New computer needed- win a prize (in Contests)

BadFish December 18 2010 5:12 PM EST

God, I love having a resource like the good people of Carnage Blender to help me with stuff like this.

I need a new computer, most likely a laptop. I really like the mobility of a laptop, since I would like to take it to school and also over to my parents' house when I visit, cuz they have good internet and I spend a fair amount of time over there. Right now my computer is utter crap. The battery is completely shot; if I take the power cord out it dies instantly. I used to have 2 power cords, but now one just plain doesn't work and the one I currently use I have to continually re-wrap with electrical tape so it stays together. The main problem I'm having right now though, is with overheating. One of the fans hasn't worked for some time, and it's put lots of stress on the other fan. This computer getting too hot has been a problem for some time, but just these past few days have been completely out of hand; I literally can't do anything besides browse the internet without the computer's fan going nuts and eventually the CPU choking back on itself because the computer is too hot. When this happens the computer runs so slow as to be unusable and I have to shut it down until it cools off. Even some sites on the internet, like shakes and fidget that have animations, will cause my computer to slow down to a crawl.

Now, why I said I would MOST LIKELY want a laptop is because I do want to use my new computer for gaming. I have no need to run new games; the most graphic intensive game I would ever want to play would probably be Diablo III when it comes out. I don't buy many games, I mostly play free ones, my most played game is League of Legends which ran fine on this computer until the overheating problems got out of control recently. But I know that a laptop that can run games will be more expensive than a desktop that can do the same.

My price range will likely be 600 dollars, maybe a little more. I'll be using a portion of my financial aid for next semester to pay, so I could probably go up to 750 as I haven't finalized how much I am taking out yet.

So why is this in contests? Well I want to motivate you guys to help me, so I'll pretty much hand out money willy-nilly to people that help me out with this, and the person that helps me out the most will win a cool mil.

Thanks in advance for your help CB!

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] December 18 2010 5:13 PM EST

M11x - pony up the extra cash

MissingNo December 18 2010 5:41 PM EST

The M11x seems to be your best bet under the condition that you don't mind an incredibly small screen.

If you've ever used a regular Macbook, you know how small those are. The M11x's 11 inch screen is 2 inches smaller than that.

If you want a bigger monitor to enjoy your graphics power then there seems to be no real cheap solution, you have to end up going into the $900-$1000 range.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] December 18 2010 5:46 PM EST

The 11.6 inch screen is the same resolution as a 720p HD TV, so it's not for everyone. If you like some screen real estate on your desktop, this is the ultra-portable for you. None of that 1024x600 netbookerey. I like that I can have one on each knee while I'm watching TV.

AdminTal Destra [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] December 18 2010 5:47 PM EST

This should do what you want...

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] December 18 2010 5:49 PM EST

Amazing machine, killer deal (likely needs a HD update)

but "Graphics Controller Model: Graphics Media Accelerator HD"

and it's 128 megs of ram
Isn't going to game like I'd want it to.

BadFish December 18 2010 5:54 PM EST

200k sent to everyone who has posted in this thread so far, good information from everyone especially novice. Keep it coming. I like the m11x but I'm on the fence about it because it's so small.

MissingNo December 18 2010 6:46 PM EST

I've searched a fair bit (in addition to helping you, I might be needing to get my own gaming laptop sometime soon) and the best deal I can come up for a competent gaming laptop is Novice's M11x suggestion. Everything else with a bigger monitor seems to be around the $1000 range.

The laptop I'm using now has a terrible integrated graphics card (although the rest of the specs are good) and it was like around $800 2 years ago, so I can't imagine how much better of a deal you could find.

BadFish December 18 2010 9:32 PM EST

How does this compare to the m11x?

I'm really really iffy about getting an 11 inch laptop. I have a strong feeling I'll regret getting something so small and I cant drop another 150 to get a decent monitor to hook it up to.

MissingNo December 18 2010 10:06 PM EST

It seems like the graphics card will allow it to play most games on the high setting, but it is inadequate to play on the ultra setting. I can't say for sure if D3 on its highest setting because I don't know of D3's graphic requirements, but if you can settle for not being able to play on the highest setting in the worst case scenario, then this laptop will be way more than adequate.

BadFish December 18 2010 10:12 PM EST

I can't seem to find the price for that one ResistanZ.

BadFish December 18 2010 10:15 PM EST

Also, that's just a graphics card... what site would I use to build a machine around it?

MissingNo December 18 2010 10:16 PM EST

That's the graphics card for the laptop you posted. I was just linking you to a review of the card.

BadFish December 18 2010 10:22 PM EST

DERP! Thanks. Have some more money.

Demigod December 18 2010 10:37 PM EST

Everyone bashes graphics chips in lappies, but modern ones will run everything you'll play, aside from Diablo III.

I have a feeling this is over your head, but the best bang-for-you-buck desktop (not laptop) is here:,2811.html

The problem is that you'll have to install everything yourself. It's not hard.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] December 18 2010 11:15 PM EST

That's quite a nice machine

Xenogard [Chaotic Serenity] December 19 2010 4:46 AM EST

Oh god, please please -please- stay away from dell/alien ware. You are paying for the name brand, nothing more. Those specs are absolutely terrible for that price.

The laptop you found from amazon is also pricey for what it offers, 14in display at $800? 320gb drive only? Plus amazons terrible shipping? You're really cheating yourself there.

Really looking for best bang for your buck? Then here you go:

This: 17.3in Screen / 2.1 Quad-core / HD5650 / 4GB Ram / 500gb HD
$750 + free shipping
Acer Aspire AS7552G

Or this: 15.4in Screen / 2.53 Dual-core / GT420M / 4GB Ram / 500gb HD
$650 + free shipping
Acer Aspire AS5742G

I can almost guarantee you, that you will not find a better bang for your buck deal then either of those to laptops.

Xenogard [Chaotic Serenity] December 19 2010 7:27 AM EST

As some added words of advice coming from a system builder/computer lover/spec hungry monster, Both Acer and Asus (which I didn't link you to unfortunately but who's products I love and make up half my PC) make excellent quality machines at outrageously cheap prices demolishing any kind of competition in terms of price/performance ratios of any big name companies.

To put it bluntly, Dell/Alienware's are crap, total utter worthless crap. They prey on people who know nothing about computers with their "cool" looks factor, and then overcharge by insane amounts of money.

The specs on the cheapest model of that m11x are the worst specs I have ever seen on a laptop of that price, with the screen size being crap to boot. 120gb hd? GT335M gfx card? 2gb ram? 11in screen? $800 price tag? C'mon that's beyond pathetic. Do not fall for the traps of companies like that, its the entire reason they make so much damn money and are able to advertise out the wazoo to make people think "Hmm that must be good, they are one of the best known computer makers right?"

Don't even make me delve into the insane amounts of bloatware they add to the machines.

Sorry I had to add in this last bit, it was on my mind and I couldn't just leave it unsaid.

I really hope that helps you out badfish. I've been building computers for over 7 years now, I'm up to date on all the latest tech, and I do things like this for people all the time along with building machines for them way below any prices they would pay at any store.

Wanna know how much my current PC cost me: ~$1200
Wanna know how much the same spec PC would cost if I bought it from dell/alienware: $2500-2800.

I think I made my point.

MissingNo December 19 2010 7:37 AM EST

Xeno, you are amazing for finding that. Those deals are crazy good.

Xenogard [Chaotic Serenity] December 19 2010 7:46 AM EST

Haha, like I said, its what I do ^_^ Computers are my passion.

Btw heres an excellent laptop cooler just in case you ever need one:

Zalman makes some of the best cooling supplies around.

Demigod December 19 2010 12:15 PM EST

Wow, Xeno got fired up.

Just to toss in my two cents on what he said, Dell takes a bit of a beating for being so big. They usually make fine machines cheaper than consumers can build them at home, but I have been screwed over by them tossing in a horrid motherboard, which wasn't listed in the specs when I purchased it. The Alienware line does cost a premium due to the name, but you have to decide for yourself if the designer case and Alienware badge are worth the extra money.

And lastly, if you can go up to $750, the laptop Xeno listed at that pricepoint is quite nice.

BadFish December 19 2010 12:40 PM EST

Really good stuff Xeno, appreciate it! Is there a way to upgrade the battery in the first machine that you posted? I want as much battery life as possible and if there's way to maybe upgrade it to a 9-cell battery that would be optimal.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] December 19 2010 1:15 PM EST

If you dislike small laptops I completely understand, but I'm still unable to find an ultra portable with the specs/price of the M11x.

I will admit that when I bought mine I got it with 4g, the dual core proc, and the 7200 rpm drive. Nothing compared at the time I bought it and I still don't regret buying it.

The fact that when a hinge started getting wonky there was an onsite tech replacing it the next day didn't hurt either.

You talked a lot of crap up there, Xeno...

Xenogard [Chaotic Serenity] December 19 2010 3:07 PM EST

Badfish, Unfortunately I spent the past hour looking for an upgrade for the battery but I sadly could not find one. Its really hard to find good batteries for such beefy laptops such as those, the 17.3in screen and powerful graphics card really do a number on battery life. I tried though. I'm sure there are some out there, but I couldn't find it.

Nov, He didn't ask for an ultra portable laptop with a small 11.6in screen that cost over $800 for the base model, which even he said he was wary about. He asked for a good deal on a laptop between the price range of $600-750, I gave him the best possible bang for his buck nothing more nothing less.

How much did your upgraded m11x cost you? ~$900-950 Right? I hope it was either the core i5 or i7 model, and not the core2duo or else you got jipped. The two things your laptop has on either one that I showed is the upgraded 7200 HDD and longer battery life due to the small size. But Hard drives can be bought and replaced on the cheap, a 500GB 7200 laptop HDD can be purchased for $70 if not cheaper. Even with an upgraded HDD both laptops still beat out the m11x in price and performance, not to mention that first laptop has room for a second HDD if the need ever arose for one and is expandable up to 12GB in memory.

I will say this about the m11x, its the only laptop that size that actually has a dedicated gfx card that I can really find. But the reason for that is usually no one purchases a laptop with and 11.6in screen for gaming, and honestly who wants to really game on a screen that small? Gaming should be an afterthought if you are going for an ultra-portable, and in that case then yeah if you wanna pony up the extra couple hundred bucks to game on an 11.6 in screen then by all means go for it. Most notebooks at the 11.6in size are half the price of the m11x, with similar specs sans the gfx card and 7200rpm HDD.

I've dealt with dells enough to know the kind of things they pull on people, crappy mobo's in decent spec'd PCs, sub-par power supplies, heavy amounts of bloatware. At least as far as every single dell that I've had the unfortunate pleasure of fixing for someone is concerned.

My advice can either be taken or left, talking crap or not I still stand by what I say. If you enjoy your dell, then good I'm happy for you, I hope it serves you well for what you need it for. You'll never see me touch one for any other reason then to fix it for someone else.

No offense or disrespect meant here Nov, I just completely disagree with you on this subject, and it just happens to be something that I am very passionate about and have dedicated the better portion of my life to.

Sorry for the rant, I feel like a ban-hammer is headed my way.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] December 19 2010 4:56 PM EST

I'm in no way downplaying the amazing job finding him exactly what he asked for. I'm taking issue without statements about the people who buy Dell's and in my specific case the Alienware M11x.

1) I haven't got any hammers, and my newly inflated status doesn't come into this at all.

2) name brand bashing is all in good fun, but it's not terribly useful when trying to find the right deal for someone. There were years where the word Acer made techs universally cringe and snicker, they've made a fabulous turn around and I wish they had a comparable model to the M11x.

3) I tend to suggest the Vostro line for most consumers. While it may not be top spec stuff, the process is simple, support is passable, and the pre-installed windows image is bloat free. I work in an IT where we essentially only buy Dell hardware, and it's reliability and support are all I could ask for.

4) I think you'll find there is actually quite a hefty small laptop enthusiast set who really like what the M11x is. I carry a laptop all day, and refuse to use a low resolution machine. I tried looking high and low for a simple dual core sub 13" machine capable of light virtualization and a little gaming. $2500 no matter which way I built or who I bought it from. This machine (both my personal one, and the one I got from work) has been my sole computer since the day I bought it. I wish I'd gotten the i5, but it hadn't come out yet... and yet even not OC (which is just a reboot away!) I can hammer on it damn hard and it vastly outperforms any thing other ultra portable I've had.

I really like being able to sit and bang out a few kills, or spend eight hours in my comfy chair playing Minecraft...

To put it bluntly, Dell/Alienware's are crap, total utter worthless crap. They prey on people who know nothing about computers with their "cool" looks factor, and then overcharge by insane amounts of money.

This specific paragraph was what I took issue with. Your picks were exactly what he asked for, and you'd obviously combined a wealth on knowledge with significant labor to find them, I don't want to try and take a thing away from that (not that I could). I'd just like you (on a personal level, you've certainly done nothing wrong as far as CB goes) to consider the feelings of us old farts the next time you get on your high horse.

Kingkiller December 19 2010 8:30 PM EST

Helps out :)

Xenogard [Chaotic Serenity] December 20 2010 2:46 AM EST

I'm sorry Nov, I never meant anything personal towards you. None of that was specifically directed at you either, nor was I even thinking about the fact that you owning the m11x while writing all that. I was more taking a shot at dell, their marketing strategy and the types of things they do to cut costs and maximize profits/sales.

Nov I like you, I respect you, I did not mean to offend you in anyway and I am indeed sorry if I did. My issues are all with dell and the alienware line. That specific paragraph you quoted and had a problem with was leaning more towards the alienware side of the spectrum rather then dell itself.

You're absolutely right, there was a point in time I would never suggest an Acer to anyone, but they have indeed changed up their product quality and have become one of the better non-big name brands in the past couple years. Asus happens to be my choice company, but they did not have a comparable laptop in that price range unfortunately.

Like I said in my last post, I myself could not find another ultra-portable with the specs of the m11x, the dedicated gfx card is a rather decent mid-line model that you usually do not see in laptops of that size. I'm absolutely positive that it is indeed popular with the enthusiast crowd that need and/or want an ultra-portable and have the extra cash to go for an upper tier model that will allow them to do a little bit of gaming as well. But to be fair, it's designed for a niche crowd and not for everyone. The pricing and low specs (though very high for an ultra portable) keep it out of the hands of most of your typical consumers looking for the best possible bang for their buck. But if you got the cash to pony up and that's what your looking for, then yeah the m11x happens to be the best possible ultra-portable around for its price.

Once again I would like to apologize for any offense that I might have given. You're absolutely right, I did hop up on my little old high horse for a bit to bash a company that I have despised for a very long time now. I did not in any way mean to bash its costumers at all, and if that is the way it came off then I am indeed sorry.

Just for the record, it took me less then a minute to find both of those laptops, and no Dr. Know I did not use price watch ;) I happen to have an eye for specs and all I did was hop straight to the $500-750 range and pick out the best two laptops I could find that I myself would purchase if I were in the market for a laptop in that price range. My entire take on computers has always come down to the price/performance ratio, and if you're on a tight budget picking out the best possible thing for that budget.

The whole ban-hammer bit was just a joke and wasn't meant to be taken seriously, I realize that it was in bad taste and again I apologize for that. It was actually directed at myself and my ability to rant and rave at the expense of others then it was towards your new status admin status.

I hope we can forget this silly little disagreement when it comes to the subject and not let it go down as bad CB history. I never meant for it to go down that road. Like I said Nov I like you, I respect you, and I in no way at all meant to offend you.

And a special sorry to all for my walls of text! I have a habit of typing quite a bit when it comes to topics I am indeed very passionate about, and sometimes I just can't help but type out everything on my mind till I get my point across.

Apologies all around.

Demigod December 20 2010 3:01 AM EST

Nice job, Xeno. It's good to see people clear the air.

But I'm going to laugh so hard if Nov only responds with "tl:dr"

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] December 20 2010 3:11 AM EST

You're such a peach Xeno that I knew this would well.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=0038p9">New computer needed- win a prize</a>