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OK, so I need help choosing between two laptops (building a new PC is out of the question for now, I need a laptop for work). My budget is roughly $400 and I'd like to be able to do some light gaming (low settings at 30+ FPS is OK). The two options I've come to are below. I have $150 in gift cards for Best Buy so that's primarily why I'm looking there first...

[url="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-1312731-10597222?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FToshiba%2B-%2BSatellite%2B15.6%2526%252334%253B%2BLaptop%2B-%2B4GB%2BMemory%2B-%2B500GB%2BHard%2BDrive%2B-%2BSatin%2BBlack%2F7337066.p%3Fid%3D1218840472589%26skuId%3D7337066#tab%3Dspecifications"]O[/url][url="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Satellite+15.6%26%2334%3B+Laptop+-+4GB+Memory+-+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Satin+Black/7337066.p?id=1218840472589&skuId=7337066&AID=10597222&PID=1312731&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FToshiba%2B-%2BSatellite%2B15.6%2526%252334%253B%2BLaptop%2B-%2B4GB%2BMemory%2B-%2B500GB%2BHard%2BDrive%2B-%2BSatin%2BBlack%2F7337066.p%3Fid%3D1218840472589%26skuId%3D7337066&ref=39&CJPID=1312731&loc=01#tab%3Dspecifications"]ption #1[/url][list]
[*]AMD A6-Series
[*]2.7GHz (with Turbo CORE up to 3.2GHz)
[*]4GB
[*]AMD Radeon HD 7520G
[/list]
[url="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-1312731-10597222?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FToshiba%2B-%2BSatellite%2B15.6%2526%252334%253B%2BLaptop%2B-%2B4GB%2BMemory%2B-%2B500GB%2BHard%2BDrive%2B-%2BSatin%2BBlack%2F7704125.p%3Fid%3D1218858585458%26skuId%3D7704125#tab%3Dspecifications"]O[/url][url="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Satellite+15.6%26%2334%3B+Laptop+-+4GB+Memory+-+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Satin+Black/7704125.p?id=1218858585458&skuId=7704125&AID=10597222&PID=1312731&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FToshiba%2B-%2BSatellite%2B15.6%2526%252334%253B%2BLaptop%2B-%2B4GB%2BMemory%2B-%2B500GB%2BHard%2BDrive%2B-%2BSatin%2BBlack%2F7704125.p%3Fid%3D1218858585458%26skuId%3D7704125&ref=39&CJPID=1312731&loc=01#tab%3Dspecifications"]ption #2[/url][list]
[*]Intel

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21 answers to this question

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Posted

If its for gaming option one without a shadow of a doubt, you can game on Intel HD graphics but its not pretty. its so moviles and encoding fine, but its not for gaming.
Get the one with the Radeon.

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Double that RAM while you're at it...

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I'd say option 1.

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I ended up getting this: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+ENVY+15.6%22+Laptop+-+6GB+Memory+-+750GB+Hard+Drive+-+Natural+Silver/7701076.p?id=1218858735324&skuId=7701076&AID=10597222&PID=1312731&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FHP%2B-%2BENVY%2B15.6%2522%2BLaptop%2B-%2B6GB%2BMemory%2B-%2B750GB%2BHard%2BDrive%2B-%2BNatural%2BSilver%2F7701076.p%3Fid%3D1218858735324%26skuId%3D7701076&ref=39&CJPID=1312731&loc=01#tab=specifications

I decided to up my budget a bit and the A10 + 7660G seems like a good combination. So long as this thing doesn't overheat like a lot of HPs do...

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I have an AMD Llano-based HP laptop running a quad-core A8-3500M with an integrated Radeon 6620G - I get playable frame rates in Skyrim at 720p with Medium detail settings.

The 7660G in your laptop should run faster than mine.

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[quote name='Elessar' timestamp='1360077790' post='595502642']
I ended up getting this: [url="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+ENVY+15.6%22+Laptop+-+6GB+Memory+-+750GB+Hard+Drive+-+Natural+Silver/7701076.p?id=1218858735324&skuId=7701076&AID=10597222&PID=1312731&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FHP%2B-%2BENVY%2B15.6%2522%2BLaptop%2B-%2B6GB%2BMemory%2B-%2B750GB%2BHard%2BDrive%2B-%2BNatural%2BSilver%2F7701076.p%3Fid%3D1218858735324%26skuId%3D7701076&ref=39&CJPID=1312731&loc=01#tab=specifications"]http://www.bestbuy.c...=specifications[/url]

I decided to up my budget a bit and the A10 + 7660G seems like a good combination. So long as this thing doesn't overheat like a lot of HPs do...
[/quote]
That thing won't overheat, and I must say, nice choice! :D

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[quote name='BigDavy' timestamp='1360089382' post='595503056']
I have an AMD Llano-based HP laptop running a quad-core A8-3500M with an integrated Radeon 6620G - I get playable frame rates in Skyrim at 720p with Medium detail settings.

The 7660G in your laptop should run faster than mine.
[/quote]
I'm hoping so :) 720p (768p I think?) and medium settings is more than enough for me :)

[quote name='Arceles' timestamp='1360089560' post='595503074']
That thing won't overheat, and I must say, nice choice! :D
[/quote]

Thank you :) The brushed metal finish is quite sexy and the A10 + 7660G is rather speedy. Much better than my old C2D @ 2.53GHz. I've heard reports of other HPs wit the A8's and A10's overheating, but this thing has a 1 year warranty and I have a wood desk so it should have enough air. I'm still debating a notebook cooler base for it, but we'll see.

Thanks for the replies! Any opinions on the 6GB? I was hoping for 1 stick of 4 so I could double it up, but 6 should be enough for what I have planned. Right now I'm debating an pure SSD or possibly an SSD hybrid...any opinions on that?

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[quote name='Elessar' timestamp='1360091537' post='595503202']
Thanks for the replies! Any opinions on the 6GB? I was hoping for 1 stick of 4 so I could double it up, but 6 should be enough for what I have planned. Right now I'm debating an pure SSD or possibly an SSD hybrid...any opinions on that?
[/quote]

SSD hybrid as in SSD + mechanical, or one of the Samsung mechanical drives with a buffer?

Full SSD is the way to go, if you can, but if you can stash a second drive in there for storage, that's fine too.

As for memory, the odds that you'll see the difference between 4, 6, and 8 Gbs in the near future is pretty slim.

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I had a 1Tb HDD in the laptop, but replaced it with a 240Gb Corsair Force 3 and upgraded Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 8 Pro. Under Win7 and the HDD it would take upwards of 40 seconds to boot, but under Win8 and the SSD it boots in under 5 seconds! The laptop is also much more responsive with the SSD.

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[quote name='threetonesun' timestamp='1360091952' post='595503220']
SSD hybrid as in SSD + mechanical, or one of the Samsung mechanical drives with a buffer?

Full SSD is the way to go, if you can, but if you can stash a second drive in there for storage, that's fine too.

As for memory, the odds that you'll see the difference between 4, 6, and 8 Gbs in the near future is pretty slim.
[/quote]
I don't think I can put two HDDs in this, so I would probably need an actual hybrid HDD + small SDD portion,
[quote name='BigDavy' timestamp='1360093088' post='595503274']
I had a 1Tb HDD in the laptop, but replaced it with a 240Gb Corsair Force 3 and upgraded Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 8 Pro. Under Win7 and the HDD it would take upwards of 40 seconds to boot, but under Win8 and the SSD it boots in under 5 seconds! The laptop is also much more responsive with the SSD.
[/quote]

I hear a lot of negative things about SSDs in terms of life expectancy and such. If I could get...20GB for the SSD and then 40-80GB for a regular HDD, that would be perfect.

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[quote name='Mindovermaster' timestamp='1360020310' post='595501600']
Double that RAM while you're at it...
[/quote]
if you can, i know a lot of those lower priced laptops the 4gb that's included is also the max

[quote name='Elessar' timestamp='1360077790' post='595502642']
I ended up getting this: [url="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+ENVY+15.6%22+Laptop+-+6GB+Memory+-+750GB+Hard+Drive+-+Natural+Silver/7701076.p?id=1218858735324&skuId=7701076&AID=10597222&PID=1312731&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FHP%2B-%2BENVY%2B15.6%2522%2BLaptop%2B-%2B6GB%2BMemory%2B-%2B750GB%2BHard%2BDrive%2B-%2BNatural%2BSilver%2F7701076.p%3Fid%3D1218858735324%26skuId%3D7701076&ref=39&CJPID=1312731&loc=01#tab=specifications"]http://www.bestbuy.c...=specifications[/url]

I decided to up my budget a bit and the A10 + 7660G seems like a good combination. So long as this thing doesn't overheat like a lot of HPs do...
[/quote]
seems like a decent computer to me. and if you have any overheating issues it's most likely gonna be from not enough or crappy thermal paste on the cpu
so if you do have that problem you'd most likely be able to take it in to a local computer shop (don't go to somewhere like best buy for this, they WILL over charge if they will do it for you at all) and they'll probably be able to open it up and apply some better thermal compound for you at a reasonable price.

[quote name='Elessar' timestamp='1360103956' post='595503686']
I hear a lot of negative things about SSDs in terms of life expectancy and such. If I could get...20GB for the SSD and then 40-80GB for a regular HDD, that would be perfect.
[/quote]it all depends on the controller used in the SSD, like I know sandforce is one of the controllers to be weary of

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[quote name='Elessar' timestamp='1360103956' post='595503686']
I hear a lot of negative things about SSDs in terms of life expectancy and such. If I could get...20GB for the SSD and then 40-80GB for a regular HDD, that would be perfect.
[/quote]

Two things, 20GB will barely fit Windows. Yes, having the OS on SSD speeds up boot times, but you really want all of your often used applications on there.

Second, any of the SSD life expectancy issues are basically bunk. Plus, you don't run into any of the issues of having a mechanical drive in a laptop (i.e. no worries if you drop the computer, no heat / noise / vibration issues, especially if you go with a 7200 RPM drive, etc).

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[quote name='threetonesun' timestamp='1360104763' post='595503710']
Two things, 20GB will barely fit Windows. Yes, having the OS on SSD speeds up boot times, but you really want all of your often used applications on there.

Second, any of the SSD life expectancy issues are basically bunk. Plus, you don't run into any of the issues of having a mechanical drive in a laptop (i.e. no worries if you drop the computer, no heat / noise / vibration issues, especially if you go with a 7200 RPM drive, etc).
[/quote]

I guess I could get away with a 60GB-80GB SSD. I'm currently looking for a 16GB-32GB USB 3.0 flash drive for media storage...anyway, I just dropped $535 on this laptop so I'll need to wait a bit before considering an SSD.

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[quote name='Brando212' timestamp='1360104662' post='595503698']
if you can, i know a lot of those lower priced laptops the 4gb that's included is also the max
[/quote]

Both of those first notebooks are upgradable to 16GB. Do your homework, look at specs.

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[quote name='Mindovermaster' timestamp='1360108129' post='595503842']
Both of those first notebooks are upgradable to 16GB. Do your homework, look at specs.
[/quote]
Correct, but thankfully I didn't go with those. Also, is beats audio really worth it/better? I'm listening to music with headphones via Amazon Cloud Player and it doesn't sound all that much better. The bass in particular isn't so great. I'm wondering if it's Amazon...

Currently waiting for the W8 apps to update so I can try the built-in music player.

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Just a tip about the RAM, if your RAM is ddr3 1333 Mhz I seriously recommend you to upgrade to 8gb 1600 Mhz, this is because the graphics card is integrated in the processor, as such, increasing memory speed also increases graphics power (and also will increase processing power) so it's a win win situation. Highly recommended.

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[quote name='Arceles' timestamp='1360146552' post='595504632']
Just a tip about the RAM, if your RAM is ddr3 1333 Mhz I seriously recommend you to upgrade to 8gb 1600 Mhz, this is because the graphics card is integrated in the processor, as such, increasing memory speed also increases graphics power (and also will increase processing power) so it's a win win situation. Highly recommended.
[/quote]
Would I really notice a difference though? I have one 4GB stick and one 2GB stick @ 1333MHz. I mean, the graphics card will likely use 1.5GB at the most, and even then, I doubt if it is actually fully utilizing that much memory. Personally, I'd rather put that money into an SSD...now THAT would speed things up considerably :)

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[quote name='Elessar' timestamp='1360178038' post='595505686']
Would I really notice a difference though? I have one 4GB stick and one 2GB stick @ 1333MHz. I mean, the graphics card will likely use 1.5GB at the most, and even then, I doubt if it is actually fully utilizing that much memory. Personally, I'd rather put that money into an SSD...now THAT would speed things up considerably :)
[/quote]

((1600 - 1333) / 1600) * 100 = 16.68% faster [This is a rough estimate and you need to make sure the RAM is @ 1600 not just clockable to 1600]

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[quote name='Elessar' timestamp='1360178038' post='595505686']
Would I really notice a difference though? I have one 4GB stick and one 2GB stick @ 1333MHz. I mean, the graphics card will likely use 1.5GB at the most, and even then, I doubt if it is actually fully utilizing that much memory. Personally, I'd rather put that money into an SSD...now THAT would speed things up considerably :)
[/quote]

Yup, difference it's noticeable, clocks in memory for GPUs are as important as the clocks on the core of the GPU too. (I have a past generation APU processor and did exactly this, while in general computing wasn't a big deal, using my integrated GPU on other tasks was a bit more smoother) Corsair Vengeance memory is just great for this.
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[quote name='Arceles' timestamp='1360180425' post='595505760']
Yup, difference it's noticeable, clocks in memory for GPUs are as important as the clocks on the core of the GPU too. (I have a past generation APU processor and did exactly this, while in general computing wasn't a big deal, using my integrated GPU on other tasks was a bit more smoother) Corsair Vengeance memory is just great for this.
[/quote]
Is there any place I could sell my current two sticks of RAM (1 GB and 1 2GB)? Seems kid of a waste to replace them having just bought this laptop a few days ago...

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Of course I am sure there is many online websites local to New York which can achieve this.

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