Advice on what laptop to buy please

  Sweetcakes 16:53 30 Nov 2009

Hi there

I need to get my daughter a laptop for Xmas - haven't got much money to spare, but she needs one for typing school essays and using her Bamboo tablet on, plus she loves playing the sims 3, so would like a laptop on which she could easily play that on too - any suggestions of what would be a good one for all these at a reasonable price?

Many thanks.

  User-1229748 16:57 30 Nov 2009

sims 3 system requirements click here

  GaT7 17:19 30 Nov 2009

For SIMS 3 (& any 3D game for that matter) the most important aspect is the graphics card.

You should be aiming for one with a minimum of a HD 4570 or above. This comprehensive mobility GPU benchmark list will help click here - the 4570 lies around the middle of the fourth section (scrolling downwards) - any other card above it in the list will also do. I reckon graphics cards up to the 8600M GS (lower down the list) will also do, but wouldn't recommend going any lower. G

  GaT7 18:42 30 Nov 2009

A HD 4530 may be good enough - from click here at least.

The 4530 lies about 6 places below the 8600M GS in the above benchmark list.

Somebody has posed the same query - i.e. suitability of a HD 4530 - on the official Sims 3 forum click here, but there's been no response so far. G

  Sweetcakes 18:51 30 Nov 2009

but this all reads too technical for me, although I'm trying to understand it and take it all in - but on an "nah, not sinking in" note - could anyone make suggestions of what laptop would be suitable so I can go into PC World or Currys etc, and say I want a "blah, blah, blah laptop", without then being told by store staff that it's not what I need and them trying to sell me a (much) dearer laptop - sorry if that's asking too much and being really cheeky, but all help greatly appreciated! :-)

  john bunyan 19:06 30 Nov 2009

Whichever one you choose, if I were you I would get one with Windows 7 pre - installed, as it is becoming the operating system of choice. A repair man told me that Toshiba and Asus (not Acer) are the easiest to repair ... Others will no doubt suggest actual models.

  GaT7 23:38 30 Nov 2009

Not sure what models the shops do in-store, so if you can have a look yourself & possibly post their weblinks, we could tell you if they are suitable or not.

Another thing to let us know is your budget.

Couple of simple things to keep in mind when searching for a suitable one, or to tell the shop assistant:

1. Need one with a dedicated graphics card (i.e. one with integrated/onboard graphics will not do)

2. The graphics card has to be a HD 4530, or better (the benchmark list I posted earlier has an exhaustive list you can keep referring to).

You don't really need anything else, as I'm sure 99% of laptops these days will be suitable with respect to the other specs - minimum of a dual-core CPU, 2Gb RAM, etc. G

  Sweetcakes 08:28 01 Dec 2009

That's great - thank you all very much for your help - I'll shop around today.

  Sweetcakes 13:01 02 Dec 2009
  GaT7 13:37 02 Dec 2009

No, as it has integrated graphics. Sims 3 will play, but only likely to do so comfortably on the lowest settings. Your daughter will want better than that I'm sure.

Refer to the list again click here. Crtl+F in your browser to bring up the search option & enter 4500. This will take you to the 4500 results for Sims 3 - the figures are very low.

As I said before, a 4570 or similar will be a good option without raising the overall price too much - hopefully! G

  GaT7 13:46 02 Dec 2009

According to click here, these are the brands & models that have the 4570:

Acer Aspire 5536G (AMD Athlon X2 QL-64, 15.6")

Acer Aspire 5738DZG (Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300, 15.6")

Acer Aspire 5738PG (Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 15.6")

Acer Aspire 7535G-824G50Mn (AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-82, 17.3")

Asus K50AB (AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-84, 15.6")

Asus K70AB (AMD Turion X2 RM-74, 17.3")

Asus U80V (Intel Core 2 Duo T9550, 14.0")

Dell Studio 1555 (Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 15.6")

Packard Bell EasyNote LJ65 (Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200, 17.3")

Sony Vaio VGN-NW11S/S (Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 15.5")

Sony Vaio VGN-NW11Z/S (Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 15.5")

Sony Vaio VGN-NW160J (Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 15.5")

Sony Vaio VGN-NW180J/S (Intel Core 2 Duo P7350, 15.5")

Sony Vaio VGN-SR41M/S (Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 13.3")

Sony Vaio VGN-SR420J/B (Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 13.3")

Toshiba Satellite L500-128 (Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 15.6")

Toshiba Satellite L550D-10G (AMD Athlon X2 QL-65, 17.3")

Toshiba Satellite P300-24Z (Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 17.0")

Toshiba Satellite U500-115 (Intel Core 2 Duo P8700, 13.3")

Toshiba Satellite U500-11C (Intel Core 2 Duo P7350, 13.3")

Likewise if you visit the 4530 page click here & scroll lower down for the list of models that have it.

The above is only for the 4570 & 4350 - there are many graphics cards inbetween to check out too.

Always double-check with the actual spec before buying. G

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