Upgrading my 15.6" all-purpose (+gaming) laptop, build quality priority

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by metasynthie, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. metasynthie

    metasynthie Notebook Enthusiast

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    Have been putting a 3-year-old Clevo P650HS to hard labor for some time now thanks to a recommendation from this forum. Time to upgrade! Haven't done much research so even pointers to particular brands / resellers that are highly recommended would be helpful. Thank you!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    $1800-$2300, would go higher for significant quality difference

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Have had pretty good experiences with Clevo, HP Elitebook
    b. Dislike: nothing in particular
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Yes

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    - mostly light office work, with browser being the main memory hog
    - game testing, often with unoptimized prototype/alpha builds that can over-tax GPU and memory
    - AAA gaming (Control would be a good example, Death Stranding, nothing competitive)
    - Photoshop, Illustrator, Unity

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    - transporting it between two locations (home/work) in a padded backpack

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    - see above, both AAA games and unfinished prototypes

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    - 1 hour tops, for emergencies only

    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 always buy online without seeing it

    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.)
    - 1920 x 1080

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    - Matte, but not a big deal

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    - would prefer an ugly or super-plain notebook with no fancy visuals if it has better build quality. A black brick is fine.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    - 1.5 TB minimum. Have enjoyed a mix of SSD for OS / apps and larger HDD for file storage in the past.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    - within the next few months

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    - 3 years is my average, would be great if I could extend it but 3 years is fine

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    - A week

    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?
    - Can ship

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  2. metasynthie

    metasynthie Notebook Enthusiast

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    Any thoughts on this or am I asking for the wrong kind of recommendation? Thanks in advance for any recs!
     
  3. metasynthie

    metasynthie Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm considering this thing, which seems useful for gaming and other intensive applications in that it has a desktop processor.
    But it's also supposed to be incredibly hot? I'm not sure what I should be comparing it to in other brands, given very spotty availability of some well-recommended models...

    https://xoticpc.com/collections/cus...books/products/sager-np7958f1-s-clevo-nh58af1
    • AMD Ryzen 9 3900, 3.1 Ghz, 12 cores (a desktop processor)

    • GeForce RTX 2070 8GB

    • 15.6" FHD 144Hz Matte

    • 32GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM

    • 2TB Western Digital Blue SSD
     
  4. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    This machine is the same chassis as the XMG Apex 15. There are lots of good video and written reviews available on the internet. If you need multithreaded CPU performance it can be a good choice, but it does take some tweaking to get fan noise manageable. There is a big thread in the Sager/Clevo sub-forum about all of that. I will also mention that this machine is available from Eluktronics as their THICC-15 model.

    If you are looking at comparable options the closest in CPU performance would be a Clevo X170SM, Alienware Area 51m R2, or MSI GT76 10th Gen, any with a 10-core i9-10900k.
     
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  5. metasynthie

    metasynthie Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks, that makes a lot of sense -- it's a desktop replacement, but at 15.6" size. I always use that size laptop (because I do need to transport between home and work, and I can go external monitors if I need a bigger screen) so I've never really considered the "desktop replacement" category. All those other comparable options are 17.3" screens.

    I guess now I'm reconsidering whether I need all those cores for the kinds of uses I describe in the OP. This is my primary machine, but I've gotten by with a 15.6" Sager with a decent GPU for many years now, without a "desktop replacement" processor. Should I be looking for other features instead (like Thunderbolt 3, missing here?) Or dropping my price point a little if ~$2K can buy a 15.6" desktop replacement now!?
     
  6. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    If you have instances where high single-core CPU performance is useful, it may be a good idea to consider an Intel option like the i7-10875H. Ideally it would be a model that has a good paste job and allows for bios undervolting.
     
  7. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    custom90gt likes this.
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