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Old 02-21-2007, 09:52 PM   #1
Jae Onasi
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Help Jae Find A Good Laptop

Well, it's time to retire the old laptop (or at least give it to the kids to play Spongebob on). I need to get a new one, Astrotoy7 has successfully convinced me not to try to build my own, and I was hoping you all had some suggestions on where a good place is to get a decent one and any other useful things to know.

Here's what I want to do with it:
Business stuff, possibly a medical records program down the road.
Play NWN2, Jade Empire, and any other cool games. Possibly even do some pvp NWN2 play with hubby so we don't have to fight over the desktop.
Actually work on learning to mod stuff.
Have wireless internet access (so I can harass you all while I'm on break at work). I have a wireless node at home and work already.
Price range--around 1500.

And just for fun....
An Impractical Guide to Building a Laptop


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Old 02-21-2007, 10:12 PM   #2
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For that price range I would get one of these: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...D&nclm=MacBook

Can run windows and os x, play all your games, and do probably whatever else you need it to do.


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Old 02-21-2007, 10:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Moeller
For that price range I would get one of these: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...D&nclm=MacBook

Can run windows and os x, play all your games, and do probably whatever else you need it to do.
I love the new MacBooks, but they've got integrated Intel GMA 950s for their graphics. NWN2 would be a slide show on that.



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Old 02-21-2007, 10:25 PM   #4
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If time's not an issue, I would suggest watching this site for a while. Occasionally there's some REALLY good deals on it.


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Old 02-21-2007, 10:30 PM   #5
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I would highly recomend Toshiba... My lovely laptop that I'm writing to you on at the moment will happily run Obilivion its also nearly indestructable given that I have dropped it a few times, and spilt water on (oops). Also its a widescreen laptop, as when I bought it game playing (not uni work ) was the most important consideration.

Here are the latest Toshiba ones; http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/...gaming&seg=HHO

The main thing is to shop around, my laptop is now 2 years old however when I got it was the proverbel dogs and had only just come out.... and when I bought it i got 60% off (so once you have decided on the model shop around!



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Old 02-21-2007, 11:22 PM   #6
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I reccomend either a Apple notebook or an HP notebook. I have had really good luck with them both and both are a very stable well built computer.

Also, if you are looking for something that has specific parts, components, or just really amazing graphics you might also want to look at alienware but if you do make sure to look at the more top end models as you get more and that are a bit better.

Happy notebook hunting.


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Old 02-21-2007, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac7142
I love the new MacBooks, but they've got integrated Intel GMA 950s for their graphics. NWN2 would be a slide show on that.
Aha. I didn't look at the graphics, just saw the processor and RAM and figured the graphics would be good as well. No wonder they didn't list what card was in it.


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Old 02-22-2007, 04:24 AM   #8
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I'm sure that Nvidia will be launching GeForce8 (DX10) graphics cards for laptops soon, if you don't mind waiting a month or so. That way your new laptop will be as up to date as possible and should be able to play NWN2 with ease, as well as DX10 games in the future.


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Old 02-22-2007, 05:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur
I'm sure that Nvidia will be launching GeForce8 (DX10) graphics cards for laptops soon, if you don't mind waiting a month or so. That way your new laptop will be as up to date as possible and should be able to play NWN2 with ease, as well as DX10 games in the future.
As well as forking out more than 1500 for it me thinks...



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Old 02-22-2007, 06:25 AM   #10
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I own a Presario V2000. Clicky> http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,12...1/article.html

Got it at Walmart for under $900. It is a fairly decent laptop and runs very well. Not sure if they are still available for purchase. But IMO, I would go with any Presario models. A V2000 would be perfect for what you are wanting to do.


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Old 02-22-2007, 08:03 AM   #11
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I know everyone hates Dell now but mine served we well over its warranty, in fact it still runs today nearly 7 years after purchase (although it behaves like a cranky old jedi who shall remain nameless.)

I have a big spiffy dell pc which I bought last year and again it runs brilliantly so no complaints from me.

I was thinking of getting one of these this year, but there are newer versions out now. Not really for games more for writing and taking on trips although I think you could get some games on, possibly my space quest at least.


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Old 02-22-2007, 09:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I'm sure that Nvidia will be launching GeForce8 (DX10) graphics cards for laptops soon, if you don't mind waiting a month or so. That way your new laptop will be as up to date as possible and should be able to play NWN2 with ease, as well as DX10 games in the future.
I agree with this but it is not an absolute necessity either as game developpers will continue to make dx9 games for at least the next year. However if Jae want to buy a laptop now and be able to play any games on it for the next year or so, she should try to get at least a nVidia 7600 or an Ati mobility X1700 GPU or games could become slideshows. Also, 1 GIG of RAM is a minimum today (get 2MB if budget allows it). 512 MB isn't just enough anymore.

Don't get anything with an integrated Intel graphics chipset. Several games (nwn2 and Oblivion are examples) will simply not run on them. Stick with Ati or nVidia.

@ D'Albetot: If Jae wants to use her laptop for gaming, I wouldn't recommend this one. It has only 512MB of DDR333 SDRAM and an Integrated Intel 855GME graphic chipset. This machine won't run the most recent games and if Jae ever wants to install Vista, it won't be enough either (MS office 2007 takes a lot of juice too.)

I'd go more for something along those specs (I took the link from Jonathan's post. I didn't make any research and I don't know the normal prices in the US but it seems like good value to me): http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/...HO&poid=336035 It has 1MB or RAM (with a possibility to get 2MB if you can) and a very good 512 MB 7900GTX GPU. This machine will play any recent game at high settings.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:20 PM   #13
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I agree with D-Trips on this one. I don't think that a DX10 compatible laptop would fit around the price range of $1500. Personally I've been looking at this laptop myself. It has an ATI X1700 with 256MB dedicated and 512MB Hyper memory, processor is fast, the only real bugger is that the 1GB of RAM it comes with are 2 512MB sticks, so to upgrade to 2GB RAM, you basically have to get rid of the sticks that came with the lappy, which is kind of a bummer. However, I don't know if you can argue with the price for now, and upgrading RAM sticks would put you right around the $1500 mark. Another thing to note is that it comes with a free Vista upgrade, but if you do that, it is almost a necessity to upgrade your RAM as well. Just my 2 cents. As a side note, I'm really "Anti-Alienware" I don't think your "bang for you buck" ratio is really good with their systems, so I've neglected to even consider looking at them.


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Old 02-22-2007, 03:26 PM   #14
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well, after i remembered that PC World reviews laptops, i pulled up their top five pages and found a "Power System" (or a desktop replacement) for about $1700. linkie

that's about the best one that PC World recommended that was under two grand. hope that helps.


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Old 02-22-2007, 11:05 PM   #15
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@ Jae - what OS do you want to run on your new notebook PC? Windows XP, Windows Vista, or something else?

And what about HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray disc support?
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:54 PM   #16
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This Pavilion _may_ be the one we end up going with. As tested in PC World that stingerhs linked it's $2400, and they went top-of-the-line, it looks like, but you can customize it. I just went kind of middle of the road on the choices except for the video card--Intel core duo T5600 1.83ghz/2mb L2cache, 512 mb geforce go 7600, 1024 mb Ram (in 2 sticks), 120 Gb hard drive and ended up around 1500 with tax/s/h, _but_ that's with a military discount of about 15% or so, and it has a $150 rebate at the moment.

Of course, can't do anything til we get the tax refund.

@cutmeister--we're not at the HD-DVD/blu-ray stage of life just yet. We don't watch a ton of TV so haven't spent the money on that

Oh--the machine I have above runs vista.


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Old 02-23-2007, 03:33 AM   #17
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I have a T5500@1,67GHz, 2GB of RAM, and a 7400Go with 256 RAM, 100GB HDD and indeed, it's a Pavillion, too. It's totally sweet and I love it and *waves hand* you will also love it, Jae [/Jedi mind trick].

Hm, maybe you should head for 2 GB of RAM, cannot be wrong, because later you cannot simply upgrade if you already have two memory modules installed. Err, and these 512MB video RAM, is that with "TurboCache technology"? Because if that's so, the card takes like 256 MB from your RAM and has only 256 on board, means, 1 GB is downed to suckey-suckey 768 MB, which would be another reason to get 2 GB.

Anything else? Hmm. Ahh. Would you mind to send me that notebook, so I could check it out for a couple of .. months?


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Old 02-23-2007, 04:01 AM   #18
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I agree with Ray. 2GB of RAM will help Vista run better, and I'm sure that any new PC will have Vista installed in the near future, if not already. It's likely that 2GB is going to become the new minimum for the Vista age.


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Old 02-23-2007, 04:30 AM   #19
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Vista? Debian! Except at work I'm so not gonna touch Vista.


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Old 02-23-2007, 05:29 AM   #20
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I think if you play one or two games Jae then Vista is alright. I know for a fact though that if you are a hardcore gamer (for say you have 10+ games on your PC) then Vista is not recommended. It is just wholly unsuitable for gaming. Some games i tried, worked well on it, others did not work at all. It also hogs a ton of more memory what with the unnessasarily resource heavy desktop. But as you use it for work and other things then Vista is OK. :P


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Old 02-23-2007, 02:24 PM   #21
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^^^Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Vista's lack of support for older games is a temporary thing, and will be resolved either by MS or the game developers in the near future.

Like I said, I believe that Vista will come installed on any new PC. Unless you want to uninstall it and replace it with XP, you're pretty much stuck with it and you should buy your new hardware accordingly.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur
^^^Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Vista's lack of support for older games is a temporary thing, and will be resolved either by MS or the game developers in the near future.

Like I said, I believe that Vista will come installed on any new PC. Unless you want to uninstall it and replace it with XP, you're pretty much stuck with it and you should buy your new hardware accordingly.
There are many games that still are worth playing every now and then that are old enough that there will be no further updates to them, or that the developer does not exist any more. It is doubtful those will ever work under Vista unless Microsoft introduces better backward compatibility.

You can usually choose if you want an OS with a new computer when you buy one. And if the computer isn't really suited for running Windows Vista (which some laptops probably aren't due to the extra heat and power consumption) they probably won't sell Vista with it either.

Last edited by stoffe; 02-24-2007 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:23 PM   #23
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I checked to see if I could get it with XP, and apparently that's not an option, but I'd have to check with a Live Person to see if I could get it that way.
Don't whack me over the head if this sounds dumb (I know far more about eyeballs than I do about anything computer-related), but couldn't you partition the hard drive and put XP on one of them?


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Old 02-23-2007, 10:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
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I checked to see if I could get it with XP, and apparently that's not an option, but I'd have to check with a Live Person to see if I could get it that way.
Don't whack me over the head if this sounds dumb (I know far more about eyeballs than I do about anything computer-related), but couldn't you partition the hard drive and put XP on one of them?
Yes you could. However depending on the version of XP and or Vista. You probably will need a third party boot manager.


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Old 02-23-2007, 11:53 PM   #25
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the following opinions are solely that of myself and should not be seen as flamebaiting for fans on particular manufacturers herein mentioned

Astrotoy7 would like to issue a general health warning against laptops.

If you are insistent though........all I can recommend is a super duper extended warranty...... If you were to ask me for one particular laptop I'd like, its those alienware ones ---- theyre built with gaming(and therefore thermal management) in mind and sport nothing but great components, not the generic junk you get in your average compaq/hp.

This one looks nice, and at sub $1000 has pretty respectable specs

Linksizm

Im sure there will be a cheaper similar model from another brand but the inside guts will not always be the same.....

check their Notebook Page Some decent models that fit into your price range

@jmac...LMAO... recommending someone to buy a notebook that emulates a pc to play games that are not and may never be released on a Mac gave me a giggle... thank you sir

Compare Apples prices and specs vs the alienware(or any other windows based notebook)

why the price difference........ this is what makes me mad about apple... they are elitist scum that do not cater to 'ordinary' users [/rant] For the price of that 1.3C2Duo MacBook you could get a windows based notebook for 2/3 or less the price...

*kicks Mac guy from the commercial in the nuts*

@Jae - if you want to be next gen gaming DX10 ready, the mobile 8800 processors wont be too far away Still, for NWN2 and Jade Empire any mid end DX9 based system will give you a good run for a little while yet

Even better Jae, is if you could find it in your heart and wallet to buy a non intel based platform, do it in memoriam of those 15,000 souls that intel has written off.

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Old 02-26-2007, 04:04 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Don't whack me over the head if this sounds dumb (I know far more about eyeballs than I do about anything computer-related), but couldn't you partition the hard drive and put XP on one of them?
Yes, that's possible, but depends.

(A) HP notebook don't come with an installation DVD-set, you have to use the HP "backup"-software-tool to create your own DVDs. The thing is, you don't get a complete Windows-installer, more like a reset-to-defaults thing. Basically you cannot even chose a partition to install to, it will just restore to what you had before the first power on and with that you might lose any other installed OSs, too.

I mean, it's a good thing for people who know more about eyeballs than about installing Windows on a notebook, but bad for people (like me) who didn't knew that eyes have balls, but know where to turn a computer on properly.
It's also kind of unfortunate for having two or more OSs installed.

(B) Buying a notebook which is Vista capable, and installing XP on it should give you a good performance boost. The software you already have is for XP anyway (assuming you already had XP) and why buy new buggy Vista software when you have something that works and that you already know at hand?

(C) Don't waste your time with maintaining two OSs to do the same thing, decide for one, do a proper setup so you can do everything you want and stick with it. Else you will sooner or later end up booting between the systems because system 1 has Outlook on it but system 2 has a working printer setup. Of course *I* have two systems installed, but one is to do everything fun and work, and XP for the couple of games I cannot get to work properly with Linux.

(D) Either way, make sure you're not using Norton for anything except to throw it somewhere far, far away.


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