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Laptop for $600-700? (Maybe more later in year)

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 8, 2011 2:22:36 AM

I'm looking to buy this- well, perhaps Christmas or spring/summer of next year (probably not until after AP tests...).

-I'd prefer you read the entire post but all the FAQs will be at the bottom-

I want to be able to use this laptop through college for classwork and a bit of light gaming on the road. The only thing I really require is a discrete graphics card- I don't really need a good one, but I'd like to be able to at least run modern games with playable fps so that I can at least play with friends at lan parties and stuff without lugging my desktop along. I'd prefer to have a fast computer over a slower one with a better gpu since I'll need it for coursework.

About the budget- it's really quite tentative, since I highly doubt my dad will let me borrow that money for Christmas with the state that my grades are in :pt1cable:  If you don't want to be bothered with finding a laptop within my specifications, that's quite fine.

But if so (and if not so), I have another important question if I'm to buy the laptop during spring/summer of 2012. Is there anything I should watch out for in terms of new hardware and stuff? I was originally gonna wait for Bulldozer for my desktop (which failed, half because it was delayed and half because I got a good paying part time job and I could afford Intel), and then I was gonna wait for Sandy Bridge E/Ivy Bridge (too expensive in the end), but disregarding those failures, I'm wondering if I should be watching out for stuff coming out on laptops in 2012? I'm in debt to my dad $200 for my desktop at the moment, but I'll probably have around $1200 by the time spring/summer roll by so new hardware shouldn't be too much of a budget issue.

Again, I only need games to be playable (minimum settings is all good- my GTX 580 will take down everything else when I get on my desktop), as well as some decent speed.


1. What is your budget? $600-700 at the moment but $1200+ later next year

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Doesn't really matter, but I don't want/probably can't afford a giant one.

3. What screen resolution do you want? Don't care.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable preferably, but if I have to sacrifice a lot of speed/power, then something in the middle.

5. How much battery life do you need? I'd like 6+ hours but if it's 4 or 5...Meh, I'll think about it.

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)? Yup. Modern games (stuff like Skyrim/BF3) at low. Medium if possible (doubt it if I buy with current budget).

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Coursework- business school so I suppose that doesn't really matter.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? I'd like 60 GB+ if SSD or 300 GB+ if HDD.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Newegg or some cheap custom place.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? Hopefully through college- so about 4-5 years. But if it's not possible, I can live with it. 2-3 years is all good.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Doesn't matter. Cheap is good.

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. Well, I'd like an Intel 2nd Gen processor, but that's really all the preference I have. Not really much of a NVIDIA or ATI fanboy, but I lean slightly towards NVIDIA if the power is the same.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

If you didn't read the paragraphs at the top, the my other question was: if I were looking to buy the laptop later in 2012, what new hardware should I be looking at?

Feel free to post laptops with either budget ($600-700 or ~$1200). Thanks for reading and (hopefully) responding!

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a c 433 D Laptop
December 8, 2011 5:05:03 AM

It seems you don't really need a laptop at the moment. Based on what you are saying you are going off to college in Fall 2012. Therefore, my recommendation is to buy one next summer.

There are no firm dates yet, but next year AMD will be releasing their Trinity APU and Intel will be releasing the mobile Ivy Bridge.

Trinity will be based on the Bulldozer core and will succeed the Llano APU which is based on the old Athlon II core. Bulldozer is a disappointment on the desktop since it is generally not any more powerful than a Phenom II CPU. I expect AMD will make some tweaks to improve performance, but even if they don't Trinity's CPU processing power should be 10% more than Llano. The higher expectation is better graphics performance. Currently Llano's best integrated graphics core is around as powerful as a desktop Radeon HD 5570. I have not really read anything about Trinity yet, the best graphics core will probably be about halfway in between the desktop Radeon HD 5570 and Radeon HD 5670.

The mobile Ivy Bridge CPUs will probably be around 6% - 10% more powerful than current mobile Sandy Bridge CPUs. That translates to at least 15% - 20% more powerful than Trinity's CPU core by my current estimate. It will have the Intel HD 4000 graphics core which is currently estimated to be around 60% more powerful than the current Intel HD 3000. The Intel HD 3000 is about equal to the desktop Radeon HD 5450 which means the Intel HD 4000 is probably around halfway between a desktop HD 5550 and HD 5570.

Either Trinity or Ivy Bridge will be more than enough for schoolwork. However, when it comes to games, Trinity will be better; unless you buy a laptop with the weakest Trinity APU which probably means it will be equal to the Intel HD 4000.
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