Buying a new laptop

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Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Dec 8 2017, 0:53

My current laptop has trouble connecting to the wireless network I have. It connects fine most of the time but there are occasional, consistent and very annoying dc's. I got a wifi dongle but then although the dongle detects the network it doesn't manage to connect to it. Now I'm mad at how frustrating this problem is and since the laptop is approaching 3 years of age anyway, I figure I might as well buy a new one.

I use my computer primarily for gaming. It should last ~3 years (as in, it should be able to run the latest games 3 years from now, although not necessarily at the most intensive settings). It must be a laptop, because I can't guarantee I'll stay in the same place for the next 3 years. It should run Windows. My preferred screen size is 15 inches. I don't need more than ~3 hours of battery life. Budget: I'm hesitant to spend more than about $1250 USD. I could, but I'm hesitant to.

Any suggestions? I was looking at buying a Surface Laptop since I have bad memories uninstalling all the programs that come with other manufacturers' laptops, but the 13" screen size is really off-putting.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Pol » Dec 8 2017, 8:46

I can recommend to check www.notebookreview.com to narrow your selection.

Why to afraid big manufacteres? Usually you can remove all the additional software quite easy. Myself I would prefer to look among DELL, Lenovo or HP.

All of them will have Win10, more important is what you would like to prefer for CPU or GPU.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Kalah » Dec 9 2017, 12:20

I'd avoid HP and Toshiba as they've had problems with heating and fan noise. Lenovo are quite good.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Dec 9 2017, 19:16

@Pol well I still have to uninstall all of those programs. At one point my current computer failed and I had to reset it to factory settings, which also led to a second round of uninstalling. It's bearable but annoying.

Would you guys say this guide is applicable or is it outdated? https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/gami ... ying-guide Oddly enough it says I probably won't find a gaming laptop with an AMD CPU, but I am seeing AMD laptops marketed as gaming ones, e.g. Dell's "Inspiron 15 Gaming (AMD)".

It does look like I could consider a 17" laptop since it's both more powerful for not much more expensive. Never used one, but weight is not much of a concern to me since I'm able to carry heavy loads. More annoying is if I decide to use the laptop while I'm travelling, which does happen. Has anyone used one?

Thinking of waiting till after Christmas to buy one, since I'm not in a hurry.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Pol » Dec 9 2017, 21:53

You should set up your notebook once, including uninstallation of useless bundled software + updates + your basic apps + your settings, and keep its image for a future.

AMD is prepping new line of gaming notebooks, probably in the fist half of next year. So, the current line is a bit outdated, when we speaks about comparison with nVidia 1060GT and up.

Dell's "Inspiron 15 Gaming (AMD)" - I love DELL and AMD but in this case, better to look for something dellish with i7 and nVidia 1060.

17" are better for playing but the transport is an issue, be careful about hinges. Good bag can mitigate the problem. Mostly such notebooks can serve as a full and simple PC replacements. Obviously possibility of more drives is not bad either. Keep in mind that you need a bigger table space for them and sometimes cooling pad. For gaming cooling pad can nail your performance, so you are quite in need of one.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Kalah » Dec 10 2017, 16:47

I like those quick tips as general guidelines: SSD, a good CPU and GPU. As for RAM, check the speed as well as the amount of GB.

You should also invest in a BlueTooth mouse and keyboard, even if you don't always use them.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Dec 12 2017, 6:28

Thanks. I took a look around and my budget appears to be on the low end. I can certainly spend more money, especially since I find the computer so utterly crucial to my life, but I'm still not likely to go above ~US$ 2k at most. We'll see. I might also go ahead and get a 17" laptop, because why not, if they can provide better specs at the same price point. Never used a cooling pad before. How necessary are these? Also not a fan of wireless mice and keyboards, since I don't like having to replace their batteries manually.

Going to wait till after Christmas and see if I can find something for cheaper :D Will list the models I'm considering then, and hopefully make a purchase somewhere in early January.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Pol » Dec 12 2017, 9:10

@Banedon
For previous models they were a must (my colleague has 17" DELL with GT650). Cuz the GPU was overheating nb when playing, which caused frame drops.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Dec 19 2017, 10:39

Spent some time searching and it seems I can find the cheapest prices on Amazon (surprise surprise). It also seems like I should aim for at least a GT1060, preferably GT1070. As a result I'm narrowing my choices to two:

https://www.amazon.com/Gaming-GL502VS-D ... 072C1FNN1/

Concerns:

1) Asus is also the manufacturer for my current laptop. I had quite a bit of uninstalling to do. My brothers had Asus laptops in the past and strongly disliked them, because they had some weird settings (wireless card turns itself off to save power!) + bloatware. My laptop also semi-failed once in the past three years (had FPS drops). I took it to the service center and they repaired it, saying something about how the mother board had failed.
2) One thing I dislike about my current computer is that I couldn't disable the touchpad even with a mouse plugged in. I can't tell if the same problem is present in this one.
3) It's slightly above what I'd intended to pay, but still within budget. A bit worried it might not be available since Amazon says it doesn't ship to my country (but I could conceivably get a relative in another country to buy it and then pass it to me).

The other option is:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y4GZS9C/

This is surprisingly cheap for a GT1060 computer. Similar problems with the Asus computer re the touchpad.

Annoyingly, these gaming laptops have distinctive designs. I would rather not have my computer yell about how expensive it costs. Finally I can't tell if the wireless cards are good; in fact the descriptions don't say what they are. I'm buying a computer to resolve wireless connectivity issues, so this had better work!

Think either of these would be good, or something else? I'm not exactly in a hurry, and can wait a couple of months if something good is scheduled for then.
Last edited by Banedon on Dec 19 2017, 11:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Pol » Dec 20 2017, 10:10

I have fishy feeling about both of them. As for wifi support, they ideally should be capable of 802.11a/b/g/n and 802.11ac. The latest is the newest. But the most used is still g/n.

Like that wouldn't be enough, quality of drives is essentials too. As they may be missing part of some protocol spec, like WEP/WPA/WPA2 or just have some irks here, resulting in not connecting or often disconnecting.

I see that in your listed Amazon links, there's no available combination of 17" and GPU 1060. That's bad, it looks like that are definitively out.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Dec 21 2017, 20:15

8| What makes you say it's fishy? That sounds like a (very) bad sign.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Pol » Dec 22 2017, 7:40

Sure, price is too low to met the requirements (expected requirements). So, they need to save somewhere - unfortunatelly I have no time to look out where. Cuz it can be something crucial and perhaps not. I recommend you to check for the reviews, for each at least two. Better is more.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Dec 22 2017, 23:33

Lol nice! Excellent reason to be concerned!

Turns out I can't buy the ASUS laptop from where I am in the world, so that's out. The Acer Predator's still an option however and the reviews I've seen are positive. They don't say it's extremely good, but they do say it's extremely good for that price point. It's also recommended by Amazon, which should count for something. I'm now having worries about the lack of international warranty however. I'm not in the US and don't intend to go there. Amazon Q&A suggests that I should purchase it locally. Not a good sign, since the prices I've seen in local stores are significantly higher than that quoted on Amazon.

I guess we'll see - still a couple of weeks to go before I pull the trigger.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Dec 31 2017, 11:47

Question: is it worth paying 30% more to get the 1st computer instead of the 2nd (in the links above)?
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Pol » Dec 31 2017, 12:26

I would say no. 10% as a max.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby DerekRose » Jan 26 2018, 9:08

Banedon wrote:Question: is it worth paying 30% more to get the 1st computer instead of the 2nd (in the links above)?


It's not worth it.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Mar 29 2018, 4:12

Update on what I wound up doing: nothing (unfortunately). After a bit more searching, I decided to wait for the next generation of NVidia graphics cards before making a purchase. They're apparently expected early 2018, and some new Volta cards are already available after all.

Of course it's already end of March and the rumored release at the GPU conference didn't happen so :( but I've already waited this long, I can wait a bit longer. In the meantime, I fixed my wifi issues with another, much bulkier and more expensive dongle.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Nov 5 2018, 13:06

Well call my dumb because it's almost the end of the year and the new graphics cards still aren't available (they've apparently been released for desktops, but not laptops). Besides from the reviews these graphics cards not even that good, being mostly for a technology that isn't available yet. It's especially bad since my computer's on the verge of breaking down. It's been breaking down for a while, but things have gotten to the point where I dare not shut it down because it might not start up again, and it doesn't detect my CD-ROM drive anymore. It's not a good time to buy even on the micro-scale (Black Friday is a few weeks away after all) but I don't think I can wait for much longer.

I'm considering getting a refurbished computer since they're apparently almost as good as a new one, but they're significantly cheaper. Hunting around I found this computer which is surprisingly cheap for the specs: https://tinyurl.com/yaes56xs. It's so cheap that I begin to wonder if it's a scam, but that's the official Acer website. Only other thing I can think of is that there's some serious flaw with the model that's causing the low price, which I might be able to live with, but the website doesn't say anything.

Does anyone have any experience with buying this kind of computer, and if so, is there anything I should know? It's slightly more expensive than the computers I usually buy, and it's 17", but my God, it looks so enticing.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Pol » Nov 5 2018, 13:54

It looks good, that is but.. there's (was) a hitch.

Just a quick googling around shows that there must be two factories making it or they have some design flaw. Some people praised it, and some returned it in a warranty. Summing it:
+ keyboard (everyone praize it)
- lcd screen (slow response time on gaming nb, cheaper model)
- GTA 5 can crash in "Faster or Turbo Mode" (should be no more problem with drivers & BIOS update)
- overheating issues in "Faster Mode and Turbo Mode" (same like above)

So with a bit of refurbished luck and not being too touchy about lcd it can be good, therefore it looks like the price is the decisive factor here.
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Re: Buying a new laptop

Postby Banedon » Nov 7 2018, 11:12

Thanks Pol. My heart was telling me do it but my head kept telling me the time was so bad I really shouldn't buy a computer unless I absolutely needed to, so I brought this computer to repair. It seems it's not in as bad a condition as I thought. After a system restore, the only thing I've "lost" is the CD-ROM drive (it's not detected; the guy says 80% chance it's the drive at fault and 20% it's the motherboard).

I'll try to keep going for a few months longer, or at least until December. Sorry for troubling you! It's been over a year, and although I came close several times I've yet to actually pull the trigger.
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