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Filthygamer
17-03-2014, 07:11 PM
I don't know whether to post here or in the 'off topic' section, but I need a new gaming laptop.

You've probably heard the story before, but I'm that kid who has a budget of about $1000 (maybe $1200 max) and wants a new laptop that will let me run games like Watch Dogs at at least normal settings. I looked at this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F0RC4VQ/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00F0RC4VQ&linkCode=as2&tag=cheonlsto-20#productDetails), and thought it was pretty damn good, until I realised that when I added the cost of getting it to NZ plus customs, it simply wasn't worth it. Has anyone got any suggestions for a good laptop for my budget? Is it even possible at that price point? Or am I better off getting a small desktop like this (http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/The-Little-Monkey/20773719) and getting a small netbook or chromebook for everyday use?

Thanks in advance.

Agent_24
17-03-2014, 07:56 PM
Does it *have* to be a laptop? Because you will get a much better deal if you build a desktop.

Greg
17-03-2014, 08:04 PM
Having been in the market for a new laptop recently I did a fair bit of research, and you'll be struggling to get anything decent in your budget.

Filthygamer
17-03-2014, 08:06 PM
No it doesn't and yeah that's what I've been thinking myself. But I don't know much about building computers and the like (although Google fixes everything :D) and I'm definitely not overly knowledgeable when it comes to hardware. Have you got any suggestions for parts/build guides?

Thanks!

(This is a reply to Agent_24)

Filthygamer
17-03-2014, 08:07 PM
Having been in the market for a new laptop recently I did a fair bit of research, and you'll be struggling to get anything decent in your budget.

Hopefully one day I'll win Lotto then :D

dugimodo
18-03-2014, 07:07 AM
Desktops usually game better than a laptop you can buy for the same price, the main difference from a gaming perspective is the graphics hardware although the CPU tends to be weaker also.
When you factor in a screen and keyboard/mouse the difference may not be all that great though price wise.

A desktop with a quad core and a GTX 750 or 750Ti or better would be an entry level gamer in the desktop world but would run rings around all but the hugely expensive high end gaming laptops ($3K upwards).
Having said that a laptop with a reasonable CPU and the GT750M like the one you linked will game ok on less demanding & older titles and may be ok for some newer games on lower settings. If you can find one in your price range with a better graphics chip it'd be preferable.

icow
18-03-2014, 09:54 AM
This is probably as close as you can get in NZ in that price range: http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=2263796 Note that it is 17", has a lower res screen and is running an i5 not an i7 (only a dualcore). The 8750m seems to be comparible to the 750m (slightly worse for the most part), the cheapest laptop I could find with a 750m was $1699 so I figured that was out of the question.

Personally I'd just learn how to build a desktop, would be much better value.

1101
18-03-2014, 09:56 AM
Have you got any suggestions for parts/build guides?


My advice, buy everything from the same supplier. It will make things so much easier if something doesnt work & you dont know what part is faulty.
Ask the shop if all the parts are compatable .
Check warranty the shop gives, many parts have 3year but some shops only give 1year on those parts
Get a descent Power supply, ie not a $30 one or a crap one that comes with a $50 case .

You may be able to get a better deal if you buy a pre-assembled gaming PC .

Or think about buying used, as you still have to get a Monitor, that cuts into the PC budget.

Filthygamer
19-03-2014, 08:48 PM
Cool thanks everyone for your replies. icow brings up a good point - is the trade off in screen resolution worth it if it's cheap enough? As in, I found some refurbished laptops with half decent specs but they have 1366 x 768 screens (15 inch). At the moment I'm using a 15 inch Full HD screen (1920 x 1080). Will it make much of a difference?

Also, has anyone bought refurbished? Are there any disadvantages?

icow
19-03-2014, 10:50 PM
I wouldn't purchase any laptop with a 1366x768 screen, it's not a proper aspect ratio so nothing scales properly on it. Stuff like games will look ok at native resolutions but if you try and run anything below 1366x768 the image will be stretched and distorted. As for a visual difference between 1920x1080 and 1366x768 I can't say anything, most resolutions under 1600x900 look bad to me (my laptop has a 2560x1440 screen) I will say that because 1366x768 screens tend to be cheaper TN panels it's likely that the colour accuracy isn't going to be the greatest.

1101
20-03-2014, 10:39 AM
Refurbished = wipe down the case & format the hard drive ..or
refurbished= laptop initially had some fault so serious it was returned to the manufacturer , then repaired & cleaned up.

If its really 'refurbished' , do they give a 1 year warranty ? is it a brand new battery ? Is battery covered in the warranty ?
Some 'refurbished' Lappies are ex warranty repair: ie they had some serious fault that was repaired . I would avoid those at all costs, it could have the same intermittent fault (this does happen)


You still have the issue of wanting to play games on a cheap laptop.

Filthygamer
20-03-2014, 04:21 PM
Refurbished = wipe down the case & format the hard drive ..or
refurbished= laptop initially had some fault so serious it was returned to the manufacturer , then repaired & cleaned up.

If its really 'refurbished' , do they give a 1 year warranty ? is it a brand new battery ? Is battery covered in the warranty ?
Some 'refurbished' Lappies are ex warranty repair: ie they had some serious fault that was repaired . I would avoid those at all costs, it could have the same intermittent fault (this does happen)


You still have the issue of wanting to play games on a cheap laptop.

For example, I was looking at this one (http://www.nzlaptops.co.nz/Product.aspx?ID=11314) which has a 6 month warranty but says nothing about the battery.

I know I'm still going on about the laptop thing, but the prospect of building my own desktop is rather intimidating, and if I shop for parts on somewhere like http://www.playtech.co.nz/afawcs0139233/CATID=1/Computer-Hardware.html I honestly have no idea what I'm looking at when it comes to mother boards, and power/cooling etc.

And RE the 1366 x 768 screen, I agree - coming from a Full HD screen I think that'd be a wrong move especially since now I've looked at my friends laptop with that resolution (everything's quite big and clunky compared to a petite Full HD screen :D).

So where are we at? Do I buy a laptop (sorry 1101 :P), a prebuilt desktop, or do I do something adventurous and build my own desktop?
At the moment I'm inclined to build my own desktop, but where do I start?

Thanks all for your help

Filthygamer
20-03-2014, 04:23 PM
Or should I just wait for a bit and keep with what I've got for now? Is the world making any radical hardware discoveries in the near future?

Agent_24
20-03-2014, 04:42 PM
Or should I just wait for a bit and keep with what I've got for now? Is the world making any radical hardware discoveries in the near future?

No idea, probably not, it seems to go at a pretty steady rate

Try your local psychic.. :lol:

Filthygamer
20-03-2014, 06:10 PM
No idea, probably not, it seems to go at a pretty steady rate

Try your local psychic.. :lol:

Lol yeah they seem to be bringing out new stuff all the time!

1101
21-03-2014, 11:04 AM
For example, I was looking at this one (http://www.nzlaptops.co.nz/Product.aspx?ID=11314) which has a 6 month warranty but says nothing about the battery.


"Condition: Genuine factory refurbished "
Probably means its been factory REPAIRED , ie it probably ,previously had a serious fault.So serious a fault the original owner had it replaced. Is that something you want to pay $1000 for ??
$1000+ is alot for something with 6month warranty , and has faulted once before. It may be 100% OK. It might turn into a lemon.

Only saying this as Ive seen the failure rate of SOME factory refurb products (some models are 100% OK)

Also its AMD & ultra portable (ie very thin) ?? (just from the look of it )
For gaming would it be better for a full size lappy with better cooling (I dont know, just considering) .
Intel I5 would be my choice over an AMD laptop .

As for gaming PC, unless you know your stuff, just get one pre-built by a reputable local company.
PC is a better choice for gaming, you'll also have real hardware upgrade options in the future as budget allows (ie vid card & monitor)

icow
21-03-2014, 12:56 PM
At the moment I'm inclined to build my own desktop, but where do I start?


Read this: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?585525-Computer-Parts-Explained and have a watch of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roFb3TNePIg it's quite in depth however you can probably ignore the parts list and rational behind it seeing as prices don't convert from usd to nzd very well.


In regards to components I just had a quick look at what you could get for $1200, this is what I came up with: http://nz.pcpartpicker.com/p/3dsla

Rational:

CPU: The 6300 is the best value for money cpu you can buy, would get beaten by a i5 for the most part but it is significantly cheaper and should perform similarly to much more expensive cpus in games which are largely gpu bound.

RAM: 8gb is pretty optimum right now, the linked ram is a bit pricey. If you look around you can probably find 8gbs for $80ish. Anything DDR3 1333mhz+ with lifetime warranty should be fine.

GPU: There are a few options here. I considered the 750ti with a smaller powersupply to save money but in the end decided that saving ~$50 on a psu which would only have to be replaced later if you were going to add a more powerful graphics card wasn't worth it. The 270X also seems to perform better across the board. An alternative card you could consider is the GTX 660, it performs at the same level as the 270X and has support for a bunch of cool features (shadowplay etc) if you're into game capture this might be the way to go. It's worth noting that the GPU is the most important component in a gaming pc and should be the most expensive single component (ignoring peripherals).

PSU: Antec knows what they are doing, have used this the high current gamer psus in multiple builds and have never had a problem with one. There is an excellent list here: http://www.gpforums.co.nz/threads/472748-Recommended-Power-Supplies detailing what you should avoid.

Because of the fact that you'll need to buy a copy of windows and a screen it really restricts what hardware you'll be able to get at the $1200 mark. If you have an existing screen or copy of windows you could use you would be able to bump up the performance of your pc a bit (ssd + up the gpu to a 760 or something)

If you're looking at parts you can check performance and make comparisons at these links:

GPU: http://anandtech.com/bench/GPU14/815 (will show "actual" in game performance) and http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html (more general)

CPU: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/cpu-charts-2013/-02-Cinebench-11.5,3143.html

Other useful stuff:

You'll see CPUs with socket 1150, AM3+, FM2+, 2011 (out of your price range) the motherboard needs to have the same socket for it to be compatible. ie 1150 cpu (that's your i3/i5/i7 cpus need a socket 1150 motherboard).

Where to buy parts from: http://www.gpforums.co.nz/threads/297771-Experiences-with-Online-Retailers

Personally I can highly recommend computerlounge.co.nz and playtech.co.nz. If you send them an email with any questions you have (like is this hardware compatible) they should be able to help you. You may notice that these stores offer pre-built PCs. They aren't always the best value for money. If you email them and explain what you budget is and what you want to do they will probably be able to come up with a parts list which is much better value.

dugimodo
21-03-2014, 01:23 PM
Also most of these suppliers will build the PC for you , some at no extra cost. If you are daunted by doing it yourself just have one built to order.
Icow's list is pretty good, if you wanted to go intel the CPU would probably cost about $100 more. He has however not included a hard drive or optical drive as far as I can see so it will cost a bit more than $1200 for that machine.

Basically for my 2c of advice, stick to the top 3 motherboard makers - Asus, Gigabyte, Asrock, and don't worry too much about all the different models and chipsets. As long as it is compatible with the CPU you choose it's probably going to be fine. As you go up in price you get fancier voltage regulators, more ports of various kinds (SATA3, USB3.0, etc), and more overclocking options - none of which really matter in a budget build.

You want a quad core or better CPU, 8GB of RAM, the best graphics card you can afford, and whatever other parts you decide.
Another PSU worth considering if you want more power than the antec would be http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=20002
Probably overkill on your budget though - I have one running dual graphics cards at home.

icow
21-03-2014, 01:55 PM
He has however not included a hard drive or optical drive as far as I can see so it will cost a bit more than $1200 for that machine.

*facepalm* You should probably look at getting an hdd :p

A 1tb HDD will run you about $90-$100. I would argue that an optical drive isn't needed but that would be another $20-$40. If you needed to keep to the $1200 you could try getting a 2nd hand monitor. I've seen some nice 1080p Dell screens around the $120 mark on TradeMe, if you're prepared to wait around you might be able to go under $100. Would be worth keeping an eye out for a copy of Windows too, I would personally only purchase a sealed copy of Windows though.

dugimodo
21-03-2014, 01:58 PM
I had a go at a budget gaming intel machine on part picker http://nz.pcpartpicker.com/p/3dv8l
Came to $1400 and I had to make some compromises to get that low. You could opt for a dual core i3 and get under $1300 and still be good enough for most games, only a few titles really use 4 cores but that's changing and a quad core is probably a better investment.

Anyway those two builds give you a starting point if you decide to go for a desktop.

Edit: I don't buy optical drives any more as I have an external USB one I use for installing ssoftware. You do need some way to install the OS though. Also note the hdd I listed is a hybrid SSD/HDD, a good option if you can't fit an SSD in your build in my opinion.

dugimodo
21-03-2014, 05:07 PM
Just saw this http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/notebooks/componentview.asp?partid=19977

Review of the graphics performance here http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-740M.89900.0.html

Can't find any definite answer regarding Watch Dogs but I think it might be a bit too low, seems like a GTX 460 is the minimum requirement.
2nd hand is an option.

icow
21-03-2014, 06:48 PM
Also note the hdd I listed is a hybrid SSD/HDD, a good option if you can't fit an SSD in your build in my opinion.

+1

Didn't realise they were so cheap.

Filthygamer
23-03-2014, 10:29 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions people! I looked at at icow's build and adding a hard drive pushed the price up (and that's not including shipping!)! (http://nz.pcpartpicker.com/p/3ewdd). I think I'm definitely going to stop looking at a cheap laptop - not worth it for the performance constraints. I'm keen on the idea of picking parts and having the store/retailer assembling it for me but I'm not unwilling to try it myself. Now I'm just trying to fit it to my budget...

dugimodo
24-03-2014, 03:46 PM
You could try trademe for a 2nd hand gamer, no warranty and some risk but more in line with your Budget.
I'm considering selling one myself but I'm in Hamilton and don't like to ship them, PM me if you're interested.

Filthygamer
24-03-2014, 03:54 PM
You could try trademe for a 2nd hand gamer, no warranty and some risk but more in line with your Budget.
I'm considering selling one myself but I'm in Hamilton and don't like to ship them, PM me if you're interested.

Yeah I've been looking around trademe quite a bit. Nope I'm not interested sorry if you're not prepared to ship it (Hamilton's too far away!)

icow
24-03-2014, 05:34 PM
56515652

+ a 2nd hand screen

Might be able to hit $1250ish.