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4 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 24202 17-Jul-2008 19:40
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First of all I apologise for the question, but there is so much info here it is really hard to make sense of it all. I have searcheed all through the forum to try and get a feel for the setup I require, but it just isnt that easy.
I would like a laptop with a 17" plus screen that can also recieve freeview, is capable of 3d rendering. My situation is that i am boarding in a house in Kawerau (No Terrestrial here i think) and would liketo use my laptop as a tv and also for autocad. I am unsure what minimum system requirements would be. I am leaning towards an HP DV9XXX with a usb tuner. Probably can do it for around $1800. I see the sellers on trademe with refurbished,seconds,over-runs etc which looks appealing. I would invest in the extra warranty period though.
I know diddly squat about graphics cards etc, and was looking for someones opininion on this.


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  Reply # 148968 17-Jul-2008 19:49
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If you want freeview and cannot receive terrestrial then your only option is via satellite.  (Freeview has maps of the terrestrial coverage.)  Does the boarding house have Sky digital or satellite TV?  You are going to need some way to connect to a dish pointing at Optus D1.  The satellite version of freeview is only standard definition MPEG-2 so there isn't the premium on graphics hardware that terrestrial requires.

Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 148974 17-Jul-2008 19:54
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Thanks Dingbatt
I should add that i want a laptop that is good for a few years to come. I am boarding in a private residence. I am just wanting to cover as many options as possible for the least amount of cash (arent we all!!) I know naff about hdmi ouputs and stuff, but would be nice to be able to hook up to a compatible tv in the future
edit: I am thinking that maybe a bit of a powerhouse laptop and add (via usb?) peripherals as I need them. The way I see it at the moment min req would be 2Gig ram Dual core cpu, 17" wxga and hdmi output. Is this a good start? I need help as far as graphics cards go. I am nowhere with those!!!


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  Reply # 148987 17-Jul-2008 20:31
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Freeview HD has zero coverage anywhere where you are unfortunately, so satellite it is. An example of a USB tuner would be this one, which looks pretty good.

As for graphics cards, Freeview satellite doesn't use the graphics card much, so anything would work ok. It all depends on what is needed for autocad, and if you are going to play any 3d games on it. I have no idea if autocad will use a graphics card for processing things, or if one would be necessary.

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  Reply # 148995 17-Jul-2008 20:44
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snap, exactly what I was going to recommend, as long as you can get into a satellite feed of course.

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 148999 17-Jul-2008 20:49
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Great stuff guys, Thanks for your replies so far. What about laptop recommendations? $1800 or less

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  Reply # 149002 17-Jul-2008 20:56
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Brand new or second hand? or looking at both? Any specific features or requirements apart from autocad and freeview? Any 3D gaming at all?

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 149058 18-Jul-2008 06:10
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I am not a high user of serious gaming. But would like a card to support HD. New preferably, as I like the idea of a warranty and am willing to pay a couple of hundy more to make sure I have some piece of mind.

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  Reply # 149165 18-Jul-2008 14:21
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Its really hard to find laptops which actually have a decent graphics card, and a 17" monitor.
Here is an example of one which has an 8600M, which should work for freeview HD acceleration if needed, as well as other video. It would also play quite a few games. Only a 15.4" monitor though.

As for peace of mind, extended warranties imo are a scam, the consumer guarentees act has got you covered =)

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  Reply # 150203 22-Jul-2008 11:50
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Look into the Dell XPS range I quite like the 15.4" screen (The M1530) especially since it has that nice brushed steel aluminum finish on the inside but the M1730 has a 17" screen.

The M1730 comes standard with Dual 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8700M GT cards.

The M1530 has a single Nvidia 8600 GT 256MB.


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  Reply # 153883 3-Aug-2008 21:25
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You might want to check the Acer Aspire 8920G.
You will pay a bit more for it, but as an entertaiment device, it might be hard to beat.
Full HD 1080 playback and display. 18.4"
Blue ray player, Surround sound 5.5 (6 speakers in the laptop)
NVIDIA GeForce 9500M up to 1791m (don't know if thats good or bad)
2.4Ghz Duo processor T8300, 3Gb RAM but can extend to 4Gb.

You will still have to use a DVBs receiver for Satellite Freeview.

The PC has a built in DVBt receiver, but I haven't got it to work on terestial FreeView yet. (may not)
I does recognise the transmitters and channels names though.

I would think that autocad would be usable but very fine due to the small pixel size.
But you should be able to get to display larger than normal areas of your drawings due to the 1920x1080 pixels.

might be worth a look.

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