Gaming Laptop for Travel

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by cjoshuav, Oct 7, 2017.

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  1. cjoshuav

    cjoshuav Notebook Geek

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    Here are my survey answers. I'll provide additional details and a link to the laptops I've considered, below.

    1) What is your budget? <$3,000

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen


    3) Where will you buying this notebook? United States

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: MSI, Acer
    b. Dislike:
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed? Yes

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook? Productivity, Presentations, as well as a wide range of games: No Man's Sky, Elite Dangerous, Dishonored franchise, Deus Ex Franchise, Age of Wonders III, Civilization VI, Skyrim, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and similar games.

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

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games? See above. Space Games, RPG's, Turn-Based Strategy, and Stealth/Action RPG's

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

    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 fine.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc. Windows 10 Pro

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. (Scroll down to see screen resolution information.) I'd ideally like a 1920 x 1080 G-Sync 60 Hz IPS screen. I feel like even a 1070 is underpowered for 4k or, long term, for 120+ Hz.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.) Matte is generally my preference.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you? No, but build quality is.

    15) When are you buying this laptop? Within the next month.

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last? 3 years.

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive? Minimum one m.2 and one 2.5

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner? No

    I am tired of hauling both my Dominator and my ultrabook on long trips. I use the Dominator both to work and to game in my hotel room in the evenings when I travel (I don't drink, so gaming is my stress reliever on the road), and the ultrabook to take notes or make presentations during the day.

    I care about gaming performance, build quality, cooling, and screen quality, so I'm leaning away from the lightest of the gaming laptops (e.g. the Zephyrus or the Stealth Pro). For longevity's sake, I think a 1070MQ is as low as I'm willing to go for the GPU, although I'm open to arguments of why I should consider the 1060. I don't like the massive powerbrick needed for the 1070, but it is what it is. I plan to undervolt the CPU to help manage heat.

    The laptop doesn't need to be tiny, but I do want it to be comfortable for hauling from pillar to post, sliding out of my bag to use quickly on an airplane tray, carrying by hand between meetings, etc. I think the Raider probably hits the sweet spot, but I have a couple of concerns:
    • It looks big in the pictures, but smaller in the YouTube videos. Is it small enough and light enough (with that massive brick) to meet my needs?
    • I wish the screen were IPS and had G-Sync. How will the viewing angles be on the TN screen? Will the 1070 be able to push games at 120 Hz for the life of the laptop?
    • If I have XoticPC repaste with IC Diamond, and undervolt the CPU by -100 mV, will I be happy with the heat management?
    Here's a list of the laptops I've considered. I'd love to have you experts double-check me, see if there are other laptops I should look at, and offer your thoughts.


    Google Spreadsheet Comparison

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Danishblunt

    Danishblunt Guest

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    Why don't you upgrade your MSI Dominator to a GTX 1070 and call it a day? You seem satisfied with it.

    If you need something new because your old notebook is 2 heavy then you might go for this:
    https://www.amazon.com/PROSTAR-P650HS-G-i7-7700HQ-Bluetooth-Warranty/dp/B06XD9CQCB/

    - Easy access to hardware.
    - Very good build quality.
    - Design is rather simple.
    - The screen will make you REALLY happy, 418nits, decent colorange etc. Screen isn't well calibrated but you can probably fix that by downloading an ICC profile to make it pretty.
    - Gsync so even if you drop below 120fps game will still be fluid
    - Good cooling with no major throttling, playing games like witcher 3 on maxed settings will get you around 83c on CPU and 78c on GPU, which is very good.

    Also got all you required, would say it's the perfect fit.
     
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  3. cjoshuav

    cjoshuav Notebook Geek

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    It's way too large for frequent travel, and to haul to meetings.

    Thanks for recommending the Clevo. I've added it to the list, and I'll read up on it.
     
  4. klondiked

    klondiked Notebook Guru

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    If I didn't know better, I'd swear you were me. I have a lot of down time when I travel, though, so I game and drink.

    I bought a computer within the last month; up to that point, I had been lugging around a Clevo P150EM that came close to 10 pounds with the power supply. I was so sick and tired of that I was even considering dropping down to a 14 inch for the weight consideration. As time went by, my ideal balance between power and portability shifted back and forth a lot, but I think the largest ones I considered were the GE63 and the P650. Eventually, I settled on a barebones MSI GS63 with the 1070MQ, but I had a really hard time deciding between that one and a different Clevo, the P950. I sprung for the MSI with the expectation that it would be generally higher quality, but since I only bought the one computer, I'll probably never really know.

    An advantage to all Clevos and the barebones MSI is that they are completely neutral in appearance, available without logos or a single splash of color. Plus, the P950 and MSI are small enough that they fit the contemporary business notebook appearance standards. And the MSI, at least, is so easy to carry around.

    As far as performance goes, it does better with modern titles than my Clevo did when it was brand new. I realize that's a very subjective way to measure things, but it leaves me with a good feeling, anyway. I also upgraded to the 120 Hz screen. I went back and forth on that for a bit, but decided to give it a shot, anyway. As you mentioned, it's probably worthless in 2 years, but there's only one way for me to know for sure, right?
     
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  5. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    You definitely don't want a desktop replacement Clevo P870 due to the weight, or a MSI Titan, or an Alienware 17r4.
    You have rather strict, and a bit inflexible requirements (you want your cake AND to eat it too), so since the 17" items are too heavy, I would suggest the MSI 16L1 barebones Evoc, from HIDevolution. 15.6" screen, desktop CPU, GTX 1080, and Prema Bios (make sure you ask for this) for as much power as you can throw at it. It will not be as heavy as a GT73VR, and it won't be light either, but it should get the job done and do all you want.

    Otherwise, your only other choices are to go for the MSI Raider series, or the equivalent ones from Asus or Acer, with the GTX 1070, and deal with whatever cancer limitations they give you. I honestly would recommend a 7820HK so a HQ processor won't limit you so much, but I don't think the HK is available on any of the MSI Raider series.
     
  6. cjoshuav

    cjoshuav Notebook Geek

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    Are you referring to the heat management?
     
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