The new gaming laptop thread

Why waste the money on PC gaming?

I missed what OS you wanted if you mentioned it Jason. Just wondering why you chose two models with 7XXX series GeForce, limiting you to DX9 forever. If it were me, I’d sacrifice a bit on the extra internal hard drive, go with a lighter frame and one with an 8XXX series Nvidia card. Then buy a spare drive of the same model in your unit, pop it in a USB2 slim porta-case and you’ll be fine. If one day data loss is that imperative, in my opinion a laptop isn’t for you. Otherwise hooking up the spare drive takes all of 3 seconds, and firing up your favorite backup tool for a diff backup daily and a full weekly is easy. I used to use retrospect for this (now EMC, possibly different name.)

Oh, those are DX9? Crap. Planning on 64-bit Vista. Looks like the they offer the 8700M GT as a $100 cheaper option (?).

However, that opens up this as a way cheaper alternative:

Toshiba X205-S9359
~$2250 after memory upgarde
17" 1680x1050
Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0GHZ 800 FSB
4GB DDR2 667 SDRAM after replacement
Nvidia Geforce 8700M GT 512 MB (3dmark06 4535)
2x160GB hard drive

The 20" screen on the HP Pavilion HDX would be nice, but the stupid thing is just too overpriced for what’s in it.

I’m like you, kind of tired of this XPS gen2. But I’m not sure I want a big honking screen again. I’d love a wide 15.4 or something. Less weight, more portable.

Ok, it looks like the Toshiba is the way to go. Someone warn me off if you disagree. :)

Edit: Ah, hell, no hardware RAID. I can’t find info on what the real impact of software mirroring under Vista is…

Doh, I’m a fool. The price gap for a sager or alienware that’s comparably loaded out isn’t much.

Ok, down to two data points:

Toshiba X205-S9359
$2040 after work discounts
17" 1680x1050 glossy
Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0GHZ 800 FSB
Nvidia Geforce 8700M GT 512 MB (3dmark06 4650)
2x160GB 5400RPM hard drive, software raid

Sager NP9260
17" 1920x1200 glossy (I hate matte)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 4MB l2 Cache, 1066FSB
2GB DDR 800fsb
Nvidia Geforce 8700M GT 512 MB (3dmark06 4650)
2x160GB 5400RPM hard drive, hardware raid

So it’s paying a $800 premium for hardware raid, slightly higher screen resolution, and a 50% faster benchmark CPU. Decisions, decisions.

1680x1050 will mean you won’t need to upgrade the video chip as often :) Depends on your eyes, I find 1680x1050 on a 20" too small… (yeah i know you can change but it doesn’t work with the crappy old apps I use)

I have a 17" 1920x1200 glossy LCD on my laptop. Makes for very small text. (yeah, I could bump up the display DPI, but then all kinds of stuff starts to go wonky).

If I were to do it again, I’d stick with 1680x1050.

Jason, you’ll want to stay away from the software based RAID, especially if you plan to do RAID 5 which uses on-the-fly parity bits. I’m too lazy to look up the benchmarks, but you’ll take a really nasty perf hit for RAID 5 ( I believe its the computationally expensive XOR operation that is most of it ), a modest perf hit for stripped arrays, and a minor hit for mirroring. If you don’t care too much about the hit ( if you are mirroring, maybe you don’t care anyway ), i’d try to find a hardware based alternative.


Is the upgradeable architecture out then?

Finally going to buy this. I have to say the 8700 being 20% slower than the 7950 is pretty damned exasperating - what the hell is up with that?

Dell has some godforsaken monster of a laptop coming out with SLI 8700Ms in it. Bankruptcy ahoy!

which did you decide on? the Sagar or the Toshiba?

In this case, it’s an example of the last-gen high-end product being faster than the current-gen mid-range product. If you wait a while, I’m sure higher-end 8-series chipsets will come to laptops…but it doesn’t sound like you want to wait any longer.

My gaming laptop is starting to break down after about a year of use (corrupted display signal and bad sectors on disk). I’m starting to think the heat from gaming components is just too much for such small size and personally, I’m going back to a gaming desktop + non-gaming laptop combo.

Oh dear, they’ve revised up to the 9261, with a couple of quad-core (4! 4, for the love of god!) options. SLI 8700M, too. Sheesh.

So one last decision to make: where do I buy it?

Sager’s the biggest, right? I’d rather not have the warranty provider go bankrupt on me. It looks like I save $100 going with the other two thanks to their cash discount, though.