another 'is this a good laptop' thread

swotavator

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Hey all, I am lacking l337 laptop skillz and need a new workhorse for business school. I will use it more for gaming than for research papers, of course. THis is the best I found (COSTCO). I looked at Newegg/pricewatch, etc, but need a little input. Is these something in the same price point better than the below? Anything I am overlooking? I.e. Crappy components, lots of preinstalled junk?

HP dv9843CL
320 GB HD (5400 i think)
Intel Core 2 Duo T8100
Blue Ray/combo burner
64 bit Vista
8600 M GS 512
3GB DDR2 (800 ithink but maybe not)

1399$

Is this good? I also used the costco site to build my own laptop of the same time, and am wondering if it is worth building my own and adding a higher resolution screen for 30 bucks.

Anything better out there?

 

dmacfour

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the 8600 gs is a little to slow if you like eye candy. for that price, you could get a Dell with an 8600m gt, a decent card for game, and a good overclocker. If you want to overclock, don't do it to anything but the GPU, and monitor the temps closely. The 8600m gt however is merely decent with modern games; it will run everything well at medium or above settings. If you want high performance, look for an 8800 series card. the guys over at Notebookreview.com are really knowledgeable if you need any more help.
 

skywalker9952

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Gateways new P -FX series looks pretty sweet.
There online line up is here:
http://www.gateway.com/systems/series/529598006.php
Stay away from the two cheap ones.
With a slightly different mid end system sold at best buy (and not online) here:
http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668070.php

Anandtech did a quick review of the P-6831 FX a month ago and called it the best midrange gaming laptop ever (also sold only at best buy). A link to the article here:
http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.aspx?i=3273&cp=8
In fact just google search the Gateway P-6831 FX and you'll see how crazy people were going for it when it was first released. The P-6831 FX was the first of the current FX series that gateway released.
 

swotavator

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perfect, perfect. I am looking at the gateway model now...
also checking out notebook review..
About the p 6831,
Is the gain in video card worth the loss in processer speed from 2.1 to 1.83 and loss of a blue ray player for the same price?
 

dmacfour

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Yes, on second thought, screw Dell, that Gateway is too good of a deal. If you're gaming it is totally worth the downgrade in proc. you can upgrade in the future if you need to as well (the processor).
 

swotavator

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Ok i like it.
Looking at bestbuy there are two others, with different video cards in the same price point. how do these stack up to the 6860?

Toshiba Satellite A305-S6843 (WXGA unfortunately)
2.1 GZ 800 MHZ bus 3 MB Cache 4 GB ram, Radeon 3470 1 GB - $1250

Asus M50Sv-X2
2.5 GHZ 800 MHz, 6 MB cache, 2 GB ram, Geforce 9500M 512 MB - 1350$

I know nothing about video cards. so was wondering your thoughts
 

lostandwandering

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Both of those have stronger CPUs, but their graphics cards aren't nearly as strong. If gaming is a concern, I would go with graphical horsepower over CPU horsepower. Like I said before, the CPU shouldn't be all that difficult to upgrade if you feel you need to.
 

dmacfour

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the Gateway with the 8800 will bow those away gaming wise. the 9500 is similar to the 8600m gt performance wise, and I don't know about the 3470.
 

Onus

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Just be aware that gamer laptops have attrocious battery life; as little as half an hour, although they may last longer when not gaming.
 

lostandwandering

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The Gateway in question gets between 1.5 and 2 hours while web surfing. About an hour while gaming. Not too big of an issue I would say.
 

grieve

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I have a dell with 8800m GT / T7500 and I gotta say im not impressed at all... Compared to my desktop it is horrendous (to be expected as far less power). Battery life is horrible like 1 hour with the biggest battery they have and there is no way I can play LOTRO on high settings…. Med is pushing it even. Older games like C&C Generals are NP but don’t expect to play “new” games with good graphics on any laptop.
 

grieve

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Also I had to buy a heatpad thing with fans to disperse the heat, you wouldn’t believe the heat coming outa there.
I have to wear undies only or sweat to death :) j/k I am exaggerating a bit.
 

swotavator

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oh man, woe is me.. i really want a newer desktop, but I am going to have to use this puppy in class, so i need a laptop. are 9 to 12 cell batteries worth the extra amount?
 

grieve

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I got a 12, if not for gaming i would say yes there are worth it. For games you have to plug in.
Also note that the 12's are larger then the 9's...

waiting in an airport the extra hour of web browsing is awesome.
 

dmacfour

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You guys have to realize that gaming on any laptop without it being plugged in is going to lower your battery life to about an hour or less. My 1720 Dell gets about 3-4 hours of life with minimum LCD brightness and battery saver mode. 1 hour while gaming. If your planning on gaming, battery life doesn't matter because you'll need to have it plugged in.
 

lostandwandering

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I think you have you GPU confused there. The only Dell laptop to offer an 8800 card is the m1730 and that's an SLI setup and it can play Crysis well. Sounds to me like you have an 8600m GT, which was never really meant to be a gaming card. That and there is no mobile GT, only GTS and GTX.




If you get one of the 8800 cards, you will have no trouble playing any of today's titles (maybe not on max, but still with good quality). Granted they do come with a price. (I am not saying go out and get a new laptop, just stating)

 
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