Need help selecting Gaming Laptop

sharpnova

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1. What is your budget? $3000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Size isn't really a factor. I'll be traveling, but I don't mind it being large or heavy if that's required.

3. What screen resolution do you want? 1920x1080. If it's greater that's ok, but 1080p seems fine by me.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Desktop replacement. It doesn't need to be able to be whipped out and used on my lap on a subway. Would probably be using it in hotels/at home.

5. How much battery life do you need? Not a factor. Will almost always use it while plugged in. If not, I accept that it will probably have a short battery life.

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)? Yep. That will be the primary use.

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

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? 1 TB - 2 TB. I don't really care about whether it's a hybrid or a SSD or a platter drive. If it comes down to it fault tolerance and capacity are roughly tied for most important to me. I don't much care about speed of HDD. I've used both high end SSD's and 5400 rpm platter drives in destop PC's and never noticed much of a day-to-day difference. At least not enough to justify the limited capacity.

A popular offering from laptop manufacturers seems to be 2x 1 TB platter drives in a RAID 0. Low fault tolerance but awesome capacity and performance. This is something I wouldn't be averse to. I also wouldn't be averse to SSD's and Hybrids if a good model was suggested.

Another popular configuration I've seen is the 1 TB drive + 384 GB drive (which is actually 3x128 GB SSD's in RAID 0) which seems cool and I could definitely work with that.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 2-3 years.

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

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 have no brand preference.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.I did a lot of initial research. I eventually narrowed my choices down to the HX7-300 from Cyberpower, the DominatorPro-889 from MSI, and no specific model, but the Alienware 18's (for their SLI options)

The Alienwares are very expensive, but I was attracted to SLI, since it seems to roughly double gaming performance on laptops.

The Cyberpowers seem like good deals, but I contacted their customer support with four fairly simple and polite questions about the options in order to make the correct selections before ordering and never got a reply. Further research led me to countless horror stories of terrible build quality and customer support. This didn't conclusively dissuade me from choosing them, but it put me back in "not sure which brand to go with" territory.

I haven't heard much bad about the MSI laptops and they are also a good value compared to Alienware. But Alienware has the SLI and I don't see many others that offer it. (I saw some 'Origin' laptops that offered it as well)
 

danwat1234

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Get a laptop with multiple SATA slots or an mSATA slot so you can have an SSD and a mechanical drive or two. SSDs really spiff up a laptop.
MSI GT70-2PC or 2PE is pretty awesome with really good built in sound I've heard and weighs less than Asus G750, and far more upgradable if you are into that sort of thing.
 

dasulman

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well since you've selected cyberpowerpc i'm assuming you'd be fine with a Sager model.
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9377-clevo-p377sma-p-6982.html?wconfigure=yes
So here's what would be considered...a massive bloody monster.
Sager NP9377 (Clevo P377SM-A)
- FREE!!! – U.S. UPS GROUND SHIPPING (Use Coupon Code "FREESHIP" in Checkout) [U.S. Lower 48 ONLY / Restrictions Apply]
- 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Matte Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Anti-Glare Screen (1920x1080) (SKU - SSC002)
- Sager - 4th Generation Intel® Haswell Core™ i7-4810MQ (2.8GHz - 3.8GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache) (SKU – SPU401)
- - IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
- SLI (2x) - NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 880M (16.0GB total) GDDR5 PCI-Express DX11 [User Upgradeable] (SKU – GPU04X)
- 16GB DDR3 1600MHz [2x8GB] Dual Channel Memory (SKU - RAM04S)
- 120GB Samsung 840 EVO Series mSATA SSD - Preconfigured as an OS Drive ( Operating System – Drive C: )
- NO mSATA Solid State Drive
- 750GB 7200RPM [SATA II - 16MB Cache] (SKU - HDD099)
- 750GB 7200RPM [SATA II - 16MB Cache] (SKU - HDD096)
- Raid 1 Mirror Enabled (Requires 2 Hard Drives. Copies data from primary drive to secondary drive) (Sager)
- 6X Blu-Ray Reader + 8X DVDRW/CDRW Super Multi Combo Drive (Sager) (SKU - ODD097)
- Sager - Intel® Dual Band AC 7260 802.11 A/AC/B/G/N 2.4/5.0GHz + Bluetooth™ 4.0 (SKU - WIFI98)
Oh and it runs windows 8.1
this is for around $2950.
And it's completely over kill.

Could just go for the best Asus Rog and tell them to add an SSD, that'll be around $2300. But the cooling, sound and build quality will probably be better than every other laptop on the market, the downside is, you only have 1 880M card.
 

sharpnova

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Since my OP, I've been seriously looking at these Sager laptops. Really been impressed with the prices on their SLI.

I'm currently trying to figure out why I was able to configure an NP9377 model with SLI 880's for $2584 while the NP9570 with the exact same stats and GPU's but a different (superior) cpu is $3124 (the cpu is a 4820K vs. the 4810 which I get is the difference between a destop cpu and a mobile cpu and benchmarks scores show a substantial difference.. but I don't think that would matter at all at that point for high-end gaming)

Btw, how do you feel said "best Asus ROG" compares to the MSI DominatorPro-889?
 

danwat1234

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"Btw, how do you feel said "best Asus ROG" compares to the MSI DominatorPro-889?"
MSI GT70-2PE (basically the 889) is pretty awesome with really good built in sound I've heard and weighs less than Asus G750, and far more upgradable if you are into that sort of thing.
Asus is too heavy and has a weaker processor, though not much difference. But can upgrade to an extreme processor whereas with the Asus that's impossible.
 

dasulman

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according to OP, weight doesn't really matter.
the sound is pretty good between the two. Dynaudio vs asus sonicmaster is a close call.
the weaker processor isn't a problem at all - the only reason to get an even more powerful one is to reduce the bottleneck caused by the GPU. The difference is minimal.
Going further than an I7 4700MQ unless you have 880M SLI is a complete waste of money.
the best Asus Rog has a gtx 880M, a varying SSD and the best cooling and build quality on the market
the dominator's build quality and cooling pale by comparison.
 

danwat1234

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The dominator has a 12V single cooling fan, which when going full blast, everybody says it moves a ton of air, about 25CFM. The Asus uses two 5V fans. Which one cools better? Maybe about the same but I don't have first hand experience.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gt70-dragon-edition-2-core-i7-4930mx-laptop,3545-5.html

The new MSI GT72, which will replace the GT70 has two fans, whether they are 12V or 5V remains to be seen.

The Asus screen won't tilt much more than vertical.
 
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