New Laptop

When Rift launched last spring, it had come to mind that a laptop might be a better way to enjoy gaming yet still have mobility.  My wife had purchased a simple HP laptop for work the year previous and I had tried loading Rift onto it with no luck, so I was back to the PC.  I had to get a new video card (~200$) and since then, the system can run pretty much anything I throw at it with full settings.  The rub is that I need a complete room to store the PC and while I’m on it, I can’t move.  With my wife’s laptop I can check recipes in the kitchen, check film reviews on the couch, order items or show items when the in-laws are around or simply hook it up to the TV.  Not to mention that we’re trying for another little one, so likely the computer room is going bye-bye once that happens.

So as much as I love my desktop (and a desktop + a laptop is truly great for writing guides) I am strongly urged to get a laptop in the near future.  Since I enjoy gaming and the games I like have, shall we say heavy, demands, I need something robust that will last a while.  I looked at Dell and HP and all that crud and even if you’re getting an Alienware laptop, you’re paying through the nose.  With some research done many gamers on forums recommended Sager laptops.  They are an OEM distributor of Clevo laptops and their prices are quite impressive.

So the requirements for the laptop are somewhat straightforward.  I need an i7 core, a video card with 2 gigs of ram, 10+ gigs of ram, 500 gig hard drive, blu-ray player and wifi.  I would prefer a 17″ screen but 15″ is the bare minimum.  So let’s find a few to show you the options.  I’ll start with Future Shop (they offer the same as Best Buy really), then move along.

Future Shop Laptops – $899-$1899

All 2 to 2.2 GHz CPUs – fine I guess.  Only one has over 10 gigs of ram but that can be upgraded for about 150$ for 4 gigs though only 1 has 4 slots ($1699).  All have a big enough hard drive but I don’t want a 5400RPM.  3 of them do Blu-Ray.  Only one has a decent video card ($1699) with a GTX 560M.  With all said and done, I’m left with the Asus G74SX at $1699 with bag and Windows 7 Pro.

Dell next –  all the i7 2.2 GHz CPU.  The only 2 options are the XPS17 and the Alienware MX17/18.  The XPS with a 3gig card (Gt555), 12 gigs of ram, 1tb of storage with Win 7 Pro and no bag comes to 1699$.  The MX17 comes with a 2 gig card (amd 6990M), 16 gigs of ram, 1tb of storage with Win 7 Pro and no bag for $2250.  MX18 has a 1.5gig card (GTX 560M), 16 gigs of ram, 500gig hard drive, Win 7 Pro and no bag for, get this, $2650.  For all intents, this is the EXACT same laptop as the Asus and it costs $1000 more for an extra 4 gigs of RAM.  Wow.

There are no HP laptops with more than 1gig of video ram.

Sager finally.  The NP8170 is the 17″ with the same CPU as the others (2.2GHz).  1.5 gig video ram (same as MX18), 12 gigs of ram, 500 gig hard drive, Win 7 Pro and bag for $1587.  That’s US price and shipping is already calculated – which is the same price as the Future Shop one pretty much.  So this puts me in a pickle.  2 choices.  The Asus G74SX or the NP8170.  Guess I’ll have to head to FS to get my hands on a demo model.