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  1. #1
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    Might buy a new laptop (again)

    It's bothering me since 1 month, I have the feeling that I need a faster notebook to play more actual games at the moment. As you perhaps still know (or probably not), I bought a new one in June last year, you can have a look at it here.

    It's a really good notebook, and plays most of the games still fine, although you can't run everything with highest details. Playing some Warhammer 40.000: Chaos Rising, and I must use medium and also low settings, otherwise it won't run.

    Now with the upcoming MMO Black Prophecy, I really want it to run at full speed, and also with some newer games I have, I want to have the full power.

    That's why I'm thinking since 1 month already to get a more powerful notebook, and during the last 3 days, I check reviews all the time. But I also find some nice sites, which offer the opportunity to configure your own notebook. There's one site called www.mysn.de, which has notebooks by Schenker, and they also got a lot of good reviews for their notebooks.

    The one I was configuring so far, would look like this:

    • mySN XMG7.c 43,9cm (17,3") FullHD Glare Display
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285M 1024MB GDDR3
    • Intel® Core™ i5-540M | 2,53- 3,06GHz 3MB
    • 4096MB (2x2048) SO-DIMM DDR3 RAM 1333MHz
    • Seagate Momentus 5400.7 640GB, SATAII, 5400U/Min (ST9640320AS)
    • TSST / SonyNEC / LG DVD±R/±RW/-RAM/ DL(+R) SATA Multinorm
    • Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1000
    • Keyboard SWISS for XMG7.c/XMG8/XMG8.c


    This would be for 1308€, which is in my opinion a good price. The swiss keyboard will cost me 39€, but I need it, otherwise I will get a german one.

    I would also rather go with an ATI GPU, but I could only change (for this notebook) to the HD5870, which is then 270€ more expensive, which is a lot, knowing that the GTX 285M is not a bad card.

    I'm not sure with the CPU, but the 540 is the fastest i5 CPU, and i7 CPUs are a lot more expensive, but I think they don't bring a lot more performance. Also I think that a quad core would be useless, as I will use the notebook mainly for gaming.

    What do you think? Any idea which CPU would be even better than the 540? Stick perhaps to the HD5870, or get even more memory?

    I also think that the notebook cases they use are very nice. It's the Clevo W870CU.







    Last edited by Demon Cleaner; 26th August 2010 at 16:23.

  2. #2
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    That is quite a robust and good looking case for sure.

    I forget the spec of your current laptop, but for GPU I would definitely got for the AMD 5870 if you can as it will give the system more graphical power and let you run all current games on a good high setting. It will also run rings around the 285M which is a middle of the range GPU. The equivalent nVidia chip to the 5870 would be a 480M which would cost a lot more and still not as good, so stick with the AMD 5870 if you can.

    As for CPU. An i7 is much more than just some extra cores. Remember that the i7 has a much more advanced triple channel memory controller architecture so can run memory in tri-channel mode and supports faster DDR3 ram also. 3x 2GB of DDR3 in triple channel mode will give a huge performance increase over the i5's older dual channel setup. The i7 also uses QuickPath (QPI) which is currently much faster than any other FSB like system. Think of it as similar to AMD's Hypertransport but faster. i5's use the older DMI IO bus which is similar to that already used by the older Core2 chips.

    However, to balance cost, an i5 CPU would still deliver enough CPU power if combined with an AMD 5870 GPU, so I would go with that configuration unless you can get an i7 setup for a good price and are willing to pay the extra for it.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  3. #3
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    I saw that Mysn.de doesn't give you the possibility to put 6GB of memory, only 4 or 8.

    The i7 is only 80€ more expensive, but that's the i7-620, still dual, which I doubt will bring more than 5% performance over the i5-540. The next one is the quad core i7-740 which would be 115€ more. They use the same cases at notebookguru.de, slightly more expensive, but there you can choose the 6GB, I just saw right now. They also have the i7-720 CPU, only 40€ more expensive than the i5-540.

    So with the i7-720, 6GB of memory and the HD5870, the price would be 1784€. That would then be this one (only configurated).

    If you compare both GPUs, the HD5870 and the GTX285, only with the games, the GTX card doesn't come that much behind, is even faster for some older games. You can check that on this benchmark:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Compute...s.13849.0.html

    If you restrict the following benchmark list to only these 2 GPUs, it looks a bit different, in performance:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-...ist.844.0.html

  4. #4
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    The graphics card is going to be the most important part to get the best performance from games, and if you look at the benchmarks for the GPUs you can easily see the 5870 is performing a lot more powerfully than the nVidia cards. Also worth noting that the only cards coming close are all SLI which means 2 cards are needed so it isn't a realistic benchmark as you can also run 2 5870's together in crossfire and that would completely blow the nVidia cards away.

    If you look down the list, the first stand alone card is a GTX 480M with a 3DMark06 score of 15019, whereas the single 5870 is achieving 19080. Not a perfect test of performance compare to real world game FPS scores, but it does show the increased performance.

    Regarding CPUs. It is worth you doing some research on the different i5 and i7 CPUs as some of the lower cost i7's are actually really i5 technology rather than full i7, and are missing the triple channel memory support, so not worth the extra cost. Do try to get a quad core CPU if you can though as games are now being coded for multiple core CPUs so new games will benefit from more cores.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  5. #5
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    According to Intel, only the i7-9xx series have the triple channel memory, but that's way too expensive.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, the i7 8xx series is more similar to the i5 than the original and better i7 9xx series and not worth the extra cost, although they do still have some additional features over the i5 range, such as hyper threading so a quad core appears as 8 cores to the OS.

    Best to just stick with an i5. Have you got the option of the higher end quad core i5's? As the range is dual core at the bottom of the range and quad at the top. I highly recommend quad core for a new system as all software and games is starting to take advantage of multi threading.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  7. #7
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    They only have the i5-540, which is still dual core, the first quad core being the i7-740, which is "only" 140€ more expensive than the i5-540. So I could stick with that one. i7-720 is still dual.

    You can see what they have on their config page here.

    But as I wouldn't need to have 6GB of memory, I could also buy it at mysn.de, where I looked in the first place, because they are even cheaper, but have exactly the same notebooks. Only thing is that they didn't offer the 6GB of memory.

    You can see their config page here. I think they are cheaper because they have a Gamescom special at the moment.

    Btw, do you think it would be better to go with a 1 x 4GB memory die, or 2 x 4GB? I saw that the 1x version is a bit more expensive (20€). Do they only offer that option if you want to upgrade later to 8GB, so that you don't have to remove the 2x2GB dies again, and replace them? Wouldn't it be better to use the 2x2GB to benefit from the dual channel memory?
    Last edited by Demon Cleaner; 28th August 2010 at 10:14.

  8. #8
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    Yes, you will get better performance from the 2x 2GB configuration, rather than 1x 4GB. It is more expensive because 4GB ram modules still cost more, but a single one does, as you say, offer an upgrade path later if you needed. But 4GB should be fine.

    One other question. What OS is provided with them. 64bit?

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  9. #9
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    There's no OS provided, unless I want one. Then I can go with whatever I want. I'm only using 64 bit Windows 7 versions at the moment anyway.

  10. #10
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    I think i will have to wait a bit more before getting one. I have a very high VISA this month, and my house insurance is due. Plus I have several other expenses. I'm also doing the front facade of the house, after I already did it behind the house, and the new roof I have.

    So probably it will be for beginning of next year, then I will get paid my building loan contract which I have then for 10 years.

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