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Summer 2015, looking for best price, performance, portability, and cooling in a gaming laptop

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  • Performance
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
May 4, 2015 11:17:59 AM

Sup,

So I'm going to graduate college soon, and want to replace my HP Pavilion dv6t (which has served me well, don't hate) with a legitimate gaming computer. Initially, I was excited to try building my own PC since you can get a lot more performance for a lower price, but I realized that portability is too important to me, and the price premium for that portability isn't absurd anymore--for instance, I found some pretty cheap options within my price range ($1000-1800) that offer the highest-end performance specs. Moreover, these specs now allow you to play almost any game at 1080p 60 FPS when plugged in (I'm not planning on going with 3K/4K res), so why would I need a desktop? I've primarily been evaluating the "best" parts using passmark's software as well as online reviews by experts, which has led me to believe that the best options for a gaming laptop are the GeForce GTX 970M/980M GPU, and the 4th generation line of Intel i7 quad core processors. With this in mind...

The four most important characteristics to me, in order

    Performance
    Price
    Weight/Appearance
    Cooling capabilities


Based on this alone I concluded that the Sager NP8652, offered through XoticPC, offered the best price per performance:


    Intel i7 4720HQ @ 2.6 GHz
    GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB DDR3 VRAM
    500 GB SSD (that's right, NO mechanical storage)
    8 GB RAM
    Only 5.6 lbs, with a sleek look


All for about ~$1,700

My main concern here is that Sager is not an extremely well known brand, and this is a relatively new laptop. I'm afraid that there may be cooling issues, or that there will be compatibility/optimization issues between the parts. I'm also concerned that there likely won't be any upgradability for the GPU/CPU since they are soldered to the motherboard (integrated) to allow for the small size of the laptop. Have any of you heard of Sager, and if yes, do you have any experience with this particular model?

Just curious, any help you can provide would be much appreciated.

FYI, here are some other options that I had considered before landing on the Sager



More about : summer 2015 price performance portability cooling gaming laptop

May 4, 2015 12:18:52 PM

Sager is a very well known brand among enthusiasts for portable performance and gaming devices. Aside from them the only company I would by a gaming laptop from is MSI, Asus makes them way too big and Razer has always been known for their brittle plastics. I don't touch dell anything.
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May 4, 2015 12:45:26 PM

Xibyth said:
Sager is a very well known brand among enthusiasts for portable performance and gaming devices. Aside from them the only company I would by a gaming laptop from is MSI, Asus makes them way too big and Razer has always been known for their brittle plastics. I don't touch dell anything.


Thanks for your reply! Any thoughts on the GTX 980M vs the GTX 970M? Is the price difference worth it? I've also considered looking into GTX 970M SLI, but I'm not sure if there are any of those models within my price range.

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May 4, 2015 12:49:38 PM

matt103544 said:
Xibyth said:
Sager is a very well known brand among enthusiasts for portable performance and gaming devices. Aside from them the only company I would by a gaming laptop from is MSI, Asus makes them way too big and Razer has always been known for their brittle plastics. I don't touch dell anything.


Thanks for your reply! Any thoughts on the GTX 980M vs the GTX 970M? Is the price difference worth it? I've also considered looking into GTX 970M SLI, but I'm not sure if there are any of those models within my price range.



I would take a 980M over SLI 970M, battery life is important to, it is a laptop after all. Get the best possible single GPU laptop you can, cause there is no future proof you have to insure it will last as long as possible before it's too dated to use.
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May 4, 2015 1:53:35 PM

Do you not think cooling would be an issue in such a small build featuring such strong specs?
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May 5, 2015 6:26:25 AM

matt103544 said:
Do you not think cooling would be an issue in such a small build featuring such strong specs?


Not likely for systems in that price range, normally heat issues are from the fans on laptops degrading within 2-3 years. It's a $15 fix for that but companies like MSI, Asus, Sager, Cyberpower really stress their systems to insure they can handle the hardware they put in them. In addition the 900 series GPU's and 4000 series from Intel CPU's are really low on power usage. Higher voltage = higher temps, and the purity of the metals they use are very good. Sager uses MSI motherboards with high purity metal traces and black cap VRM's so the resistance is low. This reduces electrical friction insuring low temps.
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May 23, 2015 3:23:53 PM

Xibyth said:
matt103544 said:
Xibyth said:
Sager is a very well known brand among enthusiasts for portable performance and gaming devices. Aside from them the only company I would by a gaming laptop from is MSI, Asus makes them way too big and Razer has always been known for their brittle plastics. I don't touch dell anything.


Thanks for your reply! Any thoughts on the GTX 980M vs the GTX 970M? Is the price difference worth it? I've also considered looking into GTX 970M SLI, but I'm not sure if there are any of those models within my price range.



I would take a 980M over SLI 970M, battery life is important to, it is a laptop after all. Get the best possible single GPU laptop you can, cause there is no future proof you have to insure it will last as long as possible before it's too dated to use.


Actually no just no. The really high end laptop can have almost everything replaced inside (excluding the cpu in a lot of cases); however it is usually most cost effective to get the best now, as upgrading later is expensive.
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May 30, 2015 2:30:42 PM

Iamsoda said:
Xibyth said:
matt103544 said:
Xibyth said:
Sager is a very well known brand among enthusiasts for portable performance and gaming devices. Aside from them the only company I would by a gaming laptop from is MSI, Asus makes them way too big and Razer has always been known for their brittle plastics. I don't touch dell anything.


Thanks for your reply! Any thoughts on the GTX 980M vs the GTX 970M? Is the price difference worth it? I've also considered looking into GTX 970M SLI, but I'm not sure if there are any of those models within my price range.



I would take a 980M over SLI 970M, battery life is important to, it is a laptop after all. Get the best possible single GPU laptop you can, cause there is no future proof you have to insure it will last as long as possible before it's too dated to use.


Actually no just no. The really high end laptop can have almost everything replaced inside (excluding the cpu in a lot of cases); however it is usually most cost effective to get the best now, as upgrading later is expensive.


Replacing and upgraded are two entirely different actions in the computing world. Yes the GPU is not soldered to the board so it can be removed and replaced. But upgrading to a new graphics card with different instructions, power controller, shape, size, and the logic board of laptops is not designed to adapt to any of these changes. The only way to aptly do this is to build your own 'whitebox' laptop. Usually doing this runs in the range of $3000 or more and can only support graphics cards that already are available, ie a GTX 765m to 865m.
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May 30, 2015 7:17:18 PM

Xibyth said:
Or the same one with a 970m and a far better display for $200 more.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OBQ5YYQ/ref=psdc_565108_t1_...


True enough. The only reasons I didn't mention it is because the OP said, "I'm not planning on going with 3K/4K res", and it's also outside of his price range. :) 

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