Gaming Laptop

Discussion in 'hardware' started by whitedragon551, Jul 6, 2013.

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  1. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I know its an oxymoron and the words gaming and laptop dont really belong in the same sentence. However it is my number 1 requirement. I need a powerful rig that is portable.

    I have a company laptop, but we use our monitoring agents on it as we are a managed service provider.

    Requirements:
    -Budget $1000-$1100
    -Fastest i5 or i7 I can get
    -Atleast 8Gbs of RAM, 16Gb would be preferable.
    -7200RPM HD or small SSD. I run a lean OS, have a 1.5Tb external for storage.
    -2+ hours of battery life.
    -Dedicated GPU
    -15.6" screen. A 14.1" may suffice as I run a 22" screen when at home, but in my experience the 14" screens are more expensive than the 15.6" screens.

    Notes: I have always had great luck with the 4 Asus laptops that I have owned, but there is less incentive to get an Asus now that they have done away with the 3 year warranty. I was looking into some of the MSI laptops and wondering how well they do in terms of quality? I have also been looking at xoticpc.com for customization options.
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I agree strongly with your opening sentence. Notebook makers can easily jam the necessary power into a notebook to make a decent gaming machine, but considering full size tower cases are challenged to keep gaming machines cool, there is no way the limited size of any notebook can provide the essential cooling to keep the notebook interior cool for gaming. This is why you don't see full-power portable versions of the Wii, PlayStation, or X-Box.

    Therefore, "gaming notebook" and "desktop replacement" are marketing terms, not technical or practical terms. And like most marketing schemes, they tend to full of marketing fluff and hype.

    My advice is to get a good business notebook for work, school and personal business, and a real gaming PC for games.

    BTW, if you study the warranty information for ASUS and MSI, they are very similar - only 1 year "international warranties" on most of the their systems.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I have to disagree Bill. I have a Sager Gaming laptop, and it has the power and they did a good job on the cooling. 4 fans, and probably 2-3 pounds of copper.

    What doesn't fit is the price. My sager priced out at around $2600.

    Pete
     
  4. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Asus used to offer a 3 year international warranty along side a 1 year accidental damage warranty that covered spills, surges, drops, etc. They no longer do that. My current Asus (4 years old) had the 3 year warranty. Shortly after I got it they got rid of it.

    I also disagree that you can get good gaming power in a laptop. Sure the GTX650 GPU in a laptop is a watered down version of the desktop counterpart, but its still a perfectly capable GPU.

    Right now Im just looking for recommendations on what brands to look at. Ive always used Asus. I have 4 Asus laptops in my house and recently bought my wife a Lenovo as that is what I use at work.
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    There are always exceptions to every rule but exceptions don't make the rule.

    Notebooks were designed for the road warrior demanding small and lightweight designs for PowerPoint presentations, email from their hotels and airport lounges and other "Office" or network/Internet tasks. That is still their primary purpose. If you look at the reviews for any Sager (or other) "gaming" laptop, the "cons" will likely include "big", "heavy", "poor battery run time" and "expensive"!

    Additionally, and, as an electronics technician, this is a big one IMO, notebooks generally do NOT allow easy access to the deepest innards of thei case for a proper cleaning of all that heat-trapping dust sucked in by the fans. In fact, many notebooks are nearly impossible for the "normal" user to open up for proper cleaning. So dust build-up becomes a problem that typically manifests into the CPU toggling down in speed to stay cool.

    So I [reluctantly] agree with Pete as there are exceptions to my comments above - I apologize for not stating so.

    A lessor warranty does not automatically imply lessor quality. If your 4 ASUS laptops have been reliable, I don't see the warranty keeping me from buying another - if it has the features I want. ASUS is still a reliable brand.

    That said, I like my Toshiba and while I am not crazy about Dell PCs, I have had good luck with their notebooks too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  6. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I realize what ever I go with in the $1000-$1100 price range with typically run 6+ pounds or so and have 2 hours of battery life. Thats fine.

    I need a powerful laptop for gaming, but it also has to be mobile meaning I can throw it in my backpack and take it on a road trip to where ever I go and have everything I need with me.

    I like Asus, but they are very expensive compared to other companies. MSI and Lenovo have decent offerings. Lenovo has a Y500 laptop that has SLI NVIDIA 650 1Gb GPU's for $1000 with an i5. Just not sure about their quality.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I think Lenovo has the necessary quality and reliability. MSI is not known for high-end products, but in my experience, their products (at least motherboards and graphics cards) are just as reliable as the next guys.

    It is important to note that most notebooks makers (and PC makers) are simply assemblers of parts made by someone else; NVIDIA GPUs, Intel CPUs, OEM motherboard (often from ASUS or Foxconn), controllers from this company, drives and RAM from those companies. And screen panels and batteries from somewhere else.

    So frankly, once you find notebooks that have the features you want, it almost becomes a toss of a coin decision.

    I note the Lenovo warranty is just 1 year too. I suspiciously suspect warranties are being limited to entice (coerce?) buyers :( to pay for the very profitable extended warranties.
     
  8. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    The new Razer Blade/Blade Pro laptops would be an excellent choice if not for your budget. The MSI GX60 would fare a bit better at $1200 however I don't know an AMD processor would be a turn off for you.
     
  9. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I want a Razer Blade Pro, but the budget just doesnt allow it.

    I have about 2 months before I purchase so hopefully prices will drop.

    Id prefer an Intel CPU to an AMD. In my experience with AMD CPU's they have always been inferior.

    The Lenovo Y500 and the MSI GE60 seem to fit the bill:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312438

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152392

    In either event Ill be running Win7Pro x64.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Inferior is a pretty rough word. AMD makes excellent, highly reliable CPUs and can be used to form the foundation for an excellent, reliable computer across virtually every price range.

    That said, since the introduction of the Core 2 Duo several years ago, I too have preferred Intels because (with a few notable exceptions, of course) Intels offer better performance while consuming less energy and generating less heat. But you tend to pay a bit more for that too. However, since the CPU is but one component in a computer system, once you factor in the prices for the motherboard, case, RAM, drives, graphics card, power supply, monitor, speakers, the OS, and shipping, I feel any price advantage AMD offers is quickly neutralized.

    Still, if someone was going to give me an AMD, I would gratefully accept it.
     
  11. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Cooling is everything. Any AMD CPU Ive ever had, in a laptop, was notorious for over heating and causing alot of issues with heat dissipation, crashing, and failing components, etc.

    I prefer Intel's cooling running CPU's over AMD's even if they are more expensive.
     
  12. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    Personally if was going to buy a laptop today, regarding the CPU, i would prefer a Intel over an AMD, because of the better relation performance / power consumption.

    But i was going to assemble a desktop that i intend to upgrade in the future would prefer AMD, because of the lower price, because it's easy to take care of temperature in a desktop, and because AMD tend to keep the compatibility with older sockets.

    I also know that the CPU's TDP is measured differently by Intel and AMD, in a way that, from the point of view of a consumer, benefits Intel (INTEL calculates TDP as 75% of the maximum power consumption, and AMD as 100%).
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    If you look at the last line in my sig, you will see I could not agree with you more.

    Notebooks (they don't belong on laps (or beds or carpets) - because of heat - so I call them notebooks) in general are notorious for overheating, not just AMD based notebooks. Plus, newer CPUs from both makers run cooler than older CPUs, and notebook motherboard and chipset makers have come a long way in heat management too. But as long as consumers continue to demand more power in lighter and thinner cases, heat will always be an issue, regardless the CPU maker.

    To be sure, while I agree on a general basis that Intels run cooler, there are exceptions and so when making purchasing decisions for a notebook that will be taxed with demanding games, homework, homework, homework become the 3 key words.
     
  14. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    It is quite misconception, that Intel is more powerful than AMD in terms of gaming. Intel is the best choice for video a graphic rendering, but as for games, it is a waste of money to buy Intel, because if you have powerful CPU (dual/quadcore 3GHz+), then it is all about GPU, so it is better to invest there. I prefer APU these days. My $400 notebook with A4-3300 can handle games like Half Life 2, COD MW3 and Bioshock Infinite at max details, especially since I undervolted and overclocked CPU to 2,5GHz. :)
     
  15. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152406

    In terms of heat, don't worry about it. Laptops haven't gotten ridiculously hot in ages, since they stopped putting desktop P4s in them. Yes, if you get ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ one the GPU might hit 80C under a lot of pressure, maybe even the CPU, but it's unlikely. And the laptop linked has a 'turbo' fan mode you can manually activate (button).

    FYI there's another version of this with a 780 in it, which will be considerably faster, but about 100-200 dollars more.

    Expandable with mSATA (2x) and another RAM slot, great CPU, very nice GPU, great screan.

    edit: And yes, when it comes to performance intel is better. The fact that you get switchable graphics with intel is a big deal, for one thing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2013
  16. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    :eek: Whoa! That's bad advice! I don't care what type of electronics you are dealing with, heat must always be a concern - ESPECIALLY if the electronics in encased in a dark (typically black) box with limited ventilation. And even if you are lucky to have a notebook with good ventilation, that simply means more heat-trapping dust will be drawn in by the fans, and jam packed into every recess of the innards. And we already know notebook makers do NOT design notebook cases to be easily cracked wide open for proper and thorough cleanings.
    While notebook and "mobile" CPU makers have come a long way in notebook heat management in recent years, heat issues in a notebook is not, by any means, determined by the CPU alone. There are MANY heat generating, and more importantly, heat sensitive devices that contribute to heat related problems. or are affected by heat buildup.

    While it is absolutely true that overheating control is well managed in better designed notebooks, ultimately it is done by toggling down speed (and thus performance).

    Sure it can! So can a $400 PC. But don't pretend for a second either provides the same gaming experience as a $2000 PC. And why? Because game makers know most gamers cannot afford monster gaming rigs with 2 (or 3) $400+ graphics cards so game makers code games to provide "game play" on lessor systems.
     
  17. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

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    I am also looking for a new notebook, though not a gaming notebook, but when comparing CPU's I came across the fact that unlike the desktop versions, all mobile i5 processors are dualcore. If you have other needs for high CPU power other than gaming(I'm not sure how the situation is at the current time, but I think quadcore support for games is quite rare) and need a quadcore, then you need to find a notebook with an i7.
     
  18. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    All of the relevant heat is coming from the CPU/GPU, and under load you're only going to hit 80C. Yes, you have throttling due to heat (especially the GPU) but the notebook cools off very well, and the components are quite good at heat management. It shouldn't be a major concern at this point, as it really won't effect anything.
     
  19. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    But the fact that they are called i5 make it sound a pretty good deal isn't it? :D
    And there are also i7 mobile processors with 2 cores.
     
  20. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Ummm, no, sorry, that is not correct. The charging/regulator circuits and chipsets get hot too and RAM and drives also contribute to heat.

    Oh? How do you know that? Temps are influenced by many things - including ambient temps, ventilation, dust, and more - including case design and contents.
     
  21. nosirrah

    nosirrah Malware Fighter

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    Just going to make a suggestion based on my personal experience...

    We have been reconfiguring G75VW based laptops for our researchers so they can have mobile workstations (maxing ram and adding 2 SSDs).

    The cooling these laptops have is great and you have 1 screw access to the majority of the internals. By design these are gaming laptops and if you go with a cheaper one you can add a SSD and max the ram for a LOT less than they they come preconfigured.
     
  22. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    Just a note on Laptop over heating...

    As a repair issue, over heating on laptops is perhaps #1 in rank
    many replace the units because it reboots interminably and freeze or blue screen without apparent cause...

    Well, here is the skinny on this one!

    Clean the air filter!
    Typically there is two air filter on high end laptop air vents. One inbound and sometimes one on the out bound (air flow) associated with the GPU cooling unit. Over time and depending on your local air quality these filters will eventually get crudded up by micro particles, and obstruct airflow causing units to overheat.

    On older laptop the best thing to do is simply to physically remove the hepa filter (a white paper filter embedded inside the airflow conduit) and proceed to clean the heat sink fins with a blower this will go a long way to help keep temperature down...

    Here is a couple of links to some good articles on this issue:
    http://www.laptoptips.ca/general/heat-and-dust/
    http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4020

    Cheers! :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  23. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    Hi Bruce,

    "G75VW": Which is?
     
  24. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Not even close to the level that the GPU/CPU get to.

    Because that's what GPUs at that range heat up to under load. If the thermal paste is ****ed up, or if you're playing on a pillow, it can hit 100C at which point it will shut down, but before then it'll throttle anyways in an attempt to stay cool.
     
  25. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    You said "all the relevant heat" comes from the GPU/CPU. That is not true. And it is also not true that the charging circuits don't get significantly hot, or that heat from other sources is not relevant.

    Not all GPUs have the same thermal properties and 80°C is not standard.

    Exactly my point about notebook gaming.
     
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