All that fussing and I decided to just go with it.
Of all the features I listed previously, there were really only 2 options that presented themselves – either the MSI Raider or the ASUS ROG Zephyrus/SCAR.
As you can tell, I went MSI. Three main reasons. 1) MSI is significantly less expensive for the same specs (I’m essentially losing out on Thunderbolt) , 2) it’s actually available in Canada, and 3) it has an expandable storage slot. It also shipped in 3 days, which is pretty neat.
The slight quirk in this is that the model I wanted, the GE73 Raider, was practically impossible to find at a decent price. I ended up spending $200 more for the GE75 Raider, which came out in January. Four things impacted – the display (120mhz vs 144mhz), the graphics card (RTX 2070 vs GTX 1070), the display bezel is much smaller, and the lid doesn’t have strobing lights – yay! Honestly, I didn’t realize what a difference a small bezel had.
I took the 500GB SSD main drive, with a 1TB HDD. It has an extra NVMe / PCIe slot so I can add another super fast SSD later. 16GB of RAM, expandable to 32 if need be. The setup phase is the fun part, and to avoid having to download GB of games, I’m in the process of transferring what I can from Steam et. al to the new box. Thankfully that’s pretty straightforward – just
One of the good bits is that MSI doesn’t have much bloatware. One game optimizer, one to controls the keyboard lights (I turned them of to give 90mins more battery life), and Norton (which will soon be removed).
The game doesn’t load all that much faster, which is a real disappointment. I’m running it off the NVMe drive that has the highest possible read/write on the market. The computer boots super fast, and other items are near instant… so this is clearly an Anthem issue.
I disabled motion blur, and have a few more tweaks to apply on the video. It runs ultra smooth, with significantly more detail, and the display is so much crisper. Feels a lot like when I swapped my my standard TV for an HD version. I’d have to run FRAPS or something similar to get a FPS reading. This is not the RTX 2070 MaxQ (that’s a smaller form factor).
I’ll need to run some other bits to see how it goes.
Other Bits and Bobs
I like the keyboard and numpad. Good size, distribution, movement and weight. That looks weird when I type it out, but people who use a computer daily understand the value. Trackpad actually works, which was a concern for me with MSI. Not that I actually use, what with a gaming mouse.
The sound is ridiculous. It has 2 speakers and 2 woofers, which is better quality than all my bluetooth speakers. The sound range is impressive. The speakers point down, which isn’t much of an issue since I have a cooling pad.
Tons of lighting and performance options on this rig. It’s going to take a while for me to figure it all out. I have never been a fan of keyboard backlighting (it’s off now), but lighted USB ports in a dark room isn’t a bad idea.
The fans max out with Anthem, and are noticeable. Less so than my older Clevo/Sager, but you know they are present. Can barely hear them at normal mode – or when casting a video through Chrome.
While the same screen size, it is an all around smaller laptop. Fairly close to 15″ laptops I use from work, as they have a larger bezel.
I’ll need to reset some of the settings and clear some room to make it a family laptop. More than capable to keep running for a few more years without needing to pump out ultra settings. I’ll certainly need to transfer some things to the NAS, and other bits to the new box… and as with everytime I do this, I’m going to forget a few things.
I am not a frivolous spender, and I tend to over research things. Pretty obvious if you’ve been reading this blog the past few months. It took a bit of self-convincing that this was the right time, and that the funds could be spent for what I wanted. The good news in this is that since the bitcoin mining phase is dropping, now’s a great time to get a GPU.