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Help buying a laptop

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 17, 2012 10:56:46 PM

I just need some advice and help with looking at laptops.

First question is, AMD or Intel?
At home my desktop is custom built with an FX eight core, love AMD, but I just need the advice which to choose.
Second question, what brand of laptop?
My whole family has HP laptops. I know to stay away from Dell, and I was also told to stay away from Acer and Asus, but I like them. (Are they quality brands is what I am asking.)
Third question, do I need a dedicated graphics card?
I am going into the Computer Science field, (I just graduated, this is my graduation present) I am also a Web Designer, and I am also a, not hardcore, but decent gamer. I like to play Starcraft 2, Sims 3, and maybe some Supreme Commander. (Medium Settings)

Note: I have two 4GB laptop ram sticks, so I will have 8GB in the laptop at least. The laptop also needs to have a 17 inch screen or greater.

This is the laptop I am looking at right now, let me know your thoughts:

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=117588...|84&N=4047229%204294899772%204294899860&Mo=3&No=2&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&topnav=

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a b D Laptop
July 17, 2012 11:30:35 PM

That is model is not a good configuration of the HP DV7t Quad Edition, because it comes with the default 1600x900 display and not the upgraded 1920x1080 display.

1600x900 resolution in a 17.3" display makes things onscreen large, and 17.3" displays that have 1600x900 resolution tend to be low-tier LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast. The same applies to 15.6" 1366x768 displays, and this type of display should be avoided at higher budgets like yours, unless the larger text is required for eyesight-related reasons.

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You can buy this laptop off of HP's website, in a better configuration.

HP DV7t Quad Edition (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GT 650M, 1TB 5400RPM, 17.3" 1920x1080 matte display) - $1021 + tax after coupon code NBP9668
- Saved Configuration: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Leave the display at its upgraded 1920x1080 option. The HP DV7t Quad Edition should not be bought in any configuration that includes the default 1600x900 display, unless its larger text is required for eyesight-related reasons. 1600x900 resolution in a 17.3" display makes things onscreen large, and 17.3" displays that have 1600x900 resolution tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast.
- Don't downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M if you're going to be gaming often / intensively, because the GT 650M is significantly faster than the GT 630M.
- The backlit keyboard upgrade is worth considering.

HP DV7t (i5-3210M, NVIDIA GT 650M, 750GB 5400RPM, 17.3" 1920x1080 matte display) - $971 + tax after coupon code NBQ1148
- Saved Configuration: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Leave the display at its upgraded 1920x1080 option. The HP DV7t should not be bought in any configuration that includes the default 1600x900 display, unless its larger text is required for eyesight-related reasons. 1600x900 resolution in a 17.3" display makes things onscreen large, and 17.3" displays that have 1600x900 resolution tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast.
- Don't downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M if you're going to be gaming often / intensively, because the GT 650M is significantly faster than the GT 630M.
- Don't downgrade the GPU to integrated graphics, unless you are a very light gamer, or if you are not a gamer.
- The backlit keyboard upgrade is worth considering.
- Upgrading to a 7200RPM hard drive may be worth considering.

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

EDIT: A few worthy 17.3" alternatives:

Sager NP6175 (i5-3210M, NVIDIA GT 650M, 17.3" 1920x1080 glossy display) - $969 no tax
- Customization page: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6175-clevo-w170er-p-4345...
- Select Windows 7 under the Operating System configuration option, unless you can get your own copy for cheaper. The laptop by default comes with no operating system.

Sager NP6370 (i5-3210M, NVIDIA GTX 660M, 17.3" 1920x1080 glossy display) - $1036 no tax
- Customization page: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6370-clevo-w370et-preord...
- Select Windows 7 under the Operating System configuration option, unless you can get your own copy for cheaper. The laptop by default comes with no operating system.
- Recommended: matte display option. The matte display is much less reflective than the glossy display, so it will be easier to use when glare is a potential issue.

Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GT 650M, 17.3" 1920x1080 matte[?] display) - $1074 + tax after coupon code 4J4XPNDZ1PKR2B
- http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=f...
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July 18, 2012 12:04:46 AM

edit1754

Thank you for the detailed reply. There are other limitations that I have unfortunately, I am not the buyer, and the buyer does not like custom built computers/laptops. But I know now what resolution to look for, and your other two suggestions are of great help, thank you. If you have any other suggestions, please post them, it's an ongoing war. -_-
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July 18, 2012 12:05:07 AM

I can point, but I do not get the final say.
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July 18, 2012 1:32:56 AM

Best answer selected by shnooby.
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July 18, 2012 1:33:09 AM

edit1754
Your post has turned me and my parents towards a customized laptop at HP. I looked up the code that you had given me and found it at Techbargains.com. Honestly, you should get a reward, THANKS SO MUCH!
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