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#1 Jose_49

Jose_49

    Neowinian Senior

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:20

Hi people. Since two years ago I've been saving up some money to buy a new PC. I'm currently under a Dell XPS M1530.

 

Current Specs:

- Core 2 Duo T8300 @ 2.4 GHz. (2 cores)

- Screen: 1680 x 1050

- Video Card: Nvidia Geforce 8600m GT @ DDR3 - 256 MB

- 6GB DDR2 - RAM.

- Screen: 15.4"

- HDD: 320 GB @ 7.2 KRPM

 

I bought this guy for 1,800$ back at 2008. Yesterday it was its 5th “boughtday”. 

 

I'm the type of guy who you give power and use power. This PC usually suffice for all of my tasks:

 

- Web designing/programming (Illustrator, Dreamweaver)

- Word Processing

- Full HD video (Except 10-bit FHD... I use MPC, and the only way I can play FHD 10-bit FLAC is by setting the render to Overlay Mixer... Quality not so good)

- Web Browsing

- Video Encoding (Usually 720p)

- Multitasking. 

- Basic CAD. 

 

What I'd like to do that my PC doesn't do that well:

 

- Video Editing - 720p and 1080p. I currently can't use any of the Premiere/After Effects programs because my computer can't keep up with it. 

 

- Much faster video encoding. This PC usually takes 50 mins to encode a 720p. And about 2 – 3 hours encoding 1080p using MeGUI.

 

- Some gaming. To be honest, I don’t game a lot, although I love gaming (shooters, adventure, and action games, no MMORPGs)! I spend most of my free time tampering with web programming and installing stuff on the PC for tweaking. Nonetheless, there are times in which I’d like to play a couple of FPS (Bioshock Infinite for example.), third person adventures (AC, the upcoming Watch Dogs) or some high rated games such as Gone Home with some decent settings, which is impossible to do with my current PC and 360.  Much of the online multiplayer games like Halo, Battlefield and other FPS I play with friends are usually on the 360.  

 

Issues with the PC right now:

 

- I live in a hot country, Dominican Republic (Caribbean). Usually the temperature fluctuates between 86°F – 100°F (30°C – 38°C). This PC suffers from getting its video card hot. The 8600m GT usually blasts at 80°C, and when on idle it sits ~74°C. I have it over a power matt which usually helps it. Unfortunately, PC performance gets down and there are times which MPC suffers from video stuttering.  

- Wireless Adapter. – Intel AGN 4965 and BSoDs. Yup. I purchased an upgrade license for Windows 8 and I can’t use it because of the Blue Screens that pop up with the wireless card. Intel doesn’t support this card on Win 8, and replacing it, is a little bit of a hassle

 

Now, about deciding between a desktop and a laptop….

I thought about getting a desktop thanks to the cheaper parts (compared to laptops), also it has the advantage that replacing the parts are easier (most of the time).

The main disadvantage is that I move a lot. I’m not usually at home. At first I thought about getting a ~1000$ machine and then replace the lappy when I really needed (I’m not obliged to do it immediately), but I’ve been thinking if that’ll be the right choice.  

I didn’t know about these laptop brands until recently… Just knew about the most heard ones (Dell, HP, Toshiba, Lenovo)

Here’s a list of the laptops I’ve been looking for:

Battalion Ultra-Thin M1771.

MSI G60

Lenovo Y510p

NP7352:

 

I’d like something that lasts and that it isn’t that bulky; I carry lots of things on my backpack. The less the weight the better… Something like the Dell I currently have.  I love big screens, the problem is portability L (something not bigger than 17.3” will do the trick)

 

Although Dell has given me an amazing support, the XPS line has become very very very very expensive for the specs. I’d rather buy an Inspiron first than the new XPS.

 

Regarding battery… 2 hours shall do the trick. Most of the time I’m on a place that has a power outlet.

 

What Should I get: a laptop or a desktop? Should I really upgrade now, or do I wait for when I really NEED the pc?

 

Max Budget: 1600$.

 

If I were to buy a computer now… should I wait for Black Friday?

Thanks a million and sorry for the long post :D !




#2 +astropheed

astropheed

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:27

By the sounds of your post and the requirements you have I'd suggest that you purchase a Laptop with more emphasis on CPU and RAM. For $1,600 you shouldn't have much issue getting a decent Laptop, if bang-for-your-buck is your goal then you could do well with an Asus or Toshiba.

 

Don't get anything with less then 8GB of RAM and try to shoot for the i7. If 1080P video editing is your requisite then I'd suggest a standard spinning hard drive as opposed to the SSD. In your scenario it seems storage size is more important than storage speed.

 

Good luck.



#3 Stoffel

Stoffel

    Being on the ocean is cooler then being in front of a Computer

  • Joined: 16-August 11
  • Location: Utila, Honduras
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro

Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:27

For that money, can't you just buy a $500 tablet, that can do most of your light work, like a Surface 2

and with the rest of the money you can buy yourself a nice desktop for all the heavy lifting.



#4 z0phi3l

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:19

Aside from gaming I'd almost think a MacBook Pro would suit you better, if you don't mind Steam games the Mac would work and at your budget you could pull one off, maybe save up a little more

 

Also look at Origin PC and Maingear, and see what your money would get you in a customized laptop



#5 OP Jose_49

Jose_49

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 18:06

@Astropheed:
Thanks. Also, storage size won't be a problem as long as it is 320 GB+ I usually leverage the files to an external hard drive and have my PC clean.

@Stofell: Thanks for the tip! before buying a tablet I rather stay with my current laptop and build a desktop, because I'll be using a full fledged Windows on the go.


z0phi3l: To be honest I don't like Mac that much. They are very pretty PCs and have a very looking battery life and amazing displays (retina). Unfortunately I like the customization capabilities of Windows. Thanksa million for letting me know about Maingear and Origin :)


Sht. I need to get a new machine soon. I've been obsessed on getting a new one since last year. There have been some times in which I've stopped eating to build up some money

#6 Andre S.

Andre S.

    Asik

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 17:24

Desktop vs laptop... pretty much boils down to how much you plan to move the computer around. Anymore than twice a year I think the laptop starts getting more interesting, it's just such a hassle to move a bulky monitor, tower, disconnect everything, reconnect, etc. 

 

Since you're not much into gaming and weight is a big issue for you, try to get something with good integrated graphics (yeah that exists now!). Intel Haswell has Iris Pro and AMD has Richland. Haswell is faster overall but with great OpenCL support I'm sure the Richland does great in Adobe Creative Suite. AMD laptops tend to be much cheaper. If you can wait until next year, AMD will release Kaveri (way better IGP than Richland)... but you probably can't. There are many advantages to IGP: less weight, less physical parts, less heat, more battery life.



#7 greenwizard88

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 17:31

I'd recommend a bulky laptop. Bulky so that it is cooler, laptop so that it is portable.



#8 OP Jose_49

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 07:07

I can't afford having something very bulky because I usually carry the laptop within a backpack and it weights a lot

#9 Growled

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 13:14

Personally, for video editing and the like I prefer a desktop. But not everyone has the same needs.



#10 vcfan

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 13:23

a bay trail tablet will give you pretty much the exact same performance in single threaded cpu and gpu, but bay trail has 2 extra cpu cores. you can get a 10" tablet that comes with keyboard attachment for $350, great for on the go(full windows 8). then you can build a powerful pc for home/office use.



#11 blerk

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 13:41

snip

 

Generally I am of the opinion that laptops are better for most people, unless you really need the power of a desktop (or you simply like building computers). Also, I don't think that heat would be too much of an issue.

 

Dell used to have a very good system in their Inspiron 17R SE (I have one - so I know it's pretty good:  it has 17,3" 1920*1080, i7 3610QM, nVidia 650M, 2TB HDD + 128gb msata, 8GB ram, etc. Runs very cool as well), however it's currently out of stock. Dell have just released the next gen (Haswell) 17R but the screen on that I think you'd be disappointed with, so maybe you could wait until the Haswell 17R SE are released, though I dunno if they're releasing an updated model, and I don't know how much longer you're willing to wait :p

Their just-announced, super-thin XPS 15 with the crazy high resolution looks very cool, and will probably beat the rMBP in quite a few areas. However... it's probably going to be a bit more than 1600...

 

 

If you absolutely want a computer now, I'd probably agree with others that tablet + proper desktop gives you best of both worlds. Gives you portability, power, and large screen. If you're willing to wait a bit longer, I'd wager that there will be some more laptops that fit your criteria, and they'll have been properly reviewed and everything. 



#12 OP Jose_49

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:36

 

 

Generally I am of the opinion that laptops are better for most people, unless you really need the power of a desktop (or you simply like building computers). Also, I don't think that heat would be too much of an issue.

 

Dell used to have a very good system in their Inspiron 17R SE (I have one - so I know it's pretty good:  it has 17,3" 1920*1080, i7 3610QM, nVidia 650M, 2TB HDD + 128gb msata, 8GB ram, etc. Runs very cool as well), however it's currently out of stock. Dell have just released the next gen (Haswell) 17R but the screen on that I think you'd be disappointed with, so maybe you could wait until the Haswell 17R SE are released, though I dunno if they're releasing an updated model, and I don't know how much longer you're willing to wait :p

Their just-announced, super-thin XPS 15 with the crazy high resolution looks very cool, and will probably beat the rMBP in quite a few areas. However... it's probably going to be a bit more than 1600...

 

 

If you absolutely want a computer now, I'd probably agree with others that tablet + proper desktop gives you best of both worlds. Gives you portability, power, and large screen. If you're willing to wait a bit longer, I'd wager that there will be some more laptops that fit your criteria, and they'll have been properly reviewed and everything. 

 

Hmmm. So do you suggest to wait longer? I don't want to stay trapped into the tech-race. :p



#13 Andre S.

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:47

Haswell and Richland are both really good. I don't see any significant breakthrough for laptops in the near future. Now is a good time as ever to upgrade IMO.



#14 blerk

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:37

Hmmm. So do you suggest to wait longer? I don't want to stay trapped into the tech-race. :p

 

Honestly, I don't know. All the laptops you list have good specs, and I think you'd be happy with any choice you make: all the systems you list would give you a big boost over what your current system is - so I think no matter what, you'd have a smile on your face. 

 

What I'd do is construct a very in-depth list/spreadsheet of criteria that an ideal purchase would meet.

 

First, select the form factor (laptop, desktop, etc). Select the minimum specs you want. Also include things like warranty and other necessary parts of the purchase.

Then I'd decide on what the price range I'm willing to pay is.

Then I'd construct potential builds on the manufacturer website, and see how the system compares to the criteria.

 

Now, I'd figure out what compromises I'm willing to make, and adjust the computer specs/price to adjust. If no computer really provides what you're looking for after a few tweaks- then either I'd wait, cast my net wider (to other form factors), or try to sweet-talk a customer service rep :D. If a computer ticks most boxes, and you're happy with the compromises, then buy it. Don't dither about too much or you'll forever be waiting.

 

So to conclude - make an in-depth list of your criteria and select what best meets those criteria. 

 

I think you'll find a laptop that meets your criteria now. But if you really are unhappy with your purchase, I should think consumer protection laws in your country give you some protection, and allow you to return the system, though I'm not too sure how it works in your country. 



#15 zhangm

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 07:04

I actually have a similar situation; almost the same laptop, actually.

 

I'm currently using the 1530 for light work, browsing, image editing, and keeping notes. I have a few heavy duty desktops accessible via RDP that I use for serious crunch work (stuff that maxes out hexacore i7's for the better part of an hour), because I've realized that no matter how much money I throw at a laptop, I will end up sacrificing either the portability factor, or the performance and longevity factor and end up with a machine that won't do either to my degree of liking. If I had to go for a new laptop, I'd put my emphasis on portability and an excellent display, since those are the two major attributes of a laptop in the first place, and save the number crunching for (semi)dedicated machines that I can access via network. Maybe a high end Zenbook or ATIV 9.





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