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Tjakka5

Great laptop for game development? (Budget of +1200,- euros)

51 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

In 4 weeks I will have my exams; after that I want to do Game Development.

I have found a school and found out everything that I have to have.

 

Most things weren't a problem, headphones, external hdd, the basic stuff.

However, you also need to provide your own laptop.

 

I got a list saying what kind of specs the laptop should have, but it wasn't really.. clear...

Intel I7
8Gb ram
500Gb HDD
2Gb video memory
1920*1080 screen

Approximatly 1000,-

Now, I've been saving up a little bit, got about 300,- euros now.

My parents will pay 400,- for the laptop, and the school will pay 10-20% of the price too.

 

I'm getting a lot of pocket money; 85,- euros a month.

This means I'll have atleast 1200,- euros, and I am going to work in the vacation too, because money is always handy.

 

 

 

Now, I know a little bit about computers, and I made a list of specs that I want atleast:

Generation 4 I7, Octocore at ~3.5 ghz.
16Gb DDR3 ram at 1600Mhz
500Gb HDD
120Gb SSD
1920*1080 screen
3Gb video memory, preferably Nvidia because I am very used to that.
Windows 7

I dont want a HP, Dell or Alienware, as I really dont like those laptops.
Preferably I want a black laptop that is an ASUS.

I don't mind if what I can get is slightly worse or better for the money that I have.

Again, I have atleast 1200,- and can probably add another 300,- to it if needed.

 

 

 

The laptop will be mostly used for Game Development; Unity, Maya, Photoshop, and I want to go the route of Programmer later on.

I also want to play a few games on it; Minecraft, Kerbal Space Program, maybe even Tomb Raider 2013.

 

 

 

Can someone recommend a good laptop?

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Not sure where you from but if you can read this Dutch Tweakers bi-montly laptop guide might be a good start for you. http://tweakers.net/reviews/3479/laptop-best-buy-guide-april-2014.html the ranges you are looking at this would be either a multi-media laptop or main stream laptop. Do you mean to have 8 real cores in the CPU or is a hyper threaded quad core good enough, because there are no 8 core(as in not hyper threaded) intel chips at the moment.

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You won't be taxing the processor or graphics cards with any of your homework, only for playing games.

While I agree with the general gist, it's not entirely clear from the OP whether or not he is planning to attend a program specifically geared towards game development.

If so, the recommended specs provided by the school are probably a solid guideline.

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A larger T or W series Lenovo Thinkpad would be a good bet. Either a 15.6 or 14.1 inch screen would be good, you should be able to find either in 1080p. You can choose between discrete or integrated GPUs, you'll be able to have a larger GPU in 15.6" models (heat dissipation and size considerations).

 

In most laptops smaller than 17" you can't fit more than one HDD -- but some have an mSata slot in addition to their 2.5 inch HDD bay, so you can have your SSD and mechanical drive too if the SSD is mSata. That said, If you can afford a 512GB (or even 256GB) SSD it might just be better to do that alone -- people always get these big mechanical drives for their media and such, but then they play music from it and drain their batteries. Also, get a *good quality* SSD -- Like a Samsung 840 pro or intel drive. These have great reputations for reliability, the last thing you want is a flaky boot drive.

 

Do go with nVidia for the GPU, but you don't need the highest-end thing. In fact, try to get the 860m specifically -- its a mid-range part, but unlike the more-powerful entries in the 800m series, its based on the newest Maxwell architecture, which draws about half the power of Kepler-based parts, and also improves the architecture to support the latest CUDA features, etc. These parts won't be out until May or so, though. Going with nVidia in general for a laptop is important because of Optimus, which AMD doesn't do.

 

Yes to 4th-gen Intel -- either quad-core i5 or i7 (+ 4 hyperthreads) which are the lowest-power i-series CPUs, and they support AVX2.

 

Yes to 16 GB of RAM -- Most laptops have 2 so-dimm slots, you want dual-channel, so you can't have 8GB now and upgrade later without tossing the original sticks. Just max it out now and be done with it.

 

Regarding the specs overall -- everyone is right to point out that you don't need a high-powered machine to take notes, or even for any of the programming you're likely to do in the next 2-3 years; but the school is probably advising you based on specs they think will carry you through the entire length of the program, and even a little beyond. I know Digipen recommends similar specs to what you're saying for their new students.

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Hi,

 

I feel that most laptops are great for game development, obvious that some much more than others.

 

Multi-core processor (Quad or more is great but at least Dual), Gigabyte motherboard, and NVidia dedicated graphics card are my personal recommendations. Processor needs to be at least 3.0 Ghz these days, get DDR-5, and look for plenty of ports such as for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0

 

You will use storage faster than you now realize, but not an urgent issue for a while. Getting a 64-bit has performance advantages while 32-bit might be compatible with more legacy applications and software.  If you are not going to dip into legacy issues then no problem - go 64-bit.  The higher bit is the way of the future sooner than people realize.  Microsoft, for example, is turning the "32-bit needs to die" drumbeat up and more frequently, as are a number of other industry leaders such as the creator of Mantle.

Edited by 3Ddreamer
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Processor needs to be at least 3.0 Ghz these days

That is only relevant as far as desktops are concerned, but I believe that most mobile processors are somewhat lower to save battery.

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I use an Ideapad y500 (You can get a y510p), and it's absolutely amazing. It's incredibly fast, and the new y510P supposedly has great battery also. It also has everything on your list.

 

 

There is no DDR-5

Yes there is. It's used in almost all modern graphics cards.

 

 

Processor needs to be at least 3.0 Ghz these days

In a laptop? You're dreaming. You want around 2.4 Ghz.

Edited by superman3275
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Yes there is. It's used in almost all modern graphics cards.

 

Ravyne meant as system memory... rolleyes.gif

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Am I the only one that thinks its kind of laughable to suggest that some sort of game program at a.. I dunno, university, trade school, wherever this is, is asking for requirements that high? Like.. really, if they expect you to tinker with Unreal or something on a laptop I would question the sanity of people running said program.

I'm with Frob on this one.. you could probably use a 10 year old laptop if all you're going to be doing is taking notes. If they're really expecting you to run games on a laptop for classes I am mind boggled.

Although if you're that interested why don't you try and contact them somehow and ask about it? To me it sounds a lot more like they just took some fancy sounding specs and listed them just to make you buy something expensive to bring. Edited by Satharis
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Am I the only one that thinks its kind of laughable to suggest that some sort of game program at a.. I dunno, university, trade school, wherever this is, is asking for requirements that high? Like.. really, if they expect you to tinker with Unreal or something on a laptop I would question the sanity of people running said program.I'm with Frob on this one.. you could probably use a 10 year old laptop if all you're going to be doing is taking notes. If they're really expecting you to run games on a laptop for classes I am mind boggled.Although if you're that interested why don't you try and contact them somehow and ask about it? To me it sounds a lot more like they just took some fancy sounding specs and listed them just to make you buy something expensive to bring.



I'm not sure why you have this impression? I use nothing but laptops now and my current laptop ( Razer 14" ) and my prior 2 year old ( Asus g53 ) have absolutely no issue running UE4. But yes, you have to pay for a solid GPU and a non shit hard drive.
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To get things clear; I want this laptop to be a bit of a beast, do the things I want it to do without problems, and then a little bit.

 

I understand that I can get away with a I7 at 2,4 ghz and I made some alterations, so here's my new list:

4Th generation I7 @2,4 ghz. Dual core with Hyperthread
16 GB DDR3 memory @1600 mhz

500Gb HDD and 250Gb SSD
Or
500Gb SSD

Nvidia 860m

1920*1080 monitor
Windows 7

Again, no HP, Dell or Alienware

I also plan to record some stuff with the laptop and don't want to just trash all the videos, thus why I want more storage then usual.

This laptop also needs partitions; 1 for school and 1 for myself, so thats why I need some more also.

 

I'm thinking I probably want the Ideapad Y510P

Edited by Tjakka5
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A good screen (Full-HD no-glare or better), a good keyboard and a decent weight is all you need. Take a look at some "cheap" SSDs (like the crucial) too...

Edited by Alessio1989
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I use an Ideapad y500 (You can get a y510p), and it's absolutely amazing. It's incredibly fast, and the new y510P supposedly has great battery also. It also has everything on your list.

 

 

There is no DDR-5

Yes there is. It's used in almost all modern graphics cards.

 

 

Processor needs to be at least 3.0 Ghz these days

In a laptop? You're dreaming. You want around 2.4 Ghz.

 

All of the specs that I wrote can be had for a $1200 laptop that he wants if he shops around the internet.

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The trouble with high-end laptops is that they're not very portable, in the sense that battery life suffers - I generally have run my Vaio F series at 50% in the power settings.

 

However (just to throw another option out there) an alternative is to buy a cheap tablet for note taking (assuming you'll have access to a school PC in class), and build yourself a better specified, but cheaper, desktop for home. Upgradeability and storage won't be an issue then (nor will overheating, which is always a problem with high end laptops).

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The trouble with high-end laptops is that they're not very portable, in the sense that battery life suffers - I generally have run my Vaio F series at 50% in the power settings.
 

 

Simple solutions are to bring an extension chord with the charger in a little laptop bag and sit by an electrical outlet, which is sooooo easy to do. I have sat in classes, seminars, coffee shops, libraries, and restaurants doing exactly this.  It Is No Problem.

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It Is No Problem.

To my mind a bigger problem tends to be bulk and weight.

 

I stick with a 15" retina MacBook these days, which is considerably more compact than most of the laptops mentioned here, and it's still on the bulky/heavy side to carry 8 hours/day in a backpack. I couldn't imagine lugging around one of those 17" desktop replacement machines... (well, ok, I have done so for work, and it isn't fun).

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Who's going to carry anything around for 8 hours per day?  I put my laptop in my car and when I had a locker it would go there.  To me, laptops are light! I use a laptop bag with a shoulder strap and it is Easy. I tuck my PC things in the bag and I forget its there.  Most of the time the stuff is sitting somewhere and not on my person.  

 

Laptops are an awesome powerful portable office. With a flash stick you can transfer data so easily to other equipment. Every professional should use one. If I were the head of a company and saw that some of my people in computer related fields never carried a laptop then I would seriously question their work ethic.

 

In Japan and other countries leading the USA, laptops more common.  Guess why?  Better work ethics!  USA is such a freaking lazy country and sloppy, too!  dry.png

 

Okay: Rant button is turned OFF. LOL

Edited by 3Ddreamer
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Laptops are an awesome powerful portable office. With a flash stick you can transfer data so easily to other equipment. Every professional should use one. If I were the head of a company and saw that some of my people in computer related fields never carried a laptop then I would seriously question their work ethic.
 
In Japan and other countries leading the USA, laptops more common.  Guess why?  Better work ethics!  USA is such a freaking lazy country and sloppy, too!  dry.png

You act as if I don't have 4 of the damn things (decent MacBook Pro for personal use/dev, and 1 each of cheapo Mac/Windows/Linux laptops for work).

I still miss my 11" MacBook Air, though - that was truly portable. Edited by swiftcoder
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I'm not sure why you have this impression? I use nothing but laptops now and my current laptop ( Razer 14" ) and my prior 2 year old ( Asus g53 ) have absolutely no issue running UE4. But yes, you have to pay for a solid GPU and a non shit hard drive.

I'm probably going to get a bunch of downvotes for sharing a perfectly honest and valid opinion, but, I just really cannot take seriously someone that develops on nothing but a laptop. I don't even know how you physically manage to deal with lugging such a thing around all day or dealing with the ridiculous keyboard.

I would also say you probably paid an absurd amount of money for that laptop for no tangible benefit over a desktop, I guess not all of us want to drop 1500-2000 dollars or something on a big heavy metal box that requires constant recharging.

Also Razer? Really? You paid 2000 dollars for a laptop?

 

I'm one of those strange people that doesn't like throwing money away just because its sitting on a desk infront of me ready to be put into a blender. But hey that's just me.

Edited by Satharis
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