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K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-04-2014, 09:45 PM)
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There will now be mandatory format requirements for "I need a laptop" posts.

This is information we need included in your request for help finding the right laptop, so posts don't have to be wasted with asking and waiting for the simplest of information. Failure to comply may cause your post to be ignored. Simple inclusions:



Country where it will be purchased.
Maximum budget.
Max size (can be in screen inches, dimensions, weight).
Planned usage (what kind of games or specific games it must run, if heavily gaming at all). Ideally you'll point out what resolution and settings are your standard, based off of what I've laid out in the OP.
Whatever else you find relevant, misc. things such as desired battery life, screen resolution, fan noise, etc.
Note: If you're from outside of North America, please provide links to a few of your countries laptop retailers.


Check out Desktop GAF and Tech Support GAF!
Consider joining the Notebook Review Forum, as it's a great community and there's a wealth of information help on individual laptops and notebooks there. You can find me posting under the name Kevin on that site.
Gaming Mouse Advice Thread
Recommended System Monitors: CPU-Z, HWMonitor, and GPU-Z


As always we start here.....



I feel this is an important question to ask, because with the gaming laptop you usually get roughly 1/3 of the GPU power you'd receive if the same amount of money was spent on a gaming tuned desktop. Allow me to explain how I reached that figure. Mobile GPUs are simply much more expensive than their desktop relatives. An aftermarket Clevo GTX 780M is currently $695, while its analogue, the GTX 680, can be found for as low as $300/ So you can build a desktop with SLI GTX 680 for the price of the single 780M equipped laptop. This example is not quite the "1/3" figure I calculated, but also factor in that the GTX 780M also cost around $850, originally.

Let that sink in a bit.

Note - I've left the original section above, so that people can see how far we've come.

2016 UPDATE TO THE ABOVE, CIRCA PASCAL RELEASE - 09/21/2016

As of the Pascal release, Nvidia has dumped the 'M' scheme, and is now simply release the full desktop chips at lower TDPs. This means a 1080 is a real 1080, a 1070 is a real 1070, and so on it will be from this time.

So the 1/3 ratio from above no longer stands. Now you can simply price out the laptop vs what the same build would cost on a desktop.

I still feel that, If you're going to be spending the majority of your time at home anyway, tethered and sitting at a desk, the desktop setup remains the much stronger and more economical choice.

UPDATE END

I've always held that the want for a gaming laptop should be about fulfilling one of very few things: necessity, luxury, or a combination of the two. They're a good option for:
  • Frequent travelers - you spend a lot of time away from home and will rarely see time in front of your desktop.
  • Students - You need something portable enough to take to class/studies and back home for holidays.
  • Casuals - A cheaper laptop to play some games on the couch, or to compliment a more powerful desktop
  • Ballers - Because you want one.

But I have good news, which is twofold. First, is that technology has advanced to the point where pretty much every laptop based on 2016 tech can game, at some level. This is mostly thanks to Intel and AMD's advances in integrated graphics power. Second, you no longer have to spend more than $1,000, to get a dedicated GPU, capable of 1080p/30fps.

Moving on to hardware.....



There is honestly little to touch on here, outside of 'AMD vs Intel', and 'Dual Core vs Quad Core'.

'AMD vs Intel' is rather easy, as AMD's current lineup of mobile CPUs is objectively horrible. You know there's an issue, when their flagship processor, is only as fast as Intel ULV dual cores. So the best advice is to avoid AMD at all costs.

'Dual Core vs Quad Core' is also a straightforward affair; if you can afford a quad, get a quad. In 2016, even the minimum specs for most games are asking for quads.

Which CPU should you choose? If you are planning on a GTX 1070 or 1080, take the i7-6820HK, if at all possible. The i7-6700HQ should still be adequate for the GTX 1060 and anything slower.



The GPU is priority #1, where you should allocate the majority of your budget.

For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to divide the GPUs into tiers, based on average performance in today's games, generally console ports. They are:

  • Low: Low-Medium graphics, 720p-900p
  • Medium: Medium-High graphics, 900p-1080p
  • High: High-Ultra graphics, 1080p
  • Ultra: Ultra graphics, 60+FPS, 1080p or greater, VR-Ready
  • Ultra+: Welcome to 4K gaming. Enjoy your stay.

This will not be perfect and the absolute truth for each GPU, but it's the best way to help people know what they're generally going to be getting into with each card. Also, current gen cards and one generation removed cards only.


Fall 2016 Rankings
  • Low: Intel iGPU, GT 940M
  • Medium: GTX 950M, GTX 960M, GT 1040 ( rumored for Q4 2016),
  • High: GTX 965M, GTX 970M, GTX 980M, GTX 1050 (rumored for October 2016)
  • Ultra: GTX 1060, GTX 1070
  • Ultra+: GTX 1080

But exactly what are the mobile cards, anyway?
I know a lot of perspective buyers of gaming laptop are coming from the desktop scene, and have little to no idea what the mobile GPUs names actually mean. After all, the GTX 670M has absolutely nothing in common or to do with the Desktop GTX 670. Most of these cards are indeed literally desktop chips, which have simply been undervolted and downclocked, to fit them within a viable mobile mobile TDP. So when I say that X = Y, know already that the card does not deliver 100% of its desktop analogue's performance, unless you are able to safely raise the voltage and achieve the reference desktop frequencies.

As of Pascal, there is no more confusion. The name of the card directly corresponds to what it is.

Nvidia Cards

GT 630M (which is a rebranded GT 540M, which is a rebranded GT 435M) = GT 430
GT 640M, 650M, 660M, 730M, 740M, 750M = GTX 650
GTX 670M (which is a rebranded GTX 570M) = GTX 550 Ti
GTX 675M (which is a rebranded GTX 580M) = GTX 560 Ti
GTX 760M, GTX 765M = GTX 650 Ti Boost
GTX 670MX, GTX 675MX, GTX 770M = GTX 660
GTX 860M, GTX 960M = GTX 750 Ti
GTX 680M = GTX 670
GTX 680MX, GTX 780M, GTX 880M = GTX 680
GTX 965M = GTX 960-ish
GTX 970M, GTX 980M = GTX 900 hybrids with no exact analogs
GT 1040, GTX 1050, 1060, 1070, 1080 = exactly as their desktop namesakes, with lower TDP

AMD Cards

7650M, 7670M (which are rebrands of 6630M, 6650M) = 6670 DDR3
7690M, 7690M XT ((which are rebrands of 6750M, 6770M) = 6670 GDDR5
7730M, 7750M, 7770M = 7750
7850M, 7870M, 8870M = 7770
7970M, 8970M = 7870

The best resource we currently have for comparing specs and gaming benchmarks is Notebookcheck. They are considered by many (including myself) to be of dubious consistency, but the fact is that they're the only site dedicated to the compiling of data on mobile GPU. I'd be dishonest if I said I don't appreciate the effort.



The best advice one can give: Spend as little as you possibly can on memory. A "mere"8GB of RAM is still "enough", but 12+ gigs of DDR4 RAM is the standard for comfort right now. Just don't blow large sums in the laptop manufacturer's Configurator, because buying your own is still more economical. Always take the minimum they offer and DIY upgrade it yourself at home, unless your specific laptop contains too complicated of an upgrade process.



This is another area where it may be best to check prices and upgrade yourself after purchase. SSDs are amazing boot drives, but if you aren't buying a laptop with two drives slots or an mSATA slot, you'll either need to sacrifice space or drop a wad of money on a large capacity SSD.

Do SSDs benefit gaming? Well, yes, but not greatly, as you won't gain in the framerate because of a faster drive. They definitely cut load times by a significant amount. Sometimes I feel mine loads too fast, as I in certain games never have enough time to read the cool little tidbits and tips the devs put in the load screens. I'll choose the faster loading any day though.

There is also a major safety benefit to the SSD. Not too long ago, my brother accidentally let his powered on laptop slide off of his lap, onto a lightly carpeted floor. No problem right? The next morning, it refused to boot. Turns out, the HDD had locked up due to the shock of the fall.

With an SSD, such a freak occurrence is not an issue, as there are no moving parts.







There will now be mandatory format requirements for "I need a laptop" posts.

This is information we need included in your request for help finding the right laptop, so posts don't have to be wasted with asking and waiting for the simplest of information. Failure to comply may cause your post to be ignored. Simple inclusions:

Country where it will be purchased.
Maximum budget.
Max size (can be in screen inches, dimensions, weight).
Planned usage (what kind of games or specific games it must run, if heavily gaming at all). Ideally you'll point out what resolution and settings are your standard, based off of what I've laid out in the OP.
Whatever else you find relevant, misc. things such as desired battery life, screen resolution, fan noise, etc.
Note: If you're from outside of North America, please provide links to a few of your countries laptop retailers.
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-04-2014, 09:46 PM)
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..................
anexanhume
Member
(01-04-2014, 09:50 PM)
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Good thread OP. I'm curious if 4K laptops
will take off now that MSI has started the trend.
masterwok
Banned
(01-04-2014, 09:53 PM)

Originally Posted by anexanhume

Good thread OP. I'm curious if 4K laptops
will take off now that MSI has started the trend.

I hope so. I hope the rumors of a 4K iPad are true too.

Pave the way for 4k standards is what I want to see by the end of this year.
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-04-2014, 09:54 PM)
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Originally Posted by anexanhume

Good thread OP. I'm curious if 4K laptops
will take off now that MSI has started the trend.

We can only hope!

Seems reasonable to expect all of MSI's high end gaming laptops to be 3k or 4k in 2014, so I'd be shocked if two out of Asus, Clevo, and Alienware don't also jump on the wagon.
Ultimadrago
Member
(01-05-2014, 01:31 AM)
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Sweet! New thread.

Also, thanks for the answers again in the previous K.Jack. To celebrate, here's another question!

- Say for some reason I had to purchase the Amazon MSI GT70 2OC-065US instead of customizing through a reseller. Any recommendations of places I could send the laptop to get a SSD Boot drive/HDD installed (whether I provide or them) in good faith? Or should I get off my lazy butt and do it myself.

I don't mind spending some extra to have it done instead, but a certain scenario might force me to go through Amazon.
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-05-2014, 04:33 AM)
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Originally Posted by Ultimadrago

Sweet! New thread.

Also, thanks for the answers again in the previous K.Jack. To celebrate, here's another question!

- Say for some reason I had to purchase the Amazon MSI GT70 2OC-065US instead of customizing through a reseller. Any recommendations of places I could send the laptop to get a SSD Boot drive/HDD installed (whether I provide or them) in good faith? Or should I get off my lazy butt and do it myself.

I don't mind spending some extra to have it done instead, but a certain scenario might force me to go through Amazon.

In that case, DIY is the only good option. It's so easy, paying even more to someone after the fact just doesn't make sense. All you need to do is boot the laptop once so you can burn the 4 recovery DVDs, then flip the laptop -> remove the HDD and swap it to the secondary slot -> insert the SSD, then close it up and use the DVDs to install a factory image. You literally have to move the one bottom panel to access both drive bays. Takes ten minutes.

Or you could take it to the Geek Squad, and they'll probably charge you at least $50.
The Abominable Snowman
Pure Life tonsil tickle
(01-05-2014, 05:30 AM)
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I've been looking, and it's terrible that the 17.3" options are really dwindling down. I can find AMD A8/A10 17.3" with no problem, but I'm sort of terrified of getting anything less than an i5, and those selections are very sparse. I'm not trying to spend over $1000

Pretty stuck on the Acer V3 772. They even have Geforce GTX770M/760M/750M options
terrisus
Banned
(01-05-2014, 08:54 PM)
Thanks for doing this thread again K.Jack - and for all your help in the previous threads. You've been great, and I've definitely recommended these threads numerous times.

I just have a quick random question - what is the largest-capacity 7200RPM laptop-sized (so 2.5", and non-Enterprise since those are too thick) drive out there? I'm having some trouble, since there are a number of Hybrid drives out there, but the regular part of the drive is only 5400RPM.

I'm still figuring - as I was thinking in the last thread - to get an mSATA SSD, and use the two regular hard drive slots for regular hard drives - so I don't need the hybrid-ness, since I'll have a SSD, I just want them to be 7200RPM, and have a good amount of storage space.
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-06-2014, 01:18 AM)
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Originally Posted by The Abominable Snowman

I've been looking, and it's terrible that the 17.3" options are really dwindling down. I can find AMD A8/A10 17.3" with no problem, but I'm sort of terrified of getting anything less than an i5, and those selections are very sparse. I'm not trying to spend over $1000

Pretty stuck on the Acer V3 772. They even have Geforce GTX770M/760M/750M options

You will have to spend a little bit over $1k to ad the quad core, but the Sager 7370 seems like a better option than the Acer. The GTX 760M has DDr3 VRAM, severely limiting its bandwidth.

Where do you see a V3 with 770M anyway?

Originally Posted by terrisus

Thanks for doing this thread again K.Jack - and for all your help in the previous threads. You've been great, and I've definitely recommended these threads numerous times.

I just have a quick random question - what is the largest-capacity 7200RPM laptop-sized (so 2.5", and non-Enterprise since those are too thick) drive out there? I'm having some trouble, since there are a number of Hybrid drives out there, but the regular part of the drive is only 5400RPM.

I'm still figuring - as I was thinking in the last thread - to get an mSATA SSD, and use the two regular hard drive slots for regular hard drives - so I don't need the hybrid-ness, since I'll have a SSD, I just want them to be 7200RPM, and have a good amount of storage space.

Hitachi has a 1TB drive. Correct me if that one doesn't fit a notebook slot.
Nemo
Will Eat Your Children
(01-06-2014, 01:22 AM)
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This thread doesn't cover tablet hybrids right? Really wanna see what's coming from AMD at CES
Saucycarpdog
Member
(01-06-2014, 01:26 AM)
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With CES this week I will be holding off on buying a laptop for now in order to see the whole lineup. Cross fingers most the laptops at the show will include the new nvidia gpus!
terrisus
Banned
(01-06-2014, 01:39 AM)

Originally Posted by K.Jack

Hitachi has a 1TB drive. Correct me if that one doesn't fit a notebook slot.

Well, doesn't look like it says anything about not fitting, so, I would hope that it does.
Nifty. Thanks again, as always.
3Dawg
Banned
(01-06-2014, 01:47 AM)
Any chance of Maxwell being announced during CES? I've just ordered a laptop and I don't want it to be obsolete immediately. I still have time to cancel.

Does anyone know what we can expect from Maxwell? More power efficiency than Haswell? Probably more performance too as it's moving to a smaller process? Just the typical die shrink of the tick tock cycle right?

EDIT: I've confused Maxwell with Broadwell, excuse me.
Saucycarpdog
Member
(01-06-2014, 05:16 AM)
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Originally Posted by 3Dawg

Any chance of Maxwell being announced during CES? I've just ordered a laptop and I don't want it to be obsolete immediately. I still have time to cancel.

Does anyone know what we can expect from Maxwell? More power efficiency than Haswell? Probably more performance too as it's moving to a smaller process? Just the typical die shrink of the tick tock cycle right?

EDIT: I've confused Maxwell with Broadwell, excuse me.

From the rumors that I have seen Maxwell probably wont release till the summer. Personally, I don't think that I will be able to wait until then so I'm probably just going to buy one with the 800M series in February.
LiquidMetal14
hide your water-based mammals
(01-06-2014, 05:18 AM)
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Reading the two 1400 MSI laptops makes me want to hurl since we just got my wife a really nice one last year but with a 660m and Ivy processor ><

Now these looks really nice.
Tablo
Member
(01-06-2014, 05:21 AM)
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Originally Posted by LiquidMetal14

Reading the two 1400 MSI laptops makes me want to hurl since we just got my wife a really nice one last year but with a 660m and Ivy processor ><

Now these looks really nice.

The GE60/GE70 slimmer models are also really nice, my sister got a haswell i7/765M model and it rocks, just has bad battery life (2-3 hours) :/
I know I'm going to feel horrible when this year's models blow hers out of the water...Good ol' consumer tech advancement urgh
Joco
Member
(01-06-2014, 05:24 AM)
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Looking forward to see what Maxwell can bring. I want to get something that isn't too pricey (hopefully less than $1k) but can still run almost everything I want it too.
graywolf323
Member
(01-06-2014, 05:25 AM)
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shiny new thread

I guess I'm weird because I'm happy with 1080p
ElectricKaibutsu
Member
(01-06-2014, 05:31 AM)
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I just want to add I had a Sager back in the day and it was an excellent laptop. Sager's costumer service is very good too though, unless they changed things, it's only limited to a year warranty. I had a three year warranty I got through Sager but it was with another company that wasn't so good, or so I hear. I never had to deal with them.
The Abominable Snowman
Pure Life tonsil tickle
(01-06-2014, 05:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by K.Jack

You will have to spend a little bit over $1k to ad the quad core, but the Sager 7370 seems like a better option than the Acer. The GTX 760M has DDr3 VRAM, severely limiting its bandwidth.

Where do you see a V3 with 770M anyway?

Sorry, must have been looking at another config. There is a V3 with dual 750Ms in SLI on eBay though but i cant find it on any other site.

The screen is only 1080P so I'm thinking the bandwidth isn't going to be too bad a hang up. There's literally nothing else in my price range that has a 17.3" screen. I'm really not willing to go under 16" or over $1000
StMeph
Member
(01-06-2014, 05:40 PM)
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The last time I used a laptop with a dedicated GPU was nearly ten years ago, and heat was a major problem when gaming. I don't expect that to have changed much due to the limited space, but are there any that are clearly better at heat management over long periods of use at high load?

Also, if taking form factor into consideration, are there any gaming-quality ultrabooks or light weight laptops that you can recommend?
Tizoc
Member
(01-06-2014, 05:48 PM)
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Waiting for this baby to arrive sometime this week
http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrab...US_ROG_G750JX/

Can't wait to see what some of the newer games'd look like with its graphics card X3
j-wood
Member
(01-06-2014, 06:02 PM)
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What do you guys think of this laptop?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/17-3-laptop-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive/8937112.p?id=1218954923465&skuId=8937112&st=pcmcat287600050003_categoryid$a bcat0502000&cp=1&lp=5#tab=specifications

I currently have a high powered desktop (i7 quad, GTX660, 8GB ram, ssd), but I was thinking about getting a gaming laptop for when i'm on the go.
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-06-2014, 07:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by The Abominable Snowman

Sorry, must have been looking at another config. There is a V3 with dual 750Ms in SLI on eBay though but i cant find it on any other site.

The screen is only 1080P so I'm thinking the bandwidth isn't going to be too bad a hang up. There's literally nothing else in my price range that has a 17.3" screen. I'm really not willing to go under 16" or over $1000

Would you link me to this sub-$1k V3?

Originally Posted by StMeph

The last time I used a laptop with a dedicated GPU was nearly ten years ago, and heat was a major problem when gaming. I don't expect that to have changed much due to the limited space, but are there any that are clearly better at heat management over long periods of use at high load?

Also, if taking form factor into consideration, are there any gaming-quality ultrabooks or light weight laptops that you can recommend?

Things have changed, a lot actually. Ranking the major gaming laptop makers by absolute cooling design, I'd say it goes: Alienware -> ASUS -> Clevo -> MSI. You won't be overheating with any of them.

You should look at the Gigabyte P35K, for an ultrabook like gaming machine.

Originally Posted by Tizoc

Waiting for this baby to arrive sometime this week
http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrab...US_ROG_G750JX/

Can't wait to see what some of the newer games'd look like with its graphics card X3

I'm truly happy for you! Seems like you've been in the process for an eternity.

Originally Posted by j-wood

What do you guys think of this laptop?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/17-3-laptop-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive/8937112.p?id=1218954923465&skuId=8937112&st=pcmcat287600050003_categoryid$a bcat0502000&cp=1&lp=5#tab=specifications

I currently have a high powered desktop (i7 quad, GTX660, 8GB ram, ssd), but I was thinking about getting a gaming laptop for when i'm on the go.

Nice laptop.

The 765M is the mobile version of the GTX 650 Ti Boost, just to give you an idea of its power.
TouchMyBox
Member
(01-06-2014, 07:50 PM)
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What do you folks think about the MSI GE series laptops?
j-wood
Member
(01-06-2014, 07:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by K.Jack

Would you link me to this sub-$1k V3?



Things have changed, a lot actually. Ranking the major gaming laptop makers by absolute cooling design, I'd say it goes: Alienware -> ASUS -> Clevo -> MSI. You won't be overheating with any of them.

You should look at the Gigabyte P35K, for an ultrabook like gaming machine.



I'm truly happy for you! Seems like you've been in the process for an eternity.


Nice laptop.

The 765M is the mobile version of the GTX 650 Ti Boost, just to give you an idea of its power.

So that's a solid laptop for the price? I think with that I should be able to play most games on high settings at 1080p yeah?
Tablo
Member
(01-06-2014, 08:02 PM)
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Originally Posted by TouchMyBox

What do you folks think about the MSI GE series laptops?

We have the 2013 GE70, it's nice. Display is TN 1080p so nothing special, anti glare. Very powerful, easily upgradeable, only complaint is it comes with a normal HDD which is really the main bottleneck, would get an SSD for sure for caching or just have one for the OS/Programs. Trackpad is alright, nothing special again, keyboard is nice, it is louder than I would like when using for normal non gaming stuff. But thermals are good and the button that ramps the fans works pretty damn well to cool the thing immediately when it gets too toasty while gaming.

I would definitely recommend it if it fits your use case, wait for this year's refreshed model though.
OldAsUrSock
Banned
(01-06-2014, 08:07 PM)

Originally Posted by masterwok

I hope so. I hope the rumors of a 4K iPad are true too.

Pave the way for 4k standards is what I want to see by the end of this year.

Not if they keep releasing screens that do not support 60fps.
Saucycarpdog
Member
(01-06-2014, 08:07 PM)
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New 17 inch laptop from AORUS.

X7 AORUS Gaming Laptop
TouchMyBox
Member
(01-06-2014, 08:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by Tablo

We have the 2013 GE70, it's nice. Display is TN 1080p so nothing special, anti glare. Very powerful, easily upgradeable, only complaint is it comes with a normal HDD which is really the main bottleneck, would get an SSD for sure for caching or just have one for the OS/Programs. Trackpad is alright, nothing special again, keyboard is nice, it is louder than I would like when using for normal non gaming stuff. But thermals are good and the button that ramps the fans works pretty damn well to cool the thing immediately when it gets too toasty while gaming.

I would definitely recommend it if it fits your use case, wait for this year's refreshed model though.

Thanks. I think the Asus G750 is probably the perfect machine for me, but it carries a pretty decent premium so I've had my eye on the MSI ones. If Maxwell comes out by the summer I could probably wait.
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-06-2014, 08:26 PM)
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Originally Posted by TouchMyBox

What do you folks think about the MSI GE series laptops?

From what I've read, the GE40 and GE60 get pretty hot, too hot maybe. Then there's the GE70, but it's so close in price to the GT60 and GT70, I don't see why one wouldn't just spend the extra $100 to receive a much more powerful and featured laptop.

Originally Posted by j-wood

So that's a solid laptop for the price? I think with that I should be able to play most games on high settings at 1080p yeah?

Most current games, yes. But what if it only plays 2014+ new-gen games at medium settings? Will we look back and feel I should have told you to spend that $1.2k on a new desktop card? This dilemma is why I started the OP, questioning whether gaming laptops are the right choice for everyone's situations. Give that a read if you haven't.

Originally Posted by Saucycarpdog

New 17 inch laptop from AORUS.

X7 AORUS Gaming Laptop

New gaming line from Gigabyte. GTX 765M in SLI, huh? I wonder how they'll price these.

The slim build is pretty impressive.
j-wood
Member
(01-06-2014, 08:46 PM)
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Originally Posted by K.Jack

From what I've read, the GE40 and GE60 get pretty hot, too hot maybe. Then there's the GE70, but it's so close in price to the GT60 and GT70, I don't see why one wouldn't just spend the extra $100 to receive a much more powerful and featured laptop.



Most current games, yes. But what if it only plays 2014+ new-gen games at medium settings? Will we look back and feel I should have told you to spend that $1.2k on a new desktop card? This dilemma is why I started the OP, questioning whether gaming laptops are the right choice for everyone's situations. Give that a read if you haven't.



New gaming line from Gigabyte. GTX 765M in SLI, huh? I wonder how they'll price these.

The slim build is pretty impressive.

Yeah, you made a really good OP. I have a really good gaming desktop at the moment. I was just looking for a laptop for it to be possible to continue to play PC games if I go to a lan or travel
Tizoc
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(01-06-2014, 09:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by K.Jack

I'm truly happy for you! Seems like you've been in the process for an eternity.

Tell me about it, paying for house related stuff and with my car needing repair I just remained patient and held out and in the end managed to scrape up enough to buy it =)
Gonna call up the shop on Tuesday just to check and see if it arrived, otherwise should be here in a few days~
jamsy
Member
(01-06-2014, 09:09 PM)
I have a GT70 (2012 version) with a 680M, and for the last few months, it's been running really hot, and it gets up to 90/91 C.

I've tried blowing a compressed air can thing into the vents, but that hasn't really helped. I read that you need to open up the laptop and clean up the dust and reappy thermal paste? How hard would this be? I don't even have a tiny screwdriver here, and I'm currently living abroad...
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-06-2014, 09:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by j-wood

Yeah, you made a really good OP. I have a really good gaming desktop at the moment. I was just looking for a laptop for it to be possible to continue to play PC games if I go to a lan or travel

I don't mean to completely discourage a purchase. If you'll really get a lot of use out of it, a laptop really isn't a bad buy.

You may also want to look at the 13" Sager 7330. It has the same specs as the G750 (once you upgrade the CPU), and has a 1080p IPS display. It'd be a lot more portable for on the go use.

If you want a larger screen, then the Asus is the way to go. If you want something with the GTX 770M (which is literally a downclocked GTX 660, and 25-30% faster than the 765M), you can get the Sager NP8235 for about the same price as the Asus G750JW. You just lose the great design, backlit keyboard, amenities etc of the Asus.

Originally Posted by Tizoc

Tell me about it, paying for house related stuff and with my car needing repair I just remained patient and held out and in the end managed to scrape up enough to buy it =)
Gonna call up the shop on Tuesday just to check and see if it arrived, otherwise should be here in a few days~

Definitely keep us updated, and give some impressions one you have it.

Originally Posted by vdawg5

I have a GT70 (2012 version) with a 680M, and for the last few months, it's been running really hot, and it gets up to 90/91 C.

I've tried blowing a compressed air can thing into the vents, but that hasn't really helped. I read that you need to open up the laptop and clean up the dust and reappy thermal paste? How hard would this be? I don't even have a tiny screwdriver here, and I'm currently living abroad...

Once you find a screwdriver, it's really easy. Remove bottom panel -> remove fan/heatsinks and clean the dust out -> clean off and reapply thermal paste -> put it back together.
Ultimadrago
Member
(01-06-2014, 09:22 PM)
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Hey K.Jack, I would like your (dis)approval on this XoticPC build as I may be able to pick one up after all (I know, multiple choice disorder and all that)! The final price is a bit over my previous limit, but I might be able to comfortably tackle it. Please think of this more as an personally "ideal" build:

MSI GT70 2OC-408US

17.3" FHD Anti-Glare Screen w/ 72% NTSC Color Gamut (1920x1080)
FREE!!! - 30 Day "No Dead Pixel" Guarantee! - ($35.00 Value!) (Limited Time Only)
NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 770M (3.0GB) GDDR5 PCI-Express DX11 w/ Optimus™ Technology
12GB DDR3 1600MHz [SKU-81418P] (Dual Channel Memory (1x4GB + 1x8GB SODIMMS))
MSI Logo [Green] - (XPC Service)
Bay 1: 500GB Samsung 840 Evo SSD (Read 540MB/s - Write 520MB/s (SSD2 - SATA III))
Bay 2: 1TB 7200RPM (SATA III - 6GB/s)
8x Super Multi DVDRW/CDRW Combo Drive (Dual Layer w/ Software) / (Decided against Blu-Ray in the end since I really don't use discs in general for movies, etc.)
Bigfoot Networks Killer™ Dual Band Wireless-N 1202 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth 4.0 | Up to 300Mbps (2x2) - Default / (Question: Would you recommend a different network card? It seems rather inexpensive to choose one of the other earlier options.)
Remove unwanted "Bloatware" Clean Windows Installation
XOTIC PC Global Anti-Theft Protection

Most of the items not listed were left as default. The final slaps the hind and some of $2100 ($2164). Hitting 2 on one hand means I could simply get a GT70 OD with delicious 780M instead, but I think 2 as a ceiling and it as a base are entirely different things. Anything that should be added/subtracted/changed?
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-06-2014, 09:56 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ultimadrago

Hey K.Jack, I would like your (dis)approval on this XoticPC build as I may be able to pick one up after all (I know, multiple choice disorder and all that)! The final price is a bit over my previous limit, but I might be able to comfortably tackle it. Please think of this more as an personally "ideal" build:

MSI GT70 2OC-408US

17.3" FHD Anti-Glare Screen w/ 72% NTSC Color Gamut (1920x1080)
FREE!!! - 30 Day "No Dead Pixel" Guarantee! - ($35.00 Value!) (Limited Time Only)
NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 770M (3.0GB) GDDR5 PCI-Express DX11 w/ Optimus™ Technology
12GB DDR3 1600MHz [SKU-81418P] (Dual Channel Memory (1x4GB + 1x8GB SODIMMS))
MSI Logo [Green] - (XPC Service)
Bay 1: 500GB Samsung 840 Evo SSD (Read 540MB/s - Write 520MB/s (SSD2 - SATA III))
Bay 2: 1TB 7200RPM (SATA III - 6GB/s)
8x Super Multi DVDRW/CDRW Combo Drive (Dual Layer w/ Software) / (Decided against Blu-Ray in the end since I really don't use discs in general for movies, etc.)
Bigfoot Networks Killer™ Dual Band Wireless-N 1202 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth 4.0 | Up to 300Mbps (2x2) - Default / (Question: Would you recommend a different network card? It seems rather inexpensive to choose one of the other earlier options.)
Remove unwanted "Bloatware" Clean Windows Installation
XOTIC PC Global Anti-Theft Protection

Most of the items not listed were left as default. The final slaps the hind and some of $2100 ($2164). Hitting 2 on one hand means I could simply get a GT70 OD with delicious 780M instead, but I think 2 as a ceiling and it as a base are entirely different things. Anything that should be added/subtracted/changed?

Well.... My honest feel is that if you're willing to spend $2k, you should "simply get a GT70 OD with delicious 780M". Like I say in the OP, my opinion is that the entire budget should be first allocated toward the GPU. In this case, we have the 780M, which is 35-40% faster than the 770M. I'd take the GPU, forget the screen, and save up to get an SSD later, or get a smaller one. In short, there's only one part that directly affects the longevity of this gaming laptop, and that's the GPU.

That's something to seriously think over before you buy the 2OC.

Wireless: I haven't had any issues with the stock Bigfoot, as of yet, but I could see an update if you're just more comfortable with Intel.

The one thing about buying an SSD from them, is that they essentially rob you of the 1TB drive that the laptop shipped with, then you end up paying them extra for another one after the fact. Feels weird.

EDIT: There's also the fact that MSI might be announcing the GT70's successor this week, during CES.
tim.mbp
Member
(01-06-2014, 10:25 PM)
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My Lenovo Y410P came today, initial impressions are mostly positive. Swapped the HDD for a 250GB Samsung Evo. It went surprisingly easy, now the machine boots in a couple seconds. I'm just waiting for Steam to finish installing some games so I can break this bad boy in. Thanks for your help K.Jack!
Canis lupus
Banned
(01-06-2014, 10:33 PM)
Saving up for a 15" high end ultrabook, its either gonna be a MBPr or Vaio multi flip. Whats the current best battery life in a Windows 15" laptop?
Jb
Member
(01-06-2014, 10:37 PM)
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Thanks a ton for all your work K.Jack :) With your guidance I decided to order a y510p. It probably won't be enough to be my main gaming system, but coupled with a next gen console I feel much better about my ability to experience the next few years in games than before.
Ultimadrago
Member
(01-06-2014, 11:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by K.Jack

Well.... My honest feel is that if you're willing to spend $2k, you should "simply get a GT70 OD with delicious 780M". Like I say in the OP, my opinion is that the entire budget should be first allocated toward the GPU. In this case, we have the 780M, which is 35-40% faster than the 770M. I'd take the GPU, forget the screen, and save up to get an SSD later, or get a smaller one. In short, there's only one part that directly affects the longevity of this gaming laptop, and that's the GPU

That's something to seriously think over before you buy the 2OC...

I see. Well, it's time for me to do some rethinking. Thanks again!
CoconutTank
Member
(01-07-2014, 12:06 AM)
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Hi K.Jack! Just noticed this thread, and a new laptop for 2014 is exactly the kind of research I've been doing recently :) Currently I have a Toshiba Satellite A665, which has worked pretty well for me for the past few years, but now it's somewhat starting to show its age and is slow. The Lenovo Y510p that you linked earlier actually looks like it fits my needs very nicely (outside of the fact that it doesn't have an optical drive, though I guess I could get an external USB optical drive).

I'm interested in seeing what other choices I can make though, so here are some details in case that helps:

Country: USA

Budget: $1500 or less

Size: 15" to 16" is preferrable. 17" is probably excessive for my needs.

Usage: I plan on using this laptop mostly for gaming, some new such as Starcraft 2, DOTA 2, and some old such as Starcraft: Brood War, Warcraft 3, and my old C&C collection. I also plan on using this laptop to do some programming and game development in Unity 3D. I don't really plan on playing FPS games (though I suppose I should keep the option open (I just tend to get motion sickness from playing FPS or TPS games)).

Operating System: Windows 7 if possible, although I suppose I can get my own copy of W7 and format it over W8.

Storage: At least 100GB of space, preferrably SSD.

Memory: 8GB of ram at minimum.

Graphics Card: Not an Intel integrated graphics card. GTX would be preferrable over GT (and I'm not sure what I should look for in an AMD), but I've been having trouble finding decent laptops with GTX.

Battery: 12-cell Lithium ion / 98.0 Wh / 6.5 hour(s) (Apparently the Toshiba Satellite A665 has this kind of battery, I'm looking at equal or better if possible.)
chunk3rvd
Member
(01-07-2014, 12:54 AM)
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Bought a laptop from this thread last year and mostly just use it all I really play on it is a little Dark Souls. It has an i3 @ 2.4GHz, 6GB ram and a GT 630M. I posted a few weeks back about how I was having intermittent frame rate issues which has mostly stopped but now I'm getting a new error - the game occasionally kicks me out saying I don't have enough memory free and recommends ways I can free some up. I haven't installed anything recently besides Firefox and Kaspersky Pure and I have more HD space free than I have for ages at the moment. No idea what could be causing it. Anyone have any tips?

Also, when I posted a few weeks back someone recommended cleaning it out with compressed air. I just extended the warranty with Acer for a further 2 years and I'm worried I'll void it if I open the thing up. Will I see any benefit from just cleaning it through the vents?
Ultimadrago
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(01-07-2014, 01:32 AM)
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Originally Posted by K.Jack

Well....save up to get an SSD later, or get a smaller one.

What size would you recommend for getting something smaller while still being viable for holding a number of full-size games/programs/OS? I'd rather get one, even if smaller, than none at all. I don't want to go too low.
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-07-2014, 01:32 AM)
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Originally Posted by CoconutTank

Hi K.Jack! Just noticed this thread, and a new laptop for 2014 is exactly the kind of research I've been doing recently :) Currently I have a Toshiba Satellite A665, which has worked pretty well for me for the past few years, but now it's somewhat starting to show its age and is slow. The Lenovo Y510p that you linked earlier actually looks like it fits my needs very nicely (outside of the fact that it doesn't have an optical drive, though I guess I could get an external USB optical drive).

I'm interested in seeing what other choices I can make though, so here are some details in case that helps:

Country: USA

Budget: $1500 or less

Size: 15" to 16" is preferrable. 17" is probably excessive for my needs.

Usage: I plan on using this laptop mostly for gaming, some new such as Starcraft 2, DOTA 2, and some old such as Starcraft: Brood War, Warcraft 3, and my old C&C collection. I also plan on using this laptop to do some programming and game development in Unity 3D. I don't really plan on playing FPS games (though I suppose I should keep the option open (I just tend to get motion sickness from playing FPS or TPS games)).

Operating System: Windows 7 if possible, although I suppose I can get my own copy of W7 and format it over W8.

Storage: At least 100GB of space, preferrably SSD.

Memory: 8GB of ram at minimum.

Graphics Card: Not an Intel integrated graphics card. GTX would be preferrable over GT (and I'm not sure what I should look for in an AMD), but I've been having trouble finding decent laptops with GTX.

Battery: 12-cell Lithium ion / 98.0 Wh / 6.5 hour(s) (Apparently the Toshiba Satellite A665 has this kind of battery, I'm looking at equal or better if possible.)

Well the Y510p's 750Ms in combination deliver results similar to a single GTX 770M.

You aren't going to find a 12-cell , 98Wh battery in a gaming laptop. I know the Y510p get's 4-5 hours, when you remove the ultrabay GPU so the iGPU can activate.

You should also check out the Sager NP7355 from the OP. It being customizable means you can easily add an SSD and your choice of OS.

Originally Posted by chunk3rvd

Bought a laptop from this thread last year and mostly just use it all I really play on it is a little Dark Souls. It has an i3 @ 2.4GHz, 6GB ram and a GT 630M. I posted a few weeks back about how I was having intermittent frame rate issues which has mostly stopped but now I'm getting a new error - the game occasionally kicks me out saying I don't have enough memory free and recommends ways I can free some up. I haven't installed anything recently besides Firefox and Kaspersky Pure and I have more HD space free than I have for ages at the moment. No idea what could be causing it. Anyone have any tips?

Also, when I posted a few weeks back someone recommended cleaning it out with compressed air. I just extended the warranty with Acer for a further 2 years and I'm worried I'll void it if I open the thing up. Will I see any benefit from just cleaning it through the vents?

Have you opened Task Manager while the game's running, to see how much memory is being used? Opening the laptop won't void warranty. How would they know, anyway?

Originally Posted by Ultimadrago

What size would you recommend for getting something smaller while still being viable for holding a number of full-size games/programs/OS? I'd rather get one, even if smaller, than none at all. I don't want to go too low.

256GB SSDs are really cheap right now. The 250GB EVO is $179 through Xotic.
K.Jack
Knowledge is power, guard it well
(01-07-2014, 01:35 AM)
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double post
Azure J
Member
(01-07-2014, 01:43 AM)
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Question, has any news dropped regarding more high end AMD GPUs trickling down into more notebooks without the lame leg that is the current mobile CPUs from AMD? All the recent stuff about Mantle (and potentially FreeSync now) have made me want to wait/browse yet again but I'm in a good position to pick up one of those MSIs with the nVidia GTX780 and the 3K screen within the next month or two.
mentallyinept
Banned
(01-07-2014, 02:55 AM)

Originally Posted by Saucycarpdog

New 17 inch laptop from AORUS.

X7 AORUS Gaming Laptop

I don't like the look as much as the Razer Blade but the dual 765s are impressive in that chassis is crazy impressive.
Sami+
Member
(01-07-2014, 04:52 AM)
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Need a laptop for school. I'd really appreciate some help. C:

Country USA
Maximum budget - ~$700-800
Max size - Don't care, so long it's small enough to be easily carried to and from school every day.
Planned usage - Schoolwork, possibly video editing, and games-wise just as good as I can get for the price.


I found this at CostCo for $499.

http://m.costco.com/HP-Pavilion-17-e...100094669.html

Worth it?

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