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Laptop shopping time!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
What is your maximum budget? 1500, closer to 1000 better

What country are you in? USA

What will be the uses of this laptop?
Lots of traveling. Word processing, extensive web surfing, games, light photo editing, If it's under 1500 i'll probably add a blu-ray player, unless it's easy to swap out.

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you?
No. But want something quality/durable. MSI laptop I had hinges broke after 5-6 months of regular use. From what I hear Asus/Sager are the way to go? If HP/Dell laptops fit into this description i don't mind those, though I've had bad experience with Dell/HP laptops but I trust you guys...also...how are ibuypower laptops? customizability/price seem really great but don't know about quality..been a while since i've had either dell/hp. will give new msi models a chance if enough ppl can vouch for them

What screen size do you require? 15.6 matte No more, no less.

What screen resolution do you require?
1600-900 is fine. 1920x1080 fine too but would not mind lower resolution for better fps

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?
If it matches EXACTLY what I need

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
IDEALLY 4-6 hours without any games/movies since I travel a lot/can last for most of oneway trip from one side of country to other. With games not as important since I will only play w/ internet source/plugged in. Sounds like I need something with Optimus. Ideally 560M or 570M with optimus, but I understand that that would push budget to around 1500...If 555M is not that much weaker than 560M/570M in terms of performance, that is fine too (A GPU Hierarchy chart for mobile gpu's would be great, or to give me an idea of their desktop counterparts)

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings?

SC2, CS Source, L4D2, CS GO when released, maybe Diablo 3 and BF3. Medium-high settings. reason why I want a higher end GPU is if i want to install BF3 in future and to keep from taxing GPU too much so that it doesn't heat too much. Also don't know if GPU is easily upgradable? If so willing to settle on GT555m

What operating system do you need? (if any)
Windows. Barebone is better. No bloatware!!!

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)

As long as it can perform without heating/overheating/frying

How much hard drive space do you need?

One SSD boot drive and one 500-750 gb 7200 RPM. If it only comes with one HD and I can install one myself easily in the future that would be even better, then I can just save money and buy the SSD myself (m4!).

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)
Blu ray, usb 3.0, intel 6230 or 6300 would be great. webcam would be nice but not dealbreaker.

Is there anything else we need to know?

I can sacrifice RAM, CPU, GPU, HDD/SDD, Blu Ray drive in this build if there is an option to upgrade those components in the future (when i have the money). Ideally I would keep CPU/GPU as high as possible (26xx, or 27xx series for CPU) and 560/570M for GPU) because I feel those upgrades might drastically overwork the laptop if it isn't built to handle the equipment. If I can add RAM and SSD and BluRay cheaper/separately that would be very very good. Upgrading the thermal compound is nice too, if that option is available. Must have optimus or long battery life + easy access to additional batteries for purchase from 3rd party. Decent sound is a bonus.
Edited by mylilpony - 10/22/11 at 1:38am
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First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
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post #2 of 7
My bud just bought a hp laptop.I got to use it for a few hours


http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh.../dv6tse_series
Thunderstruck!
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Samsung 840 evo 250 gb [ steam/origin] Crucial M4 64gb [apps] Lg Cooler Master 212 Evo 
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Thunderstruck!
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G. Skill Trident series DD4 3200 8gb Samsung 840 pro 128gb[boot] Seagate 250 gb [games] Hitachi 500 gb [media] 
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Samsung 840 evo 250 gb [ steam/origin] Crucial M4 64gb [apps] Lg Cooler Master 212 Evo 
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post #3 of 7
I'm in the same boat as you except for the blu ray player and battery life. I've been keeping an eye on the market for a few weeks, pricing things every few days and I'm fairly convinced by the Sager np8130 (Malibal version) which meets all except your 4-6hr battery life. If battery life is a priority, then maybe the np5165 is for you? The np8130 has a gtx560m and the np5165 has a gt555m. configuring them to similar specs other than the gpu makes the np8130 with the gtx560m a little cheaper.

Another option is ebay. I've been hawk eyeing this one seller who sells 1 Asus G74SX-XA1 per week at prices ranging from 1000 to 1150 before tax and shipping. If you can find something that fits your needs like that then you're set!
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I started looking at prostar, ibuypower,xotic, pctorque, malibal, mythological, eurocom, lpcdigital, avadirect,powernotebooks

From what i've read online gt570m and 580m are optimus compatible but most laptops don't put them in for some reason...which is disappointing to here. i really need a laptop soon but im contemplating if waiting for black friday/optimus is worthwhile as i'd like to keep the same laptop for the next two-three yrs without too much degradation in quality

also it seems like i'd have to get a 17.3 screen? MSI offers secondary hard drives + optical and sager/asus do not unless i pick a 17.3 model...that is unfortunate
First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
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First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
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post #5 of 7
First, the only way I can see you pulling off battery life without Optimus is by getting a second battery. It'll still be in your budget, so you may as well. And then you could also consider laptops with a 6970M, if any seem like a better value.

Also, you probably won't find an xoticpc or malibal etc., with Optimus on a 560M. Asus and Sager are definite no's, Toshiba and Alienware only have 560M optimus on 17" laptops.

If you don't want a 2nd battery, then your wants are a bit too unrealistic IMO. But if you could wait for AMD 7000 series or Nvidia 600 series, you'll get 560M performance in whatever GPU replaces the 555M.
 
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1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 250 GB WD Caviar Black Samsung 20X DVD-R/RW Thermaltake MaxOrb 
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Lanbox Lite
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Phenom II X4 955 BE Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H MSI Hawk R5770 3x2GB G.Skill DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 250 GB WD Caviar Black Samsung 20X DVD-R/RW Thermaltake MaxOrb 
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrbroad77 View Post
First, the only way I can see you pulling off battery life without Optimus is by getting a second battery. It'll still be in your budget, so you may as well. And then you could also consider laptops with a 6970M, if any seem like a better value.

Also, you probably won't find an xoticpc or malibal etc., with Optimus on a 560M. Asus and Sager are definite no's, Toshiba and Alienware only have 560M optimus on 17" laptops.

If you don't want a 2nd battery, then your wants are a bit too unrealistic IMO. But if you could wait for AMD 7000 series or Nvidia 600 series, you'll get 560M performance in whatever GPU replaces the 555M.
any idea when those are going to come out? i'm considering getting 17.3 since it's hard to find 15.6 with space for 2 hd's and odd
First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
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First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mylilpony View Post
any idea when those are going to come out? i'm considering getting 17.3 since it's hard to find 15.6 with space for 2 hd's and odd
January for AMD 7000 series, probably mid Q1 for 600 series although I'm a bit clueless on Nvidia's release schedule. Also there will be Ivy Bridge laptops probably January or February-ish. So I suppose its a few months down the line, if you need it *now* then you may as well get one now. Other option, get something a bit cheaper(with a 555M), probably lose $1-200 selling it, and upgrade to next-gen stuff when it comes out.

Anyway you're right, 17.3" would be a better option if you want all of that in one package.
 
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Phenom II X4 955 BE Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H MSI Hawk R5770 3x2GB G.Skill DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 250 GB WD Caviar Black Samsung 20X DVD-R/RW Thermaltake MaxOrb 
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Lanbox Lite
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640GB Hitachi HDD Windows 7 13.3" LCD Magnesium Alloy, 3.2lbs 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 955 BE Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H MSI Hawk R5770 3x2GB G.Skill DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 250 GB WD Caviar Black Samsung 20X DVD-R/RW Thermaltake MaxOrb 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Noctua NF-B9-1600 Windows 7 Pro 64-bit BenQ E2420HD, 24" 1920x1080 TT Purepower 500W 
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