Review

Best Cheap Laptop under 700 dollars 2017

The PC gaming market is flooded with newer and more efficient hardware which has the gaming community psyched since the Nvidia Pascal release in 2016. Given all of this, it is curious to see how many budget gaming laptops still use the older GPUs, mostly GTX 950M and 960M. We will see as we look closely at individual laptops, how good of a performance they pack for the aforementioned budget. The most crucial deciding factor other than the GPU, will be high speed storage, CPU and of course, the display.

However, one thing should be made clear, laptops at any price point will never give a good a bang for your buck next to a PC build with a similar price tag. For the given budget of $700, you can easily build a decent gaming PC with GTX 1060 or better that will play most games at 1080p at high settings. This article solely concerns itself with the laptop market. If you already have a PC and need a secondary device for light gaming and casual use or if you absolutely need a portable gaming device then should you consider getting one of these.

Dell Inspiron 15.6” 7559

Dell has made some very interesting decisions with this model. First and foremost is the pricing, at the time of this writing Inspiron 7559 is priced at a $740 and comes packed with an i5 6300HQ, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M and 8 GB of DDR3L memory. The storage comes in the form of 256 GB m.2 SSD leaving a vacant slot for an extra 2.5” storage drive, if you need to expand your storage.

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Best Cheap Gaming Laptop under 500 Dollars 2017

In the past articles, we recommended several laptops around 300 dollars, which could meet the basic needs of the office, but their performances do not meet the demands of many games. Today, we recommend several gaming laptops around 500 dollars. They will meet most of all the mid-range and low-end games needs because many mid-range games can only be played at medium resolutions settings. Hence, it can be said that the laptops costing around $500 are good fits for the users who don’t pursue high-end gaming experience, but enjoy playing older games.

The integrated graphics that APU platform uses have better gaming performance than that of Intel processor. The gaming laptops around $500 usually adopt APU platform in order to get better graphics performance. At first, I didn’t think there were laptops with discrete graphics at around $500. Fortunately though, we found Acer F5-573G-56CG , which is equipped with i5-6200U CPU and GTX940MX graphics. At slightly higher price of at around $550, this is what we recommend as a better choice.

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Best Gaming Laptop Buying Guide (Updated!!!)

Not long ago, a friend asked me for help choosing a gaming laptop. Precisely because he was in this situation, he had saved money and wanted to buy one, but he was lost, and indecisive on which model to choose. In fact, he didn’t even know where to start since many models with different components had very similar prices, which he found extremely confusing.

Unfortunately, choosing a gaming laptop is very complicated, as there are always a number of items that require a good knowledge base and for you to be completely up to date on what comes out in the market, because otherwise you risk making a bad purchase.

His situation led us to publish this guide that will give you the most important information you should consider when shopping for a gaming laptop, so you can correctly choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. It will even help you avoid being ripped off.

Preliminary considerations

You must understand a gaming laptop is not like conventional notebooks. Depending on the manufacturer and your price range, they clearly have differentiating factors among them, such as more powerful and efficient cooling systems, as well as a higher build quality to withstand long gaming sessions.

On the other hand, the price of these devices is usually much higher than that of utility models, and also higher than what it would cost you to assemble a desktop with similar power. So before you buy one, it is important to thoroughly consider whether you really need a portable gaming system. Maybe it would be wiser to opt for a PC for your gaming needs.

Mobility is another aspect you must be willing to sacrifice with these computers, since more powerful components mean their autonomy is very low when they are at full capacity and they are much less efficient than other laptops, like ultrabooks, for example.

Finally, it is vital to understand that to really play on a laptop at a similar level to what you would enjoy on a desktop, you must be willing to spend a minimum of of around 800 dollars, approximately. Still, the computer you buy for that price will be much less powerful than its desktop equivalent at the same budget.

The Processor: The heart of the computer

On gaming portables, compare to AMD, Intel has a clear domain, which is unfortunate for the consumer. So for obvious reasons we will focus on solutions from this manufacturer.

Processor Generation:

You can find Haswell based processors, identified as the series 4000, and Broadwell, which are recognized by the 5000 series.

The difference between them is limited essentially to the manufacturing process. The first ones come in 22nm and the second in 14nm, but this detail does not make a real big impact, since most models that interest us — the high performance ones — have an identical TDP in almost all versions.

By this we mean you should not obsess about spending more money on a computer with a Core 5000 series, as one with a Core 4000 series processor is just as perfect for gaming.

Processor range:

Since your goal is to play, we are just going to focus on the larger models, i.e. the Core i5 and Core i7, as they are the ones used in these types of portables.

  • Core i5: Unlike a desktop model, the Core i5 has two cores and four threads, not four real cores. This means they can divide the burden of those four threads between the two cores, which generally provides good results. However, it doesn’t give good results in games that really take advantage of more than two cores. They integrate Turbo Boost technology that increases work frequency when necessary.
  • Core i7: The Core i7 has four real cores and eight threads, just as a standard desktop version. They are preferable because, when used with games that can properly exploit their potential, they clearly mark a difference, especially at minimum FPS levels and overall stability. They also have better guaranteed “aging”. Turbo Boost technology is an added feature that increases the working frequencies and can even turn off cores that are not used, further increasing the speed of the nuclei that are still active, so that even those games that only use two cores will be greatly benefited by the presence of Core i7.
  • Core i7 extreme range: These are versions that maintain the above specifications, but come at higher frequencies. Normally, they greatly increase the price of the computer but don’t compensate, so when it comes to price-value relation, they’re best avoided. We discarded low-energy solutions, identified with the letter “U”, as they sacrifice performance in order to increase the battery life(the Core i7 U series, for example, only has 2 cores and four threads).

Graphics Card

The graphics card is an essential component, as it determines the resolution and graphics quality you can play on, as well as the life of the portable and its price.

You should note that its performance does not match the desktop offering of those with whom they share the same name, and usually they’ll always be lower . As an example, we can mention the GTX 960M, which does not yield a performance even remotely like a GTX 960, but rather like a GTX 750 Ti.

And just as in the previous case, the presence of AMD is very limited, so we will focus on NVIDIA solutions.

To make everything easier to understand, what follows is a summary of base models grouped into three broad ranges, a classification that must be understood within the context of gaming solutions.

  • Recommended minimum to play at 1080p: The 2GB GTX GTX 860M- 960M are the recommended minimum to play. The second is a renamed model of the first and both have a lower performance than the GTX 750 Ti, but we can compare them so you’ll have a better idea. Always seek computers mounted with GDDR5 memory, avoiding the DDR3 versions, keeping in mind that the GTX 860M and GTX 960M are identical to the GTX 850M and GTX 950M, the only differences are the working frequencies.
    Recently, the latest Pascal GTX 100x series graphics card has came out, you can see the latest GTX 1050Ti and GTX 1050 graphics cards be built-in many laptops at a price tag of 1000 dollars. Compare to the same level graphics cards of the old GTX960M, their performance has a big boost, the GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop) shows more than 60% (up to 86%) better performance than GTX 960M! The new chip of GTX 1050 Ti left behind even the higher tier GTX 970M.
  • Optimal level to play in 1080P: The GTX 1060 is our goal. It’s not a rebranded solution, but rather it mounts a new GPU based on Pascal architecture, which marks a significant leap over previous models. The 6GB GDDR5 models have no real performance improvement compared to the 3 GB ones in many games. If you’ll play some high-end games needing more VRAM, more VRAM is necessary.
  • High performance in 1080P without excesses: If you want to play at Full HD with ultra quality and without choking with virtually no game, the GTX 980M is the best choice for your money. Yes, the GTX 1070 is more powerful, but increases the price of the computer and it’s not worth much. If you want to play VR gaming, you should a laptop with GTX 1060, GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 graphics card.You must not forget that the most expensive is not necessarily the best. When you overcome the medium-high range barrier of graphics cards, the performance-per dollars spent goes down to levels not advisable in most cases.

RAM Memory and storage

You can play with guarantees if you have 4 GB of RAM in most cases, but it is best to choose laptop models with 8 GB of RAM, since it makes a difference in some current games, such as Battlefield Hardline, and the trend to higher RAM consumption in upcoming games is clear.

But overcoming the recommendation of 8 GB of RAM and buying computers with 32 GB of RAM is not a good idea, as more RAM does not mean better performance. Instead, it increases the overall cost of the computer, so it is best to spend that extra money on a computer with a better graphics card.

Regarding storage, a SSD is recommended – but not essential – and it usually increases the cost of the computer. So, if you have a limited budget, you should opt for enhancing the processor and graphics card, even if it means to conform to a mechanical hard drive, and the combo CPU + GPU + RAM will ultimately determine your user experience in games. In any case, you always have the time to change the HDD for an SSD quickly and easily.

As intermediate option, there are computers that mount a hybrid HDD with a certain amount of flash memory acting as a cache. They are not the panacea, so you should only take them into account when the price increase is not so absurd.

Practical examples

Generally, an affordable gaming laptop will consist of a Core i5, a GTX 850M-GTX 950M 2GB GDDR5, 8 GB of RAM, and a mechanical 1TB 5400 RPM HDD. Its price should be around 800 dollars, approximately.

With a computer of these features, you could play almost everything that exists today in the market at 1080p, and at medium to high quality — ultra even in very specific cases. In GTA V, you could play to said resolution and high quality at an average of 29 FPS.

In contrast, an upper-middle range model would be one with a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, a GTX 960M or 965M with 2GB DDR5 VRAM, 1TB 7200 RPM HDD and a 128GB SSD. However, the cost would exceed 1,300 dollars.

With it you could play almost all current games in 1080p and at a high quality, even on ultra-quality in many of them. Continuing the above example, GTA V would run on this computer at 55 FPS on average in Full HD and high quality.

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Guide: Which processor is the recommended minimum for each graphics card?

One of the things that most worries new users when setting up a new PC is the known theme of the bottleneck caused by CPU, something understandable considering that each graphics card can have certain requirements and need a processor or greater or less power.

First of all I want to clearly and extensively clarify what exactly this bottleneck caused by CPU is, as it is a fairly broad topic and not everyone has a solid understanding, even after the publication of this article which I undoubtedly invite you to review.

A bottleneck means that one or more components offer a lower performance than other elements in the system, and when they are working at the same time, they slow or limit their full potential. This is the simplest definition I can give you.

In the case of the CPU it is the processor that ‘feeds’ data to the GPU, and if the GPU ‘pulls frames per second’ faster than it receives information from the processor it will be slowed down and it won’t be able to work at its maximum capacity. This clarifies exactly what a CPU bottleneck is.

Different levels of bottlenecking

First of all, I want to make something clear that appears not to have been properly understood in the previous article, there are many levels of bottlenecking within the same type of bottleneck, and they can be ordered and differentiated according to their severity.

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Best Laptop Brands 2017

Once you get close to making up your mind as to what laptop you would like to buy, you may find yourself having to choose between two very similar machines, with similar technical and design characteristics, but which have been constructed by two different manufacturers.

Is there really any difference between brands?

Even if from one manufacturer to another, a computer’s components might come from the same supplier, the laptop’s brand is its most distinctive element and what will be important to you in making your decision.

It is similar to what happens with cars: two brands of cars, built with parts coming from the same suppliers, only really distinguish themselves from each other by their brand, which is what represents the manufacturer’s standards and reputation, the level of styling and finishing, as well as the quality of the after-sales service.

What are the best laptop brands? Which ones are the worst?

The reliability of brands is a highly controversial subject. Oftentimes, a brand’s perceived reputation is polluted by anecdotal accounts which fill up certain online forums with raging rants, and it becomes hard to determine whether these negative opinions are really statistically representative of an actual lack of quality.

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32-bit vs. 64 bit Windows, programs and Processor: What’s the difference between them?

Choosing a processor or operating system is not a simple task, especially when technical terms start to appear which are as foreign as Chinese.

When installing an operating system you have the option of using either the 32 or the 64-bit version. When buying a computer CPU or a smartphone, you will find that both 32 and 64-bit processors are available. What is the difference? Which is better? Can you really notice a difference between them? We are going to try to answer these questions.

32-bit vs. 64 bit cpu

In computing, lots of concepts are linked to bits because bits are the DNA of computing and therefore, everything revolves around them.

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Best Cheap Laptop under 300 dollars 2017 (For gaming and Office)

A few years ago, it was almost impossible to buy a laptop for 300 dollars with superior performance. Often, at this price point, they came with a time lag due to the smaller memory size and poor processor, which affected the user experience. As a result, purchasing a PC costing around $300 was not recommended.

With the development of technology, the laptops have become cheaper and cheaper, the 300-dollar laptops also have relatively good performance, they are generally equipped with Intel Pentium N3530, Intel Celeron 3205U and other processors, coupled with 4GB of memory, they are enough for us to do some light work.

With the evolution of technology, the laptops have become cheaper and cheaper. Even the 300-dollar laptops have made performance improvements. Coupled with 4GB of memory, they are equipped with Intel Pentium N3530, Intel Celeron 3205U, and other processors, which make them good enough for performing light work.

For playing games, editing videos, and other heavy computing needs however, it is still unrealistic to select a laptop under 300 dollars. They are often equipped with an integrated graphics capability with display performance that comes short of meeting the gaming requirements. We recommend you to increase your budget to around 500 dollars. Of course, if you just enjoy playing some older games, there are still some models at this price point that will meet your requirements.

Next, we’ll share several laptops, which are divided into two categories. First, for office use, we recommend very popular laptops around $300. Their configuration and performance-cost ratio are the best. However, due to lower requirements for graphics, we will select the laptops based on Intel platform to ensure better overall performance. For the gaming category, we will recommend laptops that are equipped with APU platform as the integrated graphics that APU platform uses has better gaming performance than that of the Intel processor. At the same time, we refer you to the users’ reviews on Amazon as it can help you make the right selection.

For Office

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

The newest member of Dell’s 15.6-inch, budget-class, laptop 3000-series family is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. This notebook, made for home or office, has a chassis that is almost square, and made from a matte black plastic. Instead of using the older Haswell processors which were found in the previous 3542 and AMD CPUs in the 3541, they have installed the most recent Intel Broadwell processors.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000, at this time, is providing a couple of choices of lower-to-mid range Broadwell CPUs. They are offering the mid-tier Intel Core i3-5015U, or the entry-level Intel Celeron 3205U. The Celeron is only adequate for simple office, basic web use, and multimedia tasks. On the other hand the Intel Core i3-5015U gives much better performance, giving you the ability to do video editing and photo-manipulation without hesitation. Additionally, the Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics in the i3, is a lot faster compared to the basic Intel HD. This will allow you to play the most recent games on low settings.

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Best Graphics Card 2017: Advice and tips for buying

On the March update, we highlight the price decrease of the GTX 1080, which finally cost less than 600 dollars.

There are also news within the mid-range, with the 8 GB RX 480 having a much more attractive price and the 4 GB Gigabyte RX 460 costing only 120 dollars.

Graphics Card

We updated our list with the best graphic cards, adding some models that have gone down in price. There are news on all the three ranges, and among those we highlight the RX 460 by Sapphire with 4 GB GDDR5 for less than 130 dollars, the GTX 1060 by EVGA for less than 240 dollars and the GTX 1080 by MSI which costs less than 520 dollars.

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Best Monitor for Photo Editing and Photography Comparison (March 2017)

If you want to capture images with the highest possible quality then each and every one of the elements, which become part of the photographer’s digital lab, has to be in top notch form or at least, of the highest quality we could afford. The monitor is one of the devices that we should examine most closely.

When we buy a computer to use it to edit pictures, we should always be looking for the best processor with RAM overflow and all kinds of ports. With some luck, if it comes with a free monitor, we often thank the seller for the unbelievable fortune that we have just come upon. It may also come with lots of inches…

Well, I dare to say that we were wrong. We should not settle for any monitor! It’s no use to have the best camera in the world if your monitor can’t rise to the occasion. Monitor is equally as important as the optical camera. I always say, it’s better to spend less on a camera while investing more on the best lens and monitor we could afford.

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What’s Virus Cleaner?

These days, a virus cleaner is one of those tools that you can not do without, mainly because the probability that your computers or phones are infected with a virus is very high, especially if you are one those users who do not take any precautions when surfing the Internet or connect pendrives or cards without checking them first.

While virus cleaners and antivirus are applications that should always be installed on your computer to protect it from any threat that may arise, the truth is that many users only install a virus cleaner or antivirus when they suspect that their PC is already infected with malware.

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