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Thread: Laptop or build?

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    Laptop or build?

    I am looking to buy a new system in the near future, and would like some advice; I am either going to buy a laptop or build a desktop computer. My budget is around £1000 to £1200.

    The laptop I am considering is the MSI GT725-087UK (Core 2 Duo P9500 2.53GHz version); the review can be found by going to Notebooks, from the Hexus homepage (can't link). The alternative would be building a system for roughly the same budget.

    One of the key uses will be gaming, and as such a desktop build would be preferable, but I must also consider the fact that in 2 years I will be going to University and will need some sort of computer there (I am not too bothered by the extra weight and size of a gaming laptop over a lower performing one).

    Could the lifespan of the laptop be expected to extend into University for at least the first year, with decent performance (I was told that by 2 years the performance was likely to have deteriorated severely, and that I should expect a sluggish response), or would I be better off building a desktop system now, and buying a cheap laptop for Uni.? Also, is there any other laptops I should consider for decent gaming performance, within budget?

    Of course I don't expect to get fantastic performance from a laptop, however I would like to be able to play recent games at a decent quality (my standards aren't very high, seeing as I have been using a Radeon x300 for the past 4 years).

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    radhakr.

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    Re: Laptop or build?

    Welcome to Hexus!

    A laptop's performance is no more likely to deteriorate than a desktop (apart from the battery) - however the scope for upgrading it is much more limited. It partly depends on what you want. If you want a high end machine for gaming, then you may find the performance of the laptop is inadequate for games in the future, but if you want something for typing up course notes, and nothing too demanding processor/graphics wise, a laptop would be fine, easier to cart about etc. (The laptop I'm typing this on is 6 years old). Personally I think you would be better off building the high end 'desktop' machine now, and in 2 years review your requirements again, perhaps then upgrade your main machine and/or buy a low end laptop purely for portability - if you decide you really need the portability.
    Last edited by peterb; 11-06-2009 at 05:54 PM.
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    Re: Laptop or build?

    Thank you for your advice.. I'm swaying towards the laptop, seeing as money is likely to be sparse when I start Uni, and I will be able to take a laptop there instead of buying a new one.. I'm not so concerned about high end gaming, as there are still all the games from the past 4 years which I havn't been able to play which I need to catch up on..

    I'm also curious as to whether or not there are any good alternatives to the MSI GT725 within the same price range? Any help appreciated

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    Re: Laptop or build?

    Not really an expert on laptops, but there are some good machines by Dell, HP and Lenovo (used to be IBM). There are also some 'OEM' type machines from people like Novatech.

    Mfr sites sometimes offer student discounts at around this time of the year, and there are also some websites that aim to supply the student market. Google something like student laptops. make sure you check out the warranty options (return to base, length etc) and think about investing in some form of security lock to physically secure the laptop - that is quite an investment you have, but if you have Uni coursework on it, the loss of the data is probably just as important, so consider a back-up strategy (even if it something as simple as a large USB drive that can be kept separate from the laptop)
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    Re: Laptop or build?

    Build, it's more fun.
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    Re: Laptop or build?

    You're better off spending £600-800 on a desktop that will very likely blow an equivalent £1200 laptop out of the water performance wise, especially for games. That is, unless you really need the portability as someone has already mentioned. Laptops offer portability and space saving (if you live in a shoe box), that's it. In terms of bang of buck a desktop is always the far superior option. If you don't need the portability for another 2 years then buy a desktop now and save the cash for when you do need a laptop. Trying a "futureproof" with a laptop is a bad idea.

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    Re: Laptop or build?

    I assume if you were to build a desktop now you'd be starting from complete scratch, so you'd need everything?

    In which case, choose some money to save, maybe £300 - £400. Put that into a high interest savings account, and leave it alone for 2 years - it won't explode into thousands but you might get another £30 - £50 out of it, depending on how interest rates go. use the rest of the money to build yourself as good a gaming machine as you can - you'll still be able to get something pretty powerful with £700 - £900.

    In 2 years, see how much money you have in your savings and make a decision based on that. You may find your priorities have changed somewhat in two years' time, and mobile technology will *definitely* have come on a long way (Both Intel and AMD will have turned over about 2 generations of mobile platform, and Via are doing a lot of development work at the minute too). Uni is not a time to be sitting in your room gaming...
    Last edited by scaryjim; 12-06-2009 at 02:56 PM.

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    Re: Laptop or build?

    if you do not require / desire the portability then a desktop will gain you a better "bang for buck"

    as said above, there is little upgrade potential for a laptop

    if you do not wish to self-build, a less expensive option my be to buy a small desk desk top, then add a monitor of your liking.

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