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Laptop build questions for East or others

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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:50 am

You mean you don't enjoy your aol and m$ office free 30 day trials?
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:27 pm

When I had originally talked to XoticPC, I was going to have the install Office 2010 and I asked them to not install the trial version that is automatically loaded. I had a deuce of a time getting that uninstalled off my old laptop.

If the price works, I may take the Digital Storm plunge . . .
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:28 pm

I hate free trials. AOL's especially.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:07 pm

For giggles, I started to fiddle with the config page at Alienware, but since the config system itself slow and bloated with ads, it gave me little faith in the actual systems.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:33 pm

The deed is done. I went with the 7200 platform and made a full-blown desktop replacement. Did anyone really think that I would chicken out and go with the 170 platform instead?

I spent a great deal more time reading the reviews, and that was the clincher. All of the reviews of the various Clevo/Sager iterations that I could find mentioned specifically that there were no heat issues when running under a full load, and they all complimented the basic design for pulling off that feat. The tradeoff is noise -- there are four internal fans that are quite loud when they are all fired up. On the other hand, my RAGE sounded like a turboprop sometimes, and even if I was getting a desktop I would probably not shell out for a liquid cooling system, so the noise will not be out of line with what a desktop would do. But I was really impressed by the numbers the various sites reported; all of the components stayed in acceptable operating ranges, and the exterior remained cooler than skin temperature. I had originally planned on getting a notebook cooler to help with heat issues, but now I will just get a passive pad to help airflow like an Xpad.

The biggest drawback that all of the reviews listed was the keyboard layout and the sound quality, but I will use an external keyboard and mouse at my desktop and can deal with the non-standard layout when I am out and about. As far as the speakers go, it is not like I would ever be satisfied by the included speakers with any laptop, so that is hardly a problem.

After much comparison, I opted for Digital Storm. In addition to the solid professional reviews, they have nearly 900 reviews at resellerratings.com, and are sitting at a full five stars -- 9.89 out of 10 for the past six months. That is more reviews than AVAdirect has, and more than double the reviews for XoticPC. The real kicker was that they ultimately proved cheaper minus their current "instant discount." With Digital Storm, I shot up the scale on the processors and went with the hex-core 17 980, which qualifies as an "extreme edition" chip and lets me use the 1333mhz memory. (The top-of-the-line 990 was $500 more.) That still came in at $4180 with their standard 3 years labor/1 year parts/lifetime in-house tech support warranty. Configuring the nearly identical setup at AVAdirect came up to $4567 with their standard 1 year labor/parts warrenty. That really surprised me, and I have double-checked the config repeatedly, but they match. The base price with Digital Storm is listed as $4644 (the discount is 10%.) So that discount looks like a real discount, not just a gimmick. Xotic does not offer the 980, and configuring the same system with the 970 instead comes out to $4018. Digital Storm does not offer the 970, but looking at AVAdirect for comparison, they list the 970 as being $539 cheaper than the 980, meaning that the same processor for Xotic would have brought it to the $4500 range.

Any way you slice it, Digital Storm wins. Here is the configuration:

Digital Storm x17E Laptop (Model: 7280)

Display: 17.3 Inch (16:9) (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) (Glossy Surface) LED-Backlit Display

Processor: Intel Core i7 980 (3.3 GHz Turbo Mode to 3.6Ghz) (Six Core) (12MB Cache)

Thermal Compound: Premium IC Diamond CPU and GPU Thermal Compound (Reduces Thermal & Laptop Noise)

Memory: 12GB DDR3 1333MHz (Requires Intel Extreme Edition Processor)

Primary Hard Drive: 500GB 7200RPM (SATA 3Gb/s)

Secondary Hard Drive: 500GB 7200RPM (SATA 3Gb/s)

Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Player (Blu-Ray 6x) & DVD/CD Writer

Wireless Card: Bigfoot Networks Killer Wireless-N 1103 (Reduces Latency for Online Gaming)

Video Card(s): 2x SLI (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M 2GB)

Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)



Now to figure out how to explain the price to Eve when she gets up in the morning . . .


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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  PhotoOtaku on Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:56 pm

Looks Bitchin!!! Well thought out, well played!

Tell Eve that you were thinking of getting a Fiat 500, ...so you actually saved some $$$.


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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:28 am

I was driving behind one of those on the highway the other day. They look really wild.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:23 am

I gave her the price range that I was working with, but I am sure that she was hoping that I would come out on the bottom end of it rather than the top end. At least I did not get the 990 (really not worth the extra $500 for an extra .16 ghz) and I stayed away from solid state drives. The software is going to add another $200+ to the deal.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:03 pm

It looks like you got everything important. Did you ask them to configure the drives in raid 0?
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:48 pm

No, I had RAID 0 on the old Voodoo, but I have not felt like I was suffering with the non-RAID drives in my old laptop. I would rather have the storage space. I went with two seperate drives because I would prefer to have all of my big data files like the photos on their own drive, with the OS and games on the primary drive. Unless you really think that is a mistake. Nothing will happen over the weekend, so if you think that it is worth doing the RAID let me know.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:02 pm

Just for giggles I tried configuring the same system with Maingear. They only have the 970 or the 990, not the 980, so I configured it with the 970 and it came to $4500 with their standard one-year warranty. That means that with a 980 it would likely have been nearly $5000. I am still surprised at how Digital Storm seems to have beaten everyone on price.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:44 am

Being a mobile system without solid state disks It may be for the best that you passed on raid 0.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:28 am

May I ask why you went with glossy screen over the matte? And did you consider a hybrid drive (small portion of solid-state memory coupled with a standard hard drive)? That might be a good option for your main drive, and doesn't come at much of a premium.

Sounds like a killer system. How long is the wait?
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:38 am

For one thing, that is the only screen option that Digital Storm provides. But I would have taken it anyway. I will not be using it "on the road" too often, and I only game in a darkened room with the curtains drawn. I prefer the apparent increase in contrast provided by the glossy screen.

I listened to East on the drives -- go back a view pages to see what he had to say about the hybrid drives.

According to the Digital Storm website, the wait is 10-15 business days. But since I am paying by check, they will not start until they get mine deposited. I missed the mail on Saturday so it went out this morning.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:02 am

My friend claims that the way his hybrid drive works is it puts the most used files in the 4gb of ssd memory to cut down on access times. Being such a small area it is nothing that is going to impact game performance. At the very best it might make it boot up a sec or 2 quicker. When he first got it I brought my d900t over as he wanted to run some comparisons (he use to also have a d900t before the rev 6.1 mobo screwed him over) His new sager with the hybrid drive beat the d900t in boot time but it really wasn't a fair contest because his drive was being addressed by integrated io. The drive in the d900t was being addressed by the promise raid controller. As you know the controllers bios delays boot significantly while it detects connected arrays and what not.

What brand drive did you end up going with? Did digital storm offer the samsungs?
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:20 am

Digital Storm did not give any options, so I am at their mercy. Judging from the reviews, they seem to use good components, so we shall see when I get it.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:35 pm

Sounds like you'll be getting a September arrival. Of course, and this should go without saying, a 500-word review complete with photographs is obligatory.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:29 am

Of course. It may take a while before it gets set up on my desk, however. I have a lot of files to transfer from the Voodoo.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  ethelred on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:43 pm

The configuration on your new system is quite impressive. Since heat dissipation has been a primary concern of mine, I am quite interested in ongoing reports as to how it performs. I'm not sure I'll ever get a laptop that expensive again, but who knows.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:55 pm

Will do. At one point, you had me concerned enough about it and that is one reason why I was flirting with the 170 platform instead. However, the reviews all seemed to agree that heat was not an issue, and many of them even had the top-of-the-line 990x CPU and were also configured for SLi. So time will tell.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:28 pm

Got the official email today that production has begun. Bit of a delay getting started since I paid by check. (I suppose I could have just used my check card and raised the limit temporarily, but I would rather not do that even for a couple of days.) Regardless of how smoothly the build goes, I will likely have to wait until after our vacation the week after next.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:02 pm

Ah, the excitement of an upcoming new toy.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Iago on Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:22 am

At least from everything that I have read I will not have to anticipate for a Voodoo-length build.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  East on Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:19 am

That is because there is no paint work being performed.
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Re: Laptop build questions for East or others

Post  Seamaster on Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:34 am

Among other things . . .
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