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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2012

    Laptop for University

    Hello Everyone

    I'm looking into a new laptop for university, i'v made it through my first year using an ancient Compaq but am now looking to treat myself to something with a little more umpth.

    The laptop I'm looking for should be able to handle high end games such as Battlefield 3 but also have a decent days worth of battery 5-6 hours ideally. From my research i believe a 2nd gen i5 processor with a 540m or 555m graphics card should suffice. The cards both having optimus to extend the battery life. As for looks i couldn't care less, its whats inside that counts. The screen size would have to be 15.6 inches.

    I'v narrowed it down to two well priced laptops so far but would appreciate any input.

    First - Optimus II 15.5 (Clevo)
    http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/optimusII-15/
    i5 2520m
    555m 2GB
    and of course all the extras such as extended battery, faster hard drive and more ram.

    Second - Dell XPS 15
    http://www.dell.com/uk/p/xps-l502x/fs
    i5 2450m
    540m 2GB
    and the extras again.

    both come to around 700 - 800, the dells a bit cheaper.

    Thank you for any help or advice you can give me

    Kind Regards

    Wills

  2. #2
    Badbonji's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    By handle, what do you mean? The GT 540M will just about play BF3 on the lowest settings - this is with around 35FPS (ouch), and the GT 550M again on low with 50FPS this time. But if it has to be one of those two then the first one is much better for gaming, but will offer poor performance in anything modern.

    However if you want to play up on medium then you might need to save up for a stronger GPU, like the GTX670M in the next model up on that site. (www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/skyFireII/) Notebookcheck (where I have been pulling results from, has a database of almost all cards) says this will handle BF3 on medium at around 60FPS, much better IMO.

    High end gaming laptops have short battery life and cost a whole lot more, so your options are quite limited. ASUS and MSI have a range but they are upward of 1,000...
    i7 3770K 4.5GHz 1.2V | Phanteks PH-TC14PE | 16GB TeamGroup Elite 1600MHz | GIGABYTE G1.Sniper M3 | Galax GTX 980 | M4 256GB + 150GB Raptor | Corsair HX+ 850W | Antec 1200
    i7 965 | Arctic Freezer 13 LE | 8GB OCZ Gold 1600MHz | GIGABYTE Extreme X58 | EVGA GTX 680 SC | M4 64GB + 7TB | EVGA SuperNova G2 750W
    MacBook Pro 15" | i7 2.3GHz | 8GB 1600MHz

  3. #3
    New Member
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    May 2012
    Thank you for the quick response, Sorry I wasn't specific with what I needed.

    I'm not looking to max out any modern game but am looking for a machine that can simple play it with a reasonable number of frames on low to medium settings. I understand that battery life must be sacrificed for a power guzzling GPU.

    I suppose what I'm really after is some information on processors duel vs quad and graphics cards that can give me reasonable gaming and reasonable battery life. Would you buy the computers I'v found and if not what would you buy?

    Thanks Again

  4. #4
    Badbonji's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    Those batteries are quite small and I am doubtful you will get over 4 hours of life on either. Kepler GPUs are out now too - I think you should search for a laptop with one of those in, these should reduce power consumption when in use. The GT 640M seems to be in your price range and should offer around the same performance as the GT 555M.

    I would look at the Acer Aspire Timeline U M3, has pretty decent specs and is in your price range (http://www.ebuyer.com/351289-acer-as...edium=products). The only downside is the screen resolution. Otherwise it seems very good. 6 hours battery life playing a video in loop (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-31632_7...81tg-hands-on/) with a quoted 8 hours with management. Also it is lighter than your two suggestions - coming in at just under 2KG. My current laptop is 3.2KG (see sig) and is quite horrible to carry around with me at uni.

    In the end it is down to you to pick the most important out of the factors, that screen resolution may bother you too much - but then again it isn't like the GPUs really have the power to cope with 1080P fluidly.

    If you want to compare GPUs (and also has some laptop reviews) this website is very useful: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-...ist.844.0.html

    You can click on the cards for more information on in-game benchmarks and if you click on a particular FPS number it should list the system used (laptop model, CPU etc.)
    Last edited by Badbonji; 05-05-12 at 10:28 AM.
    i7 3770K 4.5GHz 1.2V | Phanteks PH-TC14PE | 16GB TeamGroup Elite 1600MHz | GIGABYTE G1.Sniper M3 | Galax GTX 980 | M4 256GB + 150GB Raptor | Corsair HX+ 850W | Antec 1200
    i7 965 | Arctic Freezer 13 LE | 8GB OCZ Gold 1600MHz | GIGABYTE Extreme X58 | EVGA GTX 680 SC | M4 64GB + 7TB | EVGA SuperNova G2 750W
    MacBook Pro 15" | i7 2.3GHz | 8GB 1600MHz

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    That is Acer is perfect, thank you i think you just found my next laptop. The battery life is really impressive and Battlefield 3 on medium specs to boot.

    Kind Regards

    William

  6. #6
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    May 2012
    I'll tell you right now about the XPS 15, it's most definitely a nice laptop, you get lucky and you dont, because there's quite a few kinks that follow it (keyboard flexing issue, USB 3.0 not working, etc. etc.) all of these are of course fixed by dell if you call them out on a claim.

    I believe the O.E. HDD is enough, you just buy an SSD on the side and slap it in and go (Dell options are quite expensive) and you also can consider slapping in online coupons, i got my dell XPS 17 for 1200 when the retail was almost 2000 after coupons. As for battery, the Dell's XPS 15 and 17 series (I believe the 14 too) Won't yield you much of a battery life. From my perspective, i've got a 9-cell on a 3GB GT555m and the battery lasts me a maximum of 3hrs off of a charge, with lighting all the way down. Then again I got all the bells and whistles that were worth getting (1080p screen, 3GB GT555m instead of the 2GB GT540m, etc. etc.)

    What i'm trying to get at is (and sorry for the long post), if you're planning on getting a laptop and you're looking for extended amounts of battery life, steer clear of the dell.... Although a phenomenal machine IMO, it's just not a laptop i would of gotten if i knew I'd get 3hrs when this HP i gave away to my gf (similar specs except the GT555m card) gets 6hrs+ on a charge under full utilization.

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