I'm about to buy my first computer (until now i've always shared computers with my brother) and I want it to be a decent one. I need a Laptop as I'm studying away from home.
A part of the typicall internet and office tasks i need the computer to manage and process my photos with Photoshop and Lightroom... and I want to run games on it. Obviously I don't want it to support the latest mega-graphics game, for those games I have my Xbox. I want the computer to play those games, mainly strategie games, that don't come out for consoles. For example Hearts of Iron, Empire Total War, Football manager... it would be a big issue for my if I couldn't run them on high details.
My budget is between 500-600€ (700-800$?).
I found these two computers:
HP G62-140ES hp
Intel Core i3-330M 2.13GHz Processor / ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5430 Graphics / 4GB RAM DDR3 / 500GB HDD (7200rpm)
AMD Turion™II Dual-Core Mobile M520 2,3 GHz / ATI Radeon™ HD 4650 Graphics / 4GB DDR2 / 500GB HDD (7200rpm)
Using netbookcheck I think I've found out that: the G62 has a better Processor, but his graphic card is not as good as the Pavilion's. The G62 has DDR3 RAM which is suposed to be better than DDR2... but a lot of people say this not so important.
I would buy the G62 in a local store and it's 100 € (125$) cheaper then the Pavilion, which I would by via Internet... (buying it at a normal store would be a plus for me).
So, what do you think would be the better choice for me?
According to some reviews I have seen, the Pavilion is rated as a "better value". And I would lean towards it because the 4650 is a little better. But I'll warn you, these machines are not built with gaming in mind. Even the games you mentioned is not going to be a great joy on either one. They will run, but probably at some reduced detail to get good performance.
Jit is right, though it has also come up a few other times and it would seem that the periferals have been slower in upgrading than the processors too. Since the hard drives are all 7200 RPM you probably won't have much issue, but I would look at the quality and reliability (read the reviews and take the average score for your tech level). It would seem for a lot of things the bottle neck in processing doesn't necessarily come from the processor. If you post your price range and use the listing as suggested in hte first couple posts we might be able to suggest some other laptops in the price range with better parts.
First of all thanks for your answers.
I've just noticed that the HPG62 has no numeric keyboard so it's now off the table... but anyway, I found other candidates...
I'll answer the questions of the "read before buying" post, to figure out what I'm looking for:
1_What is your budget?
550 to 600€ (ca. 500 £, 750$), but i can do a little extra efford
2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Definitly 15.4" or 15.6".
3_What screen resolution do you want?
A decent one.
4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I will mainly use it at home, but I'll have to carry it arround (university), specially when I come back home on vacations.
5_How much battery life do you need?
Not much. 60-90 minutes would be fine. 2 hours would be very good...
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)?
As I already said, yes, but not those with the best graphics. I'd like to play the actual games with medium detail, so in a few years I could still use it for playing newer games (in low detail).
7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2, Office, Movies, maybe watching TV, Skype.
8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
500GB would be ideal. 320GB is the minimum...
9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible... 5 years at least. (allthough I supose that after 5 years i won't be able to play new games with it)
11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Just a normal DVD writer.
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.
I'm open to all brands.
13_What country do you live in?
Spain (moving to Germany in September)
I found another candidate:
# Model: AS5542G-506G64Mn
# Processor: AMD Turion II X2 M500(2.2GHz, 1MB LD Cache)
# Chipset: AMDRS880M
# Memoria RAM: 6GB
# HDD 640GB
# Display 15.6" HD Acer Cine Crystal LED LCD
# Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 1GB DDR3
# Batery 6 cell Li-ion
# Windows 7 Home premium
It has a better Graphic card, more RAM (allthough I'm not shure if these extra 2 GB really improve the performance), more HDD (seller couldn't say if it was 5400 or 7200 rpm).
On the other hand the Processor is worse and has only 1 MB cache (which I just read is quite important too).
It would cost 630€ so I could afford it.
I'll keep looking (and asking), but please feel free to suggest other Laptops.