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Hardware  » Don't charge me!

10 posts found
  SkullyWoods

Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/12
Posts: 184

If victory is sweet, virtual victory is not Sweet'n Low

 
OP  8/23/12 1:21:45 PM#1

I need a quick consultation for my friend. He's looking to buy a gaming laptop. He won't go any higher than $1500 and he'd prefer to get something for around $1200. This is the machine he's currently checking out. His litmus question is of course "Can it run Skyrim?" 

I know he'll have this laptop for a while and I'd like to suggest he get something that will take him a little further into the gaming future than Skyrim, so I'd like to know what his longevity will be with this machine. Thanks in advance.

Here's the model and specs.

 

ASUS G53SX-NH71 Notebook 

  • Intel Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz
  • 8GB Memory 500GB HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M
  • DL DVD±RW/CD-RW

 

#TeamVainlash
Why did Marceline's dad eat her fries? I mean...cause she bought them and they were hers...

  Ackbar

Novice Member

Joined: 6/22/04
Posts: 918

its a tarp!

8/23/12 2:40:27 PM#2

For 1500 your friend should buy this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152337

 

MSI GT Series GT600NC-004US Notebook Intel Core i7 3610QM(2.30GHz) 15.6" 12GB Memory 1TB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M

----ITS A TRAP!!!----

  SkullyWoods

Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/12
Posts: 184

If victory is sweet, virtual victory is not Sweet'n Low

 
OP  8/23/12 3:09:28 PM#3
I recommended the MSI GT series as well but I think he's trying to save as much money as possible. What would you have to say about the laptop he is looking at now?  (Posted above)

#TeamVainlash
Why did Marceline's dad eat her fries? I mean...cause she bought them and they were hers...

  Caffynated

Novice Member

Joined: 8/11/12
Posts: 9

8/23/12 3:32:59 PM#4

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230408

$1,400

Swap out the HDD for a SSD and you're golden.

  • Intel Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz
  • 12GB 1600 mhz Memory
  • 500GB 7200 RPM HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
  • DL DVD+/-RW/CD-RW
  • 17.3" 1080 resolution
I bought one for a friend and she loves it (mostly plays WAR, Skyrim and TF2).
  ajayazir

Novice Member

Joined: 7/21/06
Posts: 108

8/23/12 3:40:10 PM#5
Originally posted by Caffynated

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230408

$1,400

Swap out the HDD for a SSD and you're golden.

  • Intel Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz
  • 12GB 1600 mhz Memory
  • 500GB 7200 RPM HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
  • DL DVD+/-RW/CD-RW
  • 17.3" 1080 resolution
I bought one for a friend and she loves it (mostly plays WAR, Skyrim and TF2).

Find variations of this spec and you'll probably find ones with a 64gb ssd on it. 

And if you're paying above $1000 should atleast have an ivy bridge and the 670m

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13273

8/23/12 3:48:09 PM#6

What he should get depends very strongly on what he's going to do with it.  For starters, why does it need to be a laptop instead of a desktop?  Gaming laptops only make sense for people who want to take it somewhere and play games away from home.  If you need a laptop and also need a gaming machine, but aren't going to often play demanding games away from home, then on a $1500 budget, you're far better off getting both a cheap laptop and a gaming desktop.

Is it only for gaming, or will it mostly be used for other stuff and only occasionally gaming?  Does the battery life matter?  Is he going to carry it around a lot, or mostly just stash it in luggage and pull it out in a hotel room?

  SkullyWoods

Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/12
Posts: 184

If victory is sweet, virtual victory is not Sweet'n Low

 
OP  8/23/12 3:54:39 PM#7
Originally posted by Quizzical

What he should get depends very strongly on what he's going to do with it.  For starters, why does it need to be a laptop instead of a desktop?  Gaming laptops only make sense for people who want to take it somewhere and play games away from home.  If you need a laptop and also need a gaming machine, but aren't going to often play demanding games away from home, then on a $1500 budget, you're far better off getting both a cheap laptop and a gaming desktop.

Is it only for gaming, or will it mostly be used for other stuff and only occasionally gaming?  Does the battery life matter?  Is he going to carry it around a lot, or mostly just stash it in luggage and pull it out in a hotel room?

He lives in the Caribbean but goes to college abroad, and often travels inbetween so he needs it to be a laptop. It will be used mostly for gaming and schoolwork, but mainly gaming. He's doesn't know too much about hardware so he wants to make a simple purchase, preferrably without having to make any custom changes. 

 

#TeamVainlash
Why did Marceline's dad eat her fries? I mean...cause she bought them and they were hers...

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13273

8/23/12 4:46:24 PM#8

I didn't really get the information I was looking for, but you answered my questions pretty well, so that means I need to ask better questions.

How does your friend feel about graphics settings?  Does he want the highest graphics settings he can get on that budget?  Or does he not mind turning graphics settings down, so long as the game runs pretty well?  Would he prefer a laptop that can play Skyrim (and pretty much any future games) pretty well on moderate but not high settings, if it only costs him half of his budget?

Where is he going to buy the laptop?  Is he going to buy it in the US?  Does it need to be prebuilt, or could he get something built to order and shipped to him?

How does your friend feel about monitor size and resolution?  Does he want 1920x1080, or is he fine with 1366x768?  Is more inches better, since that's nicer for actual use?  Or is fewer inches better, since that's easier to carry around?  Or does he not care about size?

How much storage space does he need?  Is a ~120 GB SSD enough?  How about a ~240 GB SSD?  Or does he definitely need a hard drive?

A $1500 budget basically means that a genuinely high end gaming laptop is out of the question.  I see three basic possibilities:

1)  Get a Clevo P150EM/170EM with an Ivy Bridge quad core together with a GeForce GTX 670M or 675M.  This will be the best gaming performance you can get on his budget, but it will use pretty much the whole budget.  The video card will also use a ton of power, which is bad for actually typing on the laptop while it's in use.

2)  Get something a little thinner and lighter with an Ivy Bridge quad core and a GeForce GTX 660M.  This will free up budget space for an SSD, and the laptop will run a lot cooler.  He'll still need to plug the laptop in in order to play games, though.

3)  Save a lot of money and grab an AMD Trinity-based laptop.  HP offers a Trinity quad core together with a Radeon HD 7730 and a 7200 RPM hard drive for $675.  It will also make it possible to play games on the battery, rather than only when the laptop is plugged in.  For an extra $150, he can get a 1920x1080 matte monitor on it, too.  Other than the low power consumption, this won't be as nice of a laptop in any way as option #2, but it's also half the price and will run Skyrim well on moderate settings, so I figured I'd list it.

  SkullyWoods

Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/12
Posts: 184

If victory is sweet, virtual victory is not Sweet'n Low

 
OP  8/23/12 6:02:43 PM#9
Originally posted by Quizzical

I didn't really get the information I was looking for, but you answered my questions pretty well, so that means I need to ask better questions.

How does your friend feel about graphics settings?  Does he want the highest graphics settings he can get on that budget?  Or does he not mind turning graphics settings down, so long as the game runs pretty well?  Would he prefer a laptop that can play Skyrim (and pretty much any future games) pretty well on moderate but not high settings, if it only costs him half of his budget?

Where is he going to buy the laptop?  Is he going to buy it in the US?  Does it need to be prebuilt, or could he get something built to order and shipped to him?

How does your friend feel about monitor size and resolution?  Does he want 1920x1080, or is he fine with 1366x768?  Is more inches better, since that's nicer for actual use?  Or is fewer inches better, since that's easier to carry around?  Or does he not care about size?

How much storage space does he need?  Is a ~120 GB SSD enough?  How about a ~240 GB SSD?  Or does he definitely need a hard drive?

A $1500 budget basically means that a genuinely high end gaming laptop is out of the question.  I see three basic possibilities:

1)  Get a Clevo P150EM/170EM with an Ivy Bridge quad core together with a GeForce GTX 670M or 675M.  This will be the best gaming performance you can get on his budget, but it will use pretty much the whole budget.  The video card will also use a ton of power, which is bad for actually typing on the laptop while it's in use.

2)  Get something a little thinner and lighter with an Ivy Bridge quad core and a GeForce GTX 660M.  This will free up budget space for an SSD, and the laptop will run a lot cooler.  He'll still need to plug the laptop in in order to play games, though.

3)  Save a lot of money and grab an AMD Trinity-based laptop.  HP offers a Trinity quad core together with a Radeon HD 7730 and a 7200 RPM hard drive for $675.  It will also make it possible to play games on the battery, rather than only when the laptop is plugged in.  For an extra $150, he can get a 1920x1080 matte monitor on it, too.  Other than the low power consumption, this won't be as nice of a laptop in any way as option #2, but it's also half the price and will run Skyrim well on moderate settings, so I figured I'd list it.

If it isn't too much trouble could you track down a few models and link them to me. I'm going to simply refer my friend to this thread so he can make an informed decision.

#TeamVainlash
Why did Marceline's dad eat her fries? I mean...cause she bought them and they were hers...

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13273

8/23/12 8:40:41 PM#10

For the first option, this laptop is new, and cheaper than what I mentioned earlier:

http://www.xoticpc.com/forcemsi-16f3-36025-675m-preorder-p-4883.html?wconfigure=yes

It seems to exist primarily as a way to get rid of GeForce GTX 675M cards that Nvidia presumably produced way too many of.  Last generation, Nvidia was charging $300 more than AMD for their top of the line laptop GPU, in spite of having inferior hardware.  Now they seem to be giving away the cards cheaply now that they're obsolete.  An old, hot Fermi card isn't ideal, but if you're mainly into price and performance and willing to put up with some noise and heat, it could be a good deal.

For the configuration options, you want to make sure you get a Core i7-3610QM.  You could ask if the default memory is 1333 MHz; if it is, then there's no reason to upgrade.  You'll also need Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.  A 128 GB Crucial M4 barely fits in the $1500 budget as a secondary drive, but you'll want to make sure the install the OS on that rather than the hard drive.

-----

For the second option, try this:

http://www.xoticpc.com/force-16ga-msi-16ga-p-4707.html?wconfigure=yes

Again, you want the Core i7-3610QM processor.  You'll also want to upgrade to 8 GB of memory.  The CAS 11 is fine, as it's 1600 MHz.  I'd grab the 128 GB Crucial mSATA 3 SSD as an OS drive.  That's basically a Crucial M4 in an mSATA form factor, which means it fits in smaller laptops.  The default hard drive is slow, but that's okay if you get an SSD.  And then, of course, you need Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

They charge $90 to upgrade from a GeForce GT 650 to a GeForce GTX 660.  The GT 650 is a GDDR5 version, so it's a pretty small upgrade to get a GTX 660 instead, so I wouldn't bother.  A $90 gap seems to confirm that Nvidia is charging a fortune for a GeForce GTX 660M, even though it isn't a very fast card.  You can do that at the high end when the only option consumers have is to pay it or do without, but it's strange to do that at the low end.  I'd take this as confirmation that Nvidia's 28 nm yields are terrible, and probably only a small fraction of their GPU chips can meet GTX 660M specs.

As I price it out, it comes to $1202.

-----

The third option is here:

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-Pavilion/A3H21AV?HP-Pavilion-dv6z-7000-Entertainment-Notebook-PC

You'll probably want an A8-4500M processor and a Radeon HD 7730M video card.  It's only $20 to upgrade to a 7200 RPM hard drive, so you might as well grab that.  That brings the total to $675.  There's a $150 monitor upgrade option, and a $30 option for a larger battery, which your friend may or may not want.

I'd expect the third option to get you somewhere in the ballpark of 3/4 of the CPU and GPU performance of the second option.  I wouldn't expect the build quality from HP to be as good as from MSI.  And you don't get an SSD this way unless you pay $260 for the upgrade, which is crazy.  But it is a lot cheaper, and it will play Skyrim.