Dell Precision or Gateway for audio production and occasional gaming

Posted on 2009-07-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hi guys,

Need a bit of advice. I would like to get a laptop for a portable audio workstation and need some fair processing power and RAM, and 2 xl HD to stream samples. I also like to indulge in the occasional Crysis game moment, but nothing serious. If you look at these  config, which one would you recommend. I could upgrade the RAM on the Gateway, or easily get a second HD for the Dell. Which way should I go???


Gateway P-7805u FX Laptop X9100 3.06GHz
nVidia 9800GTS M 1GB " 4GB DDR3 " 640GB (2x320) 7200rpm " 17" - £ 1,195

Dell Precision M6400 Laptop T9600 2.8,8GB DDR3, 250HD FX 2700M e344
Dells 3 YR Warranty, 8GB, 512 Quadro FX 2700M, 8GB  - £1,299
Question by:rookie_b
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Assisted Solution

Diesel79 earned 100 total points
ID: 24828303
My only advice is the quadro card in the dell is not designed for gaming. It is designed for professional graphics like cad. I would take a dell over a gateway any day but the card will probably not work out well for your gaming ambitions. I would get a dell but maybe one with a nvidia or ati gaming graphics card.

Assisted Solution

nick2253 earned 100 total points
ID: 24828360
Diesel79 is spot on.  For your audio editing, the Dell is superior (I'd say far superior).  However, the Gateway will give you better gaming performance because of the GFX card.

LVL 34

Accepted Solution

jamietoner earned 150 total points
ID: 24828416
I have a M6400 with the 512mb Fx 2700m and it doesn't game bad at all(i have also forced it to use a geforce driver rather than the quadro driver and it's recognized as a 9700m gt), it's not as good as the 9800gts, but in terms of quality of construction and grade of parts used the precision is far superior to anything gateway makes and the support i have received from gateway has always been horrible(I personally would never buy one) and Dell's workstation support is great. Also if the app you use is multi-threaded you may want to add a quad core to the precision.
LVL 62

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 150 total points
ID: 24829710
Both should allow you to indulge your Crysis habit ;)
Unless you really need it for the laptop's primary purpose I'd skip the 3 year warranty
Check the speed on the Dell SATA drive they have a habit of shipping 5400 drives as standard and the data transfer speed from them won't be good enough for Crysis (and possibly your audio work), look for a 7200 option.
The Quadro is a good robust card but is for CAD and as jamietoner points out with a Forceware driver will run as a Geforce. Also look at the speed of your RAM, with 1066MHz DDR3 I'd suggest there's not going to be any noticable improvment between 6 & 8GB so if you've added this as an option ...

Finally a practical point these are both heavy beasts the Dell about a pound less in weight than the Gateway which is around ten pounds with its battery installed.

In summary there's not a lot between them. Check Dell aren't short-changing you on drive speed and keep fit carrying them around!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31602322
Thank you all foryou comments. Listening to all of you I decided to bite the bullet and go Dell crazy. I found a refurb machine, 1 year base warranty (negotiating with Dell to see if I can get anything more but they have limited options for refurb machines).
M6400 Covet, (I know funny colour), QX9300, 8GB DDR3, 2x320GB, and yes - FX3700m. All that for £1665 delivered. O, and I didn't have to wait for Dell to build it, so i got it the next business day.

Thank you all for you words of wisdom!

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