Laptop Recommendation

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

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Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:36 pm

Hey TR,

Looking for a laptop recommendation for my brother. It will be used for school (Including graphic design and rendering), gaming, and general porn watching. What I'm thinking:

-Core i7
-GT 650M (min)(Or AMD equivalent)
-Upgradable (HDD/RAM)
-Reasonable portability and battery life
-Solid chassis, keyboard, and screen

Looking to keep it under $1500CAD, and has an expected lifespan of 4 years. Any suggestions?

Already scoped out:
Lenovo Y500 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... 4312441CVF
Asus N56VZ http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... 6834230722 (Already seen in store, build quality was mediocre)

Thanks,
HF
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:08 pm

Lenovo Thinkpads are great. You're probably looking at a T530 or W530, though they'll have workstation graphics cards (Quadro blah blah blah), not the consumer GTxxx. I really, really like mine. After 2 years, it's solid, dependable, and incredibly durable. RAM and HDD upgrades were a piece of cake, the chassis and keyboard are phenomenal, it's a 1080p screen in a 15-inch body, which seemed pretty novel at the time, but it's still a great screen. You can configure with the i7 and pretty powerful graphics. I'm currently getting ~7 hours of battery life, but I have a Hyper-V machine running at all times and typically have several Flash windows and the ilk up. If I went extreme batter saver and killed off a lot of tabs/open windows I could probably get 8-9 hours. It's a bit bulky compared to some newer laptops (probably about the same size as the Lenovo you're looking at), but it's much more powerful and has an awesome battery and screen, so it's worth it to me.

All that said, I don't know what your $CAD price would be. Mine was $1450 USD before warranty.

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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:27 pm

lonleyppl wrote:Lenovo Thinkpads are great. You're probably looking at a T530 or W530, though they'll have workstation graphics cards (Quadro blah blah blah), not the consumer GTxxx. I really, really like mine. After 2 years, it's solid, dependable, and incredibly durable. RAM and HDD upgrades were a piece of cake, the chassis and keyboard are phenomenal, it's a 1080p screen in a 15-inch body, which seemed pretty novel at the time, but it's still a great screen. You can configure with the i7 and pretty powerful graphics. I'm currently getting ~7 hours of battery life, but I have a Hyper-V machine running at all times and typically have several Flash windows and the ilk up. If I went extreme batter saver and killed off a lot of tabs/open windows I could probably get 8-9 hours. It's a bit bulky compared to some newer laptops (probably about the same size as the Lenovo you're looking at), but it's much more powerful and has an awesome battery and screen, so it's worth it to me.

All that said, I don't know what your $CAD price would be. Mine was $1450 USD before warranty.

(W520 owner, specs in sig.)


Everything on there looks fine, but the Quadro GPU seems lacking for gaming, the type of rendering he'll be doing won't require more than a consumer card.

His ideal system would be that, but with a consumer GPU, does that exist?
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:01 pm

(Insert obligatory recommendation-to-buy-a-desktop-or-a-convertible-rather-than-a-traditional-laptop-because-I-hate-them here!)

Whew. ”(ノ_<。)

But seriously look at the Lenovo Thinkpad Helix.
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:08 pm

lonleyppl wrote:Lenovo Thinkpads are great. You're probably looking at a T530 or W530, though they'll have workstation graphics cards (Quadro blah blah blah), not the consumer GTxxx. I really, really like mine. After 2 years, it's solid, dependable, and incredibly durable. RAM and HDD upgrades were a piece of cake, the chassis and keyboard are phenomenal, it's a 1080p screen in a 15-inch body, which seemed pretty novel at the time, but it's still a great screen. You can configure with the i7 and pretty powerful graphics. I'm currently getting ~7 hours of battery life, but I have a Hyper-V machine running at all times and typically have several Flash windows and the ilk up. If I went extreme batter saver and killed off a lot of tabs/open windows I could probably get 8-9 hours. It's a bit bulky compared to some newer laptops (probably about the same size as the Lenovo you're looking at), but it's much more powerful and has an awesome battery and screen, so it's worth it to me.


While some Lenovo's have very good build quality, you have to watch out because Lenovo has its cheaper & plasticky models too. Anything labeled "ideapad" is intended for the consumer market and you should watch out to make sure the build quality is there. The X series & T series thinkpad (not ideapad) parts generally have quite good build quality.. but you pay for it.
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:19 pm

Yeah, the gaming performance of the Quadro cards isn't great, but it's not actually that terrible. Mine will run Borderlands (the original, not 2) at 1600x900 with all details turned up, and be enjoyable to play. I also opted for the lower end card, but didn't think the higher end was worth the price premium.

Chuckala's comment about X/T series verses Ideapad is spot on though. Stick to X/T/W as opposed to the other options there.
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:29 pm

1) i7 is a waste for laptops IMO
2) What games? As long as they're not overly taxing, you can play a decent amount of games on Intel HD4000 IGP. See here for GPU comparisons. Not to mention Haswell GT3 coming this fall is benchmarked to perform like a GT440. (can't find the link)
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:25 pm

High end model from MSI at a reasonable price.
http://www.msimobile.com/default.aspx
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:32 pm

You must be watching some very high video quality XXX material with those specs you'd like ;)
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:58 pm

DPete27 wrote:1) i7 is a waste for laptops IMO.
The mobile version of Intel's Core i7 is a dual-core Ivy Bridge with hyper-threading--just like the desktop Core i3, but with lower power consumption.

Intentionally-confusing product names and ruthless product segmentation schemes aren't unique to a certain GPU company.
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:13 pm

I like Windows 8.
Seriously.
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:22 pm

DPete27 wrote:1) i7 is a waste for laptops IMO
2) What games? As long as they're not overly taxing, you can play a decent amount of games on Intel HD4000 IGP. See here for GPU comparisons. Not to mention Haswell GT3 coming this fall is benchmarked to perform like a GT440. (can't find the link)


He appreciates being able to play the lastest at reasonable settings. Bare in-mind the life span (hopefully 4 years.) He just played through Bioshock Infinity (fantastic game for anyone looking for a SP game with complex story BTW), and intends to pickup BF4. While I have yet to see how Haswell will perform at 1080p with those titles, I'm sure you can understand my reservations with integrated/ lower-end graphics.

And what's this about the i7?

JustAnEngineer wrote:
DPete27 wrote:1) i7 is a waste for laptops IMO.
The mobile version of Intel's Core i7 is a dual-core Ivy Bridge with hyper-threading--just like the desktop Core i3, but with lower power consumption.

Intentionally-confusing product names and ruthless product segmentation schemes aren't unique to a certain GPU company.


Oh. I did not realize such things... Although I don't believe that's the case for all of them? My Macbook Pro (Retina) reports 8 cores, implying 4 physical I would assume. How is this distinguished?



You're right ;)

And interesting links. How does the Gerbil population find the build quality of MSI? MSI is not carried locally here, so I have never had the chance to compress keyboards or look at any of the displays on their products.
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:20 pm

i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:41 am

(Better link to mobile i7's) Looks like anything having "i7-36xx" and above are 4/8 with the exception of a "U" or "Y" suffix. (denotes ULV processors) Keep in mind the TDPs of various i7s though, a 35W chip will assumedly give you better battery life than a 45W chip. (if you have the choice)

Mobile i5's are all 2/4 and have turbo boost. i3's do not have turbo boost.
Last edited by DPete27 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Laptop Recommendation

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:50 am

henfactor wrote:


You're right ;)

And interesting links. How does the Gerbil population find the build quality of MSI? MSI is not carried locally here, so I have never had the chance to compress keyboards or look at any of the displays on their products.


Like all brands, build quality increases with price. The G series MSI laptops are built rock solid. I bought a G-series laptop in 2009 and I intend to have graduated highschool and college with it (graduating this year). It still looks pretty good.

The laptop I have is the GT735, which has a Turion X2 Ultra at 2.2ghz, and an ATI 3850M. I have played l4d2, bioshock, GTA4, DX:HR, oblivion, skyrim, on it with reasonable settings. Can't wait to get a new laptop once I start grad school though :D

Most review sites give the laptop screens good ratings, for TN-panels. You can upgrade the screen through xoticpc for a tad more than the cost of the screen, which I think is a good deal.

The newer laptops have keyboards designed by steelseeries.
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