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BIF
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I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:29 am

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!
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:40 am

Just want to say good luck, because you're just not gonna find something like what you describe for 1500-2000 bucks that is worth a damn.

For instance...here is an MSI machine.
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BIF
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:43 am

Okay, I can take the bad tasting medicine.

What would be a reasonable price range that I should expect? I"m looking at that MSI now, by the way...

All right I've seen that one before. $3100 seems steep for "only" a Gen 7 processor. If I have to sell my underwear for this, I should be getting a Gen 8, don't you think? :o :P
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:46 am

BIF wrote:
Okay, I can take the bad tasting medicine.

What would be a reasonable price range that I should expect? I"m looking at that MSI now, by the way...

For close to what you want? Probably 3K+. I'm honestly not even sure you will find "exactly" what you're looking for. Might take a peek at the Alienware 17.

BIF wrote:
All right I've seen that one before. $3100 seems steep for "only" a Gen 7 processor. If I have to sell my underwear for this, I should be getting a Gen 8, don't you think? :o :P

I don't necessarily disagree, but you're asking for A LOT to be jammed into a 2000 dollar price tag. A LOT A LOT.
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:51 am

BIF wrote:
What would be a reasonable price range that I should expect?

Navigate backwards in DJ's link, then collect the whole set (assuming 17.3" is a must-have). Lose the 4K and possibly dial back the dGPU slightly, you're more in the right range. You could always add an external monitor to gain more screen real estate, either now with a budget stretch, or later when you have saved up another round of funding.
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:03 am

BIF wrote:
* GeForce 1080 GPU


That's your key search.

https://www.ultrabookreview.com/10939-l ... 1070-1080/


There is also the potential of a Thunderbolt 3 laptop with a break-out VGA and a 1080. (..and this would be useful in the context of a better accompanying monitor w/ G-Sync.)
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:51 am

CScottG wrote:
BIF wrote:
* GeForce 1080 GPU


That's your key search.

https://www.ultrabookreview.com/10939-l ... 1070-1080/


There is also the potential of a Thunderbolt 3 laptop with a break-out VGA and a 1080. (..and this would be useful in the context of a better accompanying monitor w/ G-Sync.)

Just note that eGPUs take a huge performance hit compared to iGPUs.
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:55 am

The biggest problem seems to be finding a laptop that has 3 drive bays for 2.5" drives.
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:06 am

Yes, I'm curious why you need three 2.5" bays. They just take up too much space inside a laptop to be offered in multiple configurations.

Typical DTR gaming laptops offer a pair of M.2 slots and a pair of 2.5" sata bays at most. Something like the Clevo P775DM3-G sold under Schenker, Origin, Eurocom, Xotic etc.

I can't confirm it, but I do believe that one of the two bays in the Clevo P775DM3-G is a 15mm bay, meaning that you could potentially get a 4TB drive in there, making the storage capacity similar to 3-bays you're hoping for.
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BIF
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:19 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Yes, I'm curious why you need three 2.5" bays. They just take up too much space inside a laptop to be offered in multiple configurations.

I want to put in about 5-6 TB of storage.

Bare-minimum is 4TB, but then that'll be mostly soaked up by my current drive contents. I do realize that M.2 is the future (for power efficiency and to allow thinner/lighter form factors), but the current crop of M.2s don't yet offer the needed available capacity. This won't be an issue when I can buy a 4TB M.2 one day for under $1,000, but that day won't be coming soon.

Typical DTR gaming laptops offer a pair of M.2 slots and a pair of 2.5" sata bays at most. Something like the Clevo P775DM3-G sold under Schenker, Origin, Eurocom, Xotic etc.

I can't confirm it, but I do believe that one of the two bays in the Clevo P775DM3-G is a 15mm bay, meaning that you could potentially get a 4TB drive in there, making the storage capacity similar to 3-bays you're hoping for.

I'll investigate these. If you're right, then I'll do a happydance. Thanks!
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:27 pm

Room for 3 or 4 internal drives AND a 1080?

The size of that laptop would be...well, very large and no longer count as a laptop. All "gaming" laptops I've seen have a M2 drive and a standard 2.5 bay
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:29 pm

I'm sorry, but your requests would be way better served by building your own small-form-factor PC. Entry-level gaming laptops are usually not too expensive, but "premium" models with these specs are usually way overpriced.

You could build a Ryzen 7 1700 system with 16GB ram, GTX 1080 and a 2TB 850 EVO for around that price, even if you need to add a cheap monitor.

You'll just have to get a larger monitor, since nobody makes 17" anymore. But I'm sure you won't complain.

I'm guessing you're not going to use this on battery (performance of these things drops almost by half when on battery). IF you're never going to use this when it's not plugged-in, then why compromise on performance OR price?
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:13 pm

Good questions. I'm seeking a laptop because I travel, sometimes 4 or 5 times in a year. An SFF with external monitor won't do.

I'll cut back on my 3 or 4 bay requirement if I can get more SSD capacity into one or two 2.5" bays. But I don't think I can compromise down to a single 2.5" bay; that would require that I carry external drives around, which defeats the purpose of having a machine for travel.
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:44 pm

BIF wrote:
Good questions. I'm seeking a laptop because I travel, sometimes 4 or 5 times in a year. An SFF with external monitor won't do.

I'll cut back on my 3 or 4 bay requirement if I can get more SSD capacity into one or two 2.5" bays. But I don't think I can compromise down to a single 2.5" bay; that would require that I carry external drives around, which defeats the purpose of having a machine for travel.



If you absolutely must have all-in-one then you will absolutely pay the premium. Better prepare to double your budget.

This is the largest SSD I can find:

https://www.amazon.com/Razer-Blade-Pro- ... b_title_ce

I don't think anyone is shipping a laptop with 2TB, so you'd have to buy it yourself and reinstall Windows.
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:45 pm

BIF wrote:
Good questions. I'm seeking a laptop because I travel, sometimes 4 or 5 times in a year. An SFF with external monitor won't do.

I'll cut back on my 3 or 4 bay requirement if I can get more SSD capacity into one or two 2.5" bays. But I don't think I can compromise down to a single 2.5" bay; that would require that I carry external drives around, which defeats the purpose of having a machine for travel.


I don't think 8th gen h processors have been released. This said, I don't see any laptops that fit your criteria without a bump to the budget.
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:49 pm

How much of that 5-6TB needs to be on internal drives? A USB 3.0 5TB drive would open up your choices significantly, if you could deal with some of the data being on an external device. Almost every 15"+ laptop on the market can take an M.2 which means 1TB of SSD and 2TB of mechanical drive, 4TB if it happens to have two bays like many of the 17" models.

Let's not forget that the power brick for your typical 17" gaming laptop is quadruple the size of a 5TB USB drive.
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:56 pm

BIF wrote:
..I'm seeking a laptop because I travel, sometimes 4 or 5 times in a year. An SFF with external monitor won't do.


https://randomfoo.net/2016/04/14/buildi ... powered-pc

I'd probably look at the Samsung HMD Odyssey for monitor duty, but there are usb powered models in the 17" range.
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:14 pm

wow not one mention for Eurocom?!?!

http://www.eurocom.com/ec/main()ec
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:17 pm

anotherengineer wrote:
wow not one mention for Eurocom?!?!

http://www.eurocom.com/ec/main()ec


God knows why they put two parens like that in their URL.

http://www.eurocom.com/ec/main()ec
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:15 pm

DancinJack wrote:
anotherengineer wrote:
wow not one mention for Eurocom?!?!

http://www.eurocom.com/ec/main()ec


God knows why they put two parens like that in their URL.

http://www.eurocom.com/ec/main()ec


Because they're European? Lol, best I could come up with.
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BIF
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:38 pm

Sargent Duck wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
anotherengineer wrote:
wow not one mention for Eurocom?!?!

http://www.eurocom.com/ec/main()ec


God knows why they put two parens like that in their URL.

http://www.eurocom.com/ec/main()ec


Because they're European? Lol, best I could come up with.


Remember, some of them still slash their "oh's". Even now, almost 80 years into the modern computer era. My tribe. :P :o

So I really like the Eurocom machines, both the X7 and the X9. I really think these may just be what I'm looking for, because they are completely and totally upgradable, much like a desktop machine.

I've priced an X7E2 as follows:
* 17.3 IPS, not 4K
* GTX 1080
* No G-Sync
* i7-6700K
* 16 GB DDR4 2400Hz memory
* Windows 10 Pro
* M.2 #1 - 1TB Micron
* M.2 #2 - empty
* both HDD bays - empty

-- Default Stuff --
* TB 3
* HDMI 2.0 port
* Fingerprint reader, tpm module, no TV tuner, 2.0 built-in webcam, no raid, standard battery and standard AC adapter
* pretty much nothing else extra.

I would load the empty HDD bays with a 1TB and a 2TB SSD that I already have.

It would be 1.6" thick and would weigh 8.6 pounds. This comes to $3,137. It's 50% over what I wanted to spend, but it gives me a lot of what I want, especially a big form factor that is upgradable. Research to continue, but this really hits most of my high points except for price. Which is probably doable, because it's the platform I'm interested in more than anything else.
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:45 am

BIF wrote:
Remember, some of them still slash their "oh's". Even now, almost 80 years into the modern computer era.

My family line hasn't been European for somewhere between four and six generations. But I slash my zeroes, dash my sevens and zeds, and tick my ones. Mostly because if I don't, there's no telling what kind of bizarrified claptrap I'll get back from the CAD department.
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BIF
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:57 pm

ludi wrote:
BIF wrote:
Remember, some of them still slash their "oh's". Even now, almost 80 years into the modern computer era.

My family line hasn't been European for somewhere between four and six generations. But I slash my zeroes, dash my sevens and zeds, and tick my ones. Mostly because if I don't, there's no telling what kind of bizarrified claptrap I'll get back from the CAD department.

Amen to that, I do all of those things.

I got scolded once for slashing a 7. Since it was a long time ago and the person was an elder, I just nodded respectfully and then ignored the rant. :P
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:24 pm

Would it be worthwhile to wait for the eighth generation i7 to become available? I'm thinking yes, because this opens up options for more cores. That's available now in Sager models, but not yet in Eurocom (not as of about a week ago, anyway).

I'm also hoping that manufacturers such as Sager and Eurocom will eventually offer a GTX 1080 TI GPU option, but I don't know the likelihood of that.
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:05 pm

I'm buying this

Alienware AAW17R4-7004SLV-PUS 17" QHD Gaming Laptop (7th Generation Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD, Silver) with NVIDIA GTX 1070 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSWS7BE/re ... NAb1SASA4T

You're best served just having some large external drive and focusing on the power for the machine.
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:00 pm

External storage is what you want - limiting yourself to such specific specifications only limits your options without much reason.
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:49 pm

Where are you traveling 5 times per year that you need 5-6TB of storage INSIDE your laptop? If you find a laptop that has a 15mm 2.5" slot, that will fit a 5TB hdd which gets you most of the way there, then you can break into 2TB M.2 SSD and/or something faster for your OS and programs/games.

I know you have some pretty high end machines, so this is pretty standard-fare for you, but these 4-5 travels per year might be an opportunity to "unplug" and/or just narrow down to the necessities for a short time. That will allow you to stay in your budget range with a more portable system for travel. Just sayin.
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:38 am

DPete27 wrote:
Where are you traveling 5 times per year that you need 5-6TB of storage INSIDE your laptop? If you find a laptop that has a 15mm 2.5" slot, that will fit a 5TB hdd which gets you most of the way there, then you can break into 2TB M.2 SSD and/or something faster for your OS and programs/games.

I know you have some pretty high end machines, so this is pretty standard-fare for you, but these 4-5 travels per year might be an opportunity to "unplug" and/or just narrow down to the necessities for a short time. That will allow you to stay in your budget range with a more portable system for travel. Just sayin.

Just FYI - the larger Seagate mobile drives are drive-managed SMR. They're great for non-write heavy workloads.
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:05 pm

It's tough to imagine a travel situation where a giant DTR is acceptable but two USB-powered 4TB external HDDs are an imposition.
 
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Re: I might be ready to buy a new gaming laptop

Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:21 pm

BIF wrote:
Would it be worthwhile to wait for the eighth generation i7 to become available? I'm thinking yes, because this opens up options for more cores. That's available now in Sager models, but not yet in Eurocom (not as of about a week ago, anyway).

I'm also hoping that manufacturers such as Sager and Eurocom will eventually offer a GTX 1080 TI GPU option, but I don't know the likelihood of that.


I'd be wary of the CoffeLake i7 6-cores in a laptop. These Sager models with the 8700K in them, for example, will be using socketed desktop chips in them that have pretty insane power draw. Intel claims 95W TDP but every review of them so far has them using at least 130W at stock speeds, and with proper cooling they will use up to 160W at full all-cores turbo. Yes, these are STOCK speeds and voltages.

The cooling systems in these DTR Sager/Clevo models is formidable, but they still obey the laws of physics - there's only so much cooling you can get in a compact laptop form factor without generating horrendous amounts of noise. A 7700K and GTX1080 in these laptops draw about 220W when measured with an induction loop at the DC power input of the laptop. That's definitely less than a desktop of the same spec would use, but it's already enough to put the best laptop cooling systems well into "audible" territory and bordering on annoying. Gaming with headphones means that you can ignore the moderate fan noise but if you add another 120W for a 1080Ti and desktop 8700K you are going to be experiencing vacuum-cleaner noise levels.

I'm not saying "don't do it", but definitely don't expect it to be cool or quiet. If you're okay with a roasty-hot, screaming banshee then I have no doubt that these options will be available at some point soon.
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