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Any good advice on buying a gaming laptop for college?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 19, 2012 12:27:24 PM

Hey everyone!
I was just wondering if anyone has any good suggestions for a new laptop that I am planning to purchase. I really wanted to buy a desktop, but since I travel a lot, a laptop would make much more sense. As I was browsing online, I noticed that dell and hp had student offers that got them a free xbox with a pc they bought over 699. I play games on the pc quite a lot (right now I have an old hp pavillion 6700 series with an nvidia 8400 256 mb gpu and manage to play most games) so I am looking for a nice gpu aswell.

Right now, the HP Pavilion dv6t-7000 Quad Edition looks very nice for $899 which comes with a free xbox.

Link: http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products...;pgid=IrNQNmoO83VSRpQ.8jA86Ppr0000itnJkna9;sid=rbsiwjBq6-kGwGBtVBeISuhlmafnlwR2aO4PzuP1p2CvaYr5bw0Q_JlM?HP-Pavilion-dv6t-7000-Quad-Edition-Entertainment-Notebook-PC

Any good advice or good deals out there?

The free xbox offers look really nice because then my brother and I could play games together too for which I have a 23.6 inch hd monitor for ^^

Oh while I understand most technology evolves very quickly, I would like my current purchase to atleast last me through for the next 5 years like my previous hp pavillion did. :D 

Also a side question, is the NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 650M Graphics with 1GB GDDR5 powerful enough to pull through 5 years of comp engeering?

Would really appreciate any help!
July 19, 2012 12:36:02 PM

. What is your budget?

Under $1000 would be awesome but willing to go up to 1200. just maybe willing to. :p 
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15.6". something easy to carry around.
3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920 x 1080. I could settle for 1368 by 768 though since I will hook up my laptop to my external hd 1080p monitor.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
If a powerful portable exists for the price, otherwise desktop replacement.
5. How much battery life do you need?
3 hours? Just enough to get me though two one-two hour college courses before I have to recharge for basic notetaking and web browsing. hopefully won't play games during class.
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)?
Yes. Medium on 1080p.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I use blender3d and edit video vdieo from tiem to time.
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
500gb to 1tb.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
hp.com and sony.com and dell.com for thier free xbox and ps3 student offers.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
4-5 years.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD reader writer is more than enough.
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.
HP, Sony, Dell only because they are the brands I know with free console offers.
13. What country do you live in?
I live in Saudi Arabia but I plan on going to university in the US. If I order it, my brother could pick it up and keep it till I get there or when he comes for vacation this summer.
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

lol I should have read this faq earlier. :p 
a b D Laptop
July 19, 2012 3:00:26 PM

If you're going to buy the HP DV6, you will need to make sure that the configuration you buy includes the upgraded 1920x1080 display and not the default 1366x768 display. Generally, the HP DV6 should not be bought in any configuration that includes the default 1366x768 display unless its larger text is required 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 same applies to 17.3" 1600x900 displays, and this type of display should be avoided when it is reasonable to do so unless you require its larger text for eyesight-related reasons.

You will also want to get the GT 650M and not the GT 630M if you plan on using the laptop for any more than light gaming.

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

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080 glossy display) - $1029 + tax
- Sign up and sign in here: http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/na/St... (Barnes and Noble Gold discount page)
- http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barne...: (i7-3610QM, GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080, 500GB 7200RPM) - $1029
- http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barne...: (i7-3610QM, GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080, 1TB 5400RPM) - $1069
- http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barne...: (i7-3610QM, GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080, 1TB 5400RPM + 32GB SSD for hybrid cache) - $1139
- These models come with the 1920x1080 display. There are other models that come instead with a 1366x768 display, but it would be inadvisable to buy one of those models. 1366x768 resolution in a 15.6" display makes things onscreen large, and 15.6" displays that have this resolution tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast.
- Copy the coupon code before entering the cart, and paste the coupon code in the cart.


MSI GE60 0ND-006US (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $1099 no tax
- http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Computer-GE60-0NC-006US-15-6-...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


MSI GE60 0ND-042US (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $1199 no tax
- http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Series-GE60-0ND-042US-15-6-In...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Sager NP9130 (i5-3210M, NVIDIA GTX 670M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $1095 no tax
- http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9130-clevo-p151em1-p-434...
- Select Windows 7 under Operating System if you cannot acquire your own copy for cheaper.
- Downgrade the memory to 8GB 1333MHz, unless you have a particular need for 8GB 1600MHz memory.


HP DV6t (i5-3210M, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $824 + tax after coupon code NBQ1148
- Saved Configuration: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Don't downgrade the display from 1920x1080 to 1366x768. The HP DV6 should not be bought in any configuration that includes the default 1366x768 display option, unless its larger text is required 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.
- Don't downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M or to Integrated graphics if game performance is important to you, because the GT 650M is considerably faster.
- You could more than likely get away with downgrading the CPU to a Core i3, since most games will be bottlenecked by the GT 650M before being bottlenecked by the CPU. Doing so will make the price $776 + tax
- The backlit keyboard upgrade is worth considering.


HP DV6t Quad Edition (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $921 + tax after coupon code NBP9668
- Saved Configuration: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Don't downgrade the display from 1920x1080 to 1366x768. The HP DV6 should not be bought in any configuration that includes the default 1366x768 display option, unless its larger text is required 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.
- Don't downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M if game performance is important to you, because the GT 650M is considerably faster.
- The 2GB GT 650M will not provide better game performance than the 1GB GT 650M. The extra memory is a marketing trick. Get the cheaper 1GB GT 650M.
- The backlit keyboard upgrade is worth considering.


Sager NP6165 (i5-3210M, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 glossy display) - $949 no tax
- http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344...
- Select Windows 7 under Operating System if you cannot acquire your own copy for cheaper.
Related resources
July 19, 2012 3:17:03 PM

Since you are buying a gaming laptop, I would suggest you buy from a vendor that allow you to update using the official drivers provided by Nvidia/AMD.

As far as I know, AMD switchable graphics notebooks must use the drivers provided by the vendor at this time while the Nvidia one can simply use the official drivers.

And if your vendor does not like to provide frequent driver updates then you would stuck with a outdated driver. (i.e. Sony) It seems Sony only sells model with AMD graphics.

If I am to choose my notebook again I would buy one with dedicated Nvidia graphics card.

Here is a review on the GT650M.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.718...
At the bottom you can find a list of games and their performance.
July 19, 2012 5:31:23 PM

Wooooh! My heart is really set on the HP DV6t Quad Edition. The backlit keyboard is nice and the full 1920x1080 resolution seems to be absolutely gorgeous. I added a 6 cell + 9 cell 50% battery offer to it and it comes around 978 without tax which I thought was a very nice deal for what I was paying for.

Thank you guys! Just wondering, any other suggestions to customize the hpdv6t Quad Edition pc? I wanted to add the free back to school XBOX promo but it turns out using the coupon code you gave me, I would have much more savings so looks like not getting the free xbox lol. But does it seem like a good decision? I just saw some reviews and laptop itself looks nice.
July 20, 2012 10:20:42 AM

So guys is this a fair deal for $978? O ris there a chance I could do better?

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
3rd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM Processor (2.3 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 650M Graphics with 1GB GDDR5 memory [HDMI, VGA]
8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
Microsoft(R) Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word/Excel(R) only, No PowerPoint(R)/Outlook(R)
1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
NO mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
No additional security software
50% off 6 cell + 9 cell Lithium Ion Battery
15.6-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
FREE Upgrade to Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
HP TrueVision HD Webcam
802.11b/g/n WLAN
Backlit Keyboard with numeric keypad
HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope
a b D Laptop
July 20, 2012 1:55:45 PM

Well the Y580 is now on a deal where the cheapest 1080p model is $936 instead of $1029, so you might want to re-consider it.

Advantages over DV6tqe:
- Faster GPU
- Probably better build quality (not based on brand prejudice, but based on others' reported user experience)

Advantages of DV6 over Y580:
- Matte display
- IPS display (ultra-wide viewing angle)
- Bigger hard drive available for cheaper
- Offers 9-Cell battery

Same:
- 1920x1080 resolution, Good contrast.
- Blu-ray (available with Y580 1080p models, free upgrade on DV6)
- Core i7-3610QM
- Backlit keyboard (stock on Y580, optional on DV6)

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

But that looks like a good DV6 config. Make sure that you're actually going to use that extra 9-Cell battery you're paying for. Either charging both for a trip and bringing both, saving one for later as a replacement (read up on how much you should charge batteries before storing for long periods of time), or bring one or the other with you depending on whether you prefer portability or battery life.
a b D Laptop
July 20, 2012 2:18:01 PM

Clevo 151EM .... you can have it custom built to your specs but, starting price of $1,100. Get the OS at school for $10-25

15.6" 1920 x 1080 Full HD
Intel Core i5-3210M Processor, 2.5 GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M with 1.5GB GDDR5 Graphics with Optimus Technology
8GB, PC3-12800/1600Mhz DDR3 - 2 x 4GB
500GB/7200rpm 16MB Cache Buffer SATA-300
8X Max. DVD±R/RW Writer/Reader
Intel Wireless-N 130 + Bluetooth Combo
Built-In 2.0M Pixels Digital Video Camera
Built-In Fingerprint Reader
Built-In Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Built-In 9-IN-1 Flash Memory Reader(MMC/RSMMC/MS/MS Pro/MS DUO/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)
1 IEEE-1394a Fire Wire
1 USB 2.0 Ports
3 USB 3.0 Ports
1 eSATA Port (USB 3.0 Combo)
1 HDMI Output
1 DVI-I Port
1 Display Port 1.1
1 Kensington Lock Port
Built-in Microphone, 2 Speakers and 1 Sub-Woofer
4 Audio Jacks for Headphone, Microphone-In, S/PDIF-Out, and Line-In
1 100/240V Autoswitch AC Power Adapter

http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo/91510-clevo...
!