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Looking for laptop options

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
September 22, 2011 4:11:15 AM

1. What is your budget?
$1200, big bonus if i can include a SSD (even 64GB will do) in this price

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15.6" is good enough.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Desktop replacement, much portability isn't a need.

5. How much battery life do you need?
2 hours is good enough.

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 plan to play WoW, LOTRO, SC2, some FPS at least on High (ultra as possible, dont mind if games like crysis or metro 2033 dont run on ultra). Eventually I would like to play Skyrim and Diablo 3.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Mostly Visual Studio 2010 and music creation/edition software (fruityloops).

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
500GB is enough, more is a plus.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Newegg and Tigerdirect seem pretty reliable so far.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Obviously as much as possible (4 years minimum)

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

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've no real experience with laptop brands other than Compaq. I had an old one whose monitor hinges broke and, I currently use a Compaq (CQ60-220) but I seriously need an upgrade.

13. What country do you live in?
Mexico but I plan to get it sent to a US address and pick it up there.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I would like the laptop to remain as cool as possible. Laptop's sound isn't too important as I will be using headphones.

More about : laptop options

September 22, 2011 2:42:48 PM

Lenovo's Y570 on the website costs about $1000-$1200 for the best one, it has an i7, GT555m, has a 750gb HDD and a 64gb SSD. The 555m though is the lowest end version of the card, it's not that fantastic. You could do WOW on high, starcraft on high, maybe a couple settings at medium, and I don't know about LOTRO, I've never played it. This is the only laptop I know of with specs like this with an SSD. If the ssd isn't super important, You could probably get more for the money.

The only problem with this is that the resolution is crap. But the 1920x1080 is expensive, that's why its hard to find specs like this for this price on other laptops.

Edit - The website is a little hard to navigate, so here's the link.

September 22, 2011 3:03:24 PM

Without the SSD there's this:
An Asus with an i7 and a 560m (560m>>>>>555m) and 1080p. No SSD though, and the battery life is more or less nonexistent. You'd be lucky to get 1.75-2 hours on battery saver mode, without severely underclocking and undervolting the CPU and GPU.
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September 22, 2011 3:30:50 PM

Well to be honest I guess I don't really need 1080p resolution as I already have a 40" TV for this in my room. SSD again is not really a necessity but a good plus, I liked your Lenovo suggestion but if I'm already spending a bit I would prefer being able to play at least wow/sc2 on ultra (probably meaning i will be able to play diablo 3 on high-ultra as well)

I also like your ASUS suggestion and I have a question, could I add the SSD myself easily in the near future if I go with a no-ssd option?
September 22, 2011 6:10:31 PM

Yes, adding a 2.5" SSD is the same as any other hard drive. It would be the only hard drive though, unless you bought a laptop with 2 hard drives already. The Asus is a good computer, besides the battery life, but be warned, even though it's a 15.6", it's a beast, it's pretty heavy and thick. This might not be a problem for you, though, and the design also keeps the laptop cooler than many others with the same specs.
September 22, 2011 11:29:18 PM

I actually almost posted that one, but I didn't cause it would be more with the i7 and windows OS. Yeah that's actually a great option, I love that there's an option to remove branding, too. The laptop is so nice when it's clean and free of marking. But yeah, I would definitely upgrade that to an i7, and then it would be pretty sweet.

ALSO - You can change the ram to 8GB with 4 sticks instead of 2, and save $50. Why not?
September 23, 2011 12:06:00 AM

About the RAM, that's the option provided by default and I wondered if there is a performance difference. I assumed there wasn't but I'm not sure. Can you clarify that?

Saving that $50 would make the processor upgrade seem like only a $30 which is pretty good.

Also, do you know if the 560 is a "gimped" 128bit version or 192? I've seen posts where people recommend a 192 bit (whatever that is) GTX 460m over a 128bit GTX 560m

Best solution

September 23, 2011 12:34:42 AM

The performance difference in the RAM, if any, would be unnoticeable.

I'm fairly sure the only company that still uses the 128bit 560m is Asus, on the older models. Notebookcheck doesn't even have the 128bit variant anymore, so I think it's pretty safe to assume that the Sager on xoticpc will have the 192bit.

That's what I meant when I was talking about the Lenovo. It has a 128 bit 96 core 555m instead of the standard 192 bit 144 core 555m, and it loses tons of performance because of that.
September 23, 2011 12:39:33 AM

Thanks a lot. I've been looking at the $892 before rebate G53SW-XN1 from Newegg but very skeptical due to many reviewers complaining about power issues and I don't really have the time to deal with RMA and all that when I go pick up the laptop.

This definitely seems to be a better and more reliable option.
September 23, 2011 1:09:14 AM

Lenovo is known to be an amazing company, I've had their thinkpad series notebooks for years and love them.
September 26, 2011 2:50:33 PM

Best answer selected by etonto.