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Gaming/Programming Laptop Suggestons

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 3, 2008 7:46:38 PM

1. My budget is up to $2500

2. Screen Size: 15" or 17" I haven't fully decided (see below)

3. Resolution: 1920x1200 or the wide screen notch down depending on screen size.

4. Desktop Replacement or Portable: Portable laptop is preferred

5. Battery life: I would like around 2 hours (more if possible)

6. Gaming: Yes. I play WoW, Fallout 3, Orange box, and etc, I'd like to be able to play on high settings, but medium would suffice too.

7. Tasks for laptop to do: Watching movies on plane, gaming, programming platform, listening to music while programming...

8. 160 should be fine for my needs, but whatever is standard is fine.

9. I have been looking at Sager and Alienware, but I would appreciate other opinions as $2500 is a ton of money.

10. My current desktop is about 4 years old, so at least that long.

11. I'm willing to sacrifice graphic card speed (9800m GT instead of the GTX) for battery life, but I'd still like to be able to have a rig that will be able to play games for the next year ish at high settings and medium settings from then on. I'd like to have the battery not die in 1 hour as I will be flying a bit in the future and I'd like to have the option to have it ready for the entire flight.

12. I've heard good things about Sager, bad things about Alienware's customer service, but I do like their look, and Good things about ASUS but their website is near impossible to navigate to find what I'm looking for.

13. USA

What I've been looking at:
Sager NP8660:
- Display: 15.4" WUXGA LCD with Matte Finish Surface (1920X1200)[+$175.00]
- Processor: 45nm Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor P9500 / 6MB L2 Cache, 2.53GHz, 1066MHz FSB[+$165.00]
- Video & Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS Graphics with 512MB DDR3 Video Memory
- Operating System: Genuine MS Windows® VISTA Home Premium 32/64-Bit Edition
- Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 2 X 2048MB[+$75.00]
- Primary Hard Disk Drive: 320GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive[+$30.00]
- Optical Drive: 8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software
- Wireless Network Card: Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300AGN - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module
- Bluetooth: Internal Bluetooth V2.0 + EDR Module
- Intel Robson Technology: Intel 4GB TurboMemory Module[+$85.00]
- Primary Battery: Smart Li-ION Battery Pack
- Integrated Security Device: Fingerprint Reader
- Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office Ready with Free 60-Day Trial
- Warranty: Sager 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty with Three-Day Shipping Both Ways Paid
- Additional Battery Pack: BAT-8660, NP8660 Smart Li-ION Battery Pack[+$110.00]
Sager NP5796:
- Chassis Color: Orange Trim
- Display: 17" Wide Viewing Angles WUXGA LCD with Super Glossy Surface (1920 x 1200)[+$95.00]
- Processor: 45nm Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor P9500 / 6MB L2 Cache, 2.53GHz, 1066MHz FSB[+$165.00]
- Video & Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 9800M GT Graphics with 512MB DDR3 Video Memory
- Operating System: Genuine MS Windows® VISTA Home Premium 32/64-Bit Edition
- Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 2 X 2048MB
- Primary Hard Disk Drive: 320GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive
- Optical Drive: 8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software
- Wireless Network Card: Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300AGN - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module
- Bluetooth: Internal Bluetooth V2.0 + EDR Module
- Intel Robson Technology: Intel 4GB TurboMemory Module[+$85.00]
- Primary Battery: Smart Li-ION Battery Pack
- Integrated Security Device: Fingerprint Reader
- Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office Ready with Free 60-Day Trial
- Warranty: Sager 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty with Three-Day Shipping Both Ways Paid
- Additional Battery Pack: BAT-5796, NP5796 Smart Li-ION Battery Pack[+$110.00]
- Carrying Bag: Standard Carrying Bag
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Kinda leaning towards the NP5796 as it's only $145 more and it is only 1" longer, .8" deeper and same thickness as the 15", but gives me 17" to view the 1920x1200 on, and it has a glossy screen.
Sager looks well put together and fairly slick with the black with orange trip on the 17".

Alienware 15" and 17" models with similar specs.
With alienware, I have to pay tax and shipping (which bumps the price up about $500 ish more than the Sager). I do like the backlit keyboard with Alienware though, and the look is kinda cool.

Couple of questions as well.
1) Is the 9500P processor worth getting over the 9400T?
2) Is the Turbo memory going to do much of anything with me having 4gb of ram for the beast?
3) Are the extended warranties worth getting?
4) What other alternatives are out there? I'm looking for quality laptops that are built well and look somewhat snazzy. Better cooling so that the fans don't spin up, and my lap won't melt would be a bonus
December 4, 2008 8:59:18 AM

a P processor is better than T :D 

December 4, 2008 12:53:37 PM

I thought that it is better, but it's only better in terms of power usage right? Why isn't Alienware using the P processors?
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December 4, 2008 2:37:49 PM

uofirob said:
I thought that it is better, but it's only better in terms of power usage right? Why isn't Alienware using the P processors?


Pretty much. And despite what Alienware wants you to believe, they don't always have the "bleeding edge" stuff they want you to think they have. My suggestion is to stay away from Alienware.
December 4, 2008 2:39:50 PM

Right but other than Sager, where else should I go? Asus' site is almost impossible to navigate (I don't know which models I should be looking at and their search tool sucks) and I don't see anything from HP, Toshiba, Sony, etc that have anything that could be considered a gaming laptop that isn't a desktop replacement.
December 4, 2008 2:49:11 PM

you are right. msi has some notebooks that aren't desktop replacements. but that's msi :D . hp has no good gaming things.

dell xps has old hardware.
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