Gaming Notebook

A place to talk about all things mobile
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ibleet
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Gaming Notebook

Postby ibleet » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:46 pm

I'm in the market for a mid-range gaming notebook with a budget of $1000-$1400.

I am currently looking at the ASUS F3. You can upgrade it to 2GB Ram for an additional $30. Opinions and recommendations please. 8)

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:38 pm

talk to PastorJ here on the forums he had a nice gaming notebook for sale here: about10791.html

I'm not sure he had it, but I'm sure you could work out a great price and with a 7900GS and a mobile Core 2 Duo it would make for a great mobile gaming platform.

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby dicecca112 » Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:40 pm

Dell 1520 or 1720, upgrade the ram and HDD yourself. Get the 8600GT. More than capable card.
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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby ibleet » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:09 pm

Thanks guys, I'm looking into all that.

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby ibleet » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:29 pm

After searching for hours, I'm finding a lot of reviews that complain about Vista on laptops. Roughly 75% of the reviewers have a complaint aimed directly at Vista, which is turning me away from these systems that force you to take Vista as the OS. Some claim that half their programs wont run or run correctly under Vista, and the others claim that Vista runs slow on the laptop especially with less than 2GB ram. I have been shying away from Vista on my desktops and now I have reason to do the same with my notebooks. Many reviewers also said they had problems trying to install XP on the laptops that are designed for Vista. Seems you're kinda screwed either way. Freekin' Microsoft. ](*,)

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:12 am

but remember Vista SP1 is due out shortly... source

The SP1 download is over 1GB for 64-bit Vista users, so this is a hefty Service Pack. My point of posting this is that Vista SP1 has been confirmed by Beta testers and those that I know in Microsoft ranks to improve battery life and performance.

In addition to a couple of minor user interface changes, he has noticed improvements to the overall responsiveness of his PC and laptop, which both got the beta software. He particularly noticed that resuming activity after the machines hibernate and copying files from one directory to another work faster.

LeBlanc also reported improved battery life on his laptop.

SP1 also appears to have solved some wireless networking issues he had, which caused his computer to lose connectivity often, especially after the laptop was hibernating. Since he installed SP1, that problem has gone away, he said.

Microsoft had promised that SP1 would include a speedier resume function following hibernation. It also said the update would include improved performance of Internet Explorer 7, particularly for Web sites running AJAX.

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby dicecca112 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:04 am

2GB of memory is so cheap, its not a big deal. I've run Vista with 1GB with no issue. Battery life is not an issue anymore and neither is program compatibility. I've used Vista on this laptop since I got it, and have had no issues. Yeah you have the random obtuse program that doesn't run perfectly right, but most programs have been fixed. Oh and if your wanting a gaming notebook, don't expect good battery life.
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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby ibleet » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:50 pm

I always said that I wouldn't even consider Vista until SP1 comes out. I'm glad to hear its right around the corner.

You're right Dicecca, and I don't expect good battery life from a gaming notebook. I know that a lot of the reviews have some age to them, but even the recent reviews still contain a lot of gripes about Vista. Oh well I'm still undecided, so I'm gonna focus on my desktop build for now.

Thanks guys! 8)

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby ibleet » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:41 pm

Ok, hows this?

Dell Vostro 1500 - $1250 as configured.

PROCESSOR - Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7300 (2.0GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
OS - Genuine Windows Vista® Home Basic
LCD PANEL - 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA LCD Display with TrueLife™
MEMORY - 3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM
HARD DRIVE - 120G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
OPTICAL DRIVE - 8X CD/DVD Burner w/ double-layer DVD+R write capability, w/ Roxio Creator
VIDEO CARD - 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8600M GT
WI-FI - Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Wi-Fi Mini Card
WEBCAM - Integrated 2.0 mega pixel Web Camera
BATTERIES - 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
SOUND - High Definition Audio 2.0
NIC - Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
WARRANTY - 2 Year Limited Hardware Warranty with Next Business Day On-Site Service

When I configured a 1520 this way it was almost $1700. Notice I chose Vista (XP Pro was an option)...I am listening to you guys, but my budget gets in the way and I'm forced to compromise.

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby Zertz » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:13 pm

Looks like a solid choice for a good price.

How do they do 3GB dual channel RAM? Aren't you supposed to use 2 modules of the same size? Assuming they use 1GB and 2GB sticks.

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby ibleet » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:39 pm

Zertz wrote:Looks like a solid choice for a good price.

How do they do 3GB dual channel RAM? Aren't you supposed to use 2 modules of the same size? Assuming they use 1GB and 2GB sticks.


3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM - No freeking Clue how they do it! Maybe I should call Dell.
I want to upgrade to 7200rmp drive instead of 5400rpm, so I need to call them anyway.

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby Kougar » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:37 am

Be sure to check around for any discount codes... it sounds obvious, but when I bought a Dell laptop I had a code that gave 25 or 30% off the total price, which really cut down on the warranty plans! Give some consideration to those. They also were running a $100 MIR on their 4 year warranty plan at the time I got my laptop... I won't give figures unless asked, but it was a silly sum for a 4 year complete protection warranty on a high-end gaming notebook. The motherboard and then GPU failed almost exactly after one year and they had to replace both. I've had various minor nitpicks such as the DVD-Rom drive no longer ejecting (bad release mechanism), HDD cover popping off the side, the usual wear and tear which they glady sent me parts to fix. No notebook lasts 4 years (except for Thinkpads I think), Dell gave a free GPU upgrade to the "GO" 7800GTX since they no longer carried 6800 "GO" Ultras in stock at the time. I still have two years on the warranty, so if anything goes now I would likely end up with a new, modern refurbed machine. Pentium Ms are rare, and I know the 915P chipset/motherboard itself haven't been made in over a year at least.

Sorry if that didn't help you any. Regarding your build specificly, are you sure you can live with the restrictions of "Windows Vista® Home Basic"? More details at http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/winvista_02.asp. Much less eye-candy is what it basically amounts to, but it also defaults to using the CPU for rendering the GUI. Since you have a DX10 GPU you might as well have an OS that uses it to render the interface and free up the CPU slightly. I will admit I use and rather like Vista, but I would not use the Basic edition over XP Pro.
Core i7 920 @ 4.2GHz 1.36v
Gigabyte GA-X58-UD5
Under Water

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby ibleet » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:18 pm

Thanks for the help, I looked into the codes, but it seems that the Vostro is already a special deal.

Vista home premium is not offered with the Vostro as its considered a business laptop. I would rather use XP, but I need to learn Vista sooner or later, so I might as well start with this laptop since it has a GPU that can utilize DX10.

Thanks for the info, it has been very helpful.

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby rademi » Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:19 pm

Be careful with Dell. While some of them (I like their E1705) can be great deals, Dell does not upgrade seem to update their nVidia drivers. Ever.

I was going to try finding some links to demonstrate, but right now their support site is throwing asp.net errors. But, for example, my video driver is from 2005, and does not work so well with newer games. (nVidia constantly upgrades their drivers, with speed and stability improvements, but Dell's good prices apparently mean they are unwilling or maybe even unable to invest in any testing time to work with nVidia to make these newer drivers work with their laptops.)

Of course, you can find sites like laptopvideo2go.com to help you work around problems like this, but then you can wind up in my position -- the newer driver works great, performs wonderfully, and I don't want to go back, but locks up occasionally (some days not at all, other days several times), and I can't really go to dell and ask them to fix it because their answer would be that i should fall back to the ancient thing that doesn't work even as well as this one does (in that the officially released drivers seem slower and sometimes crashed my system). I suppose a locked up display isn't that different from a crashed system, but at least sound still works...

Anyways, let the buyer beware...

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Re: Gaming Notebook

Postby ibleet » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:03 pm

Thanks for the input. I ended up picking the E1705 in my sig from the Dell outlet. This is the 3rd Dell laptop for me and I have yet to be let down. You're absolutely right about the drivers, which is why I always find mine at 3rd party sites like you listed. Currently all my drivers are up to date and working well. I couldn't be more pleased with my decision.

Thanks and welcome to the forums, I hope you stick around! 8)


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