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Help deciding on an XPS 15

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
March 4, 2011 2:36:29 AM

So I have been in the market for a new laptop for the past couple of weeks, doing my research, and I have decided that the best one for me is definitely going to be the XPS15, since I've heard the XPS 17's have a lot of heating issues and aren't really worth it at the moment. My question to the community is more along the lines of what do I need for my needs, and through looking at the current Dell deals which should I get ( I know these can fluctuate, so things could be different tomorrow, but knowing what my basic needs are would be quite helpful by itself).

I do not wish to promote the Dell website, but honestly the best way for me to do this is to just give a link to the XPS 15 website rather than type out all of the specs here for a nice wall of text.

As for my needs, I am currently a student so I am going to need to purchase microsoft office, but I doubt that would have any effect on the hardware needs. I usually will watch videos online, either Hulu or Youtube, and play DVD's on it when I want.

Gaming is something I do, but I'm not overly invested in PC gaming. The only games I want to be able to play are Starcraft 2, League of Legends, and Team Fortress 2, with Dota2 being a game in the near future that I know I will want to play over the internet.

Knowing this, what would you recommend. I would like to have a computer that will not be completely invalidated in a year, though I know one can never fully future proof a computer. Also, just the best bang for my buck would be nice, since I have no idea how some things compare performance wise (like is the NVIDIA GT420 significantly slower than the 525 or the 540? Is the i7 necessary over the i5?) Any help you guys could provide me would be an amazing boon, as I have had nothing but confusion over what I should get as a final purchase.

More about : deciding xps

a c 244 D Laptop
March 4, 2011 5:01:19 AM

Please fill the FAQ first and we can help you better in finding your laptop.
And GT 420M is slower than 525M(not very much), and i7 vs i5 depends on your tasks.
Multithreaded apps/games benefit from a quad core CPU
a c 572 D Laptop
March 4, 2011 5:09:23 AM

Either of the dual core CPUs will be fine for what you want to do: Core i5 480M - Core i7 2620M

Laptop graphic card gaming benchmarks / ranking list:
Pick the level of graphics settings you want StarCraft to run and pick the graphics card that matches.
Doing that should also take care of the rest of the games as well (although DoTA2 is just a guess at this point).

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March 4, 2011 4:03:07 PM

Maziar said:
Please fill the FAQ first and we can help you better in finding your laptop.
And GT 420M is slower than 525M(not very much), and i7 vs i5 depends on your tasks.
Multithreaded apps/games benefit from a quad core CPU

1. What is your budget?

I'm not entirely sure, though I think I would like to keep it under 1200

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

The size is a 15 in. laptop that weighs somewhere in the range of 6 pounds.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Doesn't really matter to me.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

I'm going for desktop replacement. I would like a nice, powerful, all in one laptop, since I really don't have room in my apartment for a desktop. Weight of the laptop doesn't really matter for me either, I really don't notice much of a difference between 4 and 7 pound ones.

5. How much battery life do you need?

The battery charger will be connected to electricity most of the time, since I am looking for a desktop replacement, so battery life doesn't really matter.

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)?

I do want to play games with my laptop (the ones I listed in the OT, League of Legends, Starcraft 2, and Team Fortress 2). I'd like to play them on at least medium quality.

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

I watch movies from time to time, not a lot of photo editing, and no video editing. Other than that just basic internet use.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

Not much. I don't download movies, so I doubt that I'd fill up more than 200GB, so a 500GB HDD is fine with me

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

See the original post.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

The laptop that I currently have has lasted 6 years, so I'd like to be able to keep any other one that I buy for roughly the same amount of time.

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

Just a DVD ROM is fine by me. I have a Playstation 3 already, so I dont need to spend the extra money on a Blu-ray player for my laptop.

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 would like to get a Dell XPS15 just because I looked at their website and found that this is really the computer that best suits my needs. Other websites had similar computer but for more money, or better computers that were out of my price range. I also like Dell's customer service and warranty plans, since they do at-home service, and I really am not good at diagnosing computer issues.

13. What country do you live in?

United States

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Can't really think of anything, if you have any questions I'll be able to answer them fast. I'd like to have a decision soon, so the faster I can get information and opinions the better.
March 4, 2011 4:31:40 PM

WR2 said:
Acer Aspire AS5742G-6600 Notebook Intel Core i5 480M(2.66GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M $700
Compares favorably with the $900 XPS 15 which has 6GB RAM and the same CPU/GPU. A larger 7200rpm HDD too.

Is there much of a difference between a 5400RPM and 7200RPM HDD? I'd been reading in different forums that it seems important to have 7200RPM for a lot of modern tasks, including some of the games that I listed.
a c 572 D Laptop
March 4, 2011 4:34:32 PM

The faster laptop IS the preferred option. But with a $200 difference you got to remember that both HDDs get the job done.
It's certainly a lot less important than the CPU and graphics card.

A laptop HDD is fairly easy to replace yourself.