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 Post subject: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:02 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Hello everyone, I've been looking for a new gaming laptop for quite some time now. I've seen both pre-built models from MSI, ASUS, Dell, HP etc.... and Fully customizable ones from Origin, Razer, Xotic and Sager. The problem is I don't know in which direction I should go.

Here are some of the things I would like from my laptop besides great gaming:
CPU: I'd like an i7 if possible, I wouldn't mind taking an i5 though.
Size: I'd prefer a 17 inch laptop as my previous one but I'll settle for a 15.6 if it helps my budget.
Ram: I'd think 8GB should be suffice but more wouldn't hurt :D
Hard Drive: Since this will be mostly for gaming I think anything over 1TB is overkill. I'm pretty sure a SSD is out of the question with my budget lol
Optical: I'd really prefer a Blu-Ray drive because of my massive movie collection but this can be overlooked in favor of budget.
Ports: I would like to have at least a HDMI out and a few USB 3.0 ports but I'd settle for USB 2.0
Battery: I would like one that would at least last 3 hours lol
Graphics card: I'd figure at least the nVidia GTX 765M or the AMD equivalent.
OS: This is my strictest category lol. I haven't warmed up to Windows 8 yet so I must stick with Windows 7.

The most I could see myself spending is $1200. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Feel free to ask me anything that I may have missed to include here. lol


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:48 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5472
With games routinely taking 15GB or more these days, more than 1TB is not overkill =3

Laptops to look out for that are within your budget:
  • ASUS G750JW
  • MSI GE60/GE70
  • Alienware 14
  • Samsung ATIV Book 8
  • High-end Acer Aspire V3

And some thoughts on the matter
  • The boutiques you mentioned are out of the question. Origin for instance starts at $1300.
  • Alienware 14 is the only option if you want Windows 7. Honestly, just install Classic Shell or similar. Windows 8 is technically a very good OS, unlike the crash prone Me or lack-of-launch-drivers Vista (Vista's actually a pretty good OS too once you get it to SP2).
  • Three hours of life doing what? If it's just doing the basics most midrange gaming laptops now are capable of doing that. If you're thinking about three hours of gaming on the battery... yeah that's not going to happen.
  • None of the laptops have a Blu-Ray drive. If you really want to watch your movies, either rip them or get an external drive.

I have the ASUS G750JW. I do like it, but there are some nuances with it.
  • The keyboard has a tendency to miss keystrokes. It also has pretty bad ghosting outside the QEWRASFD keys.
  • The trackpad could be better placed since my left palm brushes up against it.
  • Stock audio drivers have an annoying habit of turning off audio when it's not being used and has a bad enough delay that anything that's less than a second of duration (which is... a lot of sound cues) will not even play. I did an update and the problem went away
  • Something with the drivers made it unable to shut down unless I force it using "shutdown -s"

But it does get about 5-6 hours of internet browsing use, gets moderately warm (as opposed to blistering hot) when running games, and has two drive bays so you can add an SSD later if you want.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:31 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Thanks Latios, the reason why I'm stuck on Windows 7 was because I was originally an XP guy, avoided Vista because of its initial blunders and went straight to 7 and now I know it pretty well. Windows 8 also had its fair share of blunders at launch and I keep hearing that many programs and games aren't compatible yet with the new OS. I was thinking of Installing Windows 7 myself but I'm pretty sure that would cause mayhem in compatibility issues. Any thoughts there?

I'm willing to forego the optical drive altogether if it saves money and as long as I learn how to rip my movies lol. And I say learn because aren't Blu-ray movies supposedly rip protected? Sorry if I'm sounding like a noob here but I've never attempted it because of that.

If 1TB isn't overkill then how much space/ram and CPU ideally should I be looking for?

I can forego the SSD, it's not a major need for me. Would've been more just to show off the speed lol. All I really care about is a nice size screen, great movie and gaming experience without performance issues and a good battery life not for gaming, but for the everyday browsing or work or school stuff. My last laptop only lasted 3 hours for those tasks. Now it last 90 min on a full charge :(


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:01 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5472
I've yet to run into a problem with running a program in Windows 8 (and whatever it flagged for me, it was already iffy to run to begin with). I'm also more inclined to believe people don't know how to computer more than it being Microsoft's fault. But if you want to go to Windows 7, then you can use drivers for Windows 8 if need be. Vista, 7, and 8 are all under the same NT framework. Meaning you can usually use drivers meant for any of those versions with another.

Blu-Rays are rippable, MaxPC had an article floating around. There's some legal gray areas with DCMA and tampering with the encryption, but honestly, if you're not going to spread it over Bittorrent sites I don't see an issue.

And I say 1TB isn't overkill in the sense that you shouldn't be limiting your storage space. You should always try to have as much space as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:37 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
I checked out the laptops you suggested and the high end acer seems to be an amazing value for the price. And based on some customer reviews, they loaded Win 7 on it and found the drivers they needed. Not to mention it comes with an SSD and a BD Drive. Seems like a dream come true lol.

If anyone else is interested, here's the model: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834314160

You already helped me find a winner. The only option that I saw of value besides this was xotic because they had a few models within the $1100-$1200 range. Thank you so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:19 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5472
Ah, before you go off (hopefully you didn't buy it yet), check this out: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Ace ... 916.0.html Notably the temperatures. They reported a blistering 52C hotspot on the bottom and a 48C hotspot on the top, particularly if where you'd have your left hand...


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:03 am 
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Location: back on the right side of the middle of the left side YES i'm folding
they also said at the end of the article that the temps reported were not realistic as they were taken while stress testing the cpu and gpu. when gaming, it didn't reach the high temps at all, and shouldn't be a concern.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:14 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5472
Well, I had a Dell XPS 15z, which has a similar form factor in volume and it was really uncomfortable use in a gaming situation because the keyboard area got warm. It may not get that high, but it's not going to be significantly lower.

On that note: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Del ... 790.0.html - The XPS 15z had lower max load temperatures.

To OP: This is just a data point. You could skirt by these issues with a regular USB keyboard.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice on selecting new Gaming Laptop.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:37 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Thanks for pointing out the heating issue. But no I haven't purchased it yet. But the idle temp isn't bad and I'm not planning to stress test it. That's what my desktop is for :).

My current acer, which is the one I'm trying to replace has significant high heat problems around the fan when it's left on for more than 3 hours but from my experience with laptops, that seems to be normal unless I've been getting defective models lol.

My main concern is no performance issues and gaming, even though the laptop GTX 760 is slower than it's desktop counterpart for obvious reasons but I'm not planning to play games on ultra or extreme as some games have, I'm satisfied with high on a laptop. As for ultra and extreme, that again is what the desktop is for.

It is concerning to see such high temps on aluminum though, imagine steel, yikes!!


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