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Old 01-29-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
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Default to build or to buy?

skip the part in the () please. I have decided on a laptop for various reasons. Though I really want to build

(Well, I have been wanting to build a good computer for a while now on a budget of about $450. (I can always add more stuff later). My birthday is coming up and my mom was wondering what I wanted. I have been wanting a tablet for a while, just for fun on the bus and stuff like that. She mentioned the kindle fire, yeah I would like to have it but for the price there are other tablets like the aniol nova 7 advanced for $50 cheaper with better specs and more capabilities. I said, that I would like to build a computer. She has known this for a while and until now has supported the idea. But then she starts talking about how I should get a laptop for college and stuff. Well, a good laptop would be nice, but to get something of the performance I am looking for, I would have to pay more than double the cost of the desktop I want to build. I have no problem with getting a good laptop, but I need ideas on what to get. Oh, another thing to mention is I still have 2 and 1/2 years of high school left, so by the time I go to college, whatever laptop I would buy, would be selling for a much lower price. )

so, if you were in my situation, including having 2 1/2 years until a laptop really becomes necessary, (though it would be nice) would you buy a laptop or build a computer that would kick ass compared to anything in that price range?

What laptop would you buy? I am looking for good gaming too. The whole gaming look isnt needed, just good specs. Probably 4gb of ram or 6gb if it would be in the price range. I guess I could always buy a laptop with an open ram slot and add more (so no just throwing the stock ram in a box and never touching it again).

EDIT: I have kind of decided that looking into a good laptop would be a good idea right now because it would be good for traveling and going to science olympiad competitions.

oh, hdmi or vga (preferably hdmi) built into the laptop would be nice as well. I would probably put the laptop on the shelf above my desk and plug it into my speakers, monitor (thats where the hdmi or vga comes in), and my mouse and keyboard to still have a desktop like experience.

Also, included os does not matter to me because I will be installing a copy of windows 7 ultimate that I have.

No HUGE screen, my parents have a 15.5 in screen and that seems to be about what I like. I would rather go to a 14 something than go above 15.5.

playing ut3 at the screens resolution or my 19' monitors resolution of 1360 by 768 at a decent resolution would be nice. So decent graphics is also kind of a must. I currently have a geforce 210 in my desktop (pretty low end) and it gets me by. I would like 23+ fps on ut3 (what I currently get). It isnt asking for to much but leaves the game surprisingly playable.

Last edited by nerdyrcdriver; 01-29-2012 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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I have a Kindle Fire that I use mainly as a book reader. I did root it since I cannot access anything from the Amazon Appstore due to my billing address is a non-US one just so I can get a couple basic free apps.

I have had the opportunity to compare the Qware Tablet 7 Inch Pro 3 to the Kindle Fire and the Sony Tablet S with very good results. For the fact that it is being sold by a toy store (think Toys R Us) and it is only 99- Euro ($131 US) does not take anything away from the tablet. Honestly, in a blind test people would probably think that the tablet cost the same as the other big named tablets.

As far as building vs buying a computer, your money goes farther when buying over building. I built a computer in 2001 and that lasted about 10 years before I tossed it. Dual processors and 2GB ram made it a workhorse especially when people thought that 512GB ram was overkill. The one I am using now is a Dell that cost 1/4 the price if I would have built it from scratch with the same specs.

Actually this is the 2nd one because they replaced the first one for being a lemon when I tried to go to Windows 7 from XP x64. I used the old one for 2-1/2 years on the 3 year warranty and guess what, the replacement computer has better specs and a 3 year warrany starting from the day it was delivered, not 6 months from the remaining warranty as I thought it would have been.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
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Blehhhhh, I would NOT get a laptop if you are going to do any gaming...Any laptop that is designed for serious gaming is NOT portable in any fashion. If you plan to carry it once every 3 months it isn't to bad but if you think your going to tote around a 10+ lb laptop you wrongly mistaken.

If you want to do any gaming i suggest you go back to the desktop scenario, they are designed for it and will out perform any notebook with similiar specs almost twice.

However if your STUCK on a gaming laptop, your price range is really going to limit you...Asus makes a good 17 inch laptop, as well as the Alienware R3 lappy...If you need portable then again Alienware I believe has a 14 inch model gaming laptop and or a M11X for gaming...Just know they don't perform nearly as well as a low end gaming desktop.

A 580GTX Desktop vs a 580GTX notebook is a HUGE difference in performance so don't be fooled by same model numbers or supposable speeds.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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Blehhhhh, I would NOT get a laptop if you are going to do any gaming...Any laptop that is designed for serious gaming is NOT portable in any fashion. If you plan to carry it once every 3 months it isn't to bad but if you think your going to tote around a 10+ lb laptop you wrongly mistaken.

If you want to do any gaming i suggest you go back to the desktop scenario, they are designed for it and will out perform any notebook with similiar specs almost twice.

However if your STUCK on a gaming laptop, your price range is really going to limit you...Asus makes a good 17 inch laptop, as well as the Alienware R3 lappy...If you need portable then again Alienware I believe has a 14 inch model gaming laptop and or a M11X for gaming...Just know they don't perform nearly as well as a low end gaming desktop.

A 580GTX Desktop vs a 580GTX notebook is a HUGE difference in performance so don't be fooled by same model numbers or supposable speeds.
not looking for a full on gaming computer (though it would be cool). I do like this one, and I think it would handle what I would be throwing at it.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...ku=S203-156402

I WANT to build a desktop (2 years of building them for other people, and I dont have one!) but a laptop is practical for the lans, just carry it in my backpack until the end of the school day, walk into the room we have the lans in, plug it in, and start setting up the network so by the time people have their stuff set up I can have my laptop and the network ready so we can get to the games as soon as possible. really, just about anything handles the games we play. Unreal tournament 1999, ut2004, battlefield 1942, pretty pathetic. But I do have a copy of ut3 and some other more demanding games that other computers at the lan cant handle. (well, most of them can, but we have a few spare pc's that are showing their age for people who randomly show up without computers). I am not a HUGE gamer by any means. Just once in a while. Now, if I had a more capable computer compared to mine (listed below) I would probably play a few more games.

intel pentium e2140 dual core at 1.6ghz
2gb ddr2 ram
evga geforce 210
80gb ps3 hdd (2.5in, idk rpm)
320gb hitachi 3.5in hdd (idk rpm)
crap mobo
standard dvd drive (not even a burner)
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:25 PM   #5
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For the price you are looking to pay for a laptop, I think you are looking at about the best you may get. Actually, Costco, BJs Wholesale, and a few other places may also have similar deals. You aren't going to game on it, but you will be able to watch some television using the HDMI out if you want. A laptop is nice and you can get a really sweet setup for a couple hundred more. I would save your $$ for another month or two and find that extra hundy and get one a bit better. FWIW I don't know anyone wo actually burns CDs and DVDs anymore. Everything goes on a portable hard drive or on a flash drive... Oh, and I'd look for a laptop with a USB 3.0 port as that will be what everything switches to in the next year or so.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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I have both, a HP G70 Laptop and my custom built desktop. The only game I will play on my laptop is Age of Empires III... and Angry Birds!!

As for my desktop, I use it for the more demanding games, like BF3, FSX, Crysis 2. It also doubles as a workstation for Photoshop, video encoding and rendering, as well as using CAD software, like Solidworks and Autodesk. I also built another, smaller computer that is used strictly for playing movies; it's case is designed to blend in with the home theater system, so you can't really tell it's a computer until I turn it on....

I really don't know what you are trying to accomplish, but if you are looking for a computer with desktop performance and portability, then I suggest you should build a Fragbox.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:43 AM   #7
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Hate to burst your bubble but that laptop isn't going to run any newer games at any sort of decent resolution. BF3, Modern Warfare 3, or even the 2 series, it is going to be sluggish..

As for carrying this thing around in your backpack for the day, yea again add on your books and anything else, and you'll soon see it is a pain in the butt...I'd much rather carry my desktop and monitor in, and then put the keyboard/mouse, head phones in a back pack. While you are ready to go at your low reasolutions no one else will be playing anyway because they are setting up. So just build the desktop and you'll be set.


Again I am pretty strongly against laptops especially for any gaming unless your going to spend a grand on one then you might get a decent one that can handle most games you play with decent resolutions.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:55 AM   #8
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Here is a couple links to some decent laptops they will perform much better than the one you listed but are a little bit more money...Just Food for Thought.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/MSI-FX603-i5...item43ac670474


http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-k53TA-B...item27c2ecd556

http://www.ebay.com/itm/iBuyPower-MS...item2a18f4aee5

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-N53SV-B...item3f12cc999f

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LENOVO-IDEAP...item256bf6d0ea
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Ewww.....

Ebay.... the internet classifieds for thieves....

Laptops are full of performance bottlenecks; one weak component will hamper the performance on the entire computer.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #10
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Hate to burst your bubble but that laptop isn't going to run any newer games at any sort of decent resolution. BF3, Modern Warfare 3, or even the 2 series, it is going to be sluggish..

As for carrying this thing around in your backpack for the day, yea again add on your books and anything else, and you'll soon see it is a pain in the butt...I'd much rather carry my desktop and monitor in, and then put the keyboard/mouse, head phones in a back pack. While you are ready to go at your low reasolutions no one else will be playing anyway because they are setting up. So just build the desktop and you'll be set.


Again I am pretty strongly against laptops especially for any gaming unless your going to spend a grand on one then you might get a decent one that can handle most games you play with decent resolutions.
You do realize that 1360 by 760 is 720p right? I never said I wouldnt bring my good monitor to the lans.

Did you read the games in my list? Just to give you an idea, a toshiba satellite A85 is running them OK

512mb ram
1.4ghz single core

My Hp compaq dc6000 (dont quote me on that) runs them pretty good on my monitor.

1gb ram
1.6ghz single core

So that laptop would fly through games compared to these. I will be able to play newer games than ut99 and ut2004 (both those laptops above play them) but im not expecting to play crysis 2 on a laptop. Im not a huge gamer by any means.

But I do agree, a desktop is more "future proof" compared to the laptop and would be easily 2x as capable for the same price. Actually, computers probably shouldnt ever be called future proof, because they arent. But in 3 years when I actually need a laptop for college, something of that samsungs specs will probably be around $300-$400 instead of $500.

Well, my b day isnt until the 23rd of march, so I still have time to think.

If I decide to build, what should I get as far as a cpu and gpu? I would probably go amd for my budget of around $450. (keep in mind there needs to be a room for a psu and case in the cost too) I was looking at the 550ti graphics card, but Idk what processor to choose. Oh, I want an ssd as well, but Idk if I can fit it in the budget. Probably like a 60gb. I have a few hdds I can use so those dont need to be included in the cost. I can always add little things later on.

The networking is harder than it seems sometimes. The lans start at 2:30pm and as the only person doing the networking I normally get everyone connected by 4:10pm. Part of that is people are always asking for the wifi password, and I only have the exact number of ethernet cables required to get the people that dont have wireless connected. So I need to make sure the right length gets to the right computer. AND some of them have broken tabs on them so they dont like to stay in very long. The counters in the room have boxes on them with 2 120v ac outlets, and 2 sets of + and - ac or dc ports controlled by a big blue box in the corner of the room. (ac or dc, and what voltage goes where). They also have rj45 jacks on them, but over the years the students have vantalized most of them. And we have no idea where all of the wiring leads. (well we have some idea.) We might spend a day re wiring all of the rj45 connectors and running the wiring into a storage room in the class room. Then we can put them all on a 24 port switch and a couple 8 ports (along with the wifi) and put a server we plan to buy or build (teacher hasnt decided yet) in the room with it. Then people can show up, connect to the ports or wifi, and we can all be running by 3pm. Plus it wouldnt matter who sets up where as long as they can reach one of the ports.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:57 PM   #11
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That samsung has a horrible video card but it is your choice...I wasn't referring to decent resolution on that lapto I was referring to you hooking it up to a monitor and trying to play at 1920x1200 and then trying to play it with any sort of graphics turned on besides low.

Seems you have your mind made up and your shooting for bottom of the absolute barrel but expecting any sort of performance.


If you want a cheap laptop thatll play Unreal Tourney and Counter Strike then I'm sure that Samnsung would be fine...I'd rather get a older Gateway Laptop like I have with a 9800GTS that can Run Modern Warefare 2 pretty well and Need For Speed Hot Pursuit with no issues and Warcraft maxxed out no issues.

Sorry I really don't have much advice for cheap laptops or low end desktops, I usually spend roughly 1500 on either machine when I'm looking, maybe someone else can be more insightful in that market.

If you can scrounge up some change, I'd get a Asus G53, Alienware m14x or a 1300$ custom built pc from new egg parts.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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That samsung has a horrible video card but it is your choice...I wasn't referring to decent resolution on that lapto I was referring to you hooking it up to a monitor and trying to play at 1920x1200 and then trying to play it with any sort of graphics turned on besides low.

Seems you have your mind made up and your shooting for bottom of the absolute barrel but expecting any sort of performance.


If you want a cheap laptop thatll play Unreal Tourney and Counter Strike then I'm sure that Samnsung would be fine...I'd rather get a older Gateway Laptop like I have with a 9800GTS that can Run Modern Warefare 2 pretty well and Need For Speed Hot Pursuit with no issues and Warcraft maxxed out no issues.

Sorry I really don't have much advice for cheap laptops or low end desktops, I usually spend roughly 1500 on either machine when I'm looking, maybe someone else can be more insightful in that market.

If you can scrounge up some change, I'd get a Asus G53, Alienware m14x or a 1300$ custom built pc from new egg parts.

Ok, I might have said stuff wrong I guess. I am open to opinion and other good laptop ideas. I am also open to opinion on what components I should get if I decide to build a decent desktop (nothin too fancy, but gets the job done) say 8gb of ram, amd processor (which one?) and what video card? The reason I made the thread was to get other ideas. I figured that dedicated graphics card was better than intel integrated 3000 but I may be wrong. According to intel and the tigerdirectblog on youtube intel 3000 graphics is actually decent and can play mw2. I may be good at putting a pc together but all of the parts and stuff were selected by someone else. I was just the guy dedicated enough to build it right and in less than a week of staying after school. (the guy who selected the components took almost a month and then had to go back and manage all of the cables. I know almost nothing about what is good in a laptop compared to a desktop.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:16 PM   #13
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Just get an Alienware

When people ask me what computer to buy, I tell them it's like buying an appliance. Figure out what your needs are, figure out what you can afford, find the best product within your budget and buy it. It's not that complicated.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:30 PM   #14
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I assume UT3 is Unreal Tournament 3? If so most cards these days should be able to handle. I have an Alienware M11X R3, and while it suits my purposes, I suggest you look at 15" laptops. Why? You can get better specs for the same (or lower!), price than the 11-14".

You also are going though to have to get nearer the $1000 mark for a entry level gaming laptop. Other than Dell *shudder* I have bought a gaming capable laptop from these guys before with no issue. Including the bank money transfer discount.

http://www.xoticpc.com/

FWIW: Another recommendation. Get one with a higher resolution. 1333X768 is the same as my 11" Alienware. On a 15", that just a waste. You can always run the games in non-native (lower) resolution if you start suffering fps because of the higher resolution.

As a new personal preference from discovering this. If you also plan to do any type of 3d modeling. DON'T get a Nvidia. They have purposely stunted their drivers to get people to buy an unneeded/overpriced Quadro. Otherwise, if your 3d is going to be for games alone, either brand will be fine.
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