But it's not for games, mostly. Anyway, here are my needs:
* 17" Screen. 4K would be nice.
* Gen 8 i7; Gen 7 ok if other criteria met, price is more reasonable, and/or laptop is easier to self-service
* capacity for up to 32 or 64 GB RAM (does not need to be fully populated to start)
* One SSD at 2TB (smaller drives would be a waste for me).
* Room for 3 or 4 hard total internal drives (does not need to be fully populated to start)
* Internal optical drive not necessary
* GeForce 1080 GPU
* Full range of USB, WIFI, Thunder, and other connectivity
* Prefer DP video out, but HDMI might be acceptable
* Separate cooling paths for CPU and GPU
* Easy (easier?) to get inside and do stuff like increase memory, swap drives, replace thermal paste, and so on.
* Lighted keyboard is a must, RGB would be best, but only if it's reconfigurable based on application running.
My spending limit might be $1500 to $2000. I realize that at that price, any laptop is going to not be stacked to the gills. But my intent here is to purchase a platform that I would be able to easily upgrade over time.
The main requirements for me are the 17" screen size, an i7 processor, room for internal drives, room for lots of memory, and the 1080 GPU.
This laptop would be a mobile desktop replacement. It would mostly run Windows 10 Pro, with maybe a Linux on the side, but Linux will never be a big priority for me (not until I retire one day). The main purpose will be 3D modeling, texturing, rendering, photo/video work, some music production, and some light gaming (Civilization, Galactic Civ, Homeworld, Cities: Skylines, etc).
This laptop does not need to be thin and light. It can be as thick as the old Asus ROG laptops from about 5 years ago, and that would be fine. Basically, I want to be able to build it out like the USS Vengeance in the 2nd Star Trek movie. Hardened and ready for battle, so to speak. It does not need to be pretty or sexy.
I'm thinking of avoiding Asus this time around. Quality seems to be trending down (based on my reading). I'm considering MSI, Gigabyte, Aorus, Sager, Clevo (is that right?), Dell/Alienware, and any of those sister brands.
Thoughts, strategies welcome, and thanks in advance!