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DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

A GIANT PARSNIP posted:

So I should assume pretty much every laptop screen is lovely, unless someone specifically says it's not?
Most of them, yes. If you like the T430 and are willing to trade a little size and weight (and money) for a MUCH better screen, the 1920x1080 option on the T530 is one of the best TNs out there right now.

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DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

sigma 6 posted:

Wait . . . so the Ideapads have Haswell chips but not the Thinkpads?
Right this moment, yes, there are (some) Ideapads available with Haswell chips, while there are no Thinkpads (yet). This will change over the next few weeks as Lenovo fleshes out the rest of their lineup with upgraded machines.

The discounts are almost all either/or deals, so if you've got a student discount you should compare and see which gives you the better price, but no they're not going to let you stack discounts like that. Unless their website fucks up, which it's known to do, so might as well give it a shot.

The IdeaPad is worse than the ThinkPad in terms of reliability and durability, no question. The W530 is the type of laptop you can sit on a desk and then when your rear end in a top hat co-worker trips over the cord and it crashes to the floor, you can just pick back up and be reasonably confident nothing broke. The IdeaPad would probably crack in half. There is a reason that the USMC's secret computers (that we care about) are all ThinkPads, but the day-to-day poo poo machines are all Dell and HP junkers. But yes, right now, today, the IdeaPad packs the better internals pretty much all the way around. The real answer, of course, is to not get impatient--wait another week or two and see what the new ThinkPads look like. You can expect that the internals will be fairly similar to the Y510p, but with a build quality that can't be beat.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Oxxidation posted:

What's this thread's opinion on extended warranties?
Extended warranties are very much a personal preference and should be bounced off how reliable you expect the machine to be, and how much abuse you intend to put it through. A ThinkPad that stays on the desk all day? Probably wasted money. That ASUS you plan on backpacking through Europe with? Probably money well spent. That said, note that most of the warranties unless they explicitly state otherwise do not cover the battery wearing out, nor do they cover accidental damage. Battery warranties are almost all useless, as they usually cost as much (or more!) than just buying a new battery anyhow. Accidental damage plans are a decent idea if you expect to be banging the laptop around a lot.

In the end, always remember that they wouldn't offer extended warranties if they didn't make money on them.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Mega Comrade posted:

Mind if I ask why you don't just get a desktop? If you plan on never moving it you are pretty much throwing away money by buying a laptop.
There can be completely reasonable situations that dictate this sort of thing. Barracks life comes immediately to mind, for instance, where you're basically living off of a single desk. Space becomes immensely important very quickly, and the ability to just close a laptop and put it in a drawer is huge. This is especially true for people who are getting cheap or middling laptops to do email and Facebook and light gaming, and aren't really concerned about the power tradeoffs because they wouldn't be doing anything serious with it anyhow.

Not to say that people who can have desktops shouldn't, I'm just saying there certainly are those outside cases.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Mega Comrade posted:

Is the real world performance between a i5-3320M and a i5-3210m negligible? I don't know enough about current benchmarks of laptops to read into it myself, if it's tiny, think i'd rather have the built in webcam.
The real-world performance difference is pretty much nil. The real difference between the two is the 3320M supports VT-d while the 3210M does not. This only matters if you plan on running virtualization stuff on it. If you're just using it for email and games and crap you'll never know the difference.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

voltron posted:

Has anyone picked up a MSI GT70 2OC-065US? This laptop seems like the bee's knees.
I wouldn't expect any trip reports soon. This thread generally looks down on "gamer" laptops, and at 8.6lbs (plus another 1.9lbs for the AC adapter) and 17", it's pretty much the type of laptop that most people here recommend against--especially given that the price suggests some serious compromises in build quality. The internals certainly do look nice, though.

e; that the $150 upgrade screen has only 72% NTSC coverage makes me wonder how poor the colors on the default one are.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Wait until Lenovo refreshed the ThinkPad. It should be pretty soon. If those drop with options for the higher-end IGPs, it will largely eliminate the need for a dGPU for anything other than high-end gaming, and probably save you a pretty penny in the process. The current dGPUs you're going to find available on 14-15" laptops under $800 aren't going to be much better than the Haswell IGP, anyhow. Unless you need it RIGHT NOW, I strongly recommend waiting.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

shrughes posted:

This is not true.
While you are correct, the current dGPU offerings in the ThinkPad lineup are pretty poor, especially compared to what should be available once the refresh hits.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

z06ck posted:

Anyone?
Not really. The two options you already listed are your best bet at getting what you want. There aren't exactly a lot of 13" laptops with a better-than 1920x1080 screen. poo poo, there aren't that many with even a 1920x1080 screen to begin with.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Thankfully. I'll be happy to see the days of everything being 1366x768 finally come to an end. Though whether Lenovo wises up and finally slaps a nice screen on the T4xx series has yet to be seen.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Chop Suey posted:

When I was searching I probably just wasn't seeing any thinkpads with a designated graphics card for under $800.
I don't think many of them come with dGPUs by default, but the S, T, and W lineups can have them added as options--and as long as you're using the B&N link you should be able to outfit a S or T series for around $800. The Helix, Twist, E, L and X series are all restricted to IGPs.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Calidus posted:

Anyone have fan noise issues with their T430? I picked one up for the office and the fan is deafening even when the cpu is only sitting at 40 C. I have never had a problem like this with the other Thinkpads in the office.
The fan on mine is barely audible unless the dGPU is on. Might want to check and ensure that there's not something running that's keeping the dGPU busy.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Hadlock posted:

There's no i5 Haswell chip available yet, and if they put a Haswell chip in their ultrabook, they have to equip it with a touchscreen.
I seriously wonder how much being able to brand your product as an Ultrabook is actually worth these days. Especially with the touchscreen requirement, which I imagine ads not insubstantial costs to the machine (as well as causing all sorts of nasty second-order effects: do you really want to be supporting a laptop with a squishy matte screen that people are poking with their fingers?), it seems like a tough sell from a business perspective, especially since I can't see the touchscreen being a huge seller in some markets.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

InstantInfidel posted:

I think it's less about the branding and more about the subsidies Intel shovels your way, but the branding can't hurt. The market was trending towards small and light anyway, Intel just artificially sped up the process.
I guess, but on the other hand the subsidies can't be THAT large (bulk chips aren't really a huge margin product, either), especially after the touchscreen costs are factored in. And this time around, I have a hard time understanding why Intel would even need to bother with branding or subsidies or such things: all you have to do is look at battery life and IGP performance and it's hard to recommend anything from AMD.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Toshiba Satellites are, indeed, of questionable build quality. Anything a laptop maker slaps the label of "Everyday Value" on should immediately be assumed to be cheap plastic junk. If you really cannot wait for a ThinkPad Haswell, consider picking up a current ThinkPad as the sales inevitably ramp up. There aren't a whole lot of "cheap but decent" Haswell laptops out yet.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

InstantInfidel posted:

A lot of theoretical power that's pretty constrained by a tiny thermal envelope that results in throttling and the (admittedly much improved) drawbacks of SLI, including microstuttering. It makes a lot more sense to either get a single 750M or get a better GPU altogether.
More like constrained by a 1600x900 max resolution screen. Who needs SLI for that?

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

hooah posted:

Along those lines how practical is it to reformat the small SSD that comes in some of the ThinkPads and install Windows on it?
It's easy to do (takes about 5 minutes of setup and then 25-30 of it installing itself), but as everyone has said, there's really no point. If you want the extra space, stick with the default HDD and add in a mSATA drive so you can have both. Upgrading to a SSD from Lenovo is a waste of money.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

The Nexus 7 can't be beat for the price, assuming you're ok with a 7" screen. I don't know too many people who want to actually work on a 7" screen. It's fine for maps, movies, games, etc., but it's pretty damned small once you start talking about using it for word processing or the like. At $400 the Nexus 10 isn't nearly as cheap, but it's a very solid performer and still a good deal cheaper than the closest iPad.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

johnny sack posted:

Awesome thanks, I didn't see that.


edit: that being said, there is some significant money to be saved in energy costs by using a desktop replacement, goddamn.
Not as much as you'd think, unless you never turn anything off. My whole desktop system (multiple HDDs, 7950, overclocked i5, etc) only draws around 350W under load, and idles at more like 100W. If you assume the laptop draws 150W at load and 50W idle, if you paid 30c/kWh (gently caress you, SoCal), ran it full-load for 4hrs/day and idled the other 20, you'd be spending $1.02/day on the desktop and $0.48/day on the laptop--a savings of about $200/yr. Now if you act like a normal human being and turn your poo poo off when you're not around, and you use it full-load for 4hrs and idle for 4hrs a day, that savings drops to $0.54 vs $0.24, or about $100/yr. If you're located somewhere that doesn't hate electricity, your savings will be even less.

tl;dr you're realistically not going to be saving more than $100 or so a year (unless you run your poo poo 24/7 like a retard), so don't buy a laptop for the power savings.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

voltron posted:

What laptop has the nicest (understand that's subjective) screen? I am looking for a 15" screen that has great visuals. I think integrated video will do fine for my purposes (Counter-strike, Q3, and 1080p video).
Do you have a price point in mind? The MBPr is obviously a beautiful machine, but quite expensive. The T530 w/1080 screen is pretty nice (not AS nice as the MBPr's), but costs less than half as much, and there are a bunch of IPS-toting laptops sitting somewhere in the middle.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Doctor rear end in a top hat posted:

Are you including monitors in this calculation? Mine use a bit over 100 watts each. Plus if you're running them during the summer, that heats up the room and your air conditioner has to work harder, using even more electricity.
No, because what monitors you use varies wildly, and a lot of people looking for "desktop replacement" laptops end up using external monitors anyhow.

Unless your electricity costs 30c/kWh or more, you're unlikely to see enough electrical savings no matter how you cut it to really care about--and even at 30c/kWh and assuming an extra 200W for multiple monitors etc., you're still talking less than a WoW subscription's savings a month, even if you leave your poo poo on 24/7. Saving a few bucks is a nice side-effect, sure, but no one should be going into buying a desktop-replacement laptop thinking that they're going to save substantial money over the long-term by doing so.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

NeoSeeker posted:

How much more would I have to put into it to bump up another level?



what about 4th gen cores and DDR3L ram?
The next real "level" is at roughly the $1500 range. 4th gen CPUs are slowly trickling in, but haven't been added to a lot of product lines yet. This is probably due at least in part to the fact that the real main-stream i5 Haswell chips are not available yet; right now most of the Haswell laptops you're seeing at i7 variants. So if you wanted a Haswell version of something with an i5 currently, you're probably going to have to wait another month or two.

DDR3L isn't a huge issue either way. It's a nice power-saving bonus if you have it, but it's not going to buy you much extra run-time, so it's no big deal to not have it.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Chemical Shift posted:

Does anyone know whether installing an mSATA SSD into my X230 (purchased April) would void the extended warranty. I have asked Lenovo several times and they constantly tell me that "it might, it would be better for you to send it to us". Online videos of the installation look super easy, I just thought I'd ask before I head over to the SSD drive megathread to ask for recommendations.
There's a bit of back and forth on it, but the crux of the answer is this: While it will not void your warranty by itself, you're pretty much on your own if you break the palm-rest while doing it, and same thing if your mSATA SSD somehow freaks out and sets your laptop on fire or whatever. Since neither of these events are very likely (despite not technically being a customer replaceable part, the palm-rest is quite easy to remove/replace, and unless you short out your SSD somehow it's not going to catastrophically fail), you'd almost certainly be fine if you decided to do so.

But, no, if you tossed in a mSATA SSD and your screen died a month later, they would not be able to deny your warranty. Obviously you should remove the SSD before you ship it back to them, but that's about it.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

z16bitsega posted:

E: I'd also be switching to an SSD, does the X use some goofy small sized drive like my T400s does?
The "goofy small sized drive" you're talking about is a 1.8" drive, but pretty much every laptop above 13" these days uses 2.5" drives or the absolutely tiny mSATA drives. Which isn't a problem because no one bothers making consumer 3.5" SSDs anymore to begin with.

The T430 is one of the best-built, most durable laptops you can buy under $1000, but the battery life on the standard battery still isn't amazing--about 3-4 hours. You can get an extended battery off Amazon for $70-$80 that'll go 6+ hours, though. The screen is, admittedly, mediocre at best and there's nothing you can do about it. Unless you need to replace your laptop NOW, you may be better off waiting for the Haswell refresh in a month or two and hoping that Lenovo bothers to pair the new T4xx with a monitor that doesn't suck.

I'm curious as to how your warranty experience has been poor. Every dealing I've had with IBM so far has been extremely easy and usually results in them sending whatever parts I ask for with only the most basic of questioning, most of which usually revolves around whether or not I want to pay for weekend shipping.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

z16bitsega posted:

So which does the X230 use, 2.5 or mSATA?
As Hadlock notes, it has both. This is commonly causes people to order the laptop with the minimum HDD available and then add in an mSATA of their own afterwards, netting them substantial savings and the bonus of being able to use both a SSD and HDD at the same time.

z16bitsega posted:

Weren't they claiming up to 30 hours or something silly like that when the T420 came out? What happened with that?
You have to read the fine print where they say it's with the extended battery, slice battery, and ultrabay battery all installed. I don't know about 30 hours, but people certainly get 20+ with that slice battery.

z16bitsega posted:

Performance in terms of raw processing power really does not matter much to me. With my current Core 2 Duo, I don't think I've ever done anything that's been processor-limited. I have my doubts about Lenovo using a screen that doesn't suck, given their track record on such things.
Normally I'd agree, but everyone else seems to be taking the Haswell refresh as an opportunity to pump up the screens, so there's more hope than usual this time around.

z16bitsega posted:

Well, since you asked...
That's pretty bad--are you not in the US or something? IBM (US ThinkPad support) usually bends over backwards to make people happy, but Lenovo's support anywhere else is nothing special. You're right about your previous comment, though: experiences like that are par for the course from anyone else in the business except Apple, rather than the unusual case that it is for IBM.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Oh, I don't expect them to slap a high-quality screen on the T431 or whatever it'll be called as a default option--you're right, great viewing angles don't really sell business-class laptops at that price point. But it wouldn't kill them to offer a more expensive screen as an add-on option. poo poo, they already do that with the T430, why not make it a $60 upgrade instead of a $20 one and make it a screen that wouldn't disappoint everyone?

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

the black husserl posted:

Am I misreading this? My early 2010 Macbook pro runs Witcher 2 and Human Revolution on medium settings just fine. Surely the modern cards haven't gotten worse?
Lots of people also like to play games at higher than 1440x900, like to be able to turn on all the pretties, and like to keep it running at a solid 60FPS, which is a troublesome thing to find in a laptop when trying to play current games, especially when you don't want the laptop to also weigh 10lbs and have a battery life of 30 minutes and still cost $1500.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Brut posted:

Alright so seeing as Haswell thinkpads or Yogas are not really around the corner yet, I'm almost certainly gonna pull the trigger on a T530. I'd like to have an SSD as the main drive and a regular HDD for storage, I see that in the customization I can replace the optical drive with a 7200rpm 500gb for $110 including bay adapter, and I can add in an mSATA drive. What's my best option here? just get the bay thing and install an ssd as the primary drive myself? I don't know anything about mSATA so that's really what's confusing me here.

Can I get the bay adapter on it's own and put in my own hard drive to have it come out cheaper? (or more capacity)
mSATA is technically a type of connection port, but it has basically become a de-facto size standard, really, like 3.5" or 1.8".

Your best option is to decide what sized HDD you want and order the laptop with that--and only that. Then wander over to NewEgg or the like and buy a mSATA SSD drive of the appropriate size. Here's a long-time favorite of the SSD thread: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226226 (the SSD thread will happily assist you in picking one out if you want). You can then install the mSATA into a small slot under one of the plates on the bottom of the T530--no crazy adapter needed. This is far cheaper than opting for a factory installed mSATA/SSD of any sort.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Booting from the mSATA is no problem--that's pretty much the exact setup I run in my T430. You can use Acronis or whatnot to clone the disk if you wish, or you can use install disks of your own (it'll ask you to burn a set the first time you boot) to "factory restore" to the mSATA. The only difficulty is if you want to use the disks, you have to pop out the HDD (easy--it's just one screw and a pull-tab) or it'll automatically set the restore point to the HDD and not let you change it to the mSATA. But yes, you can easily clone/restore to the mSATA and run it that way, or you can do a clean install of Windows if that's your preference (just ensure you have the network drivers on a USB drive or something). The ThinkPad doesn't come with a whole lot of bloatware, but it still has a small selection of odds and ends that most people are just going to delete (or should delete) anyhow.

Also, once you get everything up and running and have burned a set of restore disks, you can wander in and delete the restore partition that Lenovo automatically makes--it'll save you quite a bit of space on your pricy SSD.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Brut posted:

Could you elaborate on the slowness? I'm about to pick one up next week for a new laptop, by how much are they slower?
By no amount you will ever notice. mSATAs are not by themselves any slower than any other type of SSD, but Lenovo for reasons unknown decided to make the mSATA port run at SATA1 speeds (150MB/s) vice the SATA2 port that lives in the optical bay (300MB/s). However, that's largely irrelevant because you're on a laptop and the chances of you pushing sustained transfers over 150MB/s for any amount of time is quite remote. Even SATA1 speeds buys you the best part of using a SSD, which is the stupid-fast "seek" times and near-instant response to random access requests, which is what HDDs really suck at by comparison.

Oxxidation posted:

New laptop's coming today. Obviously it's going to have bloatware on it - are clean installs generally recommended whenever you get new machines, or would uninstalling the bloatware program-by-program suffice?
Depends on what laptop you're getting. Apple? You're fine to leave it as is. ThinkPad? A few things here or there you don't need, otherwise largely fine. Pretty much anything else? Be prepared to spend awhile de-loving the bloatware bombs. For most laptops it's not really required to do a clean install, but the time/effort may be lower by going that route vice trying to pull all the crapware out. If you do decide to do a clean install, just ensure you've already downloaded the network drivers onto a USB drive or otherwise have a copy, just in case Windows doesn't pick them up correctly by default.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

agarjogger posted:

Can I pop my hard drive out of the old one and into the new one? Or do I have a lower chance of tiny errors down the line if I do a new install on the new computer? I'm not totally clear on the relationship between hardware and software. They say the hardware config is identical, but with six months difference, who knows?
You will be fine: the hardware is identical. For various reasons, "business-class" laptops like the ThinkPad lineup are very interested in keeping their hardware 100% the same. Even if there were minor differences, Windows 7/8 is actually very good at covering for that, and you'd never know the difference in most cases.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

voltron posted:

Hey! Those of us seeking larger laptops (for whatever reason!!) would also like advice once in a while.
The problem isn't that we're trying to be jerks, the problem is that there simply isn't anything good to recommend. A lot of people who ask for advice on gaming laptops aren't realistic with either their needs or their wants initially ("I want a laptop that'll play AAA titles next year but is light enough to take to class with good build quality and also under $1000!"--bitch, you're not gonna bother taking that laptop to class for actual educational purposes past the first semester, don't kid yourself). Even for those people who are realistic, there's not a lot we can do to help: virtually every "gaming laptop" out there right now has some crippling draw-back that makes us not want to recommend it. Many of them have crap build quality combined with terrible warranty support, thermal problems that mean they can't be used on your lap and are loud, hot, hideous beasts, or are so expensive that no one is willing to buy them.

I mean, I'd love to be able to recommend the Razer Blade series, as it's one of the only laptops that seems to combine performance, quality, and still keeps it under 7lbs, but it's also $2500 ($2000 for the 14" version), and no one seems to have any actual reviews of it yet.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

QuarkJets posted:

What's worst about gaming laptops is that Haswell's integrated graphics are so good that you could easily get by with just that and claim to have a "gaming" machine in something light and thin. You just don't get to have the pretentious joy of being able to play AAA titles at 60 fps at max quality, you have to scale back a bunch of settings instead.

A real gamer can make do
This is true. When I got my T430 w/dGPU (roughly a GF630) I was initially disappointed that a good chunk of the games I wanted to play I couldn't max everything out on at 1600x900. Then I realized that most of the games really didn't look much worse if I knocked the settings down a bit to the point where it would keep the FPS to an acceptable level, and I've been fine ever since. Now, I wouldn't go claiming anything with a HD4X00 in it is a "gaming" machine--it'll still get happily destroyed by most anything with a current dGPU--but outside a few smoke-check games (BF3, I'm looking at you), you can still get a very decent gaming experience out of a non-"gaming" laptop these days. Doubly so if you are getting something that's not 1920x1080. Will a HD4X00 run BF3 at 60FPS maxed out at 1080p? No, it won't. But anything that will is going to be twice the weight, 50% more expensive, and have battery life that won't let you game-on-the-go anyhow.

And, trust me--this coming from someone who spent a year carrying around 30-40lbs packs on a daily basis--if you get an 8lbs+ laptop you will stop carrying it to class after the first few weeks unless you are explicitly required to bring it. 8lbs doesn't sound like a lot, but it turns out to be really loving annoying after awhile. If you want to test this, take a gallon of water (8.33lbs) and carry it around for a few days and see what you think.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

QuarkJets posted:

With Haswell you should already be able to run Civ 5 at much better than really low settings. The Civ series doesn't make particularly huge leaps in graphics requirements, a Haswell would probably be able to run Civ 6 in a few years on really low settings but at half the price of an mGPU top of the line gaming laptop
I can (and do) run Civ5 at 1600x900 on my T430 w/GF630 equivalent. You have to turn a few of the graphics options down, but it doesn't really make a big difference. Honestly, the crushing part of Civ 5 is how long it takes for AI civs to take their turns during end-game. We're talking a minute plus. So yeah, pretty much anything you get these days will be able to run Civ 5 as far as the graphics department goes.

And yeah, SLI in a laptop is a hilarious way to part a fool from his money. Due to thermal issues, most SLI setups are not all that much faster than their single-card versions, while being more expensive and managing worse thermals.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Mutation posted:

I'd also like to be able to play Battlefield 5 / Destiny on very low settings in the future.

Point is, I want to future proof my laptop to play entertaining future games at reasonably ugly settings.
You can't. Realistically the best solution for you is to take the $1500 you would have spent on a gaming laptop and buy a $1000 middle of the road laptop. In two years sell the laptop for $500, take the other $500 that you didn't spend originally, and buy a new $1000 laptop again. That'll give you better performance in two years than buying a top-of-the-line one right now will.

Think about it. 2 years ago a $1500 gaming laptop would have had something like a GTS 360M. Today that's about equivalent to a 630/635/640M LE depending on the game. That means it'd be only slightly faster (if at all) than the HD4600 IGP that some Haswell processors are packing--and obviously the CPU is slower and battery performance a crap-ton worse. With Intel taking graphics performance seriously, this scenario is likely to repeat itself. So, yeah.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

InstantInfidel posted:

Buying a gaming laptop any time in the next year is, actually, probably stupid idea as instead of just a bad one.
I'm not sure I'd be that pessimistic. What you say about the consoles is true--within 6 months after they hit, we can expect to see "next gen" titles that'll really stress current hardware. However, it's not like when the consoles drop, the next day laptop-makers will all reveal the super-secret laptop GPUs that will magically allow them to keep up. Just ain't gonna happen.

Gaming laptops usually can't play AAA titles on high/max settings for more than a year or two anyhow, and new consoles dropping won't really change that--if you buy now, it'll be another ~12 months before you really see games pushing the hardware you bought, and after that you'll start seeing your laptop's age. Buy in a year and you just start the same thing shifted by a year: you'll get ~12 months of being able to play whatever with good performance, and then slip and slide your way into obsolescence at about the two year mark.

You can't future-proof your laptop, but at the same time waiting doesn't really buy you a whole lot, either.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Torabi posted:

Perhaps. I'd rather not wait that long since I do other things and I have a stationary pc for gaming. My current laptop that I consider kinda crap runs far cry 3 on mediun/high.
Then why are you considering getting a gaming laptop? Get a solid middle of the road laptop for half the price and when in a year you find a game that it doesn't run as perfectly as you'd like, play it on your desktop.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Torabi posted:

So much for MSI. Not touching them then. Guess I'll just wait for more Haswell laptops that are midrange to show up.
Yeah, I'd say 90% of this thread right now is "no, seriously, wait for the i5 Haswells," because that's the correct option for almost everyone. Why Intel is making everyone wait, I don't know. Bastards.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

TenementFunster posted:

I'm about to order an Alienware 14 with the i7-4700MQ, 1080p display and GTX765M. Am I about to do a dumb thing? Should I get Win8? Is it still cheaper to buy the SSD I plan to put in and more RAM separately?
If you absolutely need a "gaming laptop," that's probably one of the more decent ones, though I'd caution you against picking the 14" model. Consider this part of one of the reviews on it:

quote:

To say that the Alienware 14 gets a little hot under the collar during extended gaming sessions is a massive understatement. After we played roughly 20 minutes of "Tomb Raider," the 14's keyboard had reached an uncomfortable 101 degrees Fahrenheit between the G and H keys. The middle of the underside of the system topped out at a disturbing 120 degrees, while the rear vent got as high as 154 degrees on the thermometer. The sole cool spot was the touchpad, which registered at just 88 degrees.

As for the SSD and RAM, yes, buy aftermarket and save a bunch of cash. Just keep the originals in a box somewhere, because if you ever have to get warranty support, they're only obligated to support the original configuration.

e; if you haven't already, take a look at the Razer Blade. It's in the same class as the Alienware 14, and is probably worth a look to see if you prefer one over the other.

DrDork fucked around with this message at 17:58 on Jul 2, 2013

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DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

22 Eargesplitten posted:

edit: Also looking at the cheaper end of the thinkpad range unless there are good reasons to get something more expensive.
The working assumption right now is that Lenovo won't be refreshing the full ThinkPad lineup until the i5 Haswell CPUs drop, which'll be September time-frame. If you can wait that long, it'll give you a laptop that'll have a lot more GPU power to play with, as well as noticeably better battery life (admittedly, that may come with some sort of crazy trade-off, like Lenovo switching to an even more terrible screen ). If you absolutely cannot wait, even a T430 with the HD4000 will play Killing Floor and a lot of other low-stress indy games. If you drop in the dGPU it'll actually perform alright on modern games, too.

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