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$500 laptop suggestions

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 5, 2012 11:56:11 PM

This is more of a request for which components I would be looking at in the $5-600 range. I was seriously considering the surface with the type cover but figured I could get more bang for my buck considering I would not utilize the "tablet" form factor as much as using it like a standard laptop.

I do most of my serious gaming on my desktop, but would like the laptop to be able to run games like starcraft 2 and modern MMOs at low to moderate settings.

I would want a small-ish SSD and probably windows 8. Is purchasing an SSD separately more cost-effective? I have been out of the mobile scene for 4+ years since I do most everything on my desktop or phone.

I figure it might be best to wait until black Friday for some deals. Any advice would be appreciated.

More about : 500 laptop suggestions

November 6, 2012 2:27:49 PM

Looks like a great deal and is actually available from FRYS for $480. Based on my research, the A8 and A10 are both integrated CPU/GPU from AMD (A10 being more powerful) and generally perform better in games than the 3rd gen ivy-bridge / HD4000 intel combo. The i5 series seems to be faster for single/dual threaded applications. It doesn't seem like I would see any noticeable differences between the intel and AMD offerings for every day internet browsing/e-mail/multitasking, correct?
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a b D Laptop
November 6, 2012 3:50:25 PM

The V3-551G with A8-4500M and 7670M is a good option for 500$:
http://goo.gl/jUzkI
Buy a nice 128GB SSD for 60-70$ (wait for a deal) and you got a hell of a machine

The Z585 is sold for 480$ on Fry's site and Amazon too. Lesser gaming performance though.
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November 6, 2012 10:22:47 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. Isn't the A8 significantly slower than the A10 though? I see that that model has a discrete card, but browsing/multitasking performance is more important than gaming to me. The only games I would play on the move are things like SC2 or MMOs.

The 6gb vs. 4gb isn't a dealbreaker to me since I can swap my own pretty easily. I will probably add an SSD no matter which model I choose.

Also, does anyone have information on how the A10/7660g would stack up against an ivy-bridge and HD 4000 combo like the following?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That model obviously has a 1TB HDD and 8gb of RAM. The base clock speed of the i5 is .2 ghz faster...what are my overclocking options between the i5 and the A10?

Thanks again.
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
November 6, 2012 11:09:42 PM

The A8 cores are clocked only 200MHZ lower, they are both quad cores. I don't think you'll notice any difference in typical use.
The A10-4600M is faster mostly for gaming as its gpu have 50% more stream processors.

The HD4000 is significantly slower than the 7660G and I think the new drivers make that even more pronounced:
http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/integrated-gpu-battle...

no overclocking of the I5 will make it better for gaming than the A10 and it want change your experience either.

If you want an Intel cpu, you can go with the HP g6t-2200 and Radeon 7670M
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November 6, 2012 11:23:04 PM

Went ahead and ordered the Lenovo Z585 with the A10 from FRYS for $480 shipped. After spending all day reading benchmarks and reviews, it seems the performance advantage in games over intel is undeniable, and the performance difference for general usage is negligible.

I will probably be looking to add an SSD soon. Thanks for the help.
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November 6, 2012 11:24:05 PM

Best answer selected by foolycooly.
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November 7, 2012 11:53:24 AM

One last question--

I assume I can do a wipe and clean install of windows 7 by burning the ISO to a disc and reformatting the laptop when it arrives. Has this changed?

Since I'll be upgrading to windows 8, will the best path be to reformat and reinstall windows 7, then install the windows 8 upgrade? The goal will obviously be to remove any bloatware that comes on the laptop from lenovo.

Thanks.
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a b D Laptop
November 7, 2012 12:11:21 PM

I don't know if Win8 comes in an "upgrade-only" form. sorry
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