Precision M6800 VS Alienware 17 gaming

Arcturus314

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Jun 13, 2013
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Hi all, I am looking into a new laptop. I'm going to finish my summer job at the end of summer and by then I will have $2500 to spend on a new laptop.
I am thinking about two models: the Alienware 17 and precision m6800. Fry's is selling the Alienware with a i7 4700mq and 780m 16 GB ram for $2200 while I would configure the m6800 with a firepro m6100, i7 4810mq and 8 GB RAM (upgraded soon to 16). I have a few questions:

I plan on using these laptops for 4+ years. I noticed the m6800 has a much better warranty, which one will last longer / has better build quality?

For gaming, can I switch out the m6800 GPU with a 870 / 780? How are temps on both laptops (since I will be playing games)? I don't want to damage CPU / GPU due to temps

Which of these laptops are easier to upgrade since I plan on adding HDD / SSD in the future?

I will be using this at my summer job as well as more professional things, so I do prefer the look of the m6800. I will also be doing some light CAD (not enough to justify one over the other). Which laptop would fit my needs better?
 

dasulman

Honorable
probably the alienware, but you can get a much nicer laptop for that price.
http://www.amazon.com/G750JZ-DS71-17-3-inch-Gaming-GeForce-Graphics/dp/B00IAACWH6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405508878&sr=8-1&keywords=asus+rog+750+jz
the asus ROG is the best single GPU laptop on the market right now. It runs very quietly, does a fantastic job of keeping temperatures down, has one of the best battery life's for a gaming laptop and the build quality is frankly second to none.
This configuration is stronger than your referenced Alienware 17 model, and the precision 6800 would do absolutely TERRIBLE at gaming.
definitely get an Asus Rog.
 

Arcturus314

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Jun 13, 2013
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I looked at the ROG at Fry's, and I wasn't impressed with its build quality. I noticed a large amount of flex in the body. The M6800 gets 5 hours of battery encoding video without the slice battery, so I assume that would be around 3 hours playing games. Also the default FirePro is apperently as good as a 860 at gaming, still not that good though.Again, how are the temps on the m6800 and Alienware? I really don't want to burn out components on either of them.
 

dasulman

Honorable
what Asus ROG laptop did you look at? Because They are renowned to be almost perfect.
the M6800 is supposed to be really loud, around 51db at load which is not good at all. But keeps quite cool, maxing out at around 40C
The Alienware however get's much hotter, coming to around 54C, by contrast the Asus maxes out at 44C.
Depending on how much more efficient the firepro card is, I would expect only an hour and a half of gaming battery life - the Asus rog manages 1:17 and the battery size difference is only about 10%. The alienware get's only 1 hour.
none of these models will throttle on socket power, but as with all gaming models - battery gaming is limited.
and did I mention the ROG is around 20% more powerful thanks to the 880M.
reviews:http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Dell-Precision-M6800-Notebook.105108.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Asus-G750JZ-T4023H-Notebook.116196.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Alienware-17-Haswell-Notebook.103755.0.html
 

Arcturus314

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I looked at the ROG G750JZ with the 880M. I found substantial flex in the top of the lid and the exterior felt worse built than the alienware, which has a metal case as well as no flex I could find. The Alienware just seemed much better built to me.

One last thing: I checked with Dell Support and they said they could provide me with an m6800 with an 880M for the same price as their FirePro M6100 model. I think I will probably go with that; I am fine with my laptop running loud as long as it runs cool and lasts a long time. Plus that 5+ hours on battery that many people get seems very good compared to the 3 hours on battery for the Alienware and Asus.

EDIT: They contacted me again and said it was not possible
 

Arcturus314

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Jun 13, 2013
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Another question: How is the performance of the i7 4800mq vs i7 4810mq? I can get a refurbished laptop with the 4800mq for $700 less than a brand new one. Also are dells refurbished workstations good? I was looking into these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-PRECISION-M6800-i7-4800MQ-8GB-256GB-SSD-1080P-FP-READER-BACKLIT-WEBCAM-8PRO-/221493778026?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item33920ed66a

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-PRECISION-M6800-i7-4800MQ-8GB-500GB-SSD-Hybrid-1080p-M6100-BACKLIT-WEBCAM-/271523674327?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item3f381278d7
 
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