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Looking for budget college/gaming laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 10, 2010 6:37:43 PM

This forum helped me a lot when building my gaming PC (which turned out EXCELLENT!) So i figured there is no better place to help me find a notebook aswell.

1_What is your budget? under 700.
2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? I'd like 15.6" - 17"
3_What screen resolution do you want? not sure? I have 1920x1080 on my PC, and i like that.. but isnt deciding factor.
4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable for college and hanging with friends.
5_How much battery life do you need? 3 hours would be cool, Most places I will be will have power outlets.
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)? Yes! I dont expect to play any games with ultra high or high settings, i have my PC for that.. But i would like to play games over at my buddies house from time to time.. World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, Modern warfare 2, bad company 2, left 4 dead 2, counterstrike:source. As long as i can play them in medium settings without lag i'd be happy.. hell, even if it ran smooth in low settings...
7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Watching movies would be nice, and i also have an HD video camera that I wouldn't mind being able to watch videos from and perhaps upload them to the net... Other than that.. email, web, word processing, and other microsoft office products.
8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? 250-320gb is plenty.
9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. I like newegg.. Frys is local..
10_How long do you want to keep your laptop? I'll probably upgrade in 3-4 years.
11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? something that reads dvd roms would be cool, i dont need to burn anything.
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. Ive had to repair an HP DV6000 four times for a friend, but other than that I have no clue..
13_What country do you live in? USA
14_Please tell us any additional information if needed. I'm a college student.. So i get a discount from that :D 

a c 244 D Laptop
June 10, 2010 7:23:22 PM

Well that's a little low budget for a gaming laptop,the best i could find was this ASUS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Which has a GT 320M and can handle those games fine on med-low settings.
However,i don't think its battery would last for 3hrs
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June 10, 2010 9:15:42 PM

How far would I have to increase my budget to comfortably play those games?

with my student discount and 15% off I can get a lenovo y460 with i5 and radeon hd 5650 for $830..

Anything else around 800 that would do the job similar?
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June 11, 2010 4:41:26 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is a beast for the price, should play those games in medium, though I'm not sure about bad company. But that's a great one.
Best Buy has a refurb G72gx, search for it. Nice GPU and Processor, I think I'm going to get it, should play all those games fine.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
For exactly 800 dollars, This is the same as that lenovo but a little cheaper.
Personally, I like the second one (mine soon!) but the others are good options too.
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June 11, 2010 7:07:32 AM

wow.. does the 260m really out perform the 5650 that much?? i think im getting that top asus
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 11, 2010 7:12:03 AM

That Lenovo model you find is a good choice.
And as for G72,although GTX 260M is faster than a 5650M,G72 uses Core2Duo CPUs which are out of production.
And i agree with $amurai,the Acer one has the same specs like the Lenovo model but its cheaper,so consider it too
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June 11, 2010 7:33:31 AM

it does use a core 2 duo, and only uses DDR2 800 vs DDR 3 1033... but it is also $685 vs $830.

Btw.. Isn't lenovo a better (more reliable) brand than Acer?
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 11, 2010 8:45:54 AM

DDR2 vs DDR3 won't make a noticeable difference in gaming.
As for Lenovo,well i think it has a better build quality than the Acer one
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June 11, 2010 9:04:38 AM

do you think the asus g60vx is a good buy? I am liking the price as it would be much more affordable and I could get it asap.
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 11, 2010 12:47:45 PM

Of course,its has a great perforce/performance ratio
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June 11, 2010 4:10:13 PM

should I worry about people saying it runs hot? I dont think I could always use a laptop fan under it
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June 12, 2010 4:16:45 AM

its been a undecisive day.. so I ended up going to best buy and purchasing a asus G60JX for $899. It has the i5 processor, 4gb ddr3 memory, geforce GTS 360m 1gb video card which out performs the 5730 and 5650..

I really am liking it thus far.
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June 12, 2010 4:37:22 AM

i dont have crysis atm, but on MW2 on max resolution with max settings (AA off) i was getting almost a constant 90FPS. I was VERY happy with that!
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June 12, 2010 4:38:16 AM

Nice! That's a great choice.
I'm looking at that laptop vs. the G72 from Best Buy. Can you just tell me, what sort of FPS do you get on Crysis on very high settings?
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June 12, 2010 4:48:47 AM

WOW. That's amazingly good.
I think there's a Crysis demo you could download online--I hate to ask, but then again you'll probably want that game for eye candy to show your friends how good it looks.
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June 12, 2010 6:30:35 AM

Np. im curious how it would do aswell, so i downloaded the crysis demo and did a little testing. I havent changed or messed with anything on the computer.

CPU benchmark -

DX10 1024x768 AA=NO AA, 32 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 34.225

GPU benchmark -

DX10 1024x768 AA=NO AA, 32 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 34.94
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June 12, 2010 6:36:34 AM

Btw, I will do a counterstrike : source benchmark, half life 2: lost coast aswell, and ill download a 3Dmark program or two.
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June 12, 2010 7:16:40 AM

half life 2:lost coast average FPS on all high settings, native resolution, No AA = 81.51
cs:s average FPS on all high settings, native resolution, No AA = 132.04FPS

Overall build looks awesome, the feel of the laptop is great.. I am in love with it. It doesnt seem to get hot as a whole, but the left vent does blow some decently hot air. Speakers are a (little) quiet compared to what i am used too, I even went into bios and turned the volume up to 8, and removed the explosion sound upon startup. I will do more benchmarks sunday.
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 12, 2010 1:19:46 PM

wow congrats on the purchase ;) 
And thanks for posting the benchies,they look very good.I hope you enjoy it
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June 12, 2010 3:41:28 PM

for some reason when i test with 3dmark it says "GPU - chipset missing"

but any ways.. with 3dmark vantage it didnt give me an overall score, but it did give me cpu/gpu scores.

Cpu - 18084
gpu - 5365
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 12, 2010 3:59:33 PM

Well 3Dmark isn't the best software to test your system's performance,as long as it plays games and do apps fine,there is no need to worry :) 
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June 12, 2010 6:54:34 PM

I'm liking the look of that a lot! Thank you for posting those benchmarks.
Is there anything about the laptop you don't like?
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June 13, 2010 12:00:20 AM

honestly i would say there is nothing i really dislike about the laptop. I am So satisfied that its working well.. The keyboard feels the same size as my regular pc keyboard and my fingers are still going to the correct backspace, shift, etc.. so typing is enjoyable. I would have to say the feel of the laptop is very clean feeling.. its really smooth. and i dig the touch pad.. I think the ONLY downfall is it comes with a 500gb hd that is 5400rpm instead of 7200rpm.. But that can be cheaply upgraded at a later date, if at all... Even with all those benchmarks and gaming, I never felt the laptop get hot under my hands. I have yet to use the webcam yet.. Not quite sure how, never used one before. lol
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June 13, 2010 5:52:47 AM

Native resolution is 1366x768. Settings were at High, dont know if you can go to "very high" or not.
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June 13, 2010 5:55:38 AM

joewitafro said:
Np. im curious how it would do aswell, so i downloaded the crysis demo and did a little testing. I havent changed or messed with anything on the computer.

CPU benchmark -

DX10 1024x768 AA=NO AA, 32 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 34.225

GPU benchmark -

DX10 1024x768 AA=NO AA, 32 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 34.94


Just thought to ask, it says quality high. The max for Crysis is very high. But this is on high quality right?
And is 1024x768 native resolution?
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June 13, 2010 5:59:57 AM

Thank you! This is making it so difficult for me to decide because I keep hearing such great things about the g60!
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June 13, 2010 6:09:20 AM

well im a huge computer geek, and I spent a long time researching my custom PC, i ended up with an i7-860 and radeon hd 5850, evga board, 4 gb ddr3 1866, 500gb 7200 hd.. all for about less than this laptop cost me. But I spent a while researching this laptop aswell. I went from looking at core 2 duo's, to i3's, and even i5's and i7's.. I felt for me, an i5 was plenty.. More than at i3 but less than the i7 and the cost vs performance is excellent. As far as the GTS 360m, it isnt the top of the line card by any means.. But neither is my HD 5850. When I was researching video cards the minimum I wanted was the mobility hd 5650. I debated hard on a laptop with a core 2 duo and GTX 260m (which outperforms the gts 360m), but I feel for the price.. an i5 rips that c2d apart, and the difference in the gts 360m vs gtx 260m is minimal.

I turned up my settings on mw2 (AA 2x, texture ultra high) and I was still getting 80-90 fps most of the time, but I did notice during fire fights it dropped to about 60, where with no AA and all high settings it stayed pretty constant at 90 fps.
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June 13, 2010 7:11:31 PM

joewitafro said:
well im a huge computer geek, and I spent a long time researching my custom PC, i ended up with an i7-860 and radeon hd 5850, evga board, 4 gb ddr3 1866, 500gb 7200 hd.. all for about less than this laptop cost me. But I spent a while researching this laptop aswell. I went from looking at core 2 duo's, to i3's, and even i5's and i7's.. I felt for me, an i5 was plenty.. More than at i3 but less than the i7 and the cost vs performance is excellent. As far as the GTS 360m, it isnt the top of the line card by any means.. But neither is my HD 5850. When I was researching video cards the minimum I wanted was the mobility hd 5650. I debated hard on a laptop with a core 2 duo and GTX 260m (which outperforms the gts 360m), but I feel for the price.. an i5 rips that c2d apart, and the difference in the gts 360m vs gtx 260m is minimal.

I turned up my settings on mw2 (AA 2x, texture ultra high) and I was still getting 80-90 fps most of the time, but I did notice during fire fights it dropped to about 60, where with no AA and all high settings it stayed pretty constant at 90 fps.

That's the main trouble I have, let me guess, you were looking at the G72gx? That's the one I'm trying to decide between. I love how much better the i5 is, but I really don't want to spend a hundred dollars more to get a weaker GPU. After months of research, I think the G72 gets 2-3 fps higher in Crysis on high (the max that's playable).
So for me, the choice comes down to
i5>P8700
GTS 360m<GTX 260m
4GB RAM<6GB RAM
16 inch screen<17.3 inch screen
So I'm leaning towards the G72, but if you're doing so well in fps with CoD that could change my opinion.
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June 13, 2010 7:14:47 PM

i was actually looking at a laptop on newegg that was a refurb for 685. I think it was the G60VX
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June 13, 2010 7:22:32 PM

Oh ya, I saw that one too. Eventually that Core 2 Duo P7450 scared me too much so I went looking for better around the G60jx price range. I found a very nice G72gx refurb from Best Buy, 800 dollars. P8700 processor (2.53 ghz), GTX 260m, 6 gigs RAM, 17.3 inch screen. It looks better to me for less money.
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June 21, 2010 3:04:16 AM

How hot is too much for the laptop?? After playing cod 4 for an hour i shut it down and speedfan showed it running at 80c for the GPU, and about 55c for the CPU..

Whats too hot for this gpu? I could always upgrade to the G73JH but if i dont have too i dont wanna.

Currently running furmark on the system on extreme burn in while recording temperature.. Laptop reached a max of 85c before the fan kicked in on high and it has stayed a consistent 77-78 degrees celcius for the past 6 minutes and then for the next hour ran a consistent 80-81c. Playing MW2 shows about the same logs.. 70-85c but never above 85.

no laptop cooler yet (ordered a lian li, has yet to arrive)..

What do you guys think?? is this safe to game on?
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July 6, 2010 4:02:25 AM

Definitely. The GPU can go over 100c (not recommended, but it won't die). You're right on the targets I've seen across other forums. If it starts running above 95 for a long time, that's getting a bit hot, but under that is fine.
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