Advice re new laptop


That sounds really annoying.

I’m doing a bake-off of 3 17" laptops:
MSI GS75 (not going to win)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701
Alienware Area 51M

– the first 2 with 2080 MQ, and the Area 51m with the full 2080 (and a desktop 9700K)

Asus pushes the MQ into the desktop realm, at least as far as clocks go. It’ll be an interesting comparison. When I’m not gaming, the Asus is silent. With the superlative build quality and super slim design, it’s growing on me.


I went with the MSI GE75 Raider but I’m not concerned with ultrathin (5.something lbs is light enough for me). Should be getting it soon, whenever Amazon decides to ship the damn thing. It was originally supposed to be here Friday.

The price has gone back up, but when I ordered it on Thursday it was $600 less than the equivalent ASUS and had more SSD storage and twice the RAM, so I jumped on it.


The MSIs are a terrific value.

I loved the trackpad on the Stealth – great, glass-surfaced MS Precision trackpad. Major thumbs-up.

I did not love the keyboard. I eventually got it where I was happy with the lighting, but the SteelSeries’ penchant for light-bleed-as-feature took some work to overcome the glare, especially the function key row, where the half-depth keys and a fairly high desk height meant that I often caught the LED light directly in the retina. I ended up putting them one notch from “off” to make it work.

I’m actually a little surprised that the Asus felt worth it to me, despite the higher price coupled with several technical shortcomings when compared with the MSI (no Thunderbolt, half the RAM, odd 24GB RAM cap, single 4-channel NVME capability preventing RAID 0).

Ultimately what won me over to the Asus when directly comparing the two in-house was the superior overall performance coupled with sheer refinement and attention to detail. What it does, it does really, really well.

The fans sound better (lower frequency, more airflow sound vs more fan noise), and do their job with slightly lower overall noise – although both are surprisingly excellent in this (provided you avoid Turbo like the plague, on either – and you almost certainly do not need it), but overall the Asus gets a slight nod in the fan department. That’s on the thin models, though – the DTR devices like the Raider should do better.

The keyboard lighting is the best I’ve used – great, saturated colors with practically zero bleed. Excellent key feel for a chicklet keyboard (no wobble).

The Asus loses points for the trackpad, partly due to size but mostly due to the material – it’s plastic so there’s too much friction compared to a modern glass trackpad. It works fine, with good gesture and scrolling performance, and the placement to the right of the kb works better than you might expect.

Those points are made up by the GPU performance. They use the top-binned Max Q GPU the way it was meant to be used: to enable a wide range of performance, from electron-sipping silent mode all the way up to rip-snorting desktop-level performance that still manages to keep the heat down. I have yet to see it exceed 75C (usually it is 71-73), and it’s basically pegged at 1500Mhz (+/- 100) when gaming in Balanced mode. It’s impressive.


I am a week into it now, and I can comfortably state that the 17" Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX is fabulous. The cooling system is the bomb in both functionality and acoustics. Polish and refinement abound.

Really recommended. And I am so happy that I went with 17" over 15.6 this round. With this new generation, the physical size difference is finally close enough to be outweighed by the significant screen, thermal, and keyboard benefits. Super recommended.

I also had a great experience with Excalibur PC with this purchase.


Awesome! I was sorely tempted by that one but as I said above I opted to go with the GE75 Raider for the full desktop 2080 (for less cost). Everything I read about it sounds good except I’ve seen several comments about how it can get quite warm under load, so I hope that isn’t a major issue. Your comment about the cooling system in the Zephyrus may make me really envious here in the near future! My laptop is finally arriving today, so I guess I’ll find out soon.

One nice perk I was just about to cancel EA Access and buy Anthem but I just got the email from Amazon with a code for Anthem, BF5, and Metro. Good timing!


Keep in mind, the 2080 (not to mention the 6 core i7) still produces a lot of heat so anything that is dissipating that heat will get quite warm under load. That is expected (and one of the more nonsensical things reviewers can say about a DTR gaming laptop, especially when they’re talking about the exhaust area of the chassis). What matters is that it can dissipate that heat without undue heat-related throttling.

The GPU temp under load in the MSI was fine (71-75 in my sample), as is the Asus. CPU was higher, but that’s seldom a bottleneck so I didn’t pay much attention when first looking at it. Both laptops did a great job there — and that’s with the thin and light models.

You can also take advantage of throttlestop to undervolt the cpu. Most of these have a good margin.