Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

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Forboding Angel
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Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Forboding Angel » 06 Jun 2013, 18:06

Gaming is in quotes because I will be mainly using it for work. Currently I have a quite old Compaq Presario F700, which with a combination of linux and winbloze 7 tweaking I've managed to maintain a respectable operating efficiency. I don't try to play games on this thing. Even flash games. I could, but it's age is showing in a big way.

These are the ones I am looking at:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B3P ... nder500-20

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B7K ... nder500-20

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AYT ... nder500-20

I'm looking to spend up to about $600 bucks. The issue is, none of these laptops are available near where I am atm. Currently I am in Kansas City, and I need a laptop that I can go and pick up from a store. This means that I probably need one from microcenter.com (make sure to select kc store (Overland park, ks)) or best buy. Distance to the stores doesn't really matter, as long as it's in the Kansas City area.

Thing is, I know fuckall about laptop hardware. I do very little with laptops, and I have no idea which gpus are worth a crap. I would prefer nvidia for obvious reasons, but I'm not necessarily looking to run spring on it (although that would be a plus).

Mainly I'd like to be able to play sc2 (because it's a great time waster) l4d2, FTL (another awesome time waster), etc.

So yeah, no real super intensive games. Like I said, spring would be nice, but no big deal. I don't care about size or weight. I don't even really care about res (as long as it's at least 720p). HDD space I don't care about. I don't want an SSD (because they cost a fortune).

I just need a remotely decent gfx card (like maybe a gtx 620 mobile equivalent or so?), a processor that can handle decent multitasking (quad core would be nice), and 6 - 8 gb memory.

I'm hoping that someone here knows how to shop for laptops well. I do desktops and servers, not laptops, so I'm entirely out of my element here.

I'm in Kansas City on business, and my current laptop is causing me QQ (I can't even watch youtube videos in HD because the sound/video don't sync up).

I have of course optimized this laptop to hell and back, but honestly, it's just old and it's time to start looking at a replacement.

Any ideas?

Edit: Something with either no OS on it or Linux would be ideal (So I don't get dicked for the OS license that I'm not going to use).
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varikonniemi
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by varikonniemi » 06 Jun 2013, 21:12

Don't even think about anything but Haswell. They focused especially on energy efficiency with it. If you waited till Q4 you could make due with only integrated graphics (iris pro, about the performance of geforce 650).
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smoth
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by smoth » 06 Jun 2013, 21:23

varikonniemi wrote:Don't even think about anything but Haswell.
shit should be HASBEEN
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Beherith
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Beherith » 06 Jun 2013, 23:48

Yeah I dont get the fuss around haswell especially after waiting so much for the reviews, and then seeing less than 5% improvement clock for clock, worse overclocking, higher power under load, and a crippled integrated gpu. Please cite a link for that 650 claim, I dont think it even outperfoms an 8800gt. Sure idle power is lower, but if you dont need the extra battery life, then its moot. Plus the iris pro version wont be anything under 1000$.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Forboding Angel » 06 Jun 2013, 23:53

So much talk, and no links to products :cry:

My biggest issue is that I have no idea what gpus are worth a shit.

You can run decent settings in games with a old/fail gpu. For example, with my 9600GT I ran SC2 on ultra with 40 fps. So low end, high end, and medium are more or less meaningless terms because they lack context.

I wish that stores would have popular games installed so that you could get a decent idea performance wise.
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varikonniemi
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by varikonniemi » 07 Jun 2013, 00:43

Beherith wrote:Yeah I dont get the fuss around haswell especially after waiting so much for the reviews, and then seeing less than 5% improvement clock for clock, worse overclocking, higher power under load, and a crippled integrated gpu. Please cite a link for that 650 claim, I dont think it even outperfoms an 8800gt. Sure idle power is lower, but if you dont need the extra battery life, then its moot. Plus the iris pro version wont be anything under 1000$.
Sometimes faster, sometimes slower than the 650M

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6993/inte ... -tested/16

It certainly will be cheaper than buying now with dedicated nvidia graphics and so much better on the battery. Also he would gain fully open source software stack which at least i would appreciate.

I agree haswell on desktop is quite an underachievement. Goes to show what we get when there is no competition.

forb: if you don't want to wait til christmas, then http://gizmodo.com/this-haswell-packing ... -511671388 seems quite nice indeed.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Forboding Angel » 08 Jun 2013, 08:56

Picked up this little guy for $546 (after tax) today: http://www.microcenter.com/product/4019 ... Grey_Metal

So far I love it. Win8 is a pita, but after installing and setting up Pokki, Win8 is only a minor annoyance.

Can play SC2 on medium with solid good framerate. Haven't tried spring yet.
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Silentwings
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Silentwings » 08 Jun 2013, 11:48

Hmm Pokki looks handy, but seriously ... win7 tempted me away from linux and win8 is sending me straight back - I want a pc, not a tablet!
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Forboding Angel » 08 Jun 2013, 18:04

Tbh, there are a lot of really cool improvements to win8. If it wasn't for metro, win8 would be a killer OS.
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Jools
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Jools » 11 Jun 2013, 23:12

Don't think I will ever switch to winbloze 8.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Forboding Angel » 11 Jun 2013, 23:58

Win8 can be pretty frustrating, but tbh, I never see metro thanks to Pokki.

If it were not for Pokki, I would have wiped this thing so fast it would make your head spin.

Sidenote: Pokki is a lot more helpful and much better than the win7 start menu.

Edit2: You should not switch to win8. I'm just pointing out that with some work it can be made functional enough so that you don't hate yourself while using it.

Edit3: This laptop is the bomb. Best 500 bucks I've ever spent.
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Neddie
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Re: Need help picking a budget "gaming" laptop

Post by Neddie » 12 Jun 2013, 08:08

If you plan to develop for Windows Phone 8, you need Windows 8 Pro. In fact, that is probably the best reason to have a Windows 8 license in the first place. :regret:
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