Help: Buying a laptop for Game Design and Animation


Apr 12, 2013
Hello. I've been searching for a laptop for the last few weeks, with the basis of advice having been given to me being; Get a laptop for animation and game design.

The programs I use most constantly tend to be PaintToolSai, Photoshop, Illustrator; along these lines. I also use Microsoft word extensively, although I hope that wouldn't be an issue on any laptop.

Online, I use a lot of flash programs and java, and I'll probably extend further into the line of programs used in game development and animation once I have the time to. I don't know much about computers, but of the research I've done, I've found;

At least 6 DDR3 gb
Intel core i7(some apparently don't work the way they're supposed to, though- that confuses me, I'm not sure which ones are proper)
And when it comes to graphics cards, I'm rather stuck on an Nvidia, a Firepro, or a Quadro

When I use a computer, I tend to push it a lot, though I try not to; I run several programs at once, and have quite a lot of image or song files saved on my computer. I practically live on it, on most days.

So far from all the websites I've seen the Lenovo ideapad Y500 and the Lenovo thinkpad 520 - though it seems to be discontinued in favor for the 530, is the 530 as good?- seemed to be good choices, although I'm not sure which one would be more hardy and long lasting due to the form of internet and program usuage most common to me.

I checked alienware and it sounded very good, but the price range made me antsy as I'm a student and I dabble equally in art as I intend to in game development.

As I said, I don't know much about laptops, truly, so any advice would be deeply appreciated.

My price range is at the most, 1500.00 Canadian Dollars.
The system requirements for those applications aren't very demanding, so I would say stick with a GeForce garphics card that has at least 1 GB of vRAM. A Quadro card would probably treat you well, but the performance would not justify the expense (they're marketed more towards engineering and heavy 3D rendering work).

You can easily get something for around $1,000. My suggestions are to look for the following specs:

CPU: i5 or i7. More specifically, a 3230M or a 3630QM, respectively.

RAM: 8 GB. If you go with 6 GB, the system will probably run in asynchronous dual channel; though still better than single channel, 8 GB or 16 GB will get you synchronous dual channel, which is slightly better than asynchronous.

GPU: NVidia has larger market penetration, so usually software developers like Adobe tend to favor their hardware. Stick with a GeForce card, such as 635M or better (if you can get a 650M or better with GDDR5, woohoo!).

Screen: If you're going to do a lot of photoshop work, look into the higher gamut displays (the ones advertised for 95% NTSC color gamut or better). You'll get better color saturation; either way, though, if you're going to do photoshop work, you should consider a spyder calibrator.

Those are your essentials. With that budget, you could get a good SSD as well, though that's more of a luxury component than a necessity for your needs. :) Don't forget that you can customize your laptop too component by component, which will really help you stay within your budget and get exactly what you need.
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