I've been looking for a new laptop for a while now and am ready to buy a new one. I've had a Dell Inspiron E1705 since 2006 and it's been great to me.
It's been difficult choosing one because every time I read the reviews, it ruins it. I know I need to get over that, there's no such thing as a perfect laptop and everyone's going to have complaints.
I am not really a gamer and I'm not sure that I ever will be but I do want my laptop to be capable of playing games such as BF3. I'm used to playing MMORPGs at around 5-12Fps, so I don't have high expectations at all.
These judgements probably aren't fair but I've ruled out the HP Pavillion line because they're nortorious for overheating and Toshibas (particularly the Qosmio) because they're apparently so flimsy you can see your fingerprint on the monitor when you press it from behind. Opinions?
I have a few questions...
* Will the i5-2430m processor handle the 550m card without any problems?
* I know gaming laptops are more prone to overheating... Will it run warmer just from web browsing because it's packing so much power?
* Are switchable graphics important as far as battery life goes? I don't think the XPS 17 has that.
That's all! I'd love to have your opinion on this as well as any suggestions you may have. The XPS 17 only has 3 USB ports and lacks a VGA port but I'm willing to overlook that.
You can usually find a DVI/HDMI to VGA adapter in case you ever need it for some old style tech (like a projector).
4 USB ports. 2 are 3.0 and 2 are 2.0. For a laptop - 4 USB ports is usually enough for the way most people use them. You can always get a USB hub (powered or un-powered) if you need to attach more devices.
HP has finally fixed much of the overheating issues from the 2010 generation
But from experience, what you heard was no exaggeration.
Purely looking at the BF3 potential, the AMD 7690M within HP's notebooks is much faster than the GT 550m or GT 555m because AMD uses GDDR5 memory
You can also help thermals by going with a dual core instead of quad core.
But much of those overheating problems were the parts themselves in 2010.
an i7-720QM and AMD 5850 were very bad notebook choices. HP was at fault for ignoring that
Mine has a quad core, and it is much improved over its predecessor. It even idles with the fan completely off. But by their very nature, they will get hot playing BF3 or other heavyweight games. This is a fault of Intel's Turbo boost; and its a price paid for better FPS
the AMD 7690M within HP's notebooks is much faster than the GT 550m or GT 555m because AMD uses GDDR5 memory
Not so much. HD 6770M also has GDDR5 and it's a bit slower than GT 555M. The best 555Ms also use GDDR5.
GT 550M/GT 555M or HD 6770M/HD 7690M are pretty much limited to running BF3 on medium settings.
And you'd need to do some graphics tweaking to get smooth & fluid gameplay.
The NVidia Geforce GT555M and the AMD Radeon 7690 / 6770 are very similar in performance. In real world use you would not notice a difference between the two GPUs.
I saw a 15 inch HP pavillion DV6 sporting the i7-2630QM and a radeon 6770 and was very unimpressed at the temperatures. It idled at a CPU core temp of 70°C and rose to over 100° while gaming on Call of Duty Black Ops. At those temperatures I couldn't imaging the internal of the computer lasting too long.
I've seen generally good reviews about ASUS laptops.
I've heard very good things about the ASUS laptops too. I've also got a 2009 ASUS Core 2 Duo laptop that has been quite good. It doesn't get above 66°C even under full load. That's better than most desktops.
To avoid some confusion: The AMD 7690M is the 2012 version of the 6770M, which I use.
To my knowledge, they are identical except for the 7690M receiving a 100 MHz higher GPU memory clock (900MHZ)
I favor the 6770M over the GT 555 because ALL 6770Ms have GDDR5. The same die with DDR3 would have a completely different number. (such as the ENVY 14 does)
Some GT 555Ms have GDDR5, that much is true. however unless they explicitly say they do, better assume they do not.
Dell in particular has used 3 GB of VRAM of an unspecified type. I would suspect 3 GB of GDDR5 is both expensive and pointless.
Even desktop cards only use 2 GB of GDDR5
The GPU cores themselves are comparable. But the type of memory used is either the great equalizer or the finishing blow to the GT 555.
I've even read some have 96 EUs while some have 144. Its an absurd gamble