Conflicted over potential choices for laptops ($2500 USD Budget)

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by MageTank, Apr 12, 2017.

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  1. MageTank

    MageTank Notebook Consultant

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    I am currently looking for a "gaming" laptop, with a budget of around $2500. I am mostly looking for something with a socketable CPU, and an MXM GPU to avoid potential headaches of component failure in the future (the less that is soldered to the board, the better my odds of fixing it).

    The problem I have at the moment, is that there are too many choices. I figured since this forum seems to be the one-stop shop for laptop expertise, that I would try my luck here. @Donald@HIDevolution recommended this forum to me after speaking with him on the phone a couple weeks ago, and I trust his opinion.

    As for the potential choices in laptops, I think I narrowed it down to 3 options.

    Option #1: MSI Barebones 16L13
    Option #2: Clevo P870KM
    Option #3: Clevo P775DM3-G

    I have two very important requirements that I would like to be met, and that is thermal performance, and 120hz G-Sync. The MSI 16L13 is basically my dream laptop, but from what I can tell, it's 120hz panel (while supporting G-Sync itself) doesn't currently support G-Sync due to some proprietary artificial limitation. This bums me out, as I enjoy the smooth experience offered by G-Sync, and it helps prolong aging GPU's as long as you can remain within it's refresh rate window. I also hear it's thermals are amazing for a 15.6 inch laptop.

    As for the other two options, they both have 120hz G-Sync panels, but their thermals are questionable without spending another $200 on a vapor chamber heatsink (for the P870KM). I also hear their keyboards are lackluster compared to MSI's barebone offerings.

    So this is where I am currently stuck. Do I sacrifice G-Sync for potentially superior thermals? Or do I suck it up, and settle for hotter components for a potentially smoother gaming experience?
     
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  2. MageTank

    MageTank Notebook Consultant

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    Sorry for the double post, but I've been doing more research on the forums here. @Phoenix and @Mr. Fox , do you think I am better off going with the P870KM with a single GTX 1070, and the Vapor Chamber mod? By going with a 1070, it should run cooler than say, a GTX 1080, while also avoiding dumping excessive amounts of heat on to the CPU. I intend to use afterburner's voltage curve to try to undervolt the GPU a little, while also using a massive undervolt on my 7700k (it's binned at 5.3ghz, and can do 4.7ghz at 1.11v in my current desktop). Also, if any of you have any information on the power delivery of these boards, I'd appreciate it. I am worried that they might sag a little more than your high-end desktop VRM's, which will likely impact undervolting/overclocking to some degree.

    Also, if any of you have any experience with the Prema bios, can you tell me if it allows modifications of tertiary timings for memory overclocking? Specifically RTL/IO-L offsets? I enjoy memory overclocking, and would love to be able to fine-tune my ram on a laptop.
     
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  3. Spartan

    Spartan Super Tweaker

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    If it was my money, I could go for the EVOC variant of the GL16L-1080 with a GTX 1080. The difference in heat between a 1070 and a 1080 GTX isn't earth shattering, you definitely want the fastest GPU you can slap on to it.

    As for it lacking G-Sync, I like G-Sync as you said it is a future proof way for when the time comes where the GPU cannot keep up with 120FPS to match the screen refresh rate but that is a long time to come and you can probably upgrade the GPU. Also, you can enable Fast Sync on these GPUs (Fast Sync doesn't work with SLI):



    In fact, Mr. Fox doesn't like G-Stink as he calls it as it lowers his performance and benchmarks according to him :eek::rolleyes:

    The EVOC 16L-G-1080 has an amazing SteelSeries keyboard which provides a better experience if you're the kinda guy like me who enjoys performance machines but does a lot of typing on the keyboard, it's night and day better with great key travel and solid/sturdy feel to the keys

    It will also have the Prema BIOS soon hopefully but until then, once you order it, just tag me and I will show you some magical tricks that you will love and thank me for.

    welcome to the EVOC Gaming Team [​IMG]

    don't forget to email donald@hidevolution.com and give him your forum username/pass to get your NBR Forums discount

    @Papusan

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  4. yutzybrian

    yutzybrian Notebook Consultant

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    I would say go for the EVOC as well. Even if you don't get the vapor chamber cooler, they still delid the i7, which will fix a lot of the thermal problems the Clevo platform suffers. Couple that with Prema BIOS and it should meet your target requirements. Of course, if you can spare it, always go for the larger cooler.
     
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  5. MageTank

    MageTank Notebook Consultant

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    Do we know exactly what is limiting the G-Sync functionality of that panel? From what I've read, it seems to meet the requirements for G-Sync, but something (be it on Nvidia's end, or on the BIOS side of things) is limiting it from working. If G-Sync worked on that MSI laptop, I would have ordered it without question. I just don't think I will be able to go back to a non G-Sync panel after using the Dell S2417DG (165hz 1440p G-Sync TN).

    I've already got my 7700k ready to go (delidded with CLU and resealed with permatex), and I plan on using normal sata based M.2 drives to avoid the PCIe M.2 drives excessive heat. Besides, I don't really intend to do any large sequential writes anyways. Do you know if the P870KM suffers the same heatsink quality control issues that the other Clevo laptops are currently facing? If so, that might be a major turnoff. I mostly want something to heavily undervolt and keep cool (with G-Sync to carry it along). If Hidevolution offered the option to use a 1070 in the 16L13, I'd still probably go that route just for slightly better thermals (not a performance junkie, mostly a longevity junkie, which is the primary reason I am against BGA, and why I focus so hard on G-Sync and thermals in general). I do appreciate you taking the time to educate me on this subject though, I'll know by this coming Friday whether or not i'll be going with the 16L13 or P870KM. Both are truly enticing, given what they offer for the money. Do you know of someone that has tested both the vapor chamber, and non-VC in the 870KM? I'd love to know what kind of difference the two options offer, given the $200 price difference.
     
  6. Spartan

    Spartan Super Tweaker

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    I think @Mr. Fox may give you a better perspective about why is G-Sync not enabled yet or when it might be.

    I highly suggest you call Donald from HIDevolution to get more ideas, he's a great person to talk to and would definitely help you make a better decision that is most cost effective to you and not try to oversell you on anything you don't need.
     
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  7. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    @Donald@HIDevolution is an amazing man and will bend over backwards to help you or answer your questions.

    @MageTank - If you want G-Stink you have to go with the 60Hz FHD panel. The 120Hz panel is not a "native" option offered by the ODM (MSI). If you go with the 120Hz panel, brightness controls are not working (yet) and G-Stink may never be approved by the NGREEDIA, the Green Goblin.

    I love the 120Hz FHD panel. It's awesome, but I don't care about G-Stink and not having brightness controls isn't the end of the world since I only use max brightness 100% of the time on my laptops. If either of those are important features, then you'll need to decide what is more important.
     
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  8. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    GSync imo matters less the higher you go. So 120Hz will still be really nice without it.

    Also @Phoenix I'm pretty sure the GTX 1080 16L13 is really hot. Like you need to take advanced measures to tame it. The one NotebookReview review had hit 100C on the cpu, and 91C on the gpu. That sounds to me like you want undervolting, liquid ultra, maybe even shims to get that thing tamed...
     
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  9. MageTank

    MageTank Notebook Consultant

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    Oh hey, you were the one that I met on the LTT forums about laptops. Good to see you are here as well.

    As for the 1080 in the 16L13, I too noticed that it was getting too hot. I know a lot of people say "90C is perfectly safe for these laptops", it makes no difference to me, as anything above 80C is unacceptable to me. I've used ITX machines for years, and even designed my own 4L ITX case, and still went to extreme lengths to be able to handle 48k FFT Prime95 while being sub-80C on my 6700k. While I don't expect heavy AVX2 loads to be sub-80C on a laptop, I certainly expect sub 80C gaming loads at all times, both for CPU and GPU. If I have to sacrifice on the clock speeds to achieve it, I'll gladly do so.

    For me, longevity is the most important factor when going for one of these "gaming" laptops. I am tired of spending $500-$700 on laptops that become worthless after a year, due to irreplaceable component failure, or aging hardware that cannot be replaced. I want the piece of mind in knowing that if my CPU or GPU dies, I can swap it out with another. I also like the idea of knowing that if for some reason, my GPU is no longer powerful enough, that G-Sync will carry it's lower framerates smoothly, so that the experience is not lessened as a result of an aging GPU. This is where my current conundrum starts. Do I go with the 16L13 and forego 120hz G-Sync, or take the Clevo QC gamble and go with the P870KM with the vapor chamber and heavy undervolting? I need to check with the local Microcenter, and see if they have the MSI OEM version of the 16L13 on display, so that I can try out it's keyboard. While I am not that picky on keyboards (I manage about 100WPM on cheapo $10 logitech keyboards from Walmart), I don't want something that feels cheap to the point of breaking. Had a few keys break on my HP DV7 2185DX, and I do not want a repeat of that on a $2000+ machine.
     
  10. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Out-of-the-box it's murder. HIDevolution takes extra care to be sure the thermals are the best they can be.

    CLU and delid, and using the correct amount of static voltage (a concept that seems totally foreign to Intel since Haswell) tames the CPU just fine. I run mine at 4.7GHz all the time without an issue. I have Kryosnaut on the 1080 and it does OK as well. GPU gets a little bit warm, just not as hot as the one on review here did. Having a 1080 is a 15-inch notebook is pretty sweet, and not very common. I suspect a 1070 would be cooler if a guy wants to save a few bucks by going second fiddle on the GPU.
     
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