Gaming Good Bang for Buck?

FireGrey

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Well i found a laptop that seems to catch my eye:
http://www.harveynorman.com.au/page/125697...93/laptop-mania
The $650 one.
It has 4GB RAM and 2 Cores CPU
Plus if i pay an extra dollar i get all that stuff.
BTW this is Aussie money.
What do you guys think?
Worth it, cause i don't really wanna get something like $1000

I'm going to play games on it but not like World of Warcraft, more like Sims 3.
I like to make people live outside and have no house, it's funny to watch their lives be ruined
tongue.gif


UPDATE:
Ok so i'm looking for a good AUSTRALIAN laptop at $500
Any advice?
 

Originality

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Pentium is a very old CPU series, even if it is dual core. On the other hand, 2.3Ghz should be enough for you. However, it has an IGP, so games will suck. I know Sims 3 uses more CPU than GPU power, but it still needs to render 3D models and all the shiny sparkly effects it keeps using. Furthermore, it's a Compaq. A Compaq with a 14" screen and loaded with HP bloatware. The screen will be bad quality (as all Compaq screens are it seems) and HP have never really designed good bloatware.

Short version: I think you can do better.
 

Joe88

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Originality said:
Pentium is a very old CPU series, even if it is dual core.
the pentium dual core is not very old, its only about 3-4 years old
loosely based on the core 2 duo's
 

exangel

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I wouldn't buy a Compaq for myself at any price unless I was just going to resell it to some sucker.
I concur with all that Originality said.

HP is hit or miss too, especially if you do any gaming on low end to midrange laptops. My boyfriend went through two HPs in 3 years just doing schoolwork and World of Warcraft.
He's had an ASUS for over a year now with no issues. I've used the same ASUS gaming laptop for 3 years and after three years the only issue I've started to encounter is a hardware issue that I haven't pinpointed that randomly causes a solid freeze. And by random, I mean, I can go 3 days of uptime with no problem, or I can freeze solid while watching youtube 2 hrs after booting. This is why I recently bought a new laptop, because I still don't know which part of my hardware is causing the instability (though I have a clue and have recently determined with some certainty that it's not caused by the graphics).


Acer is also awful with bloatware, but I just bought a low-end Acer and after dealing with uninstalling all the junk, I'm very happy with what I got. I checked the site of the vendor you listed and they don't carry the model I have, which is the Acer AS4551-4315. It is priced in the US lower than the Compaq you posted and also has a 14" screen (I bought it because it's less than 5lb).

But I play The Sims 3 myself, and The Sims 3 runs great on it, with integrated graphics, and only 3 GB DDR3 RAM.

If you have the budget only for a laptop with integrated graphics, make sure that you get one with an ATI or nVidia chipset supporting DirectX 10 or greater. I could've saved some money if I went for a heavier laptop with a bigger screen, if the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 was all I made sure I had. The vendor I bought my Acer from currently has a Toshiba 15.6" laptop that's practically equivalent to what I got except the processor is single core, and it's larger and heavier. It's US$200 cheaper with shipping added in >.>
 

FireGrey

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exangel said:
I wouldn't buy a Compaq for myself at any price unless I was just going to resell it to some sucker.
I concur with all that Originality said.

HP is hit or miss too, especially if you do any gaming on low end to midrange laptops. My boyfriend went through two HPs in 3 years just doing schoolwork and World of Warcraft.
He's had an ASUS for over a year now with no issues. I've used the same ASUS gaming laptop for 3 years and after three years the only issue I've started to encounter is a hardware issue that I haven't pinpointed that randomly causes a solid freeze. And by random, I mean, I can go 3 days of uptime with no problem, or I can freeze solid while watching youtube 2 hrs after booting. This is why I recently bought a new laptop, because I still don't know which part of my hardware is causing the instability (though I have a clue and have recently determined with some certainty that it's not caused by the graphics).


Acer is also awful with bloatware, but I just bought a low-end Acer and after dealing with uninstalling all the junk, I'm very happy with what I got. I checked the site of the vendor you listed and they don't carry the model I have, which is the Acer AS4551-4315. It is priced in the US lower than the Compaq you posted and also has a 14" screen (I bought it because it's less than 5lb).

But I play The Sims 3 myself, and The Sims 3 runs great on it, with integrated graphics, and only 3 GB DDR3 RAM.

If you have the budget only for a laptop with integrated graphics, make sure that you get one with an ATI or nVidia chipset supporting DirectX 10 or greater. I could've saved some money if I went for a heavier laptop with a bigger screen, if the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 was all I made sure I had. The vendor I bought my Acer from currently has a Toshiba 15.6" laptop that's practically equivalent to what I got except the processor is single core, and it's larger and heavier. It's US$200 cheaper with shipping added in >.>
Sound good, i'll try find it in an Aussie store.
BTW why is Compaq bad?
 

Berthenk

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FireGrey said:
Are IGP good though?
I don't want a super powerfull one but is it any good?
Nope, they're not. Any recent GPU can easily run multiple circles around an any IGP. Yep, that includes a GPU that costs 30 bucks.
 

exangel

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Even the Mobility Radeon HD 4250 that I mentioned before is IGP, and though IGP pretty much always "sucks ass", it will cost you around a $100-200 more to get something new with discrete "dedicated" graphics in it, and for The Sims 3 that is a completely unnecessary thing.

As far as I am concerned 4250 is really bare minimum bottom-end of graphics for running any kind of semi-recent 3d game on it regularly, though. Being satisfied with the laptop I mentioned I bought a couple weeks ago is different from saying that it has competitive performance. My three year old ASUS laptop has a dedicated Radeon HD 2600 512 MB that also allocates 767mb of system memory in the windows graphics driver for a total of 1279; the IGP Radeon HD 4250 is all shared system memory but the first 256mb is forced by the bios and the rest is done through the windows graphics driver for a total of 1407mb. BUT though my three years newer Acer laptop also is a newer series, the Windows 7 Windows Experience Index rates my gaming graphics performance at 6.0 on the three-year old machine and at 5.3 on the brand new Acer. That's just a really good example here - three year old dedicated graphics in a laptop still rates superior to brand new laptop with IGP graphics that even allocates a larger total memory pool. (The issue does have a lot to do with poor memory performance due to the nature of IGP architectures)

I really tried to arrange things so I could get a laptop with dedicated graphics but at the time the purchase had to be made, it was going to be at least $650 to get a brand new one with that feature, and it would've also weighed dramatically more than I was willing to put up with to make the hundred dollar leap up worth accommodating.

edit: I'll find a screenshot I took of the sims 3 the other day on the new laptop for you so you can see that the quality really is good.
 

exangel

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FireGrey said:
Well is the poor Graphics Card noticable while on the PC?

There is absolutely no reason to spend hundred(s) more for discrete graphics for The Sims 3 and desktop/video playback use.
Here's the screenshot I promised, I'm sorry the scene is cheesy but I was just showing someone how my sim mysteriously wound up falling in love with someone that looks exactly like him (his daytime outfit has a hat, so I didn't know until they shared a bed) (and no, they didn't woohoo yet)



It's not running at the highest settings, and though I could set it to do that, I like having a framerate that rarely skips when I zoom in and out. And for people who play the Sims 2/3 zooming is a very important part of gameplay..
 

exangel

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FireGrey said:
Ok thanks will youtube look any good?

I watch Youtube and Netflix all the time and have not had any issues, fullscreen or not
However I haven't had the bandwidth access to try anything 720p+ streaming yet with that laptop, I doubt that makes any difference since I've been able to playback 720p+ local files.

I also play World of Warcraft with some basic add ons on it, and the performance hit from IGP I had expected to be far worse. The only very serious differences you will have between IGP and dedicated graphics in a midrange laptop are:

Dedicated cards use less or none of your system ram
Dedicated cards can do 3d games with higher levels of antialiasing/anisotropic filtering at good framerates when you can pretty much count on having to set those particular settings to 1x/off with IGP. But on a 14" screen that is negligible unless having jaggies in screenshots kills you...
Laptops with dedicated graphics usually have IGP built in as well but it's usually either disabled in the BIOS or set to dynamically switch based on if the laptop is running from battery power (though the latter is a fairly new development and isn't very common yet)
 

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