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Author Topic: laptop  (Read 1520 times)

Turbo

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laptop
« on: Dec 12, 2012, 09:39 AM »
Ratio/Gash anyone else tech savvy.. with moving and traveling this first year at my new job I wanted to get a boss laptop for gaming while on the road.  Thoughts?

http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-gt70-0nd492us-p-4988.html



Conrad

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Re: laptop
« Reply #1 on: Dec 12, 2012, 10:07 AM »
"xoticpc" sounds fucking retarded.

Is that the kind of thought you were looking for, Turbz?

Turbo

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Re: laptop
« Reply #2 on: Dec 12, 2012, 10:23 AM »
Xoticpc sir is prtty much one of the best gaming laptop sites around... I didn't pick their name!!

Gash

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Re: laptop
« Reply #3 on: Dec 12, 2012, 11:27 AM »
This will really just come down to a question of budget.

The one you linked is just about as top of the line as they come right now, without spending a stupid amount more on minor performance boost.

the 675m is pretty solid. You're not going to get much better.

The processor is a little bit under-powered compared to even the cheapest desktop variant, but upgrading the cpu in a laptop will shoot your cost up 300-1000 bucks.

The fact that it has a SSD and a HDD is nice, and should help with general use, just not with your in game fps.

16gb of RAM is more than enough, and speed of ram is irrelevant.

It has a pretty basic wifi chip in it, that might be worth upgrading (+50-100) if you want as solid of a wifi connection as possible, but I'd try to use ethernet whenever possible anyway.

It's got a BR-drive in there, which is fine if you're watching movies while on the road, but I can't think of where you'd be getting them. Red-Box maybe?

Even though its got tech in there that lowers battery life for non-gaming use, don't expect this thing to give you more than an hour or two unless its plugged in.

The other thing that this one offers is a 2 year warranty with 1 year of accidental damage protection. That's a pretty big deal, and most places will make you pay quite a bit for the accidental damage part. (just make sure you register the thing as soon as you have it in your hands)

Ratio

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Re: laptop
« Reply #4 on: Dec 12, 2012, 11:28 AM »
I'm not really the person to ask about powerful portables, but...

My normal answer for anyone wanting to get a laptop has been, "Get a Mac," for a while; with the introduction of Windows 8, I'm fairly happy with what manufacturers have come up with in terms of Tablet PCs (meaning convertible laptops, not Surface, et. al.) Also, if you have one of the new Microsoft stores near you, it's worth going in just for the experience.

I travel with a MacBook Air running Windows 8, a Kindle Paperwhite and a Nexus 7, so I can't tell you from recent experience--other than the MacBooks can run most modern games at what I consider playable framerates and resolutions as long as they're running Windows natively (through BootCamp). Playing on the MacBooks I've owned has never made me wish I had bought a 'gaming' laptop instead--but there is a very appreciable difference between my desktop and my laptop.

On the other hand, I hate MSI. I know a lot of people who have had good experiences with their products, but everything I've ever gotten from them seems to be riddled with gremlins. The only 'gaming' laptop I ever bought was an Alienware about 10 years ago, and aside from the ridiculously shiny screen, I was happy with it.

On a travel note, and I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, I didn't get stopped at all going through security five times and customs twice. I didn't take any of my devices (which are arguably computers) out of my bag and they didn't seem to care. For reference, I had my MacBook, N7, Paperwhite, iPhone4, Suunto D6i and Shearwater Petrel. The Petrel (and the Predator I had before) looks a bit like a cold war era military device or a homemade remote bomb controller, so I always figure it's going to get me stopped, but it never happens. On the other hand my wife got stopped twice; she was carrying an iPad3, Kindle, D6i and the problem maker which was the keyless entry fob for her car on her keychain. I don't think she looks like a spy, but the inspectors that stopped her spent at least five minutes each trying to figure out how to turn the tiny black box into a weapon. On the other hand, it did give me the opportunity to read the complete list of currently banned carry-on items. My favorite? No catapults.

Back on topic, I would still recommend buying a Mac in the short term, or waiting a few months to see if anything new and cool comes out designed to take better advantage of Windows 8.

As far as the MSI laptop you linked goes, (don't forget I'm biased against MSI), the graphics chip is listed as a GTX 675MX in the text, but it's listed as a 675M in the picture and on the chart. The issue is that a 675M is actually a rebranded 580M (40nm, PCIe 2.0, 2GB, 950 GFLOPs) whereas a 675MX is actually a Kepler chip (28mm, PCIe 3.0, 4GB, 1150 GFLOPs). So just double check that you're getting what you're paying for in that regard--although it's listed with 4GB of memory, so that's a good sign. A 680M will cost you quite a bit more, but it has the same power requirements while offering nearly twice the performance (1935 GFLOPs) while a 680MX (2235 GFLOPs) eats more power without offering a huge upgrade over a 680M.

Also, while I loathe ATI drivers, the 7970M is about the same price as a 675MX (and cheaper by about $350 than a 680M), users 75% of the power of a 675MX (and 680M) while offering way more raw performance (2175 GFLOPs), but has half the memory... It's worth considering if battery life is something that might be an issue.

The rest of the laptop's components look solid enough, and anytime someone offers me a free one year accidental damage warranty, that's always nice. Especially when you 'accidentally' drive over it with your car at 11 months and get a free upgrade as a replacement.
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

Ratio

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Re: laptop
« Reply #5 on: Dec 12, 2012, 12:14 PM »
And on the subject of travelling...

I never pull a laptop out on the plane anymore. My wife and I preload our tablet devices with video (my Nexus 7, her iPad3) by converting movies/tv to mp4 using Handbrake and just use those for long flights when we run out of things to talk about.

The point about that is that the lack of a cd/dvd/bluray drive on my MacBook Air is actually something that I've come to consider a feature--it's something that has become (for me) a waste of weight, space and power that I will never use. If I bought a laptop with one in it at this point, I'd pull the drive and glue a piece of plasticard over the opening. Even without a tablet, I would still strip the drive and stick things I wanted to watch in flight on the spindle or a thumb drive.

If you don't care about power/weight and you do care about your warranty, it might be better not to do that, of course.
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

Conrad

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Re: laptop
« Reply #6 on: Dec 12, 2012, 12:28 PM »
Why would you ruin a perfectly good Macbook with Windows 8?

You're a sick, sick man.

Turbo

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Re: laptop
« Reply #7 on: Dec 12, 2012, 12:38 PM »
Im not a mac fan, and also plan on buying the nexus 7 or 10 after Christmas.

However I will want to game often while on the road and need something.  So shopping.

Ratio

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Re: laptop
« Reply #8 on: Dec 12, 2012, 12:39 PM »
Why would anyone ruin a perfectly good piece of hardware with OSX?

My MacBook spends most of its time as a Linux machine. But the topic is gaming. Gaming without Windows is a joke (at best) outside of a few limited titles.

Apple aficionados who insist their machines are good for gaming are also in for a big disappointment in the not too distant future, as Apple is currently looking to use ARM based processors (the things they're using in iPads/iPhones/iPods) as the primary processors in their next generation of laptops. If you think a next generation ARM is going to compete in gaming applications with a next generation Intel mobile processor... I'm not sure what to say.

It's not a bad move on Apple's part, as the biggest games both in number of players and revenue are facebook type games. They certainly won't be screwing with their primary consumers much on that gaming front. I need to run Mathematica and MATLAB at full speed on a laptop, so once they transition their portables to ARM, they certainly lose my business. It's the same reason I won't use AMD processors, they may perform well overall, but their floating point units are garbage compared to Intel's.

If Mathematica and MATLAB release solid cloud based variants that I found useful, I still wouldn't buy an ARM based laptop, because an ARM based tablet would work just as well in that application without the extra weight, size and cost. For me, Apple is fucking retarded. For the average consumer, they're going to be able to offer lower cost laptops while cutting their own overhead as they'll be moving everything to iOS and only having to compile it for one family of processors. It also means that almost every app they write will work across all of their devices in exactly the same way, which is something that Metro apps are currently having issues with.

Anyway, back on topic again. You know who you should really ask about laptop gaming? That guy who plays from his truck on the road. He'd have better advice and experience than anyone I can think of. What the hell is his name? Roehl. If you can find him. http://www.eq2tyranny.com/index.php?topic=1194.msg2240
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

Conrad

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Re: laptop
« Reply #9 on: Dec 12, 2012, 01:38 PM »
Why would anyone ruin a perfectly good piece of hardware with OSX?

Yes, who would want a *NIX based system with a consistent UI that's designed to run on the very expensive hardware you just purchased?  Much better to install some shitty Linux distro with subpar support.

Quote
My MacBook spends most of its time as a Linux machine. But the topic is gaming. Gaming without Windows is a joke (at best) outside of a few limited titles.

No argument.

Quote
Apple aficionados who insist their machines are good for gaming are also in for a big disappointment in the not too distant future, as Apple is currently looking to use ARM based processors (the things they're using in iPads/iPhones/iPods) as the primary processors in their next generation of laptops. If you think a next generation ARM is going to compete in gaming applications with a next generation Intel mobile processor... I'm not sure what to say.
Tons of rumor and speculation around this, but the likelihood of this happening seems low.  Intel's going to have better performance for a while, but ARM's designs still kick the shit out of it for efficiency.


Quote
Anyway, back on topic again. You know who you should really ask about laptop gaming? That guy who plays from his truck on the road. He'd have better advice and experience than anyone I can think of. What the hell is his name? Roehl. If you can find him. http://www.eq2tyranny.com/index.php?topic=1194.msg2240

At this point it's really a matter of determining how much you want to spend, then picking the most expensive model within that range using an Intel processor and checking the internet to make sure it's not complete shit.

Ratio

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Re: laptop
« Reply #10 on: Dec 12, 2012, 02:44 PM »
Apple pays a lot of money to make sure that they can say that OSX is UNIX, so you shouldn't say things like *NIX if you want to support them properly.

OSX is garbage. Maybe I should reemphasize the 'for me' or the 'in my opinion' part, since apparently people take the words that come out of my mouth as some sort of gospel. An entire side of my family lives on OSX and they love it, so I get it, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a piece of shit for the applications that I primarily use small computers for.

I've had a Mac in my household since 1984. I'm pretty sure my support of Apple over the past three decades, and especially the Macintosh trumps just about fucking everyone. I had a NeXT in 1988, which reiterates my Jobs fanboyism.

But at the same time, I'm not blind to Apple's faults or their limitations. Unfortunately, I can't join in your crusade.

My neighbor works at Apple. My neighbor's neighbor works at Apple. I buy my Apples through them and talk to them quite a bit as both are in hardware development. Want to guess what they're currently working on?

It's in Apple's best interest to unify OSX and iOS. What they do best is make people friendly computers, and that's where they make the vast majority of their money. The graphic design portion of their revenue is tiny in comparison to their general consumer market. And the general consumer market is going to be more than happy with ARM based laptops.
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

Conrad

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Re: laptop
« Reply #11 on: Dec 12, 2012, 04:10 PM »
Running Linux on Apple hardware just boggles my mind.  Almost any of the applications you need will run on Darwin with very little effort while running more efficiently on the hardware.

Turbo

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Re: laptop
« Reply #12 on: Dec 12, 2012, 05:41 PM »
ratio if i get the nexus 10 you really think i need the 32 over the 16?

Ratio

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Re: laptop
« Reply #13 on: Dec 12, 2012, 06:03 PM »
Off topic... (Skip past the line for something on topic.)

My doctoral thesis in computational physics was on the creation of a prediction algorithm to forecast sunspot activity. That system was built on a quad processor DEC Alpha platform running OSF/1. I received a grant from NASA to further develop the system that covered all of my graduate tuition. Further refinement eventually led to several patents for fast adaptive integrators and a doctoral thesis in applied mathematics on the application of neural networks to predictive modeling.

Over the years, more satellites have been launched with more sensitive detectors, providing new and more accurate data allowing further refinements to the system. The current version of the main accuracy prediction algorithm runs on Tesla based supercomputers to refine any anomalous forecasts that are made by the wide prediction algorithm that runs nearly constantly on an Intel based computational cluster currently comprised of 64 current generation cores.

When I'm out and about and need to change something about how the Tesla system runs, I use an Intel based MacBook Air running a Linux kernel with utilities specifically built to rapidly compile CUDA instructions to run on the Teslas. When something needs changing, it's frequently extremely time sensitive, and not only does it matter how fast the actual system runs, it also matters how fast I can use it. Not only is OSX slower at that specific task than the custom kernel, it's also slower for me to work on than a stripped down system that only has pieces that I actually use incorporated into it.

Today, I heard that OSX was better and that for the past twenty years, I've been doing things wrong. Well, shit. I guess I better listen to the random guy extolling the virtues of OSX on a forum dedicated to a game that only runs on Windows.

On topic...

The Nexus 10 feels fat and clunky. It's actually about the same thickness as an iPad, but because it doesn't have the tapered edges it feels much bulkier. I don't like it! I'm also grumpy about the lack of a 3/4G version and that there isn't some sort of external data storage like a USB port or an SD card slot. I expect to see an external storage solution on them in a future iteration since that's the iPad's major hardware failing, but I'm not sure that that will be arriving in a timely manner, especially with Google pushing cloud storage so hard.

So... About the storage space. I don't have a lot of apps on my 16GB N7, probably around 50. I also have about 1000 books. With that, I can easily fit 16 hours of full resolution video with plenty of room to spare. That's at 1280x800. An N10 is 2560x1600, but since you're unlikely to find any video higher res than 1920x1080, you'd be looking at around the same amount of use. If you're app hungry or want to store a lot of media, then yeah, get the bigger one. If you use it as a transitory storage device (which I do), then 16GB is probably plenty.

It also feels fat. Did I mention that? You definitely want to get a cover that incorporates a stand if you want to watch video or do any time consuming task (like reading) on it. You will not be happy holding it up for two hours on the tray table of a plane. I think you should really go pick one up and mess with it for an extended period before you get one. Having played with one for a couple days, I'd still get an N7, despite how pretty the N10 is. Especially one of the new N7's with HSPA+.

If I was buying today, I might hold off a bit just to see if new models of either are coming out, but with the holiday buying season already in full swing, that would be highly unlikely in a reasonable time frame.
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

Ratio

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Re: laptop
« Reply #14 on: Dec 12, 2012, 06:15 PM »
The wife just told me the N10 was skinnier than all of them so I had to check. It is. The N7 is fatter than an iPad which is fatter than an N10. But in terms of feel, the N10 feels the fattest of them all. The more tapered edges on the other two make a huge difference.

Weird.
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

 

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