Would this be a great college/gaming laptop?

c01e0

Estimable
Aug 6, 2014
11
0
4,570
1
Hiya. I posted this thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2249891/laptop-college-minecraft-
Hoping to find a laptop to suit my needs. During my search, I stumbled across this:
http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-b551lgxb51-preorder-p-7349.html
Which seems to meet or exceed all of my requirements. So what I need to know is, even if it's overkill, is this the laptop for me? My only concerns are:
-Battery life. Xotic claims 6 hours or more, but in the same spot they also claimed that it was 4 pounds; in the tech specs it says 5.5 pounds. I'd be happy with 5 hours of battery.
-Has an i5 processor. Probably not even bad, but I saw that the others had i7's, and 5<7 so I got nervous.
-No one recommended Xotic to me. They seem to have good reviews from what I've read on the forums.
-Reliability? I'd like this to last a MINIMUM of 3 years.

I think that's it. I'd upgrade the RAM from 8 to 12 gb just because it's cheap. Is anything else recommended?

And I know, this computer would be overkill x100000. But I don't often get to buy nice things, and when I do I like to do it right. This would give me room to expand and evolve, which is cool.

Thanks in advance for your help. I'm loving the forums! :)
 

photonboy

Distinguished
My two cents:

Some of the GPU's are the newer generation (Maxwell) but you have to carefully check to be sure. I think 870M for example.

These GPU's don't need as much cooling for the same level of performance. Having said that, I imagine one of the SLI 2x7xxM setups would be the best performance. Strictly speaking gaming performance here.

CPU:
I general, the difference between the Intel CPU's you're likely to get at this level probably aren't significant when it comes to gaming assuming a 4-core CPU. Be WARNED that i5 doesn't necessary mean 4-core which is typical on the desktop.

RAM:
a) More than 8GB unlikely to matter for a long time, and
b) 12GB is likely to be 8GB + 4GB. I'm a little concerned as I believe there can be some small loss of performance if not running in Dual-Channel (as high as 15% likely but still..). Sorry to confuse you.

Brands:
Lenovo does tend to have pretty good value and quality especially with the SLI machines. Some brands are pretty overpriced.

SUMMARY:
I don't have time to research a model, but I would focus on these points:

1) Quality (preferably at least 30+ user comments from at least two sights)
2) 4-core Intel i5-4xxx CPU
3) Performance (compare SLI to single GPU for whatever GPU)
*Note that SLI like on desktop tends to have better overall performance for the price but can have issues. I have been recommending SLI over the last year in many cases as I think it's finally matured to that point.

4) System RAM: 8GB or more
5) Video RAM: 2GB per GPU
6) Monitor resolution: 1600x900 or higher

7) Monitor Size: 15.6" vs 17"
(portability vs readability. That's your call. At home, a desktop monitor for about $100+ is also an option such as through pcpartpicker. Dell, Asus, BenQ. 21.5 to 24", 5ms or less, 1920x1080, HDMI with speakers or at least HDMI plus analog audio output for desktop speakers or headphones.)

8) HDD/SSD:
SSD + HDD is nice (at least 120GB SSD) though for this price may not be reasonable. I strongly recommend either two drive bay, or one with M.2 SSD support.

If you don't have two drives, get some software like Acronis True Image (Free manual version for WD HDD's; Seagate had DiscWizard) and backup to either a USB drive or over a local network if you know how to another PC. That's for creating a backup IMAGE of the Windows partition.

*Create an initial backup (once Activated if no yet), then keep this backup. Later, create a SECOND backup which you can overwrite. The first one is in case errors creep into your system which is very common. These backups are very, very important. People constantly come to me with issues requiring re-install of Windows, or just a dead drive with all their photographs on them for the last 5 years...

9) WARRANTY!


I hope this helps get you.
 

c01e0

Estimable
Aug 6, 2014
11
0
4,570
1
Photonboy, that was helpful, thank you. So between the two xotic laptops linked, which would be better? The second one is on backorder, but I think they both meet or exceed the specs that photonboy has laid out. And can anyone confirm the actual battery life on these guys?

EDIT: Upon further examination, the G550jk looks to be just about perfect. How is Asus customer support these days?
 

Etorpine

Estimable
Jul 25, 2014
3
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4,510
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I've never used the brand but I have several gaming buddies who swear by ASUS and have told me the US centers are fairly responsive as well as helpful provided you're actually calling them.
 

c01e0

Estimable
Aug 6, 2014
11
0
4,570
1
Wow, now I'm liking that lenovo y510p. I like the removable battery; so I can have an extra with me. Tell me, how long could I expect the battery to last on this if I'm carrying it from class to class, on powersave settings, just taking notes and stuff?
 

Joeteoh99

Estimable
Herald
Jul 20, 2014
282
0
5,210
66



The Lenovo Y510p is like a hybrid between work and gaming. It can last about 5 hours or so. :)
 

Etorpine

Estimable
Jul 25, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
The ideapads are fantastic laptops and can definitely handle any of your college needs AND are pretty good for gaming as well, you'll definitely not maxing out Metro Last Light or Crysis 3 (maybe lowish settings on truly high demanding games like that) but it can handle a LOT of games. Especially pre 2013 titles and like I said lowish settings maybe even medium for games after that. I think it'd suit your needs as well. As far as battery life goes provided you aren't using high performance settings it should last 4-6 hours.
 
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