Looking for an all around machine

VladDracule

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Ok so to start off I need to specify that the Laptop must be bought from best buy, so at least available on bestbuy.com

The reason for that is i have an old Macbook Pro thats running an core 2 duo chip, that i can trade in to them for about 550$ credit.

I know that may be undercutting me, but i figured its actually not a bad amount for a 4 year old machine, and it takes away the hassle of selling.

The one concern i have about potentially waiting for the ivybridge chip to be launched is potential loss in value of my current macbook pro's trade in value.

I am not looking for another mac, i want to go back to just all my machines (desktop, laptop, Tablet) running windows.

What i am using it for:

Photoshop - this wont be too big a use for this as i will be using my EEE slate thanks to the wacom pen it came with for alot of my editing, however i would like to take photos with me on an external for sorting with adobe bridge as i presume load times would be faster than the slate when dealing with hundreds if not thousands or photos.

Gaming - Currently im playing SWTOR, and want to get more into the Witcher 2, Guild Wars 2 when it launches, Terra, Possibly Mass Effect 3, and the future Starcraft 2 games. (i am an avid gamer)

Price ranges, i would prefer to keep it under 1200-1300 range if possible, HOWEVER if a major increase in performance especially gaming can be found up to around 1500 ill consider it.

My initial choice: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+...=1218492352640&skuId=4566495&st=g74&cp=1&lp=1

the only reason this is my initial choice is because its the best available in the stores in my city

Would it be best to wait for ivybridge laptops to come out? idk how much of a performance gain this will have i havent had the chance to look up any test numbers
 
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viralcow

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I have the older model of the one you linked, the G73. Fantastic laptop. But keep in mind how big the thing is, and also stay away from Best Buy. They are usually gimped with lower clock gpu's. Unless you're fine with that.
 

ekuest

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so im guessing the mac trade-in is for store credit? if so make sure you can spend it on gift cards and use whatever credit they give you to buy amazon gift cards. put those on your amazon account and get a much better selection, for way cheaper, on amazon. :) its super easy to convert best buy gc to amazon gc, ive done it twice.
 

VladDracule

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Ive never seen a way to convert best buy gift cards into amazon? do they sell amazon gift cards in the store? that being said if best buy does have something that would work id prefer to get it there for simplicity sake
 

ekuest

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yeah understandable that youd want to get it there, but really best buy has a very limited selection and terrible prices. amazon has the most amazing selection and almost always good prices. theyre called kindle gift cards and are usually kept by the kindles. i won a $350 home theater system at a work raffle, but already had one. so i traded all of it for gift cards and bought a kindle fire for my sister in law for christmas and still have $150 left over. it really is incredibly simple to buy them and to add them to amazon. if you can save about $10 or more then id say its worth making the switch, and im guessing you can save about $50-100, not to mention getting the computer you really want instead of just what they have. only hiccup might be if they dont have enough in stock, but youd just have to buy them out and wait til they restock to get more. check how many they have when you get to best buy to trade in your laptop.
 

ekuest

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also, you can trade in your laptop now to lock in the high payout, and wait til ivy bridge models come out. not sure if you can go without a laptop for that long or not though.
 

VladDracule

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i cant really go without a laptop very easially, i need it for my programming class and its much easier with a laptop than having to depend on being home with my desktop
 

VladDracule

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ekuest

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i like the first one more than those three. alienware is always overpriced. do you really need such a large screen? i would think that if this is going to be carried around a lot youd want something smaller, like 14" or 15" 1600x900. if youre set on 16" or 17" then you should definitely get one with a 1080 display. that first asus doesnt even list the resolution, just says HD. the display size/resolution should be the first thing you decide on, then you can find the cpu and gpu power you want, and then a package with all the little goodies after that.
 

VladDracule

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the size undoubtedly is somewhat of a concern, i just dont know enough about the present market to really make an informed decision on my own, i knew as much as i could when i built the rig in my sig and bought the macbook pro, im just not up to date with hardware anymore so i dont know what to base my decisions on
 

ekuest

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well whats the biggest size you will tolerate? whats the smallest size you will tolerate? do you need 1080p or is 1600x900 enough? what size was your macbook and what did you think of the screen size and resolution?
 

VladDracule

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I would say 15-17 is fine. 15 would be easier to carry around since I will be needed to take the laptop pretty much every day for my senior year. Resolution Idk that i've ever really seen to much of a difference myself. Higher the better I suppose but not of it increases cost too much.

The MVP was 15.1 and res im unsure about
 

VladDracule

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another option I would consider is just trading in the MOB and buying a laptopjust with student loans which is how I was gonna pay the other half initially and just using that 500u I get for a monitor and other accessories such as a naga mouse when I build a new tower if im able to in the summertime after my trip
 

AQ_OC

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The first one is fine...I'd pick it though it does seem rather plain. Is there not a Sony option to consider? Their F series should fit your bill, too. I have one of those that I got from Best Buy because I had to spend some funds.

These are all heavy beasts. I also don't consider any of them to be portable in the sense that would be useful for an EE student. I warn my students that they will one day have back problems. :) But hey, you are young.
 

VladDracule

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unfortunately i dont see a sony, the only ones listed below 1500 have integrated intel graphics which definitely do not fit the bill
 

ekuest

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you should be able to get something with a good enough switchable graphics card to run all your stuff at 1600x900 for around $1000 or less. if thats the case then i would try to get a 14-15" screen at that res to maximize portability.
 

VladDracule

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im starting to rethink everything and i may just customize something from Sager using my student load and use the BB gift card to do like a case if i can find one, the mouse i mentioned(Naga) and a PS Vita

One thing to note is that i am looking at most likely a 17" screen as im guessing a new laptop will perform better than the desktop in my sig or am i mistaken?

That being said im looking at the Sager NP8170 model and am wanting to know the importance of a few upgrades and how much of an upgrade ill see in the uses i mentioned, a few games i didnt mention that ill likely play are the NEW COD and battlefields.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5 Video Memory vs AMD Radeon HD 6990M GPU with 2GB GDDR5 Video Memory [+$145.00]

2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.20GHz) vs 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2760QM Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.40GHz) vs 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2860QM Processor ( 8MB L3 Cache, 2.50GHz)

8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 2 X 4GB ** vs 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 2 X 4GB

Also is there any advantage to their "better" thermal compound? and the wireless card options?

Any thoughts/opinions on upgraded to the 3D screen?
 

OrangeWolf

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Just to be sure (as I only skimmed the thread) -- you do realize how big a 17" laptop is, right? The largest I would consider purchasing myself is a 15.6", but even then I'd probably stick to a 14" if I wanted something moderately powerful in a mobile form.

The Sager linked in your last post has very nice specs, but what's the total price come to?

I'm just going to answer your initial question, about something in your price range you could pick up from Best Buy -- What about this XPS Dell - 15.6" - i7-2630QM - 8 GB RAM - GeForce GT 525M for $999?

It's not as good a deal as you can get from somewhere other than Best Buy, but I figured I'd throw out the option. But yeah -- best to buy elsewhere.

Also, and this is just my personal opinion -- spending a ton of money on a laptop that will be dated in a few months and outdated in a year or three when you have a desktop at home for high-powered stuff... is kinda out there, to me. I'd suggest you just pick up a nice laptop with discrete graphics that will run your schoolwork well and your game on medium settings rather than breaking the bank (unless you are swimming in cash, in which case buy whatever!).

Should be able to do that for $800 or so.
 
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