Buying a new Laptop and I could use some advice

By Mad_Man
Jul 13, 2013
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  1. So I am looking at buying a new laptop, and instantly I went to Newegg. I have been looking around and narrowed it down to 2 MSI gaming laptops.

    Laptop 1
    Laptop 2

    I asked my cousin his opinion, since he does a lot with computers, and he essentially told me;
    1. The specs on both are horrible (since the only difference is the color and RAM)
    2. The processors on both will be slower then his current computer (which is a standard DELL with a 2nd or 3rd gen i5)
    3. Both are much slower then most other computers
    4. They are just terrible gaming laptops in general...
    So he pretty much said they are both terrible.

    Since this is my first time buying a computer on my own and it is a lot of money to spend, I am looking for a little guidance. Both of the above look pretty good to me, speed and performance wise. I play a lot of games, on Steam, League of Legends, Diablo 3, and some other pretty demanding games. I am also looking to do some school work, on Microsoft Office and such, to do research and write papers and things (I am a college student). At some point in the future I may have to install some 3D CAD software since I am studying to be an engineer. I also do general computer things and possibly record some game play footage.

    I hope to use whatever computer I get for 4 or 5 years (assuming I take care of it properly)

    If both of these options are bad, which I am fairly confident that they are not, can anyone point me in the right direction? My budget is anywhere close to the price of the two above (~$2,000-$2,800). Any help is appreciated!
    Thanks!
  2. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,685   +870

    Both laptops are great, I really do not know what your cousin was thinking. Both laptops have the highest end components you can get. They are are overkill though. This is why:
    1) You want to avoid RAID 0.
    2) 32GB RAM is too much.
    3) A 4GB GPU for 1080P is overkill, but doesnt hurt.

    Pros:
    1) The 780M is great.
    2) 4th gen CPU
    3) A lot of RAM.

    I would recommend Sager laptops. They offer great value. I would look into this:
    1) http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_browse&selected_cat=special&mid=NP9390
    - I would chose this because it has dual 8970Ms. This will kill battery life (not like it had any in the first place), but it will play any game @ ultra. Lower the amount of RAM to 16GB since 24-32GB is overkill. Make sure you select the Intel Intel 240GB 525 series SSD instead of the Crucial M4. Make sure you chose the prefered OS (Win 7 vs Win 8).

    That is the best option because it comes with 2 GPUs. It is by far the best value.
    misor likes this.
  3. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Just wondering, Why do I want to avoid RAID 0?
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,576   +76

    I too recommend Sager laptops they're much more durable. MSI is MOBO maker still you pay a lot for what they're offering. 16GB on Windows 64-bit is enough today when I max out my system here to 32GB the OS wasn't using only 3GB out of the 32GB. Most apps don't even come near that amount of RAM. Games might need more but 16GB is more than you need and that's about 13GB free after everything loads up.
  5. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,133   +493

    With laptops, choosing high end gaming is very difficult because price starts jumping up fast.

    As for the 2 you selected, I don't know what specs your cousin considers good because either of those are awesome. I have a gt 70 msi laptop with a 675m that kicks some serious *** in gaming.

    But I do agree with jc713, getting a sager with dual HD 8970ms in cfx will be probably the best over all, dual 780ms are way overpriced and the performance is roughly the same in gaming give or take some fps in games that prefer one company over the other.

    For the price, I would definitely get dual 8970ms on that sager over those single msi gtx 780m comps.
  6. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I was looking around a little more to maybe see If I could find something for less $$. I found this among the MSI inventory

    here.

    As far as what I am looking for, how would this do? I can add RAM and things if needed since it has open slots.

    Assuming that I can get upgrades, is that good in the price range of $1200-$1900? Are there any others I should look into?
  7. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,133   +493

    That's pretty much the recent model of the one I have and it's a very good laptop. I love mine and it works so well in gaming, I believe the 770 is around the power of the 680m from last round so you will be fine in gaming.

    If you wanna go up, you can get one with an ssd to help with speed, but this will be very powerful and expandable!
  8. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Alright awesome!


    If I were to get that computer I would buy the 780M or wait for the next gen, also an SSD separate and put it in myself a little later on. It is just easier and cheaper. Good idea?
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,383   +607

    Moral of the story: don't listen to your cousin with regards to PC's. Just smile, nod, walk away. :)


    Putting SSD in yourself is easy and a lot cheaper.
    JC713 and GhostRyder like this.
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,133   +493

    Well heres the one I would recommend with a 780m by MSI:

    MSI: GT70

    Its got the Haswell 4700qm at 2.4ghz and a 780m inside powering the graphics. 12gb of ddr3 1600 ram using 3 4gb sticks (One space open), a blur-ray drive, HD 1080p screen, and a 1tb drive. Now of course the only real disadvantage of this laptop is that HDD, my MSI GT70 (Which I would assume they are going to be roughly the same setup) has 3 drive spaces for HDD's so you can add an SSD later which would be cheaper than paying them to put it in and very simple (Its literally just unscrewing a screw to one panel on the bottom).

    Ive loved my MSI laptop and I recommend them for gaming laptops to anyone now-a-days.
  11. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    But as far as just having the 770M, THIS is the best option, correct? Going in later once the 780 is a little less then $700, or would you recommend just getting the GT70 now? I mean, the 770 is still pretty darn good isnt it? The one with
    1. the 770 is pretty much the same laptop minus the 780,
    2. 16gb instead of 12gb RAM,
    3. 750gb HD instead of 1tb,
    4. 3gb Video memory instead of 4gb,
    and those are all the differences I could really find, am I right?
  12. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,685   +870

    Raid 0 results in a lot of data loss. It is much more prone to failure than a regular HDD.
  13. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,685   +870

    Do you want a MSI that bad? They dont offer as much value as Sagers do...
  14. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    The main reason I want an MSI is because at my local Micro Center, they will stock the specific MSI you want even if they don't normally carry it. And then you can put their in store warranty on it, which is much better the the manufacturer one. They do that for several brands, but Sager is not one of them...
  15. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,133   +493

    The GTX 770m when vsing in games and overall performance seems to show a ~30% difference in performance between the two.

    The GTX 770m is an excellent chip, but after reading up on it a bit more, it looks like it is a slightly neutered 680m meaning the 680m was slightly above it in many tests including gaming benchmarks (Like 5-10 % difference). You will be able to play most games on high using the 770m and it will perform pretty darn well overall. Now with the other differences in specs, more ram beyond 8-12 on a laptop for gaming will probably not make a difference to you as I have 12gb and I don't even use more than 50% even on BF3 on it. The HDD will make a difference mostly in just load times, I would just get an SSD later and change that to a boot drive and install a few games on it.

    Video memory is meh on a laptop, its one of those things that to me starts making less and less since because most gaming laptops only contain a 1920x1080 screen at most and I dot know many people who run multi-monitor surround off laptops (Ive only tried once to see if it could)so beyond 3gb, you probably wont see a difference either.

    My suggestion, if you want to go for the gold on a laptop, go ahead and get the 780m over the 770m if you think you will want to upgrade later because prices on those cards take along time to go down and there is a significant different between the 770m and the 780m, plus the laptop will go ahead and come pre-setup for the 780m so you don't have to worry about that later (IE ac adapter and software, though swapping an MXM card on the MSI laptops is not too difficult).
  16. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,685   +870

    Oh ok. Sager is like Clevo. They buy generic chassis and allow you to customize them.

    The 780M is overpriced. Just get a MSI with a 8970 (if they offer one). Does MC offer ASUS?
  17. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    So I went to Sager to try and build the exact same laptop as the GT70 with the 780M and got this, NP8270-S
    Display 17.3" Full HD LED-Backlit Display with Matte Finished Surface (1920 x 1080)
    Video & Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M GPU with 4GB GDDR5 Video Memory [$350.00]
    CPU Processor 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.40GHz)
    Thermal Compound IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU - Special Promotion Offer!
    Operating System Genuine MS Windows® 8 64-Bit Edition
    Memory 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 2 X 8GB -Special Promotion Offer!
    mSATA SSD Drive Intel 120GB 525 Series mSATA SSD - Preconfigured as an OS Drive (Primary Drive C) [$190.00]
    Hard Drive & SSD Drive RAID Storage Options Non-RAID Storage
    Hard Disk Drive 1 750GB 7200rpm SATA2 Hard Drive
    Optical Drive Bay — Optical Drive or Hard Disk Drive in Optical Drive Bay with Caddy case 6X Blu-ray Reader/8X DVD±R/2.4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software - Special Promotion Offer!
    Wireless Network Card Killer™ Wireless-N 1202 802.11 A/B/G/N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth 4.0 Combo Module - Special Promotion Offer!
    Primary Battery Smart Li-ION Battery Pack
    Integrated Security Device Fingerprint Reader
    Microsoft Office Microsoft Office 2013 Trial - Included in Price
    Warranty Sager 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty

    and the total price without the extended warranty was a little more then the GT70 with the 780M. But my main thing at this point is, will the 770 still do what I want it to or is the difference between that and that 780 that signifigant.

  18. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,685   +870

    I think you should get the 8970. It isnt that much weaker than the 780, but it is a lot cheaper. You may want 240GB of SSD space also. You have to keep in mind though, Sager offers some extras like IC Diamond thermal compound and some special offers like BD players, etc.
     
  19. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter


    And I am not entirely sure, when I go in I will ask. When looking at ASUS I found this to be the closest to what I was looking for.
    ASUS G750JX-DB71
    In no particular order,
    these are the top 3.
    and this Sager
    Display 17.3" Full HD LED-Backlit Display with Matte Finished Surface (1920 x 1080)
    Zero Dead Pixel Insurance Guaranteed no dead or partially-lit pixels for first 30 days of purchasing
    Video & Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 8970M GPU with 4GB GDDR5 Video Memory
    CPU Processor 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.40GHz)
    Thermal Compound IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU - Special Promotion Offer!
    Operating System Genuine MS Windows® 8 64-Bit Edition
    Memory 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 2 X 8GB -Special Promotion Offer!
    mSATA SSD Drive Intel 240GB 525 Series mSATA SSD - Preconfigured as an OS Drive (Primary Drive C)
    Hard Drive & SSD Drive RAID Storage Options Non-RAID Storage
    Hard Disk Drive 1 750GB 7200rpm SATA2 Hard Drive
    Optical Drive Bay — Optical Drive or Hard Disk Drive in Optical Drive Bay with Caddy case 6X Blu-ray Reader/8X DVD±R/2.4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software - Special Promotion Offer!
    Wireless Network Card Killer™ Wireless-N 1202 802.11 A/B/G/N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth 4.0 Combo Module - Special Promotion Offer!
    Primary Battery Smart Li-ION Battery Pack
    Integrated Security Device Fingerprint Reader
    Microsoft Office Microsoft Office 2013 Trial - Included in Price
    Warranty Sager 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty
  20. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,685   +870

    That ASUS has a 770M, so yeah it is a option.
  21. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,133   +493

    This is the only MSI I know of for sale that has a HD 8970m
    Link

    As for the Asus you have listed, well heres my deal with Asus, I love asus products but the gaming laptop line left something to be desired for my tastes at least. I had a G73jh and SW versions and they were good laptops, but left out some important enthusiasts components/software that would have made things more fun for a gaming laptop. Things like Fan Control, cooling for the entire machine, and expandability were just a few things I felt lacking on the Asus models I owned (I have not tried newer ones so I can speak about them).

    The MSI feals great for thigns like that because every aspect of it feels like it was designed not for the mere idea of constricting the laptop size or cheaper, but for good airflow and performance all around. Same with Sager, Sager would be my choice especially going with SLI/CFX in a laptop as they are one of the few who make ones that do it and perform very well. With your budget, I would definintly go with a sager and grab dual 8970m's on it as that's going to be one of the best gaming experiences on the mobile you can get!
  22. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well I would go get it... But the transmission on my car gave out this evening... And on a remote dirt road on top of it all. So there goes $1000+... Hopefully next time I can get that monster!

    But life happens.

    I still need a new computer though. I think with the new budget I'm going to go for the MSI GT70 2OC-059US
    Still very happy with the computer, plus I can always upgrade parts in the future if I want.
    I think adding a SSD is the first on the list of upgrades. Good idea?
  23. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,685   +870

    Lol, what a coincidence. Hope all goes well with your car. It is good you didnt dump the money on the PC and then later the car went out xD. That is a great PC nonetheless. A SSD should be the first and probably only upgrade. The RAM is already maxed. You cannot really change anything else other than storage in a laptop.
  24. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,576   +76

    The guys at CSC who had the brought in SAGER laptops were happy with them. Build quality is better and yes you do get extras with your custom build laptop. MSI and ASUS they try to get into everything they just don't focus on MOBO (motherboards) they're into everything. Sometimes doing so there are issues. MSI laptop high price yeah I use to buy like that not anymore. Tech changes so what you get you might have waited to get something better. Can't really stay on top of tech today.
  25. Mad_Man

    Mad_Man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I would, but like I explained above, my transmission blew in my car so I had to spend some of the money in my computer budget on that, so I can't afford that anymore. And I need to get a laptop this week, or I can't do my work and schoolwork. And it isn't like I am buying something that isn't good...


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