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Laptop Replacement/Suggestions Thread: Bring out yer dead laptops!

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  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    *edit* reading through the thread I saw multiple people talking about laptop upgrades and thought I should post here. Looking at the forum maybe I should have made my own thread? Don't want to hijack anything */edit*

    Unfortunately I may be in the market for a new laptop. I spilled a beverage on mine two nights ago and that might have killed it :(. Tried it out earlier and it wouldn't boot. I let it dry out but forgot to take the battery out d'oh! So I gave it some more drying time, bout to try it again, hoping for the best.

    If I'm in the market what are some good sites to order from and be able to customize the build? Dell used to be really cheap but it seems like the 30% off coupons aren't as common, and their prices have gone up. I like to do a bit of gaming on my laptops, and take it out of town for work with me frequently.

    Right now the two most demanding games I play are LoL and diablo 3.

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    @Tommatt

    What's your budget?
    How important is battery life?
    What size/resolution screen do you prefer?
    Do you do much CPU intensive work on your laptop? Encoding movies or similar?
    How quickly do you need to get it?

    In general HP is known as selling cheap laptops these days and the quality is supposed to be improved from previous years. I avoided getting one because the dv6t was said to get hot under the WASD keys while gaming.
    Another option is Sager/Clevo but I haven't really seen coupon deals for those.

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  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    My budget is around $1000. Less is always good, a little more is ok. In the past I'd like to make a laptop at dell for around 1k and apply a 30% coupon. My last one that I blew up I want to say I payed $1500 for, maybe a little more. It was still serving me well, being able to play diablo 3 decently. Really pissed I blew it up :(

    Screen size/resolution has never been a big buying point. Obviously bigger is better, and I don't want a 12 inch monitor,, but I'd rather sacrifice a little monitor space for more power out of the hood/the laptop lasting longer.

    The most intensive thing I'll do on the pc is probably play games, right now namely diablo 3. The programs I need to run for school are pretty old/not very computer intensive.

    My old laptop was a dell xps 16. I believe it had a 15 inch wide screen monitor which I really liked and thought was good size. I'm not sure when ill be buying. Obviously I'd like to now, but te reality is probably not till late August. Thinking about getting back in school (all online classes) and won't need it till then.


    Also I'm currently lookin to see if it's worth it/I can claim it on my home insurance policy. I also have the option of paying $500 to renew my warranty and get it fixed, but at that point, I think I could find a laptop for $500 that was an upgrade to my current one.

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    Actually for a given amount of cpu/gpu power, bigger laptops are generally cheaper, if anything. There should be plenty of 15" laptops around and you could go 17" as well but that's a pretty big laptop.

    If you can't buy till August there should be a good number of refreshes out as all the makers put out their i5 Ivy Bridges and hopefully Trinity. Those should lead to cheaper options.

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  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    I didn't know that about size. Thought the bigger it was the more expensive it was. My only requirement for size then I guess is I like being able to fit it in a normal jansport backpack (what I use as a carry on when I travel)

    Is there much difference between the i5 and i7 cores? I read that nothing really takes advantage of the i7 core yet. Also, what are some good sites to customize a laptop at? I may be able to claim it on my home insurance, the only question is how much will they give me.

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  • floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Games, in my experience, don't make use of the i7. The big difference between the i5 and the i7 is hyper threading. It basically doubles the amount of processing threads the cpu can use. So, while the i5 will have four if it's a quad core, the i7 will have eight, though it's still a quad core. Diablo 3 only uses four threads on my Macbook Pro which has a quad core i7.

    Anyway, if you don't care about size, don't care about battery life, and want to spend around 1000 bucks, I'd look at something like this:

    http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX35848

    Damn well put together, relatively affordable, and pretty powerful. I've also been pretty impressed with the Dell XPS 15z. Again, can be configured to be pretty powerful, and is still reasonably affordable.

    I wouldn't go 17" personally. They're just so big and heavy you'll be pretty unlikely to actually bring it anywhere. Sort of defeats the purpose.

    floobie on
  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    I use a Asus G74SX and it's handling LoL and Diablo 3 perfectly. I like the 17" since I use it as a desktop replacement, but if you're schlepping it around, go smaller - the 17" doesn't fit in any laptop backpack I ever found unless you get the one Asus sells.
    Current setup:
    IMAG0236.jpg

  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    What sucks about the laptop market is you can't say get an i5 processor that is beefy enough to do what you want, skimp on say the HD which you can swap out if you want, same with memory, and get a kick ass top of the line GPU. Just for shots and giggles I was looking at laptops with ATi's new hotness. 7690m? I couldn't find a single configuration with an i5, and the cheapest build was about $1700. If you upgrade to an i7 from
    An i5 the upgrade price seems to be $230 at most places.

    Maybe they do it for a reason. I'm gonna measure my screen sometime soon, and see what size it is. The dimensions of
    My currents laptop is probably the biggest I'd want to get as it fights nicely in my backpack where I don't think anything bigger would.

    What are people's thoughts on dell nowadays? I know to stay away from the Alienware line as your paying for the name it seems, and the cool lighting and wallpaper you get haha.

    I'll mostly follow this thread and start doing some research with a buying time aimed at mid to late July. Gonna try and get restarted on my online classes around then.

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  • floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    Just read a feature about Vizio on the Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/15/3076519/vizio-reboot-pc-american-hdtv-success-do-it-again#105410585

    I would have a serious look at some of their laptops. Reading their take on the PC industry as it stands right now, I really applaud them for focusing on quality and usability to the extent that they are, and actually committing to selling computers with bloat-ware free copies of Windows 7. These definitely aren't your typical slapped together, ticky-tacky, sticker covered, bloat-ware infested HP/Acer/Gateway/Compaq/etc... laptops.

    If I were in the market for a Windows laptop right now, I'd probably go with one of these (pending reviews):

    http://store.vizio.com/cn15a2.html

    It looks like literally the only laptop in existence that can more or less match the mix of power, mobility, and quality of my 15" Macbook Pro.

  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    That's an interesting article, but I kind of wonder if what is needed isn't Vizio taking on laptops but a new Vizio-like company taking on laptops the way Vizio took on TVs.

    Isn't Vizio starting down the path of becoming like the giant, unfocused consumer electronic companies that it was able to outmaneuver earlier?

    That said, it seems like they are trying to focus on the right things.

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  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Vizio laptops?

    HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER...

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  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Video cards are always confusing, hate the way they number them, they make that shit confusing on purpose. But isnt the 640mLE a kinda crappy video card?

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  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Tommatt wrote: »
    Video cards are always confusing, hate the way they number them, they make that shit confusing on purpose. But isnt the 640mLE a kinda crappy video card?

    This is where you can get all the information you need for referencing laptop GPUs.

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    Tommatt wrote: »
    Video cards are always confusing, hate the way they number them, they make that shit confusing on purpose. But isnt the 640mLE a kinda crappy video card?

    Well supposedly, there are two 640m LEs. One that a decent little GPU for low power usage/heat generated situations the other is a rebadged last gen part.

    But neither are really for gaming laptops, especially when paired with a 1080p screen.


    Another question I have is about their low number of SKUs or configurations. It seems to me that such a strategy might work well for cheaper latops, but someone wanting to spend $1k or more is going to have a reason they don't want a $600 laptop and maybe Vizios 3 options won't cover those necessarily.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Tommatt wrote: »
    Video cards are always confusing, hate the way they number them, they make that shit confusing on purpose. But isnt the 640mLE a kinda crappy video card?

    Well supposedly, there are two 640m LEs. One that a decent little GPU for low power usage/heat generated situations the other is a rebadged last gen part.

    But neither are really for gaming laptops, especially when paired with a 1080p screen.


    Another question I have is about their low number of SKUs or configurations. It seems to me that such a strategy might work well for cheaper latops, but someone wanting to spend $1k or more is going to have a reason they don't want a $600 laptop and maybe Vizios 3 options won't cover those necessarily.

    Well, according to the Verge piece, they're targeting the high end Windows market - the sort of person who today grabs a MBP and puts Boot Camp on it.

    Edit: I believe that the reports are that Vizio is strictly sticking with Ivy Bridge/Kepler configurations.

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  • CheesecakeRecipeCheesecakeRecipe "Should not be allowed to post in the Steam Thread" - Isorn Squalor Victoria, Squalor Victoria!Registered User regular
    Tommatt wrote: »
    What sucks about the laptop market is you can't say get an i5 processor that is beefy enough to do what you want, skimp on say the HD which you can swap out if you want, same with memory, and get a kick ass top of the line GPU. Just for shots and giggles I was looking at laptops with ATi's new hotness. 7690m? I couldn't find a single configuration with an i5, and the cheapest build was about $1700. If you upgrade to an i7 from
    An i5 the upgrade price seems to be $230 at most places.

    Maybe they do it for a reason. I'm gonna measure my screen sometime soon, and see what size it is. The dimensions of
    My currents laptop is probably the biggest I'd want to get as it fights nicely in my backpack where I don't think anything bigger would.

    What are people's thoughts on dell nowadays? I know to stay away from the Alienware line as your paying for the name it seems, and the cool lighting and wallpaper you get haha.

    I'll mostly follow this thread and start doing some research with a buying time aimed at mid to late July. Gonna try and get restarted on my online classes around then.

    HP Dv6t has the 7690m available as an option, and has an i5 in it. Comes up to about $720 after taxes and all that.

  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    HP laptops through their website are surprisingly customizable... and after the horrific nightmare my gf's Toshiba was to try to open up, it was incredibly easy to open up a dv6t I bought a month ago to pop in one of those Seagate hybrid HD's

    Now, HP's reliability ratings haven't been the best recently, but if you really want to be able to customize it's one of the best options

  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Tommatt wrote: »
    What sucks about the laptop market is you can't say get an i5 processor that is beefy enough to do what you want, skimp on say the HD which you can swap out if you want, same with memory, and get a kick ass top of the line GPU. Just for shots and giggles I was looking at laptops with ATi's new hotness. 7690m? I couldn't find a single configuration with an i5, and the cheapest build was about $1700. If you upgrade to an i7 from
    An i5 the upgrade price seems to be $230 at most places.

    Maybe they do it for a reason. I'm gonna measure my screen sometime soon, and see what size it is. The dimensions of
    My currents laptop is probably the biggest I'd want to get as it fights nicely in my backpack where I don't think anything bigger would.

    What are people's thoughts on dell nowadays? I know to stay away from the Alienware line as your paying for the name it seems, and the cool lighting and wallpaper you get haha.

    I'll mostly follow this thread and start doing some research with a buying time aimed at mid to late July. Gonna try and get restarted on my online classes around then.

    HP Dv6t has the 7690m available as an option, and has an i5 in it. Comes up to about $720 after taxes and all that.

    Ooops meant 7970m. Think it's like the fastest mobile video card on the market right now. And I don't need the highest end, but definitely want a kick ass video card as it's not upgradable and be the most dependent piece of hardware when it comes to new games and such.

    *edit* really missing my laptop right now. There's no games I really feel like playing I have for the 360 heh


    *edit 2* just starting my research, but it doesn't seem as if alien ware is as overpriced as I remembered. Would love to be pointed to a great site for custom laptops, but I do have a dell credit card. Between the 0% financing for a year, and the option to balance transfer for 0% to another card for another year, dell is always tempting. Someone point me in the right direction.

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    Yeah, Xoticpc has a Sager that comes to $1550 minimum with the 7970m. I was indeed surprised that there was no i5 option.

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    So apparently my laptop has been built and shipped. Fedex said they picked it up in YANTAI, CN. I was thinking "CN. Hmmmm. Connecticut or maybe Canada. But Yantai sounds like China. Can't be they are saying delivery will be on Thursday."

    Yep, China.

    Crazy world, this.

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  • CroakCroak Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    I picked up the $1299 Sony 15.5" VAIO last week, retail from the Sony Store here in Vancouver. It's the i7 3520 dual core with 640LE (didn't have time to do a custom order for the quad-core and 2GB VRAM model, since I'm travelling this week and wanted the laptop for the trip).

    The display is great (though reds do look more orange than is ideal). It's damned light for a full-powered 15" at 4.4 pounds, the keyboard is good, the clickpad sucks no worse than any other Windows-based machine, and the overall build-quality is nice (once you get over the surprise that what you thought was a plastic case is actually textured magnesium top and bottom).

    Biggest thing for me was that the 640LE does not suck...it's a Kepler 28nm part in the Sony units, for one thing, and drives 1080p gaming pretty well, providing you're willing to forego cranking AA up (or turn it on at all). Frankly, on a 15" 1920x1080 display I don't feel I need a lot of AA anyway. Doesn't look that bad at 1600x900 either, if you have to go there.

    I did install a Crucial M4 256Gb SSD (can be had for under $200 these days), which obviously boosts performance and "feel" quite a lot. Now I'm just waiting on somebody to make a drive caddy for the unit so I can install my leftover 750Gb HDD in the optical bay.

    The cheaper i5/6GB version is a nice alternative, you save $300 and don't give up much real-world performance over the dual-core i7...that $300 pays for a DIY upgrade to 12GB and a 256GB SSD. And creative parts selection if you custom order online can net you significant savings (can get the quad-core 2Gb VRAM model for less than the retail dual core if you drop down to 4Gb RAM, 500Gb drive).

    Croak on
  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    I'm glad you like the Sony it since that's what I'm getting but with a i5. You aren't missing anything by not having 2 GBs of VRAM since just about any situation that the extra ram could be used would bring the LE to its knees anyway.


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  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    It would seem that my dvd burner has now died. Been a good week for hardware failures. Stupid universe, stop telling me to buy new hardware, I get it already!

    Word on the interwebs is Dell finally releasing some Ivy bridge models (not Alienware) on Tuesday.

    Edit ...
    @Croak: So you got an i7 3520 with the 1GB 640M LE? That doesn't look to be a customizable option on the online store. The only i7 they offer is 3612 and as soon as you pick it you are forced into the 2GB 640M LE model. The lack of options is making me lean towards the Lenova and ASUS models. Although I am still looking at the cheaper E series to replace the wife's recently busted laptop.

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  • CroakCroak Registered User regular
    I'm glad you like the Sony it since that's what I'm getting but with a i5. You aren't missing anything by not having 2 GBs of VRAM since just about any situation that the extra ram could be used would bring the LE to its knees anyway.


    Well, you get a free quad core upgrade if you opt for the 2GB 640LE (or the other way around, depending on how you want to look at it). :)

    If I hadn't so quick to "de-sticker" this thing minutes after I decided it was a keeper, I might have taken it back for the i5, $300 is $300. Actually, I made the stupid assumption that it was a quad-core when I bought it, only to find that it just has a 100mhz speed bump and 1mb cache bump, which is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

  • CroakCroak Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    EvilMonkey wrote: »
    @Croak: So you got an i7 3520 with the 1GB 640M LE? That doesn't look to be a customizable option on the online store. The only i7 they offer is 3612 and as soon as you pick it you are forced into the 2GB 640M LE model. The lack of options is making me lean towards the Lenova and ASUS models. Although I am still looking at the cheaper E series to replace the wife's recently busted laptop.

    I bought mine retail in a local Sony store. There are two "big-box" off-the-shelf models, the 2.8Ghz i5 with 6Gb RAM and the 2.9Ghz dual-core i7 with 8GB, both with 1GB 640LE and both with a regular DVD-RW, no BD-ROM. I think the i5 retail model also has a smaller HDD, my i7 model came with a 5400 RPM 750Gb.

    Croak on
  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
    Ahhh. I've tried a couple times but haven't seen the new S series on the shelf in store. Did see the new E series though. I'd be more inclined to purchase in store if they gave me the option for an English only keyboard.

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    Haha. Intel's CPU naming scheme takes another victim. There must be a crazy law that any chip that is included in laptops must have a retarded naming scheme that only serves to confuse customers.

    I didn't know they made 2 core i7s.

    In any case I await Civ V benchmarks, Croak.

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  • CroakCroak Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Just fired up a Civ V save of a late game huge map with 5 living AI races and a ton of city states.

    At 1920x1080, everything set to medium except textures (high), and AA turned off, it never dropped below 33FPS, maxed in the low 50's, seemed to average around 40FPS, according to Fraps (and the framerate dropped the most when calculating AI turns). That's at max zoom, picked up a few frames by zooming in a bit. And even set to medium, it still looks great.

    Controls were smooth (other than the usual issue of trying to pan and scroll when the AI turns are going on) and I anticipate burning up a lot of time in hotel rooms with Civ V on this laptop (watching Steam countdown the hours until G&K unlocks).

    Croak on
  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    Awesome.

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  • Lord_SnotLord_Snot Живу за выходные American ValhallaRegistered User regular
    Does XoticPC ship to Europe?

    I need to upgrade, and a laptop looks like it may be a promising option, but the prices in Europe are extortionate compared to the US. Had a look at the site, but couldn't find anything.

  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
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  • RookRook Registered User regular
    Lord_Snot wrote: »
    Does XoticPC ship to Europe?

    I need to upgrade, and a laptop looks like it may be a promising option, but the prices in Europe are extortionate compared to the US. Had a look at the site, but couldn't find anything.

    You'd have to pay tax on any imports, which would be around 20% - depending on where you are. And you'd probably lose out warranty wise too. There's a reason things are generally more expensive in Europe.

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
    The Dell drops...

    $1000 - Inspiron 15R Inspiron 15R Notebook (Inspiron 7520)
    i7-3612QM
    15.6" Full High Definition (1080p) LED Display
    750GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
    8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz
    Radeon™ HD 7730M 2GB
    8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)

    So looks like I need to decide between this, Lenova Y580, Sony S Series, and the ASUS N56VZ-DS71
    Eeep.

    [PSN: SciencePiggy] [Steam]
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    floobie wrote: »
    Just read a feature about Vizio on the Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/15/3076519/vizio-reboot-pc-american-hdtv-success-do-it-again#105410585

    I would have a serious look at some of their laptops. Reading their take on the PC industry as it stands right now, I really applaud them for focusing on quality and usability to the extent that they are, and actually committing to selling computers with bloat-ware free copies of Windows 7. These definitely aren't your typical slapped together, ticky-tacky, sticker covered, bloat-ware infested HP/Acer/Gateway/Compaq/etc... laptops.

    If I were in the market for a Windows laptop right now, I'd probably go with one of these (pending reviews):

    http://store.vizio.com/cn15a2.html

    It looks like literally the only laptop in existence that can more or less match the mix of power, mobility, and quality of my 15" Macbook Pro.

    The 14" Ultrabook with a GT650M would be a great system for light gaming, if it existed. Wish the "notebook" configuration had better graphics, too. I'm digging the design and no bloatware, though.

    a5ehren on
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular

    Are they really asking me to pay $1200 for an ultrabook with a Core 2 Duo?

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  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »

    Are they really asking me to pay $1200 for an ultrabook with a Core 2 Duo?

    All the i5's and better are quads right? Haven't kept up with processors in awhile.

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    Apparently not even all i7s are quads. I don't think any mobile i5s are, but who knows.

    Basically you have to look up each processor because Intel's naming scheme is useless.

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  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
    According to wiki none of the i5s are quads. As for the i7s, if it has a Q then it's a quad.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Mobile_processors

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  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Apparently not even all i7s are quads. I don't think any mobile i5s are, but who knows.

    Basically you have to look up each processor because Intel's naming scheme is useless.

    Seriously. I have to believe its intentionally designed to obfuscate at this point.

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