New workstation/gaming laptop -$2000, 17”

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by 2018Laptop, Apr 16, 2018.

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  1. 2018Laptop

    2018Laptop Newbie

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    My work is moving to a new IT provider, and my 2015 15” MacBook Pro is no longer going to be allowed on the company network. So I’m looking at switching back to Windows.

    I’m a mild power user. My workload would probably be best on a desktop, but I travel too much. So big bulky laptop it is.

    My biggest requirement is 4 channel thunderbolt 3, for a dock and/or eGPU.

    I would be extremely happy if the laptop keyboard included a ten key number pad.

    Currently torn between a leftover 7700HQ, and a 8750H that’s about to be released.

    Questions are answered below.

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    Work will pay ~$2,000, anything in excess of that comes out of my pocket. I’d prefer to stay in budget, but for the right machine I could see spending a couple hundred bucks.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen

    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    I’d prefer the 17”. 15” is alright.

    3) Where will you buying this notebook?

    USA - specifically Los Angeles.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    a. Like: Apple. The build quality is A+ on my last two MacBook Pros. If only they’d build something with decent specs for the $$.

    b. Dislike: anything conspicuously ‘gamer’. I work in a corporate environment. Need to at least look presentable.

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    Yes - must be functionally new, with new warranty. No scratches and/or dents. Apples refurbed program is a good example.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    Work involves driving 2 4K monitors and 1 1600x900 monitor, in addition to the laptop screen. Productivity workload is primarily cloud based, but I regularly have 25+ tabs open in Chrome to get everything done, plus Word, Excel, Outlook, and two proprietary apps that are exceedingly memory inefficient. I’m regularly maxing out 16GB of RAM on my 2015 MacBook Pro, and OSX is typically a little less demanding of RAM in my experience. Granted, that’s at least partially due to running the proprietary apps in a VM, but I suspect 16GB will be tight on occasion in Windows as well.

    Modest gaming. Typically strategy AAA titles, and emulation.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both? Both. Probably 70% of the time is at my desk, the remainder is in the field or on an airplane.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?

    Emulation up to Wii and PS2. Would like to be able to upscale the graphics on older systems, at least to 1080.

    AAA gaming is typically the latest Civilization or Europa Universalis/Stellaris.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need? I’d like at least 5. 8 would be better for cross country flights.

    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?

    I don’t need to see it prior to buying.

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

    Windows 10 Pro mandatory.

    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.

    Anything 1080 or above. Prefer higher resolutions though.

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

    Matte is preferable - slightly. Glossy is acceptable however.

    Build Quality and Design

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

    Looks and style? No. Other than must be professional. Not “gamer.”

    Build quality and reliability? Yes.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?

    April or May

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last? 3-5 years

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?

    At least 1TB. Would prefer a SSD system drive.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?

  2. RampantGorilla

    RampantGorilla Notebook Deity

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    The new Gigabyte Aero 15 (i7 8750H, gtx 1060) or 15X (i7 8750H, gtx 1070 Max Q) should meets your needs nicely. Bear in mind that more than 16GB of RAM and a 1TB ssd may take you beyond your spending limit.
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