Reasonably priced "gaming" laptop

Kraizk

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Mar 23, 2009
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I am looking into purchasing a laptop I intend to "game" on. Now I place this in quotes because money is definitely a deciding factor. I am NOT looking to run Crysis 3 on max settings. I am looking for something that could maybe handle something like BF3 or even FC 3 on medium-ish settings knowing full well it is a mobile device. My main games would most likely be things like CIV 5, StarCraft II, GuildWars 2, maybe a bit of EVE.

Looking around I found this laptop for what looks to be a decent deal

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ATIV+Book+8+15.6%22+Touch-Screen+Laptop+-+8GB+Memory+-+1TB+Hard+Drive/8965053.p?id=1218957864443&skuId=8965053&st=samsung%20ativ&cp=1&lp=5#tab=specifications

As gimmicky as it is I do also like that this laptop offers a touch screen. I probably wont use it as much as I think I would in CIV 5 and a few other titles so this part isn't a necessity.

The issue here is that I can not find any real information about the benchmarks of the 8770 M. I was also looking for some info on taking the thing apart to put an SSD in because the idea of a 5400 RPM drive just really makes me mad.

Any recommendations or information regarding this setup would be greatly appreciated.
 

Eximo

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Kind of cripple yourself with the 1920x1080. I think the ideal mix at the moment is 1600x900 for mobile gaming. But if you are talking plugged in to the wall as a dual purpose machine 1920 makes sense.

Here are a few additional choices.

4th Gen i7, GTX 765m, 15.6 @ 1080P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152406

3rd Gen i7, Dual GTX650m, battery life on these is terrible, and the SLI won't engage unless plugged in. Has an SSD cache drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312441

It is pretty easy to swap out to an SSD, many come in kits with software just for that purpose.
 

Eximo

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Kind of cripple yourself with the 1920x1080. I think the ideal mix at the moment is 1600x900 for mobile gaming. But if you are talking plugged in to the wall as a dual purpose machine 1920 makes sense.

Here are a few additional choices.

4th Gen i7, GTX 765m, 15.6 @ 1080P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152406

3rd Gen i7, Dual GTX650m, battery life on these is terrible, and the SLI won't engage unless plugged in. Has an SSD cache drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312441

It is pretty easy to swap out to an SSD, many come in kits with software just for that purpose.
 

Kraizk

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Mar 23, 2009
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While I realize gaming away from an electrical socket has its limitations I do think that would be a deal breaker on the Lenovo. How far along has MSI come with their laptops? I see it is still fairly bulky compared to some of the others I have seen but then again with my price point that will be an issue I feel I need to deal with. The last G series I used through them was a train wreck.... It locked up all the time, took forever to boot, got RIDICULOUSLY hot (I know heat will always be an issue but this was so bad I had to remove it from my lap on more than 1 occasion while just browsing). Not to mention I have had bad experiences with their mother boards on my Desktop (I know those can be hit and miss I know people who swear by MSI).

The SSD on that Samsung sounds complicated as apparently it is more similar to a MAC in the idea that you have to tear a lot of it apart to get one in there...

Is 1920x1080 on a laptop that much of a cripple? I have not had to buy a laptop since 2007 when 1920x1080 screens on a laptop were few and the ones that did exist cost you well beyond what a normal person would pay.
 

Eximo

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Yeah cache drives are usually mSATA, but Apple is trying, and it looks like succeeding, in putting forth that new long and skinny form factor. They can be replaced and turned into a primary drive, though OWC seems to be about the only supplier at the moment. Then you can keep the mechanical drive for storage.

15.6 inch at 1920x1080 isn't bad, but they are starting to put out 14 inch and even 13 inch screens at that resolution. Just makes for a teensy desktop experience, and resizing icons and such never looks right.

A lot more pixels to calculate as you go up in resolution, and those mobile chips are already clocked pretty low to meet power requirements, just puts more stress on them, and more heat. I would rather have the eye candy at a lower res then full res at medium settings.

1366x768 1.05 million pixels
1600x900 1.44 million pixels
1920x1080 2.07 million pixels

I've not gotten my hands on an MSI laptop yet, and they don't come up often in the business world. It happened to be one of the newest models I saw available from an online retailer. As you may have noticed they are still clearing out the 3rd gen intel stock.

I use Lenovo products at work, and we are going through an upgrade cycle in the coming year, so we have been sampling products from HP, Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell, Samsung, and Microsoft(yep Microsoft, hard to argue when they say "Here have our entire regional inventory of surface pros to play with") And the surface is where I am learning to despise these small form factor screens, they don't support any non-native res except 640x480, a few ultrabooks also have this issue. People with poor vision often run at low-res for larger and sharper fonts. Many applications don't support font resizing so it becomes a huge issue if the best you can do is a blurry 1280x800.
 

Kraizk

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I would love to get my hands on a surface and the price point is not bad at all. I have been tempted to wait and see if they refresh the line with the 4gen core processors. For what I want the Ivy bridge i5 does not cut it according to various reviews.
 

GSW

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I just took ownership of a Sager NP7352, it's a model with 15.6 inch display, has a i7-4600MQ processor, Nvidia GPX 765M GPU, 1920x1080 display, slots for two HDDs , as well as spot for a mSATA card, base price is like $1079. The inboard GPU will handle 1080 resolution just fine, and the dedicated GTX 765M handles it with ease of course. I'm in the middle of a test to see how long the thing will go on battery, when just browsing the web and such, been running for about 1.5 hours, battery is still showing 65% capacity left.

When running on power, using the GTX 765M and on Secondlife, the GPU is running at about 52 degrees F, CPU temperature was maybe 5 degrees warmer at times. Running FurMark, it's getting a score of like 871, temps of the GPU never exceed 65F... Furmark claimed it was being throttled at 500mHz, but when I looked at GPU clock speeds with MSI Afterburner after that test, it showed the GPU had been running at like 900mHz, so I'm not sure what to think of with regard to the throttling that Furmark indication of throttling.

Either way, at this point I'm pretty happy with my NP7352... I'm not really a gamer, but do occasionally like to do GPU intense things, I really need a all around good laptop, that can do most anything reasonably well, and I think I got exactly what I desired.
 

olin9

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You can get a better deal for the Y500 from the Lenovo site. Also the newer ones have dual GT750.

My Y500 with dual GT650 SLI works fine off the plug. But the power will only last for 1.2 hours playing games.

I am real happy with the gaming power. If you dont need SLI at any time, because the game dose not support it or you are doing Office stuff just pop out the 2nd GPU for a DVD-ROM.
 
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