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Need help customizing a Trinity notebook

I am in need of a laptop for work and some play and found an HP with some great customizable parts. I do need some help figuring out how to get the most out of my money for what I need.

Here is the base laptop that can be customized.

I want to keep the laptop under $700. After the addition of a backlit keyboard, I am left with some options on upgrading the processor and/or video card. These are the following combinations that will work in my budget:

A10-4600M and no dedicated graphics ($675 USD)
A8-4500M and no dedicated graphics ($625 USD)
A8-4500M and a dedicated 1GB AMD Radeon HD 7670M ($675)

I am leaning towards the A8 and dedicated card for AMD dual graphics, but I would like some advice on whether the other options could be better. I will mostly use this laptop for work, using IGOR pro-a graph plotting and mathematics application, word, email, etc. and playing some new 3d inde games or new mainstream games (like civ V at low settings). This is not strictly a gaming laptop, so being able to run crysis II is not a priority. I simply want a laptop that can play some low power games, but can play new ones for the next 4-5 years.

What do you guys think will be the best combination for the long run? Should I go with A8 with a video card, A10 without a video card, or save myself $50 and go with an A8 and no video card?

As if this post wasn't long enough, I will post the laptop FAQ just to be sure.

1. What is your budget?
$700 max

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

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1366x768 or above

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
doesn't matter. I do work with it plugged in

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)?
Civ V. Dungeon defenders. low settings are fine

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

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
500 gb or more

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
HP . http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-Pavilion/A3H21AV?HP-Pavilion-dv6z-7000-Entertainment-Notebook-PC

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
5-6 years, more if it can last.

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

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.
Anything that gives me a backlit keyboard with a number pad. I am dead set on a Trinity processor, so brands that don't carry it (Dell, Sony) are out.

13. What country do you live in?
United States

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
All of that is said above.

If I am missing anything, please tell me and I will get back ASAP.

Thanks in advance
Joe
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about need customizing trinity notebook
  1. My personal selection in this case: A8-4500M and a dedicated 1GB AMD Radeon HD 7670M ($675). The APU and GPU integrate for "hybrid XFire".
  2. I have been having this debate myself about a similar set-up. I think the A8+7670m will be the best option given you still want to play new(er) less demanding games over the next few years as well.

    It will run hotter and consume more power than the A10's 7660G while gaming which may reduce the lifespan of the laptop a little bit, but you can disable the dedicated card while doing all of your non-gaming tasks to help offset that. I'd try and run it on a decent cooling pad whenever possible while gaming as the HP's tend to not have the best designed chassis when it comes to ventilation/cooling.
  3. I should mention that if a Toshiba is an option, you might consider this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834214870
  4. Best answer
    You should do whatever you can to get the upgraded 1920x1080 display and not the default 1366x768 display. Generally, you should avoid buying an HP DV6 in any configuration that includes the default 1366x768 display, unless you require its larger text for eyesight-related reasons.

    1366x768 resolution in a 15.6" display makes things onscreen large, and 15.6" displays that have 1366x768 resolution tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast.

    The offered 1920x1080 display is excellent though, with high contrast, IPS-grade 180-degree viewing angles both horizontally and vertically, glare reduction due to its matte finish, and a large amount of onscreen workspace for multitasking. But the reason to upgrade isn't just because of how good the 1920x1080 display is, it is also because of how bad the 1366x768 display is.

    ---------------------------

    Using coupon code NBQ1148, you can take 25% off of the price and make it so that the 1080p display upgrade fits within your budget.

    A8-4500M + iGPU + 1920x1080 + BL Keyboard - $656 after coupon code NBQ1148

    A10-4600M + iGPU + 1920x1080 + BL Keyboard - $693 after coupon code NBQ1148

    A8-4500M + 7670M + 1920x1080 + BL Keyboard - $693 after coupon code NBQ1148

    ---------------------------

    A6-4400M + 7730M + 1920x1080 + BL Keyboard - $674 after coupon code NBQ1148

    A8-4500M + 7730M + 1920x1080 + BL Keyboard - $712 after coupon code NBQ1148

    ---------------------------
  5. Wow. That coupon code is amazing. I was actually looking at 1600x900 laptops, but they were all 17.3 in and not very customizable, so I decided to bite the bullet at go for 1366x768. I may very well go for the upgraded screen now. Thanks for the great tip, edit!
  6. Personally the A10's are your better bet when gaming. They will run cooler, perform better, and its more future proof than you would think. Just look on Toms Hardware where they reviewed the A10...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a10-4600m-trinity-piledriver,3202.html

    It really is a great processor, I just dont think adding a half ass video card is worth the money even if it is crossfire'ed (dont know if that is a word). I think the money you would spend on the video card could be better put into the 1080p monitor, or something else like faster RAM to help your whole system, or a Solid State upgrade!

    I think the A10 is at least 3 years future proof, and probably 5 years if your not being demanding and are willing to turn down some settings.


    PS I have a Acer Icona Tab W500 (its a C-50) I run World of Warcraft on it when Im out and about and get about 20fps 1280x800 and "Fair" settings. So imagine if you bumped it all the way to something crazy like the A10 with 8GB of DDR3 RAM...
  7. Best answer selected by joecole1572.
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