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Need a new gaming laptop.

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May 21, 2010 6:54:37 PM

I need a new gaming laptop... any recommendations? My budget is ivo $13-1400 max, including shipping. I have an i7-920 with 9gb ddr3 memory gtx260 yadda yadda... the laptop is for portability and for school. I was looking at getting an i5 but the i3s seem to work really well, and the extra cash would let me put more into a better memory card so it seems like I a good i3 with a better gpu would be more efficient than a good cpu and an 'eh' gpu. Please advise.

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a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2010 11:59:55 AM

We can probably get you into a better CPU and GPU without busting your budget.
SUS G51JX-X1 $1200 Core i7 720QM, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 15.6" 1920x1080 LCD and GeForce GTS 360M.

For something a little more portable and with longer battery life: $950 HP dv6t Core i5 430M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 15" 1366x768 LCD and HD 5650 (*switchable graphics with Intel HD).
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May 25, 2010 8:08:46 PM

Thanks WR2 - now it's between the on you listed and an HP I found (unless someone else has feedback). Comparisons - WR's on left, hp on right:

$1200+SH / $1244 + SH
i7-720QM / i7-720QM
4GB DDR3 / 4GB DDR3 (I assume both are same re same CPU)
GT 360M / GT 230M (big win for WR's)
15.6" / 18.4" (both are 1920x1080p - huge size dif in favor of HP)
500GB / 320GB (both 7200, this won't be an issue really I have storage)
802.11bgn/ Intel Wireless N Card w/ Bluetooth (not really an issue)
6 cell lith / 9 cell HP Long-life notebook battery w/ support for extended lifecycles
(battery life... I mean it's a gaming laptop. You have to plug them in)

If there are other meaningful differences, I didn't notice them. What I got out of that is superior graphics vs superior size, but I welcome any feedback or other suggestions. The hp is dv8t quad edition series slightly tweaked from the base model. I don't need productivity software (I have legal enterprise 07). Thanks

Also @WR2 those stats I listed originally were for my PC.
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a b D Laptop
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May 25, 2010 8:48:08 PM

Well, I definitely recommend desktops for gaming but if you insist on a laptop, then keep in mind that the MOST important things are the GPU and the screen size. You'll most likely want the most powerful GPU possible and a screen of 17". Most if not all CPUs are fine for gaming but not all GPUs are that way and just like in desktop gaming, the GPU is critical, even more so because they go obsolete faster than CPUs and in most cases, they cannot be upgraded. Staying under $1400 and getting the most powerful GPU is key so I recommend the following laptop:

MSI GX740-079US - $1,399
CPU: Core i7 720Q 1.6GHz
RAM: 4GB DDR3 (2X2GB)
Screen: 17" 1680x1050 Display
GPU: ATi Mobility Radeon HD 5870 dedicated card with 1024MB of on-board GDDR5
Hard Drive: 500GB 7200RPM SATA
Optical: Super-Multi DL DVD-RW
Battery: 9-cell Lithium-Ion
Wireless: Integrated Bluetooth and Wireless-N WiFi
Webcam: 2.0MP
Ports:
3xUSB
1xUSB/eSATA
Gigabit Ethernet
HDMI
VGA
PCMCIA Express Card Slot
4-in-1 Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/XD)
Warranty: 3 years, first year is global, last two are USA-only

The ATi Mobility Radeon HD 5870 is arguably the most powerful notebook graphics card on the market. The GTX 480M has not yet been tested so until that is confirmed, the 5870 rules the roost. It's also a dedicated card so it can be theoretically upgraded with ATi's new Mobility Radeon system. Unlike the GTS 360M, it is DirectX 11 compliant and is 39% faster (HUGE difference). There is currently no game that this GPU will not play, nor will there be any coming out in the next three years, the DirectX 11 compatibility of the ATi HD 5000 series takes care of that. At just under $1400, there is no notebook on the market without Crossfire or SLI that can outperform this machine in games. This is my recommendation.

On newegg.com:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Official MSI Specifications:
http://www.msimobile.com/level3_productpage.aspx?id=215

I hope this is what you're looking for. For a full synopsis of how to buy a laptop, check my discussion at:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/60098-20-general-la...
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May 25, 2010 9:17:35 PM

Thanks, I'll definitely check that out. Again, I *have* an i7-920 pc w/ a GTX-260, 9GB memory, etc.; I need a laptop for school and (let's face it) because I'm greedy.
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a b D Laptop
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May 25, 2010 9:18:37 PM

Then the MSI would be perfect for you. :D 
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a c 572 D Laptop
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May 25, 2010 10:11:31 PM

When ever you can take a look at the independent reviews for the systems you're considering.
And benchmarks when available. Cuts down on the chances of an unpleasant surprise.

Asus G51Jx-X1
MSI GX740 (not an identical model to what's listed above)

Laptop 3DMark05 scores:
GeForce GTX 260M =14773
Radeon HD 5850 = 15829
GeForce GTS 360M = 16628
Radeon HD 5870 = 17932 (or 17435 for the MSI GX740 as reviewed)
GeForce GTX 285M = 18935
(I'm sure you're already aware the laptop video cards don't perform like they're 'named' desktop counterparts; HD 5870 = 31942 3DMark05 score)

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a b D Laptop
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May 25, 2010 10:36:23 PM

Of course I'm aware of that, I've been into PC's since 1984! LOL The problem is, you're looking at 3DMark05 and not 3DMark Vantage. In 3DMark Vantage it has an average score of , 7719-7998 which is tops for tested single-GPU mobile graphics cards. The website notebookcheck.net ranks the HD 5870 as the most powerful mobile card in the market according to MULTIPLE benchmarks, not just an outdated one like 3DMark05. (Who the hell looks at 3DMark05 today anyway? LOL) The 3DMark Vantage score is 7719-7998 for the GX740 series, which is far more relevant than 3DMark05 because it "separates the men from the boys" in video cards because it uses DirectX10, unlike 3DMark05 and 06 which use DirectX9. You can't even RUN 3DMark Vantage on XP because it requires DirectX10. What you just said is "Other GPUs shine on a DirectX v9.0c benchmark that's 5 years old and was used back when the Pentium-4 was what most people had and Windows XP reigned supreme." Yeah, it sounds a bit irrelevant doesn't it?

Here's the average 3DMark VANTAGE scores for the cards you listed:

ATi Mobility Radeon HD 5870 - 7719-7998 (for the GX740 series)
nVidia GeForce GTX 285M - 6468
ATi Mobility Radeon HD 5850 - 5885
nVidia GeForce GTS 360M - 5650
nVidia GeForce GTX 260M - 4953

The overall rankings on notebookcheck.net rank the MR HD 5870 in 8th as the most powerful TESTED single mobile GPU. The GTX 480M has been ranked above it but they say that they're only guessing because they haven't tested one. Here is the page, check it out for yourself:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benc...

And remember, it may say I'm an "apprentice", but no "veteran" or otherwise on tomshardware knows more than I do about graphics cards. There may be some that know as much, but none know more. My first was an IBM monochrome card in an IBM PC and I used to work at tigerdirect specializing in gaming builds. I think you shouldn't let the "apprentice" tag fool you. That only refers to posts and how long I've been on the site. ;-)
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May 25, 2010 11:12:21 PM

Avro Arrow said:
Of course I'm aware of that, I've been into PC's since 1984!
You would be wrong to think my comments were addressed to you.

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May 25, 2010 11:22:26 PM

WR2 said:
You would be wrong to think my comments were addressed to you.


You were showing the Mobility Radeon HD 5870 and linked to the MSI GX740 which made me think you were responding to me, if that wasn't the case, all I can say is...."WHOOPS!"LOL

(I was right about 3DMark 05 though... :sol: )
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May 25, 2010 11:27:14 PM

There is no question that the HD 5870 is the top dawg in laptops.
And your 3DMark VANTAGE scores drive that point home.
They also point out that the price vs performance ratio between the Asus G51Jx-X1 @ $1200 and MSI GX740 @ $1400 is about right on.

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May 26, 2010 2:08:00 AM

I'd love to buy one of the MSI (the links show the same computer?). Unfortunately, I think the MSI Gx740 prices are in Euros... moving them pretty well out of my price range (though I'd love to have a 5870). $13-1400 really is my absolute max, and if I can pull of a solid build cheaper than that I would. As greedy as I am, it doesn't really have to be an UBER build since I've got a really strong tower; my laptop will be used for gaming on the go, but when I'm at home (where I do 90% of my gaming) my pc is going to be stronger than pretty much any laptop that I can afford and has two monitors, both of which are larger (and probably brighter and clearer) than what I'll get out of a laptop. I read somewhere that for a gaming laptop it makes sense to sacrifice processor power for GPU - is that true? Would I be better off toning down the CPU so I could afford a 5870?
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May 27, 2010 1:17:25 AM

The G73jh is 1.5k w/o bing cashback on most sites while on Compusa, TD, and C.City w/ cashback is around 1.36k.

The specs are close to the MSI's but with more Ram, 1900x1080 screen, smaller battery (8-cell), 640 GB (dual 320s) hard drives, and 8-in-1 card reader. Though it lacks eSata and firewire (I'm not sure about the latter). Same 5870 card if your wondering.

Bestbuy has a watered down version with crappier screen (900p), but otherwise mostly the same for 1.2k.

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May 27, 2010 1:25:09 AM

Lol, as people help me, the price slowly gets higher and higher... I'm looking at an absolute break-the-bank MAX of $1400, preferably less. Like I said earlier, I have a tower that's got an i7-920, 9gb memory, gtx260, etc; I don't need the latest and greatest, I'm just looking for good bang-for-buck. I would prefer to spend ivo 1100 for a decent build; $13-1400 is absolutely the most I can spend.
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May 27, 2010 8:24:20 PM

vaerax said:
I'd love to buy one of the MSI (the links show the same computer?). Unfortunately, I think the MSI Gx740 prices are in Euros... moving them pretty well out of my price range (though I'd love to have a 5870). $13-1400 really is my absolute max, and if I can pull of a solid build cheaper than that I would. As greedy as I am, it doesn't really have to be an UBER build since I've got a really strong tower; my laptop will be used for gaming on the go, but when I'm at home (where I do 90% of my gaming) my pc is going to be stronger than pretty much any laptop that I can afford and has two monitors, both of which are larger (and probably brighter and clearer) than what I'll get out of a laptop. I read somewhere that for a gaming laptop it makes sense to sacrifice processor power for GPU - is that true? Would I be better off toning down the CPU so I could afford a 5870?


Since when does newegg.com give prices in Euros? It's a US website! LOL You better look again, the price is in US Dollars! :sol: 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 27, 2010 8:30:53 PM

vaerax said:
Lol, as people help me, the price slowly gets higher and higher... I'm looking at an absolute break-the-bank MAX of $1400, preferably less. Like I said earlier, I have a tower that's got an i7-920, 9gb memory, gtx260, etc; I don't need the latest and greatest, I'm just looking for good bang-for-buck. I would prefer to spend ivo 1100 for a decent build; $13-1400 is absolutely the most I can spend.

Actually, as people help you, your budget gets lower and lower. Only now, after many posts were made do you say that your budget is NOT actually $1400, but "$1400 including taxes and shipping". I'm not going to waste any more time on this. You already wasted money on an i7-920 for a gaming machine and now you want a powerful gaming laptop with a budget of $1400, but not really. I showed you the pinnacle of gaming for $1400USD and you said you think that newegg is giving prices in Euros (which is ludicrous). I think it's time you went and shopped around yourself rather than wasting everyone else's time and effort.

:sol: 
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
May 27, 2010 9:31:28 PM

Avro Arrow said:
Actually, as people help you, your budget gets lower and lower. Only now, after many posts were made do you say that your budget is NOT actually $1400, but "$1400 including taxes and shipping". I'm not going to waste any more time on this. You already wasted money on an i7-920 for a gaming machine and now you want a powerful gaming laptop with a budget of $1400, but not really. I showed you the pinnacle of gaming for $1400USD and you said you think that newegg is giving prices in Euros (which is ludicrous). I think it's time you went and shopped around yourself rather than wasting everyone else's time and effort.

:sol: 


Wow, relax man. No need to fly off the wire like that.

Vaerax: Take a look at the Best Buy version of the G73. It comes with slightly less RAM, HDD space and a lower resolution screen. However, it still has an i7-720 and the HD 5870. It's price is $1199 before taxes and since it's Best Buy, you can pick it up in the store. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+with+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i7+Processor+-+Black/9741729.p?id=1218165344675&skuId=9741729
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May 27, 2010 11:53:12 PM

I got sucked into the G73JH-.. Hype and bought one myself. If you are willing to take a huge risk and enjoy trouble shooting this machihe is the one for you . Down side is 1.5 hour battery life (surfing and Office apps open). Also it weights about 8 lbs sans AC adapter brick. Check out this thread B4 you spend your hard earned money:
http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2010050418321954...
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May 28, 2010 2:43:55 PM

Thanks! I'm about to head out of town but I'll check it out when I get back. And I got the euro bit by clicking WR2's link and reading the specs on the right hand side. The price says "1499 Euro", which I can only assume is in euros. Your own link to the msimobile site quoted $1499, which is still over the top. After checking two or three links that all quoted above my price range, I confessed I stopped looking at the rest. The newegg one is indeed $1399 - thanks for the help. Sorry for the misunderstanding, but it's really not something to get all worked up about:)  This forum is for hobbyist - people that enjoy this kind of thing. If you think it's a waste of your time then don't post:)  I've appreciated your feedback though - the newegg build is defnitely on my short list. hago
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May 28, 2010 2:45:33 PM

@lostandwandering - the best buy link doesn't seem to be working.
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a b D Laptop
May 28, 2010 3:24:01 PM

vaerax said:
@lostandwandering - the best buy link doesn't seem to be working.


I went back and edited the link, try it again. If not, go to Best Buy's website and do a search for Asus G73. Two will come up, the one I am talking about is the one for $1199.99.

edit: ok, it's still not working. Not sure what is up. I'll keep trying.

edit2: Try this: go to the link in my post, right click, select "copy link location" and paste it in your location bar.
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a c 572 D Laptop
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May 28, 2010 6:24:05 PM

Or you can just type in the product ID: 9741729
into the Keyword or Item # search box on any BestBuy page.
I think its just a "Firefox thing" because IE and Google Chrome mostly work with the BestBuy links.
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June 7, 2010 3:00:41 PM

Wow yeah w/ a 5870 and everything, that looks like a pretty sweet deal. Anyway, this has been open longer than intended b/c the government is slow at processing things. As soon as my friggin GI Bill finishes processing, I'm going to grab a laptop.
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July 9, 2010 5:38:17 AM

Best answer selected by Vaerax.
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