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Hardware  » What do you think about this gaming laptop?

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25 posts found
  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3883

 
OP  2/20/13 4:24:39 PM#1

So I didn't buy my gaming laptop at Christmas after all but I'm still looking...

What do you guys (specially you Quiz ) think of this AMD A10-4600M CPU + Radeon HD 7970M GPU one for $1100?

Feel free to suggest something else you think may play games better (keep in mind I'm in Canada and not everyone ships here...newegg.ca is our newegg)

EDIT: tried fixing the link...works for me now.

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=77720&vpn=9S7%2D16FK11%2D021&manufacture=MSI%2FMicroStar&promoid=1139

 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

2/20/13 4:43:35 PM#2

Your link doesn't work.  From the specs, I'm guessing that it's an MSI GX60.  In that case, whether to get it is a matter of priorities.  On an $1100 budget, you have to cut back somewhere, rather than getting the best of everything.  So it's a question of where you want to put the money:

1)  Get a laptop with a high end video card and a mid-range CPU, so that most games will run well at max settings, but the occasional CPU-intensive game will be playable but not ideal.

2)  Get a laptop with a high end CPU and a mid-range GPU, so that pretty much all games will run smoothly at medium settings, usually at high settings, and sometimes but often not at max settings.  Deal with having to lower graphical settings from what you'd prefer in some games.

3)  Get a laptop with a nice keyboard, nice monitor, big SSD, but not that great of gaming performance.  They have a place in the world, but probably aren't what you're looking for unless you're happy with having to run a lot of games at moderate settings.

-----

The MSI GX60 is option (1).  If you prefer option (1) from those choices, then the MSI GX60 is by far the best on the market.  The basic idea is to save some money on the CPU in order to fit a genuine high end laptop video card.

If you prefer option (2), then you could find a laptop with a Core I7-3630QM and a GeForce GTX 660M.  That will be substantially faster on the CPU side, but it does mean you give up more than half of the GPU performance of a Radeon HD 7970M.  The MSI GX60 has AMD's top of the line laptop CPU, and four Piledriver cores at up to 3.2 GHz is nothing to sneeze at.  But it's not as fast as a Core i7-3630QM, which offers four Ivy Bridge cores with higher clock speeds at higher IPC.  The Core i7-3630QM has a 45 W TDP, as compared to 35 W for the A10-4600M, while also offering better performance per watt on the CPU side, largely due to the difference between a 22 nm process node and 32 nm.  But the Core i7-3630QM also costs about $200 more for the CPU alone.

If you prefer option (3), well then, I'd have to look around to find something for you.

  vindir

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/06/07
Posts: 67

2/20/13 4:55:43 PM#3

I've read alot of quiz's advice and he has a far more superior idea of what he is talking about than I do.

Based on his advice, I can tell you that I recently bought a new laptop with a i7 3630QM with a 660M nivid card and I love it. Most games are 35-45 fps on high settings. (no ssd, but nice keyboard (lights up option), full HD 1920x1080 screen, 8gig ram)

http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/ideapad/y-series/y580/

less then what you'd pay for the MSI. I have had the y580 for a month and no issues at all. I'd recommend it.

 

  ZombieKen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

2/20/13 5:01:40 PM#4
Originally posted by Quizzical

 

1)  Get a laptop with a high end video card and a mid-range CPU, so that most games will run well at max settings, but the occasional CPU-intensive game will be playable but not ideal.

2)  Get a laptop with a high end GPU and a mid-range GPU, so that pretty much all games will run smoothly at medium settings, usually at high settings, and sometimes but often not at max settings.  Deal with having to lower graphical settings from what you'd prefer in some games.

 

 

#1.  Aren't CPU intensive MMORPGs still quite common?

blue = typo?

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

2/20/13 5:05:00 PM#5
Originally posted by vindir

I've read alot of quiz's advice and he has a far more superior idea of what he is talking about than I do.

Based on his advice, I can tell you that I recently bought a new laptop with a i7 3630QM with a 660M nivid card and I love it. Most games are 35-45 fps on high settings. (no ssd, but nice keyboard (lights up option), full HD 1920x1080 screen, 8gig ram)

http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/ideapad/y-series/y580/

less then what you'd pay for the MSI. I have had the y580 for a month and no issues at all. I'd recommend it.

The $1000 option at that link would be a good example of an option (2) laptop, prioritizing the CPU over the GPU.  Which is better is a matter of preferences.

There are a lot more games where the high end video card will matter than the high end CPU.  But when the CPU matters, it matters a lot more, as when a mid-range GPU is problematic, you can usually still make the game run smoothly just by turning down graphical settings.  If you don't have enough CPU power, you're stuck with a game running somewhat choppily and just have to live with it.  Though if you're the sort of person who would prefer to have a game be a little choppy at max settings rather than very smooth at moderate settings, then prioritizing the GPU is an easy call.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

2/20/13 5:11:42 PM#6
Originally posted by XAPGames
Originally posted by Quizzical

 

1)  Get a laptop with a high end video card and a mid-range CPU, so that most games will run well at max settings, but the occasional CPU-intensive game will be playable but not ideal.

2)  Get a laptop with a high end GPU and a mid-range GPU, so that pretty much all games will run smoothly at medium settings, usually at high settings, and sometimes but often not at max settings.  Deal with having to lower graphical settings from what you'd prefer in some games.

 

 

#1.  Aren't CPU intensive MMORPGs still quite common?

blue = typo?

Yes, that was a typo.  Thank you.  I fixed it.  Option (2) is a high end CPU with a mid-range GPU.

Whether a game needs pushes the CPU or GPU more relative to the competition varies wildly from game to game.  MMORPG versus other genres really doesn't have much to do with it.  Much of the work of optimizing a game engine consists of offloading as much work as you can from the CPU to the GPU.  (A CPU can do nearly anything that a GPU can do, but just does it much slower.)

Browser-based games that aren't able to do much with the GPU at all will tend to be CPU-intensive as a result.  But if you've got a standalone client, then the only reasons for a game to need a ton of CPU power are if the game is trying to do something unusual that video cards aren't built for, is trying to cram too high end of graphical features into an archaic API (which usually means DirectX 9.0c these days) without offering options to turn them off, or whoever wrote the game engine was terrible at optimizing it.

  miguksaram

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

2/20/13 5:16:16 PM#7
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by vindir

I've read alot of quiz's advice and he has a far more superior idea of what he is talking about than I do.

Based on his advice, I can tell you that I recently bought a new laptop with a i7 3630QM with a 660M nivid card and I love it. Most games are 35-45 fps on high settings. (no ssd, but nice keyboard (lights up option), full HD 1920x1080 screen, 8gig ram)

http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/ideapad/y-series/y580/

less then what you'd pay for the MSI. I have had the y580 for a month and no issues at all. I'd recommend it.

The $1000 option at that link would be a good example of an option (2) laptop, prioritizing the CPU over the GPU.  Which is better is a matter of preferences.

There are a lot more games where the high end video card will matter than the high end CPU.  But when the CPU matters, it matters a lot more, as when a mid-range GPU is problematic, you can usually still make the game run smoothly just by turning down graphical settings.  If you don't have enough CPU power, you're stuck with a game running somewhat choppily and just have to live with it.  Though if you're the sort of person who would prefer to have a game be a little choppy at max settings rather than very smooth at moderate settings, then prioritizing the GPU is an easy call.

For what it's worth the Y580 with the addition of an SSD could be had for around the same price as the OP's original choice.  Yes this places the Y580 in option two territory but I'd definitely argue the laptop as whole would be a much better bang for you buck system by comparison at that point.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3883

 
OP  2/20/13 5:17:56 PM#8

Thanks all of you and specially Quiz for the logically laid-out 3 options. I think I do lean a bit more toward option 1 although 2 does have some appeal. I know that at least one of the MMOs I play, GW2, is more CPU than GPU dependent.

 

@ Vindir: I'm assuming at that sales price the you got Y580 version with the screen rezz of 1366 X 768. How do you find the resolution?

I was hoping to stay with 1080p rezz but when you do that with the Y850 that puts you back in the $1100 range again. Anyways, thanks for the link.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

2/20/13 5:30:03 PM#9

Just to give you some idea of performance gaps, an A10-4600M will typically get you about 2/3 of the CPU performance of a Core i7-3630QM, though that drops to about 1/2 if you have something that can really push eight cores--though a game that can do this is probably coded well enough that it would run well on the A10-4600M, too.

Meanwhile, a GeForce GTX 660M offers perhaps 40%-45% of the GPU performance of a Radeon HD 7970M.

  vindir

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/06/07
Posts: 67

2/20/13 6:43:43 PM#10
Originally posted by Iselin

Thanks all of you and specially Quiz for the logically laid-out 3 options. I think I do lean a bit more toward option 1 although 2 does have some appeal. I know that at least one of the MMOs I play, GW2, is more CPU than GPU dependent.

 

@ Vindir: I'm assuming at that sales price the you got Y580 version with the screen rezz of 1366 X 768. How do you find the resolution?

I was hoping to stay with 1080p rezz but when you do that with the Y850 that puts you back in the $1100 range again. Anyways, thanks for the link.

I have the 1920x1080 rezz. and love it. My other laptop is 1366x768 and it is a world of difference, esspecially with blu-ray. I got my y580 for $950 (canadian) on sale. I wanted a blu-ray player as well. With the y580 I had either the option of getting a ssd hybrid or the blu-ray. Can change the HD later with a full ssd.

  peach140

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/22/13
Posts: 2

2/22/13 8:05:25 PM#11

Hey, I have also been thinking about buying a gaming laptop to keep me entertained this coming year on the move.

I have looked into a few of the ideas in this thread and like the look of the Levo y580 or similar.  Unfortunately I am currently in Austalia where that series has not been released yet.

If I purchase soon freom an Australian shop I get the GST(Tax) back which would be a bonus but I am wondering if it might prove cheaper to ship!

The MSI, ASUS N76VM I am seeing all for ~$1500

Basically leaning to go with either Quiz's option 1.

 

A quick question regarding wifi, in some of the upgrade options I am seeing different wifi options, will this reduce my packet loss or is it not worth worrying about?

Havn't gamed on wifi for years so not really sure what i am talking about now!

Thanks for any help.

  miguksaram

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

2/22/13 8:12:15 PM#12
I'll let someone else handle the wifi question but I did want to point out the Asus laptop you spoke of "ASUS N76VM" is not a gaming laptop by any stretch.  If you are interested in Asus' gaming laptop line look for the ones that start with a G such as the G55 or G75 series.
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

2/22/13 8:50:00 PM#13
Originally posted by miguksaram
I'll let someone else handle the wifi question but I did want to point out the Asus laptop you spoke of "ASUS N76VM" is not a gaming laptop by any stretch.  If you are interested in Asus' gaming laptop line look for the ones that start with a G such as the G55 or G75 series.

Asus has avoided high end gaming laptops for the last two years, though they do offer some nice mid-range ones in their G series.  (Basically option 2 above.)

But the N76VM isn't even mid-range.  A GeForce GT 630M is a low end discrete card that won't necessarily outperform integrated graphics.  It will, however, use a lot more power than integrated graphics (Fermi is a power hog), making it definitely not what you want.

  miguksaram

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

2/22/13 9:16:24 PM#14
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by miguksaram
I'll let someone else handle the wifi question but I did want to point out the Asus laptop you spoke of "ASUS N76VM" is not a gaming laptop by any stretch.  If you are interested in Asus' gaming laptop line look for the ones that start with a G such as the G55 or G75 series.

Asus has avoided high end gaming laptops for the last two years, though they do offer some nice mid-range ones in their G series.  (Basically option 2 above.)

But the N76VM isn't even mid-range.  A GeForce GT 630M is a low end discrete card that won't necessarily outperform integrated graphics.  It will, however, use a lot more power than integrated graphics (Fermi is a power hog), making it definitely not what you want.

Unless I am mistaken Asus' latest version of the G75 series, G75VX was released last year and should easily be considered a contender in the top tier of gaming laptops (not THE top tier mind you).

 

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Asus-G75VX-T4020H-Notebook.86730.0.html

 

With all that said if I were in the market for a gaming laptop today I'd probably be looking to Xoticpc.

  peach140

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/22/13
Posts: 2

2/22/13 9:29:03 PM#15

Thanks for the replies, had been looking at lots of different laptops for a while and must have just read that as GTX 660M, must have been getting tired!

Thanks for the heads up :)

Off to the pub for lunch and mull over if i can afford to get the MSI GE70 or a Metabox with some upgrades, below is where i have been looking.

http://www.affordablelaptops.com.au/contents/en-us/d44_gaming-laptop-notebook-desktop-replacement.html

 

I'm keen to try and keep a 17" screen but having not played on a laptop before I'm not entirely sure if I'm right!  Anyone have eny views or opinions on that?

Also if i went for the SSD I get the basic idea behind SSD's but I guess you generally need a 2nd regular HDD to provide the larger srorage?

Sorry not really to sure what I am talking about, been 4 years since i built my desktop and not kept upto date at all, thanks for any help.

Regards Pete

 

  Goll25

Novice Member

Joined: 1/19/10
Posts: 187

2/22/13 9:34:08 PM#16
I got this, runs everything this gen on high/ultra at 60fps http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230408
  miguksaram

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

2/22/13 9:39:37 PM#17
Originally posted by peach140

Thanks for the replies, had been looking at lots of different laptops for a while and must have just read that as GTX 660M, must have been getting tired!

Thanks for the heads up :)

Off to the pub for lunch and mull over if i can afford to get the MSI GE70 or a Metabox with some upgrades, below is where i have been looking.

http://www.affordablelaptops.com.au/contents/en-us/d44_gaming-laptop-notebook-desktop-replacement.html

 

I'm keen to try and keep a 17" screen but having not played on a laptop before I'm not entirely sure if I'm right!  Anyone have eny views or opinions on that?

Also if i went for the SSD I get the basic idea behind SSD's but I guess you generally need a 2nd regular HDD to provide the larger srorage?

Sorry not really to sure what I am talking about, been 4 years since i built my desktop and not kept upto date at all, thanks for any help.

Regards Pete

 

That website seems to feature a lot of the same options and prices as Xoticpc so for an Aussie I'd say that's a safe bet to buy from.

 

As with any "gaming" laptop you'll need to have it plugged in to really use it for gaming which means like you I'd also (and have in the past) opt for a larger screen since battery power will not be an issue.

Ideally you would pick a laptop that allows for at least 2 storage drives in which case you would pick a SSD for the primary boot drive (OS and your main programs) and a HDD which would be used as an actual storage drive (lesser used programs as well as movies/pics/music/files/etc.).

Although some laptops only have the option for a single storage drive so be careful of that when picking your final product.  If you are "forced" to choose one of these you will have to make a choice between speed (SSD) and overall storage capacity (HDD).  Though you could just opt for a SSD and keep an external drive for storage purposes.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

2/22/13 9:43:37 PM#18
Originally posted by miguksaram
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by miguksaram
I'll let someone else handle the wifi question but I did want to point out the Asus laptop you spoke of "ASUS N76VM" is not a gaming laptop by any stretch.  If you are interested in Asus' gaming laptop line look for the ones that start with a G such as the G55 or G75 series.

Asus has avoided high end gaming laptops for the last two years, though they do offer some nice mid-range ones in their G series.  (Basically option 2 above.)

But the N76VM isn't even mid-range.  A GeForce GT 630M is a low end discrete card that won't necessarily outperform integrated graphics.  It will, however, use a lot more power than integrated graphics (Fermi is a power hog), making it definitely not what you want.

Unless I am mistaken Asus' latest version of the G75 series, G75VX was released last year and should easily be considered a contender in the top tier of gaming laptops (not THE top tier mind you).

 

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Asus-G75VX-T4020H-Notebook.86730.0.html

 

With all that said if I were in the market for a gaming laptop today I'd probably be looking to Xoticpc.

While the GeForce GTX 670MX is based on the same GPU chip as the GeForce GTX 660, it's clocked so low that you'll get barely over half of the performance of the desktop card.  That's done to save on power consumption, and it's not a bad card by any means.  But it's got all of 5% more memory bandwidth than the mid-range GeForce GTX 660M, and while it fares somewhat better than that on GPU power, I wouldn't characterize it as a high end card.

  miguksaram

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

2/22/13 9:51:33 PM#19
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by miguksaram
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by miguksaram
I'll let someone else handle the wifi question but I did want to point out the Asus laptop you spoke of "ASUS N76VM" is not a gaming laptop by any stretch.  If you are interested in Asus' gaming laptop line look for the ones that start with a G such as the G55 or G75 series.

Asus has avoided high end gaming laptops for the last two years, though they do offer some nice mid-range ones in their G series.  (Basically option 2 above.)

But the N76VM isn't even mid-range.  A GeForce GT 630M is a low end discrete card that won't necessarily outperform integrated graphics.  It will, however, use a lot more power than integrated graphics (Fermi is a power hog), making it definitely not what you want.

Unless I am mistaken Asus' latest version of the G75 series, G75VX was released last year and should easily be considered a contender in the top tier of gaming laptops (not THE top tier mind you).

 

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Asus-G75VX-T4020H-Notebook.86730.0.html

 

With all that said if I were in the market for a gaming laptop today I'd probably be looking to Xoticpc.

While the GeForce GTX 670MX is based on the same GPU chip as the GeForce GTX 660, it's clocked so low that you'll get barely over half of the performance of the desktop card.  That's done to save on power consumption, and it's not a bad card by any means.  But it's got all of 5% more memory bandwidth than the mid-range GeForce GTX 660M, and while it fares somewhat better than that on GPU power, I wouldn't characterize it as a high end card.

No arguements there but I also find the actual in game performance listed here for that card to be good enough to consider it high end for laptop gaming purposes.  Perhaps I should state I don't generally consider the term "high end" to be limited to the top card from either camp but rather the top few cards, especially if they offer very good performance against modern games running on current software/tech.  Afterall getting 120FPS vs 60FPS for the most part doesn't mean much of anything more than numbers.  The game itself will look stunning either way.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-670MX.82603.0.html

  cronius77

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 1310

2/22/13 10:00:32 PM#20
i would save up 100 bucks more personally and go look at toshiba they have some decent setups and actually offer a bit more value per dollar. I bought the x875 from them , I7 3630 with a nvidia 670m and am pretty impressed with gaming on it. While not a high end GPU it is still one of the best mobility cards out there for laptops. It wont get the 7970m performance but its a close second if i recall reading the settings and in games like GW2 and Tera I get very decent frames per second on ultra settings. I run sweetfx with all my games as well and it the x875 takes anything it can throw at it in stride.http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/pdet.to?poid=2000051145 looks like price just jumped up it was just 1199 and a 10% coupon on top of that , but you can get it down in price with coupons.
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