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Old 01-10-2008, 11:49 AM
2 posts, read 7,361 times
Reputation: 10


My LD GF has sent back two Gateways for DVD & gaming problems. At the bottom are their specs. She wants a notebook primarily for DVD watching, CD listening & gaming, at least 17" screen. We're starting at $800, but could go up to $1500. What I want her to do is check at Best Buy, CompUSA, Wal-Mart, etc.- settle on what she wants & I'll send her the $$$. She wants me to shop around on the Net (which is what we did for our Gateways) to get the best deal, whereas that is now the last thing I want us to do.

So I am asking for guidance on the best performance media & gaming notebook at the best bargain- Pleeeease! I'm not totally against buying over the Net, so links are welcome.

Here are the types of games she plays-
Sims 2
Planescape Torment
Beyond Divinity
Doom (even DOS-based)
Perdition's Gate
Old School 80s-90s games

The first notebook:

Gateway NX860
Model #M685 T5500
Display: 17" WXGA Widescreen (1440 × 900 Max Res)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 (1.6GHz)
Memory: 1024MB 667Mhz DDR2 Memory (2-512MB)
Hard Drive: 120GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Optical Drives: CDRW-DVD Combo Drive
Video: nVidia GeForce Go 7600 (128MB)
Sound: Integrated Sound
I/O Ports: (4) USB 2.0 Ports - (1) IEEE 1394 FireWire Port
Network: 10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g Wireless
Pointing Device: Touchpad
Media Reader: 6-in-1 Digital Card Reader
Battery: 8 Cell Li-Ion Battery with Power Adaptor
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP2)
Software: MS Works Suite 8.5

The latest one-

Gateway NX860X
1.7GHz Core 2 Duo T5300 Processor
17.1" WSXGA Ultra Bright Screen
2048MB Memory
120GB Hard Drive
8 Cell Battery
NVIDIA NV73M 128MB Video
16x DVD Writer
802.11g Wireless Networking
Windows XP (was changed from Vista)

Thanks to all who can help!
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:28 PM
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 8,970,889 times
Reputation: 1373
Anything with integrated graphics isn't going to be good for gaming. Within your budget, good luck finding a decent gaming laptop.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:40 PM
28,648 posts, read 40,627,244 times
Reputation: 37346
After looking through the games played I think a laptop will suffice. The following is the only Dell I could find with a 17" screen that is under $1500. You could add RAM if needed, or a larger drive. Notice I bumped it to a 256mb graphics card. You might check at newegg.com and tigerdirect.com

That 17" monitor is the pricey part of the build.

You can choose the case color which is pretty nice.

Here's where I started:

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Catalog Number: 29 DNCWMA1

Inspiron 1720 Intel® Pentium® Dual Core T2330 (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/1MB cache) GT233HN

Operating System Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition VHP3E

System Color Jet Black BLK

MEMORY 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz 1G2D

LCD Panel Anti-glare, widescreen 17.0 inch display (1440 x 900) 17XGA

Video Card 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT 256NV86

Hard Drive Size: 120GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) 120GB

Optical Drive CD / DVD writer (DVD+/-RW Drive) 8XDVDRW

Sound Card High Definition Audio 2.0 IS

Wireless Networking Cards Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g Mini Card TM1395

Sub Total $1,049.00
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:09 PM
2 posts, read 7,361 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks RoaminRed- I know we don't want integrated graphics & also about the budget limitation.

Tek_Freek- thanks for doing that work! I'll definitely look that over & discuss it with her.
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:17 AM
Location: NJ
11,520 posts, read 21,915,209 times
Reputation: 10120
CompUSA is going out of business, they've been bought by Tiger Direct.

I also second a computer vs laptop. With a computer she can get the graphics updated as needed (which can be often with games) but with a notebook, she'll eventually run into problems.

Take my Compaq lappy. Bought it for my son in college. He was able to game on it maybe 6 months, then bought another game which wouldn't install. He had a friend that also had this same problem.

You might want to look at computer sites such as Maximum PC to see what kind of reviews they give.

If she is looking for small form, there are a lot of options for something the size of the mac mini that runs windows. If she's going with a laptop for partability, then she can expect issues with games at some point.
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