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View Full Version : Refurbished G75vx - please advice.



tbuyer
02-04-2014, 07:06 PM
background for the question
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I've already searched the forum but found no useful information -so I decided to post the question.

I need to buy a powerful computer for my dissertation (and truth be told for my photo editing).

I understand that gaming laptops are as good as I can get for raw processing power.

I have found a factory refurbished (by Asus) ASUS G75VX which I think will be great for what I need.

If for the specs alone I would have already bought it.

My uncertainty arises for my lack of experience with gaming and factory refurbished laptops.

Question:
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Given your experience with factory refurbished laptops and with Asus ROG laptops in particular, would you buy the laptop I describe below for $1100?

The alternative is a ¨similar" G750 new with no SSD + i7-4700HQ + better video card (for what I understand) for $1400

Your answers and comments would be very much appreciated.


Description

Refurbished ASUS G75VX
Intel® CoreTM i7 3630QM 2.40 GHz Processor - Intel® HM77 Chipset
NVIDIA GTX 670MX with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM
16GB DDR3
500GB x 5400 + 256GB SSD
Blu-Ray DVD Combo Optical Drive

Prostar Computer
02-04-2014, 07:22 PM
Honestly you take a chance even with new laptops as you do with anything. Refurbished is not as much of an indication that the system is more likely to fail as people suspect (Asus inspects the system in full before being able to put it up for resale). It's not akin to buying a salvage title car, where so many things could be wrong (not to mention some insurance companies don't even like to insure salvage titles).

xeromist
02-04-2014, 08:27 PM
The one thing to keep in mind is that gaming laptops are generally not designed with portability or battery life as primary concerns. Yes it will be powerful but it will probably be a bit heavier and have substantially less battery life than other options. Also, a gaming laptop is going to have a dedicated graphics card which adds to the cost, weight, and battery consumption. A dedicated GPU is mainly needed for games and won't help with photos. If you are not going to be gaming at all then that is something to consider.

If you are not going to be gaming at all then I might suggest looking at business machines. Some business laptops will have a more powerful CPU without the dedicated GPU, so that might be a better fit for the use case you describe.

Honestly though, any machine with 6-8GB of memory would be fine for document and photo editing. Unless you are working on massive images (poster sized) with complex filters on a regular basis I don't think you'll spend much time waiting on the computer to work.

tbuyer
02-05-2014, 06:45 AM
Thanks. I understand your point. Refurbished is not the same as used -particularly factory refurbished.

tbuyer
02-05-2014, 07:04 AM
The one thing to keep in mind is that gaming laptops are generally not designed with portability or battery life as primary concerns. Yes it will be powerful but it will probably be a bit heavier and have substantially less battery life than other options. Also, a gaming laptop is going to have a dedicated graphics card which adds to the cost, weight, and battery consumption. A dedicated GPU is mainly needed for games and won't help with photos. If you are not going to be gaming at all then that is something to consider.

If you are not going to be gaming at all then I might suggest looking at business machines. Some business laptops will have a more powerful CPU without the dedicated GPU, so that might be a better fit for the use case you describe.

Honestly though, any machine with 6-8GB of memory would be fine for document and photo editing. Unless you are working on massive images (poster sized) with complex filters on a regular basis I don't think you'll spend much time waiting on the computer to work.


To begin with, thank you very much for taking time to comment on my question. I do appreciate it.

Now, turning to you comment I think you are raising a good point –It seems that I came to the right place for advice.

Let me give you the two typical sessions that I would have with the laptop (and then I’ll re-phrase my original question)

Typical Work session:
----------------------------------
20-30 tabs in firefox
2-3 word documents
2 Excel files 40-50mb
10 PDF files
Bibliography manager
Text editor (Lyx)
Stata (manipulating datasets and running regression on 750mb datasets)

Typical photo editing (every other weekend)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
LR5 + pluggins
Capture NX2 (a horrible program very demanding on the processor)
Photomatix
Photoshop CS5 (currently kept at minimum since it is rather slow in my current laptop)
Each files is about 90mb

So the question is (based on your comment):

Considering my two typical sessions: am I gaining anything getting a gaming laptop like the G75vx over say a “business” Toshiba with similar specs –say: 15.6’’ + i7 3630QM 2.40 GHz + 16GB DDR3?


Again, thank you very much for your consideration.

kidfromhell
02-05-2014, 02:53 PM
To begin with, thank you very much for taking time to comment on my question. I do appreciate it.

Now, turning to you comment I think you are raising a good point –It seems that I came to the right place for advice.

Let me give you the two typical sessions that I would have with the laptop (and then I’ll re-phrase my original question)

Typical Work session:
----------------------------------
20-30 tabs in firefox
2-3 word documents
2 Excel files 40-50mb
10 PDF files
Bibliography manager
Text editor (Lyx)
Stata (manipulating datasets and running regression on 750mb datasets)

Typical photo editing (every other weekend)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
LR5 + pluggins
Capture NX2 (a horrible program very demanding on the processor)
Photomatix
Photoshop CS5 (currently kept at minimum since it is rather slow in my current laptop)
Each files is about 90mb

So the question is (based on your comment):

Considering my two typical sessions: am I gaining anything getting a gaming laptop like the G75vx over say a “business” Toshiba with similar specs –say: 15.6’’ + i7 3630QM 2.40 GHz + 16GB DDR3?


Again, thank you very much for your consideration.

Woah, looks like they're more intense than playing games :D

Certainly, I'd advise you to go for G75 if you can handle the weight and size because of it's SSD and 675MX which'll help you glide through the apps you've mentioned. As apps like PS etc. are always capable of utilizing the GPU for intense editing, it is certainly worth. :) And also addition of bonus SSD is a killer deal when working with heavy files (90MB)

xeromist
02-05-2014, 05:29 PM
Considering my two typical sessions: am I gaining anything getting a gaming laptop like the G75vx over say a “business” Toshiba with similar specs –say: 15.6’’ + i7 3630QM 2.40 GHz + 16GB DDR3?

As far as I'm aware Stata doesn't make use of GPU acceleration (as of v11). If there is a newer version or plugin that does then you would know better than I. LR5, NX2, photomatix, no GPU acceleration. CS5 does use GPU for *SOME* features but it is limited. You can read a review here: http://www.cgchannel.com/2011/03/review-gpu-acceleration-in-adobe-creative-suite-5/

So I would say that it comes down to what features of CS5 that you use. Otherwise nothing else you do requires a dedicated GPU. If I was you I would go with the fastest CPU I could find, 12-32GB of memory, and a screen that reviews well for accuracy. Technically you could use an external monitor with good calibration but I would at least want a decent internal display so I don't *have* to be hooked up to an external. Unfortunately not all laptops have a display review and sometimes the manufacturers switch panels even with the same model. Ideally though you want a laptop with an IPS panel. Those are the most color accurate. MVA is also good while TN panels are the worst but the cheapest and most common.

Also, yes an SSD would be nice but that is something that can be upgraded if need be. Upgrading the CPU or display are highly technical tasks in a laptop. Just assume that you will never upgrade those. Memory is usually upgradeable but some machines have a module behind the motherboard that is difficult to replace so it varies.

tbuyer
02-05-2014, 06:27 PM
Woah, looks like they're more intense than playing games :D

Certainly, I'd advise you to go for G75 if you can handle the weight and size because of it's SSD and 675MX which'll help you glide through the apps you've mentioned. As apps like PS etc. are always capable of utilizing the GPU for intense editing, it is certainly worth. :) And also addition of bonus SSD is a killer deal when working with heavy files (90MB)

If I understand correctly, a dedicated GPU would improve multitasking? (size and battery life are not my main concern but they are plus).

And thank you very much for your comment. I very much appreciate your advice.

tbuyer
02-05-2014, 06:37 PM
As far as I'm aware Stata doesn't make use of GPU acceleration (as of v11). If there is a newer version or plugin that does then you would know better than I. LR5, NX2, photomatix, no GPU acceleration. CS5 does use GPU for *SOME* features but it is limited. You can read a review here: http://www.cgchannel.com/2011/03/review-gpu-acceleration-in-adobe-creative-suite-5/

So I would say that it comes down to what features of CS5 that you use. Otherwise nothing else you do requires a dedicated GPU. If I was you I would go with the fastest CPU I could find, 12-32GB of memory, and a screen that reviews well for accuracy. Technically you could use an external monitor with good calibration but I would at least want a decent internal display so I don't *have* to be hooked up to an external. Unfortunately not all laptops have a display review and sometimes the manufacturers switch panels even with the same model. Ideally though you want a laptop with an IPS panel. Those are the most color accurate. MVA is also good while TN panels are the worst but the cheapest and most common.

Also, yes an SSD would be nice but that is something that can be upgraded if need be. Upgrading the CPU or display are highly technical tasks in a laptop. Just assume that you will never upgrade those. Memory is usually upgradeable but some machines have a module behind the motherboard that is difficult to replace so it varies.

I think only stata/MP can take advantage of multiple cores -not in my plans paying for that one.

So -if I understand correctly- in your opinion with a good processor (say i7-4700HQ) plus 12-32GB I'm good to go. No need to pay more for the killer GPU or the cooling system.

If that's the case I may start looking for a smaller size with those specs -it many not be much cheaper but I would gain portability and battery life (although like I said these are not big concerns for me).

Once again, thank you very much for your advice.

xeromist
02-05-2014, 07:23 PM
So -if I understand correctly- in your opinion with a good processor (say i7-4700HQ) plus 12-32GB I'm good to go. No need to pay more for the killer GPU or the cooling system.

Yes, with your current use cases I just don't see the need for the dedicated GPU. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have another member of the ROG community but I think it's important to get what works best for you in terms of features and value.

I can't stress enough screen quality, regardless of brand. Given the level of tools that you are using it sounds like you are pretty serious about photography. You may have a good screen on your current machine but that's not always the case. Laptop displays are not known for picture quality and limited calibration will only take you so far, so that could be a challenge. If at all possible I would recommend seeing the screen in person before you buy (even if you buy somewhere else).

TN panels frequently have blacks that just drop out to a splotch and getting anywhere close to accurate can be maddening. I'm just offering fair warning because while I'm not a shutterbug I've owned or tinkered with several dozen LCD displays over the years and some are just crappy beyond adjustment. My favorite monitor was an old HP IPS monitor but it has developed a light purple halo at the edges of the screen. :(

Also think on whether you want matte or glossy. Glossy is the trend right now and provides the clearest image but matte will reduce glare so it depends on your typical work environment.

Oh, and pay attention to the native resolution. You want to work at native for the crispest image but you may find that the same size displays will come in different resolutions. Higher res will give you more workspace for palettes and tools but of course good vision is a requirement as everything will be smaller. :)

kidfromhell
02-05-2014, 08:00 PM
If I understand correctly, a dedicated GPU would improve multitasking? (size and battery life are not my main concern but they are plus).

And thank you very much for your comment. I very much appreciate your advice.

Certainly, if the app demands GPU to be used. As xeromist mentioned, screen and processor maybe the much important ones but never settle for a notebook without a dedicated GPU even if it's a entry level or mid range one. Unless you settle for an ultra portable, having a GPU is always recommended. Even if the present versions of the apps you've mentioned might not use GPU but it's only a matter of time when they get a beefy update and you'll be left behind in terms of speed.

tbuyer
02-05-2014, 08:40 PM
Yes, with your current use cases I just don't see the need for the dedicated GPU. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have another member of the ROG community but I think it's important to get what works best for you in terms of features and value.

I can't stress enough screen quality, regardless of brand. Given the level of tools that you are using it sounds like you are pretty serious about photography. You may have a good screen on your current machine but that's not always the case. Laptop displays are not known for picture quality and limited calibration will only take you so far, so that could be a challenge. If at all possible I would recommend seeing the screen in person before you buy (even if you buy somewhere else).

TN panels frequently have blacks that just drop out to a splotch and getting anywhere close to accurate can be maddening. I'm just offering fair warning because while I'm not a shutterbug I've owned or tinkered with several dozen LCD displays over the years and some are just crappy beyond adjustment. My favorite monitor was an old HP IPS monitor but it has developed a light purple halo at the edges of the screen. :(

Also think on whether you want matte or glossy. Glossy is the trend right now and provides the clearest image but matte will reduce glare so it depends on your typical work environment.

Oh, and pay attention to the native resolution. You want to work at native for the crispest image but you may find that the same size displays will come in different resolutions. Higher res will give you more workspace for palettes and tools but of course good vision is a requirement as everything will be smaller. :)

Thank you very much for your honest and well-thought advice. I will now look for a system in the lines we have discussed.. Hopefully I will either pay less or will end-up with a better system (relative to my needs that is).

I fully agree with you about the monitor. I already made and investment on a high quality monitor covering (don’t remember the number exactly) about 96% of Adobe RGB (not sRGB) and I regularly calibrate it with Spyder 4. So in that sense the screen (although very important) it’s not going to be a deal-breaker –at least in principle.

Again, thank you very much for the advice -It has been most helpful.

tbuyer
02-05-2014, 08:59 PM
Certainly, if the app demands GPU to be used. As xeromist mentioned, screen and processor maybe the much important ones but never settle for a notebook without a dedicated GPU even if it's a entry level or mid range one. Unless you settle for an ultra portable, having a GPU is always recommended. Even if the present versions of the apps you've mentioned might not use GPU but it's only a matter of time when they get a beefy update and you'll be left behind in terms of speed.

Thank you very much. I now have a better understanding of what can suit my needs. Thank you.

xeromist
02-05-2014, 10:14 PM
Even if the present versions of the apps you've mentioned might not use GPU but it's only a matter of time when they get a beefy update and you'll be left behind in terms of speed.

This is a valid point as you never know what might be around the corner. Unfortunately mobile parts are very expensive and depreciate fast so spending extra for something I don't currently use isn't a good value proposition for me. I'd rather wait until I need a better machine and then look for something new and cutting edge or I can pick up a used (previously cutting edge) model for way cheaper than buying it when I didn't actually need it.

I suppose it depends on how long you keep your hardware. I tend to cycle either my laptop or desktop every couple of years. For someone that wants to squeeze 5+ years out of their hardware then maybe it's worth buying the best that money can buy.

tbuyer
02-07-2014, 02:02 AM
Hi there. Just wanted to let you know that afer long hours of comparison and research (in which your imput was very useful) that it came down to the G750 and the ideapad y510p -and decided to go for the G750 (relative prices, expandability, quality, usability, and a few other things).

The specs for the order I placed are below.

Again, I'm very grateful to those that took time of their own to answer my questions.

(some) specs
---------------------
i7-4700HQ
16GB
GTX 765M
500GB SSD
2nd Hard drive: Bracket and Cable
Optical Drive: replaced with 1TB 7200RPM
Integrated Wireless LanBigfoot Killer Wireless-N 1202

kidfromhell
02-07-2014, 03:37 AM
Hi there. Just wanted to let you know that afer long hours of comparison and research (in which your imput was very useful) that it came down to the G750 and the ideapad y510p -and decided to go for the G750 (relative prices, expandability, quality, usability, and a few other things).

The specs for the order I placed are below.

Again, I'm very grateful to those that took time of their own to answer my questions.

(some) specs
---------------------
i7-4700HQ
16GB
GTX 765M
500GB SSD
2nd Hard drive: Bracket and Cable
Optical Drive: replaced with 1TB 7200RPM
Integrated Wireless LanBigfoot Killer Wireless-N 1202

Woah, good choice. Congrats and welcome :)

xeromist
02-09-2014, 05:35 AM
You won't be disappointed. :)