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Time For a New LaptopFollow

#1 Jan 18 2012 at 6:17 PM Rating: Good
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Hey Zammites, long time no see.

I plan to get back into online gaming, but I really need to upgrade my laptop before I do. I am currently using a three and a half year old Compaq Presario CQ60. It has an AMD Turion Dual Core 2.1 GHz processor, 4gig of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 8200M G. It has served me well through the years, but for the last year or so it has developed serious issues with overheating when I ask it to do just about anything. I will hear something inside the laptop spin up to very high speeds and it crashes to 1FPS for the next minute+ until the spinning thing inside calms down. It was this problem that killed my WoW career...

What I am looking for is a Laptop that can play SWTOR or LoL with no drama. I don't expect to find a machine in my budget that can run it at full settings, but I want something that can easily cope with something above the minimum settings.

So if anyone has advice on certain things to look for while shopping, or if you really feel generous want to find a laptop for sale that meets my standards (I'm in the UK if you can be bothered trawling through UK websites). I'm not fussed about refurbished or not, those things are good value for money.

Thanks for the help guys.
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#2 Jan 18 2012 at 6:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, not knowing your approximate budget, I'm not sure what to reccommend. If it were me, I'd look at finding a Dell Latitude E6520 or E6420 with the Nvidia graphics processor option
http://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/InventorySearch.aspx?c=uk&cs=ukdfb1&l=en&s=dfb&brandid=3&fid=2121

Unfortunatly the UK version of the dell outlet store doesn't seem to show what video processor is in the machine. Which is rather important information.

The Dell Precision's are the higher end equivelent of the latitude, but you might also be able to find a good deal in there, though I'd imagine they will cost on average a minimum of 200 pounds more.

If you want something new, the dell consumer line isn't bad, they just lack docking port capability, which is a big deal with me. HP also has some nice models out currently. I'd need a basic idea of what you are looking to spend to get more specific than that though.
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#3 Jan 18 2012 at 7:24 PM Rating: Good
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**** I knew I missed something vital in my original post. I've budgeted myself around £500
I find myself confused when I am comparing laptops, I don't really know how to compare processors when you are comparing a 2.1ghz Quadcore AMD against an i5 processor.
I also struggle with graphics card, I tend to just look for Nvidia and avoid everything else like the plague.

Edit: Oh my... I just looked at a couple of graphics card comparison sites. Terrifying to see how low my current card is ranked. Mayhaps my philosophy of going for Nvidia to the exclusion of all else has led me astray

Edited, Jan 19th 2012 2:45am by EbanySalamonderiel
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#4 Jan 18 2012 at 8:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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For what its worth, I always go with Nvidia cards, especially in laptops. For some reason ATI drivers in laptops tend to self destruct every so often, especially when multiple monitors and or projectors are involved. Sometimes they aren't the fastest, other times they are. it all depends on the card and the ram they put with it.

£500 probably puts an nvidia equipped E6520 out of price range, but there are other decent solutions. you probably will have to go with an ATI video card to get into one at that range though.

You might take a look at a Dell Inspiron 15R http://configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=n00q1542&c=uk&l=en&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&model_id=inspiron-15r-n5110 Thats around your price point, and will run SWOTR or LoL adequatly.


If ou prefer to stick with HP / Compaq, and don't mind an ATI processor, try http://h40059.www4.hp.com/uk/homelaptops/product.php?id=A3C36EA&experience=direct

As far as comparing processors, there are a lot of confusing aspects, especially comparing AMD to intel these days. A good reasonably accurate list of mobile processors and how they stack up performance wise is here: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmarklist.2436.0.html
There is definitly some room for argument on a couple of their placements, but overall it gives you a decent picture of how a processor will perform. That specific list is just mobile processors. When looking at intel processors, there are three main families at the moment. The "I3" processors are the ones that tend to be at the lower end, and usually only have 2 cores and no virtual hyperthreading cores. They also usually have embedded video processors on the chip. The "I5" processors are usually quad cores, usually lack video processors on the chip, and also don't have hyperthreading. The "I7" processors are the flagship head of the line processors. Of those, there are quad cores, a few hexacores, and all of them have hyperthreading. an "I7 Extreme edition" is the top of the top tier, and usually cost around $1,000 to start.

Everything these days is about multiple cores. Almost all games these days including LoL and SWOTR are multi core aware, and will play better on a machine with 4 cores than on a machine with only 2. after 4 cores though, the gains start to get less and less unless the program is specifically set up to make effective use of the additional cores. Hyperthreading virtual cores aren't true cores themselves, but basically allowing your computer to reuse unallocated processor power towards a second process. In effect it basically works out to a 30%-40% boost in performance when comparing a quad core with hyperthreading I7 processor with a quad core without hyperthreading processor of equil horsepower under ideal conditions.

Realistically at your budget, you are looking at an I3, possibly an I5, or equivelent AMD processor. £650 is where the I7's start to kick in, and an upper tier gaming laptop is going to start around £800ish. I think. I'm trying to do the conversion math in my head and some of those numbers may be off a little.

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#5 Jan 19 2012 at 4:33 AM Rating: Good
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Kao you are amazing, I really appreciate you taking the time to help educate me. I think the best idea now is for me to look for a few machines in my price range and you can tell me how they would stack up. I'm using videocardbenchmark.net to compare graphics cards.

http://www.medion.com/gb/electronics/prod/MEDION%C2%AE+AKOYA%C2%AE+P6631+15.6%22+Laptop+%28MD97885%29/30013010A1
Not a brand I had heard of before I started googling, but it falls just in my price range, has the i5 which seems to be the best I can hope for, the graphics card gets almost 10x the points of my current card on the comparison site as well.

Okay I'm struggling to find anymore at the moment. Am I correct in thinking thats a pretty solid laptop?
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#6 Jan 19 2012 at 8:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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Glad I could help!

Specificationswise that one looks good. I've never heared of the brand, but they might not operate over here in the U.S., so that doesn't suprise me. ratingswise, their desktops seem to get bad reviews, their notebooks are mixed. the main issue seems to be build quality of the components. I'd see if you can't take a look at one in person and see how well its put together before buying. Internally, the components are all pretty much the same. Chances are foxconn makes the motherboard, the processor is the same as every other mobile, etc.
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