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New Notebook

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January 27, 2005 12:42:38 PM

I'm in the market for a new notebook PC. I've done a little research, and to tell you the truth, I'm more than a little confused.

I want to have a top of the line notebook, but I'm not sure where I should buy, or what I should be looking for. I basically want a gaming/high performance notebook. Price is not a big option, but if humanly possible, I would like to keep it under $3000.

Also, could someone explain (in lamens terms) the difference between the Pentium M processors and P4s?

Any help or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

More about : notebook

January 27, 2005 1:29:11 PM

The P-M consumes less power, and produces less heat compared to a P4-mobile chip. The P4 sucks too much power and requires too complicated a cooling solution to make it in a thin/light notebook.

You'd be better off getting a separate desktop machine for gaming on, as laptops are not really suited to heavy-duty games. You can get gaming laptops, but they tend to be heavy, hot, and have godawful battery life.

If you expect to play DoomIII on the train, hope that your journey isn't very long....

All that said, the single most important thing in the laptop for Gaming is what graphics chipset it has. I believe Ati have recently released the mobility Radeon 9700 chipset, but I don't really keep that up-to-date with the laptop side of things.

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"Sex without love is an empty experience...
But as empty experiences go, it's one of the best" - Woody Allen
January 27, 2005 2:27:06 PM

Go with something p-m based. I have one and the batt life is great and it still has good performance. If u want to play games get nothing less than a mobile 9800. Dell has them right now in their highend notebooks. If u could find one they have also recently released to mobile x800 which would be superfast. Get a p-m 1.8ghz or higher.
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January 27, 2005 7:34:16 PM

The reason I'm getting a notebook is because I'm going to college in a little while, and some of my courses will require a notebook.

I'm also into games though, and I would love to be able to play Doom III and Half-Life 2. Plus, I need something that is going to last as long as possible.
January 27, 2005 8:51:55 PM

Try to get something with a mobility Radeon 9700 or better (9800 or x700).

Another point to note is the native resolution of the laptop. Most of the mobile solutions won't be powerful enough to run Doom III and the like in higher resolutions, such as 1280x1024. That means that if you have to lower the res, the image will look awful because of the fixed number of pixels on the screen. So if you get a laptop with that res or higher, gaming won't look so nice.

Of course if you just have an external monitor for when you're at home then it's not a problem really. :smile:

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"Sex without love is an empty experience...
But as empty experiences go, it's one of the best" - Woody Allen
January 27, 2005 9:09:14 PM

Avoid P4's and P4 Celerons, that is my advice. The former uses way too much power: way too hot, therefore noisy under stress and ridiculous low battery life. The last one I had, with a 2.8 GHz Northwoord had a real world battery life of just over 30 minutes. The latter, Celeron, is a piss poor performer.

As others have said, a Pentium-M is a great choice. Don't be misled by the low clockspeeds, P-M's are roughly 30-50% faster per clock than P4s, depending on your app. Battery life is excellent too.

Athlon 64 could also be worth checking out; even slightly better performance (especially per $), slightly worse battery life. But for that you get a lot of extra capability (64 bit, NX, ..). Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of good A64 notebooks around, so you may find your choices too limited.

Lastly, its not only the cpu that matters. Other have already made recomendations for the GPU, let me just add that a fast harddisk makes a world of difference too. Notebook drives are notoriously slow compared to desktop drives. get the best one you can find/afford.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
January 27, 2005 9:59:27 PM

If you do go "centrino" dont get one with the Alviso chipset. They use DDR2, which adds a lot to the price, but takes away from the performance, esp in games.
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