Need a good laptop that won't overheat!

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Shai Hulud, Aug 8, 2009.

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  1. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Newbie

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    A little about myself--I'm a PhD mathematics student, and will be using my computer for both work and entertainment purposes.

    I have had the worst luck with computers overheating in the past. The computer I'm using right now is an Asus G1P, a capable machine at one point, but it has been almost crippled for the past several months by overheating problems. My CPU frequently reaches temperatures of 210+ F just from surfing the internet!! I'm afraid it's going to melt any day now, and I would like to get a new computer ASAP so I can save the contents of my hard drives.

    Anyway, I've been out of the notebook market for about two years so I don't know much about the new ones, though my general level of computer experience is fairly high. I did help my mom purchase a new notebook a couple months ago, a Lenovo G530, and she is very happy with it, but that's the limit of my recent research.

    I want a computer that can multitask, play videos with large amounts of internet tabs open (I often have 20+ tabs open in Firefox), play music, watch DVDs, read e-books (I often have several open at once), etc. I play games occasionally but if a dedicated graphics card is going to make the computer run hotter I'd probably rather just forget about it. Light weight is good, somewhat portable, okay battery life, though most of the time I will have a power source nearby so this isn't a big issue.

    For operating system, I don't like Vista, but it seems they're all using Vista these days so I guess I'll deal with it. Also, a good keyboard is a must! Now, onto the form


    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    No set budget, but I'd like to spend somewhere from $500 - $1000 if possible, maybe more if I fall in love.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    a. Netbook; 10” screen or less
    b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12” screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    Thin and Light or Mainstream. I want a 14 or 15" screen, though screen size is not as much a factor as weight. Weight should be fairly light (less than 6 lb, the lighter the better).

    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.

    Through the internet, either straight from manufacturer or somewhere like newegg

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    a. Like: Lenovo
    b. Dislike: ?

    5) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Watching movies, surfing the internet (with LOTS of tabs open at once, I like to have anywhere from 10 - 30 tabs open at once because I get distracted), listening to music, downloading files, writing papers

    6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Taking it with me on trips, mostly using it around the apartment, possibly taking it to my office.

    7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games or types of games?
    Probably not. Every couple years a game comes out I want to play, but it probably isn't worth spending an extra $500 on my computer to play it. I tend to like RPGs, though, and am particularly interested in Dragon Age. Don't know what the system requirements are likely to be...

    8) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    I almost always have a power source nearby, so it doesn't really matter. Long battery life is good, though, I suppose.

    9) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    I'll probably buy online, but I might want to check out the local Best Buy to look at their models first. In the past their selection has been pretty limited though so I'll probably have to end up buying one without seeing it first.

    10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Definitely prefer XP to Vista, though most of the newer PCs seem to use Vista so I guess I can suck it up if necessary

    Screen Specifics

    11) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer?

    a. WXGA – 1280x800 or occasionally 1280x768; For people who like big text and icons that are easy to read. Less stuff fits on the screen, which translates into more scrolling.
    b. WXGA+ – 1440x900; A modest bump over WXGA. Text and icons are a bit smaller. A little more stuff fits on the screen.
    c. WSXGA+ – 1680x1050; The middle ground. Again, text and icons are smaller than WXGA+, and more stuff fits onto the screen. Good for having applications open side by side, like a web browser while playing a video.
    d. WUXGA - 1920x1200; Very small text and icons, that can be hard to read. Lots of stuff fits on the screen, which means less scrolling. Good for applications that require a high level of detail like CAD or Photo Editing.

    a. The screen on my Asus G1 is actually WXGA+ but everything is just too tiny in that resolution. I have it set to 1280 x 800 and it's fine. Not really an issue to me what the native resolution is.

    12) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?

    I guess glossy though I'm not sure I've ever used a matte screen.

    Build Quality and Design

    13) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    A little. I like thin and light notebooks.

    14) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
    Buying ASAP as my current one I expect to die any day now. I want it to last as long as possible, but 2 - 3 years is probably a reasonable expectation.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 500GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
    A lot. Though I have an external drive too so I don't necessarily need a 500 GB drive if it's going to drive the cost way up.

    16) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?

    Yes, though it could probably be external if necessary. Don't need blu-ray, cdrw + dvd burning capability is nice.


    So to reiterate, I want a solid, capable computer with a lot of RAM, that can multitask and run a lot of Firefox windows and tabs while staying cool. Watch movies, videos, stream videos, play music, etc. I want a big hard drive, and the notebook should be fairly lightweight. A good keyboard is a must! I'd like to spend $500 - $1000, though I can go a little higher if I can't get what I want at that price range.

    Thanks in advance for your help everyone!
  2. ahl395

    ahl395 Ahlball

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  3. afhstingray

    afhstingray Notebook Prophet

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    i think your fan exhaust might be clogged up from the inside.

    i've seen notebooks that just after 2 months have a 2-3mm layer of dust, almost like a carpet blocking the exhaust.

    suggest you open up your current notebook and clear it out, you'll probably see a large reduction in temps.

    other than the lenovo's mentioned above, i'd also suggest the Dell Latitude E6500/E6400 from the dell outlet. Comes with 3 years next business day onsite warranty
  4. BeefyBeefo

    BeefyBeefo Notebook Consultant

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    Well, my Thinkpads have last 5 and 4 years respectively (in signature). They were never turned off unless flying and were constantly doing something. I would still recommend these computers to anyone who needs an extremely durable notebook that will last a long time. I am very hard on my equipment, and I'm actually quite shocked that the T42 is still breathing. :D
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