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What high-end laptop to buy?

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July 19, 2012 3:32:22 PM

I need a laptop for school, wich starts in October. I have an outdated desktop, so I want to use the laptop as my main home computer too. I know a lot about a few aspects of computers, but Hardware isn't one of them. Hopefully I can get support here!

As I've read in the stickies, I'll answer the questions given (in the spoiler, to not scare people the wall of text). Or you could skip to question 14.

Spoiler
1. What is your budget?
- The lower the better, but I'm thinking about 1200 - 1800 euros (or 950 - 1400 pounds I think)

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
- I'm used to a 22 inch on my desktop, but it doesn't matter much. Above 15 inch is okay.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
- I'll be using photoshop a lot, so the higher, the better.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
- I'll be using the laptop mostly at a desk, with adapter plugged in. I like thin laptops though.

5. How much battery life do you need?
- Doens't matter much, as said in question above.

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)?
- GTA V, Assassin's Creed III, BF3 and games like ANNO. I'd like the laptop to be a replacement for my outdated PS3, as I'm not going to buy another console. I do not play games frequently, but I'd like to play the newest (1-2 following years) games like a charm.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
- Webdesign (Photoshop, illustrator, ...), Programming and normal surfing on internet.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
- Not as much as they throw to your head nowadays. I have a 1TB extern HD for backups, I only have small images for websites so 500GB is more than enough. An SSD for the OS is kinda cool I heard...? ;) 

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
- none

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
- I'd like him to use him for 3 years at least, but after that I still want to use him as a secondary laptop.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
- Games need bluray I suppose? No need to write bluray, but a CD/DVD writer would be handy.

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.
- I'd like a good looking laptop, a good build quality, not a heating monster, good standard sound -> ASUS from experience.
I also like Sony for his looks, and Toshiba for his price/quality. I absolutely hate Acer and Samsung because from bad experience. I won't buy these, no doubt.

13. What country do you live in?
- Belgium


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
What I want in short:
- Budget: 1200-1800 euro
- Work-laptop for school (will be studying ICT)
- Good screen for photoshop (size doesn't matter)
- Playstation 3 replacement (Just want to play GTA 5 on max when it comes out, I'm not really a gamer, but I enjoy high graphics when I do)
- I like a good looking device (but I'd like to see ugly alternatives too)
- Good sound/nice keyboard

More about : high end laptop buy

July 19, 2012 4:24:21 PM

this is a little high on your budget but,
SONY VAIO SVZ13116GXX
http://www.neweggbusiness.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item...

dont listen to the guy below me, it has a stand alone doc which is nice cuz the laptop is light for school hook up the external doc \ blueray player \video card and you are ready to game

here are the specs for the doc thingy

Leveraging the latest I/O architecture, the Power Media Dock™ drive is a performance factory delivering the horsepower your day demands through one unique and familiar port. Featuring a powerful AMD Radeon™ HD 7670M graphics card with 1GB VRAM2, you’ll experience premium visual quality and intense HD performance without placing huge demands on the CPU. The Power Media Dock™ drive includes a slot loading Blu-ray DiscTM player/writer, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI®-out and more. Paired together, the Z Series transforms into the ultimate workstation supporting up to 3 additional Full HD displays.
July 19, 2012 5:29:16 PM

I wouldn't go with the one linked above because it is integrated graphics and you want to play GTA 5 on high when it comes out (someone should correct me here if I am wrong).
For something similar to that you could look into the Sony Vaio S, which is easily in your budget. You should customize the expensive 15.5". The processor can be overclocked to give quite good performance.
(This is a sony USA link,but you can take a quick look using it - prices may be different on your country's sony site)
http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Categor...

Overclocking info: http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/677079-sony-vaio-s...

Also take a look at the Asus G55 or G75 (or 76, can't reamember which is the current one). If you want something more powerful. They are also heavy.

The Dell XPS 15z is probably a pretty decent fit (smaller and quite powerful) as is the Lenovo T530 or W530 (again heavier but more powerful).

There are more options and I am sure someone will provide more, I just cannot think of any at the moment.
Related resources
July 19, 2012 8:36:33 PM

Thanks guys,

If someone can tell me some minimum specs I should look for, I could take a look for myself and ask for an opinion from what I've found.

I'll take some time to compare the given laptops!
July 19, 2012 8:44:20 PM

an a10 with a discrete 7670hd can be had for $600 (in canada)
that's what the PS4 is rumored to be built on
spend the extra on ssd and ram !
July 20, 2012 7:35:18 AM

GillisH said:
Thanks guys,

If someone can tell me some minimum specs I should look for, I could take a look for myself and ask for an opinion from what I've found.

I'll take some time to compare the given laptops!

Well I am going to say an i7 or i5 processor for sure. Quadcore (so i7) is probably preferable in my opinion, but a high clocked dualcore may be able to out perform it for your usage. So for the quadcore (QM at the end of the processor name) look for at least 2.1 GHz, and for the dual core i7's go for at least 2.5 and the i5's at least 2.8 probably(?).
You are going to basically get 4gb ram standard, you should upgrade to 8gb (its cheap to do it yourself ~$20, so if that saves you money its worth it to do the upgrade yourself.)
I doubt you will need bluray for games, a lot of PC games are going digital distribution now. Most are available physical and digital. But do get the DVD/CD drive if you think it would be nice. Do remember that external usb ones are cheap even for nice ones.
You probably want a 1080p display, especially for 15inches+.
And big for gaming will be a good graphics card. The 640M LE that I recommended with the Sony Vaio S is probably your bottom limit (it was mine but since it can be overclocked to similar performance as a 650M I am going to go with it). So a 650M is probably solid, but if you can afford and justify the loss of battery life and size/weight increases along with it a GTX 660M (or better of course - but thats probably well out of price and size range) will be your safest bet at the moment for modern/1-2 years of new games.

This is a good comparison of laptop graphics cards: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Laptop-Graph...
If you click the links you can see performance levels, and scrolling down you will see FPS for some games that were tested. Clicking those FPS's will give you the laptops (including processors) that the cards were in/with when they gave that performance level.

Sorry for the annoyingly long post, and maybe not the best info. Someone can probably help more, but this should give you a decent start. Let us know what you find as well, I know at least I am interested!

640M LE: XPS 15z, Vizio Notebooks, Vaio S (both 13 and 15inch have it).
For 650M end look at the Lenovo Ideapad Y580 (I didn't like the build but its popular on this forum!), Asus N56VZ-DS71 or N56VZ-RB71.
660M: Lenovo Ideapad Y580 (both the 650 and 660 are available), Asus G55 or G75, there are more good ones I just cannot think of any at the moment.

lordofdeath242 said:
an a10 with a discrete 7670hd can be had for $600 (in canada)
that's what the PS4 is rumored to be built on
spend the extra on ssd and ram !


Well he won't be able to game PC games on that, at least not future ones too well.
July 20, 2012 7:58:15 AM

Quote:
Sorry for the annoyingly long post, and maybe not the best info. Someone can probably help more, but this should give you a decent start. Let us know what you find as well, I know at least I am interested!

1. I like long posts wich contain good info.
2. Your post contains good info!

So you could say a Quad Core i7 2.8GHz and a GTX 650M+ along with 6gb+ RAM would do good for me?
July 20, 2012 8:25:29 AM

GillisH said:
Quote:
Sorry for the annoyingly long post, and maybe not the best info. Someone can probably help more, but this should give you a decent start. Let us know what you find as well, I know at least I am interested!

1. I like long posts wich contain good info.
2. Your post contains good info!

So you could say a Quad Core i7 2.8GHz and a GTX 650M+ along with 6gb+ RAM would do good for me?



I believe it would be awesome and I would be jealous of you forever! (Just to let you know, the 650 is a GT 650M and then above that is the GTX line :)  ). If your GPU is that good, your i7 clock speed won't matter that much as long as its 2.1 Ghz or above except for the best games on the best settings!
The only problem is you lose out on battery life and size/weight - if those are issues for you. I am a college student so they are reasonably big deals for me.

Honestly if its a customization, go with the lowest ram and then stick this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... in there.
(Or this, depending on your need: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).
It is probably pretty easy and it saves at least like $20-30 probably
July 20, 2012 8:26:48 AM

I want this laptop to be fast and up to date for 3 years, and 2 years for games. Or do you guys think I should wait another year for price drops/other upcomming processors/graphic cards?

At the moment, I have an Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q6600 2.4GHz with a GeForce 8600 GT and 4GB RAM. I like to run much programs at once, and I forgot to mention that I want to use a secondary monitor. With my current setup, I'm satisfied from the CPU, but my GPU is so outdated... With the new laptop, and it has to be a laptop unfortunatly, I want a new beast setup without being overkill. Price isn't that much of a problem, but I don't want to spend money on something I don't use.
July 20, 2012 8:31:25 AM

rubbateckie said:
I believe it would be awesome and I would be jealous of you forever! (Just to let you know, the 650 is a GT 650M and then above that is the GTX line :)  ). If your GPU is that good, your i7 clock speed won't matter that much as long as its 2.1 Ghz or above except for the best games on the best settings!
The only problem is you lose out on battery life and size/weight - if those are issues for you. I am a college student so they are reasonably big deals for me.

Honestly if its a customization, go with the lowest ram and then stick this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... in there.
(Or this, depending on your need: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).
It is probably pretty easy and it saves at least like $20-30 probably


Well I'll be using this laptop at college, I think every laptop has poor battery and is too heavy, unless you have an ultrabook or tablet. So I don't care about those factors, I rather have a laptop that I can carry in a bag (as I can't do that with a desktop) wich is as powerfull as a desktop.
July 20, 2012 5:41:32 PM

GillisH said:
Well I'll be using this laptop at college, I think every laptop has poor battery and is too heavy, unless you have an ultrabook or tablet. So I don't care about those factors, I rather have a laptop that I can carry in a bag (as I can't do that with a desktop) wich is as powerfull as a desktop.


That is true, the Vaio S is the only compromise I could find, but its gaming performance may not be strong enough for you.
If you want the performance -
I would recommend looking at the Sager Notebooks. You can get great build quality, great performance, and its generally around the right price. Or one of the other Clevo reslellers (xoticpc.com, etc)
15" Sager's: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_br...
17" Sager's: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_br...

If they were thinner/lighter/better battery life I would totally go with the NP6165, but you should get one of the N9's (or the NP6370) if you can afford the price and are fine with the size, weight, and massive battery usage!
July 20, 2012 5:48:24 PM

rubbateckie said:
That is true, the Vaio S is the only compromise I could find, but its gaming performance may not be strong enough for you.
If you want the performance -
I would recommend looking at the Sager Notebooks. You can get great build quality, great performance, and its generally around the right price. Or one of the other Clevo reslellers (xoticpc.com, etc)
15" Sager's: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_br...
17" Sager's: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_br...

If they were thinner/lighter/better battery life I would totally go with the NP6165, but you should get one of the N9's (or the NP6370) if you can afford the price and are fine with the size, weight, and massive battery usage!


Looks good, but it's an unknown brand here in Europe, so I'm not taking the risk of buying something in the US. Thanks for the reply though!
July 20, 2012 6:07:22 PM

rubbateckie said:
I wouldn't go with the one linked above because it is integrated graphics and you want to play GTA 5 on high when it comes out (someone should correct me here if I am wrong).
For something similar to that you could look into the Sony Vaio S, which is easily in your budget. You should customize the expensive 15.5". The processor can be overclocked to give quite good performance.
(This is a sony USA link,but you can take a quick look using it - prices may be different on your country's sony site)
http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Categor...

Overclocking info: http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/677079-sony-vaio-s...

Also take a look at the Asus G55 or G75 (or 76, can't reamember which is the current one). If you want something more powerful. They are also heavy.

The Dell XPS 15z is probably a pretty decent fit (smaller and quite powerful) as is the Lenovo T530 or W530 (again heavier but more powerful).

There are more options and I am sure someone will provide more, I just cannot think of any at the moment.



it has an external blue rayplayer/doc/videocard

"Leveraging the latest I/O architecture, the Power Media Dock™ drive is a performance factory delivering the horsepower your day demands through one unique and familiar port. Featuring a powerful AMD Radeon™ HD 7670M graphics card with 1GB VRAM2, you’ll experience premium visual quality and intense HD performance without placing huge demands on the CPU. The Power Media Dock™ drive includes a slot loading Blu-ray DiscTM player/writer, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI®-out and more. Paired together, the Z Series transforms into the ultimate workstation supporting up to 3 additional Full HD displays. "

but set one up yesterday and omg it is awsome 6.9 wei score two hdd's in a raid 0 can control with the swipe of your hand
July 20, 2012 6:21:59 PM

the great randini said:
it has an external blue rayplayer/doc/videocard

"Leveraging the latest I/O architecture, the Power Media Dock™ drive is a performance factory delivering the horsepower your day demands through one unique and familiar port. Featuring a powerful AMD Radeon™ HD 7670M graphics card with 1GB VRAM2, you’ll experience premium visual quality and intense HD performance without placing huge demands on the CPU. The Power Media Dock™ drive includes a slot loading Blu-ray DiscTM player/writer, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI®-out and more. Paired together, the Z Series transforms into the ultimate workstation supporting up to 3 additional Full HD displays. "

but set one up yesterday and omg it is awsome 6.9 wei score two hdd's in a raid 0 can control with the swipe of your hand


Whoops, sorry about that. That is pretty amazing! Although incredibly pricey. Also What brings down the wei score? I would think that would have a 7.9!?

Just a quick warning before someone just buys this. The 7670M video card is not necessarily that great: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Laptop-Graph...
July 20, 2012 6:24:07 PM

graphics, the next lowest is a 7.8 cpu
but i mean its a laptop that is the highest i have ever seen for a laptop.
July 21, 2012 4:01:24 PM

I'v search the internet for a while, and I think I'm going for a notebook dedicated to gaming like the ASUS G75 or the MSI GT70.

The thing I don't like about them, is that it looks nerdy. I like a more classy laptop, like the VAIO S. But Sony doesn't offer the power I want.

I really want an SSD, 3rd generation i7 and GTX 580+. This may be more then I originally asked, but after some research I'm starting to learn more about hardware.

I'm now trying to find a laptop with a nicer look and feel, with about the specs like both listed above. If someone knows any, I'd be pleased! :D 

Also: It has to be an 17inch+
July 22, 2012 7:16:48 AM

If you think the Sager's look good you can try to find some Clevo (the chasis that the Sager notebooks use) resellers in Europe. They will give you a more rugged look, much less of the nerdy look.

If you like how Alienwares look and are willing to pay the crazy markups for them you could consider them as well. They will give you the performance for sure.

The Toshiba Qosmio's also are said to be pretty decent desktop replacements. I have not seen one or felt one so I am not very sure. They come with GTX 670M's so I think that should be around where you are looking at.

I don't know how many classy systems are available for that end of the laptop world.
July 23, 2012 4:35:38 AM

You should look at HP's Envy 17.

Very high end TN display (not IPS, but far better than most TN's), 1080p.
AMD 7850M is a little faster than a GTX660m.
I recommend the i7-3610m (the cheapest i7).
6GB DDR3 1600Mhz base RAM.
2 HDD bays (can get SSD + HDD, or Hybrid HDD).
Very good speaker setup for a laptop (5 + sub).
Good keyboard.
Good ports (3 USB3.0, 2 DP, 1 HDMI, etc)
Good quality build


Starts at $1250: http://shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Lap...
i7 processor is +$110
7850m is included
!