Torn between Sager and MSI gaming laptop. Which should I choose??

cmilos

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Nov 23, 2015
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My budget is about $1500, $1600 absolute max for a 14-16 inch notebook weighing less than 6 pounds. 1080p, Skylake, 970m graphics card, 16GB RAM, and 250 SSD plus 1TB HDD. My laptop rarely leaves the house and is virtually always plugged in, so battery life isn’t very important.

The primary things I’ll be using it for is gaming (I like big open-world RPGs like Fallout 4, Witcher 3, Skyrim, Mass Effect, hopefully No Man’s Sky, stuff like that), word processing, web surfing, streaming video, and playing music. My spouse is a game developer who may also sometimes use it for work. He uses Photoshop, Unity, and Maya, Camtasia, Premier, Audacity, and Final Cut Pro for 2D art, 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and video editing (demos, trailers, etc.)

I really appreciate a nicer quality screen, but I’m not super knowledgeable about current screen technologies. People seem to prefer IPS? And since I often use my laptop to play music aloud, I also appreciate quality speakers that don’t sound tinny. Build quality is a concern, and I’d like something nice looking, but that’s not a top priority. I wouldn’t be happy with anything that looks or feels cheap, though, and I want it to last a good 4 years. I don’t expect new AAA games like those above to still play at max quality in 2 or 3 years, but I hope they’ll at least still be playable.

I’m located in the US and I’m planning to order from a vendor like xoticpc because they’ll upgrade the SSD for me and don’t charge sales tax in my state.

With that I mind, I’ve narrowed it down to two models and I need help deciding!

Either the MSI GE62 Apache Pro-001 ($1583) or the Sager NP8657-S ($1453). For the Sager, I could afford to upgrade to the IPS display with G-sync for $80 extra, if people think it’s worth it.

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8657s-clevo-p650re3-p-8678.html
http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-ge62-apache-pro001-p-8590.html

They’re very close in price, performance, size, and warranty, and I’m really not sure about build quality or speakers. As far as I can tell, the Sager has a slight price advantage, might have a nicer screen if I upgrade to IPS G-sync (?), better upgradeability (not sure how much I’d take advantage of that, but it’s nice to have the option), and possibly quieter/better cooling based on some comments I’ve seen (I could be mistaken.). MSI advantages are nicer keyboard, a USB type-C port, an optical drive (not looking for one, but it doesn’t hurt) and better styling, although to be honest, the “gaming” laptop aesthetic as a whole is not especially appealing to me.

So, which one do you think I should buy?? Am I missing any important pros or cons between the two? Any help is appreciated.
 
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