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Advise on a Laptop for everday use and Gaming

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
September 29, 2010 5:29:54 PM

Hello All,
I am on the market to buy a new laptop to replace my current inspiron E1505 which has served me very well.

My needs are
1. Play Games such as FIFA 11, COD, Splinter cell etc occasionally
2. Use software such as Dreamweaver, MS Visual, MS SQL Server and other development tools.
3. Watch movies and surf the internet.

I did some search around and spoke to two reps @ both dell and HP. they gave me some recommendations. These are the two systems each recommended. please find specs below

My Questions are
1. Which of the graphics cards (ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450 1GB or 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650 ) support better games?
2. Which of the two is durable and why?
3. Would core i7 be a plus / showstopper for my needs?
4. Lastly, which laptop will you recommend for my needs? i have a budjet of $1200

Specs below:

Dell Studio 14

Studio 14 Studio 14 Notebook PAS14HN [224-8082]
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Processor Intel® Core™ i7-720QM Quad Core Processor 1.6GHz (2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache) I7720QM [317-3523]
Memory 6GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz
Keyboard Back-lit Keyboard BCKLIT
LCD Panel 14.0” High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera CHDL720 [320-8790][421-1009]
Video Card ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450 1GB ATI1G [320-8826]
Hard Drive 500GB SATA Hard Drive
System Color Black Chainlink BLACK
Network Integrated 10/100 Network Card INTNIC
Adobe Reader Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0 ADOBER
Combo or DVD+RW Drive 8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive) W7DVDRW [313-8452][421-1362]
Sound High Definition Audio 2.0 IS [313-4783]
Wireless Dell Wireless 1520 802.11n Half Mini-Card DW1520 [430-0701]
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed) Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 ISTART [410-0487]
Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) McAfee SecurityCenter, 30-Day Trial MC1130D [410-2461]
Battery 56 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery 6BAT [312-0975]
Hardware Support Services 1 Year Basic Service Plan T1O [923-9827][933-0400][934-9530][950-3337][950-9797]
Datasafe Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year DOB2GB [420-9518][988-0099][988-7707]
Bluetooth Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth Internal (2.1)

HP Envy 14
• Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
• Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-580M Dual Core Processor (2.66GHz, 3MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 3.33GHz
• 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650 switchable graphics [HDMI] - For Dual Core Processors
• 4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
• 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
• Microsoft(R) Office Starter 2010
• 8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (standard) - Up to 3.75 hours of battery life +++
• 14.5" diagonal High Definition HP BrightView Infinity LED Display (1366x768)
• SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support (Slot Load)
• HP TrueVision HD Webcam and Dual Digital Integrated Microphones
• Intel Wireless-N Card with Bluetooth
• Backlit Keyboard
• Swissgear 15.6" Granite Backpack
• Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) Elements 8 & Adobe Premiere(R) Elements 8
a c 244 D Laptop
September 29, 2010 6:21:02 PM

Hello and welcome to the forums
Envy 14 has a much more powerful VGA,so it will do better in games.
September 30, 2010 9:03:16 AM

Will core i7 affect my gaming speed? is it a must have?
Related resources
September 30, 2010 9:13:32 AM

The HD 5450 is far lower than the HD 5650, both are in the 5000 series cards but the key number to look at is 450 vs 650.

I.E: 3450, 5450 vs 3650, 5650. The HD 4650 beats the HD 5450 even though it is a 4000 series card etc. Here's a link to notebookchecks graphics card comparison list:

The HD 5650 wins hands down, so if you are concerned about gaming then the Envy beats the Dell. Also remember that Dell has had quite a few problems with their i7 laptops running quite hot and sometimes overheating. I'm not sure if the i7 is really worth it compared to the i5.
a c 244 D Laptop
September 30, 2010 1:28:14 PM

allyghee said:
Will core i7 affect my gaming speed? is it a must have?

Some games benefit from quad core CPUs so yes it will help you in some games.
October 1, 2010 2:44:53 PM

Thanks every one for the insightful comments. i also chanced on the Sager NP7110 and dell studio xps 16, all within my budget.

Sager NP7110
Core™ i5-540M Processor and 1GB DDR3 Nvidia GeForce GT 330M GPU

Dell Studio xps 16
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5730 – 1GB and Intel® Core™ i5-520M

How does these stack up against each other and the rest (studio 14 and HP)

I have not used a SAGER notebook before so i will be glad if someone can share his or experience on them here.


a c 244 D Laptop
October 1, 2010 6:29:12 PM

I haven't used Sager but according to reviews/user reviews they make great laptops.
Between those,well XPS 16 has a faster VGA and a better display but it runs hotter.
October 2, 2010 3:27:34 PM

Maziar said:
I haven't used Sager but according to reviews/user reviews they make great laptops.
Between those,well XPS 16 has a faster VGA and a better display but it runs hotter.

I have seen the MSI Microstar GX640-260US 15.4" Notebook PC - Brushed Metal Black/Red on, the SAGER NP7110 and the dell studio xps 16. please check specs below and advice

1. I have not used MSI laptops before, are they caracterized by a lot of issues? for someone who is about to own his 1st gaming laptop will u recommend MSI and why?
2. Any advice on the SAGER?
3. What about the dell studio xps 16, read on issues on over heating, has it been rectified in the newer models?

MSI Microstar GX640-260US
Intel Core i5-450M 2.26Hz Processor with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.53GHz
3MB Cache
500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
15.4" WSXGA+ Glossy LCD Display (1680x1050), 16:10 aspect ratio
ATI Radeon HD5850 Graphics Card with 1GB DDR5 VRAM
SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Drive
802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN
10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN (RJ-45 Port)
4-in-1 Card Reader SD, MMC, MS, xD
SRS Premium Sound certified high-fidelity speakers
Integrated 2.0MP Webcam
ExpressCard Slot
Ports: 3 x USB 2.0 (eSATA/USB combo), IEEE1394, Bluetooth, Headphone-out Jack, Microphone-in Jack, VGA, HDMI, RJ-45
Approximate Unit Dimensions: 14.1 (W) x 10.24 (D) x 1.22 (H) inches
Approximate Unit Weight: 6.3 pounds
a c 244 D Laptop
October 2, 2010 4:49:27 PM

1_MSI is overall a great brand, the model that you are considering will give you the best gaming performance because of having the most powerful VGA,however its build/display/keyboard quality isn't as great as the Sager one
2_Like i said,its a great brand
3_AFAIK,almost all of them have overheating issues.