Laptop for Simple Programming, General Use, WoW

mhaffner

Honorable
Dec 30, 2012
2
0
10,510
0
Approximate Purchase Date: Within two weeks

Budget Range: <$450

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Simple Programming (Python, Java), Word Processing, Spreadsheet (Excel), World of Warcraft


I am a graduate student and I already have a gaming desktop at home (GTX 570, i5-2500k), another desktop at my office, and lab computers to run ArcGIS, SPSS, etc. I need something portable that I can do basic things with, carry around campus, bring to my girlfriend's house, and to conferences. Given that I have a number of powerful computers at my disposal, I want to spend as little as possible to meet these needs. I would like to spend under $450, but the cheaper the better as long as I can meet these requirements.

I am mainly looking at two laptops:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834231019

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834231057

From the benchmarks I've looked at, one has a better processor, and the other has a better GPU. I haven't done much programming, so I'm not sure what would be better/sufficient. I am open to other suggestions as well. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!
 

Zooshooter

Honorable
Feb 8, 2013
46
0
10,610
10


There are conflicting reviews on that particular video option. It seems that it works perfectly fine for some people, getting 30fps with medium graphics options set in WoW but for others it seems to not do as well. The chip itself seems to be ok for questing and light gaming with the bad reviews seeming to stem from the laptop that the chip was in. Here's a review specific to the model you want: http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/asus_s56ca-dh51.aspx If you scroll down about halfway there's a review section labelled "graphics" that has information on WoW play.

 

Zooshooter

Honorable
Feb 8, 2013
46
0
10,610
10
Get a better cpu in the laptop. WoW isn't terribly hard on graphics as long as you aren't a vital participant in raiding. Just turn the settings down. It'll look like crap, but c'est la vie. Programming and Excel are more processor dependent as well. Word processing.....well, it's word processing, you could do that on a calculator if you really wanted to. Doesn't take much to fulfill that one.
 

mhaffner

Honorable
Dec 30, 2012
2
0
10,510
0


Thanks for the quick response. Do you think the second laptop would suffice? I don't know much about laptops to be honest; not to mention that I don't trust manufacturer specifications, and it's a little harder to find laptop CPU benchmarks that give me an idea of what kind of performance I'll really get.

That's a good point about WoW. I figure I would just do some casual questing with the girlfriend on this laptop anyway. Anything serious I would do on my home desktop.
 

Zooshooter

Honorable
Feb 8, 2013
46
0
10,610
10


There are conflicting reviews on that particular video option. It seems that it works perfectly fine for some people, getting 30fps with medium graphics options set in WoW but for others it seems to not do as well. The chip itself seems to be ok for questing and light gaming with the bad reviews seeming to stem from the laptop that the chip was in. Here's a review specific to the model you want: http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/asus_s56ca-dh51.aspx If you scroll down about halfway there's a review section labelled "graphics" that has information on WoW play.

 
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