Gaming Computer Expertise Please

Hello Community.

I am abit of computer newb that loves video games. I am looking for a gaming laptop with a budget of
3000 US dollars.

I am Canadian but will be purchasing from a US website shipping to family in the US.

Here are the top 3 options I have been able to find.


Sager NP9280

* 17" 1920x1200 Glossy Full HD Display
* Intel Core i7 920 Quad (2.66GHz, 8MB)
* 6GB DDR3 1066MHz (3x 2GB)
* nVidia GTX 280M DDR3 (1GB)
* 320GB 7200RPM (16MB cache)
* 320GB 7200RPM (16MB cache)
* No Third Hard Drive
* RAID 0 - Performance
* Integrated Audio
* Windows 7 Home Premium
* 2X Blu-ray Read/8X DVDRW Super Multi Combo Drive



Sager NP9850

* 18.4" Full HD LED-Backlit Display
* Intel Core 2 Duo P9700 (2.8GHz, 6MB)
* 4GB DDR3 1333MHz (2 x 2GB)
* 2 x nVidia GTX 280M DDR3 in SLi (2 x 1GB)
* 320GB 7200RPM (16MB cache)
* 320GB 7200RPM (16MB cache)
* No Third Hard Drive
* RAID 0 - Performance
* Integrated Audio
* Windows 7 Home Premium
* 2X Blu-ray Read/8X DVDRW Super Multi Combo Drive


M17x Alienware $2,849.00

17-inch WideUXGA 1920x1200 (1200p)
Intel® Core™2 Duo T9600 2.8GHz (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
ATI CrossFireX™ – Dual 1GB ATI Radeon™ Mobility HD 4870
4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz
640GB - 2x 320GB 7,200RPM - RAID 0
Slot-Load Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English

Can you please give me your opinions on m best option for a good gaming laptop.

I really want the new core i7 technology and the GDDR5 4870 CF in an 18 inch but i can NOT find those
options anywhere. I also really want blue-ray, but with the Alienware option would upgrade that at a
later date.

I am really unsure what to do with the cpu vs the video cards. I would like to play games like Diablo 3
and Starcraft 2. Also WoW and Dragon Age:Origins. I would like to be able to play games properly for the
next few years as well.

Will there be any bottlenecks in the above computers? Which one would you consider best for me to
purchase? Should I wait for DirectX 11 mobile cards?

Also very important to me is durability. I backpack around the world and have been away from Canada for
3 years so I would need to make sure a new laptop would be durable and not have to worry about warranty
issues. a 2nd year trip to Australia and a 1 year trip to Africa is next so heat would be an issue as

I currently have a Acer Aspire 5100-5300 and its a mini tank its been dropped and banged around in
luggage and it keeps on keeping on. But plays zero games.

Sorry for the long post wanted to give as many details as possible for you the experts.

Thank you very much for your expertise.

5 answers Last reply
More about gaming computer expertise please
  1. The games you speak of really don't require SLI/crossfire. You can probably get away with a single GPU.

    Currently, there are no i7 machines with dual GPUs. That's an insane amount of equipment to power. I'm sure notebook manufacturers will figure it out soon - just not yet.

    I'm not sure what you mean by bottlenecks - do you mean if the GPUs will be bottlenecked by the CPU? These units should be fine without any sort of CPU limitation occurring.

    Just so you know...none of these notebooks are backpacking-friendly. They'll all be around 15 pounds and have battery lives of an hour or less. These are not travelers by any means.

    DirectX 11 cards are a long way off. I'd expect them in 5 months or so.

    Are you sure you want to get this much power?
  2. Thank you for your reply.

    My goal is to be able to play games for a few years yet. I dont want to puchase a laptop today, and then find out in 6 months that the new games coming out I have to play on low settings and they stagger.

    As for bottlenecks, i meant does the 2.8 have enough power to work with the 4870's. Or are the video cards too slow to work with the processors.

    Do I need that much power? I really dont know. I just want to be able to play any video game I want without having to worry about it. Perhaps you know of a configuration that would be better suited to this.

    Thank you again for your reply it is much appreciated.

  3. My 8800MGTX is 2 years old now, and can still handle all the games I play on high at 1920x1200. (MW2, L4D2, Dirt2, etc)

    The dual core 2.8GHz CPUs have enough muscle to drive both cards, yes. In a good gaming system, the graphics cards should always be limiting component.

    That being said, the games you speak of are less demanding than the ones I play; I think you can save some cash and get a single-GPU solution.

    Consider this guy:
  4. I'm assuming the OP realizes that a $3000 gaming laptop is about the same (in terms of performance) as a $1500 desktop. I get the need for going mobile, but I've never really understood the need for mobile gaming. Why not get a $1500 desktop and see if the other $1500 can buy you a Panasonic Toughbook since it sounds like you use (i.e. abuse) your laptop pretty hard.

    Gaming and hiking? Really?!? Like you're just hiking through the Alps and sit down and think "Man, I gotta go farm me some gold in WoW" ... really?!?
  5. You have a great budget for top gaming laptop.
    Personally I would recommed you to pick Alienware from Dell.
    PS: factorgaming is actually reseller of Sager...
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