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Friend's soon-to-be new laptop

Since I've seen several people on here recently post about their new hardware, and I hadn't started a thread of my own yet here, I thought I would see if anyone had any input on a laptop my friend plans on buying in the next couple of weeks.

In our search we came up with ASUS F8 Series F8Sp-X1 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T5750(2.00GHz) 14" Wide XGA 3GB Memory DDR2 667 250GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 - Retail.

He wants to keep it under $1000 U.S. He's definitely into games, so the best video card on the laptop, the better. We plan on either dual-booting with XP or overwriting Vista with XP for faster game performance, although I'll probably enourage him to at least keep a minimal Vista partition for DirectX 10-required games.

He's actually pro-AMD and anti-Intel (maybe got that from me, although I still try to remain open minded). I did inform him that I've read a lot that Intel has re-overtaken AMD in the subject of performance recently.

He doesn't really want a large laptop with a big screen so this 14" LCD is fine. He'd actually prefer non-Widescreen, but that's rare in laptops now and the ones that are available are pricey.

The graphics card has 1 gig of dedicated RAM, this laptop has gigabit networking (amazingly a lot of laptops I looked at still only had 10/100), has a/b/g wireless and bluetooth, is not too terribly heavy and has a great warranty:

Manufacturer WarrantyAccidental Damage Warranty1 year ASUS Accidental Damage Warranty - Drops, Fire, Spill, Surge for purchase after 9/10/07 Parts2 years limited Labor2 years limited
Those are all things he's looking for in a laptop.

All the reviews I've read about this laptop are extremely positive. He's not concerned with the small cons about the Function key being where the Control key should be, and I've informed him that a few people have had trouble disconnecting a LAN cable and had to use some small piece of random metal to press down on the release latch due to some overhanging part of the case being in the way.

Any comments?


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Political User
Thread moved

Dang - 1GB of dedicated memory in a video card for a laptop? I'm behind the times :p

If what you say is what he is looking for, I don't see anything wrong with that laptop. Actually a relatively solid build for the price :D

Hope he enjoys it - but tell him he needs to join the forum to really enjoy it :smoker:


To further Sazar's point, I read something earlier today saying how Vista SP1 beats XP SP3 in a few key areas - even file copy (not your point, but showing how it's making good progress)


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
Fwiw, the latest tests show games to be either the same speed or faster under vista.


Have you looked at some of the Dell systems?

You can customize from the following.

http://www.dell.com/content/product...op Screen Size&navValc=14.1"&a=55846~0~879655

By the way, that video card hardly has a powerful GPU, regardless of the amount of dedicated memory. Unless you need memory in CAD or something like that, it's useless, especially when it comes to gaming. It will run the games you want but at lower resolutions.

However, for that price, that's probably what you should expect.
Thanks to both of you for your input. He's a very young kid (not that there's anything wrong with that) and very strong-willed, plus unfortunately occasionally impatient, but he is a close friend and respects my advice.

He's had a lot of experience with Dell laptops over the past several years and he'd like to try something else. He was very interested in getting an HP, but I couldn't find an HP laptop that hit all of the high points that the Asus did and still came in at the right price.

I'm trying to educate him as to the positive aspects of Vista. I don't remember if I've had him try any of my vLite'd Vista installs. His biggest gripes may be UAC, quasi-Admin (not full) accounts, and also the the fact that Vista's practical requirements are so much higher. It'll be his laptop so I can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do, but I'll show him the evidence and strongly suggest he try his laptop with one of my custom Vista installs and see what he thinks then. I think that it'll be a tough sell, though.

He definitely can't afford the creme' de la creme' of hardware - my own imagination and knowledge far exceeds my wallet too.

kcnychief: He doesn't seem to be interested in email or forums at all yet, but I'll tell him. LOL.

Sazar: Thank you, I just now read the article. I knew that with SP1, Vista had become much more competetive with XP than it had been. Yes, I don't think he'll find a better laptop video card for that price. This shows the performance of this chipset as (not shabby IMHO):

All of these which are available through NewEgg (I find their customer's reviews and comments invaluable) are significantly (minimum of $400) more than my friend's price range, besides which he doesn't want too big a laptop. They don't list any laptops with the Radeon x1800XT or the GeForce Go 7900 GTX at all.

Besides, no matter what he buys now, six months or a year from now there'll be things which won't play so great on current video technology since it's obsoleted so fast.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
The speed is not simply Sp1, it's the vendors actually developing drivers that aren't crap anymore. Lord knows it took Nvidia long enough to fix their issues and there are sill a couple here and there :)

The performance of the core isn't bad, I am simply saying if you can get that product with LESS memory on the gpu (hopefully equating to a lower price), you could perhaps bump up another spec :D
Laptop and gaming is not a good combination. It will depend on what games he likes. Try and find somebody with the games he plays installed so he can see how bad they will be on a laptop before he commits.

Also, if he wants to use the laptop mobile having the extra hardware to support gaming will eat his battery life. You will not get a decent battery in a "gaming" laptop for under $1000.

Ditto on SAZARs comment about that GPU performance. And 1GB of video ram on a slow accelerator card is a waste of money.

Do not replace VISTA with XP! It will trash the warantee. Use a dual install. it is a piece of cake and does not waste much disk space.

My suggestion - dirt cheap laptop for mobility and an upgrade for his current gaming machine.

If you are patient and watch the sales you can get an entry level Toshiba of HP for under $400. I saw a dual core Toshiba 2 weeks ago for $379. Again, inexpensive laptops really scrimp on battery life.
Yes, I know. I would never want to depend on a laptop for gaming myself. But this kid's got his mind made up.

He just cares about the laptop being portable, but not actually using it while on battery. He rarely used his previous laptops on battery. He already played some games he'll want to play on his older laptop which is now dead and not worth repairing. There's some other newer games he'll want to and be able to play on this new hardware that he couldn't before.

There is no other less than $1000 laptop that I could find with as good a dedicated graphics card that both had less dedicated RAM and cost less. Do you have any suggestions for a laptop that "cheap" with a better graphics card?

Whenever I work on anyone's computer, old or new, but especially with a new computer when someone wants me to replace their original installation, I always make a backup image using Acronis True Image, and burn it to DVD(s) for future use, so whether he lets me set it up as a dual boot or not, I'll always have the capability of putting it back exactly like it was before.

I built him a kick *ss desktop a couple years ago but there's new games he can't play on it of course because he needs to upgrade his video card, plus he could upgrade his RAM and install Vista for DX10 games.

He just recently got a job where he has a lot of free time on his hands so he looks forward to having a nice laptop he can use again while there.

Like I said, he's very young, a little impulsive and very head strong, so my efforts to give him good computer advise turn into more like steering him away from the most evil options. :) He has his mind set on this right now.

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