Returning to NBR, from Macbooks back to PC, now what?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by D3X, May 15, 2019 at 6:55 PM.

  1. D3X

    D3X the robo know it all

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    It's been a long while. I was once an avid PC enthusiast that was heavily into small form factor and PC Laptop performance. Overclocking, customs mods, parts upgrading and even soldering was basically second nature to me; TEC Extreme overclocking, Pin-Mod CPU Laptop upgrades, super small Small form factor (Shuttle SFF, remember those?), Laptop custom LCD panel swaps, undervolting and custom GPU swaps (Asus C90S), Asus F8SN that I custom swapped for an Xtreme ES sample etc etc.

    Then things changed... I went to the dark side. In 2008 I picked up my first Apple Macbook Pro with it's Unibody design and never returned back to PC for latptops, I maxed that one to it's full potential, then even swapped the logic board to a Mid 2009 opting for the custom top of the line CPU logicboard. I then upgraded to a Mid-2012 which again I topped out and even sourced and upgraded the screen to the top HI-Res LCD panel with 2 SSDs 4TB total with 16GB ram which had pretty much every thing I needed; my work behaviours changed, less gaming, less overclocking which in turn my desire to tweak computers and laptops. All I wanted was a fast and reliable computing experience.

    I was super active on NBR for a long time, during the mid to late 2000s. (see my rep and posts).

    Life became busy, I focused on career, life, got married, got a kid.. and voila, it's 2019!

    Flash forward to present, Apple is pretty much dead to me, they are not made for a computer enthusiast. TouchBar is a gimmick, Apple that cares about being way too thin for their own good rather than being reliable or even working at optimal speed (thermal throttle fiasco). Nothing is upgradeable, the price is astronomical, and worst of all they are not even fast anymore.

    What I do need is, a new Notebook for work.

    I'm basically looking for a value added Notebook today and since I've been a bit disconnected from the hardware today I'm looking for advice from you.. the forum users in NotebookReview what is a good buy nowadays? The market I find today is really full of fluff and marketing terms(Gaming, RGB, etc etc), and not entirely sure what is what.

    • A fast CPU, multi-core preferrably 4 cores or better.
    • Has a decent GPU
    • M2. NVME
    • Upgradeability
    • A very good LCD/LED panel for color. 100hz+ Refresh isn't necessary.
    • Excellent build quality (comparable to Apple, but more reliable in terms of hardware).
    • I don't really care for brand
    • Price: $1500 - 2000 USD
    • 14in - 15in size
    • Needs to be a good value in terms of performance and price, does not need to be spec'd to the top of the line.


    Thanks all. It's sort of refreshing to be back after all these years.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 7:08 PM
  2. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Kyle and D3X like this.
  3. iunlock

    iunlock 9900K @ 5.5GHz

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    Welcome back and I can relate to your Apple side of things. I still use my fully maxed MBPr til' this day. It used to be my daily for many years until the LG Gram 15 came along and now that is my daily with Linux and (Windows -> unfortunently, but only used for when flashing phone stuff etc...). Now the MBP is my secondary that just runs Mavericks OSX (IMO the most solid as it just works and not broken like the newer OSX's) ...

    Apple has gone down hill and one of the things that really ruined it for me is when they went as far as removing the port on the motherboard to be able to ever recover data... granted, Apple has always used top tier components (Samsung MLC / SKHynix etc... only the best), but removing the port when it's already bad enough with the storage being soldered was just a smack in their own face... Here's an interesting read...

    (I've owned many Apple products from iMacs to you name it... and to be fair, I've never had the storage or RAM fail on me... Even my old MB and mid fully maxed 2012 is running strong like it's brand new... These are equipped with Samsung MLC goodness ...so it's equally suprising and expected lol.)

    It's such a pity because I really really like the newer MBP design... it's stunning IMO and the unibody design ages so well compared to traditonal laptop designs.

    As far as what you're looking for in a laptop...

    Answer: The newer Razer Blade 15. (Expecially for you...)

    I have a ton of flight time with these and actually have owned one before I sold it, because I didn't need them as my daily driver (LP Gram 15) and desktop are my primaries.

    Mercury White Razer Blace 15:
    [​IMG]

    It's a really nice transition as a MBP user....sure it's a complete knock off of Apple, but a really good knock off and they did everything pretty well. It's the Windows MBP with more powerful components. The price starts at ~$1499, but if you want higher specs it's worth saving a few pennies to upgrade to the CPU, GPU or RAM that you want since they are soldered on... as for the storage (m.2 NVMe) you can always upgrade that later so unless it makes sense with a deal that you may find with a higher storage driver, I'd just get the lowest and upgrade later to a Samsung 970 EVO or something...

    There are no other unibody (windows) laptops out there that can compete with the new Razer.

    Hope that helps..
     
  4. D3X

    D3X the robo know it all

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    Wow, I did not know of the removal of the Service port on soldered SSD. Which was bad enough in its own already since it's completely proprietary and non-servicable by us end users. It really doesn't surprise me though, most of what Apple is doing is trying to remove any ability to service their devices / computers so that they can profit and and create a situation to up-sell you a brand new computer when you really didn't need it. A planned obsolescence. A shame really, I really enjoyed their products and when we had freedom to upgrade and self maintenance.



    That looks like an amazing machine. Not so distant from the old MacBook Pro in fact, and the specs look very intriguing. I did not know Razer had this product. Thank you. Sad about the the memory are soldered on though. Definitely will price one out.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 12:41 PM
  5. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    The RAM in the Blade 15 2019 is upgradable.

    csm_MG_4044_0_ba772e7960.jpg
     
  6. Mr.K-1994

    Mr.K-1994 Notebook Consultant

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    Aren't Razer known for terrible QA/QC and poor thermals?
     
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  7. D3X

    D3X the robo know it all

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    That's good to know!
    Like what kind of QA/QC Issues?

    Poor thermals is likely a bit expected in thin + gaming laptops, I'm not too worried as long as the cooling system is sufficient. Judging from the image provided above the heatspreader looks gigantic, which I assume also contains a more elaborate heatpipe setup.
     
  8. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Razer's cooling has improved, but it still wouldn't hurt to perform a re-paste. You can do it on your own, or some resellers will do the upgrade before shipping.
     
  9. D3X

    D3X the robo know it all

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    Agreed. Likely using the generic grey goop, replacing it with metal thermal paste like Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut will be much better.
     
  10. Kyle

    Kyle JVC SZ2000 Dual-Driver Headphones

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    I am a fan of business workstations, so the Dell Precision 7530 (or the upcoming 7540) and the HP Zbook 15 G5 (or the upcoming G6) are fantastic options. Fantastic build quality in general.
    Actually the 17" Dell Precision 7730/7740 is also an option - it carries more like a 15.4" laptop.
     
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