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Buying a gaming laptop :o

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Hi guys. I've decided to take the plunge on a gaming laptop -- I don't intend for it to replace my desktop, but it would be nice to have some portability, especially for mapping on the move (despite the tiny screen)! I've never owned a laptop though, so I'd value any feedback any of you can give! I've found the following two laptops in my price-range, but I can't make my mind up!

 

http://www.dabs.com/products/msi-gp60-2pe-266uk-leopard-i7-4710hq-8gb-128gb-ssd-1tb-15-6--windows-8-1-9PVJ.html?refs=58140000&src=3

Slightly cheaper of the two

SSD/HDD Combo

Comes with an OS

 

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=LT-026-GI

Better graphics card with twice the gigglebites

0.4kg lighter

 

I've looked at so many that I feel like I'm starting to go a little snowblind. Can anybody see any other decision-making points, or have any other recommendations around the £800-900 price point?

 

Cheers!

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I'd always go for the best processor/gpu you can afford with a laptop. You can upgrade the Harddrive to  an SSD later but you're stuck with the first choice of mobo/cpu/gpu.

 

Just make sure you get a 'gaming laptop' rather than a laptop with a dedicated GPU. I made this mistake before and it wasn't designed for prolonged sessions (keyboard felt like lava after 2 hours playing)

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Same here, i mean i have to start again to look at machines.

I'm oriented toward a 17" and nothing else because I don't have a desktop and necessity is forcing me to decide toward the portable solution :(

I did find a couple of German vendors making gaming machines, I was almost decided when I read couple reviews saying how noisy one model was, how not solid the other felt…

Jackophant wrote somewhere else he would have some hints for companies to consider.

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Yeah I bought a couple laptops with that nvidia card that switches to intel when it's on battery. I've had some pretty bad performance overall. It's ok but not great. 

 

Also I've had issues with some games not switching to the nvidia gpu when I launch them and they run terrible. In most cases I can get it to use the right gpu with some fiddling but sometimes not. For instance, all sega games I own just won't work with that gpu :( 

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Thanks for the advice guys. I am leaning toward the more powerful GPU, definitely.

 

BlackDog, if I didn't have a desktop I would definitely go with a 17" screen. It does seem like you have to really sacrifice on CPU/GPU specs if you want to stay under £1k with a 17" though.

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Jackophant wrote somewhere else he would have some hints for companies to consider.

 

Thanks for the heads up!

 

Aside from portability, what are your requirements? My view on portability is that anything is portable if you try hard enough. You need more criteria to be clear on what you're buying.

 

What sort of screen size do you want? if it's not replacing your desktop a 17" screen might be a bit too large and hefty. But if you want it for mapping 13" and the rise of these new 14" laptops might be a little on the lower end of screen real estate.

 

I actually bought the gigabyte model above the one you list there (P35W) a couple of months back. I think it's a fucking marvellous machine. I can't see how ours are different tbh (mine has hot swappable bays?), but easily a contender to any MBP (equivalent spec MBP is more in the region of £2k FYI, I looked) and with the haswell chip the thing just goes for days, it's crazy. (Seriously, I love this laptop... Like a child).

 

There are a few custom places as well, but with the customisation comes a size problem. They aren't stupidly large, but they arent 2cm thick like the P35s. Spec to what you need, keep track of the price easily enough: Utopia Laptops

 

There is also AORUS. I had my eye set on one of these, but they seemed to be quite hard to come buy. Almost had to buy from LDLC.com!

 

And there's this Laptop Buying Guide. Most of it is common sense, but it's worth having a butchers just to see if there are some tricks you didn't know already.

 

But what I will say is this... DO. NOT. EVER. SCRIMP. ON. LAPTOPS.

 

I know a guy who went for a laptop... £800 version had 4GB of RAM, £820 had 8GB of RAM (literally the only difference). He refused to spend the extra £20 and forever regrets it. You've got a good budget, but if you can, save that little bit extra.

 

I tried to look at the efficiency of what I was buying, there are a lot of laptops that sport >1080p screens. When battery life is important and the GPUs are often underpowered, those extra pixels are a serious case of diminishing returns. They push the price up and reduce gaming performance/quality.

 

Sorry, this has been a bit of an unstructured splurge of information, links and opinions. Hopefully you can extract something useful out of it.

Edited by jackophant

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Aside from portability, what are your requirements? My view on portability is that anything is portable if you try hard enough. You need more criteria to be clear on what you're buying.

Thanks for the contribution.

I must haven't been clear, I am of your same opinion. When I said "portable" I mean "transportable".

I need a workstation.

I was considering assembling a mini-case PC, packing as much power as I could fit, and buy a 24-27".

Now I have a girlfriend so regularly I move from my very tiny room where I live (I live-in where I work) to her small one-room studio for a couple of days. Commute is 2-2.5hrs going through London, so I don't mind transporting anything that can fit in my trolley… I actually considered buying the mini-PC anyway and just attach it to my gf's small TV when I'm there.

Might be too hassly tho after the first couple of trips.

I was planning to spend 900-1100£.

I don't expect being able to find in a few months a game industry job thanks to the work I'll do on the computer, but I am struggling anyway thinking I could save a little bit hoping in being able to replace the machine quickly (when moving someplace else after finding a different job).

Edited by blackdog

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I've been a huge fan of custom laptops and currently own a Clevo that I've been using for the last 3 years. I don't know much about Gigabyte so definitely look into their build quality! The company that sold my Clevo merged with a bigger one over here: http://www.mysn.eu/ They rebranded the Clevo models as XMG or Schenker, or something.

 

Check out this comprehensive list: http://alteredqualia.com/texts/notebooks/

And obviously check the reviews (notebookcheck!)

Edited by Chimeray

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I also have a Clevo/Sager laptop which has lasted a good five years. I originally got it so I could travel by air with my computer easily, but it worked well as my main workstation for a few years and for a while I took it back and forth to the office every day. 

I wouldn't expect any laptop you purchase to outperform a comparable desktop build in terms of price. An equally performing desktop PC will probably cost a little bit less, so you have to decide if the portability is worth it. I know I wouldn't want to haul a desktop around too often, even a smaller one - I put together a mini-ITX system for my home PC recently so it would be somewhat portable if I decide to move, want to take it to an event/LAN, etc, but it's still pretty sizable and definitely more 'fragile' so I wouldn't want to lug it around on a weekly basis. 

Edited by spence

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