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I don't know if this is the right place, but my question is multi tier and I apologize in advance if this doesn't belong here. Anyway, I am looking at buying a new laptop for college. I am going to be studying Computer Science so I need something at least efficient enough to carry me through four years of software development classes. I have found a good site with a pretty well-priced laptop. If you have a better place to purchase please let me know. I want to get a laptop that is well-suited for gaming but not go overboard so my parents get suspicious. (I can convince them that a good video card will help when I have to make a game for my final class which I will). Anyway, at xoticpc.com they have a Sager NP9262 that is fairly well equipped and nicely priced. Hyperlink if anyone wishes to go look for themselves http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9262-ultimate-custom-laptop-built-clevo-d901c-p-2273.html?wconfigure=yes Now questions
1) Which would be better? Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz w/6MB Cache or Intel Core 2 QUAD Q9550 2.83GHz w/12MB Cache from both a programming and gaming standpoint?
2) Which is better nVidia GeForce 9800M GT DDR3 DX10 or nVidia QUADRO FX1600M both with 512 MB devoted?
3) Would a second/third harddrive 200GB 7200rpm 16MB Cache be worth $125 each to add on?
I plan on setting it up for a dual boot with Windows XP and Kubuntu at bare minimum, although I would like to put in OS X Leopard and Vista if I can get my hands on the means to do so if that has any influence on any help you may offer. As always, I very much appreciate any advice you may offer. (If this isn't the right place please direct to the correct location)

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Last Post by c++noobie
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Thanks alot for your help. I had looked at that one, but I didn't think it would be better because the best processor possible is a 2.33 GHz Duo processor with 4MB cache where the other is 2.83 GHz QUAD with 12MB cache. The alien would also end up with 2x120gb where the xoticpc would have 2x200gb harddrives. The xoticpc one is also about $200 cheaper after all of the upgrades. Would it really be that much better and worth the $200 more? I'm trying to balance performance while satisfying a dad who would like to know I'm getting as much as I need while saving him as much money as possible.

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the only problem i have is i have never heard of that brand. my major questions are what kind of warranty do they have, what is the customer support like, are they using cheap hardware to save money. stuff like that. The alien CPU might not be as good as the other but your really not going to notice 0.17Ghz. plus with the alienware you get dual 8700 with 512Mb DDR3 each. instead of the 1 9800 with 512mb. plus it just looks so much cooler. and you get award winning customer service. they have a live 24hour chat with people not in India.

this is all just my opinion though. it is my experience that with most things the name brand doesn't matter but with laptops it does.

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Thank you so much for all of your help, I will take that into consideration. I don't get to buy it right this second so I'll have to keep looking. But thanks so much for your help.

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