So I'm in need of a replacement laptop within the $700~$750 price range.
So to make this all more expedient I'll list some of the problems of my current laptop.
- effectively unable to run games (by the Gods, it has problems running games more than ten years old)
- generally just slow (it takes a while to close tabs, and open folders, and open the browser, etc.)
- my battery is effectively a corpse after not even two years (I'm aware this isn't something I'll be happy with regardless of the model, but I mentioned it anyway)
Any suggestions? It's not like I'm looking to play Skyrim or Crysis, just enough to run DotA/Dragon Nest/Cosmic Break/etc. perhaps.
Oh and man that lag time after closing a tab gets to me more than anything else.
well that kinda vague, basically you saying. "my laptop is outdated, i need a upgrade". ok fine, but what laptop you want?
priority (good screen or good keyboard)?
primary function (photoshop, video)?
Ah yes, ofcourse.
The size is negligible, though I'm not entirely sure if bigger laptop necessarily means bigger pricetag but for now I'll just say the size alone doesn't matter.
I need something I can actually play on, I'm sure we have members here who play MMOs, yeah those I can't play those so I need something that can.
In other words, let's just say a gaming laptop of any size with a pricetag ranging from $700~$750.
actually this day, the bigger the size, the cheaper it get :heh:
anyway quick selection
bear in mind, gaming laptop have bad battery life
We bought my daughter a Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 which she likes quite a lot. It's no longer available, but its successor is. It's selling for $800 today after an alleged $500 discount.
She plays the same games you're interested in -- Skyrim and Dragon Age in particular -- and says they work well on this machine when the NVIDIA adapter is activated.
After some bad experience with an HP laptop, I would never buy one of them again.
I've had pretty good experiences with Dells over the years as well. Dell only ships ATI graphics these days; I prefer NVIDIA which gave the Lenovo an edge in my book.
Wait, what's this about gaming laptops having bad battery life?
Anyway, I'll take these suggestions over to my brother and see what he thinks. He told me to look into something with an...i7 was it?
Err...whatever that's supposed to mean. :heh:
At least I know some things to avoid now...
...and, bigger is cheaper!? Man, time flies. :heh:
Another thing to look for is RAM- the more you have, the more stuff you can run at once. The most important thing is the video card of course, which should be considered if you want to play something that's not grainy as all hell.
Here are some recommendations that PCMag gives, but they're quite pricey. Quite frankly, if portability isn't an issue then I'd recommend just building a full gaming PC, but y'know.
^ I could totally do that, except I'm not sure how much that'd cost me around here.
Because you know, this place is pretty shady. :uhoh::heh:
When you say "shady", do you mean PCMag? Used their site numerous types and never had a problem, really. It's just a list of products and their innards, really.
^ No I mean literally 'here' where I'm sitting. :heh:
I'll ask about it, there must be some way to fit another desktop in this house. :heh:
Here's another good thing about building- you can organize. Most times you can put everything you need into a mid-tower case, which won't really take up that much space. Since you'd end up picking a case you can opt for size as well as efficiency.
Seijisensei's suggestion of the Ideapad is really great. You won't get much better at the price, hardware-wise. It's just going to run everything you throw at it pretty well, and, seeing a youtube video of it at work, the screen is gorgeous with great viewing angles for what I think is a TN panel screen (no idea, really, Lenovo doesn't say so, but an IPS should have added a considerable price tag to it).
The tradeoff is that, going by the stats and online reviews, it's big, it's a bit heavy, it's unsexy, and its battery isn't going to last a whole day especially if you're gaming. It's a computer machine first, fashion statement or portable workstation second. But I get the feeling you don't care about any of that.
It's also got your brother's suggestion for the "i7," i.e. Intel's higher end processors. More importantly, it has a useful discrete graphics card, absolutely necessary for games.
Do-it-yourself laptops are a pain in the butt. I wouldn't suggest it unless you really know what you're doing.
Or you can get a more powerful DYI desktop if you can, as papermario suggests.
I'm still more comfortable with a Mid though.
>walking around with a heavy laptop
>having to stick near wall plugs constantly because of low battery life
>i7's are good but most games don't use over an i5
More cores might sound good but always take a look at the speeds such cores work. There are processors with more cores that are still slower than those with less cores. Laptops are always fun because they always advertise it as "omg look at those cores" but eventually it isn't needed or nothing special. Many times you don't even need to go higher than an i5.
I always cringe if someone comes along and says; guys suggest me a laptop for gaming.
As i expected, you only able to buy from you country :heh:
anyway go to the local shop. this is you first priority
Lot of RAM (>4)
14 -15 inch screen
Preferably Nvidia Graphic since AMD is...Kinda hard to use
you probably get many choice if you follow this rule. after that you can chose other stuff (HDD size, color, etc) based on availability there .
unleash if you want a travelling laptop which need a long battery life. thought most of those dont have dedicated GPU which maybe a issue to some of the game
If you need it, here's a simple overview of the parts needed to build, please refer to it if you wish:
CPU: Central Processing Unit. A small squarish part that performs that mathematical/logical calculations of the computer and sends instructions to the other parts. Intel and AMD are the two big competitors at the moment, but Intel seems to be more widely loved. i5 and i7 are two versions, and from there i7 is more powerful.
CPU Cooler: This is a large fan unit that sits over your CPU and keeps it from overheating. There are many types of coolers, like "sleeve", "ball" and "fluid dynamic". Depending on the type, some require thermal paste and others are pre-applied. This part is oftentimes very cheap, even with good quality products. Cooler Master is a widely approved brand here.
Motherboard: This is the board where all of your parts fit into. Anything and everything like the speakers, memory, video card and USB all eventually fit into this. You can choose a motherboard depending on how much memory you want, as well as what other parts you buy, as those factor into compatibility. Gigabyte and ASUS are good brands.
Memory: This is your computer's RAM (Random Access Memory), which accesses saved information of your programs so they run more efficiently. If you are running your PC harder (like video editing programs or heavy gaming), it's a good idea to have more RAM. Anything from >1GB-<32GB is available, but around 4 is for the average user who just browses the web, and you'll really never go over 32GB unless you're powering the universe or something. They are in the shape of thin sticks that clip into the motherboard, and are usually packed into 2 or more sticks to share the size, unless you are using a small amount (example, 2x8 is two sticks of 8GB RAM totalling 16GB overall). Corsair is a highly regarded brand here.
Storage: Two types here, SSD (solid state drive) and internal hard drive. Basically, this is where your files go, and you've probably even heard of an external hard drive that you can buy in stores to store more...anime, for instance. SSD runs faster than internal hard drives, but generally come in much smaller capacities and are more expensive. My recommendation is to buy a good sized internal hard drive along with a smaller SSD that stores your program data so they open quicker. SeaGate's well known for internal hard drives, and it's wider for SSDs, in which I'd probably go for something OCZ or Samsung.
Video Card: Here's what powers your display, like for your games and HD videos! This will most likely be the most expensive part of your build, aside from a high-end processor. As forementioned in this thread, NVIDIA and AMD are the two chipsets to go for, and within those for gaming, NVIDIA's best is the GeForce GTX series (newest atm 690), whilst AMD has its Radeon HD line (newest atm 7970 GhZ). From there, it's important to read over a product's details and find out if it's reliable (read user reviews!), and maybe line it up with some games you want to play and look at the frame rates it can pick up.
Sound Card: Entirely optional, but it's a chip that processes sound and outputs it to your outlets. Most motherboards have this built in, so only go for this if you're a true audiophile with some high-end stereo headphones. ASUS Xonar is the brand to go with, should you choose to do so.
Case: This is that big box you get at the store when you buy a premade computer. Thing is, you end up never thinking about what crap parts could be inside it, but here you'll pick an awesome looking case and put good parts into it. Aside from picking a case that radiates awesome lights and has a sexy shape, you'll want to consider size and circulation. Most times a full tower will be too large and a mini will be pushing it a bit, so a mid tower is a good medium. Check how many fans it has and if it can house all of your parts and wires well. Seriously though, get one that glows- it looks awesome. I personally like the NZXT Phantom series myself.
Power Supply: When you look behind your computer, the big outlet that leads to the wall socket is your power supply. It's a moderately sized box inside your case that distributes power from the outlet to the different parts that need it. Depending on how much your parts need, it's important to buy a power supply that supplies enough and some extra. If you cut it too close, it will strain, and it's not very safe. This is measured in wattage, so it's not too hard to consider if you've used lightbulbs before. SeaSonic is a good brand here.
Optical Drive: Blu-Rays, DVDs and CDs, right? This is the tray you load discs into for viewing as well as burning. Naturally, the more features you want it to have, the more expensive it'll be. A better write speed copies to disc quicker, and a better read speed will interpret them quicker in playback. Only buy the features you need (example, opt out of Blu-Ray if you don't use it) and it'll be much cheaper for you.
Monitor: You know what this is, it's the screen where your content is displayed. Important things to consider are size, response times and brightness. Buy a huge screen with long response times and low brightness, and your HD games will be dark and laggy. Make sure you create a good balance between these and buy what you need. ASUS, Samsung and LG generally make good products here.
Operating System: Windows, Mac or Linux, right? For gaming definitely go with Windows- heck, I'd recommend Windows every time for a custom build. From there, you can pick a version. Windows 7 or 8? 32-bit or 64-bit? Home, Professional or Ultimate? From personal experience, I'd recommend Windows 7 (8 is pretty bad). 64-bit is good since it can emulate 32-bit and access more of your memory that you're paying for. Go for Professional if you're pumping lots of RAM into it, and if it's just casual usage go with Home. However, buying Professional now would be a nice investment for the future, when you want to upgrade.
Keyboard/Mouse/Speakers: These are your usage peripherals, of course. These are all personal preference, but make sure you read user reviews as some products are faulty by nature and break quickly. Many monitors have built-in speakers too, so don't buy any extra if you don't need to. Mice come in different varieties as well, like optical, laser, etc. Logitech is well known here, but they're a more gaming-focused group with better products in the more expensive ranges.
Wireless Network Card: If you use wireless internet, be sure to get one of these, or your computer will have no clue how to read the router's output. A good thing about the wireless network card is that you can choose what you want and potentially get better readings (better speeds) from your internet. This part is usually very cheap as well, and a good idea in general is to grab a well-known brand like D-Link with some interpreter antennae so it picks up info faster.
Don't be frightened by the amount of information here. With a very short amount of time, anyone can build a PC from scratch easily. The actual assembly consists mostly of standard screws and snap-on parts.
PCPartPicker is a great site to select parts from. The interface lays out your options, their specifications, and as you go along picking parts, it will filter out anything incompatible, so you don't make any mistakes. It'll even point you to the best prices and estimate costs and wattage for you.
Finally, have a watch of this video from Newegg that lays out the building process nicely. If you have a look, it's quite elementary overall and just requires a bit of caution so you don't accidentally damage anything. One watch of this video should definitely put you at ease of how simple it can actually be to make your own PC and come out better and cheaper than store-bought products.
I agree, a gaming laptop just sounds silly to me. They're for work not gaming by their very nature.
In any case, if you want just a generally fast and responsive laptop the basic principles of a good gaming desktop carries over minus the battery and portability issues. The details papermario13689 listed above you have a good look at.
Just a little more info to go along with the rest.
- A generally fast computer leans towards more heavily on speed than multiple processing cores so look for a CPU brand that has the highest speed per CPU and the newest chip architecture.
- Memory also greatly affects the responsiveness of your computer. The more memory you have the less lag time you will experience with opening and closing programs plus you can run more programs at once and it won't affect your overall speed.
- The graphic card is essential for gaming most hardcore gamers will burn a hole in their wallet on this specific computer part. But for you, I think a mid-range $100 graphic card will do just make sure it is a discreet graphic card.
- Hard Drives. I recommend getting a SSD (Solid State Drive) they make such a big difference on boot up both a desktop and laptop.
Thanks for all the info, sorry I haven't been around for the past...two days I think?
Anyway, I think I have enough data...really I should've done this years ago.
I'm waiting on my last parts from Black Friday/Cyber Monday, so I'll snap a few shots of the build when I'm done with it as an example.
Good luck with everything, feel free to ask whatever if you require help. :3
Don't buy a laptop if you want to game and don't have more than two grand to spend. Cheap "gaming" laptops are utter trash.
Build a micro-ATX system in a small case if you don't have much room. Your budget's a bit small, but it shouldn't be hard to build a really strong, if last-generation, system under $1k, especially since your needs don't seem to be too taxing.
Core i3 CPU, $100
nvidia GTX 650, $105
HDD 1 terabyte 7200RPM, $100
Keyboard, Cherry MX brown switches, $79
Total: $740 (before shipping). You cannot find a laptop this powerful for anywhere under $2000, and no laptop keyboards (not even the legendary ThinkPad keyboards) can hold a candle to a mechanical switch keyboard with Cherry MX tact switches. The monitor is full HD, the video card will more than play the games you want to play, plus you've got 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage space to fill up with fansubs and game installs.
It doesn't include an OS, of course, so you'd have to furnish Windows or use some variation of Linux. OEM copies of Windows 7 are disappearing as Microsoft is leaning on retailers to clear their stock and sell only Windows 8. If W8 doesn't bother you, the OEM copy is usually $100, which is a pretty steep discount off the normal price.
If I were you, though, especially since you want to game, I'd check Craigslist and eBay for Windows 7 64-bit for System Builders (also known as an "OEM copy"). A lot of the retailers that Microsoft forced to ditch their W7 inventory will need a place to dump them--they tend to turn up on CL and eBay.
Linux is a great free alternative if you don't need Windows. My personal favorite distro of Linux is Linux Mint. Totally recommend it.
The newest iteration, Linux Mint 14 "Nadia" (especially with the Cinnamon window manager) is very easy to use and very nice to look at, not to mention has snappy performance and I really prefer it overall to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Sadly my large investment in Steam games leave me stuck with Winblows, at least until Valve can convince more devs to port their games to Linux.
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