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Laptop hunting!

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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February 18, 2012 10:53:28 PM

Hi, I am looking for a new laptop/notebook. I am also a gamer and would like to find the best option out there for me. Now my budget is 800$ (I know this is quite low for a gaming laptop), but I would at least like to be able to run my games smoothly (even if I knew I won't be able to max it out).

1. What is your budget?

800$. I may be willing to push up to 950-1000$ depending on if its really worth it.


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

Something I can easily carry around. I never had a laptop before so I'm not sure whats too big or too small. I was looking into 15.6" laptops but most don't seem to have really high resolutions. Is 17.3" really huge? What would you recommend?


3. What screen resolution do you want?

Ideally, 1920x1080. It seems hard to find one under 1000$. Most 15.6" laptops are 1366x768. Is this bad/good?


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

My desktop is about 7 years old. I need a replacement. I'm looking into laptops because I'm in the middle of job hunting and don't know where my Job will take me (hence more convenient to have a laptop now).


5. How much battery life do you need?

N/A. Don't know whats good or bad.

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)?

Yes! However, I seem to play games that are not too demanding right now. I would still typically like a laptop good enough to be able to look good and play smooth for upcoming games in general.

Skyrim: High
Starcraft 2: High
Team fortress 2: High


Upcoming games I want to play maxed out hopefully:
Bioshock Infinite: Mid-High
Diablo 3: High
Counter Strike Global Offensive: High
Dota 2: Mid-High
Guild wars 2: Mid-High

I don't play call of duty or battlefield 3 which are demanding for specs. I more into the above games which appear to be less demanding.


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

Just regular work, surfing, gaming.

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

Not a big deal for me. 500 GB seems good enough. More is welcome but I really don't care.

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

http://www.newegg.ca/
http://www.ncix.ca/?gclid=CLSniI_mqK4CFUcCQAodmBSZRw
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/

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

Well more than 2 years I suppose. Once my job is settled, I am most likely going to buy a powerful desktop, but I will only start looking into this in about 1 year and half.

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

Don't know much about this. If I can't get a 1920x1080 res, is a Bluray drive even worth it? I guess a regular DVD ROM is fine.


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.

ASUS I highly prefer. I hear nothing but good things about them. I don't know if Lenovo or Dell laptops are reliable or not.

I want to avoid HP at all costs.


13. What country do you live in?

Canada


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Like I said, I am looking for a laptop that can smoothly run the games I listed above preferably at High settings. In about a year and half I will most likely start looking into a desktop to completely fill my gaming needs. Right now though, I need a laptop that I can use for work and gaming. I am about to graduate university and laptops seem to be the right thing to buy at the moment because of convenience when I move out.. etc.

I did my fair share of searching and have found this which seems to be at a reasonable price:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
and
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...
For the one at tigerdirect, I'm not sure if thats a good video card or not. The RAM is less too.

You may have notice from the above links that I am looking into intel i7 processors.
I have also found: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
However, judging from the customer reviews, I don't feel quite comfortable buying Lenovo laptops. I would like to stick with ASUS since I hear good things.

Thanks for the help!

More about : laptop hunting

a c 572 D Laptop
February 18, 2012 11:11:06 PM

Hello karmav;

(6) Your gaming expectations are way too high for your budget to support.
For comparison with a desktop graphics card a laptop GT 540M would be roughly equivalent to a desktop Radeon HD 5570.

Computer Games on Laptop Graphic Cards
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February 18, 2012 11:17:07 PM

Hmm, well it seems I have to drop my requirements to medium settings for games. I thought the games I listed were not that demanding (aside from Skyrim). My friend has an ASUS laptop similar to ASUS A53SV-NH71. Same cpu and graphics card and it looked pretty good. If I bump my budget to 950-1000$, will that be sufficient to run games smoothly high settings?
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a c 572 D Laptop
February 18, 2012 11:24:52 PM

Medium settings do look pretty good on most games.
Talk to your friend. Check his A53SV-NH71.

I don't think you'd be able to set up in GPU power and stay with Asus.
Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 with it's GT 555M is probably your best option for upcoming games. The Core i7 model is just over $900
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February 19, 2012 12:49:01 AM

Wow.. well, you had me up until "avoid HP at all costs"

Believe me, everyone has a horror story about computers with regards to a brand. For me, it was with Dell. I bought they're highest end notebook at the time (XPS series) and they left me out to dry when my computer got bricked; even though Nvidia admitted fault for the defect. They didn't fix it until 3 years later.. which by then was pretty pointless.

I've had nothing but the best from HP since 2008, buying/gifting as many as twelve PCs, and all of them still work (the oldest is on GPU death row, also the only one using Nvidia technology)

Based on this GPU defect, I've heard HP offered EVEN WORSE customer service than Dell did for that issue; which is a pretty tall order.
However, in the end I blamed Nvidia more than I did Dell.
---------
ANYWAYS I have seen one other notebook option I would consider
There are 17 inch ASUS Republic of Gamers series notebooks with 1080p, Quad core cpus, and a Nvidia GTX 560M for just under $1000.
If you want the most gaming power for your dollar, size DOES matter
It's heavier than my dv7 is, but right now this ASUS notebook is cheaper and the GTX 560M is slightly faster than the 6770M


The catch is, I'm unable to find this particular machine for $1,000 anymore.
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February 19, 2012 6:53:30 PM

the Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 seems to have good specs. My only worry is the reviews I am reading on newegg from customers. It would be an easy decision if it wasn't for that. Is newegg reliable to buy from? Perhaps the issues are the laptops they have in stock.
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February 20, 2012 5:03:57 AM

after some more heavy searching, I found this: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

It matches my needs and I am willing to push my budget up. Now I have a very stupid question, I noticed that the graphics card says Nvidia GT 555M. It doesn't have the word GeForce in it. I don't think there's any other Nvidia cards without geforce in it. Please tell me they actually mean Nvidia Geforce GT 555M (and don't laugh at me in the process). The resolution is also 1920x1080 which is hard to find at something at this price.

I would also like to know if I'm getting my moneys worth if I purchase this? I have no experience in the laptop field and would like some feedback.
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February 20, 2012 3:46:32 PM

bump, would appreciate feedback on my previous post
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February 20, 2012 4:25:21 PM

Wait for Trinity chips to be released they will meet your needs
should be in June .
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a c 572 D Laptop
February 20, 2012 4:31:23 PM

Nvidia Geforce GT 555M = Nvidia GT 555M = GT 555M

ASUS N55SF-EH71 is a very nice premium entertainment notebook.
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a c 438 D Laptop
February 21, 2012 4:17:43 AM

The GT 555M is a good performance GPU. It's not considered high performance GPU though, and you will probably find that it can struggle in games with the resolution of 1920x1080. Of course you can always play at lower resolution.

Personally, if I were looking for a gaming laptop to play at 1920x1080 resolution, I would look for at least a GTX 570M GPU or Radeon HD 6950M. That's assuming I want to max out graphics quality as much as possible.

A GT 555M @ 1920x1080 resolution basically means you will be able to play games with a mix of low and medium graphics quality.

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