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Is the term "gaming laptop" really an overstatement?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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Gaming laptops - just a gimmick? or a decent gaming machine?

Total: 16 votes (6 blank votes)

  • Gimmick!
  • 10 %
  • Portable gaming console.
  • 10 %
  • Depends on the brand...
  • 10 %
  • What are games?
  • 10 %
  • Decent gaming machine.
  • 60 %
a b D Laptop
August 10, 2012 10:42:22 PM

I've seen countless times on this forum users saying that laptops are not for gaming... that anyone interested in PC gaming should invest in a computer tower instead etc..
My discussion is not geared towards whether or not desktop computers are a better deal- because I think we can all agree we can get a lot more for our money if we invest in a desktop over a laptop.


I see many times people saying that gaming on laptops is a joke- But I find myself on the other side of the fence on this one. I have an older gaming laptop that has no problem eating out games- including new ones at high settings- and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg. The new gaming series of laptops coming out from mnfs like Sager, MSI, Asus... Have no problem playing the latest on the greatest settings. So really, I want to know why so many of you think that gaming laptops are just a gimmick.
August 11, 2012 3:46:19 AM

Its mostly because the parts used in laptops have to be much smaller and respond better to being heated higher then desktop parts, thus desktop parts will always have a advantage dejour over desktop parts. In the same way your cell phones processer is worse then say your laptop or desktops.

The gap is quickly closing because of the advents of tablet computers meaning companies are now trying to make the smallest parts possible with the best preformance, so now the laptop becomes the "desktop" of the portable world
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 11, 2012 6:17:59 AM

Another issue is most people think about the $300 walmart special. These game horribly. There are laptops out there that game rather well. But they aren't owned by many people.

I'd like to point out that I recently got an older "gaming" laptop myself. HP?Compaq 8510 with a C2D CPU, 3GBs ram and an old 2600M GPU. Surprising what this thing can do. I can't even max out older games like TF2 at its native 1680x1050, but it still looks good.
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August 11, 2012 6:31:13 AM

Its a gimmick. For me anything less than 1080p, with all settings set to High and AA/AF x4 or disabled @ a solid 50FPS is it as an absolute minimum. Anything lower in any game on any PC/laptop and I won't pay for it. No laptop can hit that target currently and I will not pay $5000 for a system that gets close.
August 11, 2012 6:42:28 AM

You don't buy a gaming laptop to game. You buy a gaming laptop to keep you entertained at times when it would be cumbersome to move around your desktop, for instance.

I could do puzzles on the way to grandmas or I could take out my gaming laptop and play starcraft / diablo / wow on the way there. If you have tethering on your phone you can even play online. Be wary of overages if you don't have unlimited. lol

But yeah you don't invest $5,000 on a gaming laptop unless you intend for it to be your mobile desktop. Most any current generation discrete graphics should be able make games playable, which is all you need for trips to grandma.
August 11, 2012 6:53:41 AM

"Gaming" laptops are not meant to replace high end desktop systems. They aimed for power users who don't live in their mothers basement and desire to play video games while on trips. I am a good example of this, I grew up playing video games on both consoles (NES / TG16 / SNES / SEGA) and PC (very early PC DOS). Now I'm working in IT and am required to travel on trips for business and what have you. During those trips I like to continue playing games in my hotel room, or at my friends home / ect. So I purchased a laptop with the intent on gaming.

Now previous to my current laptop I used a rather large Sony Vaio with a full size keyboard and 17 inch widescreen, this thing was huge and had a big power prick. After lugging it around airports and various hotels I eventually decided I would never get something that big again and have since upgraded to a HP-DV6z (A8-3550MX) with the dGPU being a 7690M and installing my own 256GB SSD. It's rather light (compared to the vaio), can game decently "on the go" and doesn't kill my back.

So there is definitely different "gaming laptop" segments for different folks.
August 11, 2012 6:56:14 AM

A gaming laptop is supposed to game. That is why it is a "gaming" laptop. Still if I'm outside I don't have my head buried in a screen.
August 11, 2012 7:17:25 AM

Smeg45 said:
A gaming laptop is supposed to game. That is why it is a "gaming" laptop. Still if I'm outside I don't have my head buried in a screen.



Umm ....

I do play games on my laptop .....

So .. your point is?
August 11, 2012 7:26:18 AM

palladin9479 said:
Umm ....

I do play games on my laptop .....

So .. your point is?


I was replying to derekullo. Never mind. I'll never game on anything else buy my home built gaming system.
August 11, 2012 7:35:27 AM

Smeg45 said:
I was replying to derekullo. Never mind. I'll never game on anything else buy my home built gaming system.


So your telling me that when I board an airplane to Yokohama Japan, that I should bring my "home built gaming system" which includes,

Quote:
Corsair 800D
Phenom II X4 970BE (@4.2Ghz)
16GB DDR3-1600
2 x EVGA Hydro Copper II GTX 580
256GB Samsung 830 SSD
2 x 320GB 7200RPM SATA HDD in RAID0 (data drive)
Bay mounted water reservoir
360mm top mounted radiator

23 Inch Acer 1920x1080x120hz monitor


Seriously .... you expect me to bring that when getting on an airplane?

Or am I expected to sit in my hotel room at night after work lamenting on how I would love to play something but that I can't possibly bring myself to play on anything less then my "home built gaming system".

Once you finish school and get into a career field with a vertical career trajectory, you will then understand why we buy a notebook that is capable of playing video games. Going on a two week business trip is no reason for me to not raid or attend events.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 11, 2012 7:46:08 AM

I usually tend to not say its an actual gaming laptop until it hits a 1k$ cost barrier, as the gpus along that price point are somewhat near a desktop 550ti level. (any laptop with a 7970m or 680m is automatically a gaming laptop in my eyes. Gtx 570 power in mobile form, which is technically stronger then a good handful of peoples desktops.)
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 11, 2012 8:53:29 AM

I think people who just don't need the mobility don't see the point to spending more on less performance. But if you frequently need to play games on the run like away on a trip, playing games at different houses e.g. b/g/n friends, uni dorm, long transit e.g. 14 hours flight... then it is worth it. This segment of market become very competitive with the release of Y580 as well as other laptop with GT 650m which is suppose to be a very good overclocking card (the MBP overclock on GT 650m is higher than the reference GTX660m). Of course the performance is no where near a desktop, but if you compromise and play at 720p (well, most of the laptop in the $900-1200 price range only have 1366x768 screen anyway), modern games are very playable.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 11, 2012 10:30:00 AM

Yup. I spend a lot of time each week away from the house. I had to get something better then the crap Intel igp in my old laptop. It couldn't even handle TF2 at 800x600 with everything down. When you are like me and spend 4+ hours each week just waiting around at work, you'd like anything that games.
a c 447 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 11, 2012 1:28:19 PM

I think of it as "laptops capable of playing games".

What's "capable" and what's not depends the expectations of the gamer.
August 11, 2012 1:52:20 PM

There are certainly laptops that are capable of running almost all games currently available at max setting bar 1 or 2 titles. You just pay a lot more for the portability, I had to get one because I moved to a different country for a while and couldn't bring my giant tower. It serves me perfectly well and plays anything I want it to, although it did cost me a lot for the privilege. As far as them being a gimmick, the answer in no.
August 11, 2012 2:25:14 PM

hpfreak said:
I've seen countless times on this forum users saying that laptops are not for gaming... that anyone interested in PC gaming should invest in a computer tower instead etc..
My discussion is not geared towards whether or not desktop computers are a better deal- because I think we can all agree we can get a lot more for our money if we invest in a desktop over a laptop.


I see many times people saying that gaming on laptops is a joke- But I find myself on the other side of the fence on this one. I have an older gaming laptop that has no problem eating out games- including new ones at high settings- and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg. The new gaming series of laptops coming out from mnfs like Sager, MSI, Asus... Have no problem playing the latest on the greatest settings. So really, I want to know why so many of you think that gaming laptops are just a gimmick.


Where the heck is the option for "decent gaming machine?" You don't need a top of the line beastly laptop to play games. I'm still using my Dell inspiron 6400 with an ATI X1400 to play games today. Can I play BF3? No, Can I play Deux Ex: HR? No. Can it run Crysis, most certainly not.

I can however run many other games that are recent. While it's a few years old, I can run sup com 2, as well as Sins rebellion (granted it's an older engine but it runs beautifully). I can also run COUNTLESS indie games which are just as much a 'game' as any AAA multi-million dollar game. Any laptop can be a gaming laptop, it's just how you use it and how good you expect the graphics to be. I just need to be realistic about the games I install and have very low expectations, I'm actually surprized sometimes!

All this said, I'm just now in the market for a new laptop. I have a nice desktop for my heavy graphics needs but I'm away from home a lot so I am shopping for a laptop where I can play skyrim, bf3 etc. well away from home. Until now, I've been fine with my gaming dell insipron 6400 but now I need a lot more power for graphically intense games away from home.

As for the actual experience of gaming on a laptop, it takes getting used to the new setup but you get used to it in a couple of days if not hours.
August 11, 2012 6:24:49 PM

If you want a laptop with 20 inch widescreen AMOLED, 16 gigabytes of ram, i7-3770, 2 x Geforce 650M in sli, and 2 - 4 terabyte drives in raid 0 then go for it. You will have lots of space to store all your games and more power than most people's desktop. But you do have some disadvantages. A system like that is going to be incredibly heavy and hot. Because of all the heat being generated your going to need lots of fans and surface area to disipate the heat. I have no clue how long this system is going to last on battery, but i would imagine it wouldn't be longer than 30 minutes aka you would also have to carry around charged batteries with you if you had any hope of wanting to game on the go. Spare batteries may not add to the actual weight of the laptop while your holding them, but it is still another thing you have to worry about bringing if you want to "game". Another thing is your approaching that $5000 mark Smeg45 mentioned earlier.

If you didn't carry around extra battery packs you would be mostly tethered to an outlet. This defeats the purpose of having a mobile gaming system.

Now if you have a high end, yes you will need high end, DC / AC converter then you can game on your way to grandmas. You have partially solved your battery issues but you still tied to an outlet. You still have the remaining problems. Will you be comfortable having a 20+ pound laptop making crap-loads of heat sitting on your lap for lets say an average trip is 1 hour.

"Fun is subjective. Frames per second is objective." in reference to jaguarskx's capability of playing games.
August 11, 2012 6:53:47 PM

derekullo said:
If you want a laptop with 20 inch widescreen AMOLED, 16 gigabytes of ram, i7-3770, 2 x Geforce 650M in sli, and 2 - 4 terabyte drives in raid 0 then go for it. You will have lots of space to store all your games and more power than most people's desktop. But you do have some disadvantages. A system like that is going to be incredibly heavy and hot. Because of all the heat being generated your going to need lots of fans and surface area to disipate the heat. I have no clue how long this system is going to last on battery, but i would imagine it wouldn't be longer than 30 minutes aka you would also have to carry around charged batteries with you if you had any hope of wanting to game on the go. Spare batteries may not add to the actual weight of the laptop while your holding them, but it is still another thing you have to worry about bringing if you want to "game". Another thing is your approaching that $5000 mark Smeg45 mentioned earlier.

If you didn't carry around extra battery packs you would be mostly tethered to an outlet. This defeats the purpose of having a mobile gaming system.

Now if you have a high end, yes you will need high end, DC / AC converter then you can game on your way to grandmas. You have partially solved your battery issues but you still tied to an outlet. You still have the remaining problems. Will you be comfortable having a 20+ pound laptop making crap-loads of heat sitting on your lap for lets say an average trip is 1 hour.

"Fun is subjective. Frames per second is objective." in reference to jaguarskx's capability of playing games.



If I had to spend 50+ hour a month in hotel rooms on flights(first class/first row Econ have outlets) on business trips. I could easily justify buying a MSI GT60 with a GTX680M(downclocked GTX670) for 1.9K. You are welcome to play it on your lap and burn a hole through you pants, there is this option called table. Same goes for a college students who want to use a computer to both take notes in class and game back at dorm/apartment, a desktop doesn't help there(granted if you can save enough for an Ipad you could try that route).
August 11, 2012 7:42:19 PM

derekullo said:
People on the airplane might get a bit nervous if they see you playing Global Thermonuclear Warfare on your laptop while flying.



Not when the dude beside me is streaming porn :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  .
August 11, 2012 7:42:31 PM

People on the airplane might get a bit nervous if they see you playing Global Thermonuclear Warfare on your laptop while flying.
August 11, 2012 7:49:06 PM

sherlockwing said:
Not when the dude beside me is streaming porn :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  .

Touche
August 12, 2012 5:19:26 AM

There is such a thing called moderation.

I DID have one of those large super expensive "gaming laptops" and you know what, F*CK that. Remember you have to carry that thing everywhere, on the metro, running through an airport, on bus's / ect. It also takes up tons of space in your backpack, space that could be used for other things. The power bricks are ginormous and the whole thing is highly un-mobile. Portable yes, mobile no.

Go for something right around the 1K USD mark. You can get a decent mobile dGPU, 8GB memory and a quad core CPU, more then enough to play all the video games you want. It might not play them at 8xAA with all the shinys turned on, but that's what we use our home box's for anyway. Something between 15 and 17 inch screen size, though I'd caution going higher then 15 as it becomes very annoying to move around with.

This is from someone who is required to take business trips for work and live out of a hotel room for a few weeks at a time. Large super laptops are a PITA to carry with you, switching to a smaller 15inch HP was pretty shocking.
August 12, 2012 5:32:47 AM

Price aside, yes there are good gaming laptops, but besides the price the biggest drawback to gaming laptops is battery life.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 12, 2012 5:36:18 AM

Quote:
This is from someone who is required to take business trips for work and live out of a hotel room for a few weeks at a time.


For those who say no, I wonder how many have had to do this. I'm guessing not many.
August 12, 2012 6:11:02 AM

Obviously, depends on where you want to use it. When mobility isn't an issue, gaming laptops are a poor substitute to a desktop system. And despite all the talk, most people don't game "on-the-go". Imagine playing Skyrim at the airport, surrounded by screaming babies and rapey TSA agents. Besides, laptop portability is overstated. In most situations you'll have to be near a wall outlet, because battery life sucks.


Why are desktops superior?

1. The screen. Would you have watched say Avatar on a 21" TV? Big screens are simply better for immersion and the overall experience. That's why people like big screen TVs.

2. The speakers. Headphones can't really subsitute for high quality surround speakers. That, and it's clunky headgear you have to wear.

3. Upgradeability. Just stick in a new video card or a faster CPU and you could dramaticaly increase performance. Or if you have a perfect machine but an awesome new display comes out, no problem, just plug it in. My computer still has unbroken continuity from the first one I got in 1991, which makes it especially cool.

4. Customizability (yup, that's a word). You can build/upgrade with exactly the components you want, and get the best deal on every part. However, when you buy a new laptop, you get whatever components the OEM decided to put in it. Great specs, great price but a crappy keyboard? That's something you don't have to deal with a custom desktop machine.

5. Price. You get better performance for the same price, plus upgrades are cheaper than buying a new computer every time.

6. Raw power. I don't exactly keep up with developments in gaming laptops, but I'm guessing you can't buy one with three-way SLI. Even if you can, you always have more potential in a desktop.


Of course, if you travel a lot, or don't have a home, a gaming laptop will have to do.
August 12, 2012 8:23:24 AM

killerclick said:
Obviously, depends on where you want to use it. When mobility isn't an issue, gaming laptops are a poor substitute to a desktop system. And despite all the talk, most people don't game "on-the-go". Imagine playing Skyrim at the airport, surrounded by screaming babies and rapey TSA agents. Besides, laptop portability is overstated. In most situations you'll have to be near a wall outlet, because battery life sucks.


Why are desktops superior?

1. The screen. Would you have watched say Avatar on a 21" TV? Big screens are simply better for immersion and the overall experience. That's why people like big screen TVs.

2. The speakers. Headphones can't really subsitute for high quality surround speakers. That, and it's clunky headgear you have to wear.

3. Upgradeability. Just stick in a new video card or a faster CPU and you could dramaticaly increase performance. Or if you have a perfect machine but an awesome new display comes out, no problem, just plug it in. My computer still has unbroken continuity from the first one I got in 1991, which makes it especially cool.

4. Customizability (yup, that's a word). You can build/upgrade with exactly the components you want, and get the best deal on every part. However, when you buy a new laptop, you get whatever components the OEM decided to put in it. Great specs, great price but a crappy keyboard? That's something you don't have to deal with a custom desktop machine.

5. Price. You get better performance for the same price, plus upgrades are cheaper than buying a new computer every time.

6. Raw power. I don't exactly keep up with developments in gaming laptops, but I'm guessing you can't buy one with three-way SLI. Even if you can, you always have more potential in a desktop.


Of course, if you travel a lot, or don't have a home, a gaming laptop will have to do.



Gaming laptop isn't a "gimmick", it is a "niche" product for people want to game when they travel. They are not for hardcore gamers of any kind but especially not for FPS/RPG gamers who demand highest possible resolution/frame rate/video quality.

However for casual gamers who like to entertain themselves with games when they are away from home( don't even have to be business trips, vacations count in this category too) or people who don't want to be tied down by cumbersome 40 lb desktops(University students comes to mind).

I lived 4 years in apartments during college, none of my roomates owns a desktop and I , all gaming laptops and we Lan Starcraft/Starcraft2 all the time, RTS games like that don't demand the top of the line graphic cards you are not one step behind someone just bcause you are on a 800X600 14" than 24" IPS. If Gaming Laptop is really a gimmick that is doomed to fail Navida/ATI won't work their behind off building these mobile GPU chips, and websites like XoticPC.com would have shut down long time ago.

p.s not a gaming laptop fanboy or anything, in fact I am building a Desktop now that I finally graduated and got a full time office job(which offered me a company laptop). However Gaming laptop is not a gimmick, it is a niche product aimed at a niche market just like Ferrari is a niche product aimed at a niche market yet you don't see "Is Ferrari a gimmick" post in forums anywhere.
August 12, 2012 8:51:09 AM

Market has spoken.

Most people buying a computer now (and for the past few years) purchase laptops more so than desktops, and they want or expect their laptop to be able to play computer games to some degree or play movie on a bright screen.
And I mean the regular average person, not people posting to tomshardware.

The people who are answering here are a self-selecting group who are still destkop homebuilders. But if you take a real survey of overall users, or just among friends who are not techies, they always go to buy a laptop and want to play some games on it.

So "Niche" really the computer desktop owners, not laptop owners.

Along the same lines, the majority of video gaming revenue has shifted to consoles, so that is the torchbearer of video games now. Just try to find the PC game aisle at bestbuy...

If you are a computer gaming "snob" who only considers gaming as only on desktops on your SLI/Crossfire OC-ed rig at ultra settings, then you will soon find yourself very alone in niche market outnumbered by "laptop" gamers.

So along those lines no, gaming laptop is not an overstatement or a niche market, i'd say it's the reverse desktop gaming is the "niche" market.

It is more so that you cannot just completely homebuild your own "gaming laptop" as easily as a desktop; so there are slimer margins there; whereas every laptop manufacturer should be trying to push their gaming offerings.
August 13, 2012 3:18:33 AM

To all of those who speak of laptops not being able to perform. My laptop is very nice, I did pay 2000USD for the thing but it has been well worth it.
I play Skyrim on ultra high setting 4xaa and I have never dipped below 54fps. I can go on as I play a great number of different games but Skyrim is a good enough example.
At first I was concerned as the temps can get up there while gaming, then I did some research and found that the components can safely reach temperatures that used to be reserved for military equipment, laptops are no longer limited by the 70*c cpu cuttoff!
I forgot to mention that my 17.3" monitor has a resolution of 1920x1080 and that is the res I game at. My laptop has been to a few LAN parties and often benchmarks higher than many of the desktops I see. I know that by spending 2000USD on a home-built desktop I could've gotten liquid cooling and some niceer gpus in crossfire/sli an a nice cpu to oc with that liquid cooling. I needed portability though as I am a student and I enjoy traveling.
To sum it up, laptops can be very good for gaming but they'll cost you a bit more as well.
August 13, 2012 3:37:41 AM

Jnman said:
To all of those who speak of laptops not being able to perform. My laptop is very nice, I did pay 2000USD for the thing but it has been well worth it.
I play Skyrim on ultra high setting 4xaa and I have never dipped below 54fps. I can go on as I play a great number of different games but Skyrim is a good enough example.
At first I was concerned as the temps can get up there while gaming, then I did some research and found that the components can safely reach temperatures that used to be reserved for military equipment, laptops are no longer limited by the 70*c cpu cuttoff!
I forgot to mention that my 17.3" monitor has a resolution of 1920x1080 and that is the res I game at. My laptop has been to a few LAN parties and often benchmarks higher than many of the desktops I see. I know that by spending 2000USD on a home-built desktop I could've gotten liquid cooling and some niceer gpus in crossfire/sli an a nice cpu to oc with that liquid cooling. I needed portability though as I am a student and I enjoy traveling.
To sum it up, laptops can be very good for gaming but they'll cost you a bit more as well.


Can you run Metro 2033 or Cyrsis 2 @ 1080p with DirectX 11 on and all settings set to High with a constant FPS of 50? I didn't think so either.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 3:38:52 AM

Smeg45 said:
Can you run Metro 2033 or Cyrsis 2 @ 1080p with DirectX 11 on and all settings set to High with a constant FPS of 50? I didn't think so either.


even desktops have a hard time with the 2 said games. the way they were coded, the anti aliasing effects on high resolutions make all cards bite the dust.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 3:41:41 AM

Smeg45 said:
Can you run Metro 2033 or Cyrsis 2 @ 1080p with DirectX 11 on and all settings set to High with a constant FPS of 50? I didn't think so either.

That's just troll behaviour.

hpfreak said:
My discussion is not geared towards whether or not desktop computers are a better deal- because I think we can all agree we can get a lot more for our money if we invest in a desktop over a laptop.


Since desktop gaming performance will be 0 fps once you are out of your house, we are not talking about how gaming laptop compare with desktop (because obviously the laptop will win), but we are talking whether they can actually play games and yes they can.

Stay on topic!!
August 13, 2012 3:42:17 AM

In term of graphic extensive games such as FPS/RPG gaming laptop don't offer you the best chance to win as a gamer, however there are games other than FPS/RPG, RTS for example requires a lot less in both FPS & resolution and player can do just as well in a similar priced "gaming laptop" as a desktop and such game can be enjoyed without 1080P and 90+ FPS.
August 13, 2012 3:50:11 AM

Smeg45 said:
Its a gimmick. For me anything less than 1080p, with all settings set to High and AA/AF x4 or disabled @ a solid 50FPS is it as an absolute minimum. Anything lower in any game on any PC/laptop and I won't pay for it. No laptop can hit that target currently and I will not pay $5000 for a system that gets close.

My laptop runs Skyrim at 60fps with occasional dips to as low as 54fps. I run it at 1920x1080 ultra high, maxed view distances(all of them), 16xaf and 4xaa. I only paid 2000USD and I coulda gotten away with 1800USD but I had to have that extra SSD and the 12GB RAM as, it is my hypothesis, using 4 RAM sticks means that each stick will have less electron traffic than one would see using 2 sticks which will reduce friction and thereby reduce heat.
So, it looks like you shoulda looked into the cost and benchmarks of these laptops before you made such an uneducated response.
I can post some ss if you request, lemme see if I can now. Just to rub your nose in the fact that I just proved your statement false and that laptops are out there that can exceed your requirements at less than 1/2 the price you quoted.
here is a pic, I am uploading a vid clip but fraps vids at 1080p are prtty big. With fraps running I still see 60 but the dips can go as low as 45fps all maxed. The vid is a bit short but it is small and that is why I uploaded it.
The vid is uploading to the same file as the photos but wont be available for awhile as it takes forever.

http://s1048.photobucket.com/albums/s380/Jnman1975/
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 3:56:49 AM

^What's the spec of the laptop?
August 13, 2012 4:01:29 AM

3610QM intel cpu, 7970m ATI gpu, 12GB DDR3@1600MHz, 750GB 720rpm HDD, 128GB msata ssd, BDrDVDrw, bigfoot killer 3x3 mimo etc...all clocks arestock, turbo boost is on.
August 13, 2012 4:03:15 AM

Pyree said:
^What's the spec of the laptop?


He might answer it eventually but for that price it is probably a Sager NP 9150/9170 with a Radeon HD 7970M, GTX 680M models are 2k minimum when I reserached about gaming laptop.

I considered getting such a laptop before my company assigned me a laptop for work so I decided to go Desktop for the same budget(2k):

Processor Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz $229.99
Motherboard ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 $134.99
Memory G.Skill Ares F3-1600C8D-8GAB(2X4) 8G $54.99
Graphics EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW $407.99
Optical Drive LG Black SATA 24X DVD Burner $14.39
Power supply Seasonic X650Gold $118.99
Storage Samsung 830 256G $219.95
Enclosure NZXT Phantom 410 $99.99
CPUFan COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO $34.99
Monitor ASUS VG276H 27” 120Hz 599.99
Total: $1,916

You can get a lot more raw power with a desktop, but mobility and -25lbs don't have a price. If I haven't gotten a new laptop to use at work I would definately gotten a laptop instead.
August 13, 2012 4:11:23 AM

To understand the original argument which has not, you should study the topics of Disruptive Technologies:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation

The wikipedia article is a bit generic, but there is a sub-category of disruptive innovations where even if the preceding technology is superior; people will compromise and take the inferior technology if it gives enough of a new benefit or is just plain cheaper.

You can read the article to see list of other examples but:

Digital Cameras/video vs film:
When Digital came out, it was easy that digital was inferior to film cameras.
Where are we now on film cameras

"Real Camera" vs Phone cameras
Clearly phone cameras produce crap pictures and video compared to even a real point and shoot family camera, especially the first 5-10years of it.
But where are we now on point-and-shoot cameras versus phone cameras.

Music:
Vinyl vs CDs, then MP3s versus CDs; and now streaming/youtube versus downloads
all of these technologies of these are "worse" than the preceding tecnology. Where are we now on this.

CRT vs LCD:
CRTs are superior to LCDs, but where are they now.


Desktops vs laptop is going the same way. The purists will still claim the technical superiority of the prior technology, however the market has spoken and sales of laptops exceed desktops by far even if they are "inferior".

As shown in this thread, you will get the snooty people who will say "real" photography should use film, or vinyl is always better. Take from that what you will.

Game designers cannot just ignore this huge section of customer base; and as a result, all games can be played on so-called "gaming laptops"

So Gaming Laptop is NOT a gimmick, it's what many game makers will have to cater to when making their product (although perhaps not at ultra or max settings).
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 4:14:28 AM

7970m, so the performance will be between desktop 7850 and 7870 (the card itself is an underclock 7870 (850 vs 1000 MHz core), so no surprise there on Skyrim performance:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

Even battlefield should run fine on high preset.
August 13, 2012 4:46:37 AM

BF:3 ultra hits 60fps and dips as low as 45. Can't say for sure the low-end as I'm not watching the bottom right corner for fraps fps meter but I don't notice any choppiness.
August 13, 2012 5:10:24 AM

Quote:
Since desktop gaming performance will be 0 fps once you are out of your house, we are not talking about how gaming laptop compare with desktop (because obviously the laptop will win), but we are talking whether they can actually play games and yes they can.


Absolutely love this, makes my point exactly.

August 13, 2012 6:50:24 AM

Jnman said:
My laptop runs Skyrim at 60fps with occasional dips to as low as 54fps. I run it at 1920x1080 ultra high, maxed view distances(all of them), 16xaf and 4xaa. I only paid 2000USD and I coulda gotten away with 1800USD but I had to have that extra SSD and the 12GB RAM as, it is my hypothesis, using 4 RAM sticks means that each stick will have less electron traffic than one would see using 2 sticks which will reduce friction and thereby reduce heat.
So, it looks like you shoulda looked into the cost and benchmarks of these laptops before you made such an uneducated response.
I can post some ss if you request, lemme see if I can now. Just to rub your nose in the fact that I just proved your statement false and that laptops are out there that can exceed your requirements at less than 1/2 the price you quoted.
here is a pic, I am uploading a vid clip but fraps vids at 1080p are prtty big. With fraps running I still see 60 but the dips can go as low as 45fps all maxed. The vid is a bit short but it is small and that is why I uploaded it.
The vid is uploading to the same file as the photos but wont be available for awhile as it takes forever.

http://s1048.photobucket.com/albums/s380/Jnman1975/


Skyrim is a joke, try some games that push hardware and are not based around six year old console tech. When I see a solid 50FPS then I'll believe gaming laptops are not an overpriced gimmick.
August 13, 2012 8:21:26 AM

Smeg45 said:
Skyrim is a joke, try some games that push hardware and are not based around six year old console tech. When I see a solid 50FPS then I'll believe gaming laptops are not an overpriced gimmick.


As I said, BF:3 hits 60 and I'll upload a video to prove it. If you took the time to make an evaluation based on the use of a high-end laptop or maybe if you just took a look at some benchmarks you may find some surprising facts.
I will post the BF:3 vids in the same location as the Skyrim. If you'd like to make any requests I can fraps any game out there, if I don't own it I will gladly purchase it to make a point.
BTW, I run Skyrim with several gfx enhancing mods, including the high-res texture packs. Feel free to do a side by side comparison of the xbox or ps3 screenshots and some ultra-high ss with the texture pack mods. Make your own evaluation and base it on real information, not the bias that you, and so many others, seem to hold.

I have been building gaming desktops for over ten years, sometimes two or three a year for myself. I was hesitant to buy a gaming laptop, I did some research and I must say that I am not disappointed with my purchase.

:kaola: 
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 8:24:48 AM

What I would really like to see is thunderbolt on gaming laptop and the interface being transparent so that the SLI/CF capability of the PCIe lane is exposed. In theory, the 7970m should be able to CF with a desktop 7870. That would save a lot of trouble maintaining and duplicating things on the tower and on the laptop. BTW, this actually saves money since the TB box and the desktop 7870 for CF is under $600 combined. You can't build a desktop of that level of performance as well as buying a laptop of the that level of performance for $2600 as of now. It would be a bargain.
August 15, 2012 11:55:08 PM

raytseng said:
To understand the original argument which has not, you should study the topics of Disruptive Technologies:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation


Wow, thanks for this article, gave me lots of things to think about.

One thing that will also be eventually added to list of examples is services like OnLive. Try not to say it'll never happen.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2012 7:56:42 AM

Coming back here after reading the thunderbolt eGPU benchmark done on the sonnet enclosure, my heart died a little. I was so hoping that TB can finally make a viable interface for eGPU, but apparently, it still bottleneck.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2012 8:32:44 AM

thunderbolt was a step in the right direction, but nothing will change the cpu side of the deal, as laptops were designed in mind to have a lower tdp cpu for conservation of power, thus not being as strong as the desktop counterparts. fixing that side of the issue wont be as easy as fixing the gpu side of the issue.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2012 8:48:23 AM

The mobile quad core i7 are pretty good actually. Not close to i5-3570k or anything, but still plenty of speed for games. It's a sacrifice on performance, but then there is the money saving and the convenient of having only 1 machine for everything. Too bad TB does not live up to what I though it would be. Well, I will just have to have desktop and laptop until something else turn up (I hope ePCIe catches on).
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2012 4:52:33 PM

the evolution of Epci-e will extremely increase the # of laptop buyers(at least on the gaming side) when it comes readily available. the only thing really that's holding it back is price. Once Epci-e docks become reasonably priced, gaming to go can legitimately be done affordably.
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