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Ultra high-end desktop replacement request

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I will be going to university in the States and I’ll be needing computers.

I won’t be able to move my sig rig and will likely just give it to my brother.

Looking at most university dorms it doesn’t look ideal to be having the space for a desktop + keyboard + monitor, etc etc (even for a SFF PC).

As a result, I’m likely going to get a desktop-replacement laptop. For schoolwork I have my current 15” 2012 Retina MacBook Pro but I might also get a tablet - likely the Microsoft Surface 2 - as a more portable, productive alternative.

I will still be gaming, though, so that’s where the desktop replacement laptop comes in. I know I won’t need to make a final decision until late August when I do move but given that NVIDIA JUST launched the 800M series and that Broadwell will likely just be power efficiency/iGPU benefits more than performance - both of which is a non-factor because the laptop will be plugged in 24/7 and have a discrete GPU.

I will not be moving this laptop around much so weight/size is not important, or else I would likely be going for the new Razer Blade or MSI Stealth series.

I want the screen to be either 17 or 18 inches and at the very least 1080p.
It needs to have the power to keep going for a while in almost all titles - if that means SLI GTX 880Ms then it means SLI GTX 880Ms - there is no budget for this machine but would like to keep it under $5000-$6000 US.

I don’t want it to be plasticy and such - I don’t like the cheap looks of the new MSI Dominator series with it’s glossy-plastic looking material. I prefer aluminum.

I want it to look and feel nice. Contrary to what a lot of people think, I do not find Sager/Clevo notebooks to be aesthetically pleasing at all.

The larger ASUS and Alienware laptops do look nice and I recognize the controversy with Alienwares - I’d like to know if build quality is still an issue with them. If it’s just price then I don’t care - see what I said about budget.

I’d like at least a 2-3 year warranty that includes accidental damage, repair, etc.

I want the brand/seller to be known for great customer support should anything go wrong.

I want 16GB RAM at the very least for longevity and potential editing/programming work I might do on it.

I do not need an optical drive but if it has one it’s a plus.

Would like a reliable ethernet card/port/whatever and good range wifi card.

Battery/weight is irrelevant if I haven’t already made that clear.

I’d like it to have an SSD or mSATA or whatever of at least 256GB as a boot drive and then 1TB storage HDD.

Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 8.1 is fine with me - 8.1 is likely to keep receiving updates so I’m leaning more towards that.

I don’t really care if it’s upgradable but if it’s possible to have the GPU on it upgraded later on without voiding warranty then that’s pretty cool although not a requirement by a longshot.

I want the display to be IPS and truly have no dead pixels - dead pixels make me sad.


Is there any such gaming laptop desktop replacement that meets all the criteria above or am I stuck with a SFF PC and trying hard to have enough space for all that?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 22
This is the highest end desktop replacement you can get. You can configure it with a 4930k cpu, sli 780m, a 120hz 17" display, 32gb of 1866mhz memory, and up to 4 hard drives all for under $5k. It is a monster and that comes with tradeoffs but from your requirements, it doesn't seem like you care about portability with a macbook and possibly a tablet as well. Check it out:

Eurocom Panther 5
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Intel i7-4960HQ Intel Iris 5200 Pro NVIDIA GT 750M 2gb 16gb (2x8gb) 1600mhz 
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Intel i7-4960HQ Intel Iris 5200 Pro NVIDIA GT 750M 2gb 16gb (2x8gb) 1600mhz 
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post #3 of 22
The 800m series stuff currently available are just kepler rebrands, not Maxwell. Second half of 2014 to first half of 2015 will be a really solid time to buy mobile (broadwell+maxwell) if you wanna wait that long

TBH i'd still probably just grab a nice micro atx desktop case and throw an i5 in there, if it were at all possible
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post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DizZz View Post

This is the highest end desktop replacement you can get. You can configure it with a 4930k cpu, sli 780m, a 120hz 17" display, 32gb of 1866mhz memory, and up to 4 hard drives all for under $5k. It is a monster and that comes with tradeoffs but from your requirements, it doesn't seem like you care about portability with a macbook and possibly a tablet as well. Check it out:

Eurocom Panther 5

Isn't the 880M better than the 780M even by just a bit (probably clock speed or something?)

Also, that has got to be the ugliest beast I've ever seen but it's so powerful, which is awesome.

Never heard of Eurocom so how's their warranty/customer support? Does it include accidental damage?

Is that 120hz 1080p 17" screen an IPS screen?

I don't think my uses justify an actual X79 laptop, I doubt gaming/light editing is going to move past something a mobile Haswell i7, would it?
post #5 of 22
880m is only stronger by default clocks, it's the same part rebranded to higher power window, not even differently binned
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post #6 of 22
Going by what i've read i would look at the alienware 18 once they refresh the video cards. If you don't like the ascetics , and the plasticy clevo machines then your best bet with the highest specs would be the aw 18 since it can use dual 880m's and has an aluminum shell. The only other machine i would consider not plasticy is the razer blade.


From this recommendation you can configure it yourself from their site: http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-18/pd.aspx
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post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiftstealth View Post

Going by what i've read i would look at the alienware 18 once they refresh the video cards. If you don't like the ascetics , and the plasticy clevo machines then your best bet with the highest specs would be the aw 18 since it can use dual 880m's and has an aluminum shell. The only other machine i would consider not plasticy is the razer blade.


From this recommendation you can configure it yourself from their site: http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-18/pd.aspx

I would recommend this rig too. But if you're going for top of the line with intentions of overclocking, the AW18 is sort of crippled at the top end, lots of complaints from OCers who like to overclock the high end hardware over on the NBR Forums. Apparently they run properly but they have some odd fan profiles and I don't believe there is an unlocked BIOS. Not sure of all the reasons behind the issues. Just a warning.

I personally loved the M18x-R2s I have had. They also overclock like mad, and in several instances a R2 with 680s or 780s and an 3940xm will out bench an AW18 with a 4930XM and 780s.

I have used a Sager 17" before, and while they are not of the build quality of the M18x or AW18s, they aren't too bad. I would also like to mention, that Eurocom, Malbial, LPC Digital, Mythlogic, Sager, and XoticPC all sell Clevo Based notebooks. I personally wouldn't spend my money at eurocom, I haven't heard great things about them at all. XoticPC has excellent customer service, and they resell Sager notebooks. I would recommend them highly. I also havent ordered from Mythlogic, but they also include quite a few value added things to their notebooks along with the slightly higher price tag. There is a mythlogic rep on here, who has helped and answered questions in these forums.

I would pick either of those two vendors if you go the clevo route.
     
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Intel 3630QM GTX 680m SLi 16gb ddr3 1866mhz 256gb Samsung SSD 
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256gb Samsung SSD 750gb WD Black DVD/RW/BluRay notepal U3 
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CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel 3630QM GTX 680m SLi 16gb ddr3 1866mhz 256gb Samsung SSD 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
256gb Samsung SSD 750gb WD Black DVD/RW/BluRay notepal U3 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit 18.4" 1080p 330watt power Brick Alienware M18x-R2 Chassis Black 
Mouse
Logitech G500 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i&-2720QM HP GM67 Quadro 1000M Generic 
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7200RPM CD/DVD-RW Stock Win 7 Professional X64 
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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yeah I love the design of the AW18 and I think I'll end up going with that. Is it an issue that the SSD on the AW18 is an mSATA one or are those issues long gone?
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
I also will not bother overclocking a laptop
post #10 of 22
i think the msata issues are gone. the aw18 probably has a least one msata port plus 2-3 standard hdd bays. If you don't intend to OC the laptop you could probably go with the highest end non XM cpu and set the turbo or the default alienware OC on. Believe it or not, these laptops can take some serious overclocking.
     
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel 3630QM GTX 680m SLi 16gb ddr3 1866mhz 256gb Samsung SSD 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
256gb Samsung SSD 750gb WD Black DVD/RW/BluRay notepal U3 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit 18.4" 1080p 330watt power Brick Alienware M18x-R2 Chassis Black 
Mouse
Logitech G500 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i&-2720QM HP GM67 Quadro 1000M Generic 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
7200RPM CD/DVD-RW Stock Win 7 Professional X64 
MonitorCase
15.6" 1920x1080 & 22" Dell External 1680x1050 HP Elitebook 
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CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel 3630QM GTX 680m SLi 16gb ddr3 1866mhz 256gb Samsung SSD 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
256gb Samsung SSD 750gb WD Black DVD/RW/BluRay notepal U3 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit 18.4" 1080p 330watt power Brick Alienware M18x-R2 Chassis Black 
Mouse
Logitech G500 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i&-2720QM HP GM67 Quadro 1000M Generic 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
7200RPM CD/DVD-RW Stock Win 7 Professional X64 
MonitorCase
15.6" 1920x1080 & 22" Dell External 1680x1050 HP Elitebook 
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