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  1. #1
    Member The Birdman 472's Avatar
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    Computer Memory (RAM) and Hard Drive Space

    I am going to get a new laptop computer from Best Buy, and was wondering what specifications in terms of RAM and hard drive space that I should choose to run some specific programs. The main games I will be playing are Minecraft (I will also be running a Minecraft server) IL-2 Sturmovik 1946, with some Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office 2010. If anyone can let me know around what I should be getting to get good performance for Minecraft and IL-2 Sturmovik, I would really appreciate it. And if you have any specific laptops that you know of that are good for these purposes that are under $400, that would be awesome. Sorry if I posted this under the incorrect category, I'm new to this website.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by The Birdman 472; April 18th, 2012 at 01:39 AM.

  2. #2
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    Dude, you really should be more worried about the Graphics chip the laptop is using, than RAM and Drive space if its for gaming.

    for $400, don't expect to get much in the way of a Gaming capable Laptop though.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShyguyXPC View Post
    Dude, you really should be more worried about the Graphics chip the laptop is using, than RAM and Drive space if its for gaming.

    for $400, don't expect to get much in the way of a Gaming capable Laptop though.

    What specifications would you say is better for graphics chips? I am not really familiar with them (I am not quite educated on internals of computers).

  4. #4
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    In BestBuy at the $350-400 range you aren't going to see a wide variety of options. Not in hardware configurations anyways. Almost everything will come with the same amount of ram about 4GBs, same hard drive space 500GBs and similar CPUs.

    You'll see the option of a 17" screen with likely a bit smaller drive 320GB and a bit slower CPU or a 15.6 screen with a bit better chip and a bigger drive. There won't be anything that has the graphics power of a decent gaming rig though.
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  5. #5
    Member The Birdman 472's Avatar
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    Thanks, I really appreciate your replies.

    By the way, not really pertaining to my original post, but how would I set up my account so that my profile photo shows up under my name on threads?
    Last edited by The Birdman 472; April 18th, 2012 at 02:21 AM.

  6. #6
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    There's so many graphics chips that its hard to say for sure, and due to your $400 budget, there won't really be many choices, other than Onboard video, which usually sucks for most gaming uses.

    Something like this Refurbished Gateway is about the best you'd be able to get, at least from a site like newegg

    Newegg.com - Refurbished: Gateway NV Series NV55S09u Refurbished Notebook AMD A-Series A6-3400M(1.4GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD±R/RW AMD Radeon HD 6520G

    The onboard Graphics of the AMD A-Series chips are actually dedicated graphics grade chips integrated into the CPU.

    the one on this one is actually pretty decent and should run some of those games pretty decently.

    though the hard drive, has plenty of space, but its a5400RPM drive and a tad on the slow side.

    But considering your needs and budget, its a worth while sacrifice to make.

    4GB RAM is more than enough as well.



    Brand new in box, this Acer isn't bad, but its over your budget, but its CPU is a tad faster as well

    Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS5560-7402 Notebook AMD A-Series A6-3420M(1.5GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi AMD Radeon HD 6520G




    Actually I found a better deal on Best Buy's site.

    Has a same CPU, same GPU, but larger Hard drive, and 17" Screen

    HP - 17.3" Refurbished Pavilion Laptop - 4GB Memory - 640GB Hard Drive - Pewter - g7-1365dx
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  7. #7
    Member The Birdman 472's Avatar
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    Thanks so much!

  8. #8
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    Update: Since I'm a freshman in high school, I originally had a low budget, but now my mother says she will spend a bit of money on my computer since my birthday is coming up. Basically, I can now get one around $500-$600. The guy at Best Buy said that these laptops were really good: Lenovo - IdeaPad Laptop - Gunmetal Gray - 1024DAU and Samsung - Laptop - Black - NP300V5A-A0EUS.

    The Samsung might not be the exact one in the store though, I am pretty sure the one at the store was cheaper and has an i3 processor and not an i5. But basically, what is your opinion on these, do they meet what you would consider good for the purposes I said earlier. The guy at Beat Buy also told me that as long as it has an i3 processor, it should be good for me.

  9. #9
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    I'm assuming since you are talking bestbuy you are wanting it now and not wanting to order it online? If you can wait and order one you'll likely get more bang for your buck.

    IMO that Lenovo isn't even the best one they have in that price range. You could go with either of these at the same price and get more for your money

    Lenovo 12992KU

    or

    Lenovo V570-1066AWU

    HP is always hit and miss with some people but these DV6's are pretty nice and would offer decent performance when compared to the Lenovo the BB guy mentioned

    HP DV6-6C35DX
    Last edited by RicheemxX; April 18th, 2012 at 08:47 PM.
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  10. #10
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    The "Guy" at best buy, as usual are complete [Insert Favorite "Expletive Deleted" Here] Morons and don't know a damn thing about what their suggesting.

    9 times out of 10, thats the case with Best Buy and Geek Squad Employees. They don't know what they're talking about and only spouting crap for the sale.

    that Lenovo Laptop may be good for basic use, but its only relying on Intels integrated Graphics, which IS NOT for gaming.

    It may be able to run some games, from years and years ago fine, on low to moderate settings, but even then some of those games would run like crap.


    I doubt MineCraft would run decently on it, and I can almost certainly say Sturmvik will run pretty poorly as well, if you want graphics settings up.

    This is why I tend to avoid Best Buy if I can.

    Before they bought Geek Squad, most employees were inept morons when it came to Game Systems and PC Gaming already, those that DID know a thing or two, didn't last long there and probably moved on to FuncoLand (Before Babbages merged with them), Babbages or Electronics Boutique (Former EB Games, now GameStop), or GameStop.

    At least till all of them were bought up and merged with the Gamestop Franchise Barnes & Noble Spun off.

    I hate going into BB, knowing If I have a question, I probably won't get an accurate, True, or straight answer from anyone.

    Geek Squad Prior to Best Buy, buying them, were actually competent and knowledgeable folks, for the areas where they were available, but ever since BB integrated them, the standards for employees knowing what their doing or suggesting (primarily those on the sales floor, not necessarily the techs in the back), dropped to all time lows.



    The Samsung is no better in performance really.


    Intels Onboard graphics always sucks for gaming.


    AMD's usually does as well, but is usually better than Intel.


    I'd look for a laptop with AMD's A-Series APU's in them. At least those graphics chips are comparable to $50-75 dedicated graphics cards.

    Only limitation is that they use System RAM which is slower, but even with that said, the GPU performance with system ram is still MILES ahead of what Intel offers.

    in either case, a dedicated or "Discreet" Graphics option is still the best as well.



    Something like this would be much better

    Acer - Aspire AS5750G-2436G64Mnkk 15.6" LED Notebook - Intel Core i5 i5-2430M 2.40 GHz - Black - AS5750G-2436G64Mnkk

    has Intel Core i5 Dual core, and integrated Intel Graphics with that, but also has an Nvidia GT520M which is a low end discreet card, but its better than Intels Graphics.


    AMD's A Series APU's are still better than that 520M, but the CPU's are less powerful.



    This Intel would be MUCH better, and half way decent for Budget Grade Gaming Graphics

    Acer - Laptop - Cobalt Blue - AS4830TG-6808



    This Intel based Lappy with the Geforce 610 GPU, don't let the 600 series number fool you, its a lower spec chip than the GT520M.

    Asus - 13.3" U Series Laptop - 4GB Memory - 750GB Hard Drive - Black - U31SG-DS31

    There are NO Geforce GTX 6xx series aside from the GTX 680 desktop GPU out right now.

    this is just a rebadged 500 series, and since the first number in the model is the Generation, its the next 2 numbers that determine its place in that generations line up. so the x10 would place it lower than x20, and since it is a rebadged 5xx series its lower spec than the cheaper Intel Lappy with the 520M in it.

    Only thing I can suggest is if you grab an Intel CPU based Laptop make sure that it has a Dedicated or Discreet Graphics chip option, whether thats AMD or Nvidia, as long as it has that, it should be able to run the 2 games you listed above.

    but then again, depending on the actual chip, it could just barely run the games or may run them pretty good.


    I'd try and find an AMD A series Laptop, something with a Radeon 64xx or 65xx integrated GPU if possible.

    Make sure to avoid the AMD E Series (E-350 or E-450), these are laptop replacements for Netbooks, and not really recommended for gaming, though the integrated graphics on them are still miles better than Intels, the CPU's are weaker, though in many cases better than Intels Atom series that they compete with.


    This one is in the price range, has a GOOD Graphics chip, but the CPU Speed is really low, if the games you play only use one or two cores and can run fine on 1.6GHz, then it may work out.

    Lenovo - 15.6" IdeaPad Laptop - 6GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Gunmetal Gray Metal - 12992KU


    These CPU's do have Turbo Core function, which dynamically overclocks a single core MUCH higher while underclocking the other cores, to compensate for single core applications.




    This one

    HP - 17.3" Refurbished Pavilion Laptop - 6GB Memory - 640GB Hard Drive - Steel Gray - dv7-6165us

    Has an even better GPU, but its CPU is the same as above, it lists it as 2.4GHz, but thats the Turbo Core speed, its regular speed is 1.6GHz like the one above.




    This ones a nice balance of CPU clock speed and Graphics

    HP - Pavilion g7-1321nr A7A42UA 17.3" LED Notebook - AMD A4-3305M 1.90 GHz - g7-1321nr A7A42UA



    However of the AMD A series laptops I see, this one is the best balance of CPU and GPU with price.

    The CPU is a Quad core, runs at 1.7GHz (The one above is a Dual core @ 1.9GHz), but the GPU is a tad better than the one above.

    Samsung - Laptop - Black - NP305V5A-A09US
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  11. #11
    Member The Birdman 472's Avatar
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    I agree with you that a lot of Best Buy guys are idiots, I have had that experience multiple times, but this guy seemed pretty knowledgable; he says he has a gaming desktop, a laptop, an Xbox 360 and Play Station 3. I will definitely check out the ones you suggested, they seem pretty good, and I'll check to see if they have those in the store.

  12. #12
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    What do you think of this ThinkPad? I have always been fond of ThinkPads, but I am weary that they would have adequate performance. Lenovo Outlet - ThinkPad L412 New - Discounted Laptops, Cheap Laptops, Refurbished Laptops, Discounted Desktops, Cheap Desktops, Refurbished Desktops
    I know it has less hard drive space than the others, but I think it would be fine for me, because it's more than my last comp (my family comp, which is an old HP Dv8000 with Windows XP and 512 MB of RAM. I can't even run Minecraft for more than around 2 minutes without the lag becoming impossible to counter).

  13. #13
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    um, if the guy has a gaming desktop, he better damn well know better than to suggest the laptop that was linked above.

    unless his idea of a gaming desktop is one running an ultra low end $40 graphics card, or an Intel/AMD system running Onboard video off the motherboard/CPU.

    Its possible he maybe had an AMD A Series Llanos based Desktop system, with integrated GPU on the CPU.

    but anyone worth their weight in knowledge as far as gaming PC info, knows Intel's onboard sucks for gaming.

    the Core i Series is the best Graphics Intel has ever had, but it still sucks for gaming.

    But if he has both a 360 and PS3, he sounds more like a console gamer than PC, so its possible he doesn't really know much about PC gaming.

    One of the guys at work I know is like that.

    Myself I have a Wii, PSP, Game Cube, N64, SNES, Genesis, 2 Jaguars, Gameboy, GBA, GBA SP, GB Micro, 2 Dreamcasts, Atari 2600, and a few others, but I rarely play them compared to PC gaming (though some of those no longer work or missing power plugs or other hardware)

    I have a defective 360, but not even that works. the Wii is the newest and most powerful I have LOL.

    I just don't stick with console games much. Aside from the Wii or PSP, if I want to play a quick console game its usually NES or SNES, N64 or Genesis, in which case I have a Massive ROM collection to select from and play on PC.

    I used to in my Teenage years, since that was all I could afford, until I started making better income to buy and build a gaming PC.




    Was wondering with Sturmovik, the one you play is the original and not the newer sequel? right?
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  14. #14
    Member The Birdman 472's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShyguyXPC View Post
    Was wondering with Sturmovik, the one you play is the original and not the newer sequel? right?
    The Sturmovik I will be using is IL-2 Sturmovik 1946, which is basically the original, but with a few later games put together in one package. They are all the older ones though, and I will not be using the newer one (except for the Xbox 360 version I already play).

  15. #15
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Birdman 472 View Post
    What do you think of this ThinkPad? I have always been fond of ThinkPads, but I am weary that they would have adequate performance. Lenovo Outlet - ThinkPad L412 New - Discounted Laptops, Cheap Laptops, Refurbished Laptops, Discounted Desktops, Cheap Desktops, Refurbished Desktops
    I know it has less hard drive space than the others, but I think it would be fine for me, because it's more than my last comp (my family comp, which is an old HP Dv8000 with Windows XP and 512 MB of RAM. I can't even run Minecraft for more than around 2 minutes without the lag becoming impossible to counter).
    "Graphics Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD"

    For gaming it would suck.




    if you wanted for that budget of yours, you could maybe grab a lower end cheap netbook for the laptop uses and build a small cheap gaming PC instead?

    since your a freshman in High school, I doubt you'd need something really "mobile" like a lot of college kids prefer, something they can take home and back to school again when on break or in between years during summer, etc.
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  16. #16
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Birdman 472 View Post
    The Sturmovik I will be using is IL-2 Sturmovik 1946, which is basically the original, but with a few later games put together in one package. They are all the older ones though, and I will not be using the newer one (except for the Xbox 360 version I already play).
    got it.

    I was going to say the newer one might struggle a bit with some of this lower end laptop GPU hardware and slower CPU cores.

    have some friends that play the older ones, and would love to play the new one, but their PC hardware isn't enough to run it decently.
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  17. #17
    Member The Birdman 472's Avatar
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    I think I'll go with one of the laptops you suggested. They seem perfect for me. They all seem to be online only though. I would have preferred to buy it in store, but I can have the website ship it to the store, so I guess it's almost the same because I get all the same protection plans and such. And having one of those computers will be like night and day compared to my family's computer. I will probably get dizzy by how fast it is compared to the extremely slow speed of our computer that is almost 10 years old. Having 64 Windows 7 will also be much better compared to 32 bit Windows XP.
    Last edited by The Birdman 472; April 19th, 2012 at 01:42 AM.

  18. #18
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    the difference would be night and day... 1000 times over.


    for the gaming aspect, I'd go for one of the AMD A Series ones linked above, preferably that last one a few posts up, the Samsung model, either that, or one of the Intel Core i5 ones I linked above with the GT 520M or GT 540M (latter being the better, but its over the $600 budget).

    the GT 540M would probably be comparable to the Integrated GPU on that Samsung AMD A Series above, but as mentioned its over budget.
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  19. #19
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    I think I will probably go with that Samsung you suggested. It seems pretty cool and has great specifications. I also kinda like that lenovo you suggested as well.
    Last edited by The Birdman 472; April 19th, 2012 at 05:27 PM.

  20. #20
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    the only thing that sucks with the Lenovo is the clock speed.

    its really low, but then again it might not matter.


    Hardware performance - Minecraft Wiki

    even at that clock speed, the actual performance of the CPU cores itself would be far greater than the recommended requirements for the game, at least compared to those older CPU's.

    so it might be fine.

    looking up Sturmovik, the game should play fine on that hardware though.

    Ubisoft - IL-2 Sturmovik




    The Lenovo has the better GPU, but the Samsung is a better balance, with a higher clock Core speed, and slightly lesser GPU to off set costs.
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