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MJKERR

New Laptop - recommendations and suggestions welcome

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It is nearing the time to replace my two business laptops
Initially they would run Tower 2011 SE (Heathrow airport and all packages) 
However at the latest Windows 10 v1809 and v1903 updates for some reason they would not do so

My budget is £300 per laptop
However if I retain the two business laptops I can effectively purchase one laptop at £600
This laptop will solely be used for Tower 2011, and eventually Tower 3D when it is released (Heathrow airport packages)

Here is what I am currently considering (model, processor, RAM, graphics, SSD, HDD) 
Medion Erazer P6605 : i5-8300H, 8GB RAM, GTX 1050 4GB, 128GB SSD, 2TB HDD
Medion Erazer P15601 : i5-9300H, 8GB RAM, GTX 1050 3GB, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Medion Erazer P15603 : i5-9300H, 8GB RAM, GTX 1650 4GB, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD

Alternatively I have also been considering a Desktop : 
Lenovo 720-18ASU : AMD Ryzen 5 1400, 8GB RAM, RX 550 2GB, NO SSD, 2TB HDD
Lenovo P520C : Xeon W-2125, 16GB RAM, GTX 1050 4GB, NO SSD, 1TB HDD
Lenovo P520C : Xeon W-2125, 16GB RAM, GTX 1650 6GB, NO SSD, 1TB HDD

Any and all advice welcome
 

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1 hour ago, crbascott said:

My only advice is - the more RAM the better. 

Yes, I agree with that
I started looking at 4GB, but the two laptops already have that (shared graphics) 
Equally, with 4GB most only come with 2GB Graphics 
Not sure if that would be enough

Are there any graphics cards that do not really work with Tower, to avoid?

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1 hour ago, mjkerr said:

any graphics cards that do not really work

For a gaming laptop you want a real video card not an integrated or one using shared memory.

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8 hours ago, scoobflight said:

For a gaming laptop you want a real video card not an integrated or one using shared memory.

I am not considering any device with shared graphics, they are all dedicated

As above, the type is the fourth item, most are Gigabyte GTX 
I have had a few bad experiences with AMD as well, so avoiding those

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On 5/23/2020 at 6:12 PM, mjkerr said:

ItAlternatively I have also been considering a Desktop : 
Lenovo P520C : Xeon W-2125, 16GB RAM, GTX 1050 4GB, NO SSD, 1TB HDD
Lenovo P520C : Xeon W-2125, 16GB RAM, GTX 1650 6GB, NO SSD, 1TB HDD

Any and all advice welcome

It would appear neither of these Graphics Cards will work on this Lenovo P520C, which does seem odd, and am limited to one of these (within budget) - 
Quadro K2000 2GB
Quadro K4000 3GB
NVS 510 2GB
Quadro P400 2GB
Quadro P600 2GB
Quadro P620 2GB

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I wanted laptop to the games and to work,  which can work for a longer time, thus I recommend you to invest slightly more so you can use it for a few years to come, my lap:

I totally resigned from HDD, an choosed SSD instead, 480 gb

i7-8750H

- 20 GB RAM

- GTX 1070 maxq cerberus graphics 8gb ddr5

It's very fast, performance is fantastic I can play GTA V, FORZA HORIZON 3, 4, CRYSIS etc and TOWER3DPRO of course:) without any problems on the highest settings, many fps.

But the cost was around 1000 gbp 

 

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13 hours ago, Cwiara said:

I recommend you to invest slightly more so you can use it for a few years to come, my lap:
I totally resigned from HDD, an choosed SSD instead, 480 gb
i7-8750H
- 20 GB RAM
- GTX 1070 maxq cerberus graphics 8gb ddr5

the cost was around 1000 gbp 

Roughly every five years I upgrade
Last time was desktop to laptop, but now it is time to go back to desktop
Future proofing is everything, I aim for five years and both laptops are now four years old

For my next desktop the HDD will be used solely for low demand programs and file storage
SSD will be used for Windows 10 and Tower
Tower is the only game program I have used in the last few years

Budget is £600

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Lenovo are adamant only those listed Graphics Cards will work

The retailer has now replied that almost all 4GB Graphics Cards on their website will work, and either the GTX 1050 or 1650 will work
However, they recommend that anything above 4GB will require the PSU (OE 500W) to be upgraded

Ironically, a few hours later Lenovo have replied that today they updated their list of supported devices, but it made no difference to my selections
After all the P520c is designed for 3D CAD work

A local retailer has also returned a quote, based on specification (16GB RAM, 4GB Graphics Card and basic SSD) 
i5-9400, 8GB RAM, GTX 1650 4GB, 120GB SSD, 1TB HDD 
Note the trade-off here is reducing to 8GB but adding a 120GB SSD, also it is only a two year warranty against the Lenovo with a three year warranty
They made this suggestion based on the i5-9400 as this has an internal GPU, so the RAM could be lowered slightly
Is this correct, or was this simply to meet the budget?

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1 hour ago, mjkerr said:

they recommend that anything above 4GB will require the PSU (OE 500W) to be upgraded

That depends on the installed components and how much headroom you need for external devices such as USB hard drives, controllers, etc. It is nonsense to determine it at the graphics card alone. Also, GPUs with more RAM do not necessarily need more power. It is often the case, but it depends on the model you choose.

1 hour ago, mjkerr said:

They made this suggestion based on the i5-9400 as this has an internal GPU, so the RAM could be lowered slightly

I'm not sure I understand that statement. Were you told that with an internal GPU you can spare RAM?
Since a CPU with integrated graphics unit does not have its own RAM, it uses parts of the system memory. Therefore it makes sense to install more RAM.

Personally, I would give Intel integrated graphics a wide berth and when it comes to gaming, integrated graphics or APUs in general.

What exactly should your system be able to do?

Work: Which programs are used regularly?
Gaming: Which games should be played now and in the future?
What other requirements and wishes have to be fulfilled?

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3 hours ago, EliGrim said:

I would give Intel integrated graphics a wide berth and when it comes to gaming, integrated graphics or APUs in general.

What exactly should your system be able to do?

Work: Which programs are used regularly?
Gaming: Which games should be played now and in the future?
What other requirements and wishes have to be fulfilled?

My understanding is that Intel CPU with processor / integrated Graphics (not to be confused with shared on motherboard) work best with Graphics Cards
These are specified on the Intel website 

See the first post to see the Intel CPU I was comparing 
i5-8300H
i5-9300H
Xeon W-2125

The system must be capable of meeting the requirements to run Tower3D (4GB RAM, but people on this forum are advising 8GB RAM, 4GB Graphics, minimum 3.0 GHz Intel)
At other times to work on two spreadsheets each of which is about 2MB 
At other times video editing, videos are about about 250MB
It will not do any of the above at the same time

There used to be a few bottleneck calculators, but they have disappeared or do not take into account the latest CPU and Graphics Cards

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4 hours ago, mjkerr said:

The system must be capable of meeting the requirements to run Tower3D (4GB RAM, but people on this forum are advising 8GB RAM, 4GB Graphics, minimum 3.0 GHz Intel)
At other times to work on two spreadsheets each of which is about 2MB 
At other times video editing, videos are about about 250MB
It will not do any of the above at the same time

If that is really all the system has to do, you would get away without a dedicated graphics card.
A budget build would be for example:

- ATX Tower (£38.96) Amazon
- A320 Motherboard (£53.37) Amazon
- Ryzen 5 3400G APU (£137.99)   Amazon  
- DDR4 3200MHz CL16 RAM (£68.02)  Amazon 
- 450W 80+ Bronze PSU (£59.99) Amazon
- 240 GB SSD (£34.79) Amazon
- 1 TB HDD (£34.60) Amazon
- Windows 10 Pro (£43.28) Amazon

Total: £470,73

This is not a buy recommendation only a possible example that meets your written requirements.

Especially if you want to play games and do video editing, you should not be afraid of AMD processors. For example, a Ryzen 5 3600 is an extremely solid processor. (In this case, however, you would need a dedicated GPU.)

Things I would pay attention to:
RAM: at least 16GB (due to video editing and gaming), at least 3000 or 2999 MHz (It depends especially on the CPU on what MHz RAM you can use and pay attention to use Dual Channel.)
PSU: depending on configuration but at least 80+ Bronze certified
CPU: read reviews if a boxed cooler is sufficient
Dedicated GPU: prefer GTX and stay away from RX, NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs come in handy for video editing (reasonable RTX cards are out of budget and I would exclude Quadro cards because of gaming)

I would like to stress once again that I do not give any buying advice. This post should be taken as food for thought. I have no experience with laptops and their special components and will not comment on them.

EDIT: In my experience Tower!3D (Pro) does not need a 4GB graphics card. I have a 6GB GPU, use Windows 10 Pro with two monitors and use exactly 2GB VRAM when I play Tower!3D PRO. In the example build, the Ryzen 5 3400G APU would use 2 GB of system RAM for the graphics unit.

Edited by EliGrim
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8 hours ago, EliGrim said:

- Ryzen 5 3400G APU (£137.99)

As previous, I am not considering AMD, only Intel CPU on motherboard

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46 minutes ago, mjkerr said:

As previous, I am not considering AMD, only Intel CPU on motherboard

If I had found an Intel CPU with integrated graphics in that price segment that would even come close to the performance of the Vega 11 graphics, I would have used it for the budget build example.

But as I said: It is not a buy recommendation! It's an idea, a suggestion you can play around with and make comparisons. You asked for suggestions and I gave you a budget build as a starting point for further considerations. Whether you consider something from it or ignore it is entirely up to you. In the end you need to choose or put together the system that suits you best.

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On 5/28/2020 at 9:25 AM, EliGrim said:

EDIT: In my experience Tower!3D (Pro) does not need a 4GB graphics card. I have a 6GB GPU, use Windows 10 Pro with two monitors and use exactly 2GB VRAM when I play Tower!3D PRO. In the example build, the Ryzen 5 3400G APU would use 2 GB of system RAM for the graphics unit.

Now I am a little confused
The specification for Tower 3D, states minimum 2GB Dedicated Video Card
 I therefore doubled this to ensure some future proofing

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2 hours ago, mjkerr said:

I therefore doubled this to ensure some future proofing

The example system serves only to illustrate what is possible to meet your requirements on a budget. I am sure that the Vega 11 graphics of the APU is strong enough to handle Tower!3D Pro. When I tested the processor I was able to play Planet Coaster with medium graphics settings in 1080p and this game demands a lot from both CPU and GPU. The performance was not breathtaking but absolutely acceptable. I am not aware that Intel has anything comparable in this price segment.

But to make it quite clear, this has nothing to do with future proofing. Especially when it comes to gaming, I wouldn't call almost any 2 to 4 GB graphics card future-proof. When it comes to future proofing on a budget, I would look for an i7 that has good scores in both multi- and single-threading and wouldn't buy anything below a GTX 1660Ti. But to seriously talk about future-proofing in the gaming sector, you need a solid RTX card in my opinion, which alone is above the set budget.

I'm not saying that I recommend the 3400G processor. I chose it for the budget build because of the price-performance ratio. It's definitely recommendable to use a dedicated graphics card, both for gaming and video editing.

EDIT: A 2GB dedicated graphics card is recommended for Tower!3D Pro. The minimum is a 1GB dedicated graphics card according to Steam and website. I couldn't find the non-pro version on feelthere.com and Steam says the minimum is 256MB graphics. However, I consider the latter to be nonsense.

Edited by EliGrim

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6 hours ago, EliGrim said:

EDIT: A 2GB dedicated graphics card is recommended for Tower!3D Pro. The minimum is a 1GB dedicated graphics card according to Steam and website. I couldn't find the non-pro version on feelthere.com and Steam says the minimum is 256MB graphics. However, I consider the latter to be nonsense.

Specification is the same for Tower 3D and Tower 3D Pro
https://www.feelthere.com/shop/air-traffic-control/tower3d/tower3d/#tab-system-requirements
The only difference is Windows version support

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As work is light I found one Lenovo M92P that is no longer being used, purchased it from the company for £1
It is not high spec, but as it will only be used for Tower 2011 SE  and Tower 3D Pro, it is worth a punt in the short term
I advised I could clear the data from the Hard Drive, but our IT department was adamant it had to be done by themselves, so should be completed by the middle of next week

Processor : i5 3470 - 3.20 GHz
GPU : None

RAM : 4GB 
HDD : 500 GB

Plan is to add 
GPU : GT 1050 2GT 2GB or GTX 1050 TI 4GB (both should return 62.9 FPS)
RAM (installed options) : 4GB, 8GB, 12GB, 16GB, 20GB, 24GB, 28GB, or 32GB
SSD : yes

 

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On 6/23/2020 at 9:08 PM, MJKERR said:

Processor : i5 3470 - 3.20 GHz
GPU : None

RAM : 4GB 
HDD : 500 GB

Plan is to add 
GPU : GT 1050 2GT 2GB or GTX 1050 TI 4GB (both should return 62.9 FPS)
RAM (installed options) : 4GB, 8GB, 12GB, 16GB, 20GB, 24GB, 28GB, or 32GB
SSD : yes

Installed the following
24GB RAM 
240GB SSD, and moved Windows 10 and all programs to this drive 

Gigabyte GTX 750 TI OC 2GB

Doing so has resolved the issue with Tower 2011, and is running again without any issues

Tower 3D is also vastly improved, compared to the 1GB on-board Intel HD graphics 
The main monitor returns 30fps to 45fps and the second monitor (ADIRS and Strip) varies between 5fps and 35fps (it seems to be low when there is little or no changes required) 
However in the ADIRS the vertical lines for aircraft flicker / alternate between white and yellow, as the aircraft move between positions

Any assistance to solve this minor issue appreciated

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