Gaming Laptop for a Sort of Non-Gamer?

Researching my current laptop actually made me feel like it should be working better than it is, maybe when it was new it was good, but by the time I got it as a hand-me-down laptop, it wasn’t that great. I tried to do a lot with my laptop, such as having multiple tabs open, trying to play games on Steam, and using different Adobe editing programs. Most of the time my laptop would freeze, heat up, or just stop working altogether so I’d have to restart it or try to delete some programs and run an anti-virus program. So if all of a sudden someone handed me $1,750 to buy a new computer, I’d be thrilled. Or maybe just enough to fix the screen that’s currently unhinged….

Analyzing My Current Computer

  • MANUFACTURER: HP Pavilion dv6857se Special Edition Notebook PC
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 1.83 GHz Intel Centrino Processor Technology featuring Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5550
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 320 GB (5400 rpm)
  • RAM: 3GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 1280 x 800
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches): 15.4″ WXGA High-Definition BrightView Widescreen
  • BATTERY LIFE: Not found (but I usually have to keep mine plugged in)
  • WEIGHT: 6.2 lbs
  • DATA PORTS/VIDEO CONNECTIONS:
    • 3 x USB 2.0 – 4 pin USB Type A
    • 2 x headphones – output – mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
    • 1 x microphone – input – mini-phone 3.5 mm
    • 1 x display / video – HDMI
    • 1 x display / video – VGA – 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
    • 1 x display / video – S-video output
    • 1 x modem – phone line – RJ-11
    • 1 x network – Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX – RJ-45
    • 1 x docking / port replicator
    • 1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: Not found

DREAM COMPUTERS (assuming a $1,750 budget)

MacBook Pro 13.3″ with Retina Display (Early 2015)

Price: $1689.99

  • MANUFACTURER: Apple
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 Dual-Core 5th-Gen Broadwell
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 256GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
  • RAM: 16GB of Onboard 1866 MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Integrated Intel Iris Graphics 6100
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 2560 x 1600 Native Resolution
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches): 13.3″ LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
  • BATTERY LIFE: Built-In Lithium-Polymer  – 9 Hours per Charge (71 Wh)
  • WEIGHT: 3.46 lbs
  • DATA PORTS: 2x Thunderbolt 2, 2x USB
  • VIDEO CONNECTIONS: 2x Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port, 1x HDMI
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 3127 (Single Core Score)

MSI GS70 Stealth-280 17.3″ Gaming Notebook Computer

Price $1599.99

  • MANUFACTURER: MSI
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ Quad-Core Haswell
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: Installed: 1.128 TB (1x 1 TB 7200 rpm; 1x 128 GB SSD), Type: SATA
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS:
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches): 17.3″ antiglare finish
  • BATTERY LIFE: Not found, 6 cell
  • WEIGHT: 5.7
  • DATA PORTS/VIDEO CONNECTIONS:
    • 4x USB 3.0
    • 1x HDMI
    • 2x Mini DisplayPort
    • 1x 1/8″ (3.5 mm) Headphone Output
    • 1x 1/8″ (3.5 mm) Microphone Input
    • 1x SD
    • 1x SDHC
    • 1x SDXC
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 2825 (Single Core Score); 11004 (Multi Core Score)

After researching different laptops, since I already have an older but reliable Dell desktop, I decided on a MacBook Pro and MSI Gaming laptop. Both of these would be better than my current computer that’s collecting dust as I borrow a better one to get through the semester. Let me tell you, I never knew how bad my laptop really was until I tried a MacBook Pro from 2009.

Most of the things I do for class, and things I’d like to do for personal projects, would involve a lot more processing power and RAM than 4GB. I looked up what RAM amount is better for multimedia projects, and people recommended 12GB and above. I want to continue working on my editing skills, video and graphic, so the two laptops I chose seemed like a good fit for what I want to use my laptop for in my near future (as well as my imagined budget).

In the end, despite starting to get comfortable using a Mac, I think I’d choose the MSI gaming laptop for it’s bigger screen and graphic capabilities. I may not always be playing games, but I think that I’d still benefit from what this laptop has to offer. And at 5.7 lbs, it still weighs less than current laptop, which is a plus. I liked other laptops I was looking at, but wanted to choose something that weighed less than 6 lbs, because I might want to take it to work sometimes, and I’d rather not be lugging around a heavy laptop on the bus. And since I’ll have access to Mac desktops at work, I think the MSI laptop would be good for personal use. This might seriously be something I consider buying once I have money, or perhaps getting something more affordable, because I’m sure my current laptop won’t last much longer and I’d like something new for when I start my new job.

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