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Durability, longevity, gaming...does it exist under 1300$

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March 22, 2012 7:19:02 PM

These are the questions in my mind, Durability, Longevity, and gaming. I am coming across enough money to replace a computer that I have loved for a couple years now, the alienware M11x Core 2 Duo, I received for 400$ refurbished.

So what is the best computer for my money that I can upgrade over the next 3 years, that will be built to last, customer support, hardware the whole nine yards

My highest price point is 1500$

What I am looking for:

Cpu: i7 status, never owned one would love to try it

Gpu: Nvidia 555 or above/ Also considering using a vidock option, externalizing the heat of the GPU to extend the life of the computer.

Ram: DDr3 blah blah 4 gb plus

I have a permanent kink in my neck from hunching over my 11 inch laptop screen, I love mobility, in fact I use this laptop as my ipod, it travels everywhere with me, and I will keep using it that way until it dies. The new rig should also have good battery life and be ultra portable.

Durability is important, the M11x has a hinge issue and that pisses me off every time I here it crack, and creek when I open the machine.
I am not sold on ultra-books, as I think that they are too thin and the technology is not quite there yet. Also how do you cool that thing down.

Machines I have been looking at:

The Sager NP8151: I have heard that this is made bye Clevo and is just another cookie cutter laptop, nothing special.

• Latest Intel® Huron River platform
• nVIDIA GeFore GTX 560M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5 memory
• Visual stunning 15.6" Full HD LED-Backlit Screen display
• Up to 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 Memory capable
• USB 3.0, eSATA and IEEE-1394a Ports support




The Alienware m14x: has all the lights bells and whistles, but is it just hype? The specks seem good but you settle for the Nvidia 555 where as the sager has the 560 at the same price point or slightly above, I personally love the alienware esthetic...

Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Intel® Core™ i7 2670QM (2.2GHz,3.1GHz,w/Turbo Boost, 6MB Cache)
6GB DDR3 at 1600MHz
750GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s
1.5GB DDR3 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M using NVIDIA Optimus™ technology
14.0" High Def (720p/1366x768) with WLED backlight
Internal High-Definition 5.1 Surround Sound Audio
Intel® Wireless-N WiFi Link 1000 a/g/n 1x2
8x SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Slot Load Optical Drive

And then there are all the ASUS, and MSI out there, I have never personally used there machines before so i am skeptical...My roommate loves Elite books, they are a bit large for my taste.,

I have also heard a lot about the new Ivy bridge to come in may, that will drive the sandy prices down, so I can make a 30% discounted buy, on sandy bridge technology, please give me your insight and machines available at the price point that im asking.Thanks for your time if you made it this far, I appreciate the help.

P.S. please do no suggest anything apple as I cannot support that company.
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March 22, 2012 7:23:22 PM

tedsomango said:
Also considering using a vidock option, externalizing the heat of the GPU to extend the life of the computer.
Hello tedsomango;
What's the top GPU ViDock can support these days? I thought it topped out somewhere in the Radeon 2600 series.
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March 22, 2012 7:31:43 PM

Alienware m14x: At 6.4 pounds and sized @ 13.2 x 10 x 1.5 inches it's heavier than most standard 15" notebooks and nearly as big.

The Sager NP8151: I have heard that this is made bye Clevo and is just another cookie cutter laptop, nothing special.
You've not exactly heard right. Yes, lots of custom gaming notebook boutique builders use the Sager/Clevo bare bones chassis. And for very good reasons. Solid chassis that support superior cooling systems.
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March 22, 2012 7:51:15 PM

Could you further clarify what ultra portable and good battery life means to you?

I only ask because for most people the 15.6" Sager and the 14" Alienware you are considering would be far outside of anything that has a good battery life and ultra portable.

In regards to Ivy bridge it is highly unlikely you will see any meaningful discount on Sandy once Ivy releases, Intel just never operates that way.

Asus has a very good track record for reliability and durability, my only complaint of the one I own is that I dislike the keyboard. I have been using Lenovo Thinkpads for work for years though and their superb keyboards have probably spoiled me.

I think to have adequate cooling for the performance you are looking for the 15.6" or larger form factor is the best way to go. You would just have to be willing to live with shorter battery life and much heavier machines. The Sager would be my choice of the two you listed. It looks like most of the Asus models I would recommend with that card and an i7 are in the $1600.00 price range.
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March 22, 2012 7:54:19 PM

tedsomango said:
I have also heard a lot about the new Ivy bridge to come in may, that will drive the sandy prices down, so I can make a 30% discounted buy, on sandy bridge technology, please give me your insight and machines available at the price point that im asking.
30%? Where did you hear that. Seems very high. 10% on the CPU? Might believe that.

Reading over your requirements again. Not sure anyone can really get you what you want right now.
Upgrading. Higher than GT 555M performance in small/light chassis.
External video card.

Along with IvyBridge come new mobile CPUs. GT 6xx Kepler series are out already. GeForce GT 640M (replacement for GT 555M falls between the GT 555M and faster GTX 460M in performance).
And there is talk of top end Ultrabooks having Thunderbolt connectivity (think external video cards).

For 'right now' it seems the Alienware M14X seems the only 'game' in town for you.

Example of whats just around the corner (and still far, far from perfect):
Acer Aspire TimelineU M3: Life on the Kepler Verge
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March 23, 2012 11:07:21 AM

dell ? how about acer less than half the price ? dura, and longe ? this is like the mac question
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March 23, 2012 11:16:16 PM

I think I'm just gonna blow the dust off my desktop, and stick with my m11x, why get something else when I love what i got? Thanks for all the help team, allays great support....

The M11x is pretty much the most portable gaming/music/productivity machine available, and I dont think that I will find anything like that anytime soon. The damn hinge though has broken twice now, and the durability is in question...
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