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New Gaming Laptop - $1500 budget

1. What is your budget?
$1500. Could stretch to $1600 but would need a pretty compelling reason to do so.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
17.3"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920x1080 or better.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
This is replacing my current desktop. Portability would be nice but the laptop will be spending most of it's time in one place.

5. How much battery life do you need?
3.5 hours is fine - computer will be plugged in most of the time.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Right now all I'm playing is Diablo III but I do want a system that will be able to play new/relevant games for 3 to 4 years. I'm not much for the newest-best-coolest games, but if something neat comes along (for instance something like Titanfall) I'd like to be able to play it without being on all-minimum settings.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Watching movies, streaming internet content.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
750GB+ HDD, has to have an SSD for the OS.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
newegg.com
tigerdirect.com
amazon.com

Willing to go elsewhere provided they are a reputable seller.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Ideally 5 years; I'd be satisfied with 3 to 4.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Would prefer a Blu-Ray if possible but not neccessary; ability to burn CDs would be nice too but again not a deal-breaker.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I'd prefer Asus because my little brother had one on a deployment and loved it. Only one I'm not really interested in is Toshiba, because I've heard their proprietary drivers can be a pain in the butt.

13. What country do you live in?\
USA.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I've built my own desktop PCs for over a decade now, and I've got my first kid on the way so my computer room is being converted into a nursery. Looking for a laptop to replace my desktop for gaming.

Thanks!!
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gaming laptop 1500 budget
  1. First, congratulations on your upcoming addition to your family!

    Second, nothing will replace a desktop for gaming. Laptop components, including those with discrete video cards, are built with proprietary designed parts (including versions of GPUs) whose manufacturers offer driver support for the components for around 2 years at most.

    Don't expect 5 years out of it because you'll get to a point by which the drivers can't be updated and new games will come out that require the drivers to be updated to get real performance. You'll try to use the Nvidia or AMD drivers from AMD or Nvidia and they won't work with the proprietary design of the laptop manufacturers video solution.

    I had an Asus ROG with a Radeon HD 5870m in it. I got it when the laptop first hit the market. Aside from the underwhelming video performance compared to my 5850s on my desktop, Asus offered their last video driver update a year after the laptops release. In addition, this thing had a heck of a time with temps. This is just the nature of hot parts working in such a closed space.

    It may sound like I'm venting, but I don't think you should have unrealistic expectations of a gaming laptop as two years - at most - would seem to be the useful life of these things from a gaming standpoint. Even if they are high-end laptops ($3000+).

    If you can, figure out a way to use that money, get a small desk and build a mini-itx or microATX PC. Negotiate a place in your residence with your significant other by which you can place this desk.
  2. Best answer
    ubercake said:
    First, congratulations on your upcoming addition to your family!

    Second, nothing will replace a desktop for gaming. Laptop components, including those with discrete video cards, are built with proprietary designed parts (including versions of GPUs) whose manufacturers offer driver support for the components for around 2 years at most.

    Don't expect 5 years out of it because you'll get to a point by which the drivers can't be updated and new games will come out that require the drivers to be updated to get real performance. You'll try to use the Nvidia or AMD drivers from AMD or Nvidia and they won't work with the proprietary design of the laptop manufacturers video solution.

    I had an Asus ROG with a Radeon HD 5870m in it. I got it when the laptop first hit the market. Aside from the underwhelming video performance compared to my 5850s on my desktop, Asus offered their last video driver update a year after the laptops release. In addition, this thing had a heck of a time with temps. This is just the nature of hot parts working in such a closed space.

    It may sound like I'm venting, but I don't think you should have unrealistic expectations of a gaming laptop as two years - at most - would seem to be the useful life of these things from a gaming standpoint. Even if they are high-end laptops ($3000+).

    If you can, figure out a way to use that money, get a small desk and build a mini-itx or microATX PC. Negotiate a place in your residence with your significant other by which you can place this desk.


    Thanks for the information. Unfortunately the house we live in doesn't have room for a desk post-baby, so my de-facto desk is going to be the kitchen table.

    Do all laptop manufacturers use proprietary drivers? That is definitely something I was unaware of. There was a nice Toshiba on sale that I veered away from because of the proprietary driver issue. I am far from what you would consider an "enthusiast" so some of the details like that escape me. I really appreciate the information. I also didn't know that the typical shelf-life of a "gaming" laptop is 2-ish years. If I can get 3 out of it, we'll likely be in a new house by then so hopefully I can get a desktop unit at that time.

    This is the Toshiba I found - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834216537 - seems like a good deal?
  3. Seems great for a build with an SSD and a blu-ray burner. I haven't seen anything that compares for the price with those features in particular. You should be able to squeak a 3rd year out of it, but like I said, after a year or two, it may be hit or miss with the driver support.

    Expect the following type of performance:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-780m-770m-765m,3732-5.html

    You can always reduce some of the graphics to get a few more fps out of the card, but once AA and ambient occlusion are out of the equation, reducing most other settings will offer minimal performance boosts. In shooters like you'll have more of a need to lower the settings, but if you play any MMORPGs, they should run great on that laptop with high detail levels.
  4. ubercake said:
    Seems great for a build with an SSD and a blu-ray burner. I haven't seen anything that compares for the price with those features in particular. You should be able to squeak a 3rd year out of it, but like I said, after a year or two, it may be hit or miss with the driver support.

    Expect the following type of performance:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-780m-770m-765m,3732-5.html

    You can always reduce some of the graphics to get a few more fps out of the card, but once AA and ambient occlusion are out of the equation, reducing most other settings will offer minimal performance boosts. In shooters like you'll have more of a need to lower the settings, but if you play any MMORPGs, they should run great on that laptop with high detail levels.


    Thanks again for your help. I really appreciate it.

    I see there's a significant jump in performance with the GTX780M versus the GTX770M but there's also a cost difference that prices it out of my range. The only option that might work (and still probably have me sleeping on the couch for a few weeks!) would be this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834198031 and it seems like I'm losing a lot of features to get that nicer card. Less RAM, no SSD, no Blu-Ray, etc. etc. Doesn't seem to be worth the tradeoff.
  5. http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8278-clevo-p170sma-eta-march-p-6984.html?wconfigure=yes

    configure this as appropriate, you can get an 870M which is between the 780 and 770, and still have plenty of money to tinker, or you can get an 880M but no SSD and $40 over budget to get an OS.

    or you can have this and have $100 to tinker with it: http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-gt70-dominator895-p-6948.html?wconfigure=yeshttp://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8278-clevo-p170sma-eta-march-p-6984.html?wconfigure=yes

    configure this as appropriate, you can get an 870M which is between the 780 and 770, and still have plenty of money to tinker, or you can get an 880M but no SSD and $40 over budget to get an OS.

    or you can have this and have $100 to tinker with it: http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-gt70-dominator895-p-6948.html?wconfigure=yes
  6. bklanecky said:
    ubercake said:
    First, congratulations on your upcoming addition to your family!

    Second, nothing will replace a desktop for gaming. Laptop components, including those with discrete video cards, are built with proprietary designed parts (including versions of GPUs) whose manufacturers offer driver support for the components for around 2 years at most.

    Don't expect 5 years out of it because you'll get to a point by which the drivers can't be updated and new games will come out that require the drivers to be updated to get real performance. You'll try to use the Nvidia or AMD drivers from AMD or Nvidia and they won't work with the proprietary design of the laptop manufacturers video solution.

    I had an Asus ROG with a Radeon HD 5870m in it. I got it when the laptop first hit the market. Aside from the underwhelming video performance compared to my 5850s on my desktop, Asus offered their last video driver update a year after the laptops release. In addition, this thing had a heck of a time with temps. This is just the nature of hot parts working in such a closed space.

    It may sound like I'm venting, but I don't think you should have unrealistic expectations of a gaming laptop as two years - at most - would seem to be the useful life of these things from a gaming standpoint. Even if they are high-end laptops ($3000+).

    If you can, figure out a way to use that money, get a small desk and build a mini-itx or microATX PC. Negotiate a place in your residence with your significant other by which you can place this desk.


    Thanks for the information. Unfortunately the house we live in doesn't have room for a desk post-baby, so my de-facto desk is going to be the kitchen table.

    Do all laptop manufacturers use proprietary drivers? That is definitely something I was unaware of. There was a nice Toshiba on sale that I veered away from because of the proprietary driver issue. I am far from what you would consider an "enthusiast" so some of the details like that escape me. I really appreciate the information. I also didn't know that the typical shelf-life of a "gaming" laptop is 2-ish years. If I can get 3 out of it, we'll likely be in a new house by then so hopefully I can get a desktop unit at that time.

    This is the Toshiba I found - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834216537 - seems like a good deal?



    Ok basically all vendors have sort of proprietary graphics drivers. When you go to ATI or Nvidia site and there is a message to get the drivers from the computer vendor. Like the one poster stated the OEM doesn't update the drivers as frequent as Nvidia or ATI. I've downloaded the drivers from ATI and Nvidia once the OEM stopped updating and I never had an issue.

    One note Nvidia just released the new GTX 800 series graphics card. The Alienware 17 with 1080p is $1566.55 with the Nvidia GTX 765. Alienware just today added the 800 series graphics cards as an option.
  7. I had nothing but issues when getting drivers directly from AMD when Asus stopped providing them.
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