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Gaming laptop, or do without? Moving to China for 6 mo.

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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March 28, 2012 7:25:54 PM

Hey guys. I've been around for a while, but not super active.. I'm having fun on my current desktop rig at home, chugging along in BF3 and keeping up with my competitive teams in Call of Duty 4.

I am about to go through a life-changing period here; just got accepted to a school just outside of Beijing, China, for full-time mandarin lessons for 6 months. I aim to become conversationally-fluent, come back to Canada, and get a job on a police force somewhere.

I can't bring my rig with me, and I have a basic laptop (i3, 4gb ram, 15.6") that I use in front of the TV. I want to have a "home comfort" while I'm overseas, and as gaming is such a large part of my life right now I wanted to bring something with me that I could still connect with my friends on back home. That leaves gaming laptops in the mix.

Right now, I see a couple options:

Bring my standard word-processing laptop, sell my current rig (it will depreciate past the point of use by the time I get back, may as well just buy a new rig then). Save up for when I get back... and just try to get by.

Buy a gaming rig that comfortably handles BF3 on, say, high graphics... something that I will be able to use for a while after I get back until I get my feet under myself and sell/upgrade to a desktop again (<3 24" monitor...). Sell current desktop (see note above).


Do you guys have any suggestions, being gamers that leave their rigs for school or whatnot? How did you fare in an unfamiliar environment? Would it be worth going for the upgraded laptop so I will have something to hold on to while I'm over there?

That all being said, I have specced out a barebones MSI 17" with a GTX 570m, 1080p display, 12GB of ddr1333, 500gb hdd, room for my 120gb SSD, and the upgraded backlit steelseries keyboard for around $1400ish after tax.

What are your thoughts guys? I KNOW desktop rigs are a better bang for my buck, but this is more about paying the premium for a gaming laptop so that I can play with my friends while overseas for 6 months.

Thanks.

Dan

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a b D Laptop
March 28, 2012 8:34:47 PM

Hello,

Hmm interesting case. That MSI laptop you specced out is quite nice.

I think the biggest issue you might face would be someone stealing your laptop, especially in an unfamiliar environment. So you might want to invest in some anti-theft stuff.

Also are you sure you will be able to game with your friends back home without horrible lag? Ping times might be higher between Can. and China.

Other than that...well it's your say. I would probably do the exact same thing in your situation (buy a gaming laptop), even though I recently retired mine.

Edit: If you do get the gaming laptop - I think it would be a very good idea to customize it a bit so it is easily recognizeable. Maybe get some laser etching (if it has a metallic case) on it. Basically anything where you could say "Hey that guy stole my laptop, it has (insert specific markings here) on it!".
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March 28, 2012 9:08:18 PM

Thats a great point about theft. If I left it in my room, I would be getting one of those laptop locks. How did you find the difference between your gaming laptop and your current desktop? Did you feel like it was worth the difference in price, since you were able to transport it?

The ping shouldn't be a huge issue. On Cable we're talking about 80-100ms difference, which is doable for pubbing around. I won't be able to keep up with the competitive side of gaming, but at least I'll be able to hang out online with my bros (and ladies! haha).

Thanks for the input. Any other thoughts are totally welcome!
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a b D Laptop
March 28, 2012 9:15:46 PM

d4ng3r7550 said:
Thats a great point about theft. If I left it in my room, I would be getting one of those laptop locks. How did you find the difference between your gaming laptop and your current desktop? Did you feel like it was worth the difference in price, since you were able to transport it?

The ping shouldn't be a huge issue. On Cable we're talking about 80-100ms difference, which is doable for pubbing around. I won't be able to keep up with the competitive side of gaming, but at least I'll be able to hang out online with my bros (and ladies! haha).

Thanks for the input. Any other thoughts are totally welcome!


For my laptop - I have the Asus G73 JH. Although it's a few years old now (I think I got it in early 2010). Of course besides the massive performance difference between my current desktop and my gaming laptop - my gaming laptop was pretty good for what it was at the time. It was easy for me to carry around (even though some people consider 17" laptop large and heavy, it's not really an issue with me) with an extra mouse as well.

One other thing I would like to mention - if you are considering getting a laptop - you might want to consider getting a large SSD (256GB). HDD's in laptops are prone to failure if you move them around a lot while they are on.

What you could do is - get a 256GB SSD - and maybe carry around a portable 1TB HDD. That way - your laptop will have no moving parts (besides the fans of course) and would be quite resilient to small falls and drops and general movement while it's on.

However the only issue with that of course is the $$$ cost.
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March 28, 2012 9:26:45 PM

You can get LoJack for your laptop,any time it is on you can find it. I would have too have something like that going overseas.
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March 28, 2012 9:40:55 PM

You could go for broke (literaly) and get you a screaming SB quadcore i7 m17x alienware with gtx580m, tons of mem, 256GB SSD and extra drive, like I did for about double what your currenr budget is. The good thing is its built rock solid has every concievable port you would want and when you get back from China, it could be your new workstation and portable PC, no need to build something new.
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March 29, 2012 1:03:11 AM

Chainzsaw said:
For my laptop - I have the Asus G73 JH. Although it's a few years old now (I think I got it in early 2010). Of course besides the massive performance difference between my current desktop and my gaming laptop - my gaming laptop was pretty good for what it was at the time. It was easy for me to carry around (even though some people consider 17" laptop large and heavy, it's not really an issue with me) with an extra mouse as well.

One other thing I would like to mention - if you are considering getting a laptop - you might want to consider getting a large SSD (256GB). HDD's in laptops are prone to failure if you move them around a lot while they are on.

What you could do is - get a 256GB SSD - and maybe carry around a portable 1TB HDD. That way - your laptop will have no moving parts (besides the fans of course) and would be quite resilient to small falls and drops and general movement while it's on.

However the only issue with that of course is the $$$ cost.


Spot on- I have a 120gb SSD (crucial III) that I will be tossing inside, and a 1TB HDD that I will be buying an enclosure for. :) 

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March 29, 2012 5:20:37 AM

People were rioting in China because they couldn't get the newest iPad. Also there was a news story about a teenage boy who sold his own kidney to get an iPad. If you insist on bringing a laptop, don't flash it around in public.

In similar situation I got a netbook and put The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind on it. Netbooks are much lighter weight and you can still close the lid to protect the screen when not in use.

You want the time you spend in China to be total immersion in the culture and language. While talking and playing with friends at home would be nice, it will disrupt the total immersion that you need to learn the language.

You are overlooking the easiest solution. Build a new system in your dorm or apartment. Think about it, most electronics now are manufactured in Taiwan, China, Malaysia and other parts of asia. Find local producers, buy the parts direct for next to nothing and build a new desktop from the proceeds of the sale of your old desktop.

Ganbatte! Tsukaretta. <study hard, take care> ( I only know some Japanese)
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March 30, 2012 4:45:28 AM

pleasenoname said:

You are overlooking the easiest solution. Build a new system in your dorm or apartment. Think about it, most electronics now are manufactured in Taiwan, China, Malaysia and other parts of asia. Find local producers, buy the parts direct for next to nothing and build a new desktop from the proceeds of the sale of your old desktop.
Ganbatte! Tsukaretta. <study hard, take care> ( I only know some Japanese)


That doesn't help me if I want to move it back home, and believe me, parts aren't necessarily cheaper over there. Lots of the made in china stuff you get here isn't even sold there :) 
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April 6, 2012 5:41:58 AM

Best answer selected by d4ng3r7550.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2012 7:17:40 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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