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High End Laptop - Input appreciated

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Gabber359

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2004
Location
The Netherlands
In the next few weeks I'll be putting the final order in for a new laptop. My original choice was going to be an Asus G75, but nowhere is there one in a configuration that I want. I also refuse to buy a 'cheaper' one and upgrade it. Seems like a lot of work for a laptop costing Euro 1500 ++

Anyhow, the final battle is between a pair of BTO (Build To Order) laptops here in The Netherlands/Europe. I'll list both specs, the price, my own pro's and cons aswell as what I plan on using them for. Any input from you lot would be appreciated. It's nice to have a broad opinion and see what others think.

(Note: It's the Dutch language, but for the specs I'm sure you smart cookies will understand. I deleted the irrelevant stuff for the most part)

X•BOOK 17CL48-GTX660 i7 QUAD FULL HD - NVIDIA GTX660 + SSD-HDD
Price for this config: €1.975 = $2.436 USD

Beeldscherm: 17.3 inch FULL HD LED - Ontspiegeld (mat) / True NON-Glare, (res. 1920x1080)
Videokaart: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX660M 2Gb GDDR5, PhysX™ + CUDA™ + Optimus (batterij-besparing via Intel® HD Graphics 4000)
Videokaart: Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (2e energiezuinige videokaart), wordt ingeschakeld als NVIDIA wordt uitgeschakeld.
Chipset: Mobile Intel® HM77 Express Chipset
Processor (IB): Intel® Core™ i7-3610QM Processor (Quad Core, 6MB Cache, 2.3 GHz, Turbo Mode 3.3GHz)
**Processor koeling: Artic Silver koelpasta (Systeem wordt beter gekoeld, tot 6 graden winst)
**RAM DDR3 1333/1600 (1): 8GB Corsair First Class Vengeance DDR3-1600MHz (slot 1)
**RAM DDR3 1333/1600 (2): 8GB Corsair First Class Vengeance DDR3-1600MHz (slot 2)
**RAM DDR3 1333/1600 (3): 8GB Corsair First Class Vengeance DDR3-1600MHz (slot 3)
**Harddisk: 240GB SSD Intel 520 series, SATA-3 (Max 550 MB/s lezen / 520 schrijven)
**Harddisk (2e): 750GB HDD 7200 rpm 16Mb cache
**Optische disk / Extra interne harddisk (Caddy): Blu-Ray (R)W Brander 6x + 8x DVD-(R)W
**Wireless / Bluetooth (Combo): Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6235, Dual Band AGN (2.4/5GHz), 300MB + Bluetooth 4.0 (Wireless Display)
Accu: 8-cell Primary Lithium-Ion Battery (76,96WH)
USB 3.0 - 2.0: 3 x USB 3.0 + 1 x USB 2.0
VGA-poort: 1 x D sub 15-Pin VGA poort
HDMI Poort: HDMI 1.4a aansluiting voor extern LCD scherm / HD TV (1080P / met HDCP)
Webcam: Ingebouwde 2 MegaPixel WebCam + Microfoon
E-SATA: Externe SATA aansluiting voor snelle schijven (E-SATA)
Keyboard: Notebook keyboard incl Numeriek keypad
Keyboard Layout: QWERTY Toetsenbord (VS-Internationaal voor NL)
LAN: 10/100/1000 GigaBit Ethernet (RJ45)
Cardreader: 9-in-1 card Reader (MMC/RS-MMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC/MS/MS-Pro/MS-Duo)
Audio: Microfoon-ingang, Speaker uitgang + Digitale uitgang (SPDIF)
Audio: 7.1 Digitale audio uitgang, THX TruStudio Pro certificaat
Audio: Ingebouwde Stereo speakers
Beveiliging: Intel Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Afmetingen: 413mm (B) x 277.5 (D) x 17.5~44 (H) mm
Gewicht: 3.2 Kg
Adapter: 120 Watt adapter inclusief netsnoer
**Garantie >: 2 jaar Pick-up en Return warranty BENELUX
Reiniging TFT: BTO TFT Reinigingsdoek, Microvezel.
AKTIE: GRATIS BTO Draagtas + USB muis + muismat + stereo oordopjes twv 39 euro
Links: http://www.bto.eu/html/detail_home.asp?PartnerID=1&lang=nl&DisplayPartnerID=1&ProductID=585


X•BOOK 17CL47-7970 i7 QUAD BACKLIGHT KEYB - ATI/AMD 7970 + SSD
Price for this config: €2.300 = $2.836 USD

Beeldscherm: 17.3 inch FULL HD LED - Ontspiegeld (mat) / True NON-Glare, (res. 1920x1080)
Videokaart: ATI HD / AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 2GB GDDR5, Enduro dynamic switchable graphics, OpenGL 4.2 support
Videokaart: Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (2e energiezuinige videokaart), wordt ingeschakeld als AMD/ATI wordt uitgeschakeld.
Chipset: Mobile Intel® HM77 Express Chipset
Processor (IB): Intel® Core™ i7-3610QM Processor (Quad Core, 6MB Cache, 2.3 GHz, Turbo Mode 3.3GHz)
**Processor koeling: Artic Silver koelpasta (Systeem wordt beter gekoeld, tot 6 graden winst)
**RAM DDR3 1333/1600 (1): 8GB Corsair First Class Vengeance DDR3-1600MHz (slot 1)
**RAM DDR3 1333/1600 (2): 8GB Corsair First Class Vengeance DDR3-1600MHz (slot 2)
RAM DDR3 1333/1600 (3): 1 Lege geheugen uitbreidingslocatie (slot 3)
RAM DDR3 1333/1600 (4): 1 Lege geheugen uitbreidingslocatie (slot 4)
**Harddisk: 240GB SSD Intel 520 series, SATA-3 (Max 550 MB/s lezen / 520 schrijven)
**Harddisk (2e): 750GB HDD 7200 rpm 16Mb cache
**SSD Module (mSATA): 128GB mSATA SSD Module Crucial RealSSD M4
**Wireless / Bluetooth (Combo): Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6235, Dual Band AGN (2.4/5GHz), 300MB + Bluetooth 4.0 (Wireless Display)
Accu: 8-cell Primary Lithium-Ion Battery (76,96WH)
USB 3.0 - 2.0: 3 x USB 3.0 + 1 x USB 2.0
Display Port: 1x Display Port 1.1a
HDMI Poort: HDMI 1.4a aansluiting voor extern LCD scherm / HD TV (1080P / met HDCP)
DVI poort: 1x DVI-I aansluiting (Single Link)
Webcam: Ingebouwde 2 MegaPixel WebCam + Microfoon
E-SATA: Externe SATA aansluiting voor snelle schijven (E-SATA)
Keyboard: Keyboard met programmeerbare achtergrondverlichting incl Numeriek keypad (Backlight Keyboard)
Keyboard Layout: QWERTY Toetsenbord (VS-Internationaal voor NL)
LAN: 10/100/1000 GigaBit Ethernet (RJ45)
Cardreader: 9-in-1 card Reader (MMC/RS-MMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC/MS/MS-Pro/MS-Duo)
Audio: 7.1 Digitale audio uitgang, THX TruStudio Pro certificaat
Audio: Microfoon-ingang, Speaker-uitgang + Digitale-uitgang (SPDIF) + Line ingang
Speakers: Hoge kwaliteit Onkyo Speakers inclusief Sub-Woofer
Firewire: 1 x IEEE1394 FireWire poort
Beveiliging: Ingebouwde vinger-afdruk sensor voor wachtwoorden en login-namen
Gewicht: 3,9 Kg
Adapter: 220 Watt adapter inclusief netsnoer
**Garantie >: 2 jaar Pick-up en Return warranty BENELUX
Reiniging TFT: BTO TFT Reinigingsdoek, Microvezel.
AKTIE: GRATIS BTO Draagtas + USB muis + muismat + stereo oordopjes twv 39 euro
Links: http://www.bto.eu/html/detail_home.asp?PartnerID=1&lang=nl&DisplayPartnerID=1&ProductID=566


X•BOOK 17CL48-GTX660
Pro's: -It's cheaper, around 325 Euro +-
-660M Kepler card, cooler, more power efficient. Although Optimus HD 4000 is available aswell, so should make battery last longer
-I like the keyboard. No funny LEDS, nice spacing between the keys
-I'm guessing it's triple channel memory. Originally came with 2x sticks, added a 3rd and upgraded the lots to 3x 8GB Corsair. Not sure if this is any better then 2x Dual channel sticks though.
-nVidia driver support, yay
Con's: -660M nowhere near a 7970M in terms of performance
- *only* 24GB memory instead of possible 32GB
-Standard funky audio speakers? I think everything is THX certified nowadays :p Probably going to have to buy a good headset regardless.
-No option for an mSata SSD, so minus 128GB which would have been nice. This being said, I guess you could always buy another Intel drive and use it externally via E-Sata. Might be faster then the Crucials aswell.

X•BOOK 17CL47-7970
Pro's: -Onkyo speakers (any good? No idea)
-Top end 7970M video card, which blows the 660M away. Possible better for longetivity
-Option for an mSata SSD. Albeit not as fast as normal 2.5" SSDs
-Memory upgradeable to 32GB
Con's: -I'm not sure about the LED keyboard. Not a big fan of the keys being so close together
-More expensive
-Possible driver issues with ATI? Never been known for good driver support and Eve Online is partnered with nVidia Not sure if that makes a different or not. Would rather not have issues running multiple clients. Although I still have my desktop :)

Ok, this is what I would use this laptop for:
-Gaming, BUT...I've never run anything at max res full AA/AF really. I don't like it. Hell I still use 1024x768 in some area's. My 24" desktop screen has Windows @ 1360x768 ...hence the debate for the 660M vs 7970M.
The games? SC2, D3, Multiple Eve Online Clients, World of (Russian) Tanks
-Workstation with regards to Server Virtualisation, either via VMWare or Hyper V. So yes, multiple images live all at once
-School projects/homework

This is pretty much a DTR, hence the pricetag. This isn't something I'd plan on replacing in a few years time either. Possibly 4-5years++, obviously depending on how well the hardware lasts. Thanks for reading if you made it this far :attn:
Note: The ** in the specs are the parts I modified/upgraded
 
Last edited:

SMOKEU

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Location
NZ
Do you really need a laptop? Laptops are always a compromise compared to a good gaming desktop computer and no laptop is a substitute for a desktop. Some laptops are quite good at gaming, if you spend enough money but a desktop is still much better.

Have you thought about building a desktop gaming rig and buying a cheap laptop as well? Now you said you want to keep it for 4-5 years. Laptops don't age well compared to desktops and you'll be very limited in the upgrades you can do.
 
OP
Gabber359

Gabber359

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2004
Location
The Netherlands
Do you really need a laptop? Laptops are always a compromise compared to a good gaming desktop computer and no laptop is a substitute for a desktop. Some laptops are quite good at gaming, if you spend enough money but a desktop is still much better.

Have you thought about building a desktop gaming rig and buying a cheap laptop as well? Now you said you want to keep it for 4-5 years. Laptops don't age well compared to desktops and you'll be very limited in the upgrades you can do.

I do, it will be my mobile workstation. If it was only for games then you're right, I'd invest in a new desktop.
A lot of the time we test new stuff out (Windows Server 2008/2012/Linux Servers/Scripting) which can only be done at university, especially when working together as a project group. I'd like to think such a heavy duty rig would last a while, at minimum 3yrs.
Also, during my first year I lagged behind in a lot of work at school, because I couldn't get anything done at school (the irony, I know) and working at home has its...issues. So going mobile, being able to do stuff at an alternate work area (whether it's school, the library, on the train..........btw my travel time to school is 1.5hrs one way, most of which is on the train, so another +1 to go mobile)
 

Knufire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
I think the lack of responses is due to the giant wall of text, lol. Let me see if I can put it in a more readable format:

Both laptops:
  • 17.3" 1080P Screen
  • i7-3610QM
  • 240GB Intel 520
  • 750GB HDD

Laptop 1: €1.975 = $2.436 USD
  • GTX660M
  • 24GB (3x8GB) DDR3-1600
  • No mSATA slot

Laptop 2: €2.300 = $2.836 USD
  • Radeon 7970M
  • 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3-1600
  • 128GB Crucial M4 in the mSATA slot (yes it has two SSDs :shrug:)

I don't really see the point of the extra mSATA SSD if you already have dual hard drives in the machine. LED keyboards are a huge plus if you're using it in the dark. Both laptop are dual channel too, I don't know why laptop 1 would have three slots, makes no sense.
 
Last edited:

nightelph

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Location
SoCal
Thanks, Knufire, I was gonna bail on the thread because of all the text. :chair:

Three bays is odd, unless the optical drive slot was converted or something..

Personally I would go with the new 660M, and the extra ram is just a bonus.
 
OP
Gabber359

Gabber359

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2004
Location
The Netherlands
Thanks for the replies :)
It only seems a wall of text because of the specs. I formatted everything into paragraphs, correct spelling and grammar for the most part. Don't forget people here always ask "What are the specs? What does it cost? What are you going to use it for?" Etc etc. I just added that information :sn:
Yes the triple memory bay is odd, but I got a reply from someone who said:


"No, it's not triple channel memory, only dual channel supported by i7-3610QM ; if you have three sticks of RAM in, you just downgraded your whole RAM to single channel mode. Highly NOT recommended.
All current IvyBridge CPUs only support dual channel memory, and only a single (the Intel® Core™ i7-3960X Processor Extreme Edition, a 6 core desktop CPU) Sandybridge supports 4-channel memory, rest only 2-channel.
There's no 3-channel intel CPU in the last two generations, only 3 generations ago, and they're all desktop CPUs."



I'm going to ask that question directly to the dealer/tech guy, because if that's the case, filling the bays would mean a serious performance downgrade. Derp.
As for the mSata, I'm thinking about dropping it. An extra drive (OS/boot/cache?) would have been nice, saving the Intel one for applications such as Servers, but depending on how well E-Sata functions I could always save for another Intel drive and use it externally.
 

jazon1

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Location
USA
personally i would just go with the asus if you can find one with the parts you want,as alot of these "built to order" use cheep motherboards/power supply and battery's to cut costs as most people dont look at those parts on a laptop and alot of times they dont list what they are.
 
OP
Gabber359

Gabber359

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2004
Location
The Netherlands
personally i would just go with the asus if you can find one with the parts you want,as alot of these "built to order" use cheep motherboards/power supply and battery's to cut costs as most people dont look at those parts on a laptop and alot of times they dont list what they are.

There isn't, trust me. I've searched high and low for one ever since they were released :( Even asked ASUS Benelux reps and they were total *****. The Asus guys on the ROG forums were nicer, but offered no solutions aside from aforementioned 'buy cheaper, upgrade yourself'.

Can't find one with the following combo: 660M, 16GB DDR3, Blu Ray Burner, 265GB SSD, 750GB 7200 RPM drive.
Usually some crappy combo like 12GB mem, 1TB 5400 RPM drive, 670M, Blu Ray ROM

I refuse to buy a 670/675 rebadged card, or a crappy HDD in what is supposed to be a high-end laptop. The Blu Ray burner is great because it means I can put decent backups onto the 25GB/50GB discs, aswell as any virtual images to carry around.
 

jazon1

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Location
USA
yea i dont blame you,when i bought mine i have to buy expensive then add my own ssd and better memory myself it sucked but was able to sell off the HDD and memory it came with for a decent price.
i also agree about blueray burners there great but near imposable to find blanks so i just use an external HDD for backups cheaper anyways with a single layer blank costing about $10 each tho they have probably come down in price some since i last looked.
M-Discs are great for backups but even harder to find.
 

hafa

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific

jazon1

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Location
USA

Knufire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
The 670M and 675M are Fermi-based, not Keplar-based. I don't see a reason why not to get them. They do have higher heat output and power consumption, but they perform better as a high end Keplar mobile card isn't out yet, to my knowledge.