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Buying a laptop help and a few questions

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Long post ahead...

What is your maximum budget?
2,000 USD. Spillover is fine

What country are you in?
Philippines going US

What will be the uses of this laptop?
Desktop replacement

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

What screen size do you require?
does not matter; see below

What screen resolution do you require?
does not matter; see below

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?
New preferably. Refurbish only if the seller is a saint with the laptop. I'm weary of buying a perfectly good laptop second hand. I'm thinking something happened to the laptop which prompt the seller to sell it.

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
At least 2hrs for the occasion that I take it on the road.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings?
I mostly play RPG/RTS/TBS some shooters here and there and WoW mostly. Target resolution is 1080p mid to high video settings. See below

What operating system do you need? (if any)
Windows 7 Home Premium or above

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)
A laptop that stays cool with prolonged use. No 'fingerprint magnet finish' if it can be avoided.

How much hard drive space do you need?
500gb is fine. I can place all my multimedia on external hard drives.

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)
none but blue ray is a plus. Not sure if it comes as standard but HDMI/DVI out is required. Or a DP out (is there any DP to HDMI/DVI adapter?)

Is there anything else we need to know?

I'm getting assigned to the US for atleast a year and I figured that a laptop during the time I'm in the US to be more cost effective than buying a new desktop when I get to the US. Primary reason being my government charges close to 50% of the item's cost if I'm going to 'import' my built desktop back to the phils through legal channels. While a laptop I can just hand carry anywhere, no need to pay 'taxes'.

First time getting a laptop and don't know much about them. I'm not up to date with computer hardware anymore, but I can still hold my own for desktop, but it seems like branded laptops are a mix bag of good parts and bad parts much like branded desktops. Which is the reason for the post.

Here is my plan for the laptop. It'll mostly stay at home plugged into the outlet so battery life is not an issue. The only time I'll take it with me is when I go on long vacations or going out of town. I plan on buying separate mouse and keyboard to plug into the laptop when using it, so form factor is not an issue.

I plan on buying an FHD TV/Monitor while in the US that I will plug the laptop into and game/internet/whatever on 1080p resolution or above. This is why resolution and screen size on the laptop does not matter. Is this possible or will the laptop's HDMI out be limited to the laptop's built in screen resolution?

I also want the laptop to have an acceptable temperature on extended play. Would be great if it can stay cool or atleast I don't need to worry about overheating when it is in use for 24hrs or so.

For noise, anything at the range of my PCS++'s fan at 60% is fine. I found fan speed above 60% to be loud but still bearable. anything higher than my PCS++ @ 100% fan speed I would consider loud. Sorry for using such a vague yard stick. It's just that this is the first component I have in a PC that I actually feel is loud. (Well louder than my desk fan blowing in my face)

I basically wanted something as good as the rig on my sig minus the 6950 (a tier or 2 above the 5670 or even at the level of the 5670 is fine.). Despite being 3yrs old, I'm happy with this rig's performance so any laptop a tier or more above this in terms of performance is good enough. And it should last atleast a year.

A few questions:
1.) Is the 480m worth $500 on Sager? It seems like I'm buying a separate 580GTX for a desktop with that price.
2.) How big is the difference between the 460 and the 480m? and where does the 540m stand?
3.) What's the minimum vid card and CPU I should get for my needs?
4.) Right now from Anandtech's review of Sandy Bridge, there is no point getting anything lower than Sandy Bridge. Am I right on this?
5.) Is there any difference between brands and models between brands? Say Dell Inspiron and XPS or HP Pavillion and Envy? Which 1 should I be aiming for? I tried making a few laptops from their site and I end up with different prices for each model with the same spec. And what's with Alienware? It ends up beign more expensive than the above 4 for the same spec.

I shop around and found 3 laptops that I'm not so sure about

Acer Aspire 4750g - I like how this is priced but I'm not so sure about the 540m and the i5. No windows is not a deal breaker, I can buy and install it myself.
Looking at the bottom 2 AS4750G-2418G75Mn and AS4750G-2418G64Mn
http://tipidpc.com/viewitem.php?iid=9428568

ASUS G73SW - Very expensive here but acceptable cost on the US. I like this laptop though, seems to make no compromises.
http://www.tipidpc.com/viewitem.php?iid=9422873

Lenovo Y470 I think - Sorry I lost the exact number and the flyer. it's around $1,391.28. Not sure how good the 6 series is, it's 68xx I think, definitely not a 69xx. Have not seen any pic of this yet so I'm not sure about this. It's in the flyer but no stock in any store I checked.
Core i7 2720m
Radeon 68xx series, forgot the exact number.
4gb ram

I tried a few Sager builds and while the 15' are close to the price of the asus (Sager more expensive). I'm not sure if they are worth it, the only problem is that I would have to wait until I get to the US to get a Sager.

You can also browse/search around tipidpc.com if you're willing (it only has a basic search feature and no drill down of features which make searching a pain). It's our equivalent of newegg/ebay. Gets a good feel of the price point here but I don't think I want to buy from just anybody, I prefer going to a store, there are some stores that post there but anyway, for now any user is fine.

Just google convert <price> usd to php or php to usd. That should net you the price in my country and the us.

Sorry for the long post, wanted to be thorough. Thanks for reading any reply is much appreciated.
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180gb Intel 330 DVD Writer combo BD Writer Combo NH-D14 
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post #2 of 9
I'd consider a Dell XPS laptop, they're very professional looking and have a great mix of performance. Anything with a monsterous discrete graphics card and an i7 is going to chew up the battery life in a flash. I'd imagine a Dell XPS configured will all of their top end components will last 3hrs+ on the 9 cell.

Alienware is a flashy gamer oriented branch of Dell. The chassis also scream "Steal me!" to anyone walking by. They are great performers but all have weak battery life and I doubt they would last 2 hours(I'm sure some can, but not without everything turned to powersaving mode).

As for custom laptops being different prices on different sites, it's really all about brand name and case quality.

An i5 with a 540m/5670 would probably be a minimum for you. You won't be maxing everything, but the games you listed should be perfectly playable at normal/high settings.
Edited by ColdRush - 4/6/11 at 9:01am
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post #3 of 9
Sager all the way. Seriously. No reason to skimp out here.

Customize as you will. http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8170-...wconfigure=yes
     
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Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
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256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
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256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
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15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
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Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
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post #4 of 9
1.) Is the 480m worth $500 on Sager? It seems like I'm buying a separate 580GTX for a desktop with that price.
It really depends, in your case I would say not unless you plan on maxing out brand new games, as a 540m, and 460m will play wow and most other games at medium to high. Though with 1920x1080 resolution I would get the 460m over the 540m. The 6970 was just released to sager and will be cheaper then a 485m with close to the same performance.
2.) How big is the difference between the 460 and the 480m? and where does the 540m stand?
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Compute...s.13849.0.html
3.) What's the minimum vid card and CPU I should get for my needs?
I would get a 460m and atleast an i5, but these days you should be able to get an i7 sandybridge for just over $1000 with a 460m.
4.) Right now from Anandtech's review of Sandy Bridge, there is no point getting anything lower than Sandy Bridge. Am I right on this?
Sandybridge is the best. It destroys the first gen i series architecture, and I would highly recommend you get it over an older iseries.
5.) Is there any difference between brands and models between brands? Say Dell Inspiron and XPS or HP Pavillion and Envy? Which 1 should I be aiming for? I tried making a few laptops from their site and I end up with different prices for each model with the same spec. And what's with Alienware? It ends up beign more expensive than the above 4 for the same spec.
Each brand will sell the same specs for different prices due to the quality of parts, customer service, and their brand name. Alienware thinks they are the best so they price everything that way. (they aren't though)
I shop around and found 3 laptops that I'm not so sure about


I tried a few Sager builds and while the 15' are close to the price of the asus (Sager more expensive). I'm not sure if they are worth it, the only problem is that I would have to wait until I get to the US to get a Sager.


Make sure you are buying from sager resellers like xoticpc and not sager. Buying directly from sager is a bad choice as they give you poor support and are usually more expensive.

You do not need to spend $2000 on what your looking to buy unless you want to max out all the new games at 1080p. If you do, then I would research the 6970 as it is dramatically cheaper then a 485m.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies all.

Seems like I'll try for the 460m or the 6970m for my video card. 540m would be borderline if I wanted 1 asap. Waiting until I get to the US seems to be the best choice right now. xoticpc has good choices but my postal tax when shipped via USPS will kill any price advantage xotic gives.

Getting the Aspire 4750g right now seems like a lateral upgrade to my aging desktop.

Right now I'm looking at the Asus G73SW or a 15' Sager. Customized they're about the same price with the Asus getting an edge on the dual hard disk and freebies (a laptop bag, a mouse and free BD rom upgrade).

Any point in upgrading the network adapters? How good are onboard network adapters right now. These are my options:
Intel® Advanced-N 6205 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module ( + 35 )
Bigfoot Networks Killerâ„¢ Wireless-N 1102- ( + 45 )

Anyone have experience with these 2 laptops brands and can tell me they're performance in terms of cooling?

@S-X: I usually go in with a big budget as I don't like to compromise but most of the time I end up with something significantly cheaper for my needs. (Only exception was my desktop)
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180gb Intel 330 DVD Writer combo BD Writer Combo NH-D14 
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post #6 of 9
How big is the shipping charge? Because buying a sager is usually a good bit cheaper then anything with the same specs. Also dont upgrade the wireless cards unless you have a 3 stream wireless router (which is like .01% of the available routers, so I doubt you do)

They both have good cooling, the sager is slightly better though and you are allowed to change the TIM without voiding your warranty.
post #7 of 9
have you seen the new Asus G74?
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I configured both from xoticpc so shipping will be the same. I configured an NP8150 against the G73SW. Sager is cheaper by $58 but only 1 500gb HD, it does have a full license of Win7 unlike the oem recovery disk for the asus. The NP8170 is more expensive by $200.

@black!ce: Got a link for the G74? I checked the US site and no G74 there yet.

Well from the looks of it, I'll be buying from the US, so the G74 might come out before I get to buy 1. I'll see by then, but I got the base of what I should be aiming for from this thread.
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180gb Intel 330 DVD Writer combo BD Writer Combo NH-D14 
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Main Rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 3820 @4.2GHz Asus P9X79 Deluxe Power Color 6950 PCS++ 4x4gb Corsair Vengeance LP 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
180gb Intel 330 DVD Writer combo BD Writer Combo NH-D14 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Samsung Syncmaster 245B Logitech G110 Seasonic P860 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
DF-85 Logitech G700s Roccat Alumic Xonar Essence One 
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post #9 of 9
its not yet out though if i were you id wait for it or might go for an HP envy 15
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samsung 500GB 7200Rpm,hitachi 500 GB Asus DVD/RW Windows 7 ultimate x64 HP 1859m 
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Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Corsair AX850 Coolermaster storm scout Razer Deathadder 
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Black Rave
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Intel core i7 920 @ 4.0Ghz 1.3v EVGA X58 SLI 3 EVGA GTX 460 1GB SC SLI Corsair dominator 2GB x 3 1600mhz 8-8-8-24 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
samsung 500GB 7200Rpm,hitachi 500 GB Asus DVD/RW Windows 7 ultimate x64 HP 1859m 
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Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Corsair AX850 Coolermaster storm scout Razer Deathadder 
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Razer Goliathus 
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