GPUs for Gaming Laptops

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GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:38 pm

Hey guys,

When building desktops I have a pretty good eye for value of parts and etc. Right now I am looking to purchase a gaming laptop capable of playing games like FFXIV: ARR and Guild Wars 2 at a minimum of high detail. Typically going to be used for MMO's and other 3D heavy games. What mobile GPU's do you guys recommend. Also, if anyone has a gaming laptop that would like to recommend please list it and I'll look it up.

Thanks guys!

P.S. I already have a gaming desktop, I just want to play games while not at home and such.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:16 pm

According to notebookreview (http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeF ... 907.0.html), the GTX765M in my notebook is capable of Guild Wars 2 on High @ >40fps. So I would suggest this as a minimum. I have the MSI GE60, and I can speak highly of the MSI G series laptops.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:23 pm

chµck wrote:According to notebookreview (http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeF ... 907.0.html), the GTX765M in my notebook is capable of Guild Wars 2 on High @ >40fps. So I would suggest this as a minimum. I have the MSI GE60, and I can speak highly of the MSI G series laptops.


That Guild Wars 2 result is at a resolution of 1366x768. A GTX765M will NOT handle GW2 at high settings at 1080P. Very important distinction as GW2 at 1366x768 kinda sucks.

OP, for what you want to do at 1080P will require at least a GTX870M and if you can reach for a GTX880M. The AMD options have issues unrelated to performance (drivers, GPU-switching still being several generations behind Nvidia) that kind of kill them as viable options.

As for which gaming laptop...

MSI, Asus, Clevo/Sager/whatever brand a company throws on it, and Alienware are all worth looking at. The differences in prices are all largely justified by improved build quality. An MSI laptop will perform fine but its a plastic mess and feels that way (the very latest models are an improvement but still kinda feel like crap, I own one, it was worth the savings to me). An Alienware will carry a premium but they feel indestructible. Asus and Clevo find somewhere in between those two, generally.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:37 pm

Well it's nice to know that individuals are also using gaming laptops. That said @slowriot, what model MSI do you have and @chuck, I'll look into the model you gave you me and see what it has.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:51 pm

Techgoudy wrote:Well it's nice to know that individuals are also using gaming laptops. That said @slowriot, what model MSI do you have and @chuck, I'll look into the model you gave you me and see what it has.


I have an MSI GE70. Which is the 17" version of the GE60 (15"). I went with the GE70 because it offered the right mixture of performance, portability, and price. Mine is now a generation old but I've used a new one too (friend bought it after checking out mine) and its generally improved all around but still has the same general flaws (just less so if that makes sense).

Speaking in detail to my GE70... the construction is sufficient but not great. Lots of glossy black plastic. But it hasn't fallen apart and it hasn't been pampered. The keyboard is good, the trackpad sucked (from my memory this has been improved noticeably on new model). The speakers sound awesome for a laptop. The screen is sharp but the colors are so-so. Heat isn't a problem, I've used it in very warm environments and not had issues. The fan leans on the annoying side when its been under load for quite awhile. Overall, for the 3 reasons I stated above I've been happy with it. When it comes time to update I'll look at MSI again if they still offer such superior performance for the price.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:54 pm

A distinction should be made between the MSI G series laptops. GE = budget gaming (lots of plastic), usually uses a 120W power supply. GT = High-end gaming, better speakers, and more metal, unlike the GE series. uses a 150w-220w power supply.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:19 pm

I built a custom Toshiba laptop that is capable of light gaming, I got a 1366*768 screen and the i5-3337U. It only has on board intel 4000HD, but I was able to play BF4 at low settings and get 25 to 40fps. It was somewhat painful, but that was the Beta. I only paid $400 and am happy with its abilities for the most part.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:32 pm

For high-end Falcon-Northwest--VERY high-end. Cyberpower, Origin, other custom outfits have nice customizable machines.

I have an MSI GE and pretty happy with it. There are some current deals on Alienware; check Amazon and Dealzon (THE best place for great deals). Lenovo is regularly offering some sweet deals on some pretty powerful systems; Dealzon tracks those.

if it was ME I'd probably buy a laptop with a beefy CPU and GPU that's about a year old from newegg and drop a really fast SSD in and add more RAM if it's not maxed out already. If money wasn't a concern I would go Falcon-Northwest.

Let us know what you end up with, and good luck.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:02 pm

Having been playing games on laptops for over 15 years, you're going to need to hulk around a big heavy brick if you want desktop-level performance.

By far the best option is to just compromise some of the graphics settings and go for something mid-range. A GTX850 seems to be a good idea at the moment (basically a desktop 750Ti). Whilst not exceptional, it can run a lot of stuff at 1080p if you dial back the settings, and the laptop will still be portable.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:54 pm

I have been out of the laptop market for years and am in the same boat. From the research I've done so far, this guy is on point.

The new NVIDIA Maxwell chips are a significant upgrade over Kepler models (and AMD) in performance per watt. Aside from battery life, this is important in a laptop because of thermal constraints. For the "best" compromise in performance, form factor, and temperatures, I would go for a GTX 850M or a Maxwell GTX 860M. (Beware of the Kepler version of the 860M.)
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:09 pm

Gaming laptops.....I dunno. If you're gonna be tethered to an outlet, it would almost make sense to build a mini-ITX system with a handle on it. A bit less convenient, but it would be more capable and probably cost half the price.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:25 pm

The Egg wrote:Gaming laptops.....I dunno. If you're gonna be tethered to an outlet, it would almost make sense to build a mini-ITX system with a handle on it. A bit less convenient, but it would be more capable and probably cost half the price.


As someone who has both a gaming laptop and a mini-ITX system WITH a handle... no, the mini-ITX is not even close to being as convenient as a laptop. It's extremely easy to grab your laptop, power brick, and mouse and toss it in a bag and go. The mini-ITX system is going to require you to unplug everything from the system itself. Plus it means dragging your monitor (and unplugging it) with you. Plus keyboard and mouse. The worst part is then when you get home and go "Ugh now I have to put it all back in!"

Also, consider where that laptop can go. I've taken my gaming laptop on many business trips. I'd never consider doing that with my mini-ITX system.

Here's the two big points for the mini-ITX system: short-term costs and long-term costs. The mini-ITX system will be cheaper to build initially and it will be cheaper to maintain (i.e. you don't have to replace the entire unit when the GPU is no longer viable, just the GPU). But that's about it in my opinion.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:37 pm

slowriot wrote:
The Egg wrote:Gaming laptops.....I dunno. If you're gonna be tethered to an outlet, it would almost make sense to build a mini-ITX system with a handle on it. A bit less convenient, but it would be more capable and probably cost half the price.


As someone who has both a gaming laptop and a mini-ITX system WITH a handle... no, the mini-ITX is not even close to being as convenient as a laptop. It's extremely easy to grab your laptop, power brick, and mouse and toss it in a bag and go. The mini-ITX system is going to require you to unplug everything from the system itself. Plus it means dragging your monitor (and unplugging it) with you. Plus keyboard and mouse. The worst part is then when you get home and go "Ugh now I have to put it all back in!"

Also, consider where that laptop can go. I've taken my gaming laptop on many business trips. I'd never consider doing that with my mini-ITX system.

It would require a bit of customization (as well as creating a suitable transport container), but Mini-ITX is so much cheaper and more powerful that I think it would be worth the effort. I'm thinking of something where the PC case is part of the monitor stand, and/or attaches to the VESA mounts on the back of the monitor. If the monitor/case are melded into one unit, wiring would be much less of an issue, especially if you use a wireless keyboard/mouse with a tiny receiver. At that point, all you would need to do is plug in the power, unpack your keyboard and mouse, and go.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:49 pm

The Egg wrote:It would require a bit of customization (as well as creating a suitable transport container), but Mini-ITX is so much cheaper and more powerful that I think it would be worth the effort. I'm thinking of something where the PC case is part of the monitor stand, and/or attaches to the VESA mounts on the back of the monitor. If the monitor/case are melded into one unit, wiring would be much less of an issue, especially if you use a wireless keyboard/mouse with a tiny receiver. At that point, all you would need to do is plug in the power, unpack your keyboard and mouse, and go.


Sounds like a considerable amount of personal time would be required. I can't think of an mITX case that could accept say a GTX760 and attach to a monitor's VESA mount. As far as melding them into one unit.... that's a lot of time to invest to do it right. At which point the cost advantage goes out the window (time = money, or at least I rather convert that time into work and just buy a laptop). And again, that's still just not on the portability level of a laptop. I couldn't envision myself taking such a contraption on a trip. Plus, modern gaming laptops with GPU switching can be used as normal laptops and get great battery life in non-gaming usage. Something around 5lbs, a $1200 price tag, and a GTX860M is totally usable for both a good gaming experience and as a fairly mobile laptop for non-gaming purposes.

But it sounds cool and its been done before, so there's plenty of ways to see how people have tackled various issues/compromises.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:52 pm

Ignore everything and go get a top line Asus G750. You can thank me later.
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Re: GPUs for Gaming Laptops

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:21 pm

Gotta admit, the Asus ROG G750 series are the best of a bad bunch.
If someone insists on a "gaming" laptop that's my recommendation....
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