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Need a good laptop for mostly gaming, but college as well...

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 11, 2012 1:09:13 AM

Hi everyone. So I have never really been into gaming on the computer before, so I have no idea what is what, and what I need when it comes to CPU's and graphics cards, memory, etc... I just got a job and am looking to buy a decent laptop in the next couple of months that I will be using for gaming A LOT, but for college as well. My thoughts: if I can game on it well, I can also run some of the pretty high-tech engineering software out there as well. This is mainly me justifying dropping $1500 on a laptop for gaming lol...

Anyways, on with the survey questions:

1. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Doesn't really matter to me... I don't want a tiny netbook, so maybe around 15" screen size.

2. What screen resolution do you want? 1080p

3. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable laptop.
4. How much battery life do you need? Doesn’t matter as long as it can last for a few hours in a college class if I am typing on it.

5. 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)? Ultra settings. EVE, League of Legends, possibly Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, etc... Medium-High settings, but please specify which.

6. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Engineering/Photoshop programs.

7. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Don't know, I am not that computer savvy... Can anyone explain to me what an SSD is as well?

8. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. No preference.

9. How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as possible. It doesn't matter to me if I will be forced to play games on Medium in a few years.

10. What kind of Optical drive do you need? Don't know.

11. 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 reliable, known for quality comps.

12. What country do you live in? US
October 11, 2012 1:15:03 AM

Thought about getting a desktop for ~$1000 and a laptop for ~$500?
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October 11, 2012 1:22:37 AM

No... I want/need a mobile computer.

And I forgot to add this earlier, but my price range is around $1,500... But I will go cheaper if that's possible lol
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October 11, 2012 1:29:14 AM

I'd suggest either the ASUS G75VW or an Alienware laptop.

Edit: By that I actually mean the few comparable Asus models. They are kind of big and heavy ... but thats a gaming laptop.
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October 11, 2012 1:40:21 AM

The Lenovo Y580 is supposed to be a pretty good all around/gaming laptop for only $900. It's got a GTX660m which is pretty good (obv. not as fast as a GTX670 or 675 or 680 or whatever but its low power and lightweight i hear). It can be configured with a 7200rpm HDD and a 50gb mSSD and a 1080p screen and blu ray drive for only $1100 I believe. Other than that there are the bigger dedicated gaming laptops like the ASUS g75 and alienwares and stuff.

Go to lenovo's website to see the pricing (doesnt get much cheaper on other websites unlike most computer brands)
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October 11, 2012 2:29:05 AM

Idea.
Get a 500$ Student Laptop.
Then get a 1000$ PC.
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October 11, 2012 3:02:07 AM

first things first. you do not need a laptop to do "engineering" work on. your school should never ask you to do work like that on your personal computer let alone expecting you to buy the programs. looking at your price range you cant afford them legally anyway(no offense). any decent laptop from the last 5 years can run most of them ok.

so that leaves us just finding you a gaming laptop. i like the sager you linked. get the 670m and the 3740qm and you should be set.

btw what school you going to?
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October 11, 2012 3:21:32 AM

The Sager is going to give you the best parts, but will be bigger and clunkier looking than a Lenovo, Dell, or Asus. Personally I would go with a model from a major vendor just because I would expect it to have a little more polish.

Your call on what is important to you.

Edit: Cyberpower does custom configured notebooks too, but I dont think they have as good of a reputation as Sager.
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October 11, 2012 4:39:38 AM

Definitely do not go with the newegg one you linked. It uses a 5400 rpm HDD and also has a much lower screen resolution than you specified (1366 x 768 vs 1920 x 1080).

The Sager is a nice specc'ed rig.

Helpful gaming laptop site ...

http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/

Useful areas ...

http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/gaming-laptops-under-...

and

http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/high-end-gaming-lapto...

What I would do is actually get the Lenovo Y580 directly from their site. The one for $999 with the 500 MB 7200 rpm HDD and 1920 x 1080 screen or the next one up with the 1TB HDD. Up the warranty to 3 years + accidental since you are at college and a spilled coffee/soda/beer will wreck your day. You can also look daily for special Lenovo coupons that may also further reduce the cost. Once you get the beast I recommend doing a few upgrades.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...

1. Clone the HDD using any cloning utility.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/80564-35-y580-upgrade...

2. Purchase a HDD caddy
http://www.pro-battery.com/battery-detail.asp?id=872

3. Purchase an external enclosure for your blu-ray drive.
http://www.pro-battery.com/battery-detail.asp?id=1056

4. Purchase a nice Samsung 830 256 GB/Intel 520 240GB or or equivalent SSD. This will run from $169-$189 or so when on special. From what I have read at Lenovo forums and elsewhere, the SATA connector is SATA 6Gb/s so you get the full speed of the newer SSDs.

5. Swap out the HDD for the SSD.

6. Copy the cloned data back to the new SSD.

7. Power on to make sure everything is back to normal.

8. Remove the Blu-ray player from the laptop chassis.

9. Put the HDD in the HDD caddy where the blu-ray used to be.

10. Install the HDD into the HDD caddy and use as your data drive. OS and primary games and apps go on the SSD.

11. Use the now external blu-ray/DVD player as needed to watch movies, burn etc. in the dorms/apartment. Really, when was the last time you used your optical for other than movies with the proliferation of SDs, thumb drives, and small external drives.

What do you have now? A great laptop with a blazing SSD, data drive, 3 years of warranty, and your blu-ray/DVD player when you need it. By the way, if you ever do need to get your laptop repaired. Just copy your files on an external drive, swap back the HDD, copy the cloned data back onto the HDD, put the optical drive back in and ship off.

Cheers

Shep
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October 11, 2012 5:22:55 AM

cbrunnem said:
first things first. you do not need a laptop to do "engineering" work on. your school should never ask you to do work like that on your personal computer let alone expecting you to buy the programs. looking at your price range you cant afford them legally anyway(no offense). any decent laptop from the last 5 years can run most of them ok.

so that leaves us just finding you a gaming laptop. i like the sager you linked. get the 670m and the 3740qm and you should be set.

btw what school you going to?

I don't know yet about the school... Still looking into that lol
And I didn't know about the engineering software, thanks for clearing that up for me!
Everyone else is saying the Lenovo Y580 though... Thoughts?
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October 11, 2012 5:24:13 AM

deadlockedworld said:
The Sager is going to give you the best parts, but will be bigger and clunkier looking than a Lenovo, Dell, or Asus. Personally I would go with a model from a major vendor just because I would expect it to have a little more polish.

Your call on what is important to you.

Edit: Cyberpower does custom configured notebooks too, but I dont think they have as good of a reputation as Sager.

Ok... Definitely something to consider.
When you say "the best parts" do you mean best performance or reliability?
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October 11, 2012 5:27:14 AM

sheppyb said:
Definitely do not go with the newegg one you linked. It uses a 5400 rpm HDD and also has a much lower screen resolution than you specified (1366 x 768 vs 1920 x 1080).

The Sager is a nice specc'ed rig.

Helpful gaming laptop site ...

http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/

Useful areas ...

http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/gaming-laptops-under-...

and

http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/high-end-gaming-lapto...

What I would do is actually get the Lenovo Y580 directly from their site. The one for $999 with the 500 MB 7200 rpm HDD and 1920 x 1080 screen or the next one up with the 1TB HDD. Up the warranty to 3 years + accidental since you are at college and a spilled coffee/soda/beer will wreck your day. You can also look daily for special Lenovo coupons that may also further reduce the cost. Once you get the beast I recommend doing a few upgrades.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...

1. Clone the HDD using any cloning utility.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/80564-35-y580-upgrade...

2. Purchase a HDD caddy
http://www.pro-battery.com/battery-detail.asp?id=872

3. Purchase an external enclosure for your blu-ray drive.
http://www.pro-battery.com/battery-detail.asp?id=1056

4. Purchase a nice Samsung 830 256 GB/Intel 520 240GB or or equivalent SSD. This will run from $169-$189 or so when on special. From what I have read at Lenovo forums and elsewhere, the SATA connector is SATA 6Gb/s so you get the full speed of the newer SSDs.

5. Swap out the HDD for the SSD.

6. Copy the cloned data back to the new SSD.

7. Power on to make sure everything is back to normal.

8. Remove the Blu-ray player from the laptop chassis.

9. Put the HDD in the HDD caddy where the blu-ray used to be.

10. Install the HDD into the HDD caddy and use as your data drive. OS and primary games and apps go on the SSD.

11. Use the now external blu-ray/DVD player as needed to watch movies, burn etc. in the dorms/apartment. Really, when was the last time you used your optical for other than movies with the proliferation of SDs, thumb drives, and small external drives.

What do you have now? A great laptop with a blazing SSD, data drive, 3 years of warranty, and your blu-ray/DVD player when you need it. By the way, if you ever do need to get your laptop repaired. Just copy your files on an external drive, swap back the HDD, copy the cloned data back onto the HDD, put the optical drive back in and ship off.

Cheers

Shep

So would you prefer the Sager or the Lenovo? And which Sager are you talking about? Sorry if you already specified, I'm tired as hell and am about to sleep after this post.
About the Lenovo: Would 500 GB of memory be enough for a computer?
And what is the difference between an SSD and an HDD? Everyone seems to prefer an SSD.
Thanks for your reply :D 
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October 11, 2012 5:40:37 AM

Quote:
1. SSD has speed advantages. Even the low budget SSDs have much much lower random read/write performance. The faster ones are faster than good HDDs in every aspect.
The problem is the price. So currently people buy them mainly for things like installing the OS and stuff.

2. I would take the Lenovo - it comes with Win7 OS and bluray burner you can just sell:
http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/lenovo-y580-gtx-660m-...

Ok... Thank you for explaining that.
Someone said the Lenovo will play all of the games I mentioned on Ultra... I'm not looking for top of the line graphics and framerate. I'm used to playing Battlefield 3 on my Xbox 360 lol so I'm not going to be terribly picky about that stuff. Yes, I want the computer to run fast, and run those games at a decent, not choppy framerate. And yes, I want graphics that fall somewhere between good and amazing. So just for informational purposes, how well do you think the Lenovo could run a high end game, such as Battlefield 3? And compared to the Lenovo?

Sorry I'm asking so many questions, I just honestly have no idea what is what in the computer world, and I would like to spend my money wisely on something that suits what I want/need than something that doesn't and I might be disappointed with.

But thank you so much for your answers, they really help out.
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October 11, 2012 1:57:36 PM

Ok thank you.

The website says there are two models of the Lenovo... One with a slightly faster processor, and the other with a Blu ray player (first has a Blu ray burner)
I'm not too terribly worried about being able to watch Bou ray movies on my laptop, if that's the difference between the two. But if the difference is that one will read discs better or with higher quality, then can someone tell me about that?
Which would you prefer? First has a 100 MHz processor advantage over the second. Second has the Blu ray player advantage over the first. I think the processor difference was an i7 3630QM (first) over i7 3610 QM (second).
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October 11, 2012 9:08:35 PM

Ok... I've been doing some research on the Lenovo and I like it so far.
Just wondering though, if I got the faster processor, would that help with framerate on games and make it easier to play on higher settings? I know it might not be a HUGE difference, but if it will help then I will probably decide on that model.
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October 11, 2012 11:24:29 PM

Though it probably wont help in gaming it could probably help in things like encoding video/rendering things in photoshop or video editing. The Y580 looks like a great laptop, especially since you can get a full HD screen, a SSD and hdd and you get to sell a blu ray drive
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October 12, 2012 12:53:07 AM

Ok... How much could I sell the Blu Ray drive for approximately?

And since I will be working to buy this and I probably won't have enough for it for a couple of months, when would the best time to buy it be? Around Christmas time? Before or after? New Year's?

And are there any other comparable laptops in specs and price coming out in the next couple of months?

Thanks everyone for your help, it is greatly appreciated.
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October 15, 2012 4:17:40 PM

actually if you want to get a 14 inch laptop the lenovo y480 sells for 800 bucks with a GTX650m which is almost as good as a 660m. Its smaller and lighter weight if u want that. idk how much you could sell the blu ray trive for. if its cheaper to buy it without the blu ray drive id do that probably
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October 17, 2012 8:49:37 AM

qzyxya said:
actually if you want to get a 14 inch laptop the lenovo y480 sells for 800 bucks with a GTX650m which is almost as good as a 660m. Its smaller and lighter weight if u want that. idk how much you could sell the blu ray trive for. if its cheaper to buy it without the blu ray drive id do that probably



A GTX 650M? not entirely.. it will depend on what RAM it is using if it uses GDDR5 Ram on the GT 650M then it will be almost as good as a 660M but if it uses the SLOWER DDR3 i doubt it will be as good..

I suggest to get a Lenovo Y580 and retain the HDD but add in a new mSata SSD from Crucial, just a 128GB will do, load in your OS in the SSD and most of your everyday apps, maybe a game or two that you always play.. and while your at it.. get the 1080p option. :) 
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