1. You may have noticed things look a little different around here - we've switched to a new platform (XenForo) and have some new forum styles and features. This how-to guide will help you find your way around. If you find anything that looks strange, post it in this thread.

Powerful laptop for Game Design and Gaming

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Radishface, Jul 1, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Radishface

    Radishface Notebook Enthusiast

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Hello, people!

    I have been "lurking" NBR forums for over 2 years now, and I finally forced myself to register for an account. Knowing how helpful and experienced most of you folks are here, I would like to ask for an advice for a laptop. I need powerful and portable laptop for Game Design studies in University, which I am going to start this year. I will also do quite some gaming on it.

    My University requires me to have a laptop with at least these specs:

    > RAM: Minimum 2GB; 3GB recommended

    > Graphics card: nVidia 9800M GTX / ATI radeon 4850, or similar with support for DX10 and shader model 4.0 (or newer) with at least 512MB graphics memory

    > Processor: Dual or Quad core is recommended.

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    1000$ - 1500$

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen


    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.

    In Norway. Considering importing from another country, if I would happen to get a good deal.

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

    a. Like: Any...
    b. Dislike: ...except for Apple


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

    No.

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

    Game design; 3D CAD programs; Gaming

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

    I will be taking it to university everyday, so it has to be light and easy to carry around.

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

    Yes, I will do quite a bit of gaming. Can't think of any games now...

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    At least 2+ 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?

    Buying blindly is okay for me.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.

    Windows 7

    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. Click here for Screen resolution information.

    1600x900 to 1920x1080

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

    I have no preference.

    Build Quality and Design

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

    Somewhat, but not terribly important. Build quality is important, though.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?

    In the next couple of months.

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?

    3+ years.

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?

    More than 250GB, I suppose. SSD is not a priority now.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?

    Not necessarily.

    Phew. Done. I hope this would give you an idea on what I want.

    Thank you people. I would really appreciate for helping me out :)
     
  2. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

    Messages:
    4,604
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    131
    If you can get a notebook with the AMD FirePro 5950, that would be a great choice for CAD/modeling. Since the GPU is based on the Radeon Mobility 5870, it's also surprisingly good at gaming. The NVIDIA alternative is the Quadro 2000M. It's more expensive, though, so if you can get the FirePro, go with that.

    Check out the Dell Precision line of mobile workstations.
     
  3. Radishface

    Radishface Notebook Enthusiast

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Thanks for your input!

    Dell Precision laptops sure are amazing (in terms of quality and performance), but the prices are insanely high - way out of my price range. If I was made out of money, I would buy that with no questions asked :D
     
  4. hockeymass

    hockeymass that one guy

    Messages:
    3,681
    Likes Received:
    84
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Fortunately, unless you go back in time to 2008, you won't have a hard time finding a machine that blows those specs away.

    Check out the Sager NP8130. I think it's right in your wheelhouse pricewise, and should work if GeForce and Radeon GPUs are acceptable. It's a little on the beefy side for a 15 inch, but you shouldn't have issues lugging it around.
     
  5. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

    Messages:
    4,604
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    131
    Would Sager or Clevo be a possibility? Not sure what the technology scene is in your neck of the woods. Tell us what brands are readily available, and we can point you in the right direction from there.
     
  6. Radishface

    Radishface Notebook Enthusiast

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Sagers do get recommended quite often on these forums. However, I am still uneasy about the importing it all the way from U.S. to Norway, due to taxes and shipping costs. That is STILL a possibility, if I won't be able to find a better laptop.
     
  7. hockeymass

    hockeymass that one guy

    Messages:
    3,681
    Likes Received:
    84
    Trophy Points:
    116
    What brands would you not have to import?
     
  8. Radishface

    Radishface Notebook Enthusiast

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    We do have a Norwegian reseller which specializes in Clevo base notebooks, though their prices are a little steep. Other more well-know brands are already available here obviously.

    I have narrowed down my search, in order to give you some guidance, guys. Here are my options:

    • Dell XPS 15 with Full HD screen
    • HP DV6 (though, we have no Full HD screen option here)
    • Alienware M14X
    • Acer 3830TG (would be terrific if not the throttling issues)
    • Sager NP8150 (great laptop, but I am very uneasy about import)





    Hope this helps :)
     
  9. Radishface

    Radishface Notebook Enthusiast

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    I would say Sager, as all other brands are available for purchase here already. Still on the fence on that one... :confused:
     
  10. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

    Messages:
    4,604
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    131
    If you can't get the DV6 with a FHD screen, scrap it. 1366x768 looks pretty awful in a 15-inch system. The XPS 15 would work, as its screen is quite good quality. The M14x would be OK, too. Its GPU is more powerful than the one in the XPS so it would be a bit more future-proof.

    The Sager would offer you the most bang for your buck, but if you're not keen on importing, that's fine. It would probably be easier for you to obtain service on a Dell/Alienware, too.
     
  11. hawk1410

    hawk1410 Bird of Prey

    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    Do note that the HD4850m and the 9800mGTX were pretty powerful cards and are still more powerful by about 20% than the GT540m in the XPS.
     
  12. ElBlufer

    ElBlufer Notebook/NBR Addict

    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    First, get the NP8130, not the 8150. If you're not buying the upgraded graphics card (which you can't afford in your budget), you don't need the 180w power brick (gigantic, BTW), nor to spend the extra money for no reason. I'd recommend the Sager highly if you're willing to import it.

    It sounds like you're going to a school where you might be doing some programming (unless I read those requirements wrong). If so, will you be using Open GL programs? If so, that's a dealbreaker on the DV6T

    ^^Hawk, really? My old HDX16T from 2 and a half years ago had the 9800GT. 512MB of GDDR2..YEEEAAAHHH
     
  13. hawk1410

    hawk1410 Bird of Prey

    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    ^^9800GT and 9800GTX were 2 different cards, the 9800GTX was the equivalent of a GTX485m or the 580m of today(ie it was NVIDIAs most powerful card). NVIDIAs naming was really screwed up back then. There was a 9800m GTX, a 9800m GT, a 9800m GTS and a 9800m GS(phew!!). All were radically different. The reuirement according to OPs university is the 9800m GTX
     
  14. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

    Messages:
    4,604
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    131
    He said that the dv6 is not offered with a FHD screen in his country, so that scraps that one.
     
  15. ElBlufer

    ElBlufer Notebook/NBR Addict

    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    Yeah, and I just noticed that thread title (silly me!), yeah, scrap the DV6.
     
  16. Bill Nye

    Bill Nye Know Nothing

    Messages:
    2,515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    I don't remember HPs ever manufacturing top-end cards.

    Are you sure it wasn't a 9600m GT? It's really odd for consumer lines to use an enthusiast card like the 9800m GT (yes, even the GT was a great card). Dell, HP, Asus non-G, Acer, MBP generally turn to upper end of mid range cards in production such as 8600m GT, 9600m GT, 330m, 435m, 3670, 4670, 5670, 6670, and most recently, 555m/6750m.

    The only underperformer in this year's series is the Dell XPS 15, which "should've" at least had a 550m. 540m is really on the low side.
     
  17. ElBlufer

    ElBlufer Notebook/NBR Addict

    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    ^^My bad, it was the 9600 GT
     
  18. hockeymass

    hockeymass that one guy

    Messages:
    3,681
    Likes Received:
    84
    Trophy Points:
    116
    NVIDIA and AMDs naming conventions are still kind of screwed up.

    The 8800 and 9800GTs were still pretty great cards too. I had an 88 in my desktop back then. It screamed.
     
  19. Radishface

    Radishface Notebook Enthusiast

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Thanks for all of your replies! I really appreciate the feedback :)

    As hawk mentioned, requirements for the laptop are pretty high, thus it is a little hard to find something that is both powerful and portable.

    Looks like I will have to dismiss Dell XPS 15, since the graphics card is rather weak; the display is amazing, though. Unfortunately, XPS series are not as close to "Extreme Performance" as they used to be.

    I was also considering Asus G53JW. It's only 799$ here, though from what I heard on the forum, it's very bulky and heavy. Too bad - it would be a perfect fit for the price...

    Yeah, I have just looked at Sager NP8130 and it looks good so far! With some minor adjustments (like different keyboard and shipping), it would cost me around 1700$ (shipping alone is 360$) BEFORE 25% import tax. That's a whole hill of money! :eek:
     
  20. Bill Nye

    Bill Nye Know Nothing

    Messages:
    2,515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    DV6 looks like the better deal still. I don't know to what extent the opengl is messed up, but there's no possible way it's that bad to render a laptop completely inept.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page