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Windows 7: Should I Buy a desktop or a laptop? Should I really upgrade now?


30 Sep 2013   #1

Windows 8.1 (Update 1) Both Machines
 
 
Should I Buy a desktop or a laptop? Should I really upgrade now?

Hi people. Since two years ago I've been saving up some money to buy a new PC. I'm currently under a Dell XPS M1530.

Current Specs:
- Core 2 Duo T8300 @ 2.4 GHz. (2 cores)
- Screen: 1680 x 1050
- Video Card: Nvidia Geforce 8600m GT @ DDR3 - 256 MB
- 6GB DDR2 - RAM.
- Screen: 15.4"
- HDD: 320 GB @ 7.2 KRPM

I bought this guy for 1,800$ back at 2008. Yesterday it was its 5th “boughtday”.

I'm the type of guy who you give power and use power. This PC usually suffice for all of my tasks:

- Web designing/programming (Illustrator, Dreamweaver)
- Word Processing
- Full HD video (Except 10-bit FHD... I use MPC, and the only way I can play FHD 10-bit FLAC is by setting the render to Overlay Mixer... Quality not so good)
- Web Browsing
- Video Encoding (Usually 720p)
- Multitasking.
- Basic CAD.

What I'd like to do that my PC doesn't do that well:

- Video Editing - 720p and 1080p. I currently can't use any of the Premiere/After Effects programs because my computer can't keep up with it.

- Much faster video encoding. This PC usually takes 50 mins to encode a 720p. And about 2 – 3 hours encoding 1080p using MeGUI.

- Some gaming. To be honest, I don’t game a lot, although I love gaming (shooters, adventure, and action games, no MMORPGs)! I spend most of my free time tampering with web programming and installing stuff on the PC for tweaking. Nonetheless, there are times in which I’d like to play a couple of FPS (Bioshock Infinite for example.), third person adventures (AC, the upcoming Watch Dogs) or some high rated games such as Gone Home with some decent settings, which is impossible to do with my current PC and 360. Much of the online multiplayer games like Halo, Battlefield and other FPS I play with friends are usually on the 360.

Issues with the PC right now:

- I live in a hot country, Dominican Republic (Caribbean). Usually the temperature fluctuates between 86°F – 100°F (30°C – 38°C). This PC suffers from getting its video card hot. The 8600m GT usually blasts at 80°C, and when on idle it sits ~74°C. I have it over a power matt which usually helps it. Unfortunately, PC performance gets down and there are times which MPC suffers from video stuttering.
- Wireless Adapter. – Intel AGN 4965 and BSoDs. Yup. I purchased an upgrade license for Windows 8 and I can’t use it because of the Blue Screens that pop up with the wireless card. Intel doesn’t support this card on Win 8, and replacing it, is a little bit of a hassle

Now, about deciding between a desktop and a laptop….
I thought about getting a desktop thanks to the cheaper parts (compared to laptops), also it has the advantage that replacing the parts are easier (most of the time).
The main disadvantage is that I move a lot. I’m not usually at home. At first I thought about getting a ~1000$ machine and then replace the lappy when I really needed (I’m not obliged to do it immediately), but I’ve been thinking if that’ll be the right choice.
I didn’t know about these laptop brands until recently… Just knew about the most heard ones (Dell, HP, Toshiba, Lenovo)
Here’s a list of the laptops I’ve been looking for:
Battalion Ultra-Thin M1771.
MSI G60
Lenovo Y510p
NP7352:

I’d like something that lasts and that it isn’t that bulky; I carry lots of things on my backpack. The less the weight the better… Something like the Dell I currently have. I love big screens, the problem is portability L (something not bigger than 17.3” will do the trick)

Although Dell has given me an amazing support, the XPS line has become very very very very expensive for the specs. I’d rather buy an Inspiron first than the new XPS.

Regarding battery… 2 hours shall do the trick. Most of the time I’m on a place that has a power outlet.

What Should I get: a laptop or a desktop? Should I really upgrade now, or do I wait for when I really NEED the pc?

Max Budget: 1600$.

If I were to buy a computer now… should I wait for Black Friday?
Thanks a million and sorry for the long post !


Mirror post:
Should I Buy a desktop or a laptop? Should I really upgrade now? - Hardware Hangout - Neowin Forums

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Sep 2013   #2

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

You've got a lot to consider when it comes to whether you buy a laptop or desktop. Desktops will generally provide better gaming experiences and will offer far superior cooling to laptops, and as you mentioned are much better for upgrading. But the mobility aspect is something to consider, would you be happy only using your rig when you're at home or would you be happier being able to take your new machine around with you?

I think the best thing would be for you to decide on which you'd prefer then we can give you some advice on what components to go for, either way you'll be able to buy a very good gaming rig with $1,600.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Custom desktop with a excellent case with lots of fan and radiator options like a new Corsair, Coolermaster or NZXT. Then get a great PSU, mobo and CPU but cool it with a sealed 240mm or 280mm radiator. Top it off with a SSD so you can quickly boot, open and close down. Build it with 2x4gb sticks of high speed ram and double it later. Get a top flight GPU and you're on your way!

In my mind Intel integrated ball grid array type CPU/mobo will cause a huge shift in portability in the near future so I would wait and start saving after spending on a custom desktop first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Sep 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

Seems like most of those considerations only you can really answer. I would get an Alienware laptop. And order a customized version as much as your budget affords. Particularly with respect to ram since you do a lot of media type activities.
Alienware Gaming Laptops
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2013   #5

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by linnemeyerhere View Post
Custom desktop with a excellent case with lots of fan and radiator options like a new Corsair, Coolermaster or NZXT. Then get a great PSU, mobo and CPU but cool it with a sealed 240mm or 280mm radiator. Top it off with a SSD so you can quickly boot, open and close down. Build it with 2x4gb sticks of high speed ram and double it later. Get a top flight GPU and you're on your way!
This should be a stickied 'How To...' on every tech forum that deals with custom builds.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2013   #6

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by metalmania31 View Post
Seems like most of those considerations only you can really answer. I would get an Alienware laptop. And order a customized version as much as your budget affords. Particularly with respect to ram since you do a lot of media type activities.
Alienware Gaming Laptops
I've generally found AlienWare to be quite overpriced compared to some other custom builders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2013   #7

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Boozad View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by metalmania31 View Post
Seems like most of those considerations only you can really answer. I would get an Alienware laptop. And order a customized version as much as your budget affords. Particularly with respect to ram since you do a lot of media type activities.
Alienware Gaming Laptops
I've generally found AlienWare to be quite overpriced compared to some other custom builders.

I would agree. In that case keeping with mobile I would look into the other Boutique brands like CyberpowerPC, Ibuypower, Or Digital Storm. These are the lowerend price wise. Or the run of the mill laptops from Asus, Dell, Samsung, IBM, Etc.

But I think mobile seems more important to the OP and any laptop from one of the boutique brands would last quite a while in terms of latest tech.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2013   #8

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by metalmania31 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Boozad View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by metalmania31 View Post
Seems like most of those considerations only you can really answer. I would get an Alienware laptop. And order a customized version as much as your budget affords. Particularly with respect to ram since you do a lot of media type activities.
Alienware Gaming Laptops
I've generally found AlienWare to be quite overpriced compared to some other custom builders.

I would agree. In that case keeping with mobile I would look into the other Boutique brands like CyberpowerPC, Ibuypower, Or Digital Storm. These are the lowerend price wise. Or the run of the mill laptops from Asus, Dell, Samsung, IBM, Etc.

But I think mobile seems more important to the OP and any laptop from one of the boutique brands would last quite a while in terms of latest tech.
If he wants to go the mobile route I'll be happy to look around for quality custom builders in his vicinity or who'll deliver there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2013   #9

Windows 8.1 (Update 1) Both Machines
 
 

Thanks guys

I'm more inclined on the mobile route. Even though I don't live in the US, I do all of my orders there, and then bring them via a courier. Unfortunately I get hit by a 20% tax if it's a computer over 200$ :s.

Anyways, I"m willing to pay that price, considering that I get to pay around 150% of the original price of any device I purchase in my country.


By the way, I know I'm picky, but since there's been some builds which are quite powerful and weight little, I'd prefer them over huge and ultra powerful bricks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2013   #10

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Is it possible for you to purchase from the UK?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Should I Buy a desktop or a laptop? Should I really upgrade now?




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