Should I get a laptop or a desktop?

<p>Going to UWashington next year, and I wonder if I should get a desktop or a laptop (an upgrade is necessary, living with my 1.25 Ghz AMD Athlon and GeForce2 MX card is hell).
I do play games on my computer, and I likely will use it to type stuff up and surf the web.</p>

<p>How useful and nice will portability be? Will I need it for classes or going outside, when it rains every day from september to april (jk)? </p>

<p>Desktops are so much better and cheaper (and upgradeable), especially if you want/need to play games, but I think a laptop would be really nice.</p>

<p>Most people get laptops simply because of its smaller formfactor, which is a plus in a small dormroom. And laptops are nice BTW, I've used one as my primary computer for the last couple of years and it's been great overall, mainly because it's smaller prescence on my bedroom desk made it easier for me to do schoolwork. And the potential portability is never bad either. Plus with laptops these days going for $1000-1500 for a higher end model, they aren't very expensive.</p>

<p>You could always get a high-end laptop and just get an LCD/CRT monitor for when you want to play games although I'm not sure how good the video cards will be on the laptops compared to those on desktops.</p>

<p>unless you're actually planning to take your computer out of your dorm or back home a lot, id get a desktop. laptops are nice and easy to transport, but theyre a lot more expensive and harder to upgrade.</p>

<p>if you get a desktop get an lcd monitor to save desk space</p>

<p>It really depends on how much room you have and how much you will be moving your computer. I have a laptop, but since it never leaves my rather large room, I wish I had gotten a desktop. Also, if you're a gamer, you should probably get a desktop, if only for the ability to make hardware upgrades.</p>

<p>You can get a high end laptop with graphics cards rivaling, or even besting those in desktops (Dell offers laptops with 512MB nVidia GeForce cards). It all depends, I personally love laptops, that's all. Plus you can upgrade the graphics cards in some laptops (it is possible to take apart the later Dell Inspiron models and upgrade/replace the graphics cards).</p>

<p>Get a good desktop and an ultraportable (can have crappy specs) laptop. You get the benefits of both for the same price as an expensive laptop.</p>

<p>Yeah, but you need money to burn for that proposition.</p>

<p>A gaming laptop can run easily to $2000. A decent desktop from like Dell or build one yourself is $800, that leaves like $1200 which you can get like a Dell X1 which is insanely small and light.</p>

<p>I'm sorry, a desktop that is "decent" by my standards will easily run in the high $1000s. But I digress.</p>

<p>You miss the point, a desktop that offers the same performance as a laptop will be alot cheaper. For the price difference you can get a cheap ultraportable. Now suppose he get something like the Asus W3J which is a popular laptop for college students looking for both portability and gaming performance. Its got a X1600 GPU. Now for a desktop with much better gaming performance: $200 CPU (upcoming intel Conroe E6400), $280 7900GT, $80 case + psu, $80 mobo, $50 hard drive, $80 ram, $40 optical drive. Adds up to a lil over $800. Now i forgot about a screen I admit however you can get a quality 19' for $130 (at PC connection, recent PC mag article rated it a good buy). Even then that leaves you around $1000 to play with which can easily get you a good ultraportable.</p>

<p>I do see what you mean. Well, let's look at my outlandish scenario. I want to match a high end laptop from Dell that has:</p>

<p>Intel® Core™ Duo Processor T2500 (2GHz/667MHz FSB)
17 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen UXGA Display with TrueLife™
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 7900 GS
100GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
Integrated Sound Blaster® Audigy® ADVANCED HD Audio </p>

<p>which comes out to ~ $2300 (I'm seriously getting this later in the summer).</p>

<p>For a desktop, I would need an Intel processor since no AMD chipset I know of clocks for 667 MHz DDR2 RAM. Therefore, could a desktop be configured to match what I posted, for the same $800?</p>

<p>lixuelai's right, desktops are so goddamn cheap compared to laptops. Yeah, you should get a better desktop for half the price, assuming you wait for Conroe's, and it also helps to build it yourself. $1000 (and $1300 is almost a certainty) is probably good enough for any desktop (seriously doubt Conroe motherboards are only $80), but everything else seems about right.</p>

<p>i vote laptop.</p>

<p>Laptops tend to break down easier because of heat, handling and the like. Towers take up more space and you can't haul them around.</p>

<p>One thing to consider even with warrantys is how inconvienenced do you want to be. Keyboard, mouse, monitor problems with desktop drive to store, pick up a newone, little to no downtime. Laptop with those problems drive to store ( or worse mail) for service....wait...wait...wait. Meanwhile projects and assignments are coming due. You've given your harddrive to a service person who doesn't care if your assignment is done on time. </p>

<p>I would look at if something broke or went wrong, how dependent am I on someone else to get back up and running? </p>

<p>Not the prettiest answer, but a very practical one.</p>

<p>Unless of course you get a technician to come out and repair your laptop (my Dell CompleteCare service sent out a technician that replaced a defective LCD for my five year old Dell Inspiron 8000, good turnaround time of only a couple of days upon calling).</p>

<p>and you were fortunate to not have anything pressing? That's good luck and good service for sure. As long as murphy's law doesn't strike, you're set. :) </p>

<p>And what do you pay for the service? </p>

<p>I'm not putting you down, if the service is affordable,reliable and consistent, you've solved that problem.</p>

<p>Upfront when I first paid for my laptop, I think it was something like an additional $300. That was for three years coverage, nowadays Dell offers the same service at the same price more or less, but lasts four years. Anyway, I'm sure that in the event of a hardware breakdown in college there are numerous other computers with which a lost project can be remade and/or salvaged. And a very severe hardware failure would have to occur in order for your computer to become totally unusuable and in such a state whereby doing schoolwork would be completely impossible. Otherwise, most technical issues are due to some funk-up that is the result of an unadept computer user, you know, the ones that aren't into overclocking video cards or tweaking the Windows Registry.</p>

<p>Yeah, I know what spyware is, I can do a little debugging, my dad's a computer engineer.</p>

<p>And murphy's law sucks for laptops.</p>

<p>Intel® Core™ Duo Processor T2500 (2GHz/667MHz FSB) ~ Conroe E6400 which will be on sale in July is faster + 64bit
17 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen UXGA Display with TrueLife™
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz ~ You can get 1gb of RAM with much better timings for better gaming performance over the 2GB from Dell. Course you can go for 2GB as well.
256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 7900 GS ~ 7900GT outperforms the GS by quite a bit. Also the GS is underclocked by Dell.
100GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive ~ 250gb same RPM and bigger cache
8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
Integrated Sound Blaster® Audigy® ADVANCED HD Audio ~ Even integrated HD audio is better than this since this "Audigy" uses a Sigmatel chipset and Audigy software...basically a cheap way to steal your money.</p>

<p>For these specs the computer I already listed should outperform it by a mile. The CPU is better, the GPU is better, the hard drive is faster + larger, the RAM is faster and the sound system will be better as well. You can also overclock a desktop for even better bang for the buck. Not to mention laptop screens has crappy response rate and are generally worse than standalone ones.</p>

<p>p.s. Yeah there are AMDs that support DDR2. AM2 already came out.</p>