New laptop (once again.)

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Theraima, Nov 29, 2011.

Nov 29, 2011

New laptop (once again.) by Theraima at 6:07 PM (1,085 Views / 0 Likes) 24 replies

  1. Theraima
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    Member Theraima I own this desert, bitches!

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    GBAtemp, here we go again! I need a new laptop for gaming, but I dont know all that much about specs. All I know is that it needs to have a good/powerful graphics card and a good processor. So, I thought, why not ask for help GBAtemp. And here we are.

    I need the help of the tempers at this. I need a laptop, around 850€-1000€ (probably can go a bit over the limit). I'm looking for the laptop to run smoothly SW:TOR. And probably other cool games. But SW:TOR is my main priority at the moment.

    Thanks in advance!
     


  2. Vinnymac

    Member Vinnymac GBAtemp Regular

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    Look for sales, since it is the holidays, and you will probably be able to get one. Also look up reviews for the products you want the most. See what problems people have with the product you plan on buying. The positive reviews aren't going to really help you, unless you're depressed after reading all the negative ones.

    Look at comparisons like this: http://computers.top...ws.com/laptops/

    If you want mac, you're probably not going to be able to get a great product at that price point. My best friend and I played in the SWTOR beta. He has a macbook pro (latest), and it ran SWTOR fine. Not max settings, but pretty high. He had to install windows on it, which wasn't a big deal either.

    Anyways, I don't think you should get a mac, price vs performance ;). My girlfriend wanted a new laptop not too long ago, and I offered to do a little bit of research for her. I found that Lenovo has many good deals. Lenovo's have good build quality, and they have great specs for the money. Their are a lot of companies out their. Alienware offers gaming laptops, but they tend to be extremely expensive for no good reason. If you want to play SWTOR at max settings, you're going to want a beast. However, if you want a laptop that can also not be a beast when you're done gaming, you will want a laptop that can switch between 2 graphics cards. This will allow you to be able to game, and also be able to do other things without killing your battery. basically it lets you choose what type of task you're doing. Watching HD Video, switch on the stronger GPU. Playing SWTOR, stronger GPU, making this thread on GBATemp, lighter GPU. Etc.

    As far as specs go, look for the latest stuff:
    Core i5 or above
    4 GB DDR3 or more
    200 GB + of space is always nice. Make sure the HDD is at least 7200 RPM. And if you want faster, get a SSD.

    At the end of the day you're gonna have to make the decision, and choose the company you trust the most. My advice would be to not buy a dell laptop. I know that sometimes they make good laptops, but I have used them for quite a long time, and I just don't like the build quality. Never lasts. Plus customer support from them is terrible. Lenovos customer support is great, and the laptops I have seen from them are incredible. Plus they purchased ThinkPad from IBM, the greatest company ever :P.

    This laptop is a beast: http://www.lenovo.co.../w-series/w520/
    tons of battery life, which would be very important if you plan on gaming on the go. (idk what you plan on doing)
    The other specs are very good as well.
    Note* it is a 6 lb laptop, most likely due to the battery.

    This one is nice too: http://www.lenovo.co...t-series/t420s/

    lighter 4 lbs, but also smaller 14"

    maybe even the thinkpad x220.

    I would look at all the different lenovos if I were you. Find one you like anywhere, post it here, and I'll tell you if it is a good deal. There are also sites to custom make a laptop, if you were interested in that.


    What are you looking for in a laptop?
    1. Gaming?
    2. Battery Life?
    3. Speed?
    4. Mobility?
    5. Form Factor?

    If you answer some of those questions it will help in the hunt for your ideal laptop.

    Questions answered:
    Powerful Processors, basically just get a i5 or above and you'll be fine.:
    i7 High Range: Intel Core i7-3960X
    i5 Mid Range: Intel Core i5 2500K (Desktop processor, in some laptops)
    i3 Low Range: Intel Core i3 390M

    Powerful Graphics Card, you'll be fine as long as you check out the card you're buying before you buy the laptop:
    High Range: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M SLI
    Mid Range: NVIDIA GeForce GT 445M
    Low Range: NVIDIA GeForce GT 325M

    A good website for comparisons for parts in the laptop you will be buying is this: http://www.notebookcheck.net
     
  3. junkerde

    Banned junkerde Banned

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    ok, i see one of the top rated ones with a horrible intel integrated graphics card. misleading to noobs.......
     
  4. Vinnymac

    Member Vinnymac GBAtemp Regular

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    You're talking about the HP Pavilion DM4X.
    It has an optional 1GB Radeon HD 6470M DDR3 Graphics Card, which is actually pretty good.

    When it comes to buying a laptop that you want, you're going to have to stop being a noob, and at least look up the product. All I did was type in DM4X on google and check the HP website. Took less than a minute.

    I recommend doing research to find the exact laptop that fits your needs.
     
  5. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    It's extremely rare to find SLI graphics in laptops these days. Mostly because it's been shown that the heat generated and the microstuttering issues make the endeavour not worth it (and that's before even mentioning the price of such laptops). Also, here's some slightly more up-to-date information.

    High end laptop graphics: GTX 560M (the strongest I've seen in a high-street laptop) or GT 555M (successor to the 445M and found in a few high-end laptops from MSI and others).
    Mid-range laptop graphics: anything between a GT 430M and 550M.
    Low end laptop graphics: no dedicated GPU, just Intel HD 3000 (integrated into all second-gen Core i CPUs).
    (Old low end laptop graphics from a few years back: GT 210M to GT 410M and Radeon HD 4200 or older - these can hardly run Source games so don't expect much from them).

    Intel HD 3000 is strong enough to play many games at low or medium settings, but any of the more recent 400M and 500M GPUs will provide better performance and be able to push to medium and high settings. Don't expect Ultra settings on a laptop - mobile graphics are limited cut-back versions of desktop graphics in order to prevent them from burning up.

    For the CPU, Intel is divided into 3 lines that are easy to brake down and even the model numbers aren't important (this is for their second gen Core i at least, the previous gen are getting harder to find now that every retail store has updated their stock).
    Core i7: quad core with hyper threading (4 virtual cores) for those who need multi-threaded tasks like data analysis software.
    Core i5: quad core. Few games actually need more than 2 cores, but it does help when multitasking.
    Core i3: dual core. Really, this is all you need if your interests are only gaming, however there isn't much price difference in the step above.
    (I've not mentioned AMD CPUs because, quite frankly, they've just sucked.)

    All that aside, I agree with Vinny that research needs to be done to find the right laptop for you. I would say first have a look at your nearest computer store, have a look at what they have on display, talk to the adviser to learn more (it's their job to inform you), then look online to find better prices (garanteed if you don't know how to barter with salesmen) and often better options for gaming laptops with specific specs.
     
  6. junkerde

    Banned junkerde Banned

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    for gaming (this generation)??? the 6470m will be NO good. but for a casual person yes.
     
  7. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    junkerde, rather than arguing, perhaps you could provide better information to actually help Theraima find a good laptop? Like actually suggesting what graphics he should look for (and don't say SLI/CrossFire please...)?

    Although, it is true that the 6470M is not very strong, and roughly at the same level as a GT 520M. Both are still better than Intel HD 3000 though (if not by much).
    EDIT: Might as well add that SWTOR doesn't actually have very high minimum spec requirements. They ask for at least a nVidia 7800, which is about as strong as current generation low-budget graphics cards.
     
  8. Theraima
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    Member Theraima I own this desert, bitches!

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    Thanks for everyones replies! I was able to look for some specific details, so you have already helped me a great deal. To clear some things up, I will be most of the time playing in my home, so the mobility part isnt all that important. Which also means that battery life is not THAT important, but still a valuable thing.

    Now, I did search for a bit at all of the electronic shops near my location. This really stood out for me http://www.gigantti.fi/product/tietokoneet/kannettavat-tietokoneet/MSIGE620DX493/msi-15-6-kannettava-ge620dx-493ne

    It does seem quite good, but I'm not sure about that processor..
     
  9. Vinnymac

    Member Vinnymac GBAtemp Regular

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    The truth is, that SWTOR plays fine even on my 8600 GT graphics card on my old XPS dell laptop. I played from level 10-15 on my old laptop perfectly fine.
    If he wants to max out the settings, of course that wouldn't work well. But until we know exactly what he's looking for, I can't say.

    I am just recommending to do research, and take some advice. Nothing more.

    @Theraima: If you plan on playing SWTOR on max settings with that laptop, it will work, but it might not be perfect. 2.4 GHz i5 is fine for gaming. That GPU (GT 555M) will play SWTOR with no problem. It is waaaay better than my 8600 GT which played SWTOR on low settings fine. The keyboard looks nice, very similar to the one my girlfriend has. I like those keyboards because the keys are coming out of the laptop, so it is hard to get any dirt in between and underneath the keys.

    The only bad thing I see is the 750 GB hard drive. They tend to offer bigger hard drives at the cost of slower speeds. So if it is 5400 RPM, I would try to get one with at least 7200 RPM. Or replace it with a SSD.

    EDIT: I checked the spec sheet, the 750 GB HDD is actually 5400 RPM. So read/writes will probably slow :/ I would highly recommend considering a diff hard drive.
     
  10. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    That MSI laptop is great. The CPU will be all you need, and the GPU falls under the top tier of mobile graphics (according to Notebookcheck at least). Also the pricing is exactly in line with what I'd expect for the specs.

    Now to dispel the HDD myth. Firstly, that myth is over 10 years old. HDDs have changed since then. 1GB is no longer "big", when we have very cheap (barring the changes caused by the flooding in the east) 1TB and even 3TB drives in the market, whilst still being the same size as 10 years ago. Now without getting too technical, what's changed in the last 10 years? Bigger capacity, but same physical dimensions? That means data density is much higher than before, and that's the very reason why rev speeds don't make much difference in performance (ok, a tiny bit of difference, but purely for out-of-sequence read/write speeds which are always slow anyway). The header will read much more information on each spin than it can actually transfer through the data cables, regardless of what speed it's spinning at. Also, mechanical drive performance (in terms of operations per second) haven't increased much in the last 20 years. Speed has only increased because of data density and improved data buffering technology. And recently, drive hybridization technology (part HDD, part SDD), but that's still flawed.

    In short, don't fuss over the HDD it comes with. If you feel the laptop is slow after using it, then consider upgrading the HDD to a higher performance one (i.e. Samsung Spinpoint or Western Digital Caviar Black drives - don't take SeaGate or Hitachi drives if you're buying a new HDD) but only after seeing what settings you can tweak to improve general performance.
     
  11. Vinnymac

    Member Vinnymac GBAtemp Regular

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    If we are talking large internal drives to laptop drives then yes 5400 vs 7200 RPM aren't comparable. But we aren't talking apples and oranges, we are talking about apples to apples. So a laptop drive at 5400 rpms will be slower than another laptop drive at 7200 RPM. And at the end of the day the SSD Drive will win the race.

    I believe a 5400 RPM drive is about 33% slower than 7200 RPM, and when you change the size say a 3.5 vs 2.5, it becomes a 28% difference. So their is about a 5% performance boost between 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM factors. This is only the case for comparing apples and oranges however. Anyways, to make things less complicated. I'll just show you the options, and you just decide lol.

    Anyways, you can take my advice or leave it. If you decide on the 750 GB drive you won't be crying. Because your computer will still work. I am getting down to the nitty gritty here. If you want SWTOR/Operating System to playing optimally, I would suggest
    upgrading it with a SSD:

    http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148441
    or

    a WD 7200 RPM:
    http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136280
    At the end of the day: MSI Laptop = 900 + the drive = 130 (at most)
    So 1030 is still within your price limit, and it wouldn't hurt you.

    Some Options you Have:
    MSI Laptop = 900
    MSI Laptop + SSD = 1013
    MSI Laptop + 7200 RPM = 1030

    P.S. What class do you plan on playing in SWTOR? Are you already in a guild?
     
  12. Cortador

    Member Cortador GBAtemp Fan

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    I am a huge fan of laptops and i have various different models. I personally would recommend that you get an M11X R3. They are cheap ( Compared to other models that offer the same thing) and pretty portable.

    The laptops i have are:
    Sager 7280 with SLI GTX 580m (Beast)
    Sager 8150 with GTX 485m (Another Beast)
    Alienware M11x-R3 with GT 540m (Mini Beast
     
  13. the_randomizer

    Member the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Any laptops that have nVidia Optimus should be avoided like the plague; it doesn't switch between the integrated and discrete GPUs very well, even when you "force" an application to do so. Oh how I wish I had a dollar every time I heard those horror stories. The ATI+Intel GPU combos on the other hand, actually switch and can be controlled easier than Optimus.
     
  14. Theraima
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    Member Theraima I own this desert, bitches!

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    Here again! Vinnymac, thanks a lot for your effort! And Originality also! So, I did think about the SSD thing, and maybe I could do this : If I'll order this laptop, I'll see if I will need the extra SSD. If I will, then of course I will get one, without a doubt. Also, if I wont be satisfied with the laptop, I can always send it back and get the refund.

    I was also thinking that maybe I could look for another one for about a week, and then make the final call. But I'm really considering the MSI one. But who knows, I might change my mind about that.

    I am not yet in a guild, but I will probably be joining Just A Game, since they were my guild in WoW back in the day. Assuming that they will be going SW:TOR, that is. They probably will.
     
  15. Theraima
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    Member Theraima I own this desert, bitches!

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    All right, back here again. After searching a few stores, I found maybe two candidates to add. http://www.gigantti.fi/product/tietokoneet/kannettavat-tietokoneet/ASLXRA502081/acer-aspire-15-6-kannettava-as5950g-2671675mnss
    And http://www.expert.fi/Tuotteet/Tietokoneet/Kannettavat/HP---DV6-6135SO

    Better or worse than the MSI one? (for SW:TOR) Also, I'm going to main Jedi Knight ---> Sentinel. Forgot to say that.
     
  16. junkerde

    Banned junkerde Banned

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    macbook pro
     
  17. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Ok, the advice here may get a little complicated.

    GT 555M, 525-753Mhz, 144 stream processors
    HD 6770M, 675/725Mhz, 480 stream processors
    HD 6850M, 575/675Mhz, 800 stream processors

    nVidia graphics use a different architecture to ATI/AMD graphics, and that's why you always see less "cores" on nVidia graphics. What's notable is that they have better software support (although it depends on Optimus correctly managing to switch between the IGP and GPU), however in benchmarks, AMD graphics are around 10% stronger. Even though the 6850 is clocked slower than the 6770, it has almost double the cores which tends to mean around 30% more texture fill rate (i.e. higher framerates).

    tl:dr, the Acer laptop has the best specs of the three you've shown so far. That, and I've heard SW:TOR will not work with nVidia Optimus graphics (specifically the 555M, but from the thread I saw it's safe to assume the rest of the line too). If these 3 are your final choices, definitely go for the Acer laptop.

    Or if you find any other laptops you like the look of, link them and I'll give an opinion.
     
  18. the_randomizer

    Member the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Pretty sure he doesn't want that.
     
  19. Bobbyloujo

    Member Bobbyloujo I am a millipede, I am amazing.

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    lol.
     
  20. Theraima
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    Member Theraima I own this desert, bitches!

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    To be honest with you, I'm a bit concerned about the HD 6850M capabilities, from what I've seen on Notebookcheck.
     

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