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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys.
SO, I'm considering picking up a decent used gaming laptop to use while I part out or outright sell my current rig (with hopes of upgrading) and to take on trips. I was wondering if there were any I could control voltage and clock speed with outside of the K series. Same goes for the GPU, I'd love to be able to undervolt the GPU. I'm more of an undervolter than a overclocker and that's what I'd like to do. Buy something used, tear it apart and apply better TIM or some liquid metal to help keep it cool and stable at a reasonable clock speed.
I would assume this would be bios features...?

For reference my current setup is:
4790k 4cores @4.2Ghz 1.075V.
16gb ballistix tactical ddr3 1600 cas 8
Fury Nano -25mV, 1010mhz (could probably do more but never tried lol)

I was considering finding something with a haswell or better i5 or i7 and hopefully a gtx980m 8GB or equvalant/better.

I spend most of my gaming time in warframe at the moment. But do play heavily modded skyrim from time to time, some AAA games like the witcher 3 and what not.
I'd want to be able to push a full size monitor for gaming (currently using a 75hz 2560x1080 freesync monitor)
Hopefully be somewhat equal to the performance I'm getting form my current setup.
Hopefully able to upgrade the MXM card down the road.

Anyways, Suggestions, tips ETC on what to look for would be great.
Thanks in advance!
 

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Hi guys.
SO, I'm considering picking up a decent used gaming laptop to use while I part out or outright sell my current rig (with hopes of upgrading) and to take on trips. I was wondering if there were any I could control voltage and clock speed with outside of the K series. Same goes for the GPU, I'd love to be able to undervolt the GPU. I'm more of an undervolter than a overclocker and that's what I'd like to do. Buy something used, tear it apart and apply better TIM or some liquid metal to help keep it cool and stable at a reasonable clock speed.
I would assume this would be bios features...?

For reference my current setup is:
4790k 4cores @4.2Ghz 1.075V.
16gb ballistix tactical ddr3 1600 cas 8
Fury Nano -25mV, 1010mhz (could probably do more but never tried lol)

I was considering finding something with a haswell or better i5 or i7 and hopefully a gtx980m 8GB or equvalant/better.

I spend most of my gaming time in warframe at the moment. But do play heavily modded skyrim from time to time, some AAA games like the witcher 3 and what not.
I'd want to be able to push a full size monitor for gaming (currently using a 75hz 2560x1080 freesync monitor)
Hopefully be somewhat equal to the performance I'm getting form my current setup.
Hopefully able to upgrade the MXM card down the road.

Anyways, Suggestions, tips ETC on what to look for would be great.
Thanks in advance!
The specs you want are gonna be crazy expensive, since the real world performance difference between your current CPU and a locked, mobile i7 are negligible. The 7700HQ is plenty quick and the actual differences aren't going to be noticed unless it's a highly CPU-bound game.

Another point to remember is that MXM cards are not used anymore except in the largest of machines. Mobile GPUs are almost entirely soldered nowadays, of which isn't really a problem for most people because a 1060 in a laptop is potent enough to drive any game at 1080p and get a solid 60 FPS regardless of settings.

My only question is, what's your price limit? Unlocked i7s are kinda meh for mobile tech. They offer no performance difference over the locked models, mostly because the basic i7s all hit like... 3.6GHz all-core turbo, and the unlocked chips all require stupidly high-end cooling to hold onto clocks set higher than that. They also tend to drive the cost of the platform up around $500 just for that one chip.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I was hoping to stay below a grand with used stuff...
I've read about non K laptops with the processors running all cores at practically max speed with no throttle.
I'd like to hope something like a 980m with 8gb vram wouldn't be that much worse than my bone stock fury nano.
I'd like to stay around $700 $1k is a MAX

I'm also not against buying something with a solid GPU but lower specs elsewhere and upgrading it on my own.
 

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A quick 3DMark results check for firestrike extreme:

R9 Fury with 4790k -2250 points

GTX 980m with an i7 6700K - 1541 points

GTX 1060 Notebook with an i7 7700k - 1924 points

GTX 1070 Notebook with an I7 8700K - 3340 points


Most of these are beastly Sager laptops (or other clevo rebrands) and others with Desktop CPUs, that only are slightly ahead of their mobile CPU counterparts. Similar to this: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9155-clevo-p750tm1-g.html

They hold their value and are extremely expensive, I would imagine would be tough to find for under $1000.


As for MXM GPUs, I would do some research on older Sagers and more likely older Alienware Machines. an Alienware M17 or M18x will have an upgradeable GPU, but will likely not take the most modern GPU. I think the Alienware 17 GPU is upgradeable and so are the alienware 18 GPUs. But again, they sometimes can only handle so many generations newer. The MXM mobile GPUs, especially top tier are incredibly expensive to buy used/new.

the Nvidia 10 series mobile GPUs are leaps and bounds faster than the the majority of their 9 mobile Series GPUS as seen above.


if I were you i'd shoot for a GTX 1060 based notebook with 6gb Vram. Dell has the inspiron gaming Line. But I doubt these will meet all of your requirements for undervolting.

I'd also look at the sager line, they're more than $1000 with a GTX 1060 in them, but they do have overclocking and tuning software for the GPU and CPU. And it likely won't be upgradeable, as for most of them the CPU and GPUs are soldered on.

I have an NP8172 with an i7 67000HQ and GTX 1060,and it has software to adjust clock speeds, but i'm not sure about voltages. It's a work machine so I haven't messed with the software.

Either way I think with your budget of $1000 is going to be tough to find what you're looking for.

Edit*** the Dell outlet has alienware laptops listed often, and there are coupon codes for up to $300 off depending on the model. Might be worth a look.
 

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I am rocking at Alienware 17 with the 7820HQ, GTX 1080 and 32GB ram. Price was under $2500

It overclocks to 4.4GHz but the only benefit I have seen to that is that it shows a 6200 in passmark vs a 5900 without.
Good to know, is the GTX 1080 in it MXM or soldered? it seems like on the Sager branded stuff, that the Higher end GPUS are upgradeable in certain models while the GTX 1060 and lower don't seem to be.

Does alienware provide Overclocking through the BIOS, or Software? (or is it 3rd party?) I have only ever overclocked GPUs in laptops...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm learning a lot here.
I was assuming the higher end cards weren't soldered.
Hmmm.
I need something I can live with until cannon lake but it may not be worth it..
 

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I'm learning a lot here.
I was assuming the higher end cards weren't soldered.
Hmmm.
I need something I can live with until cannon lake but it may not be worth it..
I think it will depend on the laptop. Just because it has an mxm slot doesn't mean it can accept any after market GPU. You can't take a Clevo mxm card and just slap it in an Alienware or dell workstation, nor can you do it the other way around you also need a different cooler, etc... there are exceptions, but you have to figure those out.

I think the best thing to do is find one you're interested in and research the upgrade procedure. You biggest challenge is going to be to find something capable in the $1000 range.

If I were you I'd hit the dell outlet and pick up a laptop with a gtx 1060 or better in it and it should suffice for a while. But you're going to break the $1000 budget.

The 10 series notebooks only slightly trail their desktop counterparts these days. The 9 series had a much larger margine between the desktop and laptop variants.
 

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You should be carefull with uprade laptop MXM, it could be the mess with graphic drivers and also lot of, as said before, compatibility problem, hardware and software, for example the heat sink position ...
since the 10XX the NVIDIA laptop's card are almost the same than the desktop, but need huge cooling work to have the same perf. Go to https://www.notebookcheck.net/, you will see the standard deviation is considerable.
I agree with identitycrisis the best to do is to find a laptop with i7 and 1060 6Go, the inspirion gaming is perfect.
 
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