Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist

Public (OOC) => Tech discussion => Topic started by: -Rotten Fish- on October 04, 2010, 09:17:19 AM

Title: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 04, 2010, 09:17:19 AM
Ello Guys,

my laptop is finaly conking out after 4 years so its time to upgrade. i have like £400-£550 to play with so thats a fair budget i think.

and unlike my last laptop i want it to be able to run nwn and other games like dawn of war and battlefield 1942 etc.

basicaly,i want to get the best i can for my money. needs to have lots of memory and a big harddrive so it doesnt become slow and unusable like my last laptop.

i dont really know much about things like this though so i need some help please.

feel free to add my msn - dasneakygit@hotmail.com

cheers guys
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 04, 2010, 09:38:09 AM
also, is there any downside to buying a reburbished laptop?

logicaly i can get a superior laptop spec for cheaper. so sounds good but, will it get clogged up faster etc?
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: emhilradim on October 05, 2010, 12:30:43 AM
With a budget like that you should be able to get something fairly decent.  My own personal suggestion is to look into an Intel system, with at least 2gb of RAM, and go from there.  Don't get an ATOM cause those are netbook processors and completely unsuitable for pretty much anything.  I've got no SPECIFIC systems to recommend.

I personally use nVidia, but the ATI family of video cards have really good quality stepping system.  Their OpenGL implementation is a little subpar however, so if you're going to be running anything non-Windows you may wish to consider an nVidia card as ATI's chipsets are geared toward DirectX implementations.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 05, 2010, 05:41:44 AM
yea, i found a few ones with dual core processors, like 4gb ram and 500gb memory, so thats pretty good, thats what im aiming for, i just need to find one with a decent graphics card. as they are always integrated in laptops i need to make sure i buy the right one.

but i would guess most modern laptops that feature either ati radeon or nvidia should be able to handle things likie nwn and dawn of war?

ive been looking more at refurbished laptops, as, well i can get a pretty damn good piece of kit for the same price as an alright new laptop.

heres a few i been looking at:

1. http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/toshiba-satellite-l450d-11x-refurbished-laptop-03885443-pdt.html

has a dual core prosessor, 4gb ram and 500gb harddrive, ati radeon hd 3200 graphics card - is that a good card? it doesnt say if its 64 bit but i would assume so?
it doesnt say if it has any software on it already though like microsoft word (essential for a student) but at that price i can use some of what i have left in my budget and get it


2. http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/toshiba-satellite-l550-refurbished-laptop-04590835-pdt.html

this one has same 4gb ram, 500 gb harddrive and ati mobility radeon hd 4570
Intel® Pentium® Processor T4400
- 2.2 GHz
- 800 MHz FSB
- 1 MB L2 cache

all that means nothing to me, as does all the ghz stuff

3. http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/acer-aspire-7736g-refurbished-laptop-03895954-pdt.html

this one has a NVIDIA GeForce G210M.

4. http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/toshiba-satellite-a500-17x-refurbished-laptop-03914982-pdt.html

stretching the budget a bit now but this runs a NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 230M


so, out of these, which is the one you guys would opt for - keeping in mind that i dont think any of these have any software on them, id have to call them up and ask.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: DM Strigoi on October 05, 2010, 08:42:31 AM
dont know much about labtops, but would advise against getting anything previously owned/used. Computers are like cars, never know what kinda lemon you might Be buying.

Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: emhilradim on October 05, 2010, 07:06:05 PM
I'm gonna have to side with Strav on this, I can't in good conscience suggest a refurb.  I have bought refurb electronics in the past, and trust me, it's NOT good.  I had an mp3 player that was a refurb and one day it just stopped working for no reason.  Had a monitor and it didn't last long cause it was a refurb.

Basically ANYTHING you buy right now will be capable of playing NWN/Dawn of War/World of WarCrack (just as an example) so long as it's a new system.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: Zarathustra217 on October 05, 2010, 08:04:42 PM
Your foremost concern if you are going to use it for playing games should be graphics card, which is the only thing that may really limit the gaming experience. Make sure it's either an ATI Radeon or NVidia Geforce, and if you can find one with a Radeon 5650 or Geforce 260 or 460, that would be ideal.

Actually, I would go as far as recommending Dell. After comparing prices and quality, I decided to buy my own from them half a year ago, and I've been quite pleased with that decision.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: Bad_Bud on October 06, 2010, 01:49:24 AM
There's nothing wrong with a refurbished product if it carries the same warranty as a new product, as most laptops do.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: emhilradim on October 06, 2010, 02:04:19 AM
There's nothing wrong with a refurbished product if it carries the same warranty as a new product, as most laptops do.

Warranties only cover typically 12 to 36 months, but you could be wanting that laptop for as much as 6 years if it's not really all that outdated within the end of your warranty plan.  The problem is that a lot of the times a refurb will have a reduced warranty lifetime, or no warranty at all, and if you do buy the extended then what happens if it dies the day AFTER your warranty expires?  Then you're screwed.  At least with something new you have piece of mind that it will continue to function beyond the warranty expiration date so long as you the end-user were not negligent and you didn't buy something defective.

But refurbished products are products which have been repaired due to damage and/or defects already, which means...  They're already confirmed to have been defective in some way.  Refurbishing it doesn't make it magically 1000% better than it was.  It's damaged goods, and that's why you get it at a discount price.

Edit: Think of it the same way as if you were buying a game from EB/Gamestop and you have to choose between $5 off and get a used copy or full price and get a new copy.  Will you really opt for that $5 discount when you have no idea what the history that disc has seen?  For some games getting a $5 discounted disc means you'll end up paying $10-$15 after the purchase to be able to buy a license to play it online (EA especially loves this little pricing scheme), and I'm not referring to MMOs either.  And what if the original user is in actuality STILL USING THE CD-KEY?  Now you have to jump through hoops and act like a circus seal with the game company to get that problem rectified.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: Bad_Bud on October 06, 2010, 02:43:43 AM
I know what a refurbished product is, and most I've bought have still carried manufacturer's warranties.  I've never had a problem with them, and any product can break the day after warranty.  If you buy something with a shorter warranty, that's not the product's problem, and probably should be a red flag.

Just know what you're buying.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 06, 2010, 07:43:46 AM
Your foremost concern if you are going to use it for playing games should be graphics card, which is the only thing that may really limit the gaming experience. Make sure it's either an ATI Radeon or NVidia Geforce, and if you can find one with a Radeon 5650 or Geforce 260 or 460, that would be ideal.

Actually, I would go as far as recommending Dell. After comparing prices and quality, I decided to buy my own from them half a year ago, and I've been quite pleased with that decision.

yea i have a dell at the moment, be it a 4 year old one with:

1014mb ram
62gb harddrive
32-bit operating system
and some graphics card from the stone age....

but its been alright. i use it to dj mostly as it has all my music etc on it, so its now gunna be a storage pc mostly and just for djing. 

dell are quite expensive is the problem.

but, i think my priorities should be:
3-4gb ram - so it runs nice and smooth.
ATI or Nvidia graphics card - will any modern version of these cards do?
and then harddisk space 320gb is more than enough.

processors, what do i need/ realisticaly get away with? centrino is pants from what i hear? dual core is the dogs danglys, but expensive?
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: GunzNrosZ on October 06, 2010, 12:45:05 PM
I wouldn't go with acer laptops. They have a tendency to burn up really quick.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: Aran on October 06, 2010, 01:06:55 PM
been really happy about dell too

keep getting huge discounts at the moment in denmark

aran/arakor/jon
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 06, 2010, 01:16:59 PM
with some techy help from Macabre, i think ive got a good deal on a

dell inspiron m501r.
microsoft works
15months free mcafee security
PROCESSOR    AMD Athlon™ II Dual-Core Mobile Processor P340 (2.2GHz, 1M, 3.2GT/s)    
OPERATING SYSTEM    Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit- English    
PROTECT YOUR DATA    DataSafe Online Backup 2GB 1 year          
LCD    15.6" High Definition (1366x768) WLED    
Camera    1.3 Mega pixel Integrated Web Camera      
Hard Drive    320GB (5,400rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive    
Memory    4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]    
Optical Devices    DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD)    
Video Card    ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4250    
Bluetooth    Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth Module - European    
Keyboard    Internal UK/Irish Qwerty Keyboard    
Wireless Networking    Dell Wireless 1501 Mini Card (802.11g/n)      


got that delivered for £479.00 so im way under budget

googled the graphics card and with dual core processor and 4gb ram the ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4250  can run nwn and games like oblivion on a lower setting so it suit my intended purpose just fine.

Thanks for teh help guys, any thoughts on this package let me know, will be ordering some time over the weekend/next week if all is good.

:)  

 
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: Zarathustra217 on October 07, 2010, 05:17:46 AM
Hmm, while the ATI mobility Radeon HD 4250 might run on lower settings, for a bit more money you'll get something a lot more suited for games. If you are in any way a gamer, the graphics card should more or less be your #1 priority. Just an ATI 4650 would make a huge difference for you.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: Zarathustra217 on October 07, 2010, 05:43:44 AM
Btw, I tried to check it out on Dell, but I think you might have ordered from the US shop - they have a different stock than the UK, so I'm not even sure you can purchase that one... :O
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 07, 2010, 08:33:23 AM
i wouldnt say im a BIG gamer, but thats mostly because  i dont have a pc that can handle most games, so i just tend to stick to nwn and dawn of war mostly, but i would love to play better games, i like 1st person shooters and real time strategy games too..

I am lucky in that i get an anual bursury to help with my studies, (in the area of around £500 this year) so if i add another £80 of my own, i can do one better than the spec i posted above.

heres a comparison: new build features 4gb ram, 500gb storage, triple core processor, and a 1gb ati radeon mobility hd 550v

(http://i476.photobucket.com/albums/rr123/dasneakygit/pcspecs.jpg)
 
personaly, after seeing how much my bursury was, im thinking throwing an extra £80 is a good idea, anyone know if this new graphics card is a decent piece of kit? i cant find a package that i can afford with a ati 4650.

and im looking on the euro dell site, its all in English pounds £££ 
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 07, 2010, 08:44:35 AM
did a bit of googling, and from what i can tell, the ati 550v is basicaly a ati 4650 but with a slightly slower clockrate, but with a triple core processor and 4gb ram should that be a real problem?

it also says that it only supports directx 10.1, will that affect running games like nwn and dawn of war?

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/298162-15-mobility-radeon-550v-mobility-radeon-5470
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: Zarathustra217 on October 07, 2010, 09:37:41 AM
Oh, think I got myself lost in the dell page then.

Anyway, definitely seems worth it to me. I'd say you should be able to run most modern games at medium settings at good frame rates with that. And don't worry about it only being directx 10.1, that's really no biggie.
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 07, 2010, 10:00:26 AM
sweet, cheers for the help mate, ive just seen the trailors for warhammer 40k online too, which looks immense so definately gunna try run that too! :P
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: Zarathustra217 on October 09, 2010, 05:21:51 AM
Hah, hope this doesn't mean you're dropping the server... ;)

But sure thing, glad to be of help, hope you enjoy your new laptop...
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 09, 2010, 06:10:10 AM
hehe i havent dropped it so far ;)

going to order today/tomorow or monday so im happy :P
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 13, 2010, 05:40:48 AM
mwuhahaha! new laptop ordered last night, should be here before the 22nd.

I shall see you all then :P
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 18, 2010, 03:47:39 PM
guh.. everything was going so well, patched up to 1.69, installed the potm haks, and now i cant get the cep to work! says im missing all the files and the updater wont work, am i doing something stupidly wrong? i dont want to redownload the whole thing several times and clog up my lovely new laptop in the first day
Title: Re: Time For a New Laptop! what to buy?!
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on October 18, 2010, 04:13:30 PM
solved, auto installer my ass...