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Replacing a last-gen rig with a suitable notebook/MacBook. Viable?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This whole thing spurs from a single issue: finances. Maintaining, upgrading and enjoying a powerful gaming rig requires a lot of effort, or at least that is what I have concluded after three years of consistent gaming nirvana. I've upgraded and cleaned and leaf-blowered and cared for my rig, but owing to not really having enough money to upgrade to the latest and greatest (which, let's face it, comes up every two or three months); not having enough time to clean and maintain and diagnose and send parts in for warranty, not having enough portability and having all my content with me, I'm looking to replace the entirety of my rig and workstation with a powerful notebook. One that doesn't require much maintenance, that does everything my rig does (I don't mind the gaming too much) and has enough battery and enough durability to last me at least a couple years.
I was thinking to have a setup where my desk would become a sort of "docking station" with my existing choice of keyboard, mouse and monitor and charging/peripherals/NAS server and the laptop itself with everything contained for me to chuck in a duffel and carry around.
Any ideas? My rig's probably worth about a little less than $1,000 (with the monitor and everything) and I'd like to get the whole transition done in < $500 more than the cost of the rig.

What is your maximum budget?
Cost of selling off the entirety of my sig rig + about $500

What country are you in?
Pakistan

What will be the uses of this laptop?
Occasional gaming, HD video editing, storage (lots of it)

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you?
Not really, but warranty is good and I'd like to go for brands that are reputed.

What screen size do you require?
Something portable (i.e. not >15")

What screen resolution do you require?
Something over 1440*900

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?
New.

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
More than two hours.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings?
Mostly racing titles, some FPSers. Mid-high settings with a connected monitor at around 1680*1050.

What operating system do you need? (if any)
Windows.

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)
Just something that's easy to carry. I'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of portability for speed.

How much hard drive space do you need?
At least 500GB. More via NAS or external drives.

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)
Blu-ray isn't necessary, but a webcam, eSATA, HDMI, USB (at least four), ethernet are must.

Is there anything else we need to know?
...
Edited by hackm0d - 5/10/11 at 10:49am
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post #2 of 12
Would you be doing any video/photo editing?

Also any specific look of the laptop that you'd like?
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IzninjaFTW View Post
Would you be doing any video/photo editing?

Also any specific look of the laptop that you'd like?
Yep. I usually use my rig for video editing/rendering and intense camera work. Files and raw data get a lot over hundreds of gigabytes.

Something that's simple and not too big. I'm okay with it being from 13-14 inches. I can go 15" if it's really feature-dense. Was looking at MacBook Pros.
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post #4 of 12
WELL. I guess if you want you could get (what is your budget by the way?) a Macbook Pro and I believe they have docking stations for it, not sure off the top of my head sorry. I've heard good things about those. They seem to be a favorite among photo/video editors.
If not that you could get like a Sager laptop (Here is a link to their 17" category http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.p...selected_cat=2). And if anything I GUESS you could look into Dell's Studio XPS line for one to. Hope this helps
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post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackm0d View Post
Yep. I usually use my rig for video editing/rendering and intense camera work. Files and raw data get a lot over hundreds of gigabytes.

Something that's simple and not too big. I'm okay with it being from 13-14 inches. I can go 15" if it's really feature-dense. Was looking at MacBook Pros.
If you're serious about value for the dollar and gaming performance than the Macs have to go.

If you're only interested in photoediting/video editing and "ease" and aesthetics then fine go with a Mac.

But really I can't recommend them without telling people the cold hard truth that you're paying for less power for dollar with a larger battery and a hip brand name.
     
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IzninjaFTW View Post
WELL. I guess if you want you could get (what is your budget by the way?) a Macbook Pro and I believe they have docking stations for it, not sure off the top of my head sorry. I've heard good things about those. They seem to be a favorite among photo/video editors.
If not that you could get like a Sager laptop (Here is a link to their 17" category http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.p...selected_cat=2). And if anything I GUESS you could look into Dell's Studio XPS line for one to. Hope this helps
Macs can get attached directly to an Apple Cinema Display, where they can be charged/connected to peripherals/output display from a single connector.
That's sorta the thing I'm looking for in the laptop I end up buying; it should be a simple one-step dock to use on my desk with all my workstation gear.
Sager/Clevo laptops I've heard great things about. And the same with Studio XPSes.
I'll definitely take a look, although what's got me sold on the Mac is the build quality. As far as I remember I've used a Studio 1555 (old) and it felt downright shabby compared to the MacBook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post
If you're serious about value for the dollar and gaming performance than the Macs have to go.

If you're only interested in photoediting/video editing and "ease" and aesthetics then fine go with a Mac.

But really I can't recommend them without telling people the cold hard truth that you're paying for less power for dollar with a larger battery and a hip brand name.
That's actually true. I'm not into the aesthetics as I am into the build quality and features. The display has almost no bezel on a MacBook Pro/Air and the build is extremely light and very, very solid. The keyboard bothers me a bit, because it's the first chiclet-style keyboard I've ever used, but it has reasonable feedback and would take only some time getting used to. The battery life is also very attractive from my short times spent with them; the 17" Pro literally lasts seven-eight hours on medium brightness and with occasional Photoshopping/video watching etc.
These little things and the fact that it gets upgraded once a year, for the same price point, and is completely idiot-proof (basically it's just UNIX with a fancy glossy layer on it, I can get my hands dirty if I want) are attractive. Otherwise I'm always open to other options.

Basically:
  • it should dock on my desk with one single step and to have all my gear accessible (charger/NAS/peripherals/bigger or multiple monitor[s])
  • it should be powerful. As powerful (or more) than my current rig (not looking for gaming here, merely a bonus if I can get it)
  • the battery should be reasonable. if it packs a punch I'd be okay with it having a so-so battery. but I want the longest battery life possible since I'll be taking it on the road a lot, or just being lazy and using it on a couch for internet surfing/movie watching.
  • speed and space. SSD preferred. multiple/large hard drives even better.
  • ports/expansion. I want half a million USB ports. eSATA, memory cards, the works. I shouldn't feel like I'm crippled.
  • portability. I want to take it around. no desktop replacements.

Edited by hackm0d - 4/30/11 at 2:01pm
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post #7 of 12
I noticed your location. That also has to become a factor.
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackm0d View Post
Macs can get attached directly to an Apple Cinema Display, where they can be charged/connected to peripherals/output display from a single connector.
That's sorta the thing I'm looking for in the laptop I end up buying; it should be a simple one-step dock to use on my desk with all my workstation gear.
Sager/Clevo laptops I've heard great things about. And the same with Studio XPSes.
I'll definitely take a look, although what's got me sold on the Mac is the build quality. As far as I remember I've used a Studio 1555 (old) and it felt downright shabby compared to the MacBook.



That's actually true. I'm not into the aesthetics as I am into the build quality and features. The display has almost no bezel on a MacBook Pro/Air and the build is extremely light and very, very solid. The keyboard bothers me a bit, because it's the first chiclet-style keyboard I've ever used, but it has reasonable feedback.
These little things and the fact that it gets upgraded once a year, for the same price point, and is completely idiot-proof (basically it's just UNIX with a fancy glossy layer on it, I can get my hands dirty if I want) is attractive.
otherwise I'm open to other options.


Seriously. Mac are idiot proof for idiots. I try to do things that I think a normal OS should do and I find out you can't (bluray also is not there). And like windows you're really not in control of the OS. It's a bastardization of BSD. Their quality is no better than anyone else; considering the ODMs that make things for them. And lets not forget their overheating and break down to be replaced mantra. Please, Apple is not difference than anyone else. They just tell you that they are. And what "features" does a Mac have?

If you even are slightly inclined to Macs you won't like Clevos (STOP equating Sager to Clevo! OEM =/= ODM) because they're heavy, much more powerful (performance wise), and don't compete in battery life.

As for the Dell things; I felt no difference between my old Studio 15 and my friends Macbook Pro.
     
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IzninjaFTW View Post
I noticed your location. That also has to become a factor.
Absolutely. If I go for a Clevo or Alienware or basically anything that doesn't spring to mind, I won't have aftermarket support here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post


Seriously. Mac are idiot proof for idiots. I try to do things that I think a normal OS should do and I find out you can't (bluray also is not there). And like windows you're really not in control of the OS. It's a bastardization of BSD. Their quality is no better than anyone else; considering the ODMs that make things for them. And lets not forget their overheating and break down to be replaced mantra. Please, Apple is not difference than anyone else. They just tell you that they are. And what "features" does a Mac have?

If you even are slightly inclined to Macs you won't like Clevos (STOP equating Sager to Clevo! OEM =/= ODM) because they're heavy, much more powerful (performance wise), and don't compete in battery life.

As for the Dell things; I felt no difference between my old Studio 15 and my friends Macbook Pro.
They do overheat, yes. Granted, simple Ableton jobs can stress out C2D MacBook Pros that I've used to >100C. And again, yes, once a new one comes out the value drops significantly. Nobody ever wants to buy one.
I'm not into the "features" they have as I am into the integration. At least to my eyes (I've never owned a modern laptop) the compromise between size, screen size, battery life in performance seems very tempting.
However, I need to make as little a compromise as possible. I'm being impartial, I am in no way a mac fan.
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Bump. Any ideas?
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