1. Nerdtendo

    OP Nerdtendo Your friendly neighborhood idiot
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,462
    Country:
    United States
    Every computer in my house is crap. I need to buy my own but I don't know where to start because I know nothing about computer specs. It has to be a laptop for convenience, I don't want a Mac, I need to be able to run Unity, and I want it to be fairly high-end so it will last me several years. Price isn't an issue for the moment because I want to see how much I need to save up. Just don't link me to a $3000 Alienware laptop because boy howdy that's a lot of dough.
     
    Last edited by Nerdtendo, Jan 22, 2018
  2. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    10,811
    Country:
    United States
    https://www.laptopmag.com/best-laptops
     
  3. TheKawaiiDesu

    TheKawaiiDesu Ball of Kawaiiness
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
    Messages:
    1,436
    Country:
    Korea, North
    It's really hard to recommend one specific laptop with that little info. There are many things to take into account when buying a laptop.

    1) Most importantly, the specs. You say you want to run Unity, and that it should be "fairly high-end" (and enough to last a few years, presumably for gaming). If it is everything you need, then the most important part will be the GPU. Right now, the GTX1060 is a pretty good choice for laptops - it can play pretty much any game with high details/1080p at 60fps, and can be found in slim machines (like the MSI gs63vr, Asus gl703vm, Aorus X3 Plus, Gigabyte Aero, or Razer Blade). If you feel like you do not need high graphical quality - a GTX1050ti would be a very good value (albeit less future-proof of course). If you wish to play at higher resolutions (1440p or 4K), and do not mind bulkier designs, then you could choose a machine equipped with a GTX1070 - or even a GTX1080.
    A laptop equipped with a 1050ti will usually cost between $800 and $1000; one with a 1060, between $1000 and $1500; and for laptops with a 1070 or better, you should be ready to spend more than 1500 dollars. In most laptops, the GPU cannot be upgraded, so choose carefully before buying.
    On a side note, there are two versions of the 1060 - one with 3GB of VRAM, and one with 6GB. If you get a laptop equipped with this GPU, having 6GB of VRAM will definitely make it much more future-proof.
    The CPU is also an important part of the specs, but usually the CPU equipping gaming laptops with the GPUs listed above will be more than enough for most games to run smoothly. Although I have yet to see a gaming laptop without one, you should check if the CPU is an i5/i7 from the HQ series (higher power consumption than the U series, but much better performance). Like the GPU, CPUs can extremely rarely be upgraded.
    The disk space is also something to consider. Do you need lots of storage? Does it just need to be fast? Both? Most gaming laptops come with both a M.2 slot (used for SSD - very fast type of drive that costs a lot) that a 2.5" SATA slot (mostly used for HDDs, that are inexpensive but way slower and less reliable). A 120GB SSD (where you would install windows and your most frequently used softwares) + 500GB/1TB HDD (for games and more general storage) is usually good. In most laptops, the 2.5" and / or M.2 drive can be replaced, if you need a higher capacity in the future or if it fails.
    Finally, for the RAM, type and speed shouldn't matter in pretty much all cases. The capacity is what you should be looking at; for a gaming laptop, 16GB is good. For more general use, without heavy multitasking, 8GB will be enough. In *some* laptops, RAM can be replaced and upgraded, but it is more and more common for it to be soldered in thin machines. You should check before buying, as upgrading to 32GB could definitely help in a few years.

    2) Design (and build quality). Do you want a thin laptop? Do you not mind a 4kg+ bulky piece of hardware that you can barely put on your lap? Do you care about the case being made out of plastic, or do you want a machine with a more premium feel that's 100% aluminium? And do xXx_3dg3g4m3l0rd_xXx designs annoy you? While it's not something you'll notice while using it most of the time, it can make a big difference if you travel a bit.
    Acer usually makes the cheapest laptops in terms of build quality. Asus, Dell, HP and MSI are usually a bit better, and use things more premium than plastic on some models. Gigabyte/Aorus and Razer are the premium choices, and use pretty much exclusively metal cases.

    3) Screen. Do you want a TN or IPS screen? Does it need to be bright? Do you want these silky smooth 120fps? Will you be doing professional editing and need good color accuracy? Do you "just" want a 1080p screen, or a 4K one? And do you want it to have G-Sync? The best thing to do here, as pretty much all laptop models are different from each other in that regard, is to check individual reviews for models you're interested in and choose accordingly. 4K is not really important (in my opinion) for a gaming laptop, but G-Sync is definitely something good to have if you'll play a lot of games.

    4) Keyboard. It's impossible to tell if you're going to like a keyboard from pictures alone, but you should at least consider if you need backlight and / or a numpad. While it's a detail, you might like shortcut keys from one manufacturer more than the ones from another.
    4.5) Trackpad. On most laptops, they tend to be much better than they were a couple of years ago (the scrollbar atrocity is pretty much extinct now), but most of the time you'd probably want to buy a mouse.

    5) Battery life. Do you want a long battery life (10+ hours)? Or will your laptop be plugged-in most of the time?
    Unfortunately, most gaming laptops come with average battery at best. The battery life will be affected by the specs (in general, the more powerful it is, the shorter the battery will last), the screen (higher resolutions, and especially G-Sync, which prevents the iGPU from being used), and of course, the battery capacity. Again, checking review sites is pretty much your only option here. Usually, gaming laptops last between 2 and 5 hours, while ultrabooks and laptops without fancy specs can last for twice as long.

    6) I/O. Do you only one USB-C port? Or do you need still need the good old ethernet/USB-A? It varies heavily depending on the model, so you should consider what ports you need, and in what quantity.

    And finally 7) Budget. It's hard to recommend anything without knowing how much you're willing to spend.


    While, again, it's hard to recommend a specific laptop with pretty much no info, these are very different models that could help you decide on the type of thing you want.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074Q54GSR Acer Nitro 5. mid-entry level gaming laptop. Nothing groundbreaking, but good value if you don't think you'll game much.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076D95R1P/ Asus gl703vm. Very thin laptop with a GTX1060. Good specs for the form factor, and very good screen,
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074XLYVHV MSI gt73vr. Big, bulky gaming laptop. Has amazing specs (GTX 1080), but does not come cheap - both in price and in weight. (Can you even call this thing a laptop?)
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XFG7157/ Dell Inspiron 5000. Entry-level gaming laptop. Very average specs for a gaming laptop, but still a good value for the money.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0788ZC44Z/ HP Pavilion 15. Not a gaming laptop, but might also be what you're looking for. Thin, light, and good battery. Can't really play games, but should still be a great general-use computer in a few years.
     
    Last edited by TheKawaiiDesu, Jan 24, 2018
    Originality likes this.
  4. Nerdtendo

    OP Nerdtendo Your friendly neighborhood idiot
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,462
    Country:
    United States
    Wowza, that's a lot of stuff to consider. I'll answer some of your questions and see if you can help me narrow down from there.

    1) I want it fast, but it should have enough storage to not be annoying. I can always get an external HDD though.

    2) I couldn't care less about design. Bulky or not, it won't be a huge problem. My only criteria is "not insanely flashy"

    3) I don't know what most of that stuff is but the screen should be bright, smooth, and accurately colored. 1080p is fine. I don't care much for having the most visually impressive experiences.

    4) now is a good time to say that, while I *technically* want it for gaming, I don't need it for gaming in the usual sense. I won't be playing games as much as I'll be making them. I shouldn't need a fancy keyboard because of this. Backlighting is unnecessary. I hate trackpads so I'll be getting a mouse.

    5) I'll be plugged in most of the time but ~5 hours would be nice just in case.

    6) Just the usual usb, SD, and headphone ports will be fine.

    7) I intend on saving up for this but I suppose the price should be reasonable. I doubt I could find what I'm looking for that's sub $1000 so I'd say $1000-$1500 is fair.
     
  5. Futurdreamz

    Futurdreamz GBAtemp Addict
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,224
    Country:
    Canada
    Honestly I'd say to expect to pay $1,000-1,500 for a really good gaming laptop. Things are always changing so it might be best to figure out the details while you save up, otherwise you might get set on a specific configuration when there is something much better out there. Though I'd have to say that my preference for brands would be Dell, Lenovo, MSI, and Asus in terms of build quality. If you expect to use that computer for a long time that should be a significant priority.
     
  6. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    10,811
    Country:
    United States
    What kind of games are you going to be making? You should strive to get at least something powerful enough to have overhead for even the most demanding scenario in your game, which depending on what you're making could make or break the feasibility of getting a laptop at a decent price
     
  7. ScarletDreamz

    ScarletDreamz [Debug Mode]
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Messages:
    3,913
    Country:
    United States
    Last edited by ScarletDreamz, Jan 22, 2018
    TotalInsanity4 likes this.
  8. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Messages:
    30,200
    Country:
    United States
  9. Memoir

    Memoir Hi, I'm Cynical!
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    10,309
    Country:
    United States
    The OMEN brand has left a sour taste in my mouth.. HP had always been hit or miss. I bought their 25in monitor, and my god the price wasn't worth it. Build quality was meh (as all HP products are honestly) and the support was non existent for the issues I had with the display itself.

    $1500 isn't a bad price, only because of the ram. You can easily get a slight boost in GPU and some room to upgrade the RAM with an MSI from Amazon.. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074VLX5XV/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_isLzAbDJHEDM3

    It's only 8GB of RAM, but you can upgrade it to 16 and be fine all while spending less for it than the OMEN.


    The link you posted has that particular model at $2k. Is that right? Oo
     
    Last edited by Memoir, Jan 22, 2018
  10. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Messages:
    30,200
    Country:
    United States

    Weird, I have that 25" Omen monitor for some time and never had any issues *shrug*.
     
  11. Memoir

    Memoir Hi, I'm Cynical!
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    10,309
    Country:
    United States
    I'm a perfectionist when it comes to displays. The 1ms input was a flat out lie.. Returned it and bought an ASUS Monitor for the same price and am very pleased with the response time. I also got a more adjustable stand with height and a 3D display (not that I'll ever use it)... When I tried to activate what they call the 1ms response time on the HP? My image was distorted when movement occurred. It was unnerving.

    It also had frame skip on 144hz. Which apparently is a common problem with that monitor. Not going to pay $200+ on something and it not work as advertised.
     
    Last edited by Memoir, Jan 22, 2018
  12. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Messages:
    30,200
    Country:
    United States
    I have it set to 2 ms *shrug* looks fine to me. 1 ms looked weird lol. It's a lot better than my other display.
     
  13. TheKawaiiDesu

    TheKawaiiDesu Ball of Kawaiiness
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
    Messages:
    1,436
    Country:
    Korea, North
    Having 32GB of RAM would be completely overkill for OP's uses, and getting a GTX 1050 for 1500 bucks... You start to find 1070-equipped laptops at that price point.
    The MSI Memoir linked, or the Acer Aspire Nitro V Black seem to me like good choices for OP. The Nitro V is a bit more expensive, but much less flashy and the 1060 should definitely help for the laptop's future-proofness.
     
  14. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    10,811
    Country:
    United States
    The usefulness of the extra RAM really would depend on what genre of game the OP is making and how heavy the development resources are
     
  15. Nerdtendo

    OP Nerdtendo Your friendly neighborhood idiot
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,462
    Country:
    United States
    I don't intend any heavy resources. I don't know exactly *how* intensive it will be. I may play around with that stuff during development but it's not going to be AAA 4k 60 FPS stuff
     
    TotalInsanity4 likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted
Loading...

Hide similar threads Similar threads with keywords - market, laptop,