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Yet Another "Help me choose a new laptop" please

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 12, 2012 10:45:29 PM

1. What is your budget?
2000 AUD. However willing to pay more for the right model.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13-14" screen

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1600x900

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
as much as possible, 6-8+ hrs

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)?
Civilization, Call of Duty, need for speed

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
web, office, music, photo editing, programming, video conferencing, movies. No video editing.


8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
200-300GB. SSD is preferrable.

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?
3years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
none.

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.
Don't have any experience with Macs...but if they will be the only suitable candidate, will consider...

13. What country do you live in?
Australia

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
The lighter the better. But really small screen will be a problem as few excel windows would easily overlap each other...

More about : choose laptop

November 20, 2012 3:08:00 AM

Seeing that there are no responses, I probably was unclear in my requirements previously.
I'll try another way.

What I'm looking for is pretty much the thinnest+lightest laptop the money can buy. No more than 14",
with enough memory and cpu cycles to play well 3d shooters and racing games on it.
Maybe not the latest, but previous versions of (call of duty, need for speed etc. ). And the battery has to give as much
as possible.
As the saying goes, I'd like fast and good. And I'm happy for it to be expensive, if that's the only option.

Now, what would that model/make be? Any opinions?

Thank you.
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a b D Laptop
November 20, 2012 5:59:12 AM

Ok so the problem with this is, if/when you use a laptop for gaming, it drains the battery a lot more. That said, you have to be prepared to manage on a 2-3 hour battery when gaming, and a 4-5 hour batter when not gaming. You won't get a decent laptop which will run games, for a longer battery life than that. And I've been optimistic.
Following this, I recommend the Alienware M14x. This is the best 14 inch laptop around, for gaming and overall use. It's done by Dell, so their customer service and warranty are amazing, so if you have any problems, you'll be covered. Here's the link that will let you customize your 14 inch Alienware as you like.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m14x-r2/pd.aspx

However, if you still want to look for something else, here's the link that will help you find what you're looking for.

http://laptops-and-notebooks.findthebest.com/d/r/14-inc...

Try to remember that you shouldn't worry about the OS, because you can change that even after buying the laptop, it's not a big deal. Focus on the processor, RAM and Graphics card, for the best performance. I strongly suggest a 3rd gen core i7 processor, at least 6GB RAM and a NVIDIA card that's at least 640M or higher. In your budget you should definitely be able to find a really good deal. With a budget like yours, you could buy a really good 15.6 inch laptop, but I think you've made it clear you want a 14 inch one, which is why I'm recommending the m14x. Take a look, and let me know if you want to change your mind or if you're ok with it. Look at some of the other laptops on that list as well, some of them are good too.
If you're not all right with the Alienware, my second recommendation would be the Lenovo Y480. Although it has a 640M card, and you can get a much better card in the Alienware, it's still good enough for everything you want, and of course, costs less than the Alienware. Here's the link.

http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/tech-specs/laptop/ide...

Happy hunting :) 
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November 21, 2012 1:08:49 AM

Thanks for the great reply!

I had a look at all the links you gave me. I really liked Alienware, but its weight of almost 3kgs ruined it for me. And it cannot be changed, as it's standard.

Next I moved to Lenovo's Ideapad and this is a good candidate. They offer it now with NVIDIA GeForce GT650M 2GB graphics card, which should be even better than what you mentioned.

I also spoke with Dell rep and they said to have a look at XPS14
( http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-14-l421x/pd.aspx?c=us&l=en... ), which is around 2.2kgs.

Now, while I do remember you said that you recommend video card 640M minimum, this one has 630M - I'd like to know
your opinion on the importance of the difference between the two. The reason I'm asking is the XPS proc is "3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3517U processor (4M Cache, up to 3.0 GHz)" and the lenovo one is this:
"3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor( 2.40GHz 6MB)".

I personally think the gaming performance depends more on the video card abilities than on the CPU, however would like to know what you think.

Thanks for your time.

P.S.: and the other thing: the XPS has SSD which I believe would be really good for overall performance, while ideapad
features 5400 rpm drive.
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a b D Laptop
November 21, 2012 3:23:58 AM

Ah, the XPS. It's not a bad choice. However, try to remember, it IS true that if the processor model number is higher, it may not NECESSARILY be the better processor. But it is true in this case. The 3610QM is the entry level 3rd gen core i7 processor. It's performance is much better than the 3517U. For further proof and details, you can look at the comparison here on this link.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

Just Ctrl+F and type in the processor numbers, you'll find both, and you'll also see how much lower the 3517U is ranked when compared to the 3610QM.

That said, your XPS offers a lower end processor AND a lower end GPU (Graphics Processing Unit - The graphics card. JUST in case you didn't know :)  ). The 630M is a 1GB card. With regard to your statement on gaming performance being more dependent on the GPU than the CPU... let me say this... The three main things that matter when considering gaming, is processor, RAM and GPU. Now... you could manage a lot better with a really good processor, 6GB RAM (Or more) and an average card (Say, the 640M), than you could with a lower end processor, 6GB RAM and a really good card, (Say the 660 or 670M)...
This shows that the processor matters a lot, because while the GPU handles the graphics, the processor handles everything else.
Taking this into account, your XPS is an inferior option compared to the Lenovo.

Anyway, that should clear up most of your doubts, and you can now think hard and pick which one to choose. Also, a last note on the Alienware, 3kgs isn't much. I agree it is heavy for a 14 inch laptop, but at the same time, when you're carrying it around, you won't really feel the weight, especially if it's in your backpack. In addition to this, it's a powerhouse of really high end performance. If you can afford it, don't rule it out just because of the weight.
Anyway good luck :) 
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November 24, 2012 6:23:24 AM

Thank you for the reply.

Here's what I'm considering at the moment:

http://www.gigabyte.com.au/products/product-page.aspx?p...

While I understand your opinion re: the relationship between the CPU/GPU/RAM, I see people on forums (http://forum.notebookreview.com) and within reviews stating that they are able to play FPS games with a good frame rate and no issues.
http://www.dealizon.co.uk/novatech-n1406-14-i7-3517u-8g...
(different brand, but same specs).

I also had a look here for the GPU benchmarks and found quite a good frame rate on the CoD - 42 on high.
And here's the specs of the test laptop, which as I understand they use:
Schenker XMG A502
Intel Core i5 3360M 2.8GHz
GeForce GT 650M (745MHz), 1024MB (1000MHz) GDDR5, Boost: 835 MHz
8192MB RAM

So the gigabyte laptop I found has even better CPU than this one. While I'm not going to OC the GPU, I believe
i7-3517U would be enough to manage good game experience. Maybe not the with the latest versions of the same CoD and not on ultra high settings, but that's fine with me.

The other things which are very important to me along with the good fps is the weight and thickness. And here
U2442 beats the hell out of Lenovo, XPS and pretty much anything else with the same more or less specs. 1.6kg!

It'd be interesting to know what you think.
I also would like to thank you for your opinion and links in previous posts, as that lead me to the video benchmark
site and the other forum, which in turn lead me to the other options I missed before.
Thanks!
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November 24, 2012 6:24:04 AM

Best answer selected by __ed__.
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