I want to get a new laptop for gaming. I travel a lot and am a gamer. Didn't know what I was doing when I got my first glaptop and picked up an alienware.. not gonna do that again. Im looking at the Sager NP9150
3rd gen intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3610QM (2.3GHz, 6mb intel Smart Cache, 45w max TDP)
AMD Radeon HD 7970M (2048MB) GDDR 5 DX11 or GTX 675M 2048MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX 11 with Optimus
I would go for the 7970. Although the GTX 680m is a bit more powerful (not much more).
Good parts. I don't know if you will be able to play on Ultra, but High maxed out for sure.
Have you looked into getting an SSD? It would definitely last longer than a HDD since you mentioned you will be travelling. Quite a few people have problems with moving their laptop around and killing their HDD while the laptop is on (i've had to diagnose this for a few friends laptops). I think the lightning quick load times would be well worth it for you (since this is a high end gaming laptop).
Edit: "12GB- DDR3 1600MHz Dual Chan Mem (3SODIMMS) " If it's only dual channel, I would suggest going to 2x8GB sticks for a total of 16GB. Or drop down to 2x4GB sticks for 8GB of RAM.
Edit 2: I see the price difference between the 680 and 7970 is almost double. THe 7970 gives about 90-95% performance of the 680M at half the cost (just checked out that Sager). I would stick with the 7970.
Edit 3: As I already mentioned - you should look into getting a 256GB SSD drive (I reccomend Crucial M4) - and maybe get a smaller portable 1TB HDD for all your extra data needs. If it's possible with your budget.
Should be pretty nice setup and agree that 3 SODIMMs in a dual-channel setup doesn't make a lot of sense.
Maybe step down the NIC to the default (Killer is really not killer), drop the Blu-Ray if you are just gaming (physical media is rapidly giving way to digital consumption), drop windows to 64 home premium, and upgrade the drive to a nice sized SSD?
+1 on getting an SSD, much better than a hybrid, especially for the OS.
- 120G for OS + headroom (few games, etc)....or....larger if possible (e.g. 240GB) to do away with need for HDD.....it is only for gaming? If you want large data storage (e.g. videos) then an additional HDD (though, not sure of 9150 drive options)
I agree with ever thing said so far my question is do you need the optical drive if not opt for the hard drive caddy for the bay and put a 750gb or 1tb drive in there it will be much more convenient then a portable drive and you can always use a usb optical drive if you occasionally need one
p.s. that is a damn sweet laptop wish I had that kind of money
EDIT: do you need windows 7 professional I would get home premium unless you plan on using more then 16gb of ram and 8gb is really over kill for gaming at the moment