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KYM Tech Support or: I need to buy a new laptop and suck at technology

Last posted Dec 14, 2012 at 12:38AM EST. Added Dec 12, 2012 at 08:50PM EST
18 posts from 12 users

So KYM, I need to buy a new laptop. However, I am not good with computer. I’m looking to spend around roughly $600, give or take a little. I’d like something that could run some games decently; Minecraft would be probably what I spent the most time on outside of the interwebs.

Are there any brands you’d recommend? Any specs? I’m really flying blind here. I have a general idea of the kind of numbers I want next to the right categories (i.e. RAM, processor speed) but I’m not really too sure about a lot of things, especially graphics cards.

Dec 12, 2012 at 08:50PM EST
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If you want performance, a desktop is best. Do you have to have the portability of a laptop?

Dec 12, 2012 at 08:56PM EST
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When choosing a laptop, look at the type of graphics card (integrated vs. dedicated).

A dedicated video card has its own RAM that isn’t shared and in general will offer better performance than an integrated/shared one.

At $600 its gonna be kinda hard to find a dedicated card though.

Look for these things:

  • Since dedicated graphics are hard to get at this price range. Try to get integrated graphics from either AMD or Nvidia. If its Intel HD graphics you might have problems and issues. Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 3000 graphics are the most common ones out there)
  • RAM: For $600 you should be able to get at least 4GB (4096MB of RAM). RAM allows you to run more applications at the same time. But you don’t really need a lot unless you run rendering programs or something similar all the time.
  • HDD (Hard drive): It should be 320GB+ if you don’t have a lot of large files, you don’t need a lot of space. If you do, you can get a PC with 320-750GB in this price range.
  • CPU (Processor): Its either AMD or Intel. Id recommend intel due to lower power consumption and heat production. But won’t really matter at this price range. If you go with intel, Core i3 is minimum. You might be able to get core i5. Clock speed (in GHz doesn’t really matter so as long as it 1.5GHz or more)
    --------------------------------------
    Example Laptop from BestBuy (US)
    15-inch screen
    4GB of RAM
    500GB Hard Drive
    Core i5 2.5GHz CPU
    Windows 7 Home Premium
    But comes with Intel HD Graphics
    $595 USD
Last edited Dec 12, 2012 at 09:50PM EST
Dec 12, 2012 at 09:26PM EST
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Well if it’s a laptop you’re looking for, especially general use, I would go with an HP. They probably have some of the best laptops on the market. I’ve got an HP Pavillion G6t-2200, and I think it’s great for the price. For $480 pre-tax, you get better-than-minimum specs, although I think the hard drive could be a bit bigger if you build up a big Steam library (but I think you can upgrade that and wait a little longer).

Specs-wise, you want at least 4GB of RAM to run anything well, but that’s pretty much standard these days. I prefer Intel processors, as they tend to stay cooler than AMD processors with the same power. Watch out with graphics cards, though. Most laptops have integrated graphics, which means you can’t upgrade them at all, and getting discrete graphics cards in a laptop is often pretty expensive. However, if you can get AMD Radeon or NVIDIA GEforce (preferably discrete, but anything with a GB or two of built-in memory should last you awhile) and stay within your budget, You should probably go for it. Take it from me, Intel HD cards kinda suck.

tl;dr go HP, get 4GB+ RAM, get Intel processor but AMD or NVIDIA graphics.

But seriously, if you’re going to game and don’t need portability, you could build a decent desktop rig for $600. Just sayin’.

Dec 12, 2012 at 09:36PM EST
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>buy a new laptop last December.
>play Skyrim
>graphics up
>wait for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced to come out
>download takes forever
>install takes longer
>finally finished
>see game specs
>doesn’t support integrated graphics

Jimmies Status:
[]- Not rustled
[x]- Rustled

Dec 12, 2012 at 09:52PM EST
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If you just want a general purpose laptop, companies such as Dell and HP should fit the ticket. Typically, Japanese companies that are jack-of-all-trades electronics hardware, like Samsung and Sony, are a little lower in terms of quality, but they are reliable as well. If you want a netbook, however (Minecraft can definitely run on a netbook), ASUS easily makes some of the best netbooks known to man. Acer comes in at a close second.

Dec 12, 2012 at 10:11PM EST
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For laptops I have to echo Starfish

ASUS and Acer have the best reputation for reliable laptops that aren’t crammed full of crap.

Did I mention once that a friend of mine once threw an Acer against a brick wall? (like, seriously biffed that sunnavabitch as hard as she could in a childish tantrum) The laptop survived, only losing a few keys. It remains working to this day I think. (Meanwhile, drop your Macbook Air on the carpet and it’s off to the genius bar.)

But as with all computers; I must stress…and this is important, listenHardware is what is really matters, not brand.

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS check the hardware for every computer you buy no matter what brand it is or how shiny they painted it. You usually get told how much RAM or HDD space a computer has on the label but often you don’t get told about the processor and video card. Those things are important too and you need to know them before you purchase. Chances are: if the video card is not labeled under the price tag then that means it’s probably a shitty one that can’t run any games.

Otherwise you end up in Serious Business’s situation where you buy a new laptop only to rudely discover that your computer doesn’t have what it takes to run your software (AVOID INTEGRATED GRAPHICS LIKE THE PLAGUE!)

What hardware do you need? Well look at the games you have and check their hardware requirement labels. It should be on the box your game came in. Note down the recommended hardware requirements for your games and make sure your new laptop matches or bests them

I’ve got more to say on desktops but since you ask for a laptop, I’ll skip that part

For more on knowing what video cards or processors are best check out this place (click benchmarks). But a core i7 CPU and a GTX 600 series GPU should suffice

For RAM. 4GB is fine.

For HDD space. Bigger is better but for most people around 500GB is enough. I still have not filled up my 640GB and I’ve had my PC for years

But focus your money on getting the best processor and video card, don’t worry about RAM or HDD too much even though stores use those things as major selling points

Last edited Dec 13, 2012 at 03:19AM EST
Dec 13, 2012 at 03:17AM EST
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My laptop was $328.99

Gateway NE56R31u
15.6" Screen
4 GB RAM
320 GB HDD
Intel B830 CPU
Windows 8
Intel HD Graphics

Sometimes you can spend less than you planned.

Last edited Dec 13, 2012 at 11:53AM EST
Dec 13, 2012 at 11:24AM EST
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I’m going to steal this tips for when I buy myself a laptop <:3c

Dec 13, 2012 at 11:34AM EST
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Okay, here’s what I’m looking at and very strongly considering. The only problem I see is the integrated graphics card, but to be honest, I’m not really sure I’ve found anything for that price (and $650 is really pushing it) that DOESN’T have an integrated card, much to my chagrin.

To answer the question I saw at least twice, yes, I need a laptop, not a desktop. It’ll be traveling with me a lot.

It’s encouraging to hear that Asus makes tougher computers, because one of the biggest reasons I need a new one is that my Dell here has had its case cracked; if I tried to close it I’d pull the screen apart. The hinge is busted and it all sucks.

I was looking at a Lenovo with basically the same specs as the above Asus (and it was cheaper AND had an HD 4000 graohics card rather than an HD 3000, though I’m not really sure how much of a difference that would make) but just looking at it and reading some reviews I discovered it was somewhat flimsily constructed. No good. I’m not gonna abuse the thing, but it needs to be tougher than my poor, delicate Dell.

Also, I’m not going to be running Skyrim on this thing. Like I said, the greatest strain I’d put on in is probably Minecraft.

Dec 13, 2012 at 11:40AM EST
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Mack TheUnoriginal wrote:

Okay, here’s what I’m looking at and very strongly considering. The only problem I see is the integrated graphics card, but to be honest, I’m not really sure I’ve found anything for that price (and $650 is really pushing it) that DOESN’T have an integrated card, much to my chagrin.

To answer the question I saw at least twice, yes, I need a laptop, not a desktop. It’ll be traveling with me a lot.

It’s encouraging to hear that Asus makes tougher computers, because one of the biggest reasons I need a new one is that my Dell here has had its case cracked; if I tried to close it I’d pull the screen apart. The hinge is busted and it all sucks.

I was looking at a Lenovo with basically the same specs as the above Asus (and it was cheaper AND had an HD 4000 graohics card rather than an HD 3000, though I’m not really sure how much of a difference that would make) but just looking at it and reading some reviews I discovered it was somewhat flimsily constructed. No good. I’m not gonna abuse the thing, but it needs to be tougher than my poor, delicate Dell.

Also, I’m not going to be running Skyrim on this thing. Like I said, the greatest strain I’d put on in is probably Minecraft.

Since you are limiting yourself to Minecraft, you should be fine with either HD 3000 or HD4000. Although HD4000 is a bit better.

On the laptop you linked:

  • The Processor/CPU is fantastic. Core i5 @ 2.5GHz has a lot of power.
  • Memory/RAM is also fantastic. 4GB @ 1333MHz is more than enough.
  • Hard Drive/Storage: 500GB @ 5400RPM. This is also very good.
  • Intel HD 3000 Graphics: Its hard to find a laptop that doesn’t use intel HD graphics at this price. So I can’t say much here

Overall its a good laptop for the price. It may be possible to find some low end Integrated Geforce like 610 or something similar.

Last edited Dec 13, 2012 at 12:02PM EST
Dec 13, 2012 at 11:59AM EST
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Maybe you only have a little bit of free space left on your harddrive

Dec 13, 2012 at 12:48PM EST
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This was hard. Found a few that fit you though, but you are asking a lot of out a laptop on a low budget.

Lenovo G780
Acer Aspire
ASUS

I can tell you right now that integrated graphics won’t run Minecraft smoothly, if at all.

Dec 13, 2012 at 12:51PM EST
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if all else fails

download more ram

also do yourself a favor and don’t buy Dell

Dell is like the Walmart of computers

Last edited Dec 13, 2012 at 01:19PM EST
Dec 13, 2012 at 01:18PM EST
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I SAY YOU GET ONE WITH A KEYBOARD

MAN I AM GOOD AT COMPUTER

Just kidding, I know next to nothing about this stuff.

Dec 13, 2012 at 02:41PM EST
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Kim Jong Is A Feminist wrote:

if all else fails

download more ram

also do yourself a favor and don’t buy Dell

Dell is like the Walmart of computers

You’re thinking of Toshiba.

Dec 13, 2012 at 09:13PM EST
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@Mack

Ivan knows what he is talking about. That laptop may do your work for the price though I can’t say I like the look of it myself

My laptop has hardware just like that one except it comes with a proper video card that can run Starcraft 2 and I paid less money for it than that.

Keep your eyes open I say. You are on the right track with the processor and memory but you will find that Intel graphic chip horribly unacceptable. So if you really want to run games, keep looking

Intel does not make their graphics chips for games, those things will fail to run even minecraft smoothly, I can guarantee you.


@Kim Jong

I wouldn’t get a Dell either but I would not say they are the worst. When I did hardware support, the majority of all computers sent in for repairs were all HP’s and Compaqs. Those brands are not made to last. I’d say those are the worst

We never got Dells, Acers or ASUS given to us for repair so they must be doing something right…then again that may just be because people go to Dell tech support when they have Dell issues

Also downloading RAM? You’re trolling right?

Dec 13, 2012 at 11:34PM EST
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Integrated graphics will run Minecraft fine. I have the HD3000 in my computer. Sure, it won’t run GTA IV (then again, no Intel cards do thanks to how shitty the port is), and I personally don’t have minecraft installed, but everything else, even newer games like Max Payne 3 or Borderlands 2, run great. My brother does have Minecraft, and I’m pretty sure his computer has a lower-grade Intel card. It runs great. He even ran it on a computer from 2006 (albeit slowly). Those specs look good, although I don’t like the look but to each his own. Plus it has upgradeable memory, just in case, which is a plus; some computers don’t offer it.

Get a real mouse first thing tho. Touchpads are good on the go, but gaming, even (especially) Minecraft, can use the precision of a mouse.

Dec 14, 2012 at 12:38AM EST
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Skeletor-sm

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