Gaming laptops: performance vs reliability

twitch_uk

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Hi all,

I'm looking for input from people with a bit of knowledge/experience of reliability of gaming laptops, from a thermals point of view.

I've had a couple of gaming laptops in the past, and they're great for gaming away from home. Unfortunately, in my experience the GPUs are prone to failure. Although I don't have any hard data, I suspect that the OEMs that make these kinds of machines are a bit too over-optimistic as to how much heat a chassis can get rid of, which results in severe temperature cycles. My theory is that it as soon as a bit of dust builds up, the temperature cycles from gaming sessions become very severe, and eventually BGA pins start popping. Even if you religiously prevented dust build, the temperature cycles might still be severe enough to drastically shorten lifetime.

I'm in the market for a gaming laptop, but I'm wary of getting another machine which may prove unreliable within the space of a few months or a year, as has generally been the case in the past. For example, right now SCAN are offering a tasty-looking 15.6" gaming laptop:

http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1609

I'm wondering how feasible that laptop really is. The TDP of the GTX 765M is apparently ~60-65W. The TDP of of the i7 4900MQ is ~47W. Throw in another 10W or so for other functions makes ~125W. Am I right in thinking that 125W will create some pretty severe temperature cycles on a 15.6" chassis without some kind of fancy cooling solution?

I'm starting to think that unreliability may just be something that comes with the territory if you want a gaming laptop good enough to run up-to-date games.

Any opinions?
 

faalin

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Here you go
 

Azn Cracker

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yea gaming laptops are unreliable because they are abused by high temps. Their gpus go into the 90's sometimes 100. Always use a cooling pad if you can. Probably doesnt do much but its better than nothing.

Also don't look for a thin gaming laptop, those are the ones that burn up. Something thicker will have better cooling usually.
 

Azn Cracker

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its because they don't pay the sweat shop workers enough. cmon my people are working their ass off for nothing, what do you expect in quality?

Also this seems to be a problem in almost all gpus.
 

n4v1n

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Hi,

If you play at home, why dont you go with a good desktop or build one by yourself(if you can. I mean, I could build a gaming beast with 1000 Pound), cause you've already have faced 2 gaming lappy failure.

And if you play on travel or want gaming portability, Go for Alienware. Dell product is good for gaming but expensive as well as thicker. and also good support

What brand is that, EMS? never heard of it...

And plz don't go for Razer Blade.
 

twitch_uk

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That one looks heavier and thicker than most 15.6" laptops - I'm guessing that's to accomodate extra cooling. It's possible that a company like MSI shift a hell of a lot of units, so they have a better idea than most OEMs of what can be reliably done.
 

twitch_uk

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Thanks for the response, but I don't need a desktop - already got one that's good enough.

The point of this thread is what level of performance can realistically be achieved in a gaming laptop (e.g. 15.6" laptop chassis with Haswell CPU) without creating something that will fail quickly due to thermal stress / temperature cycles.
 

twitch_uk

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faalin, can you do me a favour and post any voltage + current info from the labels on the AC adapter for your MSI GT60-2OD? Can PM me if you prefer.

Thanks.
 

twitch_uk

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Never used a cooling pad, but it might work. Kind of defeats the point of a laptop though - I'd rather just a bigger chassis with better cooling than haul an extra thing around with the laptop, or go for a laptop with a less powerful GPU.
 

Fouchey

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Ive had my gaming laptop for 2-3 years now with absolutely no problems and stays moderately cool. I just make sure to clean it out every few weeks and it runs very smooth.
 

faalin

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Here you go
 

twitch_uk

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What is the manufacturer and model?
 

twitch_uk

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They were both Rock Direct, which were acquired by Stone Group. Stone Group no longer sell gaming laptops. I guess they were probably losing money on them.

The GPU on the first one failed, and they replaced the GPU. That laptop is still working and is probably about 5 years old, although nowadays I just run Ubuntu on it and don't use it for gaming, so the GPU is hardly stressed at all.

My second one worked pretty well for about 14 months of not very heavy gaming usage, although I think if I had been gaming on it daily it would have died much sooner. At the moment, the GPU seems to be dead. What I probably should have done is religiously cleaned out any dust at monthly intervals, but I didn't want to invalidate the warranty by poking around inside it. That may or may not have made a difference. I'm about to return it for repair, since Stone are honouring the 3 year warranty even though they don't sell gaming laptops any more.

Rock Direct / Stone were basically rebranding Clevo machines, like loads of other laptop builders were doing at that time, and putting in a high-end mobile CPU & GPU.
 

bthizle1

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I`m considering a sager np8230 right now, but it`s also a clevo based laptop. I haven`t really heard any really bad revies about the cooling, honestly with their laptops I`ve ony heard about the bad speaker quality. You have any opinion regarding sager-clevo?
 

twitch_uk

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I have never owned a Sager machine, because I'm in the UK. I must say that nothing in the the Clevo machines themselves has ever failed for me - I've only ever seen the GPU fail. I finally opened up my current laptop to clean the dust out, and it was pretty well designed. It was easy to remove enough parts to be able to get rid of the dust, and I don't think that doing so invalidated the warranty (unlike my first gaming laptop), because there was no sticker to break. No guarantee that the NP8230 chassis is as neat as that, though.
 

GSW

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I can't say much about the longevity of the NP7352 I just got, but I've yet to see the GPU temp go over 65C... Maybe this isn't a true Gaming laptop. However, it's got the GTX 765M with a i7-4700MQ which is 47watt TDP...
 
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