one or two games, word processing, and an OS installed. I'll use external data storage for movies and the like. I'd prefer solid state drives, if only for the speed and reduced power consumption, but I won't turn my nose up at a speedy HDD if its all that's available.

Q9: If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
A9: I'm considering the following model, though it's sub-one-hour battery life is giving me pause: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=product_cus...

Q10: How long do you want to keep your laptop?
A10: Ideally, forever. Realistically, not much longer than 3 years.

Q11: What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
A11: So long as it burns DVDs and reads fast enough to avoid horribly bottlenecking what few retail games I own, I'll be happy. Ideally, it'd be slot-loading, but I'm not picky.

Q12: 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.
A12: I've had decent experiences with Dell- namely that their warranties rock and can be exploited to get free upgrades. But seeing as I want a gaming laptop, not an overpriced, underpowered, bloatware-infested mess, I think it's time to shop elsewhere. Additionally, I usually buy nVidia GPUs, but I certainly wouldn't mind trying ATI's new cards as I've read the Mobility Radeon HD 5870 may be better than the 285M: can anyone confirm or deny this?

Q13: What country do you live in?
A13: USA, (un)fortunately.

Q14: Please tell us any additional information if needed.
A14: I'm a big fan of warranties, so I'd like to get one with the laptop. Additionally, I'd like to get this laptop before July, but won't be able to actually purchase it until at /least/ the 15th.
a b D Laptop
June 9, 2010 10:36:56 PM

thraxismodarodan said:
Hi there, new guy here: I'm hoping to get a laptop in the next month or so. Any help you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated!

Q1: What is your budget?
A1: I can spend about $2,000 US, though this is far from a hard cap.

Q2: What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
A2: I'd prefer to avoid anything with more than a 15" screen, but if I have to go as bigger, I suppose anything up to 17.3" is doable. No 18" screens, though; that's just too big.

Q3: What screen resolution do you want?
A3: I'm not picky, but it needs to be at /least/ 900 pixels tall. 1440x900, 1600x900, 1650x1050, or higher. I suppose I'd cap it at 1920x1200, as any smaller will be too difficult to read on a typical laptop's screen.

Q4: Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
A4: Eh... so long as it's less than 8lbs (3.5kg), I'll be fine. It can be big, but not huge.

Q5: How much battery life do you need?
A5: Not much: two hours or more would be great, but I'll settle for less if it's necessary. I have a hobby of carrying an extension cord with me everywhere, so finding an outlet shouldn't be a problem.

Q6: 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)?
A6: The entire point of this laptop, aside from some minor work, is to play games on as high settings as possible. I currently intend to play Dawn of War II, Left 4 Dead 2, Crysis, Dragon Age: Origins, Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands (yes, I know about the DRM T_T), and many other games on High or Very High settings whenever possible. This rig has to be suitable for Starcraft II and Diablo III when they hit shelves.

Q7: What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
A7: I'll also be watching movies, programming in Java and Python, and surfing the net on the laptop, but its primary function will be gaming.

Q8: How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
A8: At least 60GB: just enough to get one or two games, word processing, and an OS installed. I'll use external data storage for movies and the like. I'd prefer solid state drives, if only for the speed and reduced power consumption, but I won't turn my nose up at a speedy HDD if its all that's available.

Q9: If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
A9: I'm considering the following model, though it's sub-one-hour battery life is giving me pause: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=product_cus...

Q10: How long do you want to keep your laptop?
A10: Ideally, forever. Realistically, not much longer than 3 years.

Q11: What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
A11: So long as it burns DVDs and reads fast enough to avoid horribly bottlenecking what few retail games I own, I'll be happy. Ideally, it'd be slot-loading, but I'm not picky.

Q12: 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.
A12: I've had decent experiences with Dell- namely that their warranties rock and can be exploited to get free upgrades. But seeing as I want a gaming laptop, not an overpriced, underpowered, bloatware-infested mess, I think it's time to shop elsewhere. Additionally, I usually buy nVidia GPUs, but I certainly wouldn't mind trying ATI's new cards as I've read the Mobility Radeon HD 5870 may be better than the 285M: can anyone confirm or deny this?

Q13: What country do you live in?
A13: USA, (un)fortunately.

Q14: Please tell us any additional information if needed.
A14: I'm a big fan of warranties, so I'd like to get one with the laptop. Additionally, I'd like to get this laptop before July, but won't be able to actually purchase it until at /least/ the 15th.



Hi there,

The Sager looks like it will be able to meet all your needs. You might also want to look into the Alienware M15x. It has an even faster processor (2.8 GHz Intel® Core™ i7-720QM) and NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 240M graphics. It also has a 15.6" screen. What do you think?

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
June 10, 2010 1:49:45 PM

Macbook Pro 15 inch hands down
Related resources
June 10, 2010 2:41:20 PM

IsabellaWinTeam said:
Hi there,

The Sager looks like it will be able to meet all your needs. You might also want to look into the Alienware M15x. It has an even faster processor (2.8 GHz Intel® Core™ i7-720QM) and NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 240M graphics. It also has a 15.6" screen. What do you think?

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
The Alienware M15x was the first one I looked at, actually; its only real advantages are the reliable warranty and (potentially) longer battery life. And while the Sager build I'm hoping for isn't cheap, the M15x ends up being significantly more expensive when comparably equipped (i7-820QM, 1920x1080 resolution, 4GB DDR3-1333, smallest SSD available). Plus, the GT240M can't match a Mobility Radeon HD 5870.
a b D Laptop
June 10, 2010 4:34:24 PM

Hi there,

It sounds like the Sager will be the best bet within your price range and with the screen size you requested. Graphics quality is one of the key specifications that should sway your choice in terms of a gaming laptop.

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
June 11, 2010 4:55:31 AM

Man I wish I had that kind of money to spend.
http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_configurator.a...
If you want to play every demanding game on the highest possible settings, this monster is up to it.
Looking at your link, it doesn't show your specific configuration. What processor are you looking at?
June 11, 2010 10:13:32 PM

$amurai said:
Man I wish I had that kind of money to spend.
http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_configurator.a...
If you want to play every demanding game on the highest possible settings, this monster is up to it.
Looking at your link, it doesn't show your specific configuration. What processor are you looking at?

Oops, sorry: should've put that in my first post... The build I am considering ups the monitor to 1920x1080, the processor to an i7-820QM, and has an 80GB SSD. Thanks for the tip, though the G73Jh-X1 is somewhat larger and heavier than I was hoping to go.
June 12, 2010 4:51:41 AM

Quite impressive specs there. The G73 has those same specs, so it's really a personal preference thing.
June 14, 2010 3:55:12 PM

$amurai said:
Quite impressive specs there. The G73 has those same specs, so it's really a personal preference thing.

Also a cost thing: with the same build, the G73 you linked to costs $500 more than the Sager. Then again, it has a battery that lasts more than an hour, and two hard drives rather than just one. And it would be cheaper than the Sager if I bought it from an etailer like newegg, and got the second hard drive separately, though that would reduce the processor to an i7-720QM.

All in all, if the G73 were comparably priced when configured with the same hardware, I'd be willing to look past the size and weight, if only to get the longer battery life.
June 14, 2010 11:59:07 PM

That was the most expensive G73. If you are willing to forgo blu-ray and stuff like that, Best Buy has a model for 1200 dollars, and with blu-ray, 1,600 dollars. I linked the most expensive one because I figured cost wasn't much of an obstacle, so I just found the most expensive listed online. You can find the G73 for MUCH cheaper if you look around.
So since the price isn't really a huge difference between the two, it is mostly personal preference. Either would be great choices.
June 15, 2010 8:34:38 PM

$amurai said:
That was the most expensive G73. If you are willing to forgo blu-ray and stuff like that, Best Buy has a model for 1200 dollars, and with blu-ray, 1,600 dollars. I linked the most expensive one because I figured cost wasn't much of an obstacle, so I just found the most expensive listed online. You can find the G73 for MUCH cheaper if you look around.
So since the price isn't really a huge difference between the two, it is mostly personal preference. Either would be great choices.

After doing some price-checking of my own, I've learned that the G73 is a pretty comparable laptop depending on where you get it from. The only component that isn't always cost-effective to upgrade is the Processor.

However, after spending half an hour or so lugging my old XPS M1730 around, I remembered why I wanted a smaller laptop: 17" laptops are rarely easy to transport and aren't exactly great for taking notes. If you've got any 16" or smaller suggestions, I'd be open to those.
June 16, 2010 1:49:15 AM

Go for the Sager if you want something smaller.
June 17, 2010 8:30:35 PM

IsabellaWinTeam said:
Hi there,

It sounds like the Sager will be the best bet within your price range and with the screen size you requested. Graphics quality is one of the key specifications that should sway your choice in terms of a gaming laptop.

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team

Looks like you got to me, after all! I've been flipping back and forth from the M15x and the Clevo W860CU (the manufacturer model of the Sager laptop): I found a site that sells the 5870 GPU separately, and found some instructions on putting the chip into an M15x and getting it to work. So, with the same graphics card, the two laptops are basically back on the same playing field in terms of power.

The build I'm aiming for is as follows:
i7-820QM Processor
1920x1080 screen, powered by an Mobility Radeon HD 5870
2x2GB DDR3-1333 RAM
500GB Momentus XT (aftermarket install)
DVD-burner of any kind
Best Wifi card available (5300 for Alienware, 6300 for Clevo)
Best battery available (9-cell for Alienware, 3-cell for Clevo)


When configured as above, and factoring in the cost of the hard drive and graphics card that must be purchased separately, there's a $500 disparity in price. The Alienware M15x costs $2,400 after over $300 in discounts and coupons, while the Clevo costs $1900 without discounts or coupons (couldn't find any).

However, despite my best efforts, the two laptops are not identical. The M15x's 9-cell battery would certainly last much longer than the 3-Cell battery on the Clevo model, for starters; I would also get a 250GB SATA HDD to use as an external, and a completely-useless GeForce 240 GT, if I purchase the Alienware and upgraded it with aftermarket components, as I plan to. However, the M15x has an Intel 5300 wireless card, which I assume is a downgrade from the Clevo's Intel 6300 Wifi card. It also weighs around 9 pounds, while the Clevo weighs around 7.5.

I think I've weighed all the pros and cons, but I'm still not sure what makes the most sense. Is $500 and having to lug around an extra pound and a half really worth two or three times the battery life and a 250GB external hard drive?
June 17, 2010 8:44:02 PM

I hate doing this- I feel like double-posting is a newbie mistake- but for some reason, I'm not allowed to edit my post to include this. Here's the links to the aftermarket items and the laptops I've found:
After-market ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5870 (specifically for Clevo W8x0CU builds, but works with M15x's)
Thread that confirms that the Clevo graphics card can be used on an Alienware M15x
Clevo W860CU for less than the Sager link is charging
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Hybrid Drive
June 18, 2010 12:36:58 AM

Well if 17" is too big, try the MSI GX640.

15" 1680x1050, i5 430M, ATI Mobility 5850, 9 Cell bttry.

At xoticpc you can customise it with some more power for CPU etc.

Good luck

EDIT: I am not only suggesting this one, I actually bought one in Canada :) 
!