View Full Version : notebook dilemma
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 2:02pm
Kind people of SP, please help me with this one.
I'm going to uni in about a month and a half and I decided to buy myself a shiny new notebook. :)
I will be using it for at least the next five years and I'll be using it for school work (administration, essays-shouldn't be a problem) and for gaming mainly. Now I'd like to be able to play all the good upcoming RPG's. (Never mind FPS and their over-the-top graphics ;) ) and those will never use the most demanding engines I suppose. Battery is not an important issue, but the notebook shouldn't be too heavy.
budget: 2000 maximum (which is 2,469.1999 $ according to the Yahoo currency converter)
My computer guy showed me 4 proposals
nr 1 (http://commerce.sage.com/Cloetens?action=showItem&code=M52N_14_40_512_W_H)
nr 2 (http://commerce.sage.com/Cloetens?action=showItem&code=A25H_28_60_512_W_H)
nr 3 (http://commerce.sage.com/Cloetens?action=showItem&code=A25H_C26_60_256_H)
nr 4 (http://commerce.sage.com/Cloetens?action=showItem&code=S52N_14_40_256_W_H)
there's also a 3.2 GHZ model which costs 1318 no VAT included. (all prices are VAT excluded)
These are all Asus notebooks, but I can't seem to find them on the official Asus site.
I think I'll go for the 2.8 GHZ one, but the 3.2 GHZ is still in the running.
I also wonder what the terms 2Spindle and 3Spindle mean..
Tips and advice would be very welcome. :)
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 2:44pm
im sorry, this wont help at all but i just had to share... when i was reading the top part of your post i thought you were talking about a *notebook* (loose leaf, etc.) hehe.
alcohol kills brain cells.
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 3:11pm
#1 and 4 are obsolete already.
#2 (the 2.8) is obviously the best of the four - fastest, and most memory (512 meg, which is probably essential for what you want it to do). I'm not too familiar with integrated graphics on a notebook; the spec seems a bit light, but I could be wrong.
What are the specs on the 3.2? This could be a much better machine, not just because of the increase from 2.8 to 3.2, but maybe a much faster FSB (800 instead of 533), which could be very good if it also uses PC3200 or faster memory.
I don't know what 2Spindle or 3Spindle means.
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 3:18pm
You've got to be careful with what you the guy offered you. Not that I've got the detailedst of knowledges, but you should know that GHz is not the most important feature of a mobile computer.
So: I would make certain to buy a notebook with a Centrino or Intel Pentium M ( not Pentium-4-M) cpu, which is available with up to something like 1.7 GHz. In terms of power this cpu is easily equivalent to a big (3.2 GHz) desktop cpu. Never buy a notebook with a desktop cpu inside! This is really bad in terms of heat development, power consumption and battery duration. And never go for a Celeron, as they are not sufficient for gaming.
Next: if you buy a cpu with 400 MHz FSB, you should at least have RAM with 333 MHz, otherwise the speed of the RAM could prove to be a bottleneck. 512 MB should be sufficient, but as always, bigger is better, so if it is in your budget go for the biggest solution possible.
The last important thing would be graphics: I don't know what the current favourable solutions are, but you should make sure the graphics chip is DirectX9 compatible. Something like ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 or Nvidia Geforce FX Go 5700 should be OK, maybe something bigger -> see budget. Certainly not below those chips.
Hope that helps!
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 4:09pm
It certainly does!
The guy told me that the centrino technology was actually worse for gaming than the older normal processors.
This (http://usa.asus.com/prog/spec.asp?m=Z9000%20Series&langs=09#) one looks good.
the ASUS M6700N Combo
Intel Pentium Mobile 1.4 Ghz processor
512 MB intern memory
40 GB Harddisk
15" TFT screen
DVD & CDRW combo drive
Sound & Speakers onboard
64MB VGA onboard
ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro
Touchpad mouse & Optical mouse
Windows Xp Home NL or UK
56k Modem & Lan onboard
Wireless Lan onboard
incl. free nylon carrying bag
2 years guarantee
Let me know what you guys think.
[ August 16, 2004, 16:28: Message edited by: Uytuun ]
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 4:39pm
Well, it's a good thing somebody here actually knows something about notebooks (hint: it's apparently not me). Now, if you were to ask me about desktops, I might actually be able to help. :rolleyes:
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 4:40pm
Sounds rather weak when compared to desktops -are you sure you want a laptop that is obsolete much sooner 'equally' expensive desktop? AFAIK, if it is for gaming mainly, laptops aren't really suited for that...
You will also need:
-- Headphones (those speakers are usually crap).
-- 80 BB HDD (it is the standard of today).
-- DVD-burner (and not a combo drive that burns only CD's -DVD does the same job).
-- Check some reviews for that video-card (Google, tomshardware.com).
-- WinXP costs at least 300, so you could save a lot if you took Xandro's Desktop v2.0 (Linux), SuSe 9 (Another Linux), or installed Windows on your own (I'm sure you have a free copy somewhere there).
-- Definitely do not take that modem; they are obsolete at the side of ADSL, WLAN, and others. You'll just end up paying money of nothing.
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 4:41pm
The M6700N would have been the one I'd have recommended. Actually, you can choose between several different components for the M6700N. I'd choose a bigger Hard Drive - you can't upgrade easily, so it's always better to start with 60 or 80 GB.
Don't go with the ATI 9100 IGP, because it only supports DirectX8.1 and Pixelshader 1.4 (you'll need 2.0 - better 3.0 -, if you're into some decent fragging a lá Doom 3 or Half Life 2... ah, you're not, I see...). DirectX9 will of course be important for upcoming smash hits like NWN 2 or BG 3 as well ;) .
If you don't mind the german, here's a list with prices for Asus: http://www.asuscom.de/products/notebook/ASUS-NB-PL.pdf
I found out about the spindle-thingy as well: it refers to devices in the notebook that are able to rotate. Hence, 1Spindle: HardDrive. 2Spindle: HD and Optical Device. 3Spindle: HD, OD, and Floppy Drive. Cute, isn't it...
Edit: @Wirhe: No, it is not weak when compared to a desktop. Maybe not suited for Doom 3 in highest possible resolution (but you know, there is something like an ATI Mobility X800!). But show me some decent desktop for 1600 - 2000 that is not obsolete in 3 years time as well :rolleyes:
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 6:40pm
Well, it will be used for gaming, but not really harcore gaming, since (I know it sounds boring and all, but it is the way it is) I'll have to study a large part of the time and I'll do other stuff besides gaming as well. Basically I can live with a little less detail, I just want to be able to play the future smash hits, like Darkthrone said: NWN 2, BG3 and the like.
But the reason it has to be a laptop is that I'm going home every weekend and I don't see myself carrying a desktop pc all the way to the train and back home. And using floppy discs isn't an option either. :p
That list is great, Darkthrone! I'm down to three now (either 1749 , 1849 or 1999 ). and three questions remain
windows XP home or pro?
ATI mobility radeon 9600 or 9700?
1.5 GHZ processor or 1.6 GHZ?
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 8:01pm
There are very few reasons to go with Pro over Home. IIRC, you don't need to spend the extra money unless you're planning on networking more than 5 machines together, or you want to be able to have somebody remote control your notebook. Checking Microsoft's website, it looks like Pro is the way to go if you will be needing to connect to a university network.
As far as the others are concerned, generally more is better, as long as it fits in your budget. :)
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 8:38pm
Ha! That's easy :grin: : If money is an issue you can go for 1.5 GHz and the 9600 without any real loss of playing power. I found some benchmarks where it says around 195 fps in UT2003 in 1024 x 768 (cryptic?). To cut it short: more than enough power for RPG and RTS. Not for next generation FPS maybe.
If 250 are easily extracted from whatever sources available: naturally, you would choose the biggest system . If you have to make a decision between either the faster graphic card or the faster cpu: well, the choice depends on your intentions. CPU is for fast encoding/decoding of music or video. Graphic is for games.
I think, you don't need Win XP Pro. Pro is only necessary if you'd like to build your own LAN or something similiar. Pro has the more powerful administrative tools. The home edition is all you'd ever need if you aren't a complete nerd. ;)
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 8:43pm
But show me some decent desktop for 1600 - 2000 that is not obsolete in 3 years time as wellEasy; the one I'm using now. :p
512 DDR RAM
30 Gigs HDD
Ultra-ARU (Audio, RAID, USB2 integ.)
This is a setting that should last for the next four years, and it is already about two years old. Doom 3, Half-Life 2, BG 3 (...even though I'm skeptical about it...), the Sims 2, etc, should work with this, but, personally, I wouldn't buy a computer like this anymore if I could get at the same price twice as powerful one.
'Professional.' Home-edition is basically just a stripped version of it.
Mon, 16th Aug '04, 11:10pm
Great! My dilemma is solved in just one day's time. :D
Now all that's left is confonting the pc guy with all your wisdom and his own stupidity.
Thanks you guys!
Dark Haired Beauty
Tue, 17th Aug '04, 4:14am
If you can afford one. Alienware is excellent plus the keyboard is very quiet and it allows you to type in class. Noise was the biggest issue with most of my professors when they talked about people using laptops or notebooks in their classrooms.
On the downside they are a bit bulky and heavy and the glowing eyes on the back tend to draw a lot of attention.
Tue, 17th Aug '04, 1:37pm
Damn you, now you made me doubt again...
The area-51m (http://www.alienware.com/product_detail_pages/Area-51m/area-51m_specs.aspx?SysCode=PC-LT-AREA51-M&SubCode=SKU-PERFORMANCE) looks good...but it doesn't have centrino or pentium M, it's more expensive and I wouldn't know where to get one (can't buy things on-line)
Nah, I'll think I'll stay with the M6700N, such a shame though that it doesn't have the 128 MB mobility radeon version.