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Need help making a cheap but usable Laptop.

Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
edited July 2007 in Games and Technology
So heres the deal: I've been working since the end of school to pay for my car's insurance (I'm 17). The main thing is, I'm just about at the full year price of the insurance (Or at least my third).
In the 3 weeks I've been working I've mananged to amass $1000 give or take to pay for it.
So, seeing as how I have no other monetary needs at the moment, I plan on saving for a laptop, to be purchased in the next month or so, meaning by August i'd have about $1,400.
Now, some I'd like to put away for college, but I'll keep working after that.
So, I have NO clue what really is good in terms of computer parts (I understand the BASICS, and very basicly kind of basics, too), so I could use some help from you smarties.
I'm looking for Vista (Most any build will do), that can run things like photoshop and the like fairly well, and also play some recent games (I'd like to try Halo 2 Vista and Shadowrun on PC), with a price range of, at maximum, $1,200.
Think you guys can help?
Edit: I will also consider a Desktop for the sake of getting a good computer for less money.

Local H Jay on

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    deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I don't know that you can get something that'll run Shadowrun well for that price in a laptop.

    deadonthestreet on
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    blue integerblue integer Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Any chance you could get a desktop?

    At the expense of mobility, you'll get a much more powerful rig capable of handling the games you want to play.

    blue integer on
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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I don't know that you can get something that'll run Shadowrun well for that price in a laptop.

    I can dream....
    But in any case, if someone were to build one that IS too expensive, I do know someone who sells computer parts to the goverment, so I might be able to get them on the cheap.

    Local H Jay on
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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Any chance you could get a desktop?

    At the expense of mobility, you'll get a much more powerful rig capable of handling the games you want to play.

    I suppose I could get a desktop, just I need to be able to take projects home and back to school (I'm taking special classes next year in Design and Illustration).
    I suppose my Flash Drive will do.
    So sure, a Desk Top is fine too.

    Local H Jay on
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    KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I highly suggest looking at Dell's used Outlet store. (ObWarning: I work for Dell as a tech support grunt.)

    They are called Used but that includes canceled orders and systems they use to show off on like, QVC and whatnot.

    http://www.dell.com/outlet/

    The D620 is the mid-range Laptop. You won't be running any Vista games on a laptop I wouldn't think, but for Adobe it should be fine.

    The XPS line is our Gaming line. Still, portable gaming, um, not so much?

    Some options:
    (Remember, prices are before the Warranties, which can add up to $300 to a laptop or so)
    $899.00
    Inspiron 6400 / E1505
    Intel Core 2 Duo - 1730
    Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic
    15.4
    120 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
    1000 RAM
    DVD/RW
    256MB ATI MOBILITY RADEON X1400 HyperMemory
    Intel Pro Wireless 3945
    Notebook

    You'll want to upgrade the ram to 2 gigs. I am not sure how well the X1400 works for gaming.
    $879.00
    Latitude D620
    Intel Core Duo - 1660
    Genuine Windows XP Home
    14.1
    80 GB EIDE SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
    512 RAM
    CD-ROM
    Intel Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 950
    1390 Wireless Card

    You won't be gaming on this one.

    Desktops:
    $339.00
    Dimension E520
    Celeron D - 3060
    Genuine Windows Vista Business
    80 GB EIDE SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
    1000 RAM
    CD/RW DVD Combo
    256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
    Small Mini Tower

    TurboCache is nVidia's way of saying that it shares your system Ram. IIRC, the 256ers have 64 megs onboard and use 192 megs of your RAM.
    $899.00
    XPS 700
    Intel Core 2 Duo - 1860
    Genuine Windows XP Media Center 2005
    250 GB EIDE SATA II Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
    1000 RAM
    DVD/RW
    256MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS
    Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic, w/Dolby Digital 5.1
    Tower

    As announced on The Direct2Dell Blog the XPS 700s are getting a MLK (Mid Life Kicker). The neat thing in this case is that we're offering the chance for people to just upgrade their current systems to the new motherboard, which will be quad core compatable. Specifically, you'll get a free motherboard replacement (with free onsite installation) and an offer of 25% off a Quad Core processor if you so desire. (Plus, by then, Quad Cores should be pretty cheap compared to right now.)

    The way I hear it, the XPS 700's current motherboard kinda sucks, and it really showed in Benchmarks, so to make it right, Dell's just going to get out new mobos. A lot of people are buying XPS 700s in anticipation of that.

    Really, peek around the Outlet and see what you find. There are some really dirt cheap desktops there for Parental use / Emergency replacement, and some really nice deals on laptops. And don't forget, you're going to need to add the warranty price to the system, which will be a few hundred bucks.

    IIRC, they come with 1 year standard, and you can upgrade to 3 - 5 years if you need / want to. For laptops, there's also "CompleteCare" -- accidental damage coverage -- that you will want to get.

    KiTA on
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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    KiTA wrote: »
    I highly suggest looking at Dell's used Outlet store.

    They are called Used but that includes canceled orders and systems they use to show off on like, QVC and whatnot.

    http://www.dell.com/outlet/

    The D620 is the mid-range Laptop. You won't be running any Vista games on a laptop I wouldn't think, but for Adobe it should be fine.

    The XPS line is our Gaming line. Still, portable gaming, um, not so much?

    Some options:
    (Remember, prices are before the Warranties, which can add up to $300 to a laptop or so)
    $899.00
    Inspiron 6400 / E1505
    Intel Core 2 Duo - 1730
    Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic
    15.4
    120 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
    1000
    DVD/RW
    256MB ATI MOBILITY RADEON X1400 HyperMemory
    Intel Pro Wireless 3945
    Notebook

    You'll want to upgrade the ram to 2 gigs. I am not sure how well the X1400 works for gaming.
    $879.00
    Latitude D620
    Intel Core Duo - 1660
    Genuine Windows XP Home
    14.1
    80 GB EIDE SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
    512
    CD-ROM
    Intel Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 950
    1390 Wireless Card

    You won't be gaming on this one.
    Wow, thanks.
    I might be able to work with this.

    Local H Jay on
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    KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I cannot stress how much I would suggest to avoid Vista. Do not get it. If you must get it, order your laptop with XP, and then buy Vista for like $5 through your college bookstore, that way when you DO get tired of it and wipe your drive, you can install XP again and get support for it through Dell Tech Support.

    I really donno how well the gaming on a laptop thing will work out, especially with those Vista "required" games like Shadowrun. Laptops are really more for work than play, unfortunately.

    KiTA on
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    KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Wow, thanks.
    I might be able to work with this.

    The D620 and it's slightly newer cousins (D630(Intel) and D631(AMD)) are really nice for their price range. The only reason I don't have one is I'm holding out for either a Quad Core MacBook Pro (I need to get one, simply so I can say I own a Mac, if nothing else) or a Very sexy Latitude XT.

    GOD, I want an XT.

    KiTA on
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    scootchscootch Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I say you keep all the money for college. you can never have enough once you start school ;)

    scootch on
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