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Thread: Help AEsahaettr buy a new laptop!

  1. #1

    Default Help AEsahaettr buy a new laptop!

    It's that time again- my current computer is showing its age and I think it's time for a new laptop. I was initially hoping to hold out until this summer, but it's always had heating problems (crappy fan) and they're starting to get worse. I'm in the process of typing my thesis and I can't afford to have this computer crap out on me.

    Computers have changed a lot since the last time I purchased one and, I'll admit, I really don't fully understand the technical specifications anymore (seriously? 6GB of RAM? who the fuck needs that??). I was wondering if you fine folks could help me narrow down the field to find some options.

    I mainly need a computer for productivity, though I want some ability to play games as well. I don't need something that can run Skyrim with a dozen texture mods. But I'm hoping to have something powerful enough to run Rome 2 when it comes out. I'm also assuming that a laptop that can handle R2 can also handle the TW franchise games that have come since Rome 1. Rome, Civ IV, and Sim City 4 comprise 99% of my computer gaming. I'm more of a console guy.

    Necessary requirements:
    • Purchasing from Amazon.
    • Budget of up $700. Really, really, really want to stay below $600 because I also need to buy MS Office.
    • A Windows laptop, HP strongly preferred. If it's not HP, I should see "gives blowjobs" among the technical specifications.
    • A keypad to the right of the keyboard.
    • Wireless networking and bluetooth support.
    • Screen < 17".
    • Multi-card reader.
    • Integrated webcam & microphone.
    • A physical ethernet port.
    • An HDMI out.


    Preferences and desired items which, if necessary, I'll live without:
    • Largest standard-size battery possible.
    • Smaller size preferable.
    • Windows 7 preferable, as I keep hearing that Windows 8 is a donkey turd.
    • Blu-ray player.
    • 500GB HD or larger.
    • As much RAM as possible.
    • A graphics card (no preference to AMD or nVidia).
    • Backlit keyboard.


    My big issue is that the specifications I read for processors and graphics cards today mean nothing to me, and I have no clue what constitutes a lot/a modicum/a smidge of RAM- three issues which I don't want to just throw a dart at the board and see what it hits.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    If it helps, this is the one I've been thinking about.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help AEsahaettr buy a new laptop!

    I prefer lenovo laptops, primarily for the keyboards and Linux compatibility, so I'm not sure what I'd recommend if you're set on HP. But maybe the following will help.

    Max out the ram. 8gb is probably enough. Yeah, that's a lot, but ram is cheap, and its the easiest thing to do to make a computer feel faster. Compare the cost of doing the upgrade yourself, however, as that can be cheaper than buying it with more ram to start with.

    Also, Intel integrated graphics are pretty good these days, and much easier on battery life than a separate graphics card. Don't reject a computer just because it only had integrated graphics.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help AEsahaettr buy a new laptop!

    Oh, and consider an ssd or hybrid drive over a pure magnetic hard drive. That will make a huge difference in speed as well. Even if you have to get an external hard drive for music and movies (500 GB ssds are expensive, 2TB external drives are cheap), it's worth it.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleAcorn View Post
    Also, Intel integrated graphics are pretty good these days, and much easier on battery life than a separate graphics card. Don't reject a computer just because it only had integrated graphics.
    Really? I've always assumed that even a mediocre card is going to significantly reduce strain on the processor. Then again, that may be one of those things that was true in my day but not as applicable now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleAcorn View Post
    Oh, and consider an ssd or hybrid drive over a pure magnetic hard drive. That will make a huge difference in speed as well. Even if you have to get an external hard drive for music and movies (500 GB ssds are expensive, 2TB external drives are cheap), it's worth it.
    I'm not as worried about this. I primarily use PS3 for movies and like to buy the actual disc. For music, I use Google Play and have my music in cloud storage. I think. God I feel old right now.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help AEsahaettr buy a new laptop!



    Quote Originally Posted by AEsahaettr View Post
    Really? I've always assumed that even a mediocre card is going to significantly reduce strain on the processor. Then again, that may be one of those things that was true in my day but not as applicable now.
    I'm not a gamer, so maybe someone else can chime in, but I'm pretty sure a separate graphics card is only worth it in a laptop if you are getting a hardcore gaming laptop (ie Alienware) that's only useable plugged in. For general use and light gaming the modern Intel integrated graphics are plenty.

    And seriously consider an ssd. I wouldn't get a computer without one anymore.

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by AEsahaettr View Post
    Really? I've always assumed that even a mediocre card is going to significantly reduce strain on the processor. Then again, that may be one of those things that was true in my day but not as applicable now.
    The new Igpu series is really strong. As long as you don't want to play new games in medium++ graphics, i'd also advice to go for the integrated one. Although as an example Dirt3 runs on high graphics(dx11) with 30 fps already with the new HD4000 ^_-.
    Anyway, it's got every codec you may need and saves a lot of battery power. However it uses a part from your RAM as VRAM, so you may need at least 8gb.

  7. #7

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    Why from Amazon? Newegg is an amazing place to purchase refurbished and powerful laptops for cheap. My current laptop can max out a lot of modern games, and only cost about $600.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by KuroCat View Post
    Why from Amazon? Newegg is an amazing place to purchase refurbished and powerful laptops for cheap. My current laptop can max out a lot of modern games, and only cost about $600.
    Financing options. This is being purchased with help from my father, he can get long-term financing by purchasing from Amazon. I'm not biting the hand that's feeding me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daLira View Post
    The new Igpu series is really strong. As long as you don't want to play new games in medium++ graphics, i'd also advice to go for the integrated one. Although as an example Dirt3 runs on high graphics(dx11) with 30 fps already with the new HD4000 ^_-.
    Anyway, it's got every codec you may need and saves a lot of battery power. However it uses a part from your RAM as VRAM, so you may need at least 8gb.
    I understood some of those words!

  9. #9

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    Goodwill sells refurbished stuff for a decent price, last month I got a charger/ power supply for my Dell for $10 whereas Target/Best Buy/Walmart all wanted $70 for a universal supply that may not even have had the stupid 3-pin connector. I got that and a 160gb hard drive for my eMachines 1090 that I use for recording; that cost $15 and partitioned XP nicely on bootup. While I was browsing I saw they had a Lenovo laptop and another one I don't recall, both decently set up. Neither one was over $150

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by AEsahaettr View Post
    I understood some of those words!
    Grrrr.
    If you're not using your notebook for games, or only pre 2008 one's, go for the integrated GPU, i.e. HD3000 or HD4000. Saves power, weight and got everything you may wish for (and saves your budget of course too, since every new i3/i5/i7 got one).

    However, if you want to play new games or are using programs like CAD or Maya. No chance, you'll need a powerful geForce or Radeon.

    click, the only one i could find on amazon
    You could also write your request to tomshardware.com or similar sites. The guys in the forum are always willing to help.

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