Looking for a school/gaming laptop

So my small form factor pc crapped out on me a couple months back. I'm going to be returning to school in about 3 weeks and I was looking for a laptop that I could also game with since my pc is pretty old and it's cheaper to just buy one computer. Sound is an issue, I won't be gaming in class or at the library but something quiet enough for internet browsing/homework in those settings would be good. On the tech side I'm used to a GeForce 8800 GTX so something comparable, or better if possible, would be nice. I'm planning to go for 32gigs of ram because I'm sick of trying to game wth 4gigs of DDR2 (which was what was in the small pc), 15" (I have a monitor for if I want larger) that could do a SSD for the boot drive with a standard for storage and a Blu-Ray player. I'm ambivalent about bells and whistles like a backlit keyboard, but durability would be nice since I'm planning to actually carry it around with me and it will likely be used for light gaming (Minecraft, Trainz) by my 5-year-old. Trying not to go over $2000 for the laptop itself so that I can budget for stuff like a carrying case. Thanks!
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  1. A few things to note here.

    How portable are you wanting this to be? Is this something you will be carrying around all the time or mainly be using as a desktop replacement?

    Also, 32 gigs of ram is really a complete waste of money for gaming. I don't know of any game out there that can even make full use of 8 GB of ram.

    I would look at the Lenovo Y500 SLI:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312439

    At that price point, you can afford a nice SSD as a boot drive.

    The second graphics card does take the place of the blu ray drive, but I would suggest a USB one.

    Anything with more graphics performance and a blu ray drive is going to be significantly heavier and bulkier.

    The build quality of the Y500 is great. I personally have the Y400 (14" little brother) and it has metal in all of the places where wear usually happens. It feels incredibly well built.
  2. I will be carrying it around a significant amount of the time but gaming will occur primarily at home, which is why a smaller size is acceptable since I have a 22" monitor I can plug into it.

    Would you recommend stopping at 8 gigs or is there a reason I should go for more? I planned on also using it to run short term minecraft servers for my friends and I, like custom maps and stuff, when I'm not playing more demanding games.

    SLI is tempting but I was thinking more a mid-high range gaming laptop, though I won't rule it out.
  3. I would go with 8 to start out with. Most laptops are pretty easy to upgrade RAM wise so you could always do that later if you felt you needed it. It would probably be cheaper going that route than ordering extra from the manufacturer as well.
  4. With the Y500 just buy a ultrabay Blu-ray, pop out the 2nd GPU and pop in the Blu-ray.
  5. Hmmm, looks like a good option. Is there anything similar that has configurable options? I was looking at the mtech 8650, but I'm having trouble finding recent reviews for mtech. Mostly I was hoping to not have to install a new hdd or os.
  6. If you are going to school, just buy a cheap laptop that is usable and build a high end pc. Why would you want a gaming pc to carry to school, most gaming pc that are high end are heavy.
  7. I wasn't looking for a high end pc. I was hoping to find a nice midrange gaming pc that I could use to replace my broken desktop. And as for weight, I have small children. Years of carrying 30lb, unhappy bags of flesh for literally hours at a time has significantly skewed my perception of what counts as heavy.
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