Looking for a new computer that can fit my needs(gaming, photo editing, music)

Notyouraveragejo

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Jul 29, 2013
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1. What is your budget?
$300 - $800

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I'm comfortable with whatever is in my price range and has a good resolution. I've used a 13-14 inch screen before and was comfortable with it.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
What ever is good for gaming and high resolution photographs

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
To be honest, I'm unsure. I would like to have a portable, sturdy, dependable laptop that has the memory/power of a desktop. But a desktop is not out of the question.

5. How much battery life do you need?
The best I can get, given my other essential requirements. (Preferably more than 3 hrs)

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)?

Yes. My main concern would be the unreleased Sims 4, that is set to come out in 2014... I plan on purchasing and playing it.. So I guess a good estimate would be Sims 3 with all expansions on high settings or close to it that can run very smoothly. I don't personally own any of the sims 3 games because I prefer to play sims 2. It would be great if the laptop was compatible with the sims 2 as well.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Heavy downloading for music. Editing videos and pictures. I'm a photographer so it's important for my computer to be able to keep up. Streaming and blogging. The biggest thing for me is that I like to do a lot things at once, multiple programs running etc.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
At the very least, I would need 500GB. The more the merrier.
7200RPM. And for ram 6GB DDR3 or higher. The laptop also needs to be able to get up to 3.0GHz or more. Graphics card either a NVIDIA or ATI/AMD Radeon

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I've never purchased a computer offline so links and suggestions would be helpful.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Over the next 3-4 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Not a huge preference. Something that can play sims discs, cd's, dvd's etc.

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.

I like the design of HP which is what I've mostly had in the past. I'm open to anything that gets the job done. I might be iffy about a dell model because they seem cheaply made to me.

13. What country do you live in?
United States of America
 

gbryan101

Honorable
May 28, 2013
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The sites I like are Newegg and TigerDirect, preferably Newegg with their generous returns policy. If you are looking at higher end machines with quad core processors, your goal of 3.0 GHz might be a tad bit high. For example, this machine is pretty capable, but its i7 only runs at 2.4GHz:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=7708024&sku=A50-173107&SRCCODE=WEM3729TT&cm_mmc=email-_-Main-_-WEM3729-_-tigeremail3729&utm_source=EML&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=WEM3729&cm_lm=gbryan101@gmail.com

That is higher than your budget, so its a purely and academic example. In your price range and on the Intel side, you are largely looking at i5 powered machines, likely with hyper-threaded dual core processors. A great many use HD 4000 (or similar) integrated graphics. It sucks, avoid it like the plague. Another option would be a machine with an APU from AMD. It's still pretty much integrated graphics, but is usually more robust than Intel's HD graphics.

Something like this is what I am talking about:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314182

Personally, I would go with this if you can find one:
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-V3-571G-9683-15-6-Inch-Midnight/dp/B00B7JE6FS/ref=sr_1_31?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=pc&tag=basebal-20&ie=UTF8&qid=1364586263&sr=1-31

The model that replaced it uses a low power 'U' processor, so I would avoid its successor. Newegg has them refurbished.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA15T0YA8457&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-_-pla-_-Laptops+%2f+Notebooks-_-9SIA15T0YA8457
 

gbryan101

Honorable
May 28, 2013
15
0
10,590
5
The sites I like are Newegg and TigerDirect, preferably Newegg with their generous returns policy. If you are looking at higher end machines with quad core processors, your goal of 3.0 GHz might be a tad bit high. For example, this machine is pretty capable, but its i7 only runs at 2.4GHz:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=7708024&sku=A50-173107&SRCCODE=WEM3729TT&cm_mmc=email-_-Main-_-WEM3729-_-tigeremail3729&utm_source=EML&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=WEM3729&cm_lm=gbryan101@gmail.com

That is higher than your budget, so its a purely and academic example. In your price range and on the Intel side, you are largely looking at i5 powered machines, likely with hyper-threaded dual core processors. A great many use HD 4000 (or similar) integrated graphics. It sucks, avoid it like the plague. Another option would be a machine with an APU from AMD. It's still pretty much integrated graphics, but is usually more robust than Intel's HD graphics.

Something like this is what I am talking about:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314182

Personally, I would go with this if you can find one:
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-V3-571G-9683-15-6-Inch-Midnight/dp/B00B7JE6FS/ref=sr_1_31?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=pc&tag=basebal-20&ie=UTF8&qid=1364586263&sr=1-31

The model that replaced it uses a low power 'U' processor, so I would avoid its successor. Newegg has them refurbished.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA15T0YA8457&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-_-pla-_-Laptops+%2f+Notebooks-_-9SIA15T0YA8457
 

Notyouraveragejo

Honorable
Jul 29, 2013
2
0
10,510
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Thank you so much for your reply! I will be sure to check them all out. After doing some research I'm particularly interested in the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500... It seems to be a very powerful computer for a good price, a price currently out of my range but I am going to be saving up anyways. I'm not a crazy gamer though... So I don't really know if I need something that extravagant, I mean sure it would be nice but would take me a while to save up for. Would it be more affordable if I were to look for my specs in a desktop instead? What is something similar to the Y500 for less money?
 

gbryan101

Honorable
May 28, 2013
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I was actually going to suggest that, but I didn't know exactly how flexible your budget was. I should probably clarify, so which IdeaPad Y500 are you talking about?
This:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312438
or:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312440

Personally, I would cough up the extra $100 or so dollars for the i7 and double the RAM. It would be a matter of finding one, since a newer model is out and most retailers carry it now. At that point, you are in the price territory of better gaming laptops, machines meant to replace desktops. You could look at MSI or Asus, both have good offerings in the $1000 to $1200 bracket. An Asus G75 and it's derivatives would be a great choice. If Sims 4 carries on the Sims tradition, it won't be a very graphically demanding game. Something like this should work fine: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314017


You could consider a used or refurbished machine. It could save you a few hundred dollars, but just make sure it has a good warranty or is something you can fix yourself. I have a Dell Latitude e6410 and, while I still don't appreciate the Army taking my money and buying it for me, it being repairable has been a very redeeming trait.

Unless you catch a good sale, Dell machines are rarely worth what they cost and come with little or no support. I shouldn't have had to replace the trackpad, keyboard, RAM, and thermal paste all within two years and now deal with a failing screen, all of which I had to do myself. Dell provided zero support because the machine was technically bought by the Army and then sold to me, despite the warranty being transferred. Honestly, I don't have a much better opinion of HP laptops any more. I have seen a few machines; they were all slow, hot, and overpriced. I haven't tried to keep up with what they offer.

Generally speaking, you can get more desktop for same amount of money when compared to a laptop. You also have nearly limitless choices if you build your own machine.
 
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