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Unless you travel, why a laptop ?

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  • BlahTeebBlahTeeb Member UncommonPosts: 624

    If you really just game at home and never move from room to room, then you are more likely better off with a PC.

     

    However, there are a few reason to have a laptop, even if you travel lightly.

    I spend the night at 3 different houses, and thats enough to get one. But beyond that, in my own house, I have a huge television downstairs that I hook up to now and then. Either I buy a PC and leave it downstairs, or I move my television into my room. Obviously, if I did that, then the rest of my family wouldn't be able to use the television. The only way around this is to buy a laptop so I can move the machine easily around the house.

    That's the bigger deal. The other thing is, I try going green. That means I have energy saving light bulbs, high efficiency washer/dryer, and all that good stuff. I can tell you now, for 150 watts, you cannot find a PC with similar specs to my laptop. You would probably have to use 4 or 5 times that watt to equal my system, simply because a laptop is pre-configured. It knows exactly how much everything is going to eat up.

    And the last thing people never seem to understand, is that laptops are not TOO much more expensive then a PC. Take for example... a $700-800 custom PC. To get something similar, you may end up spending around $1,300 or $1,400. But when you factor in all the stuff the laptop comes with, the price is not too different.

    You would need a montior... average $200 for a nice 1080p one. A wireless card for $50. Already that $700 PC is nearly $1,000. When you add in all the extra things like keyboard, bluetooth, blu-ray, webcam, then really the the difference just a few hundred or so, maybe less.

    So a complete medium-high end system would cost a total $1200 or so, while a same powered laptop is $1400. That extra few hundred is pretty much going towards a compact design for mobility. Even as a person who never leaves the country, I can say that $200 for more freedom is worth it.

     

    I have owned half a dozen laptops, some gaming. None have ever over-heated on me.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,679

    Originally posted by BlahTeeb

    That's the bigger deal. The other thing is, I try going green. That means I have energy saving light bulbs, high efficiency washer/dryer, and all that good stuff. I can tell you now, for 150 watts, you cannot find a PC with similar specs to my laptop. You would probably have to use 4 or 5 times that watt to equal my system, simply because a laptop is pre-configured. It knows exactly how much everything is going to eat up.

    The main power consumers in a desktop are the CPU and the GPU.  A laptop also needs a CPU and a GPU.  And for those, a laptop uses... exactly the same parts as a desktop does.  The laptop parts do get binned differently, and set at a lower clock speed and voltage.  You can do that yourself to a desktop CPU if you like.  For a video card, it's harder, as you may not be able to decrease the voltage.  The net result is that laptops do use a little less power than a comparably specced desktop, as you can get that sort of gains from binning.  But it's not nearly as large of a gap as you seem to think.  If your laptop pulls 150 W, then to get comparable performance in a desktop without using newer generations of parts, it might have to pull 200 W.

    -----

    "And the last thing people never seem to understand, is that laptops are not TOO much more expensive then a PC. Take for example... a $700-800 custom PC."

    Let's suppose that your $800 custom gaming PC has a Phenom II X4 955 in it.  It's not really that expensive of a processor, at least in a desktop, so it fits the budget pretty well:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808

    Now suppose that you want at least that performance in a laptop.  For that, you'd have to pick up one of those laptops with an X58 chipset and either a Bloomfield or a Gulftown processor.  Good luck finding one of those for under $2000.

    Moving on, let's suppose your $800 custom gaming PC has a Radeon HD 6850 in it.  Again, that's affordable for an $800 gaming desktop.  Here's one for $150 after rebate, or $170 before.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131374

    So now let's suppose that you want that level of performance in a laptop.  Well then, you're looking at either CrossFire or SLI, as they don't make laptop video cards that fast, at any price.  And not a pair of relatively cheap laptop video cards, either.  Even a pair of GeForce GTX 460Ms in SLI won't get you there.  A pair of Mobility Radeon HD 5870s or 6870Ms would be a rough match.

    I checked a few sites that sell high end gaming laptops, and couldn't find one that would match both the processor and video card performance of our hypothetical $800 gaming desktop.  It looks like you can match either the processor or the video card for somewhat over $2000.  To match both in a single machine, you might well be looking at over $3000.

    The problem is that you set your $800 price target too high.  Make it a $1200 price target and it's not hard to pick a gaming desktop with performance that you can't match in a laptop regardless of your budget.  See, the gap in price between a laptop and a desktop increases as the desired level of performance does.  If you get a $400 netbook, you really don't pay much of a price premium over getting a comparably weak desktop.  But as the desired performance rises, so does the heat output, and it takes increasingly outlandish measures to cram it into a laptop form factor.

    "You would need a montior... average $200 for a nice 1080p one."

    There are two problems with this.  First, $200 for a desktop monitor will get you a vastly nicer monitor than you can get in any laptop, at any price.  Go on, try to find a laptop with a 24" monitor.  They rarely go significantly over 18", which is tiny for a desktop.  If you're saying that a laptop isn't that much more expensive than a desktop with much nicer hardware, then you've given up on trying to get comparable performance.

    Second, when you replace a desktop, you don't have to replace the monitor or other peripherals.  If you've got a perfectly good monitor that you like, then when you buy a new desktop, you keep the old monitor.  With a laptop, even if you liked the old monitor, you can't keep it for use with the new laptop.  A desktop certainly does need a monitor, but including the full price of a monitor as part of the price of the desktop overestimates things.

    "A wireless card for $50."

    Wait a minute, we're talking about desktops.  Now, you do need a way to hook up the desktop to your router or modem.  But ethernet cables don't cost $50.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119157

    And the ethernet cable will perform better than any wireless card you could possibly buy for your laptop, too.  Have fun trying to replicate that level of performance in a laptop, as it would take a very outlandish network setup to do so.

    "When you add in all the extra things like keyboard, bluetooth, blu-ray, webcam, then really the the difference just a few hundred or so, maybe less."

    Okay, so you do need a keyboard.  Well, unless you're keeping the keyboard from your previous computer, as with a monitor.  But really, a nice keyboard costs $20 or so.

    But the other stuff?  Bluetooth?  What is a desktop going to do with bluetooth?  Are USB cables not good enough for you?  They'll work better than bluetooth.

    A blu-ray player?  One reason why blu-ray players are still expensive is that hardly anyone buys them.  Should they ever catch on, they'll end up becoming cheap, like CD/DVD drives--which, by the way, we're already including in the cost of your hypothetical $800 gaming desktop.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

    A webcam?  That's not exactly a standard part of a gaming desktop.

    "I have owned half a dozen laptops, some gaming. None have ever over-heated on me."

    If you started buying laptops 20 years ago, when they were rather restricted, then that's quite a history.  But if you've bought six laptops in the last decade, then they're not lasting you very long.  If it's a choice between an $800 desktop that will last you four years or a $1200 laptop that will last two years, the laptop isn't really only 50% more expensive.

    Desktops can be fixed if they break, or upgraded as they become obsolete.  With a laptop, if something breaks and it's off warranty, you're likely looking at replacing the whole thing.  Gaming laptops tend not to have long life expectancies, and certainly nowhere near what you can expect to get out of a gaming desktop.

  • NaowutNaowut Member UncommonPosts: 663

    I bought a gaming laptop last year and it was pretty expensive.. few weeks later all I did was check my email...

    Will never buy a laptop again.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146


    Originally posted by psyknx
    I bought a gaming laptop last year and it was pretty expensive.. few weeks later all I did was check my email...
    Will never buy a laptop again.

    LOL I did the same thing in 2002. The laptop was so heavy, and the battery lasted about 10 minutes, so it never left my desk anyway. I ended up using it as a web browser so I wouldn't have to tab out of games on my desktop.

  • mmogawdmmogawd Member Posts: 732

    My wife will kill me if I spend 4 hours a night in my office playing mmo's...

    However if I'm on the couch in the living room while she's watching The Bachelor, I get no complaint :)

  • yoshi56yoshi56 Member Posts: 5

    I would prefer a laptop due to my travel schedule and I always go out of town. I don't want to be away with the game that im playing for a single day atleast I can play it for 2 hours. Some say its cool to have a laptop for gaming but if it is unnecessary why should I buy a laptop for gaming.

  • josh111josh111 Member Posts: 5

    depend on what or where am i. when im travelling or out at home i use my laptop but when im home i use my desktop.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    One thing I will disagree with Quizzical on (even though he's spot on everywhere else in my opinion) is that notion that Blu-Ray technology is either expensive, or poorly-adopted. Blu-ray got off to a horribly rough start, yes, but what do you expect for a technology reaching semi-maturity in 2008, in the middle of an economic upheaval?

    As the economy has gotten better, adoption of the new standard has been coming along just fine, and honestly, prices are down. You can get a brand new blu-ray player right now at your local Best Buy for $80. Drives are only $50. A number of titles are now very easily purchased for $10-$15 (new releases often $20-$25). That may be expensive compared to DVD, but that's like saying broadband internet is expensive compared to dial-up (yes, I do actually know one or two people still on $9.99/month dial-up). Ancient technologies that took off more than a decade ago and are completely obsolete aren't much of a comparitive measure. For home movies, however, that's hardly out of the realm of where one would expect them to be.

     

    Blu-ray also has managed to take nearly 20% of the market DVD has, which, again, isn't bad considering DVD players have had 15 years to seep into every nook and cranny, down to the old lady living down the street who still uses a rotary phone, and doesn't understand why she needs another cord hooked into the wall for internet when she already has a power cable running to the wall.

    I can honestly count, on one hand, the number of people who are even remotely regular purchasers or renters of new movies that I know who don't own blu-ray players or drives (and I only know a single person who owns an HDTV who has NO ability to play blu-ray movies on it... he's just about to buy a player).

     

    At the same time though, it's not a serious cost for PCs. Not when a drive is only $50 (maybe $60-$65 for a nice one), and you can re-use that drive in subsequent desktops, so it's also not a knock against desktops PCs... especially when laptop blu-ray drives are VASTLY more expensive and less ubiquitous.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,679

    If you want to watch Blu-Ray movies on your computer, then sure, get a Blu-Ray player.  But if not, then it's a waste of money.  Blu-Ray drives aren't relevant to gaming, and won't be anytime soon.  Games and other software can't ship on Blu-Ray discs yet, or else most people won't be able to run them.

    It's $55 for the cheapest Blu-Ray drive on New Egg (including shipping), and that one is much slower with CDs and DVDs than $20 CD/DVD burners.  The cheapest Blu-Ray drive that can burn media, too, so that it can suffice as your only optical drive, is just shy of $100.

    It will probably be at least several years before Blu-Ray is the accepted standard for optical drives, the way that DVD is today.  By then, prices will have come down greatly.  And it's hardly guaranteed that the drives of today will still match the standard then, should Blu-Ray ever become universally adopted.  Early adopters of HD-DVD got burned, as did quite a few other media formats of the past.

    I didn't have a DVD drive in my computer until 2007.  And I don't think it was until 2009 that I actually used a DVD in it.  Had I bought one of the earlier DVD drives around 2003 or so, it would have been nothing more than a waste of money.

    When you can get a Blu-Ray/DVD/CD burner combo drive for $30, then maybe you should in a new computer.  And a few years from now, you might be able to.  But Blu-Ray isn't going to be ubiquitous to the point that you might actually need it until some years after that sort of price drop.

  • just2duhjust2duh Member Posts: 1,290

    Originally posted by mmogawd

    My wife will kill me if I spend 4 hours a night in my office playing mmo's...

    However if I'm on the couch in the living room while she's watching The Bachelor, I get no complaint :)

      Hahah, we have a winner! Best reason to own a laptop ever.

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Originally posted by mmogawd

    My wife will kill me if I spend 4 hours a night in my office playing mmo's...

    However if I'm on the couch in the living room while she's watching The Bachelor, I get no complaint :)

    I can understand that reason even if you would probably get 2 good desktops for the price of one good laptop and you could have one in each room. A cordless keyboard and mouse and a screen you either put on the table or on the wall would add the rest.

    A laptop works as well of course, particularly if you sometimes travel with it.

    But for most people who doesn't travel is a laptop not a particularly good choice. You get slower performance, smaller harddrive, crappy small screen and a lot higher price.

    Both desktops and computers are good for what they are made to do, you need to choose the one that fits your need best.

  • MeowheadMeowhead Member UncommonPosts: 3,716

    I got my laptop super cheap when Circuit City went out of business. :)

    Also, it has a ridiculously large 20 inch screen, which means it also has a completely full keyboard.

    Better than most desktops you could get for the same price.

  • IsobarIsobar Member UncommonPosts: 17

    Reasons to buy a gaming laptop:

    You can shoot shit while you shit.

    Reasons over.

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