Is this a good laptop for my needs?
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Clincher09

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https://blackfriday.bestbuy.com/online+only+deals/product/6952832/toshiba++satellite+173quot+laptop++4gb+memory++500gb+hard+drive++satin+black?AID=10597222&PID=5411901&SID=ac217fd0384b38eca83b0514cc1eeaa1&URL=https%3A%2F%2Fblackfriday.bestbuy.com%2Fonline%2Bonly%2Bdeals%2Fproduct%2F6952832%2Ftoshiba%2B%2Bsatellite%2B173quot%2Blaptop%2B%2B4gb%2Bmemory%2B%2B500gb%2Bhard%2Bdrive%2B%2Bsatin%2Bblack&afsrc=1&ref=39&CJPID=5411901&loc=01
 
I need a new laptop that I can use Photoshop and Ableton with. I know that a much better computer would be recommended for the occasion, but I'm pretty short on cash and I thought I might take advantage of some black friday deals. 
 
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Yeti tunes

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Photoshop usually appreciates when you have a dedicated video card, so I'm not sure how far you'll get with that computer :/
 
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billybob_jcv

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It will work fine - it just won't be very fast. Photoshop is a hog - it wants as much memory and CPU as you can give it. Compared to a fast I7 laptop with gobs of memory and an SSD, that Toshiba will be quite slow - but it will work. It really depends on the complexity of the work you are doing in PS & Ableton. If you are building mega-sized art with 100s of layers and running lots of filters, you will bring that laptop to it's knees. But if you are just doing more casual web graphics & music editing it will be fine.
 
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Clincher09

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Quote:
Photoshop usually appreciates when you have a dedicated video card, so I'm not sure how far you'll get with that computer :/
That was my main concern, although I don't even think I've seen a laptop that came with an Intel processor that had a dedicated video card. 
 
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Clincher09

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How about something like this?
 
http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/956806/HP-Pavilion-g7-2246nr-Laptop-Computer/
 
How are the AMD processors? I've never used a computer with one but I haven't heard any complaints. 
 
http://bfads.net/Staples-Black-Friday-HP-173-Laptop-w-AMD-A8-QuadCore-6GB-RAM-500GB-HDD
 
Or even this
 
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billybob_jcv

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That was my main concern, although I don't even think I've seen a laptop that came with an Intel processor that had a dedicated video card. 

There are laptops with Intel CPUs and dedicated processors - but probably not for under $500. Some of the Sony Vaio do - I think the S & Z series - but they are very pricey.

On the two links you posted, I would check on whether the apps you want to run on compatible with Win 8. I haven't used Win 8, so I have no opinion on that either way - other than I don't really understand why it was so important for MS to obsolete Win 7. Many companies are still trying to complete their Win 7 roll-outs and replace all the printers and other peripherals that never had Win 7 drivers. But, that has nothing to do with a home user - it just makes my day job harder.

In general, AMD will work just as well as Intel - the reality is that for most of the things people do on their home machines (other than gaming) the CPU is loafing along waiting for something to do. In the price range you are talking about, I would have no problem buying either an AMD or an Intel processor.
 
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ssrock64

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In terms of pure processing power, AMD and Intel are about equal. For graphics and gaming, I tend to get AMD-based computers because they tend to have other AMD-brand equipment that helps a great lot with graphics. Yet again, I'm a bit of an AMD fanboy, so I probably can't be much objective help.
 
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Clincher09

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Quote:
In terms of pure processing power, AMD and Intel are about equal. For graphics and gaming, I tend to get AMD-based computers because they tend to have other AMD-brand equipment that helps a great lot with graphics. Yet again, I'm a bit of an AMD fanboy, so I probably can't be much objective help.
I'm leaning towards an AMD equipped machine in the future. Mainly because they always have separate graphics cards, also because it seems that they're trustworthy and I won't be doing any gaming either. 
 
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Yeti tunes

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Quote:
I'm leaning towards an AMD equipped machine in the future. Mainly because they always have separate graphics cards, also because it seems that they're trustworthy and I won't be doing any gaming either. 
I think you're getting confused here.
 
To set things straight - the main differences between intel and AMD is price to performance ratios. Intel has performed better and faster than AMD for at least 8 years now (that I can think of). This isn't something I'm saying because I love Intel or something, it's just coming from CPU charts (check out tomshardware). What makes AMD a competitor is that they offer 90-95% of the performance at roughly 75% of the cost.
 
Secondly, Intel has developed CPUs recently that have GPUs built into them. This is not a video card. This is a CPU with a GPU stapled to the side of it (so to speak). There are PLENTY of laptops available from reputable manufacturers with both AMD and Intel CPUs and dedicated GPUs. Gone are the days when nvidia/ati aligned particularly well with one processor manufacturer, so that's of little concern.
 
Long story short - look for a laptop with a modest processor (doesn't matter who makes it) and some sort of dedicated video card. You don't have to buy a million dollar computer to get a dedicated video card, just shop around until you see one in your price range. Again, plenty of options from Dell, HP, Acer, Samsung, Sony, whoever you like. And for the record, neither Intel nor AMD have wide variances statistically as far as longevity goes. Your RAM or HD or some other component will go bad long before the processor does.
 
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