Gaming gaming laptop vs build+general use Laptop

RevPokemon

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OK here is my question, I'm a Jr in hs and soon will be going to college in a year and a half and am going to need a laptop for college and also for the rest of hs. Now I can spend 1k on it either way so I was wondering would a laptop like this
Memory Module Specifications
Total Memory Size8GB
Memory TypeDDR3
Maximum Memory Supported16GB
Memory Slots Total / Free2 Slots Total / 1 Free
Monitor Specifications
Screen Size15.6"
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Display TypeHD Display
Processor Specifications
Processor BrandIntel
Processor ClassCore i7
Processor TypeQuad-Core
Processor Speed2.5GHz
Processor Number4710MQ
Notebook Specifications
LifestyleGaming
ConditionNew
Operating SystemsWindows 8.1 64-Bit
PlatformLaptop
Hard Disk Drive Specifications
Capacity1TB
HDD/SSD Drives Included1x 1TB
Drive TypesHDD
Hard Drive Speed5400 RPM
Graphics Specifications
GraphicsDedicated Graphics
GPU/VPUNVIDIA Geforce GTX 860M
Video Memory4GB

Or a PC build and a cheaper laptop that would be general use. The PC build would be for dolphin(720p with enough to play last story),tf2,portal, sonic adventure 2 PC, and some older games. As for the PC os I'd like windows but I'd be fine with Ubuntu or hackintosh. For the laptip it would be just general tasks like web browsing, video watching, making document, and maybe light gaming like emulators or older PC games (pre 2010). Either way it just has to be under 1000 total.
 

DarkFlare69

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Laptop, no doubt. It can be used for school and gaming. PCs are obviously not portable, so you won't be able to take it to classes with you. And the laptops specs look pretty good.
 

grossaffe

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I did the $1000 laptop back when I started College, but if I were to go back and do it again, I'd have started with a more portable less powerful laptop plus a better desktop.
 
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There's something about a laptop than can do everything that just sounds lovely to me. But if a desktop can be upgraded with minimum hassle sometime down the line to stay strong enough to run the latest software and games, then it may just be more practical in the long run. Then there's the argument that microATX and ITX motherboards/cases are so small that they're fairly portable too (minus the monitor).

If the main purpose of the laptop is for work/school, then going for the most portable (with a good battery life) laptop with a good price is a good idea. With that laptop you'll still be able to run some games at low-medium settings, although when you get a desktop then gaming becomes much easier.

In the end however it's up to you to decide which is more important to you (work, gaming, portability, future upgrades) and how you would use them if you had a) a single gaming laptop, b) a cheaper ultraportable laptop, and c) a mid-range/gaming desktop. Just picture each scenario in turn, how you would use them, and which sounds better for your needs. And if you have any more specific questions (like would x laptop run sonic adventure 2?) then ask.
 

Sakitoshi

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If you are gonna lug around the thing all the time you are break you back if you go the 15.6'' laptop route.
better buy a 13-14'' laptop with decent specs for transportation and build a good desktop for gaming.
You'll need a potent processor if you plan to play The Last Story, and a laptop of that price range can hardly run it at normal speeds, you'll only get disappointed by the performance of it at Wii emulation, don't overestimate it. only 17'' gaming laptop have the specs necessary for that and don't really worth it, a laptop that big isn't portable at all that you better get a desktop.
 

RevPokemon

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If you are gonna lug around the thing all the time you are break you back if you go the 15.6'' laptop route.
better buy a 13-14'' laptop with decent specs for transportation and build a good desktop for gaming.
You'll need a potent processor if you plan to play The Last Story, and a laptop of that price range can hardly run it at normal speeds, you'll only get disappointed by the performance of it at Wii emulation, don't overestimate it. only 17'' gaming laptop have the specs necessary for that and don't really worth it, a laptop that big isn't portable at all that you better get a desktop.
I decided your right I messed around with pcpartpicker and found I could build a decent desktop for emulation under 600 dollars and use the rest to buy a decent laptop with a good battery.
Anyway thanks for the help
 

aofelix

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Lets put it this way. A desktop is always superior to a laptop. And by superior, I mean in EVERY single way except portability. In theory a laptop sounds good but I can only imagine it looking rather silly when you have a nunchuck and wii mote pointing at a 15 inch screen in your classroom.

You talk of wanting to 720p Last Story but I'll tell you now that very very few if ANY laptop will be able to do that whilst maintaining full FPS. You'll have to constantly tinker and change settings in Dolphin to get any viable results for the more high end games. Your laptop's life span will also be far far lower than that of a desktop PC. You won't be able to upgrade its parts and it will become outdated very very quickly. You can say goodbye to pushing the limits of new games which are released and settle for medium and maybe sometimes high settings. There has never been a better time to buy a processor for Dolphin emulation. The 4670k with the latest developer builds of Dolphin can at last handle Last Story. That is HUGE. This means nearly any game from the dolphin and pcsx2 library will be handled very well. Thats a massive pro. If a desktop can just about 30fps Last Story, then a laptop stands no chance.


If you want to emulate games, pick your parts carefully. Try and get a 4670k in your budget, even if it means getting a shitter graphics card. Get a good heatsink (I got the thermal right silver arrow). That will mean you're set for emulation for a long long long long long long time/forever. The graphics card can be upgraded as you move to PC gaming on the newer titles. I've had so much fun with dolphin/pcsx2, I haven't played any of my steam PC games for ages.



With your budget, I'd get:

1. Gaming rig w/4670k+ a nice cooler + cheap graphics card which can still do dx11
2. Cheapest Lightest most portable Lenovo laptop I could find (Ideapad?) (or a tablet if it will suffice for work because battery life should be your number 1 priority after the device being able to perform all tasks you require.. I'd go with something from apple like a iPad Air or an iPad Mini)
3. PSP and DS Lite (Should cover your gaming needs for a couple of years on the go with access to every GBA/DS/PSP/PS1/SNES game).
4. If you don't have a TV with HDMI to hook the desktop to, get a nice but cheap monitor with a decent response rate. Think about what you want and how you want to game. I personally game on a 50'' TV and love it. I've previously gamed on a Monitor and it does have its advantages (and disadvantages). Either way don't invest a lot in this as 1080p->4k transition is starting. just make sure its 1080p.
 

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A cheap laptop/tablet/hybrid and a gaming desktop is the best route.

There are hybrid laptop/tablets at 300$ that are far more portable than a full blown gaming laptop/desktop replacement, with far superior battery life. You know, things that really matter when you are going to use them outside of home.

And even a 1000$ laptop is not good enough for modern games/demanding applications.

You can build a decent 700$ desktop+monitor quite easily.
 

Spectro87

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With your budget, I'd get:

1. Gaming rig w/4670k+ a nice cooler + cheap graphics card which can still do dx11
2. Cheapest Lightest most portable Lenovo laptop I could find (Ideapad?) (or a tablet if it will suffice for work because battery life should be your number 1 priority after the device being able to perform all tasks you require.. I'd go with something from apple like a iPad Air or an iPad Mini)
3. PSP and DS Lite (Should cover your gaming needs for a couple of years on the go with access to every GBA/DS/PSP/PS1/SNES game).
4. If you don't have a TV with HDMI to hook the desktop to, get a nice but cheap monitor with a decent response rate. Think about what you want and how you want to game. I personally game on a 50'' TV and love it. I've previously gamed on a Monitor and it does have its advantages (and disadvantages). Either way don't invest a lot in this as 1080p->4k transition is starting. just make sure its 1080p.
This would be your best route.
 

RevPokemon

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Lets put it this way. A desktop is always superior to a laptop. And by superior, I mean in EVERY single way except portability. In theory a laptop sounds good but I can only imagine it looking rather silly when you have a nunchuck and wii mote pointing at a 15 inch screen in your classroom.

You talk of wanting to 720p Last Story but I'll tell you now that very very few if ANY laptop will be able to do that whilst maintaining full FPS. You'll have to constantly tinker and change settings in Dolphin to get any viable results for the more high end games. Your laptop's life span will also be far far lower than that of a desktop PC. You won't be able to upgrade its parts and it will become outdated very very quickly. You can say goodbye to pushing the limits of new games which are released and settle for medium and maybe sometimes high settings. There has never been a better time to buy a processor for Dolphin emulation. The 4670k with the latest developer builds of Dolphin can at last handle Last Story. That is HUGE. This means nearly any game from the dolphin and pcsx2 library will be handled very well. Thats a massive pro. If a desktop can just about 30fps Last Story, then a laptop stands no chance.


If you want to emulate games, pick your parts carefully. Try and get a 4670k in your budget, even if it means getting a shitter graphics card. Get a good heatsink (I got the thermal right silver arrow). That will mean you're set for emulation for a long long long long long long time/forever. The graphics card can be upgraded as you move to PC gaming on the newer titles. I've had so much fun with dolphin/pcsx2, I haven't played any of my steam PC games for ages.



With your budget, I'd get:

1. Gaming rig w/4670k+ a nice cooler + cheap graphics card which can still do dx11
2. Cheapest Lightest most portable Lenovo laptop I could find (Ideapad?) (or a tablet if it will suffice for work because battery life should be your number 1 priority after the device being able to perform all tasks you require.. I'd go with something from apple like a iPad Air or an iPad Mini)
3. PSP and DS Lite (Should cover your gaming needs for a couple of years on the go with access to every GBA/DS/PSP/PS1/SNES game).
4. If you don't have a TV with HDMI to hook the desktop to, get a nice but cheap monitor with a decent response rate. Think about what you want and how you want to game. I personally game on a 50'' TV and love it. I've previously gamed on a Monitor and it does have its advantages (and disadvantages). Either way don't invest a lot in this as 1080p->4k transition is starting. just make sure its 1080p.
That's what I already have decided to do. this is my PC build

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8QXdf7
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8QXdf7/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Micro Center)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.75 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 Anniversary ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Micro Center)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($63.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.88 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 280 3GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.75 @ OutletPC)
Total: $691.31
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-01-20 07:51 EST-0500

As for the laptop I think I may wait and save a bit to get something around 500 dollars as I don't need it yet
 

aofelix

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Looks really good.

I'd personally go for a Nvidia card over AMD though. Nvidia's drivers are nicer from my own experience. If you want to save more money, I'd go for a cheaper graphics card and look to upgrade to a 970 when they price drop for the new cards arriving.

I'd actually argue spending more on a nice case (I got a fractal R4 for a good price) as my case will now last me for probably a good 10 years and look beautiful. i got a shitty cheap case and everything about it felt shit.. usb ports weren't very resilient... and when ur dropping $700, personally i want my shit to look good.

these are all optional considerations though.




tldr: any rig with a 4690k + half decent graphics card = dolphin/pcsx2 heaven.

Whilst I also support the desktop route, I have to ask... Why pick i5-4670K when the i5-4690K is out?



yeah you're right. I was just using 4670k as a kind of reference for what i believe to be perfect emulation or as good as it gets. the difference between the two is negligible but the 4690 is still better.
 
Last edited by Depravo,

RevPokemon

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Looks really good.

I'd personally go for a Nvidia card over AMD though. Nvidia's drivers are nicer from my own experience. If you want to save more money, I'd go for a cheaper graphics card and look to upgrade to a 970 when they price drop for the new cards arriving.

I'd actually argue spending more on a nice case (I got a fractal R4 for a good price) as my case will now last me for probably a good 10 years and look beautiful. i got a shitty cheap case and everything about it felt shit.. usb ports weren't very resilient... and when ur dropping $700, personally i want my shit to look good.

these are all optional considerations though.




tldr: any rig with a 4690k + half decent graphics card = dolphin/pcsx2 heaven.
i agree there is a nvidia gpu that costs about 130 and i heard its really good for dolphin and i might use that instead. and use some of the left over cash on a better case and speaker
 

aofelix

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yeah good choice. AMD aren't bad.. but Nvidia feels premium for me. all their driver support software and geforce experience have been awesome.

whilst AMD I was fiddling about a lot. of course AMD do have tressfx... but nvidia have physX. both nothing more than novelties.



honestly I'm very jealous of anyone building a new rig. its always so exciting. I would advise you GPU wise though to not spend big as refreshes usually happen in about 6 months time. the reason i say don't spend big is because you might not actually use it much if you get addicted to dolphin + pcsx2. I know with my first rig I put a lot of money into my GPU, not much into the processor and case.. and i massively regretted it within 2-3 years. if emulation is an option, processors are so underrated by the mainstream gaming PC builders.

also does your mobo have bluetooth on board? dw if it doesn't, just get a dongle. I'd actually say getting a dongle might be better than having it onboard as worst case scenario with shit compatibility, you just buy a new dongle. also does it have wifi? I'd argue getting a pair of power line adapters over WIFI onboard if you can't get close enough to link through the ethernet cable from your modem.

also get a cheap wireless logitech keyboard + mouse combo. a lot of people cry and are elitests when it comes to keyboards and mice... but its really something you should see if you can feel for yourself. I had a 200$ kb + mouse combo in my first rig wired.. didn't like em. new rig, a 50$ set wireless and they are good enough to game for me (single player/offline)




fuck man I'm getting excited about your new rig and its not even mine.
 

RevPokemon

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yeah good choice. AMD aren't bad.. but Nvidia feels premium for me. all their driver support software and geforce experience have been awesome.

whilst AMD I was fiddling about a lot. of course AMD do have tressfx... but nvidia have physX. both nothing more than novelties.



honestly I'm very jealous of anyone building a new rig. its always so exciting. I would advise you GPU wise though to not spend big as refreshes usually happen in about 6 months time. the reason i say don't spend big is because you might not actually use it much if you get addicted to dolphin + pcsx2. I know with my first rig I put a lot of money into my GPU, not much into the processor and case.. and i massively regretted it within 2-3 years. if emulation is an option, processors are so underrated by the mainstream gaming PC builders.

also does your mobo have bluetooth on board? dw if it doesn't, just get a dongle. I'd actually say getting a dongle might be better than having it onboard as worst case scenario with shit compatibility, you just buy a new dongle. also does it have wifi? I'd argue getting a pair of power line adapters over WIFI onboard if you can't get close enough to link through the ethernet cable from your modem.

also get a cheap wireless logitech keyboard + mouse combo. a lot of people cry and are elitests when it comes to keyboards and mice... but its really something you should see if you can feel for yourself. I had a 200$ kb + mouse combo in my first rig wired.. didn't like em. new rig, a 50$ set wireless and they are good enough to game for me (single player/offline)




fuck man I'm getting excited about your new rig and its not even mine.
yeah i am getting a relative inexpensive keyboard mouse since with dolphin ill just use a ps3 controller. I do think i will get a tongle for blue tooth just because its not that expensive. as for cpu it looks good from my knowledge since its oc able and from what ive read is probable the best processor for dolphin since the i7s and xeons really have no big advantages over i5 for dolphin currently
 

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The i7-4790K would be the exception to what you say, as the 500Mhz base clock increase over the i5-4690K is really noticeable in emulation. On the other hand, when you overclock the i5 to the same speed (or higher), then that difference disappears.

Later on I might update this post with my upgrade from last week.
Here's the PartPicker link: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/FP4jhM
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K
Cooler: Corsair H110
Motherboard: Asus Z97 Deluxe
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 2x8GB DDR3-2400
Storage: Crucial MX100 512GB SSD
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB SC ACX
Case: Corsair Graphite 760T White
Power Supply: Corsair HX750i
 

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Smaller/cheaper laptop with a better PC tower. I have a 15" MBP and it's a pain to carry around, even at Uni. If you need the raw power, a PC and monitor will give you more than your money's worth.
 

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Smaller/cheaper laptop with a better PC tower. I have a 15" MBP and it's a pain to carry around, even at Uni. If you need the raw power, a PC and monitor will give you more than your money's worth.



Agreed. Also if you lose a £1500 laptop, its end of the world. You feel like you have to baby it. A £300 nettop/tablet can be treated a bit more roughly and with a little less care.
 

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