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Looking to buy a laptop, what should I get?

Discussion in 'UO Siege Perilous' started by Freelsy, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Freelsy

    Freelsy Babbling Loonie
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    My time has come. I'm leaving Alaska here in three weeks and heading to D.C. I'll be traveling between Ohio, and Maryland alot. Looking for a decent laptop that can handle gaming and multi tasking.


    What do you all recommend?
     
  2. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    If you play classic, a netbook will do.
     
  3. N49ATV

    N49ATV Slightly Crazed
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    I have the HP HDX18, its super nice, but I wouldnt recommend it. It overheats very quickly, and goes into sleep mode. Even when I have it sitting on a solid surface. Im not overly happy.

    Depending on what you wanna spend, id look at a Gateway P Series. They will game well.

    Also Compaq (same as HP), has a gaming notebook, but its pretty ugly IMO, clear orange on it etc. But can look into that.

    Id stay away from an alienware, sager, etc as they are just too expensive.
     
  4. What's your budget?
     
  5. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Just recently got myself a Sony Vaio FW, ran me about a grand, and It's probably one of the best purchases I've ever made. Runs great, lots of power, can run oblivion fully modded up with barely a hitch. And its not that heavy, hot or huge.

    For the money, you cant beat it from what I've seen.
     
  6. N49ATV

    N49ATV Slightly Crazed
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    Yeah, this HDX18 is far from protable. But the screen and Bluray player built in is what made me buy this one.
     
  7. T'Challa

    T'Challa Certifiable
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    I have an older Vaio (2 years) and I've been quite happy with it.
     
  8. N49ATV

    N49ATV Slightly Crazed
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    Only reason I went with this laptop was the bluray player. I have a lot of blurays, and this is one of the only ones with a BR player you can get off the shelf.
     
  9. Lorddog

    Lorddog Crazed Zealot
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    i built out a dell inspiron 3-4 years ago and have been totally happy with it.

    Lorddog
     
  10. Skylark SP

    Skylark SP Available Storage: 0
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    Whatever you select, make sure you pick a model with a video card that does everything you want or as close to it as possible from the get-go, for your budget. Unlike desktops, with few exceptions the video card you buy a laptop with will be the one it still has when it ends its life. With laptops, increasing performance typically comes at cost of greater power consumption/thermal output, and increasing size/weight, and reduced battery life...and of course price. You will need to decide which features are most important to you: you can sacrifice some portability to get a bigger screen for example, and more robust video options. The newer low voltage components that do not sacrifice performance are typically very expensive.

    If you look at Dell, don't be afraid to browse the outlet (excluding off-lease systems from your search) as those units carry the same warranty as new. Particularly look at the scratch & dent and custom orders canceled by customers after they were built. Dell separates its Outlet inventory by categories, but labels it all "refurbished". Don't be scared by the term scratch and dent either: they do not sell systems with any cosmetic defects that could compromise the operation of the unit. I have purchased almost exclusively refurb desktop systems for my home, as well as the business networks I maintain, and in some cases I never could even find the "cosmetic defect" they claimed existed, and if I did, it was usually a small inconspicuous rub mark or ding on the edge of the case that wasn't obvious. You can sometimes get real savings via the Outlet, but not always if there are good promotions and incentives on new builds or package deals being offered. I've had a refurb Dell Inspiron E1505 for a few years now, with a 256MB ATI X1400 video card which is adequate to play WoW at low to medium detail settings, and always did fine with UO, although I stopped playing before the enhanced client. More importantly, it was budget friendly (under $800 when average laptop prices for similar hardware at the time were $1,000 and up), and has a large, high quality screen so I can watch movies comfortably. The drawback is limited battery life and hefty weight for a laptop (8 lb.) but I bought it as a desktop replacement, so those factors were not very important to me. I have been very happy with it, although in general, I must say Dell's customer service for the regular consumer, has continued to spiral downward, with no bottom in site. Fortunately, in the 3 years I've had it, the unit has not had any issues.

    Pay attention to your laptop's warranty details before you buy, and make sure the repair options you are getting fit your expectations, and upgrade the options if necessary, if you can afford it. Software support for a laptop can be worth its weight in gold sometimes for a non-techie person as well due to the maddening array of driver issues and setting tweaks that can be needed, particularly if you ever need to reinstall something. Manufacturers are fond of tossing in really attractive priced base warranty with no software support, so they can advertise a low overall system price, but if anything actually happens to the system, the user can be without it for weeks due to the mail-in/return policies or end up paying steep per incident support costs when something goes bonkers software wise.

    PC Magazine has some really helpful reviews on laptops, looking at overall features (check the dates, you want to make sure more recent models are covered), and I often go to Tom's Hardware and X-bit Labs for specific performance tests and reviews of components.

    If you go the Mac route, make sure you research installation options for your favorite Windows applications in advance.

    So...basically look at these overall considerations and start looking for something that is a good fit for your price range:

    • What overall video performance do you require to satisfy the applications you plan to run on the laptop?
    • How much processing power do your apps need?
    • Multi-media: how big a screen do you want, and what quality?
    • Portability - how low a weight and how long a battery life do you absolutely need?
    • Warranty/support options
    -Skylark
     
  11. Amanda Shade

    Amanda Shade Journeyman
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    Ya, what Skylark said...


    Oh, and I play on an Inspiron 1720 from a few years back and it runs 2D just fine.
     
  12. Freelsy

    Freelsy Babbling Loonie
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    Thanks for the input guys. My budget is between 1,000-2,000. Was looking at an HP model. They seemed pretty decent. I'm not to hip on comuter specs, I usually just buy expensive stuff and it works well :D

    This laptop is basically just so I can play uo when I'm away from home. What level of graphics card, processor speed and ram should I be looking at??
     
  13. Fanta(Siege)

    Fanta(Siege) Guest

    Get an Asus
     
  14. N49ATV

    N49ATV Slightly Crazed
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    Yeah forgot about those. A little harder to comeby, wont get it off a store shelf (maybe a small comp shop), but they are nice.
     
  15. triffid98

    triffid98 Guest

    I think the MSI GT627 is the one to get if you can still find it. That thing is dirt cheap for a 9800M equipped laptop. The ASUS G50Vt-X1 is also a great choice.

    Both have the same awful keyboard (I declare a 500,000g bounty on whatever marketing droid decided that was a good idea) and similarly laughable battery life, but they'll run whatever games you want for < $1000
     
  16. Skylark SP

    Skylark SP Available Storage: 0
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    Look for at least 256MB dedicated video RAM (this means an actual video card such as Nvidia GeForce Go or ATI Mobility, NOT onboard video!)

    I'd look for a system with 2GB RAM, with a motherboard that supports at least 4GB.

    If you plan to do wireless networking, I'd look for Intel Centrino Core2 Duo 2.2GHz or better. The Centrino processor makes an observable difference for wireless networking performance.

    If you need max battery life, opt for a 9 cell lithium battery if available for your model.

    Some laptops now have solid state drives. I've heard pros and cons to these, and the jury is still out in terms of their reliability because they are a fairly new offering. For standard drives, if you can get a 7K RPM drive, rather than 5400 RPM most laptops have, go for it.

    -Skylark
     
  17. N49ATV

    N49ATV Slightly Crazed
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    Id say 2Gb isnt enough. Windows 7 is more friendly then vista, but go with 4GB of ram. A lot of laptops have 512MB or video DDR3.

    Thats the min I would shoot for. I run a quad core 2.0, it runs UO great.
     
  18. Lorddog

    Lorddog Crazed Zealot
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  19. Freelsy

    Freelsy Babbling Loonie
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    I ended up getting an HP Dv7-3079wm w/ 17" monitor

    It has an AMD Turion II Ultra Dual-Core processor M600 at 2.4GHz

    4MB DDR2 Ram (that DDR3 stuff was expensive!!)

    640GB (7200rpm) Hard drive

    ATI mobility Radeon HD 4650 with 1024MB dedicated graphics memory

    Among other things. It came with Window's 7 home premium. But I'll be upgrading that to 7 ultimate when I get back to Alaska. Has a blue ray/dvd player. Can burn dvd's and mp3s. Also came with alot of JUNK, spent like an hour deleting the crap lol.


    So far its great. It's not my primary gaming rig. Got a nice desktop for that. But this will be great for on the road ultima playing and just random craziness.
     
  20. N49ATV

    N49ATV Slightly Crazed
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    Hope its better then my HDX18 for overheating. My fan runs 24/7 its annoying
     
  21. Lorddog

    Lorddog Crazed Zealot
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