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New Laptop help/options


Higgins
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Made a thread here on the old forum when I was debating which phone to get and went with the iPhone 5S. Figured I would see if anyone here knows more than me about getting a new laptop. My current laptop is 5 years old so it's time to upgrade it...

 

I've basically looked at DELL, ASUS and Macbook Pro so far.

 

Use

School, Internet obvi

Streaming netflix, NHL game center.

Playing games like CIV 5, Minecraft, Warcraft III. Would like it to be good to play future games too like CIV 6. Won't be playing games like COD, I have a console for games like that.

 

Budget is up to like 1750$. Would like i7, 8gb+ ram, ssd?, decent graphics card.

 

Also...

I would be sold on not getting a mac if it wasn't for Windows 8, anyone have Windows 8 and like it :(?

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I have Windows 8, and I think the hate about it is overblown. It's nearly identical in functionality with Windows 7. The "Metro" thing is really not a big deal. When you hit the Windows button it pops up, and without clicking anything you can type to search for anything on your computer, it's actually pretty convenient. I never use the Windows "Apps", I just stick to regular programs.

 

Basically, I wouldn't let Windows 8 get in the way of your decision. For Windows laptops, I'd also check out Lenovo and MSi.

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Personally I would never tell anyone to buy a PC if they believe that a mac is within their budget. To get a PC of equal build quality will cost you the same amount and it will likely last half as long. I've had a macbook for 5 years now (it was a refurb and is actually 6 years old) and an iMac that is going on 3. Both still work as well as the day I got them and run everything smooth.
 
With that, and your budget, in mind I would suggest: Refurbished Macbook Pro. A refurb from apple is exactly the same as a new one but without the pretty box basically. This one isn't the newest on the block, originally released June 2012, but that is still plenty new in a mac world. It also doesn't have an SSD but the hard drive can easily be replaced, just gotta buy an SSD you like.

 

If you want a newer one and don't want to put in the effort, I'd say you'd want a 13" Retina Macbook Pro. Go the low end and boost it up to an i7 and 8GB of RAM. Issue with this is that the RMBP's aren't easy to upgrade yourself and you don't have a dedicated GPU. For the games you described, that wouldn't be an issue at all though.

 

Now that I have that out of the way, I'm gonna give an honest opinion. I love my macs, I wouldn't trade them for windows and never intent on going back. OS X as a system works much better for me. However I do heavy GFX and Video work. In addition my kind of personal workflow fits with OS X. That isn't the case for everyone. For a mac with the specs you want you'll be spending over $1400. Can you get a PC with those specs for less: yes. It will be lower build quality and they will cheap out somewhere (specs does not mean quality, keep that in mind) but it will be cheaper.
 

If you intend on using the computer for anything in the future above what you've described, splurge and get a good MBP. If you don't, and are willing to upgrade sooner, get a PC. I would suggest ASUS personally because they at least won't cheap out on the motherboard. Dell is okay. HP should be avoided IMO as I've never seen an HP board has longer than 4 years and the bloatware is horrendous.

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1750$ budget or $750?  If you are talking about spending $1750 on a laptop you can buy the top end whatever you want and the specs you listed would actually be quite higher you only need around a $1000 to get what you want also screen size?

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1750 max with taxes and stuff. Likely 1,000-1,499$ is the listed price maximum.

 

17" is probably too big to be portable and fit in my backpack so 13 (mac) or 15, but the two windows I've looked at were 17" each.

 

I doubt I will get a refurbished one unless there is like a major discount. Should I order online or go to some store like Future Shop?

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1750 max with taxes and stuff. Likely 1,000-1,499$ is the listed price maximum.

17" is probably too big to be portable and fit in my backpack so 13 (mac) or 15, but the two windows I've looked at were 17" each.

I doubt I will get a refurbished one unless there is like a major discount. Should I order online or go to some store like Future Shop?

Refurb from apple will usually save you 200-300 depending in the machine and original price. Easily the cost of upgrading just the CPU for example. Definitely worth it in most cases. My iMac was new because I wanted an upgraded CPU and none were available in refurb but my MacBook was refurb and is fine.

If you don't want refurb though, are you still in school? University obviously counts too. Apple online has an education discount. It's not as much, 100 or 150 I think, but better than nothing.

I would personally go with online from apple. Shipping is free anyway. Futureshop sales people have no idea usually what they're talking about and will try to up sell you. Plus, as I suggested, refurbs are great and those are only from apple.

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1750 max with taxes and stuff. Likely 1,000-1,499$ is the listed price maximum.

 

17" is probably too big to be portable and fit in my backpack so 13 (mac) or 15, but the two windows I've looked at were 17" each.

 

I doubt I will get a refurbished one unless there is like a major discount. Should I order online or go to some store like Future Shop?

 

1750 for what you're looking for is a gigantic budget.  You won't need anything crazy like a SSD unless you play a crazy amount of Civ 5 and want to be prepared for 6's release...  Or if you just want one and don't need a lot of space for movies and such.  A lot of the guys I work with have them because they run CAD and Revit simultaneously. An i7 is probably the biggest piece of property in what your suggested build is.  Have you ever considered building your own rig?  You could stay around or below the four digit threshold based on what you want.  UI is whatever you make of it; I have both mac and PC but prefer the latter because its easier to upgrade.  Both have been operational for 5+ years, although I cannot get certain MBP items in the more recent updates due to its release.  There are pros and cons to both.

 

FYI Dell has been falling for quite awhile if I remember correctly, I would not suggest them for a new computer moving forward.

 

To give you some ideas if you're bored or just to fuck around: http://www.falcon-nw.com/ ( wouldn't suggest buying one but it's fun to get ideas at least).

Edited by frescoelmo
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If you are into gaming I would recommend looking into a AMD processor because I think they have a graphics card built in. Also gaming wise I've heard AMD>intel.

 

Don't make your choice based on Windows 8. Its literally the exact same thing as Windows 7 but with the tiles at the beginning and the start function being at the main screen. Its almost a little more easier to use once you know you way around, which should take 1-2 days max of playing around with things. Although mac is probably the top brand name don't base your choice on brands. The debate between apple vs PC is as stupid as ps4 vs xboxone.

Edited by 8Ovechkin8
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If you are into gaming I would recommend looking into a AMD processor because I think they have a graphics card built in. Also gaming wise I've heard AMD>intel.

 

Don't make your choice based on Windows 8. Its literally the exact same thing as Windows 7 but with the tiles at the beginning and the start function being at the main screen. Its almost a little more easier to use once you know you way around, which should take 1-2 days max of playing around with things. Although mac is probably the top brand name don't base your choice on brands. The debate between apple vs PC is as stupid as ps4 vs xboxone.

 

Most have a minimal GPU but I wouldn't rely on it for any substantial gaming.  Having an dedicated one for the extra $$ is definitely worthwhile.

 

www.newegg.com is my go-to for all computer parts and whatnot.  They have pre-built laptops and pc's from manufacturers on there as well.  The ratings are legit too and have experienced reviews on them.

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AMD hasn't been on the same level as Intel for quite a long time now

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

 

Check out this web-site too you can choose from a model and then add/subtract parts where you want it the most.  They throw in free upgrades and games all the time as part of the purchase just make sure to claim the stuff along the way.

Edited by Mike
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As someone who's used both Mac and Windows I would never recommend a Mac to someone personally. Macs are overpriced PCs sold at high prices based solely on their names. I don't buy into "It's lasting longer" because I've had PC's for 5+ years with 0 problems with them. There's really nothing to justify the price difference between Mac and PC. I just recently bought a new computer for work strictly and got a relatively up to date computer 8gigs of ram, I5 ect, and it's an HP for under $600. For the same specs you're looking at well over $1000 for an Mac based solely on the name. 

 

 

Windows 8 is nothing wrong with it if you're remotely technically inclined. If you're not good with computers at all (And the fact that you're on a sim hockey league says you're at least somewhat inclined on the internet) then Windows 8 is fine. 8.1 made it a bit better too, Win Key+X is the most useful thing I've seen in a long time for what I do for work. For under $1000 you can get a computer that will be able to play really any game you want for years to come comfortably.

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Don't make your choice based on Windows 8. Its literally the exact same thing as Windows 7 but with the tiles at the beginning and the start function being at the main screen. 

And with 2-3 programs and setting changes you'll never need to see the tiles again. I haven't seen the tiles since my first day with Windows 8

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As someone who's used both Mac and Windows I would never recommend a Mac to someone personally. Macs are overpriced PCs sold at high prices based solely on their names. I don't buy into "It's lasting longer" because I've had PC's for 5+ years with 0 problems with them. There's really nothing to justify the price difference between Mac and PC. I just recently bought a new computer for work strictly and got a relatively up to date computer 8gigs of ram, I5 ect, and it's an HP for under $600. For the same specs you're looking at well over $1000 for an Mac based solely on the name. \

 

Build quality.

 

Equal parts a mac and a PC will cost roughly the same price, I’ve tested it before. Yes, if you just look at the spec sheet (8GB of RAM, i7, etc) you won’t visibly see a difference but if you look at the actual parts you will. PC manufacturers will ALWAYS cheap out on 1-2 pieces in order to get the price down. They’ll use weaker processors or less reliable RAM or less reliable motherboards. ANYTHING to drop the price point down.

 

That’s not even counting just the quality of screens, Plastic vs. Aluminium, etc. Apple doesn’t charge more “for the name” they charge more for the quality of product. OS X runs stronger and better than windows and the hardware is not only bought to be individually strong but also put together so that it all works in unison. PC’s don’t offer that. They offer the cheapest parts thrown together to function.

 

I’m not saying anyone who doesn’t think they need a mac should buy one, I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is that claiming macs are expensive “for the name” is frankly just being un-informed.

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Build quality.

 

Equal parts a mac and a PC will cost roughly the same price, I’ve tested it before. Yes, if you just look at the spec sheet (8GB of RAM, i7, etc) you won’t visibly see a difference but if you look at the actual parts you will. PC manufacturers will ALWAYS cheap out on 1-2 pieces in order to get the price down. They’ll use weaker processors or less reliable RAM or less reliable motherboards. ANYTHING to drop the price point down.

 

That’s not even counting just the quality of screens, Plastic vs. Aluminium, etc. Apple doesn’t charge more “for the name” they charge more for the quality of product. OS X runs stronger and better than windows and the hardware is not only bought to be individually strong but also put together so that it all works in unison. PC’s don’t offer that. They offer the cheapest parts thrown together to function.

 

I’m not saying anyone who doesn’t think they need a mac should buy one, I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is that claiming macs are expensive “for the name” is frankly just being un-informed.

Meh, as someone who's pretty familiar with computers and is quite technically inclined (As it's my job) and someone who's used both new Macs and new windows computers I can say that I don't find that to be true. I saw nothing in a Mac that justified the price difference. The screen is great and all but it's not a selling point for me, I'd prefer to use my own screen. Yes they may use less reliable parts if you're buying a cheap or bargain PC. But most sites allow you to customize your PC down to a tee which I did with mine. I didn't even go all out because it's for work and I've got a great computer that does literally everything I need without any problems. It's all preference. To me I wouldn't shell out the extra because I don't find the actual product to be worth the price point personally 

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Meh, as someone who's pretty familiar with computers and is quite technically inclined (As it's my job) and someone who's used both new Macs and new windows computers I can say that I don't find that to be true. I saw nothing in a Mac that justified the price difference. The screen is great and all but it's not a selling point for me, I'd prefer to use my own screen. Yes they may use less reliable parts if you're buying a cheap or bargain PC. But most sites allow you to customize your PC down to a tee which I did with mine. I didn't even go all out because it's for work and I've got a great computer that does literally everything I need without any problems. It's all preference. To me I wouldn't shell out the extra because I don't find the actual product to be worth the price point personally

That's great for you, and may very we'll be great for Higgins. I'm simply offering a perspective from the other side. I'm not attempting to kindle up a Mac vs. PC debate I'm simply stating my case, same as anyone on the PC side.

For what Higgins described, I wouldn't suggest a Mac either. I said that in my first post. I'm simply offering an opinion on them because he did bring up an interest and because I would personally never switch back to a PC.

That's just me though. For what I do a Mac works better and the OS X ecosystem makes my personal workflow more efficient.

Edited by Beketov
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That's great for you, and may very we'll be great for Higgins. I'm simply offering a perspective from the other side. I'm not attempting to kindle up a Mac vs. PC debate I'm simply stating my case, same as anyone on the PC side.

For what Higgins described, I wouldn't suggest a Mac either. I said that in my first post. I'm simply offering an opinion on them because he did bring up an interest and because I would personally never switch back to a PC.

That's just me though. For what I do a Mac works better and the OS X ecosystem makes my personal workflow more efficient.

Definitely some things Macs are great for, and I prefer Final Cut to any video editing program I've used on PC. I'd love to get my hand on Final Cut for Windows as I'm extremely comfortable in it. 

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Definitely some things Macs are great for, and I prefer Final Cut to any video editing program I've used on PC. I'd love to get my hand on Final Cut for Windows as I'm extremely comfortable in it.

I used to be a final cut guy but a combination of FCP X and working for a company that doesn't use it has pushed me toward Avid Media Conposer.

It does natively run on both but I find the overall experience to be smoother on a Mac. The program runs smoother, runs faster, and crashes less. Plus OS X, IMO just handles things better than windows. I don't feel like I have to constantly babysit my machines.

Again though, this is me. Not everyone is the same. I, as well as many, will never go back to PC. There are plenty of people though that are adamantly against everything Mac and that's fine too.

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I used to be a final cut guy but a combination of FCP X and working for a company that doesn't use it has pushed me toward Avid Media Conposer.

It does natively run on both but I find the overall experience to be smoother on a Mac. The program runs smoother, runs faster, and crashes less. Plus OS X, IMO just handles things better than windows. I don't feel like I have to constantly babysit my machines.

Again though, this is me. Not everyone is the same. I, as well as many, will never go back to PC. There are plenty of people though that are adamantly against everything Mac and that's fine too.

I've desperately been looking for a new video editing program and am having problems finding one. I've tried Cyberlink Power Director, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier and just don't feel comfortable in any of them. Is Avid Media Composer similar to Final Cut in terms of layout and user friendliness? I'm admittedly not proficient in video editing but was able to navigate and use Final Cut pretty well when I did use a Mac

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I've desperately been looking for a new video editing program and am having problems finding one. I've tried Cyberlink Power Director, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier and just don't feel comfortable in any of them. Is Avid Media Composer similar to Final Cut in terms of layout and user friendliness? I'm admittedly not proficient in video editing but was able to navigate and use Final Cut pretty well when I did use a Mac

I don't really want to hijack Higgins' thread anymore. Feel free to shoot me a PM and we can discuss it.

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http://shop.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/y510p/

 

Some good sales on Lenovo right now. Don't get Windows 8 though, it's a cancer.

 

Interesting... I I have been looking at the IdeaPad Y510p too like you said..

 

4th Generation Intel Core i7-4700MQ Processor (2.40GHz 1600MHz 6MB)

NVIDIA GeForce GT755M (SLI) GDDR5 2GB

16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz

1TB 5400 RPM + 24GB SSD

Ultrabay SLI Graphics - NVIDIA GeForce GT755M (SLI) GDDR5 2GB

 

Not quite sure what the Ultrabay is? Another graphics card?

 

btw I appreciate all the info, I just don't think I need a mac for what I want even though 66% of people ar University have mac pros, they basically use them for facebook and MS word lol

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