Gateway Creators Series 15.6" RTX 2060 i5-10300H

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by hertzian56, Dec 17, 2020.

  1. hertzian56

    hertzian56 Notebook Evangelist

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    I was just starting a thread for the Gateway Creators Series 15.6" laptop from 2020 at walmart. Here are the specs:

    "Gateway Creator Series 15.6" FHD Performance Notebook, Intel i5-10300H, NVIDIA 2060 RTX, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Xbox Game Pass for PC, HD Webcam, Cortana, Windows 10 Home, Google Classroom Compatible"

    This was $999 originally then 799 then dropped to 699 near xmas 2020 but I've read that it was a low of 650$ for black friday 2020 which is astounding.
    -Edit: back up to 889$ dec 19

    Here are some preliminary drawbacks just from the specs and reviews, I have not received mine yet.
    -no sata expansion slots, only 2 nvme slots
    -i5 is the cost cutter and is on the mid range side compared to what other 2060 laptops come with like i7 or ryzen 7.
    -If you use an sd card for extra storage, and leave it in, that's not a possibility here as the sd card slot only takes the card in halfway.
    -8GB ram, but that's kind of typical for lower priced laptops of all kinds. Definitely an upgrade that should be done to 16gb+ Only two ram slots.
    -No full size display port out, does have mini dp
    -no thunderbolt
    -unclear warranty voiding if you add ram/nvme

    On the plus side from my pov:

    -$699 still an amazing price for specs, even used gtx 2060 laptops go for typically $800+ on ebay as of this post. There are a handful of this model up there for $799+ as prices have not been adjusted to current walmart price of 699. With the online store tax now there is no real benefit to ebay at similar prices for new items, only free shipping and significantly lower prices would make it worth it. Used you could find a deal but it takes a lot of work on your end AND a lot of luck.

    -It's all about the gpu for the price, especially for reports of what having DLSS capability can do for gaming performance. And with backwards compatibility of a few games for raytracing it may become more accessible for less taxing games in this mobile version. Turn off raytracing and you've got a really killer gpu for 1080p native and 1440p to external monitors, even 4k to external monitors depending on game settings. In the 15.6" screen space though 1080p ultra on this card is perfect imo.

    -120hz screen. On old games this card should be able to get close to or over that fps I'm thinking fallout 3-nv. Maybe SC Blacklist not sure. On low spec/online games and the right settings it should do 120fps. Racing games should get close to that at high settings per notebookcheck Dirt Rally 2 at high 1080p gets average of 120fps. Not a big deal for my single player offline only gaming though.

    -Resale it should hold good value having rtx branding over the older gtx branding and capability. Even though the mobile 1660ti is reported to be pretty close to equal to the mobile 2060, it does not have raytracing nor dlss capabilities. The gaming laptop space on ebay used, is all over the place, the confusion of what gpu performance levels are is a huge reason for this. Even finding out what gpu is in some of them is not always listed, usually it's vague like "Geforce gtx" or not even put in at that level, only "gaming laptop" is put up there. Generally 1060 mobiles go for $600, 1070 $700, 1080 $900. RTX goes for 800+ today, even used. 980m laptops still go for over $500 over 5 years after its release. So at the 699 price if you can keep it in good condition it should not lose a huge amount of resale value, especially if you keep it for years. But maintenance like dust, repaste, cooling pad/raising it up, limit traveling with it etc would be a big factor. Until 1440p or 4k are made the standard laptop screen resolution I can't see 1080p being that big of a downfall for this cpu/gpu laptop.
    -Anyways I'll update this as I look at it and get mine next week.


    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Gateway-...ass-PC-HD-Webcam-Cortana-Windows-10/425492039

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Walma...rce-RTX-2060-For-Under-1000-USD.496254.0.html

    https://gatewayusa.com/GWTN156-3.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  2. hertzian56

    hertzian56 Notebook Evangelist

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    Some of the ways I plan on getting around the limitations of this laptop are:

    1. Buy a usb3 to sata cable($7), that way I install games on cheap used or new TB level 2.5 hdd's and plug and play as needed. I've been doing this for a while now. Really only loading times are improved by ssd's, and low heat. So games that have a lot of in-game loading screens like Fallout 4, Prey etc really benefit from ssd's. You export the hdd heat away from the laptop with the cable, less heat means less wear. Pretty much everything is modular, separate and mobile. I have not looked into it but I am sure there are probably usb3/usbc to nvme cables too. It would be nice if microsd cards could have the read/write speeds of sata/nvme but it doesn't seem like we'll ever get that.
    ==A couple 4TB 2.5" hdd's for software, video, pictures etc storage only(so as not to fragment them) and 1-2TB cheap 2.5" hdd's for installing games. You could do this with older sata ssd's as well. I'm not a fan of using over 4tb drives or so for storage, it's just too much in one basket if it fails. And typical use mostly small programs on the internal nvme like pdf progs, browsers, word processing, uninstaller, firewall etc One or two huge games and maybe a couple of large/non-plugnplay software like CAD programs on the internal nvme.
    ==You can also save a decent amount of space, GB's, by installing windows 10 LTSC instead of the usual bloatware infested win10 versions that come preloaded. LTSC has almost no bloatware, not cortana or ms store etc, and if you want some things it does not have you can just install it yourself one by one. MUCH less buggy because it's target market is medical, industrial etc so it must be stable. It does not have any auto updates forced, you can choose not to have it at all. It only comes out every 2 years or so, so it's stable for long periods. You can just keep it and never update to the latest version. Keys can be had for cheap online and the iso can be had online free as well. My only concern is that in the trial period, where you can return the laptop, you want to keep the pre-installed win10 version on it, easy reset before sending it back. And the warranty may be tied to the win10 version it came with, not sure there. With no software keys for win10 not sure how you'd put it back on there if needed either, maybe make a full flash drive backup before switching to LTSC.

    ===2. I don't ever use the camera, usually just put some electrical tape over it, but if you dislike the lower bezel mounted cam this model has, you can just buy an external usb one and plugnplay.

    ===3. I've heard the speakers are bottom mounted so not too good regardless of the THX branding, but I never use the speakers out loud anyways, headphones.

    ===4. Best to buy the RAM upgrades now while it's ubiquitous and still being made, once it becomes "rare" it's usually higher priced because it's not being manufactured much if at all. I can get by with the 8gb for a while though, not being a video encoding guy nor having 50 browser tabs open etc CAD would benefit though as would games. So it's a likely upgrade. 16gb dual channel, 2x8gb. This comes with only single channel ram stick. I will call gateway and ask about the warranty before doing this though.

    ===5. The HDMI output and minidp should be fine for my needs, most I'd do would be 1 or maybe 2 external screens. This being an off brand laptop no matter what the actual branding says means there is likely no dock available for it but that's typical now. The older dell precision line was great for all sorts of stuff like that and being used by so many corporate and individuals the aftermarket for used peripherals is huge. That's one of the huge benefits of Dell, HP etc

    ===6. Most likely get a 3rd party laptop cooler. With the soldered cpu/gpu's now you really have to do this, not relying solely on the stock cooling if you game a lot or do high heat producing usage. I've read that this generic chassis can get pretty hot stock. A more well known and proven gaming laptop like the Omens, MSI, ROG etc doesn't need it so much imo. If it's possible undervolt the cpu, otherwise just set the max cpu to 99% and it should bring it down with minimal fps loss.

    This should arrive on Dec 23 so with the walmart returns period starting on the 26th I'll have a little over 2 weeks to use this before I can return it for a full refund. This will sound bad but the best strategy here is to buy your laptops and other stuff that only has 2 weeks return period at walmart, on black friday, around nov 23, then you can use it for almost 2 months before deciding to keep it or not, risk free if you can take care of it and keep track of your receipt, box, manuals etc.
     
  3. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Consumer-grade laptops with SATA expansion are the exception, not the rule. The only models off the top of my head that even offer a 2.5-inch internal bay are the Lenovo Legion 5 and HP Pavilion, and even then, I believe it's only certain configurations with smaller capacity batteries.

    Unless you get a crazy sale like the Maingear Vector 2 in my signature that cost $1,000, you're not going to find many laptops with an RTX-tier GPU and an i7 for that price.

    No argument here. This is a very stupid design decision.

    Two RAM slots is standard for any laptop with gaming-class hardware that's worth its salt.

    I haven't seen a laptop with a full-size DP out in years. There is no difference in functionality between the two. You may just need to spend an extra $15 on a cable or adapter.

    Not unexpected given the specs and price. Perhaps when a version comes out with an 11th-gen CPU, we'll see a TB3/USB4 port.

    The only means a manufacturer has to void your warranty for replacing otherwise user-serviceable components is if you damage another part in the process. Simply changing the components is not a violation.
     
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  4. hertzian56

    hertzian56 Notebook Evangelist

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    Some good points, I've owned an Omen that had the sata ssd in there, and most on ebay gaming laptops do have at least one sata internal slot for large hdd's though. This pavilion with a 1650/9300h has an internal connector for sata 2.5 drives as well. If you look at the notebookcheck photos there is the room for one in the gateway just no connector was put in by gateway, stupid. It has the lower capacity battery stock but can be upgraded. I typically always have my laptops plugged in anyways.

    The full size DP out I'm just going off my m6700, which has one but is ancient so no real argument there. A lot of this is the comparison against the m6700 which was an amazing desktop replacement really and had all sorts of things that are not in the latest laptops. It's just not really cost effective to get another one for me, some go for over $500 for such old equipment. I think the old HP Elitebooks are similar, really great workstations/desktop replacements.

    True about the i7, it's not a big deal but would be nice, the previous years Walmart deal was the Evoo which DID have an i7-9750h, 16GB, 1660ti etc much better deal a year ago but I wasn't looking then. Not necessary for my normal use I just worry about CPU bound games and better fps and emulators like the PS3 emulator that is cpu bound, red dead redemption 1 is what I have in mind for that. I'll just use the Xenia version which is gpu bound.

    RAM sure about the 2 slots, again older workstations like the m6700 had 4 slots. Not a big deal.

    Thunderbolt I would not really have a use for now but who knows in the future, not a big deal either.

    I'm glad to hear that about the warranty but I've read on notebookcheck or in reviews that they put a void warranty sticker in a place that makes you break it when you open the laptop up. I'll confirm that when I get mine next week.

    All in all I'm happy with the deal. It was a splurge for me as I don't NEED a gaming rig really and my old m4600 does fine for all normal use and some low spec gaming. I was close to getting a manuf refurbished Acer Nitro 5 with a 1650/10300h but for a couple hundred bucks more an rtx card is nice to have. I am fine with a 1650 as I played through RDR2 on performance setting and it still looks awesome, Cyberpunk playing now at low-med settings 900p and it still looks really good, 40fps locked. A 2060 will be good for me for at least a couple years or more if it lasts.
     
  5. Nick

    Nick Professor Carnista

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    I have one of these. The screen takes some getting used to after using a MBP 16 this semester. I went ahead and ordered an 8GB stick of ram for it. If I keep it, I'll transfer the 256GB SSD from my old laptop to the extra M.2 slot.

    I'd like to upgrade the screen to a higher quality panel, either FHD 120hz or UHD 120hz panel. The panel in the laptop is 40 pin at the screen, but I'm not sure if it's 40 pin at the motherboard which is necessary for 120hz at UHD resolution. My other question is can the RTX 2060 drive a panel at 4k and 120hz. Obviously new games won't run at playable rates, but the original Call of Duty Black Ops should as it already hits 120 FPS maxed out.
     
  6. hertzian56

    hertzian56 Notebook Evangelist

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    So it's 120hz but not decent quality? From the walmart specs it says it's 120hz. I've only ever used your standard 60hz before so I doubt the quality would be an issue for me but we'll see. I get it tomorrow and will try it out, have until jan 8 to send it back. Just in time to do a different cyberpunk ending and finish up the RDR2 epilogue 2nd time through. I'm not sure I'll have a ton of use for a 2060 laptop much in the next few months though, something to think about.
     
  7. Nick

    Nick Professor Carnista

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    It's super smooth as a 120hz display should be, and it's perfectly usable. The colors just looked washed out next to a few other systems I have at the moment. It also doesn't get very bright.
     
  8. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    I've heard some mention that calibrating can help with the colors. May be worth a shot if you have a colorimeter.
     
  9. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    If it's the same 120 Hz panel that's available in the Lenovo Legion 5, calibration isn't going to do much good because its color gamut coverage is very poor. I want to say it's less than 60% of sRGB.
     
  10. Nick

    Nick Professor Carnista

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    Unfortunately I don't. It has a custom display profile created by THX though.
     
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