New gaming Laptop after 5 years

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by quietas, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. quietas

    quietas Notebook Consultant

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    It's been quite a while since my last gaming laptop purchase. I used a Clevo W230SS 13" with an 860M for quite a while, it eventually got replaced with an HP Spectre x360 ultralight. The Spectre is great, but there are some things where it is just too damned slow.

    I generally tote a 14" Dell 7450 for work along as well as my personal laptop. Weight and size are definitely a concern. Battery life is key as well, 4-5 hours plus. I'm looking at laptops under 1" thick, 13-15" screen, i7 or i9, 1tb SSD (or user replaceable), Nvidia 2070 or 2080.

    I want a decent gaming laptop, low weight, long battery, a unicorn, and a beer.



    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    $2500, sub $2k is preferred

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen - preferred
    Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen - doable
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    No preference
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Possibly, vendor refurb

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Couch surfing, 3d model rendering/slicing for printers, gaming

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Yes, very mobile

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Yes, games will be played. FPS/MMO, some slower RPG

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    12+ is nice on my Spectre, but 4-5+ is fine

    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 as long as there are a god number of reviews

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

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    1920x1080, 4k battery life and scaling are both poor

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    Matte or non-gloss preferred unless touch screen

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Thin and light are good, it could be a dull black slab for all I care about lights and logos

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    1tb nvme SSD required, more is better. If the drive is user replaceable that is OK

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Within the next two months

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    3-4 years

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    2-3 weeks if needed, I have other computers

    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?
    Onsite or parts shipped as long as the price is lower. Extended warranty and accident protection preferred over onsite support.
     
  2. quietas

    quietas Notebook Consultant

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    To give folks an idea I'm currently looking at the MSI GS65 Stealth, Lenovo Legion Y740, Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502. Any I am missing?

    Also, are there any 13-14" gaming laptops with 1660ti or better GPUs?
     
  3. Etelmik

    Etelmik Newbie

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    Super specific requirements here.

    I don't think there are any 13s or 14s unfortunately. Even for 15s there are not many sub 1-inch ones that will pack a 2070 (no way your price range covers a 2080). There is also the Aorus 15-XA-F74CDW, Clevo P950RP, and I found this Asus (see here: https://www.excaliberpc.com/configurator/configure.html?id=700269 )

    Of these, the Asus has the best battery, the other two are meh.

    I keep hearing good things about the Y740 and I'd love to try one. It's thin, battery isn't bad, the owner's lounge thread for it looks promising, and they keep going on sale and have great deals available on Ebay (just saw one with a 2080 max Q, 512 / 1 TB split, 17.3, 9750, for $1850). I just ordered a Clevo PB71RF-G, but the 17.3 Y740 was probably my second choice.

    And of course, a Clevo with no label is the least auspicious there is.
     
  4. quietas

    quietas Notebook Consultant

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    I have not checked out that Clevo P950RF, specs look good though. The gigabyte and Asus look good as well, I'll check into them.

    There's a Razer Blade 15 (2019 basic with 2060) for $1550 open-box at my local Best Buy that looks really tempting.
     
  5. quietas

    quietas Notebook Consultant

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    I took a look at the MSI GS65, Razer Blade 15, Acer Triton, and Asus ROG Zephyrus over at Best Buy. The less sturdy build of the MSI doesn't bother me that much and it's a little lighter which is great. The RBlade 15 is solid as hell, one piece aluminum is cool.

    I'm narrowing down to those GS65 (i7-9750, 32gb, 2080 maxq, 1tb ssd) or the RB15 Advanced (i7-9750, 16gb, 2080 maxq, 512gbssd). I have an short lived opportunity to snag either for about $1900. The MSI is much more modable but the Razer is sturdy and pretty good out of the box.

    Any preferences and recommendation for those two?
     
  6. Mr_Mysterious

    Mr_Mysterious Like...duuuuuude

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    Personally I trust razer more than I trust msi. I'm overly cautious about my laptops so I like to have a little extra money to buy some kind of extended warranty.

    Normally I detest extra warranties but for something I use everyday, it's well worth the extra cost.

    Mr Mysterious

     
  7. Plodplod

    Plodplod Newbie

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  8. HueyFC

    HueyFC Newbie

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    I'm looking for something similar but with a bit lower gaming requirements and hoping to find something for around $1500.

    What I'm currently looking at is the MAG-15 with a 1660 Ti. It's just over 4 lbs but the power supply is nearly 2 lbs. I think you could get away with a .5 - .75 lb lower wattage charger for slowing charging the battery while traveling and not gaming or doing low power gaming.

    The other option I'm looking at is the MSI Prestige 14 - 2.75 lbs and you can run it with a really lightweight USB-C charger to have a 3 lb 6 core compact 14" laptop with a 1650. It doesn't have the high refresh screen and the graphics card is a pretty big step down from the 1660 Ti but you get much more portable setup. Battery life is claimed to be good but it's only 52 WHr. There is also a 15" version with nearly twice the battery but it's 1 lb heavier at which point I'd probably rather just go with the MAG-15.
     
  9. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies TG Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Razer Blade 15 is hard to beat for a thin-and-light 15.6-incher. The MSI GS65 is an alternative, but to me its build quality is a letdown if you get one of the pricier models. The metal they use on the outside is a thin sheath. The chassis doesn't seem to flex too much, though.

    HP's Omen 15 gaming notebook is worth looking at if you don't need more than ~3 hours of battery life. It has Nvidia G-Sync which is nice if you're going to be gaming. It's also the reason the notebook doesn't get very good battery life, as it forces the Nvidia GPU to be active the entire time.

    Charles
     
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  10. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    MAG-15 is a decent option. I actually chose the MECH-15 over the MAG-15 because I wanted/needed the numeric keypad and dual mini-DP for the dual monitor setup I use for work. I think the MAG-15 has a slight edge on aesthetics and the MECH-15 has the edge on features and performance. Both have excellent build quality. Either one can be had for about $1500 and they are impossible to beat looking at the inferior alternatives.

    Everything in this thin and light form factor leaves something to be desired in thermal management regardless of brand. There just isn't enough room to physically accommodate a highly effective thermal solution without going bigger and heavier, and it seems popularity is on a winning streak over functionality. So, you have to pick your poison with the thin and light notebooks. The MAG-15 and MECH-15 both seem to have an edge on their competitors in this area as well. Not awesome, but better than the alternatives.

    I settled for something in this form factor based solely on cost. I would have preferred bigger and heavier (and cooler) but everything better is even more overpriced and offers poor value. I was determined to spend no more than $1500 on something new that played games well. I couldn't get everything I wanted for that price, so the MECH-15 was the best compromise.
     
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