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Gaming Laptop Advice Needed

Robert Cast

Junior Member
Nov 27, 2017
10
1
6
Hello everyone!

My current computer specs:
$400, four-year-old HP laptop
OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Version: 10.0.16299 Build 16299

Processor: Intel® Pentium® CPU N3540 @ 2.16GHz, 2159 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)

Drive: C:
Description: Local Fixed Disk
Compressed: No
File System: NTFS
Size: 441.91 GB
Free Space: 359.49

Installed Physical Memory (RAM)...4.00 GB
Total Physical Memory.....................3.89 GB
Available Physical Memory..............1.37 GB
Total Virtual Memory.........................7.89 GB
Available Virtual Memory..................4.70 GB
Page File Space...............................4.00 GB

I saw no video/graphics-card, in my laptop.

With the above specs, my current laptop, in gaming programs, often logs-out from the game. Lagging and global slow operation plague my online experience.

I need expert recommendations for a new gaming laptop, that will out-perform my expectations.

My suggested baseline Specs:
17" Laptop (a must).
Processor: Advanced.
Fast/Large SSD with no second HDD, if practical.
Fast 32 GB RAM
Powerful video/graphics card.
Adequate cooling system.
Backlit keyboard.
Preferable total cost: $1,500 or less, if realistic.

I first researched and chose Newegg to "customize" a laptop. Final cost, $1,721. That was substantially above my stated budget of $1,500. Once having placed the order and payment was transferred, I then discovered that Newegg could not vouch for the compatibility of its components. And instead of customizing the laptop for me, they required that they ship me the RAM to install myself and to call the vendor for compatibility issues. I canceled the order.

9SIAAPK5RB8261 MSI GP72X Leopard Pro BUNDLE - 17.3" FHD 120Hz 5ms 94% NTSC | Upgraded 512GB SSD | Intel i7-7700HQ | Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti (4GB) | 1TB 7200RPM HDD | Windows 10 Home - Retail | $1,539.00
Plus:
20-232-155 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB 260-Pin DDR4 SO-DIMM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Laptop Memory Model F4-2400C16S-16GRS - Retail | $182.99
System Final Total: $1,721.99

Next, I went directly to their vendor Xotic-PC who did a better job of "customizing" but after the transfer of payment again, they informed me that the manufacturer no longer provided the product, and had to cancel the order. This occurred after much foofaraw about payment type being my credit card had flagged the large sum.

MSI GP72X LEOPARD PRO-622
System Final Total: $1,807 including the following upgrades:
Cooling & Overclocking: 1 x IC Diamond Thermal Compound - GPU & CPU (XPC Service) $35.00
Ram: 1 x 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 2400MHz Dual Channel Memory $169.00
M.2 SATA / PCIe / NVMe SSD Drive Slot 1:
1 x 500GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD (Read 3200MB/s - Write 1900MB/s) $204.00

I need expert advice without the bias, on how to best configure a gaming laptop suited to my needs without undue expense. Also, any suggestions for a good custom laptop supplier would be very appreciated.

Thanks for any and all help,
Robert
 
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Campy

Senior member
Jun 25, 2010
736
144
106
Your current laptop is pretty much the opposite of a gaming laptop, so no wonder you're having problems with it.


Is there any particular reason you need 32GB of RAM? Memory prices are absolutely ridiculous right now and going for 32 is definitely not going to help you stay within your budget. There aren't any games currently that require it either.

I recommend getting a regular prebuilt gaming laptop.

For the price you're looking to buy I would definitely be looking at a system with a i7 7700HQ CPU, 16GB memory, and a GTX 1070 graphics card. The graphics card is by far the most important component for your gaming experience, and frankly a 1050Ti in a laptop that will cost you $1700-1800 is ridiculous.

Here's the search I put into Newegg

You can see my filters there. I cut the memory down to 16GB but kept the 500GB SSD and 7700HQ + GTX 1070. You can get a pc with those specs for $1800, and it's miles better for gaming than a computer with a 1050Ti.

If you cut the SSD size down to 256GB aswell you can still get all the other specs for $1650.

I also found this gem. It's a monster at over 10lb but it looks like a crazy sale and it ticks all the right boxes. $1750 after rebate.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
667
126
For gaming, 16 GB will be enough for several more years, possibly long enough that you're ready to buy a new laptop.

The most important part is the graphics card so getting the 1070 will help much more than spending extra for 32 GB.

After the graphics card and 16 GB is the processor, and an i7 quad-core will work much better than a dual-core.

An SSD will definitely speed up loading new maps or levels.
 

Robert Cast

Junior Member
Nov 27, 2017
10
1
6
Thank you so much, Campy. You obviously know a great deal about the technical aspects of these computers. I really wasn't into gaming 4 years ago when I bought my current laptop. But now I recognize the value of higher-end technologies.
 

Robert Cast

Junior Member
Nov 27, 2017
10
1
6
Thanks, DaveSimmons. You certainly boiled it down to the essential necessities. It definitely will help me in my search.
 

Cozarkian

Golden Member
Feb 2, 2012
1,341
87
91
Honestly, I would save some money and stay under your budget by getting a 1060 (6gb) with 16gb if RAM. These are my reasons.

1) You are jumping from a laptop that can't play games to one that can, so even if you have to play at medium or high settings instead of Ultra from your perspective it will be a massive improvement. And honestly, at 1080p I don't think you will have to lower settings on most games.

2) Heat kills laptops and the 1060 is cooler than a 1070. Essentially, the more powerful the GPU in a laptop the more likely it will die before you are ready to upgrade. I think the 1060 is the sweet spot between price, power and longevity.

Full disclosure, I'm drawing heavily on personal experience - I've had 3 gaming laptops over the past 10 years (5 if you consider I've replaced the Mobo in one twice). The first was a non-custom on the low end of GPUs and lasted 4 years before the screen died. The next was a custom with a more powerful card (x65) and lasted 2 years before the Mobo died. My current is a custom with a x70 GPU and the motherboard has died twice after 1.5 years each. I replaced the mobo both times (about $500 material with labor under warranty) and it has now been another year, so I'm expecting to replace it in the spring or summer.
 

Campy

Senior member
Jun 25, 2010
736
144
106
^That's some good advice. I probably should have mentioned getting a 1060 aswell, but got carried away seeing your build costs of $1700-1800. A machine with a GTX 1060 is going to be great for gaming too, and cost a good bit less.
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
Yikes that's a lot of dead laptops. But I agree with a lot of what you say coz, laptops have to sacrifice a lot of cooling to keep their size. My last laptop wasn't considered gaming by any means, but the i7u paired with gtx 745 could handle anything on medium settings and a single fan cooled it all, so that was cool.

Currently I run MSI's GE72VR (6rf) continuously docked as my gaming machine. The 1060gtx is very manageable and while fans do run fast during games causing a bit of noise, I have still been happy with it. It is actually a sidegrade from my desktop but I was annoyed with the amount of heat it put out making my room uncomfortable. I have no issues with the laptop warming up my room and I have lost only a slight performance from my 970gtx. I really find that at no point do I wish I had gotten a laptop with a 1070gtx. The 1060 runs everything 2560x1080 with mostly high and ultra settings. And a 1070 would only require my fans to spin faster. On the flip side..and I DO find myself doing this on some games that I play for long periods of time, but I do sometimes adjust settings and turn off the TURBO on the 1060gtx to sacrifice some performance for cooler temps and thus quieter fans. I do wonder if a 1070gtx would be able to perform faster while still "underclocking" it to reduce cooling noise.

I have only slightly touched nvidia's new whisper mode built into the drivers but because it requires that you first run with the geforce experience (GFE) optimizations on, and %90 of my games cannot be optimized by GFE because GFE is a huge turd, I haven't been able to try it out much. I was able to get warcraft working in it and I was a little unimpressed by how much it killed the frame rate. I would like to see more dynamic visual setting adjustments, maybe even hardware level dynamic resolution changes going on. Overall is seems whispermode is a hammer optimized for ultrathins, and not for full gaming laptops who just want to lower the fans a little.

The only regret about my laptop is sticking with OPTIMUS. I didn't have many issues with my last laptop but now that I was power gaming on an external monitor I discovered just how many things you CAN'T do with optimus. I am lucky that the nvidia chip is wired directly to the hdmi port, but there are MANY vsync tweaks and several vsync modes you can use (not just freesync and gsync) to help with stabilizing jerkiness in games, but NONE of them work with optimus. Also for the longest time I had to run chrome with video acceleration disabled because videos would show up black when full screened (This was only an issue when outputting over hdmi on an optimus system). Thankfully it looks like after years, chrome has fixed it, mostly. So unless the price difference was make or break, get a laptop with a hardware (or button) switch mechanism between nvidia and iGPU.
 

Robert Cast

Junior Member
Nov 27, 2017
10
1
6
Now you've got me worried. I just bought a Sager NP8372 Notebook :( What should I do now?

SAGER NP8372 Notebook

- 7th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ Processor ( 6MB Smart Cache, 2.80GHz)
- 17.3" Full HD IPS Matte Display with G-SYNC Technology (1920 x 1080)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB GDDR5 Video Memory
- IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
- Windows® 10 Home 64-Bit Edition Preinstalled
- 16GB DDR4 SDRAM at 2400MHz - 1 X 16GB
- 250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
- 1TB FireCuda SSHD Drive
- Killer Dual Band Wireless-AC 1535 M.2 AC Wireless LAN + Bluetooth Module Software & Services

- Sager 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty
- Sager 3 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty [+$179.00]

- $1,949.00
- $2,128.00 (this, for one awesome laptop + warranty)
 
Last edited:

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
667
126
For that much and a gaming laptop, I'd probably buy an extended warranty if it wasn't too expensive. 1 year is a little short. You might still be able to do that.

Other than that, you should be getting a great gaming laptop. You would have saved a little with a GTX 1060 but the 1070 will let you run new games smoothly with higher settings for more years than with the 1060.
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
All the 1070 means is you will have to put up with a little more noise. The pascal chips by default put out considerably less heat then the last several generations of chips, and they are that much better at throttling themselves when temps get too high, so over heating issues should be less of an issue.
 

Campy

Senior member
Jun 25, 2010
736
144
106
I wouldn't be too worried :) If you're worried about heat, just make sure it's on a flat surface so the bottom has access to fresh air. Laptops usually pull air in from the underneath and exhaust hot air from the back/sides

Honestly it's more disappointing that they don't include a 120hz monitor, but maybe the build quality is better, I'm not too familiar with Sager.
 

Robert Cast

Junior Member
Nov 27, 2017
10
1
6
This is an upgrade to my previous order:

- Sager 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty

- Sager 3 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty [+$179.00]

>>> $1,949.00 (was)
>>> $2,128.00 (now)


Thanks, Cozarkian and DaveSimmons
 

Robert Cast

Junior Member
Nov 27, 2017
10
1
6
Hi 123gonowgames, yes, it's in processing. Your post sounds urgent. Is there something you wish to tell me?
 

Robert Cast

Junior Member
Nov 27, 2017
10
1
6
It's a matter of space. I need the space saving feature of laptops. My son has a very nice tower. One big advantage of towers is that you may choose a large screen, and upgrading has to be easier.
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
I went from a gaming desktop to a gaming laptop for space and heat reduction. It is more expensive but I otherwise would not be able to meet those goals with a desktop.
 

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