Buying a labtop from Costco

WakaBam46

Estimable
Oct 12, 2014
15
0
4,560
0
Hi, I am in need of a new computer and was looking at Costco to be my source since its usually cheaper and has a better warranty. I was planning on building a super desktop gaming machine but was forced to hold off on that. That said, I was looking at their custom HP laptop sets and I think I got the base price set but don't know what to put into it. Should I go with 6gigs or 8 for RAM. The CPU thing is whats got me in a bind since I don't know whether to get an i5 or an i7. An i5 will get me "i5-4210U Dual Core Processor + 2GB NVIDIA GeForce 830M Graphics". Where as an i7 will get me " i7-4510U Dual Core Processor + 2GB NVIDIA GeForce 840M Graphics". The difference in price is $91.

I do a lot of gaming but I think the most graphic intensive thing I have in my library is Arma 2, red faction 2, CIV 5, X3 series, and Witcher 2. Yeah my laptop is pretty old.

I also like to run 2 screens at the same time if that makes a big difference.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
I think 6GB of RAM is doable enough since the graphic chip will have it's own dedicated RAM. However, if the $40 is not too much of a burden, then I would go with it. At worse you can just go with the 6GB of RAM (4GB + 2GB sticks) and if you start getting low memory errors you can buy a stick of 4GB RAM for around $40 and replace the 2GB stick yourself. The RAM should be very easy to replace.

The Core i7 is a little faster than the Core i5 CPU, by 300MHz I think. That by itself is not too much of a performance difference. However, if you go with the Core i5 CPU then you will only be getting the Geforce 830m which is less powerful than the Geforce 840m. Therefore, it is best to spend the $91 to get the Geforce 840m and the laptop will last you longer before you decide it is no longer powerful to play modern games. The 830m / 840m will have it's own 2GB of dedicated RAM.

When you have a 2nd monitor attached it will lower the performance of the graphics chip when you are playing games. This is because the graphics chip must render the graphics for the game and also whatever is being displayed on the monitor. If the second monitor is used to display a forum web page where there is very little Flash media content or just an empty desktop, then there will be a minimal performance impact. If you are using the monitor to watch a video, then the decrease in gaming performance will be more noticeable since the graphics chip needs to render the graphics and also decode the video.

 

WakaBam46

Estimable
Oct 12, 2014
15
0
4,560
0
Well a drop in performance with 2 screens shouldn't be that bad since I'm upgrading from a 512mb graphics card. Will the battery be affected much with an i7?

I have also been seeing a lot of people saying that the i7 4510U is not worth it since its an upgraded i5 basically.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
The amount of RAM is not the issue. It's what's going to be displayed on the second monitor that is the issue. If you simply have a web browser up with little flash content then the drop in performance is very small. If you are playing a 1080p video on the second monitor and play a game at the same time, then you will notice a bit of a performance decrease. I know from experience.
 
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