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Skyrim Laptop! Desktop Replacement! Need your help!

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 10, 2011 6:26:53 AM

1. What is your budget?
A. $2,000-$4,000 USD
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
A. 17.3"
3. What screen resolution do you want?
A. 1920x1080
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
A. Desktop Replacement
5. How much battery life do you need?
A. Doesn't Matter
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)?
A. Elder Scroll Skyrim, Shogun 2, Battlefield 3, etc. High Setting. Want to be able to record
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
A. Editing, Premier Pro CS5, After Effect, Photoshop
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
A. 240gb SSD, Should I buy another and Raid 0? Is one fast enough? Orginal Thought is x1 SSD for OS, Adobe, & Games, x1 750gb HDD for music, pix, raw video,
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
A. http://www.malibal.com/boutique/pc/configurePrd.asp?idP...
or http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Battalion_101_P170HM_Gam...

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
A. I've made a tradition to buy a new laptop every year. Mostly because I get tired or unsatisfied with my performance. Hopefully this one will stick more than 1 year.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
A. Just Regular, no 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.
A. Only between malibal or Ibuypowerpc
13. What country do you live in?
A. United States of America
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
A. I'm a Network IT. I often travel to various states and if I'm lucky, countries. I would end up staying there for a few weeks to months depend on my contract. Leaving behind my beautiful Desktop. So I recently sold it for $4000 ish to a friend. (It was pretty high-end) I'm looking for a mobile desktop replacement. So here's where I'm at:

Question:
-Is the i7 2730QM 2.20ghz really is faster than a desktop i7 960 @ 3.2ghz?!
I'm looking between the two laptop and according to passmark. The i7 2730QM beats the i7 960!
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-2...

-SSD Raid 0? Is one fast enough?
As I understand how games and hdd relation works.
An SSD can pull texture and resource quicker. Quicker loading time in HL2 or Fallout 3 when ever I go to a new Area!

-DUAL 6990M or One?
After owning a desktop with two gtx 580. I play about the ONLY game I sorta notice DX11...Metro 2033.
And I realize I didn't really care for DX11. I didn't notice it enough to care.
Though I do want to play Skyrim in High-Setting! &!!! I read that Skyrim will be DX9. They might add DX11 later but its not their focus.
a c 244 D Laptop
September 10, 2011 10:10:20 AM

1)Yep,it's faster in some tasks.SB CPUs are really great(the mobile models almost perform as good as the desktop ones)
2)SSD only helps in reducing load times,it won't have much effect on loading textures
3)If you want to max out all games on 1080p,go with 2 6990s
September 10, 2011 5:32:39 PM

1.) Wow those sandybridge are REALLY good even at low clock speed.
2.) Do u still think Raid 0 is kinda overkill for what I'm looking for?
3.) ya Im really leaning to crossfire 6990m
Related resources
a c 244 D Laptop
September 10, 2011 9:22:25 PM

SSD/HDD raid is great.(if you have the money).As you mentioned,you can put your necessary/apps and of course the OS in the SSD and other things in the HDD
September 11, 2011 8:30:19 AM

Maziar said:
SSD/HDD raid is great.(if you have the money).As you mentioned,you can put your necessary/apps and of course the OS in the SSD and other things in the HDD


The last thing I really wish this laptop has was a i7 2600k instead of i7 960.
Since the mobile 2720qm beats it.
a c 244 D Laptop
September 11, 2011 11:10:08 AM

hmm,if it had 2600k,then you won't probably even get 1hr of battery life :D 
Don't worry,2720QM is a beast :) 
September 11, 2011 2:23:51 PM

Maziar said:
hmm,if it had 2600k,then you won't probably even get 1hr of battery life :D 
Don't worry,2720QM is a beast :) 


The laptop with the DUAL 6990m doesnt give me a choice to get a 2720qm.
This laptop will always be plug in.
a c 244 D Laptop
September 11, 2011 8:41:36 PM

What CPU will it give you then ? 2630QM ?
September 11, 2011 9:03:54 PM

Maziar said:
What CPU will it give you then ? 2630QM ?



Before I reply, thx for taking the time helping me out Maziar. =)

The Malibal laptop is a 17." huge laptop. (Its 3 inches thick)
Comes with 3 slot for HDD, DUAL GPUm, and a desktop CPU.
Unfortunely the mobo on that Laptop only offer the 1st gen i7 960 @ 3.ghz

Total Price: $3.2k

The ibupowerPC laptops a 17.3" laptop (1" Thick)
has two hdd slot but only 1 GPUm and 1 CPUm
I can give the i7 2720qm @ 2.20ghz.

Total Price: $2.4K

So the choice is ether
DUAL GPU
or 2nd Gen i7.



a c 244 D Laptop
September 12, 2011 8:22:18 AM

No problem :)  I my replies have helped you.
Why don't you consider AW M18x ? It's got mobile CPUs and you can customize it with 580M/6990M in SLI and CF
September 12, 2011 9:13:29 PM

Maziar said:
No problem :)  I my replies have helped you.
Why don't you consider AW M18x ? It's got mobile CPUs and you can customize it with 580M/6990M in SLI and CF


Huh, that seem perfect.
Though I've been reading a few review on some problem with the m18x
or maybe just alienware in general.

a c 244 D Laptop
September 13, 2011 8:42:24 AM

What kind of problems ?
September 15, 2011 8:08:53 PM

Maziar said:
What kind of problems ?


Something with crossfire and the display.
I went to my local Bestbuy and check the M18x in display.
Seem fines, even try Starcraft 2 with no problem.

So I plan to order one really soon.
I figure I'll run this by you to see what you think.


PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7 2760QM 2.4GHz (3.5GHz w/Turbo Boost, 6MB Cache) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit edit
MEMORY 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz (2DIMMS) edit
VIDEO CARD Dual 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6990M AMD CrossFireX edit
HARD DRIVE 500GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s edit
WIRELESS + BLUETOOTH Intel® Advanced-N 6200 a/g/n 2x2 MIMO Technology and Bluetooth 3.0 edit
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE Slot-Load Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)

Question:
-There's another CPU they offer. The i7 2860QM 2.5GHz (3.6GHz w/turbo Boost, 8MB Cache)
That's not worth the extra $200 upgrade is it? Its just 2MB of extra cache and 0.1ghz more...

-Alienware offer a 256GB SSD. I call them and found it they are using a Samsung SATA III SSD.
The sad part is they are charging $500 for that upgrade.

That's about it. Thanks! :D 
September 15, 2011 10:53:38 PM

Definitely get the CPU for $200, don't bother Raiding the SSD just for Gaming, you're not going to get much beyond a good single SSD which will throw bottlenecks elsewhere.

Also throw in massive amounts of RAM too. Believe me, it makes a difference and 16GB of Kingston HyperX is less than $200.

As for the SSD will help in texture swaps.. a little bit (you definitely want one over HDD), but not as much as the RAM and the RAIDing the SSDs won't make that any more the case, whereas having a huge boatload of RAM for swap to the GPUs and for AI and environment Maps will help alot.

Buy the single HDD option and then move that to your second bay and buy a big fast primary.

Things to always focus on are the hard to upgrade (ie CPU and GPU) , next the things that make sense to buy once, Big FAST SSD, Big FAST RAM.

CPU is hugely important for the AI and lighting, once again CPU+>RAID. I wouldn't even be surprised if CPU>Dual-GPU, early on almost guaranteed. The biggest question will be efficiencies in both foliage and surfaces, which is where this game will likely kill systems. It's a totally new engine and there is alot going on on the fly, so limited insight into the impact just yet, but alot of it points to CPU resources being primary with heavy GPU just behind. And that's not to mention the inevitable texture mods/packs.

The other thing is a better CPU usually benefits everything you do, whereas some of the others are just an occasional boost.

I'm waiting for the new round of IvY Bridge laptops for the Spring (and will likely pop an IVY CPU in), but got mine (in profile) for under $1,000CDN and then popped in $500 for the RAM and SSD, and it flies especially for editing. Only sore point is hate that they only had GDDR3 for the GPU, the speed of the CPU isn't as big a drawback for now, but didn't want to spend $2,500+ for anything in that range until they get DP 1.2 onboard for Triple Monitor support.
a c 244 D Laptop
September 16, 2011 7:23:56 PM

bsan89 said:
Something with crossfire and the display.
I went to my local Bestbuy and check the M18x in display.
Seem fines, even try Starcraft 2 with no problem.

So I plan to order one really soon.
I figure I'll run this by you to see what you think.


PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7 2760QM 2.4GHz (3.5GHz w/Turbo Boost, 6MB Cache) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit edit
MEMORY 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz (2DIMMS) edit
VIDEO CARD Dual 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6990M AMD CrossFireX edit
HARD DRIVE 500GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s edit
WIRELESS + BLUETOOTH Intel® Advanced-N 6200 a/g/n 2x2 MIMO Technology and Bluetooth 3.0 edit
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE Slot-Load Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)

Question:
-There's another CPU they offer. The i7 2860QM 2.5GHz (3.6GHz w/turbo Boost, 8MB Cache)
That's not worth the extra $200 upgrade is it? Its just 2MB of extra cache and 0.1ghz more...

-Alienware offer a 256GB SSD. I call them and found it they are using a Samsung SATA III SSD.
The sad part is they are charging $500 for that upgrade.

That's about it. Thanks! :D 

MutliGPU setups aren't as perfect as single GPUs but I can't call that a problem really.
About your questions,well for me,100MHz speed bump isn't worth more than $50
And definitely get an after market SSD,you'll find better deals
a c 244 D Laptop
September 16, 2011 7:29:26 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Definitely get the CPU for $200, don't bother Raiding the SSD just for Gaming, you're not going to get much beyond a good single SSD which will throw bottlenecks elsewhere.

Also throw in massive amounts of RAM too. Believe me, it makes a difference and 16GB of Kingston HyperX is less than $200.

As for the SSD will help in texture swaps.. a little bit (you definitely want one over HDD), but not as much as the RAM and the RAIDing the SSDs won't make that any more the case, whereas having a huge boatload of RAM for swap to the GPUs and for AI and environment Maps will help alot.

Buy the single HDD option and then move that to your second bay and buy a big fast primary.

Things to always focus on are the hard to upgrade (ie CPU and GPU) , next the things that make sense to buy once, Big FAST SSD, Big FAST RAM.

CPU is hugely important for the AI and lighting, once again CPU+>RAID. I wouldn't even be surprised if CPU>Dual-GPU, early on almost guaranteed. The biggest question will be efficiencies in both foliage and surfaces, which is where this game will likely kill systems. It's a totally new engine and there is alot going on on the fly, so limited insight into the impact just yet, but alot of it points to CPU resources being primary with heavy GPU just behind. And that's not to mention the inevitable texture mods/packs.

The other thing is a better CPU usually benefits everything you do, whereas some of the others are just an occasional boost.

I'm waiting for the new round of IvY Bridge laptops for the Spring (and will likely pop an IVY CPU in), but got mine (in profile) for under $1,000CDN and then popped in $500 for the RAM and SSD, and it flies especially for editing. Only sore point is hate that they only had GDDR3 for the GPU, the speed of the CPU isn't as big a drawback for now, but didn't want to spend $2,500+ for anything in that range until they get DP 1.2 onboard for Triple Monitor support.

Look who's back :D 
Good to see you again :) 
September 16, 2011 8:26:09 PM

It's only temporary my friend, just thought I'd answer a post that tickled my fancy.

I was looking for some Skyrim info and also anything on the Acer which I like, but dislike that the WiFi keeps popping on/off at boot because it's a toggle and not a physical switch.

Still looking for that illusive DP1.2 equipped laptop. But knee deep in Tablets now (seriously I have about 15 of them from various vendors let alone the ones listed in my profile)

It's also down time between the golf/kyaking season and the start of skiing and the world cup (skiing WC that is, since Rugby's full-on) so I have a moment of spare time before the Film Festival starts. Hockey just plays throughout year round so always doing that.

Anywhoo, looking forward to Skyrim, which is why for about $950 couldn't pass up on the new laptop in June (after I finished spending all my money of Stanley Cup playoff tickets Yay Bruins! [:jaydeejohn:7] [:thegreatgrapeape:3] :sol:  ).

PS, I personally WOULD spend the extra money in this case for the added speed (and especially added cache) simply because of the CPU hogishness that is likely of all the feature sets of Skyrim and also for the editing apps he's using too. Also remember how the CPU will feed the GPUs, this will be important in a single GPU config and even more so in dual, you want as much as possible for GPU set-up and tranforms. The 2760QM is nice and has a few additional virtualization and AES feature I would've prefered in my home laptop, but if we're talking about just $200 for someone who was confisderng dual GPUs and Raiding SSDs, I would say yes to dual GPUs (although wait for performance boost with driver updates) and yes to better/faster CPU, but no to RAID SSDs (unless you wanna unraid them and use the second as a scratch disk there it might help a bit more, but a small [40-60GB SATAII/III] scratch disk would be fine.), and if it came down to $200 for a CPU bump and $200-300 for a second 120GB SSD, I would take the CPU every time. the bump from 2860 to 2960 is not worth it IMO, which would be similar to the bump from 2630 to 2720 not being worth alot, unless you need those features. For gaming that cache does make a diff IMO especially in this game and especially for the CS5 tasks. However as we all know the value of $200 is relative.
!