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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 !

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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.

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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.

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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

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@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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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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. 

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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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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. 

 

Fine then :) 

 

Ok. First of all. There are times which I travel a lot and times which I don't. For example, this last 4 months I've been staying out of my house 10+ hours every day: Between university and going to my grandma's house (I do that most weekends). I also know that I'll be traveling quite a bit in the following 9 months. Dunno after that :/

 

Criteria:

 

1) Screen resolution: Nothing less than 1080p (in case of a laptop). I have a Samsung SyncMaster 2494 and I'm pretty happy with it (in case of the desktop). 

2) Processor: i7. Need something that can handle quick 1080p video encoding. (Quad Core or more)

3) Memory RAM: 8GB+ (CAD softwares recommend this)

4) Video Card. Could be a GTX 750 or greater. Preferably a GTX 760 so it can go good with hardware acceleration using CAD, and After Effects. 

5) Hard Drive: SSD will be too expensive. I don't need lots of space, I have external drives which I usually throw the data there. But carrying less than 320 GB (I would struggle a lot with 256 GB) with me is a must no. 

6) Warranty: To be honest I'd pay for good warranty, as I did for my current Laptop. The thing is, that I won't receive good support from other manufacturer than Dell. By living outside the US, it takes me 50$ to ship a single pound to it :(. So I would have to wait for someone to travel back to the US in case something came off. 

 

Desktop only:

7) New Keyboard + Mouse combo. 

 

Price Range. Not over 1600$. 

 

Thanks for the tip! :D

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I'll go full desktop mode, In fact I did since my current research requires power, in UK gets hot as hell on summer days, but proper cooling will help you on the long run, never seen my GPU to reach 75? overclocked (max is above 80s) also, components in a desktop are less likely to suffer from heat than those on a laptop.

 

You can use the laptop you currently have as a backup for transport, which is always neat, but seriously speaking, after some simulations I noted that indeed... desktop is definitely on another league than my laptop.

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I've decided going on the mobile spectrum. I need to recognize that I, unfortunately move a lot, and with lots of stuff to many places. I believe something slim ala G60, M1771-2, could do the job.

What do you people think?

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I've decided going on the mobile spectrum. I need to recognize that I, unfortunately move a lot, and with lots of stuff to many places. I believe something slim ala G60, M1771-2, could do the job.

What do you people think?

 

I think you should also consider reliability of the machine you're getting. I don't know about you but HP has never screamed quality when it comes to anything, not even printers. This M1771 is a gaming laptop - thing is probably overclocked to death - how hot does it get you think? Do you really want to cook eggs on your laptop as you're rendering something?

 

Honestly to me it sounds like from technical requirements point of view you will probably be better off with a desktop system but if it must be portable consider buying from someone like Dell or Lenovo. I would certainly stay away from Acer, Asus, HP, etc if I were you but different strokes for different folks as they say.

 

To me the Lenovo Y series look like they cover your requirements, including graphics cards and it is within your price range. Dell also makes decent machines. I used to own an XPS15 myself (but it is now sitting dead in my closet) and my last PC was an XPS17 but that was over $2K (Core I7, 256GB SSD + 768 GB SATA but graphics were only GeForce 550GT 1GB). I'm actually about to put it up on eBay soon as I recently got a Lenovo X1 Ultrabook (but my requirements don't include powerful graphics). I never owned a Lenovo before but I'm extremely satisfied with it but Dell has served me well for years and years too. Anything I've owned from HP I've always hated and ended up selling within months).

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To me the Lenovo Y series look like they cover your requirements, including graphics cards and it is within your price range. 

Indeed :) 

 

I could bump a 750m SLI, which would be more powerful than the 765m 

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Hello,

 

Have you considered putting any of the money towards an air conditioner for the room in which the computer is most frequently used?

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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Indeed :)

 

I could bump a 750m SLI, which would be more powerful than the 765m 

 

 

 

i would go with a  laptop like a alienware or something where you have top end  Core i7 quad core option and have   the abilty and i recommend this    to get both SSD+HDD have the best of both worlds   also  make sure to get windows 8.1  as the  OS as that is what Dell recommends but dont always show it as  window 8.1 is highly optimized more so then windows 7 is for  everything you wish to do and SSD drives as well as the core i7 chips .   

 

 

Make sure  tho when ya get one or so you get  SSD+HDD option and get 16gb of ram  as that is the norm now days  for  multi-tasking and what you do  .  a friend of mien got an AW 17  model with 8gb of ram  765GTX card  SSD drive + HDD   and  it came with windows 7 cause  Dell did not tell him over the phone of the windows 8 option so he assumes they had no support for it. well he now has windows 8.1 on the system and the system is  just so much better and more responsive  in his gaming  

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If you want to  spend more and get portability, get a laptop, laptops offer almost equivalent performance of desktops. If you want upgradability and something more powerful but less portable, get a desktop.

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