1. #1

    Buying a new laptop to last me a while, found one, opinions appreciated

    I'm looking to buy the 15R Special Edition:
    http://www.dell.com/ca/p/laptop-deal...TFKB5-L6OHB-v1

    Today it's 1000$, but tomorrow Dell will have a Webcrasher sale on it meaning it will go down to either 800$ or 900$ (they had this for the Student sale 2 weeks ago). As you can see its processor, RAM and graphics card are very good for its price. I will also get the 4 year basic warranty, so with taxes that will bring me to a maximum of 1,436$ Canadian (tomorrow it will be even cheaper with the sale). As a reference point, I don't want to spend more than 1600$.

    My last Dell, Inspiron 1520, still serves me as my main laptop/computer to this day, almost 5 years later. I've recently upgraded its HD, RAM and CPU and will be giving it to my parents, a huge upgrade over their P4.

    I have no intention of buying Macintosh or Alienware computers. Other than that, anyone have any better suggestions for a laptop that could serve me faithfully for 3-4 years before I can start thinking of serious upgrades? I don't intend to run Crysis 4 on max settings 2 years from now, but if I can run it at all, that's good enough for me.

    Thanks in advance and sorry for my endless blabbering about my life.
    Last edited by ThisWillNotStand; 2012-08-27 at 08:06 PM.

  2. #2
    High Overlord Deathguard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThisWillNotStand View Post
    I'm looking to buy the 15R Special Edition:
    http://www.dell.com/ca/p/laptop-deal...TFKB5-L6OHB-v1

    Today it's 1000$, but tomorrow Dell will have a Webcrasher sale on it meaning it will go down to either 800$ or 900$ (they had this for the Student sale 2 weeks ago). As you can see its processor, RAM and graphics card are very good for its price. I will also get the 4 year basic warranty, so with taxes that will bring me to a maximum of 1,436$ Canadian (tomorrow it will be even cheaper with the sale). As a reference point, I don't want to spend more than 1600$.

    My last Dell, Inspiron 1520, still serves me as my main laptop/computer to this day, almost 5 years later. I've recently upgraded its HD, RAM and CPU and will be giving it to my parents, a huge upgrade over their P4.

    I have no intention of buying Macintosh or Alienware computers. Other than that, anyone have any better suggestions for a laptop that could serve me faithfully for 3-4 years before I can start thinking of serious upgrades? I don't intend to run Crysis 4 on max settings 2 years from now, but if I can run it at all, that's good enough for me.

    Thanks in advance and sorry for my endless blabbering about my life.
    No no no... If you are looking even a bit into gaming, nor the CPU, or the GPU will help you in that... I dont see why you are so negative against Alienware... The Alienware M14X, is a waaaaaay better one, providing an i5 3210M Processor and a pretty nive GT 650M GPU, at 999$, if you are looking to buy from Dell

  3. #3
    Should be enough to run games, but at some pretty reduced settings.

    There is some talk of the 7730M graphics card below:

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=2767106

  4. #4
    I've just heard recently that Alienware computers have been having a lot of issues even though they pride themselves as high quality gaming computers.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathguard View Post
    No no no... If you are looking even a bit into gaming, nor the CPU, or the GPU will help you in that... I dont see why you are so negative against Alienware... The Alienware M14X, is a waaaaaay better one, providing an i5 3210M Processor and a pretty nive GT 650M GPU, at 999$, if you are looking to buy from Dell
    The i5-3210M is better than the i7-3612QM?

  6. #6
    Legendary! vindicatorx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThisWillNotStand View Post
    I've just heard recently that Alienware computers have been having a lot of issues even though they pride themselves as high quality gaming computers.
    Seeing Dell makes Alienware I am not sure why you are so against them.

  7. #7
    Don't get me wrong I am not AGAINST Alienware, I am just wary. I know Dell out of experience to be good quality, but I've never owned an Alienware, and since they usually charge more for the same components than a regular or XPS Dell, I wouldn't want to be stuck w/ a more expensive laptop that dies faster.

    And I don't know if Dell makes Alienware or they just bought the company (Alienware used to be independent). It's like Activision doesn't make Blizzard games (or so they say), but they still own Blizzard (for some reason).
    Last edited by ThisWillNotStand; 2012-08-27 at 10:36 PM.

  8. #8
    High Overlord Deathguard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThisWillNotStand View Post
    Don't get me wrong I am not AGAINST Alienware, I am just wary. I know Dell out of experience to be good quality, but I've never owned an Alienware, and since they usually charge more for the same components than a regular or XPS Dell, I wouldn't want to be stuck w/ a more expensive laptop that dies faster.

    And I don't know if Dell makes Alienware or they just bought the company (Alienware used to be independent). It's like Activision doesn't make Blizzard games (or so they say), but they still own Blizzard (for some reason).
    Alienware= Daughter company of Dell... It was always like that... Could you provide some links, of people claiming having issues with Alienware? Maybe you are confusing Alienware with Razer

  9. #9
    It's just stuff I read a while back about GPUs failing or BSODs and customer service being terrible at helping, it left an impression on me which I didn't bother to demystify too much. But I wouldn't pay 400$ extra on that M14x.

  10. #10
    If you want it for gaming, the GT650m will serve you well. It's the exact same chip as the GTX660m, just clocked 100MHz slower. This is easily rectified by using a program such as MSI Afterburner, without it taking any extra power or cause extra heat.

    The things you might be hearing about Alienware have been going on since Dell bought them back in 2002. Yes, the quality has been going down bit by bit, but they are still very solid laptops. Combined with discounts you can sometimes get from Dell, they are often cheaper and more durable than say the Asus G55 and the MSI GT60. Just keep in mind that you should not buy things like extra RAM or an SSD from Dell, because they have a 200-400% margin on those. Buy them yourself from a shop like newegg and save yourself several hundred dollars in the process.

    Now, about that Inspiron 15R SE you're looking at. It has an ulv (ultra low voltage) processor, which should not be used in a full size laptop. You'll be hurting your own performance just to get more battery life. Great for an ultrabook where portability and having no wall sockets while travelling is key, but not for a regular laptop. The HD7730m is a somewhat mediocre graphics card. It's not bad, but isn't all that good compared to the GT650m (which can be overclocked to the same performance as the 660). See this list for reference. The only thing I think is wrong with the M14X that was linked is the screen. 1366x768 resolution is just terrible compared to the 1080p you're getting in the Inspiron, and I would not take it for just that one reason.

    You might want to look into the Inspiron 17R, if it is not too big and/or heavy for your purposes. For 899$ US you have one with a 1440*900 resolution screen. Add 100$ US to that and you have 1920*1080p. It has a full voltage i5 3210m CPU and a 2GB GT650m graphics card. Both are better than you'd get in the 15R SE. The only thing you will be missing is a 32GB mSATA caching SSD which is included with the 15R SE. The 17R SE on the other hand has one empty harddisk bay, which you can fill up with an SSD of your own, if you fancy a little fiddling.

  11. #11
    Wow ty for the very concise information! But how does having more voltage result in better performance even though the Inspiron 15R has an i7 and the 17R has an i5?

    Also thanks for the great list! But it looks like the 7770M isn't that far behind the GT650M, or is it?

    And another question, why do Dell keep selling laptops with 5400RPM HDs? Why don't they make them all 7200RPM? Looking at the Alienwares it's the same thing.
    Last edited by ThisWillNotStand; 2012-08-28 at 01:25 PM.

  12. #12
    ULV processors are slower because they have less available power. i5 vs i7 does not say a whole lot. The i7 would be a quadcore with lower speeds on all cores, compared to the higher performance per core from the i5. Games and most applications still mainly use single cores to handle their requirements, so having a higher clocked dual core will give you more juice than a lower clocked quad.

    And indeed, the 7730m isn't a terrible card. It just doesn't have as much performance potential as the 650 does.


    It all depends on what you fancy, 15 or 17 inch. Both will serve you well I think!

    As for the 5400RPM disks? Probably cheaper for them to buy and they can sell them for the same price as they do 7200RPM ones. I don't think the power requirement matters that much these days anymore.

  13. #13
    Good stuff. Just about the 5400RPM disks again, aren't they slower? I mean who would want to buy a 5400RPM when 7200RPM is like 30% faster and already way behind SSDs?

  14. #14
    5400 RPM does not necessarily mean slower. A 1TB 5400RPM disk has a higher data density than a 750GB 7200RPM one has, because the physical size of the platters remain the same but contain more/less data. Therefore the data can be read faster, as it's closer to each other on the disk.

    If the disk is used together with an SSD, you don't often have to have a fast harddisk. As they are then used for data storage, for which they are fast enough.
    Last edited by Nixy23; 2012-08-28 at 05:23 PM.

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