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TOPIC: Help me pick a laptop

Help me pick a laptop 27 Nov 2017 14:43 #258275

I've been looking for a mid-range laptop for five days and I'm burnt out. I'm totally out of the loop with electronics.

Need a 17" screen. Which of these should I pick? I don't expect to get a top tier gaming system but would like to play Overwatch. My budget was $600 but... If the expensive computer is worth it I'll do it. Won't be able to answer questions because I'll be away til late (unless eye doctor has wifi).

HP 17z $509
Windows 10 Home 64
AMD Quad-Core A12-9720P APU (2.7GHz, up to 3.6GHz burst frequency, 2 MB cache)+AMD Radeon™ 530 Graphics (4GB dedicated memory)
8 GB DDR4-1866 SDRAM (1 x 8 GB)
17.3" diagonal HD+ SVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1600 x 900)
1 TB 5400 rpm SATA
4-cell, 41 Wh Lithion-ion Battery
DVD-Writer
Full-size island-style backlit keyboard with numeric keypad (ash silver)
802.11b/g/n (1x1)

HP OMEN 17z $809
Windows 10 Home 64
Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ (2.8 GHz, up to 3.8 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores) + NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 (2 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (1 x 8 GB)
17.3" diagonal FHD IPS UWVA anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)
1TB 7200 rpm SATA
6-cell 62 WHr Lithium-ion Battery
SuperMulti DVD burner
Full-size island-style backlit keyboard
Intel® 802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo
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Help me pick a laptop 27 Nov 2017 14:58 #258276

you can watch pr0n on a tablet, Hex.

I know, i didn't know either. Just saved you $509-$809. YOUR WELCOME
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Help me pick a laptop 27 Nov 2017 15:24 #258279

If you want to play overwatch and enjoy the experience, I would advice going with the more expensive option. Gaming on a laptop is a so so experience either way though. Might be better off with a netbook with a decent cpu (Intel or wait for Ryzen APU) but that means gaming is out of the question.

If you play casually a console is usually the cheaper option. That or go full in on a stationary PC.
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Help me pick a laptop 27 Nov 2017 15:50 #258283

Ditch the DVD drive if possible. I wouldn't buy anything in non-1920x1080 resolution at this point.
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Help me pick a laptop 27 Nov 2017 18:05 #258296

On a 17", definitely go for the best resolution you can. That's a lot of screen.

The other major thing is that the 5400rpm drive in the cheaper option is going to make everything feel a lot slower. I try to stay away from spinning drives completely, but that may not be an option in something under $1000.
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Help me pick a laptop 28 Nov 2017 03:54 #258303

Another vote for 1920x1080 on 17'. Get a spinning drive, because they are way cheaper and you don't know what you're missing. Once you go down that road, there is no turning back.

For Overwatch to run smoothly, you'd need this:
Intel® Core™ i5 or AMD Phenom™ II X3 or better; 6 GB RAM; NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 or AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 or better

I'd recommend looking into refurbished Lenovo Thinkpads, especially if you plan on traveling with the thing. They often come cheap with seller warranty and are almost indestructible physically.
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Help me pick a laptop 28 Nov 2017 05:10 #258304

If you can afford it, pick one with SSD. On my wife Lenovo i7 with 960 gtx Windows starts in 3-4 seconds.
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Last Edit: 28 Nov 2017 05:10 by Turek.
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Help me pick a laptop 28 Nov 2017 08:55 #258307

Hex Sinister wrote:
I've been looking for a mid-range laptop for five days and I'm burnt out. I'm totally out of the loop with electronics.

Need a 17" screen. Which of these should I pick? I don't expect to get a top tier gaming system but would like to play Overwatch. My budget was $600 but... If the expensive computer is worth it I'll do it. Won't be able to answer questions because I'll be away til late (unless eye doctor has wifi).

HP 17z $509
Windows 10 Home 64
AMD Quad-Core A12-9720P APU (2.7GHz, up to 3.6GHz burst frequency, 2 MB cache)+AMD Radeon™ 530 Graphics (4GB dedicated memory)
8 GB DDR4-1866 SDRAM (1 x 8 GB)
17.3" diagonal HD+ SVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1600 x 900)
1 TB 5400 rpm SATA
4-cell, 41 Wh Lithion-ion Battery
DVD-Writer
Full-size island-style backlit keyboard with numeric keypad (ash silver)
802.11b/g/n (1x1)

HP OMEN 17z $809
Windows 10 Home 64
Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ (2.8 GHz, up to 3.8 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores) + NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 (2 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (1 x 8 GB)
17.3" diagonal FHD IPS UWVA anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)
1TB 7200 rpm SATA
6-cell 62 WHr Lithium-ion Battery
SuperMulti DVD burner
Full-size island-style backlit keyboard
Intel® 802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo

Without your use-case it's impossible to make a recommendation that is useful. The only things you've mentioned are a big screen and gaming, Overwatch in particular. If that's your primary use you can get a tricked out desktop for $600 that will be your best choice. My guess is that you have other primary requirements, and those will tell the tale. Batteries may be your primary issue, CPU may be, weight, ruggedness, etc. Why are you selecting laptop, where do you plan to use it, how long will you be off the cord? And how do you treat your things?

I run an ancient Dell Latitude with a slow CPU, 12GB of RAM and a battery that bulges out the bottom of it. Windows 7. It works for me, because I don't do CPU intensive work on it and I have 30-40 windows open all the time.
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Help me pick a laptop 28 Nov 2017 13:16 #258315

I'm really a desktop kind of guy but in my circumstance I need to be able to lug this back and forth upstairs on a regular basis. This won't be something I need to travel with. In a perfect world I'd get a desktop but that's not in the cards. Also, I'm really used to playing on my gf's 17" and my eyes are freaking bad. Unfortunately, this means limiting my options a lot but I don't really want to budge on screen size. I'll be plugging this into the wall probably, np.

Usage will be pc gaming and usual web stuff. Mentioning Overwatch was my lazy shortcut of asking whether these computers will run recent to newer-ish pc games at reasonable settings. I have no clue what specs games run at these days. I'm like a time traveller from 1998. My most recent pc game is freaking Warcraft 3.

I can upgrade the screen rez on the cheap one and double up on the RAM but at this point I'm only saving $100 and still stuck with the slow hard drive. SSD's that are available are too small and/or too expensive for my budget. They won't let me remove the dvd drives. I'm maxed out on price on the higher end device.

I've been back and forth all day... Part of me says screw it and buy a cheap turd that I can just play Elder Scrolls Legends on. The other half says I haven't bought anything decent for myself in years and I should do something nice for myself for a change. Still, I hate being wasteful.
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Help me pick a laptop 28 Nov 2017 15:02 #258319

Well then I'd go for the first one you show. HP has good customer service and they're dependable machines. I'd be curious to try out the keyboard -- I have one at home that I don't like, but my son swears by it. If you can see one at Best Buy and put your fingers on it it's likely worth it.

5400 rpm drive isn't much of an issue if you have sufficient RAM for what you're running. There's a pause at startup but I go a month between reboots and my machine is up and running in seconds when it's in standby. This is particularly true with more RAM. If you want to upgrade the screen go for it.

Get a second power cord in the aftermarket so you have one in your bedroom and one for your den. That way you don't have to move it.

The bigger question for games might be your WiFi connection. It might be worth running a line from your modem if you can, especially if you have two people playing at once. Didn't find an Omen 17z. Omen 17t?

I just built your machine on HP's web site and it came up to $439 before taxes and shipping (I built a red one . . . $10 extra.) Might be worth a second look in case the price changed.
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Last Edit: 28 Nov 2017 15:04 by Sagrilarus.
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Help me pick a laptop 29 Nov 2017 15:07 #258361

Whoops, 17t is correct.

Good idea about the power cords!

Still having my internal struggle. I have a couple days to figure things out...
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Help me pick a laptop 29 Nov 2017 16:03 #258363

This is what Dell offers on their high-end for laptops, more or less equivalent to what you're getting from HP, plus a solid-state drive for your OS and swap space.

www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/new...0-laptop/dncwlg2436h

Price is $749 at the moment, which is only 50% over budget, instead of 62%.

It's an Inspiron which aren't as rugged as the Latitudes, but you're not lugging this thing out into the world very often so that's not as big a concern. Dell customer service is top notch and usually happens via live meeting in your home. Even if you go with the HP it's nice to know what the other price points are out there, so you can see where you fall in the price ranges.
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Help me pick a laptop 29 Nov 2017 23:26 #258376

Get an off/lease used Dell or HP laptop, IMO. One a few years old but that can accept 16GB of PC4 memory and that can have an add on GPU card installed. I have an old HP 6570b Probook I got for 100$ on eBay, had a graphics card in it. Upgraded the i5-3200M to the hottest i7 it would support, put in a new higher power fan, and it runs white hot for an old PC. I’m in it for all of 100+100(16GB PC3-12800 RAM)+65(CPU)+20(Fan).
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Help me pick a laptop 30 Nov 2017 08:20 #258389

I just reinstalled Overwatch last night as a result of this thread
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Help me pick a laptop 30 Nov 2017 11:57 #258404

SuperflyTNT wrote:
Get an off/lease used Dell or HP laptop, IMO. One a few years old but that can accept 16GB of PC4 memory and that can have an add on GPU card installed. I have an old HP 6570b Probook I got for 100$ on eBay, had a graphics card in it. Upgraded the i5-3200M to the hottest i7 it would support, put in a new higher power fan, and it runs white hot for an old PC. I’m in it for all of 100+100(16GB PC3-12800 RAM)+65(CPU)+20(Fan).

I bought a refurbished laptop off eBay and it was great. One nice thing is they are generally wiped clean of the fucking bloatware that comes pre installed on new machines.
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