Planning on getting a new laptop with a better dedicated graphics card. I am thinking about ASUS N46, with GT650M (it can run Crysis 2 on High with 60 FPS, so that's good enough for me). Unfortunately, since it is an 14 inch screen, there is no 1080p option available. Just wondering how important is that exactly? Having a 1080p screen that is. Also, does anyone have any experience with external Blu Ray drives? How good are they? I am thinking about picking up one to go along with this laptop
The importance of higher res is small compared to your screen size. Less than 1080p on my 24 inch screen would be awful, but on a 14 inch it should be fine. And If I recall correctly (I've never purchased an external blu ray) the main issue with those things is that a lot of the lower end models don't come with the software to actually play blu rays. It may have changed now, but that's the only thing I can think of with them.
The reason it can play Crysis 2 on high at 60fps is because of the low resolution. It might be a good idea to go see one in person if possible. I recommended Asus gaming laptops to a couple of friends in the past and the screens were garbage. The laptops were powerful, but the viewing angles were very narrow and the there was always bright lighting around the edges of the screen. USB-powered Blu-Ray drives are convenient but slower than those with dedicated power cables. Blu-Rays normally have two versions of the film on the disc; 1080p and 480p. So, watching Blu-Rays on a 1366x768 screen would be pointless because if the picture cannot be displayed at 1920x1080 it would be switched to the 480p version, then upscaled to 720. Might as well stream it from Netflix.
@djhicks1: Asus G series are seriously expensive, which is why I am sticking to more mid range models. Good point about the screen resolution and Blu-Rays. What do you mean by bright lighting around the edges? How should I look out for that? Also, playing things in 1366x768 is quite alright really. Been doing that for a while and can't imagine it being worse with improved frame rate.
@zungerman090: You'll notice it. A good example is at Best Buy they have last year's Asus Zenbook next to this year's Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook. Comparing them side by side the Samsung screen is noticeably clearer. I think Asus might go cheap the the screens to keep the price down. Most companies do that with hard drives too. Anyway, it'll look like an LED flashlight is shining on the screen from the edges. A lot like, but not as bad as the front-lit GameBoy Advance SP. 1366x768 is fine for mobile gaming. The CPU depends on the game. RTSes tend to be more CPU intensive. Complex shooters with a lot going on like BF3 also use a lot of CPU and RAM. On my main gaming PC (http://www.djhicks.net/mars/) I'm running BF3 on ultra at 1920x1200 and it's working the CPU at around 70% and using 6GB of RAM. Hell of a game. Crysis 2 on the other hand was way more GPU intensive especially with the DX11 patch and High-Res Textures pack.
@djhicks1: What is rather annoying is that the model that is available here (Vietnam) only has Core i5 in it, while it is supposed to have Core i7 by default. There is a model with 1080p screen, Blu-Ray drive and an i7, but it is sold in USA. They don't ship to Vietnam and I would probably have to shell out quite a bit of customs money if I ordered it from UK. Bad luck all around. And appropriately, models that are sold in UK have inferior GPUs and inflated prices.
@djhicks1: Don't want to delve into the dark world of import. Customs here are very finicky. Would have to use some kind of service and shell out extra money for them to get it safely. In a way, it would be easier to get stuff from the States, since there are many Vietnamese there. Thanks for all the advice though. I appreciate it. By the way, how much of a difference does a SDD make? They cost quite a bit, but will the speed up be noticeable? And how much of that applies to gaming?
I'll never build another PC without one. For years I used various 10K RPM Velociraptors which are the fastest HDDs available and my Samsung 830 Series SSD is four times faster than any of them. It's an amazing upgrade. Those in laptops aren't quite as fast, but still faster than any HDD. I can't recommend SSDs enough.
@zungerman090: It speeds up general performance of everything, with games; loading and such. You never know the bottleneck exists until you experience the difference. The SSD enables your CPU and RAM to access data faster instead of waiting on the HDD's head to reach the right sector. Loading maps in BF3 is almost instant.