Advice re new laptop £500 to £600 max

  cas5090 22:32 01 Jan 11
Locked

Hi, I'd appreciate some advice. I am buying my son a laptop for his 18th birthday and will have a maximum of £600 but would prefer to spend nearer the £500 mark. (He's chipping in some towards this himself too, within that budget)

He will use the laptop mainly for uni work (assuming he gets in), watching tv via the internet and gaming - stuff like Fallout, Sins of a Solar Empire.

He obviously wants the very best we can get him for the money.

Regarding specs, he wants at least 2GB RAM (preferably more) and deffo the best possible dedicated graphics card. He's hoping for Windows 7, a dual core processor around 2 ghz and a hard drive over 320g.

Can anyone tell me first if these specs are way out of reach on our budget and second, if not, anyone know of any great deals around at the moment?

Many thanks

  cas5090 22:34 01 Jan 11

Sorry I forgot to say, battery life and portability aren't his main concern as it will mainly be used where there's access to a power source and wont be carried around too much

  GaT7 22:24 02 Jan 11

click here gives a useful benchmark comparison list between various laptop graphics cards (GPUs) with respect to some games. The GPUs near the top are the best, with descending performance levels as you go down the list. With a budget of £600, you may not get very much, but try to get one in the 4th tier (or better) at the very least: that's from a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M to a NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M. The rest of the spec should meet his requirements & be good enough for everything else.

Click on the GPU links there to get more details, & more importantly, the laptop makes & models that have that particular GPU installed. E.g. if you click on the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M link (or click here), you'll get a list of all the laptops that have this GPU lower down that page.

As you can see, the choice is staggering for just one GPU, but many of the laptops mentioned there may not be available to buy in the UK. You may have to go through several before finding a suitable one that's available & also falls within your budget. Start with a GT 330M GPU as these are more likely to be nearer your price range - e.g. this SAMSUNG Q530-JT01UK click here.

If he wasn't going to play 3D games (or he were to opt for a desktop instead), it would've been much easier to find a suitable system. G

  cas5090 16:04 03 Jan 11

Thanks so much for that detailed reply Crossbow, really great informative response, thanks again :)

  ukpostcode 16:11 03 Jan 11

Both Staples & PCWorld have sales on at the moment.
Go for a Toshiba with Staples?
Or try Novatech as well?

  cas5090 09:29 04 Jan 11

thanks ukpostcode, had a look and those places and didn't see anything with specs as good as the samsung suggested by the previous poster. He's very tempted by that one so it looks like the decision's made, thanks for the input

  The Kestrel 09:34 04 Jan 11

Save some money by buying the Samsung laptop from click here

  cas5090 20:49 10 Jan 11

Hell, is there any way I can change this from "resolved" to "unresolved"?

Thanks for that link The Kestrel. We found it in CCL for £603.54 and as we live very close to them, it'd save delivery charges and also be easy to return in case of problems.

However, his budget has increased slightly and we would like some more advice.

Would this be a better laptop for gaming? We know its a smaller hard drive and less RAM, the hard drive size isn't a problem so we wondered about the benefits of this one over the samsung given the price difference.

Its here, sorry I dont know how to do the click here thing, its top right, £692.48

click here

  cas5090 20:51 10 Jan 11

:) ooh the click here thing does itself!

  GaT7 21:54 10 Jan 11

The latest Asus one you posted (click here) has a 9500M GS GPU.

Now if you visit the benchmark link I posted the other day, you'll see that the 9500M GS lies near the middle of the 7th tier (or 131st).

The GT 330M we discussed earlier, lies near the middle of the 5th tier (or 88th).

In other words the GT 330M is significantly better, & you should really aim for one near it or above it in the list. G

  cas5090 09:38 11 Jan 11

Thanks so much for that Crossbow, much appreciated

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