Notebooks vs Desktops in 2020

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by Neatman, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Neatman

    Neatman Notebook Consultant

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    Im in the market for a new gaming setup in 2020 and for the first time in a very long time I dont have a very strong preference between a notebook and desktop set up. Previously mobility had always been key for me, but at this point it isnt a deal breaker.

    In that context, I was wondering what the wise souls on this board are thinking in terms of how big of a gap they are expecting between notebook and desktop performance with the arrival of new nvidia GPU in Q1/2 2020? I will probably be throwing around $3500 CAD at the problem and if I can get a desktop that can tackle 4k gaming as opposed to a notebook that cant, I may abandon notebook gaming.
     
  2. hfm

    hfm Notebook Prophet

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    It really depends on what your goals are. If 4K at good frame rates is key for a couple years of gaming you will not do better than building a desktop. Notebooks just can't have the class of heat management that is required for that to be realistic, and the ones that do are glorified desktops, I wouldn't call them portable at all. You can build a FANTASTIC desktop for $3500 CAD. I might even say just get a decent CPU but don't overspend on it for diminishing returns, 32GB RAM, and some decent but not super expensive SSD's and throw your biggest wad of cash at a 2080Ti, or whatever the top tier GPU is at the time you are ready to spend. The GPU will be the limiting factor. You could still pocket part of that $3500 CAD and save it for upgrading the GPU down the line. A decent CPU will last you a few years for gaming at least.

    EDIT: fixed some typos and added some clarification statements.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
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  3. thegreatsquare

    thegreatsquare Notebook Deity

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    Ampere for desktops should be out in the summer, so from then till mobile Ampere comes out ...it will be a big gap.

    I'm sort of in the same boat since I don't have an overnight job anymore, but I figured I'd still like taking it places be it another room, just outside or on vacation. I'm considering utilizing some source of upscaling [tv/avr] for 4k in the livingroom ...it seems to work well enough for my nephew's Switch on their grandmother's 65"-70" hdtv that I could make do.
     
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  4. MahmoudDewy

    MahmoudDewy Gaming Laptops Master Race!

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    I personally think as long as mobility is not a requirement, a desktop would always be a better choice.
     
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  5. Kevin

    Kevin Egregious

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    A desktop should always be options 1, 2, and 3, if the mobility of a notebook isn't necessary.
     
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  6. Prototime

    Prototime Notebook Evangelist

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    I don't think 2020 will do much to further close the gap between desktops and laptops. But there's a greater possibility 2020 will see the gap between consoles and PCs shrink considerably. We'll have to wait and see.

    Personally though, I'd recommend waiting for Ampere GPUs to release and then getting a desktop, especially if you want 4k at high frame rates.
     
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  7. hfm

    hfm Notebook Prophet

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    There's always something around the corner, unless it's imminent I'm always in the camp just set an upper limit budget and get what you can when you want to buy. I don't think Ampere is coming for another 6mos at least. If you're waiting till April 2020 to buy something anyway, yeah, we'll probably see something in July-Aug.
     
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  8. Neatman

    Neatman Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks a lot for your opinions!
     
  9. hertzian56

    hertzian56 Notebook Consultant

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    Exactly it's always weird to me how in every forum where someone asks for recommends there's always the mantra of wait x months for x new gen to come out when most of the time there's only minor increments between succeeding generations, other than increasing prices it seems. Just get the best for your needs within budget that's available now, keep it for a few years then upgrade again. The only reason for waiting would be the better 4k perf. than what is available now.
     
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  10. Prototime

    Prototime Notebook Evangelist

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    When I was new to PC gaming, I listened to that mantra on the forums. I waited about 6 months to get a Pascal GPU notebook as my first gaming PC instead of buying a Maxwell GPU notebook. And I'm glad I did. The GTX 1060 it has packs the power of a GTX 980, but for a significantly cheaper price, and in a significantly more portable package. I wouldn't call that a "minor increment" between succeeding generations. (Although to be fair, the difference between Pascal and Turing was less.) And if you already have a PC that's aging but serving you well, I say it's definitely worth a 6-month-ish wait. (If your PC just died, that's a different story.)

    Regardless, the OP expressed interest in 4k gaming and seems to be fine holding out through Q1/Q2 2020. If 4k is the driving force behind making a purchase, and waiting a while isn't a concern, the advice to hold out for Ampere is solid.
     
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