Need a laptop, looking for suggestions! (in Off-topic)

DoS November 7 2011 3:41 PM EST

Not really much to say about criteria; it should be fast. I don't play any graphic games anymore, so I don't need anything above a sub-par graphics card. I don't house thousands upon thousands of songs or hundreds of movies, so 500 GB is more than enough storage. It should also be around $500; I am looking for pre-built.

If I am missing something, post or CM me. I suppose if I like your suggestion enough I can throw some CBD your way. Thanks guys.

Sickone November 7 2011 5:21 PM EST

499$, free shipping
CPU performance is between a desktop AMD Phenom II X4 820 and 945.
GPU performance in between a desktop Radeon HD 5450 and a 5550.

AMD A-Series A6-3400M APU =
= Quad core @1.4 CPU (with max dynamic core speed @2.3)
+ Radeon HD 6520G on-chip GPU

4 GB of system memory (max 8 GB supported)
500 GB hard disk

15.6" screen, 1366 x 768 resolution
1.3 Megapixel HD Webcam (1280 x 1024)
6-cell Li-ion (4400 mAh) Battery ("up to 4h")

Full keyboard (including numpad)
Multi-gesture Touch pad
DVD Super Multi (writer)


I know you said you don't expect much from the graphics side, but then again, if this is what's available at that price range, why not take it ?
This particular model of APU (CPU+GPU combo) also offers incredibly low power consumption for its performance, so the battery should last quite a while even while gaming -- the whole APU is rated at only 35W TDP, the whole machine while operational should not go much over 60W power consumption even while gaming and probably even below 30W on regular non-gaming use.

I can't speak for this PARTICULAR laptop build out of personal experience, but the reviews circulating regarding this particular chip in just about any laptop are very favourable.
There are other similar ones in the same price range, maybe you like those more. This just had free shipping, there were a few slightly cheaper ones but with added shipping you end up almost in the same place, and they had a weaker processor (faster clock speed per core, but only two instead of four cores ; also a noticeably weaker graphics section of the chip).

Personally, I would recommend something akin to this.
It's the best value for money as far as laptops in the 500$ range are concerned, in my opinion.

If you'd be willing to spend a bit more cash, I would say go with this one:

Quad-Core A8-3500M (@1.5, max @2.4, even better video chip), 6 GB of memory, 17.3" 1600 x 900 screen, 640 GB hard disk.
For 730$ plus shipping, 745$ or thereabouts. And I think plus some taxes too.

DoS November 7 2011 5:29 PM EST

Looks good. Of course I'll take a graphics card if it comes with :D

As for money, I would be willing to go up to $600 with shipping and everything. This is a birthday/christmas gift to me from my brother and parents. Past $600 I'll start having to fork out cash :P

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] November 7 2011 5:29 PM EST

DoS November 7 2011 5:39 PM EST

Someone has suggested this through pm:

I would like your guys' opinion.

Sickone November 7 2011 5:41 PM EST

If you don't mind recertified ones, I would highly recommend this:

HP Pavilion : A8-3500M, 6 GB memory, 640 GB hard drive, on-chip Radeon HD HD 6620G (best in class) PLUS a separate dedicated 1 GB Radeon HD 6750M (switchable), 15.6" 1366 x 768 screen

all for 550$ (565$ with shipping, unknown taxes)

Sickone November 7 2011 5:56 PM EST

Someone has suggested this through pm [...]


The screen is only 14", which is getting rather crowded.

The processor is a dual-core @2.1, the overall performance compared to even the AMD A6-3400M is about 30% slower before any "turbo mode" kicking in for the AMD, and the Intel CPU *DOESN'T* have "turbo core" mode so even the single-threaded performance won't be all that great.

The integrated graphics-on-CPU-chip is pretty underwhelming.


4 GB of memory
screen resolution
just about anything else


640 GB hard disk
the price (but not by much)

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] November 7 2011 6:00 PM EST

You should really consider your preferences, 14" is plenty big for me, I currently have a 15 inch, and it seems gigantic.

Sickone November 7 2011 6:04 PM EST

I have a 21" CRT monitor I keep in 1600x1200 resolution (@85 refresh rate), I sit at a distance of under 15" away from its nearest point, and it feels a bit small a times.
I can barely stand working even on 17.3" 1600x900 laptops.

DoS November 7 2011 7:51 PM EST

Thanks for the comparison Sickone. I'm fine with the screen being less than 15 inches :P
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