Need high performance laptop or tower for low price

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Meteore, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Meteore

    Meteore Guest

    Hi Experts,

    I need a new laptop for watching movies, listening to music, games etc. My budget is in the $400-$500 range.

    I have this HP notebook, which can only do email and has trouble loading MSE and it is only two years old. It is always hanging or not responding.

    Needless to say Ill never buy an HP product again. Then again it cost about $300.00 at Best Buy. How Best Buy can carry crap like this Ill never know. This computer should have been sold in a separate section called (not recommended)

    I looked at reviews for DELL inspiration 15, which is in my price range, but has bad reviews. I would prefer not to buy a tower. I also have a apple tablet.

    Can someone suggest a good high performance laptop for a low price.

    Thanks.
    \
    Meteore
     
    Meteore, Jul 22, 2013
    #1
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  2. Meteore

    Paul Guest

    You said the word "games", and games come in different types.

    The Windows Solitaire, does not require a lot of resources.

    The game Crysis does require a lot of resources.

    If you play a First Person Shooter (FPS) type of game, in
    a laptop that requires a better GPU.

    Cheap laptops use the chipset or processor GPU.

    Expensive laptops, use a separate MXM module with a
    "real" GPU on it. Which gets hot when you play games,
    but it does allow decent game performance.

    So if you're looking at a $300 unit, that's for Solitaire.

    This would be at the low end of gaming. Usual complaints about keyboard.

    "ASUS F75VD-NS51 Notebook, Core i5 3230M(2.60GHz), NVIDIA GeForce GT 610M $580"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230988

    If you go with an AMD processor, that shaves a few bucks off the price.
    The AMD processor has internal graphics, plus there is a separate GPU,
    and they operate the thing in CrossFire mode. And some aren't happy
    with the result.

    "Acer Aspire V3-551G-8454 Notebook, AMD A8-4500M(1.90GHz), Radeon HD 7670M $530"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215663

    AMD makes you fight for relevant details.

    http://products.amd.com/en-us/NotebookAPUDetail.aspx?id=35

    A8-4500M - dual core with dual issue = quad core, 1.9GHz
    Internal graphics 7640G

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_HD_7000_Series

    7640G Core = 256:16:8 3.97(GP/s) 7.94(GT/s)
    7670M Core = 480:24:8 4.8(GP/s) 14.4(GT/s)

    That's to give some idea, how the GPU inside the processor, compares
    to the separately provided "gaming" GPU. When operated in Crossfire,
    they're similar in nature, except the 7670M has its own memory chips.

    In this photo, the 7670M is underneath the upper black heatsink. It
    has four memory chips around it. AMD processor is on the right, plus
    room for two SODIMMS right next to it. That's how they design them, roughly.
    Since the above example machine is 15.6" panel, the PCB for the laptop
    cannot be too big, and there isn't room for an MXM style GPU.

    http://i.imgur.com/epml1.jpg

    Now, I can try matching the resources, to a desktop card. The
    clocks on this could be higher, so this isn't strictly accurate.
    This is just a means of defining "expectations".

    http://www.gpureview.com/Radeon-HD-6570-GDDR5-card-653.html

    HD 6570 GDDR5 Core = 480:24:8 5.2(GP/s) 15.6(GT/s)

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011-entry-level-graphics/Crysis-2-medium,2872.html

    Crysis 2 1680 x 1050 (DX9)
    Best AMD on chart 45.5 FPS
    Radeon HD 6570 19.3 FPS <--- where the laptop would be
    Radeon HD 5450 (HTPC card) 4.3 FPS

    So the $530 laptop is not the worst you could do. If the
    7670M wasn't there, you can see the other one (inside the CPU)
    is about half the performance.

    CPU benchmarking is rather evil, in that lots of times, the
    single threaded performance is the best metric. And yet there
    aren't readily available web pages with that stuff. Sites like
    Tomshardware and like this site, would rather rely on multi-threaded
    benchmarking instead.

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

    A8-4500M 1.9GHz passmark = 2718
    i5 3230M 2.60GHz passmark = 4009

    Well, at least that result seems reasonable.

    The GT-610M on the Asus...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Nvidia_graphics_processing_units

    610M Core = 48:8:4 3.6(GP/s) 7.2(GT/s)

    And in the comments column, it says "similar to GT 420 OEM desktop".
    Being OEM, we won't see that in the Tomshardware chart, but it'll be
    somewhere between 5-15FPS. So perhaps a bit weaker than the AMD based
    laptop.

    So somewhere around $600 to get something for "gaming", a lot less
    if you're just playing movies.

    And there's no such thing as a good keyboard on them.

    If I shop by rating, I end up closer to $1000 for a gamer.
    This one runs in SLI, which is silly. They should have
    just used one GPU, a better one. Would be less wasteful.
    One reviewer says, you can only practically game, with the
    adapter plugged in.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312438

    One other note. In the above, I show "Core = 48:8:4". You cannot
    compare those directly between NVidia and AMD. Instead, I use that
    info when attempting to map to a desktop video card, and from there,
    find a chart with frames per second during game play. I never
    expect good laptop benchmarking to exist.

    Just for fun, I tried the bestbuy.com site, entered the laptop
    section, and there are no search selectors to be seen. I checked
    the specs on one unit, and the GPU name seemed to be wrong. If
    that was the only site I had to work with, the shopping experience
    would be miserable. I need at least enough "hints", so I can
    comparison shop. Having a "bluray player" or an "HDMI output",
    is pretty useless info. The only specs, are the tactile ones
    (the stuff you can touch). It's like entering a "chocolate teapot"
    shop :) How can you select from 621 models, without some kind
    of hints ?

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jul 22, 2013
    #2
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  3. The pain of low quality remains long after the thrill of low cost is gone.
    You bought a pile of junk at a great price, stop complaining. If you don't
    want junk, then open your checkbook wider.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Jul 22, 2013
    #3
  4. Meteore

    rogpop001 Guest

    Paul,

    I have no technical knowledge about computers. I open them and start using them. All I wanted was a recommendation for a low price computer. Thanks anyways.

    meteore
     
    rogpop001, Jul 23, 2013
    #4
  5. Meteore

    Paul Guest

    If you use the Newegg site, you can sort the laptops
    by their customer ratings. And then read the customer
    feedback section, to see if there are any issues with
    your selection.

    You don't have to buy them here. Just use the customer
    feedback, to determine whether the laptop has any
    outstanding issues.

    In this example, the keyboard layout isn't really attractive,
    but I suppose you'd get used to it. The processor in this
    one is a dual core. It has three USB connectors on it,
    like my Acer laptop does. This would not be especially
    strong for games, and would be just a general purpose machine.

    Acer Aspire E1-531-2686 Notebook Intel Celeron 1.80GHz 15.6" 4GB DDR3 $378

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314104

    *******

    Also, I would not give up on your current laptop. For some of
    the later Windows OSes, you can download an installation DVD
    for the equivalent OS, and use the license key on the COA
    sticker of the laptop. And install an OS free of bloat.
    Then see if that helps.

    For example, my laptop has Windows 7 Home Premium on it, and
    I was able to find a matching installer DVD from the digitalriver
    site, for download (X17-24209). I needed that DVD, in case my
    Windows 7 SP1 ever needed to be repair installed (the DVD has
    to match the Service Pack level). I've checked, and it accepted
    the license key on the COA sticker. The idea of using the plain
    DVD from Microsoft, is it would not have the bloat on it.

    If your current laptop has a single core processor, that would
    explain a lot. Modern computers, you would want a minimum of a
    dual core. Any less than that, the computer is just too slow. And
    it does not take the addition of much other software, to make it
    useless. Even a printer driver installation, a webcam package, leaves
    enough unnecessary software running, to slow such a computer down.

    Before doing that, I would make a full backup of the hard drive.
    Having an external hard drive to connect to your laptop, in any
    case, will give you a place to store your backups. And make
    experiments like this, safe. If you don't find any difference,
    by installing a clean OS, you can always restore the laptop,
    from the backup you made.

    Downloading an OS DVD is a huge download, and is only feasible
    if you have a broadband connection. Or can sit in McDonalds and
    use the Wifi all day :)

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jul 23, 2013
    #5
  6. Meteore

    rogpop001 Guest

    I have this six year old computer running on Vista.
    I start computer and when it starts, it shows bios etc with a blank bar underneath it.
    The blank bar fills up halfway and stalls. and computer wont start up. I push computer button to restart and then it works,
    I recently removed a lot of old programs.
    I tried defragment option after I got it started. It did not solve problem.
    What is causing computer to stall on startup?


    Meteors
     
    rogpop001, Jul 25, 2013
    #6
  7. Meteore

    - Bobb - Guest

    Rather than trying to get the "best PC for $400", go on craigslist and see
    what's available in your area. Buy a 3 yr old XP, Win7 top of line with lots
    of memory rather than a new bottom of line Windows 8 model.
     
    - Bobb -, Jul 26, 2013
    #7
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