'gaming' notebooks anyone?

By on August 27, 2013 10:31:00 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums External Link

the_Monk

Join Date 01/2008
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For years I had been building my own custom 'gaming rigs' (powerful desktop machines that required me to sit in my basement office whenever I felt like playing a game).

Fast forward a few years with the advent of HDMI TV's and video cards/cables capable of connecting to them easily I began my exodus from the 'basement dungeon'.  My wife and kids began finding my powerful desktop gaming rigs sitting in the family and/or living room(s).  Suddenly the various consoles also connected to the TV's didn't seem to get much attention or use anymore.

Fast forward yet again and with homes set up for anytime/anywhere media-streaming and complete broadband coverage the need to remain 'tethered' to any one location in the home for work/play seems a distant bad memory.  Portable hardware keeps eclipsing itself and thus becomes more and more attractive.

As a result I have ordered a Toshiba Qosmio X70 'gamer notebook', which will serve both work and play needs, as well as being just 'portable' enough to be more easily moved from room to room than my existing gaming desktop rigs.

 

Specs:  (Toshiba Qosmio X70)

Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ Processor

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 770M featuring 3GB of GDDR5

32GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory

1.25TB: 256GB Solid State Drive (mSATA, SSD) + 1.0TB (5400 RPM, Serial ATA)
 
Blu-ray Disc™ Rewriteable (BD-RE)
 

 
Anyone else (especially hardcore desktop gamers) considering a slightly more portable option these days?
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August 28, 2013 3:02:46 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I have totally dropped the desktop PC in favor of a laptop with cojones. But I'm not a gamer. It just suites my portable lifestyle better.

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August 28, 2013 9:58:21 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html 

I count about 38 cards with a better benchmark than a GTX770M.

That'll be one reason I'll not be using a laptop for gaming....

....not to mention hanging an X65F off one....along with a G25 and Playseat would just look 'silly'...

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August 28, 2013 11:52:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I ditched desktops for laptops some years ago.  

I prefer 15 inch laptops for their portability.  17+ inch laptops are a big deal to lug around both in weight and in size in your pack.  While the extra screen space is nice, I just plug in my laptop into a LCD to get a screen much bigger than 17 inches anyway.   The extra size from an external monitor is usually much bigger than 17 inches so all in all I prefer 15 inchers.

I'm using a Lenovo Y500 and the specs are nice but the execution is a bit ugly.   All in all I'm happy with it.

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August 28, 2013 2:34:24 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Jafo,
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html
I count about 38 cards with a better benchmark than a GTX770M.
That'll be one reason I'll not be using a laptop for gaming....

 

Well sure desktop hardware will always trump notebook hardware in terms of raw power (especially for gaming), but then in my case the last gaming rigs I built for myself had 1GB 4870's in them and the 3GB 770M in the Qosmio certainly crushes those. 

I concur for a flight-sim setup I would never look to a notebook (as you stated too many necessary peripherals besides the raw power).

 

Quoting smeagolheart,
I just plug in my laptop into a LCD to get a screen much bigger than 17 inches anyway. The extra size from an external monitor is usually much bigger than 17 inches so all in all I prefer 15 inchers.

I agree, but if I'm going to connect a notebook to anything it is likely a 40"+ TV screen and the 'portability' of a desktop replacement notebook for me usually means it is easier to move from one room to the next not being carried around in a backpack etc.

 

How is the heat dissipation on that Lenovo?  I've heard some bad things about the heat dissipation on the Qosmio, especially the fact that the exhaust port is situated on the right side of the notebook directly in line with where one would have their hand/mouse when using an external mouse.  Go figure.....

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August 28, 2013 2:49:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't notice any heat issues.   The computer sits on a shelf with my keyboard and mouse plugged into it and video out is on a 32" westinghouse full HD display.   When I travel for work, I pack it up along with a HDMI cable, a pico pocket projector (about size of a deck of cards) and a somewhat light projector screen as an optional 100 inch screen.

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August 28, 2013 4:06:03 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

sounds like a nice setup......how much did that projector and screen run you if you don't mind me asking?

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August 28, 2013 4:18:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I bought the PK301 Pocket projector, http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-PK301-Pico-Pocket-Projector/dp/B0039XRJ5Y, I want to say I paid much less than that closer to $300 (here it is refurb on ebay for $269 http://compare.ebay.com/like/190837015913?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar).  I have a hard time reading text when connected to the laptop but movies and such look fine.

I want to say a cheap portable screen (still pretty heavy) cost me around $100.  I bought this 80" screen http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HRYV38/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1   so whereever I stay I have a big TV haha.   It's kind of heavy but whatever.   I like that it folds out you don't have to mount it on the way or anything.

 

 

 

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August 28, 2013 6:21:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm really, really happy with my M14XR2 (Alienware)

 

Food for thought.

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August 28, 2013 6:42:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have a Lenovo Y580 that I use for gaming and for rendering (Autodesk Inventor) and I don't regret my choice one bit....

Are desktops better?  DUH!  But are they better enough?  Depends...for me, not really.  I can play all my games on highest settings no problems...I can render big things in Inventor, no problems....could it be better with a desktop?  Sure...but I can't sit on a couch at a friend's place LANing or sit in bed when sick or work while in transit (carpool) with a desktop (at least not very easily)....

My laptop has a NVidia gtx 660m, an i7 3630QM, 1080p 15.6" screen, 8 gigs of RAM, and 500 GB at 7200 RPM...I could have upgraded to larger HDDs or even SSDs as well as larger amounts of RAM, but I didn't need to...this is by no means the best gaming laptop out there and on paper pales in comparison to what you can get with a desktop...but it cost me about $1100 (with best warranty), has excellent cooling, games and renders great, and is highly mobile (weight, size, battery life, etc.) which works out great for taking to work everyday and hooking up to projectors....since I would have to own a laptop anyway for work, buying a cheap laptop and then a gaming desktop would have cost more than just buying the gaming laptop...

In the last few months, a few very good computers have come out that are in the same league so to speak as the Y580 when it comes to gaming and price (obviously there are ones better but then more expensive)...very few games these days actually make good use of graphics cards better than the gtx 660m or 770m if you are doing 1080p on a 16" or smaller screen...the i5s you can get on laptops are more than capable of running pretty much any game out there (if I didn't do rendering I would have gotten an i5 instead of an i7)....

Quite frankly, their are only 3 reasons why you would really need a desktop performance over a laptop performance:

  1. You do intensive rendering that absolutely needs the best i7 and tons of RAM
  2. You absolutely have to play on the "big screen" and need something to keep a high frame rate at high resolution
  3. You can't afford a laptop

If you don't fall into those three categories, I think it is a hard case to argue for the desktop...the advantages of the mobility are just so many...I think it is one of those things where if you aren't used to the mobility of a laptop, you don't care cause you don't know what you are missing...but once you are used to a laptop, it is very very hard to go back to a desktop even if your life doesn't technically demand mobility....

f you are doing serious gaming you can't hold onto a setup for more than 3-4 years without it becoming obsolete...I suppose then that the option to upgrade (normally exclusive to a desktop) might be important when considering cost over the long run, but too many friends of mine have had problems where the whole upgrade thing didn't work out for them because too many parts of the desktop failed after 4-5 years....

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August 28, 2013 7:13:55 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I can probably manage to play UFO: Enemy Unknown on my notebook.  It might be able to handle some other old games but they're all on disc and it doesn't have an optical drive.

You can get good performance but it comes at the expense of short battery life.  Conversely, if you play low-end games or write documents, your battery can last well over six hours.  This won't change until manufacturers manage to pack a miniature zero-point module in your battery compartment.

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August 28, 2013 7:41:26 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I like my $800 primary display and my ergonomic keyboard and mouse way too much to go anywhere without them.  Tiny keyboards, tiny screens, terrible battery life if you do anything with them...

 

Plugging one into a dock everywhere I go would be the only thing to do, and even if I didn't work at home I'd have better options than that.  Syncronization with your own server is a piece of cake.  It's a breeze to have two identical development environments in two locations.  You can even have it on the same hardware if your internet isn't complete crap.

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August 29, 2013 2:18:54 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,
Are desktops better? DUH! But are they better enough? Depends...for me, not really.

Exactly what I was thinking.

 

Quoting psychoak,
I like my $800 primary display and my ergonomic keyboard and mouse way too much to go anywhere without them. Tiny keyboards, tiny screens, terrible battery life if you do anything with them...

 

I wouldn't call a 17.3" display or the accompanying keyboard tiny but as I stated in the OP what I was doing with my desktop rigs (connecting them to the 40"+ TV's in living/family room(s)) one could do the same with a desktop replacement notebook. 

Of course I prefer my Saitek Cyborg keyboard and Logitech G5 gaming mouse to anything else but, I had to purchase a new notebook and I felt I could go one of two ways.  Either I could opt for the ultra portable, ultra great battery life, ultra light ULTRAbooks out there or I could go for a desktop-replacement.  My middle-of-the-road daily driver notebook had finally given up the ghost.  Since I also have a tablet and windows phone for those times when I actually need to be ultra-mobile I decided to go for the desktop-replacement.  Would have been wasted potential to have an Ultrabook mostly sitting on a TV table in a corner of the living room connected to the wall anyway. 

 

 

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August 29, 2013 3:20:31 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

When Bethesda announced the recommended hardware for the release of Skyrim on 11/11/11, I started looking for a new laptop with sufficient power. I finally settled on the MSi GT780DXR gaming laptop.

CPU: i7-2630QM, 16GB DDR3

GPU: NVIDIA GTX 570M, 1.5GB GDDR5

LED Panel: 17.3", 1920x1080

HDD: 1.5TB (2x750GB, raid0)

OS: Windows 7, x64

Almost 2 years later this laptop still handles any video intensive game on the market. The only change I made was to replace the 2 750GB HDD with 2 1TB hybrid solid state hard drives (SSHD) running raid1. This change has substantially improved disk access for all of the graphics file loading. Because I had 16GB of RAM of which less than 8GB was being used, I turned off paging and locked the system files and drivers in memory.

The only problem was when the left display panel hinge failed. With a 2 year warranty the failure was covered, was repaired in 2 weeks and only cost me to ship it.

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August 30, 2013 12:37:44 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I had one gaming rig once on a laptop about 4 years ago. After the motherboard melted because of overheating I decided a desktop for gaming is the only way to go.

 

The more powerful they are the hotter they become and a laptop never seems to stay cool enough.

 

I have a laptop for everyday needs but my gaming rig is in my living room and everything is plug so I can use my normal 26'' screen or my 42 inch tv.

 

When it comes to gaming I prefer a nice big tower!!

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August 30, 2013 5:13:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Laptop cooling systems have improved significantly to where that is no longer a problem...if you are melting today's laptop, it's your own fault.

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August 30, 2013 5:43:24 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

To be honest, I've never thought about getting a gaming laptop.  Every time I have looked they are ridiculously expensive compared to what you can piece together.

 

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August 30, 2013 9:31:57 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Island Dog,

To be honest, I've never thought about getting a gaming laptop.  Every time I have looked they are ridiculously expensive compared to what you can piece together.

 

 

I agree if the objective was to use the notebook solely as a 'gaming platform', however many/most 'gaming notebooks' these days are billed for those maybe considering a desktop replacement and/or media creation machine in which case those same machines fit the bill quite nicely. 

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