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Thinking about getting a new laptop

DoronronDoronron Registered User regular
edited February 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a bit of a delimma. Recently, I've begun to notice the need for a new laptop to supplement some of my desktop work. Primarily a machine that would be used for low end applications such as writing productivity and possibly music.

The problem is, the last laptop I owned was saddled with an Intel Extreme chipset, and I have no desire to ever own a machine with similar specs. I want the security of knowing that if I want to run Thief III or Civilization IV or perhaps Titan Quest, the computer would not choke on the lack of Shader architecture.

However, the price difference between a generic productivity laptop and one capable of keeping up with CPU and graphics intensive applications is almost twice as much. Bare in mind, the bulk of the laptops available seem to be running Intel Extreme 950s these days.

I've looked at Toshibas, Dells, Fujitsus, and HPs. The best deal I've found so far is a Toshiba with an nVidia GeForce Go 7600 for $900 after rebates. Going beyond $600 makes the deal a bit difficult to swallow -- why not use some of that for a later desktop upgrade?

Any suggestions?

Doronron on

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    corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Well the 950 is grim, but it does have some shader support.

    Not sure how good it actually is though.

    corcorigan on
    Ad Astra Per Aspera
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    DoronronDoronron Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    My experience with the 851 GMEs make me wish the plant responsible for manufacturing them would be wiped out in a fire. Neither Civ4 nor Galciv2 worked properly on it. Cossacks 2 wouldn't boot. Thief III wouldn't boot. Dawn of War ran, but only after upgrading the RAM to a full GB to let the Intel GPU allocate a full 64MB. It was a crapshoot with each game. The difference between then and now is that I actually have a suitable, if somewhat mediocre, gaming machine.

    Intel GPUs are a blight.

    I can see installing Civ 4, Galciv2, and HoMM5 on a laptop, but I'm not sure I can stomach a $300 price increase when all I'd need to do to play one of those would be to go home and power up my desktop. I just don't like the idea of paying good money for a machine that can't be reasonably expected to run software that was released three plus years ago.

    On the other hand, the productivity software I have slated for laptop use would have all run fine on the one I'd sold. Anything I could get today would run them perfectly.

    This is a fairly subjective request, I admit. If anyone can point to a good comprimise, I'd love to hear from them.

    Doronron on
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    corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    http://www.comet.co.uk/cometbrowse/product.do?sku=363308&tab=pickup

    From another thread.

    Actually seems cheaper than most desktops of that spec...

    corcorigan on
    Ad Astra Per Aspera
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    DoronronDoronron Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Hmm. $1300 USD. But Acer is another possibility. Have to check out their website.

    Doronron on
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    DoronronDoronron Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Double Post, but what the hell.

    GFX cards usually found in Laptops at the moment consist of the Intel 950, ATI X200M, ATI Xpress 1150, and several nVidia GeForce Go's ranging from 6100 to 7900 models.

    I have found at this point in time Toshibas as cheap as $550 (on sale, before tax) from Fry's carrying the ATI x200M. Several other models run slightly more, but all include Intel 950s.

    Comparing specs on GFX chipsets seem to show that the Intel 950 is actually superior to both of the ATIs, and possibly superior to some of the nVidia 6100 models, but certainly not the 7000 series.

    Toshiba direct can customize one of its Satellite brands to include an nVidia Go 7600 with 256MB dicreet memory for about $150. That combined with free upgrade PC4200 RAM (to 1GB) would bring the cost of the system to $900 before tax.

    So far that's the most affordable I've seen without taking a significant hit to overall performance when compared to the desktop it would supplement.

    Of course, the RAM and the GFX chipset have no real purpose beyond gaming, and this machine's primary purpose was not for gaming.

    Going online for the purchase opens up possible vendors such as Tiger Direct and Newegg, but as with a local B&M store, I wouldn't have the capacity to customize the machine should I choose to.

    Given the overtime I've been working recently, I could have $900 in about a month and a half. Having a laptop that wouldn't suck is a good thing, but the principle point of the machine is the mobility it would provide rather than any potential gaming it offers.

    Doronron on
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