Best general purpose laptop for $500?

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Morrow

Lord Nagafen Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#1
I've been out of the PC/Laptop buying game for many years now so I'm totally clueless. I don't understand what generation i5/i7 means what. I don't understand if a 5th gen i5 is better than a 3rd gen i7 and I may as well be clueless about modern GPU's.

Please hawlp. I'd post in the laptop thread, but the activity there is sparse.

I'd like to do some video editing if possible. Is that possible on a $500 budget? And the only games I'd be playing are games that don't require much. Hearthstone, Pokemon TCG Online. Magic Arena, various indy Steam games etc. Nothing too crazy.

It's a general purpose laptop that will be my main laptop that I will use for Skype, Gaming, and minor video editing. 15 or 17' is fine. I'm not sure I have a preference to be honest. I won't be moving it around that much, it may as well be a desktop, but the reason I need a laptop is because it will be moving countries every few months.

pls hawlp
 

Lanx

Touched
<Donors Crew>
Jul 30, 2016
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#2
I've been out of the PC/Laptop buying game for many years now so I'm totally clueless. I don't understand what generation i5/i7 means what. I don't understand if a 5th gen i5 is better than a 3rd gen i7 and I may as well be clueless about modern GPU's.

Please hawlp. I'd post in the laptop thread, but the activity there is sparse.

I'd like to do some video editing if possible. Is that possible on a $500 budget? And the only games I'd be playing are games that don't require much. Hearthstone, Pokemon TCG Online. Magic Arena, various indy Steam games etc. Nothing too crazy.

It's a general purpose laptop that will be my main laptop that I will use for Skype, Gaming, and minor video editing. 15 or 17' is fine. I'm not sure I have a preference to be honest. I won't be moving it around that much, it may as well be a desktop, but the reason I need a laptop is because it will be moving countries every few months.

pls hawlp
ppl have been doing this for sub500$
ASUS VivoBook F510UA FHD Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C, NanoEdge Display

a nice quad core /w an amazing 15in ips screen 8gigs of ram and 1tb, no dvd drive, cuz thats just stupid, it's nice and light

theres an extra m2 slot for an extra hard drive, usually ppl buy a ssd, install it and clone it, and make the 1tb a storage drive, theres also an extra memory slot, one is taken up.
 

Morrow

Lord Nagafen Raider
Jul 30, 2016
2,221
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#3
ppl have been doing this for sub500$
ASUS VivoBook F510UA FHD Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C, NanoEdge Display

a nice quad core /w an amazing 15in ips screen 8gigs of ram and 1tb, no dvd drive, cuz thats just stupid, it's nice and light

theres an extra m2 slot for an extra hard drive, usually ppl buy a ssd, install it and clone it, and make the 1tb a storage drive, theres also an extra memory slot, one is taken up.
I was just looking at that. It was the first result that came up on Amazon when searching "laptop" haha. I saw that guy's comment about adding an SSD. Is it the $100 one that says "people frequently buy together?" I have no idea what any of this means. The last time I built a computer was just after WoW came out lol. A lot has changed. I've never modified a laptop though and from what I understand it's a pain in the ass? Some laptops are springloaded etc.?

What exactly is the SSD I am adding? Is that the main hard drive that I install applications/games on so they run faster? And I store pictures and other things on the main 1TB HDD? Is that what people do nowadays? I don't really understand what cloning the SSD means?

Is it that big of a performance increase to have a SSD? In what ways does a SSD affect performance?

When you say sub500$, does that mean this laptop is sometimes $400? Or are you not counting the $100 SSD add on?

Thanks a ton for the help. Really appreciate it.

And I mean I can spend up to 700 really, I'd just prefer to stay in the 500 range. But if spending an extra 700 will get me a laptop that is twice is good, I'd do that. This seems good https://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-...m2-20&linkId=af6b0f5f91b0a7ec55c7048be5017443

How big of a difference is there from
Intel Core i5-8250U to
Intel Core i7-7700HQ ?
 
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Lanx

Touched
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#4
I was just looking at that. It was the first result that came up on Amazon when searching "laptop" haha. I saw that guy's comment about adding an SSD. Is it the $100 one that says "people frequently buy together?" I have no idea what any of this means. The last time I built a computer was just after WoW came out lol. A lot has changed. I've never modified a laptop though and from what I understand it's a pain in the ass? Some laptops are springloaded etc.?

What exactly is the SSD I am adding? Is that the main hard drive that I install applications/games on so they run faster? And I store pictures and other things on the main 1TB HDD? Is that what people do nowadays? I don't really understand what cloning the SSD means?

Is it that big of a performance increase to have a SSD? In what ways does a SSD affect performance?

When you say sub500$, does that mean this laptop is sometimes $400? Or are you not counting the $100 SSD add on?

Thanks a ton for the help. Really appreciate it.
SSD really only affects loading, basically just think of a SSD as a memory drive, thats how fast everything is.

it'll cut down windows booting from 40s to 10s, or to put it in mmo terms, a zone will load 10x faster... when the first SSDs came out, i bought em so that i would load into an EQ2 raid zone first... i think to get aggro??? (i was mt).

do you need it? no, do you have an extra 100bucks to burn and you want to see a performance boost? then spend it, otherwise at 500bucks it's great by itself

sub500$ is just that range basically
 

Morrow

Lord Nagafen Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#5
So you mostly put your OS and whatever your primary game is on the SSD and everything else on the other drive.

What'd you mean by cloning? Is that just part of the process of installing a SSD ? hmmm. Is that cloning the OS the laptop comes with onto the SSD and changing the boot order in bios?
 
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Lanx

Touched
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#6
So you mostly put your OS and whatever your primary game is on the SSD and everything else on the other drive.

What'd you mean by cloning? Is that just part of the process of installing a SSD ? hmmm
well yea, you by cloning, you put all that came on the original 1tb (operating system and all) onto the new SSD and boot off of that. this way, you wont have to reinstall and try to find weird drivers. then after you successfully booted from the new ssd, delete the stuff on the 1tb drive and use it for pics/mp3s/movies whatever.

again this is optional, a ssd is really only good for booting and loading... which might be good for you, since you might be doing some video editing, loading big files, etc.

ssd used to be a luxury, now it's standard, really, just expensive, you've probably looked at the prices, a good samsung ssd 500gb is like $150, almost the price of 1/3 of the laptop itself.

you can get the laptop now, and if you notice it loads slow (cuz all laptop drives are even slower than desktop drives cuz they spin at 5200rpm, cuz, small), get a ssd later, or if you're really funds strapped, get it later.
 

mkopec

<Donors Crew>
Aug 1, 2016
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#7
Just bought a lenovo for my wifes mom from amazon. General surfing laptop. Thing I look for is if it has a 15.6" in screen and SSD, everything else is non issue. Most laptops these days either have a quad core intel or quad core AMD, and all pretty much come standard with 4Gb RAM at that magical $400-$500 range. For a general purpose lappy, none of that shit matters except the SSD. She had a Lenovo before and loved it, then she fucked it up and I got her an asus and she hated it for whatever reason, so now shes getting her beloved lenovo back after spilling a coffee all over the asus (I think on purpose).

Also, just to add, SSD in laptop is a must these days IMO. Remember regular laptop HDs are 5400RPM, which are even worse than regular common 7200RPM ones in dektops. It makes a world of difference in overall agility and speed of the laptop.

Here is the one I got....https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078S99LNQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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Enzee

Lord Nagafen Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#8
Id highly recommend getting a SSD (solid state drive, btw). Its one of the best performance increases youll see per dollar on a laptop. It boots waaay faster, programs load faster, etc.. especially for video editing where you are sourcing large files and since you can afford to do it.
 

Porkchop

<Donors Crew>
Aug 10, 2016
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#9
I agree that an SSD is going to be your best bang for the buck. But that doesn't mean you have to purchase it with the laptop. A 240GB SSD can be had for <$100 from newegg. Install it in place of a spinning disk and it will be your main storage. Also, sorry to complicate things, but if you're going to be doing any type of video editing, you may want to look for dedicated graphics. The only thing you need to know with that is you will want more than 2GB of graphics memory. That HP you linked looks like a pretty good setup. You probably dont' need a i7, as they do run hotter. The specs I would recommend are i5 CPU (at least 2.5GHZ), 8GB RAM, 128GB or more SSD, dedicated graphics. Everything else is optional. As for brands, Lenovo is the most solid, then Dell, HP, Toshiba, Acer.

Something like this would probably serve you well HP ProBook 455 G4 15.6" FHD Notebook, AMD Quad-Core A10-9600P Upto 3.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD, AMD Radeon R5, DVD-RW, Fingerprint Reader, Webcam, Wifi, Bluetooth, Windows 10 Professional 64-Bit - Newegg.com
 
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Morrow

Lord Nagafen Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#10
I agree that an SSD is going to be your best bang for the buck. But that doesn't mean you have to purchase it with the laptop. A 240GB SSD can be had for <$100 from newegg. Install it in place of a spinning disk and it will be your main storage. Also, sorry to complicate things, but if you're going to be doing any type of video editing, you may want to look for dedicated graphics. The only thing you need to know with that is you will want more than 2GB of graphics memory. That HP you linked looks like a pretty good setup. You probably dont' need a i7, as they do run hotter. The specs I would recommend are i5 CPU (at least 2.5GHZ), 8GB RAM, 128GB or more SSD, dedicated graphics. Everything else is optional. As for brands, Lenovo is the most solid, then Dell, HP, Toshiba, Acer.

Something like this would probably serve you well HP ProBook 455 G4 15.6" FHD Notebook, AMD Quad-Core A10-9600P Upto 3.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD, AMD Radeon R5, DVD-RW, Fingerprint Reader, Webcam, Wifi, Bluetooth, Windows 10 Professional 64-Bit - Newegg.com

Is it worth it to spend an extra $200 to get https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075VT9LFD/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1 ? Right at the top of what I was budgeting though. But if it means it'll last me an extra year I think it's worth it. I just don't know laptops or computers these days.

And this one which is $600 has SSD but no regular HD and I don't really want to carry around an external https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EQH413CS237TEVA9C12E
 

Denamian

Who?
<Donor All-Stars>
Jul 30, 2016
1,462
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#11
And this one which is $600 has SSD but no regular HD and I don't really want to carry around an external https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EQH413CS237TEVA9C12E
We got my father and brother in law the previous version of this laptop for christmas and they've been great so far. Very little bloatware installed by Acer, though the windows store automatically installed a bunch of shit the moment it got an internet connection.

IIRC, it does have space to add a 2.5" internal drive as well.
 

Whidon

Molten Core Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#12
Pony up 100 bucks more and get this model https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-...2281&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=ddr4+ram+8gb&psc=1

I got this recently and the CPU/GPU combo is so far ahead of most of the older AMD A series APUs i see in this thread it's absurd. Think the difference between an Xbox 360 and a ps4.

It has everything you want.

A true modern quad core hyper threaded CPU (This is hugely important as you really are going to want a true Ryzen, or Intel Core with 4 Cores for computing going forward). A good legit discrete GPU that can play basically any game so long as your willing to lower the settings on the intense ones. Even a very nice SSD And solid ram!.

Has amazing battery life to top it all off.

Whatever you do i would pick very carefully as the newer intel i82xx CPUs and AMD Ryzen APUs just came out for laptops, if your not buying a machine with one of those in it your essentially buying a generation behind.

Edit; I just realized someone already linked this machine. But everything i said is still true, it's an amazing Laptop for the price.
 

Morrow

Lord Nagafen Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#13
Pony up 100 bucks more and get this model https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-...2281&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=ddr4+ram+8gb&psc=1

I got this recently and the CPU/GPU combo is so far ahead of most of the older AMD A series APUs i see in this thread it's absurd. Think the difference between an Xbox 360 and a ps4.

It has everything you want.

A true modern quad core hyper threaded CPU (This is hugely important as you really are going to want a true Ryzen, or Intel Core with 4 Cores for computing going forward). A good legit discrete GPU that can play basically any game so long as your willing to lower the settings on the intense ones. Even a very nice SSD And solid ram!.

Has amazing battery life to top it all off.

Whatever you do i would pick very carefully as the newer intel i82xx CPUs and AMD Ryzen APUs just came out for laptops, if your not buying a machine with one of those in it your essentially buying a generation behind.

Edit; I just realized someone already linked this machine. But everything i said is still true, it's an amazing Laptop for the price.
I ordered this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075VT9LFD/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Can still cancel though and choose the linked one. Is the one I ordered worth the extra $130?
 

Whidon

Molten Core Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#14
I ordered this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075VT9LFD/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Can still cancel though and choose the linked one. Is the one I ordered worth the extra $130?
It depends what you want, The one you ordered has a bit better graphics card and the CPU is pretty similar.

Basically the one you ordered has a nicer gfx card but uses an older generation cpu to "brute force" probably about the same performance as the one i linked but it's going to draw much more power when in use and likely be far heavier.

So i guess it depends, if you want something that's going to be plugged in and care about having nicer gfx on newer games i would stick with that one. If you don't care about playing modern games on high settings and want something more mobile i would go with the one i Linked before.
 

Flipmode

EQOA Refugee
<Donors Crew>
Jul 30, 2016
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#15
The 8250u isn’t stronger than the 7700HQ. The 8250u is Intels newest ultra mobile chip for 15w ultrabooks. The 7700hq is 45w chip and used in a lot of gaming laptops. If gaming is your thing, keep the 7700hq.
 

Whidon

Molten Core Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#16
Thing is your getting a 45w laptop cpu that performs i would guess comparably to a 15w. If you want to use it to game on the go then yeah it's a no brainer, More because of the gtx 1050 over the mx150 then the cpu however.

But otherwise if say you have a decent gaming desktop your going to be using for that and just want the thing to play games occasionally on trips or w/e i would go with the 15w as i'm rather personally attached to the ultrabooks now that your getting 4 cores 8 threads.

Option you might wanna look at is if they have an 45w 8th gen CPU it should be 85xx or something. There's a decent chance you might find one around the same price as the one your getting.
 

Morrow

Lord Nagafen Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#17
Thing is your getting a 45w laptop cpu that performs i would guess comparably to a 15w. If you want to use it to game on the go then yeah it's a no brainer, More because of the gtx 1050 over the mx150 then the cpu however.

But otherwise if say you have a decent gaming desktop your going to be using for that and just want the thing to play games occasionally on trips or w/e i would go with the 15w as i'm rather personally attached to the ultrabooks now that your getting 4 cores 8 threads.

Option you might wanna look at is if they have an 45w 8th gen CPU it should be 85xx or something. There's a decent chance you might find one around the same price as the one your getting.
I don't know what that means :O I just type laptop into Amazon and look through what I see. I try to copy paste some processors and GPUS into google with a VS in the middle of them to see the difference, but I wouldn't know how to find 45w 8th gen. This? https://www.amazon.com/HP-Touchscre...id=1518172346&sr=1-4&keywords=8th+gen+core+i7
 

Whidon

Molten Core Raider
Jul 30, 2016
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#18
I don't know what that means :O I just type laptop into Amazon and look through what I see. I try to copy paste some processors and GPUS into google with a VS in the middle of them to see the difference, but I wouldn't know how to find 45w 8th gen. This? https://www.amazon.com/HP-Touchscre...id=1518172346&sr=1-4&keywords=8th+gen+core+i7
Yeah it is, Although i guess intel changed the naming conventions slightly so apparently that is actually a 15w now. Honestly 45w laptops is kind of a niche product and it seems Intel has not Launched any 8th gen 45w CPUs yet anyways so you'd have to wait if you want one.

Honestly i wouldn't worry to much, that's a completely badass laptop for $699 that will be a really strong machine for years.

Like i said before it would come down to. Do I want extra gaming Power and not mind potentially having a rather big laptop? If so go with the one you already got. If portability is a concern i would switch to the Acer model me and a couple others linked.

Personally i would stick with the one you have, but I already have that Acer model and two older Laptops so i don't need another 15w ultrabook.

Even my old i5 4200u is fine for 90% of the non intense gaming tasks i need for it and the older AMD model with a discrete GPU and Quad core eats up battery life super fast, but is an OK gaming machine. Honestly I've been a bit disappointed in it and that's why I'm now skeptical of these High power laptops but it's hard to tell as that generation of AMD chips really was awful......

Compared to the ones your looking at those old models are trash, i just mention it to illustrate you really probably can't go wrong with either of the ones your looking at unless your super picky.
 

Flipmode

EQOA Refugee
<Donors Crew>
Jul 30, 2016
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#19
They don’t make a 45w 8th gen CPU yet. Only the ones for the ultrabook. The 45w variants will be realeased later this summer.
 

Morrow

Lord Nagafen Raider
Jul 30, 2016
2,221
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#20
Yeah it is, Although i guess intel changed the naming conventions slightly so apparently that is actually a 15w now. Honestly 45w laptops is kind of a niche product and it seems Intel has not Launched any 8th gen 45w CPUs yet anyways so you'd have to wait if you want one.

Honestly i wouldn't worry to much, that's a completely badass laptop for $699 that will be a really strong machine for years.

Like i said before it would come down to. Do I want extra gaming Power and not mind potentially having a rather big laptop? If so go with the one you already got. If portability is a concern i would switch to the Acer model me and a couple others linked.

Personally i would stick with the one you have, but I already have that Acer model and two older Laptops so i don't need another 15w ultrabook.

Even my old i5 4200u is fine for 90% of the non intense gaming tasks i need for it and the older AMD model with a discrete GPU and Quad core eats up battery life super fast, but is an OK gaming machine. Honestly I've been a bit disappointed in it and that's why I'm now skeptical of these High power laptops but it's hard to tell as that generation of AMD chips really was awful......

Compared to the ones your looking at those old models are trash, i just mention it to illustrate you really probably can't go wrong with either of the ones your looking at unless your super picky.
Is the laptop I ordered only having 8gb ram going to be a problem? https://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-...075VT9LFD/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 I multi task like crazy. I wish I coulda found everything I needed for that cost (aka good sized regular hd, plus ssd, plus i7, plus 16gb ram, plus good graphics etc. I am still hesitant and wonder if I should cancel. I still have like 16 hours to cancel before it arrives.