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Laptop for College Help

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
What is your maximum budget?
$550

What country are you in?
MD,USA

What will be the uses of this laptop?
College work and light gaming.

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you?
No

What screen size do you require?
15.6'

What screen resolution do you require?
720P

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?
New since it's first laptop I've ever gotten.

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
8hrs

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

What operating system do you need? (if any)
Windows 7

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)
Hopefully stylish, either black or silver

How much hard drive space do you need?
500gb

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)
Webcam and microphone

Is there anything else we need to know?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 720 BE ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO XFX Radeon HD 5770 (990/1400) G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (2X2GB) 7-7-7-24 1333 
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AMD Phenom II X4 720 BE ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO XFX Radeon HD 5770 (990/1400) G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (2X2GB) 7-7-7-24 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB Windows 7 64bit 2x Emachine 1920x1080 Kensington slim keyboard 
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post #2 of 8
$549 at Newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215258
Back in Black
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Back in Black
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post #3 of 8
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-V3-571G-6641-15-6-Inch-Midnight/dp/B0085H64E6/ref=sr_1_7?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1344123060&sr=1-7

+ 2nd gen cpu
+ nvidia gpu
- no blu ray (usually makes notebooks expensive)

more info on link
Edited by spike696 - 8/5/12 at 5:47pm
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My PC
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i3-2100 asus p8p67 msi 560 ti hawk corsair vengeance low profile black 8 gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
500 gb sata ii 7200 rpm dvd r cm hyper 212+ cm sickleflow 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
windows 7 ultimate samsung syncmaster 943snx logitech ultrathin keyboard corsair tx750v2 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
cm storm enforcer logitech g9x steelseries qck mini steelseries siberia v2 
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I started looking for reviews on cpu and gpu and get the feeling that the intel combination is better than the amd one , correct me if I'm wrong. And only other issue I'd have is if it is indeed the case, is the one with intel and nvidia gpu a gloss finish. I just see it says midnight black as color so that doesn't much help me, the issue I'd have is if it is glossy finish that's just waiting to get smudged all over tongue.gif.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 720 BE ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO XFX Radeon HD 5770 (990/1400) G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (2X2GB) 7-7-7-24 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB Windows 7 64bit 2x Emachine 1920x1080 Kensington slim keyboard 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ 700W Modular psu CM 335 modded :D Razer Deathadder 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 720 BE ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO XFX Radeon HD 5770 (990/1400) G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (2X2GB) 7-7-7-24 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB Windows 7 64bit 2x Emachine 1920x1080 Kensington slim keyboard 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ 700W Modular psu CM 335 modded :D Razer Deathadder 
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post #5 of 8
$487 for this Toshiba Satellite w/ A10-4600M and 7660G graphics. You'd just need to add a 2nd RAM stick for about $20 so it's dual-channel. http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/cdetland.to?poid=2000037630

The 630M is faster than 7660G overall by ~15%, but if you game on battery power ever, the 7660G will get better battery life. Also, Minecraft seems to favor AMD graphics; I haven't seen any reliable benches for the 2 graphics in Minecraft, but I just extrapolated from this:

Minecraft bench, 5570 blows away the 440, and overall the 440 is faster. 5570 is only 3 places seperated (see OCN's GPU rankings), and it blows away the 520. 5450 is about 50 spots lower than 520 and still 10% faster in Minecraft.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5771/the-intel-ivy-bridge-core-i7-3770k-review/17
http://www.overclock.net/t/502403/graphics-card-ranking-5th-time-and-last-updated-daily

More evidence showing 440 > 5570 on average, and 520 > 5450 on average:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GT_440/26.html
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GT_520/23.html

Last point in my argument- Luxmark is an OpenCL benchmark (Minecraft uses OpenCL/OpenGL), and as you can see, the A10-4600M w/ 7660G gets a much higher score than the 630M. http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/pics/d8a63e20d6.png

edit: Last, last point. 6550D is estimated to be a little slower than the 7660G. GT 440 is estimated to be much faster than the 630M. You can look at the graphics benchmark list on the right column of the page here: http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7660G.69830.0.html

TL;DR I'd be very surprised if the 7660G isn't faster in Minecraft.
Edited by jrbroad77 - 8/5/12 at 10:21am
 
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i3-2310M Intel HD 3000 8GB DDR3 Samsung 830 64GB SSD 
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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 
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1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 250 GB WD Caviar Black Samsung 20X DVD-R/RW Thermaltake MaxOrb 
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Hard DriveOSMonitorCase
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 
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yangas View Post

I started looking for reviews on cpu and gpu and get the feeling that the intel combination is better than the amd one , correct me if I'm wrong. And only other issue I'd have is if it is indeed the case, is the one with intel and nvidia gpu a gloss finish. I just see it says midnight black as color so that doesn't much help me, the issue I'd have is if it is glossy finish that's just waiting to get smudged all over tongue.gif.

true about glossy exterior.

I'm an engineering student and i would rarely leave an intel+nvidia comp (instruction sets, tech, cuda, etc.).

even so i think the toshiba is a very good option. you can select desing and br drive under 550usd. add a 2nd stick later like jrbroad77 said if you feel like.
Edited by spike696 - 8/5/12 at 4:57pm
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i3-2100 asus p8p67 msi 560 ti hawk corsair vengeance low profile black 8 gb 
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500 gb sata ii 7200 rpm dvd r cm hyper 212+ cm sickleflow 
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windows 7 ultimate samsung syncmaster 943snx logitech ultrathin keyboard corsair tx750v2 
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My PC
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2100 asus p8p67 msi 560 ti hawk corsair vengeance low profile black 8 gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
500 gb sata ii 7200 rpm dvd r cm hyper 212+ cm sickleflow 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
windows 7 ultimate samsung syncmaster 943snx logitech ultrathin keyboard corsair tx750v2 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
cm storm enforcer logitech g9x steelseries qck mini steelseries siberia v2 
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Why would you not leave the intel+nvidia for engineering? I am going into engineering as well and would be interested in knowing specifically the positives, thanks.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 720 BE ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO XFX Radeon HD 5770 (990/1400) G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (2X2GB) 7-7-7-24 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB Windows 7 64bit 2x Emachine 1920x1080 Kensington slim keyboard 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ 700W Modular psu CM 335 modded :D Razer Deathadder 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 720 BE ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO XFX Radeon HD 5770 (990/1400) G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (2X2GB) 7-7-7-24 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB Windows 7 64bit 2x Emachine 1920x1080 Kensington slim keyboard 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ 700W Modular psu CM 335 modded :D Razer Deathadder 
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yangas View Post

Why would you not leave the intel+nvidia for engineering? I am going into engineering as well and would be interested in knowing specifically the positives, thanks.

What programs would you be using? Most CAD programs favor AMD consumer graphics, though Nvidia Quadro work much better than Geforce. I mostly use Solidworks, you can dig up SpecviewPerf benchmarks comparing AMD graphics vs. Nvidia 630M/ 540M, and vs. Intel HD 4000, and AMD's 7660G comes out on top. 630M gets 7.2 FPS (http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-630M.63761.0.html), 7660G gets 12.1 FPS ( http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7660G.69830.0.html ), HD 4000 gets something laughable, maybe 6ish, I forget. Note those are with a test model almost certainly more complex than anything you'll design in college, and at 1920x1080. Also, 20FPS is quite workable for rotating a model, even 15 is.

As for Intel+ Nvidia, engineering software is hardly ever CUDA-only. Intel and AMD have the same instruction sets, both work for CAD software, MATLAB, etc. Further, CPU power isn't extremely important, a slower dual-core is fast enough for Solidworks, except for rendering. But you only render for a presentation-quality image, and even then, you're talking 10 minutes for something fairly complex at 1080p (no big deal).

Anyway, best option is to get something cheaper now (like you're doing), and if you need something completely overkill for perhaps a senior design project , get it then, you'll see a huge performance increase 3 years from now at every price point. Even for a design project, needing a faster computer is pretty unlikely, but really, first 2 years are fluff in terms of computer requirements..( as for homework and studying, by no means fluff!)
 
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Hard DriveOSMonitorCase
640GB Hitachi HDD Windows 7 13.3" LCD Magnesium Alloy, 3.2lbs 
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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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Noctua NF-B9-1600 Windows 7 Pro 64-bit BenQ E2420HD, 24" 1920x1080 TT Purepower 500W 
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TT Lanbox Lite 
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Lanbox Lite
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CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i3-2310M Intel HD 3000 8GB DDR3 Samsung 830 64GB SSD 
Hard DriveOSMonitorCase
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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TT Lanbox Lite 
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