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Medium gaming laptop

Discussion in 'Laptops & Tablets' started by Buggaton, 17 Apr 2010.

  1. Buggaton

    Associate

    Joined: 25 Oct 2009

    Posts: 47

    I'm buying a medium standard gaming laptop because I need lappy for work but I want it for recreational use too. I don't need an alienware goliath machine.. just something capable of running games reasonably well. Are the following differences worth the price changes?

    Intel® Core(TM) i3 Processor [ - £ 50.0] Processor i3-330M (2.13 GHz) with 3 MB L2/L3 Cache
    Intel® Core(TM) i5 Processor Processor i5-430M (2.26 Ghz) with 3 MB L2/L3 Cache
    Intel® CoreTM i5 Processor [ + £ 50.0] Processor i5-520M (2.40 GHz) with 3 MB L2/L3 Cache

    Is the i5-430M that much better than the i3 and would the i5-520M be worth the upgrade?

    4 GB 1066MHz DDR3-SDRAM 2 x 2048 MB
    6 GB 1066MHz DDR3-SDRAM [+ £ 99.99 ] 1 x 4096 MB + 1 x 2048 MB

    £100 is a lot for 2 gigs of ram...

    ATI MobilityRadeonHD5470 512MB [- £ 50.0 ] ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5470
    or
    ATI MobilityRadeon HD5650 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650

    I'm assuming this is totally worth the extra £50...?

    39.4 cm LCD, 1366x768 + webcam 39.4 cm (15.5") VAIO Display (1366 x 768 pixels) (16:9)
    or
    39.4 cm LCD, 1920x1080, webcam [+ £ 39.98 ] 39.4 cm (15.5") VAIO Display Plus HD1080 (1920 x 1080 pixels) (16:9)

    HD not worth it if not getting a blu ray player in the laptop? Is a blue ray player even worth it?

    DVD disc drive Reader / Writer (DVD+-RW/+-R DL/RAM)
    or
    Blu-ray Disc(TM) player [+ £ 50.01 ] Plays Blu-ray Disc(TM) (BD-R/-RE/-ROM/ DVD±RW/±R DL/RAM

    Total Price
    £ 659.01 inc. VAT
    £ 560.86

    (Chose 320GB HDD instead of the 500GB because I don't DL loads of media/prawn)
     
  2. Range

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Feb 2009

    Posts: 533

    Toshiba Satellite A500

    i3
    GT 330m

    Perfect ran mw2 at high for me today around 60-90FPS

    Counterstrike High at 150-200fps
     
  3. Buggaton

    Associate

    Joined: 25 Oct 2009

    Posts: 47

    I'm sorry that's over 300 pounds more expensive for a GeForce 330 instead of an ATI 5650. That's a ludicrous jump.

    Can anyone answer my questions relating to the comparisons in the OP please? :)
     
  4. MeMeMeMe

    Mobster

    Joined: 3 Oct 2009

    Posts: 2,719

    The i3 is a dual core, and the i5 a quad core. For gaming, it won't make much difference, but for general user and applications I'd go for the cheapest of the 2 i5s.

    Graphics wise, the mobility 5650 is a much, much better chip than the 5470. If you plan on getting the 1920 screen, you NEED the better graphic card, and I'd recommend it even with the lower res screen.

    Regarding the screen resolutions: This is very highly personal, there's no right answer here.

    if you use the laptop primarily as a games machine, the lower resolution screen might be better - so you can crank up the settings in games, while the TFT display remains crisp (TFT screens don't look as crisp if you lower their reoslution - though having siad that, some people like the free pseudo-anti-aliasing you get when running at slightly below maximum screen res).

    If you use the laptop a lot for non-gaming applications, the higher resolution can make a lot of difference. That said, at 15", 1920x1080 might be a bit too high. I had 1680x1050 on a 15" monitor, and most people I showed it to thought it was too high a resololution for the screen. I liked it, but going up to 1920 would probably have caused me eyestrain.

    So, it's a tough decision. I edge towards recommedning the 1366 res (even if you choose the better graphic card), but if you are confident of being able to read lots of really small text, and you use a lot of spreadsheets or paint programs or similar, go for the higher res. Oh! Also, if you plan to use it for the very highest def multimedia, you'll need the bigger res screen. The low res will be fine for 1280x720, typical hi-def, but for 1920x1080, you'll obviously need the bigger res. If you aren't sure which of those you might need, you don't need the big one.

    Regarding the Blue-Ray drive: this is a pointless luxury in a laptop at the moment, for most people. If you expect to be using the laptop as a multimedia player and planning to buy a lot of blu-ray disks, then it is worth getting - otherwise, it's a complete waste.

    Almost missed the RAM question. You definitely don't need more than 4GB RAM - the price for an extra 2GB is way more than the possible benefit you'd gain from it, which would be only in very limited circumstances.

    If there's one option among all of those you do take - make sure you get the 5650. It's totally worth it.

    I hope this helps!
     
  5. Range

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Feb 2009

    Posts: 533

    Just had mw2 on very high with the 330 and i was on 91FPS constant. Very good card
     
  6. sja360

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jul 2003

    Posts: 3,952

    Location: Dundee

    i5 isnt quad core, its dual core with Hyperthreading. so 2 physical cores with 2 virtual ones.
    have to say for £700 the Toshiba with I3 and 330M graphics is a great price.
     
  7. Range

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Feb 2009

    Posts: 533

    Yeah. I actually got £50 of due to a mates staff discount. Running games great sofar. Was on 91 constant. Didn't flicker once, fraps told me it stayed there for 15mins!

    Very good machine.
     
  8. MeMeMeMe

    Mobster

    Joined: 3 Oct 2009

    Posts: 2,719

    :eek:

    The i5 is a quad core chip, on basically the same technology as the i7, but with hyperthreading disabled.
     
  9. RJC

    Don

    Joined: 29 May 2005

    Posts: 28,846

    Location: Kent

    Last edited: 18 Apr 2010
  10. snarf

    Associate

    Joined: 25 Mar 2010

    Posts: 7

    I am interested in the same laptop but i'd probably get the i5-520 however what puts me off is the estimated delivery time of 4-5 weeks? Will it really take that long??
     
  11. Buggaton

    Associate

    Joined: 25 Oct 2009

    Posts: 47

    I looked it up. Some i5s are quad core but not those displayed up there. I'm going for the 5650 card, 4 gigs of RAM, Lower res screen, no blu ray player. I don't need to play MW2 at 91 FPS. That's nuts. I currently play some games on my current machine at 17FPS and that's almost good enough for me XD

    I've looked up the GT330m and I think the 5650 would suit me better. The last thing to pick is the processor. All 3 are dual core. I don't understand what hyperthreading is. Could someone help me out on this? Are the i5s (not particularly top end i5s) worth £50 or £100 more than the i3 given they're also just dual core? I doubt I'll need more than an i3 on my laptop... but I don't know! ^^

    edit: Snarf, I don't know. I'm going to call them up and see what that's about because that seems a bit excessive.
     
  12. RJC

    Don

    Joined: 29 May 2005

    Posts: 28,846

    Location: Kent

    Last edited: 18 Apr 2010
  13. Buggaton

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    Joined: 25 Oct 2009

    Posts: 47

  14. thingemajib

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Feb 2009

    Posts: 2,466

    Location: Behind you

    i would personally go with i3/cheaper i5, 4gig ram, 5650 and lower res screen.

    might look a bit on the grainy/blocky side, but the many more fps would more than make up for it.
     
  15. MeMeMeMe

    Mobster

    Joined: 3 Oct 2009

    Posts: 2,719

  16. MeMeMeMe

    Mobster

    Joined: 3 Oct 2009

    Posts: 2,719

    I've been doing my homework :)
    i3 and i5 M benchmarks

    The i3 has a number of features disabled, like TurboBoost, which is a very handy feature for a gamer. It probably means the i3 has slightly longer battery life, in normal usage (not gaming!). Personally, I'd go for the lower of the two i5's, but there isn't much in it.

    One final tip: make sure you get a 64bit version of windows. Some of the 4GB of RAM will be wasted otherwise.
     
  17. thingemajib

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Feb 2009

    Posts: 2,466

    Location: Behind you

    i find 64bit windows a pain in the backside.

    id rather lose half a gig than find half of my peripherals (including both my wifi adapters...) and half of my programs dont work
     
  18. JDR82

    Hitman

    Joined: 23 Jun 2009

    Posts: 894

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    I'm guessing this is the Sony Vaio Series E laptop your looking at, if so I bought two of these on friday (one for me one for gf) got the production confirmation on both today so will let you know how they are on arrival.

    I went with:

    Intel® CoreTM i5 Processor Processor i5-520M (2.40 GHz) with 3 MB L2/L3 Cache
    4 GB 1066MHz DDR3-SDRAM 2 x 2048 MB
    ATI MobilityRadeon HD5650 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650
    15.5" VAIO Display (1366 x 768 pixels) (16:9)
    500 GB Serial ATA
    DVD disc drive Reader / Writer (DVD+-RW/+-R DL/RAM)

    This spec came to £750, the gf stuck with a 320gb hdd which came in at £709.

    I didn't bother with a FullHD screen on a 15" laptop as from experience on other machines of this size I've found 1920x1080 to be overkill and completely unnecessary, 1366 x 768 feels just fine plus when it comes to games you may find full hd a little too much for the laptop and so need to run at a lower res and running on a lower res than native always looks awful.

    The 5650 card is quite capable and altho in the sony laptops they have clocked the core at 450mhz instead of the usual 550 - 650 other owners have posted that they have nps overclocking the core to normal speeds using various gfx sortware programs without heat issues.

    I think delivery will be a couple weeks but if you still havnt purchased by the time they arrive i will post some benchamarks or whatever you would find useful.
     
  19. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 75,263

    i3 would be perfectly adequate for gaming on a laptop and have the advantage of less power usage, less heat, etc.

    The res is a tricky one - 1920x would tax a mainstream laptop GPU too much and it makes things quite tiny on your average laptop display, but IMO 1366x768 is too low res - while that does makes the lower end GPUs more useful I think for general windows useage you'd find it cramped and some games suffer i.e. mmos like eve, wow, etc. tho not such a big deal with fps games. Personally I settled on a 1680x1050 res on my laptop and find that works very well.

    4Gig of RAM should be fine for even fairly high end gaming and normal laptop tasks, you need to be doing some fairly serious video/image editing, etc. to make a case for more than 4gig.

    I'm not a fan of ATI laptop GPUs personally - often they put a great core in but cripple it with slooooow VRAM, I'd advise looking at the nVidia options if possible, they tend to run a little cooler generally too.
     
  20. snarf

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    Joined: 25 Mar 2010

    Posts: 7

    Interesting stuff JonnyCasino... So they didn't give you a more accurate delivery time? I'll probably order one this week anyway! :)