The new gaming laptop thread

The world needs another one of these!

My current desktop replacement (Dell XPS Generation 2) just isn’t cutting it anymore. Ok, requirements:

  • Fastest processor I can find, preferably two of them.
  • Fastest video available, probably needs to be 512MB.
  • Dual hard drives would be really nice.
  • 17" screen

I definitely do not want that stupid 21" Dell fold-up table.

Is there new laptop video cards in the pipeline?

Research queue, taken from the brand list:

the definitive thread on this issue is on’s forums.

ASUS G1/G2 are the obvious candidates

Yep, I think the Asus G1s-A1 are it.

Ok, options researched:

Acer 9810
$3000 after ram replacement
20" 1680x1050
Core 2 Duo 2.0ghz
4GB Ram (double check max)
Geforce Go 7600 256MB (3dmark06 1900)
2x160GB hard drives

Alienware m9750
$3150 after ram replacement
17" 1920x1200
Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0GHZ 4MB cache 667FSB
Nvidia Geforce Go 7950 GTX (3dmark06 5200)
2x160GB hard drives

Asus G2S
17" 1920x1200
Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 2.2 GHZ 4MB l2 Cache 800 FSB
2GB ram/4GB max
Geforce 8600M GT 256MB (3dmark06 3200)
1x160GB hard drive

Dell M2010
$4000 after ram replacement
20" 1920x1200(?)
Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 2.16GHZ 4MB l2cache 667 FSB
1 GB ram/4gb max
ATI Mobility X1800 256MB (3dmark06 3000)
2x200GB hard drive

Fujitsu Lifebook N6460
$2750 after ram replacement
17" ?
Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0 GHZ 4MB l2 cache 800 FSB
2GB ram/4 gb max
ATI Mobility HD2600 512ded/250 shared (3dmark06 3000)
2x250GB hard drive

HP Pavilion HDX
$3400 with 4gb ram upgrade
20" 1680x1050
Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 2.4GHZ 4MB l2 cache 800 fsb
2GB DDR2 (check max)
ATI HD 2600 XT 512 MB (3dmark06 4000)
2x160GB hard drive

Sager NP5960
20" 1680x1050
AMD Turion 64X2 TL60
4GB DDR2 667
Nvidia Quadro FX 2500M 512MB (3dmark06 4900)
2x200GB hard drive

Sager NP9260
17" 1920x1200
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 4MB l2 Cache, 1066FSB
4GB DDR 800fsb
Nvidia Geforce Go 7950 GTX MXM IV 512MB (5200)
2x200GB hard drive

The over $4000 ones are just comical. The ASUS has a great price, but doesn’t support 2 hard drives. Off to guess up some video card benchmarks.

why would you need 2 hard drives defeating the purpose of a laptop? just use externals.

I want two hard drive because I am incredibly tired of the 2 day process of having one go bad, requiring you to reinstall everything. The Acronis backup image thing has only got me freedom from data loss so far.

Added 3dmark benchmarks from that site - looks like $3000 alienware or sager. Sager is one of the few companies that don’t nail you to the wall on ram prices - I had to guess up prices at most places for upgrading the ram myself to avoid their huge markup.

Is there any word on the new upgradeable vid-card architecture?

I don’t get it. Why don’t you use Acronis to image the entire drive to an external device? In the dase of a drive failure, slap in the new drive, boot to the Acronis Rescue CD and restore your latest image.

Because the data differential between the point it died at and the last backup - normally around a day or so - causes hell with data loss since then in outlook, among other issues.

Tankero, what upgradeable architecture?

How many hard drives have you had, and how many of them have gone bad?

McCullough, I have two hd’s in my 15lb desktop replacement (a hypersonic pc, worked out ok for me, would probably go with a bigger firm next time) for different reasons from yours, and I support your right to want them without being pestered to rationalize the decision. Two internal hd’s are the bare minimum for a computer I will be using on a daily basis. And I don’t even use Outlook.

I suspect Tankero is referring to newer gaming laptops that promise easily upgradeable video cards. So you can jump on the 450$ upgrade train every six months, you know?

How noisy are gaming laptops these days? My current computer is a laptop I got with Half Life 2 in mind and it’s pretty much silent when you’re not playing a game on it. But when I looked at laptops a couple of years ago the fans seemed to be roaring all the time, I think because of the video card.

I just saw an article on AnandTech dealing with these desktop replacements, especially something new by Toshiba. I think you’ll be interested in this page of gaming benchmarks.

I’ve got a Dell M1710 that runs Bioshock at high res pretty smoothly and it is extremely quiet. In contrast, my Dell XPS notebook sounded like a jet airplane revving on the runway whenever I was playing any kind of game.

I’ve had somewhere between 1 and 2 a year go belly up on me, across a laptop once upgraded and a server.

The most infuriating part about the drive failure is that Jason spent untold hours just figuring out it was the hard drive, since the failure mode was ambiguous and attributable to one of several different components that are more likely to fail, forcing him to chase down each of these red herrings. Trust me dude, let him have his dual hard drives.


I have a Sager NP5760 (the NP5790 is just a refresh of the 5760) with 2GB RAM and the 7950 GTX with 512. It’s shitty fast for a laptop and I can heartily recommend it. You really should be running the fans at full blast when playing games, but otherwise it’s quiet.

Also, don’t buy directly from Sager. Their customer service is supposedly icky, and the resellers will give you a better price and better service. I’d check out and as both appear to be good. Mine came fomr Xotic and they were awesome about keeping me updated on the build and everything. I can’t speak to their post-purchase service since I’ve had nary a problem with it in 6 months.

Although the 5790 probably isn’t what you’re looking for since it can only handle a second hard drive if you remove the optical drive.

Ok, narrowed it down to these two. Comments?

Alienware m9750
$2950 after ram replacement
17" 1920x1200
Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0GHZ 4MB cache 667FSB
Nvidia Geforce Go 7950 GTX (3dmark06 5200)
2x160GB hard drives

Sager NP9260
17" 1920x1200
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 4MB l2 Cache, 1066FSB
4GB DDR 800fsb
Nvidia Geforce Go 7950 GTX MXM IV 512MB (3dmark06 5200)
2x200GB hard drive

On a related note, what’s the status of SLI under Vista?