best 2000 dollar laptop for end of summer 2014

J Schubs

Estimable
Mar 27, 2014
4
0
4,510
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I am 14 and got my first job, in November I will be going on a band trip with my highschool band, I would like to be rocking a cool new gaming laptop by then lol. my estimated low budget is 1500 and my estimated high budget is 2500. After my long hard hours of grueling pain and agony I will have accumulated a total sum of about 2000 united states dollars. So if u think an expensive laptop now will drop in price by then u can include it.. what is the best gaming laptop for 2000 dollars from now till end of summer 2014?
 

Dblkk

Honorable
Oct 30, 2013
323
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Asus g750 with 870m, $1700, buy a 500gb ssd $250. Runs great, cool, big though.
MSI GT dominator (15 or 17') 880m. $1800, buy a 250gb ssd $150. More powerful, runs warmer, single fan so a bit louder, still big.
MSI ghost $1800-2000. 15 or 17". Runs great, 870m, slim and light. Runs really hot gaming, and fan noise is pretty loud
 

J Schubs

Estimable
Mar 27, 2014
4
0
4,510
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I live in the space station orbiting jupiter and felt I needed a good computer to slightly reduce the heavy distance lag im getting from over here.
 

J Schubs

Estimable
Mar 27, 2014
4
0
4,510
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Srry if im multiposting but yeah I looked at the ghost and dominator cause my older bro has an msi they seem pretty good just great to have a 3rd opinion. You will probably get best answer im just waiting to see what pops up so this thread isnt closed.
 

Dblkk

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Oct 30, 2013
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Theres no such thing as the perfect laptop, for weight/portability/performance/cooling/fan noise/ect. Its all about tradeoffs and what you personally favor more as pro's verse cons.

But during the last 6 months I have bought, tried out, returned for exchange several laptops in finding the right one for me.
I have a very powerful pc, so this is portable video editing/rendering, 3d rendering, and slight gaming.

I have went through MacBook pro retina, last years asus g750 with gtx 770m, msi gt 70 dominator pro, Samsung ativ book 8, last years msi ghost with gtx 765m, and the razer blade 15" with 870m.

My thoughts and opinions on all, to help you out.

MacBook pro - was a good solid laptop, great keyboard, slim/light, decent performance, limited hhd/ssd space, and overheated like a mother. Battery life 6-8 hours light duty.

Last years asus g750, big, bulky, heavy, 17", ran warm but coolest running out of the lot, solid build though, great keyboard, no hhd/ram upgrading problems. Had total hhd failure so traded in to try something else. Battery life 3-4 hours light duty.

Samsung ativ book 8. Great laptop, give it a+ and better than the MacBook which costed $1000 more. Upgraded hhd to 1tb ssd, and 16gb ram. Stupendous battery life, great screen/touch screen but huge glare problem. i7 and decent graphics card. Really liked it, 5lbs 15" somewhat powerful. But after a month of use, ran really warm and eventually overheated to point where it fried something inside. Battery life 8 hours light duty.

MSI gt70 dominator pro - great, super powerful, third best keyboard (behind asus #1 and MacBook pro #2), ran warmer (but had i7 4800 and gtx 880m, which same price as the competition with i7 4700 and 870m). Fan noise while rendering sounded like hair drier. But ill refer back to this laptop later. Battery up to 5 hours light duty.

MSI ghost - 15", light like the Samsung and MacBook, great feeling very solid, keyboard third best ive used. Very good performance and components. Dual fans. Battery life worst yet, maybe 3 hours light duty (dealbreaker) and fan noise and heat by far worst yet.

Razer blade new model - super/just great solid laptop, lightweight, just felt great to carry and use. Keyboard probably 4th best, which not bad at all just not exceptional, great screen resolution and it just popped, good performance. Heat and fan noise probably matched the msi ghost which is unacceptable to me. Battery life 4-6 hours light duty.

Asus g750 - new model with 870m. Again big bulky like the msi g70, very solid build, feels indestructible. Great keyboard, dual fans that work. Heat/fan noise never an issue. 100% full load, runs 85-90 degrees fan noise just noticeable. msi gt 70 dominator 100% load 90-95 degrees, fan noise loud. Battery life 4-6 hours light duty.

Personal thoughts and opinions after using them all.

If you want slim/light/extremely portable and performance. My best experience would be the new razer pro. Top notch specs, a little pricy ($2200) but best slim laptop ive used. But sacrifices are heat (will burn your lap) and fan noise (you'll know when your maxing system out).

For larger heavier more powerful, better all around laptops. Also, I wanted portable and loved light laptops, just cooling system and upgradablility was just not there for slim. You do get very used to the size and weight and with a good laptop backpack/briefcase you wont notice a difference, but the 17" screen is a pleasure to use vs 15" when your using it.

If you want best laptop performance for price willing to make a few sacrifices, MSI gt70 dominator pro. For $2000 you will get i7 4800, gtx 880m, 16gb ram, 250-500gb ssd, 1tb hhd. Runs fast and gives top notch performance. For same price as asus/alienware you get slightly beefier cpu, and a 880m instead of 870m (both of which are high/ultra everything). But it will run warm during gaming and especially heavy workload programs. It has a single larger fan coolng both cpu/gpu. And when i t needs to the fans spin very fast and very loud. Does come with 2 year warrenty in us, vs 1 year everybody else. You can easily take out hhd, ram, cpu, gpu, clean fans, replace thermal paste ect. That's a huge plus in my book.

My opinion best, with almost no sacrifices.

Asus g750 js. For $1800, You get a 17", 10lb, large beefy, very solid laptop. Exceptional keyboard, i7 4700 which vs the 4800 you will barely notice a difference, a gtx 870m which is just a screaming gpu, 4-6 hours of normal battery life, easily removable battery, easy access to hhd and ram (comes with a 256gb ssd and 1tb 7200rpm hhd stock), coolest running laptop ive ever used while fans remaining quiet (not silent but next to any other laptop ive ever used its by far the quietest. reminds me of my i3 Toshiba laptop fan). The only con is you get a gtx 870m vs the msi gives a 880m. But both are great grafics cards, and to me personally im willing to sacrifice a step down gpu for just an all around great laptop. You also get a 1 year (1accidental swap) warranty through asus.

 

Dblkk

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Oct 30, 2013
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I would agree with the msi for best performance to price, though the msi ghost being small thin and light I wouldn't go with. From personal use, once you tax the system by playing a video game or anything, the bottom/back heats up and very hot. Hottest running laptop ive ever used, and fan noise is also pretty loud. Though for pice its a better value than the razer pro, and the razer pro has the same flaws as the msi, its just not as bad. The razer gets hot yes, and loud yes, but the msi is unbearably hot.
 

Dblkk

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Oct 30, 2013
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I game and video edit/render almost all day on my asus, most of that time is spent with it on my lap. Perfectly comfortable the entire time. And as far as fan noise, cant hear it above anything else going on, ever. If im typing fan noise is gone, if volume is 10 out of 100 you cant even hear it if you wanted to. Plus the thin light msi offers very low battery life. Which im sure if you going to college and sitting in class you don't want to be connected to a wall the entire time. Not trying to swing any opinions, just trying to offer as much knowledge as I can so that when you make a decision there are no surprises down the road.
 

thorpark83

Estimable
Aug 8, 2014
2
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4,510
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Thank you for this fantastic overview. I've been searching for a gaming laptop for a couple of weeks now, read reviews, muddled through pc mag comparisons and this is by far the best breakdown I've seen.

Quick question:

Which Asus G750 JS model? I've searched for pricing and availability on Amazon and there are a few different options. Is there a link that goes direct to the exact model number?

Based on your overview, it's the best laptop for me. Heat control, durability, specs, and ultimately long term use of approximately 3 years.

I've been using a Macbook Pro 2009 Late summer model for five years now with WOW, CIV5 and Starcraft and it just doesn't seem to be able to handle it.

Haven't replaced the thermal paste, total laptop maintenance noob, added 4gb of memory, just discovered fan control and temperate monitor.

I'm a hardcore gamer, can go through some heavy heavy stints, it's made it, but it's time I think. Unless there's anything I can do to my mac now to make it run better:

i.e. get it serviced? cleaned? dusted?
replace thermal paste?
No idea here.

I'm in Thailand atm, net at my location can't handle MMORPGs, moving to Australia soon with high speed internet and making the plunge.

Any help would be totally appreciated, my friends are useless, research too spread to make an educated decision, need an experienced gamer that's comp savvy to help out a noob gamer that plays like a south park gamer.
 

Dblkk

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Oct 30, 2013
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Well TigerDirect just had a j's model for $1300 which was just a steal. It had no sad and lower ram, but you can buy and put in a sad for cheap and its super super easy.

With that said, which model of j's to buy, find the cheapest. Not price wise, but if theres one with a sad and one without, depending on price. SSD 256 can be had for $100, a 128 for $50ish. I would recommend no less than a 256gb. I would personally go the no SSD in laptop route and buy your own. It should be cheaper, you can get a better SSD than the SanDisk Asus includes, and the bought SSD you gain a 3 year warranty on, and if anything goes wrong, you just deal with the SSD manufacture rather than send your whole laptop into Asus.

But if you can wait, the Maxwell 970 and 980 models will be announced very soon and make their way into laptops shortly. Now whether price will allow you to buy a new Maxwell version or not, we don't know right now. But if anything, the models out now will be clearances out and cheaper.

But my personal recommendation would be to get a Asus JM model with 860m. Its almost as powerful as the 870m, but uses less power, battery lasts longer, is newer technology, and runs cooler. But that's just me.

Otherwise, I do own the MSI GT dominator pro with 880m, it was $1700. It is really nice, but fan is definitely louder than the Asus and te gpu does heat up quite a bit hotter and throttles. Which is why I would recommend the Asus over the MSI.
 

thorpark83

Estimable
Aug 8, 2014
2
0
4,510
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Thank you for your prompt reply! Clearance is perfect. Hopefully the Thai asus is one the same page.

I'll look for those options but it's possible I'll just buy the one with the ssd already inside unless the price difference is noticeable. I've been traveling for two and a half years and I plan to build a PC when I get back to the states. This laptop will hold me over until then (about two years) and then be a viable travel/work computor when I'm settled.

Any tips on new laptop maintenance, upkeep programs, security and the like?
 

Dblkk

Honorable
Oct 30, 2013
323
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If you do get the asus, run the asus backtracker program which will put windows and all needed drivers onto a usb drive for you in case something happens. Then uninstall Norton or avast that it comes with, theyre resource hogs and only include like a 30 day trial you have to buy then. Install avg free. Get malware bytes. That should be about it for security. I'd then get hw info and hw monitor. Those will display temps and other hardware montoring specs. Gpu z is a good one as well, but hw info does the same, gpu z is really good for workstation programs as its a smaller footprint and shows more of the cuda acceleration and stuff % wise. If you want to see your system % while gaming (like cpu core% cpu temps, gpu % gpu temps, and frames per second, on the top left of your screen then download rival tuner statistics. I have a youtube video on how to set this up.
http://youtu.be/-66a9gmVjyc?list=UUPK63knGJdy2JjENqaBmOyw
If you just want your fps to be displayed, then fraps will do just that.

For benchmarking, if you really want to. Then theyres prime95 for cpu, furmark does good gpu, sisandra does a good mix, 3d and pc mark are the most commonly used. But your laptop will do just like all other same laptops. You can overclock your cpu/gpu if you want, but it'll reduce the longevity. For cpu overclocking there is intel extreme burning utility, and for gpu there is either msi afterburner or amd something.

Make sure you go update all drivers, and with gpu drivers use the geoforce experience to do drivers. I never do beta, only stable full versions.

The rog forum website is by far the best ive ever been on or used. Full of extremely helpful topics and people in case of problems.
http://rog.asus.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?157-G750-GX550-G550-and-G56-Gaming-Notebooks

Also make sure you go to asus.com and register your laptop

I use guru3d.com as a good clean website to get and download all my programs from. Places like cnet seem to include so much crap that gets side loaded along with the programs you want.
 
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