Laptop i5 --> i7, FHD --> UHD upgrade worth it?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by One of the good guys, Jul 21, 2016.

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  1. One of the good guys

    One of the good guys Notebook Consultant

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    My 5-year-old laptop recently died. I was looking around for a bit to replace it, then decided to wait. My budget is ~$800 which puts me in the 960M range but with the soon coming Pascal cards I have decided it would be good to wait a few months.

    When I was looking last week I was looking at the 17" HP Pavilion. They had a 25% off coupon, as well as a 30% off coupon for computers $1199 or more. I could have gotten a i5 6300, 12 GB RAM, 1 TB 7200rpm HDD, 128 GB SSD, FHD laptop for about $715; a pretty good deal in my opinion (if not an awesome deal). However, if I upgraded the CPU to an i7 6700 and the resolution to UHD, it would have put the base price above $1199, meaning the 30% off coupon was available and the price is $875, only $150 more.

    Now my questions: Do you think those upgrades are worth it? Or is it just gimmicky? Would you guys do it, and why or why not?

    Now I know you need to know a little background to answer that question. I like to play games (often old games, which I know don't matter in this discussion) and the "flavor of the month" changes, but the new games I've recently been into are Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft 2, Civ V, and a little bit of Star Wars Battlefront. We have no TV so our laptop and desktop are our primary means of movie-watching. And I'm a sucker for high resolution, and I like good deals.

    So, what say you?
     
  2. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    RTS games benefit from the i7, and UHD kills battery life but will look much better. Both are your call. The i5 is good enough for most games, but RTS ones are pretty cpu intensive so you will get benefit there when there are a ton of units on screen at once.
     
  3. One of the good guys

    One of the good guys Notebook Consultant

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    That makes sense for RTS games, and possibly large games of Civ V.

    Does an i7 and/or UHD "future-proof" the laptop in any way? If I'm expecting the laptop to last 4-5 years do you think 4k content will make me regret picking 1080p over 4k?
     
  4. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    Perhaps, things like youtube are already adopting 4k. Movies are slowly making there way towards it, but I would still expect 1080p to be quite common, though maybe no longer the norm. i7 might get you an extra year of usage compared to the i5, but they'll both be fine for far longer than the 960m, that'll be outdated first.
     
  5. One of the good guys

    One of the good guys Notebook Consultant

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    So you don't think 4k is really a gimmick? It's not a total waste of money, but rather a purely optional upgrade that's nice to have, but certainly not necessary?

    It sounds more and more like at least getting the i7 is a good choice, though. I was thinking of getting both.

    Now my fear is that when I buy my laptop in the future I'll get too picky and be stuck in a "really want 1060M, and i7, and 4k, and etc." mindset as well as a cheap "not much more than $900" mindset and I will lose my mind if I don't get all that. :wacko:

    However, if I was able to get an i7, 4k, and 960M for $875 last week, I should be able to get an i7, 4k, and at least a 960M for $875 or less around the holiday season, right?
     
  6. StormJumper

    StormJumper Notebook Virtuoso

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    You assume that model is still there...which most likely will not be.
     
  7. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    See:
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2632&cmp[]=2586

    22% more cost for 39% more multithreaded performance is a deal I wouldn't have passed up on.

    Thinking that what is offered today will be offered in the future is just not being sure of what you're buying.

    The deal as it stood was 'too good to pass up'. If you needed to buy a system last week.

    It seems your 'needs' were not in tune with the offers available though. :)

    When the holiday season arrives, the base prices will have changed and you'll need to analyze the deals on offer then (with a fresh set of eyes).

    Doesn't matter what might have been (last week), nor if the price is higher or lower. The only thing that should drive your purchase is if it within your spending power (at that time - and I hope it isn't based on an arbitrary budget limit) and it covers as much more, than your current workloads demand today, as possible.

    Pick a performance level first. Set your budget accordingly. Then find the best deal within that (real) budget.

    If you do it properly, you won't have to ask anyone if it was a good deal (not even yourself). Because you'll already know at what point the 'deal' becomes worth it to you (yeah; homework done).
     
  8. joller

    joller Newbie

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    900 mobile series are outdated, do not buy
     
  9. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    No I don't think its a gimmick at all lol. My desktop is fully specced to truly utilize 4k and I love it. Scaling is an issue for some people, though I think Windows 10 is pretty decent at it. I love watching 4k content, and running games like Star Citizen and GTA V on 4K ultra are incredible looking, blowing away 1080p. Higher resolution screens are easier on the eyes too. It will definitely go that way, 1080p will eventually be replaced, but how long that will take is anyones guess. Even people stauchly against 4k on this forum are doing so because of the Windows 10 support of it, not that they hate things looking crisper.
     
  10. LTBonham

    LTBonham Notebook Evangelist

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    That sounds like a good deal, and the upgrades sound good for the price, but I personally will never buy HP anything ever again. I would never recommend anyone buy HP. Reasons are blown motherboards, bad driver support, incorrect specifications, yadda yadda.
     
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