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What to consider when choosing a gaming laptop? I've looked around some guides and have a vague idea, but I'd like to get some thoughts from experienced gamers. There's so much to choose from. I've been wageslaving for two years to save up for this and I really don't want to mess up. My budget is about 1500 usd, maybe a little more.

I'm looking for the best price-to-performance ratio. I don't want to pay for frills, I just want my games to run. I also don't play FPS, mostly strategy games, if that matters. I also don't stream or anything like that. Portability doesn't matter.

Is there a big difference between laptop and desktop? Does a laptop cost much more than a desktop of similar performance? I can't buy desktop because I have nowhere to put it.

Very thankful for any advice.


>Does a laptop cost much more than a desktop of similar performance?

Yes. You should really consider getting a desktop. With your budget you can get a decent high-end one with a high-end monitor that will likely last you several years with no need to upgrade.

>I can't buy desktop because I have nowhere to put it.

A single square meter is more than enough to fit even a large case + monitor. Do you live in a really small apartment or van?

>Portability doesn't matter.

This is the only sensible reason to buy a laptop i.e. for travel, working in coffee shops, university etc.


A gaming laptop is invariably a waste of money as it can never be upgraded and can never be fixed, even a simple thing like a dead pixel or a broken key will ruin the entire machine. If you are short on money I'd advise you to not look for laptops.


I've bought a MSI laptop in late 2018 with that budget, after doing a lot of research. It's good.
Didn't run Crash Bandicoot remake really well though.


I've bought a somewhat budget laptop with 1050ti in it. And it can't run even fucking Fallout New Vegas at decent frames per second. Gaming laptops are a meme, in my opinion


I suggest you first ask yourself do you even need a laptop? Let alone a gaming one. If you are unsure and unaware of how clumsy they are you should get a cheap $200-300 business laptop which is what I did first time I got one. I ended up barely using it after the initial "everything works" on it and used it maybe once or twice a month when I didnt feel like getting out of bed.

They give off a ton of heat and are a bit loud so its never really in your lap. The mousepad sucks, the keyboards suck. Youre out there trying to relearn how to a machine for the first time because it came with win10 a well. Suddenly the 5 mins you needed to fap turns into a grueling session of figuring out where to place the laptop which ends up on a tabletop or desk anyway.

I could play games on it, but never found a good position. Had to plug a kb and mouse which defeats the purpose of the laptop anyway. Laptop batteries are something that youll need to deal with as well and can end up costing a good amount (half price of laptop) for a replacement.

Gaming laptop? More heat, bulkier, and less battery power.


Wow, I'm glad I took the time to ask for opinions. I suspected laptops are worse but I didn't think it would be by this much. The reason I want a laptop is that I live in temporary places and move often, so hauling around a lot of stuff is a huge pain. And I also find stationary computers a bother to clean and maintain, they fill up with dust so fast.

I actually have a mediocre stationary gaming computer (about 5 years old) and a big screen at my parents' house, but it's in a different city, and shipping it over is expensive. Are there any good ways of moving a computer yourself? Like special computer bags on wheels or something?

All these options but none of them are quite right. I guess I should just buy a new stationary then? And try to make sure it doesn't clog up with dust and overheat.


>strategy games
Like what games?
I'd assume they're usually low-end and well optimized for PCs
High specs are an issue because of ports, people whining about pixes and high budget AAA shit
You won't do any wrong by buying a laptop for this


Mostly Paradox games. The most demanding game I've played is probably Warhammer Total War. I'm ok with playing on lower setting as long as there are o performance issues.

The only thing I have now is a stupid tablet that can't run anything at all, so even a laptop would be n upgrade, but I don't want to blow my savings on a laptop if it can't run much of anything either.


How often do you move and do you drive or fly? Cause the portability is really nice, and while the performance is passable, they are very expensive for their performance.


Fellow Wizards
My 5 year old gaming laptop I bought before I started my phd is getting old (it was already low-medium level 5 years ago) I know I will be at university for at least more than one yearr but after that I will most likely move to god knows where after I graduate.

Should I endure one more year and buy a desktop later on? Did anyone of you manage to carry their desktop on a plane? How did it go?


I move about once a year, and if it's to a different city I usually go by train. I mentioned that portability didn't matter because I don't need it for daily commute, only for when I'm relocating. Even if it's a big clumsy laptop it's still a laptop, that's enough portability for me.

Moving a desktop as checked-in luggage is a really bad idea. Even if disassembled and carefully packaged it's probably going to break anyway. Airport and customs clerks can be really rough and careless with luggage, they don't care if they break your shit.


Laptops decent if you don't really play games anymore, but if you do, better to get a desktop.


Laptop gaming kind of feels like the closest PC equivalent of console gaming to me.
You are more or less locked in hardwear wise and those hardwear limitations dictate what games you can play, but within those limitations you have nearly the same vast scope and flexibility as a desktop of similar specs in a convenient and relatively portable package.

That said if you have no need for portability then the downsides of laptops aren't really worth it compared to a desktop for the same amount of money.

If I finally settle down to the point that I am more or less sure that I won't be moving for a few years then I would swich to desktop gaming in a heartbeat though.
Not because I can't game using a laptop, it is just that I can go all out on a battle station if you know what I mean.
External top of the line monitors, keyboard, sound system, etc, on a nice computer desks that is only for computer stuff and nothing else, while having the option to just upgrade one or two parts every 5 years rather then full new PC to keep up with current gen games at acceptable frame rates.


https://www.notebookcheck.net/ is the best laptop review site as far as I know. There's a big likelihood the package that meets your needs will be a rebranded Clevo model; Google for Reddit results talking about the various resellers.

You want to pay careful attention to the display (avoid PWM if possible).


Thanks for the tips, I'll look into it.


I wish someone would invent a display+keyboard thing that was like a laptop but without any of the computer parts and then you could just hook it up to a desktop. That would be the optimal solution for using the computer in bed. It would be lightweight and never produce any heat yet be powerful.


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that's called fanless ultrabooks with core m chips or something. too expensive though

hooking up anything with a wire doesn't seem like optimal in bed

on the topic - if i had a spare 1200$ (which i never wiil) i would get one of those Lenovo Legion laptops.


Thanks for the comments.
I'm waiting for the new Lenovo gaming laptops i5 and i7, I'll see whether they are affordable.


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i bought a refurbished (hi-end for 2011 model) PC for 200-300 bux i dont remember how much because i upgraded it with more rams and more HDD

it can play skyrim in 1080p


this is the same one i got except it has better grafix GPU and 3TB HDD instead of my shitty 500gb, also mine has windows 7 instead of window 10

so i paid 200-300 for mine, but this one is listed at 1100 but is on sale for 600

if i were you i would get this one instead of a shitty craptop


sounds good, but sadly this only applicable to United States. I would definitely buy one refurbished Dell server just to play around with software


Are refurbished computers in general a good idea? I'm a bit afraid of buying anything non-new when I don't know enough to tell the quality of it. It could be a great bargain or it could be thrown out money.


Computers are like cars (though knowing how many people here don't drive this analogy might not work), you usually get what you pay for until you get to the really expensive stuff, and most have way more features and are way more powerful than most people need.


i bought it from newegg not craigslist
just a computer that works good, completely blank windows 7 install no bloatware or anything.

i dont see how you could get ripped off its computer


The problem with gaming laptops is heat mitigation is always terrible and if you game on them frequently you can expect the whole damn thing to be toast in 2 to 3 years. If you game less frequent it will last longer or if the games you play don't really push the CPU or GPU for the most part you will be better off.

now parts can deprecate or break in a desktop as well but generally speaking you will be able to save parts for your next upgrade. You buy a good power supply unit they are generally rated for 10 freaking years. In my current rig I have 5 drives in it and one of them is 9 years old. Yet the mobo+cpu is from 2017. Because of this when I upgrade I am mostly just upgrading a new GPU and eventually its time for a new CPU and mother board normally around 5 years but it depends on the market.

Because of this I can stagger the upgrades out. Now based on what I have read in this thread you are going to get that laptop and that is fine. Just be aware depending on how heavily usage is it will determine how long it lasts. Because they tend to die young as far as computers go I suggest you start saving for a replacement after the first year. It will likely be fine for another year or two but having money on the back burner for a replacement is a good idea. If and when it does take a dive and warranty doesn't cover it. make sure you open it up and harvest the SSD and HDD (if it has one) from it. Also take the ram as well its not as likely you will use that but you never know.

When your computer fails its most likely either going to be the mobo,CPU or GPU or a combination of those things. IPS displays also have a higher failure rate but its possible to replace those but it can be a pain.

Keep in mind laptops are sensitive to temperature changes as well. A HDD that gets over 90f can potentiality lose data. An LCD screen that gets two hot can be ruined and one that gets too cold can freeze. If your laptop is out in the hot or cold and you take it into a normal room temperature environment do not turn it on right away. Give it a few hours to change to room temp and it will likely be fine. A ton of people make this mistake and wreck their shit.


Hey, thanks for the detailed post.

I'm not the sort that games hardcore every day, but what you describe does sound like a bother. If it can last me 3-4 years I'll be happy. I also like the laptop because I don't have to think about upgrading it, I can just buy a new one. I tried "upgrading" my previous desktop about 5 years ago and ended up breaking it. Really not good at this stuff.

I'm going to look into a way of transporting my desktop from my parents' house in another city. Looks like it's the best solution if it can be done. The problem is that neither them nor me have a car so it'll have to be done by public transportation, which is a huge pain (paying for delivery service would cost almost as much as a new computer).

I'll look into a refurbished laptop if I can't haul my desktop over. I think it's a good compromise.


may i kindly ask any reccomendation?
I will be moving in 3 months 20% of chance, in 1 year 80%, in 2 years 100%
any new or upcoming 2020 laptops you woul reccomend? I can wait a few months if they are not on the market.


I cant really recommend anything right now. Unfortunately the changes between one years model and the next can be dramatic enough that one year could be garbage and the next excellent. Basically look for the specs you want and then look for stuff in your price range and shop around because there are deals.

After you get an idea of what you want its best to read a ton of reviews. The biggest concerns you have are lots of complaints of something running too hot for too long. And any big hardware failures. Since the RTX architecture is not new anymore things should be a bit more streamlined in NIVIDA based systems at least.

Also new laptops means the previous models may go on sale but they can sell out fast so it just depends. Check Newegg often things change quickly there.

I Have a Asus Rog Strix Scar 2 from 2019 and its all right but runs a bit hot. MSI had a competing model that was pretty similar and also ran hot. Alienware is good but often over priced. I have no real experience with Lenovo gaming laptops but they seem to often review well.

It may not be a bad idea to get a cooling pad and when you get the new laptop watch those temps while gaming and go from there.


does the keyboard get hot too?
I understand heat at bottom etc but I hate in some laptops you basically write with a heated keyboard


Would a good cooling pad be an effective way to prolong the life of a gaming laptop? Since they tend to due because of heat issues.


Yeah the keyboard on my ASUS gets warm. Not really hot but warm and mind you never game on your lap their is normally vents down there so its best to only game or use it while it is on a flat surface like a table needless to say putting it on a bed or carpet is a big no no. Hell first page of the manual says do not use it on your lap. I bought a cooling pad and it helps decrease things be a few degrees in most cases. Its all based on games though FF14 wasn't that bad but new stuff like Metro Exodus and the thing becomes an oven. Likewise even if you have a game stressing it out turning down graphics and screwing with fan profiles can cool things down enough to not worry.

This is what sucks about gaming laptops even if your RTX 2070 is a fine GPU because of on going heat issues you may seldom ever really get to use its full abilities unless you want your computer to die faster.

Yeah getting a cooling pad really helps. Many of the basic bitch ones at best buy are not so good for gaming but anything helps. Newegg and micro center have plenty that will not break the bank. Keep in mind though it just helps cool things down a bit and knocks off a few degrees at best. Not being in a really hot room also helps.

Best thing to do is watch your temps. Look up the model of your CPU and do research about what is considered safe. Most start throttling around 99 degrees but just because it throttles at that temp doesn't mean its good to be hovering around 97 constantly. Every new game you play especially if its newer and more demanding then you watch those temps and get an idea of what kind of stress you are putting on your system. Its its real old like Deus Ex then you don't need to be concerned. Maybe look just for fun.


I'll also advise in not getting a gaming laptop. Upgrades are non existent, and repairs will either be nonexistent or a money pit if you damage it. Not to mention it cost more for less. You're literally paying more for portability (which you said you don't need). Getting a decent gaming desktop and a cheap laptop (if needed) is my recommendation.


Do "all in one" PCs suffer the same problems?


The keyboard on my laptop is mostly dead in the spot over the cpu/gpu due to being cooked.
I use a external keyboard now.

Since I am mostly settled down now my next computer will likely be a desktop, but I feel like I could get another year out of my computer and don't want it to go to waste. So I intend on playing the thing until it finally breaks, then upgrade.


They're arguably worse


Finally pulled the trigger and got a gamer laptop. Ryzen 7 4800H and RTX2060. So far it's very impressive. The n2 SSD makes it boot in about 4-7 seconds. Ram is 16gb DDR4 at 3200Mhz. So far it can run newly released or very demanding AAA games like Cyberpunk 2077 at triple digit fps on Ultra.


no way are you getting triple digit fps on ultra with cyberpunk 2077. Most benchmarks have it at high 30's low 40's for that gpu and 1080p.


must be with RTX on, guy in the video is getting 80-100


are you sure we watched the same video? because his average was in the 50s after running for a while. It's good and playable but not triple digits, even the gtx 3080 doesn't average over 100 fps in cyberpunk on ultra.


after he turns on DLSS he gets a pretty big FPS boost


Get a desktop and get swole carrying it around


Yeah I recall getting consistent 60 when I played it with RTX and DLSS on with max settings.


No thanks


what can I buy for 1000 bucks


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thank you very helpful

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