I'm on the New PC Bandwagon

Discussion in 'System Building & Upgrades' started by Zeus, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Zeus

    Zeus Moderator

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    I'm not really too good at picking out specs for gaming, so some gamer input here would be appreciated. Grab a sandwich and cup of coffee because this is going to be a long post...Or for our UK buddies grab some tea and crumpets. I have no clue what a crumpet is, but it is 5am, I'm tired and it sounds funny right now. This should be an interesting post.

    Now that I will be on the road 90% of my time for work, I am considering getting a new laptop. Currently I have an Acer Aspire 5100 and I absolutely love it. My only complaint is that I am a World of Warcrack addict and when I play WoW on my laptop it gets choppy even on the lowest graphics settings in game. By choppy I mean down to around 2-3 fps....not fun for a PVPer....Sneak up on the mage...attack the mage....mage blinks....finally find the mage again right before dying a horrible firey death....get lol'ed at for being a noob rogue that cant even kill a mage...get mad...attack another mage...mage blinks...it's a vicious cycle and I need your help to stop it.

    Now Acer don't let you customize laptops on their website like Dell does (or if they do I didnt find the link). But looking over the specs an Acer Aspire 8920 looks like it is the top of the line for their performance and a nextag search shows them going for about $2300.

    Then again with all of the options available it also looks like an Acer Aspire 6920 would do the job costing around $1700 - $1900, or even maybe a 5920 going for around $1400 - $1600. I don't know. Once again I'm not a gamer, I fix computers and break into them and you don't need to be up to date on the latest gaming technology to do that.

    Now I went to the Dell site and they had 2 systems that both seem like it would do decent as a gaming laptop but they are priced about $1,000 apart. I want the most bang for my buck. The cheaper the better. If I can spend an extra couple hundred dollars to have a much better laptop that I can use as a gamer for 3+ years I will, but a thousand dollars difference for 2 systems, well I'd rather go with the cheaper one if it can get the job done.

    The 1st one is the Studio 17. Here are the specs I picked with a grand total of $1,434 before taxes and shipping.
    SYSTEM COLOR Jet Black
    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz/800Mhz FSB/3MB cache)
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1
    DISPLAY Glossy widescreen 17.0 inch display (1440x900)
    MEMORY4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2
    HARD DRIVE Size: 320GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    VIDEO CARD 256MB ATI MOBILITY RADEON HD 3650
    OPTICAL DRIVE 8X Slot Load CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    WIRELESS NETWORK CARDS Dell 1510 Wireless-N Card
    MOBILE BROADBAND Verizon Wireless built-in cellular mobile broadband (EVDO Rev A)
    BLUETOOTH Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Internal (2.0)
    BLUETOOTH Dell Bluetooth Stereo Headset (w/built-in Mic)
    BLUETOOTH VP6600 ExpressCard Media Remote For Bluetooth
    INTEGRATED WEBCAM Integrated 2.0M Pixel Webcam
    BATTERY OPTIONS 56 Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell)
    SOUND OPTIONS High Definition Audio 2.0
    KEYBOARD Standard Keyboard (included in the price)
    FINGER PRINT READER Integrated Finger Print Reader


    The 2nd one is the XPS M1730. Here are the specs I picked with a grand total of $2,499 before taxes and shipping.
    SYSTEM COLOR Bone White
    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9300 (2.5GHz/800Mhz FSB/6MB cache)
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1
    MEMORY 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
    HARD DRIVE Speed: 200GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) Free Fall Sensor
    INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE CD / DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW Drive)
    VIDEO CARD NVIDIA®SLI™Dual GeForce®8700MGT with 512MB GDDR3 Memory
    WIRELESS CARDS Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g Mini Card
    BLUETOOTH AND WIRELESS USB Built-in Bluetooth capability (2.0 EDR)
    BLUETOOTH AND WIRELESS USB ExpressCard Media Remote for Bluetooth-enabled Notebook
    BATTERY OPTIONS 85 WHr Lithium Ion Battery (9-cell)
    SOUND OPTIONSIntegrated Sound Blaster Audigy HD Software Edition
    CABLES AND ACCESSORIES Multimedia Cable Kit


    I liked the XPS M1730 because most of the options I picked were the low end options, so if I decide to get crazy and go all out. I want to be able to get this without using credit, but if I use credit I might as well go all out and get all the bells and whistles.

    Now on top of these, I am also curious how the Acer line of laptops would compare. I know when I bought my current Acer, I spent around $900. The 1st thing I used my Acer laptop for was to go online and compare its specs to an equal power Dell which would have cost around $500 more. If this trend still rings true I could probably drop $1,500 - $1,700 on an Acer and have my gaming laptop with all the bells and whistles and only have to take out a cash advance on my credit card for a few hundred dollars.

    Thoughts...Suggestions...Concerns...

    Thanks in advance

    Zeus

    P.s. For my few loyal fans that are still reading my post, I will be available for book signing in Columbus, OH for the next 2 weeks.

    P.s.s. As you can see from my 1st line, I started typing this post at 5 am (actually it was 6 after). It is now 5:46. I hate being a slow typer.
     
    Zeus, Oct 13, 2008
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  2. Zeus

    Zeus Moderator

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    After looking online I found someone, who happens to be a gamer, asking about dell computers and the difference in the video cards. He was interested in the Studio 17 and his main concern was the video cards. He was wanting to know if the 256MB ATI MOBILITY RADEON HD 3650 would play high end games or if he would be better off sticking with the other laptop that had the NVIDIA®SLI™Dual GeForce®8700MGT with 512MB GDDR3 Memory. Well lucky me, those are the video cards in the two computers I have listed as well.

    He got 1 response and the guy said his buddy has a Studio 17 that plays WoW and a few other games no problem with all the game settings on high. This is good b/c right now WoW is my main game, but I want to be able to play other games that are just coming out and have outrageous system requirements too.

    Being a technician, I like a little more in depth analysis than "my buddy's laptop".

    If that does ring true though I now wonder how the Acers NVIDIA® GeForce® 9500M GS (512MB dedicated memory, up to 768MB shared system memory)
    or
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GS (256MB dedicated memory, up to 768MB shared system memory) would hold up.

    I don't know. It's late, I'm tired and honestly I don't really know what I need, I just want it as cheap as possible which is why I keep leaning towards Acer.

    I'm going to quit searching and wait for one of you guys to give me some guidance before I go mad trying to figure this crap out. I need sleep. Thanks again. Goodnight.
     
    Zeus, Oct 13, 2008
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  3. Zeus

    Nickweb Resident Filmaker Moderator

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    I'd go with a XPS laptop, theyre like raw power

    oh, and a crumpet is a little like a spongy cake thingy with lots of holes in it for butter and jam to sink into... very very nice

    or from wiki:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
    Nickweb, Oct 13, 2008
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  4. Zeus

    Zeus Moderator

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    Ok, but why would you go with the XPS over the Studio 17? I know it is more powerful and since it will have to go fully on my credit card I will trick it out to make it a beast. But thinking long term finances, I would rather get the Studio 17 if it can do the job.

    Also my current Acer is pretty powerful, but if I could drop the $1,500 on an Acer instead of the Studio 17 I know I could end up with a beast Acer too.

    Also thanks for the input.

    Oh and if I ever make it to the UK, we'll have some tea and crumpets. They sound delicious.
     
    Zeus, Oct 13, 2008
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  5. Zeus

    Zeus Moderator

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    Looking again I can get an XPS with a 15" screen for around $1,500 instead of the Studio 17 for around the same price. In fact after going through and customizing the 15" to the way I want it I'm looking at just under $1,700.
     
    Zeus, Oct 13, 2008
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  6. Zeus

    Nickweb Resident Filmaker Moderator

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    Thats what I like about the Dell XPS series, you seem to get a lot of bang for your buck, If i had the cash, I'd get an xps myself for video editing and rendering. IMO, the studio 17 is slightly lower in terms of niceness (technical term) than the xps

    I got a little carried away with the crumpets there sorry :D
     
    Nickweb, Oct 13, 2008
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  7. Zeus

    Codex85 Mouse Potato VIP Member

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    The video card on the Studio 17 really won't cut it when it comes to intensive gaming. On the other hand, SLI for WoW is probably overkill (and will drain your battery quite a bit faster).

    Whichever you get, I'd look for a discrete video card with at least 512 Megs of dedicated (not shared) memory. If I recall correctly most of the XPS options have that.
     
    Codex85, Oct 17, 2008
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  8. Zeus

    Zeus Moderator

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    Well I got impatient and wanted it before hitting the road again for work so I ended up not getting either seeing as how I would have had to wait for it to be shipped and I would have left before it got to me.

    Thanks for the reply guys.

     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
    Zeus, Oct 18, 2008
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