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Talk me into switching to a gaming laptop...?

post #1 of 30
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So I have formulated a loose plan for an upgrade path. The desktop described in my sig was assembled originally in january 2010 so my current plan is to upgrade in January 2013...

To accomplish this I am going to put $200 a month aside, for a total of $2,400. In 9 months.

So I want to believe the way I want to go this time is getting really good gaming laptop so it's relatively portable. Not requiring a forklift to move anyway. But I'm not quite sure I can really take the plunge quite yet but I'm hoping you all will talk me into it...

Ok, here's the highlights -

  • I don't play a lot of highly intensive games (mostly SC2 and Skryim at the moment)
  • I'd like to keep this hypothetical laptop for about 3 years again if at all possible
  • If I have money left over I'd like to upgrade my sig's graphics card so I can keep using it.


Maybe I should just answer the question as directed in the sticky...


What is your maximum budget?
$1900 - $2400 (including tax/shipping)

What country are you in?
USA/california

What will be the uses of this laptop?
It will be primary PC including gaming and playing with VMs (just virtualbox)

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you?
Not really as long it's relative quality

What screen size do you require?
17" or 15"...Probably use external monitors when at home anyway...

What screen resolution do you require?
do laptops come in 1920x1200? I could live with 1920x1080...or lower

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?
For this kind of money I would probably prefer new but could be talked into other options if the advantages were there

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
I'm just going to assume I won't get more than a few minutes with a gaming laptop

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings?
I'd like to play at least SC2 on highest settings. Skryim as I can get...720p?
"oldish" games like BF2, the various source games, various CoDs... LAN party favorites really...


What operating system do you need? (if any)
I have my own operating system installs...it'll be formatted without booting into whatever it comes with...

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)
Definitely a gaming machine

How much hard drive space do you need?
I have an iSCSI NAS and network-based storage so relatively little beyond OS/office/games that have to be local...

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)
I really don't need or want an onboard optical drive if there was a way to opt out of it...
don't care about webcam either...


Is there anything else we need to know?
I have purchased laptops in the past few years but no really high-end gaming variety nor any with larger than 15" screens. Hopefully the above answers comprehensible and not too contradictory...
I do have the two 24" displays, it would be nice to utilize both of them...only one of the two has display port, both have DVI and VGA

Also I don't do a lot of traveling, I wouldn't be taking this with me very many places. Just a few LAN parties and staying with friends/relatives occasionally.
 
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post #2 of 30
Sager Laptops are the best for gaming and they are quite cheap for there power
http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_browse&selected_cat=11
post #3 of 30
ASUS G Series latops are great. The one I have has two drives and four SODIMM slots. Easy to upgrade to 16GB and 1.5TB if need be.

Given your saving over the term of a year, a nicely updated version of my G74 should be released within that time frame.

I paid $1100 for mine on Black Friday. Normal price was $1400 at the time.
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post #4 of 30
If you really want a top of the line 1920 x 1200 screen then the older Alienware m17xr2 is what the doctor ordered. You can get decent deal on refurb ones from dell outlet, but you are limited to the r2's which have the first gen core processors as opposed to SB.

but the 1920x1200 wuxga rgb led screen is possibly the best screen to ever grace a laptop and the machines are still plenty capable as many came with 5870m crossfire. for older games it should be more then enough power still. I picked up a red one last year with the rgb screen, 5870m crossfire and 740qm for $1400. That did take some good timing and a coupon code. tongue.gif
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post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post

ASUS G Series latops are great. The one I have has two drives and four SODIMM slots. Easy to upgrade to 16GB and 1.5TB if need be.
Given your saving over the term of a year, a nicely updated version of my G74 should be released within that time frame.
I paid $1100 for mine on Black Friday. Normal price was $1400 at the time.

Hopefully the ASUS G75 will have something higher than a 560m in it. I want at least the model range equivalent of the 570m I had in my MSI 16F2. That thing hauled.
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post #6 of 30
I think a gaming laptop would be awesome, namely because I have one and I'm absolutely in love with it.

I'd recommend you get the most powerful graphics card that you can afford in your budget and prioritize down from there. Any quad-core Sandy Bridge will do justice with games (my 2860qm benches around a 25/2600k - 990x-ish in games). I'd recommend starting with the 2670QM.

If you can afford dual 6990m cards, do it. Or Nvidia cards, whatever you get I'd just really recommend getting the best graphics that you can for whatever form factor you get.

Sager is likely going to be your best bet in bang for buck, I believe the 8180 and 8170 would be your targets. Also, MSI has a great 17" that has a single GTX570m, which is an awesome card.

Also, it's usually best to get your own SSD and memory unless they're very cheap to add to the build. Almost all gaming 17" laptops over $1500 will have 1080p screens, so I think you'll be covered there whatever you get.

Hope this helps!

Edit: Just saw that G75, that thing's awesome! The G7x series has pretty consistently been the bang/buck champ. The only downside is that they only have 1 graphics card available, so if you're looking for the best you can get, they aren't an option. Still very powerful though.
Edited by un1b4ll - 3/19/12 at 6:36pm
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KRaZiGLiTcH View Post

Sager Laptops are the best for gaming and they are quite cheap for there power
http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_browse&selected_cat=11

+1 to this. Love my Sager.
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post #8 of 30
For gaming laptops, I go with Asus, MSI, or Sager. Alienware is overpriced anyway, but some people like the looks on them. My brother is also looking for a gaming laptop, but he doesn't have the big budget to buy any of them.
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post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpgman1 View Post

For gaming laptops, I go with Asus, MSI, or Sager. Alienware is overpriced anyway, but some people like the looks on them. My brother is also looking for a gaming laptop, but he doesn't have the big budget to buy any of them.

Make a thread on saying how much his budget is i'm sure there is a gaming laptop for his budget ^_^
post #10 of 30
Well, consider that the 6990M is a downclocked 6870, and a 580M is a downclocked 560 Ti. Either can OC to match the stock desktop part's performance (or at least get very close). So if you're content with the 5870 performance, a gaming laptop will do almost as good; maybe 20% worse framerate (if you were to buy now, before the high-end 28nm mobile GPUs come out). But then you have to consider, a 1080p 15.6" or 17.3" display will have a much higher PPI than your 24" monitor (assuming it's 1080p or even 1920x1200). Higher density = less need for AA to get a clear image. So the performance gap is even smaller. And then consider that by 2013, there will at least be 28nm high-end mobile graphics out. The only logical choice for 7970M/7990M high-end card is a 7850 or 7870, since the 7770 is slower than the 6870. So assume the mobile part will be 10-20% slower than the desktop part after a mild overclock, and you have 6950 desktop performance, in a laptop.

As for pricing, current 6990M systems are like $1300-1600ish, about $1000-1500 for 570M, so unless you want something really flashy(read: Alienware) or with Crossfire/SLI you should be able to get something loaded, with an SSD, an Ivy Bridge quad with quad-turbo of 3.4ghz+ (should be roughly as fast as a stock i7-2600), perhaps backlit keyboard, etc. in your budget. *Maybe* even an SLI/Crossfire system at about $2400.
 
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