choosing a new laptop

  gary46 13:47 09 Nov 2007

i need advice on buying a new laptop to be used mainly for internet, storing photos,music etc,but would also like to be able to use it for a bit of casual gaming. ipresume i will need a dedicated graphics card,if so which one would be best wihin my budget? do i go for intel or amd ?Any recomenations on suppliers/laptops would be a great help. I Have a maximum of £700. Many thanks

  Why wont it work 16:55 09 Nov 2007

I would go for an Intel Core 2 Duo based laptop, they are the fastest mobile processors around and have the longest battery life. Look for the 'Centrino' logo, although if possible avoid the older Core Duo processors (which can also be labelled as 'Centrino' as they are older and inferior.) In terms of performance, AMD cannot match Intel and they are not much cheaper for that.

Look for a laptop with 2gb ram and with regards to the graphics card, yes you do need a dedicated one for gaming. Ideally try and go for a Nvidia Goforce 8600 series or ATI Mobility Radeon HD2600 series, there are several variations of these, hence me putting series, but they will all perform well for a laptop graphics card. Failing that, the Nvidia Goforce 8400 series or ATI Mobility Radeon HD2400 series provide adequate performance, although they may well struggle with even fairly modern games. You could also consider the older Nvidia 7600 series or ATI X1600/X1700 series, but keep in mind these cards are older and do not support DirectX 10 like the the aforementioned cards.

wclick here and click here are good, well respected suppliers. My favourite brand of laptop is Asus (they build many of the Sony Vaio lineup and are thus very good quality) as they look good and, unusually, have a 2 year warranty. Toshiba is another very good make.

  wjrt 18:58 09 Nov 2007

click here
gives a good idea of what to look for

  gary46 22:15 09 Nov 2007

thanks for the advice so far.ihave been looking at a few companies and came across a dell inspiration 1520 (£729).i would put a link to the web site but not to sure how to do it ,sorry.any comments on the spec would be a big help.

  citadel 22:49 09 Nov 2007

that 1520 looks ok. good size hard drive, cpu good, memory good. graphics mean you will be playing on med to low settings in games.

  gary46 23:01 09 Nov 2007

my old desktop won't run half life 2,would the laptop be able to run it at decent settings?

  Totally-braindead 23:35 09 Nov 2007

Heres a link to the 1520 click here can't say personally whether it would be ok with Half Life 2 because some PC games don't like notebook graphics and I don't know if Half Life 2 runs ok with Vista.

So I'll have to leave it for someone else to answer.

  gary46 08:09 10 Nov 2007

thanks for putting the link on totally braindead

  Why wont it work 11:35 10 Nov 2007

Indeed, the Inspiron 1520 'Gold' looks like a very capable laptop. It has an excellent processor, strong graphics card and plenty of ram and hard drive space. Dell make some good gear and I don't think you would be dissappointed with it looking at the spec.

  jimmybond 15:47 10 Nov 2007

the 8600M GT scores about 3200 in 3dMark06, which will cope easily with HL2. You have to remember you're only pushing a 1280x1024 display, so it's not as demanding as a higher resolution 17" screen would be.
I've run HL2 on a vista laptop, 1920x1200 screen res, all settings at max, and it coped fine(nVidia 7950GTX)

  citadel 17:23 10 Nov 2007

on the dell site it has the 8600m gt as using ddr2 for the 1520. this will slow it down.

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