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Looking for a bargain that will play Starcraft 2

A friend recommended this site as a great resource for computer shopping. I'm a Physician Assistant, so I think I'm not an idiot, but honestly this stuff is beyond me and I'm hoping for some help buying a new laptop. Any guidance would rock. Thanks much!

1. What is your budget?

-Would ideally like to keep it around $600, $700 is really an upper limit for me. Refurbished is totally fine, I would even consider used.

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

I don't care, as long as it has a numeric keypad.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

At least 1024 x 720

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

I don't know what this means - this is going to be my only computer, replacing another laptop.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Not a primary consideration. Whatever is standard is fine.

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)?

I don't play games - but I bought Starcraft 2 and would like to be able to play it decently. I don't want to go crazy budgetwise just to play one game on a "High" setting...but it would nice to enjoy it.

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

Nothing significant - work stuff on Excel and Powerpoint. Lot of internet stuff.

Oh, and ideally an HDMI output to watch Netflix on my TV.

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

Not a primary consideration either, whatever is standard is fine. I have an external harddrive for backing up work stuff and I don't do digital movies or music.

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

Whatever is recommended.

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

3 years minimum. I made a $300 Toshiba Satellite last since August 2009 until now, and that includes 2 months in Haiti and 7 months in Iraq.

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

DVD is fine, Blu-ray would be a bonus, don't need to write at all.

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 don't care.

13. What country do you live in?

USA.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Need to have Windows 7 and Microsoft Office.
20 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about looking bargain play starcraft
  1. Best answer
    A couple options:

    Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 15" notebook $580
    Core i3 2330M(2.20GHz) CPU, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M graphics.

    Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 15" notebook $650
    Core i5 2450M(2.50GHz) CPU, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M graphics
  2. You're going to struggle to play SC2 with those graphics cards on anything other than low setting.
    Check out this article and scroll down list to SC2


    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-520M.43104.0.html
  3. Best answer selected by squirrelcar.
  4. WR2 said:
    A couple options:

    Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 15" notebook $580
    Core i3 2330M(2.20GHz) CPU, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M graphics.

    Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 15" notebook $650
    Core i5 2450M(2.50GHz) CPU, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M graphics


    Freakin' sold! Former was outta stock, but I preferred the latter regardless. Thanks so much, dude!
  5. hubbardt said:
    You're going to struggle to play SC2 with those graphics cards on anything other than low setting.
    Check out this article and scroll down list to SC2


    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-520M.43104.0.html


    So I went with the 630M, which it looks like is equivalent to either the 540M or the 555M depending on the shader (whatever that is, and I can't tell from the product page). But regardless, the 540M (and therefore the 630M even in its lower configuration) looks like it'll do just fine with Starcraft 2.

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-630M.63761.0.html

    Am I missing something here?
  6. the 555M is a very STRONG graphics card that is removable and the 540M is solid in the motherboard notebook card, both will perform much better in SC2 than a 630M. the 540M can play on high settings in most cases, SC2 likes a strong CPU
  7. DryCreamer said:
    the 555M is a very STRONG graphics card that is removable and the 540M is solid in the motherboard notebook card, both will perform much better in SC2 than a 630M. the 540M can play on high settings in most cases, SC2 likes a strong CPU


    I'm the first to acknowledge I don't know anything about this stuff...but per the website above, the 630M IS (for all intents and purposes) either the 540M or the 555M, depending on its "shader." So if the 540M is good to go, then the 630M should be also, right?

    "Performance

    The performance of the 96 shader version should be exactly like the GeForce GT 540M and the 144 shader version like the GeForce GT 555M (see both pages gaming benchmarks). Demanding games of 2010 should therefore run fluently in medium to high details. However, 2011 games like Anno 2070 or Skyrim need reduced detail settings for fluent framerates."

    Is the site wrong or am I just completely misreading it?

    Edit - here's another reference saying they're the same: http://www.pcper.com/category/Tags/GT630M
  8. squirrelcar said:
    So if the 540M is good to go, then the 630M should be also, right?
    Edit - here's another reference saying they're the same: http://www.pcper.com/category/Tags/GT630M
    You're reading the sources correctly.
    3rd source: NVIDIA’s GeForce 600M Parts
  9. squirrelcar said:
    So I went with the 630M, which it looks like is equivalent to either the 540M or the 555M depending on the shader (whatever that is, and I can't tell from the product page). But regardless, the 540M (and therefore the 630M even in its lower configuration) looks like it'll do just fine with Starcraft 2.

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-630M.63761.0.html

    Am I missing something here?


    The 630M is a much better choice and should do ok on med/high settings with a little tweaking
  10. Wisecracker said:


    That is an awesome deal, and the card looks much better...but for a tradeoff in the processor? I probably would've gotten this one, but at this point $25 just isn't worth canceling the other order and messing with a new one.
  11. A pretty big trade-off in CPU power.
    For FPS - it's probably a better option than for RPGs (like SC2) and SIMs
  12. You may max out the APU including the Radeon HD 7690M and knock the price down with a coupon or two

    Yeah, why bother . . . you wouldn't want to play Starcraft2 in high (or ultra!) settings at 1080p on a widescreen

    :D

    Enjoy your new, slow graphics!
  13. Wisecracker said:
    With Core i5/Core i7 CPUs the 6770m (7690m) did get that performance.
  14. NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M review if you want to see which CPU/APU was in use for each benchmark score click on the score to get details.

  15. I didn't find any Llano APUs w/ HD 6770M (or 7690M) SC2 benchmarks but I did find:
    Llano A6-3410MX 1.6GHz w/ HD 6750M / (Hybrid CFX as HD 6755G2)

  16. SC2 is really CPU intensive, which is sad, cuz the 6750M is actually a solid card, but the crappy A6 clock speed and poor instructions per clock compared to an current gen Intel are probably whats keeping that above benchmark from hitting decent specs on Med, which a 6750M should def be able to do

    Dry
  17. All I did was compare the graphics as WR2 . . .



    With the AMD Quad-Core A8-3550MX Accelerated Processor (2.7GHz/2.0GHz) and Radeon Mobility 7690M (the '6770M' with a 100MHz clock bump) I got $695 before using the coupon code in my above post.

    With the "NBC2648" code I got $620. I have no idea if the "25LOGICBUY" $25-off coupon can be stacked on top of that. If so, that's then below the OP's original budget.

    And he could add the Blu-Ray player as an additional bonus -- roughly equaling in cost his investment in the Lenovo -- with a damn nice build.

    That is all. Over and out.
  18. Wisecracker said:
    All I did was compare the graphics as WR2 . . .
    Not exactly ... the graphics did come with support from different CPUs.
    You think a 400Mhz APU bump (1.6Ghz to 2.0Ghz) will move the performance to equal the chart you were linking?
    I have some doubts about that - especially for SC2.
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