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New Laptop

#1
Due to the fact that my current laptop will be turning 2 in the end of March and the fact that it can't really do anything gaming wise, I'm thinking of getting a new laptop and giving this one a break (probably upgrade it a little and just use it for minor web surfing and basic apps like word processing). I was wondering if anyone would have any suggestions for a good one to get. Currently I'm considering an Acer Ferrari 3400LMI, ordering an Area-51 7700 from Alienware, or ordering an M:780 from Voodoo, but I'm totally open to suggestions anyone has for other laptops (seeing as I'm a complete idiot when it comes to comps:D ).

I'd really like for any suggested laptops to:
1)have a graphics card with 256 megs ram(though I'll also consider ones with 128 megs if the other specs are good seeing as finding lappies like this is kinda hard outside of a few cto machines) and be able to play games that require t&l
2)have at least a 60 gig hard drive
3)have a processor with a FSB of at least 800
4)be portable enough that I could toss (not literally) it into a backpack and take it with me if I'd want to take it anywhere
5)be priced under $5000.00USD including shipping and handling


ACER Ferrari 3400LMI Notebook Tech specs:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=34-115-154&depa=3

Alienware Area 51 7700 proposed tech specs:
3yr. AlienCare Toll Free 24/7 Phone Support With Onsite Service Bundled With Alien Autopsy and Respawn.

Microsoft Windows XP Professional With Service Pack 2

Area-51m 7700 Case With 17" Wide SXGA+1680x1050 LCD Display With Built in Camera in Xeno Gray

Intel Pentium 4 Processor 560 With HT Technology 3.6 GHz 1 MB Cache

Intel 915P Chipset Supporting Pci-Express Motherboard

2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM At 533 MHz- 4x512 MB

Area-51m 7700 NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Go With 256 MB of DDR2 Memory Graphics Card

Sound-Blaster Pro Compatible 3D Audio Sound Card

200 GB 5400RPM ATA 100-Seagate Non-Raid Dual Hard Drive Configuration

8x Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24x Cd-RW Combo With Software Optical Drive One

24x10x24 CD-RW / 8X DVD Combo With Software MPEG2 Decoder Optical Drive Two

Integrated 10/1000 Mb Gigabit Ethernet NIC

56K Modem With V.92 Technology

Microsoft Office 2003 Small Business Edition

Belkin Bluetooth USB Adapter

Area-51m 7700 Primary Lithium-Ion Smart Battery Pack Additional Battery

Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 4.0 USB in Saucer Silver

$4553.00USD

Voodoo M:780 Proposed Specs:
Case: Voodoo Envy m: In Imola Pearl Orange

Finish Option: Voodoo Allure Exterior

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz HT 800FSB

RAM: 2Gig Crucial- 400LL Memory Kit

Envy Raid: Disabled

Envy Hard Drive: 100+100 Gig Os/Data Seagate Momentus Kit

Envy Bay 1: Envy DVD+-RW Dual Format DVD Writer

Envy Card Reader: Voodoo Envy 6-in-1 Card Reader

Backup Drive: None

Envy Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 256Mb

Envy Display: 17" TFT WSXGA+ 1680x1050 LCD

Envy Video Camera: Voodoo Envy m:7xx Video camera

LCD Peace Of Mind: None

Moniter: None

Envy Audio: Envy Immersive Theater Audio System

Speakers: None

Multimedia Bay: Envy Theaterbook Immersive Subwoofer

External Sound Card: None

Headset: None

Envy Ethernet Card: Envy Gigabit High Speed Ethernet

Wireless Freedom: Voodoo Envy G Wireless

Envy Modem: Internal 56K Fax Modem

Envy Bluetooth: Voodoo Internal Bluetooth Module

Shipping: 2 Days UPS

O/S: Windows Xp Pro

Productivity: Microsoft 2003 Small Business Edition

Essential Tools: Fuel Software Essentials V1

Voodoo Game Doctor: Voodoo Game Doctor 1 year Membership

Mouse: None

Envy Travel Adapter: None

Voodoo Stealth Case: Voodoo Stealth XL Metal Notebook Case

ENVY Carrying Case: None

Upgrade Assurance: Standard Select Upgrade Assurance

Warranty: Voodoo Platinum Care 3yr.

$3,820.52USD
 
#2
um do you really need 2gigs of ram?
and 256mb is no better then a 128mb one if its GPU speeds are slower.

also since all those lappys feature dektop procs, u cant expect much mobility with em.
for mobility go for a lappy with a pentium-m 775 or maybee amd a64 DTR 3400+.
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#4
go either with the alienware or go with the dell XPS...

the voodoo looks good but its a generation behind the times..

the current top end dell system has a mobility 9800 in it, 256mb... and yes while themafia is right about the memory bus being better @ 256bit rather than 128bit... once you get to certain solutions, you only get them in certain flavors, and with that power, there is no harm in having a little more memory (the mobility 9800 is about as powerful as a desktop 9700pro)

btw, out of curiosity, how much will that alienware weigh?

I know the dell XPS weighs about 10-12lbs depending on the battery and one optical drive... yours has 2 opticals and looks like a coupla different hdd's... you are probably looking at something around 14lbs at least...

thats not a laptop... thats a lap-breaker... :cool:

list what you think you need and what you will use it for and we can assist you in decision making... if you save some money here and there you can apply it to other components that are higher end...
 

Luna

OSNN Senior Addict
#5
I have an XPS right now and love it.

Pretty much on par with my AMD 64 3500 system. I just wish I had gotten the 9800 256mb M card over the 9700 though. The 9700 M hurts a little in games. It's really on par with a 9500 Pro (which I have in my desktop).

Weight is not an issue with it unless you plan to walk long distances while holding it. In that case, get a backpack for it.

1920x1200 screen is also nice. I sent mine back though because I did not like the brand of screen they had used on my system. Dell replaced it for free though, no questions asked. Great customer support.
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#7
just an FYi... not all coupons work in all segments through Dell... :cool:

if it doesn't work... don't blame net ;)
 
#8
Yeah, I should add that the code above works only if you order through Dell Home (not Small Business etc). The total has to be over $999 (I'm sure the XPS would be way above that), and you can only apply one coupon at checkout.
 
#9
Sazar said:
go either with the alienware or go with the dell XPS...

the voodoo looks good but its a generation behind the times..

the current top end dell system has a mobility 9800 in it, 256mb... and yes while themafia is right about the memory bus being better @ 256bit rather than 128bit... once you get to certain solutions, you only get them in certain flavors, and with that power, there is no harm in having a little more memory (the mobility 9800 is about as powerful as a desktop 9700pro)

btw, out of curiosity, how much will that alienware weigh?

I know the dell XPS weighs about 10-12lbs depending on the battery and one optical drive... yours has 2 opticals and looks like a coupla different hdd's... you are probably looking at something around 14lbs at least...

thats not a laptop... thats a lap-breaker... :cool:

list what you think you need and what you will use it for and we can assist you in decision making... if you save some money here and there you can apply it to other components that are higher end...

Sazar
Well the stock one for that line weighs about 8 pounds according to alienware and that's just with the one hdd and optical. I really dunno what it would weigh with the two extra drives but I don't imagine it would be much more than with the single drives.

I really want to use the laptop for gaming like I already mentioned. Currently I play(well I don't know if "play" is the right word here seeing how my current lappie tends to crap out midgameplay) The Sims, SimCity3000, 3D Mahjong, Monopoly, and The Game of Life. I'd also like to be able to play the 3D pinball game I have, The Sims2 (hence the need for a card with T&L), SimCity4, StarCraft, and Robot Arena (currently RA causes my lappie to take panic attacks and convulse :eek: )

As far as specs go, I'm really at a loss other than I know I need a lot of harddrive space since I have almost totally filled the drive and I'm fed up with playing musical files between the external and the internalhard drive, I have a tendency to want to listen to my music while playing certain games (a definite nono right now unless I drag out my cd player), and I'd like the laptop to be able to be able to play newer games for more than just a year or two. (sorry I can't be more specific than this.)



Electroslime,
Seeing as I'm short and my current laptop can't fit in my lap , I don't have any intention of using this laptop on my lap either. Rather I'd like a laptop that I'd be able to carry and take with me if I'd go over to like a friend's or a relative's house.

Ummm I dunno about the ram cuz I really don't know what would be a good amount for what I intend to use it for and what seems like overkill. Personally I'd rather be safe with the machine rather than sorry I loaded too much at once and killed it. (did you ever know that trying to load too many apps at once is a great way to freeze a computer? :eek: )

Luna and Sazar,
Thanks I'll have to take look at the Dell and see what I think of it.

NetRyder,
Thanks but I definitely won't be ordering the new laptop till another week or two atleast (gotta wait out the money and that won't arrive for a few days yet at the earliest :( )
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#10
if you have good credit... you can apply for dell's preffered account...

max == $5k and no interest till 2006... no membership fee's and no early payment penalties... :cool:

and you can use that to purchase the system
 
#11
Sazar said:
if you have good credit... you can apply for dell's preffered account...

max == $5k and no interest till 2006... no membership fee's and no early payment penalties... :cool:

and you can use that to purchase the system
Thanks for the suggestion Sazar but I'd rather wait till I get the money to pay for it outright cuz I don't believe in purchasing anything unless it can be paid for right then and there (this trick's been keeping me relatively out of the hole for a few years now so why spoil it now?)
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#12
you can still do that with the dell preferred account if you chose to do so...

I was simply giving you options...

personally I would wait a little for the new ati gfx cards to trickle into production... they are the fastest products available (incl the new 6800 series from nvidia) and would be well worth the wait...
 
#13
Ok well a bit of an update. I've been over to Dell and had a looksee at the Inspirion XPS. Here's what I've come up with as some proposed specs:


Inspirion XPS:

Pentium® 4 Processor 3.40GHz w/ HT Tech, 15.4-in WUXGA

Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional See Details

SAVE $80 instantly with the Premium Service Package plus Nights and Weekend

2GB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 400MHz

256MB DDR ATI's MOBILITY™ RADEON™ 9800 AGP 8X Graphics

8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer write capability

Combo: RecordNow! and MyDVD Deluxe

60GB Hard Drive at 7200RPM

96 WHr 12-cell Primary Battery with Subwoofer

132 WHr 16-cell Secondary Battery Enables Extended Battery Life

Modular 3.5 Floppy Disk Drive [$42 or $1/month1] Dell Recommended

Microsoft Office Small Business - Includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Dell Jukebox - easy-to-use music player and CD burning software

Combo: Paint Shop Pro and Photo Album Premium

LAVA SPILL QuickSnap™ Cover

Exclusive XPS BackPack

Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0

$4,374USD
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#14
do you go to school?

if so... fire me a pm and I will give you some info bout discounts :cool:
 
#15
Sazar said:
you can still do that with the dell preferred account if you chose to do so...

I was simply giving you options...
I know and thanks for suggesting it but as I've said I make it a point not to spend what I don't yet have. After getting out of credit card debt a few years ago I decided never to rely on credit again to make a purchase unless I had the money to pay it off right away.

Sazar said:
personally I would wait a little for the new ati gfx cards to trickle into production... they are the fastest products available (incl the new 6800 series from nvidia) and would be well worth the wait...
Unfortunately that's not an option at this point cuz my laptop is developing some issues from the heavy use(it's my psuedo desktop right now) and the nearly full harddrive which is why I want to get a new one now rather than hold off for another year or two and see.
 
#16
Sazar said:
do you go to school?

if so... fire me a pm and I will give you some info bout discounts :cool:
Nope. Wish I could get back but that's gonna have to wait till you knows how long till I'm able to go.


Sorry these responses are taking so long but today is not a good typing day. :eek:
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#17
see... personally what my recommended route would be is to get a decent DTR notebook... and forget about storage space...

to that end simply add external storage units via USB 2.0 and you are good to go...

reading your original post, it seems you are more into a multi-function DTR than a gaming system though you still want to be able to play games...

is this so?

if it is... let us know because there are a few other options for you out there that won't break the bank and will get you the most bang for the buck too...
 
#18
Sazar said:
see... personally what my recommended route would be is to get a decent DTR notebook... and forget about storage space...

to that end simply add external storage units via USB 2.0 and you are good to go...
I do have an external drive which I use for storing files to when I don't need them. My problem lies in the fact that for the exection of about 500 MB of varios other files my current drive is almost filled with all my apps and games which is one of the reasons why I'm so concerned about drive space (I only have about a third of the games I currently own loaded)
Sazar said:
reading your original post, it seems you are more into a multi-function DTR than a gaming system though you still want to be able to play games...

is this so?

if it is... let us know because there are a few other options for you out there that won't break the bank and will get you the most bang for the buck too...
Considering the situation with my current laptop I'd prefer something that could easily be used for gaming and for everyday tasks and for it to be capable of adapting to my needs as situations change. (I hate not having space for a desktop)
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#19
well.. regarding the space... its very easy to get a 300 or 400 GB hdd, stick it in an external enclosure and it will take care of most of your storage needs...

wrt a DTR.. consider perhaps the inspiron 9200.. 17" screen and multimedia virtuoso that also can play games (albeit with lower capability than the 9800 or 6800)
 
#20
Ferral_Imp said:
NetRyder,
Thanks but I definitely won't be ordering the new laptop till another week or two atleast (gotta wait out the money and that won't arrive for a few days yet at the earliest :( )
No worries. Just let me know if you do decide to go with a Dell before you order it, and I'll try to find you something again. :)
 

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