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Help me pick my first laptop pls! :)


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#1 mk4gti

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:25 PM

Hi guys! Yes, this is another thread regarding someone (me) thats in the market for a laptop. Yes ive read all the other ones that were made but since every one has differing needs none of the threads were too useful for me. Also, as time passes new laptops come out with new specs so im looking for current advice and not from 6 months ago.

Ok so to start off im not a hardcore computer wiz that knows everything there is to know (or else i wouldnt be posting on here lol) but i have done some research in the past two days on diff types of processors and whats better and so on, and have been able to narrow down my choices to about 4 laptops.
My budget is $650 to $800 if its REALLY worth it. Price is very important to me, my mom offered to buy me a laptop for my birthday but her budget was 400 and although there were some nice options for that price i couldnt really find anything that would be future proof since i will use it long term (im a broke student ). So i decided i just add some of my own money to what she's paying and get a decent laptop capable of everything I need.

1) What are the primary uses for this computer? What software do you intend on using on the computer? Im a Civil Engineering major and soon i'll have to use/install AutoCad on my computer so it definitely needs to run that as well as any other programs that i would have to use in any future engineering classes. Im sure it will have to render 3D objects well.
2) Do you play games? If so, what type of games? As for gaming, i usually dont. Probably will play Starcraft 2. However its not a big deal to have it run at the best and most amazing settings possible. But i WOULD like for it to run comfortably because i will most likely succumb and buy the game soon as my laptop gets in.
3) Im a bit confused in the graphics card department. I KNOW a discrete Graphics Card is better but can a good processor and a good amount of ram make up for an integrated one? You'll see what i mean when i post my options below.
4) Battery life is important to me, in most of my options the battery life time isnt posted, but im assuming i can set it to power saver and so on and maybe u guys can help me guess around how long they last?
5) The hard drive. I know 7200 is best, but is 5400 that bad? especially if the laptop has an i5 processor with 6gigs of ram? In other words, is it worth the extra dough?
6) Do you tend to have a lot of programs running at the same time? Yes, at times I do alot of multitasking.
7) Do you store a lot of pictures or music on the computer? yep, lots of music. Movies not so much i just stream them.

So here are the options ive pretty much come up with, and you'll notice that they are very similar but each seems to have something another lacks, and the prices vary from 50 to 150 bucks. I'll put the main specs for you with a link to the spec page if you wanna see all of them.

A) DELL Inspiron 15R (i15R-2646MRB) NoteBook

Specs:Intel Core i5 460M(2.53GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory DDR3 1333 640GB HDD 5400rpm DVD±R/RW ATI Mobility Radeon HD 550v
Price: $779.99 from Newegg.
Link with pictures and full specs: HERE
The notable points here are the 6gb of ram as well as the discrete graphics card and 640gb HD instead of 500


B ) HP Pavilion dm4-1160us NoteBook Intel Core i5

Specs:450M(2.40GHz) 14" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi Intel HD Graphics
Price: $749.99 from Newegg.
Link with pictures and full specs: HERE
The notable points here are the 7200 rpm HD as opposed to 5400, 4gb ram instead of 6, and it has an integrated intel hd graphics card.


C) MSI FX603-019US Notebook Intel Core i5

Specs:480M(2.66GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M
Price: $799.99 from Newegg.
Link with pictures and full specs HERE
The notable points here are first off the most notably NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M discrete graphics card, but only 4 gigs of ram and although it doesnt say, its HD is 500GB 5400 rpm. I worry about battery life on this one ;/


D) Lenovo Ideapad Y560 0646-52U (what i'm leaning toward)

Specs: Intel Core i5-460M 2.53 GHz, L2 cache 3 MB 1066 MHz, 6 GB DDR3 1066 MHz, 500 GB HD SATA 5400 RPM. 2 JBL stereo speakers (1.5 watts per channel)
Price: $649.00 from Microsoft.
Link with pictures and full specs HERE
The notable points here are obviously the price point...at 100$ less than the next cheapest one it sure is making its point. But also, the 6gb RAM , only a 5400 rpm HD, and Intel integrated graphics with shared graphics memory. It also has those two nice speakers ;p

So all in all, what do you guys think? I know this thread is all over the place and im making a big deal over small spec differences but this will be the first laptop i've ever owned and i want to make sure its perfect and lasts me a while. Also, if there's options that you guys know about that im not aware of, like other laptops or offers, let me know im all ears! Will those without discrete graphics cards run sc2? will the ram make up for it? are the 5400 rpm HD a big problem? I'm willing to spend the extra cash if its WORTH it and only then. Also most of these deals will end like on monday or tuesday so id appreciate ur comments as soon as possible! thx guys!

Edited by mk4gti, 05 February 2011 - 05:40 PM.


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#2 killerx525

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:36 PM

I believe you should get the MSI laptop because of the graphics card and the processor. The battery should be fine. 4GB of ram is plenty for gaming etc. A 5400rpm hard drive is fine. It also has a decent screen size.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#3 Blaze413

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:04 AM

whatever u do lol dont go lenovo!!! have had nothing but bad experience with them lol....i would go the msi route they r a great company and make solid products

#4 killerx525

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:52 AM

Lenovo isn't to bad with my experience.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#5 mk4gti

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:22 AM

Thx for the replies guys.
Killerx yeah the msi is nice but using your logic wouldn't the Dell be better? At 20 dollars less I think I think IRS a superior choice to the msi because it has similar processor yet 2 gigs more of ram and 140 gigs more memory. Blaze I've heard many good things about lenovo but never had personal experience with them :/
really I think ice narrowed it down to both the Dell or tge lenovo. I'm just looking or reasons as to why one would be worth the extra 120 bucks. Will the lenovo run sc2 alright? Does the ram and processor make up for the integrated graphics card?

#6 killerx525

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:07 AM

Dell has there ups and downs with some of there laptops they make. The MSI has a faster processor and the graphics card is better which is the main thing when your looking for a computer for gaming. The Lenovo should be able to run it but the MSI does a better job at it.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#7 mk4gti

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 01:34 PM

ive actually done quite a bit more research and have upped my budget a little (now 800-900), the ones i posted didnt seem like enough. ive come up with 3 new options:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=34-146-848

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00492C6T8?ie=UTF8&tag=logicbuy-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00492C6T8

http://www.abesofmaine.com/item.do?item=ASN82JQ-B1&l=AFFILIATE&kbid=dZCX6Je2w8Q-JsdMTE5Z43yVBpMA83vEmg

also, im wondering if i should just wait for the sandy bridge laptops to come out...how long will it take for them to be available? and if i do wait, will some with comparable/better specs be available in my price range? too much to think about ;/

#8 killerx525

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 04:45 PM

Most likely the price of the sandy bridge will be more then your budget. This model tops it all.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#9 mk4gti

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:45 PM

check this out
http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_browse&selected_cat=9

take a look at the np5160 ..... they're claiming to ship early april. the specs > the asus specs and im sure the battery life will be better with optimus. think i might wait after all lol...

#10 killerx525

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:53 PM

It has a really good graphics card! You might as well wait for it.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#11 mk4gti

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 12:20 AM

Yep! Thx killer or all ur help:D

#12 killerx525

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 02:43 AM

No problems, glad to help!

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#13 veehb

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 12:34 AM

Just spent 30 minutes with a reply and somehow lost it. OK try again.

I also am ready to buy a laptop and can't decide whether to buy something like the ASUS N53JQ-XV1 (as suggested in a recent post) or a similar one ASUS N53JQ-XC1. Basically the same computer, but the XC1 has 6 GBytes of RAM instead of 4 GBYtes and a 640 GByte 7200 RPM disk drive instead of the 500 GByte 7200 drive. It also has a two year warranty instead of a one year warranty. Probably worth the extra $118 at Amazon right now. The reviews on Amazon for these computers are very good. Most five star ratings. Only one really negative one and I questions his expertise.

Both of these computers have 4 sockets for the DDR3 SDRAM. Does anyone know if all four sockets are used? Or, hopefully there are a couple of empty sockets making upgrading memory more cost effective.

Someone suggested the SAGER laptops. They are taking orders for Sandy Bridge (Intel 2nd Generation Core i7) processors. You can get one configured about the same as the ASUS above, at about the same price, but using the new Intel Core i7 2630QM 2nd generation chip. You can beef it up be adding blu-ray DVD, better disk drive (hybrid drive with some SSD memory on the drive), higher resolution screen (1920x1080) with back-lit keyboard for about $1119. More upgrades are available for more money. Only problem is it won't ship until April because of the problems with the Intel P67 and H67 Motherboard control chips. This is a pretty nice computer for about the same money. I'm not familiar with SAGER. Anyone here have experience with them??

So, my dilemma is: Buy something now and accept yesterday's technology. or Wait a couple of months and get state of the art technology. By then most of the other laptop manufacturers should have their newly updated computers available and there will be more selection and probably more price competition. Most of the manufacturers are not talking about delivery or configuration of their Sandy Bridge computers.

The new Sandy Bridge processors are really much improved over last years Intel Corei7 processors. On-board graphics are supposed to be pretty good also. May not need the external graphics card (unless you are a serious gamer). Probably worth the wait. I'm sure many of you are facing the same dilemma.

#14 killerx525

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 12:37 AM

Not all the sockets are used usually.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#15 Tesar

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:54 AM

I had a such good experience with Toshiba Laptops. All depends whats inside the box.




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