Help an old guy find a laptop

fenns_treasure

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Buying a new laptop, any advice is helpful and appreciated. I have researched at nauseum for a week, and now I have more questions than answers. Too many choices, first world problems I know...
I can't seem to decide what specs I really need, and I keep ending up at $2000 dollar laptops, but I would rather not get a laptop that looks like a gaming laptop if I can avoid it (no offense to anyone, but I will be using this in a professional setting at times, and being in my late 40s and that doesn't look respectable to my generation). For instance, I just can't bring my self to buy a ROG, Alienware, or TUF laptop. I know I shouldn't care, but I guess I am just too self conscious to do it. It's a generational thing I guess.
I think the real help I need is deciding what specs I really need for my use case, and then finding a quality laptop that has those specs. At the same time, I think I would rather error on the side of overpaying a little rather than get a laptop that has good specs on paper, but is cheap because the rest of it is also cheap. Specs that are usually $2000 but selling for $1500 are usually red flags to me and end in frustration.

Thanks for helping me find a laptop.

1. What is your budget?
Up to $2300, but I would like to keep it around $2000 or less if I can. When in doubt though, I will pay a little more for quality.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Must be 17 inch screen. My eyes are not what they used to be.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Not a bid deal to me, the usual 1900 x 1200 or so is just fine with me, in fact I don't probably don't want a 4K screen.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
So long as it is 17 inches, the portability doesn't matter to me.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Doesn't matter, it will be plugged in most of the time.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

It won't be used for many games, but there are two things I really want want to do, must haves I guess:

1) Minecraft with extreme settings for a world I play with my son like a view distance of 32, shaders, etc. I know this probably nothing compared to high end games now days.

2) Play a football game on RPCS3 (Playstation 3 emulator). I am told this is fairly CPU intensive and needs an 8 core CPU. This is probably the most intensive thing I will use it for.

I realize neither of these are really GPU intensive, but they are CPU intensive.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Light video editing, nothing professional.


8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
512MB is fine, but 1 TB would be nice.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I almost bought this, then I thought I should really get more expert advice.
Dell XPS 17 9700 series
https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/new-xps-17-laptop/spd/xps-17-9710-laptop/xn9710eypqh?view=configurations


10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
I need it to last three years, I can replace it later if needed. I would rather pay a little more for a newer CPU and have it be viable for a while and be compatible with Windows 11 (think Intel 11th gen or AMD Zen 3 5000 series).

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
None

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I like to buy quality at a reasonable price more than brand. I know most brands have low and high end, and I trust the judgement here over what models and series are good rather than my own judgement of a brand. That being said, in my head I think the Dell XPS is supposed to be quality, and I tend to look down on MSI. Honestly, you tell me what series in what brands are quality.

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I like the idea of getting an Intel 11gen CPU, or an AMD Zen 3 5000 series CPU, but do I really need that good of a CPU? What level of newer CPU do I need for what I want to do? I don't want to get some older CPU that can't be upgraded to Win 11 either.
And again, I would rather it not look like a gaming laptop if I can help it. I just don't think I will buy an ROG, Alienware, TUF, etc that has weird looking stuff on the case.

Thanks guys!
 

punkncat

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I cannot argue a case against the XPS or Inspiron line from Dell. I have used their laptops for work oriented tasks for years. IMO they stand up well and have an appearance that is subdued enough to fit into any enviro. Walking in with the gaming RGB glowing dragon on the lid glitz model likely isn't the best plan in the boardroom.
 
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fenns_treasure

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I cannot argue a case against the XPS or Inspiron line from Dell. I have used their laptops for work oriented tasks for years. IMO they stand up well and have an appearance that is subdued enough to fit into any enviro. Walking in with the gaming RGB glowing dragon on the lid glitz model likely isn't the best plan in the boardroom.
Thanks for the reply.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this Lenovo Thinkpad?

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpadp/thinkpad-p17-gen-2-(17-inch-intel)-mobile-workstation/20yu002lus

It's about $200 cheaper than the Dell XPS I was looking at.
It's the same processer, i7-11800H Processor (2.30 GHz, up to 4.60 GHz with Turbo Boost, 8 Cores, 16 Threads, 24 MB Cache)
GPU is NVIDIA® RTX™ A2000 4GB.

From what I posted earlier, can anyone tell me if this processor will work just as well for my needs (which is not a lot)? I assume any newer GPU is more than enough for what I want to do, and in fact they are probably both overkill. From what I understand, the CPU is what matters for me, and it seems this processor is enough for my needs too.

Any thoughts on the quality of Lenovo Thinkpads?
 

fenns_treasure

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Turns out the Thinkpad is more than four months out from shipping, so I think I will take that one off the table.

If the Lenovo Legion is considered a decent quality laptop, I think I might go with that. It's $600 cheaper than the Dell XPS listed in my first post. I don't know why exactly, so if anyone has thoughts on that, let me know.

Anyone have thoughts on the which Lenovo Legion is better, the AMD Ryzen 5800H or the Intel i7-11800H version?
The AMD is listed considerable faster with a base CPU of 3.2 vs 2.3 for Intel, but both have a boost pretty similar (AMD 4.4 and Intel 4.6). Does it matter then?
 

Secret-Squirrel

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................................................Anyone have thoughts on the which Lenovo Legion is better, the AMD Ryzen 5800H or the Intel i7-11800H version?................
Either will serve you well. The screens are slightly larger but not as bright as the Dell, but at 300 nits, they're still considered more than bright enough. Also, those Lenovos come with all the "legacy" ports that you may need so you won't need to faff around with multiple adapters to get things connected like you would with that Dell and its four USB-C ports.

Performance wise, both CPUs are very similar, but of course the AMD laptop doesn't have Thunderbolt.
 

fenns_treasure

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Either will serve you well. The screens are slightly larger but not as bright as the Dell, but at 300 nits, they're still considered more than bright enough. Also, those Lenovos come with all the "legacy" ports that you may need so you won't need to faff around with multiple adapters to get things connected like you would with that Dell and its four USB-C ports.

Performance wise, both CPUs are very similar, but of course the AMD laptop doesn't have Thunderbolt.
Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.



One last question, anyone know if this laptop will run what I want to do?
It's a Dell XPS, which I like because it seems like quality to me, but it a little less expensive because it has a 10th gen CPU. If this CPU and its little older GPU will do what I want, I think I may go with this.

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/xps-17-laptop/spd/xps-17-9700-laptop/xn9700ezmbs?view=configurations

10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10875H (16MB Cache, up to 5.1 GHz, 8 cores)
GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6 with Max-Q

Here is what I want to do with it:

1) Minecraft with extreme settings for a world I play with my son like a view distance of 32, shaders, etc. I know this probably nothing compared to high end games now days.

2) Play a football game on RPCS3 (Playstation 3 emulator). I am told this is fairly CPU intensive and needs an 8 core CPU. This is probably the most intensive thing I will use it for.

I assume the regular business work I do with databases, spreadsheets, light video editing, etc. will all easily be handled by any newer laptop.
 

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