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Gaming laptop suggestions

LizardKing89LizardKing89 Member UncommonPosts: 61

I've been tossing around the idea of getting a powerful gaming laptop but need a bit of help.  Here is what I found if someone could let me know if these are good or suggest something better please let me know

Laptop #1

http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5581193&CatId=4938

 

Laptop #2

http://www.amazon.com/Alienware-AM11X-2894CSB-11-6-Inch-Laptop-Cosmic/dp/B003LPUYI4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1280264394&sr=8-1

 

I'm looking for something great for gaming with a great processor and video card.

Comments

  • insanexinsanex Member Posts: 145

    I'd start at the Alienware M15x if that Toshiba price range is what you're looking for. Alienware quality is top notch. 

    As for the M11x, I would get a custom build from Alienware directly with the Core i7 640UM in it, if that's the route you want to go. That will be in the $1249-$1200 price range. I had a Core 2 Duo SU7300 M11x for about 4 months, and while I did enjoy it at first, the screen size was just way too small for me. I was always hunching over to use it. I ended up with a 13" Macbook Pro with the GeForce 320M in it and am quite happy with the video performance, even though it is not a dedicated card. 

    insanex

    image
  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by LizardKing89

    I've been tossing around the idea of getting a powerful gaming laptop but need a bit of help.  Here is what I found if someone could let me know if these are good or suggest something better please let me know

    Laptop #1

    http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5581193&CatId=4938

     

    Laptop #2

    http://www.amazon.com/Alienware-AM11X-2894CSB-11-6-Inch-Laptop-Cosmic/dp/B003LPUYI4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1280264394&sr=8-1

     

    I'm looking for something great for gaming with a great processor and video card.

    Wow, you're quite the active buyer right now, aren't you? :)

     

    First things first, check out notebookcheck.net for a list of the most powerful GPUs out there. In your price range, you could very easily get something with a mobile Radeon HD 5870 or 5850. The Geforce GT 330m in that Toshiba is really a pretty weak graphics card for an $1100+ notebook.

     

    For CPUs, you don't really need anything past a mobile Core I5 (dual core), and in fact, I have personally owned a laptop with a Core I7 720QM quad core and have found that it sucks power, throws out mad amounts of heat, and gives almost no tangible performance boost in gaming over its core I5 counterparts.

     

    If you want portability, I'd recommend the MSI GX640-260US, with a Core I5 450m and Mobility Radeon HD 5850 (GDDR5 version). You can order it here at XoticPC, and have them put some aftermarket thermal grease in there for better cooling, and it really is worth $35 to have IC Diamond replace the stock thermal compound on your CPU or GPU. This assumes that you don't want to spend $10 instead and open up the notebook and clean the stock thermal compound off and then put the new stuff on yourself.

    Just to give you an idea of how much more powerful a Mobility Radeon HD 5850 is than a Geforce GT 330M, according to notebookcheck, the GT 330M gets a GPU P score of 2,000 in 3dMark Vantage, while the GDDR5 5850 gets a score of 7,000, or three and a half times the score. Another option is to get a notebook with the Mobility Radeon HD 5870, which scores about 7500-8000 in this same test. An option there within your price range would be the MSI E7405-080US, as seen here on Newegg.

     

    The mobility Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 are presently the most powerful mobile graphics cards in existence, other than the Geforce GTX 480M, but the GTX 480M puts off twice as much heat as the 5870, and three times as much as the 5850, for a marginal performance gain (not good in a laptop), and the cheapest computers that come with the GTX 480M are $2000, whereas a machine with a mobile 5870 or 5850 can be had for under $1200.

  • LizardKing89LizardKing89 Member UncommonPosts: 61

    Originally posted by Catamount

    Originally posted by LizardKing89

    I've been tossing around the idea of getting a powerful gaming laptop but need a bit of help.  Here is what I found if someone could let me know if these are good or suggest something better please let me know

    Laptop #1

    http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5581193&CatId=4938

     

    Laptop #2

    http://www.amazon.com/Alienware-AM11X-2894CSB-11-6-Inch-Laptop-Cosmic/dp/B003LPUYI4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1280264394&sr=8-1

     

    I'm looking for something great for gaming with a great processor and video card.

    Wow, you're quite the active buyer right now, aren't you? :)

     

    First things first, check out notebookcheck.net for a list of the most powerful GPUs out there. In your price range, you could very easily get something with a mobile Radeon HD 5870 or 5850. The Geforce GT 330m in that Toshiba is really a pretty weak graphics card for an $1100+ notebook.

     

    For CPUs, you don't really need anything past a mobile Core I5 (dual core), and in fact, I have personally owned a laptop with a Core I7 720QM quad core and have found that it sucks power, throws out mad amounts of heat, and gives almost no tangible performance boost in gaming over its core I5 counterparts.

     

    If you want portability, I'd recommend the MSI GX640-260US, with a Core I5 450m and Mobility Radeon HD 5850 (GDDR5 version). You can order it here at XoticPC, and have them put some aftermarket thermal grease in there for better cooling, and it really is worth $35 to have IC Diamond replace the stock thermal compound on your CPU or GPU. This assumes that you don't want to spend $10 instead and open up the notebook and clean the stock thermal compound off and then put the new stuff on yourself.

    Just to give you an idea of how much more powerful a Mobility Radeon HD 5850 is than a Geforce GT 330M, according to notebookcheck, the GT 330M gets a GPU P score of 2,000 in 3dMark Vantage, while the GDDR5 5850 gets a score of 7,000, or three and a half times the score. Another option is to get a notebook with the Mobility Radeon HD 5870, which scores about 7500-8000 in this same test. An option there within your price range would be the MSI E7405-080US, as seen here on Newegg.

     

    The mobility Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 are presently the most powerful mobile graphics cards in existence, other than the Geforce GTX 480M, but the GTX 480M puts off twice as much heat as the 5870, and three times as much as the 5850, for a marginal performance gain (not good in a laptop), and the cheapest computers that come with the GTX 480M are $2000, whereas a machine with a mobile 5870 or 5850 can be had for under $1200.

    I was having a hard time deciding between a destop and laptop thus all the questions.  I'm leaning towards a laptop.  I also had my eye on this one.  I know the GPU isn't as good as the 5870 but none of the major stores seems to sell that video card in  a laptop.  I'll also look into the laptops you suggested Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pavilion+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i5+Processor+/+17.3%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+640GB+Hard+Drive+-+Aluminum/1016496.p?id=1218209272752&skuId=1016496

  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825

    If you are going to do pure gaming, a Desktop will always beat a laptop.

     

    Clients always ask me what the difference is in performance. Laptops are getting their ass kicked by netbooks and smartphones in their intended purposes. This is because manufactures tried to sell laptops as mobile desktops with failures. Netbooks and Smartphones allow always-on internet plans to exist.

     

    The difference in performance is extreme. The latest Laptop Video Card has half the performance of a 480 GTX card, but those are only found in 2000 - 3000 dollar laptops. If you need a laptop to play on the go, the m15x is great because it allows you to switch between the discreet solution and integrated solution to save on battery life.

     

    If you are into roleplaying, you don't want to ever play on some cafe wi-fi network some MMORPG, there is nothing worse than 10 - 20 people in a cafe all logging into the same connection downloading flash videos and updating their facebook or myspace accounts.

     

    If you are going to play games for long periods of time and need peace of mind, Desktops are better. If you plan on doing heavy work on a laptop which demands you having to move from point to point and you plan on gaming as a side to catch a break, Laptops are amazing for that.

  • mrcalhoumrcalhou Member UncommonPosts: 1,444

    Originally posted by Shinami

     

     Why does someone always have to bring up that a desktop is better than a laptop for gaming? That's a pretty standard "here's your sign" kind of comment (yeah, I went there). As much as I think that the average population of the internet are complete and utter morons, I really don't think that very many would dispute that a desktop is better for gaming, but there are some people that, for whatever reason, are rarely ever home. Like me for example. If I'm not at school then I'm probably sitting at a cafe with free wi-fi. If I spent the money that I spent on a desktop instead of this laptop then I would have a much better experience, but then I would be bored out of my mind between class, and before you say, "well you can do homework," all my homework is done online, even for at school classes.

    To the OP: Sorry for hijacking your thread to make that comment.

    --------
    "Chemistry: 'We do stuff in lab that would be a felony in your garage.'"

    The most awesomest after school special T-shirt:
    Front: UNO Chemistry Club
    Back: /\OH --> Bad Decisions

  • LizardKing89LizardKing89 Member UncommonPosts: 61

    Originally posted by mrcalhou

    Originally posted by Shinami

     

     Why does someone always have to bring up that a desktop is better than a laptop for gaming? That's a pretty standard "here's your sign" kind of comment (yeah, I went there). As much as I think that the average population of the internet are complete and utter morons, I really don't think that very many would dispute that a desktop is better for gaming, but there are some people that, for whatever reason, are rarely ever home. Like me for example. If I'm not at school then I'm probably sitting at a cafe with free wi-fi. If I spent the money that I spent on a desktop instead of this laptop then I would have a much better experience, but then I would be bored out of my mind between class, and before you say, "well you can do homework," all my homework is done online, even for at school classes.

    To the OP: Sorry for hijacking your thread to make that comment.

    No worries.  I had thought laptops had almost caught up to desktops in terms of performance.  I've been flip flopping between a desktop or laptop for my main gaming pc for about a month now.  Goes to show how far behind the times I am, my very first gaming pc was a 486 33mghz with a 170 mb hd and 8 mb of ram.

  • skeaserskeaser Member RarePosts: 4,098

    Check out ASUS. I bought a G60Jx a couple of months ago and I love this thing but it looks like it's already an old model and I don't think they're selling them.

    Sig so that badges don't eat my posts.


  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by LizardKing89

    I was having a hard time deciding between a destop and laptop thus all the questions.  I'm leaning towards a laptop.  I also had my eye on this one.  I know the GPU isn't as good as the 5870 but none of the major stores seems to sell that video card in  a laptop.  I'll also look into the laptops you suggested Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pavilion+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i5+Processor+/+17.3%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+640GB+Hard+Drive+-+Aluminum/1016496.p?id=1218209272752&skuId=1016496

    Whatever you do, DO NOT buy an HP laptop. HP/Compaq have the worst reliability of any brand out there for notebooks, and by a longshot too. Beyond that, don't buy from 'brick and mortar' stores; they rip you off, with the exception of Best Buy, but they don't have much selection. You can buy an Asus G73jh from them in-store, I've seen them. It's about $1350, and comes with a Core I7 720QM and a Mobility Radeon HD 5870. Beyond that one machine though, Bestbuy doesn't carry gaming laptops, so just do yourself a favor and buy from Amazon, or Newegg, or XoticPC (or another reputable internet store) to get good selection and deals.

     

    As for the desktop/laptop decision, I had a laptop as my main gaming machine once, and it was really powerful at the time. The Mobility Radeon 9000 was almost a brand new card (and as powerful as the desktop chip), and the machine paired it with a desktop Pentium 4 for power (yes, someone stuck a desktop netburst chip in a laptop image). It was the pinnacle of mobile gaming... and a year after I bought it, half the games coming out I had to run on low settings.

    That's the problem with gaming on a laptop. Even the most powerful ones barely handle the titles out when you buy them. A Mobility Radeon HD 5870 or Geforce GTX 480M still can't run the Crysis games on their highest settings, or Metro 2033 on anything past medium! A year from now, when we've had time for all those wonderful new DX11 titles to come out (Crysis 2 is right around the corner), you're going to be in even more trouble. Two years from now, that laptop will be struggling to play games even on moderate settings above 30fps, and three years from now, you'll probably be running games on low-medium (and still only getting 30fps, which isn't that smooth, just reasonably playable).

    You could always buy some 12 pound monstrosity with 30 minutes of battery life that has two 5870s in it (or if you wanted 10 minutes of battery life and a 25 pound machine, two GTX 480M, which would have a combined TDP of 200W image). At that point though, you really don't even have a laptop anymore, just a portable desktop that costs as much as a used car and still doesn't have any of the upgradeability. That kind of defeats the point.

     

    To put gaming laptops into perspective, the most powerful GPU 3 years ago was the Geforce 8800M GTX, but really for anyone with a budget under $2000 and a desire for more than an hour of battery life, it was the 8600M GT. The 8800M GTX today can play most games on medium, though not with any kind of DX11 or even DX10.1 support, and the 8600M GT can play titles on low-medium. Again, that's if you're willing to accept a paltry 30fps in your games, the mark at which they become tolerable.

     

     

    If you spent $1000-$1200 on a desktop on the other hand( especially one with a Core I7 930 like you were considering earlier), then CPUs stay good far longer than GPUs (demand for CPU power in games grows much more slowly), and that machine will not only beat out any laptop for performance, but in two or three years, you can just pop in a new video card setup. GPUs only stay reasonably up to date for a couple of years, but as CPUs stay good for far longer, most gaming desktop I own go through 2-3 sets of video cards. A nice desktop from three years ago in your price range would likely be sporting something like a Core 2 Duo E8400 and a single 512MB Geforce 8800GT. That 8800GT would be underwhelming today, but the rest of the system would do just fine if paired with a Radeon HD 5850, especially because the E8400 basically gave you a free upgrade to 3.6ghz do to it's amazingly high stock-voltage overclock (no risk involved). I know people running that chip (or others from its generation) today who do just fine in games, and have modern video hardware. They don't even have to settle for 30fps (and believe me, I wouldn't on my machines). They get a 45 or above in everything they play, and save Metro 2033, can play any title maxed out.

    Did I mention desktops are vastly more reliable? Whereas laptops have a 3 year failure rate of 15%-25% according to Squaretrade (yes, that's one quarter of some brands of computer)

    What's more, if you're willing to pick up building (and really, it's about the easiest thing ever; you just pop all the pieces into the holes of the same shape), then you can even save hugely on your next machine, because you can re-use power supplies, cases, optical drives, hard drives, and of course your screen and speaker (My Logitech X-530 5.1 system has been through three systems).

     

     

    Does this all mean that it's wrong to get a gaming notebook? Not at all. It sounds like mobility is very important to the user a couple posts above me, mrcalhou, so he probably made the right choice getting a notebook. It's important for me too, which is why I bought a desktop for $1000 as my primary gaming machine, and a notebook for $1000 as my secondary gaming machine. I, myself, would never make a notebook my primary machine unless I had no choice at all, but I digress. If mobility is THE MOST important thing to you in a gaming machine, and it just completely passes all other concerns by a longshot, then get a gaming notebook. If it's not that important, than I (and almost everyone else here) will tell you to stick with the desktop. Short-term, you'll get to play games with a much better framerate and far more eyecandy for a better experience. Long-term, you get to keep that performance rather than sliding down a never-ending slope of lower framerates, non-native resolutions (*ick*), and lower graphical settings, because on the desktop you can just upgrade for a few hundred dollars to avoid all that.

     


    Originally posted by LizardKing89

    No worries.  I had thought laptops had almost caught up to desktops in terms of performance.  I've been flip flopping between a desktop or laptop for my main gaming pc for about a month now.  Goes to show how far behind the times I am, my very first gaming pc was a 486 33mghz with a 170 mb hd and 8 mb of ram.

    Laptops are still just way behind desktops, and as GPU TDP goes up this will only get worse and worse, too. This generation of video cards is actually the first generation where both Nvidia and Ati have refused to actually make mobile versions of their top cards (the 5870 and 480M are really just desktop versions of lower-end cards), and both cite TDP as the reason.

    On average, a desktop will give about twice the performance of a laptop at any price-point.

  • LizardKing89LizardKing89 Member UncommonPosts: 61

    Thanks for your replies.  Mobility really isn't a concern I do all my gaming at home I'll just go with the desktop I had in mind to begin with.  You've all be very helpful in making my decsion thanks again.

  • mrcalhoumrcalhou Member UncommonPosts: 1,444

    Originally posted by LizardKing89

    Thanks for your replies.  Mobility really isn't a concern I do all my gaming at home I'll just go with the desktop I had in mind to begin with.  You've all be very helpful in making my decsion thanks again.

     Yeah, I think that would be a good idea. If you rarely move around then a laptop isn't worth it at all. You could get a great desktop for the price of a mediocre laptop.

    Isn't it funny to think that graphics cards now have a larger storage capacity than our first harddrives?

    --------
    "Chemistry: 'We do stuff in lab that would be a felony in your garage.'"

    The most awesomest after school special T-shirt:
    Front: UNO Chemistry Club
    Back: /\OH --> Bad Decisions

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by mrcalhou

    Originally posted by LizardKing89

    Thanks for your replies.  Mobility really isn't a concern I do all my gaming at home I'll just go with the desktop I had in mind to begin with.  You've all be very helpful in making my decsion thanks again.

     Yeah, I think that would be a good idea. If you rarely move around then a laptop isn't worth it at all. You could get a great desktop for the price of a mediocre laptop.

    Isn't it funny to think that graphics cards now have a larger storage capacity than our first harddrives?

    Back in high school, one of my computer science teachers had a pair of 20MB hard drives that went in 5.25' drive bays...

  • AeroangelAeroangel Member UncommonPosts: 493

    An 11" screen would be super lame IMO. I got a gaming laptop that is a gateway a couple years ago (still using it) and initially had problems with overheating, and the graphics card over heating, but finally found a fix for it thankfully (but I still have to use a cooling fan underneath the laptop most of the time). 

     

    Anyway since I bought this one I've done a lot of research on laptops, and I would recommend an Asus. One reason is because they have one of the lowest failure rates out of the major laptop brands, and secondly they have models that have dual fans for cooling such as: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174;+Core%26%23153;+i7+Processor+/+17.3"+Display+/+6GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/9741729.p?id=1218165344675&skuId=9741729

    http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=8je5Ot4HBnKOdT81

     

    That would be the laptop for me I think, one of the best processors, nice screen, good graphics card, dual fans for superior cooling (and they both blow out the back, instead of the side or the bottom ugh) plenty of memory, good amount of RAM and room for upgrades. 

     

    --------------------------
    Playing:
    FFXIV, TERA, LoL, and HoTS
    My Rig:
    GPU: GeForce GTX 770, CPU: i7-4790K, Memory: 16 GB RAM

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