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Which Option Would You Pick??? Opinions Needed

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Been thinking of ordering a laptop, Decided I wanted at least a 17" after browsing Best Buy, and then sat here hesitating because of the price... Well today I got some nice coupons and some offers related to where a relative works and now its just a matter of deciding what configuration I want to order.. Originally I set a budget of $2500 but I can spend up to $3000 (I'm just going to feel AWFUL about it) And I am only considering Dell/Alienware, Nowone else (Because I dont get the discounts at them, Nor do i have an account with them tongue.gif)

All are loaded with Win 7 Professional and have the 1 Year Accident Protection thrown on them

M17x
i7-3630
8gb RAM
1.5TB (2x750gb 7200rpm) RAID 0
GTX680M
Killer 1103 Wireless

$2019, This was the original laptop I had specced and planned to order in the first place (It was around $2500)

M17x
i7-3740
16gb RAM
512gb (2x 256gb) SSD RAID 0
GTX680M
Killer 1103 Wireless

$2360, This one I just added a nice thing or two to since the offers gave me more "budget leeway"

Or... I go a bit insane and break my budget...

M18x
i7-3630
12gb RAM
1.5TB (3x 500gb 7200rpm) RAID 0
GTX 680M SLI
Killer 1103 Wireless

$2721

Originally I really wanted to keep this thing under $2500, but.. Well the coupons make the last one a realistic and feasible stretch

What is the best price/performance/longevity option out of these to you guys, I dont want to crack open my brand new laptop and start upgrading it myself the moment I get it so Im trying to get something thats really nice for the forseeable future. As for storage, I need at LEAST 500gbs worth, So the 256gb SSD options are out

I'm using it basically as a easily transportable desktop around the house, not something im taking on a plane 7 days a week and carting around the world, And no, an actual desktop is NOT an option, I have one of those after all... But I would love it if this thing had the guts my desktop does... One thought is of course that my desktop can become dedicated to Photo editing and that and the laptop will be used for gaming, I know a single 680M is pretty close to my desktop 570 in performance, Not exactly, but close enough (what i call "close enough" is that if the 680M wont run it acceptably, the 570 isnt going to fare too much better)

Er..and how much bigger is the M18x? Just curious, a 17" notebook is a good size but i've never seen an 18 in reality...
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Kagutsuchi Mk 2
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post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Decided for the middle of the road option, Simple reason (and logic) was this:

-SLI is somewhat hit or miss, Some games you get 70-80% extra performance, others not quite, The ones that seem to get the biggest boost are the ones that also seem to not really need it (Ie, OOH LOOK I GET 120fps INSTEAD OF 80!) it adds $550 to the price and may not realistically buy me any more time... Ive never done SLI on my desktop because by the time i NEED SLI then a new card is out that is as powerful as SLIing my two old cards..or more so... So the M18x got kicked out right here because despite the better screen (supposedly) and the better audio (supposedly) the M17x has optimus and a few other niceties

-One 680M is already REALLY potent for 90% of the games out there, The 10% that its not good enough for it doesnt matter and the money I didnt spend on SLI can instead get my desktop a card to handle those games (And those games are likely best suited to desktop-spec hardware.. Crysis 3 im looking at you) Tomb Raider, Sim City, Heart of the Swarm, Skyrim will all play on this thing pretty much cranked to the max.. So yeah...

-The SSDs configured in a RAID 0 out of the gate means this thing should boot in about 30 seconds from the benchmarks i saw, Looks like a good thing

-Better processor can never hurt, World of Tanks is CPU-bound and i play a LOT of that specific game, Same thing with RAM, i dont think having more RAM ever hurt performance... 16gb is massive overkill but i got the best deal taking THAT specific preconfiguration..

-Killer networking i heard good and bad, but seemed to hear more good about, Especially regarding 5ghz and at longer ranges which is something I want to be able to do (Where i live the 2.4ghz is very saturated.. id love to use the 5ghz but the only device i have that can use it can hardly get a signal for it in my room) the Centrino 2230 doesnt do 5ghz.. So yeah smile.gif

Ended up $2420 because I tossed one of the Alienware TactX headsets in there, I dont think the audio stuff can drive my Sennheiser PC350s.. Might still give them a shot on it but im not expecting much.... I just priced out a comparable Sager at $2739.01 (With no accidental damage or headset) so honestly, I didnt do bad I think....


Other notes, I considered the 7970M Crossfire in the M18x so that I could get the 512gb SSD Raid but.. decided against it, I'm just not comfortable with AMD's drivers, I know a lot of folks are happy but my last AMD experience was an absolute nightmare.. I've run nVidia GPUs since a GeForce 2 GTS and I've never had a single problem in all that time.. if it aint broke dont fix it...
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Samsung 850 EVO 500gb Samsung 840 EVO 500gb 600gb Western Digital Velociraptor  5tb Western Digital Black 
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Win 7 Professional 
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Kagutsuchi Mk 2
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Samsung 850 EVO 500gb Samsung 840 EVO 500gb 600gb Western Digital Velociraptor  5tb Western Digital Black 
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4tb Western Digital Red 6tb Western Digital USB 3.0 External Corsair H110i Windows 10 Pro 
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Asus RoG PG279Q Logitech G910 Orion Spark Corsair HX1000i NZXT H440 
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Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Sennheiser Game One Phillips Fidelio X2 Klipsch RB20 Soundbar 
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post #3 of 6
nvm, didn't read it as "alienware only" the first time.

....BTW: Raid 0 is mirrored drives, so two drives have the same storage space as one of them.

MY PICK: Your second one with the i7 3740QM 2.7-3.7GHz, but I'd say use a mSATA [...It should have an option I'd hope] for the OS and RAID a pair of 750GB 7200rpm


Consider Crossfire HD 7970m?

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9370-gaming-laptop-clevo-p370em-p-4896.html

You can get this with Dual 7970m (Benchmarks) plus a CPU upgrade to the 3740QM, IC7 on the GPU/CPU and the Killer Networkong for ~$2200, just grab a SDD aftermarket

Edited by thegreatsquare - 3/12/13 at 5:52am
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreatsquare View Post

nvm, didn't read it as "alienware only" the first time.

....BTW: Raid 0 is mirrored drives, so two drives have the same storage space as one of them.

RAID 0 is a stripe without parity. RAID 1 is a mirror.
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warsteiner View Post

RAID 0 is a stripe without parity. RAID 1 is a mirror.

doh.gifdoh.gifdoh.gif
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreatsquare View Post

nvm, didn't read it as "alienware only" the first time.

....BTW: Raid 0 is mirrored drives, so two drives have the same storage space as one of them.

MY PICK: Your second one with the i7 3740QM 2.7-3.7GHz, but I'd say use a mSATA [...It should have an option I'd hope] for the OS and RAID a pair of 750GB 7200rpm


Consider Crossfire HD 7970m?

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9370-gaming-laptop-clevo-p370em-p-4896.html

You can get this with Dual 7970m (Benchmarks) plus a CPU upgrade to the 3740QM, IC7 on the GPU/CPU and the Killer Networkong for ~$2200, just grab a SDD aftermarket

Thats the Sager I built out and it ended up $2739 with the equal config... I am not really wanting to break open my brand new laptop and start messing around adding/upgrading stuff the minute i get it, Even if i dump out the SSDs I'm at $2419 for 2x 750gb RAID 0 HDDs.. Or still more pricey than the Alienware which already has the SSDs and everything in it, add an OS to the thing and everything and the Sager just isnt competitive price wise unless i start bending, compromising, and removing things Im getting in the Alienware to make the price difference bigger... But even then I can do the same to the Alienware and in my instance only the very basic Sager is likely to still be "more affordable" than the Alienware at the cost of not doing anything I want to do with it.. Sager also doesnt have a very good accidental replacement thing which I HAD to agree to having no matter what laptop I got (This is TECHNICALLY a gift to me... I dont get to set all the rules)

As for the msata + 750gb RAID 0 it wasnt available at that starting point.. I played with a bunch of different possible configurations and that one gave me the SSD RAID 0 for a low cost upgrade, I'm more keen on one big unitized drive on this machine than having 5 drives, I have a desktop for backups and such, Not terribly concerned about Data loss on the laptop as there wont be anything irreplaceable on it, Dont feel I need 1.5TB on it but needed more than 256gb, So yeah.. Oh it was also $150 to add the SSD RAID, a single 256gb SSD is going for around that right now...

As for Crossfire HD7970m, I considered going with the M18x at the bottom equipped with that because I could have had the M18x specced like the M17x I bought with the Crossfire array for around $2500 but... Well I've been nVidia for 13 years now..and in that time I've had a handful of ATi/AMD cards(9500 Pro, 9800 Pro, 5850) and my last experience was an absolute NIGHTMARE with drivers that simply did not work, I spent 3 weeks before calling Newegg and getting them to return it, The thread from the ordeal might even still be here somewhere, But lets just say it REALLY soured my experience with AMD.. Sure lots of folks have no problems and it was tempting but I decided I didnt want to risk it when returning this thing means I might lose the substantial discounts I got on it...

-edit- FYI if you go to Alienware and build it out, its the $2600 starting config, Ends up $3263 with selected options before any discounts.... I got that down to $2360


-edit 2- and im not picking on you or trying to be rude just explaining everything smile.gif I also have kind of wanted an Alienware since I was 16.....So I figured why the heck not
Edited by KenjiS - 3/12/13 at 7:44am
Kagutsuchi Mk 2
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 EVO 500gb Samsung 840 EVO 500gb 600gb Western Digital Velociraptor  5tb Western Digital Black 
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4tb Western Digital Red 6tb Western Digital USB 3.0 External Corsair H110i Windows 10 Pro 
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Asus RoG PG279Q Logitech G910 Orion Spark Corsair HX1000i NZXT H440 
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Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Sennheiser Game One Phillips Fidelio X2 Klipsch RB20 Soundbar 
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Core i7-3740QM GTX 680M 2gb 16gb DDR3-1600 2x 256gb SSD  
OS
Win 7 Professional 
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Kagutsuchi Mk 2
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Intel Core i7-6700k @ 4.635ghz Asus Maximus VIII Formula Asus Strix 1080 Ti 11gb, 2ghz Core 11ghz Memory G Skill Trident Z 32gb DDR4-3200 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 EVO 500gb Samsung 840 EVO 500gb 600gb Western Digital Velociraptor  5tb Western Digital Black 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
4tb Western Digital Red 6tb Western Digital USB 3.0 External Corsair H110i Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus RoG PG279Q Logitech G910 Orion Spark Corsair HX1000i NZXT H440 
MouseAudioAudioAudio
Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Sennheiser Game One Phillips Fidelio X2 Klipsch RB20 Soundbar 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core i7-3740QM GTX 680M 2gb 16gb DDR3-1600 2x 256gb SSD  
OS
Win 7 Professional 
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