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Budget Laptop Suggestions?

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  • Laptops
  • Intel
  • Product
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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June 21, 2012 1:01:02 AM

Hi, I am currently looking for a laptop under $600. I would like it to be reasonably fast for general use, but also to be able some games on it (namely LOL and Empire: Total War). Thus, it would probably have to be Intel and some sort of discrete-class graphics.


Something along the lines of this $499 laptop (which I was looking at, but did not pull the trigger on). http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


Finally, I have two questions:
1. Should I wait for Intel 3rd-gen processors with HD4000, as it'll probably be cheaper and faster?

2. I heard somewhere that an AMD A8 is about comparable to an Intel i3 for speed during normal everyday use!! Is that true?


Thanks all. :D 

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a b D Laptop
June 21, 2012 6:02:25 AM

If you can deal with a 1366 x 768 15.6" laptop, here is the best deal that I've found. Has the same GPU as yours, but comes with a quad core AMD A6 APU. Not sure if it crossfires with the dedicated 7670m GPU, but a smoking deal at $400 +tax/shipping!!!

Acer Aspire AS5560G-7809 NX.RURAA.001 Notebook PC - AMD Quad-Core A6-3420M 1.5GHz, 4GB DDR3, 320GB HDD, DVDRW, AMD Radeon HD 7670M, 15.6" Display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Black

It only comes with 1066 mHz DDR3, so I'd invest in 8 gb's of DDR3 1600, due to the fact that Llano APU's do benefit from faster DDR3!

I went with this set for $45 shipped! :) 
G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSQ

Cheapest comparable RAM on TigerDirect is this one for $57 +tax/shipping:
Corsair CMSX8GX3M2A1600C9 Vengeance Laptop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, 204-pin SODIMM, 1.5V, CL9, XMP Ready
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June 22, 2012 2:21:41 AM

lunyone said:
If you can deal with a 1366 x 768 15.6" laptop, here is the best deal that I've found. Has the same GPU as yours, but comes with a quad core AMD A6 APU. Not sure if it crossfires with the dedicated 7670m GPU, but a smoking deal at $400 +tax/shipping!!!

Acer Aspire AS5560G-7809 NX.RURAA.001 Notebook PC - AMD Quad-Core A6-3420M 1.5GHz, 4GB DDR3, 320GB HDD, DVDRW, AMD Radeon HD 7670M, 15.6" Display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Black

It only comes with 1066 mHz DDR3, so I'd invest in 8 gb's of DDR3 1600, due to the fact that Llano APU's do benefit from faster DDR3!

I went with this set for $45 shipped! :) 
G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSQ

Cheapest comparable RAM on TigerDirect is this one for $57 +tax/shipping:
Corsair CMSX8GX3M2A1600C9 Vengeance Laptop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, 204-pin SODIMM, 1.5V, CL9, XMP Ready


Looks like a good deal, lunyone. I just want to know whether a faster A8 with a 6620 discrete-class will be better, for maybe $50 more? Also, does a faster RAM really make a huge difference? Thanks.
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a b D Laptop
June 22, 2012 4:59:48 AM

Well I know that faster RAM does make a bit of a difference, especially for A8's, IIRC. The 1066 mHz RAM is fine, but I believe the A8's will handle up to 1600 mHz RAM and make some difference. It's up to you, but I would rather have the A6 Quad core with a better GPU than have an A8 with lesser GPU.
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a c 466 D Laptop
a c 119 å Intel
June 22, 2012 12:59:13 PM

Laptops based on Ivy Bridge CPUs will likely be more expensive especially with a discrete graphic card. These are new CPUs. Laptops with the older Sandy Bridge CPUs are being sold at a discount to get rid of current stock.

For everyday usage like surfing the internet, watching movies, writing e-mails and reports, AMD's APU can perform those types of simple tasks just as well as the more power Ivy Bridge / Sandy Bridge CPUs.
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June 23, 2012 7:40:30 PM

Thanks Jaguarskx. Would you say that integrated Intel HD 4000 (on i3 and i5) is an adequate video card for LoL and Empire: Total War? Currently, what video card is most similar? For casual gaming, is HD 4000 a replacement for entry-level graphics cards?
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a b D Laptop
June 24, 2012 2:14:43 AM

The HD 4000 is Intels best integrated GPU to date. I'd say it's getting closer to Llano based iGPU, but isn't quite there yet. AMD's iGPU > Intel's iGPU any day, at least at this point in time. I'm referring to Llano & Trinity iGPU's. Just about any A6-A8 Llano APU will beat Intel's iGPU, so that is why I linked the laptop that I bought (still waiting for it to arrive).

Here is 1 source for Intel's HD 4000 iGPU performance.

Here's a comparison with Intel's 3000 iGPU and Llano iGPU.

You can see that the Intel's iGPU on the i5/i7's (HD 4000) is getting much better, but is still a bit shy on the Llano/Trinity iGPU. Now obviously the Intel CPU side of things is much better than AMD's. It all depends on what matters most to you, but for better gaming on a budget the AMD setup is the best. If you can afford the i5/i7's with the HD 4000 than that is an option also, but they generally run fairly expensive compared to AMD's offerings. If you can find an i3/i5 based system with a dedicated GPU of at least an nVidia 540m/630m or AMD 6650m or better for the $ you afford, than I would get it.
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July 4, 2012 12:06:01 AM

Best answer selected by johntiger1.
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