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Should I switch to a gaming laptop?

KiasKias Registered User regular
Between work and travel it is becoming more apparent that I really need a laptop. I am seeing if I can get something through work, but odds are that won't play out so I will likely end up picking something up in the next couple months. For work purposes, I will be using it to manage online classes through moodle, email, and skype/webcam communications.

However, my gaming desktop, Big Blue, is going on 4-5 years now and is starting to show her age. I had her put together by Cyber Power and was quite happy with what I got (she still runs everything out there on medium-high), but hiccups are becoming a bit more common and I know another rig is in my near future.

So, should I make the switch to a gaming laptop and kill two birds with one stone? Are there any significant drawbacks to making my main gaming platform a laptop instead of a desktop? Could someone give me an idea what I should be looking for in a gaming laptop that will last me as long as possible?

I am basically looking to spend under $1,000 if at all possible. I know I can get a solid desktop for that, but will that carry me through with a laptop or should I just get a cheapo device that will let me do my work and save up for a shiny new desktop?

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    minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Gaming laptops are the worst of both worlds.
    It'll be huge, bulky, get really hot during gaming, and won't offer you the best gaming performance you can get. And you can't really upgrade.
    And carrying that thing around every day? Whoooo, can't say I'd jealous.

    My suggestion would be to salvage what you can from your current desktop (PSU and case at the very least) and build a new system for some ~$800.
    And then get a cheap-ish laptop for all your mobile work needs.
    It'd be a bit over your budget, but it'd be worth it, I think.

    minirhyder on
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    HewnHewn Registered User regular
    Agreed. Gaming laptops are too cumbersome for daily mobility.

    Steam: hewn
    Warframe: TheBaconDwarf
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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    Gaming laptops are super cumbersome, and are what I call "kind-of-portable". Many times you'll actually hear them referred to as "Desktop Replacements", or DTR's. They aren't actually meant for sitting in your lap (too hot), or moving around freely (too big).

    The only time I recommend a "gaming laptop" is when someone moves semi-frequently. So if you spend three months out of the year in some other place, and you want to take your gaming with you, a gaming laptop makes sense.

    Other than that, you can buy a good gaming desktop and a low end ultra-book for the same price as a gaming laptop. And you'll get two devices that are actually specialized for the purposes you purchased them for. 1000 bucks is not going to get you much of a gaming laptop.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    see317see317 Registered User regular
    Sounds like you've got a consensus already, but I figured I'd chime in with my two cents.
    Another vote for keeping your gaming on a desktop. Not only due to the cost difference when compared to a gaming laptop, but also to future proof for upgrades. With a laptop you can't really upgrade to a bigger monitor, you're far more limited to how much ram you can fit in and upgrading the graphics card tends to be harder than in a desktop (as well as more expensive and with fewer options).

    Also, consider what happens if you kill your gaming computer due to overheating or a poorly tested patch for a game killing your OS or something, and it's also your work machine. It sucks to not be able to play, but if you're shut out from your job?

    Basically, I'm echoing everyone else in the thread, get a cheap, reliable laptop for work then Frankenstein together a beastly desktop with whatever you can salvage from your current setup.

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    LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    As someone who's been toting around a laptop for school-related reasons for the past few years, I'd have to join the chorus and suggest you keep your laptop as portable as possible and confine your gaming to an upgraded desktop, for pretty much all the reasons given here (expense, weight, battery life, heat).

    However, "gaming" might mean "playing new and graphics-intensive games", since unless you buy the barest of bare bones netbooks (and probably even then), you can easily play older games on a non-gaming laptop.

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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I can't recommend some kind of ultra-book enough. Since buying my MacBook Air, I'll never go back to a chunky full size laptop again. I get way more use out of my Air than I have any other laptop I've ever owned.

    Not saying you must get a MacBook Air, just that the ultra-book form factor is so nice. You can get a Wintel ultra-book for quite a bit cheaper than an Air, that should have very respectable hardware.

    e: And if you do get an ultra-book, spend the extra money and get a pure SSD system...none of this hybrid crap. You'll thank me later.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    Dangit, I have a "gaming" laptop that I've been using for a couple years now, and I've been able to play stuff on it at decent settings until now (finally looking to upgrade) without it being too bulky to move around. It's not an Alienware or whatever... you know, those laptops that are the size of a freaking textbook. You can totally find good performance under $1000 if you look for open-box returns or factory-refurbished stuff. Go look around at various deal sites and electronics store sites ASUS is going to be your go-to brand for low prices and good hardware. Make sure the graphics card isn't Intel and you should be fairly okay. You can use this site as your reference for how good graphics cards are.

    I mean I completely agree that you definitely get WAY more bang for your buck out of a desktop. Just, not every single laptop has to either suck at gaming or be impossible to take anywhere. If you think you'll use a desktop if you have it and/or won't be moving around ALL the time, go for that option, but I mean SOMEBODY should mention what to look for if you want the other option. :P

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    WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    I disagree with folks so far in this thread - I got a ASUS G75VW-DS73-3D from XoticPC and it came with a carrying bag.
    Is it bulky, yes, but then that's why I have a tablet..I don't use my laptop for anything except serious sit down work anyway - I never just boot up a laptop on the fly...they take too damn long, even with SSD.
    My tablet does all my fast searches, document retrieval, notes, and my laptop does my word processing, graphic and web editing, and gaming.

    And I'll be honest on the desktop front - how often are you REALLY swapping out components nowadays? The thing has a 3GB video card in it..that'll last for awhile...and by the time the generations roll around to make it obsolete, you'll want to replace the whole thing anyway to take advantage of new Mobo architecture.

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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    That's true Essee. I do some light gaming on my MacBook Air (Torchlight 2, AirMech), and it runs them perfectly fine. I just got the impression the OP was looking for a Serious Bzness Gaming Laptop (tm). Not a laptop that could game in a pinch.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    His Steam profile suggests he is in fact interested in some srs bidness gaming.
    WildEEP wrote: »
    I disagree with folks so far in this thread - I got a ASUS G75VW-DS73-3D from XoticPC and it came with a carrying bag.
    Is it bulky, yes, but then that's why I have a tablet..I don't use my laptop for anything except serious sit down work anyway - I never just boot up a laptop on the fly...they take too damn long, even with SSD.
    My tablet does all my fast searches, document retrieval, notes, and my laptop does my word processing, graphic and web editing, and gaming.

    And I'll be honest on the desktop front - how often are you REALLY swapping out components nowadays? The thing has a 3GB video card in it..that'll last for awhile...and by the time the generations roll around to make it obsolete, you'll want to replace the whole thing anyway to take advantage of new Mobo architecture.

    Well see, you have a tablet to do stuff, so you wouldn't have to lug the laptop around everywhere all the time.
    So I'm suggesting a similar set up for him except with a desktop for gaming and the like, and laptop to take his work to go.
    Lugging around a laptop that can do serious gaming is just impractical.

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    KiasKias Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Thanks for the feedback so far! These are all concerns I was having, but wanted to get input from people who actually had hands on experience.

    To clarify, it won't be something I carry around all the time. I have plenty of tech accessible at work and my smart phone in a pinch. It would just be easier to pack a laptop, even a bulky one, in a bag when I go out of town, which has been pretty much every weekend lately and will probably be over several weeks in the summer. I guess my real concern is bang for my buck and how long a laptop will last compared to a desktop that is easier to maintain if something goes wrong. This desktop, with minor tweaking, has really pulled its weight, but I fear getting a gaming-oriented laptop in my price range runs the risk of low quality components that are more likely to crap out within a year or two.

    And yeah, its fair to say my PC gaming profile is: Srs Bzness. I only really use my consoles anymore for Hulu :P

    Kias on
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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    WildEEP wrote: »
    I disagree with folks so far in this thread - I got a ASUS G75VW-DS73-3D from XoticPC and it came with a carrying bag.
    Is it bulky, yes, but then that's why I have a tablet..I don't use my laptop for anything except serious sit down work anyway - I never just boot up a laptop on the fly...they take too damn long, even with SSD.
    My tablet does all my fast searches, document retrieval, notes, and my laptop does my word processing, graphic and web editing, and gaming.

    And I'll be honest on the desktop front - how often are you REALLY swapping out components nowadays? The thing has a 3GB video card in it..that'll last for awhile...and by the time the generations roll around to make it obsolete, you'll want to replace the whole thing anyway to take advantage of new Mobo architecture.

    My MacBook Air goes from sleep to password prompt in less than 3 seconds. It takes that much time for me to hit the home button on my iPad and swipe the lock screen bar.

    I swap desktop components at least twice a year. I am on a six month upgrade cycle. Even if you extend that out to a one year upgrade cycle, that's still going to KILL you buying a new laptop that often. I haven't replaced my motherboard in two cycles because Intel smartly realized they needed to make sockets last more than one generation.

    3GB of video memory is not the only important stat to factor in. You can strap 3GB of VRam to a GTX 640, that doesn't mean it's going to be better than the 670 I have in my desktop. Mobile graphics processors, even ones with the same spec number as a desktop version, always have to make TDP allowances that a desktop card doesn't. The 680M, for instance, is only 65-75% as powerful as a desktop 680. In fact, a 680M doesn't even compete with my desktop 670. Decide the 680M isn't powerful enough for you? Too bad, you're buying a new laptop.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    Great ScottGreat Scott King of Wishful Thinking Paragon City, RIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Computer upgrades became different since the Core-2 era. Even "Serious Games" run just fine on any old multi-core CPU from the last 5 years or so. In fact, my main PC is a i7-920 and I'm not upgrading that until I'm good and ready or the magic smoke comes out.

    The major upgrade needed is a decent video card, and even that is questionable if you already have a enthusiast-class ($200+) card that a GeForce 400-series or Radeon 5000 series (or newer).

    I'd upgrade Big Blue and save your money for when it dies and you need a whole new PC. As far as Laptops go, the problem is cost more than weight (although I've owned a 20" gaming laptop and it wasn't very portable in the long run). I'd look at Newegg's current sales and refurbs for AMD A8/A10 (APU-based) laptops. The tend to run smaller than "gaming" laptops, more importantly run cheaper, and can play most anything at Low/Medium settings in a pinch.

    Great Scott on
    I'm unique. Just like everyone else.
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    HyperAquaBlastHyperAquaBlast Registered User regular
    I bought a Dell XPS Gen 2 gaming laptop cause I was working on a boat for a year and a half. The best thing about it was it was high end enough during its time that I could run all the new stuff and put it away easily in my rack.

    Now on days I could get off the boat and take it somewhere then it was horrible. It was heavy and had maybe a hour of battery life when not doing gaming unplugged. Had a backpack just for it but might as well been a giant camping backpack.

    Once I got off the boat for good I basically made it a DTR and just had it plugged into a monitor along with a separate keyboard. It finally died cause the graphics card burnt out. The RAM got so hot once that it bubbled up the black paint of the metal case.

    I'd only recommend one if you are a nomad who'll have dedicated power where ever you'll camp at and really want to run high end games. Other option is get a cheaper mid range media laptop that has a actual gfx card and play some older stuff.

    steam_sig.png
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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    See what HAB just described is exactly the use I see for big gaming laptops. He lived on a boat, where space is limited, and he was moving a lot. Perfect use for a bulky DTR.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I had a gaming laptop in college. Finding power is easy on campus, but 4 years of dorm/apartment moving and never knowing when and where I'd need a quiet space to 3D model, it was best to have a desktop I could move with relative ease.

    I had a dell XPS, an earlier one, and with a 4 year warranty, it had quite a few hiccups that gave me heart attacks in the middle of the semester. The damn thing is still chugging along now, as a print server, it can barely run minecraft without imploding.

    As soon as I settled out of school, I switched to a desktop. The difference is that if Im traveling now, I only really need about as much function as my smart phone has, In college I needed a mobile 3DS max station. If you don't plan to game while you travel for work, it will suddenly feel very inconvenient to carry a few pounds of power so you can use skype. If you do all your gaming at home, best to leave the power, and weight, there.

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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I just recently replaced my desktop with an Alienware M17x (and spent the extra $$$ to upgrade the GPU). I really enjoy the switch, but there are some really big drawbacks:

    #1, you absolutely need to plug it in when using the GPU, or it will drain it's battery in about an hour. If you're not using the GPU, you'll get about 5~ hours out of the battery.

    #2, it is stupidly expensive. Alienware had the best pricing for high end laptops unless I wanted to try building it myself, and frankly, fuck that. Heat management becomes a whole new ball game when building a laptop, and I wasn't prepared to deal with it myself. I don't regret the investment, but it's definitely not something I could afford to do as regularly as I upgraded my desktop.

    #3 fuck me this thing is big & heavy. I have a nice backpack to haul it around in and walk about an hour to work every day with it on my back, so it's not totally unbearable or anything (and it's probably a half decent work-out), but it's beastly enough that it doesn't fit comfortably onto most end tables (though it's surprisingly comfortable just sitting on my lap).


    So, you basically get semi-portability; you can take it with you wherever you go, but don't expect to be able to game on a train / ferry / airplane for more than an hour unless they provide power outlets. For me, that works, because it's what I was looking for.

    With Love and Courage
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    Great ScottGreat Scott King of Wishful Thinking Paragon City, RIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    My Mom recently bought a Alienware M17x for a do-everything portable desktop replacement and she hates it. Sure, it's portable and powerful, but it's too heavy for propping up on her bedstand and the battery is useless.

    Until manufacturers get more sane about "gaming" laptops (better video cards and worse everything else) I can't really recommend them for most use cases. At least the trend toward 720p / 1366x768 panels is a plus for gaming... although it hurts other uses.

    Edit: Going the NewEgg Laptop route, my choice of the options would be http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834131393 - but keep in mind, that model has no battery life. And the graphics capability is so-so.

    Great Scott on
    I'm unique. Just like everyone else.
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    MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    My GF and I both have Asus G74SX laptops, and are happy with them. They play anything I've thrown at them just fine, have a nice big screen, and we can take them to the couch or bed if we feel like. I have a USB hub that I use as a docking station, so I have my full sized keyboard and gaming mouse. A lot of people like being able to mess around inside their machine, and I get it... but I decided I'd rather have a closed system that I can sell and replace every 2 years or so.

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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    But even with those requirements, you can get twice as powerful desktop for half the price. You're just giving up SOOO much for this feigned portability.

    I mean, buy what you want, the beauty of consumerism and all...I just found my DTR, when I had it, to be a complete waste. Over priced, under powered and under featured as compared to my desktop. All I got in return was that it was sort of kind of portable, but not really because if you weren't near a wall socket, it would be dead in 10 minutes if the GPU was active.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    RyeRye Registered User regular
    There's pros and cons for gaming laptops:

    Pros:
    • Easy to maintain
    • Theoretically more portable
    • Limited choices (Pro because you can't get incompatible laptop parts with a closed system)
    • Fixed cost? You won't overrun your budget accidentally the way you might on a home-built desktop. Pre-loaded with OS, too.
    • Stable for a LONG time before they show signs of dying. These parts are built to last the same duration, under the same circumstances.
    • Everyone invites you to LANs! Even people who barely know you (maybe a con?)

    Cons:
    • Eventually, you'll be tied to an outlet anyway (batteries die).
    • Need a cooling apparatus after a while.
    • These systems die pretty hard - Mine completely bricked, my brother had his "freeze" at the bios. It's hard to troubleshoot without breaking the warranty.
    (this is in contrast to more "regularly spaced" failures in PCs, where decoupled parts fail.)
    • You just end up with a lot of peripherals - mouse, power cord, cooling, maybe a keyboard, video output, docking bay etc. (basically turning it into a more portable "tower" instead of a laptop)
    • Warranty means shipping off your poor laptop for a week or more for fixes, leaving you stranded and itching for games.

    That being said, I don't regret getting the laptop in college when space was tight, moving plans were uncertain, and hot spots were plenty.

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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    The reason gaming laptops fail more often is that they have much less thermal tolerance. You are much more likely to put your system in a compromising heat position, for which it has no capacity to dissipate. The old "putting on the bed" mistake, where you accidentally cover all the vents with sheets and come back 30 minutes later to find your laptop painfully hot to the touch.

    Even with no adverse conditions, a laptop simply doesn't have the capacity to dissipate heat that a correctly constructed desktop does.

    My DTR ended up dying a heat related death, the graphics card eventually just gave out, and I was always very careful to keep it cooled and away from vent blocking materials.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    I can't recommend some kind of ultra-book enough. Since buying my MacBook Air, I'll never go back to a chunky full size laptop again. I get way more use out of my Air than I have any other laptop I've ever owned.

    Not saying you must get a MacBook Air, just that the ultra-book form factor is so nice. You can get a Wintel ultra-book for quite a bit cheaper than an Air, that should have very respectable hardware.

    e: And if you do get an ultra-book, spend the extra money and get a pure SSD system...none of this hybrid crap. You'll thank me later.

    Agreed. Macbook Airs are great for everything productivity related and light gaming. Unfortunately, you won't be able to get a quality laptop and a quality desktop for $1,000 total. Your total spend after taxes and shipping will be at the $2k mark or so. Depending on how whatever-moodle-is works, you may be better off buying a desktop and a tablet. I have a hard time identifying business-travel use cases for tablets that don't also require a laptop. But if work is just what you described it as, it could make sense for you.

    If you want a gaming platform that you can take to LAN parties, let me recommend

    Now would be a slightly frustrating time to upgrade, because we'll probably see new model macbooks some time in q2-q3, which is long enough away it sucks to wait but short enough a time that you'll be annoyed when newer models come out.

    kaliyama on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    With a single Steam account that can consolidate your saves into one location, the actual benefit of a "portable" desktop is diminished, in my opinion. A gaming laptop's primary advantage, as has been skirted around but not really stated explicitly, is that it's essentially for those who need 1 desktop in 2+ locations.

    Since you're traveling for work, the portability element depends on your actual usage. For some people, they want their laptop to go with them to coffee houses, friend's places, libraries, and so on. They don't benefit from a giant laptop. For you, it sounds like you'll have a laptop that primarily sits on a desk, whether it's at home or when you're traveling for work. Similarly, carrying an 8lb laptop isn't bad if you're mostly driving or flying, but if you're carrying it on your shoulder(s) for hours at a day, that sucks. So, it really depends on your actual work/travel situation.

    I think most of the statements above are true -- you will get a better desktop for less money being the big one. It may make more sense to get a nice desktop that will be a nice improvement on your current computer, and then get a highly portable laptop that can still play the majority of your games, just at reduced quality. You could also simply have different games that you play while traveling, but again, this depends on your playing habits.

    I'm not up on the latest gaming stress tests, but I feel like most new computers can play your typical PC game pretty dang well nowadays. This isn't the Geforce 2 days, after all.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
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    SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    Where is a good place to buy a custom laptop? I found this site: http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Battalion_101_CX-7_Gaming_Laptop

    While it does offer both 15'' and 17'' it only seem to have higher end laptops. Also have no idea if their prizes are outrageous. Is there a site that offers custom builds in the $500 range, somewhere?

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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    @Siska I know that newegg sells laptop cases & components; you'd have to know what you're doing in order to bash something together that won't start on fire after running for a few hours, though.

    That website's component prices seem to be in the ballpark; bear in mind that you do pay a premium for components going into a custom laptop because the manufacturer will be using some proprietary bandaid fixes to get the machine to operate smoothly & have a half-decent lifespan.

    With Love and Courage
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    mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    I got a gaming laptop. I fucking love it.

    I can sit on my goddman couch and game as god intended.

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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    I'd just like to second some of this and to say that I think "semi-portable" is based on your tolerance. I have one of these and I love it. It does everything that I want to do and I like knowing that if I have to spend a week to three months someplace for work, I don't have to worry about what my computer can and can't handle.

    I know a lot of people say that it's too heavy to lug around, but speaking as very much a minority, I don't think it's that big a deal. I always viewed it as just a perk that I'd get an extra workout.

    To give you context on this, I use it as my work computer because my work wouldn't buy me a damned computer and sometimes I do have to do some heavy graphics work. That means that there can be long periods of time where I just leave it sitting on my desk at work.

    With that said though, I have gone for a 3-4 month period of doing a 2 mile walk each way to work with it in my backpack, as well as a 3-4 month period of doing a 7 mile bike ride each way to work with it in my backpack. So if you're the kind of personality that isn't phased by carrying something like that, I wouldn't be scared off by people saying it's only semi-portable.

    The Ender wrote: »
    I just recently replaced my desktop with an Alienware M17x (and spent the extra $$$ to upgrade the GPU). I really enjoy the switch, but there are some really big drawbacks:

    #1, you absolutely need to plug it in when using the GPU, or it will drain it's battery in about an hour. If you're not using the GPU, you'll get about 5~ hours out of the battery.

    #2, it is stupidly expensive. Alienware had the best pricing for high end laptops unless I wanted to try building it myself, and frankly, fuck that. Heat management becomes a whole new ball game when building a laptop, and I wasn't prepared to deal with it myself. I don't regret the investment, but it's definitely not something I could afford to do as regularly as I upgraded my desktop.

    #3 fuck me this thing is big & heavy. I have a nice backpack to haul it around in and walk about an hour to work every day with it on my back, so it's not totally unbearable or anything (and it's probably a half decent work-out), but it's beastly enough that it doesn't fit comfortably onto most end tables (though it's surprisingly comfortable just sitting on my lap).

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    ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    I can't recommend some kind of ultra-book enough. Since buying my MacBook Air, I'll never go back to a chunky full size laptop again. I get way more use out of my Air than I have any other laptop I've ever owned.

    Not saying you must get a MacBook Air, just that the ultra-book form factor is so nice. You can get a Wintel ultra-book for quite a bit cheaper than an Air, that should have very respectable hardware.

    e: And if you do get an ultra-book, spend the extra money and get a pure SSD system...none of this hybrid crap. You'll thank me later.

    I second this, although I will demure and disagree on the pure SSD thing- mine is a "hybrid" and it works great.

    Specifically I am typing this post on this laptop. I love it to death.

    Here are some gaming stats: I get about 30 fps on the second-highest settings for Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World, I basically have perfect playability on any setting in LOTRO, Borderlands 2 I get around 45 FPS, I have no framerate issues in DoTA 2, or LoL.

    The pros of this guy- it weighs very little, and is very slim.

    The cons are, as people have said, heat dissipation. I play all my games on a raised cooling fan, and that keeps the internal temperature pretty well below any danger zone. There is also the lack of upgrading, but generally you eat that cost when you buy a laptop of any stripe.

    I bought this for grad school and gaming, and have not regretted the purchase one iota.

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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    I own a gaming laptop, but i mostly only use it around X-mas time when i spend a few weeks back home with the family, or watch some video from my computer connected to the tv via hdmi.

    I also own a desktop for my everyday computer uses and standard gaming. its a bit less powerful then the gaming laptop but hasnt failed me yet in terms of graphics and i can always replace a video card if i need to.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    KiasKias Registered User regular
    Excellent feedback! Glad I brought this up here as you have all pretty much given me everything I need to make an informed decision now. I will keep an eye on Newegg for good deals, but short of some amazing sale or refurb offer, I am going light on the laptop with a focus on getting work done and putting the rest of my money in a fresh desktop. It looks like to get what I want in a gaming laptop would cost more than getting a new desktop and a work-oriented laptop.

    Thanks again for all the great input!

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    ProjeckProjeck Registered User regular
    I have a Vaio S Series which is super thin + light and can run everything i've tried to run perfectly fine

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    DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    Also, keep in mind even a low-powered laptop in the 400-600 range can play a lot of modern games fairly well if they're well-optimized. I have both a power desktop and my $400 Acer laptop picked up at Costco which has an i3-2310M, 4 GB of RAM, Win 7 64 bit and intel integrated graphics.

    My laptop can run a lot of modern games if I knock the graphic settings down a few notches, including Endless Space, Civilization 5, Anno 2070, Guild Wars 2, Kingdoms of Amalur and The Walking Dead.

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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    There are an awful lot of recent releases that will run on a low-powered laptop. Thinking specifically about games like FTL, XCOM, etc.

    And, if you're going with something low-end, don't forget the huge back catalog you'd have available from GOG.com.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    I've had a few posts around here about running stuff on my laptop, and it's still surprising what it can handle.

    With a dual i5 @ 2.3, 6GB RAM, Intel integrated graphics, I've run Saints Row III, Darksiders II (a little choppy), Fallout 3, and The Witcher. Think Witcher II and probably Skyrim will work as well.

    Mostly older stuff for sure, so sometihng like Arch's ASUS with an actual GC would be more than enough for majority of games.

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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    In my opinion, buying a gaming laptop because you want to spend less and game on-the-go is like buying a Hummer because you want better fuel efficiency and you want to parallel park.

    You're doing it wrong. You're going to spend more. It's going to be loud and hot. It's going to be heavy. It's not going to last as long as a gaming PC which you can upgrade in small bits over time.

    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
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    Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I have a gaming laptop, I love this thing. (msi gt70)

    The warnings and complaints in this thread are valid, but so are the good things people say about them.

    Mine is large, heavy, bulky, you could argue ugly, all of these things. I don't rest it on my lap. I have a cooling pad with extra fans. The laptop itself has extra fans I can turn on for extra cooling when I do something intensive (gaming), although they are kind of loud. It was more expensive than an equivalent desktop would have been. It has no capability for upgrading, but with an i7 quadcore processor, 3gb video card, 16 gb RAM, dual SSD drives.... I won't need to upgrade for a while. Truthfully when I do upgrade eventually, it will probably be a desktop.

    None of those negatives bother me. I can see why they would depending on what you want out of a laptop. My laptop can play new games on max or near max settings. It boots in ~30 seconds or less. My screen is a decent size, but it has HDMI anyways for gaming on my TV.

    The reason I bought a gaming laptop was because around the time I needed a new computer I was very likely going to be working in the oil fields - different locations all the time. I wanted a mobile computer that was good enough to play games on high settings, and I was willing to pay a premium for that. As far as truly mobile things, like wanting to check email or the internet on the go... cell phones are advanced enough these days to fill that role.

    I am not current with laptops today as far as what you could get for $1000, but I think you will be really challenged to get a gaming laptop with high end performance for that price. I paid about $2200 for mine in may or june of last year.

    Al_wat on
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