View Full Version : Advice on laptop

11-03-2010, 07:12 AM
Hey to all. I'm looking for some advice on purchasing a new laptop. The one that I think that I am going to go with is this one.

Gateway NV53A34U LXWPZ02.002 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6438769&sku=G180-15629%20BK)

It's primary use will be for my computing classes in my second year of Applied Sciences and Technology. The workstations that they have us build are junk and I'm tired of using them. So, taking out a school loan, I will get a laptop that I am happy with. I ask in here because I would like to do some Lightwave'in on it as well, but more for modelling than anything. I have a pretty good desktop that I would do all of my rendering on. I'm looking more for advice on this brand and anyone that has a similar model. I googled for reviews and didn't see hardly anything. The other thing that makes me nervous is that the manufacturer is Acer. Of which I have not heard many good things about their monitors. But I would think with the Gateway name they would hold them to some certain standards. But then again, with Mr. Rid's recent thread about Dell, who knows...? Here is a brief description of the specs if the link doesn't work.

AMD Phenom II N830 Triple core 2.1 Ghz
ATI Radeon HD 5650 with 1024 MB of VRAM
Windows 7 home pro 64bit (Key!!!)
4 Gig DDR3 RAM @ 1066 over 2 slots
320 Gig HDD @ 5400 RPM (Kinda slow)
6 Cell Lithium-ion battery.

For the most part, I will be using a host of server and networking programs this and next semester and whatever else they can think of requiring us to install. And I would like to be able to play some games on decent settings. Not looking to play Crysis up on high, but you know what I mean. Anyway. Thanks in advance. Teacher is looking at me funny so I better wrap this up for now.....

11-03-2010, 09:59 PM
It's a very generic laptop - nothing special. My main issues are:

- the 5400 rpm hd: that bottleneck will kill the performance. My advice: get a Seagate Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid SATA Drive. My three year old XPS1710 (with a 5400rpm drive) now boots in about 35 secs, before it took about 4-5 minutes (same disk image, so a sound comparison). Best performance upgrade I ever experienced.

- the screen: very low-res, especially if you want to do some graphics work.

- the ATI gpu is much better than Intel's ****e, but not by that much. In my experience nvidia's opengl drivers generally work better and you will encounter less issues with 3d apps. (I used to be ATI only, but was forced to switch sides due to these issues)

The only redeeming factor is win 7 pro. Perhaps that is their way to lure you in buying this machine. In your place, I would go for something like this, which is still affordable, and out-performs your choice by quite a lot:

Then again, it is less portable and the battery life sucks - though your main aim is to use it during classes, so the latter is not a problem.

Or, if portability, performance, build quality and battery life is important to you, you will not be disappointed by Alienware's M11 - it gets rave reviews just about anywhere on the net. And for about $1000, it not that expensive either. Make certain to bargain with Dell when ordering - it saves money. http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m11x/pd

Also have a look at Asus gaming laptops/notebooks - they tend to give the best bang for the buck, while offering good quality.