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September 18, 2011 7:25:44 PM

Hi guys. Looking for input.

1. What is your budget?
>>> up to $1500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
>>> 17"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
>>> 1920 x 1080 (I'm assuming this is ideal.)

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
>>> Would like 2 hours.

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)?
>>> I want to play games on High settings. That being said, I will always be about 5 years behind the latest games. I currently have Med Total War II, A of E III. There are some others in storage that my Inspiron 8600 couldn't handle - Lord of the Rings game, & another rpg. I will probably need to get more time in on the 2 games named above first, though. Most of my questions revolve around if I will be able to run games made today at medium settings in 5 years...

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
>>> Surfing, watching Korean dramas online, Sibelius music program. Nothing too demanding.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
>>> I thought 500GB, maybe 320MB.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
>>> No. Just want reliability. If that means buying direct, that's fine.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
>>> 5 years

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

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.
>>> Been happy with Dell, so looking at XPS 17. Maybe MSI, ASUS, but saw an MSI vs. ASUS youtube video review involving a GT series MSI and a G series ASUS where the reviewers really said the ASUS won in the "running cooler" category ONLY. Open to brands that are reliable.

13. What country do you live in?
>>> US and Korea

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
>>> Items I want:
1) 7200rpm (for gaming, right?)
2) 1920 x 1080p (right?)
3) Try for Low Heat (I sometimes game for extended periods - older games.)
4) Backlit Keyboard
5) Nice Speakers
>>> Would the i5 do the job for 5 years?

Thanks. (Please let me know if this is the wrong forum before you delete my post. I believe my others may have been deleted for some reason.)

More about : laptop

September 18, 2011 8:21:37 PM

To do what you want, you don't really need to spend $1500.

Two choices are

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

which is an Asus with a 2.0ghz i7, 6gb of ram, gt540m.

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung, same specs as above, but only 4gb of ram.

On newegg, the best I could find that comes standard with a 7200rpm laptop with your specs is this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Which is a Toshiba, has an i7 and a 560m(which is total overkill for the games you stated) the HDD setup is weird. it has a 4GB boot ssd along with a 500gb 7200rpm drive and a 750g 5400rpm drive.

To be honest, in my opinion, the HDD speed giving more performance is pretty minimal.

Also - on the HP website, you can customize a DV7tqe for $1200, that has a 17" screen, 1080p resolution, 8gb ram, i7, 6770m (better than 540m not as good as the 560m) with a 750gb 7200rpm HDD. It also comes with a pretty decent battery, too.

And yes, the GT540m will play every game today on medium, and most on high or ultra settings.
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September 18, 2011 8:59:15 PM

I would stay away from HP consumer laptops, their reliability is not as good as the other two brands.
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September 19, 2011 8:28:14 PM

Yes, I see that now. HP is risky if I want reliability. (I also see Dell is not what it used to be.) Was hoping to buy a machine mostly made in the USA at first... So how would you compare these?

>ASUS N73SV-A1 (as mentioned above)

>ASUS G73SW-XN2

>Samsung RF711 (4GB RAM model -02; 8GB RAM model -03) - Looks like that's the only difference. Maybe model -03 has BluRay?
- Is the upgrade worth it now, or wait and see if it is even needed?

How much trade off between heat and rpms? I really do game for a number of hours sometimes and don't want to shorten my laptop's life.
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September 19, 2011 8:52:42 PM

Out of those 3 laptops the ASUS G73SW-XN2 would be the most powerful option and it would have the best cooling. The Samsung on the other hand would be a better option if you wanted more batter life and you could add a 7200rpm hdd if you wanted but it doesn't have a 1080 display. I own the i5 version of the Samsung and it works like a charm on games it doesn't get very hot other than the far left side where the fan is placed you won't notice it. As far as heat trade off it adds a small amount of heat and noise when adding a 7200rpm hard drive.
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September 20, 2011 4:37:55 AM

The ASUS G73SW-XN2 completely annihilates the others in gaming performance, besides the toshiba I posted. However, it comes with a sacrifice in battery life because of the power-hungry gpu(both the 460m and the 560m are). If you're gonna be plugged in while gaming, that might not matter.
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September 20, 2011 7:11:05 AM

There are also custom laptops from venders such as ibuypower and cyberpc. Their reliability is decent and they usually come with a 3 year warrenty.
Also why has nobody mentioned the AW m17x? Its base model costs 1500 and has everything your asking for.
btw very few laptops can use a dedicated graphics card for any amount of time away from the wall so battery life goes out the window when gaming on battery.
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September 20, 2011 1:01:36 PM

The AW m17x comes standard with a 6870m and a 1600x900 screen. for the 560m and the 1920x1080 screen, it would cost ~$1750. I would recommend the 560m over the 6870m because ATi's graphics switching is nothing compared to Optimus. Also, that thing is heavy. The m14x weighs more than most 15" laptops so I assume the m17x is probably 1-2 pounds heavier than the average 17" laptop. The problem with ibuypower and cyberpowerpc is the batteries, they're pretty trash. But the design is really nice, and the prices are decent too. The P170HM is pretty nice, and you get 3 free games with it, too. On Cyberpowerpc, there is an Xplorer X7-9700 which has the 560m and i7, for $1350. But for the same price, there is the X7-8500, which is an MSI with the i7 but a better graphics card, the 570m. This will take a chunk out of the battery life though, and I don't know if you need it.
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September 20, 2011 5:12:03 PM

Thanks. I was able to handle a 17" Samsung and it seems like the perfect size. So, I'm a little less interested in the ASUS models because of what I've heard about their size.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like 5400rpm should be fine - and actually run cooler.

So here is what I think I would like (with your help) and some computers that seem to fit nicely.

>> i7-2630QM
>> RAM 4+
>> HDD 500GB+
>> Decent speakers if possible
>> Backlit keyboard if maybe possible
>> Low heat
>> GPU that will enable me to play up to around 2010 games.

Samsung RF711-02: RAM 4GB/8GBmax; HD 750GB; GT540M w 1 GB video Mem; BluRay

Samsung RF711-03: RAM 8GB; HD 750GB; GT540M w 2 GB video Mem; BluRay; PLUS Gigabit Ethernet

?Toshiba Satellite P770-BT 4G22: RAM 6GB/8max; HD 640GB; GT540M w 1 GB video Mem; PLUS Gigabit Ethernet

>> I have heard that Gigabit Ethernet is important, so I am looking at the Samsung RF711-03. I would be happy to take any other laptop suggestions and research them.
>> I have been running my Inspiron 8600 laptop at 1280x800 for everyday use. I'm still confused which resolution would be the best to get. How does that balance with the GPU? This is the big question as it really changes the game (decision) depending on which way I go. I'm OK with movies not being at top viewing.
Thanks again all.
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September 20, 2011 8:41:43 PM

The Nvidia 540m is NOT a high end GPU and in fact has quiet a bit of trouble playing the latest games. For Nvidia cards I wouldn't recommend getting anything with less power than the 460m. Thats a minimal card for todays games.
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September 20, 2011 8:44:39 PM

Oh and as for the AW weight issue, its not really an issue at all. Sure they're a bit heavy, but all gaming laptops (with the exception of the new Razer) are going to be heavy. Its about 9 pounds for the M17x but it still gets my recommendation as its one of the few laptops that you can upgrade the graphics card on.
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a c 572 D Laptop
September 20, 2011 8:54:51 PM

While the GT 540M might be considered a mid-level laptop graphics card it's performance is below an entry level $40 graphics card in a desktop environment. Stepping up from 1366x768 resolution to 1600x900 or 1920x1080 is going to have a great impact on performance than from a more powerful graphics card.

If it helps you understand think of a GT 540M graphics card which is a bit less powerful than a desktop GT 430 graphics card.

For the GTX 460M it's near a desktop GTS 450 performance.
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September 20, 2011 8:55:05 PM

ragenalien, I completely disagree with the first statement. The 540m: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-540M.417...
Will play anything on at least medium. Most anything on high with about 30fps. And for what he stated, that's pretty much perfect. And no, the only laptop that even compared to the m17x's weight was that huge Asus 17" beast laptop.
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September 20, 2011 8:58:45 PM

I would also consider a Lenovo Y570, as they can come with an i7, 555m, and a 64gb ssd + 750gb HDD. But the drawback is the resolution, which at 1366x768, is pretty crappy.
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September 21, 2011 2:43:52 AM

Thanks. Will read up today.
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September 21, 2011 2:51:06 AM

Well abyssalx I do believe WR2 just proved my point on the 540's weakness. The desktop 430 is definitely not made for hardcore gaming and is in fact a weak desktop card. A simple google search places the 430 (http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/rmp_vds) between the ATI 5570 and 5550.
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September 21, 2011 12:57:47 PM

If he were a hardcore or at least an enthusiast gamer, I would agree. However, he said right in the beginning that he would only be playing games on medium, which the 540m does flawlessly. Why would you need more, then?
I supposed the 560m is a safer choice for future gaming, but usually the price outweighs the reason in situations like this. This, however, doesn't seem to be the case with the other specs for this laptop.

This is a little cheaper though
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI 15.6", i7, GT555m, 1080p, 640gb hdd, 8gb ram. The only thing is the battery life, again. I have to assume it has optimus, but the other MSI laptops I've looked at were pretty low battery life(though they had ATI cards inside them)
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September 21, 2011 4:37:57 PM

I have to have a 17"

I am very picky about details and I saw MSI has a lot of assembly issues (not performance issues) - alignments, etc. And, the ASUS would just be too big - not too heavy - too big.

I like rpgs, so as long as I have something that plays Neverwinter Nights 2 at Max, the next rpgs to come out after this, and Medieval War II Total War, I'm OK I think.

I am leaning toward one of the these:
I really like the size, look, feel.

Samsung RF711-02: RAM 4GB/8GBmax; HD 750GB; GT540M w 1 GB video Mem; BluRay

Samsung RF711-03: RAM 8GB; HD 750GB; GT540M w 2 GB video Mem; BluRay; PLUS Gigabit Ethernet

Thoughts? Do I need Gigabit Ethernet?, 2 GB video Mem?

I will look into the MX17x.
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September 21, 2011 4:56:44 PM

MSI GT780DXR

Intel Core i7 2630QM

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570M (DDR5 1.5GB)

1TB hard drive

12GB DDR3 memory

USB 3.0

HDMI Port

click here
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September 21, 2011 7:12:51 PM

If you care about the hardware a lot, the m17x may be a good choice. Alienware laptops are very high-end in all the hardware. They're overpriced, but you get what you pay for one way or another.
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September 22, 2011 8:24:52 PM

Wow! Now I'm TEMPTED to go back and look at the upper-enders - M17x... Sorry to drag this out, but I'm learning. The Samsungs size and look is nice, but it sounds like x1080 could give me a more significant boost in tandem with a decent GPU. Plus, I don't really like glossy screens.

I can get the XPS 17 from Dell, 4GB Mem, 500GB/7200; upgrade screen to x1080; GT550M for $1230.00. Let's assume the 4GB and 500GB HD are fine for my needs (I won't have much videos or music) with the rpm variable pending heating issues per model computer. What would compete in this category not above $1350.00? I will now research heating issues for this XPS computer.
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September 24, 2011 5:15:00 PM

Thanks all. I will look into Sager, etc.
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September 24, 2011 5:33:25 PM

Great abyssalx!!! Any final thoughts on the boutique brands? Now I know I can get the same insides. I will look for a classic black or silver outside. I would rather not have a laptop that says "gamer". I will be in Korea for at least a year. Does this play into any warranty? I had seen where ASUS actually had a 1 year international. Finally, when the thread runs it's course, how do I end it? Just select best answer button? Thanks.
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September 24, 2011 5:42:17 PM

Well, on the sager page I linked, there is an option to remove all branding, which makes it a really sleek black laptop with no names anywhere. Sager is known for very superior build quality, also. Unfortunately, Xoticpc doesn't have any warranty options for out of North America, but the quality of it should last that long anyway.

Asus and Samsung are both respectable laptop brands, with (in my opinion) Asus being above Samsung and one of the best. Asus has very impressive warranties, and good cooling.

Dell, in my opinion, is fairly far below both of those, specifically in build quality, and price/performance.

The Sager has a lot of customization options, such as the i7, and there are many HDD choices, memory, branding removal, etc. It runs cool but can get sort of loud during lengthy gaming, but it shouldn't be a huge issue. And make sure you choose the Windows Operating System, as by default it is set to ship without an OS. (Unless you have a copy of windows you can use)

And yeah, I guess when you're done, just select the best answer. And any other questions you have, just ask.
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September 24, 2011 11:25:06 PM

Not so bad, still a lower resolution, with a worse GPU, it ends up being more money. But if you're hooked on a name-brand laptop then that'd work.
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September 25, 2011 5:07:09 PM

You're right. I just saw 3-digits and my eyes got big. Is the only difference between Sager, Prostar, and Malibal the outside?
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September 25, 2011 5:25:40 PM

I'm not sure about Malibal, but I'm assuming the only difference is the Branding. Because CyberPower, Ibuypower, Xoticpc, and Prostar are all Sager/Clevo Resellers, that sometimes put there own branding. I definitely recommend Xoticpc, they will be the cheapest by far and have the option to remove branding.
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September 25, 2011 8:17:28 PM

Checked it out and I'm down to two (with optional upgrades). Thoughts?

Sager NP5175 (6.83 lbs.) $1315.00; 6GB (upgrade); 500/7200; GT555M; 6-Cell; Case

Force 1761 (8.6 lbs.) $1375.00; 4GB; 500/7200; GTX570M; 9-Cell
> Upgrade to 8GB & 750/7200 = $1428.00

If the extra weight (space?) on the Force means better cooling, that's a big plus. And, it looks like that GTX570M is a monster.
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September 25, 2011 8:24:37 PM

And I really need to know... right now on my Inspiron 8600 I use 1280 x 800 for everything. I can just lower resolution on a x1080 machine and get the same effect, right? Or, is there some advantage to a x900 for me. I hope not, as I like the idea of having decent graphics for some things.
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September 25, 2011 8:45:28 PM

How'd you manage to get that Sager so expensive? The specs on that are the same as one I put together for $975. The 570m is a much much better card and you can play crazy things on it but its up to you cause it's much more expensive. And you could lower the resolution manually to 1280x800 but trust me, you won't want to.
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September 26, 2011 2:32:32 PM

For Sager...

Anti-glare screen = +199
Diamond Thermal = +25 (I figure if they have to do this extra step, they will do a much better job than on the assembly line.)
320GB to 500GB = +25
OS = +80
4GB to 6GB = +25 [If this is an easy upgrade, I can leave it off.]

I would rather go with the lighter machine (Sager), but after taking another look at the 1761 at $1375, it looks to be by far a better buy. It comes standard with a matte screen. If 4GB is easy/cheap to upgrade and 500MB Hard Drive is enough to hold a bunch of games/software the GPU will be stellar. My concern would be heat - shortened life of the machine. What would be your guess on heat for both machines? Would the larger chassis make up for the "hotter" gpu? I guess if I'm not utilizing it anyway, there shouldn't be extra heat...? I think the 555M would be more than adequate, but the Anti-glare upgrade is a killer. The Anti-glare is the catch here, I guess. I usually have the lights on when I use the computer, and I don't like the glossy look on the machines I've seen displayed.
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Best solution

September 26, 2011 3:07:12 PM

For the little difference in price - you'll get much more performance out of the Force/MSI 1761. That's what I would do. Keep in mind the 1-2 hour battery life you'll get out of it though. The cooling should be fine on it as well.
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September 26, 2011 3:26:37 PM

I think the 1761 is the way to go, although a part of me always feels a little hasty when $975 might satisfy me. But, I definitely don't want to feel slowed down before 5 years rolls around. Tough to take the plunge at first, I guess. Same as last time.

and FINAL questions -- should I buy a 2nd battery as I plan on having the machine for a while? I would only buy one if it might be hard to find one in 5 years (assuming it would probably die like my dell battery). Do you keep the battery in the machine when you are plugged in?

Does matte always boost the cost this much?!

Do I bother looking for "coupons" since it's not a mainstream brand?

Thanks for all of the help.

--- "There are always two, a master and an apprentice."
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September 26, 2011 3:48:55 PM

If you intend to be plugged in the majority of the time, then you should take the battery out when you are plugged in. The battery might not be that great, but I learned my lesson the hard way with my old Vaio that went from a 4 hour battery life to a 10 minute battery life in 2 years, because I always had it plugged in with the battery in it. I don't think you really need 2 batteries though, but It would help if you needed more life away from a power outlet. I'd maybe consider getting a car charger over a 2nd battery. But it's up to you.

And yeah $975 would probably be fine, but you'll game flawlessly with this GPU and it'll handle new games that come out in the coming years also.

And yeah, matte seems to be expensive, which sucks, I prefer matte screens over glossy screens any day.

As for coupons, I could find anything that would work for you. The only ones seem to be free shipping on Asus laptops, which is only about $30 or so I think.
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September 26, 2011 4:12:43 PM

Best answer selected by Scott Broadway.
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