Feedback on my customized laptop before I buy?

C12Friedman

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Here's what I got
1) change ram to dual channel 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 2 X 4GB (dual channel can provide up to an 80% increase in ram throughput)
2) I would add the 120GB Crucial M5 Series mSATA3 SSD - as an OS Drive (Primary Drive C) [+$100.00] (this will provide very fast boot and install times, it'll make the computer feel "snappier")

That's all I got
 

C12Friedman

Distinguished
Here's what I got
1) change ram to dual channel 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 2 X 4GB (dual channel can provide up to an 80% increase in ram throughput)
2) I would add the 120GB Crucial M5 Series mSATA3 SSD - as an OS Drive (Primary Drive C) [+$100.00] (this will provide very fast boot and install times, it'll make the computer feel "snappier")

That's all I got
 

slayvoff

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Cool thanks I went with that. I actually changed it to the 17 inch version which comes with a free 120GB crucial m% series mSATA3 SSD so that's cool. Total price is only $50 more
 

volcanoscout

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I bought a very similar system two weeks ago - NP7338. This is my second Sager - finally had to retire my old one after 5 years (hard years - I rode it hard and put it away wet, including 3 Iraq deployments). I have the same processor but with the 860M. Here are some recommendations:

First, I recommend buying it from a distributor rather than direct from Sager. Sager can be a pain in the ass for customer support; if you buy it through a distributor, they'll deal with Sager so you don't have to. I got both of mine from XoticPC- their customer support is awesome. The price is the same as through Sager (unless Sager charges for shipping, in which case it will be cheaper through a distributor). Currently you can also get a free copy of Watch Dogs from Xotic with your purchase - just remember to put a note in the comments block when you order saying you want your free game.

Second, if you plan to add an SSD as an OS drive (which I highly recommend), order it separately as it will be cheaper. If you get an mSATA, you can configure it as your OS/boot drive and use the 750GB HDD as a storage drive. An mSata is an SSD in a smaller form factor, so you can have the benefit of SSD speed, but without taking up a regular laptop drive bay. What capacity you get will depend on your own needs and preferences. You can get a 120GB Samsung 840 EVO mSATA for $100 at Amazon or Newegg. I got the 500GB 840 EVO mSATA, mostly because I don't like having to worry about available space and I only transfer files to the HDD infrequently. (http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-drive-mzmte120bw)

Third, don't upgrade the RAM at purchase. Sager stock RAM (at least what I got) is the Samsung M471B5173QH0-YK0. Not horrible, but not great either. Take the included RAM, then if you want to upgrade, buy something like this:

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-memory-cmsx8gx3m2b1600c9
or this
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-memory-cmsx8gx3m2b1600c9

Fourth and last, when you get it, do some stress testing on it and watch the temps. If they seem high, pull the heat-sink and do a fresh, clean thermal paste job. I've looked inside four Sager laptops (my two, plus two belonging to friends) and all of them looked like the paste was applied by my two-year-old. With a turkey baster. In the dark. (In Sager's defense, I haven't seen a decent paste job in ANY factory laptop.)

Hmmm... I'm sure I've forgotten something, but I can't think of anything else at the moment.

Anyway, my new laptop is awesome and I'm sure you'll like yours, too!





 

slayvoff

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thanks for the thoughtful response! I will definitely learn from your experiences. What're your thoughts on 15.6 vs 17.3 inch?

And do you have any idea is xoptic processes orders on the weekends? I want to do rush delivery but sucks if I have to wait until Monday for it to even process.
 

volcanoscout

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Sorry - they don't. I was in the same situation. I got the rush build and overnight delivery (needed it in a hurry for a trade show) and they got it to me the day before, which was awesome. I think the slowest part of the process was waiting for someone to show up at the office on Monday morning to process my order.

Screen size - depends on how much you're going to travel with it and how much battery life you need. My last one was 16" and I got awful tired of lugging it around. If you're just going to be moving it around the house, I'd go with the 17.3 (nice for gaming). For back and forth to the office or school, the 15.6 is manageable. For traveling, particularly flying, I'd go with the 13.3 inch...which I did. Gaming on the NP7338 is technically awesome, but hard on the eyes after a while.
 

slayvoff

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Got it. Now, for the 15.6 8268-s, sager's site has it on backorder but xoticpc doesn't say backorder. Does xotic have an inventory of these or is their site just not updated, and I will actually have to wait for more stock?
 

volcanoscout

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Mine was ordered through Xotic, but delivered direct from Sager. I'm guessing that if there's a backlog at Sager, it would translate directly to Xotic. You can try emailing their customer support - they've replied to me on weekends before. They also have a live chat option that's 7 days a week, but I don't know what the hours are. It's not 24 hrs though - I just tried the chat and didn't get any response. I just realized after typing my initial response that I never got my free game, lol.
 

slayvoff

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if it is on backlog im just gnna get the 17 inch. my current one is 17 inch msi and i like the size. it's too heavy though, but msi is huge
 

slayvoff

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well since there is no point in ordering today since no one processes weekend orders (unless ibuypower or cyberpowerpc does?) are there any other things i should consider or reasearch that you can think of?

since i am torn between 15 and 17 inchers, and the 15 inch is on backorder i guess that helps make my decision for the 17 inch.
 

volcanoscout

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If you go with the 17", the form factor gives you a lot more options, both physically and on the build sheet (I'm assuming you're looking at the NP8278). Some things you could consider, depending on your own PC use, habits and preferences:

- If you're going to upgrade the RAM after ordering, you can save $15 by down-selecting to the stock 2 x 4GB 1333MHz RAM. You won't be taking a huge performance hit compared to the stock 1 x 8GB 1666MHz (in some applications the 2 x 4 1333 will actually be faster).

- You could take the 1TB 5400 RPM HDD option. File retrieval will be a little slower, but it'll be more power efficient when you're running off battery and you'll gain 250GB of storage space.

There are a couple more that are still percolating in my head. I'll post again when they're done cooking :)
 

slayvoff

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so my whole world has been thrown around. I now also want as thin as i can get. there are some pretty thin gigabytes, and the MSi GS or GE series. But i heard those get really hot.

Do you know much about the Auros x7?
 

volcanoscout

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I'm assuming you're talking about the V2? This one gets really hot, too. It's almost impossible to get something this powerful into such a small form factor and not have heat and noise issues. It's also pretty expensive. The SLI sucks the battery dry pretty quickly.

Having said that, it's pretty bad-ass. The storage is particularly impressive - a very, very fast drive setup. IMO that gives it a leg up on the MSI. You could set up something similar in the NP for less cost, though.

Here's a review that pretty much sums up the rest of the reviews that I've read:
http://www.trustedreviews.com/gigabyte-aorus-x7-v2_Laptop_review#tr-review-summary

 

slayvoff

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Well from what I can tell the v2 isn't out yet and is to be released sometime in Q3, so I was referring to just the x7 (v1 i suppose). If the SLI sucks though then as a gaming laptop the MSI must be the better choice?

I don't get it, like all these reviews of it via newegg and amazon talk about all these cons...screen quality not that great, keyboard flex, etc...and yet they still conclude that it's awesome and worth the price and give it 5 stars. It just baffles me how people can say these things about a gaming laptop and then turn around and say oh but its so worth it..5 stars!

I mean if you had to choose between MSI GS60 Ghost and the aorus x7, what would you do? Everyone says the MSI display is amazing, only real complaints are the bezel, trackpad, and some don't like keyboard font.
 

volcanoscout

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Some of it's objective, i.e. 765M SLI will not outperform an 860M, let alone an 870 or 880. Some of it's extremely subjective, i.e. screen sucks in reviews, but I like it, or battery life sucks but I'll always use it plugged in so who cares.

My personal opinion is that most people are impressed by the marketing and buy without actually studying and comparing the specs and actual performance. Then, once they've spent a bajillion dollars on a system, are either very reluctant to admit that they made a bad decision because of embarrassment, or can't tell the difference anyway. Many of the people that buy these high-end systems couldn't really afford them in the first place (I know this from many years of personal experience herding young soldiers), so if they make a bad choice they aren't in any position to fix it, so they're determined to put the best face on it.

There's also the fact that most consumers don't submit reviews at all. If I see a product that has a high-level of sales but few reviews, I feel safe in assuming that the product meets the expectations of the majority of purchasers. The ones that do submit reviews tend to be the ones who have strong opinions one way or the other.

With laptops, as much as anything, it's very much a question of what your priorities, budget and preferences are. The perfect machine for you is the one that best meets your needs, with the fewest number of annoying drawbacks. My wife would be appalled at spending anything beyond the minimum needed to do word processing and internet surfing, while I won't even consider a system that she finds acceptable:)
 

slayvoff

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I'm unsure if the Aorus has a high level of sales. So what you're saying though is that you can't really listen to most reviews. Also how can I even tell if I'd lke the screen since the Aorus is only available online? I saw a video but its hard to tell how it really is through my computer screen I guess.

So what you're saying is, based on specs, the MSI wins? I have an MSI now and I know what people mean about the bezel but it doesnt really bother me. And if the trackpad is the same as my current one that's fine as well, plus I like the keyboard font. And everyone raves about the MSI's graphics.

So I guess the MSI sounds better for me, which makes me wonder how can the Aorus put a $2300 price tag on it?

I also wonder if I choose the GS60..get the 860m or 870m? People say with the 870m it will run really hot, but the 60m is fine. But on the flip side that will sacrifice some performance I assume?

also for the GS60, here was one review: GPU GTX860M (Kepler Version. Maxwell would have been preferred at this price point)

Does this mean the 860m is of lower quality?
 

volcanoscout

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Not exactly - the reviews (both the tech reviews and the customer reviews) can be extremely helpful, you just have to take them with a grain of salt. I look at the trends and skim through the reviews to assess how credible they are. Take a look at these two items at Amazon - look at the number of reviews, what grade the reviewers are predominantly giving as well as the averages, and read a few of the reviews at each grade level:

http://www.amazon.com/Noctua-Heatpipe-Bearing-Cooler-NH-D14/dp/B002VKVZ1A/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1405892939&sr=1-1&keywords=nh-d14

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KFCRMSG/?tag=pcpapi-20

The first is a well-known, well respected fan cooler made by one of the best fan manufacturers in the business. If you go by tech reviews and by the customer reviews, even if you have never heard of that CPU cooler or manufacturer, you can be confident that you're going to get a popular, high-quality product that does exactly what it's supposed to do at the claimed performance level. While there's a lot of reviews at Amazon (and close to 900 at Newegg), an educated guess would put the number sold in the tens of thousands at least. You're probably looking at a review submission rate of 1% at best. I personally own three Noctua coolers (including the one I linked) and at least 14 fans, but have never submitted a review even though I like them a lot (obviously, lol).

The second is a new fan produced by the same manufacturer. Unless you're familiar with the product type and manufacturers, you might be tempted to think it's an extremely unpopular product that nobody buys (if lot's of people bought them, there'd be more reviews, right?), and based on the single customer review, it must be a piece of you-know-what.

In the first case, when I had no experience with Noctua, I found the tech and customer reviews credible and helpful. Based on that I purchased the D14 and have been very happy with it. In the second case, the few tech reviews that have been written so far I find credible, but the single customer review I will completely disregard. In my opinion, the reviewer obviously bought the fan in ignorance and had unreasonable expectations. I plan on buying that fan myself and if it performs as I expect it to, I'll submit a review even though I don't usually.

It's also possible to find products that are technically awesome, but are relatively unpopular because they're a niche product that most people don't find attractive because of cost, appearance, etc, or they just don't find it useful. Compare the number of reviews for this CPU cooler to the D14 in the first link above:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005O65JXI/?tag=pcpapi-20

There are 1,593 reviews of the 212 EVO, 88% of which are 4 or 5 stars. There are 2,634 reviews at Newegg, 91% of which are 4 or 5. Going by the absolute numbers, you might be led to believe that the 212 EVO is a better product. Technically, it's not even in the same class as the Noctua, but because it costs half as much, many more people can afford it, and within the scope of it's specs it performs well enough that most of the people who purchase it are very happy.

High-end gaming laptops is even more of a niche market than high-end gaming desktops for much the same reason. Many more people can afford a very good gaming desktop because it can be had for half the price. And unlike a desktop, for the most part what you buy in a laptop you're stuck with until you buy a new one. Most laptops are very limited in upgrade options, which is why it really pays to have a definite idea of which features are most important to you before you purchase. If you make a list of those features and compare them to what's available, you can eliminate 95% of the possibilities. Then study the last 5% to see which one makes the most sense for you.

As far as the GS60 vs the Aorus, I don't mind paying $2000+ dollars for a laptop that will make me happy but I think that both of them are overpriced. If I had to pick though, I'd go with the MSI - it's not AS overpriced as the Aorus. The 870M is more expensive, runs hotter (by about 17C depending on review), will probably produce more fan noise because of the temps, but will get you something like 37% better performance than an 860M Kepler and 27% better than the 860M Maxwell. So if you're looking for performance and are willing to accept the costs that go with it, get the 870M.
 

slayvoff

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from what I understand and have read, the 2x 765's outproduce an 870m? The Aorus is pretty upgradeable it seems from all the technical reviews I have seen, whereas the MSI you cannot upgrade at all. There is a sticker on the bottom that voids the warranty if torn, which ensures you never open it up on your own, until warranty is over. And even then who knows what can be upgraded.

By chance, do you know if buying a laptop (aorus, msi, whatever) through amazon comes with the manufacturer's warranty? Both aorus and msi have 2 year manufacturer warranty but the ad on amazon does not mention that warranty at all, only a 3 or 4 year additional warranty to buy. Amazon chat guy said yes initially, but then wasn't sure.

The Aorus website also, for example, says this at the bottom of the warranty section: * Warranty periods and warranty terms may vary depending on different products and the distributing territories, please confirm with the location where the original order was placed.
 

volcanoscout

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At a glance, the 765M SLI will outperform an 870M by about 15% but falls short of the 880M by about 7%. The SLI will cost you in terms of power, heat and noise. As far as warranties go, yes, the manufacturer's warranty applies if purchased from a retailer, online or otherwise, and you retain the receipt. The variations statement is because some states have requirements that exceed the base warranty, and it's also possible to purchase the product in a country where the warranty will not be honored at all.

Each of these specs we're discussing are actually pretty meaningless in isolation. You haven't actually said anything about what exactly you're looking for in a laptop. Until you decide that, there's no way to say which one is "better".

IMO your first choice was the best one, taking into account the recommended option changes and after-purchase additions/upgrades.
 
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