MSI/Asus/etc. gaming laptop or a "selected components" laptop?

Oct 31, 2013
I'll be moving off to University soon, and suffice to say, circumstances require some level of mobility. With that in mind, I'm thinking of getting a gaming laptop, since it would not require me to haul a tower cross-country and because I'm thinking of staying pretty mobile in between lectures and actively gaming on it.

That said, I still want it to have good enough performance to out-do my current rig(i5 3470/8GB HyperX 1333Mhz/Zotac (reference) GTX 670) by at least a 5% percentile. Going on GPUboss and notebook review websites, laptops with a GTX 980m seem to do the trick fairly well.

Now, my dillemma stands in whether I should go for one of the finished MSI/Asus laptops that you can find all over amazon or ones where you get to select your components bit-by-bit(for eg,'s 3XS systems and PCSpecialist). The latter seems to offer the better value(since I can do without an SSD and just get one further down the line) but I don't know how well it gels together since far as I know, no review site exists yet where they review all the possible component configurations from these sites.

So I'd like some advice on which option would be better. My budget is up to £1500, and some of PCSpecialist's range falls neatly within that margin(though Scan offers insurance, recovery sticks and next-day delivery).
Oct 31, 2013

I should probably amend the OP, but these are both gaming laptops. What I meant is that the MSI/Asus/etc ones are prebuilt, with fixed components, whereas the ones from 3xs & PCSpecialist require you to select the components for the laptop you want.

Out of the two, I don't know which one would give better performance, since the latter ones don't really have any benchmarks available and in the former, performance can be very inconsistent, regardless of their respective components(basically, I don't know if say, an i7 4710HQ w/ a gtx980m always results in the same performance).



The best way to see if it is a custom is to see reviews on youtube of the model you intend to buy. Also ask your friends if they have heard of the sites you are using. If they have, then it must be ok to buy but if they have never heard of it or say it is bad then stay away from them.

Personally I always buy branded laptops as I know that they will work and don't like tinkering with the internals. I have had an asus for nearly 2 years and I have played every kind of game you can think of and it still works.
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