When is a good time to buy a laptop?

vietpho

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
184
Update:

I've bought my laptop



Inspiron 1420, Intel Core 2 Duo T8300(2.4GHz, 800Mhz, 3M L2 Cache) for $620.40
I got it from dell after using the 40% off discount code.


I chose the 1 GB ram option because I'm planning on upgrading the ram on my own.
However, I need your guys opinion before I buy my ram.

Should I go with this deal:
4GB DDR2 PC5300 DUAL SO-DIMM / CORSAIR for $40.00 after $30 rebate?
http://www.frys.com/product/5468099?site=sa:Homepage:Spot1

Or this deal:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) for $65.00 ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231135


Am I choosing the right ram sticks; 667 Mhz ? or should I be buying ram that's 800 Mhz ?


Please help asap.

Thanks!














Well, as some of you already know, last summer I spent about a total of $2,300 building my desktop gaming rig. I could probably have built that same rig right now for less than $1,700 with all of the price drops on stuff.


Anyhow, I'm looking into buying a notebook/laptop now. Budget is about 1.5 grand. Is now a good time for buying a laptop?

I'm going to need one by end of this year when I transfer to a University.

I'm an electrical engineering major, so it would be nice if the laptop can run programs such as Matlab, Autocad (not used in EE, but still fun to play with), photoshop, and whatever else they use in the Junior level EE field.

Even though I already have a gaming rig desktop, I think it would be nice to have a laptop that supports Starcraft 2 also :)

I saw this deal on slickdeals today. Is it any good?
"Dell XPS M1530: Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4 GHz, 4GB DDR2, 320GB HDD, DVDRW, WiFi N, nVidia 8600M GT, WUXGA LCD, 2MP Webcam, Bluetooth, Fingerprint, Vista Premium $1199"
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=842155


I'm in no rush buying a laptop either. My goal is to buy one before this Fall.
 

boomhower

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
77
Your best bet is to wait. First as you know technology is fast changing so you will get the freshest gear later this summer. Second you can catch a back to school sale to save a few bucks.

On a side note the M1530 is a nice notebook. I just picked on up for my wife a couple weeks ago and have been really happy with it so far. Hers in a T5600(I think but it is 2.0Ghz), 3GB RAM, 8600GT, and 1440-900 screen. I haven't used it except for a bit to set up the network settings and install some software but I was suprised at how fast it was. She has only been using it a couple of weeks so durability is still up in the air but so far so good.
 

IBMGEEK

Weaksauce
Joined
May 28, 2005
Messages
83
BTW, you will be using Pro-E, Pspice, VHDL also. I also agree wait until the fall.
 

compslckr

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
8,915
If you ever considered a mac you can get a free iPod touch with one this summer. The macbook pro is an amazing machine, and you can run windows in bootcamp or a VM if you need a windows only application to run on it.
 

vietpho

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
184
Thanks for the tips. I guess my best bet is to wait until this Fall.

I'll bump this thread again by end of the summer.
 

sideout

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
104
Might not mean a whole lot to you, but in most universities EE is rough if you go in thinking the wrong way. Playing games on your notebook while in class is an easy road to failure... of course there's always the possibility that you wouldn't play games during class..

But if the notebook can do it, you will most likely end up playing games in the time between classes when study'n would be a good idea!

Just speaking from experience... WoW owned me last year so havn't done any games since.


On the notebook note, the new chipset coming out looks pretty sweet. Can get the 45nm dual/quads and up to an 8800m gtx in a notebook! So for 1,500 could get dual core and a GTS or what not.
 

Akucaen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
269
Always a good bet to wait to fall. That's when the 'back to school' deals come around too - icing on the cake.
 

HoppyChris

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
313
Best bet right now is to wait for the Montevina laptops that will be coming out in short while, so hang tight for a little bit and you'll get a big bump for your buck.
 

vietpho

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
184
Might not mean a whole lot to you, but in most universities EE is rough if you go in thinking the wrong way. Playing games on your notebook while in class is an easy road to failure... of course there's always the possibility that you wouldn't play games during class..

But if the notebook can do it, you will most likely end up playing games in the time between classes when study'n would be a good idea!

Just speaking from experience... WoW owned me last year so havn't done any games since.


On the notebook note, the new chipset coming out looks pretty sweet. Can get the 45nm dual/quads and up to an 8800m gtx in a notebook! So for 1,500 could get dual core and a GTS or what not.


It's going to be hard not to play Starcraft 2 :(
 

pdonket

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 15, 2006
Messages
158
If you ever considered a mac you can get a free iPod touch with one this summer. The macbook pro is an amazing machine, and you can run windows in bootcamp or a VM if you need a windows only application to run on it.

except...it's $500 over his budget.
 

NoNRG

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
2,124
BTW, you will be using Pro-E, Pspice, VHDL also. I also agree wait until the fall.

I am an EE also, and this is correct. PSpice/OrCAD (same suite by Cadence), MicroCap, and coding programs for VHDL to name a few.

The only compatibility issue with Vista I have run into with a program used for EE was Xilinx EDK. By the time you would need to use that (if you ever do as not all colleges have the same course setups) there will probably be an updated version.

Vista or XP would probable work for the OP.

Just speaking from experience... WoW owned me last year so havn't done any games since.

I'm gonna throw a QFT at this one. I got on academic probation freshman year when I was taking the GE classes for math and science that I didnt care too much about. Was playing WoW at the time, bad idea. Have since moved to playing FPS games casually, or CNC3. Gaming is fine, just have a handle on it.
 

Logan321

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
1,900
My advice is stick to single-player or at least non-persistant world gaming. That way you can always turn it off and come back to it later when you have the time. I've had my share of school + MMORPG = fail so I wouldn't recommend it. Last one was EE + DAOC = fail. I've quit MMOs since though, because MMORPG + relationship = fail too. :rolleyes:
 

vietpho

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
184
Looking at all of the comments, it looks like I will have to force myself not to play SC2 IF it comes out within the next 2 years ><

I am going to actually pray that the release date gets push back 2+ years ^_^


Anyhow, "PSpice"... oh man... I've used that and it's a pain in the butt.
Or was it maple that was annoying? Hmmm.. I can't remember.

Are there any good video tutorials for PSpice? I'm a bit rusty with that program
 

NoNRG

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
2,124
PSpice is a circuit program, so unless you have worked with stuff like that, then thats not the one. Maple is a math program, may be what you are thinking of. I wouldnt worry about tutoring yourself for PSpice before starting EE coursework. They should take you through working with the program, or give you assignments and make you figure it out, hah. We had a book, thats all.
 

vietpho

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
184
Are you guys sure August to September will be a good date to buy laptops? Wouldn't the prices go up since kids are going back to school?



Also, I missed out on a recent slick deal
Specs:
Gateway P-6831 FX Notebook (Refurb): Core 2 Duo T5550, 17" WXGA, 3GB DDR2, NVIDIA 8800M GTS 512MB, 250GB HDD, Webcam, Bluetooth, WiFi, 9-Cell , Vista Prem $600 Or Less

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=872200

How is that laptop ?
 

Heather Taylor

Velocity Micro Customer Experience Specialist
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
620
Nope, prices go down during "back to school" days--companies are all competing for your business. Dell usually has very good prices then.
 

vietpho

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
184
Bump*

Is it time yet? I've been seeing deals on the slower laptops but nothing fast around 2.0 Ghz +
 

AthlonXP

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
20,486
I would say now as the Centrino 2 laptops are starting to pop up now.
 

TOOL1075

Gawd
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Messages
690
I have a Lenovo T61 (the company I work for gives them to us - standard issue)

It's good. It will do everything you need it to for school.

My suggestion- don't even install games on your laptop. Reserve game time for only your desktop, when you are done with your school work and if you need a break, now and then, of course (within reason, obviously). (lol I sound like somebody's dad)

Seriously though. As an engineer, during my undergraduate and graduate education, I saw many fellow engineering students around me fall to gaming, etc.

Can you play games seriously, in clans, run servers, play MMOs, as an engineering student, and still get good grades? Yes. Can you do it though? lol that's something you need to ask yourself. Some people are inherently "smarter" than others, and can somehow do it. For most people though, playing games like that through upper level undergraduate and graduate coursework is the kiss of death.

Oh, and don't let anyone tell you that grades don't matter, and that employers don't look at them. They do matter, and we do look at them. They're not everything, but it's a very useful metric to us, for an initial weed-out of applicants. Trust me.

Did I game? Hell yes. Did it get in the way of the freaking hard ass school work? Sometimes. Did I turn out okay? I like to think I did.

And that's why I have a good job now. Don't waste time and money and fuck yourself in the ass. With the knowledge you actually get from your degree from actually taking the time to do the work- you will have a great, rewarding engineering career. Words of wisdom.

Now go play some games before class starts ;)
 

TheCAD

Gawd
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
581
Bump!

My budget is $800 - $950

any suggestions?

You can get a super solid studio 15 for this...
I picked up a studio 17 w/ 1920x1200 for $950 AFTER TAX.

Just takes browsing slickdeals/fatwallet and stacking some coupons.

I can't really imagine spending more than $1k on parts for a desktop :eek:
To each his own. The exponential pricing always make me stick with mid-range parts.

To some up what the guy above said:
Stick to shooters.
WOW is for losers IMO.
 

MTXR

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
1,324
I have a Lenovo T61 (the company I work for gives them to us - standard issue)

It's good. It will do everything you need it to for school.

My suggestion- don't even install games on your laptop. Reserve game time for only your desktop, when you are done with your school work and if you need a break, now and then, of course (within reason, obviously). (lol I sound like somebody's dad)

Seriously though. As an engineer, during my undergraduate and graduate education, I saw many fellow engineering students around me fall to gaming, etc.

Can you play games seriously, in clans, run servers, play MMOs, as an engineering student, and still get good grades? Yes. Can you do it though? lol that's something you need to ask yourself. Some people are inherently "smarter" than others, and can somehow do it. For most people though, playing games like that through upper level undergraduate and graduate coursework is the kiss of death.

Oh, and don't let anyone tell you that grades don't matter, and that employers don't look at them. They do matter, and we do look at them. They're not everything, but it's a very useful metric to us, for an initial weed-out of applicants. Trust me.

Did I game? Hell yes. Did it get in the way of the freaking hard ass school work? Sometimes. Did I turn out okay? I like to think I did.

And that's why I have a good job now. Don't waste time and money and fuck yourself in the ass. With the knowledge you actually get from your degree from actually taking the time to do the work- you will have a great, rewarding engineering career. Words of wisdom.

Now go play some games before class starts ;)


Good advice.

I was a computer engineering major for 3 years. My downfall = CS 7.1 or whatever it was.

I played that thing night and day like I was a drug addict.

It lead to a academic suspension. Couldn't enroll in classes for 1 year!

The break allowed me to find what i was really passionate about and then reapply and change majors.....

wasted TONS OF MONEY with that whole debacle.
 

vietpho

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
184
You can get a super solid studio 15 for this...
I picked up a studio 17 w/ 1920x1200 for $950 AFTER TAX.

Just takes browsing slickdeals/fatwallet and stacking some coupons.

I can't really imagine spending more than $1k on parts for a desktop :eek:
To each his own. The exponential pricing always make me stick with mid-range parts.

To some up what the guy above said:
Stick to shooters.
WOW is for losers IMO.



I just saw this deal:
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=907814

Is it any good?

Best Buy has the Dell Studio Laptop for $750. Select in-store pickup to save on shipping. Shipping starts at $20. Thanks nexapro.
Specs:

* Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processor T8100 (2.1Ghz, 3MB Cache)
* 15.4" WXGA+ Widescreen WLED w/ TrueLife (1440x900)
* 4GB DDR2 Memory
* 320GB 5400RPM SATA HDD
* Slot Loading DVD+/-RW CD-RW Drive
* Intel Integrated Graphics X3100 w/ HDMI
* Integrated Wireless, Bluetooth, Microphone, and Webcam
* Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit



They were talking about how it's not a good deal because of this "Intergrated graphics card"...



Should I bite or wait a little longer? I'm starting my 300 level Electrical & Computer Engineering classes Sept. 29th.

What should I do guys? Bite or wait out a little longer?

Thanks for the help!
 

tgabe213

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
3,684
Keep in mind, you may have to wait a few weeks to get your laptop built, tested, and shipped to you.
 

Xethril

n00b
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
47
I am an EE also, and this is correct. PSpice/OrCAD (same suite by Cadence), MicroCap, and coding programs for VHDL to name a few.

The only compatibility issue with Vista I have run into with a program used for EE was Xilinx EDK. By the time you would need to use that (if you ever do as not all colleges have the same course setups) there will probably be an updated version.

Vista or XP would probable work for the OP.



I'm gonna throw a QFT at this one. I got on academic probation freshman year when I was taking the GE classes for math and science that I didnt care too much about. Was playing WoW at the time, bad idea. Have since moved to playing FPS games casually, or CNC3. Gaming is fine, just have a handle on it.

If you get stuck with Vista you may have to use XP compatability mode in Vista to get some of the tools you need to work. I had a problem running wookie, an assembly compiler, in Vista even with compatability mode on it wouldn't work.
 

Voiceofid

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
180
around chrismas time

wife picked up a core duo with vista last year for 400, runs quite well
 

vietpho

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
184
Update:

I've bought my laptop.



Inspiron 1420, Intel Core 2 Duo T8300(2.4GHz, 800Mhz, 3M L2 Cache) for $620.40
I got it from dell after using the 40% off discount code.


I chose the 1 GB ram option because I'm planning on upgrading the ram on my own.
However, I need your guys opinion before I buy my ram.

Should I go with this deal:
4GB DDR2 PC5300 DUAL SO-DIMM / CORSAIR for $40.00 after $30 rebate?
http://www.frys.com/product/5468099?site=sa:Homepage:Spot1

Or this deal:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) for $65.00 ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231135


Am I choosing the right ram sticks; 667 Mhz ? or should I be buying ram that's 800 Mhz ?


Please help asap.

Thanks!








**The rest of the specs**
Basic Black Matte LCD back color $0.00
1GB, DDR2, 667MHz 2 Dimm $0.00
High Resolution, glossy widescreen 14.1 inch display (1440x900) $0.00
NVIDIA (R) GeForce TM Go 8400M GS with 128MB dedicated graphic memory $0.00
120G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive $0.00
DELL RESOURCE DVD,BACK-UP INSP,1420 $0.00
Internet Search and Portal $0.00
Dell Dock Consumer $0.00
Vista, PC-Restore, Dim/Insp $0.00
Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium Edition, English $0.00
Media Direct 3.5, Insp 1420 $0.00
DELL SUPPORT CENTER 2.0 $0.00
Dell Owners Manual installed on your system,click on icon after system set-up to access $0.00
Best Of Web Consumer $0.00
eBay Web Access Icon $0.00
Integrated 10/100 Network Cardand Modem, for Inspiron $0.00
ADOBE ACROBAT READER 8.1 DIM/INSP $0.00
Roxio Creator DE 10 $0.00
8X DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive for Inspiron $0.00
1Integrated High Definition Audio 2.0 $0.00
Intel 4965AGN Wireless-N Mini Card $0.00
Integrated 2.0 mega pixel web cam $0.00
No Virus Protection Requested $0.00
56 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery, for Inspiron 1420 $0.00
No ISP Requested $0.00
Microsoft Works 9.0, English For Inspiron $0.00
Warranty Support,Initial Year $0.00
Dell Hardware Warranty Plus Return To Depot, Initial Year $0.00
Type 12- Mail-InService, 24x7 TechnicalSupport, Initial Year $0.00
No Warranty, Year 2 and 3 $0.00
1 Year Limited Warranty and Mail-In Service,Notebook $.00
To activate your online backupaccount, go to Start, Programs, DataSafe Online $.00
2GB DATASAFE ONLINE 1.1 FOR SDO/DIM/INS/XPS $.00
DATASAFE ONLINE 1.1 2GB FOR DIM/INS/XPS $0.00
S and P Drop-in-Box Marcom forDHS Notebooks $0.00
Intel Centrino Core Duo Processor $.00
You have chosen a Windows Vista Premium System $.00
 
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