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Advice needed - which laptop should I get?

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  • Advice needed - which laptop should I get?

    My employers have graciously offered to purchase a laptop for me. I donít really need one for work, but theyíve mentioned that at some point I can do some telecommuting instead of driving the 8(!) miles to work each day, and several other employees have them. I do desperately need a new laptop at home, as mine is about 6 years old and wasnít any great shakes even when it was new. So, I told my bosses that I was also looking for a new laptop for home use (surfing and gaming), and could I kill 2 birds with 1 stone by getting a notebook that was a halfway decent gaming rig? Luckily, the VP is a gamer so he said it was fine by him, and the Prez didnít seem to care one way or another.

    Their only requests were to try and get one through CDW (an approved vendor), and try to get a Lenovo brand (I think they get a discount because we exclusively use Lenovos now.) Also, try to cap the price at about $1700.

    Iíve narrowed it down to two models:

    Lenovo ThinkPad T61 6460 - Core 2 Duo T7700 2.4 GHz
    4 MB L2 cache, NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M (256 MB)
    15.4" Widescreen TFT 1920 x 1200

    Lenovo ThinkPad T61p 6460 - Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5 GHz
    6 MB L2 cache, NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M (256 MB) w/ Turbocache
    15.4" Widescreen TFT 1680 x 1050

    Both notebooks have 2 GB RAM, 160 GB HD, XP Pro, etc. Both are just under $1800 (if the bosses wonít spring for the extra cost Iíll cover it myself.)

    I imagine either would be perfectly fine for non-gaming apps, I just donít know which is the superior gaming machine. The T61p is slightly faster with a bigger cache, and the turbocache on the graphics processor should have a minimal effect with 2 GB system memory (I assume.) I donít know if the lower resolution screen would be a problem, though. Iím not looking to play Crysis; Iím mostly a strategy and RPG player (Civ4, Neverwinter Nights (the first one), Witcher, etc.) but Iím not averse to throwing on a shooter to exercise my aggression.

    I therefore ask the audience: which is the better gaming notebook? Which would you get?


  • #2
    Sony Vaio Z-series
    "I work in IT so I'd be buggered without a computer" - Words of wisdom from Provost Harrison
    "You can be wrong AND jewish" - Wiglaf :love:


    • #3
      The T9300 is a substantially better CPU, so I'd go with that, all other things being equal. The first has one significant advantage for certain uses - a higher res screen (possibly, a better one?). That's probably not a significant factor, I'd say. 1680x1050 is still a quite good resolution (what my samsung LCD runs at); for that matter, games that have to run at a higher resolution due to the monitor's constraints run POORER, so from a gaming perspective, the lower resolution is probably better anyway.

      So, I vote a solid B. If you can, see if you can get CDW to add another stick of RAM, and/or more HDD space... perhaps get a CDW salesperson on the phone, let them know who you work for, and see what options you have. You probably have some options.
      <Reverend> IRC is just multiplayer notepad.
      I like your SNOOPY POSTER! - While you Wait quote.


      • #4
        Yah, go with the better CPU over the higher resolution... unless you really need the resolution for work... the higher resolution screen isn't going to do you any favors in games with the 570M.

        Too bad you couldn't go with another vendor/brand, because you really should be able to get a real GPU at that price point. (9700M GT... 8800M GTS... 8600M GT... all of which are near twice the graphics power of a 570M.)

        Just as examples,