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View Full Version : Looking to buy a badass new Gaming Laptop



crimmson777
08-08-2008, 12:50 PM
Hey there!

I'm about to start university (w00t go USC!) and hence it's time to get a laptop. I've grown up with a terrible desktop (ironic seeing as I'm one of the biggest comp geeks in the grade) that I assembled years ago. I've lived the last year WITHOUT a gfx card. It was harsh. Anyway as reward to my tolerance, my dad has agreed to get me virtually any laptop I want.

At first I was looking at XPS and Alienware.. but that was until I found SAGER through XOTICPC.

My needs:
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I want a desktop replacement (17") that is a BEAST :cool:. The best gaming laptop available essentially. Ideally it should be fairly mobile seeing as I would like to take it to class and back but I know that's asking a lot when getting a desktop replacement. I'm planning to take the power supply everywhere (I'm sure lecture halls and classes would have power sockets). I'm looking at a lifespan of about 4-5 years. I want it to run the latest games of the next 2-3 years on highest settings if possible.

I've basically got it down to the following (all XOTICPC configs):


Choice 1:
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SAGER NP5796
- 17" WUXGA "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright Glossy Screen (1920x1200)
- Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
- Standard Dead Pixel Policy
- Intel® T9400 45nm "Montevina" Core™2 Duo 2.53GHz w/6MB L2 1066MHz FSB 35 watt
- 1,024MB PCI-Express nVidia GeForce 9800M GTX DDR3 DX10
- 4,096MB DDR3 1066MHz Dual Channel Memory
- 2GB Intel® Robson Turbo Memory II
- Custom Laptop Skin
- Combo 8x8x6x4x Dual Layer DVD +/-R/RW 5x DVD-RAM 24x CD-R/RW Drive w/Softwares
- 500GB 5400RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 8MB Cache)
- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 SB1090 5.1 Channels 24-bit External USB Sound Card
- Spare Smart Li-ion Battery (8 cell)
- Full Size Notebook Cooler - Dual Fans - USB Powered
- Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit Installed
- 3 Year Labor* 1 Year Parts Warranty Lifetime 24/7 DOMESTIC Based Toll Free Tech Support

Price: $3109

Notes: I chose the 2.5 processor because I found it to be the best value for money. The T9500 has a 25 watt consumption but is it worth the extra $35? The T9600 2.8 is $230 more and the X9100 is 3.06 (can be OCed to 3.53) but costs a whopping $585 more. Additionally, do the custom skins actually look decent? Or would it be smarter to stick to a default finish? Is the notebook cooler worth it, or should I buy another one separately? And finally.. any feedback on the external sound card?



Choice 2:
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SAGER NP9262
- 17" WUXGA "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright Glossy Screen (1920x1200)
- Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
- Standard Dead Pixel Policy
- Intel Core 2 QUAD Q9550 2.83GHz w/ 12MB L2 Cache - 1333MHz FSB
- 1,024MB PCI-Express nVidia GeForce 9800M GTX DDR3 DX10
- 4,096MB DDR2 800 (2 SODIMMS) Dual Channel Memory
- Custom Laptop Skin
- Combo 8x8x6x4x Dual Layer DVD +/-R/RW 5x DVD-RAM 24x CD-R/RW Drive
- Primary HDD: 320GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache)
- Secondary HDD: 320GB 5400RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 8MB Cache)
- RAID settings: OFF
- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 SB1090 5.1 Channels 24-bit External USB Sound Card
- Spare Smart Li-ion Battery (12 Cell)
- Full Size Notebook Cooler - Dual Fans - USB Powered
- Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit Installed
- 3 Year Labor* 1 Year Parts Warranty Lifetime 24/7 DOMESTIC Based Toll Free Tech Support

Price: $3424

Notes: Once again about the sound card, finish, and cooling fans. Additionally, any suggestion about RAID settings? I've heard RAID 0 is great until one of the drives messes up.. then you're screwed. Would it be unwise to have two HDDs on different RPMs & different caches or does that not matter? I'm planning on replacing the 4GB RAM to 6GB (2 & 4) or 8GB (4 & 4) in the future.


Choice 3:
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SAGER NP9262
- Same as above except with SLI ENABLED DUAL (2) 512MB PCI-Express nVidia GeForce 9800M GT (1024MB Total) w/GDDR3 DX10 Video Cards


Price: $3545




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So there you have it. Obviously the NP9262 is a significantly more powerful machine with quadcore but at the end of the day, is it worth it? Considering aspects such as weight difference, reliability, durability, lifespan, performance.. should I take the NP9262 over the NP5796? And if so.. is the single 9800M GTX advisable or should I go with the Dual 9800M GT?


Either way I'm bound to be extremely happy, but I'd like to make the wisest choice possible. Thanks!!:)

OregonCoastGamer
08-08-2008, 01:02 PM
Choice 3 is the most powerful by far, but has limited mobility. Unless you plan to have it on your lap, that is your best bet at gaming longevity.

Xfactor56
08-08-2008, 01:58 PM
UCLA :p!

But seriously, I think you will be pleased with the help you get from the people on this forum. With an open checkbook, I am sure they are going to come with a great gaming laptop for you.

Anewbus
08-08-2008, 02:18 PM
I'm not a major gamer so you would do well to follow OCG's and Justin's advice on that.

Yes, I have noticed the new trend in stores like BestBuy and Circuit City and such to NOT let customers demo anything. They just have static displays and won't even demo anything for you. "Customer service" is not in their business model or lexicon. Besides, you will never find anything close in the stores to what XoticPC can offer from machines to warranties!:XPCS:

If you want to get an idea of how the custom skins look: Go to either lappy you are considering and then click on the Skinning and Painting banner. (You can also get to the area by other methods, this is the one that just came to mind). Then you can read all about doing that and what you want to do is scroll past all the info and you will run into pics of customer's lappies in which skinning and painting was done. You can tell which ones are skinned when you see that the bezel and/or area around the touchpad are plain.
Those pictures are what prompted me to have skinning done to my lappy. (I would have loved to go with painting, but I couldn't afford it in my budget).
While I haven't seen my lappy in person yet (on its way), but I can only imagine how it must look. XoticPC does nothing in a slip-shod fashion.:XPCS: They spent some time on my graphics, so I know it will be great.:)

I don't know about the cooler as I didn't order one. I don't know what kind it is or any specs.

Question: If you have the funds, why not go for the 3 year parts & labor with the lifetime support for whicheveer machine you end up choosing. Its $289 more for the NP5796 and $259 more for the NP9262. The standard warranty is still good as well, but it's only 1 year parts. It is hard to choose as XoticPC has the best in the industry and so many to choose from!:XPCS:

crimmson777
08-08-2008, 03:05 PM
Question: If you have the funds, why not go for the 3 year parts & labor with the lifetime support for whicheveer machine you end up choosing. Its $289 more for the NP5796 and $259 more for the NP9262.


Hmm yea I was thinking about that. Probably is worth it in the long run. I just always get a bit shaky with Warranty prices. But maybe "better safe than sorry" is the better policy.

OregonCoastGamer
08-08-2008, 03:09 PM
The laptop cooler is OEM, but I believe it fits the NP9262. Warranty wise, I also think it is possible to extend the warranty before your current one expires.

Anewbus
08-08-2008, 03:46 PM
Hmm yea I was thinking about that. Probably is worth it in the long run. I just always get a bit shaky with Warranty prices. But maybe "better safe than sorry" is the better policy.

I'm exactly the same way. I never purchase extended warranties in the stores, no matter what I am buying, even stereo gear. Those are ripoffs and unnecessary. However, laptops are a different story and when you stop to consider the kind of warranties XoticPC has you want your lappy covered. I have never seen warranties like these anywhere else! Go to the site and click where it says "Why XoticPC" then choose Warranty and read all about it.
This is the only exception to my hard fast rule I have ever made and it is bringing me peace of mind. It is also a statement of how confident XoticPC is in what they sell to offer such a robust warranty selection. Even the best Dell warranty can not match what XoticPC offers. (I've compared it):)

Brx
08-08-2008, 08:23 PM
Well i voted for #3 because if you have the money and if you want performance i guess its the best of the tree( also the highest priced but i guess i doesn't matter in your case...I wish i had a budget like yours lol :)) but maybe you could wait a bit and get 9800 gtx in sli... now that would be powerful.I would wait until the sli gtx since you can have anything at any price and i know the gtx is coming out soon not sure about when youll be able to put them in sli but it should not be that long.For the raid in 0 i think you need the same hd and your right if one fail then you in trouble.I dont have alot of experiance with raid but you MUSt be able to recover your data if one plants but i dont know i think you loose it all but im realy realy not shure( im no expert on raid its just what i think but hopfully some one from here could answer better that question).Good luck buying your new laptop !

OregonCoastGamer
08-08-2008, 10:19 PM
9800M GTX SLI sounds good, but I don't know if it will be worth the price I am expecting. For one it will be some time before SLI is even ready for the market and most likely bios updates, and all that fun. Also I am not too convinced the GTX SLI will be faster than the GT SLI. It will ofcourse have more vram, but a ridiculous amount of it (most of which won't be used). Not sure if the GTX is also hotter (I would check)? Basically if your in a hurry I wouldn't wait on the SLI (If you decide to wait at all, maybe the next GPU or CPU series). Just my view on the 9800M GTX.... another card nVidia forced out without much improvement from the previous versions :(.

crimmson777
08-09-2008, 11:56 AM
9800M GTX SLI sounds good, but I don't know if it will be worth the price I am expecting. For one it will be some time before SLI is even ready for the market and most likely bios updates, and all that fun. Also I am not too convinced the GTX SLI will be faster than the GT SLI. It will ofcourse have more vram, but a ridiculous amount of it (most of which won't be used). Not sure if the GTX is also hotter (I would check)? Basically if your in a hurry I wouldn't wait on the SLI (If you decide to wait at all, maybe the next GPU or CPU series). Just my view on the 9800M GTX.... another card nVidia forced out without much improvement from the previous versions :(.

The issue I was having in my mind between the dual 9800M GT and the solo 9800M GTX is whether or not there are drivers available for the dual 9800M GT. A lot of my friends have told me that getting SLI sounds great but in reality not many games can make use of it, because the drivers don't exist.

Furthermore with the 9262, do games actually make use of all four cores?

OregonCoastGamer
08-09-2008, 12:33 PM
At the moment I don't think there are a lot of games that will use the 4 cores, but future games most definitely will (how soon is another mystery). If you want better performance in current games dual core > quad core.

crimmson777
08-09-2008, 12:41 PM
Yep that's what I thought. But I'm looking for a long lifespan so I'm gonna stick with quadcore. Any ideas about the SLi? Also, do any of these machines have an HDMI output port?

talldan
08-09-2008, 02:56 PM
I think they have HDMI port, not positive. I'd go with SLI Dual Graphics Cards if you're wanting to play high quality graphics games. I'm going with the best Dual graphics cards they offer in my new laptop.

crimmson777
08-10-2008, 08:02 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice so far. For those who can answer them, I have a few questions remaining:

- External Sound Card.. is it worth it? I mean If I connect a headset to the laptop without a sound card, would the sound quality be decent enough?
- Is it actually worth getting SLi? Do the drivers exist for games to make use of both 9800M GT's?

OregonCoastGamer
08-10-2008, 09:15 PM
I am thinking that there are SLI drivers for the 9800 GTs that come pre-installed... not positive.... better drivers will probably be released on laptopvideo2go.com later on. I would recommend just purchasing a 5.1 channel headset (USB) in place of the external sound card myself (That's what I did ;) ).

crimmson777
08-10-2008, 09:22 PM
Sweet thanks. Sounds like I'll be going for Choice 3 (if everything goes well). I'll let you all know when I get it!