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Laptop Specs Help -- I know little to very little, and could use a hand.

Hi everyone,

My computer having yesterday winged its way to the land where laptops are eternally blessed, I find myself in need of a replacement. It has to be a laptop, unfortunately, but not a particularly portable one. The intent is to get something I can fold up and get out of the way when we have company over, rather than something I'll actually be carrying back and forth from work.

I have heard good things about Sagers on this forum, and so I'm inclined to go in that direction.

Beyond the obvious word processing and web surfing and so on, I play a lot of fairly graphically intensive games (FPSes, Skyrim and Total War games are current examples) and I'd rather not have to replace the whole thing in two or three (or even four or five) years if I can at all manage it.

So, with an eye to the future, does this build seem reasonable? Have I dropped the ball in any quadrant? Is it massively overdone anywhere? I'd rather not spend much more money than I have put into this build already, but I'm willing to listen to wiser minds.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

Specs as currently under consideration are spoilered below.

Sager NP9390 - Clevo P375SM

Display
1 x 17.3" Full HD LED-Backlit Display with Matte Finished Surface (1920 x 1080)

Video & Graphics Card
1 x GeForce® GTX 780M GPU with 4GB GDDR5 Video Memory

CPU Processor
1 x 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ Processor (2.40GHz), 6MB L3 Cache

Thermal Compound
1 x Stock Standard Thermal Compound

Operating System
1 x Genuine MS Windows® 8 Professional 64-Bit Edition

Memory
1 x 24GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 3 X 8GB

Primary Hard Disk Drive
1 x 1TB Samsung 840 EVO Series SATA3 Solid State Disk Drive

Optical Drive Bay
1 x 8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software

mSATA SSD Drive — For Intel Smart Response Technology
1 x Crucial 120GB M5 Series mSATA SSD - Preconfigured as an OS Drive (Primary Drive C)

Wireless Network Card
1 x Internal 802.11 B+G+N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth Combo Module

Microsoft Office
1 x Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student Edition

Posts

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    24GB of RAM is insanity, it's more than you could ever possibly use unless you're...I don't know, working for Pixar and editing the entirety of their next feature film on the thing maybe.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
    chrishallett83Dhalphir
  • GrimmyTOAGrimmyTOA Registered User regular
    Heh. I guess it's a good thing I didn't stump up for the 36 gig option then. Would you say that 8 or 12 would be enough for the next few years?

    Thanks very much, by the way.

  • LogicowLogicow Registered User regular
    If you're going to be spending $2000+ on a laptop, I'd go for one with a 15 inch 3200x1800 resolution display. The Dell XPS 15 which was announced earlier this month and was launched today, or the next Macbook Pro 15-inch which will launch before the end of the month.

  • GrimmyTOAGrimmyTOA Registered User regular
    Great, I'll check those out. Thanks.

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    There's no point in super-high resolutions on small screen form factors, especially if you're trying to do some serious gaming on said screen with a laptop graphics card.

    1920x1080 looks great on a 17.3 inch display. Almost tripling the number of pixels the card is going to have to push will severely cripple your framerates, for very little (if any) observable benefits. Because unless you play with your face pushed up against the screen, you sure as shit aren't going to be able to make out individual pixels on a 17 inch HD screen when you're playing an FPS or Skyrim.

    Going down a size in form factor with the same internals (CPU, GFX card) will also exacerbate heat problems, simply because there's less space in the case for heat sinks, fans, and efficient heat pathing.

    8 gigs of RAM is more than enough for general usage and gaming. If you plan to do some modelling work or Photoshoppery, maybe stump up the cash for 16 gigs? I have 16 gigs in my desktop machine, and running BF3 AND FarCry 3 at the same time uses about 6-7 gigabytes.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    8gb is fantastic, 16gb is futureproofing to the extreme, and anything more than that is either graphic design/editing or lunacy.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    you might also want to consider whether your setup allows the use of an external monitor with the thing. if you're setting up for a serious gaming session, even if you have to pull out a big monitor every time, it makes a big difference gaming on 24" vs 17".

  • GrimmyTOAGrimmyTOA Registered User regular
    Thanks a lot, guys. I'll be going down to rational levels of RAM and sticking with a less-exotic monitor.

    I'm not sure I'll be able to swing a monitor of that size and remain married, but I'll make sure that the computer can handle it on the off-chance.

  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Chief Mixologist of the Shatterdome Tiki Bar Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    I've got a 9380-S and fucking love it. If you go through XoticPC you can get some neat things like extra copper cooling pipes installed into it for better heat dissipation. http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9380s-clevo-p370sm3-p-6109.html is the one I got.

    These high end Sagers do have HDMI outs so you can run them to a bigger screen. I also have to echo going for a 17" version for superior cooling, and stepping down the RAM to 16GB. A Blu-Ray player wouldn't be a bad idea either and came standard with mine.

  • LogicowLogicow Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    There's no point in super-high resolutions on small screen form factors, especially if you're trying to do some serious gaming on said screen with a laptop graphics card.

    1920x1080 looks great on a 17.3 inch display. Almost tripling the number of pixels the card is going to have to push will severely cripple your framerates, for very little (if any) observable benefits. Because unless you play with your face pushed up against the screen, you sure as shit aren't going to be able to make out individual pixels on a 17 inch HD screen when you're playing an FPS or Skyrim.

    Going down a size in form factor with the same internals (CPU, GFX card) will also exacerbate heat problems, simply because there's less space in the case for heat sinks, fans, and efficient heat pathing.

    8 gigs of RAM is more than enough for general usage and gaming. If you plan to do some modelling work or Photoshoppery, maybe stump up the cash for 16 gigs? I have 16 gigs in my desktop machine, and running BF3 AND FarCry 3 at the same time uses about 6-7 gigabytes.

    If you want to do any serious 3D gaming then 1366x768 on a 15-inch laptop or 1920x1080 on a 17 inch laptop are pretty much the only viable options.

    95% of what I personally do is web browsing. The remaining 5% is playing games that are easy on computers (league of legends, minecraft), but also programming and drawing, so a good display fits well with my needs and I don't need the best GPU.

    To each his own.

    Anyhow, display resolution aside...

    If you don't have a specific reason to get more than 8gb, then get 8gb. That's what nextgen consoles have, so you can be sure games won't need more for the next ~8 years to come.

    I have a 120gb SSD and it's already half full with nothing but windows 8.1 and World of Warcraft. If you're looking for things to spend more money on, you could get 256gb instead.

    Logicow on
    chrishallett83
  • GrimmyTOAGrimmyTOA Registered User regular


    Here's what I ended up going with:

    Sager 9380
    Nvidia GTX 780m
    16 gigs RAM
    i7 4800 MQ
    And a pair of stupidly large SSDs (one for my OS and one for my games). I'll use an external HD for important documents and the like.

    Thanks a lot for all of your help. Collectively, you probably saved me north of a thousand bucks, and I ended up with a system that will still hopefully serve me well for years to come.

    chrishallett83
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