Looking for new Laptop

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JPatten
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Looking for new Laptop

Postby JPatten » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:23 pm UTC

I am looking to replace my HP dv7 laptop. I have had it for I think going on 7 years now and it has served me well but it is getting long in the tooth and still has Vista on it. I would l ike to have a nice 17" one again but one of the factors I am looking for is the extra drive bay for a second Internal HDD. But at least from my preliminary searching, No one seems to advertise this fact. I admit I would like to stick with HP if possible because I have always had excellent and long lasting use from the HP''s as opposed to Dell for example. Anyone have recommendations on a model that will handle that?

And if not HP then is there another brand that would be worth looking at, though I would prefer to avoid Dell. I iwll be using it primarily for Photo processing so Memory and HDD space are probably my highest requirements.

KnightExemplar
Posts: 5203
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: Looking for new Laptop

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:19 pm UTC

I'm also a fan of the 17" style laptops.

If you're fine with a slightly heavier build, I highly suggest the Sager / Clevo models. You can get a very custom Clevo for a very good price. The 17" workstation is also available. Yeah, I do realize they are a "Gaming" company, but if you get one without a GPU, you can get a very cheap and workable workstation.

If you want Windows, be sure to select it. By default, there's no OS on Sager / Clevo laptops. I highly suggest upgrading to SSDs. Its easily worth the money, especially on a laptop.

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Workstation-style builds have lower battery life than "Ultrabooks", but have significantly more power. A lot of people want longer-batteries on a smaller device. Consider the difference between a powerful "Workstation" build (which is common with 17" models) vs a smaller, slower machine (slower == conserves more battery life)

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It isn't really a "Gaming" laptop if it has integrated graphics. Lol. If you want to "game" on a laptop, be prepared to spend a good bit more money on a proper GPU. Which is of course available, but I suggest you build a desktop out instead. (Much much cheaper GPUs for your money. Probably cheaper to build get a "cheap" ~$1000 laptop and then build a ~$1200 desktop than trying to get a singular gaming-grade laptop (~$2500)... and the desktop will run circles around the gaming laptop.

I guess you can get a compromise machine (yeah, a Laptop+960M is a better GPU than integrated graphics and probably starts at $1200), but its just so much weaker than a serious desktop build I have difficulty seeing the point of the entire class of machines.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

JPatten
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:39 pm UTC
Location: Southeast USA
Contact:

Re: Looking for new Laptop

Postby JPatten » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:41 pm UTC

Battery life and weight aren't my primary concerns, as much horsepower for the price as i can get is my main goal. As I said I will be using it primarily for photo processing which can get pretty memory intensive and maybe some video editing since my camera can do HD Video as well so I am guessing memory and CPU capability will be my biggest wants. I have not heard of Sager or Clevo before but will check it out. I was hoping to hold to $1000 or less overall. I doubt my budget will let me drop 1200 or more at this time. I specced out as an example an HP Pavilion 17" for just under $1000.


HP Pavilion - 17t LaptopV3A33AV
17.3" diagonal FHD IPS UWVA anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)V2Z94AV
1TB 7200 rpm SATAW8G91AV
Full-size island-style backlit keyboard (silver)V2Z74AV#ABA

16GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (2 x 8GB)V3A01AV
Intel® 802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 ComboV3A18AV

Windows 10 Home 64V2Z86AV#ABA
HP Wide Vision HD Webcam with Dual Digital Microphone (Natural Silver)V2Z62AV
6-cell 62 WHr Lithium-ion BatteryV3A15AV
SuperMulti DVD burnerV3A11AV
Intel® Core™ i5-6300HQ (2.3 GHz, up to 3.2 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores) + NVIDIA)® GeForce® GTX 960M (4GB GDDR5 dedicated)V2Z47AV

KnightExemplar
Posts: 5203
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: Looking for new Laptop

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:44 pm UTC

The Sager / Clevo models I posted basically get rid of the GTX 960M, so they'll be worse at gaming. But instead, they get a quad-core i7-6700HQ, so they have a bit more CPU than the HP model you're looking at.

Beyond that, I make my usual recommendations: upgrade to a Solid State drive, its definitely better. Video Editing is an annoying job, I've definitely used hundreds-of-GBs on a single project before. But the ~$200 difference between an SSD and a Hard Drive is worth it, especially if you plan to be going through many GBs of files.

The 2.4/5.0GHz radio option for $30 is also worth it. My neighbors must be using a baby-monitor, none of my 2.4-only devices work in my house. There is just so much noise that 2.4GHz is no longer a reliable spectrum in my experience.

And really, that's the main advantage of Sager / Clevo. You're able to pick out quality components (like an SSD), while HP has agreements to sell a certain number of hard drives. So... you're gonna be seeing hard drives even on a workstation build, even though that bottlenecks I/O performance severely. Otherwise, I think that the laptop specs you posted makes sense for just under $1000 or so.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

JPatten
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:39 pm UTC
Location: Southeast USA
Contact:

Re: Looking for new Laptop

Postby JPatten » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:21 pm UTC

HOw is the reliability on the Sager? If I go for it, and It is tempting, I have one specced out at $1289.. I wou ld be using it for a LONG time. so I want to be sure its not going to die on me in a year or two.

KnightExemplar
Posts: 5203
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: Looking for new Laptop

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:44 pm UTC

Unfortunately, I haven't used it myself yet. My next laptop would likely be a Sager / Clevo, but I just haven't had the need to upgrade my laptop yet. So I can't give any experience on Build Quality / reliability / touchpad feel or the like.

From a specs perspective, it looks completely solid and online reviews seem to be overall positive with that brand. I know its a smaller-brand name, but those customization options... almost full custom laptops are hard to argue against, especially at that price.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

JPatten
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:39 pm UTC
Location: Southeast USA
Contact:

Re: Looking for new Laptop

Postby JPatten » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:09 pm UTC

I do agree that for the price the customization looks good. I just have to make sure the Budget will handle it and convince... some others it really is a good buy.


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