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Gaming/School Laptop around $550

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  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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December 13, 2011 8:11:49 PM

Hi all, I did some searching around here and elsewhere but couldn't really find anything specific. I'm having trouble deciding between mainly two laptops, and I'm open to any other suggestions as well. It will be a Christmas gift for my high school brother, who likes to game occasionally (Valve stuff like L4D and TF2, plus other stuff like the COD:MW series and GTAIV; might get some newer stuff like BF3). He'll of course be using it for school stuff too, but I figure if it's good for gaming it'll be plenty fine for Word/Powerpoint/Facebook.

These are what I've narrowed it down to:

Acer Aspire AS5755G-6823
$550 new at Newegg, includes $25 gift card = $525
• i5 2430M (2.4GHz)
• 4GB memory
• 500GB 5400RPM HDD
• nVidia GeForce GT 540M

HP Pavilion dv6-6135DX Refurbished
$530 refurb
• AMD A-Series A8-3500M (1.5GHz)
• 6GB memory
• 640GB HDD (unknown RPM)
• BD Drive (not important but cool I guess for the price)
• AMD Radeon HD 6750M

The 6750M appears to be about equal to the 540M in many tests, rarely getting beat, and actually significantly better on more intensive stuff like high-res Crysis. Any input here?

I wasn't able to find any direct comparisons between the processors, and I found mixed results for their PC Mark scores. Some general information online suggested that the A8 makes a better CPU for gaming than the i5, but I couldn't tell if this was referring to either CPU paired with a dedicated GPU or just the integrated graphics. Also, I know clock speed doesn't mean what it used to, but without knowing much about AMDs current lineup, 1.5GHz seems really slow, regardless of core count, etc. Again, any input on which processor takes the cake?

Lastly, and this is perhaps my biggest concern, does anyone have any experience with buying recertified laptops on Newegg? The only refurb product I've ever bought from them was an A/V receiver and it's worked perfectly, but I wouldn't know what to do or what costs I'd have to pay if something went wrong. From specs alone (as well as aesthetics and build quality) it seems to me that the HP is the better buy.

I've come to these boards before for help and gotten plenty of it in the past so I just wanted to run it by here first. Thanks!

More about : gaming school laptop 550

December 13, 2011 8:47:51 PM

Personally I would take the Acer. The AMD 1.5 does seem really low...
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a b D Laptop
December 13, 2011 9:13:00 PM

Hello, I have to say that 6750 is a nice card, but why did they pair it up with an llano APU is beyond me. Basically the major advantage of A-series is a good integrated GPU that's on the processor die, however, since that laptop already has a dedicated 6750 it seems to me that it's just waste of money to put A-series into it. Ah, well actually I think I know why they did it, A-series gets better GPU performance on battery vs intel HD, so if you were to play on battery you could switch to the integrated GPU for less performance but better battery life vs using a dedicated GPU. But you might want to evaluate how important it is to you to game on battery.

Since, hp is a refurb and you're not comfortable with a refurb (I can't give you any advice since I've never bought any refurb from newegg myself) But I'd consider the i5 + 540M. it's bound to have optimus, which will give you at least the same performance as the A-series on battery if not playing games. Plus it's a new machine vs a refurb costing the same price.

Long story short, personally, I'd go with the new acer instead of a refurb
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a b D Laptop
December 14, 2011 12:58:13 PM

I'm seriously starting to think this guy is a freaking bot program scripted to look for clue words and match up any search criteria on deal studio. His posts are so generic and lacking in understanding of the topic it's simply cannot be any other explanation...
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a b D Laptop
December 14, 2011 1:39:28 PM

AntiZig said:
I'm seriously starting to think this guy is a freaking bot program scripted to look for clue words and match up any search criteria on deal studio. His posts are so generic and lacking in understanding of the topic it's simply cannot be any other explanation...


I thought he is a bot from dealstudio ?
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December 16, 2011 8:26:08 AM

Thanks for the input everyone. I was actually able to get my other brother to put some money down for this too, so I was able to stretch the budget a bit further. Neither of us were very comfortable with a refurb. I ended up ordering the Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 for $695 (plus tax put it to about $740). We felt that getting a new product instead of refurb as well as the significant upgrade in graphics power would be worth it.

Specs if anyone is interested:

i5-2430M (2.4Ghz)
nVidia GeForce GT 555M 1GB
500GB HDD (7200 RPM)
4GB RAM (I figure this is a cheap enough upgrade to 8GB that he can do it himself if he sees fit)

And yes I am pretty sure cloudy2010 is a bot :p 
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a b D Laptop
December 16, 2011 11:36:21 AM

oh yes, Y570 is a great buy, enjoy
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