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Building high performance laptop: What's worth it?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 20, 2014 11:20:32 AM

Hi there,

I'm in a position where I have roughly $2500 to build a work laptop for computationally demanding tasks. I'm thinking to take this opportunity to throw a nice GPU into it (using my own money) and enjoy some ultra gaming. I recently customized a laptop (online just to get a price quote) that had an I7 4900 MQ, 32 GB ram, 512 Samsung Pro SSD, however I left the default GPU as the GeForce GTX 770M that was standard in this laptop. I know this is a good GPU for a laptop, but is it a GREAT GPU? I guess my question is, will it severely bottleneck my gaming performance and prevent me from playing on Ultra settings? Or will it be enough? Does it make sense to splurge the extra $370 from my own pocket and upgrade to the GTX 780M?? Or would the increases in performance only me marginal?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

PS I customized this laptop at Pro-Star.com, Would be great if I could get peoples take on Pro Star laptops as well!

PS PS, Im thinking to play 2013/14 released games, such as TESO, BF4, Dark Souls 2 etc

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February 20, 2014 1:51:05 PM

Well, based on the benchmarks, the 780m performs quite a bit better than the 770m
770m - http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+G...
780m - http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+G...

When compared to existing desktop GPUs it looks like the 780m performs at roughly the same level gtx 660TI or gtx 760 (about $220-$250).

I know (from personal experience) that the gtx 760 performs beautifully for recent games, most can be run on ultra with a few at high. I am assuming that the 780m would give you similar experience with the 770m being a step below (probably high-ultra settings for current games and medium to high in a year or two).

Perhaps someone here can give you a bit better advice since i don't have personal experience dealing with the mobile gpus in question. For me, it would not be worth the cost for the graphical upgrade. If money is no problem and you are dead set on gaming on a laptop then grab the 780m.

Edit: Wow didn't realize earlier that the 780m goes for $800+. Heck i would build a new pc for $1k and stick a gtx 770 in it and get way better performance.
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February 20, 2014 2:11:51 PM

Somebody recently came to me with a similar budget, but just looking for a gaming laptop. He's in the Navy, so they HAVE to use laptops, as they can't have a bunch of desktop computers taking up space they don't have while they're on the boat.

Everything pointed to needing the 780M being if you want Ultra settings, and even then, it's not going to sit stable at 60FPS on a 1080p screen. For a laptop, it's amazing, but at the end of the day, it's a laptop.

You could take the GPU out and build an out-performing desktop computer for that much money, but if it's worth it to have it be mobile (or mobility is your only option), then after looking at tons of benchmark charts your $370 upgrade is the difference of about 15 FPS or so, I think. This means that some games, to be playable, will have to be turned down to "High." If you have the extra cash and you game often, go for it, it adds longevity.

However, some laptops (I know Sager at least) allow inter-changeable parts, so with the big cash dump into the CPU upgrade, you could do the 770 for now and when it's not enough, upgrade it later.
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February 21, 2014 12:03:57 PM

Great guys thanks for the advice. I'm really still on the fence, its such a beast laptop that it hurts not to get the 780 in there even at my own expense. But it's a lot of cash.. Unfortunately a desktop just isnt in the cards as I have to drag this thing from home to work everyday.

Cheers, thanks again.
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