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RobA
02-04-2011, 10:19 AM
So I'm looking to but a notebook.

I want it to support my mapping and my wife's gaming needs, so a decent video card is a must, and I want a 15.5"+ screen at 1680x1050 (I think that is the standard widescreen resolution)

I'll live with Windows 7 - I want to use GIMP still, so note sure if I want 64bit as I hear there are issues under windows.

Ideally this will be <$1000CDN.

Any suggestions? The choices are daunting...

-Rob A>

jfrazierjr
02-04-2011, 10:35 AM
If you want to use GIMP and python, your out of luck with Windows on a 64 bit. I did not have a problem just running GIMP on Win64, but the installer does not have python support. At the end of the day, I dual but to Ubuntu and have been using Ubuntu almost exclusively for 6+ months. Of course, GIMP 2.8 is due out fairly soon and may actually have full 64 bit support.

My biggest suggestion is to get as much RAM as possible. I have 6 GB and was amazed how much better GIMP performed on the same map(lot's of layers) once I switched from 32 to 64 bit and the increased RAM threshold. Granted, the processor was umm like 9-12 months newer, but I still believe that the RAM was the major differentiator. For example, turning off a layer on the map I was was working on took 15-20 seconds (or more some times) on the old machine, while the new machine it took .5 seconds or so....

Gidde
02-04-2011, 11:21 AM
I'll second the RAM advice, but you may be better off researching how high it will upgrade to versus how high it is from the factory. Sometimes they mark up the price of factory-installed RAM vs RAM you can put in yourself, and memory is one of the few user-installable upgrades for a notebook. As far as your wife's gaming, what does she play? Some gaming is more system-intensive than other gaming.

With the "good video" and lots of memory qualifications said, I'll tell you what I've been telling my family lately (I build desktops so they all ask me) ... notebooks are pretty much disposable. You'll use it for a few years then replace the whole thing, so brand is not really that important. Buy the cheapest one that fits the bill.

Midgardsormr
02-04-2011, 12:28 PM
I wouldn't necessarily agree with the "cheapest that fits the bill." Stay out of the bottom end lines from any manufacturer and you'll have a bit of longevity.

Also, when you find something you like, call up the manufacturer and see if they have it available in B stock. These are refurbished or demo models that they aren't allowed to sell as new, but they are generally just as reliable and bear the same warranty as a new computer. You might save yourself some money that way.

Steel General
02-04-2011, 04:28 PM
I'd go with the Trapper Keeper...

...sorry couldn't resist :D

Jaxilon
02-05-2011, 08:47 PM
I'd go with the Trapper Keeper...

...sorry couldn't resist :D

LOL, remember the Trapper Keeper is trying to take over the world.

Whenever I need to do an upgrade or buy a new machine I like to go check out Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com). Not sure what they have on laptops though.

OldGuy
02-06-2011, 12:28 AM
I'm a huge fan of Asus. This is similar to what I have and I'm very happy with it. Well worth the extra price in my opinion!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i7+Processor+/+17.3%22+Display+/+6GB+Memory+/+640GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/1257894.p?id=1218243761956&skuId=1257894

RobA
02-06-2011, 12:37 AM
I'm a huge fan of Asus. This is similar to what I have and I'm very happy with it. Well worth the extra price in my opinion!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i7+Processor+/+17.3%22+Display+/+6GB+Memory+/+640GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/1257894.p?id=1218243761956&skuId=1257894

Thanks for the suggestion- I'm typing this on an Asus I picked up after some research: http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?item_id=035499 $1190CDN. Specs are better in some areas, and lower in others...

ASUS G73JW-X3C, Gaming Notebook (Black) - Intel Core i5-460M, 17.3" Full HD (1920x1080), 6GB DDR3, 500GB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M 1.5GB GDDR5, Blu-ray Combo Drive, Wireless N, Bluetooth, 2.0M Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium, 2-year Global/1-year Accidental Warranty

And I gotta say - 17.3" screens are fricken huge! (but I wanted the resolution... can you beleive that 95% of laptops now only have 768px high screens?!!?)

-Rob A>

OldGuy
02-06-2011, 12:50 AM
I do like the JW better, primarily for the GeForce video (which is what I have in mine). I linked the JH because that's the only one they had listed at best buy :)

The only problem I've ever had is the battery charger gave out (presumably because I have it plugged in 24/7 and have terrible power spikes here). I had some trouble locating a replacement as it is far more powerful than most. Here is a link to the guy on eBay I finally got one from (and for a pretty good price!):

http://stores.ebay.com/emarcket

jfrazierjr
02-06-2011, 01:34 PM
T
And I gotta say - 17.3" screens are fricken huge! (but I wanted the resolution... can you beleive that 95% of laptops now only have 768px high screens?!!?)

-Rob A>

Yep, I have a 17in Asus also. Love the screen size, but hate the thing being SOOOOOO darn heavy. As well, it is hard to find a decent bag that will "easily" fit that form factor. I can "barely" stretch the bag I had previously to get it zipped up.

As I noted before, I have mine dual booted to Ubuntu and I rarely go into Windows any more except for a few programs that don't have linux versions/replacements or won't run under WINE (such as some .Net/Silverlight apps).