Looking for a workstation laptop with some gaming capabilities

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by monitorhero, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. monitorhero

    monitorhero Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello forum,

    I am new here and hope you can help me.

    Currently I own a Lenovo Yoga 12 (https://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-...#toc-test-lenovo-thinkpad-yoga-12-convertible)
    What I like is that it has a pen which is not necessary in my new device but would be a nice to have. Also it is very silent, so I am used to that. The screen is also very good.
    The heat dissipation however isn't.

    I saw that thread http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...oling-17-3-screen-and-at-least-1050ti.826383/
    and it was mostly what I am looking for, however the suggested laptops are all too loud for me.

    Since I do a lot of 3D Rendering I want at least an Intel 8750H or above. But still silent cooling under average load. Also a good screen with wide color range is important since I do photo editing as well.
    Battery life is also important and I prefer something above 4 hours while surfing and watching videos.

    I tested the GL504GM Hero II and the fan noise was unbearable. But I want something with similar specs. Maybe there isn't a device like that but I thought you could help? The graphics card is secondary. A lower part model might dissapate less heat so that would be better.

    I prefer less throtteling of the CPU part like on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenov...GTX-1050-Ti-Max-Q-Laptop-Review.335608.0.html)
    But I don't want a Lenovo again. I don't like their support and build quality. On my Yoga 12 the keyboard keys are coming apart one after the other and driver support is mediocre.

    The Extreme 1 seems like the laptop that fits all the categories I care about. But I don't want a 4k display and can't pay more than 2000 €. The Extreme 1's price is unreasonable.
    Also the commenters on the laptop seem very unhappy with the device.

    Is there an alternative option that's cheaper with just some drawbacks?
    For that hardware its just ridiculous what Lenovo is charging. (3100 in Euro)

    I found the Dell Precision 5530 but I didn't saw that recommended in the other thread. Is there a reason for that? And how do the two screen variants (1080p with 72% color gamut and 4k 100% color gamut) compare to each other?

    EDIT: After going through a few threads I also found the 7530 and XPS 15 9570 as potential candidates. The 7530 lets you buy it without extra graphics card which might save some energy and produce less heat. Can anyone confirm that? Also the XPS seems to have problems with coil whine and S3 Sleep state?
    Sorting those three laptops by average noise:
    1. XPS 15 https://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-...-Ti-Max-Q-Laptop.317254.0.html#toc-emissionen
    2. 7530 .https://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-...3200-Workstation.354591.0.html#toc-emissionen
    3. 5530 https://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-...2000-Workstation.328954.0.html#toc-emissionen


    Now let me answer the general questions:

    1) What is your budget?
    2000 - 2500 €
    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    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?
    Germany

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    b. Dislike: Lenovo
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    no

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    3D Rendering and some light gaming

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Taking it with me and using it on the couch/lap

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook?
    Maybe some Apex Legends or RTS

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    1:30 - 4 hours under load. The more the merrier.

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

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer?
    1920x1080 (pen enabled display would be nice)

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
    matte

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    No

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    512Gb - 1Tb

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity
    2-3 years

    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    As soon as possible

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

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

    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?
    No


    So I really hope you can help me. I read almost all the tests with an i7 8750H on notebookreview.net and most of them are just too loud. Maybe I overlooked something.

    Thank you
    monitorhero
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  2. monitorhero

    monitorhero Notebook Enthusiast

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    I hope someone can help me out.
     
  3. Ionising_Radiation

    Ionising_Radiation ?v = ve*ln(m0/m1)

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    I believe this:
    is the deal-breaker in your question, as most workstations (like the one in my signature) cost a lot, but come with on-site next-business-day repair, and even have almost no-questions-asked accidental damage repair. If not, you can take a look at any of the below notebooks:

    Dell Precision 7530
    HP ZBook 15 G5
    Lenovo P52
    MSI WS65-8SK

    All of these models can be configured with the 8750H or better, and come with NVIDIA Quadro graphics.
     
  4. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    You could look into a Zbook Studio X360 G5. It meets your requirements other than I am not sure what pricing is like in Germany. Whatever you get plan on undervolting to keep temperatures and noise under control.
     
  5. monitorhero

    monitorhero Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks win32asmguy. I think that's what I have to get comfortable with since every lightweight notebook seems to be having heating/noise issues. But that would be the least problem.

    Still the Lenovo performs slower than the XPS 15 for example although they have a better CPU inside. The XPS sounds perfect on paper but reading about all the issues really made me step away from Dell. Same for the 7530 since there isn't much technical difference and build quality.

    HP's Zbook seems to have some issues with throtteling while on battery and under load. (https://www.notebookcheck.net/HP-ZBook-Studio-x360-G5-i7-P1000-FHD-Workstation-Review.358161.0.html). Same on the Lenovo P52. The current keyboard on my Lenovo and their driver support is not very good.

    The MSI uses an i9 which so far I haven't seen perform very well since none of those notebooks can keep up with the heat output.

    It's very difficult.. Since I want full performance of the CPU but also less noise. Are there any devices with better heatpipes or heat transfer. I heard Razer is good in that regard. It can be bigger (17" screen) if it performs better then.

    Also I am willing to pay more if a laptop can meet me demands. (~ 2500 €) Since I do 3D Rendering I need a laptop that can hold it's clock for a longer time under load. Maybe that's wishful thinking and the device I imagine doesn't exist :)
     
  6. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

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    The next business day warranty is an option; you can get it with a depot warranty to save some money.
     
  7. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

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    It doesn't matter how good the heat transfer is; that heat has to be dissipated somehow and that requires a certain amount of airflow. A chassis with more surface area at the intake/exhaust port allows for slower air motion which makes for less noise, but a fast CPU (particularly paired with a fast GPU) is going to dissipate a lot of heat under load. Physics for you.
     
  8. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

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    As for 72% vs. 100% (NTSC) screen gamut: night and day difference. My old laptop was a Dell Precision M6500, which I found out later was 72% gamut (and a TN panel) to boot. That was 1920x1200 resolution. I was always oversaturating photos in post because of that. The TN display also results in color distortion off axis, and if you think about it, part of the screen is always off axis. An IPS (not "IPS level") display doesn't have that problem.

    My new laptop (well, 18 months) is a Lenovo P70, with a 4K screen that's rated 99% NTSC. I've also seen the Dell 15" screen (7510 at the time) like that. The difference is enormous for image editing, which I do a lot of.

    As for Lenovo: the ThinkPad P-series laptops are a totally different beast from the consumer-grade ones like the Yoga. They are not cheap toys. They are built to last for years, given that Lenovo offers 5 year warranties. My P70 is solid, and the fit and finish are much better than the M6500 (which itself was a high end workstation laptop). I have had to replace the keyboard once due to a keycap breaking almost off, but that's probably me; over the ~18 years I've owned laptops (all high end Dells: Inspiron 8000, 8200, 9400, Precision M6500 until the P70), I've had to replace keyboards on all of them, often repeatedly. The good news is that workstation keyboards are designed to be user-replaced. I don't think most people are as hard on their keyboards as I am.

    I can run the CPU pretty hard, and while the fan definitely runs, I don't find it too bad.
     
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  9. monitorhero

    monitorhero Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey rlk, I understand that of course. But I thought a bigger chassis might have room for bigger fans to move more air (at best at a lower speed). The replacement for just a key on my keyboard is 5€. I checked for a whole keyboard which was like 200€. Totally unreasonable.
    And from what I experienced it's on most Lenovo's no matter business or consumer. The Lenovo I had before the Yoga had a good Keyboard though. Still intact but not the rest of it :). After two Lenovo's I am hesitant to buy them again. Too many issues with bad support. I think they started to cheap out on their parts a few years ago.
    Don't think you were too hard on it.
    I wish there were like noise tests for all the laptops so you could listen to them. I might have to check a local retailer for laptops I guess.
     
  10. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes, a bigger chassis will generally be quieter. But any laptop with a fast processor and GPU will make some noise under load.

    I do think I've been very hard on my keyboards. Like I said, this has happened with every laptop I've owned; I rarely get more than about 18 months out of a laptop keyboard. The usual problem is that peanut crumbs (or some other hard food) get caught under the keys, and it's not too surprising that eventually a key cap will loosen or break off when I press down hard to dislodge it.

    Keyboards can be found on line, although admittedly the supply of parts (on eBay) for Dells is better than for Lenovos.
     
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