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Buying new Gaming Laptop

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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August 5, 2012 11:50:56 PM

1. What is your budget?
$900

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Prefer 17", will consider 15"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
at least 1600 x 900

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
Enough to move to a different room in the house :p 

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)?
Diablo III, Arma 2, PLanetside 2, SWTOR

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Word Processing for school (online)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
prefer at least 500 GB, possibly a hybrid?

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/NX.M0SAA.001

Lenovo Ideapad y580

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3+ Years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
At least DVD Writer, blu-ray a plus

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.
No Dell. They seem very overpriced for what they are.

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Just looking for a budget minded gaming laptop that will last a couple of years. Does not need to be an absolute powerhouse, but should be able to handle the newer games on medium settings or better.

More about : buying gaming laptop

a c 462 D Laptop
August 6, 2012 1:44:42 AM

Between the Acer and the Lenovo, I would go with Lenovo.
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August 6, 2012 2:22:00 AM

Why? And do you have any other recommendations?
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August 6, 2012 1:24:20 PM

The reason I was considering the Acer was that my Current Machine, a Gateway p7811 fx, has a 17.3" screen and I have grown accustomed to that size. However it also has a FHD screen, so I think downgrading to the 900p screen Acer will be just as bad as going down to a smaller size laptop.

Thank you for the list. I am leaning heavily towards the y580 with the FHD screen. How big is the difference between a 3rd gen i5 and a 3rd gen i7? Is it something I would regret later by getting the i5 to save some money? Primarily will be used for gaming.
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a b D Laptop
August 6, 2012 2:06:49 PM

Few reminders;

- laptop CPU does not have the same performance of equivalent desktop model

- CPU and video are not upgradeable. They might be customizable during on-line purchase but not afterwards

- fan might get really noisy when playing games. I have i7 with AMD 6690 (13.3 in) and when playing Diablo or any other game, the fan becomes really noisy
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August 6, 2012 2:31:30 PM

I am aware that laptop CPU's differ from desktop CPU's. I am aware that they are not upgradeable later, that is why I want to make sure I get the right one now. Fan noise does not bother me all too much, as I wear headphones when I play games anyways. My question was that if I settle for an i5 now, will I regret it a couple years down the road, or should I just go ahead and get an i7?
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August 6, 2012 2:51:44 PM

Good site, there, Junky!
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August 6, 2012 3:30:07 PM

I would like something that will be able to game for about 3 years, but I understand that the quality that it games at will diminish over the years. I am OK with this. I would just like something that does well on medium to high settings for the games I listed, so as to somewhat ensure future applicability. My budget of $900 is not firm, but definitely not much more than $1000. The y580 with FHD looks like a very promising option, but my concern is the size difference between 17" and 15" laptops. I have heard the keyboards on 15" laptops are somewhat compressed, and I am a clumsy typist, so that could cause issues.

However, I could possibly find a FHD 17" with a 3rd gen i5 in it and at least a Nvidia 650m for a little less. Would this be a viable option to the y580?
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August 6, 2012 4:16:27 PM

electrontau said:
Few reminders;

- laptop CPU does not have the same performance of equivalent desktop model

- CPU and video are not upgradeable. They might be customizable during on-line purchase but not afterwards

- fan might get really noisy when playing games. I have i7 with AMD 6690 (13.3 in) and when playing Diablo or any other game, the fan becomes really noisy


Excuse me, but some of that information is faulty.

Most laptop cpu's can be switched out (except the ones in netbooks and other rare ones that could be soldered to the motherboard - but those are not so common).

As for gpu's... it requires an MXM interface of course to be interchangeable, but even this is not necessarily a guarantee as some manufacturers love to create their own inverted slot just to make it impossible for people to upgrade or switch with any other.
Nevertheless, numerous mid/high-range laptops have MXM type gpu's which can be switched out.

Upgrading a laptop cpu or gpu however is not necessarily cost-effective in the long run, because laptop components are horribly overpriced (even though there's no reason for them to be).

As for fans getting noisy when playing games - uhm... not necessarily.
Each laptop varies and most are a lot quieter than desktops when it comes to air cooling (on full throttle).
As for those that are REALLY noisy - check for dust buildup and clean it off [the fans obviously have to work harder if there's an increase in temperature (lack of air flow)].

As for performance - uhm, it is my understanding that since Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge came in, performance difference between laptop and desktop cpu's is relatively marginal (less than 25%).
The only difference is that desktop cpu's can be more or less easily overclocked, while laptop cpu's not necessarily so much (restrictions due to heat build-up, however, numerous models CAN be safely overclocked to relatively large levels with no overheating dangers).

Finally - as computer components become smaller and smaller, differences between laptops and desktops will continue to diminish (they already are at this threshold anyway).

Apart from that, dekstop and mobile gpu's have identical chips - except the mobile versions are gimped (disabled capabilities), whereas the desktops are not (more headroom) - however, shoddy cooling is a relatively standard practice in laptops - from a technical point of view though, there is no reason why desktop performance (and more) cannot be put into a laptop form factor.

Oh right... - the industry is also using outdated silicon in computer chips still - whereas they could have used synthetic diamond chips (at least partly) in electronics (computer chips too) since 1997, and graphene (also at least partly) since 2005 (problem with switching was overcame 2009 if I'm not mistaken, so there's no reason NOT to build graphene based CPU's/GPU's - except for profit loss [which would occur if Intel had to leave Silicon behind, so they will likely continue to milk it until they dry it out] - and by using those 2 materials alone, they could have given us about 40 to 60x more powerful computers in the process (before the year 2000) in a very small form factor, that draw 1 tenth of power computers use today, and no active cooling due to inherent properties of both diamonds and graphene.
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August 6, 2012 8:40:52 PM

Is this a good deal?

HP Pavilion dv7t-7000 Quad Edition Entertainment Notebook PC
A3G47AV

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
3rd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM Processor (2.3 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 650M Graphics with 2GB GDDR5 memory [HDMI, VGA]
FREE UPGRADE to 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
750GB 7200 rpm Hybrid Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
NO mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
Microsoft(R) Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word/Excel(R) only, No PowerPoint(R)/Outlook(R)
No additional security software
6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery - Up to 5.75 hours of battery life +++
17.3-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
FREE Upgrade to Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner

Total - $1084
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August 6, 2012 9:01:44 PM

Or this one, Which is better?


Sager NP6175 / Clevo W170ER
- 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen (1920x1080) (SKU - S1R506)
- Standard Dead Pixel Policy
- NO Professional Monitor Color Calibration
- Sager - 3rd Generation Intel® Ivy Bridge Core™ i7-3610QM (2.3GHz - 3.3GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache, 45W Max TDP) (SKU - S2N224)
- -Stock OEM Thermal Compound
- nVidia GT 650M 1024MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11 with Optimus™ Technology (SKU – S3R520)
- 8GB - DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) (SKU - S4R378)
- Remove All Branding
- Standard Finish
- FREE! - 500gb (w/ 4GB SSD Memory) Seagate XT 7200RPM NCQ Hybrid (Serial-ATA II 300 - 32MB Cache) (SKU - S5R413)
- 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)
- Internal 9-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini SD/SDHC/SDXC/MS/MS Pro/MS Duo)
- Bluetooth Included (See “Wireless Network” Section Below)
- Sager - Built-in 802.11 Wireless B/G/N - Stock Wireless Card + Bluetooth™ v3.0 (SKU - S8R110)

Total - $1017
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August 6, 2012 11:05:28 PM

Take which one? The HP or the Sager?
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August 6, 2012 11:33:24 PM

Add an operating system, upgrade to i7 CPU
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August 6, 2012 11:36:11 PM

For a little bit more, the HP has a bluray, has a 2GB GPU instead of a 1GB, and a 750GB Hybrid drive rather than a 500GB.
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August 7, 2012 12:09:18 AM

Yeah, I dont have the OS to install, all I have is an old copy of Windows Vista 64, and its a gateway version at that. So I would need to purchase an OS, as I am not in to pirating. I was just thinking the i7 because it may have extended lifetime (in terms of becoming outdated.) Blu-ray is an added bonus, not a necessity. The extra 750gb is a plus, but I do not understand how a hybrid would not have at least some benefit over a traditional platter drive, as it uses the ssd portion as a read cache.

Sorry, I am just trying to play devil's advocate here to make sure that I get the best deal possible.
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August 7, 2012 12:24:10 AM

Well, wrench thrown in to the HP. HP is going to slam me with almost 10% sales tax, so that pushes that out of the picture. I am thinking the Sager may now be the way to go.
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August 7, 2012 1:04:45 AM

Yes, but after I pay tax at HP it makes the laptop way overpriced.
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August 7, 2012 1:47:24 AM

Yeah I am looking at either of the two Sager's. the MSI you listed starts at $1199, a bit higher than I wanted to go
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August 7, 2012 2:35:55 AM

WEll I went with this:

Sager NP6370 / Clevo W370ET
- FREE!! Continental (U.S. Lower 48 - UPS Ground Only) Ground Shipping on ALL Sager Laptops (Enter Coupon Code: "SAGERFREESHIP" during order process)
- SAGER Back 2 School Savings!!! ( Free Hard Drives & Ram Savings ) - See Specials Below
- 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen (1920x1080) (SKU - S1R506)
- Standard Dead Pixel Policy
- NO Professional Monitor Color Calibration
- Sager - 3rd Generation Intel® Ivy Bridge Core™ i7-3610QM (2.3GHz - 3.3GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache, 45W Max TDP) (SKU - S2N224)
- -Stock OEM Thermal Compound
- nVidia GeForce GTX 660M 2,048MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11 w/ Optimus Technology (SKU – S3R524)
- No Copper Cooling Upgrade
- No Video Adapter
- No External Mobile Display
- 8GB - DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) (SKU - S4S423P)
- Remove All Branding
- Standard Finish
- FREE! - 500gb (w/ 4GB SSD Memory) Seagate XT 7200RPM NCQ Hybrid (Serial-ATA II 300 - 32MB Cache) (SKU - S5R413)
- None Standard
- 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
- Internal 9-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini SD/SDHC/SDXC/MS/MS Pro/MS Duo)
- No Back Up Software
- Bluetooth Included (See “Wireless Network” Section Below)
- Sager - Built-in 802.11 Wireless B/G/N - Stock Wireless Card + Bluetooth™ v3.0 (SKU - S8R110)
- No Network Accessory
- Built in 2.0 Megapixel Camera
- No TV Tuner
- Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included
- No Carrying Case
- Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell)
- No Car Adapter
- No Spare AC Adapter
- No Dock/Hub/Adapter
- No Fingerprint Reader
- No Headset
- No External Keyboard
- No External 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
- ~Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit (64&32-Bit CD Included) + MS Office Starter 2010 -[ Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (Directly through Microsoft) ]
- No Antivirus Essentials Software Bundle
- No Office Software
- No Software Bundle
- LIFETIME Ltd Labor* 1 Year Parts Warranty Lifetime 24/7 DOMESTIC Toll Free Telephone Support (Labor through XPC)
Includes FREE Shipping Both Ways for Parts Warranty Repairs (SKU - X9R009)
- No thanks, standard double boxed packaging is okay with my order
- No Outside of US Shipping Coverage
- No Xotic PC Gear

Thanks for all the guidance. Hope it serves me well!
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August 7, 2012 2:38:02 AM

Best answer selected by nerfherder.
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