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  • DemBones79 - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    I'm surprised you didn't mention the Toshiba Qosmio X875Q7390 or something similar. It's a bit more expensive, but I find I'm drawn to Toshiba's slightly higher build quality. I have a 2-year old ASUS laptop that looks *exactly* like the CyberPower pictured and it is an absolute piece of garbage. The lid creaks and flexes, the keyboard is lousy, and the screen's bezel actually cuts off a sizable chunk of pixels in the upper corners. Not impressed. It was cheap and its guts work fine, but it's body is crap. YGWYPF. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    My personal experience with Qosmio is that they're in the same category as Clevo, ASUS, and MSI: big hunks of plastic that don't hold up all that well over time. Maybe newer models are better, but the last few times I've looked at a Qosmio the design and aesthetics have left me underwhelmed. If pricing is competitive with other options, sure, they're in the running, but right now it's $1600 for a model with i7-3610QM, 16GB RAM, 2x1TB HDD, and GTX 670M.

    It's that last bit that really kills it for me. GTX 570M and 580M were awesome when they launched back in June 2011, but in April of 2013 they've lost most of their luster. The 670M is clocked just 4% higher than GTX 570M and is still a Fermi GF114 GPU, so unless pricing was down around $1000 I wouldn't even look at it these days. For the highest-end choices, I limited myself to GTX 670MX, 675MX, and 680M. YMMV
    Reply
  • will54 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    I had a Toshiba with a core 2 duo and AMD 4570M in it for four years and it held up great, Not sure if they still use the shiny plastic but the aesthetics were horrendous. That's the main thing that stopped me from buying the fangbook as well. I'd be embarrassed to be seen in public with something that looks like a kids toy. Reply
  • JennyRogers - Friday, July 26, 2013 - link

    I'm all for the Qosmio too. You're right, it is a bit pricer, but its build quality is spot on. I actually had the chance to use my cousins while he was visiting one weekend. I played Leauge of Legends like no tomorrow. I actually posted it on my blog where I compared it to other laptops. Check it out if you have time: http://bestgaminglaptopguide.com Reply
  • lightsout565 - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    The Y500 was on sale yesterday for $840. Worth keeping an eye on...
    http://slickdeals.net/share/iphone_app/t/5962170
    Reply
  • tviceman - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Such a great deal! Reply
  • dylan522p - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    I really want you guys to do one for thin and light (aka Under 5/4 pounds, but not ultrabooks) Reply
  • Hubb1e - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Try checking out the Sony S series. It is thin and light with a 640m LE and an i5 or i7. My brother is enjoying his second one (the first was stolen) Reply
  • Tams80 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    I've been looking at those. After hours of research the series seemed the best choice and quite well priced. With Haswell and whatever AMD have coming though, I couldn't quite get myself to bite the bullet and get one. I wish they did a 14" version.

    The fanboy in me also wishes they'd stuck with the AMD GPU.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    You might want to tell that fanboy to read about all the issues people have had with Enduro laptops. Unless you get a great deal (or maybe you're really into BTC mining on your laptop? HD 7970M can do around 300-310MHash/s!), NVIDIA is the way to go right now. Hopefully AMD can truly fix the drivers in the next few months before Haswell so that I don't have to continue repeating this refrain. Reply
  • Tams80 - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    The fanboy bit was supposed to be light hearted. ¬.¬

    Anyway, now you've gone on the attack, I'll bite. It helps that you're wrong on several points.

    The previous S series Vaio laptops had AMD GPU options. None were on the x9xx series, so commenting on the HD 7970, which would never have been in one (or at least the 13.3" one; I doubt Sony would use a high end GPU in the 15" anyway though) due to cooling issues is pointless. The S series also has a hardware GPU switch (which they kept for the current Nvidia ones), so your point is mute; unless of course you think your computer knows what you want to do better than you.

    Oh, and why did you jump to the conclusion I like BTC mining on a laptop? Just because I like AMD GPUs? Grow up.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    No attack was intended -- I mine BTC on my AMD GPUs. It's not enough to pay for a $1500 AMD laptop any time soon, but I'm serious about the 7970M doing 300MHash/s. :-) Sadly, at current difficulty that would only be around $60 per month, with around $10 in power cost... but it's dropping by about 15% every two weeks. A $200 dGPU would be a far better ROI, basically.

    I understand people rooting for AMD (or whatever other company you want to name). I don't do that. I am just saying that no matter how much someone likes AMD, getting a "gaming laptop" with an AMD dGPU right now is asking for problems. I have a bunch of desktop AMD hardware, and even there drivers are not always 100% there. Case in point: install the 13.3 betas and then try to downgrade to the 13.1 WHQL drivers. How do you do that?

    1) Uninstall all AMD software.
    2) Run Driver Fusion (a non-AMD piece of software) to remove some of the crap that the Catalyst uninstaller misses.
    3) Make sure all the OpenCL stuff got uninstalled as well (several files in the Windows\System32 and Windows\SysWOW64 folders).
    4) If you want to reinstall the APP SDK, you also need to clean that out (at least rename ..\Documents\AMD APP folder).
    5) Reboot.
    6) Now install the other driver, and if you've done everything right you're now back on 13.1.

    Contrast that with NVIDIA's downgrading of drivers:
    1) Install old driver.
    2) If you want to be "safe", check the option to do a clean install.
    3) Reboot (maybe twice?) and you're done.

    Going back to laptops with AMD dGPUs, here's something else: hardware switches are *worse* than Enduro in most cases because you never get any driver updates (or maybe one or two if you're lucky). The previous series VAIO S is still running drivers from within months of its launch date. If you want a gaming laptop (which is what this article is about), that is absolutely not going to fly. I wish I still had a VAIO S around so I could try Bioshock, Far Cry 3, Hitman, or any number of other games released in the last six months to see if they work properly. I bet half of the AAA titles need new drivers -- drivers that simply don't exist. Hardware switches are also going away for Windows 8, as Microsoft basically won't give you a Windows 8 sticker as an OEM if you have a hardware swich.

    The reason I harp on AMD's drivers is because they're still broken, and until they're fixed they will continue to lose market share, get upset customers because of missing driver updates, which in turn leads to more lost market share. Do that long enough and you might have to leave the GPU race as well, just like they've basically left the CPU race. I do NOT want AMD to stop being competitive with Intel and NVIDIA. Fixing their mobile platform is a key item for me so that I can confidently recommend their products.
    Reply
  • NeoAks007 - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    And I thought I was the only one mining BTC with AMD 7970M. 305 MHash/sec (on average) on my Alienware M17x seemed less to me as compared to similar desktop GPUs (HD 7870/7850); but happy to find out, I am not alone. :-)

    With the difficulty level bitcoin network is at the moment, mining with mobile/single dGPU is almost a waste (my reward approx 0.02 BTC per day on Slush's pool). AISC based custom solutions is way forward for serious miners.
    Reply
  • crfog - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    I bought a Clevo with a 7970M upon release. I had lots of issues with drivers over the first 6-8 months, having followed your articles and the progress AMD was making and discovering myself that certain combinations of AMD/Intel drivers would fix my Enduro issues in some games but not others. I had all but given up when I came across some forums directing me to the "Leshcat" custom drivers. Visited this modders site, downloaded his drivers and followed the instructions - issues solved (though I haven't tried more than one of his releases, so maybe I got lucky?). For anyone still having Enduro issues, I direct them to look up the Leshcat drivers - everyone I've talked to has found their issues solved by them as well.

    And I agree, the 7970M is a beast for bitcoin mining, though recently I've been hopping back and forth between LTC, PPC and TRC since the BTC difficulty went skyhigh.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Sadly, Leshcat's drivers are a bit hit and miss with other Enduro laptops. I got the 13.1 release working okay on a Sony VAIO CA290X, but on Windows 8 when I tried installing the 13.3 I basically ended up with a system that refused to boot into Windows. I might have done something wrong in the configuring/installing process, but I suppose being forced to do a clean install and go back to Win7 can be seen as something of a blessing. :-) Reply
  • pellaeon - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    I have the latest VAIO S15, it's pretty nice. One thing to note is that some guys created a GPU BIOS flash that got my GT640M up to 950mhz, It upped its performance to well over GT650M. Still wish they used the GDDR5 though. It's not like the thing was cheap to begin with. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    While I typically love Sony's stuff, personally I'd avoid it so long as Sony blocks Nvidia/AMD from providing driver updates. Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    I pulled the trigger mere weeks ago on an Asus UX51Vz. Ivy Bridge i7, 8GB of RAM, RAID0 SSDs (total 256gb), GT650M, 1080p IPS matte screen, full metal body, 4.5lb.

    Couldn't be happier really, and GPU performance is pretty good for the size and weight. I haven't had enough of a run with it to tell about battery though, just that Optimus beats AMD's solution anyday.
    Reply
  • tech.noob.fella - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    samsung series 7 chronos? at 5.1 pounds(2.3kg) and under 1inch thick(23mm), it packs in a radeon hd 8870m(gtx 670 equivalent).....only problem is it is not readily available yet except in uk Reply
  • Rassassin - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    The budget option provided is terrible. Why not the Acer Aspire V3-571G-6622 instead? It's $599 (on Newegg), with an Intel i5-3230M and Nvidia GT 730M. That blows the doors off of the Ideapad Z585's AMD APU solution. Reply
  • Rassassin - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    It's currently out of stock, but should be back. It's also on Amazon, but at a slightly higher price. Reply
  • coolhardware - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    The V3-771G is a nice series of laptops too, I especially like the crazy expandable 32GB of RAM they support ! :-)

    RAM upgrade photos/info:
    http://www.jdhodges.com/2013/04/acer-aspire-v3-771...

    Amazon as well as NewEgg carry the V3-771G line starting at $699 :-)

    And the RAM upgrade info:
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Those are more expensive, and while GT 630M is definitely faster than Trinity, battery life and thermals tend to be excellent on Trinity APU-only solutions. (I wouldn't do Dual Graphics, tough.) Anyway, with everything else being NVIDIA and Intel, Trinity was the only solution I could really get behind, and as a budget option it's not bad. Reply
  • anandrkris - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    http://www.alienware.com/ubuntu/ for open-source lovers and even for others who are bored of windows. :-) Now with Steam on Linux, gaming is a viable alternative. Reply
  • nerd1 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    I think it is extremely absurd to use linux on dedicated gaming rig. I do multi-boot into linux for work, but not for gaming at all. Reply
  • Kill16by9TN - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Since I am no longer willing to consider anything without a matte IPS or PLS display with a resolution of less than 1920x1080 (better: x1200) and a luminescence of at least 400cd/m², I'd appreciate, if you could include those details in future notebook recommendations.
    Info about the presence and type of ExpressCard and M.2 or mSATA slot(s) in addition to the regular HDD bay and if the keyboard being backlit, would be appreciated as well.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Too bad all 1200p laptops are now gone, and you won't find too many laptops exceeding 300nits (except for some outdoor laptops) Reply
  • Tams80 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Yep, 1200p has very sadly gone. The 17" Macbook Pro and I think a HP Elitebook (with a gorgeous DreamColor display) some years ago were the last. Well, I suppose the Retina Macbooks count, but the 13" doesn't have a dGPU and the 15"'s is rather weak.

    The Chromebook Pixel is 400nits. XD
    Reply
  • Dribble - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Just bought a high end notebook - custom build (pc specialist) - 16gb, SSD, i7-3740QM, GTX 675MX, AUO matt screen. Impressively fast cpu for mobile, not really that much slower then desktops these days, SSD also means HD just as quick as any desktop. Nvidia graphics just work - not had to do a thing with optimus just installed drivers and off we go. Geforce experience also v good - you just install a game and click optimize and instantly get some good settings - really is a step up on having to do everything manually. Reply
  • ShieTar - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    I wanted to protest the lack of options with an SSD, but then I went to check what options exist, and there admittedly aren't that many Notebooks with both an SSD and also a gaming-capable SSD. The ASUS 15" Zenbooks do have the SSD-Raid 0 which drives them to a 1500$ pricetag, which is a bit much for just getting a 650M to game with. There is the Schenker XMG A102 series, which may not even be sold outside of germany. With a Quad-Core CPU, 8GB of RAM, 250GB SSD and a 650M at a price of 1000€ they look pretty solid, but sadly just come in an 11.6" form factor, which isn't exactly ideal for gaming. It makes the 1366x768 resolution give a decent density though.

    Other than that I really don't see any good options, you apparently have to choose between either an SSD or a gaming-capable GPU. Which I find rather annoying .
    Reply
  • Tams80 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Unless your after specific configurations, such as RAID 0, then the lack of an SSD is a mute point. These aren't laptops that have soldered drives, so you can easily replace the HDD with an SSD. In fact, for most of them there probably are options for them to come with SSDs, but in almost all cases, you'd be silly to pay the premiums demanded. Reply
  • ShieTar - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Yeah. I did replace the HDD in my current Notebook by an SSD. Wanted to reinstall Windows from the recovery DVD provided by ASUS, and was informed that "This version can not be installed on this computer, only on the Notebook you got it with."
    So, not only did I buy a mechanical harddrive I did not want, I also bought a crippled Windows-License that is now useless for me.
    So for my next Notebook I'd much rather buy it exactly as I need it.
    Reply
  • will54 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    I had the same problem with my g75vx with win 8. I had to clone the drive than properly align the partitions which sent me to the error screen so I than had to reset it to factory and now it works. It was a pain but it's much quicker and I still have the 1TB drive for movies and pics. Reply
  • JCDNWarrior - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Excellent article, nice information to have as to what laptop seems to be a good buy for this month. Saves a lot of time.

    I however want to vent a pet peeve I've had ever since Crysis 1 came out. It was simply really badly optimized on release, by which I mean, the game ran slower and required more of the system than it should, since with the Ultra High Config mod (let alone other lighting mods for further eye candy without performance decrease) I could play the game's Very High settings just fine on a Intel E8400 at stock speed and Geforce 8800 GT on a P5Q Pro motherboard very properly around 30 FPS, only the first part of the first snow level forced medium settings to play well.

    As such, in a perfect world, I'd really like every site that uses Crysis 1 as a benchmark/playthrough bench to apply that mod first. Then again, similarly the same could be said about mods that improve performance in games such as Skyrim.. slippery slope..
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Crysis Warhead was better optimized but still runs only marginally faster than the original at similar settings. Anyway, my main point is that there are games out there that will punish your GPU, and if you buy something that's good for 1080p and Medium settings there will inevitably be a game released that you want to play that will force you to lower your resolution and/or your settings -- and it always seems to happen sooner rather than later in my experience. Basically, if you're really into gaming and you want to play on a laptop, I'd suggest saving up for the fastest GPU you can reasonably afford or risk a Battlefield 3 or Crysis or Metro 2033 that simply can't be run well without seriously reducing the graphics quality. Reply
  • will54 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    What happened to the 680M in the fangbook. A month ago I checked them out and they had the 680M for $230-250 more than 675mx. The Fangbook 100,200 or 300 has the one option (675mx) but I just read a review of it with the 680M. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    Probably lack of inventory or sales. 675MX is actually pretty close in performance I think, and it uses less power, making it a potentially better balanced solution overall. Reply
  • kogunniyi - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    I have the chance to buy an m17x r4 with the 7970m for cheaper than a Clevo with the same hardware. This includes the prices of extended warranties on both. (With the 680m, it would be ~$150 more than the Clevo and MSI barebones.) Would you recommend it?

    Also, has Anandtech benchmarked the m17x r4 with the 7970m (Intel GPU disabled)?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    Interestingly, I have one that I'm playing with. Turning off the HD 4000 doesn't actually seem to work all that well for me. I got some screen corruption and other anomalies, so I turned Enduro back on -- though perhaps I missed some option for switching? I just used the keyboard shortcut.

    Anyway, I think the M17x is the best built of the bunch, and personally I like the keyboard and aesthetics, but it's not perfect by any means. When it works right, 7970M is quite fast...but the 5-10% of the time when it goes wrong can be really frustrating.
    Reply
  • NeoAks007 - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    I have recently purchased M17x-R4 with 7970M. Works fine with HD 4000 disabled but sometimes weird artifacts show up on screen (random triangles or black and white squares/rectangles - Catalyst 13.3 beta). More of a annoyance but nothing serious. Playing Crysis 3 with very high settings at 4xMSAA@1080p gives around 30 FPS on average.

    Ignoring the excellent build quality and awesome AlienFX enabled keyboard, I do find some issues with this rig:

    1. Too heavy and looks fat. I do believe that the design is now couple of years old and needs to be reviewed and toned. I prefer sleeker designs like Razer Blade and this is nowhere near that.

    2. If you push GPU to limits, this laptop gets ready to take off like a fighter jet. Fan gets super angry and very noisy (as if it is complaining) as soon as temp hit 60 degrees (C) which can be disturbing on occasions.

    3. Super Glossy screen is awkward for darker images/videos. You don't need mirror to do your hair as this screen takes care of that. You can even see your reflection on this screen with all lights turned off in room when video gets dark.

    4. Alienware thinks that only millionaires buy M17x when you see their prices of Memory and other upgrades. Base config is at a decent price in my opinion considering sturdy build quality, but memory and disk upgrades do not make any sense for price being charged (prefer to upgrade RAM/SSD on your own).

    Nevertheless, you'll love and hate it. Keyboard is really great with AlienFX (looked very strange in beginning but as you get used to it, you will start appreciating it). Trackpad is bit weird but again who won't use a mouse on a gaming machine. Screen is good except for darker tones described above. And performance? On par with the elites!

    4.
    Reply
  • beck2448 - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    You guy really need to check out AVA direct. They have EVERY option available and very competive prices.. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    We've reviewed plenty of their systems. You might want to check out the Clevo P150EM and P170EM links in the article, as they point at AVADirect. Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    W350ETQ: I'm amazed you guys missed this one. It is easily the best bang/buck of any laptop out there. Lenovo had a GREAT one for about 1100 on newegg with a GTX660M but it's gone now. Doesn't seem to be coming back, sadly.
    http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Xplorer_X6-6000...
    Lower end Clevo (slightly) than the one you mentioned. GTX660M, which is built on a smaller manufacturing process than GTX675MX and actually performs faster in some cases due to higher clocks. AND it's cheaper!
    $1070 after coupon (google it) and shipping. configured the way I like, Killer N wireless, 8x1GB DDR3 1600, 1TB hdd to sell cause I'm gonna put my own SSD in it, and another 8GB of RAM. One of my friends just bought this and it's awesome. I have P151hm model with the GTX560M, due to the process shrink the newer model is surprisingly thin and light and COOL. Runs even faster than mine, and even quieter.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    The GTX 660M is decidedly NOT faster than a GTX 675MX -- not by a long shot! It's really just a highly clocked GK107 core, whereas the GTX 675MX uses the GK106 core (or sometimes GK104). In some cases the GTX 660M can surpass the performance of GTX 670M (GF114 based), but 670MX is generally 50% or more faster, never mind the 675MX (which is just higher clocked RAM than 670MX with a 256-bit memory interface instead of 192-bit). Reply
  • PubFiction - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    Anandtech is really losing it honestly, high end gaming and no mention of 120hz screens? Also no mention of the key rollover state of the laptops. How can you have a top end gaming machine without 120hz. And how is it going to work when certain key presses don't even work. I guess when anandtech is too busy buying into the industry lameness of sealed battery phones, no SD slots and treating everything as a disposable appliance, they have completely lost sight of what is important to gamers and hard core enthusiasts. Reply
  • Drasca - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    Care to name some of these dream machines, show their availablity and prices?

    If there is a matte IPS 120 hz screens on a laptop, I want to know about it. I am personally aware of (there's probably more) two series of laptops Toshiba's and Asus doing 120hz screens. Those are TN and they don't have powerful enough GPU's to maintain over 60 fps for higher end games.
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    The Schenker XMG Ultra Series comes with an 120Hz Full-HD Screen, and at the very least a 670MX to feed it. Of course that comes with a starting price of at least 1850€ (~2500$), and you can easily raise that to >5000€ if you feel that you absolutely NEED an 8-core XEON, 32GB of RAM and two 680Ms in SLI.

    But I think that kind of machine is just out of place in an overview-article that needs to consider normal budgets in order to be relevant to more than 0.1% of the readership.
    Reply
  • msahni - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    Hi there,
    Lenovo has been shipping the GT750M and GT760M chipsets on their ideapad Y series for some time now. How much better are these compared to the previous generation..

    Cheers....

    Lenovo Ideapad Y580 Core i7 3630 16GB 1600Mhz GTX660M 2GB 256GB Plextor mSATA + 1TB HDD 15.6 FHD....
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    GT 750M is basically just rebadged GT 650M/GTX 660M with modified clocks. (As far as I know, GT 760M doesn't exist yet -- and it would likely be a GTX part.) The 750M will have GPU core clocks of 967MHz plus Boost, with 5GHz GDDR5. GTX 660M by comparison is 835MHz core with 4GHz RAM. So the new model is definitely faster, to the tune of around 15% (more in some cases), but pricing is also higher since this is a new configuration ($1300 I think is the minimum, unless you get it on a short-term sale). Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    I'd like to add a comment about Alienware - with regards to warranty.

    Week before last, Win8 on my M18x R2 crashed, and failed to repair its startup. Although I 'refreshed' it, (and lost all programs), I grew to hate Win8 anyway, and assumed Win8 was the culprit, and therefore I restored my Win7 backup.

    On Wednesday morning my M18x R2 booted up, I checked mail, and then it crashed whilst idle. It didn't appear to boot again. My diagnosis was a failed primary 7970M GPU.

    Disclosing my tech background to tech support over the phone, and then my diagnosis, they accepted my opinion, and the FOLLOWING DAY a tech was at my home - fitting a new 7970M graphics card, whom was not only a really nice guy, but skilled at his job too.

    My computer now has zero graphic bugs (*which I've not been able to say before for crossfire 7970M*), and actually performs a few fps faster too (due to the Artic Silver used?). I wish I'd checked vbios versions before & after.

    What other company do you know will come to your home within 24hrs of a tech support call, and honor that warranty internationally?

    They have just ensured I am likely an Alienware customer for life.

    Be sure to SEE, and HOLD an M18x before considering that purchase - fine for me, but too big for many tastes.
    Reply
  • Mr.Kornnugget - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    The Fang III and the IBUYPOWER? Really? Other than it looking like they were made of the cheapest plastic they could find, they only has one fan to cool the CPU and GPU. They have to be noisy as all heck when your gaming with it. You can get the M17xR4 equipped with the 675m for $1749, so I am not sure why you would load it with the 680m to compare it with the Fang III. The 680m has always been way over priced. The m17x has far better cooling with a separate fan for the CPU and GPU plus the fans pull air from the keyboard bezel to cool your MB and HDD's. If you are over the $1000 mark on a laptop then spend the little extra and get a better built machine. Reply
  • kogunniyi - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    A side note, because buying a 675m for $1749 is in most cases ludicrous: ordering on the phone can yield a much better price. Reply
  • Mr.Kornnugget - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    I agree, I personally would call or look for a promotion, but my point was that in the article he makes it sound like the only comparable Alienware laptop to the Fang III or IBUYPOWER is the m17x with the 680m at $2200 bucks. Alienware is a bit more money when compared to the other brands but it doesn’t need to be inflated. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    I had no idea someone made a notebook with TWO GT 650s! Obviously I'd rather have 2 than 1, but it begs the question, why not just simply go for a single higher end GPU? I've never had a use for SLI as I don't need to be bleeding edge and don't miss any weirdness it brings, but I don't see it as useful unless a single of the best GPU just isn't good enough for you.

    Still, the geek in my finds it awesome/hilarious that there's a notebook with two GT 650s!
    Reply
  • red-five - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    I'd like to take up a couple of points around the MSI GT70, the Fang III X7-100.

    Firstly, considering you have mentioned build quality a couple of times in relation to other notebooks listed in this article, it's worth pointing out that the build quality of the GT70 is poor. The plastics used are extremely fimble and there is noticeable flex in the underside of the chassis. Although it may have more "verve and style than Clevo's notebooks" as Dustin mentions in his referred review, it does look a lot more tackier than the P150EM in comparison.

    Dustin also says "Ultimately I continue to be disappointed by the relatively cheap plastic used for the majority of the shell. It still feels much more solid than older Clevo units did" - worth pointing out that this article was written in August 2012 when the P150EM was available and the P150HM had been around for quite a while using the same eternal chassis. You have to go back to the W860 to have a partially valid point of criticising "older Clevo units" build quality - the P150 chassis is far from un-solid in comparison!

    Secondly, the thermal design of the MSI chassis leaves a lot to be desired. Unlike the Clevo and Alienware alternatives, the MSI uses a single fan to cool both the CPU and GPU. This may just be acceptable with a 3630QM and 675MX but push both hard at the same time and you will loose clock speed on either component due to throttling. Install a 680M, which is available in the chassis, and pair it with any quad core CPU and you will see the 680M throttle heavily.

    The "High End" choice really should have a 7970M (vast majority of driver issues have been resolved) or 680M included. The 675MX, although a capable card, is not going to let you play ultra at 1080 - the two more powerful cards will and you certainly wouldn't want either of these in an MSI chassis! IMO "High End" should mean the best of the single GPU solutions, if not higher.

    This is one of the main reasons why people don't understand gaming laptops. A single GT 660M really should be the absolute lowest GPU option to render a notebook "Gaming". Yes you can play games at lower resolutions with lower spec GPUs but IMO a "Gaming notebook" should allow you to play at decent quality settings at 1080 - if you only play at 720 you may as well just buy a console.
    Reply
  • sdgul - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Great timing of the article.

    I have been considering buying a nice mid-range laptop, until I saw MSI GX60. It made me serious about buying a gaming laptop because of the perfect price. For that price, it has really good battery life, not overly heavy, and good cooling system (from what I could make out from other people's reviews/comments), great screen, multi-channel sound out, and of course, the prize inclusion:7950.

    I still did not see any contenders for it in the article. Maybe I don't care about gaming at everything maxed out, or may the MSI GX60 laptop really is great...There was a mention about minimum frame rate issue in an earlier article at AT, but the laptop wasn't really reviewed. Hmm I wonder how it will do as my first gaming laptop...
    Reply
  • Jarblater - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    In my honest opinion, those seeking a new laptop with a focus on playing games should try to avoid the Lenovo Ideapad Z585. The reason for that is because Acer has a system which should perform about 20% faster for only $20 more. Instead of having the AMD A10 4600m with Radeon HD 7660g, I would prefer, personally, to have an Intel Core i5 3230m with a Geforce GT 730. This laptop can be found here at Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Reply
  • Wixman666 - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    Best bang for the buck for a pure gaming laptop right now has to be the Lenovo Y500, NOW with the Nvidia Geforce 750M, core i7 3630m, 12GB memory, 1TB HDD and 16GB SSD, 1920x1080 screen, win 8 pro. You can get it direct from lenovo for $879! That's cheap cheap... here's the slickdeal link, always updated. http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/94080/lenovo-lenov... Reply
  • Wixman666 - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    Not to mention the chassis is aluminum clamshell, it has a red backlit keyboard and lenovo support is GREAT. Just say no to Dell. Reply
  • karbom - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    DELL Inspiron 3421 under 700$ is a very good buy too for gaming. It comes with NVIDIA GT 730m. Reply
  • Dug - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Is there anywhere that lists the graphics cards along with some fps info for different resolutions?
    For the uninitiated I don't know if a 650m will be enough for what I play.
    And if it is, then would it be worth waiting for Haswell?
    Reply
  • Rommel Anaya - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    which for gaming G75VX or lenovo ideapad y500 or macbook md2012 13inch Reply
  • Rommel Anaya - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    which is the best for gaming G75VX or lenovo ideapad y500 or macbook md2012 13inch Reply

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