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Laptops Ahoy!

zhen_roguezhen_rogue Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello again H/A:

I need advice on purchasing a laptop.

This system will serve as both my workstation (i'm an architect running AutoCAD 2007 and ArchitecturalDesktop 2007), and my home gaming system (must run say, Oblivion on max settings smoothly).

I will be taking this with me to work during the day (connecting it to a network/LCD DVI monitor/keyboard/mouse), and bringing it home at night (stand-alone laptop gaming, connecting to cable internet and a printer only).

Weight is not an issue, nor is battery life.
Rarely will I be operating this system outside of AC power, and if so it will only be running outlook/word/etc. (no gaming or AutoCAD).

Budget: +/- $3000, purchasing in US for use in US.

Screen size: Must be 17" 1900x1200 WUXGA

System "looks" or other sex appeal is not important - only reliability and performance are priority issues.
I am a consultant that is paid on an hourly fee schedule. Every single hour that goes by if my computer is down/away for repairs costs me dearly.

Must have minimum 80g HDD @ 7200rpm

Must have minimum 2gig DDR RAM

Must have dual-core processor (intel T7200 preferred)

Must have dual-layer DVD capable optical drive

Reseller that supplies the system must offer 3 year extended warranty with option for accidental break/damage warranty.

Based on all of the above, i've checked out a ton of different options.
Dell, Alienware, Sager, Asus, Sony, WidowPC, IBM, Acer, VoodooPC, to name but a few.
I've also gone through a ton of resellers.

So far, i've come down to this choice:

Sager NP5760 - V
$2958.00

17" WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Glare (Glossy) Type Display
Intel Core 2 DUO 2.0GHz (T7200) Processor (Merom / 4 MB L2 Cache / 667 FSB)
Artic Silver 5 (AS5) Thermal CPU Paste Compound
nVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX w/512MB
2048 MB DDR2 (667 MHz) Memory (1024 MB x 2)
80 GB Hard Drive (7200 RPM) SATA
8X DVD±R/RW / 4X+Dual Layer / 5X DVD-RAM / CD-RW Multi Drive (Pioneer DVR-k16)
Integrated V.90/56K Modem (V.92 compliant)
10/100/1000BASE-TX Fast Ethernet on boardLAN Card
Internal Intel 3945ABG 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN
8-cell Smart Lithium Ion Battery
4-in-1 Flash Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MSPro)
Integrated 1.3M Digital Video Camera
Ac Adapter w/ power cord included
Free Carry Case
Windows XP Pro w/Express upgrade coupon to Windows Vista Business Edition upgrade (32 Bit only)
Sager 3 Year Limited Warranty w/ discountlaptops.com Accidental Damage coverage
Lifetime toll-free technical support by calling 800-741-2219 (or 626-964-4849)
Ground Shipping


I am planning to buy this from discountlaptops.com, because they offer the warranty/accident insurance I am looking for (included in price above).

If anyone here can suggest for me a comperable/superior system option for the same or less money, I would be very interested in your advice.

Also, I am interested in feedback regarding:
-Sager quality/durability/reliability?
-discountlaptops.com previous experience with anyone here? good/bad?
-Any advice about my hardware above? overkill/underpowered?

Thanks in advance, this is a really important decision for me as my entire family's household income for the next 3-5 years will be based on my ability to work hourly on this system.

Any and all advice/recommendations/admonishment is appreciated.

zhen_rogue on

Posts

  • robaalrobaal Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    If you're going to be connecting it to stuff anyway then have you considered a Small Form Factor PC?

    They are about half as high as a mini-tower case (12.8" x 8.7" x 8.3") and you can still use normal desktop components in it (though only one video card and a single PCI card).

    The 975X-based barebone from shuttle is a bit expensive at $430, but I think the whole system would still be cheaper than a comparable laptop.

    They even make a carrying bag for it.

    btw. you could use a USB hub to connect your keyboard/mouse - maybe even an ethernet adapter - so you'd only need to plug in one thing to the computer instead of millions.

    Also: don't you need a professional card (FireGL/Quadro) to get acceleration in AutoCAD?

    robaal on
    "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra when suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath.
    At night, the ice weasels come."

  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Personally, I've never been hot on "desktop replacement" notebooks. They're too heavy, too inconvenient, have too little upgradeability, and cost too much for what you get. Have you priced a gaming-quality desktop system and a non-gaming laptop? I don't know how much heavy-duty work you need to do on the road, but I think a gaming desktop system plus a competent notebook system would be within your budget and offer way more bang for the buck. Not to mention that you'll actually be able to easily upgrade the video hardware in the desktop system when some theoretical Elder Scrolls V comes out two years from now that eats GeForce 7950s for breakfast.
    zhen_rogue wrote:
    Weight is not an issue, nor is battery life.
    My Dad said the same thing the first time he bought a notebook for work. He's also a consultant, and travels quite a lot to client sites. Within a couple weeks of lugging around 10+ lbs. of kit, he wished he'd picked a lighter notebook. If you're sure this isn't an issue for you, then fair enough, but based on my father's and my own experience, I personally wouldn't settle for a laptop that weighed more than 6 lbs.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • zhen_roguezhen_rogue Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanks for the replies so far!

    robaal:
    Thankfully, I don't need a Quadro or similar card to get full functionality in AutoCAD. My previous studio ran quite a bit of CAD software across very, very weak cards with no issues (other than framerate of course).

    The USB hub is a good idea for the workstation - similar to a docking station I assume? I'll do some research into those.

    vonPoonBurGer/robaal:
    With reference to desktop+laptop or small form desktops, they aren't going to work out i'm afraid.
    This system has to be portable between work, jobsites, and home - but it also needs to be portable at home. Meaning that depending on what my family is up to... I might be working in the office, in the living room, in the bedroom, at the kitchen table, etc, etc. The laptop solution (even though it's heavy and difficult/impossible to upgrade) is unfortunately the right one for me.
    I do appreciate the alternatives though, thanks for the suggestions.

    zhen_rogue on
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    zhen_rogue wrote:
    vonPoonBurGer/robaal:
    With reference to desktop+laptop or small form desktops, they aren't going to work out i'm afraid.
    This system has to be portable between work, jobsites, and home - but it also needs to be portable at home. Meaning that depending on what my family is up to... I might be working in the office, in the living room, in the bedroom, at the kitchen table, etc, etc. The laptop solution (even though it's heavy and difficult/impossible to upgrade) is unfortunately the right one for me.
    Yeah, it definitely sounds like portable is the only way to go for your situation if that's the case. As for the notebook spec'ed out above, from what I've heard of the Sager brand, they're pretty solid in terms of reliability and performance, but not so great for portability or aesthetics. Those are two categories you've already discounted though, so it sounds like the right brand for you. :)

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • MiglioriMigliori Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Sager have the best desktop replacements around, I think the machine is probably going to be your best choice. I'm sure you've already done in depth research though.

    Migliori on
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