Gaming Laptops

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Gaming Laptops

Postby Sly » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:48 am

As a graduation present to myself, I wanted to drop $1200 and build myself a gaming desktop computer. However, with the job I hope to be taking here soon, it would prove impractical as I would spend 80% of my time traveling. I want to get myself a powerful gaming laptop, but I will have to choose carefully. There's a lot that boast prowess, but cost more than something else reviewed to actually have gaming prowess.

I've been going through PC Gamer for reviews, but I figured I'd ask here anyway. Does anyone have advice on choosing a gaming laptop on a budget under $2,000? (I'm sorry but there's no way I can drop 5 grand on the alienware 12lb powerhouse)

I don't need top of the line detailing. I don't do PVP at all whatsoever either so I'm not worried about FPS in comparison to other people though I do play some casual MMOs like mabi and vanilla wow on a private server. I just need it to be able to play the games smoothly with no lag. Games I'm used to playing on a laptop, in fact that's all I've had for the past several years and I've made do, except now I own a lot of games on steam that my laptop can't handle, like dead island, bioshock infinite, Metro 2033, AC 3, Dishonored, LA Noire (shitty game), Spec Ops the line, Saints Row 4 (it can just barely handle SR3) and so on down the list. And yet it can handle skyrim and WoW JUST FINE >__>;;

*shrug* I have a friend warning me about overheating issues. I dunno about that, my laptop isn't so great right now and it's never had overheating issues.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Tuor » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:49 am

You have time to play video games? :p
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Sly » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:52 am

Tuor wrote:You have time to play video games? :p


xDD Not often really, but occasionally I will stay up late regardless of what time I have to get up. Over Christmas break all I did was mass gaming, and I expect once I'm graduated here : ) I can get back into gaming. I usually find time to spend an hour or two in skyrim about once or twice a week, and then I regret it when I'm stupidly tired and work a double shift day feeling miserable.

One time I had to work a close-open, and I stayed up the whole entire night playing Skyrim because I had just gotten it and was addicted to it. Ohhh my manager grilled me so bad xD and all of my coworkers made fun of me. I have like 190hrs clocked into skyrim. I've beaten both expansions and luled around in hearthfire. All I have left is the civil war questline annnd dark brotherhood. I think after I beat those I'll finally be done with skyrim and I'll go back and play Oblivion now that I own it.

Since I was sick yesterday I actually called out of work and was playing 1954 Alcatraz since the dev has all their games on sale. I thought indie games were fairly undemanding, but my laptop struggled to handle Magicka, and I really want to play more of that despite how hard it is.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Wulfespinndel » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:26 am

Your laptop can play Skyrim just fine despite not being able to play the other games you listed? That's great actually; I'm still stuck playing Morrowind on my laptop, trying to make my game look as good as possible without having to suffer any frame rate drops, so no Morrowind Graphics Extender Vurt's trees for me. :(

I also had no idea you travel so often. What do you do?
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Sly » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:22 am

Wulfespinndel wrote:Your laptop can play Skyrim just fine despite not being able to play the other games you listed? That's great actually; I'm still stuck playing Morrowind on my laptop, trying to make my game look as good as possible without having to suffer any frame rate drops, so no Morrowind Graphics Extender Vurt's trees for me. :(

I also had no idea you travel so often. What do you do?


Not traveling yet. I'm applying for a job that will be nothing but traveling. My internship boss used to work for a lot of TV truck companies. It's all traveling around the country with giant remote broadcast trucks. I would be an engineer there. I'm actually gonna put my application for like...four different companies this week. He knows people at all four of them, so his recommendation letter will carry a lot of weight. He's also going to be making some phone calls for me after I put in my paperwork.

You spend a ton of time on the road going wherever the truck goes. And these companies own everything. They do everything from sports, to town hall meetings, to presidential inaugurations, to live concerts and etc. Anything that could require a remote broadcast trucks. They also own some studios that do shows and movies. I hope I get a job at

.o. yeah, I thought it was weird that it could handle skyrim and not everything else. But my laptop literally just shut down when I booted up dead island. I think at the end of the day, it really comes down to what shaders the game incorporates. Dead island and Metro2033 are very unique in their graphics, in the same way bioshock was unique. Skyrim is such an open world that for playability I think they allowed graphics to be turned down even further. I have a lot of mods on my Skyrim and it still runs just fine. I never had lag and the frame rate isn't the greatest, but it's easily playable.

PC gamer has a lot of good recommendations, and I liked that 3 of them were under $1200, which is about what I was going to spend on a gaming desktop that I was going to build. Surely the gaming desktop would be more powerful, but I'm okay with less so long as everything runs okay. I have a pretty decent headset right now, and I also have a wireless xbox controller for my PC. It's just hard to pick one when all of the specs are pretty similar. No matter what I get, I'm going to get a external fan board for it.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Sentios » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:41 pm

The problem with all gaming laptops is heat dissipation and cost. You can get yourself a reasonably powerful laptop for decent money so long as you avoid things which call themselves 'gaming' for in general but there's no guarantee it will play even 2 year old games maxed out.

Also 'lag' isn't usually related to your hardware but your internet connection, if you're staying at a lot of hotels then good luck with that. Especially if you attempt to use wireless internet.

If your new machine has windows 8 (ewww) then you almost certainly want a touch screen and that will up the cost a little.

Here's a good starting point for you, you can play around with the features you want and get an idea what that will cost you. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... IsNodeId=1

I'd personally recommend an SSD, smaller capacity but much faster and reliable than a traditional HDD. My preference is also with nvidia graphics cards but it's up to you really. Optical drives are also something to consider, any more you might not ever use one so it's just a waste of space for many people.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Tron » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:13 pm

Well, i've heard that the Razor laptop is perfect for gaming, it's probably not what you're looking for but here's the link just in case:

http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade/

It looks pretty good and the graphics are great, one of my friends has one so i can tell you that by experience. :)
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:30 pm

To me, laptops generally shouldn't be used for gaming; they use specialized parts that are difficult or impossible to upgrade or replace; in a few years if you want a better graphics or processor, you're generally shit out of luck.

I've put together specs for gaming desktops for under $900 before; however, that didn't include a monitor, or peripherals (keyboard, speakers, etc.) because I already had them. If you want to PM me for details, I can provide.

ED: As a note, it is possible for me to make a slim form-factor computer that you could pack up and take with you; maybe even in your suitcase if I can find a monitor with a detatchable stand.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Sentios » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:51 pm

Rough Giraffe wrote:I've put together specs for gaming desktops for under $900 before


http://www.logicalincrements.com/
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:56 pm

A good reference, to be sure.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Sly » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:05 pm

I got an engineer guy that is willing to help me build a desktop. I've made some contact with the company I'm hoping to work for, and my odds are looking kinda good. so a desktop is rly out of the question for me.

Personally, I agree with not using laptops for gaming. It's not my first choice, but I've only ever played on laptops :x and done enough to be satisfied with. It'll function enough for me since I'm not huge on MMOs and I don't need top end detail, I just wanna play the game lol.

I'm actually hoping to find a laptop that doesn't have windows 8 on it, though i highly doubt i will. Friend of mine just got a really awesome deal on a powerful laptop, and the windows 8 on it is pretty unsexy : / He's wary of the heating issues and looking into buying an additional fan for it.

Apparently on his laptop you can remove the disc drive and replace it with an extra fan o__o;; did not know they could do that....something i gotta look for cuz rly v__v who needs a disc drive these days?
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:05 pm

Fancy, but actually I question the design, if that's the case. Where, exactly, does the air blow, and is it blowing over any kind of important part? If so, why is that part not prioritized for airflow?

And also, you should know that CD/DVD drives are still used for a lot of stuff.

Backups; recovery; data transfer; emergency antivirus/antimalware; etc. And what are the main advantages of using CD/DVDs over flash drives?

First, cost; A standard pack of 50 DVDs will cost you between $8 and $20. A single flash drive can cost you anywhere from $5 to $60 depending on its make, function and size. Some of the high-end/encryptable ones are even more expensive. If you need multiple drives for other applications, the costs start piling on.

Second, security; once you have written to a CD/DVD and finalized it, you generally can't write to it again. This means that if you have a program that you need to copy between multiple computers (e.g., antivirus software), the disc is considerably less likely to be infected by something or modified from one computer to the next versus flash drives.

Those are the main ones. If you want to spend the extra money on multiple write-protected flash drives, there's that; but you should also consider that DVDs might be useful if you need to do some work at home and bring it in to a workplace that bans flash drives.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Sentios » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:00 pm

Disc drives are normally placed opposite the air intake of the laptop, which means adding a fan would pull air through the entire laptop. Plus disc drives are huge, like 1/4 of the size of most laptops, adding 120mm fan in that would be a massive increase in airflow. Of course since laptops normally have their exhaust blowing on a flat surface (like a desk) there's still an airflow restriction present.

And also, you should know that CD/DVD drives are still used for a lot of stuff.


Not for consumer software which is quickly abandoning it for internet solutions.

Besides that DVDs are basically one use only, unless you get the rewritable kind, but they still can't match the speed of flash drives or capacity and reliability of external hard-drives.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:06 pm

You won't find many manufacturers that use 120mm fans in laptops. That would be a lot of wasted space. But my reasons for questioning the use of a fan in place of the CD/DVD drive have less to do with whether it's possible and more to do with whether it's practical. Is the tradeoff of a negligible performance increase worth the decreased battery life and excess noise, as well as the fact that you no longer have the option of using a drive that doesn't cost you any more than the fan that would have replaced it?

Forgive me for nitpicking, but whose laptops blow onto a flat surface? All the laptops I've had have blown hot air out a vent on the side, not the bottom.

You're right that consumer software is becoming increasingly downloadable over the internet, but you will very rarely find a software company that does not sell software on CDs--even Indie producers sell hard copies of their games. And you will NEVER find a hardware manufacturer that doesn't ship a driver package on CD with a motherboard, mouse, keyboard, printer or other piece of hardware. You could argue that you can download those same drivers over the internet, but what if you can't for some reason? Or what if you're installing it on a computer that doesn't currently have access to the internet? It's not as uncommon as you might think.

Not sure what you're trying to argue, exactly.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Sentios » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:40 pm

You make it sound like there aren't external cd/dvd drives for that 1 time every 3 years you actually need to pop a disk in. Meanwhile you can use that extra space in your laptop chasis for something useful.

Not sure what you're trying to argue, exactly.


That CD drives are nearly useless these days.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:33 pm

But why buy an external drive for something that doesn't need to be replaced? Just saying "I can add a fan if I take something else out" doesn't mean you would see a performance increase if you did. Laptops are designed--or supposed to be designed--for a maximized airflow while still saving the most space that you can. This means that even though, as you say, the CD drive is usually on the other side of the laptop from the regular air inlet, doesn't mean you would necessarily see a significant performance increase if you replaced the drive with a fan. If, on the other hand, it were the ONLY inlet for air, you would have to have it running just to maintain a decent margin of performance.

Also, I just proved that CDs and DVDs are still very useful. In fact, we HAVE to use CDs at my command instead of flash drives; flash drives are deemed--by security experts, mind you--to be less secure than CDs, so they have been prohibited. I've burnt six CDs in the last month or so to transfer data between networks; also, I've had to burn CDs with divers on them from home because we just upgraded our network configuration and there's a problem downloading from certain websites (FTP seems to be blocked, for instance). Even without those problems, we'd need to use CDs to take a driver from one network and put it on the more-secure network that has no internet access.

But hey, I'm not saying not to use flash drives, I'm just saying CDs are still useful for a multitude of applications. If you want to use flash drives, be my guest.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Sentios » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:42 pm

I'm just saying CDs are still useful for a multitude of applications


For high security users like corporations and the military or people who are constantly setting up new computers and networks, yes. For the average user? No.
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Re: Gaming Laptops

Postby Rough Giraffe » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:49 pm

At this point it seems like you're arguing with me just to argue. :\
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