Purchasing new laptops

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by ck9791, May 31, 2016.

  1. ck9791

    ck9791 Rear Admiral

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    I have not bought a computer in six years am looking for some advice. I would like to buy two new laptops, one for myself and one for my wife and I am having some trouble deciding on how much we need. I will be using one of the laptops to do some work at home in MS Office, and to do some basic things online. My wife will use the other laptop for watching videos, reading, and playing games like the Sims. I would like to get some good laptops, but I don't think either of us need anything that is too powerful.

    How much RAM would I want for a laptop?

    Would I want a graphics card for my wife's laptop so she can play games like the Sims?

    What level of AMD or intel processors would I want?

    Are intel processors better or more reliable than AMD? I have noticed that AMD seems cheaper which is why I am asking.
     
  2. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    Make that the same question over here, but change "The Sims" to "Squadron 42" - just exploring some options there...
     
  3. centaurianmudpig

    centaurianmudpig Captain

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    Best advice I could give us to pick up a magazine that has a blow out of laptop reviews and make a decision off that.

    As for Star Citizen you will need a Octo Core i12 with Nvidia 2010 GT^10 or equivalent card for 10k gaming experience.

    In all seriousness i7 and ~980ti minimum.
     
  4. Ijuin

    Ijuin Admiral

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    Quad-core i5 and eight gigabytes of DDR3 RAM are the minimum specs to run S42/Star Citizen, more or less.
     
  5. Star Rider

    Star Rider Rear Admiral

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    For both Laptops I'd Recommend about 8GB of Memory Standard. That should be more than sufficient than for MS Office and basic online activities for you, and should be sufficient for your wife to play the Sims (Recommended Specs for Sims 4 is 4 GB of memory). If needed you can always have more RAM added bringing it up to 16GB which be enough to handle more advanced games.

    The Minimum Requirements for Sims 4 is 128 MB of Video RAM and support for Pixel Shader 3.0. so you could get away with Integrated Graphics along the lines of an Intel GMA X4500 . The Recommended requirements for Sims 4 is a Nvidia GTX 650 or better. So it really depends on your budget.

    For Playing Games like the Sims and watching Videos I'd recommend on the Intel side at minimum An Intel I5 6600 HQ That would give your Wife's Laptop a good balance of performance, future proofing and cost effectiveness. For MS Office and various web surfing you could get away with an Intel I3 6100

    The deal with AMD processors vs Intel from what I've heard from everyone is that AMD's tend to be more power hungry and run hotter, but they are capable of being Overclocked. Intel Processors are more energy efficient and don't tend to run as hot. So it's really a case of refinement.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  6. ck9791

    ck9791 Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for the recommendations Ijuin and Star Rider. I was thinking 8 GB on the RAM (maybe more if I can spare some money), but I wasn't sure about the need for a graphics card or what would be a decent processor.
     
  7. Star Rider

    Star Rider Rear Admiral

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    No Problem CK
     
  8. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

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    I prefer to use AMD in a desktop build for myself, because I don't mind tweaking around a bit, and it's more bang for the buck. However, as far as laptops go I'd definitely stick with intel. My last AMD build lasted almost ten years(May 2006/September 2015, only swapping videocards and hard drives, and it was only the limitation of 4GB of memory due to the old CPU's architecture(Athlon64x2 "Toledo" socket 939) that pretty much enforced me to upgrade it.

    CPU:
    AMD is targeted at the lower end of the laptop segment, and that also means the laptop in general is a cheaper quality build. I have at this moment five laptops lying around based on AMD APU's I got from friends after restoring the data, all with thesame issue; mainboard fried just out of the 2-years standard warranty. Importing a new mainboard for these machines would bring me at a total of €150 euro's at least, while just getting a brandnew, a more modern "successor" machine is available off the shelves for under €300,-. And I really would not recommend overclocking a laptop APU, the housing and it's coolant system are not something you can easily mod or replace in a laptop. I'd say go with an Intel I5 too, true I7 systems are also on the market, but clunky and expensive, avoid the i7Vpro.

    Graphics:
    If the system offers an optional AMD R5 R250 graphics module, avoid it, had one in a business system over a year ago, and the difference between using that module or disabling it was under 5%. Tried a vanilla install and set everything up by hand, same story, I just bought a nice AMD sticker. Nvidia's mobile graphics will have a bigger impact.
    Also watch the screen panel, it's not much use to go with a system that can handle 1920x1080 or more if the screen panel on the system can only display 1366x768.

    Memory(and pretty much the only thing you'd be able to upgrade):
    A decision you really want to make is the ram configuration, when you purchase them, you can often see the memory layout in the system; in general you only have two slots. If your laptops would have 2 4gb modules, you'd end up throwing stuff away when upgrading. Try to get them both with single 8gb modules(they'll be identical), when you upgrade you can give her a cheap random third party 8gb module, and place both original 8GB modules in your system, giving you the dual channel functionality as an extra free performance boost. You might instead(depending on how the memory module market goes), choose to buy 2x16gb for yourself, and install both original 8GB modules in her system, win-win.

    Storage:

    Try to get your system outfitted with an SSD(or replace the hard drive yourself if that turns out cheaper). If you tend to use lots of documents or large chunks of data, purchase a seperate NAS(or build one out of your old PC), and put it on a wired connection, leaving space on the laptop. Then you should have enough space to do pretty much everything with a 320 or even 250gb SSD.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  9. dennis12

    dennis12 Spaceman

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    Most important things is: Core i5 and at least 8 or 12 gigs of ram :) And try to catch a SSD - HDD combined one, a small hdd for the op system, and the hdd for the other things
     
  10. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator Staff Member

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