View Full Version : Recommend notebook for gaming, DVD-CD play, etc.

01-10-2008, 05:40 PM
My LD GF has sent back two Gateways for DVD & gaming problems. At the bottom are their specs. She wants a notebook primarily for DVD watching, CD listening & gaming, at least 17" screen. We're starting at $800, but could go up to $1500. What I want her to do is check at Best Buy, CompUSA, Wal-Mart, etc.- settle on what she wants & I'll send her the $$$. She wants me to shop around on the Net (which is what we did for our Gateways) to get the best deal, whereas that is now the last thing I want us to do.

So I am asking for guidance on the best performance media & gaming notebook at the best bargain- Pleeeease! I'm not totally against buying over the Net, so links are welcome.

Here are the types of games she plays-
Sims 2
Planescape Torment
Beyond Divinity
Doom (even DOS-based)
Perdition's Gate
Old School 80s-90s games

The first notebook:

Gateway NX860
Model #M685 T5500
Display: 17" WXGA Widescreen (1440 900 Max Res)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 (1.6GHz)
Memory: 1024MB 667Mhz DDR2 Memory (2-512MB)
Hard Drive: 120GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Optical Drives: CDRW-DVD Combo Drive
Video: nVidia GeForce Go 7600 (128MB)
Sound: Integrated Sound
I/O Ports: (4) USB 2.0 Ports - (1) IEEE 1394 FireWire Port
Network: 10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g Wireless
Pointing Device: Touchpad
Media Reader: 6-in-1 Digital Card Reader
Battery: 8 Cell Li-Ion Battery with Power Adaptor
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP2)
Software: MS Works Suite 8.5

The latest one-

Gateway NX860X
1.7GHz Core 2 Duo T5300 Processor
17.1" WSXGA Ultra Bright Screen
2048MB Memory
120GB Hard Drive
8 Cell Battery
NVIDIA NV73M 128MB Video
16x DVD Writer
802.11g Wireless Networking
Windows XP (was changed from Vista)

Thanks to all who can help!

01-10-2008, 10:18 PM
Well, IMHO, if you want gaming, longevity, value and good internal parts you need one company.. Dell. Now, before I get flamed, allow me to change that... Alienware.

Alienware is the omnipotent gaming computer builder out there, there is none better. Alienware is owned by Dell. Get the idea?

Alienware uses next-gen pieces, not last years parts. Which, if you look closely is what you are getting when you buy that 800 dollar laptop. It is a good piece, sure, but harder to upgrade, and won't last quite as long.

Now, Alienware has dropped to carry basically one laptop/notebook computer. Why? All their efforts for notebooks went to Dell as the XPS system. If you like the idea of "choice of outsides" go to dell.com and look at inspirions and xps notebooks. If you want a machine that will do whatever you want, go to alienware.com and look at the mighty Area-51 M9750.

It starts higher than your high price, of course. But Alienware has awesome deals, and they will even BUY those old gateways from you and give you credit towards the M9750. Plus many many other electronics you have laying around...

They also have a refurbished section where things are a bit cheaper.

I have both, Alienware and Dell, 3 Desktops, 4 laptops and The oldest (5 years) is still my best (on it right now).

Whatever you do... stay away from E-machine, Acer and HP. Anything else, do research first.

01-10-2008, 10:48 PM
What exactly were the problems that she ran into? Stalling out? Slow? Harddrive problems?

Those computers should both be able to handle DVD playing and I'd assume most games.

One thing to look into is some sort of 3D accelerator (if required for games) -- I remember an old computer I had didn't support this so I couldn't play any of the fun games at the time (then again this was 6 years ago, or more).

Likewise, the most help for gameplay may be by focusing on a great graphics/video card, and perhaps some extra video memory, if applicable.

Blizzard's advice is good, and let me just add to the list that you should not buy a gateway-- clearly they don't work :)

Personally, a like Macs, but that is probably overkill (though the macbook series is great), and the 17" screen is about $3000 (13-15" for the others).
One option there, though, is that you could try an older powerbook, which would play DVDs fine. Used Macs still work pretty well.
However, for gaming you'd definitely want an intel based machine (so it would need to be the macbook or macbook pro series). As the commercial so happily states, "the fastest PC is a mac" [when running windows].
For a tight budget, Macs aren't good.

However, on the same issue, I don't think Alienware is good at all for a budget. They make great (and extra-decorative) machines, but the price is high. Using nextgen parts is good, but I'm not sure you'd need to go all the way up to Alienware... perhaps just not the cheaper varieties.

I had a dell laptop and it was nice. Major problem was that the screen became a bit loose and would have about 1" of rotation not held into place, after a year. I got a macbook after that, but mostly because I wanted a mac specifically-- I was pretty happy with the dell (but not for video editing). The pricetag was also decent.

04-25-2008, 08:56 AM
go for dell 'monster' laptop cos the spec is better than some of the laptop and it is build for gaming purpose and it have better graphic card