Gaming Laptop Advice Needed

nullus

Estimable
Dec 28, 2015
7
0
4,510
0
Hello! While I’ve read Tom’s reviews from time to time, I’m new to the forum, so first, let me say thanks in advance for any feedback/input regarding my post. I’m a longtime gamer that has always built and used desktops. Due to moving and a few other factors, I’m getting ready to make the switch to a gaming laptop, which is new territory for me. I have several priorities, which I’ll list below, and then a few models I’ve looked at. What I need are some suggestions and advice on possible choices, whether they’re on my list or not. Thanks again!

My habits/priorities -

I don’t upgrade often, usually every 2-4 years in the past (with my desktops) so obviously reliability is a huge concern for me and I’m hoping to get at least 2 good years of usage out of the laptop.

Due to age and eyesight, I’ll be wanting a 17+ inch laptop.

Intel-based only please.

Windows 10.

My thought process is focus on the better cpu (new 6th gen Skylake?) over the latest graphics card and excess RAM, instead upgrading those later if necessary. Same theory I’ve used for years with my desktops, does that sound reasonable for laptop usage as well?
Would still prefer at least a GTX 970M (suggestions here? Is a 960 or 965 good enough for now?).

I would like an SSD while staying within my budget if possible.

Should I be concerned about DVD drive (for example, the Alienware and some others don’t offer them)?

My original first look was at the Asus ROG G752 series with the new Skylake cpu (I like the extra cooling the ROG series offers, my thoughts being the cooler I can keep it, the longer it will last), but they seem to have taken a step back with quality control and I don’t like that plastic, flexible case?

Should I throw out the idea of the new Skylake chip and buy an older G751 series ROG? Will it last me 2-4 years of gaming?

Obviously I have lots of questions and am looking for lots of advice here. I would like to keep my budget in the very near vicinity of $1500.00 or possibly even less, and I live in the US for price concerns. I have looked at everything from G751’s, G752’s, Fangbooks, MSI (several platforms), Alienware, Gigabyte, Lenovo 700’s, and even Schenker’s (which I can’t seem to find stateside). All of them seem to have their own set of pros, and most have their own cons (like heating issues, upgradability, etc.)

Here are just a few that I have on my short list, but I’m willing to look at just about anything that you laptop gurus might suggest….

http://

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Thanks again, I really appreciate any feedback and advice I can get!

Nullus

Here's my questionnaire filled out.......

1. What is your budget?
$1500.00 -ish

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
17+ inch

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920 x 1080

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Replacing my desktop

5. How much battery life do you need?
Average will be fine, used mostly at home

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Yes, games such as Fallout 4, some MMO’s, High resolution preferred

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Normal browsing, some light photo editing

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Prefer 1 TB

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Newegg or Amazon, open to suggestions, new units only, no refurbished please

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Minimum of 2 years, up to 4

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Open to suggestions here, seems some laptops I’ve looked at (Alienware) have none?

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Open to suggestions here, but I seem to have narrowed my short list to the older ROG (G751), Alienware and possibly the MSI Apache series.

13. What country do you live in?
U.S.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I think the CPU is more important than the video card and RAM initially as long as the latter two are upgradable. I’m worried about heat concerns with some models. Obviously long term reliability is a concern due to how long I hope to keep this laptop. I’m a fan of the quality from makers such as Lenovo but it seems their gaming laptops are a step behind other makers? Will they play the latest games as smoothly as other brands such as ASUS, Alienware, and MSI? Also, are the older 4th gen cpu’s in the G751 ROG series going to last me for 2 years from now? Would prefer an SSD on my budget if possible (not a deal-breaker, but preferred).

Thanks!
 

dudmont

Estimable
Feb 23, 2015
38
0
4,610
6
Have you looked at Cyberpower? Get yourself on their email list and you'll get access to their discounts. They offer configurable systems. I'd advise you get a 970m simply because that's what will be needed to run a 1080 17.3 display at decent framerates. If you're willing to crack open the case of a laptop, I'd suggest getting one without 16gb and without a ssd and adding those things in after purchase. I'm intrigued by the 6820hk, but I wonder how far it'll really over-clock due to the cooling limitations with laptops.
I'm not going to push you away from any particular brands, but you might find some have extreme pricing issues. One other thing to keep in mind, many of the new mobile graphics solutions are installed on a card, it is indeed replaceable. That being said, a 980m is not really that powerful. It's not as powerful as a 970 desktop. There is, at present, no mobile graphics solution that will handle 2k or even 1440 at good framerates and detail settings. A 980 desktop is found in some cards, but I question how well it really runs due to the issue again of cooling.
 

nullus

Estimable
Dec 28, 2015
7
0
4,510
0


I did find Cyberpower and looked at their highly customizable Fangbooks, many of which are on sale currently. Up until recently i had never heard of them and this is exactly the type of feedback and advice i'm looking for. I will not be overclocking my final choice as I believe it shortens the lifespan of most cards and systems drastically due to heat issues. I can only imagine how hard it would be on a laptop. I've already read ugly reviews on systems such as Alienware getting extremely hot just streaming a video. I prefer to do my gaming without having to overclock, even if it means running on medium graphics setting. Thanks again for your input. I'll take a closer look at the Fangbooks while I wait for more opinions.
 

Lam1080p

Estimable
Nov 23, 2014
4
0
4,510
0
Hello,
I've found a website where you can make your own custom laptop (to an extent). Here is a laptop that will most lightly suit your needs - you can customize it to get more or less what you want - it has a 15" 1080p screen (I know you asked for 17", I'm sorry, this is probably one of your best options in your budget in my opinion) - and you can change that upto 2k, you can add an SSD as you requested. You can have a 970M, or a 980M. You can have a 1TB SSD or even 2TB SSD. You can change the amount of RAM and chose between 2 i7 CPU models (I know it isn't too much) there is a lot more you can do, I'm just listing what is most important to you you. One major drawback is it doesn't have a disk drive, I'm sorry about that however you can order an external one.

Link: http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/defianceII-15/

I hope I helped and reply if you'd like any more of my assistance, and good luck in your hunt for a laptop.

 

Lam1080p

Estimable
Nov 23, 2014
4
0
4,510
0
Also, if you're highly concerned about the durability - there are some warranties that you may want to look at. https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/pc-help/30/
 
To the original poster: If ease of disassembly to clean fans and change thermal paste is high on your list, I'd avoid the newer ASUS models. They are a pain to disassemble. That's why I went with an MSI when looking to replace my last ASUS.
 

Lam1080p

Estimable
Nov 23, 2014
4
0
4,510
0


Sorry, forgot about that - if you need to change the ebay link, just change the.co.uk to.com
 
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