Buying a laptop, need all of your great advice!

#1 Edited by Rohok (554 posts) -

Hey everyone, I'm trying to locate a great gaming laptop to bring with me on a year long trip out of country. I will not have the ability to bring a desktop with me as I will need to be highly mobile and flexible. My living space won't be very large and I will probably be sharing a tight space with some other people. Most likely bunkbeds, but we'll see. That being said, what I need is something that can run games like Rome 2 Total War and Arma 3- games that I play on a very regular basis. I currently own an Alienware m11x r2 that I got about 4 years ago but that's just not going to cut it since it overheats even on games like Sid Meier's Pirates and Age of Empires 2. It's obviously not up to par anymore and it's about time for a new laptop.

I've been doing some research and so far the three companies I've been looking at are www.originpc.com and www.ibuypower.com and ASUS.

The ASUS laptop I've been looking at specifically is this one: ASUS ROG G760JM

I can spend maybe 1300, max. What kind of experiences do people have with laptops from these companies? What recommendations do you all have as for what laptops I should go with? How is the temperature on the ASUS ROG laptops? Will it be okay in a hot environment (despite A/C, it'll still be very, very hot)?

#2 Posted by RedRavN (400 posts) -

Hi, as far as I know ASUS makes really good quality laptops and it seems like a safe bet in terms of quality and support. Personally, I have an MSI laptop and love it. I think the build quality is a step above most. I'm pretty sure there is an MSI laptop that would be in your budget.

There is no reason your current laptop should be overheating under load like that. Any kind of gaming laptop (has a real multi-core cpu and a dedicated graphics card) is going to generate a lot of heat. Even though MSI has quality heat sinks and fans its just not enough. Also, I clean out the fans and heat sinks every couple months to get all the accumulated dirt and dust out. I was having big problems with cpu overheat before I started doing that and wondering why my games were dropping into single digit frames and then going back up again. It was because the cpu was hardware throttling itself when it reached a certain temp. Also, I use a program called throttlestop to manually limit the maximum voltage of the intel "turboboost". This basically lowers the maximum clockspeed of a single core when it goes under 100% load. Doing this has eliminated any overheating issue for a small performance cost. My gpu temp seems mostly fine even when overclocked.

It doesn't matter what kind of laptop you get, if it has quality hardware its going to have heat issues probably. like I said, the key is proper cleaning and making sure the cpu stays at a stable temperature. Also, I definately recommend you get a 17 inch screen for a gaming laptop. The thing is gaming laptops are meant to be portable but its something that might be difficult to travel with. Also, I didn't realize how big of a deal hard drive space would be. You might want to spend a little extra to get more storage space especially if your steam library has become ridiculous like mine has.

#3 Posted by MB (12409 posts) -

You may want to look into some of the last generation of Asus laptops with 765m's in them, a couple months ago those machines were going for around $1000-$1100 since the new units with 800 series mobile gpu's were out. The 765m performs just as well if not better than the 860m.

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#4 Posted by xyzygy (9992 posts) -

You should consider the Surface Pro lineup. They are smaller but that means they're super portable and they're extremely well built. Plus, they pack a surprising punch and there are a lot of options now for specs. I think 1300 will get you the 256GB SSD i5 version.

And then there's the Lenovo Yoga lineup, which are also really nice laptops but might need some tweaking to add more useable SDD space (well, mine did).

That Asus laptop you linked to looks super bulky, although Asus are usually really good when they're in a +1000$ price range.

#5 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

Surface Pro 3 is out at the end of the month. Your max budget would net you the i5, 256gb model. I know my local Best Buy has one on display and it seems like it makes a few big improvements over the previous generations. Only issue you'll have is the tablet end of things, where it's pretty lacking in app support compared to tablets from Apple and Samsung.

#6 Posted by soulcake (283 posts) -

Asus or MSI are the best bets for a gaming laptop.

#7 Edited by Nightriff (5084 posts) -

I bought the Asus ROG G750 and I love the hell out of the thing, if you are willing to drop the cash it is totally worth it.

Mine is the G750JX which is now replaced, but the one that has replaced it is considerably more powerful.

#8 Posted by FinnianWhitefir (15 posts) -

I got an MSI laptop suggested to me and love it. I don't know a ton about the companies, but they seem made for people who don't need a lot of support, I.E. techies, and given that you'll be overseas and won't be in a position to just mail it in if it breaks, probably no company is going to be any better at that.

For instance:

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-GE70-Apache-Pro-012-17-3-Inch/dp/B00IMTQ5I2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402280855&sr=8-1&keywords=msi+laptop

Compared to the one you listed, for $20 more this weighs 40% less, has a better CPU, has a slightly faster hard drive, and slightly smaller form factor. I got a similar one and then added RAM and a SSD. It may be over your budget after tax, but I would use it as a example to find a similar MSI to compare to other ones.

I don't know that I'd run it hard in a very very hot environment like you say, but they are made for gaming and seem to have lots of fans and thought put into air throughput.

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