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Best gaming laptop for around $1,500

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 16, 2011 2:32:15 PM


I've been looking at Alienware, and the known good gaming laptop makers but just seems there are alot of options. Like I'm a dell fan, my last vostro 1700 worked great for wow etc. The price is flexible but I want something that can play all current games on max settings etc.

More about : gaming laptop 500

November 16, 2011 2:46:36 PM

Saw these questions in another thread, figured i'd fill em out.

1. What is your budget?
$1500-2000, including warranty
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
17+
3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920x1080.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portability not an issue, will be used near an outlet at all times
5. How much battery life do you need?
minimum required for graphics card etc.
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 current games on max settings
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop?
school work
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Just enough to install games/operating system
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Have had \dell in past, was fine, Looking for best equipment for the $$
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3-4 years
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD Writer, is fine I have a BD burner at home
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.
Open to suggestions
13. What country do you live in?
USA
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Thanks for the help
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a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 4:09:27 PM

Hello,

if you're inclined to go with dell, Alienware M17x should be plenty (or they had 18x which was an 18" model, not sure if its still in business)
usually comes with a GTX560M stock I believe.

Other options that might give you same hardware for cheaper are
Asus G73/74 series
Sager NP8170
MSI GX780

typical minimum hardware on gaming laptops as follows:
i7-2670qm, 8Gb DDR3 ram, GTX 560M or ATI equivalent, 500Gb+ HDD (7200rpm)
you can obviously get a better gpu for models that allow customization and also consider an SSD instead of HDD.

If you need an idea of what the performance of GPU is in-game refer >here<
if you'd like to get approximate pricing on certain models refer to following websites:
www.xoticpc.com
www.newegg.com

Best of luck, hope this helps you pick what you want.
Ask if you have more questions

Best solution

a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 4:14:33 PM
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To kick it up a notch and my recommendation for something a bit closer to the top end of your budget:
Sager NP8170 17" custom configured gaming laptop ~$1900
Upgraded GPU to Radeon HD 6990M
Core i7-2670QM CPU, 8GB RAM, 120GB Intel 510 SSD, Win7 Home Premium.
When HDD prices come back down to earth you can add a 500GB storage drive if you want.
a b D Laptop
November 16, 2011 4:27:58 PM

CORKNUTZ69 said:
I've been looking at Alienware, and the known good gaming laptop makers but just seems there are alot of options. Like I'm a dell fan, my last vostro 1700 worked great for wow etc. The price is flexible but I want something that can play all current games on max settings etc.

Dream on.
a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 4:43:34 PM

I think what ram1009 is saying is something along the lines of;

That laptop GeForce GTX 570M graphics card is roughly equivalent to a desktop
Radeon HD 5770 or GeForce GTX 550 Ti desktop graphics card, which are $100-$110 graphics cards.

And the desktop crowds are going with Radeon HD 6950 or GTX 570s which run about $250-$300 and are about double the GPU power.
November 16, 2011 6:03:03 PM

ram1009 said:
Dream on.

So are you saying that there are no laptops out there that will play all current games maxed? Or are you saying my budget will not allow it? lol If the later of the two, what budget would I need for all games maxed?
November 16, 2011 6:04:29 PM

Also seen alot of Sager mentions, its been awhile since I've bought a laptop. I've never heard of them are their support/warranty good?
a b D Laptop
November 16, 2011 6:14:26 PM

A friend has a Alienware "laptop" that cost him $9K and I doubt it would max out everything and certainly not for very far into the future. I put "laptop" in quotes because it's impossible to keep it on your lap. In fact, the fact that it requires it's own cooler makes it (IMHO) a desktop. To me the term "gaming laptop" is an oxymoron.
November 16, 2011 6:19:36 PM

Also, I've always had NVIDIA graphics cards so this may be a dumb questions but:
Is Radeon HD 6990M better than GFORCE 560?
November 16, 2011 6:21:08 PM

ram1009 said:
A friend has a Alienware "laptop" that cost him $9K and I doubt it would max out everything and certainly not for very far into the future. I put "laptop" in quotes because it's impossible to keep it on your lap. In fact, the fact that it requires it's own cooler makes it (IMHO) a desktop. To me the term "gaming laptop" is an oxymoron.

K, thanks ram
a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 6:22:39 PM

It's quite a bit better the GTX 560M, maybe midway between the GTX 570 and GTX 580M in a lot of games.
a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 6:25:17 PM

Sager/Clevo is a top brand in the custom gaming laptop market.
You'll find them featured at lot of the top boutique builders at the top end of the gaming laptop market. Alienware was a boutique builder before being bought out by Dell.
a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 6:29:25 PM

CORKNUTZ69 said:
So are you saying that there are no laptops out there that will play all current games maxed? Or are you saying my budget will not allow it? lol If the later of the two, what budget would I need for all games maxed?
You'd be looking for a SLI or CFX laptop.
They come closest to being a mobile desktop replacement option.

For the amount of money they cost you'd have to look hard at a portable LAN box gaming PC. They're not much bigger or heavier than the biggest of the SLI/CFX laptops. Yes, you'd have to lug around a LCD screen two but you'd get more gaming power for less money. And you'd be able to upgrade the graphics card(s) in 18-24months to keep up with the newer games coming out in the future.
November 16, 2011 8:13:34 PM

Few more questions while narrowing down my search/options
Raid--do i need? If so what raid 0,1,5
Red line boost overclocking: Worth the $75?

Sount options:Would I even notice that big of difference?

Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included
or
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro THX 24-bit External USB Sound Card ( + 99 )
or
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Wireless Sound Card System (Broadcast Xtreme Fidelity Audio from PC to other audio devices wirelessly) ( + 129 )

WIreless card choices: (WIll you even notice a difference in speed given most wireless networks wont utilize faster than the lower grade adaptor?

D-Link DIR-655 802.11B/G/N Gigabit Wireless Router w/ USB Port ( + 99 )

NETGEAR WNDR3700-100NAS 802.11A/B/G/N Rangemax 2.4/5GHz Simultaneous Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Router w/ USB port

Thermal compound: Worth it for the IC diamond? says like 6 degrees cooler etc.???
-Stock OEM Thermal Compound

- IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU





a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 8:42:07 PM

You'd have to have a super premium speaker system or headphones for the audio options to make a difference.

Wireless? What do you have now?
D-Link Router is 30% less from other vendors. NetGear WNDR3700 is $113 @ NewEgg.

IC Diamond premium thermal compound is a nice luxury.
So the RAID0 and Redline boost.

How are you doing on your overall budget?
November 16, 2011 10:13:57 PM

I meant which wireless card, not router.
Both the MSI and Sager look appealing. I'm going nto watch for the black friday deals and pick at that point. Not sure where the best black friday deals will be posted for these two manufacturers so I'll be busy Blackfriday lol. Thanks for all the help.

So raid 0, the Redline boost is a good thing, disregard the speaker upgrade/software thingie, compound is an upgrade worth it. Thanks again!



WR2 said:
You'd have to have a super premium speaker system or headphones for the audio options to make a difference.

Wireless? What do you have now?
D-Link Router is 30% less from other vendors. NetGear WNDR3700 is $113 @ NewEgg.

IC Diamond premium thermal compound is a nice luxury.
So the RAID0 and Redline boost.

How are you doing on your overall budget?

November 16, 2011 10:18:11 PM

Best answer selected by CORKNUTZ69.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 10:23:42 PM

do not buy any external stuff from PC vendors like routers/bags/switches/speakers/etc.

they all come at a huge premium often times you can get better stuff for cheaper
November 16, 2011 11:15:39 PM

I think I best selected myself somehow........I tried to WR2 not sure how i messed that up. Sorry man........
a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 17, 2011 11:48:33 AM

CORKNUTZ69 said:
not sure how i messed that up.
You didn't - you got it right. Thanks.
Be sure to let us know how things work out.
November 18, 2011 12:38:41 PM

Pretty sure I;'m gonna get the sager one you mentioned, just gonna wait till black Friday. When I get it, I'll let ya know how it does!
November 25, 2011 7:36:33 PM

Anyone know where the good deals are for Cyber Monday that would have a Sager mentioned above?
November 25, 2011 9:52:14 PM

Well WR2, this is what I came up with. Cancelled the whole raid thing, but went with SSD primary, 500 Secondary. Also I have win 7 copy that I can put on there (brother is in the business)so that saves me $80.00 Or do you think that will cause issues with warranty etc. if I use mine? Also, do you see anything else you would add/takeaway? $1939.00 Just under my $2,000 top lol.

Sager NP8170 / Clevo P170HM
- FREE!! Continental (U.S. Lower 48) Ground Shipping on ALL Sager Laptops! (Order must be placed between 11/24/2011 - 11/28/2011) (Enter "FREE SHIP" in comments box during order)
- SAGER Sale!!! - $100 OFF When you spend $1500* or more! (*excludes accessories, shipping, non Sager items & taxes)
Confirmation of discount will be provided after Order Processing. + Sager Price Protect & Chance for Xbox 360 Giveaway!
- 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen (1920x1080) (SKU - S1R506)
- NO Professional Monitor Color Calibration
- No Spare 3D Glasses
- Standard Dead Pixel Policy
- 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM, 2.2-3.1GHz, (32nm, 6MB L3 cache) (SKU - S2N224)
- - IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
- ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD6990 2048MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11 $100 OFF (SKU - S3R151)
- No Video Adapter
- 16GB - DDR3 1333MHz Dual Channel Memory (4 SODIMMS) (SKU - S4R757)
- Sager Branding
- Standard Finish
- 120GB Intel 510 Series Solid State Drive (SSD2 Serial-ATA III) (SKU - S5R055)
- 500GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache) (SKU - S6R210)
- HDD Raid Settings - OFF
- Combo Dual Layer SuperMulti DVDRW/CDRW Drive w/ Software (When selecting a Hard Drive in the Optical Bay, No Optical Drive is Included) (SKU - S7R455)
- No Extra Optical Bay Hard Drive Caddy
- No Back Up Hard Drive
- NO External USB Optical Drive
- No Floppy Drive
- Internal 7-in-1 Card Reader (MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/MS Pro Duo/SD/Mini-SD/MMC/RS)
- No Back Up Software
- None Standard--
- Intel® Advanced-N 6230 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth (SKU - S8R111)
- No Network Accessory
- Built in 2.0 Megapixel Camera
- No TV Tuner
- Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included
- Basic Black Business Case - Included
- Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell)
- No Car Adapter
- None Standard*
- No Dock/Hub/Adapter
- Integrated Fingerprint Reader
- None
- No External Keyboard or Mouse
- No Notebook Cooler
- No Thanks, Please do not Overclock my system (Overclocking will add 3-6 business days to build time)
- No Operating System Redline Boost
- No Operating System Standard - Drivers & Utility Software Only
- No Office Software
- No Software Bundle
- LIFETIME Ltd Labor* 1 Year Parts Warranty Lifetime -24/7 DOMESTIC Based- Toll Free Telephone Tech Support (Labor Warranty through Xotic PC)
Includes FREE Shipping Both Ways for Warranty Repairs (SKU - X9R009)
- No Outside of US Shipping Coverage
- Standard Production Time
- No Xotic PC Gear
a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 25, 2011 10:48:15 PM

Going with 16GB RAM over 8GB is the one area where you won't see any improvement in gaming performance. 16GB can be handy for really heavy duty work in graphics, video and some exotic stuff like running multiple virtual machines. But even there it's a luxury rather than a necessity. It's also an area you can always upgrade later to keep the cost down now.

Your own copy of Win7 won't affect the warranty.
The SSD/HDD is the preferred storage setup for high end systems at the moment.
November 26, 2011 12:18:09 AM

Would you rather go with 8GB memory 1600 MHZ? I'd rather have the more memory or faster up front either way you think is the best I'm not really an upgrade later type of guy lol.
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 26, 2011 5:49:53 AM

8GB is more than enough for today's games/apps so unless you do some extremely heavy image/video editing,you should stay with 8GB
November 26, 2011 8:31:01 PM

Is there any other area that should be upgraded or does it all look good then? What about skipping up to the ole 18 inch screen? It will break the budget a little bit but I can squeek it in for around 2200. THere is only one optionf or that screen though. I also left the 17 inch one as default screen, is there a more preferred screen or is standard working out?
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 27, 2011 7:46:17 AM

It looks great;however,you can omit the SSD and add an aftermarket SSD(such as Crucial M4)
The screen size is a personal choice really,I prefer the 18.4" but that's me
November 27, 2011 1:49:58 PM

How much, where to buy, and how easy is it to install the crucial harddrive? Also, if its affordable worth geting two for raid 0? THen get the harddrive caddy instead of dvd slot?
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 27, 2011 2:26:43 PM

It's easy to install and check newegg for prices.With 2 of it's 128GB or 256GB you can get up to 1GB/S speed(Raid 0)
November 27, 2011 9:08:31 PM

You say with 2 of it's 128 or 256, is that the only sizes they sell for the crucial? Also, looking at newegg it's not that much of a prize difference that I can see from buying it from sager. And I only see like 415MB/S read. Can you mayve provide a link? And how much of a difference would I notice running two SSD in raid 0????
November 27, 2011 9:32:02 PM

You can buy 2 of 512GBs, but can you afford it? Two will probably cost even more than the laptop itself.

I have 2 256GB Crucials M4s and it's blazing (one for laptop and other for desktop). I've yet to try both in a RAID setup.

You don't *need* RAID 0 SSDs. Nobody does. Also, there is no TRIM support.

Edit - Sequential reads are closer to 500 MBs on a single SSD.
November 28, 2011 12:52:43 AM

10-4 Are all the crucial M4 hard drive laptop compatible looks like i can save 100 bucks installing it myself.......???
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 28, 2011 5:18:56 AM

If you upgrade the firmware to 009,your read speed increases to 500MB/S
I have a 256GB M4(w/009) and it's wicked fast.
RAID depends on you,I haven't tried it but I checked some benchs and you can get up to 1GB/S speeds. And there "is" TRIM support(under Windows7)

Finally,it's definitely worth it to save $100 getting a faster SSD and installing it yourself :D 
November 28, 2011 11:03:46 AM

10-4, ordering today, thanks all!
November 28, 2011 11:17:48 AM

Ok, last question lol, the 18" has dual gforce in sli or dual HD6990M's. Based off what WR2 is saying the Radeons would be better but........its a $325.00 upgrade!! Would the SLI gforces be ok? There is no option for just one vid card for 18"...........
November 28, 2011 12:08:13 PM

Nevermind, jumped the gun, ordered!

Cleaned this post up a bit.
Thanks again guys!! The only thing I dont like about the 18" is the buttons on the left for gaming, I think it offsets the keyboard too much but we'll see............

1x Sager NP8180 / Clevo P180HM
- Display: 18.4” FHD 16:9 LED Backlit Wide screen (1920x1080) Super Clear Glare Type Screen (SKU - S1R602)
- Monitor Calibration: NO Professional Monitor Color Calibration
- Processor: 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM, 2.2-3.1GHz
- Thermal Compound: - IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
- Graphics Video Card: ATI Radeon DUAL (2) HD6990M's (4096MB Total) GDDR5 DX11 - w/ 300W AC Adapter (SKU - S3R155)
- External Display Video Adapters: No Video Adapter
- Ram: 12GB DDR3 1333MHz Dual Channel Memory (3x4GB SODIMMS) - Black Friday Special! (SKU - X4P989)
- Branding: Sager Branding
- Exterior Finish: Standard Finish
- Primary Hard Drive: 500GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache) (SKU - S5R207)
- Second Hard Drive: None Standard
- Third Hard Drive: None Standard
- Optical Drive Bay: Combo Dual Layer SuperMulti DVDRW/CDRW Drive w/ Software (When selecting a Hard Drive in the Optical Bay, No Optical Drive is Included) (SKU - S7R455)
- - Memory Card Reader: Internal 9-in-1 Card Reader - Back Up - Bluetooth: Bluetooth Included (See “Wireless Network” Section Below)
- Wireless Network: Built-in 802.11 Wireless B/G/N - Stock Wireless Card + Bluetooth (SKU - S8R110)
- Camera: Built in 2.0 Megapixel Camera
- TV Tuner: No TV Tuner
- Sound Card: Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included
- Case: Basic Black Business Case - Included
- Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell)
- Fingerprint Reader: Integrated Fingerprint Reader
- Mouse / Keyboard Accessories: No External Keyboard or Mouse
- Operating System: No Operating System Standard - Drivers & Utility Software Only
- Warranty: LIFETIME Ltd Labor* 1 Year Parts Warranty Lifetime -24/7 DOMESTIC Based- Toll Free Telephone Tech Support (Labor Warranty through Xotic PC)


a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 28, 2011 1:10:55 PM

That's a beast :D  hope you enjoy it :) 
November 30, 2011 6:25:08 PM

While I'm waiting for my beauty to show up, quick questions. To install that crucial SSD, I will need to remove current HD and plug crucial into that slot I';m assuming? Or is it just jumpered to determine which is primary. Also, I'm assuming that I would make the crucial primary and install operating system and all programs/games to the crucial then any other saved garage drirect to the 2nd harddrive?? Since its only 250 GB I dont want to fill er up too fast.........
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
November 30, 2011 7:13:06 PM

Yep,you have to remove your HD and plug the SSD in to it and install the HDD in the optic bay(it should recognize the SSD as the main drive and the HDD as the second one)
December 2, 2011 12:10:47 AM

So do I need a harddrive caddy then? It had an option for 3 harddrives, 2 normal and the third if you wanted it you would have to order no dvd and add a hardrive caddy. I took it as I could fit 2 harddrives without having to remove the dvd rom.
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
December 2, 2011 8:14:54 AM

Oh,then you don't need caddy.I first thought it has 2 options for HDDs
December 2, 2011 11:55:13 AM

Cool thanks!
December 11, 2011 12:26:50 AM

FYI WR2/Maziar: Received my 8180 Sager and its the badonk........super massively huge but I love it.......25 lb beast when shoved into the bag with all the goodies, I posted in that other guys forum about that jowa bag to see how/where he got the bag for it. I like the idea of having some padding lol. I got it all loaded up and it screams.......graphics cranked on batman ark, Rage, Call of duty 4 etc. etc. all works great. Thanks again. Dual radeon vids seem to rock I've always been a Nvidia Gforce fan but may be rethinking on home pc builds now lol.
December 11, 2011 12:29:24 AM

Still cant break my 5.9 rating on hardrive on windows performance but from what I'm reading its hard/impossible to do??? I installed the crucial SSD as primary/500 Sata secondary. Still didnt break it. Unless it tests both drives and the sata drags it down?
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
December 12, 2011 6:35:07 AM

Congrats ! :D 
Well,if the SSD is is the main drive,then your score shouldn't be 5.9.But TBH,windows score isn't important at all.
Try running a SSD benchmark such as "Crystal disk info" to check your read/write speeds
!