Gaming Laptop Budget £1000

in Techie Stuff
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Hi,

Looking to get my daughter a laptop - she plays several games which I'd like her laptop to deal with quite easily - mostly the Sims with lots of expansion packs, Farenheit/Shadow of Memories (I think!!!) and a couple of others.

I've been looking specifically at gaming notebooks on Dell or Alien because I thought that I'd need the spec. but they are around £1500. Some colleagues at work said that I really wouldn't need to overload the spec. as she isn't a hard gamer?

Are there any around £1000 that would cope with her use - or do I really need to spend the extra otherwise it's just not going to work.

I know little snippits of info like a good graphic card, memory etc but it's still pretty much alien to me - I don't want to spend £1000 only to find that it's not going to work and I need to upgrade something which I have no idea of doing etc.

Also off topic of this - she's does a lot of drawing and she mentioned a drawing tablet? and also some software which is very expensive like paintshop/photoshop/???? where you can use flash or something??? (around £200???) - I don't have a clue what any of these are?

Many thanks, any advice greatly appreciated.
Jb1964

Also totally totally off topic if anyone knows of any good Japanese Anime? DVD's/Books etc (she has Ghibli and also the WitchHunter Robin series) or anything similar that I could get for xmas. Thanks so much again.

Replies

  • jb1964 wrote:
    Looking to get my daughter a laptop - she plays several games which I'd like her laptop to deal with quite easily - mostly the Sims with lots of expansion packs, Farenheit/Shadow of Memories (I think!!!) and a couple of others.


    My GF bought an Alienware Area 51, which starts at £699 (with their current £100 rebate offer), and I was very impressed with it. Choose the 256Mb nVidia graphics card and it'll run the latest games, at very close to (if not AT) the highest settings. The quality of the screen (IMHO) is great too. The only thing which isn't as good as I'd hoped is the quality of the speakers. They're not bad ... just not great. Splash out on a set of separate speakers for home use. (I can highly recommend Logitech's 5.1 systems.) Built-in WiFi is very handy too.

    At that price, it'll leave you with £300 to customise it as you wish. If you keep the standard resolution screen, then you can add the GeForce graphics card, and increase the processor from 1.66GHz to 2.0GHz. RAM is easy enough to add at a later date, so save some money there at the moment.

    Be aware that it is more like a mobile PC than one of those super-lightweight notebooks, and because of it's "power", battery life is only a couple of hours at most.
  • Laptops are almost impossible to upgrade later, the only exceptions are usually memory (ram) and hard drive replacement. So if a new version of The Sims is released that requires a particular specification and the laptop does not match it then your daughter will most likely be unable to run it in a useable state.
  • vultura wrote:
    ... if a new version of The Sims is released that requires a particular specification and the laptop does not match it then your daughter will most likely be unable to run it in a useable state.

    Accepted, but no-one can expect technology to ever "stop".

    Even for a PC, today's cutting-edge graphics card will be out of date in a few months.
  • The problem with notebooks is that they are not really that upgradeable.Even notebooks that have MXM upgradeable graphics are pretty much useless as the modules are not freely available and the standards are always changing!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MXM

    On top of this the graphics cards produce alot of heat which means lower battery life,more noise and a greater chance of component failure too.

    I would personally get a decent notebook for non-gaming purposes and a console!!

    Concerning anime, Ghost in the Shell is pretty good although a bit serious in nature. Cowboy Bebop is also another classic.For a touch of weirdness there is also Akira.Patlabour and Macross Plus are also pretty good but can be a bit slow at times!!

    It assume she has Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away already??

    There is also Howl's Moving Castle and Steamboy which are supposed to be quite good(I have not seen them though).

    However since their are many different types of anime available it depends of what genre(s) she likes!!
  • vulturavultura Forumite
    475 Posts
    Accepted, but no-one can expect technology to ever "stop".

    Even for a PC, today's cutting-edge graphics card will be out of date in a few months.

    True, but at least with a standard desktop PC you can (in most cases) remove an AGP/PCI Express graphics card and replace it with a more powerful one.
  • RummanRumman Forumite
    181 Posts
    100 Posts
    You can add a graphics card to a laptop if your laptop motherboard has DAUGHTER motherboard, which is where you can add the graphics card. Crucial do some of these graphics card but its hard for compatibilty.
  • jb1964jb1964 Forumite
    234 Posts
    Thanks for your posts - to be honest I'm still totally confused - although know that I'm going to have to take the plunge to get it back in time for xmas.

    HalleluiahMan
    My GF bought an Alienware Area 51, which starts at £699.

    Have you tried this with pc games. It looks like a good price - and they have quite good rebates at the moment too.

    CAT-THE-FIFTH

    On top of this the graphics cards produce alot of heat which means lower battery life,more noise and a greater chance of component failure too.

    When you say noise etc - I've never had a laptop so wouldn't know anything about this - my daughter is very sensitive to noise and gets distracted by certain noises - especially humming/buzzing etc - is this really noticable - or would it be lost when she's playing games - Many thanks.

    CAT-THE-FIFTH

    Concerning anime, Ghost in the Shell is pretty good although a bit serious in nature. Cowboy Bebop is also another classic.For a touch of weirdness there is also Akira.Patlabour and Macross Plus are also pretty good but can be a bit slow at times!!

    What age would you say these are recommended?. Many thanks again.
  • HalleluiahManHalleluiahMan Forumite
    138 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    jb1964 wrote:
    HalleluiahMan
    My GF bought an Alienware Area 51, which starts at £699.

    Have you tried this with pc games. It looks like a good price - and they have quite good rebates at the moment too.

    Yup, she's into Sims-type games, and it plays them just fine. I loaded Far Cry and HL2 on it, just to see, and it handled them well too. (She did upgrade the processor speed too, I have to tell you.)

    jb1964 wrote:
    When you say noise etc - I've never had a laptop so wouldn't know anything about this - my daughter is very sensitive to noise and gets distracted by certain noises - especially humming/buzzing etc - is this really noticable - or would it be lost when she's playing games - Many thanks.

    Normally cooling fans will just kick into a higher speed as and when required, i.e. when the processor is under high load. Yes, if your daughter's playing a game, then the noise of that should either block it out or distract her. (The fans are just like those on a normal PC ... it's not as if laptop fans sound like vacuum cleaners.)
  • Gaming notebooks are generally not a good idea as they get really hot and noisy. The graphics card on its own can produce as much heat as the cpu!!
    I have had personal experience of gaming notebooks and heat is the major problem with them!

    Regarding the anime Cowboy Bebop,Ghost in the Shell and Akira are more suited for ages 15 to 16 years and above. Ghost in the Shell was the inspiration for the Matrix BTW!

    Patlabour and Macross Plus maybe suitable for younger children but there are still themes of love and betrayal.

    Even Princess Mononoke which is rated PG does have some violent scenes.

    It really depends on how old and how mature your daughter is.
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