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Laptop or Desktop?

lolwuthalplolwuthalp Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Help / Advice Forum

Alright guys, I've got myself a predicament.
My laptop just started arkin and sparkin and blowin up, so now I need to get a new one.
I've got about $1300 at the moment and I have no idea what to purchase. I cant even decide if I want to rock a laptop or a desktop.

Now, if I were to buy a laptop, I'd probably go a 13inch MacBook Pro. I've never had a Mac but one of my mates swears by em. I've used it a couple of times and I enjoyed it. However, I was talking to a tech savvy friend last night and he mentioned that he'd just finished putting together a computer for his brother in-law. I'm now considering asking him to put one together for me. I don't do much PC gaming anymore. Unfortunately I have moved onto consoles. I have no idea how far $1300 would stretch in the world of gaming PC's but if my friend could pull some strings, I would def. be getting back into it.

So, my idea is that if I do decide to roll the desktop, I was going to use my TV as my monitor. Its a 32inch Sony Bravia. I figure that this way, I can spend more money on the tower and not have to screw around with getting a monitor. Then all I would need is a wireless keyboard and mouse. Is this a good idea or am I just getting far too excited for my own good?

Any advice/help/clarification/complaints would be fantastic. Especially if you have been in the same position or have the same desktop/tv setup.

Cheers, Max.

lolwuthalp on


  • ShirenShiren Registered User
    If you don't plan on doing any gaming at all on your new machine then a MacBook can probably fill your needs. However, for $1300 you can put together a very decent gaming machine, including a good monitor.

    Using your television as a monitor can work, given its' size, but keep in mind you might have to play around with some settings in order to get full hd resolution. My bravia refused to display anything over 720p until I told it to ignore overscan. I can't remember offhand exactly what setting it was but I had to go fairly deep into the menus. Personally I think it's great to watch films on, but not so much for browsing and gaming.

    Should you want to get yourself a new rig here are some recommendations:
    - CPU: Intel i5 2500. Get the k version if you plan on overclocking (get a aftermarket cooler as well in that case)
    - RAM: 8GB DDR3-1333 from a good brand like Corsair or Geil.
    - Motherboard: I'm partial to Asus. Choice of model is dependent on wether or not you wish to overclock.
    - GPU: I have a GTX570 but a 560Ti will most likely fill your needs and it might be better bang for the buck. EVGA is very good when it comes to warranty.
    - PSU: for the love of all that is holy, don't skimp on this. Your hardware will thank you. Enermax is a expensive but solid brand that won't let you down. Antec, Corsair and OCZ are also reliable brands in general with a dud model here and there. A 550-600W model should fit your needs just fine. Seriously, stay away from nobrand or very cheap power supplies.
    - harddrive: whatever fits your needs. You can always add more drives in a tower if needed
    - Case: Antec and Corsair have good cases for a modest price.

    With a bit of looking around you can get all that for less than $1000 and it'll last you quite some time. If you decide on getting yourself a tower you can always go to the computer build thread and ask for specifics. Alecthar seems to always give good advice there.

    For in depth hardware reviews, you can have a look on hardocp. That site is mostly aimed at enthusiasts but their reviews tend to be pretty thorough.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Literally the only advantage a laptop has over a desktop is portability. Desktops last longer, break less often, are easier to fix when they do break, cheaper, higher-performing, and more comfortable to use (though, you can set up your laptop as a desktop, but that just makes the price difference that much more pronounced). Portability is a really big deal, though; whether or not it's a big deal to you is the question, and not really something we can answer.

  • lolwuthalplolwuthalp Registered User regular
    thanks for the replies! and for the specs. I don't plan on doing a lot of hardcore gaming. All my friends are on xbox 360's and no doubt I would get a bit lonely. It is tempting with BF3 though.

    my problem with a desktop is room space. I have nowhere to put a desk and chair and I still have to get my drum kit in there somehow.
    I dont take my laptop out of my bedroom, so the portability advantage is pretty down played.

    Shiren, by disabling the overscan did it have any noticeable effects?

    and Thanatos, you make a good point about the durability and performance of desktops. I'm def. leaning towards a tower at the moment, if I can make this work with my tv it would seal the deal.

  • ShirenShiren Registered User
    Shiren, by disabling the overscan did it have any noticeable effects?

    Yes, the difference is quite big. If memory serves, 720p has a resolution of 1280x768. Full HD is 1920x1080 so you have a lot more stuff on your screen.
    I just poked around in the settings of my tv and here's how I disabled the overscan:
    On the Bravia select HOME > Settings > Setup > Screen Settings > Display Area. By default it says NORMAL there and when you set it to FULL PIXEL you eliminate the overscan and you get a 1:1pixel match on your screen. Note: this works for the hdmi ports but I'm not sure you can do the same with the vga port on your tv.

  • lolwuthalplolwuthalp Registered User regular
    fantastic! I think I'm going to have to go with building a tower.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    I've had my MacBook Pro for 2 years now and not a single problem thus far. It's a reason they keep their resale value so high. And unlike PCs, they'll last you much longer in regards to not bogging down when a new OS comes out. They're serious workhorses.

    If you don't plan on doing gaming and your short on space, stick with the MacBook Pro.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • tech_huntertech_hunter Registered User regular
    If you are wanting to build a desktop and you have space concerns, you don't have to get like a full tower. A mini-tower or even going with a Home Theater PC case with a micro-atx motherboard can save you a lot of space and still fit all the components you need.

    Sig to mucho Grande!
  • big lbig l Registered User regular
    If you have $1300 to spend, you could get both. You can get a $300-$400 laptop that will do just fine for having something to carry around and word process/surf the internet on. A MacBook Pro is too much money for not enough computer, in my mind. I have a cheap Acer laptop, I bought it 2 years ago for $350 and it's still working just fine for the simple things I want out of it, and if it breaks, so what, it's relatively inexpensive so it's not a huge deal. And depending on how much money your friend would charge to put together the gaming tower (or if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, it's not hard), you can put together a tower for less than $1000, no sweat. A $800 tower could play every game on the market right now at high specs, so if you don't need to buy a monitor, this is a financially feasible option. I built a tower for around $800 about a year ago, the "computer build" thread was super helpful. I told them what I wanted to do and my budget, and they suggested parts, and the assembly took just an hour or two. Having both is really nice because it means I have a machine at home I can play games on and watch movies on and so forth, and then I have a laptop to carry around when I'm away from home. Plus with diminishing returns on money invested, I don't think there's much of a point in spending $1300 on just one or the other.

  • lolwuthalplolwuthalp Registered User regular
    big l wrote:
    A $800 tower could play every game on the market right now at high specs.

    really? I havent put a computer together before but if thats possible then I'll head over to the other thread and poke about.

    thanks for the replies guys.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    You don't need to have the same thread posted all over the place.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn

This discussion has been closed.