Do I really need a "gaming" laptop?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by enderGC, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. enderGC

    enderGC Newbie

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    I've seen some really insightful recommendations on this site, so I'm hoping you can help me out. My Toshiba Satellite laptop and custom 2550k/660Ti desktop are up for replacement at the same time, so I'm pooling the budget to buy one good laptop instead of two lesser machines. Based on my details in the form below, should I get a gaming laptop that can also perform work, or a Dell/Lenovo type laptop that also has a discrete graphics card for gaming?

    Also, for the same price is it better to get a higher spec laptop stock, or to get a lesser spec laptop and put that money toward the extra thermal options offered by HIDevolution? (I hope that last question makes sense). Thanks!!!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    $2k or less

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen

    3) Which country will you be buying this notebook?

    USA

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

    No brand loyalty. I’ve been looking at the MSI GE63 Raider, so maybe compare to that? No Apple please.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    Yes, but would need at least a 1 year warranty

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

    50% Gaming

    30% Working in Excel (this almost certainly rules out the GS65 – no numpad)

    20% email/Web

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

    Will be often moved from room to room, but will likely never leave the house.

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

    Yes, 4X (Civ), Bluestacks, Indie Platformer, RTS (Starcraft), Casual.

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

    Mostly irrelevant, will be near an outlet at all times (see #7)

    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?

    Slight preference to see it first, but not a big deal.

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

    Windows

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)

    1080p, no touchscreen necessary.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)

    Not sure, there are pros and cons to both.

    Build Quality and Design

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

    Somewhat. Ideally I would like smaller profile and thin bezels, but not at the expense of cooling or performance. Also, I don’t really care if it looks “professional” or not.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    Enough to hold a few games and files, I have a NAS for everything else. ~512GB? Would prefer smaller faster drives over larger slower (NVMe vs SATA)

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    Now through November, maybe waiting for deals around Thanksgiving.

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?

    3-5 years, even after being replaced it will still be used by someone in the house.

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?

    Indefinitely? I have access to all my files via other laptops.

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?

    I could ship, no problem there.
     
  2. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,

    I tried to find some laptops that match your criteria and this is what I found: noteb search.
    You can see and change the search parameters using the "Refine results" button in the upper-left part of the search results page. You can also click on the laptops for more information.

    Whatever you buy, I would advise for you to avoid the MSI GP/GL series, Asus GL50x series, the Clevo P955ER, the MSI GS65 and the Aero 15X. All of these are either poor build quality or have cooling problems thanks to Intel's new 8th gen Core processors.

    I would suggest you look at the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GS, the Asus ROG Zephyrus GM501GS or the HP Omen 15t. You may also consider a laptop with the older 7700HQ processor, those don't usually throttle. Here is a comparison between the three of them: link.
     
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  3. enderGC

    enderGC Newbie

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    Blacky, thanks for the advice. And for the links too, very helpful! So you are saying I should get a gaming laptop that can do work.

    Follow up question, the 3 you suggest have the 8th gen, but they don't have the thermal throttling issues?

    Also, what is your impression of the HIDevolution additional services (thermal paste/pads, etc.)? Is it worth it if it means compromising elsewhere?
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    It really depends on you. I thought you should get a gaming laptop because you said 50% of the time you want to game. There are also work laptops that can do gaming, but they don't have that powerful video cards: noteb search 2. Of all these machines, you can consider the Thinkpad X1 and the HP Elitebook 1050. I generally consider Alienware and Clevo business class because of their plain looks and because in the past they were really reliable, but I can't say the same for the current generation. I should probably remove them from the business section.

    The laptops I suggested don't really have that serious throttling.

    I think HIDEvolution offers excellent service and if you don't want to tinker with your machine to save a few dollars, it much better to let them handle the repasting service.
     
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  5. CaitmyJenners

    CaitmyJenners Notebook Enthusiast

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    IMO It depends on how much you carry around the laptop. if it has a phat ass like the inbred kartrashians , then you need to think about having her on your back (on trains/planes/walking down the street). If it always in once place then get a mean beast (anything with a coffee lake processor and a high quality GPU).
    I've currently created a thread below which is in the middle area of the 2.
    14 inch with you can game and sling in a backpack. But also you dont look an like a sketchy unwashed fool (probably with a arm sleeve tattoo of mario & a hipster beard) when bringing into an office.... ;)
     
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  6. Ultra Male

    Ultra Male Super Tweaker

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    If it was my money looking for a 15.6 laptop, I would either get the soon to be released PS65 which is like the sexiest laptop i've seen or get the black version of it which is the GS65 Sealth

    Custom Built MSI P65 Creator 8RF-442 15.6" Ultra Thin and Light Professional Laptop w/ nVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q - White Limited Edition

    or


    Custom Built MSI GS65 8RF Stealth THIN-HID2 15.6" w/ nVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q

    Now about the thermal paste and getting it from HIDevolution, it depends on whether you can afford it or now. I for example, know how to do all this but I would be much happier if it was professionally done for me so the laptop is ready to use out of the box. I don't have the patience for these things anymore and trust me without a proper thermal paste job and the fujipoly thermal pads these new 8th gen CPUS do get hot so anything which can decrease temps I'm in for it.

    Also don't forget, when buying from HIDevolution you get their excellent lifetime tech support and trust me, you don't wanna deal with MSI or ASUS' tech support ever! They'll drive you nuts!

    Don't forget to email donald@hidevolution.com to get your NBR discount
     
  7. enderGC

    enderGC Newbie

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    Wait... Blacky, is noteb.com your site? If so, really nice job man!

    And yes, I did say 50% gaming. At least... that's how much I'd like to be gaming, I wonder how true it is these days. Besides, my 3yo daughter just told me all the LEDs look pretty so that will help convince the wife :)

    I started the day thinking about an MSI, but that GX531 is looking pretty good. It's so new, I haven't seen any reviews on it. Everyone's preference differs, but personally I'm worried about that dual trackpad/numpad placement. I'll need to find last year's model in a store and go play with it for a while.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. enderGC

    enderGC Newbie

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    There's a lot about the GS65 and P65 that I love, but when I'm not gaming, I am crunching numbers on Excel - I can't go without some sort of numpad, even if it is a weird one like on some Zephyrus models.

    From what everyone is saying, thermal concerns should be taken into account - either with better stock cooling (again like the Zephyrus?) or with paste/pads. Even if it means I might have to sacrifice SSD size or something to still fit in the budget. My tinkering days are over. I've built my share of OC'd PCs with customized cases for airflow and cable management. Now I just want someone to do it for me, especially with liquid metal - so HIDevolution it is.

    And I'll be sure to email donald - thanks for that tip!
     
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  9. blindbroccoli

    blindbroccoli Notebook Geek

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    @CaitmyJenners I'm loving your sense of humor. The only game I play is shuffleboard on a seniors cruise ship. And a little Parcheesi and Chinese checkers*. JK, but I am 72 years old.

     
  10. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Yeah, noteb.com is my website. Lots of money and time poured into this project so I really appreciate when people like the website and find it useful.
    I wish I could help you more, but not sure if I can give you any further advice. Reading through this thread shows you already know the cons and pros of what you want to buy. I think once you settled for 1-2 laptop models, come back here and ask us what do we think about them.
     
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