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Usurping My (Semi) Gaming Desktop - New Laptop Q

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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August 15, 2010 7:05:18 PM

NUMBER ONE QUESTION:
If choosing a gaming capable laptop, what is the minimum Graphics card (ATI or Nvidia) that can outperform my desktops GeForce 8600 GT 512MB.

Build Constraints:
(1) What is your budget?

Less than $1650

(2) What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Greater than 15.0" and Less than 18.0" though I've been looking mostly at 17s.

(3) What screen resolution do you want?

Non-issue

(4) Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Desktop Replacement

(5) How much battery life do you need?

1 hour unplugged while running internet browser and netbeans/eclipse would be nice but I'll probably never be unplugged more than 30 minutes.

(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)?

Medium to High
Current Titles:
- Dragon Age
- Mass Effect
- Stacraft 2
- Warcraft 3
- EQ2

Future:
- Diablo 3

(7) What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

DVDs and POSSIBLY BluRay
Photoshop
Java and Ruby on Rails development with Eclipse or Netbeans

(8) How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

500GB+

(9) If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

Sites and/or models I had been peaking at.

HPs
Direct from hp.com or...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HP Pavillion dv7t
Note: I'm circumspect of the Envy 17s due to heat issues. Though it seems it may only be with iCore 7 models.

Asus
N73

Sager
http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=product_inf...
http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=product_inf...

(10)How long do you want to keep your laptop?

1 to 1.5 years if costing under 1100

1.5 to 3 years if costing more than 1100

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

DVD RW minimum, BluRay preferred **see last section

(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.

Will try just about anything except have had an extremely poor experience with Acer.

(13) What country do you live in?

USA

(14) Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Would REALLY like 6GB+ of memory
Prefer at least 1 USB 3.0
Hate most "Gaming" based laptop cases. Great for a 13 year-old who's into transformers, bad for somebody who has to appear semi-professional: see ASUS G series and Alienware

THE BIG DILEMMA:
To make a long story short, I don't play any games but may get back into them real soon here. I think I'd rather spend the money and not use the gaming power than buy something and regret not having it. Furthermore, I do not think I would be happy buying a new system if it could not outperform my 2year old semi-gaming desktop.

Current Desktop Specs:
Core 2 Duo E8600
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB
4GB DDR2
Win XP

**On the note of the BluRay. I'm really only buying it for the future. I do not have any blu-ray at the moment but thought that they may be the mainstream movie format before I get rid of the laptop. And if I had a blu ray player that would probably change my movie purchasing habits. It would also be nice to have on trips where other people have blu-ray they want to watch. If you think this is stupid, feel free to tell me. As well, if the price of a laptop is under 1100 dollars (meaning i'd probably only keep it for 1.5 years) then BluRay is out the window.

Last, I can probably wait until near November before I make my purchase and let technologies and prices to shift. The thing is, I was thinking about buying a laptop around January this year and started seriously looking about a 2 months ago. Since then, my choices have gone from a productivity only laptop to a desktop replacement. At this point, I kind of feel like I need to just buy.


Thanks in advance for all of the help. Some good suggestions could really help restore my sanity.
August 15, 2010 9:34:39 PM

Thanks Maziar. Looks like I'm down to the Sager and the Envy at this point.

In either case, would a core i5 be a bottle neck for the 5850 or 5870 GPUs? Or do most of the new games not rely enough on CPU to make much difference?
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a c 244 D Laptop
August 16, 2010 9:28:23 AM
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No a Core i5 should work fine with both 5850/5870 in almost all games. Few titles are CPU limited which benefit from a faster CPU, but most games are GPU limited so you'll be fine
August 17, 2010 10:56:31 AM

Thats what I figured.

Thank you so much Maizar. You've been a huge help.
August 17, 2010 10:58:43 AM

Best answer selected by chadwickvm.
a c 244 D Laptop
August 17, 2010 11:36:51 AM

No problem,glad i could help
!