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Will The Aspire 5542G-1757 be adequate for my needs?

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Is this ACER laptop up to playing 720p x264 MKVs or should I go with the Essential G560?

Total: 2 votes (1 blank vote)

  • The Acer is more than adequate.
  • 100 %
  • The Acer might be glitchy, get the other one.
  • 0 %
January 5, 2011 6:59:32 PM

I've never owned a laptop so I have no idea what I need.

I have my two towers at home networked so they can both access my 9TB of 720p X264 MKVs.
It's a new setup and it works great. Now I need a laptop so when I'm smoking in the basement or my wife is working in the kitchen we can listen to mp3s and play movies off my wireless home network.

This one is $398 CAD locally:

* Windows 7 Home Premium - English/French
* AMD Athlon™ II Dual-Core Processor M320 (1MB L2 cache, 2.10GHz)
* 15.6" 1366 x 768 pixel resolution
* 4GB DDR2 SDRAM
* 320GB hard drive, integrated Super-Multi drive, 5-in-1 card reader
* ATI Radeon™ HD 4570 Graphics
* 802.11b/g WLAN, Gigabit LAN, Webcam

I read somewhere 4GB is the max RAM for this one.

The second, which the guy who assembled my tower recommends, is $600 CAD. He really hates AMD and pushes Intel:


Product Name: Essential G560 0679ALU Notebook
Processor Manufacturer: Intel
Processor Type: Pentium
Processor Model: P6200
Processor Speed: 2.13 GHz
Processor Core: Dual-core
Cache: 3 MB
Direct Media Interface: 2.50 GT/s
64-bit Processing: Yes
Chipset Manufacturer: Intel
Chipset Model: HM55 Express
Memory
Standard Memory: 4 GB
Maximum Memory: 8 GB
Memory Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
Memory Standard: DDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Number of Total Memory Slots: 2
Storage
Hard Drive Capacity: 320 GB
Hard Drive Interface: Serial ATA/300
Hard Drive RPM: 5400
Display & Graphics
Screen Size: 15.6"
Display Screen Type: Active Matrix TFT Color LCD
Display Screen Technology: VibrantView
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Screen Mode: WXGA
Backlight Technology: LED
Display Resolution: 1366 x 768
Graphics Controller Manufacturer: Intel
Graphics Controller Model: Graphics Media Accelerator HD
Graphics Memory Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics Memory Accessibility: Shared

Obviously the second is a better computer.

Basically I want to spend as little as possible but still get glitch free playback of my X264 MKVs with either MPC HC or VLC. (VLC tears on my tower but MPC HC is flawless)

I don't want to spend $400 on something that won't do what I need, but I also don't want to spend an extra $200 if it is for technology I don't even need.

My main tower is a i870 w/8GB DDR3 and 9TB internal SATA HDD so it will be doing all my downloading, encoding, storage, etc. The laptop will be strictly playing media.

Any advice in the matter would be greatly appreciated! Happy New Year and Thanks!
a b D Laptop
January 5, 2011 7:05:08 PM

The Acer should be adequate, even for 720p .mkv's as long as you dont apply post processing filters, I might start worrying a little at 1080p. I have had more luck with MPC HC than VLC. MPC HC also as the ability to use your graphics card to help decode videos for playback (never used it though, and I imagine VLC has that option too).

I would be more worried about your wireless network hows the signal down there?

Edit: The Acer doesnt include Wireless N, if that matters to you.

The Pentium is about 30% faster on average than the M320, is 30% worth 200 dollars?
January 5, 2011 7:36:48 PM

Thank you for the quick reply.

The Acer lists "802.11b/g WLAN" isn't that a wireless network? is that what Wireless N means? Or is that something different.
Edit:
"Definitions of Wireless N on the Web:

* IEEE 802.11n-2009 is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11-2007 wireless networking standard to improve network throughput over the two previous standards — 802.11a and 802.11g — with a significant increase in the maximum raw data rate from 54 Mbit/s to 600 Mbit/s with the use of four spatial streams ..."

I tried my friend's netbook in the basement last night and XP said the signal was "Excellent".

30% faster is only worth $200 to me (50% increase in price) if the cheaper system is inadequate.

I don't know if I am using post processing filters or not. I am running MPC HC with pretty much the default settings. I got tearing with VLC with hardware that should be more than adequate so I switched to MPC.

So I guess my new question is 54Mbit/s fast enough to watch a movie wirelessly, or do I need the 600 Mbits/s, and will I need a special router for these speeds? Right now I'm using the modem/router combo from my ISP. It's a SMCD3GN. I could probably call them and ask if it supports Wireless N but their tech support usually know less than I do, which is very little to start with.

Edit: I googled my modem and it does support Wireless N however everyone bitched about the signal quality of the router itself. Maybe they've improved because like I said, I got "Excellent" signal report from XP (Didn't notice a set of bars but I assume Excellent is close to full bars)

Edit: A friend just told me he uses a USB Stick that gets him Network N on his computer because he only had G as well. So maybe I'll get the Acer and one of those.
!