Are gaming notebooks/laptops a good investment?

LobsterFeng

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So I'm just wondering if those super expensive gaming notebooks that you see on cyberpower or whatever are actually worth buying. I'm kind of thinking of getting one but I'm afraid of overheating. Also does anyone actually play games on their laptop? And how does that work for you?
 

Elfgore

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I game on a laptop. Cost me 1,500 USD. It can run Total War: Rome 2 and The Witcher 2 on high, around twenty to forty FPS at all times. It is about a year old so make sure you factor that in. The only issues I've had is an issue with the display, which is most likely internal and caused by myself. And an issue with drivers... which windows caused.

Pretty much your decision comes down to sacrificing a small amount of power for portability. I find it very worth it. Since I can game at school and friend's houses on my preferred system. If you're looking into buying a laptop, go to Ibuypower. They have great service and sales on all major holidays.
 

Spectrum_Prez

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Okay, here are a couple questions to consider:
1.) How long do you want to keep this laptop? (Bear in mind, parts are harder to upgrade.)
2.) How often will you move within the time you will have this machine?
3.) Do you always have to play on the highest graphics, or are you okay with playing on medium or even low?
4.) How much are you willing to spend?

So, I got a laptop for around USD 1000 (830 euros, when the exchange rate was more even) in 2010, and I'm still using it. I can still play new games on low-medium, and I could play things like Witcher 2, Mass Effect 3 etc on high or medium-high.
However, do your research and do it well. That means reading lots of reviews, visiting laptop forums and seeing what dis-interested reviewers are saying (given that all the big sites are hyping/shilling for the companies), and being confident that you can maintain the machine yourself. Most importantly, besides reviews of CPUs and GPUs, pay attention to how well the laptop dissipates heat after running for half an hour or so. If a review doesn't say, join a forum and ask.

I have been very, very happy with my decision because I've moved five times in the last four years, and I know that buying a desktop then would have been a major pain in the ass. If you embrace the fact that today's youth are going to have to scrabble to find a job and advance careers --- face it, you're going to have to move --- then a laptop doesn't look so bad.
 

gigastar

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No theyre not. If you want something to play away from home, just get a 3DS.
 

DrOswald

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LobsterFeng said:
So I'm just wondering if those super expensive gaming notebooks that you see on cyberpower or whatever are actually worth buying. I'm kind of thinking of getting one but I'm afraid of overheating. Also does anyone actually play games on their laptop? And how does that work for you?
They are a good investment if you need a powerful laptop anyways. I am a programmer and I need something capable of compiling code at a reasonable speed that I can take with me wherever I go. To get all the specs I wanted for that was just a few hundred less than getting one also with a kickass video card.

However, if you don't need a powerful laptop for anything else learn to build your own gaming desktop and do that. Unless you have consistent downtime away from home you will get very little use out of the gaming portion. You will spend less money making a decent custom PC and getting a cheap laptop for your portable computing needs and playing old games in that.

If all you are looking for is a portable gaming device, the 3DS really is a good value.

If you must have one, don't spend much more than $1500. The super powerful laptops that cost $2000+ are over priced and are only very slightly better and are much more prone to problems like overheating. That is what happens when you cram two linked video cards into a laptop case.

I got the Lenovo y50 http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/lenovo/y-series/y50/ (the one with the 512gb solid state drive, costs 1449.99, third model on the second page. Don't get the most expensive one, it is objectively worse)

It is a pretty good machine. Plays everything I have thrown at it well. Lenovo is a really solid brand. Not as flashy as Alienware but far more reliable than other brands, in my experience (and I was an IT professional for 7 years and handled the laptop maintenance for 60 people, so I have a pretty good basis of comparison.)

You should know, however, that a gaming laptop rips through it's battery when you are gaming. If you are gaming you will need to be plugged in.
 

Th37thTrump3t

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It all depends on what you want your gaming experience to be and how portable you want it to be. If you don't mind playing games on mid to high settings, there are plenty of laptops that are light weight, powerful, and good on battery life.

If you want to play every game ever on max settings, don't bother. You're going to end up paying ~2.5-3k on a bulky-ass behemoth of a laptop that will pretty much be married to the nearest outlet and will be obsolete within a few years without being able to be upgraded beyond RAM (maybe) and the hard drive. For that price, you might as well build a gaming desktop. And for 3K, you could build a gaming rig that will last you almost 5-7 years before games come out that make you turn them down to high graphics settings.

I have a decent laptop that isn't necessarily a gaming laptop but has the horsepower to play games decently. It's an HP Envy Touchsmart that has an nVidia GT740M in it, which will play most games on medium-high settings and cost me about $1350.

If you're going to get a laptop for gaming, and want to be cost-conscious, I would stay away from laptops that label themselves as "gaming laptops" due to the fact that they tend to be waaay overpriced for what you get.
 

wetfart

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This is my second gaming laptop. It's nice. I originally got one because I was travelling a lot and wanted to bring my computer with me. I've kept with a laptop since then because in the new house there's no good room to set up a desktop. (Maybe in the basement but not really....)

They are more expensive than desktops, so make sure you've got the cash. And while my new one doesn't get as hot as my old one, it's still pretty darn hot. A lap desk or something like that would definitely help.

I still play games on my laptop. I enjoy it. Not much else to say about that.
 

sneakypenguin

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Not at all unless you have to have have have to retain the mobility for gaming. The GPU's are usually half their desktop counterparts. Heating is an issue, if a part breaks your out a lot of cash. Honestly I always tell people if your looking to spend gaming laptop level cash your better off building a kickass 1000 dollar beast desktop then buying an ultra book with decent integrated graphics. Play the single player stuff on the desktop and the ultrabook will run most popular RTS or tf2 counterstrike type games at playable settings.
 

Alex Baas

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I payed about $1000 for my Lenovo T510P laptop. It has 4GB of ram and 1TB harddrive. It has an Nvidia GT 755M with 2GB of video memory. I am running most games on max or near max settings. I am careful not to overheat it and it isn't as powerful as my desktop. It also needs to be plugged in to play games.

I call it my Gameboy.
 

WickedFire

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It really comes down to how much moving about you'll be doing. I had a gaming laptop through most of uni, so that I could use it in classes and also if i was journeying home for a weekend. Now that I'm done with uni I'm just on a desktop, and when I have the money will probably get a midrange laptop seeing as the gaming one has recently died. Contemplated tablet, but they're too much of a pain to do proper writing on.
 

rodneyy

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as others have said depends what you are after, i travel a fair bit so having a laptop i can lug around is very handy, heat can be a problem but if you get a good case they can take a good amount of the heat away. mine has 2 fans and even on demanding games it gets little more than warm. also i think nvidia has been working on some new architecture for their next card line thats supposed to use half the power of the old ones so that will cut heat down as well.

if you always want the bleeding edge tech wise then id probably stick with a desktop the laptop will be a bit behind even at the top end, that being said its not as bad as it used to be, when i was getting my laptop i could have got a really powerful gpu and cpu that would have given and desktop a real run for their money. that being said it would have really pushed the price up.

be honest with yourself how much use would you really get out of it. if its not all that much then maybe a middle of the line laptop would be better.
 

V4Viewtiful

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harrisonmcgiggins said:
They overheat like Crazy (usually)...on your lap, and if your a guy, its been proven to hurt sperm count.
their are enough kids in this world, Adopt.


Anyway, I say yes.

I like being able to take my games where ever I go the only down side is battery life, take the battery out and it fine on the power supply but keep it in can shorten it's life span.
 

kitabatake12

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I live in Romania and for 1350 lei + 450 lei (a new gpu)it means(407 euro). I bought a little computer that can run The Witcher 2 on ultra without supersampling with 40-50 fps. Pretty nice :)
 

LobsterFeng

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I was pretty drunk when I made this thread which probably isn't the best time to be shopping for computers but now that I'm sober I've been reading these posts and they are really good advice. Some day I'll get a good gaming pc. Someday.
 

fix-the-spade

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LobsterFeng said:
So I'm just wondering if those super expensive gaming notebooks that you see on cyberpower or whatever are actually worth buying.
No.

A Mini ITX gaming PC with grab handles is just as portable as a 'gaming laptop' and will give you more power on half or in the extreme laptops case a third of the budget.

Overheating, battery life and spares are all a pain in the arse as well. If you're budgeting for a super high end laptop it's better to buy a small desktop for games and a mid or low price laptop for work and portability, it will still play a whole bunch of games, but leave maxing out Metro and Crysis for the desktop.
 

Godhead

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They're only worth it if you don't have the space or means to transport a desktop and monitor, along with if you're actually using your laptop for purposes other than gaming.

I have an Asus gaming laptop that I use for classes and for gaming, and can last me around two hours or so if I play games like FTL or Spelunky, which does give me some entertainment while on airplanes.
 

veloper

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Jan 20, 2009
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Electronic toys are never a good investment. Depreciation and all that.

The question to ask is: do you get as much enjoyment out of games without your non-portable wide-screen, those big loudspeakers and your heavy mechanical keyboard? Or are you just going to end up playing on your lappy on your favourite spot each time?