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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 106722 30-Jul-2012 17:53
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There are plenty of these threads, but I don't really want to hijack one...

Anywho, I am off to uni next year and am pretty sure I'll do engineering (majoring in either software or biomedical, unless something changes my mind by year 2). So I need a laptop that'll be able to run reasonably demanding software (my knowledge of specs is pretty dire really, sorry).
Other than that, the other specialist stuff I might be doing is video editing (currently using adobe, due to school - so i need to run after effects and whatnot - although I'm not a massive adobe fan) - however, I'll probably find myself without the time to do this.
I'll probably want a touch of gaming. I'd consider myself a casual gamer, and as such probably wouldn't run anything too demanding - however a year ago I wasn't a gamer at all, so I'd like to keep the option at least somewhat open - I'm interested in becoming more serious.
Besides this I am really into film (hence editing) and music, so I need top picture/graphics and sound (I really know **** all about these) and an inbuilt bluray player (if not burner) - don't want to go external.

I know it's tricky/dangerous, but i want to future-proof as much as possible before I become filthy poor (at this stage I will be able to go halves with my parents, and Dad is all for getting the best I can).

Budget is undecided (anything under $3000 is to be considered really). I have been looking at this, due to the help of a friend http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?e=1192245 (I know the G series is geared towards gamers) and http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?e=849647. But I might be overshooting/not considering some things, due to my spec knowledge being so limited. I looked at Sager, and was pretty sold on them, until I accounted for shipping ($400ish New Zealand) GST and import duties, as well as the difficulty around warranties and servicing - it's a shame they don't have reps out of the US.

Disclaimer: For the desktop argument - If I end up doing software, it's likely I will get one one anyway - but thats nearly 2 years away. I do need a laptop for the portability, and would like something higher performance. I'll also reiterate, my understanding of specs is very limited.

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815 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 664134 30-Jul-2012 18:03
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Hey I'm final year engineering and I would say you don't need anything flash. All the software you need is provided on uni computers. That is unless you are going to acquire it and run it yourself.

I bought an old Lenovo off trademe that runs the academic version of matlab with no trouble. Cost $300. No good for games though so you might want to look at something new from dell or toshiba with dedicated graphics.

Edit: not gaming I meant video editing.

15214 posts

Uber Geek


  # 664136 30-Jul-2012 18:13
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Dell used to let you build laptops online with quite good specs at a good price. But not sure if they still do this, or to the same extent.

 
 
 
 


178 posts

Master Geek


  # 664137 30-Jul-2012 18:14
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I would consider waiting for Microsoft to release their Windows 8 tablet. The pro version will be plenty fast enough, and comes with the full Office suite. It's a fully functioning OS which doubles as a very nice tablet. Of course, it hasn't even been released yet, so it could be a flop. I just like the idea of its portability and functionality.



3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 664358 31-Jul-2012 08:32
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@mattRSK what engineering do you do and where? I haven't ruled out getting a cheap netbook/tablet and a desktop... I would only be using my netbook for lectures, and I really don't know if it'd be suitable... I presume you just take notes, and do everything practical in labs (which I would take you don't need your own computer in)? Would you say it's a more viable option?

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Ultimate Geek


  # 664361 31-Jul-2012 08:40
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Don't flame me but my MacBook Pro does just fine in Engineering. I'm 2nd year COMPSYS and have had no troubles whatsoever.

We had to run a CAD design program (Creo Elements) last year and I had no issues running it inside VMWare Fusion on Windows. MBP had no trouble processing graphics even under virtualization. Alternatively there's always BootCamp as well.

For me personally I wouldn't use anything else... From experiences of friends, netbooks are a NIGHTMARE. Screen too small and processor just not fast enough. I'd highly discourage you from getting one.

Having your own PC makes a world of difference and helps hugely

Food for thought!

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Uber Geek


  # 664371 31-Jul-2012 09:03
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enough said


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Uber Geek

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  # 664372 31-Jul-2012 09:24
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$3000 will be way too much to spend. $1500 maximum I would say.

You want to stay relatively portable so fairly light weight, and battery life to last all day at uni without having to carry a power brick and find a plug.

Any laptop in this price range will handle uni-type applications and video editing.  For gaming, you need to check out the graphics card that is included, for example this Samsung at PB Tech http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=NBKSAM32508B has a fast i7 and loads of Ram, but the graphics card will struggle to play games like SkyRim.  The GT 520MX card doesn't benchmark very well at notebookcheck:  http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-520MX.54717.0.html .

A higher resolution than the standard 1366 * 768 will be valuable for engineering graphics work, video editing and everything.

Prices quickly start increasing once you get beyond 1366 * 768 though.  The Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition ticks all the boxes in my opinion - fast processor, lots of RAM, very good graphics card, high resolution (1920x1080), decent battery with a bonus of a blu-ray drive.

You don't need a desktop for software developing. A second monitor with a laptop is fine.

 
 
 
 




3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 664705 31-Jul-2012 16:02
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jonb: $3000 will be way too much to spend. $1500 maximum I would say.

You want to stay relatively portable so fairly light weight, and battery life to last all day at uni without having to carry a power brick and find a plug.

Any laptop in this price range will handle uni-type applications and video editing.  For gaming, you need to check out the graphics card that is included, for example this Samsung at PB Tech http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=NBKSAM32508B has a fast i7 and loads of Ram, but the graphics card will struggle to play games like SkyRim.  The GT 520MX card doesn't benchmark very well at notebookcheck:  http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-520MX.54717.0.html .

A higher resolution than the standard 1366 * 768 will be valuable for engineering graphics work, video editing and everything.

Prices quickly start increasing once you get beyond 1366 * 768 though.  The Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition ticks all the boxes in my opinion - fast processor, lots of RAM, very good graphics card, high resolution (1920x1080), decent battery with a bonus of a blu-ray drive.

You don't need a desktop for software developing. A second monitor with a laptop is fine.
Mmkay, I will take a look at that. http://www.sony.co.nz/product/sve15118fg I also looked at this, and I thought it looked pretty good, apart from the lack of bluray drive and slightly lesser resolution.

 

Anyone have experience with dell? I've not heard overly positive things about them.

1495 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 665207 1-Aug-2012 09:59
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If you spending over $1500 I would expect a laptop to have higher screen resolution than 1366*768..

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