Considering Purchasing a Sony Vaio FW390 For Moderate Gaming


Apr 6, 2009
1)What is your budget?
-Preferably less than $1200, but willing to go to $1300.

2)What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
-15.4" - 16"

3)What screen resolution do you want?
-No real preference.

4)Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
-Portable. I am constantly living between my place, my girlfriend's place, and work, with no room for a desktop unfortunately.

5)How much battery life do you need?
-No real preference, I will be using this mostly for gaming so I know it taxes the battery life considerably.

6)Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
-This will be mostly used as a Moderate-Quality game laptop (WoW, Starcraft 2 when it comes out, not Crysis). I would prefer medium-high settings with decent FPS for them.

7)What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing, surfing the web, playing music, watching movies, Etc.)
-Just Web Surfing, playing music, and occasionally watching movies.

8)How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
-Not too much, 250-320gb is fine (Would prefer 7200rpm though).

9)If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.

10)How long do you want to keep your laptop?
-As long as I can, but preferably at least 2-3 years.

11)If you would like to mention some other things about purchasing your ideal laptop, post them.

12)Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

13)What country do you live in?

The main laptop I am considering at the moment is the new Sony Vaio FW390 CTO that is coming out April 14th. Link to the address is:

System spec summary is:

VGN-FW390 Configure-to-Order

Customization Details
Video Standard
LCD 16.4" (XBRITE-FullHD™)
QuickBooks Simple Start
320GB SATA Hard Disk Drive [7200 rpm]
Windows Live™ OneCare 90-Day Trial
No Engraving
Standard Battery
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 3650 with 512MB vRAM
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T9550 (2.66GHz)
WLAN (802.11a/b/g/n) with integrated Bluetooth® technology
Blu-ray Disc™ Read Only Drive [Original Price $100.00]
Microsoft® Works
Microsoft® Windows Vista® Home Premium 64-bit
4GB DDR2-SDRAM (DDR2-800, 2GBx2)

The running price is $1430, but I can get a discount off of Sony products, thus reducing the price down to ~$1140. The only real drawback I see to this is the "mid-grade" HD 3650 graphics card.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice on if I should pursue this for the $1100 price, or if there are other better laptops for around the same price or cheaper.

Also, I was wondering if anyone could shed some more light on how the Radeon Mobility HD 3650 performs in comparison to other similar cards. Thanks for any help in advance.


Apr 6, 2009
Hi EQPlayer,

Thanks for the response. Many people I've talked to referred me to the Gateway you linked, as well as Bestbuy's Asus G50Vt-X5 for $900. Both are very good deals for the hardware they offer.

I was wondering if you had any personal experience with this one? Does it get very hot, how is the battery life while running games, portability, does it feel like it will break, etc?

I might be more tempted to get the Asus since it will perform similarly to the Gateway, but it is cheaper and more portable; also the screen resolution on the gateway is only 1440x900 for a 17". I am still open to hearing suggestions otherwise.

I am also still wondering if anyone had any information on how the Vaio's Radeon Mobility HD 3650 (512mb) performed in games, and with what video settings?

Thanks for the help.


Jan 31, 2002
The Gateway was 1920x1200 when I looked at it at Best Buy.

Also the Gateway's processor and GPU are both faster than the Asus'


Feb 11, 2010
I have nothing but troble with my Vaio fw390. It is not designed well the hardware has broken and I am a little old lady.
The the customer service is rude and the Backup program does not work even after they sent a service man here.
Stay away.
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