I need a new laptop (or a very portable desktop).
My old computer has decided to bite the dust and now I would like to buy a new one.
Things I would use it for:
Programming for school.
I am looking for something reliable that will last me a while, and have the capability to play games on high settings.
anything < $2000
Try looking at what you can get at http://www.avadirect.com/Gaming-Notebooks. NVidia GTX 560M video card or better. RAM, Hard Drive, and Disc Drive are the only areas to cut back on a laptop as they are the only ones that are meant to be replaceable.
Anything under $2,000 is not going to "last me a while, and have the capability to play games on high settings". Sorry.
EDIT: I suppose I should rephrase that. Depends on the type of games but since you also listed "3D modeling" I'm guess they're not crappy little Facebook flash games...hehe
I got a Toshiba 17.3 inch, Windows 64 bit, quad core with 8 GB of RAM for something like 1200 bucks. It works well. I do 3D modeling, gaming and whatnot on it and its been good to me so far (and I too am doing computer science in college)
Well my $900 Asus gaming laptop is a year old and still handles anything I through at it, though I haven't bought a whole lot of AAA games this year. I got it to do and have used it for just about everything on your list as well. I never brought mine to class though, too heavy to haul along with my books, but still light enough to bring to the library or other meeting place for study groups, group programming projects, or if your roommate is being to loud and interrupting your games.
If want to type notes or run code in class you might want to get a cheap netbook as well.
My girlfriend (also in computer science) has a netbook but she hates it because of how minuscule its processing power is. If it wasn't free, she'd regret having it (it was part of a scholarship's award)
@OP- the Toshiba Qosmio series should work quite well; it's got power, and the more affordable models are in the 1100-1300 USD range, IIRC.
I personally am partial to the Satellite A660 series (also Toshiba), but that's more due to price and the fact that all the games I predict myself as purchasing are likely to be playable on the ATI Radeon Mobility HD5650. For 3D Modeling, I'd say something with a lot of RAM, expandable or built-in, as well as beefy processing power, is a good bet.
The particular model I favor is a highly affordable ~US$800.
The first thing you need to do is figure out what the latest most powerful mobile gpu is. Then you can see what models offer that. For $2000 you should not end up with anything except the best.
When I picked up gaming laptops while I had to travel a lot, I chose Dell and I was never disappointed (they delivered, and they had the latest hardware). But I know others have had different experiences.
Make sure you pick up a model that comes with a guide to how you screw it apart. You'll need to do that regularly to clean the fans, a gaming laptop will attract dust like its none of your business because both the gpu and the cpu fan will be working at high power.
If you want to do a lot of research yourself, head over to http://www.notebookforums.com/ it is pretty much the best laptop discussion forum in existance.
I have had bad experiences with Dell computers, and if they seem to be doing to better, I might believe it.
I will look at all of your suggestions and think about them carefully.
I've got an Alienware M17x R2 myself and its pretty good. Already a bit outdated, but plenty for me. So a R3 of this one I can recommend.
Another option might be the new Asus G74. They seem to give more performance for the money.
Just keep in mind that gaming laptops are heavy, and have pretty poor battery capacity.
The Alienware M17x is 5.3kg (11.7lbs) while the Asus G74 is listed at 4.3kg (9.5lbs).
I care nothing for weight or battery life.
It's lifetime that I would like, but it seems that that is hard to obtain with gaming laptops.
I have been looking at this one, but I believe that it might not be what I am looking for.
karma to everyone.
The specs seem to be virtually identical to my satellite. Lenovo and Toshiba are both good brands and either will probably suit your purpose. The only real differences I see are price (the lenovo is a couple hundred bucks more than mine) and that I have 8 GB of RAM.
I customized mine, but here is the link to the page where you do so:
I am rather partial to Lenovo, as my last comp was one.
I got it from someone who fell down the stairs and put his elbow through it. I fixed it up and used its faulty power supply for 2 more years. The computer survived a major virus, another fall, and sitting in 108 degree weather for several days. It worked for several months and then failed randomly.
I am trying not to be biased, so I am asking here.
Acer aspire 8950G. Icore7 2630QM, Amd radeon hD 6850M, 18,4" Full HD LCD, 4GB DDR3 Memory, 750GB HD. I have payed an extra 300 USD to get a OCZ SSD vertex 3 and have myself a computer capable of handling anything for ca 2200 USD total.
Well, the specs you listed should work honestly. The other day, I inadvertantly torture tested my laptop... I watched an HD video, played Sins on full graphics (in the dev version with quick play activated, so fleet sizes were well above what was actually possible in a normal game), and had two windows of XSI running. It handled fine.
That is not a laptop for serious gaming laptop (or at least it will not be in the long run), and neither is the Lenovo. I feel that for someone that plans on using the same computer for a long time they should get a better GPU , CPU, and faster RAM and a HDD with a higher RPM.
Something like http://www.avadirect.com/gaming-laptop-configurator.asp?PRID=19611, with the CPU set to i7 2820QM, the standard 560 GTX video card, 2 X 4 (two sticks with 4 GB each) @ 1600 MHz RAM, and a Hard Drive with 7200 RPM. Since brand names are given (and you can pick between brands) it is recommended that the reliablity of each be looked up.
True, it's not. But going by what he said, it sounded like he was in the same boat I was. Playing some games, but not necessarily trying to make it play every single FPS on the market for the next year on highest graphics. (And my HDD is 7200 RPM. And forgive me for not having the absolute best things on the market... The features you suggested are about 15-20% above the quality of mine while being approximately 60-70% above the price.)
The one he suggested was on par with what I figured he played, so correct, I didn't suggest a creme de la creme alienware or something. I could have, but for his case, I didn't.
Krdax: what games do you see yourself playing with this?
My old HP laptop is in the midst of a long, slow death, so I've been looking around for a good replacement. So far, one of the best looking ones I've managed to find is the ASUS G74. The base version starts at $1800. As far as I can tell, most comparable laptops are at least $100 more expensive. The downside is that it's huge, even for a 17" laptop, and it apparently doesn't fit in most bags... but you get a free backpack and mouse with it, so that kind of makes up for it. And you can't deny that it doesn't look cool .
Well, what do you consider "the long run"? Further, why do you consider it to be a not-serious-gaming laptop? I personally am intending to purchase a Toshiba Satellite A660 series laptop. From what I can tell, it is highly suitable for the games I can foresee myself wanting to buy in the near-future, as well as the games that I already own.
Long time would be at least 6 years to me, as 4 to 5 iis what I consider to be the reasonable limit unless you pay for a really good laptop. For a laptop, it is not just about running game well but doing so without the hardware wearing out before it is time for the next computer.
Regardless, I think that the games we are likely to play probably fall into different categories... For what I play, it's plenty for the next few years. I expect this laptop to last me 3-4 years and then get a new one either my last year in college or first year out. This isn't exactly a low-end computer... It may not be up to your standards, but it certainly fits mine.
Here is a bit of an expanded explanation:
To play all games that can only one core (that I know of) the CPU needs a clock speed of at least 2.1.
The diffrent video card and more room for system RAM cause based on the recommended specs of some games being released this year I expect more VRAM and SRAM to be needed towards the end of the time frame I am thinking of (in particular SRAM, cause once 64-bit is standard I expect games to start using much more of it very quickly).
Faster HDD makes everything better, cause it is the slowest thing. Faster RAM for somewhat similar reasons.
But I did not recommend an Alienware. Last I checked one of those similar to what I recommend costs $300+ for the brand name and non-essencial extras.
I have a one year old Asus G73JW. That is a serious gaming laptop. If there is a new and updated version of this I will strongly reccomend it. I just love my machine. I got it for work, but I do some gaming as well. Its got the GForce 460M.
It seems as if the discussion got slightly heated while I was away.
I plan on playing stuff RTS-y, honestly, I just want to be able to play Sins on highest settings and develop my newest mod...
SupCom FA and 2
I might find some other games also, but I would like a multi-purpose laptop that has the oomph to run games on high settings and not sputter.
I am aware that this is difficult to find for my price range, and the Lenovo I have been looking at isn't for gaming.
The lenovo, or a comparably priced toshiba satellite or qosmio should work for your purposes.
I'll reiterate that the Qosmio, for gaming, is the best you can do from Toshiba. It's purpose built for gaming.
That, and, AFAIK, Toshibas last a long time; I still have my Vista-32bit Satellite that's a good 5 years old. It outlasted my 1 (2?)-year-old HP!
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