My new PC gaming laptop

Bill Loguidice's picture

Sager NotebookSager NotebookWell, as many of you know, after a two year+ wait with no ETA in sight, I decided to cancel my Pandora pre-order and put those funds towards the best gaming laptop I could reasonably afford. Now, I know that getting a desktop would be both more powerful and cheaper than getting a laptop, but the reasons why I decided on a gaming laptop rather than a gaming desktop are many. For one, I already bought a quality HP TouchSmart PC desktop not too long ago as my main PC and maxed that out, with the only downside of the system being the on-board video, which I was unable to upgrade, as previously detailed. In other words, it does everything I need a desktop PC to do, save for anything that requires discrete video, like non-casual gaming. Next, my oldest daughter's old HP laptop kicked the bucket, and she is presently without a system. My laptop has been an older Gateway Tablet PC for some time (in fact, it was my main system until it died from heat exhaustion (since repaired) and I replaced it with that HP), which I also maxed out, but it is now too long in the tooth to game (and is missing modern-day niceties like HDMI out). However, it will be a perfect laptop for my daughter, and her being 5 going on 6, I thought it preferable to get myself a new system and hand her down my still perfectly functional Gateway (especially since her 4 year old sister - who will surely also use it - is a terror). In other words, instead of having to get her a cheap laptop (and no, netbooks don't have the required resolution for Web games like Webkinz, ironically), it seemed more logical to spend a bit more on something fitting my needs and do the hand-me-down thing. Next, having something both portable - since I can't ever guarantee I can sit in any one place for any length of time - and with the latest connectivity options, gives all kinds of flexibility that a desktop simply wouldn't offer me (again, HDMI out in conjunction with HDTV will prove very useful). Finally, since I need to give my Gateway laptop to my daughter anyway, I'd prefer not to be without a portable workstation, since you never know when such a thing can come in handy (I suppose my work Thinkpad laptop might have been an option in a pinch, but it's preferable not to mix too much personal with business).

After a considerable amount of research and shopping around, including with Alienware and budget brands like Asus, I found that by far the best deals were with Sager, whose laptops hands-down have the best gaming-centric options for the best price. Depending upon model and whatever incentives they happen to be offering, you can get anywhere from 1.5x to 2x the bang for the buck that you can anywhere else (Sager notebooks are available direct and also from a variety of resellers). So, with budget, feature-set and overall bang-for-the-buck taken into consideration, I settled on the Sager NP8760-S1. The specs are pretty good:

- Sager NP8760-S1 (Built on Clevo W870CU) Custom Gaming Laptop
- Display 17.3" FHD LED Backlit 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright Glossy Screen (1920x1080)
- Processor Intel® Core™ i7-840QM, 1.86-3.2GHz, (45nm, 8MB L3 cache)
- Thermal Compound - IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
- Graphics Video Card nVidia GeForce GTX 460M 1,536MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11
- Ram 8,192MB DDR3 1333MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS)
- Optical Drive ~ 6X Blue-Ray Burner/Reader / 8X DVDRW Super Multi Combo Drive
- Primary Hard Drive ~ 500GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache)-
- Second Hard Drive ~ 500GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache)-
- Raid Raid 1 Mirror Enabled
- Memory Card Reader Internal 7-in-1 Card Reader (MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/MS Pro Duo/SD/Mini-SD/MMC/RS)
- Bluetooth Internal Bluetooth + EDR
- Wireless Network Intel® Ultimate-N 6300 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module
- Case Basic Black Business Case - Included
- Battery 11.1V Smart Li-Polymer battery pack 3800mAh, 42.18Wh
- Built-in 2.0M Video Camera
- HDMI port support 1080P HD
- Built-in 4 speakers + 1 subwoofer
- Built-in USB 3.0 port
- Built-in eSATA port
- Built-in Fingerprint Reader
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Installed (64&32-Bit CD Included) w/ Drivers & Utilities CD's
- 3 Year Labor* 1 Year Parts Warranty Lifetime -24/7 DOMESTIC Based- Toll Free Telephone Tech Support (Labor Warranty through Xotic PC) Includes FREE Shipping Both Ways for Warranty Repairs

Now, this will be my first true gaming PC since my Windows XP-based Dell was retired to the basement office, back when having a PCIe video card was still a new, nifty thing. So this will finally enable me to make use of some of the games that have been choking my HP and Gateway (or simply not working at all), as well as exploring new games properly like Starcraft II, and of course, Civilization V. I suspect the Sager rig I configured will last me for quite some time, because I'll still do my primary gaming (including FPS games) on my Xbox 360 and PS3. Having this kick-butt (for now) laptop won't change that, but I'll certainly now have options that I didn't have before (and since it's a gaming-centric laptop, I'll certainly configure more than my fair share of emulators). I don't want to bog this down too much, but it's reasonable to assume that I'll also use this for at least some of the video editing that I do, among other productivity-centric tasks. So, win-win, and I'm excited to be able to properly dip my toes back into PC gaming again, especially now that it should be a less frustrating experience than when I was last into it.

On a side note, you may be wondering why Raid-1 and not Raid-0? Well, I'll take the small performance hit to have the redundancy/backup (I'll still of course back this up regularly like I do all my systems). I prefer Raid-1 whenever possible these days and in fact have my two separate 500GB (500GBx2) NAS setups configured in that manner. It just seems to make the most sense to me. (That actually gives me five separate devices with 500GB of storage each, the HP desktop, the Gateway laptop, the Sager, the Buffalo NAS and the Linksys NAS - crazy how easy/cheap it is to have storage we would have killed for even just a decade back)

Any thoughts guys? Suggestions? Let me know. I'll price around a good gaming mouse (suggestions encouraged), but other than perhaps a different laptop bag (if I deem it necessary), I doubt I'll be putting any more money into this other than games.

Comments

clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
Be interested in how it runs

Be interested in how it runs the new stuff for ya, never been a laptop fan (for gaming) but that has some great specs other then I know NOTHING about laptop high end graphic cards. very interested in how it does. And also suprised, didnt know you could cram 2 HD in a laptop. Didnt skip on the ram either, really does look like beast.

Keith Burgun
Keith Burgun's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2010
Cool

Let's play some TF2 together.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
TF2?
Keith Burgun wrote:

Let's play some TF2 together.

TF2?

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Amazed at the advancements too
clok1966 wrote:

Be interested in how it runs the new stuff for ya, never been a laptop fan (for gaming) but that has some great specs other then I know NOTHING about laptop high end graphic cards. very interested in how it does. And also suprised, didnt know you could cram 2 HD in a laptop. Didnt skip on the ram either, really does look like beast.

Me too, I'm just not sure when it will arrive. Interestingly, Sager has notebook options not only with SLI video card configurations, but also configurations with THREE hard drives (or SSD's) in addition to the one optical drive (though I think that's only in their 18.4" laptops). Impressive stuff and if you had unlimited funds you could build quite the amazing portable beast.

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Team Fortress 2.

Team Fortress 2.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
An answer!
Matt Barton wrote:

Team Fortress 2.

Thanks. ;-)

Still slowly getting through installs on my laptop. I now have D&D online, Starcraft II and Civ V on there, as well as some indie games (though I'll probably remove those). So far I gave the most time to Civ V. It's gorgeous but so far pretty un-Civ like. Still not sure if that's a bad thing or not until I play some more.

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.