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 Post subject: New laptop help needed!
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 5:04 pm 
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So I figured that it's about time I ditch my 5+ year old dell notebook and get with the latest hardware. However, I'm not too familiar with notebook hardware and I could use some advice/suggestions.

I'll be using this mostly for web surfing, programming, and CAD work. I do however want to be able to watch videos/play games once in a while without any hassles. They're older games, though- counter-strike, sims, age of mythology, etc.- so a somewhat mid-range dedicated graphics chip should suffice.

What I'm looking for:
-powerful processor. nothing bleeding-edge, but more than anything I need the processing power.
-dedicated graphics
-At least 250GB 7200rpm hard drive
-integrated wireless
-solid construction (very important). aluminum body is a plus but not required. nothing gaudy/too colorful
-15-16 inch screen. Anything over 17 is too big.
-good battery life / portability
-32bit OS
-no preference in ddr2 vs. ddr3. 2GB would suffice.

I really appreciate any help you can give me. I expect to spend over $1000 but much over $1500 is a no-no.

Doing some research, I came across this laptop from Sager:
http://www.sagernotebook.com/product_cu ... =customize

That's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for, but the graphics card is a deal breaker. I don't need anything that powerful and I'm sure a card like that drains the battery like crazy. If I were to buy the above model, I'd buy the matte screen upgrade as well as a 7200 rpm hdd. I've already sent an email to their customer support about configuring the NP8662 with a different graphics card and I am waiting for a reply.

Thanks in advance....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Any thoughts on this one?
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/ ... dio-xps-16


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 7:56 am 
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For CS, AOM, and Sims, you don't even need dedicated graphics; hell, my two year old laptop with Intel graphics can max those :P

The Dell Studio XPS is pretty good.

Take a look at these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834117857

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834220499

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834152099


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 3:29 pm 
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avanish11 wrote:
For CS, AOM, and Sims, you don't even need dedicated graphics; hell, my two year old laptop with Intel graphics can max those :P

The Dell Studio XPS is pretty good.

Take a look at these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834117857

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834220499

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834152099


Thanks for the reply. The VAIO is a definite contender.

I am, however, starting to like the 16" dell studio xps more and more. Great hardware and great looks for a decent price. The only negatives I've read is that the battery life isn't spectacular (expected for a 16" notebook) and that it can get a bit warm.

The temperature issue is what I have a question about. I would like to go for a CPU such as the T9550 instead of the P8700, but the T9550 has a TDP of 35W, which is 10W more than the P8700. Is 10W really all that significant, or do you recommend I play it safe and go for the P8700? The P8700 is what I planned on buying in the first place but it really isn't all that much extra for the nicer proc.


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:45 pm 
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That 10 watt difference doesn't matter much. It's a 10-15 minute battery life difference, and maybe 5 degree Celsius advantage. The difference is further diminished if you undervolt your processor using RMclock or CPUgenie.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 12:30 pm 
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Thanks for that info.

Ok, so I think I've narrowed it down to two dell laptops. I could use some help weighing the positives and negatives, though.

First, a question on 64-bit vista: is it a good choice? Almost everywhere I look I see laptops configured with the 64-bit version by default. I haven't used vista at all since the beta so I'm a little bit out of the loop. I'm concerned mostly with program compatibility.

Here's what I've got in mind. Links are to PDFs with complete system specs.

Dell Studio XPS 16


Pros:
Nice bright screen with good color gamut
Better GPU (HD3670)
DDR3
Edit:
Better sound quality
thinner

Cons:
Slightly large for my purposes
Not too sure about the leather
Shorter battery life?

Dell Studio 15

Pros:
Better size
Nicer processor (T9550)
Costs less
I like the look of this one better

Cons:
DDR2
GPU not as nice (HD4570)

I think I'm leaning towards the studio 15. Like I outlined before, I am prepared to choose processing power over graphics power. I also think that a smaller screen and reduced graphics will extend battery life. Like I just noted, I'm concerned about the DDR2 vs. DDR3 thing and whether or not the HD4570 in the studio 15 will be sufficient to play a game of counterstrike on the 1920x1080 resolution screen.

Input remains greatly appreciated!


Last edited by qa9b on Tue May 26, 2009 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:53 pm 
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1. I'm using Vista 64-bit and are having no major problems. Any problems that I do have is nothing that google and teh interweb can't fix. :D

2. I'm leaning towards the XPS simply since its has a longer life span (its hardware will still be decent for a while). The Studio is no slouch either mind you as the 7200 rpm hd is a definite plus. (You do notice that the XPS has a 5400 right? Kinda breaks one of your criterias.)

3. Either one of them will play CS fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Airheadq wrote:
1. I'm using Vista 64-bit and are having no major problems. Any problems that I do have is nothing that google and teh interweb can't fix. :D

2. I'm leaning towards the XPS simply since its has a longer life span (its hardware will still be decent for a while). The Studio is no slouch either mind you as the 7200 rpm hd is a definite plus. (You do notice that the XPS has a 5400 right? Kinda breaks one of your criterias.)

3. Either one of them will play CS fine.


Thanks for the reply. I assume that you're referencing mostly the RAM in the Studio 15 when you say that the hardware will become outdated faster? I guess that was another question of mine. Does dell's generic DDR3 @ 1066MHz really have a performance advantage over DDR2 @ 800MHz? They don't give the latencies so I suppose it's hard to say exactly. But it was my understanding the only the faster-clocked DDR3 is worth it.

As long as the graphics solution can play my meager handful of yesterday's games, I'm golden in my book.

And thanks for pointing out the 5400rpm hdd. I actually noticed that a while ago on Dell's site because the 7200rpm model was delaying the shipping date until sometime in July. I've watched them go back and forth between a 5400rpm model (no shipping delay) and a 7200rpm model in their specs for about a week now. It's actually quite interesting, because depending on what part of their site I'm looking at, the hard drive is often different.

I think the T9550 proc is the best thing that the Studio 15 has going for it. I know I mentioned size before but the size difference (.75") isn't too significant. I suppose I'm just accustomed to my current 15" laptop (with a 4:3 ratio screen, mind you) that's 2 inches less wide than that. I should mention that the Studio XPS 16 is also configurable with the T9550, it just costs more.

If the specifications are similar enough, it comes down to battery life, weight, and appearance. Comments in this area are welcome as well haha.


Last edited by qa9b on Tue May 26, 2009 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Airheadq wrote:
1. I'm using Vista 64-bit and are having no major problems. Any problems that I do have is nothing that google and teh interweb can't fix. :D


So, would you say that the 64-bit version is a better choice than 32-bit? Any significant advantages other than full use of 4GB of RAM?


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