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Old 07-15-2009, 02:08 PM   #1
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Question Help buying a laptop!!

So I really need some good advice/help on buying a laptop for school/work. I know very little about computers, and any computer place that I have gone to around my house has been absolutely useless. Apparently you don't need to know computers in order to work in repairs/assistance anymore... haha...Any ways..

I'm currently a student in Graphic Design and do digital illustration work. I use/will be using programs such as: Adobe Photoshop CS2 (but may be upgrading to CS4 w/ Illustrator CS4, InDesign CS4, Flash CS4, etc), Corel Painter X, GIMP, Wacom Tablet and your basics like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel. I also will be using it for videos, pictures and music. I think that's all....
In a couple years I will be going into an Animation program, and if I end up with software such as Maya, I want to know if a laptop can handle that. Buuuut that's not for a while, so my main concern is the programs I listed above.

I've been looking at 3 models:

Sager NP8662
-Intel Centrino Platform
-45nm Intel Core Duo Processor T9goo/6MB L2 Cache, 2.80GHz, 1066MHz FSB
(there's other options like: P9700/6MB L2 Cache, 2.80GHz * OR T9900/ *, 3.06GHz, * OR Quad Processor Q9000/ *. 2.0GHz, * - not sure which one to choose)
-Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M Graphics w/1GB GDDR3
-Vista Home Premium 64-bit
-6GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 1x4GB + 1x2GB
-500GB 5400rpm SATA 300HD OR 500GB 7200rpm SATA 300HD

Dell Studio 15
-Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 (2.53GHz/10ggMhz FSB/3MB cache)
-Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1
-8GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
-500GB SATA Hard Drive 5400RPM OR 320GB SATA Hard Drive 7200rpm
- Video Card: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD OR 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 OR 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570

Alienware Area-51 m15x
-512MB ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 3870 OR 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800M GT OR 512MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 3600M: The Creative Pro’s choice for advanced content creation
-Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9300 2.5GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB) OR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9500 2.6GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB) OR Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme X9000 2.8GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB) - Vista Home Premium 64-bit
- 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz – 2 x 2048MB
-500GB 7,200RPM (16MB Cache) w/ Free Fall Protection

Also, I was looking at Macs for a bit, but I'm not sure that I want to make the switch over.... But again, I don't know much of what they're capable of.

So any help/advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help buying a laptop!!

What is your budget?

Quote:
Alienware Area-51 m15x
-512MB ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 3870 OR 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800M GT OR 512MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 3600M: The Creative Pro’s choice for advanced content creation
-Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9300 2.5GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB) OR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9500 2.6GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB) OR Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme X9000 2.8GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB) - Vista Home Premium 64-bit
- 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz – 2 x 2048MB
-500GB 7,200RPM (16MB Cache) w/ Free Fall Protection
Quote:
Sager NP8662
-Intel Centrino Platform
-45nm Intel Core Duo Processor T9goo/6MB L2 Cache, 2.80GHz, 1066MHz FSB
(there's other options like: P9700/6MB L2 Cache, 2.80GHz * OR T9900/ *, 3.06GHz, * OR Quad Processor Q9000/ *. 2.0GHz, * - not sure which one to choose)
-Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M Graphics w/1GB GDDR3
-Vista Home Premium 64-bit
-6GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 1x4GB + 1x2GB
-500GB 5400rpm SATA 300HD OR 500GB 7200rpm SATA 300HD
I don't suggest these at all. These are gaming notebooks that should not be used for college if you're looking for mobility and portability.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help buying a laptop!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01001010 View Post
I don't suggest these at all. These are gaming notebooks that should not be used for college if you're looking for mobility and portability.
This.

01001010 has great advice in this area...he coached me through ordering my laptop (Sony Vaio FW-490) a few days ago.

I would suggest getting a dedicated GPU if you are doing design work...it should help quite a bit over integrated graphics. Again, what's your budget?
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help buying a laptop!!

My budget is $3000.00, although it would be nice to find something closer to $2000.00.

Do certain laptops come with dedicated GPU?
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help buying a laptop!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdeans View Post
My budget is $3000.00, although it would be nice to find something closer to $2000.00.
Apple MacBook Pro

HP EliteBook 8530w

Lenovo ThinkPad W500

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdeans View Post
Do certain laptops come with dedicated GPU?
Yep.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help buying a laptop!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01001010 View Post
Thanks for those suggestions!!
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