View Full Version : New POWER Wavin' Laptop, only 800 in the UK!

02-21-2007, 06:00 PM

Few months ago I started looking around for a laptop for my Dad. We'd settled on a machine from Tesco's. Not a top brand (Acer), but it had centrino core 2 duo processor (1.66GHZ) 1GB of Ram, nvidea 7300 gfx card (128MB). It was a pretty decent machine and was selling for 650. Thought this should keep him happy and out of trouble for a few years with a gfx card a cut above the usual intel 950's you seem to see everywhere.

OK too cut a long story short...

Took the plunge this week and went around all the major electrical shops (Comet, curry's, PC World ,Tesco's extra etc etc).

Came across this in Comet. Same base machine as tesco's but with...
1.83GHZ Core 2 Duo and 2GB of Ram for the same price as Tesco's.

To put this into perspective, I went to Dell the night before last to see how much a machine with that spec would cost.
The 1GB to 2GB memory upgrade would cost an extra 211
The 1.66 to 1.83GHZ processor would cost another 107.

We went back today and He bought it.
I saw something else...

2GHZ Centrino Core 2 Duo.
667Mhz Bus with 4MB Cache
2 Gig memory
Nvidea 7600 SE GFX (256MB)
160GB HD

I drove my Dad the twenty odd miles back back home with a knot in my stomach then drove the twenty odd miles back and bought the sucker :D

Was looking at prices on a machine I could use with Lightwave a few months ago, I think the starting prices were in the range of about 1600, more if you wanted a higher res screen.

My old machine is a compaq nx7000, it's a beauty, fantastic 1680*1050 screen, solid construction, quality throughout. The new machine can't compare with it on anything but RAW SPEED.

Quick render test of pretty intensive human head (SSS, area light, interpolated radiosity)...
Old machine
28 minutes 40 seconds
New Machine
7 minutes 11 Seconds :D :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I ran the old machine (1.6GHZ Centrino) against a desktop P4 (2.53GHZ) a couple of years ago. The Centrino nearly matched it with the P4 winning by a margin of less than 10%.

This would mean the new machine is rendering at about the speed of a 9GHZ single threaded Pentium 4 (if there were such an animal).

Just thought I'd let everyone know, 800 really is one heck of a price for this beast :D :thumbsup:

Here's a link, scroll down to the 'Acer 5685'

02-21-2007, 07:49 PM
Here's some 2006 Benchmarks point scores (3DMark06) on the graphic card, not the top of the league, but at a laptop of this price, it's a bit amazing :) I'm comparing ATI's here as there usualy what I go for. (Intel chips in there as reference)

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900

ATI Radeon Xpress 200M

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 <- Found in most off the shelf laptops from approx 500 to up and over 1000

ATI Mobility Radeon X300

ATI Mobility Radeon 9700

ATI Mobility Radeon X600

ATI Mobility Radeon X1300

ATI Mobility FireGl V5200

ATI Mobility Radeon X1400

ATI Mobility Radeon X700

ATI Mobility Radeon X800

ATI Mobility Radeon X1600

NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600
1900 <----- Not too shabby at all :thumbsup:

The very top score out there goes to the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX at a score of 5214. (extremely expensive card).

Figures are from here...

Right I'm cream crackered, had enough fun for one day. :)

02-22-2007, 03:24 AM
How nice for your dad to have such a good well educated in computers boy. Nothing better then if you need something, and one of yours is the expert on it. It would probably seem to him that the computer that you bought is the best just because you say so.

But come to think of it, that adds all the more reponsibility to you. Are you sure you have THEE Best of llaptops for that price? Did you check on HP's? Cause some of llaptop names that you mentioned are way new upcoming names. I mean: Acer who? and Tesco's what? Ive never heard of them. Well ok, Acer, I saw a desktop flat monitor with that name once, and I have it now, but not sure weather they are good for llaptops. I wouldve gone for Dell for my dad. Its alot safer. A bit more cash and off you go. But thats just me, what matters is that you both are satisfied. What does your dad do anyway... I mean is he into computers the slightest bit. I know mine isnt.

02-22-2007, 04:55 AM
i have an acer5022 15.4 and the onyl things that i find are lacking are:-

The keyboard is not great..i've had a key fall off...and talking to a pc shop they reccomented i really go use a external usb keyboard if i'm doing heavy work..which i am as this is my main pc for lw and max which i do new with a labtec usb keyboard.

it heats up quite a bit...i'm usig a amd turion version though so not sure how hot/cold a intel core2 duo is in comparison

screen res on my5022 is 15.4 widescreen but the res is 1280 x 800 on the laptop so i extend my desktop to my lacie 22"

so what's the screen res on this acer you bought?

02-22-2007, 05:08 AM
here's the pdf on their range


look as though the res is still 1280 x 800 which i a little cramped for me if only using the laptop screen and not a 2nd monitor.

still pretty happy with mine though..it has a ati x700 [128mb] graphics chip which was quite good for the time i bought it [last april]

next pc for me will be a imac24" or a mac pro to run windows xp nr exclusivly so i can run lightwave 9.2 and 3dsmax 9.0

02-22-2007, 11:26 AM
diedond -

I mean: Acer who? and Tesco's what? Ive never heard of them
Acer make the Ferrari brand laptops (backer of Ferrari). I've also head they're the largest laptop manufacturer/distributer in Europe (although I've no idea how true that last statement is).
Tesco is a multi billion pound supermarket chain, they don't make laptops :). They have a store in virtualy every town in Britain (Four towns are still fighting to keep them away :D). In some of the larger towns they have Tesco's extra. Tesco's extra get they're hands on electrical goods at bargain bucket prices and try to undercut everyone else. Some of the stuff they sell is cheaper than you can find on the net!.

Did I get him the best notebook for the price? no idea. Dell, HP, Sony etc all make great machines. I've had laptops made by quite a few of the top brands (with the exception of Dell). What you won't find with those manufactures is anywhere near the spec for the price.
Intel core 2 Duo 1.83GHZ
2GB Ram
120GB hardrive
nvidia 7300 GFX (128MB)

Having a brand name laptop is all very well, but if it's well past it's sell by date in 12 months it's a waste of space. Dad wanted a machine for the internet (OK, a 350 laptop will give you that), He intends to keep this for years. The internet is changing at a pace. You tube etc is just the start. Look at PIM to see where we may be going. For 650 I could have recommended a top brand with average power, instead we hit on a bargain that even when running Vista Premium should be OK for a few years yet :)



here's the pdf on their range
It's a weird and strange thing. The specs on the acer site match the specs of the machines they were selling in Tesco's and PC World. Both the Acer's in Comet I've mentioned have a far higher spec. I wasn't making it up when I said Dell want over 300 extra on the price for an upgrade from 1.66GHZ with 1Gig Ram to 1.83GHZ with 2GB of Ram :thumbsup:

it heats up quite a bit...i'm usig a amd turion version though so not sure how hot/cold a intel core2 duo is in comparison
I expected this machine to get a lot hotter than my Compaq (runs supercool). I had both machines on side by side last night for about 11 hours. The Acer matched it :eek: . I even ran the nvidia demo's through it for about 2 hours (luna, lanu etc). It was absolutely fine, no hotter than the compaq :thumbsup:

look as though the res is still 1280 x 800 which i a little cramped for me if only using the laptop screen and not a 2nd monitor.
Absolutely right. When you've used higher res laptops it's one h*ll of a come down to use a 1280*800, as you say though, you can allways plug in an external monitor if you really need the higher res. :thumbsup:


Should say I'm talking about two machines here

1.83GHZ Centrino core 2 Duo, 2GB Ram, 120GB HD, Nvidia 7300 GFX (128MB)
2.0GHZ Centino core 2 Duo, 2GB Ram, 160GB (Sata?) HD, Nvidia 7600 SE gfx (256MB)

Downsides, - 1280*800 resolution screens
Upsides - Powerhouses. Best bang for buck in the UK bar NONE :thumbsup:

02-23-2007, 04:05 PM
Just a quicky, got my figures wrong. I'd coppied my 9.2 beta folder over to the new machine and render my initial test in demo mode as it was on the original machine. When I ran new tests today I found the processors were only running at 50% (Doh!)

Original times for the head test
28m 40s
New time using full power
3m 49s :D

Unbelievable :thumbsup:

Here's a quick WIP (I'm still on a high with this so wouldn't normaly show something like this in this state).
Colour, bump and specular maps need a total rework, Iris UV's were altered last week and need a good deal of reworking. Lower lashes need removing and rebuilding from scratch. Anyway, here we go, I wouldn't have even dreamt of trying a render like this on the old machine :)

Pure LW9.2 beta render, no photoshop.

02-23-2007, 04:16 PM
Roll on the old edit rules :devil:

Image posted above was not the test, the test was an 800x600 full head render with less passes and no depth of field.