How is my build?

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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Thank you - glad to know it's at least not going over temp.


My friend asked me for laptop suggestions today - told him I would get back to him (because I want to ask you, lol :) )

He'd like one that will be able to run WoW decently, but isn't so concerned with running any high-end games or anything. Just WoW or similar stuff (perhaps diablo III). He said he would like to spend around $400 but acknowledged that it may be too low and seems willing to up it somewhat if need be.

I would appreciate any suggestions :).
$500ish can get him AMD A-Series based laptops like this one:
Thanks :).

Not sure if this is easy to estimate. But what FPS would he be looking at - medium/high settings (shadows on low) in raids/cities and just in low-populated areas?

Also just out of curiosity - I've seen you mention before that AMD processors are not good to get WoW and then intel is recommended. Given that this laptop has it, is it different for laptops?
It's because Intel-based laptops with decent graphics is rather costly.

As for the estimated FPS, it should be good enough, but not wonderful.
I probably should add:

This is what he currently has (or had - his laptop died - seems like this is happening to a lot of people I know lately). He's not sure of the specs and can't turn it on to check but I looked up the model and this is what it (likely) has:

Toshiba Satellite X205-SLi1

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2 GHz

RAM: 2GB DDR2 SDRAM 667 MHz / PC2-5300 (but supports up to 4 so he may have had that)

GPU: 2 single GPU cards (SLI) - PCI Express x16 - NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT - 512 MB DDR SDRAM

HDD: 120 GB HDD / 5400 rpm

Will what you posted show much of an improvement over this?

As "bad" as AMD is, Stars architecture on AMD A-Series is better than Core2Duo.

8600M GT might be "powerful" in SLi, but then, the laptop I linked can do Hybrid CrossFireX with dedicated 6650M with integrated GPU on the CPU.
Ok :).

Would this be worth it if he went for around $600?

What would he have to pay to get an intel one with a good GPU?

610M is bad.

He needs to pay about $750 at least.
Ok. I'll show him that $540 AMD one you linked - he'll probably go with that. I think $600-650 is the limit - i'll have to re-affirm this with him tomorrow. Is there a significantly better AMD one he can get for that than the one you linked if he were to pay that much?

I had heard that a lot of those Nvidia (M) GPU's were bad too. For some reason, from what I'm seeing, the intel CPU's are most often linked up with nvidia (M) cards. Are there any intel CPUs linked with good AMD card? If not what is the minimum (M) card that is worth going for? If you know of any of hand that you can link me, let me know (even if it is $750 - I'm simply curious now, lol)

You can't really do much better from the laptop I linked unless you pay more $ for Intel+nVidia setup.

As for the nVidia cards, the absolute minimum I would go with is one with 540M. I recommend 555M (don't bother with 545, or 550) if possible. 560M is probably way out of his budget.
Ok. I found this one for $650 - intel cpu + nvidia 540M- worth the extra $100 over what you first linked?

Kal, if you charged for dealing with me you would have worked up some serious billable hours by now. Much thanks to you.
Ok. I found this one for $650 - intel cpu + nvidia 540M- worth the extra $100 over what you first linked?

Kal, if you charged for dealing with me you would have worked up some serious billable hours by now. Much thanks to you.

Sort of. While CPU is much better, 540M is only slightly better than 6650M -- which would then outperform it through Hybrid CrossFireX mode. So it's a trade-off; you gain more CPU power, but less overall GPU power. It is up to him to decide whether more CPU power is worth sacrificing a bit of GPU power.

Past 540M requires a lot more money, so yeah, that is the best he can do.
Ok - I won't have a chance to speak with him again until tomorrow. What he was most concerned with was WoW. From my understanding, WoW is CPU intensive. So in that case, would WoW likely run better on the intel option with medium/high settings (no shadows) despite (slightly) weaker GPU power?

Also - this hybrid crossfireX mode. Does that require a manual setting or will the card and the CPU graphics work that way out of the box?
Yes, the Intel option will (and should) run better in WoW.

It is probably manually configured with Catalyst Control Center.
Is a 17'' screen (and thus higher WoW resolution) a significant strain on the system compared to 15.6''?

I just noticed that his old one had the larger screen. Hopefully he won't mind a smaller screen, and perhaps it might actually result in a boost in performance?


I also ask this question in general because I've been considering adding a new monitor myself when I get my new system. I current run at 2048 x 1152 resolution on my desktop. I'm not sure I'll get a larger monitor but I may get one that supports 1080p or something. How much does resolution strain GPU?
Yes, higher resolution will cause more strain.
17" laptops are lot more bulkier and heavier too.

With graphics cards like 540M, it's better to stick to 15.6".

If you are going multi-monitor setup, more GPU power is only needed if you will play across the monitor. If you restrict gaming to a single monitor, it will not really need more GPU power.
Ok -

I will recommend to him the $540 lenovo as the minimum - $650 acer w/i5 & 540M if he wants to hit his upper upper limit.

Thank you!
My cousin recently got a new computer and choose the Azza Hurican 2000 case, it is a full tower with plenty of room and comes with 8 fans (2 front intake, 2 side intake, 1 rear exhaust, 2 top exhaust and 1 intake fan on the MB side that pulls air in behind your MB. there is even room to put in a water cooler with a 230mm radiator w/fans under the top exhaust fans this thing moves alot of air and stays pretty quiet.

as prieviously mentioned cyberpowerpc is alright as long as you choose trusted name brand parts.

not sure if anyone else mentioned this but as for the graphics card wait till the nvidia 600 series comes out to see what their performance and cost are going to be, especially if you are going to wait for the ivy bridge anyways. even though the ivy bridge will support pci-e 3.0 the ati 7000 series 3.0 doesn't even take advantage of it being a 3.0 (think they did this just to put a "3.0" card out there and get some easy sales or somthing).
also its a bit strange that amd would put out a 3.0 card and not have cpu and motherboard that support 3.0
@Kalganized - is it likely that these laptops we mentioned will be upgraded with Ivy Bridge in 2 months? Or will they be impacted by the delay? If not, is it worthwhile for him to wait 2 months for one that does have Ivy Bridge?

EDIT*** Also - how bad are intel HD 3000 graphics? I always thought you couldn't run WoW/games at all with these integrated set ups but I've found some youtube videos of people getting decent FPS.

@Dkaron - Yeah, I am planning to wait on the new nvidia's, just for the sake of comparison with the AMD 7950/7970. I've heard rumors that the price of some of the AMDs will drop when kepler is released as well.

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