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Looking into getting a laptop.Follow

#1 May 28 2013 at 6:46 PM Rating: Good
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Been bouncing the idea of something portable to use around the house. Tablet or laptop, but I know once I get one I'm going to want to play some games on it so I'm thinking laptop. The only laptops I've been exposed to are the ones I use at work. Dell and Toshiba. All intel graphics chips, low ram, etc. Just run programming software and maybe some very light 2D/3D model viewing (which takes forever).

Right now I'm looking at prices at a few places, and so far ASUS seems to be the best specs for the buck.

Anyone have any brand recommendations?

Edited, Sep 23rd 2013 10:00pm by Kaolian Lock Thread: spammer keeps bumping it.
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#2 May 28 2013 at 7:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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For laptops, Dell Latitudes make excellent gaming laptops if you get them wth the Quadro chip. Can be expensive though. The dell precisions also really work well for that and you can build a desktop class laptop on a precision chassis. spendy as hell though. Asus is good for a lots of horsepower, lots of processor and video goodness laptop platform at a lower price. Toshiba sometimes has decently priced units with good specifications as well, but they have had some off years recently. HP is another option, though their laptop chassis tend to overheat in my experiance.

I only use Asus motherboards in my workstation builds, their laptops use the same components and circuit boards.
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#3 May 28 2013 at 8:28 PM Rating: Good
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Man. Looking around I wish the price was about 10-15% lower across the board. I guess I'll have to sit on this idea until the IRS gets around to approving my amended tax return...
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#4 May 29 2013 at 9:53 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
Been bouncing the idea of something portable to use around the house. Tablet or laptop, but I know once I get one I'm going to want to play some games on it so I'm thinking laptop. The only laptops I've been exposed to are the ones I use at work. Dell and Toshiba. All intel graphics chips, low ram, etc. Just run programming software and maybe some very light 2D/3D model viewing (which takes forever).

Right now I'm looking at prices at a few places, and so far ASUS seems to be the best specs for the buck.

Anyone have any brand recommendations?
I don't know what your budget is but take a look at this. I just got it delivered yesterday. Scroll down the page for four versions at different prices - I bought the i7-3630QM with 8GB DDR3. Read the reviews to get the good and the bad.

I like it because instead of a dvd drive, it has a bay that you can stick a (lenovo brand, of course) dvd drive in. Or a hard drive. Or a second video card, which is they way this laptop ships. SLI for gaming. Taking the advice of the reviews, the first thing I did was go to Lenovo's website and downloaded the video driver. Nvidia had a newer one, but they advise you to dl it from Lenovo in order to not void the warrantee.

I did a lot of research into a good laptop for a good price. I didn't go very deep into the ASUS gaming laptops (ASUS ROG) but they are getting a lot of attention. I've owned a lenovo thinkpad and loved it. IBM just knows how to engineer things.

I decided on the i7 over the i5 because it's only $100 to help future proof the laptop. People will tell you that there's no great difference in gaming between an i7 and an i5. But keep two things in mind that I picked up from reading around - in this SLI system the GPU is not going to be the bottleneck, and rumor has it that the new game engines are being built to take advantage of the i7 (four threads? - sorry, my ignorance is showing).

Cons (after only a couple of hours of use): fingerprint magnet, but that isn't a huge deal for me in terms of priorities.

Pros: fantastic graphics and the backlit keyboard. I didn't think I was going to like the red backlighting, but in person it does not look garish at all.

Meh: the software it ships with. I started deleting stuff but found that I was deciding to give most of the programs a chance and re-visit the issue in a week or two. I can't really say there's a lot of junk that it ships with.

Meh: Windows 8. I thought I would hate it, and was thinking I would just go for the Classic Shell, but after a couple of hours of use I'm finding that it isn't as bad as I expected. We'll see if I get used to it or if my patience runs out first.

WARNING: take note of where the laptop is shipping from. When I bought mine, Amazon was not selling it directly and the outfit that it shipped from put some heavy restrictions on delivery. Of course I asked for expedited shipping, who wants to wait when you finally pull the trigger? I knew FedEx would make an attempt on Friday and I figured I'd take the door sticker and go pick it up on Saturday. It was a good thing I called first. I was told "The shipper has put certain restrictions on this, and the only thing we can do without their permission is deliver the package." Meaning, I could not sign a door sticker for re-delivery, I could not have it sent across the street to my neighbor, I could not even pick it up! I had to take the afternoon off yesterday to wait for it (I know, the sacrifices I make!)

This is not a cheap machine, literally nor figuratively, but it is some amazing bang for the buck.

Good Luck in your hunt.
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#5 May 29 2013 at 1:58 PM Rating: Good
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That looks decent. Lack of an optical drive is not a problem, as most of my gaming on it would be done through digital distribution services like Steam and Origin.

Still might be another 2 months before I seem my amended return. I think that alone should cover the cost of the laptop, hopefully. At the very least I'll be ghosting the HDD to an SSD when I get the laptop, which will be adding a couple hundred to the price. Still bouncing the idea of a 17.3" vs 15.6" And I'm not sure if I would want Windows 8 to remain on the laptop. I poked around with it a bit at the store today, they had a few laptops out running 8.
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#7 May 30 2013 at 9:18 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
That looks decent. Lack of an optical drive is not a problem, as most of my gaming on it would be done through digital distribution services like Steam and Origin.
That was my thought process also.
TirithRR wrote:
Still bouncing the idea of a 17.3" vs 15.6"
The screen on the Y500 is a nice size. For a laptop. But I agree that a laptop with a 17.3 would make it that much more appealing. My biggest gripe in the laptop vs. desktop debate is that I have big, beefy hands and using the WASD keys makes my hand cramp up after a while.
TirithRR wrote:
And I'm not sure if I would want Windows 8 to remain on the laptop. I poked around with it a bit at the store today, they had a few laptops out running 8.
I'm still not convinced that W8 is a good thing. The best part about it is that it's just like navigating my smart phone. The worst part about it is that it's just like navigating my smart phone.

Also, for some reason known only to God, Optimus Prime, and the engineers at Lenovo, the screen on the Y500 is not a touch screen. Things that make you go hmmmm . . .


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#14 Jul 20 2013 at 10:43 AM Rating: Good
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So I tried to pull the trigger and purchase a laptop today from Newegg, and apparently it set off some alerts on my card. Now my card is locked and I can't use it anywhere.

/sigh.

Edit:
A call to the card company and it's unlocked, but apparently I can't buy it until I check my daily limit on my card and figure out why it triggered.

Edited, Jul 20th 2013 1:03pm by TirithRR
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#19 Jul 26 2013 at 6:17 PM Rating: Good
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Well, Kao,

Would you think it's worth installing Windows 7 on a laptop if it comes with 8? Or is 8 to the point now where it's easily workable, etc. (7 with a different wrapping?)

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#20 Jul 26 2013 at 11:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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No, 8 still sucks. The problem can be finding 7 drivers for some laptops will be tricky. Ive been doing many of these proceedures for various computer repair clients and some of the drivers can be difficult if not outrigth impossible to locate. Usually these relate to an Atheros bluetooth / wifi combo driver, and most of the ones i've ran across that particular issue with were low end desktops they tossed that chipset into as an add on budget feature. On a laptop that might be more critical, but it will be more likely they will have a non atheros wireless chip. Your best bet will be to see if they have windows 7 drivers available for download for whatever laptop you end up looking at directly on the manufacturer download site. if they don't, lt me know the model and i might be able to tell you if it will work for conversion or not. The driver model itself is still nearly identical, the problem is that some of the windows 8 drivers are being coded to fail under 7 for some stupid reason.
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#23 Jul 31 2013 at 6:08 PM Rating: Good
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I ended up getting an Asus G75VW (found one on sale), and had to go with Windows 8 because for the price of the ones available with Windows 7, I could buy a nice 256GB SSD and a copy of Windows 7 and still save money.

I really tried to give Windows 8 a chance. And for the most part, I don't have any issues, but I have a new SSD and a copy of Windows 7 waiting for me to go about reinstalling.

While making sure I gather all the info and drivers, I've read a few problems about installing Windows 7 on new laptops, something about a UEFI and Secure Boot. I haven't looked into it too much since I'm soon going on a week long trip and won't bother trying to install Windows 7 until after I get back.
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#24 Jul 31 2013 at 7:30 PM Rating: Good
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Hello Tirith

http://rog.asus.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?146-G75-G55-amp-G46-Series-Notebooks&s=63279d771373de4f51a0167912fcad97

The link above is to the RoG site, in the sticky section you'll find many guides to help ya with your downgrade/upgrade of your laptop. I have a G74 and have found the site to be helpful. The guys and gals there are very helpful too. ( I wouldn't be surprised if Kao lurks there too)

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#25 Jul 31 2013 at 7:40 PM Rating: Good
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Thanks, read through the first post about installing Windows 7 on an 8 pre-install. Looks like everything's there as far as drivers are concerned.
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#26 Jul 31 2013 at 8:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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uefi secureboot is basically going to be a setting somewhere in bios. You'll be able to turn it off. Basically you just have to figure out which setting it is, disable it, then reboot. if you picked the right one, your computer boots properly. Asus might not have it turned on by default, but they might.
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#27 Jul 31 2013 at 8:41 PM Rating: Good
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I checked to see if secure boot was enabled, and it is. Will just have to make sure to disable it when I go to install Windows 7.

So is there any legitimate security reasons for manufacturers to use this secure boot, or is it pretty much just to try and force the use of the pre installed OS?
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#31 Aug 01 2013 at 7:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
I checked to see if secure boot was enabled, and it is. Will just have to make sure to disable it when I go to install Windows 7.

So is there any legitimate security reasons for manufacturers to use this secure boot, or is it pretty much just to try and force the use of the pre installed OS?


Eh, kind of. It would prevent me from plugging in a bootable USB stick physically to the machine and launching it to an OS that could then alter the base files of the normal OS, but that only helps if you have your BIOS locked down to the point where I can't access it, and I can't get phyiscal access to the motherboard to reset the bios in the first place, eliminating the bios password. So it's not really going to even slow down someone with physical access to your machine who knows what they are doing, and it doesn't really protect against anything else.
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#35 Aug 09 2013 at 6:29 PM Rating: Good
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It took a couple tries, but I got Windows 7 installed and all the drivers working. I thought I had disabled UEFI, and turned on the whole Legacy support stuff, but apparently I had to turn on CSM (?) as well, otherwise windows would freeze during the "Starting Windows" screen.

Then I had to bust out an old CD and burn some drivers onto it because the USB controller and Ethernet wouldn't work until I installed a driver (windows wouldn't do it).

I really did try to give windows 8 a chance. Worked with it for about two weeks. If I didn't have Windows 7 as an option I'd probably have just kept it.
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#40 Aug 18 2013 at 8:27 PM Rating: Good
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This forum must get hit hard by spam bots.
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#41 Aug 19 2013 at 12:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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It really does. and I'm not really sure why. I think it's because it actually gets more views than most of the others off hours for some reason.
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