Gaming laptops

jetpilot79

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Hi! I travel about 24 days a month and need a GOOD gaming laptop. I am really interested in playing Oblivion, and SupCom, and having them work reasonbly well, with good detail. Been all over the internet trying to get info, but it seems the only GPU that can really handle Oblivion is GF8800gtx, which I obviously cant use... I figure the best options are:

CPU: core 2 duo, 1.8 or better
GPU: GF 8 series M, but I dont know the REAL impact of 256 vice 512 dedicated memory. .GDDR3.
RAM: 2 gig+ GDDR2, T7300 or PC5300, 667 or faster FSB, 4mb L2
Screen size: 15.4 or 17, after much research, I still cant understand REAL differences in wsuxga+ codes.
HD: 5400-7200 RPM, size isnt a huge issue
Bat: isnt a big deal, as I will accept unplugged time limits.
OS: Vista Home
anything else seems unimportant to me

I have been seriously considering the satellite x205-s9349 with the geforce 8700m GT

I have also been considering systems with dual 7950s but really want to have a DX10 capable laptop so that it would *hopefully* last a few years. But the GF 85/600s I have read over and over about how seriously underpowered and dissapointing they are.

I have been watching Xotic Sager, M-tech, hypersonic, falcon-nw, alienware, killer, acer, anandtech and widow... They all seem like good systems, but I am budgeted to about $2,000, less is better as its all going on credit anyway.

Anyone have any suggestions to help me decide?

Anyone with gaming laptop, this satellite model especially, or with any other similar setup, can you tell me how well it plays Oblivion in outdoors, large space sims, and Supreme Commander?


Any thoughts are very appreciated, Thanks! :pt1cable:
 

jetpilot79

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yep, Killer has some cool lappies. I am keeping an eye on em too, do you think getting a GF8600 or 8700 notebook would be a viable and cheaper alternative to the more expensive extreme gaming laptops. how huge of a difference visually between? Can it even be quantified without using FPS, or what is a non headache inducing FPS.
 

lostandwandering

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The 8600mGT is about equal to the go7900GS and the 8700mGT is supposed to perform around the same as the 7950GTX (nothing definitive has been released about performance). If anything, a laptop with a "DX10" card will be more expensive since its newer. Don't expect to see Killernotebooks replace the 7950s since nothing beats them right now. When/if the 8800 comes out he might upgrade or if the 8700 proves to be better. Until then it's 7950GTX ftw.
 

nick2124

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Can you seriously get 2 7950's in a laptop? I had no idea this was possible.

I'm going to China very soon and while I'm there I've got to buy a good gaming laptop. Price isn't an issue as I've found that everything is so affordable over there.

Anyway, I went here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_8_Series#GeForce_8M_mobile_GPUs

A nd saw that plenty of Geforce series 8 cards for laptops are being released. I went to ebay.com to see how much they would cost and I cannot find any series 8 cards for sale. The best video card for a notebook I could find were a few 7950's.

So what I'm asking is:
1.Is it possible to have dual 7950's in a laptop?
2. What series 8 cards are out at the moment for laptop?

Thanks!
 

nick2124

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And where are they available? Usually I buy from ebay (about a year ago I built a gaming PC from scratch and I got most of the parts from ebay.) Are the geforce 8 series on ebay? If not, why not?
 

lostandwandering

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You need to understand that laptop graphics cards are not like the desktop version. They are smaller than what you get for desktops and usually only sold in bulk to manufacturers. The likely hood of you being able to find one on your own is very unlikely.( I apologize if you knew this already. Most people don't though)

1)Yes it is possible, the GPU is the 7950GTX. Note that is GTX not GT or GX2 like the desktop versions. Basically any laptop that is an SLI laptop is using the 7950s because the new 8 series for laptops aren't that good.

2) 8400m GS and GT
8600m GS and GT
8700m GT (out sometime this summer)

If you are looking to replace a GPU in a laptop, your best bet is to contact the manufacturer about it. If you are looking to build a barebones laptop, the GPU is already included in the bundle. You only need to buy the CPU, RAM, HDD and DVD.
 

lostandwandering

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The only one that has an Intel CPU and 2x7950 is the Clevo 900C. There is one with an AMD CPU, but it's larger and Intel is the better choice for laptops. The thing with the Clevos is that they are rebranded by dozens of other companies like Alienware, Sager, Widow and others. killernotebooks.com is coming out with their brand of the 900C and assuming it's not out of your price range you should consider it. The XPS is not designed for dual graphics cards. Maybe Dell will come out with an SLi laptop but at the moment they don't.
 

nick2124

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Ok so for notebook gamers Clevo 900C is the best choice?

and do you think 2x7950's will be sufficient to handle 2008 games?
 

nick2124

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Another Q, A salesperson is trying to sell me a new DELL XPS 1710, I asked what video card, she said it's NVIDIA 512 meg 7600 GS - Does such a card exist for laptops?
 

TheGreatGrapeApe

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Yeah the GeforceGO 7600 is the standard model that is often called the GS it's sometimes sold with or without the GS suffix, and you will see it appear in windows as a GS, and it comes in 64/128/256 and 512MB variants, but the later is rare, and often people quote the number for the TurboCache support amount, not actual physical memory. Most models are in the middle at 128 or 256MB, with the two outter ranges being rare.

There is also the GFGO7600GT and GFGO7700.

However a quick look at Dell's website shows that currently the XPS 1710 ships with either a GFGO7900GS w/ 256MB or the GFGO7950GTX w/ 512MB. So it must be an older model she'd be talking about.
 

lostandwandering

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Actually that person has no idea what they are talking about. Dell has NEVER offered the 7600 on the XPS system. Now, the person may have been confused and the laptop may have a 512mb video card (the7950) and the T7600 processor.

The laptop I have in my sig uses a single 7950 and it is quite incredible considering that it is in a laptop. If you buy from Mark at killernotebooks.com, he is willing to upgrade the graphics cards for the price difference between the two. His Intel SLi system isn't out yet, but drop him an e-mail. Ask about the Odachi and say you heard it from me.
 

TheGreatGrapeApe

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Yeah I agree if you're going for true gaming right now, then the GF7950GTX, MRX1900 or SLi combos are pretty much the best routes, the mid-range GF7600/7700/8600 or MRX1600/1700/1800 aren't going to do it for most people focusing on gaming. The only exception to this is Oblivion, where the GF8700 might give the GF7950 a run for it's money. IMO it'd be one of the only games, but the efficiency of the GF8 series in that game is pretty noticeable.

I assume the Odachi is going to fit in the blank spot down the centre of KN's product list?
 

nick2124

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The laptops at killernotebooks.com were enough to leave me with my mouth open in awe... Those are some beautiful machines, but I don't plan on spending anymore than $2k US on a laptop... And when I do buy, it'll be in China or Taiwan as I'm going to both those places pretty soon.

Why the heck would u want to spend up $4000-$6000 on a LAPTOP when everyone knows everything in the IT industry (especially computers) depreciate so rapidly.

I built a PC from scratch only a year ago, made sure I got the best deals - a year later its literally halved in value! Buy a $6000 laptop, in one year it'll be worth $3000, in another year you'll be stuck with a 11 pound laptop out-dated laptop that few gamers would want!

Anyway, Thanks for your help with the DELL XPS 1710 info - your right, there is no 7600 GS 512 meg for DELL XP 1710. It's probably a single 7950.

But personally I'm think it's best to hold out a few months until a very good and reliable geforce 8 series card is out and is clearly well ahead of any series 7 cards.
 

jetpilot79

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Hey Grape, I bolded your quote about the 8700 doing well with oblivion, but not much else. Is that because of the DX10? Could you explain or direct me to where I can learn more about laptops and GPU performance? That particular type of review is darn near impossible to find... & 8series laptops are generally cheaper, and I am price conscious, as nick pointed out about long term value. So I am seriously considering the Toshiba X205 as it is the only laptop I know that uses the 8700M.
My main interest is oblivion and games like supcom, See my original post for my thoughts,

Thanks a Lot!
 

nick2124

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SupCom is a demanding game, all RTS's that involve 100's-1000's of units on screen a require pretty powerful card and cpu to play smoothly. So make sure the laptop you purchase has both.

How much is the Toshiba? and Where would you buy it from?

One thing you need to investigate (if you haven't already) is the differences between series 7 cards (ideally 7950) versus 8700M performance/price wise.
 

TheGreatGrapeApe

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IT's not DX10, Oblivion is DX9. The only feature advantages the GF8 has over the GF7 would be the ability to run with HDR+AA and also the ability to use penalty free Higher quality AF. However the unified shader design with better branching than the previous generation seems to play very well with Oblivion switching easily from heavy pixel to heavy vertex loads. Oblivion is one of the only games that the GF86xx series design outperforms the GF79xx and even X19xx series, along with Stalker.

Could you explain or direct me to where I can learn more about laptops and GPU performance? That particular type of review is darn near impossible to find...
Yeah they are pretty impossible because few configurations are similar. However, keeping in mind that the GF8700M-GT specs are between those of the desktop GF8600GT and GF8600GTS (close to a GT XXX which runs at the same memory but 5mhz slower core), and that the GFGO7950GTX is just a bit better than the desktop GF7950GT and the GFGO7900GTX is bit worse, compare a few performance results on that basis you can extrapolate alot of information on performance (keeping in mind that overall performance may be different due to CPU/RAM/HDD differences). Looking at this Firingsquad review with the GT XXX you should be able to get an idea of the performance in Oblivion;
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8600_gts_preview/page8.asp
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8600_gts_preview/page9.asp

Take particular note of the second benchmark which shows what happened when the shader load is increased, and when playing the biggest issue is worst case scenario and min FPS, which in Oblivion favour the GF8600/8700 series.

A few more;
http://www.techreport.com/reviews/2007q2/geforce-8600/index.x?pg=7
http://www.techreport.com/reviews/2007q2/geforce-8600/index.x?pg=5
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/geforce8600gts_17.html#sect0
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/hardware/grafikkarten/2007/test_ati_radeon_hd_2400_xt_hd_2600_xt/16/#abschnitt_oblivion

That's why I say that Oblivion would be one of the only titles where the GF8600/8700M series would give the GFGO79xx series a run for the money.

8series laptops are generally cheaper, and I am price conscious, as nick pointed out about long term value. So I am seriously considering the Toshiba X205 as it is the only laptop I know that uses the 8700M.
My main interest is oblivion and games like supcom, See my original post for my thoughts,
Supreme Commander is very CPU limited, so the difference in graphics shouldn't really be pronnounced until you reach the limits of the cards, so until you reach higher resolutions you'll be fine, but below 16x10 they'll be very similar. IMO you'd do very well with the X205, for those titles. In many other titles though the GF8700 will get beaten by a GFGO7900GTX and GFGO7950GTX, and play closer to a GFGO7900GS.
 

nick2124

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Quick question, don't mean to change topic: But simply is the DELL XPS 1710 SLI compatible? Can it hold 2 x 7950Gtx's?
 
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