The Grand Notebook Decision

Discussion in 'Laptops & Notebooks' started by Roberto88h, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Roberto88h

    Roberto88h Member Guru

    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    MSI 9600GT 512MB
    I have not posted here in a while (stupid wireless router craping out on me), but I hope that none of you take that against me. I'll try and keep this relatively short.

    I am going to graduate highschool about the end of may and have been looking at notebook computers to take to college. I plan on going into an engineering/science type major, and I have been told that some of that stuff needs a good bit of computing horsepower. Unfortuantely, I don't believe that I will be able to bring my desktop computer (as meager as it is:frown: ) to college for various reasons. On the other hand, I have a rather large budget due to my amazing grandparents with which I plan to purchase a notebook.

    I come to you, the members of the guru3d forum to help me with this decision. What laptop, given the basic spec's below, would you recommend? I would greatly appreciate any help that the great members of Guru3d could give me. I have a few criteria/preferences:

    1. I do not want a 17'' notebook, try and keep it no larger than 15.4 inch and no smaller than 14 inch.

    2. Battery life is important. 3+ hours on a full charge

    3. A high quality widescreen display is most definitely prefered.

    4. I really want a new core duo notebook (a least the 1.8Ghz model).

    5. 80GB or larger Hard drive

    6. 1GB of RAM

    7. DVD-RW drive

    8. Dedicated video card is prefered (doesn't have to be high end, just something that isn't integrated video).

    9. Wireless internet is a must and bluetooth is a definite plus

    These are the things that I have decided that I would like in a notebook. I have a budget of about $2000 USD for the notebook itself (a little over is okay) and not including accesories. I have looked at the new dell E1505 (I think thats the model) with most of the specs mentioned above, but the only thing I didn't like was the Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics. I have been reading www.notebookreview.com almost religiously, but little information is available concerning the type of notebook I want.

    I will be using the laptop for school work, internet, music, DVD's, some potential video/image editing, and minimal gaming (I won't have much time for a lot of computer games especially the first year). I might like to play games such as: Half-life 1 and mods, older RTS's like Red Alert 2 or Homeworld, the most intensive games that might be played are Dawn of War or X2: the threat.

    I thank all of you in advance for your great advice and remind you that more information may be provided if you have any questions.

    Thanks in advance.:)
     
  2. orenda635

    orenda635 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,865
    Likes Received:
    2
    GPU:
    BFG 7600GS 256mb / Radeon 9550 32mb
    You won't have much time for gaming while at school, believe me.

    A lot of people are hostile towards Apple but their laptops are perfect for work, surfing the net, and multimedia. I've been using my iBook since August and I'm quite happy with it. I use it at school every day.

    Take a look at the MacBook Pro. The base model comes with a 1.83ghz CoreDuo, a 15.4'' 1440x900 res screen, 512mb DDR2, 80GB HDD, Slot loading DVD burner, and a Radeon Mobility X1600 128mb GDDR3. Also has full wireless capability built in, built in webcam. 2 USB ports, one firewire port, VGA port, and a digital optical out port for sound along with the usual stereo out. Comes with OS X Tiger pre-loaded with iLife 06 package and lots of other software. The base model is $1999 US. Doesn't say how long battery life for it is but Apple laptops are usually within the 5-6hr range.
    http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/

    As for PC based laptops with the CoreDuo, I found one by Sony on Newegg. It has the same processor as the MacBook base model. Comes with 1gb or DDR2 and a 100gb HDD with XP pro pre loaded. Everything else is pretty much the same except the screen is smaller and has a lower res, and the graphics card isn't as good. Doesn't appear to have any software preinstalled either. It's still a decent laptop though. Consider it about equal to the MacBook. Costs $46 more. There's really not to many PC based systems out yet that use the CoreDuo.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683411715
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2006
  3. Roberto88h

    Roberto88h Member Guru

    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    MSI 9600GT 512MB
    Thanks for the advice. :)

    I understand that I won't have much time for gaming in college and I don't plan on doing much of it, but I really have a severe dislike for integrated video unless somebody could convince me otherwise. I may be willing to go down to a 1.66GHz core duo machine unless you guys think that the performance drop woulld be too dramamtic.

    I really don't want to start a Mac vs. PC war, but I'm really not interested in buying a Mac sorry. I may be willing to hear more if you think that it would be a viable option, but I don't see it happening.

    Good advice! keep it coming.
     
  4. SorienOR

    SorienOR Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    BFG 8800GT + Acer 1080p
    If you are doing engineering then there might be some cad and/or 3d modeling work, so you want to avoid integrated video like the plague.

    I would recommend an Acer. I have really liked the reliablity and service from them since we became a reseller. The Travelmate 8200 is core-duo 2ghz with a x1400 video card and runs about $2500
    Next step down is the Aspire 5672 is the 1.66 core duo with the same video card and runs about $1600. Both have 120gb hard drive, dvd-burner and 2gb ram.
     

  5. RandyB

    RandyB Banned

    Messages:
    4,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    HIS HD4870/Samsung2343BWX
    I concur 100%! According to reviews, the Acer is the 'most bang for the buck' laptop around. With the res at 1,680x1,050...that's a lot of screen real estate!
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Acer_TravelMate_8200/4505-3121_7-31679411.html
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1907007,00.asp
     
  6. Roberto88h

    Roberto88h Member Guru

    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    MSI 9600GT 512MB
    Thanks for the suggestions and the reviews.

    I was just considering an Acer laptop, funny that you guys would suggest one right as I'm reading about them. $2500 for a notebook is little out of my budget. I was thinking around $2000 plus or minus $200 for a notebook.

    How big of a performance drop do you think there is between the 2.0GHz core duo processor and the 1.66GHz core duo?

    Do you think that the 1.66GHz would be capable of doing what I described in my first post well enough that I should consider getting it over the 2.0Ghz?

    Thanks for the help so far! I know I'm probably being too picky, but this is something I really don't want to regret in the future.

    Keep 'em coming
     
  7. Infested Nexus

    Infested Nexus Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    1
    GPU:
    AMD Radeon™ HD 8850M
    Laptop Suggestion.

    Tecra M5-S433
    [​IMG]

    $1799.00

    - Intel® Core™ Duo Processor T2400 (1.83GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB)
    - Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
    - 512MB DDR2 677MHz SDRAM
    - 14.1" Diagonal XGA Display
    - NVIDIA® Quadro NVS 110M with 128MB DDR discrete graphics memory
    - 100GB HDD
    - DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive
    - Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG

    Tecra A6
    [​IMG]

    $2050.68 (As configured below)

    - Intel® Core™ Duo Processor T2500 (2.00GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 667MHz FSB)
    - Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
    - 1024MB DDR2 PC4200 533MHz SDRAM
    - 14.1" Diagonal Widescreen XGA TruBrite™ display (1280x768)
    - NVIDIA Quadro NVS 110M with 128MB DDR SDRAM
    - 80GB (7200rpm, Serial-ATA)
    - DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive
    - Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
    - Bluetooth® (v.2.0) + EDR
    - Lithium-ion Battery (12-cell)

    These laptops would probably be an ideal choice for you. They feature Quadro NVS graphics, exactly what you are looking for if you will be doing any GPU intensive tasks in your class. A nice 14.1'' so it should be easy for you to carry around. Personally I feel that a 1.83GHz Core Duo Processor will probably be more than sufficient for whatever you may be doing. The only thing the first laptop needs is an additional 512MB of RAM which you can easily pick up from Newegg. The second one is configurable so you can price it as you see fit, it also is widescreen and has the option for bluetooth so will probably be what you'll want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2006
  8. RandyB

    RandyB Banned

    Messages:
    4,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    HIS HD4870/Samsung2343BWX
    Hmmm! I had a Toshiba once (or twice)...very nice machines!
    Just make sure you get a 'Core Duo'. You don't want it to be obsolete before you even get out the door.:leave:
     
  9. ASmokerz

    ASmokerz Member Guru

    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Power Color 9800 PRO @ 405/715
    These machine are for professional CAD and CAM designers man the QUADROs cost a bomb this are not for college students man... u making a mistake purchasing a QUADRO for studies. Unless u are into Multimedia animation or 3D graphics designing u need 1 of these.

    Anything from a X300 - X1600 will do fine for a study laptop.

    If u want some light gaming X600 - X1600 should do fine

    NONO to quadros -.-
     
  10. Infested Nexus

    Infested Nexus Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    1
    GPU:
    AMD Radeon™ HD 8850M
    You are mistaken. The cards you are erroneously refering to are the Quadro FX series of mobile GPU's. The Quadro NVS is a GPU aimed at the business class. The OP stated he would be only doing light gaming, and laptops carrying the X1600 you mention are far more expensive than these Toshiba's. The A6 is configurable and meets his wishes for a portable Core Duo widescreen laptop with graphics a step abouve Intel GMA and the option for bluetooth and a 12 cell battery (long battery life).
     

Share This Page