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Need help shopping for a Laptop.

Frozengale

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So I'm currently sitting here typing this on my crappy laptop that can't be unplugged for more then 3 seconds, has problems doing anything more then using word or listening to music and is basically getting close to being on it's last legs if not already there. So I need a new one, being low on cash, my birthday is coming up so I'm going to try to goad my parents into buying me a laptop as a Graduation/Birthday/Christmas present. The problem is I don't know that much about computers and what little I do know translates into Software not Hardware. I know there are some tech-savvy guys and girls on this board so I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions. Basically I am looking for something in the $500 range, give or take a hundred or so.

So here is what I'm looking for: I don't want a Mac, I need something that can run programs such as Blender (and possibly Maya), something that is able to play games on (not talking anything like Crysis, just something like Bioshock or Portal on medium/low settings), something that can play DVD's clearly, and something that doesn't tend to overheat that much. (Yes my current laptop has problems doing all of these things, heck, it even has problems running Flash games).

I know there are probably a lot of Laptops that can do things like this but I don't know how well or how reliably. I need something good and solid that isn't to costly, so please help me :D
 

obvious Child

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So here is what I'm looking for: I don't want a Mac, I need something that can run programs such as Blender (and possibly Maya), something that is able to play games on (not talking anything like Crysis, just something like Bioshock or Portal on medium/low settings), something that can play DVD's clearly, and something that doesn't tend to overheat that much. (Yes my current laptop has problems doing all of these things, heck, it even has problems running Flash games).

I know there are probably a lot of Laptops that can do things like this but I don't know how well or how reliably. I need something good and solid that isn't to costly, so please help me :D
Okay, what's your price range?

hmmm. Blender + Bioshock = probably can run with a decent Dual Core which should save on the heating issue.

You plan on carrying this laptop around town much?
 

Frozengale

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Okay, what's your price range?

hmmm. Blender + Bioshock = probably can run with a decent Dual Core which should save on the heating issue.

You plan on carrying this laptop around town much?
Price range would be around 500-600, possibly 700 if I really need to.

I would need to take it to classes, so I would be carrying it around quite a bit. But I probably wouldn't need anything more then a 2 hour battery life.
 

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Price range would be around 500-600, possibly 700 if I really need to.

I would need to take it to classes, so I would be carrying it around quite a bit. But I probably wouldn't need anything more then a 2 hour battery life.
A few more questions, you okay with buying online or prefer a physical store?
Planning to store your 3D rendering on your harddrive?
 

Frozengale

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A few more questions, you okay with buying online or prefer a physical store?
Planning to store your 3D rendering on your harddrive?
I'm perfectly fine with online. And yeah I will probably just end up storing it on my Hard drive, if I need to I will just by an external Hard Drive.
 

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I'm perfectly fine with online. And yeah I will probably just end up storing it on my Hard drive, if I need to I will just by an external Hard Drive.
Okay,

This is harder then I thought.

Finding a 2+ gig dual core, video card, 4 gigs ram, 320+gig harddrive that doesn't weigh a ton.

Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS7741G-5877 NoteBook Intel Core i3 350M(2.26GHz) 17.3" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650

$650, a bit heavy, but has a dedicated video card. I'm not entirely sure if Blender really needs a dedicated card, but it can't hurt performance. And processor speed is good.

Find a Laptop, Notebook, Desktop, Server, Printer, Software, Service, Monitor or TV at Dell. | Dell

Cheap. And has dedicated card. That might be the better bet.
 
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Moderator's Warning:
Bron does not know what he is talking about
 
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Frozengale

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Okay those two look really good to me... which isn't saying much... thanks for the advice. I think I'll probably go with the AS5741 cause it has a better microprocessor. Thanks for the advice.
 

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Doing 3d animations on a laptop is going to require some compromise as getting a really good processor in that form is going to cost $$$.

This is about the best I can find I think with an i5.

Amazon.com: Acer Aspire AS5741-6823 15.6" Notebook PC: Electronics
Good god that thing is heavy. Blender doesn't appear to need that much power though. Minimum requirements are quite low for 3D rendering. The problem with the AS5741 is that it's running shared integrated video as opposed to the two I listed. That may not be the best for 3D rendering. And it's the most expensive one as well.
 
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