Recommend a laptop for Dolphin in the $1000 range

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by regnad, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. regnad
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    Member regnad Button Masher

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    Bought an Acer AS7741G-7017, and the damn thing doesn't even boot up.

    Acer's customer service is the worst. I just wanted to send it back to Amazon for a new one, but they have now discontinued it!!

    So I've still got a few days window to return it for a full refund.

    I want to be able to run Dolphin emulator on whatever laptop I end up getting, and I'd like to find one in the $1000 range. I asked this question a couple of months ago, and every single recommended laptop in that thread is now unavailable.

    Can anyone offer a recommendation? Thank you enormously in advance!! [​IMG]
     


  2. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    If you could wait a couple more weeks, I'd suggest a laptop with Sandy Bridge. There've been a few available on pre-order in various sites.
     
  3. regnad
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    Member regnad Button Masher

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    I can't. I'm going back to Japan in about nine or ten days, where I presently live.

    I want to get one here in the US because in Japan they use real currency that has value.
     
  4. regnad
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  5. Wombo Combo

    Member Wombo Combo That Ain't Falco

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  6. purplesludge

    Member purplesludge anyone have any ideas for this space

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    My friend just got that one. It is very nice.
     
  7. regnad
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    Member regnad Button Masher

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    There's also this one: http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Ideapad-0646-...3827&sr=1-1

    But, again, please recommend something different I haven't seen if you know of something.

    I think I'd go as high as $1300-1400 if it's a good computer. And reliable. I'm really upset about getting a defective Acer and having to send it back. Many laptops I look at have reviewers saying they have to send it back two or three times before they get one that works. Ugh.
     
  8. Wombo Combo

    Member Wombo Combo That Ain't Falco

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    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16834152211
     
  9. TwinRetro

    Global Moderator TwinRetro Don't start nothin', Won't be nothin'

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    Is this a trick question? Using a laptop for gaming is hardly optimal.
     
  10. baosen

    Newcomer baosen Member

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    I don't think you will find a laptop that can handle Dolphin Emulator properly. You need a lot of CPU power to emulate GameCube, at least 3ghz or more.

    You need to go for the computer with the fastest CPU, since Dolphin is CPU intensive and NOT GPU intensive.
     
  11. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Between the Asus and the Lenovo laptops linked, I would go with the Asus. Slightly faster CPU, good GPU, and I like the design more. The MSI laptop Wombo linked costs more, but has a high end GPU which sets it apart from the others. EDIT: Who says "Using a laptop for gaming is hardly optimal"? I'm willing to bet that it would do better in games than my PC (E8400 and a HD4870).

    Core i7-740QM is a fairly powerful CPU. It's only rated 1.73Ghz before Turbo Boost, but it has Hyper Threading so it can handle 8 threads. Now, I've no idea if Dolphin is optimized for CPUs with more than 2 cores, but if it is it will do very well with a Core i7 behind it. Minimum requirements is a Pentium 4 anyway, according to Wiki.
     
  12. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    it's not multi-core optimized. The best laptop GPU's for this won't be the i7's. They'll be the higher clocked i5-dual cores, or specifically; the (Arrandale(?)) i7-620M (2.66-3.33) and the i7-640M (2.80-3.46). To be honest, the processor strength is more important than the GPU. On a laptop you're really looking to run things at native resolution (not much higher).

    To be clear, for running emulators; higher clock speed is the most important element. Relying on Turbo boost is not a good idea for high-end emulation. The reason is that Turbo-Boost in the i7-Mobile architecture is never running at a static frequency. It's always changing depending on the game/system ~ console/program requirements.

    At best you'll be running at 2.40-2.53Ghz for a few seconds. The frequency fluctuates so fast that even a few seconds is pushing the characteristic of turbo-boost. The Intel-core i7-Monitoring Widget you're only getting maybe ... at best 1/5th of of the frequency changes. The frequency actually changes so fast that the widget can't accurately report more than general analysis.

    Having a GPU such as a mobility 5870 won't help you. Emulation is far, far more processor intensive than games (which is where GPU's really shine). The GPU can't help emulate the multiple processors that's the Wii/Gamecube, PS2 have natively. It's not just the fact that they're native to the consoles; it's the fact that they run parallel keeping them in sync is a big deal for accurate, smooth and responsive emulation.

    http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np5160-clevo-...der-p-2999.html - Sandy Bridge Processor (can upgrade it with your budget) / 540M GPU w/ Optimus
    http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-u36jca2b-p-3024.html - Power House Mobile Dual Cores - Here.

    Actually, I just found the best performance/gaming-emulation-oriented deal / Mobility 5850 w/ a choice of i5-Processors up to the i7-640M that I mentioned above.
    http://www.xoticpc.com/force-1656id5-msi1656id5-p-2822.html?wconfigure=yes

    - Resolution - 1680 x 1050 - 2 GB Ram (Upgradable for +35 / 4GB) / Mobility 5850 GPU - Which gives solid gaming performance / Choice of Processor.
    ~ Total will be around $1000-1250 (depending on 2GB vs 4GB of RAM & processor choice).


    Both of these that I've mentioned will net you great processing power, the thing is, that you will suffer some on/in the GPU department, because you've asked for specialization that favors emulation & processing power over GPU / Gaming Prowess.

    So yeah... GPU = Games. Processor = Emulation. Frankly, you'd be fine so long as you can find an i5-Dual Core (say the i5-460M) & maybe a mobility 5650.
     
  13. monkat

    Banned monkat I'd like to see you TRY to ban me. (Should I try?.

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    [​IMG]
    No need to be rude...[​IMG]
     
  14. regnad
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    Didn't mean to be. I earn Yen, so I might as well take advantage while I can. You never know when these things could change.

    I2aven, do you think the Asus would be fairly okay with the i7-740QM or not?

    Or what are your thoughts on this one? http://www.amazon.com/MSI-GX740-079US-GX74...mp;sr=8-1-fkmr0

    It's $300 more, and doesn't seem as good as the Asus, but maybe I don't know.

    There's this one also: http://www.amazon.com/MSI-GX640-260-15-4-I...mp;sr=8-1-fkmr0

    I'd like to get it from Amazon, by the way, because I can expedite it, as I'm on a tight schedule, and they're really quite good about immediately refunding money for defective stuff, and make it very easy.

    I suppose I'm leaning toward the Asus, but I'm thankful, of course, for any suggestions.
     
  15. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    It's a matter of specialization really. Getting a stronger GPU isn't going to help because of the amount of processing that your CPU has to do to emulate the multiple engines often (in parallel).

    If you're going to do any other intensive gaming besides emulation, then you can justify going with a mobility 5870. Otherwise, it's not worth it. I myself, have an i7-720QM, it's a good processor, but it will have some trouble with more intense Dolphin/PCSX2 games.

    To be honest, I'd go with the second MSI laptop you mentioned. The reason being is this; the i7-720QM and i7-740QM are virtually identical. Also, GPU doesn't really matter so much as far as emulation goes (it just matters as far as [resolution] goes, you're not going to get any type of acceleration from it.

    The i5-450M is 2.40-2.66 Turbo Boost (Single Core mode). So, it really doesn't matter all that much between these choices. If you're going to do more than emulation and focus on gaming overall ~ then you should pick up the 5870, it's reportedly a beastly GPU. I'm inclined to think, however, that the i5-450M will perform better for emulation than the i7-720/740QM because you don't really have to turbo boost to maintain a decent-dual core frequency. The mobility 5850 is reported to be able to overclock (if you're into that sort of thing) up to the speeds of the 5870 anyhow (you can't change the hardware differences, though, between the 5850/5870)

    What's also worth mentioning is that if you're not satisfied with your processor you can do a manual upgrade fairly easily if you're comfortable with that sort of thing. I've been tracking the i7-640M and i7-920XM (Engineering Sample [ES]] on eBay and they're selling @ around $308/400-420. (the 920XM has an unlocked multiplier).
     
  16. regnad
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  17. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    ** Oh Yeah, it'll also run cooler than the i7-Models that you've been comparing (less cores / 32 nm manufacturing > 45 nm ) - produces less heat.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Mobility-...50.23697.0.html - Mobility 5650.

    It's a good combination of components. While you won't be playing things at max details, you should be great in the low/medium range w/ tweaking.
     
  18. regnad
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    So it's basically a choice between the MSI GX640 and the HP Pavillion dv7t, with the HP being the better of the two -- at least as my desire to do emulation.

    Would you say the HP is all-around better for everything else (non emulation) as well?

    Stupid question -- does the DVD burner on the HP burn ONLY Blu-ray?
     
  19. Splych

    Member Splych GBAtemp's Lurker

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    the MSI one has a better GPU . i believe in most games , the GPU will play a more important role than having more RAM or a faster CPU Clock speed . i would've gone with the MSI just because of the gfx card . the 5650 is meh when compared to the 5850 .
     
  20. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    for non-multi-core/multi-threaded apps both are on fairly even ground. The advantages that the HP has over the MSI are a stronger processor, larger HDD, and more RAM. The main advantage that the MSI has is primarily the mobility 5850, which is primarily a gaming based GPU/chip and a slightly bigger screen.

    Both laptops are multimedia powerhouses, there are trade-offs of course. The 5850 will get hotter under load than the 5650, but the 5650 has more hard-drive space. (640GB is twice what I have, with a 320GB / (297GB) HDD. It's a lot of space on a notebook. Depending on how you use that space it becomes an advantage in and in-of-itself. For example, do you want to run multiple-operating systems? Do you want to run an Ubuntu partition or insert [other linux distro here]

    When you talk about all-around it really matters what sort of tasks you're talking about. Photo Editing, Video Editing, Encoding, CAD, Photoshop; these sorts of tasks run faster (and more efficiently) on a multi-core / multi-thread system. The GTX 460M which the 5850 competes with now'a'days has CUDA, CUDA is hardware that can provide an advantage with the sorts of tasks I list below (which is, why nVidia GPU's are usually paired with a quad-core processor, I'd imagine). (However, mentioning CUDA is somewhat moot because the i7-460M combo is generally 1300/1400). --The 5850's real prowess lies in gaming.

    The i5-460M does have hyperthreading, which means it has 2 Physical cores and 2 virtual cores designed to give the user some lee-way as far as lighter of the (above mentioned) tasks go. Things like photoshop use will run well, but not to same effect (note: speed/efficiency). Having the extra +2GB of ram up from the standard 4GB really means you really shouldn't have to worry about having multitudes of applications up at once.

    It ultimately depends on what sorts of applications other than emulation you plan to use the laptop for. I'm not going to throw out numbers, percentages, etc, because frankly, there are sources (notebookcheck) and people much better qualified than myself to advise you.
     

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