Help me narrow down my choice! [gaming + mobility]

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Histidine, Jan 10, 2019 at 5:19 PM.

  1. Histidine

    Histidine Notebook Deity

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    General Questions


    1) What is your budget?
    Let's call it ~$1500 max, less is better.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    MUST have a number pad, though! I do numbers sometimes!


    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    US

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    Nah.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Sure.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Multi-tab browsing plus multi-megabyte Excel spreadsheets plus Adobe Illustrator. And some gaming on the side.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Some of both. In terms of portability, I'd say probably 6lbs max, lighter is better.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Yes, of the 3D variety. I'd be happy with one or two grades down from the top graphics card available, though.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    2-3 hours.

    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, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows. (Can one still purchase Windows 7 any more?)

    Screen Specifics


    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    1920 x 1080 is what I have, and it's probably ideal.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    They're all still glossy these days, aren't they?

    Build Quality and Design

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

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    >200GB.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Within a month.

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    >2 years.

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

    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 usually fix my own laptops.

    It seems like there are way too many options out there and I've spent literal months trying to whittle them down. I need to make a decision soon, and no, I don't have time to wait for the next generation of laptops to come out.

    What I want:

    Core i7-8750H
    GTX 1060

    - It seems like these hardware specs are the "sweet spot" for performance/price. If I could downgrade one of these and save hundreds of dollars, or get a laptop with much greater battery life or a lighter weight, I'd consider it. From what I've seen, I don't get much by stepping down. Does that seem correct?

    Factors that matter:

    Portability (lower weight is a big plus - I will be carrying this to meetings, etc.)
    Battery life (no point being able to carry it if it dies halfway through a long meeting)
    Other factors (low idle noise, decent screen quality, favorable keyboard layout, array of ports, etc.)

    With all that in mind, several laptops seem to fit. I'm considering the following:

    MSI GP63 Leopard-602 <--Cheapest of the lot, seems identical to the Leopard-013 which is more expensive?
    Clevo N850EP6
    Clevo N955EP6 <--A bit more expensive, but more lightweight and slightly better battery life
    HP Omen 15t
    Gigabyte Aero 15W <--The most expensive by a stretch, but it seems to be superior across the board

    You can see I'm not great at making decisions. I'm not really considering any ASUS models, because I'm not sure I can stand their garish designs. The Gigabyte is the most expensive, but it seems to fix all the issues of the other models (nice thin bezels, very lightweight, twice the battery life). I'm also not considering Acer or Lenovo models because I didn't see any that have two storage slots (I work with very large files sometimes and I need the space of a HDD along with the speed of a SSD).

    Any models I've not considered here? Thoughts and opinions of those listed? If you had to choose, which would you go for?
     
  2. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,

    When it comes to thin and light gaming laptops with good battery life, your options are somewhat limited. The main issue is that such laptops usually have poor cooling which leads to throttling and under-performance, so while there are such laptops on the market, I will advise you to avoid most of them.

    Here are all the models that match your criteria: 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.

    So from the laptops you mentioned:
    - MSI GP63 - overall a decent laptop with adequate cooling and ok specifications. Its only issue is the poor chassis, which tends to give away if you don't take good care of it.
    - Clevo N850EP6 and Clevo NP955EP6 - both of these laptops should be avoided due to their poor cooling.
    - HP Omen 15t - is an ok laptop in theory, but has a poor firmware that leads to overheating and sometimes throttling. Some of the latest BIOS updates addressed these issues, but have not eliminated them.
    - Gigabyte Aero 15W - is incapable of cooling its processor and no matter what you do to it, under load, it usually stays at over 90C in all its throttling glory, so it should be avoided.

    Other laptops I would consider are the
    - Dell 7590 - it's a new model, so we don't know much about it, but traditional, the Dell Gaming G7 series have very good cooling, provided Dell doesn't mess up the fan profiles. It also comes with a free upgrade to RTX 2060 if I am not mistaking.
    - Tsinghua Tongfang GK5CN6Z - know the name sounds strange, they are new on the market, but their model has received a lot of praise from the community: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/tongfang-gk5cn5z-and-tongfang-gk5cn6z.815943/
    - MSI GS65 / GS63 - the MSI GS65 is only ok if you buy it with the thermal mod from HIDEvolution. Otherwise it overheats and throttles. I know it's more expensive, but if you need better battery life, this is your only option. The GS63, although an older model, has better cooling.
     
  3. Histidine

    Histidine Notebook Deity

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    Hi Blacky,

    I found your noteb website very helpful while I was browsing!

    Seems like you're right about the Aero 15W. That's a shame. Likewise for the Clevo barebones.

    I did check out some Tongfang laptops. I'm wary of getting a mechanical keyboard, though. They're apparently noisy, and I like to be able to type without bothering people around me.

    I also considered the GS65, but at almost $1000 more than the GP63, that's a real hard sell.

    So that kinda leaves me with the MSI GP63. One question I have about it is there seem to be two versions available, the Leopard-013 and Leopard-602, with a full $400 difference in the price tag. Both HIDEvolution and XoticPC have these two versions, and at the same price, but there is no indication of any differences between the models. Even MSI's website doesn't seem to say how they differ. Why is one so much more expensive than the other?
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    I'm glad noteb.com helped.
    Looking at the two models from XoticPC:
    https://www.xoticpc.com/msi-gp63-leopard-602.html?startcustomization=1
    https://www.xoticpc.com/msi-gp63-leopard-013.html?startcustomization=1

    It looks like the more expensive version comes with 16GB as standard and just 1 TB HDD. There might be more differences, but they seem to be related to configurable components.
    You could also ask XoticPC directly on what are the differences.
     
  5. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    How about a refurbished Dell Precision 7530? With the Quadro P3200 gaming performance will be pretty good, and the build quality will be better than most consumer options.

    edit: I noticed you want a 2.5 inch HDD/SSD slot, which unfortunately isn't available with the Precision 7530 if you choose the Quadro P3200. You might also consider the Thinkpad P52.
     
  6. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    The P52 has a shared heatsink for the processor and video card so not sure if that one is the best for him.
    I agree the Precision 7530 is a great option for him, but even from Dell Outlet, it will be hard to get it for his budget with the specifications he wants. Dell Outlet link.
     
  7. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    Just a note you're going to have trouble finding a notebook with no throttle. With the 8750H pretty much only the GM501GS and TongFang can handle it while also under heavy gpu load.

    The GM501 however is an Asus with QC issues. The TongFang isn't bad but has a rather irritating fan noise and is rather loud if you're going to be gaming in public. The GE63 may be another possible option, I've heard mixed reports on how well it can hold its clocks.
     
  8. amirbahalegharn

    amirbahalegharn Notebook Guru

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    how about N957TP6/N950T6 with 8700(far better than 8850H/8950hk throttling)?
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/DESKTOP-LA...IDIA-GTX-1060-SSD-500GB-SSHD-1TB/283187484723
    or
    https://www.amazon.com/N950VR-i7-8700-i9-8950HK-Notebook-Computer/dp/B079N77LMM?th=1

    you can change to 8700T 35W (UV) and maybe 9700T this year if released for better power performance,so 9700K 95W UV+Delided+repaste is the highest CPU it could be upgraded to as it doesn't has hyperthreading,it's heat management is better than other 95W(like 9900K which is battery consuming as well) .you can use 8th gen like 8086K/8700K as well.but for better battery life,your best choice is 8700T which performs around 8750-8850H or i5 8600-8600k

    also new n960tp6 is also on the way,you may check it here:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/clevo-n960tp6.826484

    also suggest you buy portable powerbank as well like 1.5KG 42000mah(6-10times charging your laptop) 200W one like following for ~130$ from china or 180$ from ebay:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/110...-Energy-Storage-Power-Supply/32892647380.html

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=42000mah+power+bank&_sacat=0

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 7:30 AM
  9. Histidine

    Histidine Notebook Deity

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    Okay, I have updated my opinions a bit.

    - The MSI GS65 doesn't have a number pad on the keyboard. That's a hard "no." Numbers are important to me! I type them a lot!

    - On the other hand, I have learned that the Tongfang GK5CN6Z can apparently be purchased with non-clicky key switches. However, the fan noise would still likely be an issue, and I have not heard reports about how people like they keyboard when it's got the quieter keys.

    So I find myself considering the following options:

    MSI GP63 - Maybe this is the Little Laptop That Could - it's unassuming and unexciting, but doesn't seem to have any major flaws
    Tongfang GK5 - If I can be convinced the fan noise and keyboard aren't issues
    Gigabyte Aero 15W - How bad is the throttling really?

    I'm putting the Aero 15W back on the list because I'm not sure how bad the throttling issues are - with a GTX 1060, the 15W might run cooler than the 15X version, and if I get the folks at HIDEvolution to use the expensive thermal paste, maybe it will be okay? Since this isn't my main gaming machine, throttling while gaming honestly isn't the hugest of deals. I mean, I've been getting by with a laptop with a GT 540M for the last 8 years. Is it worth putting up with throttling if it's still going to perform miles above what I'm used to? And that leads into my last two options:

    1) Scale back on the specs. This isn't my main gaming machine, and a 1050Ti is a perfectly cromulent upgrade to a 540M. I've heard Asus Zenbooks are really nice, though I would need to get a large SSD since they only have one slot.
    2) Just suck it up and wait until February. What's coming out then that might suit my needs better than what's out there now?

    I appreciate all the feedback thus far! I know, I'm picky and indecisive.
     
  10. Ultra Male

    Ultra Male Super Tweaker

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    MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-602 is the best value, and has it all except for the battery life, which can be augmented by the a Power Bank like the one recommended above.
    However, the MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-602 should give you at least 3-4 hours for use in meetings.
     
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