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Gaming laptop purcahsing help

Thrall

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#1
Gaming laptop purchasing help

I'm planning on getting a new gaming laptop and i have a few questions/need help with recommendations. Firstly i've been looking into alienware laptops because they seem to have the best prices for the level of performance i'm looking for ($2500 including lappy, warranty, and any protection for the laptop needed). I'm thinking along the lines of the m17 but I'm skeptical of the performance increase you get from going crossfire (since CF for desktops at least works well in some games and not at all in others) and i was thinking it would just be better to find a laptop with a 9800 gtx instead so all games will be faster than a 3870.

Next What is the performance different between the 3870 and the 8700 and their sli/cf counterparts-i've seen 3dmark06 showing ati in the lead in both categories but i know that 3dmark dosen't always show real world performance.

Now I see alot of laptop coolers out on the market and i'm wondering about whether i'd need one for a gaming laptop all the time or just when i'm gaming.

With being a klutzy college bound student i'm concerned about what kind of warranty i should look for and about the advances in laptop theft protection (ie cables or remote signaling devices). Although it's obvious to be careful with a laptop accidents happen and idk if alienware's warranty or any others manufacturers warranty covers dropage.

Ok the last of my questions-is it ok to buy an off brand battery from ebay and get reasonable battery life or should i only buy name brand batteries or ones straight form the manufacture?

Now what i'm looking for in a laptop:
2.6ghz+ dual core cpu (preferable intel due to performance gap between them and amd)
2gb+ of ram (preferably ddr2 800mhz+ or ddr3 1333mhz+)
a 9800 gtx or higher gpu (including sli/cf if most game receive that dual gpu performance increase)
raid 0 7200 rpm hard drives in a 400gb+ array
a tv tuner (integrated or discrete)
1920*1080 or higher resolution
and things that are nice to have:
hdmi out
optical or digital out
surround sound output
surround sound speakers
lighted keyboard
non-glossy screen (would that even be readable in a classroom)?
and atleast an hour and a half battery life playing videos

If you made is all the way through this extremely long post i thank and and appreciate any help you can give me!
 
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#2
Ok first off do not go w/ AW thier waaaaaaay overpirced and not worth the name brand. The m15 and m17 are both notorious for multiple issues. Please do your self a favor and stay away from AW.

I would suggest Sager or http://www.ibuypower.com/ has some sweet custom gamming laptops. You can find a top of the line model for $2500 with all the same specs.

As for a cooler, I would go with the Zalman NC 2000 for a 17" notebook. Newegg has them for $60: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...BESTMATCH&Description=Zalman+NC-2000&x=7&y=28 Def. use during gaming, during normal use maybe not so much.

A replacement battery for a Gaming computer are very expensive and not worth it. Generally you will need to run the notebook off of power for maxed gamming. Good luck finding a battery life over an hour for any gaming laptop, AW's are total crap. My m9700's battery died slowly over a year. Went from 1:15 to :05 in just one year.
 
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Thrall

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#3
I keep hearing that AW is overpriced but they seem to have the best price on a laptop w/ raid 0 array with a high end gpu config (although i have to admit that any upgrades you make to their laptops via their site is overpriced).
 

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#4
Take a look at the Sager 9262.

It's the most powerful gaming laptop out there.

You'll still be within your budget if you order one with a single 9800GTX.
Plus you have the advantage that you can SLI later.

Another advantage of the Sager 9262 is that it is fully user upgradeable.

For example mine's with the 8800GTX - but I can replace them with 9800GTX if I want.

Another advantage is that the 9262 uses desktop processors, which are more powerful than laptop ones. You can buy it now with an E8500 and later upgrade to Q9650.

So it's not like you bought a notebook with no upgrade options.
 
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#6
Where abouts are you if your in the uk then ive seen some very nice lappys from Rock.

I have a HP wich has served me well even though im not sure what the latest models specs are.

As for cooling i have a Logitech Alto Connect wich i use to elevate my lappy and allow airflow underneath excellent for keeping temps under control.
 
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#8
Ok then well what Panther said with sager and in regards to battery life i rekon id be lucky to get an hour tops out of lappy if gaming normally though i have mine plugged in at the mains.
 

Black Panther

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#9
dosen't using a desktop cpu kill battery life?
I've yet to hear of a gaming laptop famous for long battery life... ;)

Anyway, before I bought mine, I checked a lot of user-reviews - they all suggested that one does not game on battery, no matter what laptop brand. Many laptops downclock graphics cards on battery (and it can't be disabled).

Mine gives me between an hour and an hour and a half normal use, depending on monitor brightness setting.

If you want to spend less, you can look at the Sager 5796.

One of its definite advantages is that it's slimmer and lighter than the 9262 (which weighs in at 11.5lbs), has DDR3 memory, and probably has a longer battery life if that's important for you.
On the other hand, the drawbacks are that it doesn't support quad core processors, it uses a montevina laptop processor (from P8400 to the X9100) and no SLI is possible, but if that's not important for you then it's a very fine laptop with a 9800M GTX 1,024MB PCI-Express DDR3 DX10 (User Upgradeable)!
 
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#10
I have to back up BP's suggestion about the Sager, killer gaming notebooks!

And about battery life, BlackPanther what is your current battery life and also from day one? Really any gaming laptop has to have ac power for gaming, maybe not so much for watching movies.
 
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#11

Black Panther

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#12
And about battery life, BlackPanther what is your current battery life and also from day one?
It's between an hour and an hour and a half, during normal use, depending on what monitor brightness I'm using.

I never gamed on battery power - how does that saying go... 'you can't have the cake and eat it'? lol:laugh:
 
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#13
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#14
I figured the battery life on gaming lappys are crazy small. Mine dropped from an 1:30 to :05 over the course of a year. And a replacement battery can't be purchased through AW, an third party supplier sells them for +$115. Same with the replacement ac chargers.

I would love to see some specs on the lappys w/desktop cpu's!! FTTW!
 

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Black Panther

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#16
That's the Sager 5796 I quoted earlier. And here is WidowPC's "Sager 9262". Sorry if this is confusing, but the story is this:
Clevo makes barebone laptops. It doesn't sell them directly to the consumer, but it sells them to companies like Sager, WidowPC, VoodoPC, Falcon Northwest, Eurocom, Rock, Kobalt, Xxodd....

It's always the same pc, but branded differently!

In the US you can find any "Sager" from the following shops. Only it won't always be called Sager, but they're all Clevo.:) Basically it's like when you buy for example an 8800GTS - they're all Nvidia but one would be called Evga, another one BFG etc...

What would be a good thing for the OP would be to choose the preferred model, then visit all the sites and compare their prices, service and warranty for that pc with the same specs, and choose the best one.

Here goes...........

- Sager Notebooks http://www.sagernotebook.com/
- Eurocom (Canada) http://www.eurocom.com/
- PowerNotebooks http://www.powernotebooks.com/
- Xotic PC http://www.xoticpc.com/
- PC Torque http://www.pctorque.com/
- Discount Laptops http://www.discountlaptops.com/
- Puget Systems http://www.pugetsystems.com/
- AGear Notebooks http://www.agearnotebooks.com/
- Pro-Star http://www.pro-star.com/
- M-Tech Laptops http://www.mtechlaptops.com/
- Hypersonic PC Systems http://www.hypersonic-pc.com/
- Malibal http://www.malibal.com/
- Voodoo PC (Canada) http://www.voodoopc.com/
- AVA Direct, Inc. http://www.avadirect.com/
- RK Computers http://www.rkcomputer.net/rkcnotebooks/
- WidowPC http://www.widowpc.com/
- CyberPower Inc http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/
- iBuyPower http://alaskaoregonwesternwashington.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=114&bbb=1296&firm=79001934
- Falcon Northwest http://www.falcon-nw.com/
- PC Microworks http://www.pcmicroworks.com/
- KillerNotebooks http://www.killernotebooks.com/
- Vigor Gaming http://www.vigorgaming.com/
- Xtreme Notebooks http://www.xtremenotebooks.com/
- Smooth-Creations http://www.smoothcreations.com/
- LynnBay http://www.lynnbay.com/
- Apocalypse Computers http://www.apocalypsecomputers.net/
- Jinco Computers http://www.jinco.com/
- Black Mamba Personal Computers http://www.blackmambapc.com/
- Micro Express http://www.microexpress.net/
- Gen-X-PC http://www.gen-x-pc.com/
- Dark Smiley Systems http://www.darksmileysystems.com/
- Blackthorne Power PCs (Canada) http://www.blackthorne.ca/
- Extreme PC (Canada) http://www.extreme-pc.ca/
 
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#18
http://www.rjtech.com/
build your own. Save some money buying your own parts from newegg or something.
They carry Clevo,OCZ,Asus,Compal,MSI