Dedicated GPU ultrabook?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Tamariniak, May 10, 2017.

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  1. Tamariniak

    Tamariniak Notebook Enthusiast

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    Okay so I’m on a search to find the perfect balance between screen quality, battery life, performance, portability and build quality.

    I’m looking for a everyday carry laptop on which I’ll probably be doing predominantly school stuff (Word, Powerpoint) and photo editing while on the road. I’ll be doing a bit of light gaming occasionally as well as video editing and really light videogame development (I like to play around with a lot of stuff), but I do most of that on my desktop.

    Also, after looking around for a bit, I decided a dedicated GPU is a must-have.

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    General Questions
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    1) What is your budget?

    USD 1000 - 1250; EUR 940 - 1150

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    I’m absolutely willing to go for other sizes when recommended.

    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.

    The Czech Republic, central Europe

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    I don’t care much really; I tend to find HP’s build quality a bit underwhelming and I’m not a fan of the weird sounds Dell laptops make but I don’t care much for the brand as long as the laptop’s good (even Apple, I’d just be installing Windows next to the OS and I’m not too sure how they’d go together)

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    Grudgingly; I don’t have really good experiences with that sort of thing (at least in my country)

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    Predominantly school stuff (Word, Powerpoint) and photo editing; occasionaly light gaming, video editing, videogame development (Unity)

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?

    Always on the move

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?

    Occasionally, light stuff when it comes to it

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    As many as you can give me, 8 at the least

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?

    Online is OK

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.

    Windows

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    Screen Specifics
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    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer?

    Everything over (including) 1920x1080 is okay

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?

    Not too sure on that one, I’m probably going to end up using the laptop outside a few times, so matte I guess? I won’t oppose buying a laptop with a glossy screen if the other qualities of the screen are better.

    Also, TN’s are a major turndown for me.

    Also, my attitude towards touchscreens is completely neutral, I’ve never used one on a laptop but I’ve read that they can boost the productivity a lot but lower the display quality, so I don’t know. Advise me on this one.

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    Build Quality and Design
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    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?

    Yes. I’m not a big fan of the "gamer" aesthetic when it comes to stuff other people get to see and judge.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?

    This summer, latest at the end of July (willing to wait a while if necessary).

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?

    Two years at the least, four to five ideally.

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    Notebook Components
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    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?

    As much as you can give me without compromising the weight and size. I’d love combined SSD for OS and HDD for all else or at least 250GB SSD or 1TB HDD

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?

    No need.
     
  2. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    The 2 laptops ticking most, if not all the boxes for you (except the budget) would be the Gigabyte Aero 15 (GTX 1060) and the Dell XPS 15 (GTX 1050), but those will cost you around 1900 Euros.

    You will hardly ever find "ultrabooks" wih dGPUs, great screen and builf quality for ~1100Euros, unless you're willing to go for a refurbished XPS 15 (960M from last year), or even better, a refurbished Aero 14 (965M/970M).

    Sent from my SM-N900 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,

    Unfortunately your budget doesn't match your specs: noteb.com results.
    Problem is the battery life, minimum of 8 hours with dGPU is not really happening in that budget. Even the XPS will give you 6-7 hours. The only one is the Aero, which will get to 8-9 hours in some cases but is much more expensive. If you drop the battery life requirements you get some results: search results with 4 hours battery life.

    The XPS in the results is a small problem, it's getting fixed right now, but basically the cheapest you will find is at 1500 euro: https://www.notebooksbilliger.de/dell+xps+15+9560?nbb=45c48c

    I think your best bet if you want to keep the budget is to go refurbished as @SkidrowSKT said.
     
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  4. Tamariniak

    Tamariniak Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey, thanks for replying.

    I don't really see a point in spending that amount of money since I have my desktop for demanding tasks, neither can I really afford it right now.

    What if I wanted to go the other way around? Sacrifice the dGPU to meet the other requirements (or at least get as close as possible)? How much would the integrated one limit me? And what would be my laptop options then?
     
  5. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    If you're going to sacrifice the dGPU, the iGPU will mostly be the limiting factor when doing the photo editing.
    Your best bets for ultrabooks with great build quality, battery and portability would be the Dell XPS 13 and the Razer Blade Stealth. Both come with Dual core, hyperthreaded CPUs, but those are still plenty good for light tasks. Video and photo editing mostly depend on the screen and source resolutions; for 4K content, a dGPU is recommended, for 1080p, iGPU has come a long way! Build quality, portability and battery are top notch in both.
     
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  6. Tamariniak

    Tamariniak Notebook Enthusiast

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    So... are you saying that it would influence photo editing more than video editing? I always thought video editing was waay more demanding to the CPU at least, so can you spare GPU power there?

    I’ve actually checked both of the laptops you’ve recommended in the past and basically decided I was going to get the Blade Stealth and cover the logo with a skin until I got to know it didn’t sell in Europe and no release date was announced.

    If I were to look into the XPS 13, is there anything like a partpicker that would spit out the model code? I haven’t found anything, not even on Dell’s website, and it’s not easy shoping for stuff like this on local eshops. Also, how’s its upgradability? I probably won’t be able to buy more than the 256GB SSD for it, is there space for me to put in another drive later down the lane?
     
  7. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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  8. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    I just forgot to mention video editing - Yes, because it depends on CPU performance, a dual core CPU will fall behind, but not by much! As for photo editing, the use of GPU cuda cores is very beneficial, but again, iGPUs have come a long way with the latest gen Intel offerings, so you won't fall behind.

    The XPS13 unfortunately only comes with 1 SSD slot, so you're not left with much upgrade room.

    I'd still highly encourage you to look for a refurbished Gigabyte Aero 14, as it covers all of your needs and it still won't be that expensive. It'll have at least:
    - A 6th gen core i7 quad core CPU
    - A GTX 965M (2GB) which is plenty good for on the go editing and light gaming
    - A good screen)
    - Supreme battery life (94Wh, so that's at least 7 hours of light usage)
    - 2 SSD slots (no HDD), but you can still purchase one more cheap SSD for bulk storage.
    This entire package costs 1300Euros new in Spain. If you can find a refurbished unit with these specs, it'll cost way less.
     
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  9. Tamariniak

    Tamariniak Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for that, I’ll definitely play with the site some more. But, help me with this one, anything I to do it only seems to show the "9360" code, which I assume is the code for all the XPS 13 models? Its cool and all to be able to see all the available specs in one place, but it won’t help me in actually buying the laptop much...
     
  10. Tamariniak

    Tamariniak Notebook Enthusiast

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    Okay thhanks a lot for saying that, everyone on the internet doing benchmarks just seems to pound down anything that isn’t perfect and it was starting to make me feel a bit frustrated with my options. But looking back at my ancient Inspiron 7720 i5/6xxM the 1080p video editing experience wasn’t too bad even there if I am to say and I don’t think I’ll be stepping down from that. (Right?)

    I’ve had no luck finding an Aero 14 in my area, no eshops sell it anymore and I didn’t find anyone selling one either, while the Gigabyte site seems to say nothing about refurbished products. I may be doing everything wrong since I've never really searched for any refurbished product ever, so is there somewhere else to look?
     
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