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Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

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Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:57 pm

So I got permission from my wife to upgrade the laptop -- actually, it was her idea!  The last one that I bought was from Digital Storm, which had pretty comparable pricing to AVADirect, Sager, and many others, but with much better service and support.  However, they have refreshed their laptop lines in the years since, and they no longer offer a comparable platform to the one that I have now, which was based on a Clevo X7200, and allowed desktop processors and memory.  The current equivalent of my old platform is a Clevo P750WM, which looks quite similar, but offers an improved keyboard, ports and most importantly of course the motherboard (which will allow quad channel memory, among other things.)  Since Digital Storm does not offer it, and after shying away from Sager due to some pretty miserable numbers on Reseller ratings, I am probably going to use AVADirect.  The only downside with them is that they offer a few too many choices sometimes -- I do like the streamlined choices from companies such as Digital Storm.  (AVADirect gives you the option of nearly two dozen different thermal compounds -- is there really any serious difference?)  So here is the top lines of my current config that I am playing with, which lists most of the major components.  This does not show a few options like network cards and operating systems, but I am going to upgrade the former and I finally decided to give Windows 8.1 a try (Professional version, which is required for the 32GB of RAM.)  Not to excited about the interface, but from everything that I have read it is a bit quicker than 7.1, and the big things is DirectX 11.2.  Anyway, here is where I am sitting now.  Feel free to head over to their website and let me know if you think that there are better options.  (No, I am not going to shell out for anything bigger than the 500GB SSD -- this configuration, including Microsoft Office, Windows 8.1 Pro and extending the warranty for a year is already getting mightily close to $5000!)  By all means, let me know if I any of the thousand different thermal compounds is a better choice!  (As an aside, I will be selling the X7200, which has a 3960 Extreme Edition processor, twin 580ms, 12GB of RAM and twin 500GB hard drives. . . )

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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:02 pm

Went to the next page on their configuration screen -- this summary may be easier:

AMING LAPTOP Clevo P570WM Core™ i7 Gaming Notebook, 17.3" Full HD LED LCD, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 880M / Quadro® K5100M Graphics
CLEVO P570WM Core i7 Notebook Barebone, Intel® X79, 17.3" Full HD LED Glossy 90% NTSC Color Gamut, PCIe x16 MXM-III Discrete Graphics
INTEL Core™ i7-4960X Extreme Six-Core, 3.6 - 4.0GHz TB, LGA2011, 15MB L3 Cache, DDR3-1866, EM64T EIST HT VT-x XD, 22nm, 130W, Retail w/o Fan
ANTEC Formula 7 Nano Diamond Thermal Compound
NVIDIA 2 x GeForce® GTX 880M 8GB GDDR5 Mobile Graphics Card for P570WM w/ 2nd AC Adapter and Converter Box, SLI Configuration
KINGSTON 32GB (4 x 8GB) HyperX PnP PC3-12800 DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM SODIMM, CL9, 1.5V, Non-ECC
SAMSUNG 500GB 840 EVO Series SSD, TLC Samsung MEX, 540/520 MB/s, SATA 6 Gb/s, 2.5-Inch 7mm, Retail
SEAGATE 750GB Momentus®, 7200 RPM, 16MB cache, 2.5-Inch, SATA 3 Gb/s, OEM
NONE No Additional SATA Hard Drive (Optical bay hard drive caddy required)
NONE No Optical Bay Hard Drive Caddy (Required for additional HDD installation)
RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
OPTICAL DRIVE Slim Black BD/DVD/CD Blu-ray Disc™ DVD Burner, SATA
NETWORK Built-in 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet LAN Card
VISIONTEK Killer™ Wireless-N 1202 Wireless Card, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/300 Mbps, Internal PCIe Half Mini Card
MICROSOFT Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit Edition, OEM w/ Media
MICROSOFT Office Home and Student 2013, OEM, No Media
WARRANTY Extended 2 Year Warranty for P570WM Clevo Notebooks

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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  East on Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:44 pm

Nice. clevo w230ss is an ultra portable gaming beast if you wish to check it out. Cant quite compare to sli and 32gb of ram though.
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:27 am

Not looking for an ultraportable or a screen that small, and every other platform is mobile-based. The highest-end intel mobile processor still has lower specs than my three year old 3960. I do not want to step backwards. No, I am looking at a full-blown desktop replacement. The usual concern with those is heat, but I have used the X7200 for three years without a whisper of trouble under the heaviest loads, and I do not use any kind of an active cooler -- just a passive pad that raises the thing off the desk slightly to improve airflow. From the looks of the pictures the P570WM looks very similar, right down to the placement of the fans.

I will probably pull the trigger tonight, unless you have any suggestions regarding components for this model. Once again AVADirect just gives way too many options -- not just in the thermal compound, but in things like the memory and the hard drives. I am pretty confidant that I picked the best memory option, but I could be missing something. For the hard drives, the EVO series seems fine for the SSD (the PRO series does not seem to benchmark all that differently considering the price difference) and would like at least a 750GB storage drive at least 7200RPM. (Sager and Digital Storm both seem to offer a 1TB 7200RPM, but I could not find one like that among the choices from AVADirect.)
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  ADOR on Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:21 am

If i was going to go that big I would have to go desktop, but I did love the size and power of my M9750.

With windows 8 have seen seen a speed increase with shut down and start up but that is because of the bios. It bypasses everything and goes straight to the point so to speak. With windows 8 and the UWT program I have got a windows 8 laptop in the 8-10 second range in shutting down.

On the interface for Windows 8 I HATE it. The best thing to do if you hate it is to add CLASSIC SHELL. It turns it into more of a windows 7 interface.

I don't have 8 on any of my PC's yet, but have had to work on a bunch of guys PC's. Some of them hated it so much they paid me to put 7 on their brand new laptops.
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  East on Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:26 pm

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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:33 pm

A laptop fits my needs better these days than a desktop does, especially since I do not have any internet access at home other than tethering to my phone (and Verizon ain't cheap.) It is nice to be able to pack it up and take it to the library or coffee shop occasionally, and I also take it with on vacations. I can transfer any pictures that I take and Photoshop them on-the-spot. But I am not willing to give up too much from a performance standpoint, so I am getting the biggest gun that I can. Interestingly, other boutique vendors like Alienware, Falcon Northwest and Maingear do not even offer this platform, so you can get a much more powerful laptop from AVADirect or Sager than you can from the "big dogs."

As I understand 8.1, it does add the ability to go straight to the desktop, though Microsoft does not advertise that fact or make it obvious how to do it. So combined with the fact that 8.1 added the start button back, and you can get back to nearly normal without the shell. Or at least, I will find out!

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2043243/how-to-boot-to-desktop-mode-in-windows-8-1.html
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:35 pm

I was typing my reply while you were posting yours, so that was obviously in response to the previous post!
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  ADOR on Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:26 pm

I think the start button in windnows 8.1 isn't the "full" start button. I would say to check into that more. Besides the interface I really don't have a real bitch about windows 8. I think they have a few alternative shells for it also to completely replace explorer.exe, some of the alternative shells for 7 were pretty good when I tried them out at one time.
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  East on Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:10 am

I would rather stick with 7. I do not care for microsofts store, live tiles, metro interface or anything else windows 8 related. All I want out of windows is a traditional desktop environment. None of this crap. Apple does not jerk there customers around like this with osx. Linux gui's are fairly consistent from release to release as well (unity to unity, lxde to lxde, xfce to xfce).

Why microsoft feels the need to keep reinventing what works well is beyond me. They had better be careful there are a lot more secure and viable options out there and they are free. Microsoft keeps jerking people around people just might take notice thus sealing their own fate.

Don't get me wrong I am all for innovation. But the cumbersome gui/layout found in windows 8 is a huge cluster fuck. I honestly can't believe it was ever released as a finished product to the masses. My dealings with it are limited but I do remember the horror that is the metro interface, the fact they hid the power options (shut down, restart, sleep etc) 5 menus deep because they assumed everybody was going to run it on a device with a lock button, The way 1 application steals focus making multitasking impossible, etc) (Thanks for trying to turn my pc into a glorified smartphone microsoft, Oh wait there is a port of android to x86 if I wanted to do that and it is free to use and there is a larger library with better apps out for android)

Windows 8 should have been released as windows 7 tablet edition. Something similar to what was done with xp tablet edition 2005.

Microsoft needs to make operating systems that are:
A. SECURE (they seem to be getting better at this in recent years)
B. STABLE (they seem to be getting better at this in recent years)
C. Familiar and easy to use (no idea wtf the problem is here, if anything this should be easier then the 1st 2.)
D. Innovative (Takes a back seat to the 1st 3)

To me windows 7 fulfills all of the above requirements. It is still well within its support life and will be receiving security updates for about another 6 years.
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:15 pm

Well, there are rumors that Microsoft will be offering free upgrades from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Even if it is a small fee, that may make it worth toughing out for now. I am on hold anyway, since NVidia's 9800 series desktop cards are out, and the 980m is supposed to hit this month. Even the mobile chip will be Maxwell rather than Kepler, just like the desktop cards. The performance boost is supposed to be very significant -- something like a 35% improvement with a single chip and 72% in SLi. That is worth waiting for.
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  ADOR on Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:32 am

The windows 10 preview is now out for download, since they decided to skip windows 9 release I am not sure when we will see a full windows 10 release.

I would also wait for the new chipset and GPU's out. I am waiting myself to see what the Alienware 13 holds to see if it will make me replace my M11x R1 for travel.
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:57 pm

They are out now. Some vendors have them, some do not. AVADirect does have them, but not yet listed for the model that I am ordering. I am waiting to hear back from them on an ETA for that one. But NVidia is also claiming that the mobile 980 will offer 75% of the performance of the desktop 9800, which is a helluva claim, and well worth waiting for. Maxwell architecture appears to be da bomb.
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  ADOR on Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:54 pm

I knew it was going to be soon, just haven't kept up with it close yet.
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:29 am

Ah, horsecrap, here comes the snag. I would love some thoughts from the community. The 980m is now available from AVADirect and most other vendors as well, but there is a huge problem: AVADirect is not going to offer it with the laptop model that I want (the full desktop processor version.) According to AVA, they are going to sell out what they have of that platform and phase it out in favor of a newer platform in "early 2015." I checked with Sager and they have already discontinued that platform. Those were the only two vendors out there who offered it, so I am SOL. So now comes the dilemma. I really had my heart set on pulling the trigger now, but if I do I will have to opt for a different platform like the P377SM-A; in fact, I think that is the only platform out there that allows for two graphics chips in SLi. But that means stepping down to mobile CPUs, and the best version out there is the Intel 4940MX, which is quad-core rather than hexacore, and has smaller L2 and L3 caches. I still have the three year old 3960 desktop processor in my old laptop, and despite its age the numbers are higher than the current generation of mobile processors.

I believe that the P377SM-A is the the platform that the boutique vendors like Digital Storm, Maingear, OriginPC and the others are using. Looking at the pictures and comparing, they look mightily similar, and like I said that is the only platform out there (other than the DTR that is being phased out) which allows for SLi. So it hardly seems like a weak platform; just not the absolute killer elite. So here is the config that I just put together. Since the CPU and base platform are cheaper, I made a tweak or two like opting for the 850 Pro SSD instead of the 840 Evo. Note than I can still load the 32GB of RAM into the thing.



So, what to do? Do I suck it up and wait for an indefinite period of time, for a new model that may or may not ever exist? (I cannot find any mention of a replacement platform from Clevo/Sager on tha interwebs; maybe someone else can do better?) Or do I just decide that this is good enough and pull the trigger? Will I regret it if another platform DOES hit? The key question is just how much practical difference I will see between the 4940MX and the 4960X. Obviously the extra cores do not really apply to gaming, so that should not matter. Otherwise, the most CPU and memory-intensive applications that I use is software like Photoshop and Premiere elements. I do not know if either of those can even access six cores (or twelve hyperthreaded cores.) I do occasionally run several applications simultaneously, but not all that often. The majority of my usage comes down to games, Office applications, Quicken, and PS/PE. Will the desktop processor really make a difference for anything other than bragging rights? I did pull up a CPU Boss comparison between the two:

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-4960X-vs-Intel-Core-i7-4940MX

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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Iago on Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:22 pm

O.K., I lied. Shaky memory. My current processor is an even older 980x, which is still 3.33ghz and hexacore, but not up to the specs of even the 3960. But the question still remains: can I live with a 4940mx, or do I suck it up and wait for a possibly phantom platform that will allow me to put in a 4960x or whatever the current big shot will be in "early 2015"? Thoughts? Help?
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Re: Iago is pulling the trigger on a new laptop -- thoughts?

Post  Seamaster on Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:28 am

I'm too late to the show to help, but curious what you ended up doing?
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