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Get Richland/Haswell laptop for college, or wait until Christmas for Kaveri?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Loney111111, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Loney111111

    Loney111111 Notebook Deity

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    I plan on using the laptop at University of Iowa (Mechanical Engineering), for at least 4 years. Two games I plan on occasionally playing is Team Fortress 2 and Wargame: Airland Battle. The weight has to be less than 5.5 lb.

    I am not sure if both games properly support quad-cores. I suspect Airland Battle only scales up to dual cores based on their system requirement (2.5 GHz AMD/Intel dual core).


    Option 1: Haswell/Richland

    Option 2: For the first semester, use a 14" Core 2 business laptop for mobility purposes, and my current 17" Asus N61Jq as a stationary computer. Over the winter break, buy a Kaveri laptop to do both mobility and stationary roles (unless if it somehow turns out to be really terrible, Haswell).
     
  2. Sanjiro

    Sanjiro Notebook Guru

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    What kind of budget do you have? And what kind of performance are you looking for? 4 Years is a fairly long time, so usually you'll want to go for something with higher performance to keep up with higher requirements later on.


    The top of the line Richland processor should provide about 20-30% more performance on both the CPU and GPU side than your Asus N61Jq, but I'm not sure if you will be able to find it in a 14"; I haven't seen the top of the line A10-4600M trinity in any laptops under 15" so if the same thing will happen with Richland, you will have to go with a slower version in a 14" (should still be faster than your current Asus laptop, but maybe closer to 10-20% faster).

    If you don't have a very low budget, your best bet might be to get a 14" with a separate processor and discrete video card, for example Asus has a 14" gaming laptop that weighs 5.5lbs and should be considerably faster than your current Asus (about double the performance in graphics and around 50% on the cpu side): Newegg.com - Refurbished: ASUS G46VW-BHI5N43 Notebook Intel Core i5 3210M(2.50GHz) 14" 8GB Memory 750GB HDD 5400rpm NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
     
  3. Loney111111

    Loney111111 Notebook Deity

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    My max budget is $900. If there's a 15" laptop that weighs less than 5.5lb, then I'm fine with it.

    I also forgot to mention something. I want a resolution higher than 768p, and more than 5 hours of battery life.

    That's why I was asking if I should start shopping over this summer, or wait until winter.

    This is an interesting Richland laptop: HP ENVY 15z-j000 ($750)

    HP ENVY 15z-j000 Notebook PC | HP® Official Store


    EDIT: And this is how they conducted the battery life, why am I not surprised? (Although I plan on disabling the external GPU when on the move)

     
  4. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Sounds like you can afford to wait.

    For that kind of money, I would be looking for at least an i7 3632QM instead (actually cheaper if you price beat it here):

    See $750 CDN:
    Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 6272-55U w/ Core i7-3632QM, 4GB, 500GB, DVD+/-RW, 15.6in HD, Win 7 Professional 64-bit at Memory Express


    Price to beat $682.19 CDN:
    Buy Lenovo 627255U online at bedirect canada - Product details


    Final Price $665.24 (25% less...).
    Memory Express - Price Protection


    Sure, the display is 'only' 1366x768 with the TP... but the processing power is what? double? And with the price difference, you can get a nice external monitor to make up for the lowly display (at least while working at home/dorm).



    Still, even with the good deal (above) - I would wait until Haswell with it's greatly enhanced battery life and still superior cpu performance is widely available until you start thinking about spending your money.


    Dream, in the meantime... but use your head and buy the fastest, most efficient and latest gen platform you can.

    And since you can wait until winter 2013... you should.

    (Note: I would not recommend Windows 7 going into 2014 - Windows 8 Pro (and probably at the SP1 level at that point in time) is already head and shoulders above the 4+ year old Win7...).


    Good luck.
     
  5. Deks

    Deks Notebook Virtuoso

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    If I was in your position, I would wait until Kaveri is released and we see proper numbers from the architecture and its capabilities in action - that is, unless you are in a hurry.

    For gaming, etc, your Asus should hold out until then.
    Other than that, the lower sized laptops (below 15" mark) will probably receive ULV versions of Haswells which will probably be in line with Trinity/Richland capabilities in terms of cpu/gpu.
    Your 14" dual core should still be fine for most tasks if you need data input, etc.

    As I said before... wait for Kaveri's numbers, and its likely that by then the prices will effectively drop.
     
  6. Loney111111

    Loney111111 Notebook Deity

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    I prefer a resolution higher than 768p, since I find the 768p too low to effectively work with two documents or one document with a webpage next to it.

    Also, I tried the Windows 8. I was immediately turned off when I wasted 5 minutes trying to figure out how to shutdown my dad's laptop, before hitting the power button. My dad also informed me that I would have to setup an online account before using Win8 and that the control panel settings were scattered everywhere, which was also a turn off.

    Maybe if the laptop was a hybrid, but a big-no for non-touchscreen laptops.
     
  7. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    I too prefer high resolution monitors, but sometimes, price wins too. ;)

    Don't listen to your dad - spend five more minutes actually learning how to use Win8 and don't look back (online account not needed...).

    Sure Win7 Pro seems so new - compared to the almost 14 year old XP!!! But with the newest platforms/hardware (which you're itching to get) it is woefully outdated.


    Trust me. ;)
     
  8. Sanjiro

    Sanjiro Notebook Guru

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    I mostly agree with what's been said so far, if you can wait, it's a good plan to wait until kaveri comes out and decide what to do then; worst case scenario you will be able to get older laptops for a discount.

    Regarding Windows 8, you can use either a local account or online account (if you want to keep the same settings across multiple devices.

    You can change the look and feel of Windows 8 with a program like classic shell and for the most part you can get the same experience as Windows 7, but with an updated operating system with faster boot times.

    Sent from my SGH-I717D using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  9. OtherSongs

    OtherSongs Notebook Evangelist

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    You'll need a 9 cell battery to get 5+ hours of battery life. You can get a real Lenovo 9 cell 70++ for as little as $80. Worry about that after you get the unit and use it for a week or two.

    I personally think it's a waste to spend time looking for a new laptop with the new Haswell cpu. Meaning prices will be high until Thanksgiving/Xmas sales; even then you'll likely do better to focus on a laptop with an Ivy Bridge cpu.

    Anyhow, put ThinkPad T530 on your list. My T530 weights 5 lbs 10 oz w/ 9 cell (which is an extra 6 oz heavier than the 6 cell battery), when I have the DVD optical drive removed.

    Try Lenovo Outlet | Lenovo | (US)
    (do NOT put in www if you type the address yourself)

    Under "Shop" left click > Laptops & Ultrabooks

    Under "Narrow your search" click ThinkPad and T Series and 15" and 1920x1080 (imo the 1920x1080 is a "must have" but be aware that there are some who don't think so)

    This narrows available units to just the T530.

    Avoid units with SSD and anything more than a single stick of 4GB memory as Lenovo charges BIG for those (you can do way better after you get the unit).

    A i5-3360M might be worth it as it's not much extra on the Outlet and it might (?) get you a more robust power supply and robust heatsink/cooling-fan in the laptop which will come in handy if you later buy an i7 on ebay as it's relatively cheap and easy to do the replacement yourself.

    You might also consider the W530.

    One main thing that I like of my T530 (over my slightly older X220) is how much faster it boots when on battery. When on A/C they both boot in almost the same amount of time.

    Now that Intel's Haswell cpu has just been released, odds are that we'll start seeing more T530 and W530 units on Lenovo's Outlet at better prices, as the focus shifts to the new Haswell cpu.

    Lenovo's outlet also does sales, e.g. for $927 (plus state tax w/ free shipping, use Coupon OUTLET10) I see:
    ThinkPad T530 - Refurbished Part number: R9XAZRL-2359CTR
    Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-3360M Processor (3M Cache, 2.80 GHz)
    Operating system: Windows 8 Professional 64 - English
    Display: 15.6" FHD (1920 X 1080) LED Backlight w/ 720p HD Camera
    Graphics: NVIDIA NVS 5400M Optimus Graphics
    Memory: 8 GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz SODIMM Memory
    Hard Drive: 500GB, 7200RPM Serial ATA 2.5" Hard Drive
    Optical Drive: DVD Recordable Serial ATA

    If your $900 is a hard number, lower your sights slightly as I see some today as low as $719.
     
  10. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Love TP's - hate refurbished... mac book air is a nice, uhm, toy...


    Windows required to do work. A current gen QC and at least 16GB RAM also a pre-requisite, along with Win8x64 Pro (or higher).


    While the refurb offers more than enough of a real computer (ThinkPAD) for the money - it is still being short sighted.

    Point:
    the OP doesn't need a system 'today'.
    the OP wants the new system to last 4+ yrs.
    the OP wants battery life.
    the OP wants low weight.

    Haswell has been in the works for the last few decades with his name on it.


    Wait, buy smart and be happy.

    Or get a good deal now and live with the consequences:
    low(er) processing power, so-so battery life, high(er) temps and a possible hit in the pocketbook when you do decide that Haswell (or Broadwell, if it's out) was really the way to go in the first place.




    ...
     
  11. OtherSongs

    OtherSongs Notebook Evangelist

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  12. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    From the link in the post above.


    From same link.


    But, yeah - let's see what it does in the real world.


    Still is a huge step up from the last gen MBA's either way.

    No thanks to Apple; Intel is today's golden boy for mobile computing...
     
  13. OtherSongs

    OtherSongs Notebook Evangelist

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    Lenovo has good refurbs at good prices. My X220 is a Lenovo refurb.

    However I always stay away from mice refurbs. :)

    I'd only add "high priced" to your above "toy" comment on MBA. :)

    It takes time to get a "new" laptop setup and sorted to one's liking. Meaning far better to get started right now!

    ThinkPad T530 w/ Ivy Bridge meets his specs, and is on the market just long enough (just under 1 year) that the bugs and kinks are worked out.

    T530 is the better deal, than some unknown hocus pocus with a laptop with lots of new/untested expensive stuff.

    What I've seen on the new Haswell looks good, but I don't like being an early guinea pig for companies that are out with early laptops w/ Haswell cpu. But then you're one of those that jumped on Win 8 early.
     
  14. NORTHBYTEN

    NORTHBYTEN Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'd wait for Kaveri.

    I'm in a similar boat to you and everything that has been released (including the new MBA) just hasn't cut it for me

    assuming that OEMs actually give Kaveri a good chance though (hoping that the Xbox One/PS4 momentum has something to do with that)

    Hell I'm sticking to my 6 year old desktop and crappy 10" notebook until then
     
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