I'm shopping for a laptop for college use (MS office, CATIA, other engineering programs), and my main concern is for the CPU and GPU. For cad use, I'm sticking to files smaller than 250 MB, so a workstation card most likely won't be necessary. I'll max out the ram of course, but I'm undecided whether I should get the 2nd gen i7 with discrete graphics or a 3rd gen i7 with integrated graphics. Unless there's a 3rd gen laptop with discrete graphics for under $750 or so, I can't buy it. I've seen others at the university run CATIA fairly well with 2nd gen i3's with int. graphics, so I know I don't need a $2000 workstation just to run CATIA.
My budget is set around $750, but higher priced models can be considered as long as there is a student discount to bring the price down.
maybe the 2nd gen i7 with dedicated nvidia. The main difference in 2nd gen and 3rd gen is about 15% in performance and 40% in GPU. But the idea to have a separate Graphic unit for processing is much better than overloading the system bus. I still remember when I was using GMAX4500HD, It was overloading the processor and then I bought GTS450. There was a lot of difference in performance of both O/s and GAMES. (My budget didn't allowed to purchase Quadro/FirePro). Anyway I will suggest 2nd Gen i7 with nVidia. if you planning to buy a Quadro or GPU later alongwith 3rd Gen i7 then it will be a nice deal.
What graphics card today would be comparable to a GTS 450? or are all of nvidia's and AMD's cards better than it by now?
550ti and there are many more.. Check the NVIDIA website
This is much better :) But I'm afraid there will be no free XBOX... :P
It's just matter of time after which the laptop starts heating up / low battery backups / service issues and many more. :) My friends are not happy with laptops after 1.5 yrs.
It seems that the acer I linked would be the most future-proof. As long as it doesn't die in 2 years lol
Would a laptop cooling pad extend the life by any significant amount?
no idea about that. But that should effect it in positive direction. :)
It's a medium end GPU. It's not easy to get even a Medium end GPU shipped here.. :P
I looked at some of th other cards compared to the GTS 450. GTS still looks pretty good compared to what's out there now. Anyway, I'm thinking of buying thru the Microsoft store because of the free Xbox offer. I'm going to sell the Xbox anyway and get $200 back lol. So I have narrowed the list down a bit here: https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/DisplayWishlist/productID.250640400?wlsid=
this link is asking me to login.. :P :P which I apparently will never..
I was afraid that would happen. Here's the list:
Sony S series $729 with Intel Core i5-2450M 2.50 GHz (up to 3.10 GHz), Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6630M with 1 GB graphics memory
Sony s series $999 with Intel Core i5-3210M 2.50 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.10 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE with 1 GB graphics memory, and Intel HD Graphics 4000.
HP Pavilion dv6-6c53nr $799 with ntel Core i5-2450M 2.50 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.10 GHz, Intel HD Graphics 3000 and ATI Radeon HD 7690M XT switchable graphics with 1024 MB GDDR5 and up to 4096 MB total graphics memory,
Lenovo IdeaPad U410-4376 $899 with Intel Core i5-3317U 1.70 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.60 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce 610M with 1 GB discrete graphics, and Intel HD Graphics 4000.
Dell Inspiron 15R i15R-2634sLV $799 with Intel Core i7-3612QM 2.10 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.10 GHz, Intel HD 4000
Lenovo ideapad $699 with Intel Core i7-2670QM Processor( 2.2GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 1GB.
All but the last one has a free Xbox included, which I would sell back for $200.
If you are going to buy an ideapad. then I should tell you that laptop Geforce is not going to perform as better as a desktop graphic card. Also the battery consumption is too much with heat generated. My brother is using Lenovo Ideapad Z570 (2GB dedicated). He is not satisfied with the performance of GPU as compared to GTS450.
Also, this may be under consideration. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215404