Gaming laptop sought for c. £2,500 - is now a good time to buy?

CorporalRutland

Estimable
Aug 21, 2015
2
0
4,510
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Hi everyone - yes, I'm new here! Insert usual wrong-forum apologies

My Samsung 7 Series Gamer (700G7C) is coming to the end of its life - not bad for the three years of service it has given me.

While I know how to build a desktop and, indeed, the savings one represents, a limit on space, frequent moving about and not wanting to shut myself in another room away from the Mrs to play games mean a laptop is the way I need to go. I'm not actually looking for something that's lightweight, just something that I can put in a bag and move around.

I bought my current setup during October 2012 when Windows 8 upgrades were 'the thing' and so I got it for a good price. I'm aware that the Windows 10 upgrade puts us in a similar situation. However, I'm also a once-upon-a-time inmate of the electrical retail industry, and I recall there being certain times of year where it was a good or bad idea to buy certain kit (e.g. buying a TV in January was a no-brainer but getting one in May before the new models hit in June was madness).

First, is there ever a 'good time' to get a new laptop? I realise that's all relative and that whenever I buy anything it's soon obsolete, though not at the rate, I seem to have observed, that it was when I was in retail.

Second, my actual requirements. I'm happy to spend £2,500 and can be convinced to go to £3,00, though it would have to do something unique and spectacular for me to go to that and my research so far suggests gains after £2,500 are incremental.

SCREEN: I won't get out of bed for less than 17.x" and would really like to go back to the 18" my old Toshiba Qosmio had.

CPU: I want something really good this time around, so i7 - I'm seeing most of the 47xx series crop up a lot. I've branched into some rather physics-heavy games like Kerbal Space Program which to my mind seem to be demanding far more of my CPU than my GPU.

RAM: As before, more is needed. My current rig is 16GB but I'm getting into running games properly in x64, and for modded games in particular this can mean usages of over 10GB - I'm after 32 this time around. Not seeing the case for any more as yet unless someone wants to put it to me.

GPU: I've used nVidia since '99 and loved every single card I've had so I'm biassed here. I'm seeing that for my money I can get a dual-card system. Trying to weigh up between the 970M and 980M and whether the (generally) +£250 a card is worth the outlay and indeed whether one or two cards is the way to go (EDIT: research seems to be suggesting one is the answer but feel free to sell me Crossfire/SLI if you've had good experiences). I haven't seen a single ATi anywhere but I'm sure someone here can sell me one.

STORAGE: Hard drive lag is driving me absolutely mental on my games at the moment and the secondary drive is making the occasional telltale cluck, so I'm seriously considering solely SSD. I use Spotify, Netflix and Steam so don't actually have to have anything permanently stored.

I dual boot, so the arrangement is what's causing me the issue. Right now I have 2 750GB 7200rpms and a 20GB SSD. The clever people at Samsung didn't think to actually try and install Windows on this SSD and I couldn't access it when installing Ubuntu so I have no idea what the performance impacts are.

Can I put two OSes on one boot drive or would I need two? Should they then share a main drive for actual storage or have one each? Ultimately I have 1.5TB of storage at the moment and would want 2 as a minimum, however it's organised.

OPTICAL: Blu ray please! ROM is fine.

CHASSIS &C: I don't know what's it's called, but the chassis that Utopia, PCSpecialist et. al. use for their top-end customs is rank, sorry. Call me shallow (you're shallow - Ed.), but if I'm going to drop £2,500+ I expect it to *look* like it as well. I've always gone black and would not be averse to something a little funkier this time around. I also love my Samsung's backlit keyboard and would want something as customisable as possible. The Samsung is mostly blue with WASD in red and I'd want to be able to do something like that as a minimum.

In terms of cooling, I realise that's the major downfall of laptops - as long as this one doesn't give me skin burns as the Samsung did (long story, Samsung's public liability department are lovely, by the way) I'm happy, but if something you have in mind has something extra (a bit like the Asus ROG) then I'm all for it. I'd rather add a little weight and have the components cook to death a little slower.

In terms of the other odds and sods I know it'll come with the usual bundle of Bluetooth and WiFi, USBs and whatnot. I'm not even aware of using anything USB 3.0, much less Thunderbolt - please do enlighten me in these regards including those of a DisplayPort nature - I'm enjoying HDMI just fine and would want one of those.

I hope that's useful and in line with all the rules - forgive me if it isn't and let me know if I can be any clearer in what I've outlined. I look forward to benefiting from your collective expertise!
 

CorporalRutland

Estimable
Aug 21, 2015
2
0
4,510
0
Thanks for the suggestion.

I hate to bump but here's the thing - I've got one more week off work and am sort of in a position to do this. Can anyone else recommend anything over the Titan?

The main question I have is am I best buying now or am I buying something right at the end of its life cycle?
 
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