View Full Version : Looking to buy a new laptop...
8th Apr 2012, 11:53 PM
...that will run The Sims 3 and all expansions with no lag and no compromise on my part (I've recently had to admit defeat and turn down the game settings).
This is my current laptop:
Time of this report: 4/8/2012, 23:38:57
Machine name: USER-PC
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.111025-0338)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Acer
System Model: Aspire 6930G
BIOS: ZK2 v0.3204 3B04
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T6400 @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
Memory: 3066MB RAM
Page File: 1603MB used, 4738MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 7.00.6002.18107 32bit Unicode
Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT
Chip type: GeForce 9600M GT
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0649&SUBSYS_015E1025&REV_A1
Display Memory: 2289 MB
Dedicated Memory: 1012 MB
Shared Memory: 1277 MB
Current Mode: 1280 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: Generic PnP Monitor
Driver Name: nvd3dum.dll,nvwgf2um.dll
Driver Version: 7.15.0011.7620 (English)
DDI Version: 10
BGRA Supported: Yes
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 7/18/2008 17:23:00, 5885952 bytes
It's not the best laptop for gaming, but it's done well up until now. :lol:
I know people say that desktops are best for gaming, but it HAS to be a laptop, because it's what I use wherever I go. Not just in the house, but in college as well. I can't carry a desktop around with me, and having 2 computers isn't exactly an option really! :giggler:
I also do a lot of other things that require a lot from my processor, such as HD video editing in Sony Vegas Pro. Basically, I need a laptop that can run everything in full power/highest settings with no lagging. Oh, and it has to be from the UK! :p
So... yeah! If anyone could tell me what sort of specs I should be looking for, it would be greatly appreciated! I'm tempted to say that the price tag isn't an option... but under £1000 would be ideal. I'd be willing to go a bit higher, if something I need can't be found for that price, though.
I'm not against using a place like Alienware to get a custom laptop built for me, but I'd still need to know what specs to include. Whilst I'm on the subject of custom builds... does anyone know of a place other than Alienware that is as reliable/reputable?
Thanks in advance, and thanks for making it through this longggggg post! :lol:
9th Apr 2012, 12:10 AM
I don't know much about computers, all I have to say, is don't get a Mac. They aren't so great for gaming, at least, they've never been for me.
Maybe look at this (http://www.alienware.com/) website?
9th Apr 2012, 01:03 AM
Yeah, I'm definitely leaning towards getting one custom built. I'm just not sure what specs to include, lol!
9th Apr 2012, 01:08 AM
Oh my god, I'm sorry, I totally skimmed the post! (I know, that's bad, but I'm too lazy & gay to read the whole thing...)
9th Apr 2012, 03:41 AM
(I know, that's bad, but I'm too lazy & gay to read the whole thing...)I wasn't aware gay people were bad readers.
If you want to play a game, almost any game, on high specs, you will need to invest in a desktop. Sure, you could get a laptop that could run TS3 with all of the options at high, but a desktop for the same price would allow you to run it on high with anti-aliasing and have it load faster.
Also, don't go Alienware. If a laptop is an absolute must, ASUS is known for being a good balance of affordability, reliability, and price.
But gaming laptops are almost always subpar. Use your current laptop for on-the-go stuff, but seriously consider a desktop.
Since TS3 can become a hugely bloated game with all of the expansions and crap packs, you may want to invest in a solid-state hard drive (use this primarily, and maybe get a second disk-based hard drive for storage of other stuff) and 6 or 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. You will forget that loading screens existed.
TS3 is not exceptionally graphic-intensive. Any middle-to-high graphics card will be enough. I recommend NVIDIA, but it's up to your tastes. Look for around 1GB DDR3 VRAM.
Just about any upper-range processor will do, from Intel i3 to i7. They'll all do the job well. Paying for an i7, however, will allow your new computer to last a lot longer before it needs an upgrade to keep up. You can also go without the graphics card and buy a high-range processor with built-in graphics. These suck. Don't do this.
9th Apr 2012, 03:54 AM
Is this thread suppose to be in
Mod The Sims > Help & Support > Computer & Software Technical Support
Computer & Software Technical Support (http://www.modthesims.info/fd.php?f=563)
9th Apr 2012, 03:56 AM
Thanks, that's given me a lot to think about! Would a dual core processor or a quad core processor be better?
9th Apr 2012, 05:26 AM
Thanks, that's given me a lot to think about! Would a dual core processor or a quad core processor be better?Performance-wise, quad core is definitely better (if the GHz per core is the same). However, I believe TS3 is only designed to use two cores, so you wouldn't see much of a difference. It's only beneficial if you like to Alt-Tab and multitask a lot (EDIT: Or use video editing software. :p).
9th Apr 2012, 06:35 AM
Thanks, that's given me a lot to think about! Would a dual core processor or a quad core processor be better?
Short Answer: Quad-core, and even 6-Core would be better. Your dual-core CPU is likely the source of most of your lag.
This is coming from a fellow who's has all the TS3 EPs, and has been able to run TS3 with minimal lag.
The biggest things you want to keep in mind are the video card, the CPU, and the primary hard drive (where Windows and your programs, such as TS3 are installed).
Since I don't know what type of budget you have, I'm kind of shooting in the dark here.
I can achieve this using an NVidia 9800 GT 512MB, which wasn't top of the line even in 2009, though it wasn't a bad card at the time. So for the video card, I'd recommend NVidia. Also, the 500M series if you can afford it (570 or 580). I agree with Element Leaf on the recommendation for at least 1GB of video RAM.
Do NOT even think about so-called integrated graphics, where the video ram uses some of your regular RAM. If you do, you'll likely be sorry because the performance WILL suffer.
For the screen, look for one that has either a 1,920 x 1,080 (what I use) or a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution. While this is not absolutely necessary to play TS3, if you use this you'll wonder how you ever played TS3 at any lower resolution before.
For the hard drive, one choice is an SSD, as one previous poster mentioned. Although his claims about it being really, really fast are right on the money, that's what it takes: Money.
Again, since I don't know your budget, I should tell you about traditional hard drives. They are much cheaper for equivalent storage space. However, if you use a traditional hard drive, here are two things it should have: Western Digital brand, and 7,200 RPM. Don't consider any slower RPM speed, because that will make stuff take longer to load, and any cost savings isn't worth it.
As for the CPU, get the i7 or the Phenom II X6 (Six-Core) or failing that, the Phenom II X4 (Quad-Core). Since TS3 is very calculation heavy, you want to get a higher clock speed.
For RAM, think at least 8GB. 16GB if you can do it. TS3 may not be able to use over 4GB, but remember other programs, such as Windows itself, use RAM. More RAM also helps you run more programs at once, though this can depend on your CPU as well.
Arguably, what I said is likely overkill for just TS3, but I'm trying to look ahead a bit. TS4 will almost certainly be more demanding.
As for the OS, use Windows 7 Professional (or Ultimate) 64-bit.
I hope what I said is of help, though it would also help if you were to tell us what else you might be doing with your PC.
9th Apr 2012, 04:27 PM
Wow, that helped a LOT - thank you! I think I'll definitely be going with a quad core, or even a 6 core, if I can afford it. :)
Day-to-day use for my laptop is generally TS3, video editing, graphics editing (photoshop cs3) and internet browsing. I don't play other games, but I can't rule out that I'd NEVER want to play a high-end game in the future.
9th Apr 2012, 04:43 PM
The question is are you gonna be gaming while on the move?
Can you afford to lug around @4kg laptop in addition to all other stuff you lug around, from dorm to campus to library to cafe to wherever.
15" laptops may fit your bill, weight-wise (and price-wise) but they most likely would not have a great discrete GPU (mid-range GPUs that these 15" model range are fitted with may support current addons but not future ones if requirements increased again like what happened with Late Night/Pets/Showtime), and in addition, may have an overheating problem.
17" laptops may fit your budget and requirements GPU-wise and not have such a bad overheating issue (still present though), but be too heavy to carry around day in and day out. But battery-life would be important, wouldn't it? What use is a brick that you lug around that can be switched on only for 1-and-a-half or 2 hours each day while on the move? Especially if you have one of those 5-8hour school (or + work) days...
If you're only gaming while at home/dorm-room, perhaps an alternative of a Desktop + Netbook/Ultrabook/Tablet would suit better?
9th Apr 2012, 04:55 PM
Oh, I have a cooling pad with 5 fans to stop the overheating problem :)
http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/samsung-np-rf711-s07uk-17-3-laptop-silver-12246930-pdt.html is the one I'm looking at right now, but it has a NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M card, not a 570 or 580 card. Is it still good enough? Also, REALLY dumb question... can you play regular DVDs in a Blu-Ray drive/player? Because I watch a lot of movies on my laptop as well!
9th Apr 2012, 07:12 PM
Ah! The added weight of the cooling pad with 5 fans to the overall luggage to cart around, then? Do you have one of those trolley thingies while on campus?
That GPU would require the compromise you're not willing to perform, then. :) So something has to give. Or expectations adjusted.
See my response in Will it be good for me to use for this year?, as well.
Yes, a Blu-Ray player is backwards compatible and can read standard DVDs. Though a Blu-ray burner would cost considerably more, if you tend to archive things on recordable/writable discs.
http://askville.amazon.com/buy-blu-ray-dvd-player-play-dvds/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=5161230 and more from http://bit.ly/IrQE4l
And I forget to comment on the Windows 7 edition - the Home Premium is sufficient. Most folks won't even be using half of the features in that one, let alone the Pro or Ultimate. Just cost more. But 64bit is essential.
9th Apr 2012, 07:50 PM
That link is the biggest reason I said to use Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate. So, unless you are completely certain 16GB will be enough until you get a new PC.
Otherwise, Home Premium is likely to be "good enough."
If I wanted a laptop, I'd use this site: http://www.avadirect.com/Notebooks
Although I noticed the link you gave showed a price in pounds. I'm not sure what your options are for a custom laptop, but I'm sure there has to be such a business over there. Just something to look into.
9th Apr 2012, 07:55 PM
I've looked into custom builds, but they unfortunately all run into the thousands, which is something I'd rather not spend if I could get something ALMOST as good for cheaper. The laptop I found (linked above) had all of the things you said were required, Ben. Other than the 570 or 580 graphics card. It has the 540 card.
9th Apr 2012, 07:59 PM
Also, if someone could clear up the techno-babble for me... what does '2.2 GHz, TurboBoost to 3.1 GHz, DMI 5 GT/s, 6 MB cache memory' mean? Is it a 2.2GHz processor, or is it a 3.1GHz processor?
9th Apr 2012, 10:11 PM
This might explain it:
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