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Help me decide on a laptop!

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Has your uni kept its promises? Vote now to have your say (you could even win an Apple Watch). 29-05-2015
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    Hey everyone,

    So basically I'm looking into getting a laptop in preparation for going off to university this September. I'm looking for something that's fast enough for general use (browsing the internet, streaming tv shows, writing essays etc.), but is also capable of doing a bit of gaming on the side. I know I won't have as much time on my hands once I'm at uni, but it's nice to have the option there.

    I mainly play stuff from the last 5 years or so (the main games being Just Cause 2, Assassin's Creed 3, Tomb Raider, Skyrim, Splinter Cell Blacklist etc.)
    As long as it can run them on medium to high settings at 60fps, that's all I need really.
    I have no interest in buying any new or upcoming releases - that's what my PS4 is for. I'm a console gamer at heart, but I also play on my desktop PC. The thing is, I don't reallly want to be lugging that to and from uni - I'd much prefer the portability of a laptop.

    I've narrowed it down to two laptops from PC Specialist, the Cosmos II and Optimus V, which I've tweaked to share the following specs:
    - 15.6", 1080p screen
    - 8GB Kingston DDR3 RAM @ 1600mhz
    - Intel Core i7 Quad Core Mobile Processor - i74710MQ (2.50ghz) 6mb
    - 1TB Serial ATA II 2.5" HDD with 8mb cache (5400rpm)

    The only difference between them is the graphics card. The Cosmos II features the GTX 850M, while the Optimus V has the 860M. For my needs, which is more suitable?

    The cost of the Cosmos II is £731, while the Optimus V costs £818. Alternatively, if anyone has any better suggestions, please let me know so I can take a look.

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by Causton97)
    Hey everyone,

    So basically I'm looking into getting a laptop in preparation for going off to university this September. I'm looking for something that's fast enough for general use (browsing the internet, streaming tv shows, writing essays etc.), but is also capable of doing a bit of gaming on the side. I know I won't have as much time on my hands once I'm at uni, but it's nice to have the option there.

    I mainly play stuff from the last 5 years or so (the main games being Just Cause 2, Assassin's Creed 3, Tomb Raider, Skyrim, Splinter Cell Blacklist etc.)
    As long as it can run them on medium to high settings at 60fps, that's all I need really.
    I have no interest in buying any new or upcoming releases - that's what my PS4 is for. I'm a console gamer at heart, but I also play on my desktop PC. The thing is, I don't reallly want to be lugging that to and from uni - I'd much prefer the portability of a laptop.

    I've narrowed it down to two laptops from PC Specialist, the Cosmos II and Optimus V, which I've tweaked to share the following specs:
    - 15.6", 1080p screen
    - 8GB Kingston DDR3 RAM @ 1600mhz
    - Intel Core i7 Quad Core Mobile Processor - i74710MQ (2.50ghz) 6mb
    - 1TB Serial ATA II 2.5" HDD with 8mb cache (5400rpm)

    The only difference between them is the graphics card. The Cosmos II features the GTX 850M, while the Optimus V has the 860M. For my needs, which is more suitable?

    The cost of the Cosmos II is £731, while the Optimus V costs £818. Alternatively, if anyone has any better suggestions, please let me know so I can take a look.

    Thanks!
    The 850M comes in DDR3 and DDR5 versions, the one in the Cosmos II is only DDR3 which is highly unlikely to get you the performance you want. Moving to an 860M would be a substantial jump, and that spec of Optimus looks pretty competitively priced against prebuilt systems from other brands.
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    The 850M comes in DDR3 and DDR5 versions, the one in the Cosmos II is only DDR3 which is highly unlikely to get you the performance you want. Moving to an 860M would be a substantial jump, and that spec of Optimus looks pretty competitively priced against prebuilt systems from other brands.
    Cheers for the fast reply! Sounds like the Optimus is the one to go for... I think I can also get a discount on the price if I get a student copy of Windows 8 and use a promo code when I'm at the checkout!
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    (Original post by Causton97)
    Hey everyone,

    So basically I'm looking into getting a laptop in preparation for going off to university this September. I'm looking for something that's fast enough for general use (browsing the internet, streaming tv shows, writing essays etc.), but is also capable of doing a bit of gaming on the side. I know I won't have as much time on my hands once I'm at uni, but it's nice to have the option there.

    I mainly play stuff from the last 5 years or so (the main games being Just Cause 2, Assassin's Creed 3, Tomb Raider, Skyrim, Splinter Cell Blacklist etc.)
    As long as it can run them on medium to high settings at 60fps, that's all I need really.
    I have no interest in buying any new or upcoming releases - that's what my PS4 is for. I'm a console gamer at heart, but I also play on my desktop PC. The thing is, I don't reallly want to be lugging that to and from uni - I'd much prefer the portability of a laptop.

    I've narrowed it down to two laptops from PC Specialist, the Cosmos II and Optimus V, which I've tweaked to share the following specs:
    - 15.6", 1080p screen
    - 8GB Kingston DDR3 RAM @ 1600mhz
    - Intel Core i7 Quad Core Mobile Processor - i74710MQ (2.50ghz) 6mb
    - 1TB Serial ATA II 2.5" HDD with 8mb cache (5400rpm)

    The only difference between them is the graphics card. The Cosmos II features the GTX 850M, while the Optimus V has the 860M. For my needs, which is more suitable?

    The cost of the Cosmos II is £731, while the Optimus V costs £818. Alternatively, if anyone has any better suggestions, please let me know so I can take a look.

    Thanks!
    I agree with Gofre....GTX860M will definitely get you the better performance....do also take into fact that gaming laptops battery's drain quickly especially when gaming, as they are quite power hungry. Also look at Novatech, or Gigabyte, MSi and Cube which you can get from Saveonlaptops
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    (Original post by Iqbal007)
    I agree with Gofre....GTX860M will definitely get you the better performance....do also take into fact that gaming laptops battery's drain quickly especially when gaming, as they are quite power hungry. Also look at Novatech, or Gigabyte, MSi and Cube which you can get from Saveonlaptops
    Just to give an update, I had a look at Saveonlaptops and they did some pretty good deals, but I ended up finding the Lenovo Y50-70 on discount at an amazing price of £832 from Very with pretty similar, if not better specs - a much slimmer chassis, 16gb's of RAM, the 4gb 860m and a 1tb SSHD. At that price, I couldn't say no!


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    (Original post by Causton97)
    Just to give an update, I had a look at Saveonlaptops and they did some pretty good deals, but I ended up finding the Lenovo Y50-70 on discount at an amazing price of £832 from Very with pretty similar, if not better specs - a much slimmer chassis, 16gb's of RAM, the 4gb 860m and a 1tb SSHD. At that price, I couldn't say no!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Great deal you got there - the Y50 is a pretty decent laptop, and is much better than 99% of 'custom' laptops. Hope you enjoy it.
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    (Original post by Sgt.Incontro)
    Great deal you got there - the Y50 is a pretty decent laptop, and is much better than 99% of 'custom' laptops. Hope you enjoy it.
    Thank you very much! I'm really pleased with the deal I got... I'm just waiting anxiously for it to arrive now! The delivery ETA is Wednesday - it can't come soon enough!
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    (Original post by Causton97)
    Thank you very much! I'm really pleased with the deal I got... I'm just waiting anxiously for it to arrive now! The delivery ETA is Wednesday - it can't come soon enough!
    I know that feeling.

    Also, feel free to ask me any questions about it, once it arrives.
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    (Original post by Sgt.Incontro)
    I know that feeling.

    Also, feel free to ask me any questions about it, once it arrives.
    Haha! Yeah, I'm literally counting down the days!

    I do have a few questions actually. My model will only have the 1080P display, which is all I need, but I was reading online and some people have complained about the colours on it looking 'washed out'? Also, there were reports of wireless connectivity issues... I don't suppose you've experienced any of these problems (I'm assuming you've got a Y50)?
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    choose Dell or Apple for better usage.
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    (Original post by Causton97)
    My model will only have the 1080P display, which is all I need, but I was reading online and some people have complained about the colours on it looking 'washed out'?
    Yeah. If the Y50 you are getting has the GTX 860M, you are getting the 'original' Y50 (the one that first came out). The Y50 has had a 'refresh' since then, and improvements on the latest model include a GTX 960M (a rebadged overclocked GTX860M, so you aren't missing out on much), but a much better 1080p IPS display. Oddly enough this hasn't gone on sale in the UK yet it seems, unlike the US.

    The screen is definitely 'usable' I'd say, but not the best. You can improve the colors to a certain degree however, by tuning/calibrating it via Intel HD Graphics control panel.

    Alternatively, if you are technically competent, you could replace the panel yourself, like a lot of owners have done:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thre...endium.755626/

    (Original post by Causton97)
    Also, there were reports of wireless connectivity issues... I don't suppose you've experienced any of these problems (I'm assuming you've got a Y50)?
    These complaints might be sporadic, as I am unaware of any 'serious' issues regarding the wireless connectivity.

    Did you buy the touch-screen option?
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    (Original post by Sgt.Incontro)
    Yeah. If the Y50 you are getting has the GTX 860M, you are getting the 'original' Y50 (the one that first came out). The Y50 has had a 'refresh' since then, and improvements on the latest model include a GTX 960M (a rebadged overclocked GTX860M, so you aren't missing out on much), but a much better 1080p IPS display. Oddly enough this hasn't gone on sale in the UK yet it seems, unlike the US.

    The screen is definitely 'usable' I'd say, but not the best. You can improve the colors to a certain degree however, by tuning/calibrating it via Intel HD Graphics control panel.

    Alternatively, if you are technically competent, you could replace the panel yourself, like a lot of owners have done:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thre...endium.755626/



    These complaints might be sporadic, as I am unaware of any 'serious' issues regarding the wireless connectivity.

    Did you buy the touch-screen option?
    Hmm... I'm a little annoyed at myself for not waiting for the new model to be released, especially with the nicer screen, but then again, I imagine it's a lot more expensive than the price I paid!
    I'm glad there aren't any major issues with wireless connectivity... that's really set me at ease. I didn't go with the touch screen model, so I think I've just got the standard 1080P matte display. I've only ever really experienced glossy displays, so it'll be interesting to see how a matte one compares. I just hope I like it!
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    (Original post by Causton97)
    Hmm... I'm a little annoyed at myself for not waiting for the new model to be released, especially with the nicer screen, but then again, I imagine it's a lot more expensive than the price I paid!
    The newer model in the states was priced at the same price, or slightly below the outgoing model. Not a big deal though.

    (Original post by Causton97)
    I didn't go with the touch screen model, so I think I've just got the standard 1080P matte display.
    Good.

    (Original post by Causton97)
    I've only ever really experienced glossy displays, so it'll be interesting to see how a matte one compares. I just hope I like it!
    I used to swear by glossy panels, but upon switching to my first matte panel, I now prefer matte panels.
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    (Original post by Sgt.Incontro)
    The newer model in the states was priced at the same price, or slightly below the outgoing model. Not a big deal though.
    The thing is, this laptop is really expensive... and it annoys me that there's a newer model coming out for the same price with an even better screen and an ever-so-slightly beefier gpu! My laptop hasn't even been dispatched yet and no money has been taken, so I could cancel it and wait for the newer model to be released. It's something I'm definitely willing to consider if I can get the better quality screen thrown in for the same price that I paid!

    (Original post by Sgt.Incontro)
    I used to swear by glossy panels, but upon switching to my first matte panel, I now prefer matte panels.
    I don't know... my brother owns the Lenovo Z50-70, which I believe has a similar matte screen to the Y50. To me, the colours just look less vibrant and 'washed out', but then I'm speaking as someone who owns a glossy monitor from 2006 on my desktop (HP w2007v), which according to one Amazon review "goes past anything I've ever seen before and practically blinds you"
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    (Original post by Causton97)
    The thing is, this laptop is really expensive... and it annoys me that there's a newer model coming out for the same price with an even better screen and an ever-so-slightly beefier gpu! My laptop hasn't even been dispatched yet and no money has been taken, so I could cancel it and wait for the newer model to be released. It's something I'm definitely willing to consider if I can get the better quality screen thrown in for the same price that I paid!
    The decision is totally up to you. I don't know when the updated model will be released in the UK (if at all?), but I am guessing it will.

    If you can definitely wait (don't need a new PC immediately), maybe you should.
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    (Original post by Sgt.Incontro)
    The decision is totally up to you. I don't know when the updated model will be released in the UK (if at all?), but I am guessing it will.

    If you can definitely wait (don't need a new PC immediately), maybe you should.
    I certainly hope it'll be released soon... I've been scouring Google for some sort of release date or press release from Lenovo, but I can't find anything! :/
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    I've ended up cancelling the laptop now. It was foolish of me to rush things. I'm going to look into getting a cheap laptop for web-surfing and essay writing, but also upgrading my already decent desktop PC, which I will also take to university. With a budget of £850, I think I'll be able to get something pretty spectacular!

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