Need A Laptop, Suggestions?

By EXCellR8
Aug 8, 2009
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I am in the market for a laptop computer and since a free Win7 upgrade can be had with most purchases at the moment, I figure now is as good of a time as ever. I need the computer for school and work and I would like something with a generous amount of power, but nothing ridiculous. I am looking to spend under $900.

    So I've been looking around but I am still heavily undecided and open for recommendations. I'd like something with at least 16" screen space, 4GB RAM and it must have a dual core processor! Don't really care if it's AMD or Intel-based, but i'd like to stay above 2.0Ghz. I need the computer to render 3D, burn DVDs, and do a respectable amount of multitasking. As far as disk space goes, 250GB+ is fine. I would prefer a 64-bit version of Vista Home Premium but I can be flexible.

    I've been looking at a bunch of Acer, ASUS, and Toshiba models but I really can't decide. So, if anyone has any suggestions, post 'em up! I'd like to buy something in the next few weeks. Thanks in advance.

    [EDIT]

    Keep coming back to this model: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834114653 (Toshiba Satellite A500 series)
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    I would recommend this notebook.
  3. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 2,278

    Another nice option... what would you recommend for ATI mobility GPUs? I know absolutely nothing about them and what they are capable of. Like I said I'll need the system for rendering 3D and running 64-bit Windows 7. I would rather at least 512MB VRAM but I'm not going to use the computer for gaming, so it would probably be fine.

    That Toshiba is only 14" so I don't know if I would be happy with it. It's a decent laptop for the price though so I will consider it. I don't plan on buying a Dell and I haven't seen any HPs that I was real crazy about. I've mostly looked at Acers and Toshibas and a few ASUS units although they are too expensive.

    Thx for the suggestions... going to review some of my options and look at some other MSIs.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    If you can stretch your budget slightly, I would recommend this MSI notebook. If you cannot, then this notebook is great for the price.
  6. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 2,278

    ^I like both of those, aside from the weight on the ASUS... almost 10lbs. Not a huge deal but that is on the heavy side compared most other laptops I've looked at so far. As far as stretching my budget goes, I might wait a little longer before I dive into anything. Reason being, I can have a computer assembled to fit my needs instead of nit picking here and there. I know it's more expensive but since a lot of these high-end notebooks are considered "desktop replacements" whatever I choose is probably going to be the only one I'll ever need to buy... at least until i7 goes mobile :D

    Still not sure what mobile GPU I should consider... they are all quite foreign to me. I mean what is best for 3D and maybe a little gaming? 9600GT vs HD 3850 vs GT 120 vs HD 4650... no idea what to look at besides the vRAM.

    Thanks for the help though, and feel free to keep posting up recommendations. I have a bunch to look at closer now so I'm gonna put them all side by side and see what I can work out.
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    The HD 4650 is the most powerful GPU out of those, since its a lower-clocked 55nm desktop 4650 chip. Next comes the HD 3850. The 4650 has much better power consumption and heat dissipation characteristics than the older chip, and is also better at offloading HD decoding from the CPU.

    The 9600M GT is actually a lower-clocked 9500GT desktop chip, and the GT 120M is essentially a higher-clocked version of this same chip. Only go for these if the Mobility chips are out of your price range.
  8. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    and why exactly would you advise anybody in the laptop market to stay away from AMD strategic?
  9. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

    Sorry, maybe it's something I shouldn't really do, but I had bad luck with their support. Then again (don't know if it's official or not) a friend did some benchmark tests and found Intel to be faster? Maybe you know something about that?
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    no not at all strategic, just curious about your opinion about laptops. laptops not my thing other than the one i use for work, and i really don't use it for anything intense. the reviews i read have been pretty consistent with desktop ratings, that is AMD is better at gaming, Intel is better at audio and video. im in the market for a laptop so im gathering info from those who use them and are in the know as it were.
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    Did you really contact AMD's support staff? I've never seen someone need to do that. Bad chips are usually replaced by the retailer you buy them from.

    AMD don't make their own cards either, so maybe you can be a bit clearer about that?

    Intel's i7 is the fastest without a doubt, but you pay a very large premium for that. AMD's chips rule at the mid and low price ranges ($70-$200), where you have the largest consumer base. This only applies to desktop chips though; their laptop chips run hotter and consume more power than Intel mobile chips, while also being slower. The Turion Ultra however, is on-par with the Core Duo and Pentium Dual-Core chips.
     
  12. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 2,278

    Haha it's alright, I'm think I am decided on a Core 2 Duo anyways... but I am still looking at a few Athlon-X2 based notebooks.

    Thanks for the info on the GPUs Rage, I think I will shoot for the 1GB HD 4650 as an ideal choice. A lot of Toshiba models use this GPU so I'm back looking at some Satellites. I think it's best to wait a few more weeks and put a little more money away for a really good system. I can afford one now, but I think I will be much happier by spending a bit more. It doesn't really bother me all that much, as the computer should eventually pay for itself; I will have a nice desktop replacement 3D modeling and on-site computer repair. Looking at a VAIO as an option as well, although I don't think I need anything that fancy.

    Thx again for all the help, appreciate it!
  13. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

    Actually it's not just laptops, it's all computers period.


    Yes, I contacted AMD, in regards to my other post, http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic131334-2.html#post779395 .
    I contacted the retailer, I contacted MS, and I contacted AMD. Same response from all 3. "It's not us, try the other guy."
    Not for their card - for their processor, I don't know who makes them, but if they put their name on it, they better stand up to it!
    Again, maybe it's just my luck, I am on my 4th system right now (and I mean, right now :haha:) , my which is my 1st AMD, and my last.:mad:
    On a side note, I'm probably not playing fair, because I never had to contact Intel.:suspiciou
  14. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    been using AMD for 18 years, intel for 12, never had a problem with either.
  15. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

    Bottom line (IMHO), If you're concerned about weight, and you should be if you're carrying it around all the time, you should consider a smaller screen. If you go to a larger screen, the price jumps and you have to sacrifice other specifications to control the cost.
  16. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

    I understand, but all my running around back and forth, until my warranty expired (may I add), what else can I do?
    I never realized how big of a corporation AMD really is until recently.
    Unfortunately for them, it doesn't help.
    Right now, I'm hoping that somebody in this forum actually works at AMD, and they really know what I think of them.
  17. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 2,278

    valid point... a lot of these higher end computers might be more of a hassle than it's worth to carry around all the time. it wouldn't be a huge deal for me unless the computer exceeds 10lbs or something like that. i guess when you're looking at a "desktop replacement," it's exactly that and you actually sacrifice a bit of mobility by going that route. however... i would most likely use this computer in the shop as well and get rid of the 750mhz pile of scrap that takes up some valuable space.

    regardless, i still have some smaller notebooks on the list of possible options so i am still reviewing systems with smaller screens. not sure if I want to go under 14" as i might as well just get a netbook and call it a day lol.
  18. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    well im glad i dont share your attitude of 1 and out. if i had one problem with intel...i would never use them again....one problem with AMD and never again.....that would leave me with...umm...cyrix. :haha:;)
  19. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

    I know, I know... sooner or later I need to make an adjustment...:monkey:
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.