University Laptop

Discussion in 'Laptops & Notebooks' started by Omeguz, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Omeguz

    Omeguz Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GeForce 6600 256 MB AGP
    Hi all,
    so I've been accepted to University in the UK (currently living in Germany) and I want to start early in planning for my transition to university life.

    I have a desktop at home, see my specs on the left. However, I think it probably makes a lot more sense to get a nice, highend laptop to take to uni.
    I'd like to point out that I have absolutely no experience with laptops and that I have pretty much no idea what to expect, dispite reading up on as much as I could.

    I will primarily be using this laptop for:
    - Word processing
    - Watching DVDs
    - Gaming
    - Burning
    - Internet (Wireless connection in the dorms)

    It's very important to me that I have relatively good battery time. I would like to be able to run a variety of programs, some quite demanding (like Photoshop), and also would like to be able to run new age games.
    Also, it's a bonus if it's light. It can be heavy within reason...

    It'd be nice not to be out of date in 2 years. Is it possible to uprade a laptop? Is it possible to have it ready for Vista? Does that make sense?`

    I have a relatively large budget, it's important to me (and my parents, who are paying) to get a good, reliable system, but I'd like to stay relatively up to date.

    So, I am a LAPTOP NEWBIE, can you guys enlighten me, just so I can get started on the search?

    Cheers all! :)
     
  2. //Josh

    //Josh Member Guru

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    You could try http://www.alienware.de/ if you want a highend Laptop.

    Yes, some do say they are overpriced, but there Support, Realiability and Performance is unbeatable with other companys. Besides, I know of no other good companys that produce high-end gaming laptops with quality and performance.

    The new AlienWare mALX laptop is about £3k, and that's SLi config, with 2GB RAM, 120GB HDD, and the rest of the important high-performance features.
     
  3. Omeguz

    Omeguz Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GeForce 6600 256 MB AGP
    Cool! Thanks for the tip! That would be alright for Vista as well?

    I've looked at it and it seems amazing! It's infinitely better than my PC, hehe.
    The pricetag is a bit steep, though...
    Any other tips, regarding my first post?

    Thanks alot! :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  4. Infested Nexus

    Infested Nexus Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    AMD Radeon™ HD 8850M
    If you plan on taking your laptop to class, I would reccomend a 12.1'' - 14'' laptop - can easily slip into a backpack and will fit on a small fold out table such as those in lecture halls.

    Dell XPS M120
    - 12.1''
    - Core Duo Processor
    - NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400

    Sony SZ Series
    - 13.3''
    - Core Duo Processor
    - NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400

    Asus W3J
    - 14''
    - Core Duo Processor
    - ATI Mobility Radeon X1600

    The X1600 is a significantly more powerful card, however the Go 7400 is no slouch and can handle everything provided you put settings at medium for the latest high requirement releases.

    If you plan on taking your desktop to college as well I would suggest getting the Dell or Sony as they'll be able to handle your mobile gaming needs while your desktop can be there ready for your Oblivion or such needs. If you'll be using your laptop as your primary system then I would opt for the W3J.

    I wouldn't reccomend the Alienware laptops linked abouve at all, none of them feature the Core Duo and most are too large for mobile use.
     

  5. nm+

    nm+ Don Cappuccino Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,423
    Likes Received:
    17
    GPU:
    old
    Alienware's notebooks are prettyt bad.
    What's your budget?
    If you need to move it, keep it to the 15" form factor.
    As for ready for vista? Who cares?
     
  6. Omeguz

    Omeguz Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GeForce 6600 256 MB AGP
    I'm not entirely sure about my budget. My parents will at least contribute, so maybe I'm looking at 2000$US, somewhere in that area.

    The reason I thought it'd be good to have it ready for Vista is so that I don't have to worry about not being able to run anything in 2 years time.

    This laptop WILL probably be my primary system, so I would need it to be able to handle stuff for years to come.

    Hope that helps, nm+!
    Thanks guys!
     
  7. orenda635

    orenda635 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,865
    Likes Received:
    2
    GPU:
    BFG 7600GS 256mb / Radeon 9550 32mb
    Don't worry about Vista. XP is still going to be around for a while. IMHO, Vista is going to be the next Windows ME.

    I'd suggest the 15'' Macbook Pro with the 2ghz CoreDuo. You can dual boot with it. $1999 US.
    http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/

    Also Dell Inspiron E1705. With an optimal layout it would be $2065, with a 1.86ghz Core Duo and a Geforce 7900Go. You can save some money if you go with the 1.66ghz Core Duo instead. Same layout with faster memory but slower CPU is $1890 US.
    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&oc=E1705RFC1&s=dhs

    The Dell is a 17'' notebook. 17'' are ok if you don't mind carrying them around. These two laptops are not gaming systems exactly but they are wll balanced for the cost.
     
  8. Omeguz

    Omeguz Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GeForce 6600 256 MB AGP
    Thanks Orenda!

    Thing is, I'll obviously be able to run MS word and other office stuff with whatever system I get, so it really is about getting a good system for gaming.

    What will be the big difference between 1.86 and 1.66ghz core Duo?
    What IS a core duo?
    Won't a Mac only be able to run a few games?

    Oh, and what is dual booting?

    Let's lay it out on the table: I are Newbie :)
     
  9. scoutingwraith

    scoutingwraith Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    9,457
    Likes Received:
    8
    GPU:
    Tuf 3070Ti / P1000
  10. orenda635

    orenda635 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,865
    Likes Received:
    2
    GPU:
    BFG 7600GS 256mb / Radeon 9550 32mb
    CoreDuo is basically the dual core version of the Centrino, with some refinements to it. It's a plus to have on any laptop. I'm not sure what the difference is between the 1.86 and 1.66ghz but the 1.86 will obviously offer more speed, while the 1.66 offers more power savings, especially if it's the 'L' model.

    Macs are not the best for gaming. Popular games available include CoD2, Doom 3, Quake 4, and a few others. If you want gaming, go with the Dell I suggested or a comparable Acer model. Macs are best suited toward multimedia and productivity. Dual booting allows Windows XP to be booted on the Intel Macs, there isn't 100% hardware driver support for this yet though but it does work.
     

  11. Cry

    Cry Master Guru

    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    2
    GPU:
    MSI 1080TI SeaHawk
    Alienware suck period. My firend had 3 desktops and 1 laptop off em, each costing ATLEAST $2000 and he had nothing but problems.

    His last desktop off em was a ALX with SLI, top proc, watercooled costing around $5000 it lasted 3 week and the motherboard blew up.
    He sent it back they refunded his money except $1100... they said "due to the fact we now have to store the computer you will be charges storage fees, shipping, insurance for storage.

    $1100!!!! took away coz it broke, he didnt even do anything to it! and you say that their "Support, Realiability and Performance is unbeatable with other companys" I call that Bullsh*t
     
  12. Omeguz

    Omeguz Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GeForce 6600 256 MB AGP
    Well, thanks again for the replies!

    How easy is it to upgrade a laptop, e.g. get a better gfx card? Does that even make sense?

    To update you, the budget is around 3000 US $ now. That's a fair goal.
    My only thought for going with Alienware is that they offer to fit the laptop with a US keyboard and Os system for no extra charge. That mALX Alienware sure does look sweeeet!

    The other reason for going alienware is that it's all done and fitted, it's sorted out for me. I am in no position to decide whether 1.66 or 1.86 is the way to go!
    What do you think?

    EDIT: On the other hand, Alienware support is supposed to be absolutely terrible. Just found this. Look at all the complaints about Alienware! :(

    Thanks again, I really appreciate all the help!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  13. Infested Nexus

    Infested Nexus Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    AMD Radeon™ HD 8850M
    In laptop's the GPU's are not upgradable at all, though there are a select few exceptions.

    The Core Duo processor is definately what you should go for, it's arguably the best processor currently on the market.

    Are you going to be taking this laptop to class? If so the W3J is what you would want. If not then the 17'' Clevo M570U (Sager 5760) will make you happy.
     
  14. orenda635

    orenda635 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,865
    Likes Received:
    2
    GPU:
    BFG 7600GS 256mb / Radeon 9550 32mb
    If you are taking it to class, look for ones with a long bettery life. That is, over three hours. I used to use my Dad's laptop but it only had a three hour life, which I found was limiting because I was away from a plug for most of the day. That's why I got the iBook which has a respectable six hours. Look for one that offers 4 or more hours battery life to get the most out of it. Get a larger pack if it's an available option. Don't opt for a spare pack though as that's just more to carry around. You should get 5.5 hours with the Macbook Pro and with PC laptops with similar specs.

    Oh, and just a side note. $3000 is way too much for a college laptop. Keep in mind that there are kids who blow their student loans on beer and partying and become desprit for money. Petty theft is a common campus crime. Don't get something too expensive and always keep it within arms reach. I think its best to keep gaming at home. I know if I had a gamer's laptop, I'd never get any work done. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2006
  15. boomheadshot45

    boomheadshot45 Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    soon to come, HIS X1900XT

  16. orenda635

    orenda635 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,865
    Likes Received:
    2
    GPU:
    BFG 7600GS 256mb / Radeon 9550 32mb
    They look good. I have no idea how good perform though. Their Aviator "Happy Medium" systems seem to be the best bet. The 1-2 hours on the top end is pathetic and no good for taking to school unless it's going to be plugged into a wall all the time. However, even the lowest system doesn't have Core Duo and it's over $2400. The Macbook Pro is a better system and it's $400 cheaper. You'll find comparable Windows based systems to be cheaper too.

    Isn't Intel going to be releasing a mobile Core 2? Perhaps it's worth waiting. When does the school year start where you are Omeguz?
     
  17. Infested Nexus

    Infested Nexus Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    AMD Radeon™ HD 8850M
    Hypersonic-PC, Alienware, VoodooPC and any similair botique vendors will always be overpriced. The "Happy Medium" Aviator MX6 is just a rebranded Asus Z71v and can be found for significantly cheaper. Laptops are manufactured by ODM's and are rebranded. All Sager laptops for example are manufactured by Clevo. Unlike for desktops where you may be paying the premium for a unique machine (like the VoodooPC Idol) with laptops its just a rebranded ODM laptop with perhaps a paintjob or emblem.

    The best deal on a 15.4'' laptop would a VBI S96J but as your budget is higher then the W3J packs the same punch in a smaller chasis. For a 12.1'' the Dell XPS M120 is the best choice, and the Clevo M570U if you want to go big with a 17''. The only other option besides these is the 19'' SLI laptop behemoth at which point useful portability is gone.

    Mobile Core 2 Duo processors (merom) are slated for an August release date, however it will probably a few months before a large selection of laptops with the new processors are available at retailers.
     
  18. Omeguz

    Omeguz Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GeForce 6600 256 MB AGP
    Ok, my school year starts end of August, at least that's when I need the laptop by. Depending on the speed of shipping, this might limit my selection.

    Even though my budget is US$3000, I realise it might not be the best idea to get a super-highend laptop, in case it gets demolished/stolen.

    However, I am moving to another country, I won't be able to keep gaming at home. I've been kept from games like Oblivion and such because I didn't have the system to support it. I'd at least like to get a somewhat good laptop.

    I honestly have no idea what to go with now. You've all been so helpful and provided so much advice, but I still don't have the knowledge to narrow it down, or to get the basics down.

    Here is what I've understood so far:

    I want to get Core 2 Duo processors
    Long battery life
    Not too large screen

    Can you guys please help me knock out the specifics and narrow it down? I understand you're debating between yourselves, so maybe you can help me agree on some things?

    Keep in mind that I can't order from US sites. If you also tell me what I need to ask for a computer shop, I'll have a good idea.

    Thanks all!
     
  19. Infested Nexus

    Infested Nexus Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    AMD Radeon™ HD 8850M
    The Asus W3J is definately what you would want. It has a 14'' screen, a Core Duo processor as well as the MR X1600 (best GPU available in laptops under 17''), an 8-cell battery and get the optional modular bay battery to extend battery life even longer.
     
  20. Omeguz

    Omeguz Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GeForce 6600 256 MB AGP
    Awesome! And it would be able to run stuff for some years, including games. Maybe not on ULTRA settings, but none the less?
     

Share This Page