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Better config for Gaming Laptop (CPU/GPU tradeoffs)

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February 25, 2012 6:32:21 AM

I'm looking for the best GAMING laptop for around $1500 but I'm having a hard time choosing between different combinations of CPU/GPU/RAM.

I found two options on powernotebooks.com for around $1560:
1) SAGER
- CPU: I7-2760QM (2.4~3.5 GHz)
- GPU: HD 6990M w/2GB GDDR5
- RAM: 16 GB DDR3/1333 Dual Channel

or

2) POWERPRO
- CPU: I-2430M (2.4~3.0 GHz)
- GPU: GTX 580M w/2GB GDDR5
- RAM: 8 GB DDR3/1600 Dual Channel

Or does anyone have a better idea for a $1500 gaming laptop?

Priority #1 is gaming performance (i.e. Crysis w/video quality at highest level that is still playable)

Priority #2 is battery life (only while browsing internet, if gaming I will plug into a power outlet)

Thanks in advance for your advice.
February 25, 2012 6:39:24 AM

Sorry, the second option (POWERPRO) should have read...
"- CPU: I5-2430M (2.4~3.0 GHz)"

I heard that Games don't really take advantage of Quad Core's, but the I5 limits my RAM to 1333 vs the I7 which allows 1600 ram.

... Food for thought ...
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February 25, 2012 7:16:31 AM

Do you have to get a 580M or a 6990M? Why not get a 560M which will actually allow you to be mobile and game.
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February 25, 2012 11:58:24 AM

"amuffin" is right, but if your notebook has switchable graphics (means that you can turn off the dedicated GPU while in "power saver" mode), you wouldn't have to worry much about battery life.

You shouldn't buy an I7 for gaming since it hyperthreads (divide real cores into two virtual cores), while games only use mostly 2 threads (cores), you would be actually using only two "virtual cores" that ends up being only one "real" core.
(1/2 + 1/2 = 1) ;) 

Also, the I5 and the I7 are basically the same Chip, and Intel just disables Hyperthreading for the I5. It tends to confuse people thinking that an I7 is better than an I5.
This is why many gaming systems use an I5.

16 GB of RAM is Largely unnecessary (as for 2012), except if you want a large amount of ram to work in extreme multi-tasking (800 Google Chrome Tabs, 6 1080p Videos, 4 MS Word, 9 Photoshop and 12 Adobe Readers all open at the same time) or to be future-proof, but your other components would be deprecated by then.

Hope it helps! :) 
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February 25, 2012 12:11:02 PM

The First option is likely the best option in the long run plus the higher turbo clocks.
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February 25, 2012 6:00:05 PM

Thanks everyone for the help.

What I got from you so far was...

- I should use the I5 instead of the I7

- 16 GB RAM is overkill

- GTX580M is good for the laptop battery life only if the laptop has switchable graphics



However this makes me wonder...

- Can I get an I5 that supports DDR3/1600 Dual Channel RAM?

- How much RAM is not overkill (how much should I get for now)

- How do I know if the laptop supports switchable graphics (is it a software thing or does it require certain hardware)

- Also, I'v been thinking about the dual GPU option. Perhaps a couple 560M's in SLi would be better?
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