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Gaming Laptop for $5k USD

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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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February 17, 2011 2:27:07 PM

1. What is your budget?

$5000 USD

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

15-17"

3. What screen resolution do you want?

1980x1200 or 1980 x 1080

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

I'm looking for high performance - if it can come in a 15.6" package, then that works.

5. How much battery life do you need?

1 hr

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

All modern FPS on high quality. Singularity, Medal of Honor, All Call of Duty, etc.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop?

Watch blu-ray movies.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

Looking for around 500 GB, but want SSD only.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

http://www.xoticpc.com/
http://www.falcon-nw.com/
http://www.malibal.com/
http://www.eurocom.com/

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

1-2 years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

Blu Ray

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

No Dell. Alienware is ok if it has the right hardware.

13. What country do you live in?

USA

14. Additional info:

I realize that the Sandy Bridge chips should be out in March and I'm definitely willing to wait for those.
In fact, I would like some kind of configuration that would include the Core i-7 2920XM CPU.
I'm not certain what GPU is going to be the best option to go along with this new Sandy Bridge chip.
My priority with the laptop is quality. If it isn't against forum rules, and I use your configuration, I will paypal $100 USD.

More about : gaming laptop usd

February 18, 2011 11:30:00 AM

Thanks for the welcome. That model looks very good. The only thing I don't like is the HD selection - the highest capacity I can get using just SSDs is 160GB, without sacrificing my optical drive. I'm not sure about the performance of the hybrid drives vs. a full SSD (like the 500GB (w/ 4GB SSD Memory) Seagate XT 7200RPM NCQ Hybrid (Serial-ATA II 300 - 32MB Cache offered in their selection). If anyone has used Hybrid drives and SSDs and can give me a comparison, it would be much appreciated.

I've read some posts saying that AMD is better for gaming and ATI chipset better for gaming as well - but with the new Sandy Bridge intel chips coming out, what is your take on this? Also, I've had problems with SLI cards in the past actually working to improve framerates in games with Nvidia cards - so when it comes to notebooks, some 17" models have SLI configurations available - but what would be better for gaming - one of the new geforce gtx 485m 2GB cards or two ATI radeon 6970M 1.5 GB cards in Crossfire?
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a b D Laptop
February 18, 2011 12:44:08 PM

warren024 said:
I've read some posts saying that AMD is better for gaming and ATI chipset better for gaming as well - but with the new Sandy Bridge intel chips coming out, what is your take on this? Also, I've had problems with SLI cards in the past actually working to improve framerates in games with Nvidia cards - so when it comes to notebooks, some 17" models have SLI configurations available - but what would be better for gaming - one of the new geforce gtx 485m 2GB cards or two ATI radeon 6970M 1.5 GB cards in Crossfire?


AMD hasn't been able to compete as well in the mobile market. Not to mention that you can't really find anyone that uses an AMD CPU in a gaming class laptop. Scaling with SLI has gotten a lot better in the last few years. But to answer your question, a single 6970M is about equal to the GTX 485M. So two 6790s in crossfire will be a good deal better than one GTX 485M.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/malibal-lotus-p150h...
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February 18, 2011 1:05:00 PM

Hmm, my Asus ROG laptop includes two of those 500GB + 4GB SSD hybrid drives, for a total of 1 GB storage. Win7 seems to boot fairly fast as well, although I haven't timed it, compared to my wife's HP laptop with a couple of standard 360GB hard drives. IIRC you can get the Asus with RAID 0 installed. Personally I don't really see the point of RAID 0 in a laptop, so I declined it in both the HP and Asus lappies. However I have used it in all my desktop machines for the last 12 years..

The hybrid drives are 7200 rpm. I do have a 64GB SSD but it is on my desktop machine, not laptop, and I have XP on it so no apples-to-apples boot time comparison possible.

I had thought there were some 256GB SSDs coming on the market soon, but maybe not. If I were going that route, I'd get a 160GB SSD boot drive and a 500GB 7200 rpm storage drive (there are 750GB 2-1/2" hard drives available but AFAIK they are 5400 rpm).

As I mentioned in the laptop review thread, I would seriously consider waiting for the Asus update on the ROG laptops, with a Sandy Bridge 2630QM or higher CPU, and one of the Nvidia 5xx GPUs. Or get the Sager with two of them in SLI. Either way, doubt you'll come close to your $5K budget, unless you go for some custom paint job plus a bunch of accessories :) .

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February 18, 2011 3:39:37 PM

lostandwandering said:
AMD hasn't been able to compete as well in the mobile market. Not to mention that you can't really find anyone that uses an AMD CPU in a gaming class laptop. Scaling with SLI has gotten a lot better in the last few years. But to answer your question, a single 6970M is about equal to the GTX 485M. So two 6790s in crossfire will be a good deal better than one GTX 485M.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/malibal-lotus-p150h...


Thanks. I did read that review but I wasn't sure if SLI or Crossfire really added much to performance. It's good to know that they do.
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February 18, 2011 3:52:57 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
Hmm, my Asus ROG laptop includes two of those 500GB + 4GB SSD hybrid drives, for a total of 1 GB storage. Win7 seems to boot fairly fast as well, although I haven't timed it, compared to my wife's HP laptop with a couple of standard 360GB hard drives. IIRC you can get the Asus with RAID 0 installed. Personally I don't really see the point of RAID 0 in a laptop, so I declined it in both the HP and Asus lappies. However I have used it in all my desktop machines for the last 12 years..

The hybrid drives are 7200 rpm. I do have a 64GB SSD but it is on my desktop machine, not laptop, and I have XP on it so no apples-to-apples boot time comparison possible.

I had thought there were some 256GB SSDs coming on the market soon, but maybe not. If I were going that route, I'd get a 160GB SSD boot drive and a 500GB 7200 rpm storage drive (there are 750GB 2-1/2" hard drives available but AFAIK they are 5400 rpm).

As I mentioned in the laptop review thread, I would seriously consider waiting for the Asus update on the ROG laptops, with a Sandy Bridge 2630QM or higher CPU, and one of the Nvidia 5xx GPUs. Or get the Sager with two of them in SLI. Either way, doubt you'll come close to your $5K budget, unless you go for some custom paint job plus a bunch of accessories :) .


Thanks for your reply. I definitely like Asus that you got with that 3D screen - I'm considering a config of that after Sandy Bridge chips come out.

I've actually seen a 500GB SSD and there are definitely 256GB SSDs that are available for laptops - but the 15.6" Sager NP8150 mentioned in Maziar's post didn't have anything higher than a 160GB SSD configurable - and no secondary HDD slot available without sacrificing my optical drive slot - which isn't really an option for me as I want the ability to play Blu Ray discs. It did have a 500 GB Hybrid with 4GB SSD available and that's why I asked about the performance difference.

I like the Sager he posted as it appears portable - I just don't want to sacrifice the load speeds that a SSD will give, and the only SSD available is only 160 GB - just a bit too small for my taste. I would really like at least 500GBs of SSD storage if possible.


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February 18, 2011 3:58:50 PM

lostandwandering said:
Here's some crossfire and SLI numbers: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6970m-mob...

They didn't include a GTX 485M in there, but you get the 6970, 470M and 480M.


Nice link. So if we can assume that if the GTX 485M is better than the 480M, then I'm guessing that a pair of 485Ms in SLI are going to blow a pair of 6970Ms out of the water....
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a b D Laptop
February 18, 2011 4:08:45 PM

It would depend on the scaling and the game used (the whole 'The way it's meant to be played" deal). In the single card benchmarks, the 485M and the 6970 are pretty close. However, it seems like the GTX 400s scale better in SLI as shown by the 470M beating the 6970 in the dual card benchmarks. Ironically enough, the 470M is actually a better card than the 480M putting it between that and the 485M.
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February 19, 2011 3:38:10 PM

lostandwandering said:
It would depend on the scaling and the game used (the whole 'The way it's meant to be played" deal). In the single card benchmarks, the 485M and the 6970 are pretty close. However, it seems like the GTX 400s scale better in SLI as shown by the 470M beating the 6970 in the dual card benchmarks. Ironically enough, the 470M is actually a better card than the 480M putting it between that and the 485M.


This is a good reference for comparing GPUs:



It doesn't show 485Ms in SLI but I'm guessing it will top the list soon.
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a c 244 D Laptop
February 19, 2011 3:56:56 PM

2 GTX 485M's should give you the performance of 2 desktop GTX 460's
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February 21, 2011 10:55:20 AM

Dual 485M's sounds like it would handle just about any game on high settings with 4xAA at 1920 x1080 - now if I can just keep the total cost of my build below $5k USD! Most of the builds are charging around $1150 just to upgrade to 485M's in SLI with the additional power source included, from say dual 460M's in SLI - is it worth it?

Also I'm still looking for submissions on a build that meets my criteria above and still offering $100 USD by Paypal if I select your build. I've only had ONE suggested so far. I can't believe there aren't any college students that couldn't use an extra $100!

Update as well - for what I've seen available on the market, i'm looking more for a desktop replacement - probably something with a 17" screen.
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a c 244 D Laptop
February 21, 2011 12:16:49 PM

It's expensive but definitely worth the money.
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February 21, 2011 1:16:26 PM

I haven't seen any recent articles on "micro stutter" associated with SLI or Crossfire - is it still a problem with the newest GPUs? The last SLI set up I had were two 8800 GTS's in SLI and the micro stutter was so bad that I just turned off dual video card option and ran off of one. I would hate to pay for two top end GPUs and have the same issue...
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a c 244 D Laptop
February 22, 2011 4:23:48 AM

Yes there are still issues,but with the new drivers,the're notably less than before.(especially on high resolutions)
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February 22, 2011 4:34:19 AM

Good to know. Thanks for the reply.
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