Is the performace boost for two 980M in SLI in a laptop worth the extra heat and money?

Steven Mal

Honorable
Jun 8, 2013
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I'm trying to figure out whether I should get a new gaming laptop with one GTX 980M or two GTX 980M in SLI. I know that SLI uses more power, generates more heat and costs more so is the performance boost worth the extra heat and money for a gaming laptop? Would I have to get a laptop cooler and/or undervolt to cool down my computer or are those unnecessary precautionary measures? Would a cooler or undervolting make any significant difference at all? Also, it's a desktop replacement so it'll be plugged in whenever I'm using it.

Here's what I'm looking for... I am trying to get the most that I can out of my $3000 budget...

- Due to my current living situation it MUST be a laptop

- Preferably 18" screen with 1920x1080 resolution

- I know I don't need it for gaming but I'd still prefer an i7

- Minimum of 4GB RAM, preferably 8 GB RAM (Maybe 16GB RAM...?)

- Weight is not an issue

- SSD not required, but certainly welcome (for the OS and a few games that I play very often)

- 1TB HDD (hopefully 7200 RPM but 5400 RPM is fine)

- Looking to play games on Max/High settings with 60fps, hopefully with a GTX 980M or GTX 980M SLI

- $3000 budget

Should I bother with 980 SLI or invest more money in a better CPU or more RAM? I'm thinking I'll get the 980 SLI because I'll be using this laptop primarily for gaming...but I don't have experience with SLI and the games I already play ran perfectly fine on my old GTX460M, so I know just one GTX980M will be more than sufficient.

My OLD Alienware M18x specs
18.4 inch screen with 1920 x 1080
i7-2630QM
4GB RAM
GTX 460M
500GB HDD (No SSD) I think the HDD might have been 750GB

for $2000

I'm only including this because even though Alienware is insanely expensive and I could have gotten better my old M18x did what I wanted it to well enough. Like I said, I know I got ripped off but I still wasn't disappointed with the performance even though I could have gotten better...

Now I'm trying to get the most that I can out of my $3000 budget...even though I unfortunately MUST have a laptop

Here's what I'm considering with my budget so far.

All of this came from xoticpc.com

Sager NP-9377S
i7-4710MQ (2.5GHz - 3.5GHz, 6MB)
Dual GTX 980M 16GB GDDR5
16GB DDR3 1600MHz
Two 512GB Micron M600 mSATA SSD in RAID 0
1TB 7200 RPM
$3107

MSI GT80 Titan-001
i7-4720HQ (2.6GHz - 3.6GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
SLI (2x) - NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 980M
16GB DDR3 1600MHz
Two 128GB Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA - Stock
1TB 7200 RPM
$3104

MSI GT72 Dominator Pro-445
i7-4980HQ (2.8GHz - 4.0GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 980M (8.0GB) GDDR5
32GB DDR3 1600MHz
Four 128GB Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA
1TB 7200RPM
$3009

MSI GT72 Dominator Pro-444
i7-4980HQ (2.8GHz - 4.0GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 980M (8.0GB) GDDR5
32GB DDR3 1600MHz
Four 256GB Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA
1TB 7200RPM
$3480

MSI GT72 Dominator Pro-208
i7-4710HQ (2.5GHz - 3.5GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
NVIDIA® GTX 980M (8.0GB) GDDR5
32GB DDR3 1600MHz
4 256GB Micron M600 Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA
1TB 7200RPM
$3172

MSI GT80 Titan-047
i7-4720HQ (2.6GHz - 3.6GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 980M (8.0GB) GDDR5
16GB DDR3 1600MHz
512GB Micron M600 Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA
500GB Samsung 850 Evo SSD
$2999

MSI GT72 Dominator Pro Dragon-695
i7-4870HQ (2.5GHz - 3.7GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 980M (8.0GB) GDDR5
24GB DDR3 1600MHz
Four 256GB Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA
1TB 7200RPM
$3008

MSI GT72 Dominator Pro-210
i7-4710HQ (2.5GHz - 3.5GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 980M (8.0GB) GDDR5
24GB DDR3 1600MHz
Four 256GB Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA
1TB 7200RPM
$2913

Unfortunately I don't like the ASUS equivalents that I found. The GTX 980M that comes with the ASUS models has only 4GB of VRAM, not 8GB and less SSD storage than I could get from the other brands and models.

ASUS ROG G751JY-DH72X
Intel Core i7-4860HQ 2.40 GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M 4 GB
32GB DDR3L
512 GB SSD
1 TB 7200 RPM
$2798

On xoticpc.com if I'm not going to go with 980 SLI I have $650 to spend somewhere else in the configuration. Where would you recommend I use that $650?

If you have any other recommendations I'd appreciate them.
 

Hutcheh

Estimable
Nov 29, 2014
9
0
4,520
1
Which laptops are you looking at? I was taking a gander at the origin laptop and from all of the ventilation, it seems like a cooling mat would prove useful. If the laptop you are looking at has 1080p max resolution, then you are looking at 1.1 to 1.4 times the performance increase depending on which game you play and how it utilizes SLI.
 

batmanpreet23

Estimable
Mar 14, 2015
14
0
4,560
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I guess yes. Companies which give sli as a default option provide great cooling options as well. Plus you can customize at places like xoticpc for better cooling. As for the performance, yes. The framerates nearly double up. it should be worth the money.
 
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