Laptop Suggestions?

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duskvstweak
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Laptop Suggestions?

Post by duskvstweak » September 12th, 2019, 9:47 pm

So, my wife and I are talking about getting a laptop to share between us, so we can do various editing/podcasting/production things between us. I'd also want it to be able to play Civ VI and Final Fantasy XIV.

Anyone have any suggestions for a good gaming laptop in the $700-$750 range? I burnt my last out because it was not meant for such endeavors.

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clippa
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by clippa » September 12th, 2019, 10:10 pm

This site will help you find something suitable, you can tweak the options on the left there.

https://noteb.com/?search/search.php?ty ... t_by=value

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Chopper
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by Chopper » September 13th, 2019, 12:25 pm

Those choices returned by Clippa look pretty good!

You should probably look at a couple of video reviews also - the Dell Inspiron there looks to have quite a tacky/spongy keyboard, for example. I have an HP that looks quite similar to the HP Pavilion there and it is very robust in comparison.

One word of warning if you happen to be colourblind - the unlit keyboard on these tends to be red text on a black background. It is very hard to make out the keys, especially in low light, and I need to keep the keyboard backlit at all times (which is great for readability but a bit garish - see the HP in the pictures provided). I don't use mine in public so I am fine :)

Main decision for you might be SSD or HD? SSD is good for turn-based games but I guess you will want an HD if you're doing media work.

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clippa
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by clippa » September 13th, 2019, 4:33 pm

Chopper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:25 pm
SSD is good for turn-based games
Whatchoo talkin' bout, willis?

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by Chopper » September 14th, 2019, 11:37 am

clippa wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 4:33 pm
Chopper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:25 pm
SSD is good for turn-based games
Whatchoo talkin' bout, willis?
duskvstweak wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 9:47 pm
.. I'd also want it to be able to play Civ VI...
The specs of the ones you listed matched the recommended specs here to a T, so I was momentarily very impressed with you Clippa, thought you'd done a lot of research :|

:P

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clippa
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by clippa » September 14th, 2019, 6:16 pm

Playing turn based games off an SSD or an HDD wouldn't make any difference at all though, would it? Am I missing something obvious here?

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Chopper
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by Chopper » September 14th, 2019, 7:01 pm

You know what? You're right. I don't know where I got that idea.

Unless the game was saving/loading all the while, but that wouldn''t be the case here.

HDD it is, dusk. :oops:

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clippa
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by clippa » September 14th, 2019, 7:24 pm

More bang for you buck, but on a laptop, if you're not gonna be filling up a small one any time soon, SSD's don't have moving parts so you can fling them round a lot more, and they're quieter and they use less power.
Might be an idea to get a mid sized SSD and then you could always get a usb hard drive or even just a meaty thumb drive if you had to in the future.

Is it laptop or bust? Unless portability is an absolute must, you're always better off with a desktop.

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by duskvstweak » September 14th, 2019, 8:26 pm

Yeah, I have a desktop that works great. We're looking for a laptop so of she's recording/editing a podcast or teaching an online class, I can be editing or gaming out in the living room...or visa versa.

I didn't know SSD's use less power, that's nice to know.

Storage would be mostly temp storage as most projects, when finished, would be on the desktop anyway. And, I'd only have the game's I'm playing at the moment on.

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by clippa » September 14th, 2019, 9:08 pm

Oh yeah, I'd go with an SSD in that case. Nice to have a big one, so I've heard, but it doesn't sound like it needs to be. If the SSD is a bit smaller in the model you want, I wouldn't let that be a deal breaker.

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Chopper
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by Chopper » September 15th, 2019, 9:21 am

Yeah unless you're one of those guys who needs to have everything installed at once, the limitations of an SSD can be overstated. I have a 512GB SSD with 45 games + Office + a few bits and pieces installed, and am still only using three fifths of capacity.

I don't usually like to have that many games installed, but I went on a spree in the summer sales and I have to tell myself that I'm going to play them asap.

So 256GB might sound very small but it's very viable (unless your media software has a huge footprint).

EDIT: or a bunch of Ass Creed games or something.

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clippa
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by clippa » September 15th, 2019, 9:31 am

But then why would you? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI3usbtqlqQ&t=7m28s

It's an idiotic, broad stroke, click-baiting/discussion provoking statement, but here we go "If a game is bigger than 1gb, it ain't worth installing."

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by duskvstweak » September 19th, 2019, 6:22 pm

So, this sale is going on right now. It looks good, though I'm rusty with the technical stuff these days.
PC Gamer said the graphics card is low end. How low end are we talking about? Cause the price seems about right to me!

https://www.pcgamer.com/this-lenovo-gam ... -pcgamertw

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by Chopper » September 20th, 2019, 9:45 am

Looks pretty good! It seems to be a small improvement on the 1050 Ti that was in all the other laptops mentioned.

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/0 ... s-1050-ti/

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ThirdMan
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by ThirdMan » January 17th, 2020, 3:33 pm

I'll soon be in the market for a new laptop. My Macbook Pro is on its last legs so it's time for an upgrade. I'm thinking of going for a Windows machine this time. More bang for my buck plus I now use Windows in work and I've readjusted to its workflow.

However I'm also considering digging a bit deeper and buying a model that would also be my primary gaming platform. I've been toying with the idea of PC gaming for a long time (in fact I may have asked for advice on this before). But now I have to buy a new computer so it's an opportune time to finally pull the trigger.

I'm also slightly concerned about the next-gen consoles. I'm clueless when it comes to tech, but many of the articles I've been reading are saying that they'll both, once again, prioritise resolution over performance. Rock solid native 4K (and even 8K) at 30fps. I don't want that. If the next-gen can't produce games that run at a locked 60fps I'm going to pull my eyes out.

Anyway, I'll have about €2,000 (£1,700) to play around with. What exactly will that get me bearing in mind that I'm not looking to play Cyberpunk on max settings? I'd simply like something that will be able to play the next 5 years or more of games at a decent clip. Performance is definitely more important to me than Hollywood graphics (but I still want them looking good for that price!)

I'd also like it to be as 'normal looking' as possible. It won't be a work laptop but I will occasionally be studying and working from home and on those days I'd prefer it if my laptop wasn't an aggressive-looking starship glowing in front of me.

Any advice would be much appreciated. This is uncharted territory for me.

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by ThirdMan » January 17th, 2020, 3:44 pm

Oops, I should have read through the thread first. There's already some useful advice above.

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 18th, 2020, 3:05 am

Anyone have any experience with e-typewriters? I've seen them marketed under the Freewrite brand, but they're these e-ink screens just JUST do word processing - it's meant to be like a distraction-free writing tool. I want one for my political meetings and events. But I know nothing about them outside the ads.

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by Chopper » January 20th, 2020, 10:13 am

ThirdMan wrote:
January 17th, 2020, 3:33 pm
I'll soon be in the market for a new laptop. My Macbook Pro is on its last legs so it's time for an upgrade. I'm thinking of going for a Windows machine this time. More bang for my buck plus I now use Windows in work and I've readjusted to its workflow.

However I'm also considering digging a bit deeper and buying a model that would also be my primary gaming platform. I've been toying with the idea of PC gaming for a long time (in fact I may have asked for advice on this before). But now I have to buy a new computer so it's an opportune time to finally pull the trigger.

I'm also slightly concerned about the next-gen consoles. I'm clueless when it comes to tech, but many of the articles I've been reading are saying that they'll both, once again, prioritise resolution over performance. Rock solid native 4K (and even 8K) at 30fps. I don't want that. If the next-gen can't produce games that run at a locked 60fps I'm going to pull my eyes out.

Anyway, I'll have about €2,000 (£1,700) to play around with. What exactly will that get me bearing in mind that I'm not looking to play Cyberpunk on max settings? I'd simply like something that will be able to play the next 5 years or more of games at a decent clip. Performance is definitely more important to me than Hollywood graphics (but I still want them looking good for that price!)

I'd also like it to be as 'normal looking' as possible. It won't be a work laptop but I will occasionally be studying and working from home and on those days I'd prefer it if my laptop wasn't an aggressive-looking starship glowing in front of me.

Any advice would be much appreciated. This is uncharted territory for me.
So...no offence meant, but given your extremely volatile relationship with hardware, are you sure you want to drop two grand on a PC? You could get a work PC and have money left over for up to three consoles, which should carry even you through the next console generation... :P

That said, I don't really know my arse from my elbow on techie stuff, so take the following with a pinch of salt.

The advice given above to dusk doesn't really apply to you - all he wanted was to be able to play Civ and its equivalents. If you want to play AAA games from the next gen consoles, then your PC should have a baseline equivalent to those consoles. I haven't looked into it too much, so verify this independently, but it looks like you should be aiming for an i7 CPU and on the GPU side, an AMD RX 5700 or Nvidia RTX 2060 (with Nvidia cards the higher number in a series is better, eg a 2060, 2070, 2080 are in ascending order of power and are the next gen equivalents of the 1060, 1070, 1080). As the console releases draw closer this should become clearer, and tbh I don't really understand the nuances around choosing a CPU, but you will be limited by what the laptops are packing in any case (a good thing).

I mean, you will probably get away with less, especially for the first three or four years, but that's what I'd be going for.

Note that with a gaming laptop there is a non-zero risk of the CPU or GPU overheating, as all the components are tightly packed together, so you should be looking at what the ventilation is like, and you should be buying a cooling tray (essential for using it on your lap - they are cheap). My GPU has burned out in the past (I'm on my fourth gaming laptop).

Buying locally in Ireland is a bit of a disaster as everything is so expensive. I bought my last laptop from www.komplett.ie who I think are German. If you go to gaming laptops and filter on i7 processors you get a good range. Then you should look at a video review for each one as you will see warning signs like a spongy keyboard/casing etc. You want something with good build quality obvs.

I don't know much about screens and refresh rate, but remember it's a laptop so you'll not need a 4K screen or anything like that as it's wasted on something so small. That's an exaggeration but something to bear in mind. I always go for a 17" screen but I don't move the laptop that much. 17" is great but people at work will be amazed if you land in with a 17" screen so if it's a dual use machine, probably go 15". If you aren't going to be mobile, I would consider getting a work laptop, and then just buying a desktop PC. I think I'll go desktop next time around.

Happy to be corrected by other forumites on any of this stuff.

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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by ThirdMan » January 20th, 2020, 2:36 pm

Chopper wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 10:13 am
So...no offence meant, but given your extremely volatile relationship with hardware, are you sure you want to drop two grand on a PC? You could get a work PC and have money left over for up to three consoles, which should carry even you through the next console generation... :P

That said, I don't really know my arse from my elbow on techie stuff, so take the following with a pinch of salt.

The advice given above to dusk doesn't really apply to you - all he wanted was to be able to play Civ and its equivalents. If you want to play AAA games from the next gen consoles, then your PC should have a baseline equivalent to those consoles. I haven't looked into it too much, so verify this independently, but it looks like you should be aiming for an i7 CPU and on the GPU side, an AMD RX 5700 or Nvidia RTX 2060 (with Nvidia cards the higher number in a series is better, eg a 2060, 2070, 2080 are in ascending order of power and are the next gen equivalents of the 1060, 1070, 1080). As the console releases draw closer this should become clearer, and tbh I don't really understand the nuances around choosing a CPU, but you will be limited by what the laptops are packing in any case (a good thing).

I mean, you will probably get away with less, especially for the first three or four years, but that's what I'd be going for.

Note that with a gaming laptop there is a non-zero risk of the CPU or GPU overheating, as all the components are tightly packed together, so you should be looking at what the ventilation is like, and you should be buying a cooling tray (essential for using it on your lap - they are cheap). My GPU has burned out in the past (I'm on my fourth gaming laptop).

Buying locally in Ireland is a bit of a disaster as everything is so expensive. I bought my last laptop from www.komplett.ie who I think are German. If you go to gaming laptops and filter on i7 processors you get a good range. Then you should look at a video review for each one as you will see warning signs like a spongy keyboard/casing etc. You want something with good build quality obvs.

I don't know much about screens and refresh rate, but remember it's a laptop so you'll not need a 4K screen or anything like that as it's wasted on something so small. That's an exaggeration but something to bear in mind. I always go for a 17" screen but I don't move the laptop that much. 17" is great but people at work will be amazed if you land in with a 17" screen so if it's a dual use machine, probably go 15". If you aren't going to be mobile, I would consider getting a work laptop, and then just buying a desktop PC. I think I'll go desktop next time around.

Happy to be corrected by other forumites on any of this stuff.
Hey, thanks for the detailed reply.

No offence taken. In fact you're quite correct. I need to be careful before I blow a wad of cash on something. However my laptops have proven to be OCD-resistant so far. I've only owned two in my entire life and I'm only upgrading now because I dropped my Mac and I need to buy something. In 2003 I spent relatively big and it lasted until 2012 and my Mac has survived from then until now. So my line of thinking is that I should buy something premium and rinse it for what it's worth. I'm extraordinarily wasteful with money but my phone and my laptop are two areas where I traditionally spend wisely and get significant value over time. Those two laptops have been to hell and back and they're both still working. That's what I'm aiming for again.

However things have changed somewhat since I first posted here. I'm going to need a separate laptop for work and general everyday use. It was naive of me to think otherwise. The knock-on effect of that is that my budget is now lower and it also leaves open the possibility of buying a dedicated desktop. But I'm not sure. I still like the idea of a laptop. I realise I won't be casually dragging it around like a notebook however I'd still like the option to move to a different room when necessary. My girlfriend and I operate an open-door policy here. There's always friends and family coming and going. It's a very social place. Having a dedicated gaming space tucked away in a corner out of the way just isn't me to be honest. I'd prefer to be down in the living room and seeing people as they arrive. That sounds like such a trivial thing but it's very much part of my day to day.

So, I'll have to think about it some more! I also need to ask myself if I really want to be able to play tomorrow's AAA games on a laptop. Would I just naturally drift back towards a console and TV for those big budget blockbusters? I'm not sure. I definitely won't regret buying some sort of gaming PC because there's so many old RPGs and strategy games, in particular, that I'd love to play with keyboard and mouse. But I need to come in at the correct price point.

Anyway, thanks for your advice, particularly about avoiding a spongy keyboard. I'd never have thought of that in advance and yet it's the type of thing that would drive me crazy if I got it wrong!

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clippa
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Re: Laptop Suggestions?

Post by clippa » January 20th, 2020, 8:04 pm

For AAA gaming, honestly, I'd just stick with console.

Definitely get yourself a sexy, cheap desktop though. All the best games run on a toaster!

You could maybe get one of those wee ones, I've seen ones that even have handles on them! Still a bit more of a clart on to shift than a laptop but at least you won't be doing your back in every time you fancy a change of scenery.

That might be the way to go, laptop for work, desktop for gaming, console for your life changing, big budget, triple A, 4K experiences.

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