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My laptop build

  1. Aug 8, 2009 #1
    Hey guys, I'm in the market to get a laptop. I don't want to spend too much money, but I want to get a decent quality laptop that I'll be able to play a few games on without any trouble. I'm going to be entering college with a double degree in electrical engineering and physics too, so it has to have the capability to handle any applications I might get in my courses there without problem.

    Here are the specs I've currently found:

    HP HDX16t Premium Series Notebook PC
    • Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
    • Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor P7550 (2.26GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
    • FREE Upgrade to 4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm) from 3GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    • FREE Upgrade to 320GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive from 250GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
    • 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT
    • 16.0" diagonal High Definition HP BrightView Infinity Display (1366x768)

    After a discount, it comes to $900. It's also eligible to receive a free upgrade to Windows 7. I think that's a pretty good deal. Anyone have any thoughts?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2009 #2
    Your laptop should be able to play the top games for roughly two years at reduced settings. Try to maximize the graphics card.
     
  4. Aug 30, 2009 #3
    Why is the OS, memory, and hard drive all listed as upgrades? Does this mean you need to send away for them after buying it or what?

    I don't agree with this 2-year rule Greg has mentioned -- I expect you will be able to get a lot more life out of it than that. While overall compute power may still be following Moore's law, the CPU processing requirements stay roughly the same as games increase in graphical quality...and current CPU's are not fully used anyway.

    GPU cards are growing faster than ever, but it is so easy to scale back the required GPU calculations by using smaller textures and simpler shader effects, and all modern games provide fallback shaders for backwards compatibility,so this shouldn't be a real holdup either.

    Sure if you wait long enough there may be a paradigm shift...for example, we may see games switching over to GPU-raytracers in the not-too-distant future, at which point the relative performance between laptops and desktops will be severely crippled. However, that's probably a lot more than 2 years off.
     
  5. Aug 30, 2009 #4
    Agreed.

    If you don't mind spending a few hundred more dollars (~$1300 total), I convinced a friend of mine to purchase this one. After using it for almost a month now, it's been an excellent laptop.

    It would be worth the extra money just due to the extra graphics capability (9600GT vs. 260M) and processor power (2.26 vs 2.53GHz).

    9600GT
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-9600M-GT.9449.0.html

    260M
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-260M.14559.0.html

    Almost quadruple the number of pipelines, double the memory bandwidth, and double the number of transistors. CUDA capability would also be a nice asset, but that depends on if you ever have the need to tap into it. Lots of potential number crunching power there.
     
  6. Aug 31, 2009 #5
    I don't mean to push this laptop if it's out of your price range, but since you did mention gaming (i'm guessing fairly intensive games) do consider this. For $300 more you get;

    6Gb ram vs 4Gb
    500Gb HD vs 320Gb
    1GB 260M vs 512MB 9600GT
    2.53GHz vs 2.26GHz
    17.1in vs 16in screen

    Almost double the frame rates when gaming compared to other laptops in this review...

    http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/asus-g71gx-rx05/4505-3121_7-33695862.html
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/CNet/story?id=7982851

    If the only bad things I could say about a laptop are it being big, heavy and power hungry, well darn, I guess I just purchased a big, powerful laptop that rivals others that cost upwards of $2,000.
     
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