Laptop purchase 2016


Feb 11, 2016

This is my first post here. Have found that there are some great people on these forums and I would like to say thanks in advance...

This will be my first computer purchase in a long while. I have always had access to one through work but I have sped the last year and a half as a stay at home dad. I have an iPad Air and access to my wife's 2009 13 inch MacBook Pro 1280x800 with a core 2 duo 2Gb ram and GeForce 9400m 256mb.

The Mac was a surprise gift and neither of us utilized it for much other than web surfing and pre installed Mac apps. My only other options are a couple of turn of the century desktops with XP...

My wife got me a base model surface pro 4 for Christmas that I returned because it was completely underpowered for what I wanted to do with it. I generally liked the feel of Windows 10 and the build quality of the sp4 but I definitely want a notebook style laptop.

I have ~150,000 photos and videos stored on a portable hard drive that I want to start managing that I just cannot do with my current hardware.

I'd like to purchase and use software from Adobe and so forth to build an organized media library on one device, including my 40+ gigs of music, pictures and videos, files, documents, etc. I also want to be able to run current video and photo editing software and probably MS Visio, project, xcel, PowerPoint, maybe some more demanding project management software, but nothing to graphically challenging besides the photo and video stuff...

Which comes to gaming... I am a gamer for sure but I've always gone with the consoles (currently play games like battlefront, halo, tomb raider, GTA on an Xbox one). That doesn't mean I am against gaming on a laptop, I just have no experience with it.

With four kids under the age of four, I rarely get to use the tv for any gaming or anything so the idea of being able to play on my own device is quite intriguing...

Foremost is the media stuff listed above, but I'd be open to a gaming machine for sure

1. What is your budget?

2k max!

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

Really open to this one...

3. What screen resolution do you want?

I want a 4K (right?)

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

I went to Microcenter yesterday and got a feel for various sizes and classes of laptops and I think that something like the msi GT72 or Asus equivalent are pretty darned big. The GS60 ghost pro series and the UX/G501 seemed acceptable. They only had an XPS 13 and it was quite a nice form but lacking a dedicated GPU, so I would be more interested in the XPS 15.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Not a ton... I'm always close to an outlet and I am aware that I am not going to get long runs with the performance I am looking for. A good battery would be a bonus!

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... But I don't know what settings because I've been a 30+ year console gamer!
GTA series
First person shooters and adventure type games
Rally and automotive type racing games
I don't know isn't there like a million more games for PC gaming? I don't want to pigeon hole myself...

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

Photo/video/music editing with large libraries
MS office Viso and Project
Other stuff that would be fun and cool I guess...

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

I think I need a lot. And I am really open to suggestions here. I like the idea of an NVMe operating drive and secondary storage drive(s). Not so much cloud or remote storage, but ok with portable storage in general.

I currently have close to a 3/4 TB of data on a portable USB and an old desktop with another 50 GB of music and so forth that I'd like to be able to access. It might not need to be all on the laptop drives but that would be ideal. I also have four young kids and take a lot of pictures on a Sony 24mpxl DSLR (mostly jpg and mov not RAW currently, but maybe with the current Adobe apps that will make more sense in the future). Plus I need space for all of the applications and games (not sure how much current Adobe apps require or games)...

So to repeat myself, I think I need a lot.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

Open to anything. I have a Costco membership, but not been sold on any of there current offerings, however they seem to offer some value in price and there return policy would be a nice additional peace of mind bonus with my gang of young children on the prowl. But only a bonus!

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

A while... Hopefully! I tend to buy nice things and take care of them, but the kids are the true wildcard...

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

I just got the complete set of Star Wars blurays for my birthday, and it would be nice to watch on the laptop on a flight or something, but with four kids under four I'm probably not going to fly anywhere any time soon and the Xbox one plays blurays.

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.

I like high end stuff and I'm open to any brand. I've really looked long and hard and I'd be open to many manufacturers as long as the product was built well and delivered the performance and met my minimal requirements with as much "future proofing" as possible...

Skylake i7 processor (DDR4, Pcie 4 NVMe, etc.)
4k or approximate resolution
Touch or no touch, just a gorgeous display is what I want
NVMe SSD storage for these fast starts everyone talks about (coming from XP and last decades tech and hardware I'm sure anything will impress me, but I want the latest and greatest storage drive technology for at least the main operating drive.
USB 3.1 C gen 2 with thunderbolt 3
Dedicated graphics, probably not less than GTX 60 or equivalent

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I think I've said enough above...

Thank you!



Feb 11, 2016
Anyone know how to confirm that the msi super port is actually thunderbolt 3 compatible? That is the one question preventing me from pulling the trigger and buying a ghost pro 4K...

And then there is the whole Dell XPS 15 that seems to be a finalist too...


May 8, 2014
Not sure if your totally sold on the MSI, but the ASUS that was suggested (or similar ASUS) all seem to run cooler and quieter then the the MSI counterparts from the research I've done. For what it's worth.
I've been kinda thinking about get the Dell XPS 15 (1080p version) for myself. I don't wanna deal with scaling issues and for what I do a 4K screen is not necessary, plus it reduces overall battery life by about 2 hours.

It is small and light for a laptop with a 15.6" screen. It's clean look means I can bring it into the office without turning heads (i.e. does not look like a gaming laptop). But I have a hard time pulling the trigger because I need to pay my taxes which far exceeds the cost of the 4k version of the Dell XPS 15 with the 512GB PCIe SSD.


Feb 11, 2016

My final two picks were with the dell xps 15 and the ghost pro and I was completely torn.
I ended up pulling the trigger on the msi ghost pro model GS60 4K-238, which was literally just released, from xotic pc with the RAM upped to 32gb.
It has the ports (thunderbolt 3), functionality, and hardware that I think I will need/want in a slim enough design. The xps would have certainly been much better for battery life, screen quality and portability, and if it is anything like the xps 13 it would have been quite nice on the eyes. I was never able to see and hold the xps 15. I did see the ghost non-4K and I liked it enough to go for it.