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nieh
02-15-2008, 03:16 PM
Since my computer shat out on me last weekend, and other things in my life are looking up, I've decided I'm finally going to live my dream and buy an Alienware (http://www.alienware.com/) computer, most likely a laptop. However, I'm not exactly rich so I'd like to not spend a ridiculous amount on it like it's very easy to do on that site (i.e. not much more than $1500, and less than that if it's possible). I'm not exactly up to date with computer hardware/software/etc., so if anyone can tell me anything I absolutely should or should not have them put in my computer and why, that would be awesome and then I can build everything else to my taste around that. I'm planning on ordering it probably a month or so from now after I get settled in my new place and some other things get ironed out.

Homer
02-15-2008, 03:53 PM
No Norton. For the love of God, don't get Norton.

HornyPope
02-15-2008, 10:27 PM
What are you going to do with the computer? Are you going to play games, are you going to run programs that are heavy on ram, are you going to be downloading a lot, will the computer be on 24/7 or close, how big of a screen do you want?

nieh
02-16-2008, 09:53 AM
No Norton. For the love of God, don't get Norton.
I've never had Norton and convinved my friend at work not to have them install it on her computer when she bought one a few months ago. Free antivirus stuff ftw!

What are you going to do with the computer? Are you going to play games, are you going to run programs that are heavy on ram, are you going to be downloading a lot, will the computer be on 24/7 or close, how big of a screen do you want?

Probably yes to everything at least occasionally. And I really don't care much about screen size and never really cared for widescreen monitors (though that might just be because I'm not used to them).

Jojan
02-16-2008, 12:26 PM
Get a computer without an operatingsystem and istall it yourself. There are alot of great free operating systems out there.

HornyPope
02-16-2008, 01:09 PM
If you want a good performance for that kind of money, you're better off with a desktop. The problem with many gaming laptops is they tend to overheat a lot because there just isn't a lot of room for a good fan or ventilation system. So it means you're limited with how powerful specs you want to include (forget a fast hard drive for example), and you risk crushing in a middle of the game. I don't know if alienware is different since I never owned one, but it's something to consider.

Still want a laptop? And how big of a screen?

Endymion
02-16-2008, 02:19 PM
There are alot of great free operating systems out there.

not really, i can only think of a few that are worthwhile.

nieh
02-18-2008, 07:27 AM
I don't know if alienware is different since I never owned one, but it's something to consider.

Still want a laptop? And how big of a screen?

Neither have I, but I've heard nothing but amazing things about them. And I don't really care about screen size. I have no need for something huge or something widescreen.

HornyPope
02-18-2008, 05:45 PM
Okay then. I've just gone through their website and their cheapest laptop starts at 1500$ and includes very ordinary specs. Ordinary video card, only one gig of ram (ouch!), only 2mb cache for cpu (and the clock speed [mhz] isn't impressive) and very regular HD.

In other words, it's not a gaming laptop. You're either going to have to add another grand to the budget, or like I suggested earlier, go for the desktop.


Edit: Here, to give you an idea, that's a good gaming computer (well, for the money). You can tweak a spec or two, upgrade to a better cpu fan, maybe downgrade a component you don't really need (like 500gig hd), but it's a good computer. It's twice the perfromance the alienware laptop is.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229013

Homer
02-18-2008, 06:18 PM
I agree with the suggestion of getting a desktop.

Also, Alienware is always expensive, no matter what.

Endymion
02-18-2008, 06:27 PM
if you want gaming, than the desktop that HP linked is pretty damn solid.

if you really want a laptop, you expect to be able to play games on high settings and such. plus the keyboard + screen connection and such makes it a little awkward to play in a natural position. a laptop for pretty much anything else, though, is awesome. i've been very, very happy with my HP pavilion. everyone else i know that's gotten one has been happy too.

WebDudette
02-18-2008, 06:35 PM
I have zero experience with Alienware, but all I have ever heard about them is that they are over priced for what they do.

HornyPope
02-18-2008, 08:44 PM
Yeah, I've been browsing their website and it's really overpriced.

MrJoe
02-19-2008, 04:16 AM
i've been very, very happy with my HP pavilion. everyone else i know that's gotten one has been happy too.

My friend has an HP Pavilion, it was awesome until one day it just didn't boot. You press the power button and the blue lights come on, but nothing else happens, I think its a heatsink or cpu failure. Out of warranty as well now. Gay.

nieh
02-26-2008, 11:21 AM
i've been very, very happy with my HP pavilion. everyone else i know that's gotten one has been happy too.
I'm pretty sure I'm getting one of these. They have some in like the $750 range at Best Buy and my friend can get me a slight discount because he works there.


I have zero experience with Alienware, but all I have ever heard about them is that they are over priced for what they do.

Yeah, I've been browsing their website and it's really overpriced.
Yeah, they used to be expensive but justifiably so (read reviews, pretty much everyone across the board would say it was totally worth it if you were able to afford the extra money) but after looking through the site again now it seems like since their name has developed a good reputation, they've jacked the prices up a lot higher than they need to be to the point where you can get an identical system for like $600 less from anywhere else. Sucks to them.

sKratch
02-26-2008, 05:34 PM
I say kudos to them if they can still get people to buy it.

nieh
02-27-2008, 08:58 AM
They look so cool!

MrJoe
02-27-2008, 09:10 AM
Looks aren't everything! :cool:

Apathy
02-27-2008, 05:46 PM
As long as this thread is here I won't make a new one.

I'm fairly certain i'll be receiving a laptop for a birthday present as a big gift from my family. My girlfriend is warning me that it will probably come with vista. Since I'm technologically incapable but still very egotistical I pretended to know what she meant and I told her that I'd take care of it.

1. What exactly is vista?
2. Why does it suck so much?
3. How would I go about "taking care" of it?

Nameh
02-27-2008, 06:21 PM
Haha, oh man. I'm sorry for laughing, but I can't help it. I didn't know people like you were still able to survive. And how you've still managed to end up here I can't really understand. Anyway:

1. Windows Vista is the operating system. You probably have Windows XP right now. The operating system is basically what makes the computer do the stuff it does, without it it would just be a box with cords. All the features and things you can do with your computer are dependant on the operating system you have installed.
2. It's supposed to be... well, I don't know. People hate it, but people always hate Micro$oft. To be honest, I don't think it will be so bad in your case. If you don't even know what it is, chances are you won't realize that it sucks. Although it can apparently be a little tricky to get some hardware to work with it (routers, etc)... but I don't really know that much. Someone else here might be able to give better answers.
3. Install another operating system. They cost money though, unless you pirate it, which isn't always that easy. And I don't know how easy it would be to buy XP now. And you'll probably need Vista in the future. I don't even want to mention Linux because that's way out of your league.

I hope I didn't sound too mean here.

Apathy
02-27-2008, 06:25 PM
Thanks for the answers. My main question is does it affect the overall speed of the computer?

Like if I open a webpage, or some program or document will I see it instantly like I would now, or will it be all laggy? That was my biggest concern that I found through asking around.

Nameh
02-27-2008, 06:28 PM
Vista does need a bit more "juice", so to speak (you'll see why when you get it... it looks all fancy and stuff), but as long as the computer isn't several years old (which it most likely won't be) it shouldn't be laggy.

MrJoe
02-28-2008, 02:45 AM
Most PC's come with Vista now, and most manufacturers make sure that the system is good enough to run Vista. Make sure the computer you get has at least 1Gb RAM/Memory, other Vista is going to slow it down a bit.

Sunny
02-28-2008, 05:06 AM
i'd say with 1 Gb of RAM don't even think about Vista. i have a Dell laptop at home and it's maxed out in terms of RAM... and Vista still manages to slow it down. when you run that little activity monitor, it shows the OS using 1-1.5 Gb at any given time (no *actual* applications running, just the desktop chilling there). woot. so yes, Apathy, if it can make a $3k computer laggy, it can make anything laggy. seriously.

MrJoe
02-28-2008, 06:21 AM
1Gb of Ram should suffice though, it depends what things you have running. My laptop had a 1Gb Ram before I upgraded it to 2Gb. Yeah, it ran a bit slower than with XP, but even with Aero and everything enabled it wasn't slow. And thats with a dedicated firewall, anti-spyware, anti-virus, messenger, utorrent, itunes, email software, and web browser open. Upgrading it to 2Gb did improve performance a fair bit though.
I'd say aim to get a PC with 2Gb or more of RAM, but if not 1Gb I found sufficient, upgrading isn't difficult or that expensive, whether its a laptop or PC.

Vera
02-28-2008, 06:52 AM
I also like my HP Pavilion, got it in early summer 2006 and while it's not a long while, I don't think I've ever had any problems with it (apart from the one time my iPod was fucking up the laptop whenever connected, but fixing the iPod fixed that). It's a wide-screen laptop, perfect for movie viewing. :)

(Of course wide-screen also means it's about twice the size of any of my friends' uberneat Macbooks but hey, fuck that shit.)

Sunny
02-28-2008, 06:58 AM
1Gb of Ram should suffice though, it depends what things you have running. My laptop had a 1Gb Ram before I upgraded it to 2Gb. Yeah, it ran a bit slower than with XP, but even with Aero and everything enabled it wasn't slow. And thats with a dedicated firewall, anti-spyware, anti-virus, messenger, utorrent, itunes, email software, and web browser open. Upgrading it to 2Gb did improve performance a fair bit though.
I'd say aim to get a PC with 2Gb or more of RAM, but if not 1Gb I found sufficient, upgrading isn't difficult or that expensive, whether its a laptop or PC.

i'd say aim for 2Gb as well. i just found it weird that the OS uses up 1-1.5 Gb of RAM just running without having anything open. such a RAM hog.

MrJoe
02-28-2008, 07:23 AM
Yeah it is. But its worse on processor usage, I have a stats thing in the sidebar that says how much workload each of my processors has, and its often randomly spiking quite high.

Nameh
02-28-2008, 08:19 AM
i'd say aim for 2Gb as well. i just found it weird that the OS uses up 1-1.5 Gb of RAM just running without having anything open. such a RAM hog.

I think that this is intentional, or maybe "intentional", to make it faster or something. I remember reading something like that. But if it slowed your computer down, maybe it doesn't work like that.

Sunny
02-28-2008, 08:23 AM
well no, it didn't bother me much considering my PC has 4Gb of RAM. the point is that vista's *actual* system requirements are insane and you need a pretty souped up machine to run it comfortably. and it's not even that good of an operating system. =/

nieh
02-28-2008, 08:40 AM
If I was to get something like this (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8661824&type=product&id=1196470439579) or this (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8661771&type=product&id=1196470439442), would it be a good idea to take Vista off and put something like XP or another OS in its place? I'm looking at requirements for Bioshock just to see if the computer would be able to run current games well enough (I'm not a heavy gamer, but on the rare occasion that I do see a game that interests me I'd like to be able to play it without shitloads of slowdown) and wiki seems to say it requires 1 GB of ram for XP and 2 GB of RAM with Vista. Couple that with the fact that my friends that have Vista have been less than thrilled with it and it just seems like it's not worth it to have until they finish working the kinks out. Also, would it make sense to get one of the laptops I linked to and add more RAM or would it be smarter to just get a more expensive laptop? I am willing to spend more than the $730-750 that those two were, but none of the Pavilion ones on bestbuy.com come with more than 2GB of RAM (aside from the sold-out special editions) even if you go up to $2000+.

Nameh
02-28-2008, 08:43 AM
Just remember that DirectX 10 is Vista only, and that's supposed to be really sweet. Don't know if it's worth it though, since I've never actually used that nor Vista.

Sunny
02-28-2008, 08:44 AM
josh, have you considered the dell xps laptop? as you know, i'm not a PC person, but it really is a fine piece of hardware.

nieh
02-28-2008, 08:49 AM
I dunno, I remember hearing about lots of people having issues with computers by places like Dell and Gateway and all their bloatware back in the day. Have they gotten better?

Endymion
02-28-2008, 08:53 AM
i don't know about their software, but i've always hated dell's laptops as hardware. i'm with sanni, hp pavilions are nice.

Sunny
02-28-2008, 08:56 AM
i can't really speak for the software as my husband set it up and he knows how to tame PC insanity. so i'm not sure. however, in terms of performance and general quality, the laptop is really really nice and quite fast (even though it's running Vista).

nieh
02-28-2008, 09:01 AM
I'm looking at bestbuy.com now and am comparing the HP pavilions with the dell thing you mentioned. The Dell's are all over $1000 but have significantly slower processors (1.66GHz as opposed to 1.9 for the $730 HP and 2 for the $750 HP). They also all come with 2GB memory standard. They're smaller, but I don't really care about size.

Sunny
02-28-2008, 09:06 AM
but... but... it has a fingerprint reader! ;D

nieh
02-28-2008, 09:09 AM
Yeah, but so do a lot of the Pavilions (mostly the ones that are sold out:()

Sunny
02-28-2008, 09:13 AM
aw bummer! it's such a wonderfully useless feature. i love it.

nieh
02-28-2008, 09:15 AM
Yeah, when I saw that on the description for one of the HP's I was like "holy shit, a fingerprint reader!? I want!"

Sunny
02-28-2008, 09:20 AM
i wish macs came with pointless yet awesome shit like that. or like the built-in camera card reader - GENIUS.

nieh
02-28-2008, 09:32 AM
If I was to get something like this (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8661824&type=product&id=1196470439579) or this (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8661771&type=product&id=1196470439442), would it be a good idea to take Vista off and put something like XP or another OS in its place? I'm looking at requirements for Bioshock just to see if the computer would be able to run current games well enough (I'm not a heavy gamer, but on the rare occasion that I do see a game that interests me I'd like to be able to play it without shitloads of slowdown) and wiki seems to say it requires 1 GB of ram for XP and 2 GB of RAM with Vista. Couple that with the fact that my friends that have Vista have been less than thrilled with it and it just seems like it's not worth it to have until they finish working the kinks out. Also, would it make sense to get one of the laptops I linked to and add more RAM or would it be smarter to just get a more expensive laptop? I am willing to spend more than the $730-750 that those two were, but none of the Pavilion ones on bestbuy.com come with more than 2GB of RAM (aside from the sold-out special editions) even if you go up to $2000+.

Can anyone give advice about this part?

HornyPope
02-28-2008, 09:50 AM
The video card inside the two laptops isn't going to run Bioshock, at least not on moderatly good settings.

As for XP or Vista, same shit. But don't settle for under 2 gig of ram.

nieh
02-28-2008, 10:47 AM
I'll be honest and admit I know jack shit about video cards. The ones I linked to before have a NVIDIA GeForce Go 7150M (UMA) with up to
Up to 799MB video memory, I'm looking at others on the website now that have NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 (UMA) with up to 559MB total available graphics memory (I'm assuming that's worse...) or NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS with 256MB (dedicated); up to 1023MB total. Would that second one manage?

MrJoe
02-28-2008, 12:11 PM
I was about to suggest Dell actually. They still offer their laptops and PC's with the option of XP installed instead of Vista. And I used to have a Dell PC that I got in 2003, and its still running fine now, I sold it to a friend when I got my laptop.

Edit: As for graphics cards, try and stay away from GeForce Go, 6150's etc.
The GeForce 8400M GS should be ok, if you can get the 8600, 8700, 8800 GeForce, then even better. The high the number the better, but obviously more expensive.

sKratch
02-28-2008, 12:33 PM
Just remember that DirectX 10 is Vista only, and that's supposed to be really sweet. Don't know if it's worth it though, since I've never actually used that nor Vista.

I consistently and regularly creamed myself playing Crysis with an 8800GTS.

And Sunny, did I see you say that Vista can cause lag on a machine that has a current value of $3000? I don't believe it.

nieh
02-28-2008, 12:55 PM
This is why I never understand video cards. The most expensive Pavilion available on Best Buy has a ATI Mobility RADEON HD 2600 XT, which I'm assuming is better than the GeForce thing even though it has a lower number. I think I'm settling on this one. (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8669639&productCategoryId=abcat0502003&type=product&tab=2&id=1196470766892#productdetail)

HeadAroundU
02-28-2008, 01:05 PM
Well, my DESKTOP:
- Windows XP SP 2
- AMD Athlon 64 processor 3000+
- 2 GB RAM Kingston ((4x512), I think 533 MHz)
- HDD 80 GB (still enough for me)
- graphic card Asus AGP blah blah blah, important (my) parameters in order:
------ bus 256 bits
------ engine frequency 300 MHz
------ memory frequency 700 MHz
------ memory size 128 MB
(but at the end parameters are not important, more expensive --> better parameters, if you want to compare graphic cards you have to run some benchmarks on your computer or look up for some sites with benchmark results, there's billion fucking graphic cards - pain in the ass to pick one)

I could play the new Half-Life on good details with my desktop.

Sunny
02-28-2008, 01:06 PM
I consistently and regularly creamed myself playing Crysis with an 8800GTS.

And Sunny, did I see you say that Vista can cause lag on a machine that has a current value of $3000? I don't believe it.

yah =/ the lag is minor as there is 4Gb of RAM, but i'd expect a computer like that to run incredibly fast with no lags at all. and yet =/

HornyPope
02-28-2008, 03:13 PM
I'll be honest and admit I know jack shit about video cards. The ones I linked to before have a NVIDIA GeForce Go 7150M (UMA) with up to
Up to 799MB video memory, I'm looking at others on the website now that have NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 (UMA) with up to 559MB total available graphics memory (I'm assuming that's worse...) or NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS with 256MB (dedicated); up to 1023MB total. Would that second one manage?

Like HAU said, there are a lot of parameters for a video card. The memory number (256mb) basically shows what amount of colour it can handle, but it doesn't tell you how it handles it. You need to check for benchmarks for specific video cards (google it) if you want to know how good is your card. The benchmarks are going to tell you you how fast in fps (frames per second) is the game going to run at any given resolution and colour depth.

Rule of thumb is, low-end laptops have really shitty video cards. I told you this from post 1.

Edit: I looked around a bit. I don't see a single laptop for under 1600$ that's going to run Bioshock on anything but the very lowest settings (if at all).

Jebus
02-28-2008, 05:07 PM
Nieh, Best Buy generally has a very limited selection. I suggest you check out newegg.com. I <3 newegg


i'd say with 1 Gb of RAM don't even think about Vista. i have a Dell laptop at home and it's maxed out in terms of RAM... and Vista still manages to slow it down. when you run that little activity monitor, it shows the OS using 1-1.5 Gb at any given time (no *actual* applications running, just the desktop chilling there). woot. so yes, Apathy, if it can make a $3k computer laggy, it can make anything laggy. seriously.
That's a common misconception of Vista actually. Vista handles memory usage differently from XP. Unlike XP, Vista takes advantage of your memory and tries to use every single bit. Why have tons of that memory and not use it? It's a huge waste. Having 4gigs and only using 300mb at a time is silly. Vista loads up the most common application you use in the background (doesn't actually show the programs in the task manager though) so the next time you have to use it, its supposed to load up quick and snappy because it's already stored in your memory. If you want to open a memory intensive program like a game and you notice that you're already using like 80 percent of the memory, vista will simply free up your resources and make room for it. Having most of memory used up isn't really a bad thing.

nieh
02-29-2008, 07:00 AM
Edit: I looked around a bit. I don't see a single laptop for under 1600$ that's going to run Bioshock on anything but the very lowest settings (if at all).

My friend is saying he has a Toshiba laptop with dual video cards at his work he can get me for the same price as the Pavilion I was planning on getting. He's going to send me specific stats later today, but does anyone have any experience with Toshiba or know if the dual video card thing is actually worthwhile? Also, neat fact: whichever computer I end up getting, his discount won't lower the price significantly on it because there's not much mark-up on them, but he said I can get 2 gigs of DDR2 RAM to add into it for like $40. Yay!

Sunny
02-29-2008, 07:17 AM
Nieh, Best Buy generally has a very limited selection. I suggest you check out newegg.com. I <3 newegg


That's a common misconception of Vista actually. Vista handles memory usage differently from XP. Unlike XP, Vista takes advantage of your memory and tries to use every single bit. Why have tons of that memory and not use it? It's a huge waste. Having 4gigs and only using 300mb at a time is silly. Vista loads up the most common application you use in the background (doesn't actually show the programs in the task manager though) so the next time you have to use it, its supposed to load up quick and snappy because it's already stored in your memory. If you want to open a memory intensive program like a game and you notice that you're already using like 80 percent of the memory, vista will simply free up your resources and make room for it. Having most of memory used up isn't really a bad thing.

i just don't see why a powerful computer should lag while opening FIREFOX. which it does, ever so slightly. it's not really an annoyance, but like... what would it be like running it on a slower machine? it just doesn't seem to me that Vista manages memory efficiently. and dude, WHICH applications could possibly take up 90% of 4Gb? notepad? paint?

Jebus
03-02-2008, 12:58 PM
i just don't see why a powerful computer should lag while opening FIREFOX. which it does, ever so slightly. it's not really an annoyance, but like... what would it be like running it on a slower machine? it just doesn't seem to me that Vista manages memory efficiently. and dude, WHICH applications could possibly take up 90% of 4Gb? notepad? paint?
I don't have Vista myself so I haven't really played with it much. I've used it on my brother's new spiffy computer and firefox opens just fine. I was just being hypothetical when I mentioned 80 percent (not necessarily from 4 gigs) . I'm not sure if you meant your computer actually uses up 90% of your 4 gigs while idle or if you were just using my example. If you meant your actual computer, then that's kind of weird.