Recommend Me A Laptop

TheGameguru wrote:

Heat is heat.. has nothing to do specific with Alienware.. its all about the GPU.. the more powerful the GPU the more heat it will dissipate.

Gaming Laptops and Heat kinda go hand in hand.. as well as size and weight.

The 540M is decent.. it will chug with many games at 1920X1200 and will require some decent cooling.

Yeah of course the heat probs have nothing to do with Alienware as a brand, I wasn't saying that. Just that my sweetspot between Intel Graphics-cheap-cool and KickassGPU-expensive-smoking hot is at around 'decent'. Civ 5 shouldn't require more than 'decent'

Asus is now off my list.

dejanzie wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Heat is heat.. has nothing to do specific with Alienware.. its all about the GPU.. the more powerful the GPU the more heat it will dissipate.

Gaming Laptops and Heat kinda go hand in hand.. as well as size and weight.

The 540M is decent.. it will chug with many games at 1920X1200 and will require some decent cooling.

Yeah of course the heat probs have nothing to do with Alienware as a brand, I wasn't saying that. Just that my sweetspot between Intel Graphics-cheap-cool and KickassGPU-expensive-smoking hot is at around 'decent'. Civ 5 shouldn't require more than 'decent'

Asus is now off my list.

I've very successfully run Civ V on an Alienware M11x R2 (core i5 ULV & 335M). I think I had it on mostly low settings and was getting very playable fps. Not suggesting to get one of those, but I wanted to say that Civ V can run on low end hardware.

Tuffalobuffalo, that's all I needed to hear. You get me.

Our ASUS problems:

My wife and I both got ASUS gaming laptops last year, different sizes/models/etc. Her HD died completely in the first couple months, along with any data that wasn't backed up. Mine has never run games as well as my previous laptop, despite beefier specs. It also spontaneously powers off (no shut down, just immediate lack of any power) from time to time, which I'm guessing is heat related.

I wouldn't buy a Sager again, but ASUS is at the bottom of my list.

Thanks for the input. I am as of last week in possession of a ASUS G53SW laptop as a deal popped up and I was in need of something. It's primarily a home machine / development machine moonlighting as a gaming machine. So far so good and I'll keep my fingers crossed. Doesn't run hot at all so far. Noticeably less hot than the cheapo Toshiba laptop we "inherited" from my mom, at least during non-gaming use. I had it on my lap for about 2 hours last night while I was developing with no problems.

One thing I like is that I can take it upstairs, plug it in via HDMI into my receiver and now I have large-screen 1080p, surround sound gaming with my BT keyboard and mouse. Yay!

I ordered the Sony Vaio F5 laptop, and would like to expand the memory immediately.

Would this RAM work?

Them's the specs:

Intel® CoreTM i5-2430M 2,40GHz
Windows® 7 Home Premium
Nederlands (QWERTY)
Zilver
500 GB Serieel ATA (7200 rpm)
4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3-SDRAM
Blu-ray Disc(TM) player
41,6 cm LCD, 1920x1080 Plus
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M 1GB

dejanzie wrote:

I ordered the Sony Vaio F5 laptop, and would like to expand the memory immediately.

Would this RAM work?

Them's the specs:

Intel® CoreTM i5-2430M 2,40GHz
Windows® 7 Home Premium
Nederlands (QWERTY)
Zilver
500 GB Serieel ATA (7200 rpm)
4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3-SDRAM
Blu-ray Disc(TM) player
41,6 cm LCD, 1920x1080 Plus
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M 1GB

I checked the configuration options on the Sony Vaio F, and it says the 4 GB option is one stick. You would definitely have an open slot. However, mixing brands/types can be tricky even if they are both rated at 1333 MHz and the same size IIRC. You might buy 2 sticks of the Corsair since it is so cheap. Try using 1 mixed with the stick the laptop comes with. If that works, you could return the other stick. If not, you could try using both Corsair sticks in the laptop. That's probably what I would try.

I haven't tried mixing RAM before, so other people on here would be more knowledgeable than me.

Mixing RAM may not matter that much on a laptop. The two sticks are probably on separate channels. If you mix RAM on the same channel, you get all the worst timings for both sticks, so it's not usually a good idea.

I'd probably buy one stick of the Corsair, install it, and then run CPU-Z and verify that they're on separate channels. If not, then I'd pick up another stick of the Corsair. If so, I'd leave it be.

Malor wrote:

Mixing RAM may not matter that much on a laptop. The two sticks are probably on separate channels. If you mix RAM on the same channel, you get all the worst timings for both sticks, so it's not usually a good idea.

I'd probably buy one stick of the Corsair, install it, and then run CPU-Z and verify that they're on separate channels. If not, then I'd pick up another stick of the Corsair. If so, I'd leave it be.

Thanks for giving real advice so I don't have to feel bad about my "just throwing it out there" advice.

Thanks as well for clearing my confusion. With my current laptop I just bought RAM with the correct frequency and it worked without a hitch. I'm going to wait for the laptop to arrive (15-20 October) and see if there's anything there to reassure me

I checked the manual online and googled a bit, found nothing useful.

Is 2 x 2GB better than 1x 4GB btw, like with desktops? I mean in addition to the 4 GB already installed in the Chinese factory, of course.

Probably. We can't tell from here whether that's one channel per stick, or one channel shared between the two. If it's the former, then having two sticks should run faster than one. If it's the latter, if it's just one channel, then it won't make any difference.

I would expect it to be one channel per stick, but having only one memory channel would save money, and the lack wouldn't be immediately apparent unless you tried to do some real number-crunching. Most people never really do that, and so Sony could potentially save money, while getting few complaints about the performance limitations.

And it comes in Zilver! Don't see zilver too often.

deleted

'ello, mates. I'm reviewing some options for an updated system, and all my wallowing in the Help Me Build a PC thread notwithstanding, I think I'm going to move into a new laptop instead. Not sure when it's happening, but as of today the CPU fan on my Thinkpad R61i is fritzed. Can't boot due to fan error. This is the replacement fan, installed about 11 months ago.

It's probably a truism that all manufacturers make decent laptops if you spend more money, with some graded exceptions. My guess is I'd be able to liberate $500-600 for a laptop. General light web/email/YouTube activity, of course, but also Gimp/Inkscake, Minecraft, hopefully FO[3,:NV] and even some newer games, would be nice. I'd like to eventually push this out to an HD monitor, but that's closer than not to a pipedream.

The two things I'm focusing on (after price) are build quality and GPU. The Intel HD 4000 looks okay statistically but for a little more dough I could move into an AMD 7550M or the like. The latter appears much beefier, but from what I can tell the Intel HD 4000 suffices for low-med settings in recent games. Anyone have first-hand experience with either the HD 4000 or higher-end AMD or nVidia mobile GPUs?

As to build quality, I love my wife's MBP (first aluminum unibody, I think) but I'd rather go PC both to save money and to make dual-booting Linux and Windows easier (or at least more familiar). I used to think the Sony Vaios were princy crap but it's a fully unqualified opinion someone handed me, I guess. Newegg users seem relatively fond of ASUS, and my mom's is built well-enough. Is there a brand to prefer, or even a brand to avoid?

Thanks for your help.