Laptop for college and gaming under $2000 (preferably under $1500)

Associate
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18 Aug 2012
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Hello:

I want a laptop likely to run most games on "medium" settings for at least two years. These are the models I'm considering most and the reasons I'm hesitating:

(i) MSI GX60--Inconsistent benchmarks: I'm not sure how severe the CPU bottleneck will be in recent and future games, especially if I have to reduce the resolution.
(ii) MSI GT60-0ne-249us--Uncertain build quality. This model appears to be the best overall, but it's hard for me to justify not buying a desktop at this price point.
(iii) Clevo p150em--Appears to have poor ergonomics, audio quality, and locked down BIOSes. I like the anonymous look and branding of Sager/Clevo, but the models have too many issues.
(iv) Alienware m17x r4--Heavy and expensive. Glossy screen.
(v) Lenovo y580--Glossy screen.
(vi) MSI GT60-0nc/0nd--Mediocre price/performance, uncertain build quality, Fermi GPUs.

In a word, I've learned that buying a laptop is all about compromise.

Thoughts?

Sorry, I mean "under ₤1300, preferably under ₤900".
 
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Soldato
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6 Feb 2010
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To be honest, the MSI GX60 would most ideal, IF NOT for the fact it got a slow Trinity CPU holding back the fast 7970M.

It's really a shame that MSI didn't have a build similar to that spec, but with a Intel i7 CPU instead (even for extra £200 it would be worth it).

I wouldn't bother with laptops with the GT670M, as they are only rebranding of last gen GTX580M which is still a Fermi...I would go for that if I was expecting to use the new laptop for a while. The very least you'd have to look at is the 670MX/675MX, which is a Kepler with 192/256bit memory bandwidth (I would recommend forgetting about the 192-bit 670MX and go for a 256-bit 675MX at the very least). Something hilarious for your to read:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m18x/691905-gtx675m-versus-gtx675mx.html
Stay clear away from GPU of GTX670M or below.

The 7970M offer pretty fairly close performance as GTX680M, but the GTX680M carry a heavy price premium which would bump the overall price of the laptop by a good £100-£200 at least.

I found this and it might be give you some idea in terms of 7970M vs 680M performance:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-GeForce-GTX-680M-vs-Radeon-HD-7970M.77110.0.html

With the new 12.11 AMD driver, the 7970M should catch up with 680M in games where they are behind.

Seriously, I don't know why MSI ain't doing a gaming laptop with a Intel i7-3630Q CPU together with a 7970M...

I just tried the customizing on the Alienware R4 with a 7970M, 17" FullHD screen, and i7-3630Q CPU, 8GB ram, Windows 7 Home 64-bit, and it came to total of nearly £1600 - nearly £300 more than what the specs are worth. I just done a customizing on one of OcUK's option, and managed same spec and with a better HDD:
7970m.jpg

The premium for the Alienware brand name is almost as stupid as the iproduct.
 
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Soldato
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The premium for the Alienware brand name is almost as stupid as the iproduct.

Pretty miss informed aren't you? I've bought an Alienware for near enough the same price Using discount codes and cash back. I even got it with a 680m. I don't like the Clevo because it looks cheap, support isn't as good and rumoured to have cooling issues.

If you spec up an Alienware then add the 11% code, cash back from topcashback(don't know if you have the same in the states) and the the free shipping code you get a good deal on a premium brand.
 
Soldato
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Pretty miss informed aren't you? I've bought an Alienware for near enough the same price Using discount codes and cash back. I even got it with a 680m. I don't like the Clevo because it looks cheap, support isn't as good and rumoured to have cooling issues.

If you spec up an Alienware then add the 11% code, cash back from topcashback(don't know if you have the same in the states) and the the free shipping code you get a good deal on a premium brand.
I went by the price on their website, and if I had selected 680M instead of 7970M, the price will shoot over £1600.

I did another quote taking the i7 3630QM from the following:
http://www.dmxdimension.com/dell-uk/alienware-m17x-deals-coupons/
changed the GTX660M to 7970M (cheaper than the GTX675M by £20, and the GTX670M is a Fermi not Kepler like the GTX670MX; no GTX680 option and would be more expensive if it was available), change the HDD to the same as the one I quoted in OcUK's one to the Hybrid drive, memory to 8GB 1600MHz and the total became £1,658.99 (vs OcUK's £1341.95).

Even with 11% discount, it is still £1476.50 for pretty much the same spec as as OcUK's same spec at just £1341.95, which is £135 cheaper.

And discount code would expire anyway which is why it shouldn't be treated as standard retail pricing (in fact the Alienware 11% off discount code is expiring today, so it's pointless unless ordering today). You don't see me mentioning the occasion 5% off discount from OcUK and subtract that from standard selling price.

I have NO IDEA how you managed to get an Alienware with the i7 3630QM with GTX680M for under or around £1,350 as you claim, when even with the cheaper 7970M cost £135 more than OcUK's after 11% off discount code.
 
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Soldato
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If you are in america, look at xoticpc, they have very good pricing on their laptops, I managed to find a spec with an i7 and a 7970m for around £1100 and that's an alienware m17x!
 
Associate
OP
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18 Aug 2012
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Thanks for the posts.

I think I'll either have to bite the bullet and buy either the MSI GX60 or the GT60 with 680m unless I get a superb deal on a M17x. (Or a Clevo W370et, but I'm not confident about those.)
 
Caporegime
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I went by the price on their website, and if I had selected 680M instead of 7970M, the price will shoot over £1600.

I did another quote taking the i7 3630QM from the following:
http://www.dmxdimension.com/dell-uk/alienware-m17x-deals-coupons/
changed the GTX660M to 7970M (cheaper than the GTX675M by £20, and the GTX670M is a Fermi not Kepler like the GTX670MX; no GTX680 option and would be more expensive if it was available), change the HDD to the same as the one I quoted in OcUK's one to the Hybrid drive, memory to 8GB 1600MHz and the total became £1,658.99 (vs OcUK's £1341.95).

Even with 11% discount, it is still £1476.50 for pretty much the same spec as as OcUK's same spec at just £1341.95, which is £135 cheaper.

And discount code would expire anyway which is why it shouldn't be treated as standard retail pricing (in fact the Alienware 11% off discount code is expiring today, so it's pointless unless ordering today). You don't see me mentioning the occasion 5% off discount from OcUK and subtract that from standard selling price.

I have NO IDEA how you managed to get an Alienware with the i7 3630QM with GTX680M for under or around £1,350 as you claim, when even with the cheaper 7970M cost £135 more than OcUK's after 11% off discount code.

Clevo build quality is about 2 or 3x less than the Alienware, Notebook review has a HUGE thread full of people with various issues, most notable being the cooling system not being fitted properly, and with the heatsinks actually not sitting right even when carefully reapplied. There is a reason why they are spammed to all the manufacturers and sold so cheaply, and that is because the quality is lower.

Alienware laptops are guaranteed quality in the constructions and components, and if you have a problem you know there will be someone on-site pretty much the next day to fix it for the first year.

As anothe rposter said, if you call them up to haggle the price gap between it and the Clevo closes. It's worth the premium over the Clio imo, and amusingly enough works out cheaper than the equivalently specced MSI's most of the time.
 
Associate
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Thanks for the posts.

I think I'll either have to bite the bullet and buy either the MSI GX60 or the GT60 with 680m unless I get a superb deal on a M17x. (Or a Clevo W370et, but I'm not confident about those.)

I own the GX60, great laptop. First hand experience.
 
Soldato
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Clevo build quality is about 2 or 3x less than the Alienware, Notebook review has a HUGE thread full of people with various issues, most notable being the cooling system not being fitted properly, and with the heatsinks actually not sitting right even when carefully reapplied. There is a reason why they are spammed to all the manufacturers and sold so cheaply, and that is because the quality is lower.

Alienware laptops are guaranteed quality in the constructions and components, and if you have a problem you know there will be someone on-site pretty much the next day to fix it for the first year.

As anothe rposter said, if you call them up to haggle the price gap between it and the Clevo closes. It's worth the premium over the Clio imo, and amusingly enough works out cheaper than the equivalently specced MSI's most of the time.
No offensive, but if someone want quality they'd better stick with MSI...

Alienware ain't what it used to be...a quick google using the keyward "alienware quality since dell" you'd immediately find tonnes of horror stories.
 
Associate
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27 Nov 2012
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Look at here, models in different brands gaming laptops under $2000, compare the details, features, reviews
 
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