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Thread: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

  1. #1
    Pup
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    Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    I'm trying to help out my brother with buying a laptop for my nephew. He has just started a uni course in Multimedia and Games design/development, and needs a decent laptop for doing stuff outside of lessons.

    It's a 4 year course, and his tutor said that the more hardware demanding stuff wont be done until his 3rd and 4th year, so recommended either buying a basic laptop now and then another in a couple years, or a decent one now that will last him the 4 years. My brother/nephew wants to get a decent one now as he has the money for it now, and will likely only spend it on too much cheap booze at uni if he waits a couple years

    Budget I think is up to around £1800, but they are currently looking at models around the sub £1500 mark. Some examples of the kinda thing he has been looking at :

    MSI GT729-253BK-E
    ASUS G70S-7S007C
    Dell XPS M1730 (the middle one)

    He has been looking at plenty other models, such as those by Sony and Acer etc, so is quite undecided on what to go for at the moment. Last time I bought a laptop was about 3 years ago and it was only for simple development work, not games and games development, so I am quite out of touch with the latest offerings.

    He lives in Ireland, but is also looking at uk online stores. Any suggestions of what would be a good spec to go for, particularly in terms of processor and gfx card(s), and decent places to buy from. I have never used the laptops direct site that my brother gave me those links from, so not sure how reasonable they are.

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    Re: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    Notebookcheck has a good selection of reviews and comparisons of mobile GPUs.

    The outdated computer thing could be a problem as laptops are difficult to upgrade. You couldn't do a split with a powerful upgradeable desktop/portable laptop?

    My uni friends doing computer science were always competing to use the worst computer they could find!

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    Re: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    Can't recommend strongly enough getting a mid-range desktop now, rather than a laptop. The price to performance ratio is much better, and it's upgradable if it hasn't got the grunt in a couple of years.

    The machine will only be required for use outside timetabled workshops / lectures, and unless he plans on doing his work in the bar / coffee shop / on the bus there's no good reason to get a laptop. You can buy / build some very decent machines around the mATX format which are small / portable enough for getting to and from uni at the start / end of term. There's no obvious benefit and a lot of added risk in having a high end laptop at uni - not least that it's far easier to nick a laptop!

    Stick with a good desktop for the programming / design work, and think about adding a netbook / small laptop if he wants something for note taking / email on the move - that set up saw me through my Computer Science MSc more than adequately...

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    Re: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    I'd have to agree I bought a laptop at the start of uni and now am a bit fed up of it so i built myself a desktop. If they are not doing intensive stuff for a couple of years spend say £1k split over a laptop/desktop in a 40/60 manner. I rarely took my laptop into uni as for any computer intensive tasks the uni computers are well spec'd and on the occasions when I did want to take the laptop in it was mostly for writing up reports etc through the wireless.

    If they were to do this then they could get similar performance but get a desktop and a laptop and then get a new laptop in 2 years all for a similar price. The only reason I can see for not doing this is if the uni does not have adequate computers for doing the work on site but if it is offering the course then surely they must have the computers to do it with.

    Very few people I know take their laptops in to uni to do serious intensive work (inc comp sci students), but occasionally people do to type up documents etc between lectures

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    Re: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Pup View Post
    I'm trying to help out my brother with buying a laptop for my nephew. He has just started a uni course in Multimedia and Games design/development, and needs a decent laptop for doing stuff outside of lessons.
    I agree with everyone else. Buying a gaming laptop isn't wise - get a lower end laptop (with a warranty.. unless the laptop is very cheap, a warranty is an essential ongoing expense) and a gaming PC to go with it.

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    Re: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    Thanks for the comments, spoke to my brother today and he did see the sense in the comments made. However my nephew still wants a laptop (its his money after all ), mainly because he will probably make regular trips away from his halls at the weekends, and will want to be able to easily take the computer with him. I think they are probably going to go with the Dell model I listed.

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    Re: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    I can see the appeal of a laptop. That said, I'm always for a bit of quantity and £1800 is a massive budget for the good old Desktop + laptop combo

    You could even build a nice mini ITX based desktop which would be very portable only requiring him to having the peripherals at uni and at home again.. massive budget to do that justice.

    If he seriously wants to blow £1800 on a laptop which, is akin to shooting yourself in the foot if the power isn't required yet but I'm sure you know that, then perhaps check out alienware as well as dell as its essentially the same company now meaning alienware benefit from decent warranty service.

    An SLi setup with Quad core mobile chip will run upto about £1500 - £1800.

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    Re: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    I totally agree, it sounds like a lan party (not DFI, the PC's people make to take to them ) style PC is the perfect setup, but if there's no convincing him then I can totally vouch for the MSI laptop. It's had excellent reviews and I've a friend who loves his.

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    Re: Gaming laptop for Uni Course

    Watch out for the dell!

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