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Old 07-06-2009, 05:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

Ok so I'm looking to buy a laptop for gaming...primarily I play WoW, but I'd like to have the option to buy games over the next few years and be able to run them smoothly on my computer (I need a laptop because it's required for my college, I know desktops are much more powerful). I'm trying to decide between two computers right now, one's better but it's also a lot more expensive, and I'd like to know if I'm spending too much for what I'm getting.

Choice #1: Alienware M17x - $3249
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo T9600 2.8GHz (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
Video Card: Dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 280M, 2GB – SLI® Enabled
Memory: 6GB DDR3 at 1066MHz
Hard Drive: 640GB - 2x 320GB 7,200RPM - RAID 0
LCD Panel: 17-inch WideUXGA 1920x1200 (1200p)

Choice #2: Dell XPS M1730 - $2174
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9500 (2.6GHz/800Mhz FSB/6MB cache)
Video Card: NVIDIA® SLI™ Dual GeForce® 8700M GT 512MB GDDR3
Memory: 6GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz (2 Dimms)
Hard Drive: Speed: 500GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) with Free Fall Sensor
LCD Panel: 17 inch UltraSharp TrueLife Wide-screen WUXGA

Is the Alienware worth it, or am I just "paying for name"? I'd like for my comp to last me 3 years (when I'll be able to settle down and buy a desktop), so will either be able to keep up with games for 3 years? The money isn't THAT big of a deal for me, my parents are paying for 1/2 as a graduation present, and spending the money I get from this year's summer job isn't that big a deal to me...but I still don't want to waste money. If there's any advice anyone could offer me, it would be very, very, very much appreciated! Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

Quote:
Is the Alienware worth it, or am I just "paying for name"?
It's half-and-half; there's definitely a markup in Alienware computers, but they are fairly good quality. I'd probably go with the cheaper option, simply because that's $1100 you can spend on more worthwhile things, and because there are very few people with a need for such a powerful laptop.

Personally, I'd get an ~$800 laptop for college, and a $1000 desktop for gaming.
That way you will still have a decent laptop that you can do coursework and such on and use in class, etc., and most laptops can game decently provided you look around.
You'd then also have a much more powerful gaming option in the form of a desktop. This is of course only if you have room for a desktop, or if having both is an option.

In all, it's up to you. I'll put it in these terms: The only real difference between the two laptops is the graphics. The dual-GTX280M is about two to three times more powerful than the Dell's dual-8700M GT. Other than that, they have nearly identical processors, RAM (the difference in this case between DDR2 and DDR3 is almost negligible), and screen. So, the choice boils down to, do you want to pay the premium for the graphics?

There are also concerns such as customer support quality with each company, which is an area I can't help you in.

Quote:
so will either be able to keep up with games for 3 years?
They will both last 3 years, depending on what graphics settings you use.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

Moved this to the right section.

I'm with Yami here. It's pretty pointless to buy a full blown gaming laptop because of the cost. If you're willing to spend THAT much money on a laptop, I would personally build a nice desktop gaming machine, and a decent laptop.

That being said, if you are DEAD SET on getting a laptop for gaming, these are your best options in my opinion.

Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

The GPU isn't as powerful as the stuff you have up there, but it's also almost half the price of the dell, and almost third the price of the alienware.

Still really recommend a desktop. With this budget you could easily get a ridiculously powerful desktop gaming machine with an i7.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

seconded the post about the gaming desktop, if you're gonna spend that much on a laptop consider the fact that the average uptime for a laptop these days is 3-5 years for norms and 6+ if you know how to take care of a machine properly,

that and the fact it'll be outdated in 1 year where as with a desktop you can spend an extra bit each year upgrading it to keep up.

as for the 6gb ddr IMO to get the best out of a gaming system it needs to be 32bit so you have alot more choice in terms of gaming unless you wanna play games that you know will run on vista and windows 7.

whatever OS you choose, most vista packs now come with a free windows 7 upgrade coupon so thats not too bad
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

GT 130m's are pretty weak for their price.

A couple of weeks ago when my rig was zapped, I was highly considering this laptop:
Asus - Laptop with Intel&#174; Centrino&#174; 2 Processor Technology - Brown/Yellow/Black - G50Vt-X5
(GPU = 9600 Desktop GT)
I had to change my mind when my parents would only let me go $400

Asus - Laptop with Intel&#174; Centrino&#174; 2 Processor Technology - White/Black - G51VX-RX05 (GPU = 9800GT desktop card)
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

I'm not able to get a desktop for various reasons, so unfortunately I'll have to get a laptop for now.

I'm also aware that both laptops are a little bit overkill right now, but I was expecting in a few years that specs for games (and other things) would get higher, and I still want to be able to run the games in a few years. My logic was that instead of buying a new laptop every year for $1k that's on par with current requirements (not that I'd actually do that), I'd buy one for 3k (or 2k) that would hopefully last me 3+ years.

Twice I've bought laptops that were considered "medium" good, and in a year they were far outdated. My current laptop can barely handle HD videos, let alone WoW, even though it was good a few years ago. I'm trying to avoid having my laptop be useless in the future.

Do you guys think that the Alienware, Dell, or Asus will be able to run the newest games 3 years from now? Or even 2 years from now?
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

This Asus is about as powerful as it gets for gaming laptops.

Newegg.com - ASUS W90 Series W90Vp-X2 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000(2.00GHz) 18.4" Wide UXGA 6GB Memory 320GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4870 X2 - Laptops / Notebooks
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

Now THAT is a nice laptop! Great price too, compared to the Alienware. great choice for OP.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

Agreed, the ASUS puddle picked is the best out of the list... and my two also beat the Dell XPS with the 8700m GT's SLI
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Gaming Laptop...Am I getting my money's worth?

You might want to have a look at what you can get from Asus.
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