Ivy bridge notebooks? Enthusiast gaming rig?

imported_browsing

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
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I currently have a g71gx that I bought when I needed a laptop immediately and didn't have time to wait for shipping or much shopping around. I've been mostly happy with it, unsolvable key repeating issue and a growing tendency to overheat despite replacing the thermal paste aside. Now I'm starting to get the itch for another notebook but I really don't want another Asus. The keyboard issue and that my GPU crippling itself if it spikes to 80+ degrees Celsius makes me think that it might be worth dropping the money to get a system from a custom store instead of off the shelf.

Alienware is the most well known but I really don't know much about shopping around for these. I'd like as much gaming/processing power as possible. I'm still back on forth on whether I'd get another desktop replacement or prefer something more mobile. The behemoth that I've got now is a workout to carry around or even leave on your lap for too long.

If I'm willing to spend $4000 or so, does anyone have any suggestions on the best configurations or system builders they like? I can't believe Alienware is the only game in town. Also, any ideas on how fast do you think these sites will start stocking ivy bridge notebooks?
 

rabbitz

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Dec 21, 2011
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I currently have a g71gx that I bought when I needed a laptop immediately and didn't have time to wait for shipping or much shopping around. I've been mostly happy with it, unsolvable key repeating issue and a growing tendency to overheat despite replacing the thermal paste aside. Now I'm starting to get the itch for another notebook but I really don't want another Asus. The keyboard issue and that my GPU crippling itself if it spikes to 80+ degrees Celsius makes me think that it might be worth dropping the money to get a system from a custom store instead of off the shelf.

Alienware is the most well known but I really don't know much about shopping around for these. I'd like as much gaming/processing power as possible. I'm still back on forth on whether I'd get another desktop replacement or prefer something more mobile. The behemoth that I've got now is a workout to carry around or even leave on your lap for too long.

If I'm willing to spend $4000 or so, does anyone have any suggestions on the best configurations or system builders they like? I can't believe Alienware is the only game in town. Also, any ideas on how fast do you think these sites will start stocking ivy bridge notebooks?

Try googling Clevo or any of the other resellers listed here.

I don't have experience with them (my friend had a sager... didn't last too long though) although I hear they are very good for price and power. Cooling I hear is alright as well, but mostly because they are (relatively) huge laptops. I guess since the laptops are quite modular (i.e. the components are not as tightly fitted as a lot of other laptops) there would be more space for air to move around in, I guess.
 

Meaker10

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Apr 2, 2002
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MSI have just released their latest machines.

The highest end ones come with dual 64GB mSATA SSDs, 750GB 7200RPM HDD, GTX670M, 12GB of ram, 1080p screen.

You can get it in at 15.6" form factor (GT60) or 17.3" form factor (GT70).

They also have very good cooling. You can upgrade the graphics fairly easily too.
 

God Mode

Platinum Member
Jul 2, 2005
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For 4K, just spec out the Alienware you want. I'm liking the yet released Asus G series even though you can't upgrade the GPU. Smart and thoughtful design.

Personally, current model Clevos and other gaming oriented units left a lot to be desired when I looked at aesthetics and build quality. It's like ferrari guts inside an econoline van. I also dislike gaming notebooks that utilize a single fan for the entire system because of noise and subpar cooling.
 

Meaker10

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Apr 2, 2002
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Except that MSI limited their single fan to 65% because even with a GTX580M the cooling was not needed.

With my GPU overclocked I hit 80C going full tilt. Thats a GTX560 desktop card running in a notebook. No one else has packed the power and flexibility MSI has into a 15.6" form factor, their GT60 with a backlit keyboard, 4 SATA ports (2 mSATA, 1 SATA, 1 optical SATA) and toned down styling is a beast.
 
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Skott

Diamond Member
Oct 4, 2005
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Sager units have better cooling system than Asus. Cost maybe a little more but worth it IMO. MSI has been stepping up their quality as well. Gigabyte is now getting into the serious gaming laptop market as well. I'd go with Sager as a first choice and Asus as my second if I were buying one. I'd buy from someone like XoticPC, GenTech, PCTorque, etc., Better quality customer service than the manufacturers themselves. But thats just what I would do.
 

imported_browsing

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
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Thanks for the replies so far, I appreciate the feedback. Alienware definitely has aesthetics working in its favor. I'm just anxious for IB to get here because I've decided I definitely have to upgrade. I've tried every driver upgrade and physical mod (adding copper heatsinks on heatsinks, replacing the gpu thermal paste with a higher quality, etc and this thing keeps seizing up after ten minutes of play.

What is coming up with mobile graphics cards? Does anyone have any links to articles that actually explain equivalence between mobile card and desktop cards? I've got a 260m right now, and if it ran instead of dropping frames, what kind of improvement in performance would I see with some of the top of the line cards out there now? How does a 675M compare to dual 580Ms or 6990Ms? Do some really require an additional power converter (or 2!?)?
 

Meaker10

Senior member
Apr 2, 2002
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Up to and including GT635M = Fermi
GT640M through to GTX660M = litte Kepler
GTX670M and GTX675M = GTX570M/GTX580M
GTX680M = Mid Kepler

Notebooks use one power adaptor, though if you get two graphics cards then can get chunky.
 

imported_browsing

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
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Okay, I was confused. At Origin PC, there's a Dual 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M (4GB of Total GFX) w/Dual 300watt power adapters option. Are they the odd man out or is the adapter somehow internal? It sounds like the 675 is the same as the 580, why would it require additional power when those from Alienware, etc, don't?

I'm so out of the loop. Fermi and Kepler mean as much as the Keebler elves to me. I'm assuming Kepler is the latest, what is coming next, or is Kepler still early-ish in its lifecycle?

I've been hard-pressed to find actual comparisons or reviews between sites like Alienware (post-Dell), ibuypower, Origin PCs, Puget systems, etc.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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Kepler is the latest just released, but Nvidia is not offering Kepler for all GPUs. Some are merely rebrands of Fermi which are branded Geforce 5xx.
 

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
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I'm in the same boat. I'm watching for something with a GTX680M at this time. Hopefully the Clevo models will offer that when IB launches.
 

rabbitz

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Dec 21, 2011
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Okay, I was confused. At Origin PC, there's a Dual 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M (4GB of Total GFX) w/Dual 300watt power adapters option. Are they the odd man out or is the adapter somehow internal? It sounds like the 675 is the same as the 580, why would it require additional power when those from Alienware, etc, don't?

I'm so out of the loop. Fermi and Kepler mean as much as the Keebler elves to me. I'm assuming Kepler is the latest, what is coming next, or is Kepler still early-ish in its lifecycle?

I've been hard-pressed to find actual comparisons or reviews between sites like Alienware (post-Dell), ibuypower, Origin PCs, Puget systems, etc.

Kepler is really early-ish.... I'm not sure if it is even out yet since I follow notebooks mostly. There was an article on the front page a while ago.... Here. I'm not much for graphic cards either... but you can see which ones are kepler because they are manufactured with 28nm tech, as opposed to the 40nm which are just rebadged cards.

As for the dual power adaptors.... I found this on notebookcheck regarding 580m sli

Two GeForce GTX 580M (GF114 Fermi) cards in SLI mode. Because of the maximum power usage of 2x 100 Watt of both MXM boards, the GTX580M SLI can only be used in very large laptops.

So if the graphic cards themselves can take up to 200w.... I guess they are playing it safe.

Wait I just read some more.... I was playing around with the configuration of this laptop and I just realized it uses desktop processors w/130w tdp vs mobile processors with up to 55w tdp...
 

sgrinavi

Diamond Member
Jul 31, 2007
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I'm in the same boat. I'm watching for something with a GTX680M at this time. Hopefully the Clevo models will offer that when IB launches.

Is the 680m even announced? I thought all they had was the 675m (re-badged 580m) and the 670m (re-badged 570m) with even the mid-range 28nm parts (640/50/60) still waiting on the official release dates
 

blankslate

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2008
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Try googling Clevo or any of the other resellers listed here.

based on photos from reviews I've seen these notebooks are made to be relatively easy to get into which would make cleaning the fans and vents easier as well as re-applying thermal paste.

If you don't mind possible noise issues and want to stir envy in mac hipsters then maybe this might do

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5606/razer-blade-review

very thin however the gpu is not top of the line because of thermal issues.
 

sgrinavi

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Jul 31, 2007
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based on photos from reviews I've seen these notebooks are made to be relatively easy to get into which would make cleaning the fans and vents easier as well as re-applying thermal paste.

The Clevo line is designed to be user upgradeable as well
 

Skott

Diamond Member
Oct 4, 2005
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Is the 680m even announced? I thought all they had was the 675m (re-badged 580m) and the 670m (re-badged 570m) with even the mid-range 28nm parts (640/50/60) still waiting on the official release dates

My understanding is that they are not yet announced a release date yet. Unless they did it last day or two. The 680m comes out a bit later sometime this year.