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Advice: is this a decent system?

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#1
This would appear to be an insane spec for the price:

Summary: £429 / AMD A10 5757 2.5ghz (inc. Radeon 8650G) / 6gb / 1tb

http://bit.ly/1hwvG7Q

Can anyone advise if I'm missing something? Seems a bit too good to be true. I know it's not the newest generation of A10 but even so...

Thanks in advance
 

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#2
Well, it's a low/mid-end laptop and is priced accordingly. I don't quite understand why it has 6gb of RAM in the system though. Should be 4, 8, 16, etc.
 
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#4
The A10 5757m as stated in your post only has 8650g graphics, which is where it's really weak. These AMD APUs can and often do have more powerful built-in graphics than Intel CPUs, but for gaming they are best as a supplement to a dedicated graphics card, and they only work with cards up to a certain power. With a laptop it also has to be the type that will accept a dedicated video card before you can even do that, and LT graphics cards are not cheap.

Here's the raw graphics power of your APU to give you an idea, and note that I've seen guys with 765m Nvidia based laptops that have over 2000 point scores on Passmark struggle to play modern games like AC IV on ANY settings without huge lag.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon HD 8650G

The other problem you face with LTs these days is a lot of game devs refuse to do play test support for them, so you're taking your chances on compatibility and driver issues. Of course I'm only guessing about gaming. You really have to give us some idea of intended use before we can judge it's effectiveness.

Ultimately it depends what you want to do with it and what games if any you want to play and at what res and settings. I HAVE seen YT vids claiming to be able to run BF3 and Bio Infinite on pretty much the same spec, but the Bio Inf one had a dedicated graphics card in it along with the APU so I didn't post it, and I'm skeptical that the BF3 vid may have had a similar setup, despite not saying so.

My advice if you insist on going the LT route is get one that you can add a dedicated graphics card to if need be, and never game with it directly touching your lap, bed, couch etc. Put a proper laptop cooler under it. They're cheap insurance against meltdowns.

 
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#5
Frag Maniac - thanks ever so much for your considered and extensive reply. I appreciate it.

No, I haven't made clear what my intentions are; I was just asking generally whether the spec was very good for the price, as it seemed to me.

I'm a web developer, so nothing heavy there, but I also want to get into electronic music making so we're talking things like CueBase, Reason and all that jazz.

Gaming is the lowest priority. I'm not bothered about cutting edge games; I'd like to play Half Life 2 again and other games no newer than three years old. (I realise this isn't a great criterion; GTA IV is older than that but people tell me it won't run on anything but a monster.)

OK, so the GPU is weak, but in my naiivity I keep thinking "yeah, but it's an A10!". Does this in no way compensate? Presumably for the music stuff the processor ticks the right boxes and then some...

Thanks again.
 

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#6
HELLO BRITISH MAN! We're slowly invading. One by one.

I recommend you check PC World's refurbished stock. I hate recommending that disgraceful company, but if you want a great spec laptop for a reasonable price, their refurbished stock is the best. Ebuyer don't have much interesting, neither do OCUK.

That laptop is OK, the specs are reasonable, but for a laptop meant for Reason and Cuebase and Sibelius (and all that jaaaaaaaazzz), I'd see if you can score yourself a nice i5 laptop. The onboard GPU will handle games OK, but the processor power will be great. The A10 iGPU is however pretty good, so if gaming is a request, I'd go for that.

Note that the A10(top end AMD mobile processor) is about as powerful as an i3, only with a better iGPU.
 

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#8
Hey RCoon - nice to chat again (you helped me out last year when I was looking for a PC; still not quite got there :))

Note that the A10(top end AMD mobile processor) is about as powerful as an i3, only with a better iGPU.
This is something of a revelation to me. I thought the A10 was AMD's best processor, and you're saying it's equivalent to an i3? Wow, shows what I know. In that case, what IS a top-end AMD processor? Is it because it's the mobile version?

Thanks for the advice.
 

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#9
Hey RCoon - nice to chat again (you helped me out last year when I was looking for a PC; still not quite got there :))



This is something of a revelation to me. I thought the A10 was AMD's best processor, and you're saying it's equivalent to an i3? Wow, shows what I know. In that case, what IS a top-end AMD processor? Is it because it's the mobile version?

Thanks for the advice.
A10 IS the top end (mobile) processor for AMD. For desktops it's the 8350(or the 9590 which is just an 8350 overclocked).
From what I recall, the i3's are dual cores with hyperthreading(4 threads), the i5's are dual cores with hyperthreading(4 threads) and turboboost, and the i7's are quad cores(4 or 8 threads) (This only applies to the mobile processors).

Just how much of a priority is gaming? Because it makes all the difference as to what laptops I can suggest for you.
 
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#10
I realise this isn't a great criterion; GTA IV is older than that but people tell me it won't run on anything but a monster.
Not really, that's only true if you insist on max settings and especially max shadows, that's where GTA IV is a real hog.

If you need the mobility, you can certainly do worse than this A10 spec. Just remember what I said that it will give you a lot better flexibility and lifespan graphics wise if it's one you can add a dedicated graphics card to.

AMD's A series APUs are becoming popular even in budget desktops because of their affordability and flexibility. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if one turns up in a variant of the Steam Machine eventually. Maybe when the A12s come out.
 
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#11
@FragManiac - thanks for the info.

@RCoon - gaming is lowest on my priorities. It's mainly about web dev (very undemanding) and music (a bit more demanding). If I can run the likes of HL2, BS1 and perhaps GTA IV on turned-down settings, that'll do me.

And I'll check out refurb stock as suggested.
 

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#12
@FragManiac - thanks for the info.

@RCoon - gaming is lowest on my priorities. It's mainly about web dev (very undemanding) and music (a bit more demanding). If I can run the likes of HL2, BS1 and perhaps GTA IV on turned-down settings, that'll do me.

And I'll check out refurb stock as suggested.
If that's the case then completely disregard AMD laptops, Intel's integrated will do fine for Half Life. Look at the refurbs with the i5 3337U, there's a few just above the £400 mark with between 4 and 8GB of RAM and decent HDD sizes.

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/lapto...-6-touchscreen-laptop-black-21417574-pdt.html

http://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/....aspx?c=uk&l=en&s=dfh&cs=ukdfh1&puid=f7ce8b82
 

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#14
Off to have a look - thanks.

Re: Half Life 2, so you'd choose i5 with integrated graphics over the A10 mobile with Radeon?
Yep.
 
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#15
Why not check one with i5-4200U? I think they have decent prices and the iGPU is better than in Ivy laptops.
 

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#16
Why not check one with i5-4200U? I think they have decent prices and the iGPU is better than in Ivy laptops.
Second one I linked is a 4200U and has more RAM and it's also a 17" laptop. Definitely the better buy.
 
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#17
Should have mentioned I'm after a 14". I know, I know, why would you game on a 14"? That's gaming's the lowest priority. 15" tops.

I did spec up a nice 14" (i5) on PCSpecialist but, bizarrely, even though I got the quote to nearly £600, there was no option to add a GPU. You would have thought in that price range the motherboard in question could take a GPU.
 

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#18

RCoon

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#20
RE: ^above^
 
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#21
Nice spec for the price. I always wonder how much touch screen puts on top of the price. Not really arsed about touch screen but if it's the right price/spec and it comes with it, so be it. Like you said earlier, shame to give PCWorld the business, though!

i5-3337U - much difference between that and the (presumably) newer 4200U?

This one, too: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/lapto...atic-ultrabook-silver-black-19572131-pdt.html
 
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#22
Wasn't sure what your budget was
 
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#24
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#25
Found myself killing time in Currys today. Wanted to know what memory speed was installed on a particular laptop and the guy went to Task Manager > Performance, and it said 800MHz. He said this means 1333MHz because of weird naming conventions with memory, or something. I'm thinking, "no, if it says 800MHz it's 800, not 1333." Is he right?