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$2K to spend: Laptop vs Custom Desktop?

post #1 of 16
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While I am fairly happy with my signature rig (though I have to swap out the MB and upgrade the GPU), I was thinking of the following options as a secondary gaming option. They are each around $2K and each presents an interesting set of performance characteristics and limitations. Which do you guys would be the worthy purchase? I realize building is always better, but I am short on time of late and wanted to try something new.


Laptop (with GTX 880M upgrade):

http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=product_customed&model_name=NP8268-S


Rationale: I have not purchased a laptop in 8 years and while I don't do a lot of traveling, there are moments when solid gaming laptop would be nice to have. I have never gamed on a laptop before, so I was wondering what kind of performance the 880m would give me vs. my sig rig. The specs look great, but I realize that it is an older architecture. I know laptops are generally considered to be money pits, but this looked intriguing as a secondary option.


Desktop: Main Gear Vybe

Chassis: Vybe 2012 Chassis with window - Red on Black Color
Chassis Lighting: White LED Light Strip
Motherboard: Gigabyte® 990FXA-UD3 Supporting SATA 6G, USB 3.0, CrossFireX and SLI
Processor: AMD® FX™ 9590 4.7/5.0GHz 8-Core 16MB Cache
Processor Cooling: MAINGEAR EPIC 120 Supercooler

Memory: 16GB Corsair® Vengeance™ DDR3-1600 1.5V (2x8GB)
Graphics and GPGPU Accelerator: AMD® Radeon™ R9 290 4GB GDDR5 w/Eyefinity [ULTIMATE]
Hard Drive Bay One: 1TB Seagate® Barracuda™ 7200rpm 64MB Cache SATA 6G
Hard Drive Bay Two: 1TB Seagate® Barracuda™ 7200rpm 64MB Cache SATA 6G
Power Supply: 750W EVGA® SuperNOVA 80 Plus Certified PSU - GTX 780 SLI Ready
Optical Drive One: 24X Dual Layer DVD RW Drive
Audio: 7.1 Channel High Definition Surround Sound Supporting S/DIF Optical Out
Ethernet Adapter: On-board Gigabit Ethernet
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit

Rationale: What attracted me here was the prospect of getting the 290 for less (as an upgrade cost) than it goes for on the open market, plus the fact that Main Gear will provide a liquid cooler for the processor, installation of which I have never done before. Obviously, the concern here is power draw and heat. Will the chassis and liquid cooler be enough to keep the monster CPU and GPU within operational temperatures...and will the liquid cooler last the 50K hours MainGear claim it will with such a hot processor? Since this is a secondary machine, I would not be running it all day, but only for sessions of BF4, Titanfall, and other, newer PC games at, hopefully, the highest of fidelity.

What do you guys think?
Edited by wcladley - 3/16/14 at 4:45pm
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post #2 of 16
Hey,

A laptop is no match for a desktop, especially when it comes to gaming. If you want to game and must have portability then go with a gaming laptop. If you don't really need portability then go with the desktop. Do note that while still considered to be portable, gaming laptops can be pretty heavy.

Do note that laptop parts are significantly weaker and usually more expensive. Desktop parts are more powerful and usually cheaper.
Compared to your sig rig, the laptop would have a slightly better GPU, but still have a weaker CPU. If you plan on getting a gaming desktop I would suggest you to get an i5 or an i7.

Also are you ok with building your own, or do you want Maingear or some other boutique builder to put it together (like you listed in the OP)?


Hope this helps!
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post #3 of 16
I happen to think everything you gain with gaming on a laptop, will be made up for with an equal amount of frustration.

Monitor placement, your posture, ability to offset the keyboard, all of these things pertaining to comfort ( Good posture related mainly ) go out the window.

I mean, this is of course all opinion. Some people dont care about their spines and stuff.
post #4 of 16
I disagree with a couple of previous comments.

The i7 4700MQ will be just as good as an i7 2600k as long as they are not overclocked. Haswell gains 10% over sandy clock for clock. So if they are both at 3.4 the 4700 will be faster.

The GTX 880M is basically a GTX 680 put into a laptop. If you want direct comparisions, compare your 6850 to the gtx 680. The gtx 680 will be way faster. Maybe 20%?

I also think the 4700MQ would be faster than the 9590 processor by the way. I wouldn't go with AMD if you do go desktop.


All in all its up to you if you can accept the laptop losing its ability to keep up in the next year or 2 in order to have the portability.
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post #5 of 16
Personally I think you need to look at where your time will be spent. If you spend that money on the laptop will you use it?

If you are going to spend 90% of your time of the desktop I would upgrade that. I would only go for the laptop if you expect to actually use it.
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post #6 of 16
I would start by saving your $2000, unless you really need a laptop, and put your money into an SSD for your computer, new GPUs, then better cooling in order to overclock that sandy bridge! haha and a new monitor if you like big screens and eye candy! haha do a new case if you are tired of the look of what you have, but for gaming a laptop wont be as good, as far as price to performance!

and i would suggest not going for a 9590 build, it would be a waste in my opinion, and if you want a new cpu a 3770k would be a great option as you wouldnt need a new motherboard, just a bios update!

hope you put your spending money to good use!
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post #7 of 16
$2,000 O.O biggrin.gif there are many ways to go about with a nice fat budget like that wink.gif you can as others stated

1) imo i think the 2600k is still a great chip and the fact that you haven't tried OCing wouldn't be a bad place to start. You of course would need a heat sink, something like the noctua nd d14 should fit the bill for your case.
2) at most cases i will suggest that single card performance is the best to go either the r9 290 or the 780 GTX Classified
3) as mentioned above a 120 GB SSD for your OS would be nice
4) and then you can use the rest of the money you didn't spend for 4th quarter/2015 1st quarter when the new line of intel comes out
or you can buy a 4k resolution monitor from samsung 28" for $700
    
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post #8 of 16
custom desktop, why is this even a choice lol.

the only real gain from a laptop is being untethered to a desk, which really kinda has been bridged by other devices in this new age.

I bought a new laptop to do all my work and stuff on it, but i end up using my desktop more, the only real thing i need my laptop is for is coding on the go, which i save all the master files in google drive so that i can continue the work i was doing at home.

sure you can game on a laptop sorta, but I kinda have an immense need for high quality sound, graphics, etc, and it really feels lacking technology wise, if I could strap on a E-Gpu easily, I would have already, and that would be a perfect portable workstation, but, gaming graphics are no where near what I am used to at my desktop.

I am able to bridge the gap on high quality audio with external devices, such as objective 2 amp, and modi - digital audio encoder.
Edited by kyismaster - 3/16/14 at 5:32pm
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulwrath View Post

$2,000 O.O biggrin.gif there are many ways to go about with a nice fat budget like that wink.gif you can as others stated

1) imo i think the 2600k is still a great chip and the fact that you haven't tried OCing wouldn't be a bad place to start. You of course would need a heat sink, something like the noctua nd d14 should fit the bill for your case.
2) at most cases i will suggest that single card performance is the best to go either the r9 290 or the 780 GTX Classified
3) as mentioned above a 120 GB SSD for your OS would be nice
4) and then you can use the rest of the money you didn't spend for 4th quarter/2015 1st quarter when the new line of intel comes out
or you can buy a 4k resolution monitor from samsung 28" for $700

^agreed, with $2000 you could even get into fancy water cooling! Haha

But yes learn how to overclock! You're already using a beast of an overclocking chip, and a good motherboard!

You could even go dual 1440p Korean monitors for $600!

$2000 is def a really good chinch of change, and a 780, or a 290 would net you a nice upgrade!
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post #10 of 16
I'll probably have a lot of people disagree with me but from experience and information from others I feel I should have a input. I've had 3 gaming laptops in the past and while the performance was good for the first month I noticed it would drop a fair bit overtime and would encounter lot's of problems such as black screens and countless BSOD.

I would also like to note they run very hot now i'm not one to complain over these things but it would it would get to the stage where the laptop was to hot to touch. And when I have asked people what they personally think of there 3k Alienware laptop they have said it was a stupid idea to buy it in the first place.

But at the end of the day I guess you really need to ask yourself are you going to be leaving the house and will you utilize it's hardware. For example maybe you might go to a lot of LAN party's or maybe you travel for work and have spare time on your hands. Other then those options I wouldn't even touch one
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