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Asus or Sager or MSI laptop - Help me decide!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm wanting to buy a gaming laptop because I need the mobility; otherwise I'd buy a desktop.
The games I play are mainly The Elder Scrolls series but I also want to play The Witcher 2 in 3D vision, Crysis Warhead, Dragon Age: Origins, etc... all on maximum ultra settings, of course. My main game that I play is Morrowind, which I love to play and love to mod as well. Because of the gambryo engine TESIII Morrowind runs on, it is a single threaded game, which means I could have a computer with 200 processors and 199 of those would be idle. And to address the power TESIII Morrowind uses, my friend has a dual core overclocked at 4.2 GHz and with the mod that I'm working on, he gets about 8 to 10 frames per second when playing the game with my mod installed. That's not very efficient for an i5 clocked at 4.2 GHz. In short, TESIII Morrowind's gambryo engine is a freakin CPU hog! mad.gif




My budget: $3000 - $4000 (My credit card maxes out at $5000 but I want to try to avoid spending that much).

I cannot decide between Sager, Asus, MSI, and MainGear. Although if there is some other great gaming laptop rig I'm not listing, please inform me!

I did want to buy a Sager but I've read lots of bad reviews that their tech support is horrendous and their laptops, more often than not, wind up having dead pixels or overheating. I've read more bad reviews than good reviews. Also, when I google search "sager sucks", I actually get thread titles with that. Is that just those individuals or do Sager laptops actually go bad after a while? If that's true, it won't matter if it's a beefy rig or not. A computer is practically worthless if it won't work.


I definitely want 120 Hz 3D vision 17.3 " Matte screen.
I also want my gaming laptop to be reliable and not break or die within a couple years. I want it to last for several years since I will be paying in the thousands for it. That's reasonable, right? I've heard Asus is pretty reliable. But their GPU sucks; 560m.
MSI I don't know much about. Maingear is pretty expensive. If I can save several hundred dollars than I'll go with that route. I don't want to pay in the $4000 range unless the said gaming laptop is a masterpiece on which to play all games. smile.gif
Here are the ones I'm currently looking at. Prices listed include all the customization I want, excluding tax.



http://www.maingear.com/boutique/pc/configurePrd.asp?idproduct=797
MainGear eX-L 17
17.3" HD+ 16:9 120Hz LED 3D Display (1920x1080) with Matte Screen
Intel Core i7 2920XM Extreme Edition 2.5GHz/3.5GHz Turbo 8MB L3 Cache GT2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M 2.0GB GDDR5
16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 SO-DIMM (Dual Channel)
$3791



http://www.powernotebooks.com/configure.php?special=1117
ASUS G74SX-DH73-3D
17.3" FHD (1920x1080) Ultra Bright LED Matte 120Hz 3D Ready Screen + 3D Vision Glasses
nVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M 192bit w/3.0GB GDDR5
Intel Core i7-2960XM Extreme (2.7~3.7GHz) w/8M L3 Cache - 4 Cores - 8 Threads
16GB (4x 4GB) DDR3/1333 Dual Channel Memory
(I'm forced to accept two hard drives when I just want one)
$3104




http://www.powernotebooks.com/configure.php?special=928
Video of NP8170
Sager NP8170
17.3” Full HD (1920x1080) Matte LED-Backlit 120Mhz 3D Display + 1 Pair nVIDIA 3D Glasses
nVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M 256bit w/2.0GB GDDR5
Intel Core i7-2960XM Extreme (2.7~3.7GHz) w/8M L3 Cache - 4 Cores - 8 Threads
16GB (4x4GB) DDR3/1866 Memory
$3234




http://www.powernotebooks.com/configure.php?special=1141
MSI GT780DXR-447
17.3" Full HD (1920x1080) MATTE LED backlit Widescreen LCD
nVIDIA GeForce GTX 570M 192bit w/3.0GB GDDR5
Intel Core i7-2960XM Extreme (2.7~3.7GHz) w/8M L3 Cache - 4 Cores - 8 Threads
12GB (3x4GB) Kingston HyperX DDR3/1866 Memory - CL11
$2978



I plan to buy my own SSD and install it myself for any laptop that I may be buying. I'm not sure which SSD is the best for gaming laptops but I will deal with that when the time comes.


My friend told me that gtx 560m sucks and that gtx 570m is much better because it has "overclocking headroom". The 570M has 336 cores at 575MHz which is a slow clock speed. And from what I've been told, a slow clock speed is a good thing because it means overclocking is possible (if hardware allows overclocking). The gtx 560m has only 192cores at 775MHz. But I'm warned about heat issues, and so monitoring the temperature should be a something to consider as well in the gaming laptop.
He also told me that MSI makes a nice overclocking utility called "Afterburner". I never heard of it before.

My friend who has a gtx 570 on his desktop says that when he plays TESV Skyrim on ultra settings, when he's in snowy areas of the game, his GPU usage goes up to 99%! Although it seems like people do overclock the gtx 570m on an MSI laptop, as stated in this thread.

Thanks guys!
post #2 of 10
XoticPC.com has the 8170 you can fully customize. I would go that over the ASUS. You definitely want at least the 580m.

Also, the M17x has the 580m and 3D and is probably the cheapest of the bunch.

That MSI does not have a 3D option.
Edited by Wildcard36qs - 12/13/11 at 10:46am
   
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post #3 of 10
i7-2960XM to run this game from 8 years ago? http://208.65.201.198/article.php?aid=-258&type=expert&pid=4

I'm puzzled. Anyone?

Anyways, the M17x is a pretty nice laptop, if you can go down to an i7-2860QM (still, like 2.5ghz base clock or something, turbos ridiculously high). At the price range, I'd expect a dual-GPU laptop. To put it in perspective, SLI GTX 580M is maybe like a GTX 470 desktop. i7-2860QM is as fast as a stock i7-920 desktop CPU, if not faster (ie it can push 580M SLI easily).
Edited by jrbroad77 - 12/13/11 at 6:45pm
 
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post #4 of 10
The issue is that there are like no 3D SLI laptops.
   
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post #5 of 10
Go for the NP8170 you have listed. That is a baller laptop to go with. I only got my ASUS because it was a helluva deal for black friday and gave me more for less compared to a Sager price/performance wise. But that was the price then, not now.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcard36qs View Post

XoticPC.com has the 8170 you can fully customize. I would go that over the ASUS. You definitely want at least the 580m.
Also, the M17x has the 580m and 3D and is probably the cheapest of the bunch.
That MSI does not have a 3D option.
Despite all the bad reviews I've been reading, are you sure Sager is good to go with? Has anybody here owned a Sager or played on one? It is a good rig but how reliable is it?
Actually, the Alienware m17x was the 2nd most expensive out of the bunch; $3714 after customization.
And I don't like all the glowing colors. I would prefer a plain black laptop with zero labels/stickers/branding on it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jrbroad77 View Post

i7-2960XM to run this game from 8 years ago? http://208.65.201.198/article.php?aid=-258&type=expert&pid=4
I'm puzzled. Anyone?
Anyways, the M17x is a pretty nice laptop, if you can go down to an i7-2860QM (still, like 2.5ghz base clock or something, turbos ridiculously high). At the price range, I'd expect a dual-GPU laptop. To put it in perspective, SLI GTX 580M is maybe like a GTX 470 desktop. i7-2860QM is as fast as a stock i7-920 desktop CPU, if not faster (ie it can push 580M SLI easily).
Morrowind uses up to 100% of one processor. And most processors run between 2-3 GHz. To run Morrowind with all landmass expansion mods and graphics enhancer mods, you would need a 20GHz single core processor, but no such thing exists for the market.




Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post

Go for the NP8170 you have listed. That is a baller laptop to go with. I only got my ASUS because it was a helluva deal for black friday and gave me more for less compared to a Sager price/performance wise. But that was the price then, not now.
You're saying that if you had $4000 to blow on a laptop, out of Alienware, MSI, Asus, Sager & Maingear, you would pick Sager? How come?
post #7 of 10
Sager all the way. The quality that they give their PCs out rank all of those.

Budget sakes, MSI is pretty darn decent. But Sager still matches their price while maintaining high quality of their cooling construction. The option alone to use different thermal paste makes all the difference in the world.
post #8 of 10
I say Malibal over anyone else. They've got it goin'. biggrin.gif

This is my next machine: Veda P180HM

That machine can have three 750GB drives in Raid0, the 2960XM, 12GB RAM, dual 6990Ms, 18.4" 1080p screen, Bluray burner, a 300w power adapter (you WILL require this), etc for $4,000.

It's the machine I will be buying when my money comes in. biggrin.gif
     
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post #9 of 10
I'd go for the ASUS but try and get a 580M as the graphics card.

Also even though its a rip off, look at some alienware laptops.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imglidinhere View Post

I say Malibal over anyone else. They've got it goin'. biggrin.gif
This is my next machine: Veda P180HM
That machine can have three 750GB drives in Raid0, the 2960XM, 12GB RAM, dual 6990Ms, 18.4" 1080p screen, Bluray burner, a 300w power adapter (you WILL require this), etc for $4,000.
It's the machine I will be buying when my money comes in. biggrin.gif
I like that name. Vedaa is the name of the dark elf in my avatar.
I checked out the Nine and it offers:
i7-990x
12GB 1333 Mhz RAM
One GTX 580m 2GB
No 120Hz 3D matte screen

What I want in my laptop:
i7-2960xm
16GB 1866MHz RAM
Two SLI-enabled GTX 580m's
17.3" 120Hz 3D screen

Sager comes close between their NP8170 & NP7280-S1 models. I emailed them asking if they can customize even further and add in a second GPU to the 8170 model. I'm thinking the 8170 may be a better choice because the i7-2960xm can overclock a bit better than the i7-990x, based off of what I have researched. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.


As far as Alienware, I picked the two on the right hand side from the main webpage:
http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m18x/fs

Alienware m18x:
i7-2960xm
8GB 1866MHz RAM
Two GTX 580m 4GB SLI-enabled
18.4-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 WLED <-Is this 120Hz 3D???

8GB of RAM seems like it is enough. I can't think of a game that would use 12 or 16GB any ways. And besides gaming, I do a little work in Adobe Photoshop. Apart from that, 8Gb seems adequate. From my research of The Witcher 2, if I want to play it in 3D at ultra max for hours on end, I will need two 580s and obviously the 120Hz 3D screen.
I like the i7-2960xm because it is an unlocked processor.
I was reading this article from CPU-World and under "Notes", it says that it only supports DDR3 1600Mhz. So would I be better off going with the 1600MHz RAM instead?
One thing I didn't see is the coolant. What type of cooling does Alienware m18x use? I don't see it listed anywhere, which sucks. I should ask them what they use and what type of motherboard they use as well.

Funny how both those m18x's are the same model with the exact same specs, but one is a few hundred dollars more. What gives? All three of them are the same model with the same customizing options so I'm not sure what the purpose of it is, other than charge more money.
http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/3482/23857967.jpg
http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/310/37736874.jpg

Thanks a lot guys. I really appreciate all the suggestions and references I'm getting. smile.gif
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