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Mid Level Gaming Laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 19, 2011 11:09:34 PM

1. What is your budget?
Around $800

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15 - 17"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
No preference

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable-ish. Moving into a small apartment, don't have enough room for my desktop, so will be getting rid of that.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Will be plugged in most of the time, so not a big deal.

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)?
75% of the time will be for games, Civ5, Rift, CoD:MW3 when it comes out, etc. Would like to play as high res as possible

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Mostly just watching Netflix/Hulu, some DVDs.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
500GB min, HD size not a huge deal.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Can really only get from Best Buy (gift certificates)

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
2-3 years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD is fine, Blueray would be nice but not neccessary.

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.
No brand preferences

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Nothing really else to tell, coming from a desktop with 2.8ghz dual core GTX 8800.

The other day I bought:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pavilion+Laptop+/+Inte...

I have read bad things about the GPU on this, so I am looking for alternatives if need be. If you guys think the GPU is okay on this, please let me know.
a c 433 D Laptop
September 19, 2011 11:28:21 PM

How about the 15.6" Lenovo IdeaPad Y570? Regardless of which CPU you end up going with, the Y570 comes with a nVidia GT 555M video card is which more powerful than the Radeon HD 6470. Like most laptops, you cannot upgrade the graphics card.

Click following link for discount coupon codes:

http://www.logicbuy.com/deals/lenovo-ideapad-y570-best-...


Don't forget you need to play taxes on your purpose and the notebook will be shipped out of China as soon as it rolls off the production line. I think I received my 14" IdeaPad Y470 around 10 or 11 days after placing my order.
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September 19, 2011 11:37:19 PM

That looks good, but I don't think Best Buy carries that model. I appreciate the reply, but please remember I have to make this purchase at Best Buy, which limits what I can get.
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a c 433 D Laptop
September 20, 2011 12:06:48 AM

Sorry, I must have skipped over that point.

If you only want to buy from Best Buy, then you are not going to get a laptop with anything better than the Radeon HD 6470 or the GeForce GT 520M both are comparable, but the HD 6470 should edge out the GT 520M.

If you can bump up your budget to $925 before taxes, then you can buy the following 15.6" Asus laptop with a Core i5-2410M and a GeForce GT 540M.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23...

Otherwise, you probably already picked the best laptop.
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September 20, 2011 12:09:20 AM

Gotcha, thank you very much for your quick and informative response!

If you dont mind me asking, am I going to be very dissapointed as I move my game library over the the laptop? I'm currently re-downloading Civ5, so we will see how that goes tonight.

How do you think I will fare for CoD:MW3? Will I be able to play with at least medium level graphics and decent FPS?

Thanks again!
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a c 433 D Laptop
September 20, 2011 12:16:29 AM

I haven't played Civ 5 yet, but the Civ series generally do not have high requirements so I don't think you should have any issues.

As for CoD:MW3, I never played it, but based on reviews of that game you're going to have problems playing it at medium graphics quality especially at 1600x900 resolution.
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September 20, 2011 12:23:52 AM

For some reason, and I'm not quite sure why, Civ5 is very taxing on GPUs. I read somewhere that is it becoming part of standard benchmarking procedures. I could be wrong though.

Anyways, what would you say the difference is between the laptop I have and the Lenovo laptop you mentioned previously? Do the GPUs have that big of a difference in power? Will the settings/games I will be able to play largely differ between the two?

Once again, thanks!
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a c 433 D Laptop
September 20, 2011 12:46:46 AM

Okay, maybe Civ 5 is stepping up on graphics... I honestly have not read a review on Civ 5 yet. Currently playing Civ 4.

The difference between the GeForce GT 555M and the GT 520M / HD 6470 is pretty large.

At best you can Crysis on low settings with your current laptop. The GeForce GT 555M is capable of Crysis on medium settings very well at 1366x768 resolution, and I would say pretty decent on 1600x900. The Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 only comes with a 1366x768 resolution screen.

Crysis is more demanding than CoD:MW3 so if a laptop can play Crysis well, then it can play almost any current game. The only game more demanding than Crysis that I know of is Metro 2033. Maybe Crysis 2 with the DX11 and high resolution patches is more demanding than Crysis, but I'm not sure.
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September 20, 2011 1:30:48 AM

There's only one minor issue with the GT 555M in Lenovo laptops - it's the 96-core GF108-based version, not the 144-core GF106-based version. Essentially, Lenovo's version equates to an overclocked GT 550M. While still solid, it's not the same as the GT 555M used in Dell's XPS 17 or MSI's GX780 laptops.

You can see all of Lenovo's Y570 laptop models here. LogicBUY has a 10-percent off coupon for the Lenovo Y570 series - LOGICBUY10C. That's the only applicable coupon I've found for that series.

I recently gave purchasing the Y570 086227U laptop some serious thought prior to settling on a (much cheaper) Llano-based Gateway NV55S05u AMD A8-3500M laptop.

Another option I considered was from HP, and I still prefer it in comparison to Lenovo's Y570 offerings. HP's alternative to the Lenovo Y570 is the HP DV6T Quad Edition. (See their DV6T Select Edition for HP's i5-2410M rival.) The DV6T Quads come equipped with a 1GB HD6490M by default, but a 1GB 6770M can be added for only $25, with a 2GB version available for $100. One option that truly separates these HP machines from Lenovo's is the option to upgrade to a 1920x1080p display for $150, which Lenovo doesn't even offer. (They don't offer 1600x900, either.) Sure, a monitor upgrade would take the price out of budget, but LogicBUY (again) has several applicable coupons for HP laptops, which you can find here: http://www.logicbuy.com/deals/coupon-hp-pavilion-dv6t-1...
and here http://www.logicbuy.com/deals/hp-home-deals-and-coupons...
Try the 30% ones.
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a b D Laptop
September 20, 2011 3:15:40 AM

Here is a review of the HP 17 in that you listed.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388175,00.asp.

Is is a shame thaty you are limited to Best buy. If you can catch on sale you can sometimes get a good buy. Bought 2 toshibias from BB. But my last laptop got from Newegg - BB could not touch the price. Samsung RF711-s01 for $750. It's back to $980 (Not worth 980). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Agree with recommendation of dedicated 540m if you want to game if possible. The 6470 will probably allow playing at playable rates with low -> medium settings and possibly at reduced resolution.
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September 20, 2011 3:27:15 PM

Thanks for all the great replies. I am working on getting the funding to NOT buy the laptop at best buy. So if anyone has any suggestions for great purchases ANYWHERE, please let me know.

Thanks again!
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September 20, 2011 9:19:55 PM

Online merchant and factory-direct prices are actually fairly competitive to Best Buy's prices. (Also, my apologies for having missed that you originally intended to purchase from Best Buy.)

If considering an i3 at all, you're going to find yourself hard-pressed to find one equipped with a dedicated graphics card, which leaves you stuck with Intel HD3000 integrated (***). As an i3 alternative, you may want to consider AMD Llano-based laptops. Sure, the built-in graphics aren't all that great and you'd be better off with a dedicated card, but it's far better than Intel HD3000. Additionally, some Llano laptop models have dedicated cards. Take Best Buy's HP dv6-6135dx, for example. The dv6-6135dx has a Llano A8-3500M APU with built-in 6620G graphics, as well as a 6750M dedicated card. (HP also offers the option to add an optional 6750M when configuring dv6z-Quad Edition laptops at it's store.) The GPUs can be run independently and are switchable, or they can be combined to form 6755G2 dual-graphics combination. (Dual graphics performance can actually be worse than independent performance, and it depends on driver support for each specific title.) But if willing to spend $700, you may as well take my previous advice and buy a Core i7-2630QM HP dv6t-Quad Edition with a 6770M for $900 or so. The i7 smokes the Llano, and the 6770M is better than the 6750M in the dv6-6135dx.

Best Buy does have a dv6t-Quad Edition laptop of its own: the dv6-6170us, but its price ($948.99) is actually higher than an identical configurable model at HP's direct shopping site. Coupons, like those I mentioned previously, can be applied to laptops configured on HP's site to increase savings (vs. the Best Buy model) even further. An identical laptop to the Best Buy HP dv6-6170us can be purchased directly from HP for $822.49 using the 'PLAY30' 30% off coupon. That's over $125 less than Best Buy's identically-configured alternative. For the same price, you can add a 1920x1080 screen, or any combination of larger HDD, more RAM, better battery/batteries, etc.
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September 21, 2011 8:59:53 PM

Xoticpc's prices are exactly the same as Sager's direct prices. The only differences are Xoticpc's 3% 'Cash Discount' (conditions apply), and the additional software and services (ie: extended warranty) they offer.

Have a look at Sager's site and their NP5165 pricing: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=product_cus...
Every component bears the exact same price as shown at Xoticpc.
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