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Gaming laptop under $600 + questions about llano

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January 3, 2012 11:03:09 PM

1. What is your budget?

Less than $600 (with tax, estimating that tax would be around $40 for $550 laptop). less the better.. glad around $500

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

Personally, I'd love to have 14 inch, but 15.6inch is perfectly fine with me. 17.3inch not so really.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

1366*768 seems the most logical/realistic answer for the budget. (if possible, 15.6inch with 1600:900 is also great)

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

Desktop replacement mostly, but not the biggest laptop. as in, I'd like to have it on my laps (as in, it's a laptop..)

5. How much battery life do you need?

Not really concerned about battery life. Although a student, I mostly am going to use it in my house.

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)?

Really, depends on the game, but most games with Medium is pretty good, I'm not crazy about High settings (personally can't tell much difference? lol). Games like BF3, I'm glad as long as they're playable with 1024*768 with low-mid settings with more than 30fps. If that's too much, oh well.

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

mostly gaming. nothing else, really. internet surfing i guess... a Blu-ray drive isn't necessary, and mostly not going to be used anyways.

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

Ehh, I can live with 320GB. 500GB makes me happy. More than that, why not.

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

N/A

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

As long as possible, I guess. I don't believe that the laptop around this budget will be able to play 2014~2016 games decently, but I mean, I can stick with recent games of right now.

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

As long as I have a DVD Rom player, I'm happy. Writer isn't necessary, and most likely won't be used.

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 looked around the web for several laptops, and I really don't care much about the brand as long as they're not "unheard" of. I'm not the pickiest person for the design, but I do look at some of them and think I don't want them even if they have the best performance in the price range. But most laptops around this price range, I noticed, have decent designs which satisfy me.

13. What country do you live in?

Virginia, USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.


Hi, I'm a high school junior without video game consoles and lover of PC's.

Recently, I got a chance of getting a laptop for myself, for somewhat a decent price range.

My parents said that they would buy me one I choose; personally, I don't want them spending too much money on this "present" for me, and they won't buy me one anyways if it's super expensive.

So I put a price limit for myself; I actually put it as some figure close to $500, so I think below $600 is a good explanation for it.

I like to play video games a lot, including recent ones, such as BF3, COD, Skyrim, Starcraft2, etc.

Since I like to research laptops anyways, I've looked at several laptops, and sorted out 2 best laptops I have found of my interest.

HP dv6-6135DX : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS K53TA-BBR6 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

dv6-6135DX has A8-3500 with Radeon 6750 switchable graphics, 6GB ram, and 640 HDD (additionally, something just cool to have is the fingerprint reader lol). this comes with price of around $530

K53TA-BBR6 has A6-3400 with Radeon 6650 switchable graphics, 4GB ram, and 500 HDD (sadly, no fingerprint reader.) this comes with the amazingly nice price of $400

I looked at both of them, and kinda judged that they both have similar specs, but quite a gap in the price. I think I'll most likely go for K53TA-BBR6 for several reasons

1. A6-3400 and A8-3500 are pretty similar in CPU usage. If I am really desperate, I can always overclock the CPU a little bit. (just a throw out question here, but is a little overclocking OK if I have a laptop cooler?)
2. 6750 is better than 6650, but not significantly different; as in, I found out that you can still play BF3 with decent graphics with A6 and 6650. 6750 might give me a better option, but someone claimed that A8 is too weak of a processor for let the 6750 to exert its full potential.
3. 4GB of ram is good enough, at least for now, I believe?
4. Fingerprint reader is pretty cool, but not worth $100 for me. HDD i don't care much. 500GB is good enough.

Well for this reasoning, I believe K53TA-BBR6 is a better choice in budget-performance ratio.

.. is what I thought up till now.
However, I am inquiring you guys for one reason: Although K53TA-BBR6 has a discrete graphics card, it uses an APU. I simply thought that it doesnt make sense, and there should be a laptop out there that uses a sole CPU and a discrete graphics card with the same price but with a stronger CPU. This is solely my thought, and I justified it myself. I might be wrong, but it's just a greed of a high school student who wants the best laptop for the least price. I'd be perfectly happy with that K53TA, but I'm always open to a new opinion. Also, if you think dv6-6135DX is worth the price (as in, worth $130 more than K53TA), please do tell me with your justifications.

Thanks for reading!

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January 3, 2012 11:17:07 PM
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Only overclock custom built desktop computers. A8 is NOT too weak of a processor for the 6750 to exert its full potential. Mobile 6750 does not equal desktop 6750. If I were you I'd go with A8 platform b/c it has much better specs. I recommend at least 6GB RAM for Windows 7 64 bit. Llano platform uses a technology called Dual Graphics: The GPU from the APU work in a crossfire like mode with the discrete laptop GPU. It's really common sense. If I were you I'd go with
HP Pavilion dv6-6184ca Refurbished Notebook AMD A-Series A8-3510MX(1.8GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory DDR3 750GB HDD 5400rpm BD Combo AMD Radeon HD 6755G2 Dual GPU
since your HP choice is out of stock. Hurry up and buy this one while it's in stock. You don't have to pay separately for tax with Newegg.
January 4, 2012 12:55:30 AM

Hey, I saw this post and considering my recent purchase, figured I'd chime in. I actually just picked up a ASUS K53TA-BBR6 from Newegg "Recertified" for $410. Price/Performance wise in games, it's pretty unbeatable. It's got a nice finish and keyboard. Touchpad isn't the best, and neither is the screen, but I wasn't expecting miracles at this price point. The one thing it can do undeniably, is game. At this point, I've run Saints Row: The Third, SW:TOR, Battlefield 3, and StarCraft II through it without issue. Obviously, this isn't on the highest settings, but it is definitely very playable at eye catching settings and the panel's native resolution. I've been using two different HP Elitebooks at this point, both at roughly a $1500 retail price point, the EliteBook 8440P, 8460P and this machine outgames the two of them easily, while offering a true quad core processor.

There are some caveats however. The processor's clock rate when using more than one thread @ 1.4Ghz is a little low and will slow up performance in certain situations, especially when using its built in crossfire. Using a software utility called K10STAT, I was able to increase that to 2Ghz across all four cores; A clock rate I'm much more confident will handle modern games. Additionally, AMD's Dual Graphics (APU + GPU CrossFire) is kind of hit or miss as far as performance goes. In some games, I notice a significant increase in performance, and, in others, it makes it unplayable. A perfect example would be Battlefield 3 which wouldn't run smoothly in Dual Graphics mode. However, after disabling Dual Graphics and specifying the program to use the onboard Radeon 6650M, it ran without a hitch.

I've seen a lot of different laptop models through the years and worked at the GeekSquad trying to help peddle them for 2 years. In that time, I've never seen a sub $500 laptop with more gaming potential.

Just my $.02.
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January 4, 2012 1:31:47 AM

A6 vs A8, CPU will run about the same, but it's not a super powered CPU to begin with so every little bit helps. The A8 does have a better GPU when you depend on it. Llanos with discrete graphics however should come with discrete cards that will hybrid crossfire. As stated above, Hybrid crossfire does not always work, but works very well when it works. In DX9 games the crossfire will not work and it defaults to the stronger GPU, so it doesn't hurt to have a nicer discrete card for those cases.

Here's a combo chart BTW. http://images.anandtech.com/doci/4444/amd-llano-dualgpu...

All that being said, an A6+6650 will do pretty well, but an A8 +6750 will give you better graphics in more situations, so it's a matter of how good do you need and what games you play.
January 4, 2012 1:40:29 AM

mikeangs2004 said:
Only overclock custom built desktop computers. A8 is NOT too weak of a processor for the 6750 to exert its full potential. Mobile 6750 does not equal desktop 6750. If I were you I'd go with A8 platform b/c it has much better specs. I recommend at least 6GB RAM for Windows 7 64 bit. Llano platform uses a technology called Dual Graphics: The GPU from the APU work in a crossfire like mode with the discrete laptop GPU. It's really common sense. If I were you I'd go with
HP Pavilion dv6-6184ca Refurbished Notebook AMD A-Series A8-3510MX(1.8GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory DDR3 750GB HDD 5400rpm BD Combo AMD Radeon HD 6755G2 Dual GPU
since your HP choice is out of stock. Hurry up and buy this one while it's in stock. You don't have to pay separately for tax with Newegg.


thanks for the information (including the one about newegg having no tax.. i'll make sure i'm using newegg to buy laptops :D ). Sadly, I can't buy the laptop now. I'll check it later, and hopefully they still have it then. If they dont.. ehh.. I'll take your advice to find something similar.


Quote:
How about this Asus (K53E-BD4TD) 15.6" Laptop w/ Intel Core i5-2430M Dual Core $449.00
http://www.dealstudio.com/searchde [...] u=28909845
Seems nice specs within your budget, hope u find the best bet. Good luck.


looks like a good buy for i5-2430M, but sadly it runs on intel integrated cpu, I think. I don't think it'll be great for gaming usage. thanks for the info though.


@Xenturion thanks for the review. I was actually looking for one. seems that K53TA isnt a bad deal. now the problem for me is to choose between K53TA or hp dv6 series..
January 4, 2012 1:44:34 AM

kinggraves said:
A6 vs A8, CPU will run about the same, but it's not a super powered CPU to begin with so every little bit helps. The A8 does have a better GPU when you depend on it. Llanos with discrete graphics however should come with discrete cards that will hybrid crossfire. As stated above, Hybrid crossfire does not always work, but works very well when it works. In DX9 games the crossfire will not work and it defaults to the stronger GPU, so it doesn't hurt to have a nicer discrete card for those cases.

Here's a combo chart BTW. http://images.anandtech.com/doci/4444/amd-llano-dualgpu...

All that being said, an A6+6650 will do pretty well, but an A8 +6750 will give you better graphics in more situations, so it's a matter of how good do you need and what games you play.



thanks for the nice chart. by any chance, do you know how much difference there is between 6720G2 and 6755G2? A6vsA8 now seems a minor detail, and I can change the RAM by myself if necessary, but the last problem would be the graphics card I guess. would 6755G2 run way fairly than the 6720G2, or are they pretty much the same? as in, how much fps would differ between the gpu's?
January 4, 2012 2:13:48 AM

mathnino said:
thanks for the nice chart. by any chance, do you know how much difference there is between 6720G2 and 6755G2? A6vsA8 now seems a minor detail, and I can change the RAM by myself if necessary, but the last problem would be the graphics card I guess. would 6755G2 run way fairly than the 6720G2, or are they pretty much the same? as in, how much fps would differ between the gpu's?


Hard to say, few people test the lower combinations and even the best one was mostly tested when it first came out and the drivers for crossfire were buggy.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-G...

Has a comparison chart that shows tested FPS for specific games. Generally some games do about the same and some can run the same games on med with a 6750 that they can run on low on a 6650. The hybrid situations "should" bump that performance up a bit, so you might be able to get up to medium on the A6 combo but you'll usually do medium on the A8 combo.
January 4, 2012 12:05:19 PM

You can get a brand new HP A6 at bestbuy.com for $400. just saying.
I would advise to look at sites apart from newegg, as their laptop prices are just generally bad these days.
a c 406 D Laptop
January 8, 2012 2:14:12 PM

mathnino said:
thanks for the information (including the one about newegg having no tax.. i'll make sure i'm using newegg to buy laptops :D ). Sadly, I can't buy the laptop now. I'll check it later, and hopefully they still have it then. If they dont.. ehh.. I'll take your advice to find something similar.




There are no taxes as long as you are not living in the state where Newegg has it's HQ (CA), or not living in a state where Newegg has a warehouse. For example, Newegg has a warehouse in NJ (most of my purchases originates from there) so if you live in NJ, then you will be paying NJ sales tax. I think Newegg also has a warehouse in TX.
January 17, 2012 12:18:38 AM

Best answer selected by mathnino.
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