I'm considering purchasing a gaming laptop. Am I nuts?

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#1 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

Just what the topic is asking. Am I nuts for wanting a high end gaming laptop.

It might help to give a little situational back ground first. I currently have a 360, PS3, and a PC already. The PC works fine but is massive. It's a full tower from MainGear and works just fine and has a Radeon 7770 in it. Right now it is used for video editing, ESX and storage (8 TB total and growing) and is in our basement. My wife has already forbid the monolith from taking a step out of my office so I can't plug it into the TV upstairs. My thinking has been, why not get a gaming laptop. I can't take it around the house, plug it into any TV I want, will work with a controller and do a bunch of other fun stuff with it.

Does anyone out there have a gaming laptop? If so, what would you recommend taking a look at? What should I stay away from?

#2 Posted by Jaytow (693 posts) -

YOU'RE FUCKIN NUTS!

#3 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -
#4 Posted by BisonHero (6171 posts) -

Is there no way for you to rig up an extra-long HDMI cable or something? I guess the latency would kind of suck, but that still seems preferable to paying the premium you pay for most gaming laptops.

#5 Edited by believer258 (11635 posts) -

Are you sure you didn't mean to type "7970"? Because I've got a 7770 and it hums along at a nice, low noise level, and my computer's not of monolithic proportions either. In fact, it's also somewhat meek.

If your wife really, really won't let you have anything bigger than a laptop, then I guess that's the only solution. Gee, all these stories of fellows saying "my wife won't let me ____" really puts me off ever wanting a wife.

#6 Posted by mscupcakes (612 posts) -

I bought a gaming laptop roughly 3-4 years ago and it still runs great. I can still play the majority of games of high settings (and older games on ultra). If you like flashy lights and have a lot of money (and I mean A LOT) you could go for an Alienware M18x.

#7 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@believer258: Ok i will admit that was a low blow to my wife. The tower itself is a massive, black eyesore and we have concerns that our pets will do something to it.

That being said the other reason I am looking at a gaming laptop is because we like to both sit on the couch and play games. If she wants to watch tv then I can stay in the same room with her and play as opposed to having to go into the basement.

#8 Posted by pyromagnestir (4243 posts) -

I have a laptop that I do all those things with, and I like it. It's my de facto mobile game console. I even took it on vacation and played games when the weather was shitty, which was basically the whole vacation.

Mine's a Dell Studio 17, but there are better, gaming focused options out there, I'm sure. Though moving it around is a bit more of a hassle than I originally anticipated, as I need to bring the charger, and the controller, and an hdmi cable, and in my case an extension cord for certain rooms, sometimes headphones, and some other stuff, plus it's a 17 inch laptop, so it's kinda big, because I wanted to be able to play it without plugging it into a tv if I feel like it. So basically I have all that shit stuffed into a bag and when I want to play a game, I bring the bag.

Online
#9 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@BisonHero: I've considered that but It would require drilling through some structure joists into order to get up to the main floor from the basement. That's not something I want to do.

#10 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@mscupcakes: I think the Alienware m17x is more in my budget.

#11 Posted by Razorlution (186 posts) -

There are also wireless hdmi adapters that will run you about $150. Again, there may be some latency, but could save you thousands of dollars.

#12 Posted by Th3_James (2576 posts) -

Your nuts.

#13 Posted by Jimi (1126 posts) -

Yeah you're nuts, but that's just my opinion.

Most laptops that are marketted as "gaming" are generally really really overpriced so be wary.

#14 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@Baltimore said:

@believer258: Ok i will admit that was a low blow to my wife. The tower itself is a massive, black eyesore and we have concerns that our pets will do something to it.

That being said the other reason I am looking at a gaming laptop is because we like to both sit on the couch and play games. If she wants to watch tv then I can stay in the same room with her and play as opposed to having to go into the basement.

It wasn't just you, though, I hear a lot of married people mention their spouses not letting them do something, like there's a leash 'round their neck. But that's not the purpose of this thread.

In short: You're going to spend a lot of money for a respectable gaming laptop and you're not going to get as much out of it. The amount you'd spend on a really good gaming laptop that can run everything on high settings at 1080p could be put toward a fantastic, top-of-the-line desktop that can run everything on ultra, at higher resolutions, and will continue to do so for years whereas a laptop likely will require you to turn settings down next year and the next.

However, if you both have the money and a gaming laptop fits your needs, then go for it. It sounds like a laptop is what your situation calls for.

#15 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@Razorlution: We've got a couple of those adapters at my office. They work ok but the big issue in my house is the basement is practically a faraday cage. Wireless signals can't get out of there with all the metal ductwork and metal studs in the walls. Seriously, I have no idea who built this house, they were really dumb.

#16 Posted by crusader8463 (14412 posts) -

You are nuts unless you are very well off in the money department.

#17 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

I say just get one of those alienware X51 slim desktops, unless you really want a laptop. I prefer having a desktop for games and an Air to just use as a standard laptop.

#18 Posted by mlarrabee (2885 posts) -

Is there room in the office for a TV and speakers? The costs of buying a gaming laptop and of buying a 40" and 5.1 are pretty comparable.

#19 Posted by ikaruga (191 posts) -

Yes you are, the decision to purchase a gaming laptop over 2 years ago is 1 of the decision i regret the most. I thought I could man up and carry back and forth but it's just too heavy and the spec on that get obsolete very quickly. I have been trying to sell it for a few months with no buyer due the shitty battery and weight. Once you buy one you basically have to hold on to it til it breaks since resale value is so low

#20 Posted by csl316 (8111 posts) -

I bought a Dell XPS 17 a few years ago with absolutely no regrets. Runs games great and I carry it around the house all day for everything. But like any laptop, definitely get a comfortable cooling pad.

#21 Edited by SuperZamrod (269 posts) -

@Jams said:

You're nuts, but if you have the monies then go for it. I have the Razer Blade sitting in my Amazon wishlist for fantasy reasons. It's about as expensive as a mac, but it has some pretty cool features. If I had the money to burn on a laptop, I'd probably be thinking hard about getting this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Razer-Blade-RZ09-00710100-R3U1-17-3-Inch-Laptop/dp/B007E8TWQ4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pdT1_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3IV6MAVPZBO5C&coliid=I1TQ5ZIM2WPYIO

Why are people interested in this laptop? Do you realize its video card is shit? You'd be hard pressed to play most modern games at decent settings with the gt555m, and at that price advertising this as a gaming laptop is an outright scam. I got a Lenovo y580 a few months ago, it came to $990 after tax and everything. It looks great (sleek, not bulky or heavy, and not a flashy or dorky "gaming laptop"), has an Ivy bridge quad core processor, 8 gigs of ram, a gtx 660m graphics card, blu ray, 1080p screen, etc. I love it and it has run flawlessly thus far (knock on wood!). I'm sorry, but i can't imagine paying $2200 for that piece of crap!

#22 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@SuperZamrod: What you pay for with the Razor Blade is the thin-ness. I agree, that particular laptop is NOT worth it.

#23 Posted by sgjackson (527 posts) -

As someone who's usually a gaming laptop evangelist: Why not buy an HTPC case and move your parts into it?

#24 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@mlarrabee: Room? Yes, but the big issue is that in the Winter months it gets down to about 40 degree F in the basement (where my office is). We have a rather powerful space heater down there but it's still not enough.

#25 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

Don't do it. I have a high end gaming PC and a Macbook Air. Really is the perfect combo, even though Mac OS does kind of suck.

#26 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@sgjackson: I considered a HTPC but decided against it due to the power supply requirements of my 8TB worth of HDDs. But I guess I could always move them into an external NAS of some sort.

#27 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

Buy a desktop instead. I bought a gaming laptop from iBuyPower back in 2010 and I broke it after two months.I knocked it down and the fall pushed in the AC port, which means I could no longer charge it. I couldn't used the warranty because it was my fault, so I got this guy at a computer shop to "fix" it. Come to find out, something broke off when the AC port brushed up against it, and there was nothing more I could do.

#28 Posted by sgjackson (527 posts) -

@Baltimore said:

@sgjackson: I considered a HTPC but decided against it due to the power supply requirements of my 8TB worth of HDDs. But I guess I could always move them into an external NAS of some sort.

I'd go with that.

#29 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

Hrm....instead of a 'gaming' laptop would maybe an HP pavilion dv7t would be more usable. Yeah it's still a big laptop but would make a much better alternative. Or I could say the hell with it and just get a small form factor gaming pc and hook it up to the TV upstairs for MUCH less.

#30 Posted by sgjackson (527 posts) -

@Baltimore said:

Hrm....instead of a 'gaming' laptop would maybe an HP pavilion dv7t would be more usable. Yeah it's still a big laptop but would make a much better alternative. Or I could say the hell with it and just get a small form factor gaming pc and hook it up to the TV upstairs for MUCH less.

The dv series has a reputation among laptop people as being a poorly engineered piece of shit.

#31 Posted by Scrawnto (2434 posts) -

@BraveToaster: Psst, he has one of those in the basement. Read the first post again, maybe?

I say, if you've got a lot of cash to spare, go for it. But be ready for it to be obsolete in a couple years, without the desktop option of replacing the weaker parts to extend its lifespan.

#32 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@Scrawnto: My wife bought a high-end laptop back in 2009 and it's still going strong, For the hell of it I installed Borderlands 2 on it yesterday and it runs pretty well (not perfect but ok).

#33 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (202 posts) -

Since you've already got a desktop and if you have the money your not that crazy. But I've got a feeling it won't be a nearly convenient as you want it to be and won't fix many of your problems. The cables alone will be a nightmare. To play games you'll need to have a power line, you'll have to stretch out an HDMI cable across the room, and a wired controller between you and the laptop. Or you could try a more wireless setup which will required to drag around a wireless mouse and keyboard where you want to play, you'll need a wireless controller but then you'll be clogging up most of your USB ports and have to drag a bunch of equipment and dongles with you when you want to move it. Also chances you have a place near your entertainment center that can accommodate an open laptop are very small or will upset the misses for having a random table with a laptop sitting on it.

#34 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

@Scrawnto said:

@BraveToaster: Psst, he has one of those in the basement. Read the first post again, maybe?

I missed that part. Be an asshole more, maybe?

#35 Posted by Scrawnto (2434 posts) -

@BraveToaster said:

@Scrawnto said:

@BraveToaster: Psst, he has one of those in the basement. Read the first post again, maybe?

I missed that part. Be an asshole more, maybe?

I was trying to be civil. I could be ruder if you'd prefer.

#36 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

If you want to have a gaming laptop on the road, that seems like a decent route. But for just plugging into a television I think going for a gaming oriented home theater type PC would be better.

Instead of a giant tower go for a small (mATX or ITX - maybe a Lian Li if you want to use up a gaming laptop size budget) horizontal laying case that looks like home theater equipment. Then you can stick in something like an i3 or i5 and lower end graphics card, and end up with better performance and fewer thermal issues than the laptop would have. It might be substantially quieter as well, due to the small fast spinning fans that tend to be required in the high power laptops.

#37 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1736 posts) -

@Baltimore: If you're getting a gaming laptop, don't get Alienware. It's like buying Abercrombie & Fitch or an Apple product--you're paying for the name.

I'd recommend an Asus or Sager. I have a Sager personally, but Asus has a very good reputation as well. They're both ODMs, or Original Design Manufacturers.

As to where to buy from, look for a reseller that works directly with them. I'm a big fan of XoticPC, but that's only because their customer service and options where outstanding in my experience. Before that I ordered through my company, so I can't really name other resellers off the top of my head, but it might be worth it to shop around.

The place to get the best information on gaming laptops, the latest releases, issues, and the like is http://forum.notebookreview.com/. Those guys are absolute pros and the most informed guys in the community. You have ANY questions, that's really the best place to start. It's what made me lean towards a Sager over an Asus, even though both tend to be very high quality ODMs, because of some minor features that I knew I would prefer in the long run. After all, you do want to have your laptop for a long time, right? Better make sure it's everything you wanted.

Hope I helped.

#38 Posted by DystopiaX (5293 posts) -

You're nuts. It's just not worth it and I for one think that the Bombcrew is overhyping the amazingness of TV/Couch PC gaming. I'm with Jeff, I'd rather just get a better and high resolution monitor and continue playing that way. Doesn't hurt that a lot of the games I play don't play nearly as well with a controller and Mouse+Keyboard on couch sucks.

#39 Posted by yoshisaur (2645 posts) -

Yeah you are, no matter what anyone tells you. Except me, because I'm right.

(But yeah, you're nuts. I want one to, so I'm nuts) /explode.

#40 Posted by endaround (2138 posts) -

What games do you want to play that would be much better on the PC for the added expense over just getting the PS3/360 version? Sure there are PC only games but few of those require huge graphical output. I guess I don't see the use case.

#41 Posted by mscupcakes (612 posts) -

@Baltimore: That's the one I have, let me know if you end up getting one. :D

#42 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@Viking_Funeral: Thanks for the site. I'll check it out!

@Ryuku_Ryosake: The more I think about this the more I think about what you have mentioned. Would having a gaming laptop really be that convenient? I look at what my wife is using as I type this. 18" laptop sitting on a tv-dinner tray tied to it's power cord, external mouse. It's not the worst setup but she never takes it anywhere else in the house. Ever. That's not exactly 'portable' now is it.

@Zekhariah: I'm not ruling that option out at all. Are there any OEMs or ODMs that you would recommend for the best bang for the buck. I'm not saying that I can't build my own, I would rather have someone else build and test it for me.

#43 Posted by Baltimore (264 posts) -

@endaround: To answer your first question I've been slowly gravitating to PC over consoles for a little while now. Mass Effect, Borderlands 1 + 2, Diablo and the Indi scene has brought me a lot of fun. That's not to say I haven't played stuff on consoles. Mark of the Ninja has had me hooked since it came out. But I think that the PC space has been offering me things that I haven't been able to find on consoles this late in the generation.

The use case is simple, I need something that keeps me out of the basement. I know that sounds very strange but my basement gets down to 40 degree F in the winter and I can't be down there even with the space heater on.

#44 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1385 posts) -

Buying a gaming laptop practically negates it's identity as a true mobile device, since they are usually big and cumbersome. They are also ridiculously expensive. So, yes, you are nuts.

#45 Posted by ichthy (481 posts) -

I carried around a 13" Acer with a Radeon 5650 for school for two years and could play pretty much all games at medium/high settings at decent framerates (~30-40 FPS). I wouldn't really classify it as a gaming laptop, but it worked well enough for me.

#46 Posted by Lego_My_Eggo (983 posts) -

I say take another looks at running a cable from the PC to the TV. Obviously i know nothing about how your house is set up, i just find it odd that there is no way to get a cable up there without going thru major supports, maybe even move the PC itself for the winter if it helps. And if you have to get a new computer i would just look for a nice desktop that wouldn't be an eye sore, because it sounds like you only want to use it with the TV and nothing else so mobility is not a problem, and it would save money.

#47 Posted by endaround (2138 posts) -

@Baltimore said:

@endaround: To answer your first question I've been slowly gravitating to PC over consoles for a little while now. Mass Effect, Borderlands 1 + 2, Diablo and the Indi scene has brought me a lot of fun. That's not to say I haven't played stuff on consoles. Mark of the Ninja has had me hooked since it came out. But I think that the PC space has been offering me things that I haven't been able to find on consoles this late in the generation.

The use case is simple, I need something that keeps me out of the basement. I know that sounds very strange but my basement gets down to 40 degree F in the winter and I can't be down there even with the space heater on.

I guess my point then is not to go all out an some hugely expensive gaming laptop. Most PC only games don't tax most systems. Diablo 2 is meant to run on most anything modern.

#48 Posted by MHumphreys89 (710 posts) -

I'd consider the miniature Alienware, unlike a rig it wouldn't look out of place in your living room and it would be more powerful, and, in my opinion, more comfortable to use than a laptop.

#49 Posted by Opus (148 posts) -

It's a luxury, but if your budget allows it without any future problems down the line, why the hell not? Once I bought and set up my high-end laptop I just flat out don't use my Desktop system anymore.

Just don't rest it on your lap when running any game, ever. Studies show that even when it's "not that hot", the extended contact with the heat will cook your boys.

Ikaruga does make one very good point; no resale value. If you go for it, it's going to be for you and only you. So make sure it has everything you want to make you happy for a few years without breaking the bank.

#50 Edited by Snail (8580 posts) -

There's this sweet new one by Acer which is super-thin and when it's plugged into the wall it can even run Battlefield 3 on max settings. Best part? Because of the lauded die-shrink of the latest nvidia generation of GPUs, it doesn't even heat up to the point of being uncomfortable. I really don't remember the name of the laptop though.

I think it might be the Ultra M3. Here is the Engadget review. I've read a much more positive review of it. Honestly, Engadget are being snobs about it (and I'm starting to think that's typical of them). This laptop is a freaking achievement. Even if the screen isn't the best there is, it's a powerful gaming laptop which can max out a game like BF3 that you can comfortably place on your lap. It is not too heavy, and it does not warm up too much. That's amazing. If you are considering getting one, I'd recommend this one, unless they have a newer improved model that I haven't heard of.

Essentially, most (if not all) other gaming laptops I've seen are desktops that you can carry around but can't upgrade. They're just slightly lighter and heat up more.

In any case, getting a powerful desktop is definitely the best option for video games. Your laptop will slowly start feeling like an outdated product and you'll probably feel the need to buy a new one, whereas a desktop computer can be gradually upgraded. If you do buy a new "gaming laptop" every four or five years (which you would have to if you're looking for an optimal experience with the latest releases) you'll most likely end up spending more money than you cumulatively would gradually upgrading a "gaming desktop" over the course of the same period of time.

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