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Advice on a ~$2000 gaming laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 15, 2009 7:48:22 PM

I'm trying to figure out what laptop to get, and would appreciate any advice you care to throw my way. The intended use is a remote terminal to my workstation, plus playing videos and some mid-weight gaming. Yeah - see how I listed the work use first?

1. My budget is ~$2000 to 2500.
2. & 3. I really want 120dpi and 1000+ pixels vertically. That means I'm good with anything from an antique 15" 1280x1000 screen up to a 19" at 1920x1200. Weight isn't critical.
4. Desktop replacement. Specifically, I'm hoping to equal or improve on my old desktop's gaming and video performance - it had an E8400 with 4GB RAM and a 7950 GT, so I take that to mean something akin to a T9900 and GeForce 260M in laptop land. Please advise me if I've got that wrong.
5. Enough to get through a full movie - call it 2 hours.
6. Current time wasters are Battle for Middle Earth II, Demigod, EVE Online, WoW, and a others as the mood strikes. I suspect Dragon Age may come into it soon.
7. It will also be used for movies and other video, possibly be used to edit some fairly huge graphics files, and definitely need to view large, graphics-heavy PDF documents.
8. Hard disk capacity needs to be enough to run Windows and dual-boot into Linux, but it won't be storing my video collection or anything. Figure 500GB or so is plenty.
9. I'll be happy to take your recommendations on a source.
10.If it holds up, it will be used for years for one thing or another. I've noticed, however, that laptops tend to die young around here, so I'd plan on no more than a two year active lifetime.
11.Optical drive just needs to read ordinary DVD's. I suppose it needs to be upgradable to blue-ray for longevity's sake.
12.Your recommendation on brands would be welcome. I had a buddy who swore by Toshiba, but has since become a Gateway convert. Another one liked Sager. Personally, I've used HP & Lenovo laptops in the past, and was satisfied with them for business use. The HP(DV4000?) was pretty good at playing movies, and passible at games if you didn't expect too much. The Lenovo (T-61p I think) held up slightly better, and had a nice 3-button mousepad, but it's screen was very dim, and had a wacky high DPI that lots of apps didn't like. I also used a Dell, back in the day, and it had a great feature of letting you put additional batteries into un-used bays.
13.I live in the USA.
14.Ideally, I'd like to get one with a DVI port to plug into an HD external monitor or two when I'm not out and about. Also I'll want to be getting a pro or server version of Windows, rather than a home version.
a b D Laptop
December 16, 2009 2:57:14 AM

I'm not sure what you think of Alienware, but for that kind of money you'll get a pretty high performance machine. Plus, you can customize them, at least to a degree. In regard to the CPU, you might as well go with an i7 mobile, as they are going at a reasonable rate these days. Most laptops have the 720, but I'm sure that alienware offers the 820, which in comparison to say a t9900, is a beast.
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2009 8:47:37 AM

You can go with a SAGER NP9850 or SAGER NP8760,the difference is that the first one has C2D/C2Q with dual GTX 280M and the second one has i7 with 1 GTX 280M so the NP850 is a better choice for gaming,but 8760 is very good too,it depends on how much you want to use it for gaming
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2009 5:27:40 PM

mothas said:

12.Your recommendation on brands would be welcome. I had a buddy who swore by Toshiba, but has since become a Gateway convert. Another one liked Sager. Personally, I've used HP & Lenovo laptops in the past, and was satisfied with them for business use. The HP(DV4000?) was pretty good at playing movies, and passible at games if you didn't expect too much. The Lenovo (T-61p I think) held up slightly better, and had a nice 3-button mousepad, but it's screen was very dim, and had a wacky high DPI that lots of apps didn't like. I also used a Dell, back in the day, and it had a great feature of letting you put additional batteries into un-used bays.


None of those companies actually make laptops.....they are built by ODM's with logos and all and then those companies resell them to consumers. See

http://www.xoticpc.com/laptop-manufacturers-really-make...
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=91510

* Quanta sells to (among others) HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, Acer, NEC, Gateway and Lenovo/IBM - note that Quanta is currently (as of August, 2007) the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world.
* Compal sells to Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Dell.
* Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, Acer, and Lenovo/IBM.
* Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP/Compaq, NEC, and Dell.
* ECS sells to IBM, Fujitsu, and Dell.
* Asus sells to Apple (iBook), Sony, and Samsung.
* Inventec sells to HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and BenQ.
* Uniwill sells to Lenovo/IBM and Fujitsu.
* Clevo sells to Alienware, WidowPhttp://www.tomshardware.com/forum/message.php?config=to..., Voodoo PC, Sager and other boutique brands.

I buy my laptops from a large US Clevo distributor which builds them for many of the "brand names" mentioned above.

www.pro-star.com

I figure why not cut out the middleman and buy direct from the company who builds them and have always found it cost effective....not to mention the personalized service and liberal warranty policy.

Here's the last one I had them build for a client

http://www.pro-star.com/index.cfm?mainpage=productdetai...

The one below has several custom upgrades, many more upgrades available.

17.3" 1920 x 1080 Full HD (16:9) LED Backlit GlassView LCD
Intel Core i7-720QM Processor, 1.6 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache
IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
4GB, PC3-10600/1333Mhz DDR3 - 2 DIMM
500GB /7200rpm GB SATA-300 (SATA II 3GB/s) with G-Force Protection
Windows 7 Professional Edition 64-bit
8X Max. DVD±R/RW Burner/4X Max. +DL Super-Mulit Drive
Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300AGN 802.11a/g/n
Internal Bluetooth V2.1 + EDR Module
Lithion Ion Battery
Built-In 2.0M Pixels Digital Video http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/message.php?config=to...
Built-In Fingerprint Reader
Built-in 56K V90 Fax/Modem
Built-In 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet LAN Card
Built-In 7-IN-1 Flash Memory Reader(MMC/RSMMC/MS/MS Pro/MS DUO/SD/Mini-SD)
1 IEEE-1394a Fire Wire
1 Express Card 34/54 Slot
4 USB 2.0 Ports
1 eSATA Port
1 HDMI Output
1 DVI-I port
1 Kensington Lock Port
Built-in Microphone, 4 Speakers and Sub-Woofer
4 Audio Jacks for Line-Out, Line-In, Microphone-In, and S/PDIF-Out
100/240V Autoswitch AC Adapter
Standard Carrying Bag with Strap
Cost me $2120 ...... expect to pay about 5% more as retail purchase.
!