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CommieBastard
Alright, see my last thread in this forum? Forget that. Time for Plan B.

I'm now looking for a laptop to replace my current computer. Thus, needs to be a good gaming computer as well as handling my word-processing/Internet needs. Preferably not impossible to upgrade. Money isn't too much of a problem - I'll be getting this for my 18th birthday.

Suggestions?
Jonman
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Mar 4 2005, 12:11 PM)
Alright, see my last thread in this forum? Forget that. Time for Plan B.

I'm now looking for a laptop to replace my current computer. Thus, needs to be a good gaming computer as well as handling my word-processing/Internet needs. Preferably not impossible to upgrade. Money isn't too much of a problem - I'll be getting this for my 18th birthday.

Suggestions?
*



One word for you Commie, Alienware

If you want a gaming machine, they're the daddy. Their new range is upgradable, and their customer service is impeccable.

The downside? They're US-based, so you'll either get stung big-time for import tax, or need to defraud customs and excise. Which is obviously illegal, and not necessarily advisable.
CommieBastard
Aye, I was looking at Alienware... how much would import tax set me back?
Sir Psycho Sexy
...there's an english version of the site, I'm assuming if you order from there any tax is included in the price...
CommieBastard
This is the current favourite for me, with a RAM upgrade to 512MB.
Feyliya
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Mar 4 2005, 07:28 AM)
...there's an english version of the site, I'm assuming if you order from there any tax is included in the price...
*


And lo, a hand reached from the sky and plucked this from the teaming hordes of internet sites.

Oh, and BTW Commie, that Dell laptop you're looking at is almost the same as mine, just a little better (according to Randy). I wouldn't suggest getting it. Go for Alienware, they know how to make a laptop game-able.

I'd also suggest getting a notebook cooler to go with your new baby. When you're gaming, these things can get IMMENSELY hot. Seriously, I've burnt myself a couple of times with the bottom of mine.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Feyliya @ Mar 4 2005, 10:31 PM)
Oh, and BTW Commie, that Dell laptop you're looking at is almost the same as mine, just a little better (according to Randy).  I wouldn't suggest getting it.  Go for Alienware, they know how to make a laptop hugely expensive.
*


There, fixed that for you tongue.gif
Feyliya
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Mar 4 2005, 02:33 PM)
QUOTE (Feyliya @ Mar 4 2005, 10:31 PM)
Oh, and BTW Commie, that Dell laptop you're looking at is almost the same as mine, just a little better (according to Randy).  I wouldn't suggest getting it.  Go for Alienware, they know how to make a laptop hugely expensive.
*


There, fixed that for you tongue.gif
*



LMAO, yes, that, too. But seriously, if you're looking to game on a laptop and not have the thing constantly overheat or wear out from too much use (as mine quickly began to do), you've got to pay a bit more for people who are willing to do it. Dell is great for most things, but I don't like their laptops as much. They seem to stick to the same formula with everything, nomatter what the laptop is slated to do, just adding slightly better upgrades as they go along.
gothictheysay
http://www.alienware.com/Configurator_Page...ode=SKU-DEFAULT

But look... it's so pretty... You know you want it!
CommieBastard
Fey, can you tell me what's not good about the Dell laptop?
Laramon
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Mar 6 2005, 01:09 PM)
Fey, can you tell me what's not good about the Dell laptop?
*


Here's the issues I see. I'll give scores based upon a percentage above or below Fey's laptop for each part.

First off, the Intel CPU options. You have the max of a PentiumIV-M 2.13GHz... sounds all neato and all that, but my processor running at base core speeds (2.050GHz) can still crunch that with 8 bits tied behind its back. Fey's laptop has a PentiumIV-M 2.0GHz and well... sadly disappointed, let's just leave it at that. CPU score: 15-20%, if you get the top end CPU offered.

RAM: 512MB is what Fey's got, and she also somehow managed to get the 400MHz FSB amazingly (hers must have been the first model out with it, lucky her). RAM Score: 0%-10%. If you get a 2x256 configuration, you'll have better performance due to the dual-channel tech (she was screwed because they put in 2 different DIMMs when they made hers), bringing it up a notch or two, but not 100% of the time.

Upgradablity: Hands down, much better than Fey's. Hers has almost no configuration options. Almost any laptop can win in this category. Score: infinite%

Battery Life: About the same, if you don't count that Fey's been using hers for a long time. Her battery life is dwindling, but back when it was a baby, they lasted the same. Score: 0%

Video: Here's the only category where the Dell outshines Fey's by a good margin (that matters, really, for gaming). The x300 is based upon the x600 for mobile gaming, and I have to say I'm impressed with it. Her laptop was given the Radeon Mobility equivalent to the 8000. Score: 50-80%

I can't compare hard drive options because I don't have the time to research Dell's current line of laptop hard drives, but I'd assume 15-20% better performance in this category.

If I have time later, I'll comment on Alienware's options of laptops. They're more expensive, but I assure you, you'll get better results.
MistressAlti
Dell has the worst customer service - and satisfaction - of any computer company I know of. Dunno if that matters to you.

Alienware is a superior company by far.
artist.unknown
QUOTE
Dell has the worst customer service - and satisfaction - of any computer company I know of. Dunno if that matters to you.

When our Dell took a flying leap off the computer desk and into the opposite wall, my mother called customer service to tell them it was not working in the most stellar fashion anymore, and they kept insisting it was because of Spyware. Not the scratched motherboard. Right.

*shakes fist in Dell's direction*

Also, it didn't seem like a consideration, but ignore Toshiba too. My Satellite Pro a) has no video card wutchum, and thusly I can't play any games on it, and B) the screen's snapped off on both sides. The solution for which seems to be, of their professional opinion: duck tape.
Jonman
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Mar 4 2005, 10:33 PM)
QUOTE (Feyliya @ Mar 4 2005, 10:31 PM)
Oh, and BTW Commie, that Dell laptop you're looking at is almost the same as mine, just a little better (according to Randy).  I wouldn't suggest getting it.  Go for Alienware, they know how to make a laptop hugely expensive.
*


There, fixed that for you tongue.gif
*



From your original post. Ahem...

QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Mar 4 2005, 12:11 PM)
Money isn't too much of a problem - I'll be getting this for my 18th birthday.
*


Yeah, Alienware stuff is outrageously expensive, but you're getting bleeding edge laptop technology in a bombproof package. I bought mine at the end of 2003. It's still in excellant condition, I've never had any hardware problems (and it's been all around the world with me, several times), it's still technologically competetive (Half-Life 2 looks lovely on it). However, a couple of caveats...

: They're big and heavy. I need to upgrade to a bigger lap to use mine as a laptop.
: Battery life is an issue. With so much grunt under the bonnet, it's hardly worth using it away from a power outlet.
: You'd better make damn sure that you're going to make the most of it, or you'll be throwing money away. I've hardly used mine for gaming, and I could have spent half as much money on it and still got the performance I needed.

If you're really going to be doing stuff that demands a top-of-the-range spec, then they're the way to go.

Oh, and for Chris' sake, get some insurance. Especially around London, eh?
DarkInferno
I've had a fair few Dell laptops, amd I've been over the moon with them, not cheap but not outragously priced, sturdy, decent battery life, stylish.
LoLo
I just got a Dell laptop and I love it. I found that when I was looking through all of the other websites that Dell gave me more for my money. I know a lot of people don't like Dell but I just must say that I'm happy.

I will say that their customer service isn't all that great. I spent a lot of time on the phone when I first got my laptop and it wouldn't start, but eventually they did figure out it was that my memory cards were loose.

Other than that though the pieces seem easily accessable for upgrade. It's been dropped twice by accident and keeps on working. I would recommend a battery upgrade if they offer it, I got mine upgraded and it lasts for hours.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Jonman @ Mar 9 2005, 03:36 PM)
Battery life is an issue. With so much grunt under the bonnet, it's hardly worth using it away from a power outlet.
*


All the time, or just when gaming?
Feyliya
I'd say probably just when gaming or doing other high-power things. I mean, you can set lots of options about screen lighting and such to save power. But Jonman would know, so calling Dr. Jonman!

Dang, we need to stuff him into a Magic 8-Ball or a lamp or something.... tongue.gif
Sir Psycho Sexy
LCD screens come in two varieties, active and passive, I doubt alienware would produce such a nice piece of kit and slip up on the display, in a nutshell, active is best, it uses more power but the responce rates are far superior as is colour representation, in fact I'll be surprised if you can actually find a brand new passive LCD, but just in case, the passive ones are the ones that go funny colours when you look at them from the left or right and really dark from funny angles on the vertical plane ,in summary, they suck.

The other two high power consumtion things would be the CPU and the graphic thingies, newer generation hardware needs 350-400w power supplies (I'm talking desktops here) so I would expect the newer generation laptop hardware to have similar (but relative) requirements

*takes off jonman mask and runs for it*
Feyliya
Even with it being a power hog, it probably doesn't matter much. I've taken my computer very few places where there wasn't an outlet I could use (though England might be different from America in this). You can even get adapter plugs to hook your computer up to a car's cigarette lighter thingie. Unless you're planning on gaming in the middle of a park or something, the issue probably wouldn't come up that often.

And even the regular laptops suck power when you're gaming. I can't even run old Nintendo ROMs on my computer for more than half an hour per battery.

If you have doubts, you could ask any places where you think you'll be gaming often if they have an outlet you could use if you brought in your computer. Most places are pretty nice about pointing you towards one.

I used to game and watch movies with a friend of mine in this all night diner back in SC (Huddle House, for ya'll who are curious) and they always were happy to seat me near a plug.
vampire_tamer
Considered an Apple Mac?
I love my ibook...it <i>never</i> goes wrong, and it has graphics that kick ass.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (vampire_tamer @ Mar 16 2005, 12:16 AM)
Considered an Apple Mac?
I love my ibook...it <i>never</i> goes wrong, and it has graphics that kick ass.
*


Problem is, I want to play games, and there's not many games for Mac OS.
Feyliya
Oh Man of Jon, your endless wisdom is needed...

:: ponders how to create a Jonman Magic 8-Ball::
Mr Fuzzy
/me gives unlooked for wisdom.
Sod laptops. For the price of any laptop worth its salt you could get 3 decent desktops. Get something elderly, second hand, and made of cheese if you want a laptop and sync it up with a decent desktop. Play your newer games on that, and practice your retro-gaming on the ancient lappy. Remember, you can play such classics as Syndicate on a piece of brie!
Mata
Although, getting the original Tomb Raider to play on my machine is proving to be as hard as teaching an aardvark to ice-skate. That old game really doesn't like XP, and for some reason the 3D card converters don't want to work. I was really looking forward to playing it again too!

/slightly off topic
Mr Fuzzy
That's easily dealt with. There are any number of ways to get old games running. For a legitimally free method have a search for something called Dosbox. There are a few other commercial options which will work I can mention if it doesn't.
Mata
I've been trying Glidos, which even has a prebuilt option set up for it. 'Tis most annoying.
Jonman
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Mar 15 2005, 10:28 AM)
QUOTE (Jonman @ Mar 9 2005, 03:36 PM)
Battery life is an issue. With so much grunt under the bonnet, it's hardly worth using it away from a power outlet.
*


All the time, or just when gaming?
*



When it was new, the battery would last for up to an hour and a half (don't quote me on that). 2 years on, it's buggered, and lasts for about 45 seconds, but that's not the point.

When it was good, I could just about watch an hour of DVD before it died from a full charge. I didn't even bother trying gaming without AC power.

To be fair though, it's what I wanted - essentially a portable desktop machine. I don't really want the option of wandering around, not least of all because the machine weighs a bloody ton.

I think that for any lappy specced for gaming, you're going to have battery issues. A top-of-the-line CPU is going to churn out bucketloads of heat, and when your running graphics and sound cards in addition, not to mention a super lovely big TFT screen, your big chunky battery ain't worth squat.

A lappy that's designed to be used away from a socket is going to sacrifice performance for weight and power savings.

I guess you've gotta ask yourself - what's it going to be (punk).
zivane
Mac ultimately makes the best laptops (my powerbook G4 was one of the first released back in 2002ish, and it still runs like I got it this morning). But, as for gaming, there's not much you can play on them (besides Ghost Recon, Unreal Tournament and such) In the UK, Mac isn't particularly big from what I've noticed and they are more for music and graphics anyways.

At home, my gamer friends built their own PCs but they're desktops. They all swear by Alienware if they ever bought something remotely "pre-packaged" or if they were too lazy to design their own laptop. You can technically build a laptop as well, granted I'm not entirely sure how easy that is. But consider which OS you're going to use and the like (because we all know Windows sucks, Linux is best and Mac doesn't break easily although it's amusing to run Mac OS 8, OS 9, OS X, and Windows XP Pro at the same time on a laptop, hehe).

I do say that 1gig of RAM is minimal nowadays for a PC, even if it's a laptop. Expensive but worth it. And I don't know too much of processor speeds (my laptop is 1ghz, but runs better than most 3ghz PCs). Just don't get the cheapest laptop in the world. Laptops break which is never fun (unless it's a Mac). And make sure you get XP Pro, not home, if you go the Windows route.
mooooooooooopo
Feh, Linux is for bitches. FreeBSD on the other hand, that's a good OS. ( http://www.linuxisforbitches.com/ )

Zivane: how do you propose to run Mac OS _and_ Windows on the same laptop, considering Mac OS is designed for PowerPC RISC processors and Windows for i386 CISC processors (and of course the fact the two systems have different endianness). Unless you want to run it in an emulator of course, in which case OS X is out of the question.

Right now I'm saving for a 12" Apple powerBook G4 for pure geek joy (OS X is based on FreeBSD, which you might already have noticed, I'm an obsessive fanboy of >_> ). Though personally I'd be sticking with my current laptop ( http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v281/moo...7laptop0001.jpg ) and it's stupid level of portability if the battery life wasn't awful.

Most of the PC based laptops around at the moment look awful and suck for games if you want any decent battery life. I tend to go for portability over performance in laptops since performance and games is what my desktop PC is for (and for having bloody huge amounts of screen space of course *strokes quad head graphics card lovingly*).
DarkInferno

Linux is indeed for bitches
</spam>
zivane
I'm not entirely sure. It's similar to how I end up running OS 8, OS 9, and OSX all simulatenously, using programs from each on the OSX interface. Only with the Windows, the Windows programs showed up through the Windows interface, but I still had my dock (on auto hide) functioning to switch back to OS X. I don't remember how exactly that worked though.
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