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Buying laptop for xivFollow

#1 Jul 17 2010 at 10:20 AM Rating: Decent
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I leave for basic training in 2 days for the navy and ill be getting out in september around the time xiv comes out and im planning to buy a new laptop to play it can someone tell me how well this laptop would run it? http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Alienware+-+Laptop+with+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B2+Quad+Processor+-+Black/9693464.p?id=1218150607452&skuId=9693464
i assume extremely well on high settings but ill let you judge that.
also does anyone know the controls for xiv? are they better than xi? cause i found xi just unplayable on pc because of the ****** controls

thanks for your time
#2 Jul 17 2010 at 10:28 AM Rating: Good
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Will likely run the game well on low, probably not so well on high. Laptop Graphics cards, even dedicated, won't really pump out the kind of intense graphical power that FFXIV needs.

If you use a gamepad, control will be fine. Controls still at least somewhat similar to FFXI, in terms of movement, targeting, and menu.

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#3 Jul 17 2010 at 10:31 AM Rating: Decent
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How could it only run on low with a 1gb graphics card? it says it reccommends a 512 so its substantially higher
#4 Jul 17 2010 at 10:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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It will not run the game on high. Laptop graphics are crap compared to there desktop contuer part. This laptop is also oudated. If your going to be spending money like that you should not be getting a Core 2 Quad & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M. If you want a laptop that will play this game you will need an i7 with something like mobile ATI5870.

With that said, you will never find a laptop that will play FFXIV "extremely well on high settings." If your lucky you can probably find one that will play in the moderately high range on low. Doesn't matter how much you spend, laptops can only play the game so well right now. For $2,200 you could build a serious gaming desktop that would be able to play the best of them on high settings. If your set on a laptop well, that's your prerogative. Browse the first couple pages here, there have been plenty of other posts on this that can help you more than I.
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#5 Jul 17 2010 at 10:43 AM Rating: Good
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That video card is fairly weak for a FFXIV gaming PC.

Check out the benchmark scores here:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M, only scores a 705.

Most people are talking about using at least a Radeon HD 5770, which scored a 1565 (over 2x the video card in the laptop you linked at BestBuy).

Playing the game on "low" is not the end of the world. It will still look beautiful at 720p. So I would suggest you get a laptop that will play it well on "low", because it would cost you exponentially more to buy a laptop that will play it well on "high".
#6 Jul 17 2010 at 10:44 AM Rating: Decent
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Well i know laptops graphics cards are lower quality and i would love to get it as a desktop my only issue with that was portability because i was gonna buy it at A school and id have to ship it home after that then drive with it to my duty station im sure its not that big of a deal i just didnt like the sound of someone handling my $3000 computer in a box tossing it around
#7 Jul 17 2010 at 10:44 AM Rating: Decent
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Get the G73 from best buy it has an ATI Radeon 5870 - best laptop videocard that is currently available

Search for G73 on Best Buy's site. Direct links aren't working to their page for some reason.

Edited, Jul 17th 2010 12:46pm by Nyu
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#8 Jul 17 2010 at 10:45 AM Rating: Decent
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another question i have is about cores. whats better less cores higher ghz or more cores less ghz?
#9 Jul 17 2010 at 10:47 AM Rating: Decent
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Mhz isn't a great comparison anymore between different processors. It is useful in comparing the same processor to each other.

The 1.6GHZ Core I7 laptop processor is very fast, don't be fooled by its MhZ #
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#10 Jul 17 2010 at 10:49 AM Rating: Default
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try Alienware?
My friend has an alienware gaming laptop, according to him he gets like 4k or something on benchmark
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#11 Jul 17 2010 at 10:49 AM Rating: Default
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but im saying like say a game requires 2.5Ghz to run and say you have a quad core processor that runs at 2.0Ghz, will it run well or no?
#12 Jul 17 2010 at 10:59 AM Rating: Decent
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Like I said, don't compare MHZ across different processors. Look up the minimum requirements processor and find the benchmark numbers for it, then look at the benchmark numbers for the processor in what computer you want to buy. Compare their performance not their numbers.
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#13 Jul 17 2010 at 11:25 AM Rating: Good
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Rule one of buying computers: don't buy alienware.

Rule two of buying computers: don't buy from best buy.

Alienware is way overpriced and it's much better to buy directly from the manufacturer or at a discount warehouse (like costco).
#14 Jul 17 2010 at 12:05 PM Rating: Good
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If you want a laptop that will handle FF14 well. Look here and order online.

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8850-built-clevo-w880cu-gaming-laptop-p-2798.html?wconfigure=yes

It's the Clevo W880CU. Ibuypower has a version of it as well so shop around and don't buy the first thing you see/click on. A GTX 480M will play it fairly well, just make sure to pair it with a decent i7m. You won't play it on a laptop at 1920x1080 with everything maxed. Just not possible, doesn't matter what anybody says, but you will certainly get a playable framerate in low-res and might be able to play it at 1080p with a few tweaks.

I reiterate what Yog said:

Don't buy from Best Buy.
Don't buy Alienware.

The only reason is if it is an alienware at best buy and it's on clearance. Then it is a maybe.

Edited, Jul 17th 2010 11:07am by desmar
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#15 Jul 17 2010 at 12:42 PM Rating: Decent
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I would wait until you get back to buy. The holiday selling season is stretching longer and longer, and even 3 months will be long enough for stuff to go down price. My PC, built two years ago for about $900 bench marked at 1500 large & 2350 small, which is decent enough I guess if i tweak some settings. A similar thing should be available in laptop form for less by now.
#16 Jul 17 2010 at 1:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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CPU/Processor:

the "Brain" of the computer, handles processing of data.

power measured in 2 ways:

Ghz. This is the frequency the processor runs at (and is the most commonly cited number) 1.6Ghz, 2.4Ghz are examples. The faster the frequency, the quicker the processor handles it's computations. Up until 5-6 years ago, this was the only way to measure the performance of a processor.

CORES: a few years ago, processor designers started to hit a limit wall on Ghz with existing technology. I'll skip most of the history lesson, but the eventual answer they came up with. . instead of faster Ghz, was to put 2 "cores" (essentially 2 processors) into one package. So you may only have a 1.6 Ghz processor, but that's PER processor. So in this instance, assuming your software will take advantage of both cores, A dual core 1.6 Ghz processor will handle your task generically twice as fast as a single core 1.6Ghz processor.

Today's modern processors can have 4 or more cores. Some of the new intel processors also use what they call "turbo boost technology". In software that can only use 1 core, the processor will actually speed that core up or "overoclock" that one core in order to have the computer run the program faster. Even more confusing in the intel line is what they call "hyperthreading" skipping all the boring technicals, this allows each processor in the computer to act like 2 processors.

So, for example, the Asus G73 has a 1.6Ghz quad core processor. It has 4 cores, and each core acts like 2 cores, for a total of 8 cores [4 virtual, 4 physical] When only using one core, it speeds itself up to 2.8Ghz. With programs like FFXIV, the processor will most likely benefit from all cores. Each core is running at 1.6Ghz, but that's 1.6Ghz X 8 = 12.9Ghz worth of power.

These numbers may not be exact, I'm just trying to give you a basic idea of how processors work.


For video cards, it's very similar. These cards have specially designed graphics PROCESSORS that handle your video calculations. They have their own performance numbers, but instead of being refered to by their processor speed, they're referred to by their model number. It's really kind of confusing, especially since Nvida keeps rebranding their old hardware. Like normal computers, video cards today are typically built with their own onboard memory. The type of memory, measured in GDDR or Graphics Double Data Rate. That's a big name you don't need to worry about. Generally, the higher the number is "faster" ram (GDDR3 is slower than GDDR5) Also, obviously, the amount of ram on the video card makes a difference (1Gig VS 512Mb [which is half a gig]).
Overall though, the ram is not as important as the graphics PROCESSOR. Again, it can be kind of difficult to classify nvidia, but I'll try to give you an idea of how to judge high power cards from low:

Nvidia:

Used to use a 4 number system (6000-9000 series) The higher the number, the faster the card. it seems like now they've moved to a 3 numer system (200 series, 300s series, 400 series) The 200 series is good enough for games several years old, may play relatively new games on low settings. 300 series have more power, and the 400 series are even more powerful (Currently the newest cards on the market)

Ati works similarly, with 4000 series and 5000 series cards. This does not mean that all cards in a series perform the same. An nvidia 420 gfx card is nowhere NEAR as powerful as the brand new 480 series.

Confusing, I know. And it gets worse.

Notebook computers use "mobile versions" of desktop computer cards. Using the Asus G73, for example, it has an ATi Radeon 5970 mobile graphics card. This DOES NOT MEAN that it has the same performance as a desktop with a 5870. I wanna estimate that a mobile card will have roughly half the performance of it's desktop counterpart, and it may be even less than that. THIS is why it is recommended to go desktop over notebook for heavy gaming. You can get a lot more performance for a lot less cash going desktop vs notebook.

Hopefully, this will help you at least understand the basics of computer performance. If you have any questions, google is an AWESOME tool of learning and discovering. Thank you for reading, and have a great day ^^

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#17 Jul 17 2010 at 1:41 PM Rating: Default
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@seneleron
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#18 Jul 17 2010 at 1:50 PM Rating: Default
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You guys make me feel ashamed of my Alienware M17x.... D:
#19 Jul 17 2010 at 1:59 PM Rating: Default
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seneleron wrote:
CPU/Processor:

Nvidia:

Used to use a 4 number system (6000-9000 series) The higher the number, the faster the card. it seems like now they've moved to a 3 numer system (200 series, 300s series, 400 series) The 200 series is good enough for games several years old, may play relatively new games on low settings. 300 series have more power, and the 400 series are even more powerful (Currently the newest cards on the market)


this isn't entirely accurate the high end 200 series nvidia gpus are still good today with the gtx 295 still being in the top 5 fastest cards, only lacking dx11 support. the 300 series was basicly a rebrand of the low end 200 series. there wasnt any high end 300 series cards that matched the high end 200 series. after that they skiped to the 400 series for there next gen high end gpus, currently the 470 and 480 are very high end with the newly released 460 being mid range, with lower end 400 series coming soon. the lower end 400 series still wont top anything above the gtx 260 in the 200 series likely.



Edited, Jul 17th 2010 4:05pm by jamiehavok

Edited, Jul 17th 2010 4:11pm by jamiehavok
#20 Jul 17 2010 at 2:51 PM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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virus200 wrote:
Overpriced old Alienware
O rly?
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#21 Jul 17 2010 at 4:49 PM Rating: Good
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I've been looking into an external video setup in order to use a desktop video card on a laptop. I like the idea of coming home and docking the laptop into gaming mode, and have the flexibility to choose any card and upgrade at any time.

It's costly and limited but somewhat hopeful. The real problem is that you're limited to the bandwidth between the external card and the laptop. It wouldn't be difficult if someone manufactured a laptop with an easily accessible full speed PCI-E port. Also you can't use the laptop's screen without destroying performance so you need an external monitor as well.

With ExpressCard 1.0 you can get a pretty good setup. ExpressCard 2.0 comes out later this year will double that bandwidth. If you buy the right laptop you can use a combination of ExpressCard 1.0 and PCI-E ports to get enough bandwidth for high-end graphics cards working externally (even dual cards if I understand correctly) but likely in a frankenstein type of setup.

Here's a good overview of external graphics options: http://www.ffxivvault.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1650
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#22 Jul 17 2010 at 5:30 PM Rating: Good
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Nyu wrote:
Get the G73 from best buy it has an ATI Radeon 5870 - best laptop videocard that is currently available

Search for G73 on Best Buy's site. Direct links aren't working to their page for some reason.

Edited, Jul 17th 2010 12:46pm by Nyu


XIV Low settings results from my G73. Not the greatest of all time, but I'm happy with it. It ran me about 1.3k but I needed one for school anyway.
#23 Jul 17 2010 at 5:35 PM Rating: Default
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Is this a PC tech forum now or something? I saw the first page of threads and thought I accidentally went to Tom's Hardware or something. ****... there's even a sticky about PC tech.
#24 Jul 17 2010 at 5:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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xXMalevolenceXx wrote:
Is this a PC tech forum now or something? I saw the first page of threads and thought I accidentally went to Tom's Hardware or something. ****... there's even a sticky about PC tech.


It's this or Male Miqo'te posts since the NDA is in effect and everyone playing can't actually talk about it.
#25 Jul 17 2010 at 5:57 PM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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lolcrizumlol wrote:
xXMalevolenceXx wrote:
Is this a PC tech forum now or something? I saw the first page of threads and thought I accidentally went to Tom's Hardware or something. ****... there's even a sticky about PC tech.


It's this or Male Miqo'te posts since the NDA is in effect and everyone playing can't actually talk about it.
This all over.

Will probably stay this way until the NDA lifts at open beta.
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Almalieque wrote:
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#26 Jul 17 2010 at 9:37 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
this isn't entirely accurate the high end 200 series nvidia gpus are still good today with the gtx 295 still being in the top 5 fastest cards, only lacking dx11 support.


Cards without DX11 support are still actually considered decent?! Surely you jest [JOKING, JOKING, sheesh :P ]

I know Nvidia's a lot more convoluted and I really kinda oversimplified it, but if you start digging into specifics the average computer user's brain is gonna start to smoke. . i was trying to avoid that ;)

I do appreciate the correction tho, *I* still get a little turned around with Nvidia's rebranding schemes. I haven't really been able to follow it since they moved out of the 9000 series ><

Fortunately I can use DX11 support as a cheat to figure out what's current enough for my next build. . assuming I can come up with the cash.


Quote:
Not the greatest of all time, but I'm happy with it. It ran me about 1.3k but I needed one for school anyway.


I'm about 200 points ahead of you on low, and I've heard of one person scoring 2300's on high, which is about 200 points ahead of MY best. Driver issue or normal performance leeway?


Quote:
I've been looking into an external video setup in order to use a desktop video card on a laptop. I like the idea of coming home and docking the laptop into gaming mode, and have the flexibility to choose any card and upgrade at any time.


http://techreport.com/discussions.x/19267

In essence, it goes in the PCI-E slot your wifi goes to, and will [eventually] allow you to wirelessly run a dock that can include things like desktop video cards, etc. WIRELESSLY. no Sh**.





Edited, Jul 17th 2010 11:42pm by seneleron

Edited, Jul 17th 2010 11:43pm by seneleron
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#27 Jul 17 2010 at 9:42 PM Rating: Default
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If you're not using a PC for XIV, makes no sense.
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