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Buying new laptop


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#1 Lelantus

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 01:01 AM

I am thinking about buying a bare bones laptop and customizing it to save money. I have built custom desktops before so I don't think I will have too many problems assembling the laptop. I don't need too much storage (I think I would even be happy with 80GB) but I do want a good processor and memory with a decent graphics card. I am going of to college so this laptop will have to replace my desktop (run multiple virtual machines, some gaming, and other resource intensive tasks). So far I have picked the following parts:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819111001 - processor
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820227251 - ram
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148307 - hard drive
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16856172001 - bare bones laptop

#2 p0larized

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 01:38 AM

That looks good. I've got a lesser powered Penron with 3MB cache and it runs multiple VMs fine. My only problem would be only one PC express slot. I prefer to have the option to use two good wireless cards One for injection and one for capturing. Most of the good WiFi cards are PCMCIA.

I do not know much about the nVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT. Most laptop video cards are not very powerful though. They usually sacrifice performance for stamina. So games like Crysis may not be as good as on a moderately powered desktop.

#3 Ohm

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 01:50 AM

There's just no point. For that money, you could just about get this. This was on the front page of Newegg's laptop page, which is the only reason why I picked it.

Don't "build" a laptop. You don't get support, you're SOL if it breaks and there are bound to be problems. Am I also to understand a standard desktop CPU will fit into this beast? What cooler are you going to use? Will it literally burn your lap right off your legs? It'll be loud and chunky and you'll end up doing a lot more work than you need to. Just buy a laptop, the few dollars you save isn't consequential and you'll get nothing but pain from the barebones laptop.

#4 droops

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 02:09 AM

i am with ohm on this one. i depend on my laptops for work, i have a thinkpad t60 and t61, both have the the awesome lenovo warranty, which seems to be the same as when ibm ran the show. if something breaks, and on laptops that you are going to be lugging around, there is a good chance of it, they fix it, no questions asked. that is worth the money to me.

#5 livinded

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 02:44 AM

I third the lenovo option. Thinkpads are the best machines I've ever owned. Completely worth the premium you are paying for the quality of hardware and service you get.

#6 droops

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 04:32 AM

i dont know if they cost more than other laptops, mine was cheaper than my wifes mac, and when i was shopping for the last laptop, i looked into sony laptops, which were more expensive than the thinkpad.

#7 H4z3

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 07:53 AM

Building or customizing a laptop is a complete different story than building your own Desktop. I've tried it, and I have failed. I ended up spending far more money than I would have if I had bought a £1000 HP Pavillion. It's just not worth it. A major problem with customizing or building laptops is with a cooling system, it'll be chunky, sound like an aeroplane taking off and it'll burn the skin right off your legs. It gets messy pretty quick. You'll find your fingers sticking to your keys where they've melted slightly, its not a good look.

Personally I dont think its worth it, as great as the idea is; just stick to pre-built laptops. I learnt my lesson the hard way.

#8 livinded

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 10:41 AM

i dont know if they cost more than other laptops, mine was cheaper than my wifes mac, and when i was shopping for the last laptop, i looked into sony laptops, which were more expensive than the thinkpad.

I'm talking about the lower end dell's, acers, and other laptops not targeted at high performance. Apple charges a lot more for their upgrades, however if you want more ram you can buy your own and do it yourself much cheaper without voiding the warranty. They charge something like $700 for 4 gigs of ram which if you do it yourself you can get for about $200. With Apple you are also paying a premium, but honestly the hardware of the Macbook Pros are almost identical to the T series Thinkpads. The only difference between the T60 and the Macbook Pro of the time is that my Thinkpad doesn't have EFI. Everything else, even the atheros wireless card, is the same.

#9 Boogieman

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 04:45 PM

There's just no point. For that money, you could just about get this. This was on the front page of Newegg's laptop page, which is the only reason why I picked it.

Don't "build" a laptop. You don't get support, you're SOL if it breaks and there are bound to be problems. Am I also to understand a standard desktop CPU will fit into this beast? What cooler are you going to use? Will it literally burn your lap right off your legs? It'll be loud and chunky and you'll end up doing a lot more work than you need to. Just buy a laptop, the few dollars you save isn't consequential and you'll get nothing but pain from the barebones laptop.


I agree completely. Another way to look at it is that after a year or two, you can buy another cheap pre-built laptop and have a new warranty and support and may still be cheaper than your home-built. 10+ years ago, it was always cheaper to buy your own machine. These days, that is rarely true. The one exception used to be high end gaming machines where you really wanted the latest and greatest in everything, but that is not true anymore. There are tons of companies specializing in this as well now and they are cheaper than building it yourself from parts.

Unless you have very custom needs, I always recommend that people buy a new machine with support.

#10 p0larized

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:43 PM

I've built a laptop before and it turned out decent. Really, it did not save any money though. Like Dell, Lenovo, etc; most consumers cannot buy parts in lots of thousands at a time.

#11 superkippah

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 03:50 AM

I disagree, Ohm and droops are to much of a pussy to build anything. they have most likely never even opened a laptop in their life. I say do it, you get more experience under your belt, and you'll know more.

I have opened 50-60+ laptops and repaired them. I have never built one, but building one would give me alot more knowledge about the inner workings of one. I say do it and leave everyone else behind

Edited by superkippah, 03 August 2008 - 03:51 AM.





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