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    Ok guys, I need some laptop advice (Purchase).

    Here's the requirements (For my girlfriend):

    Has to be able to run the Sims 3 (link below for specs), be capable of facebook etc. But the benchmark is Sims 3, anything after that is obviously going to be fine.

    Now, I being the technical type have the preconceived notion of what I expect from the laptop in terms of specs and price. I'm aiming for a £500 budget and with that looking for:

    A Core 2 Duo Processor of 2.2 GHz+
    3+GB RAM
    320+GB HDD
    15.6+" Screen
    Decent graphics (This is my downfall - I have no idea on graphics cards).
    The operating system is unimportant as I will be wiping the HDD and installing a legal Windows 7 Pro version on (This will also remove all the standard bloatware that comes preinstalled, after I have taken an image/backup for the sake of having it)

    Furthermore, I believe Toshiba produce the most robust laptops - If you want to prove me wrong, please do, although I don't have much faith in Acer (if I did, this would be easy).

    Now, I have been having a look around for a while and was going to settle on a Tosh, however the graphics are basic. Having another look today, I found a few more on Play.

    If anyone has time, can you run your eyes over these (links and important specs in next post) and offer some advice on the best one to go for? We're looking for a reliable manufacturer that can handle the Sims 3.

    And before someone posts it, yes I KNOW she could get a desktop at half the price and twice the power, but the laptop is a much better option due to portability, BELIEVE ME.

    So with that, all help will be very much appreciated and you will be giving me a great hand.

    23 Comments

    Original Poster

    Sims 3 Specs:

    thesims3.com/gam…req

    FOR WINDOWS VISTA (Or 7 in my opinion, the XP specs are less so I am posting the higher vista specs)
    •2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
    •1.5 GB RAM
    •128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
    •Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1
    •At least 6.1 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games

    For computers using built-in graphics chipsets under Windows, the game requires at least:
    •Intel Integrated Chipset, GMA 3-Series or above
    •2.6 GHz Pentium D CPU, or 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo, or equivalent
    •0.5 GB additional RAM

    Windows Supported Video Cards
    NVIDIA GeForce series
    FX 5900, FX 5950
    6200, 6500, 6600, 6800
    7200, 7300, 7600, 7800, 7900, 7950
    8400, 8500, 8600, 8800
    9300, 9400, 9500, 9600, 9800
    G100, GT 120, GT 130, GTS 150
    GTS 250, GTX 260, GTX 280, GTX 285, GTX 295
    ATI Radeon™ series
    9500, 9600, 9800
    X300, X600, X700, X800, X850
    X1300, X1600, X1800, X1900, X1950
    2400, 2600, 2900
    3450, 3650, 3850, 3870
    4850, 4870
    Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA)
    GMA 3-Series, GMA 4-Series
    Laptop versions of these chipsets may work, but may run comparatively slower. Standalone cards that are installed in vanilla PCI slots (not PCIe or PCIx or AGP), such as some GeForce FX variants, will perform poorly.
    Integrated chipsets such as the ATI Xpress and the NVIDIA TurboCache variants may default to settings that are higher than what would be optimal for them. Graphics settings can be lowered to improve performance.
    The NVIDIA GeForce FX series is unsupported under Vista.

    Original Poster

    First up is the Toshiba that I was set on:

    amazon.co.uk/Tos…1-1

    Core specs:
    Price: £490
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T6600 - 2.2GHz, 800MHz FSB.
    Memory: 4GB
    HDD: 320GB
    Graphics: Mobile Intel GMA 4500M 1340 Mb UMA (Downfall here I think?)
    15.6" Screen.

    ------------------------------------------------

    Next is an Acer from Play

    play.com/PC/…nre

    Price: £470
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 2 GHz
    Memory: 3GB
    HDD: 250GB
    Graphics Card: nVidia 9300GS 256MB (Redeeming feature?)
    Screen: 16"
    Also has bluray but that's not important.

    ------------------------------

    Play's Acer of the week:

    play.com/PC/…nre

    Price: £480
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2GHz
    Memory: 4GB
    HD Capacity: 320GB
    Display: 15.6"
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 4570 512MB (I'm assuming this is leaps and bounds better than onboard of Toshiba?)

    If this was a Tosh, I'd buy it now - But it's an Acer, so I'm very apprehensive.

    -------------------------------------

    An outsider now from HP

    play.com/PC/…nre

    Price: £500
    Processor: AMD Turion II Dual-Core Mobile Processor M520 2.3GHz
    Memory: 4GB
    HD Capacity: 320GB
    Display: 15.6"
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 4530 512MB

    I'm not convinced about this one, sounds nice, but again, unsure, especially with the processor.

    --------------------------------

    These are the 4 for now. I'm trying to negociate a Dell Studio laptop at the moment at a discounted rate, but it's looking unlikely, hence the post - If the Dell deal comes through, then I'm sorted. But I need a fall back - What do you guys think of these? If you have other recommendations, I'm happy to see them!

    Original Poster

    Come on, the post isn't that long

    Original Poster

    Ffs, if I had made the title "Technie help needed x0mg" or "Need a geek" or some shizzle, I would have had an answer by now, or had a dozen recommendations...

    I can't help knowing something about what I'm trying to achieve damnit!

    If you don't like acer options then go for the HP. I have had acers now for years, acers have outlasted my HP/compaq cousins.

    My choice.

    Price: £480
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2GHz
    Memory: 4GB
    HD Capacity: 320GB
    Display: 15.6"
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 4570 512MB (I'm assuming this is leaps and bounds better than onboard of Toshiba?)

    If this was a Tosh, I'd buy it now - But it's an Acer, so I'm very apprehensive.

    Original Poster

    Adam2050;7164589

    If you don't like acer options then go for the HP. I have had acers now … If you don't like acer options then go for the HP. I have had acers now for years, acers have outlasted my HP/compaq cousins.My choice.Price: £480Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2GHzMemory: 4GBHD Capacity: 320GBDisplay: 15.6"Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 4570 512MB (I'm assuming this is leaps and bounds better than onboard of Toshiba?)If this was a Tosh, I'd buy it now - But it's an Acer, so I'm very apprehensive.



    Fabulous. I think that Acers feel pretty flimsy though, the build isn't spectacular on them really.

    If any problems occur with the laptop you see, yours truely will be the one to blame and also have to fix it. I'm wanting to minimise this risk But also secure the best purchase for my dearest darling.

    Thanks for your input Adam, any thoughts on the GFX cards?

    Its pretty good I think from what I know of its full size counter part.

    Best thing would be to go searching for none problems before purchasing. Also look at the extended warranty.

    Original Poster

    Adam2050;7164737

    Its pretty good I think from what I know of its full size counter … Its pretty good I think from what I know of its full size counter part.Best thing would be to go searching for none problems before purchasing. Also look at the extended warranty.



    Yeah, I'll need to research each one to be sure.

    The warranty really I would avoid to be honest, since it usually costs almost as much as the blasted thing!

    You not fancy Dell? They have some offers on at the moment?

    Price: £480
    Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor T4300 (2.1GHz, 800MHz, 1MB cache)
    Memory: 4GB
    HD Capacity: 320GB
    Display: 15.6"
    Graphics Card: 512MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 4570
    With Hi-Def LED Screen, Graphics Card, Surround Sound and HDMI connection
    Includes 60 FREE SONG DOWNLOADS & 1 year FREE music streaming on demand. - From Napster (Don't know if thats good or not)

    Original Poster

    macseffect;7164802

    You not fancy Dell? They have some offers on at the moment?



    I do fancy Dell and was looking at a Studio 17, but was quoted £680 for it - Too much imo.

    In negociations with a friend with contacts in Dell to see if I can get it sub £600.

    However, if you have spotted a well spec'd Dell, please post it as I'm very interested

    Original Poster

    macseffect;7164802

    You not fancy Dell? They have some offers on at the moment?Price: … You not fancy Dell? They have some offers on at the moment?Price: £480Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor T4300 (2.1GHz, 800MHz, 1MB cache)Memory: 4GBHD Capacity: 320GBDisplay: 15.6"Graphics Card: 512MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 4570With Hi-Def LED Screen, Graphics Card, Surround Sound and HDMI connectionIncludes 60 FREE SONG DOWNLOADS & 1 year FREE music streaming on demand. - From Napster (Don't know if thats good or not)



    (Napster thing is of no interest)

    Link to that laptop? If it was a C2D processor I'd be mucho interested.

    macseffect;7164802

    You not fancy Dell? They have some offers on at the moment?Price: … You not fancy Dell? They have some offers on at the moment?Price: £480Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor T4300 (2.1GHz, 800MHz, 1MB cache)Memory: 4GBHD Capacity: 320GBDisplay: 15.6"Graphics Card: 512MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 4570With Hi-Def LED Screen, Graphics Card, Surround Sound and HDMI connectionIncludes 60 FREE SONG DOWNLOADS & 1 year FREE music streaming on demand. - From Napster (Don't know if thats good or not)



    There you go?

    If thats got blu-ray I will drool.

    Original Poster

    Adam2050;7164893

    There you go?If thats got blu-ray I will drool.



    Ffs, improving the processor to a C2D adds about £100 -.-

    Near enough works out at the same price as the Studio 17.

    Bah. May have to consider this.

    No Blu-Ray I am afraid lol

    You can see the deal here > ]Dell Deals (3rd in list)

    or

    Alter the laptop to your specs here > ]Build Me

    DragonChris;7164943

    Ffs, improving the processor to a C2D adds about £100 -.-



    Does the extra cache make that much difference?

    The important information you've been leaving out is what sort of memory the cards using, GDDR3 makes a huge difference over DDR2. GDDR is different from DDR and faster for the same number.

    The C2D will be worth the extra investment, because the extra cache will make a big noticeable difference performance-wise, i.e faster loading, and less stuttering!

    Gfx in Laptops, your base should be at least a Geforce 9400. That AMD gfx spec is good in the acer. Anything less than these in a laptop is like being a heavy metal guitarist without any arms!

    Original Poster

    jpxdude;7165749

    The C2D will be worth the extra investment, because the extra cache will … The C2D will be worth the extra investment, because the extra cache will make a big noticeable difference performance-wise, i.e faster loading, and less stuttering!Gfx in Laptops, your base should be at least a Geforce 9400. That AMD gfx spec is good in the acer. Anything less than these in a laptop is like being a heavy metal guitarist without any arms!



    Now we're talking!

    Now, compared to the Geforce 9400, what is a 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 like?

    I imagine there's little difference really in a C2D and a simple DC, but I would rather get the better tech if possible!

    So, advice on the gfx I mentioned? Looking more likely we're heading in a Dell Studio 17 now :P

    Original Poster

    EndlessWaves;7165666

    Does the extra cache make that much difference?The important information … Does the extra cache make that much difference?The important information you've been leaving out is what sort of memory the cards using, GDDR3 makes a huge difference over DDR2. GDDR is different from DDR and faster for the same number.



    Well I would imagine most modern laptops would come with at least DDR2 ;-)

    DragonChris;7168741

    Now we're talking!Now, compared to the Geforce 9400, what is a 512MB ATI … Now we're talking!Now, compared to the Geforce 9400, what is a 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 like?I imagine there's little difference really in a C2D and a simple DC, but I would rather get the better tech if possible!So, advice on the gfx I mentioned? Looking more likely we're heading in a Dell Studio 17 now :P



    4570 is loads better (3D graphics wise)

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;7168930

    4570 is loads better (3D graphics wise)



    Sounds good... Looking more likely by the minute

    Now I need my contact to get back to me again with a better quote from Dell

    Original Poster

    Thanks again guys, rep has been left accordingly. If anyone else has anything to add to the discussion, I'm still very open to opinions and suggestions

    Might be of some use. ]http//ww…tml

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;7170700

    Might be of some use. … Might be of some use. ]http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benchmark-List.844.0.html



    Looks useful :thumbsup:
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