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Help picking a new laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 27, 2012 5:14:30 PM

1. What is your budget?
$1000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13-16"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
preferably 1600x900 or higher

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
5 or so hours

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)?
I would just like to play some games smoothly. Low settings are fine. I mostly play sc2, dota 2, tf2 and cs:go

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Some engineering applications

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
minimum 128gb

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
newegg, amazon, tiger direct, but also open to other sites

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
~3 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
doesn't matter to me

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.
Any. More about the quality and parts then name brand itself

13. What country do you live in?
USA


Thanks in Advance!

More about : picking laptop

a b D Laptop
July 27, 2012 5:36:57 PM

at 1k$ a lot of people like the lenovo ideapad y580 i7-3610qm and a kepler based gtx 660m(atm though its slightly above 1k, occasionally it may go on sale for 1k flat)
July 27, 2012 5:52:23 PM

I would check out www.xoticpc.com. I've purchased laptops for three people, including myself, and they really do offer good prices and more granular upgrades, such as screen type, RAM amount and speed, CPU, WiFi adapter brand/model, etc. And while the upgrade costs are more than what you spend ordering it online, they're cheaper than Lenovo, HP and Dell. At HP it costs $160 to upgrade from 4 to 8GB RAM. With XoticPC it costs $49 (depending on type), and purchased yourself it's about $45 and you can sell your old stuff to offset the cost of an upgrade.
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July 27, 2012 6:37:40 PM

The lenovo y580 looks like a pretty solid all rounder. I will look into that one. I'll also check out xoticpc and see what I can configure. Thanks guys.
July 27, 2012 9:38:35 PM

Make sure you feel and hold the Y580 in your hands before you buy it. I did not like the size and weight, and the build didn't feel great. I would go with a FHD (1920 x 1080) screen if you can afford it

A GT 650M, GT 640M, or even GT 630M are probably plenty to play the games you listed on medium - if not low.
The Asus N56VZ (if you have a microcenter nearby they have a Asus N56VZ-RB71 for $1000 which is a great deal), Sony Vaio S, the Vizio Notebooks are probably all good fits.

Like the above poster, check out www.xoticpc.com
Some of the best on that site are the Clevo/Sager notebooks because of build. They are more or less purpose built gaming machines so battery life and size isn't great on these like the Y580, but they give you great performance!
July 27, 2012 9:49:20 PM

I think a nearby costco carries the y580, so I will definitely swing by and check it out before considering to buy. Thanks for the heads up
July 27, 2012 11:21:06 PM

HP g7z-2100
17.3-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit Display (1600 x 900)
AMD Quad-Core A10-4600M Accelerated Processor (3.2GHz/2.3GHz, 4MB L2 Cache)
1GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD7670M Discrete-Class Graphics
$629.99

OCZ Agility 4 128GB SSD: $95 before $10 rebate

G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600: $45 before $7 promo code thru 8/1.

Vantec NexStar TX SATA to USB 2.0 External Hard Drive/SSD Enclosure: $8

That leaves $229.01 (before that OCZ rebate) for beer money.

Or, if you are going to be a real engineer :lol:  you could save $50 by dumping the HD7670M Discrete for a FirePro M5950 XT-GL for $200.

That would only leave you $79.01 for beer, but you would have a workstation card that should perform beyond the GeForce GT650M in gaming, even without dual-graphics with the APU graphics engine.

Reload Windows and drivers, use the HP OEM key, and pop that internal 500GB HDD into the Vantec external enclosure.

July 29, 2012 10:11:55 PM

Quote:
1. If you're going for the Lenovo, this coupons ends soon:
http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/lenovo-ideapad-y580-1...

After that it will cost 1100$, but you can wait a week or two and the coupon will be back.

2. For what you asked for - low-medium settings for various games, you don't need a 1000$ laptop, actually, and many options are good, like the Sony Vaio S (I think) with Radeon 6630M and an FullHD IPS screen.

The new Vaio S has a 640M LE which can be overclocked easily to 650M levels. The old one may have that, for that look for the Sony Clearance site. That version of the Vaio S stars at $750.


Wisecracker said:
HP g7z-2100
17.3-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit Display (1600 x 900)
AMD Quad-Core A10-4600M Accelerated Processor (3.2GHz/2.3GHz, 4MB L2 Cache)
1GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD7670M Discrete-Class Graphics
$629.99

OCZ Agility 4 128GB SSD: $95 before $10 rebate

G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600: $45 before $7 promo code thru 8/1.

Vantec NexStar TX SATA to USB 2.0 External Hard Drive/SSD Enclosure: $8

That leaves $229.01 (before that OCZ rebate) for beer money.

Or, if you are going to be a real engineer :lol:  you could save $50 by dumping the HD7670M Discrete for a FirePro M5950 XT-GL for $200.

That would only leave you $79.01 for beer, but you would have a workstation card that should perform beyond the GeForce GT650M in gaming, even without dual-graphics with the APU graphics engine.

Reload Windows and drivers, use the HP OEM key, and pop that internal 500GB HDD into the Vantec external enclosure.

The Firepro wont out perform the GT 650M gaming wise... It will perform better for design/business uses like CAD and matlab because thats what its made for. But they are cards for very different uses. The GT 650M will easily beat it out in terms of gaming. Check out: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Laptop-Graph...
Also how is he going to install the Firepro into his laptop? Its not that simple to get a video card into a laptop is it? Especially one that isn't specifically made for that laptop?

July 29, 2012 10:49:10 PM


It's an HP FirePro card made for mobiles.

And yeah ... I was thinking about the 640M in comparison, but if engineering is his thing, the FirePro is the way to go.

July 30, 2012 1:41:18 AM

Wisecracker said:
It's an HP FirePro card made for mobiles.

And yeah ... I was thinking about the 640M in comparison, but if engineering is his thing, the FirePro is the way to go.


But isn't the HP you linked to an APU based machine so it won't take a slot style video card? I am not exactly sure how this works so I trying to get a better understanding of how adding one of these cards works and in which laptops you can add in a card like this.

I wouldn't expect him to need that much power for undergraduate engineering though. I mean most of my college and friend's colleges recommend a 2ghz i5 with integrated graphics. (the minimum is i5+integrated, so not much different). And that is specifically for engineering. Though he would of course want at least a dedicated card to not get frustrated with his machine being slow while performing some intensive engineering tasks.
July 30, 2012 2:30:22 AM

That is true, I forgot that the Y580 uses the GDDR5 version of the 650M thanks :) 
(Note: the 640M LE does come up to the same clock speeds at the 650M and is comparable to the GDDR3 version of it).
July 30, 2012 2:30:41 AM

Wisecracker said:
HP g7z-2100
17.3-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit Display (1600 x 900)
AMD Quad-Core A10-4600M Accelerated Processor (3.2GHz/2.3GHz, 4MB L2 Cache)
1GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD7670M Discrete-Class Graphics
$629.99

OCZ Agility 4 128GB SSD: $95 before $10 rebate

G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600: $45 before $7 promo code thru 8/1.

Vantec NexStar TX SATA to USB 2.0 External Hard Drive/SSD Enclosure: $8

That leaves $229.01 (before that OCZ rebate) for beer money.

Or, if you are going to be a real engineer :lol:  you could save $50 by dumping the HD7670M Discrete for a FirePro M5950 XT-GL for $200.

That would only leave you $79.01 for beer, but you would have a workstation card that should perform beyond the GeForce GT650M in gaming, even without dual-graphics with the APU graphics engine.

Reload Windows and drivers, use the HP OEM key, and pop that internal 500GB HDD into the Vantec external enclosure.


The G7 build quality is rather low, its a 17 inch laptop perhaps a student needs something more portable 10-15 inch with weight closer at 10 pounds for battery charger accessories.

I was just about to agree with you, before i saw the G7, because DV6Z with an A10 quadcore or DV6 i5 quadcore with the Top Graphics upgrade they can give you, I didnt see the intel one, but the AMD DV6 looks like its got beastly graphics performance with the with a re-branded and underclocked desktop 7750ATi best CPU AMD has to offer probably 700-750 if you google the coupon codes and combine every coupon that's remotely possible.
the last generation DV6Z maxed out CPU GPU is capable of playing every game on medium high settings, the current 1 step up is capable of playing everything on high settings. good performance for the price, thought im a bit unhappy about not having the ability to have a backlit keyboard in the states.

Im also not sure if Upgrading your ram is the same on the Intel that its like on the AMD version, but upgrading mines on my DV6 was literally 2 steps and 2 min later, its so simple I think my cat can be trained to do it. remove battery unplug and ground yourself, Click open, install Click the 1 click plate back and your good to go.
July 30, 2012 3:36:40 PM


I modded my dv6 as above and it flies -- was not aware that there were substantial differences with the G7 (other than the screen size). The specs are essentially the same. I jumped on the G7 because "it's a great deal" with a great chip, and it was the model with the 1600 x 900 rez the OP was interested. I actually like the rez on the dv6 ....

HP says you may order the G7 with the AMD Quad-Core A8-4500M APU and no discreet -- the card slot will be open, and the OP can add the AMD FirePro M5950 XT-GL 1GB GDDR5 above (HP Part number: 647176-001) in the future.


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