Gaming laptop- A bonus look into my thoughts

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Karla Beeson, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. Karla Beeson

    Karla Beeson Notebook Enthusiast

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? As long as it's under $3k I'm going to be happy, but I'd honestly prefer to land around $2k

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Ultraportable; 10" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook? 'Merica

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    No opinion.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed? Normally, 100%, except it's Black Friday, so no.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook? Browsing the internet, internet games, Sims 3 and other Steam games. (Sims 3 with all the content packages and tons of store downloads)

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both? I'm disabled, the only times I can see that it would leave my house is for hospital stays or long infusion appointments. (Before the raid of comments comes in about "BUY A PC" I totally would if I thought that would work for my needs.) It's going to be on my lap in bed or at the couch, both times with a fan/hard surface.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?) Sims 3 fully unlocked and loaded with content. Steam games. Likely never a FPS game because I am totally inept at figuring out the controls.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need? Mute point. It's going to be plugged in almost all of the time, but I won't turn down a device that has a better battery life.

    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? I do not need to see it in person.

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

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? 1080p is fine.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? Honestly, I don't care. I'm coming from my MacBook Airs display. I just want something that looks clean and works well.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you? Not even in the slightest.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need? Meh. I figure after I *finally* (it's been 7 months of shopping) decide on something, I can upgrade it. However, to answer the question, 500GB SSD is what I am looking for.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop? In the next 2 days

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop? At least 5 years

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

    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? Shipping it is fine.


    I have been shopping for 7 months now. Doing lots of research on different models as well as different purchasing options. I have decided I want to buy it through HIDevolution and have them repaste with condunaut and new thermal pads. (I've never heard of a company having such HIGH regards before in my lifetime.) Although Sager has a 1070 Clevo on sale that I do have my eye on as well. I've narrowed my search down to these choices, however, I am open to any recommendations:

    Strix Scar 2
    Aero 15x
    Clevo models
    Alienware 15 R5 or 13 (13 because of the OLED screen option)
    Zephrus M

    The following is how my thoughts trail while deciding which to finally buy.

    "I should just get the Strix Scar 2. It has the GPU I want and the CPU, decent thermals and an okay build quality while being at the midrange of my budget. It should stand the test of time for a few years at least."

    "But it doesn't have backlit keys, and there are reviews that talk about horrible screen issues, some people have issues with opening it to upgrade...So maybe I will get the Aero 15x, it IS at the high end of my budget, but it's on sale and practically perfect for me...but maybe it's TO powerful for me...nah, that's just an AKA for future proof. But there are really conflicting reviews about drivers and stuff...I don't know much about that sort of thing...I just want to play Steam games and my freaking Sims 3 again.Maybe I should pass on this because of these reviews that I don't even totally understand the issue with."

    "Okay, I'll get an Alienware R5...but which size? Hmm. Seems that there are reviews and that based on them, the 17in isn't really any different from the 15in, both have relatively the same heat benchmarks, and a 17in would just look hysterical on my lap, okay, I'll get the 15in. But there is a 13in...the 13in has better reviews all around...and the screen looks closer to something I would like. I'm not playing first person shooters, mainly because I'm inept and can't figure out controls...so I won't be missing out if I get the 13in OLED screen...right?! Okay. Maybe I will get a Clevo..."

    "Tons of Clevo options. Holy hell...What is even different about these damn models?!?! This is overwhelming. Okay...I'll just get the Strix Scar 2"

    And repeat.
     
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  2. B0B

    B0B Notebook Evangelist

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    Last night the AW13 OLED 7700hq and gtx 1060 was $1399.

    Pretty sweet machine I would think.
     
  3. Ultra Male

    Ultra Male Super Tweaker

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    Get one of these 2:

    Custom Built MSI P65 Creator 8RF-441 15.6" Ultra Thin and Light Professional Laptop w/ nVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q - White Limited Edition

    That laptop looks very unique and sexy, has a fast NVMe 512GB SSD and 32GB of RAM in addition to the GTX 1070 Max-Q which should be able to play the games that you want at the highest graphical settings with ease.

    It also has a 2nd m.2 SSD slot so upgrading your storage in the future would be super easy and it has a backlit keyboard + a Thunderbolt port!

    [​IMG]



    ====================================================================================
    2nd choice would be:

    Custom Built MSI GT63 8RF TITAN-047 15.6" w/ G-Sync nVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

    [​IMG]

    That's a bit bulkier but has better cooling although you wouldn't have a problem with either of them to be honest since you're getting it from HIDevolution with the Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut + Fujipoly Thermal Pads.

    Do note that you wanna upgrade the SSD in the configurator in the 2nd choice as it comes with a 256GB SSD by standard although both would be in your budget.

    Don't forget to email donald@hidevolution.com first before ordering to ask him about the NBR Forum discount.

    Also since you'll be an HIDevolution Gaming Team Member soon, I can help you tweak your laptop once you get it to make it easier for you to start enjoying it without worrying about the Windows 10 privacy invasion/telemetry/bloat.

    Here are the Ultra Male Tweaks:

    1- Uninstallation of all the Windows Store Garbage Apps like 3D Paint, Print 3D, Alarms & Clock, Feedback Hub, Maps, Groove Music, News, Weather, etc.
    2- Removing all Windows 10 Privacy Invasion stuff like Telemetry, sending your keystrokes to Microsoft, automatically installing suggested apps in the background, allowing Microsoft to conduct experiments on your laptop, disabling automatic driver updates through Windows updates, disabling Windows 10 ads, disabling Cortana, Cloud Search etc.
    3- Disabling Microsoft Edge from starting up automatically in the background upon reboot.
    4- Adjusting a lot of options in PC Settings like disabling Windows Tablet Mode (you have a laptop not a tablet), disabling suggestions appearing in the start menu, disabling automatically connecting to Paid WiFi Hotspots, disabling Game DVR which reduced performance in games, and a lot more.
    5- Replacing Cortana with a much better search tool that finds results instantly called Everything which finds any file you want as soon as you start typing even a few letters of its name and it doesn't even rely on the Windows Indexing Service to do this!
    6- Restoring the classic Windows Photo Viewer
    7- Restoring the Classic Windows 7 Start Menu
    8- Removal of the new and useless 3D Objects Folder that appears when you open "Computer"
    9- Completely disabling Windows Defender from its roots (including all scheduled tasks and startup files) for those who want to install their own AV. ESET NOD32 Antivirus is highly recommended if you want the utmost security with the least system performance impact.
    10- Updating all drivers to the latest versions in case they weren't up to date.
    11- Disabling the performance hit that is caused by the Meltdown and Spectre patches recently released by Microsoft (optional, only if you don't mind having this security vulnerability and would rather have your CPU's full performance back)
    12- Overprovisioning your SSD anywhere between 10-20% depending on how much space you can spare to ensure optimal and consistent performance at all times.
    13- Blocking the Google Chrome Software Reporter Tool (which causes a high system load when it is scanning files)
    14- Preventing Microsoft Edge from running on startup in the background
    15- Creating a system restoration image using Macrium Reflect

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Karla Beeson

    Karla Beeson Notebook Enthusiast

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    Any reason to prefer these two over something else? Say for example, the P65 (It looks sharp, I'll give it that) over the Aero 15x?

    I am interested in the GT63! I looked at it before. I think I crossed it off because I was unsure of build quality and was, frankly, intimidated by the sheer size of it. Not that it's too big or anything, I just worry about the clunkiness. I believe that's why I started looking at the Strix 2.

    I can tell you might be impartial towards MSI lol. What are the things about MSI that you find more pleasing or more satisfied with?
     
  5. Ultra Male

    Ultra Male Super Tweaker

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    The Aero 15X is a nice laptop too so don't discard that completely BUT.

    The reason I like MSI laptops is this. You see, I was a big Alienware fanboy in the past, kept getting disappointed with one Alienware after the other, specs were great, build quality was great, but each one of them had problems that lead me to returning them and waiting for refunds and going through a lot of hassle and although I loved the brand so much, after they gave us lower end models than the old desktop replacement behemoths, I never considered them again. I hope they give us something in the future.

    Then I tried many other laptop brands and each had their issues and most of them wouldn't work out of the box perfectly as they needed repasting/modding/tinkering with BIOS settings, etc. to get them to run smoothly.

    The MSI laptops that I've owned in the past 2 years were the only ones that worked perfect out of the box and I had never had a problem with them or even needed to touch my warranty. In addition, I type a lot as you may have noticed from my posts on the forum and the MSI keyboards are simply the best and so are the screens they sport in their laptops.

    finally, they're like the only company which keeps up to date with the latest drivers/BIOS whereas others usually never update their laptop drivers, you get the drivers that were released with the laptop then you're on your own.

    Those are my 2 cents about MSI

    The good thing about buying from HIDevolution is their quality control and thermal paste mods so anything you choose should run great out of the box as well and they have superb customer service and aftersales support + you get lifetime tech support from them when you buy a laptop from them. It just can't get any better.
     
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  6. Karla Beeson

    Karla Beeson Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm really happy to have asked you this question, you've made extremely valid points and knowing that you've purchased multiple different laptops and have physically been invested in them leans to your opinion being just a bit more valid than the others I've heard in the past several months. This is the type of opinion I've been starving to read, and there are some out there, but it's difficult to find them.

    Drivers and all that fun junk is really important for me NOT to have to worry about. I really do not know much about computers, I've learned a lot in the last 7 months now and I know I will be learning a lot more. I am a fast learner so that's good. That's why I've been really hesitant about the Aero 15x.

    If you aren't a salesman you should really consider being one, because you just sold a p65. I await my response from @Donald@HIDevolution now via email. It feels wrong that I am buying a laptop on Black Friday though that isn't on sale. Worse things have happened lol. At least this way I can tell my family I saved a butt load of money when I really didn't...try to mask the fact that I just dropped $2,500 on a laptop. "Oh yeah, this thing? Got it for $1000 in this killer flash sale."
     
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  7. Ultra Male

    Ultra Male Super Tweaker

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    This may sound weird to you and many others. I am a poor person living one day at a time but I don't let discounts lure me into buying anything. Sure it's awesome if what *I wanted* was on sale but I will only get what I *really* want because I do not want to have any regrets later.

    Feel free to tag me once you get it if you wanted me to help you tweak it so it's ready to use without making you tear your head apart because of some of the jokes that Windows 10 does like automatically install silly games in the background such as Disney or Candy Crush and whatnot.

    Welcome to the MSI Gaming Team!

    PS: In my opinion, I think the MSI P65 is the sexiest looking laptop out there. Period. That's the laptop I would buy if I ever wanted something more mobile than my desktop replacement GT75 Titan as I do find lugging it around is cumbersome at times due to how heavy it is (and I'm a body builder if that matters)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
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  8. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,

    I think you came to the right place to ask here for a laptop. Despite appearances, I think your needs are pretty specific.
    You need a gaming laptop, but even though a GTX 1050 Ti will do fine for your needs, you want to keep it for 3+ years, so to figure proof your machine, you would need one with a GTX 1070.
    You don't need a mobile machine, but at the same time, since you will keep it on your lap, it still needs to be pretty light, I would say under 6.6 lbs.
    You need a machine with lots of storage, preferably SSD and you also need a laptop to last you a long time, which means it has to have excellent cooling to last well in time.

    So with that being said, I tried to find some laptops for you with my search tool, and this is what I found: noteb search results.
    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.

    I've also included professional workstation laptops with Nvidia Quadro P3200 or better in the search results. While the Quadro is not that suitable for gaming, it will still play games pretty well, and the P3200 is the equivalent of the GTX 1060. I included the Quadro video cards because laptops with Quadro cards tend to last a lot longer. These are professional machines, built to last: https://noteb.com/?content/article.php?/2018/06/14/why-get-a-business-laptop/

    However, I am not going to recommend a professional workstation, unless you think reliability and longevity are more important for your laptop than performance and gaming quality. Just wanted to point out that these laptops are also an option.

    Now, as I said, if you want a gaming laptop to last long, it needs to have excellent cooling. From the laptops on my list I can recommend:
    - Clevo P650HS, this is an older model with the 7700HQ processor, but it has excellent cooling, good build quality and good long-term reliability.
    - MSI GT63, this is also a very good laptop, with great specs, good build quality, MXM video card, but for excellent cooling, it needs a bit of thermal modding, so I suggest you get it from HiDEvolution.
    - MSI P65, it's a very nice looking laptop. It also has a very good build quality and good display. The issue with it is that it has poor cooling out of the box, with thermal modding the temperatures will be ok, so this means you need to buy it from HidEvolution. But keep in mind that the temperatures will be ok, not excellent, so it's not a laptop for long-term use, but if you are lucky and don't push it, it might get to 4-5 years.
    - Asus GM501GS, this laptop is similar to the P65 regarding build quality and weight, but it has much better cooling, and it comes with a non-MaxQ GTX 1070. I would strongly suggest you get this over the MSI P/GS series. The downside with this laptop is the loud fans and the poor battery life, but those things don't seem to matter to you. If you buy this laptop with the thermal mod, it will have excellent cooling and should last you a few years.
    - MSI GS73, it's similar to the GS and P series, but it's 17 inches. So the cooling in this laptop is better, and I would get this one over the 15 inch GS65 or P65. Also needs the thermal mod for longevity.
    - Asus GX501GS, this is a top of the line laptop from Asus with the GTX 1080 Max-Q. With thermal modding, this laptop also has excellent cooling and performance. However, I wouldn't recommend it, over the GM501GS. The GTX 1080 Max-Q is only 10% faster vs the GTX 1070 non-Max-Q. However, if you have lots of money laying around, why not go for that extra 10%?

    So my recommendtion is the Asus GM501GS with the thermal mod from HidEvolution.
     
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  9. Karla Beeson

    Karla Beeson Notebook Enthusiast

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    @Ultra Male Just wanted to ask you, what is the longest you've waited before for a new purchase at HIDEvolution?
     
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  10. Ultra Male

    Ultra Male Super Tweaker

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    You mean waited for my laptop to be built and shipped? 3 days as I always pay extra for the rush build although it can take up to 5 days but that's better than the standard 7 business days
     
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