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College/Gaming Laptop Advice

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 17, 2012 12:01:06 AM

1. What is your budget?

I have a $1600 financial aid check that is burning a hole into my pocket (although I'd rather stay closer to $1000 than not).

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

15-17, maybe 19.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Highest 1600x1900, though I'm sure I'll be changing that up a bit depending on what I'm doing or game I'm playing.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop laptop?

I need the grey area in between.

5. How much battery life do you need?

4-6 hours? I'll be close to outlets the majority of the time, so battery life isn't a huge concern unless I don't have access to power.

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'm awful at RTS, cpu intensive games. I'll be mostly playing fps/rpgs.
I'd like to play on medium-high settings (I have no intention of attempting to play games on ultra with a laptop!)

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

I constantly run multiple programs at once, firefox, office, itunes, spotify, etc. so I'd like something that could handle the stress. Not doing much photo/video editing.

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

I don't really need 1TB, as I tend to remove things that I don't use. My desktop currently has 260GB, to give you an idea. I'm curious about SSD, but not confident enough in the technology to spend the extra $$ on one.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Not sure, but there may be deals on tigerdirect or newegg that I haven't seen yet either.

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

About as long as I've had my desktop (5 years). Longevity is definitely a factor, especially considering I'm not so sure I'll have the opportunity to spend my financial aid in this way again. I am perfectly aware of how irrelevant technology right now may be in the next 2 years, however, I don't think it's a stretch to keep a laptop at least 3 or 4 years.

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

I'd really like a bluray with dvd burning, but the burning isn't imperative as I'm still holding onto the desktop.

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.

Not really certain here, I've never owned a laptop and my desktops have all been custom since 2003.

13. What country do you live in?

United States.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

In January, I was looking into building myself a new gaming desktop and came up with a nice intel/nvidia system for about $1000 (thank you California retail tax), but was unfortunately unable to come up with the funds to purchase it. Now it's mid-April and I've got the funds, but my living situation has changed a bit, so I need something that's portable and yet comparable to what I'd put together (http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2ZuM - this doesn't include a hdd for storage. I couldn't find like I updated last...).

I was browsing through the forums and stumbled upon a deal for $450 off the HP Envy 17 on techbargains and came up with this.

https://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/cart_detail...

I'm curious which processor to go with and I'm sure there's a few other components I can switch up to adjust the price. Also, I'm really not familiar with purchasing a laptop, so I'm not so sure the HP is even the way to go.

Any insight would be appreciated!
a c 572 D Laptop
April 17, 2012 1:11:27 AM

hikikomori_cruz said:
I need something that's portable and yet comparable to what I'd put together (http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2ZuM - this doesn't include a hdd for storage. I couldn't find like I updated last...).
Besides the HDD, your parts list did not include an OS ($100), LCD monitor (~$150), keyboard & mouse.

To get a comparable performance with the GTX 560ti equipped desktop you'd looking at GTX 580M/GTX 675M equipped notebook. And that would hit the top ( or exceed) your budget limit.


-> To stay close to your budget goal of $1000 a great option:
A custom gaming notebook from xoticpc.com Sager NP6165 15" notebook ~$1050
Core i7-2670QM CPU, 8GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 15.6" 1920x1080 LCD w/ GT 650M graphics.

GT 650M Graphics preview

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April 17, 2012 6:00:46 AM

With that desktop build, I didn't need a monitor, os, keyboard, or mouse. I forgot to mention that bit. As far as GPU goes, I'm not expecting the laptop to be as great as a custom desktop would be. I assumed that there would be a drop in performance there from the get go, especially considering the limit I would be placing on budget for the machine. I'll look into the sager.
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 17, 2012 6:03:37 AM

hikikomori_cruz said:
With that desktop build, I didn't need a monitor, os, keyboard, or mouse.
The point was - in a notebook purchase you're paying for the LCD screen, keyboard, mouse and OS. Only that.
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April 17, 2012 8:56:23 PM

Go to college to get good grades not to spend tax payers money on something you don't need. Also you'll want something at or below 15in or it won't fit in most backpacks.
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April 17, 2012 11:36:00 PM

@WR2 Got it.

@Avro Thanks, I'll check it out.

@cbrunnem I'm in the process of bringing my GPA up to 4.0 from 3.69 and I'm also a tax payer, so I have no problem spending a portion of the money I've already paid in taxes on a machine that I can use for entertainment as well as a tool for college. I won't be spending all of it for the sake of having a laptop for gaming, certainly. It goes mostly toward books and other school expenses. It just so happens that I'd rather purchase something with the money that I can get a lot of use out of rather than waste it on something cheap that I'll get rid of in a year. Thanks for your input.
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April 18, 2012 12:13:13 AM

hikikomori_cruz said:
@WR2 Got it.

@Avro Thanks, I'll check it out.

@cbrunnem I'm in the process of bringing my GPA up to 4.0 from 3.69 and I'm also a tax payer, so I have no problem spending a portion of the money I've already paid in taxes on a machine that I can use for entertainment as well as a tool for college. I won't be spending all of it for the sake of having a laptop for gaming, certainly. It goes mostly toward books and other school expenses. It just so happens that I'd rather purchase something with the money that I can get a lot of use out of rather than waste it on something cheap that I'll get rid of in a year. Thanks for your input.


difference in opinion so ill agree to disagree.

but how exactly do you go from a 3.69 to a 4.0.... 4.0 would mean that you never got a grade lower then a A unless your college gives out grades above 4.0 ( :o  )
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April 18, 2012 4:18:38 AM

By maintaining A grades in my current classes and throughout the rest of my college career.

In any case, this isn't the appropriate forum to have this discussion.

If you have anything relevant to my inquiry to add, then please do so.
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April 19, 2012 4:57:58 PM

@WR2 Looking at the Sager, when choosing a CPU it lists the i52450 as being upgradable to 3rd generation, but not any of the i7s. Would it be worth it to choose the i5 and then upgrade the processor sometime down the line? Or would I be better off with the 2670 you suggested?
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 19, 2012 5:08:52 PM

It might be worthwhile to check back on the site after Mon the 23rd when the 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge CPUs get announced/released.
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a b D Laptop
April 20, 2012 4:15:04 PM

I'd like to point out something I just noticed. Having a Blu-Ray player won't be of much use to you if your screen isn't 1080p which most laptop screens aren't. The only way you'd be able to make it worthwhile is if you were to plug it into a full-size 1080p HDTV through the HDMI port.
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