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Help buying a Gaming Laptop

Discussion in 'General' started by DutyBeforeAll, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. DutyBeforeAll

    DutyBeforeAll Getting out there.

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    I recently put in for a $2500 loan for a gaming laptop but I’m unsure of what exactly to get or what I need.

    My budget is around $1500. I don’t mind going over a bit and paying less is obviously a plus for me.

    I’m not really tech savvy.

    I’m not sure if I need one with an i7-9750H or if a i7-8750H is all i need?
    Should I look at HP Omens or MSI or What, and Where to buy, Online or In store?

    If online should I go Walmart or Amazon or go straight to HP, I would prefer a physical store but I’m pretty sure that the ones around me wouldn’t have anything I’m looking at in stock.

    I really want something that can play Battletech 2018, Dawn of War 2, and the upcoming Mechwarrior 5.
    Hopefully without going over budget.

    Can someone with expertise help me out?
     
  2. Biigoh

    Biigoh Moderator

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    I would recommend actually going by a computer store as opposed to Walmart or Amazon... and ask them what would best play the games you want, bring in the "recommended" specs for those games, because they say "recommended" what they really mean is "you REALLY want it at this speccs".

    And unless you're going to be taking your computer with you everywhere... go for a tower over a laptop.
     
  3. DutyBeforeAll

    DutyBeforeAll Getting out there.

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    I live in a rather rural area, Walmart is about the only store that would have Any laptops and not a gaming one besides.

    its more or less online only unless maybe Best Buy sells some?
     
  4. Biigoh

    Biigoh Moderator

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    Best Buy would have computers.

    I would recommend dropping by either Best Buy or Walmart in that case. Take a look online and check out what those games need in terms of recommended stuff.

    Granted, you might check out the Best Buy as they're more computers and electronics than Walmart.
     
  5. Student of Zelretch

    Student of Zelretch Executor

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    May want to browse NewEgg and Amazon to get at least an idea of what you want - I got an inspiron 7559 with a 960m in the summer of ‘16, and while it’s served me well to this day for academics, SC2, and other older games, it struggles with Total Warhammer 2, which came out sept. 2017. Generally for gaming, your bigger bottleneck will be the GPU, not CPU - Total War and other RTS games being the largest exceptions, as they require massive amounts of data rendered at once - (I max out my 9600k in my desktop regularly, though I haven’t OC’d it. The 1070ti doesn’t, though it certainly can get close sometimes.) For as such, unless you’re a RTS main player (and honestly even if you are, it’s a good idea) to get at least a 1660 in there - if this is going to be your primary gaming device, possibly a 1070. Currently I’m seeing a ROG Zephyrus with a 1070 and 8750-h running 1600
    (discounted from 2200.) however, if this is going to be a travel rig (I use my 7559 most of the summer when out of state with nowhere to set up 3 27” monitors,) then something with a 1660 should do you just fine. I’ll look back at this and see what usage & types of games you play, then tailor my further suggestions to that.
     
  6. DutyBeforeAll

    DutyBeforeAll Getting out there.

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    I was looking at hp, I was able to customize a laptop.
    Windows 10 Home 64 ADV
    Intel® Core™ i7 9750H (2.6 GHz, up to 4.5 GHz, 12 MB cache, 6 cores) NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2060 (6 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
    16 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
    15.6" diagonal FHD 60 Hz IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)
    1 TB 7200 rpm SATA; 256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD

    For $1,449.99, so say around $1600 after taxes.

    Is that a fair deal or do I need to look elsewhere?
     
  7. Student of Zelretch

    Student of Zelretch Executor

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    You might want to kick that ram up to 3000mhz if you can and go with a 500gb ssd, depending on what games you’re going to be playing - load times are something like 1/8th since I converted my laptop to SSD (though if that isn’t vital to you, you can skip that.)

    If you like playing in a room with the lights off & you’re traveling with it, I’d encourage you to ensure that the keyboard is backlit; nothing fancy, just basic backlighting needed (it’s been a lifesaver for me.) of course, you may not travel, or travel with a long keyboard - which largely eliminates that concern.

    if you don’t already have a mouse you like, get one - trackpad gaming is... possible? But not fun. My travel mouse is a ReDragon perdition, which is around $30. If you like what you have, feel free to keep using it, though.

    Other than those minor concerns, I’d call that a very nice deal on a laptop - I’d say it should be able to play, if not excel, at any AAA title that comes out in the next few years, and anything over a year old I wouldn’t be surprised if it can go max graphics. The price is quite good for a laptop; if you don’t want to pay more today, it should be possible to swap the drives late if you decide to go with a bigger ssd or replace the spinning platter with another. Same goes with the ram; that should be just fine as it is for now, but 3000mhz is an option for more pep later.

    overall - make sure you like the aesthetics, and if you do the technicals look good barring anyone with truly horrific experiences with the build. The internals look like a great deal.
     
  8. Gorgrath177

    Gorgrath177 Professional supervillain

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    All of this stuff is why I stick to my PS4.
     
  9. Student of Zelretch

    Student of Zelretch Executor

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    I like being able to look at, understand, and replace any component of my gaming platform in minutes - but to each their own. If you don’t need to be able to hotswap sata devices, and are comfortable replacing your device wholesale instead of incrementally, a console is fine.

    A laptop allows a good midpoint (I’ve changed hard drive to SSD, RAM, and have considered replacing the case because the heat fin covers have slowly gotten broken, swapped to a new battery, and I think that’s about it for my laptop.)

    Then you get to desktops, where I have moved everything but the processor around since building it (I installed my power supply upside down, my GPU in the wrong PCIE slot, I moved my RAM to more convenient locations, used velcro tape to secure my SSDs to my case, set up a disk drive so I cab install it whenever, replaced fans to fit with my build theme, upgraded my WIFI chip to do 83MB/second (the router doesn’t punch more through the plaster walls & the floor.) Not everyone wants to have to deal with all that, though; which is fine. *looks smugly at my 5760x1080 3x27” setup.*
     
    Gorgrath177 likes this.
  10. Gorgrath177

    Gorgrath177 Professional supervillain

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    I can respect that, the thing for me is that computer tech is constantly changing. What’s good this year is garbage in 3, with a console you know it’s good for 7-8 years.

    It’s the same for developers, with a console they get used to the tech for years which allows them to squeeze as much out of it as possible. With computer games they have to constantly adapt and make it so the game is adaptive, or simple. Which is why the best looking games tend to either be cross platform or console exclusive. Probably also why rockstar has a hateboner for PC.

    Plus I just like remotes more than keyboards.
     
  11. zachol

    zachol Tomato

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    edit: Ugh, misread the $2500 as the full budget for a single laptop. I had a whole big rant about how that's way too much and, like, $600 to $800 is fine.
     
  12. Student of Zelretch

    Student of Zelretch Executor

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    I’d argue (see above) that for future proofing, a Gaming $1500-1600 laptop is likely going to be where you want to go; obviously $450-500 and $1200 on a desktop will go farther, but... traveling with a desktop is difficult. If you don’t need a ton of power (not planning on AAA games that aren’t out yet) $800 would probably be ‘ok’ for most things... but SSDs, more ram than 8gm, and a good modern gtx card won’t be in the cards then. If you can deal with your rig turning to molasses in 3 years, then that’s fine; otherwise, futureproof.
     
  13. zachol

    zachol Tomato

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    I guess I'll just speak to my experience. I've been using a $600 Acer Aspire E15 for a year and a half now (since Spring 2018), and it's been working great. It runs Far Cry 5 and heavily modded Fallout 4 without any problems. I suppose the most recent release I've tried was Greedfall, which runs fine, and although I'm not confident about something like Metro Exodus I'd still expect it to run acceptably, even if it couldn't manage great. I'd feel fine buying anything this season and I'd expect to enjoy the experience. For example, I'm planning on getting Cyberpunk 2077 on release day, and I'm assuming it'll run fine. Not "great," but still fine, especially at just 1080p.
    On the other hand, I think in another year it'll probably have some trouble, and in Spring 2021 it'll probably be totally outdated for the newest stuff, especially higher end shooters. For me, getting three years out of a $600 laptop is acceptable. Probably in late 2021, if anything does get released that I'm excited for, I'll get a similarly priced new laptop. Maybe it'll stretch to 2022, so four years.
    If I'd gotten a $1200 laptop instead, I think I'd be getting better results for something like Cyberpunk, or whatever else gets released next year, and it could've tackled 2021 games, but even then I don't think it would've lasted that much longer. I'd want to upgrade by around 2023, in the same way I'll want to upgrade this one in 2021. For me, paying double to get five years over three isn't worthwhile, especially if I can stretch it an extra year if nothing's catching my eye. I specifically got this one when I did because I wanted to play Far Cry 5 and wasn't happy with my much older desktop. However, nothing's really caught my eye this year besides Metro Exodus, and I can wait on it, so if I'd been "due" for an upgrade this year I could've stretched it out until next year for Cyberpunk (and gotten Metro then too). Cheaper laptops that "need" to be upgraded and replaced more often can save you even more if you end up not actually needing the upgrade that year.

    Anyway, some comments based on my experience with the E15, the complaints I do have:
    8 GB of RAM isn't really enough. Get at least 16. Especially because generally they roll VRAM for graphics into the total RAM, in practice you're going to split that number in half. If I knew I was getting 8 GB of "real" RAM and some more VRAM on top of that then I'd think 8 would be an acceptable minimum.
    Splurge on a big internal SSD, especially if you're going for $1000+. I have a lot of games on Steam and a real shit internet connection. I spend a lot of time transferring games back and forth from an external drive. Worst thing is having to run Fallout 4 on the external because of all the mods, I don't have a good way to transfer it to the SSD temporarily and the load times are atrocious. I have a 256 GB drive and it's pathetic, get at least 512 or preferably a whole 1 TB.
    Get something with a big case with big fans. Overheating leads to death, big fans are wonderful. A super big and weirdly light laptop that's mostly empty space sounds great. This kind of thing is honestly the only reason why I'd look at "gamer" laptops, I got the E15 partially because it just looks like a normal laptop, and the relative compactness is nice, but it gets super hot and has tiny vents.