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 Post subject: Christmas for my son
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:03 am 
8086
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Hi everyone, I have a 10 year old son that really wants a laptop for Christmas. The main thing he wants to do is play World of Warcraft on it, but I would like it to be as powerful as it can be for the money. Can anyone let me know a decent laptop for gaming for between $600 - $800 (preferably closer to the 6)

Thanks,

David.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas for my son
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:13 am 
Clawhammer
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
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Pick the model you want and build yourself a Lenovo. Signup for the B&N Gold membership and also use the promocode CYBERMONDAY at checkout and you'll get exactly you want at 25% off.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas for my son
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:03 am 
Willamette
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:17 pm
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I second the customized Lenovo. They're always on sale (usually) and you get plenty of features for the money.

Two things, though, I'd get a dedicated graphics card (not the integrated Intel HD video if he plans to play games, although WoW may work on an HD4000 video chipset, but I would not recommend it for longterm use since it's pretty basic). A laptop with Nvidia optimus (or AMD technology) would be good. I have NVidia Optimus with the Nvidia Quadro NVS 5400 and it works quite well (I can even do CAD with it). I haven't played WoW on it, but have played other titles on it (such as Portal 2 and a few others), and it works fine for that. Anything but Intel HD graphics is good. But double check the system requirements, and bear in mind that laptop specs vs. desktops specs differ some.

Second would be to get an i5 Processor. i3's are OK, but for a bit more, you can get an i5, and remember that most (if not all) i5's for desktops are quad cores. Not the same for laptops. A hyperthreaded dual core should be enough for what he wants for the time he'll be using it.

Not sure on the Windows 8 compatibility with World of Warcraft. I would image it should work, since Microsoft is claiming 100% compatability with Windows 7 apps. But as we all know in the computing community, Microsoft is often times wrong...

Pretty much any laptop with a dedicated graphics card (something other than Intel HD graphics) and at least a dual core processor should be fine. HP/Compaq, Sony, Lenovo, Dell, etc. I've used them all and not really had a problem with any of them. I would recommend an extended warranty if you can afford it, though. I wouldn't get a laptop at walMart, either. They're generally cheap quality, and low-end on performance (hence the cheap price). You should be able to find a good one for about $400-600 online (either from the manufacturer or a retailer online.. Maybe check TigerDirect, Frys, or MicroCenter--they usually have pretty good deals on laptops that would be good for what you want). Also consider a refurbished model (or a close-out model).

It also depends on your budget. How much are you willing to spend on this?


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas for my son
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:01 pm 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5460
I wouldn't just toss Intel's latest graphics offerings, it beats some of AMD's offerings even. Check it out: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-G ... 168.0.html


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas for my son
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:37 pm 
Willamette
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 1487
OK, well the latest HD4000 graphics found in many notebooks is pretty good. But I've got a feeling that Wow may lead to more gaming in the future (year or so). Now, I understand he's only ten, and when I was ten, my attention span to a new game or something (and this is back in the DOS days by the way) was about a few weeks, then I'd be onto the next latest game. I can remember back around that time when a 486 was the best proc to have....

I will agree that the Intel HD has been pretty good, as long as it's at least the HD3000, but one with dedicated graphics is maybe only 10% or 20% more than one without from what I've seen. And especially if one is ordered now, you may be able to get such discounts so that normally it would be as cheap as one with only integrated graphics.

I don't play Wow and never probably will (not into those types of games, honestly), but keep in mind that onboard graphics on laptops differs greatly from the desktop equivalants. So I guess I would say to get one that you can return within 30 days if the onboard graphics is not up to the task. At 10 years old, he may not be as concerned with the oddities of onboard graphics as those who are obsessed with frame-rates and the higher-end stuff.

So to the original poster, the HD4000-series would be fine (and maybe HD3000 series) but probably nothing less. I've just had bad luck with Intel HD graphics, but the newer chipsets are worth the consideration I guess. From my experience, the Intel HD chips are good for average users. Anyone dealing with graphics, video, or whatever, should avoid them. With Games it can be a mixed bag. The system requirements do require something like an 8600GT mobile or better, which the HD graphics may exceed.

BTW- For $600, you can probably find a good customized Lenovo or Dell. With Lenovo, you are paying a bit extra for the brand and durability (most of their laptops are meant for the traveling professional). With Dell, you can maybe get a little more for the same amount of money. They tend to offer more gaming graphics cards too, whereas all I've seen from Lenovo other than Intel HD is the Nvidia NVS Quadro.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas for my son
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:25 pm 
Team Member Top 500
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Food for thought, I know it's a little over budget at $850, but with all it has to offer, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y-500 with Full HD 15.6" 1920x1080 display & nVidia GT-650M grapics could potentially last into the high-school years... the 1366x768 variant is $50 less.

Gaming wise, HD4000 is not a very good choice for even a relatively low resolution like 1366x768. Check out the benchmark review from Anandtech on Diablo III http://www.anandtech.com/show/5865/lapt ... formance/3 Not an exact match performance wise for World of Warcraft, yet should still give a pretty accurate performance analog to Mists of Pandaria.


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