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  #1  
Old 05-02-2013, 6:08 PM
penguin0123 penguin0123 is offline
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Default Build your own laptop?

Hey guys, thinking about getting a new laptop geared towards gaming when I'm away from home (hop on an airplane type of travel). The Alienware M17X is pretty much what I'm looking for ($2100 ), but I'm wondering if I can build it cheaper.

Any thoughts?

Specs
i7-3630QM
6GB DDR3 1600MHz
500GB SATA 3Gb/s
GTX 680M

Last edited by penguin0123; 05-03-2013 at 8:47 AM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 7:08 PM
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Build it using what?

There are no generic laptop parts (other than hard drives) that universally fit like they would in a tower.

You might be able to swap out a CPU if you're lucky, but you're not going to build one from scratch.

You can get a pretty decent laptop with good specs and dedicated graphics for under a grand easy.
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Last edited by olhunter; 05-02-2013 at 7:16 PM..
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2013, 9:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olhunter View Post
Build it using what?

There are no generic laptop parts (other than hard drives) that universally fit like they would in a tower.

You might be able to swap out a CPU if you're lucky, but you're not going to build one from scratch.

You can get a pretty decent laptop with good specs and dedicated graphics for under a grand easy.
+1

Building your own laptop is very similar to upgrading a tamiya grasshopper. You can get different tires and batteries, the rest of the stuff is stuck there.

You do not build your own laptop and there might be a place or two that will offer you your own pic-it-and-we-build-it service but that will cost a lot more.

It sounds like you need to face the truth. Laptops are NOT meant for GAMING. They are meant for business and schoolwork and business apps. They are NOT meant for CAD and they are NOT meant to rule the world. They might be able to HANDLE certain scenarios, but for this stuff like gaming you NEED a PC/Desktop/Tower. I am sorry but your FIRST part should be a Storm Scout or Corsair Vengeance case because they are meant to be portable.

I ran into this problem a long time ago and you know what I did? I took my plain old PC case to Aras Welding located past downtown riverside and had some biners and d-links welded to the side, plus I also had a cable bracket welded to the side and I spooled 50' of CAT5E cable on it and hung my mouse on it and on the other side my keyboard hung and I then went to a luggage shop and got a kit that you put on boxes that puts a handle on the top that is secured by nylon webbing. AND I carried a 17" KDS FS CRT on in one hand and my game system in the other hand and then when I went to lan parties I ruled because I was the only guy with a modded case. Then all these other jackasses started putting fairy lights all over their cases and called them mods... Yeah WTFE... THAT was a portable gaming case. I still have it. You want it for a cheap price? I also chopped out the front to accomodate twin 120mm fans.
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Last edited by stilly; 05-02-2013 at 9:37 PM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 9:59 PM
bslaney bslaney is offline
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If you're looking for a high-end laptop, look at Sager. I went through LPC-Digital and got a 17" with 16GB RAM, an i7 3740, nVidia 675MX, 128GB SSD and 750GB 7200RPM HDD for about 1700.
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Old 05-03-2013, 2:47 AM
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Gaming on a laptop is a waste of money. For the same money, you can put together a good gaming PC and buy a laptop to go with it.

As far as gaming laptops go, there isn't much of a selection out there. The only thing that separates them from regular laptops is a dedicated graphics card. You won't get much game time on them since high end graphics use more power than even the CPU.

A tablet is more convenient and useful than a giant 17" laptop to lug around. I carry either tablet or ultrabook. They're not gaming machines, but I can still play games like counterstrike on the ultrabook. Most of the time I'll just play NBA Jam on my quad-core smartphone.
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Old 05-03-2013, 7:53 AM
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I agree with what everyone has been saying....

Plus, a laptop with specs like that would get HOT AS ****!

No need for an i7 other than "bragging" rights. An OC'd i5 will do just as good and run much cooler. I have an i3 system I built and my current benchmarks are comparable to i5 systems. When I run the benchmark test and it brings up other people systems with similar scores, I am the only i3 while everyone else has i5's...
But hey, if you want to spend money on an i7 go ahead. To me they are a waste of money. Save the money and put it towards a nice graphics card or sweet monitor.
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Old 05-03-2013, 8:46 AM
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Believe me, I know the limitation of laptops. But when I meant "away from home", I mean hop on a flight "away from home". I go on trips somewhat frequently and am looking to take BF3 with me. Battery life isn't that huge a concern cuz I'll be in a hotel room anyway.

Thanks for the advice so far. I put i7 because that's what the M17X came with. I know performance-per-dollar wise, I should be putting $ into a GPU.

Let me know if you guys have more advice given the new definition of "away from home". Thanks.

Last edited by penguin0123; 05-03-2013 at 8:50 AM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:03 AM
whoaru99 whoaru99 is offline
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I have a HP 8540W i7 with 8GB RAM and 1GB NVIDA video card. It's a work computer. Worthless on an airplane unless you fly first class with lots of room, and a real heavy tanker to haul around. Can't say much about gaming performance though since I've never tried it on that one.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:24 AM
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I do all my gaming on my laptop I'm sure Asus makes what you want for much less than alienware. Pick up a laptop cooling pad too.

Last edited by Brianguy; 05-03-2013 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:37 AM
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Asus ROG. Was going to get one myself but started building desktops. I don't really think about the gaming laptop anymore.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:44 AM
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There are downsides to laptop gaming. I used to be a big laptop gamer, but recently built a desktop and will use that for gaming and continue to upgrade it. Here's why:

I had an Asus g73. SSD, 8gigs ram, rad eon 5870 mobility GPU, i7, etc. I owned it for about 2 years without problem. It never got too hot and never had the overheating issues some did. Well about half a year later, it died. The GPU fried. I found out a replacement GPU was about 450 bucks. I only had a 2 year warranty from Asus so that was out of the question.

I ended up building a rig at this point. I5 3570k, 32 gigs ram, 120 SSD, and an EVGA GTX 560ti. I spent about 600 on the entire build. I already had hard drives and SSDs. Best part is all my components have at least a 5 year warranty. My GPU has a lifetime warranty ( got it just before they switched to limited warranty). So far it plays all my games BETTER than my old laptop. Higher resolution, etc. (I play mostly bf3) best part, the CPU and GPU have yet to get over 60C. Most the time I play bf3, my GPU is at 45 and CPU at 40. In a gaming laptop, they REGULARLY get up to around 80C. If you do a lot of gaming, unfortunately a laptop will just cook your internal components. Plus as I found out, you cannot upgrade without serious modifications and expense. Guys have found ways to use newer GPUs in older laptops, but those GPUs cost 600-800 dollars versus the drop in 400 dollar desktop counterpart.

Just my .02! Good luck! If you are bent on a gaming laptop, Sager, MSI, and Asus make great affordable rigs. Alienware is also excellent, but I found it to be much more expensive. Just whatever you get, make sure it has an excellent cooling system. Most desktop GPUs use fans in addition to a heat sync. Laptops only get the heat sync. A cooling pad and good ventilation is a must.

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Last edited by jsipe007; 05-03-2013 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:57 AM
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My m17x ($1610 - re-furbished) is running ok(1.5yr). I had a few blue screens in the beginning. I realized I should turn it off every few weeks instead of putting to sleep all the time. Not sure about bf3 but I played sc2 / borderlands 2 / wow / planetside 2 overseas for 2 mo.
This thing is big and heavy, barely fits in a bag / sleeve made for a 18".
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:29 AM
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You should probably buy a laptop. building is not viable.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:48 AM
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build a frag box(SFF PC) or buy a premade one.. show some real commitment to BF3 when you check in a Monitor in luggage. Buy a Cheap panel monitor, buy a nice piece of hard luggage to protect it.

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Old 05-03-2013, 12:13 PM
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If you really want to build your own laptop there is a way to do it, which is how I have "built" the 3 I have. It helps if you don't need or want the latest laptop model. Anyway, here's what I did. I checked Dell's outlet site for models I was interested in and then went to eBay to see what motherboards and cases for those were available. I purchased bare motherboards, bare shells, and certain other components. For the motherboards, I went to AMD's site to find out what the fastest mobile CPU was that would work on the motherboards based on the specs from the original CPU that was installed. Ended up paying $15 for 3 2.1Ghz x64 mobile CPUs. So, now I have 3 laptops, all working. I have an HP that I'm putting together. Have everything except the laptop motherboard. Waiting for that to come down in price a bit.

Last edited by rvicta; 05-03-2013 at 12:16 PM..
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  #16  
Old 05-03-2013, 5:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
They are NOT meant for CAD


Depends on the laptop.

I ran an HP Pavilion DV7 with a 3-core Phenom II for a good long while with a lot of heavy Autodesk Inventor work. Did just fine. Right now I've got a Toshiba Satellite, and I run Inventor 2013 on it for a significant fraction of its up-time. It's been flawless for 18 months now, and looks to be good for at least another year. These are just standard consumer-grade laptops, nothing fancy, nothing mil-spec or anything.



Quote:
Originally Posted by blazeaglory View Post
Plus, a laptop with specs like that would get HOT AS ****!

No need for an i7 other than "bragging" rights.


Yes, my Toshiba - with an i7 2630QM - gets a little warm from time to time, but a cooling pad takes care of it quite nicely. It's had 18 months of some pretty heavy gaming (Assassin's Creed series, Batman Arkham series, quite a few other things as well) and a lot of heavy CAD work, and it's still chugging along just fine.

There's plenty of good reasons to have an i7, especially if you're working in graphics-related fields. I'm a professional CAD monkey, and I do a lot of rendering work. Rendering on an i7, with a total of 8 cores (if you've got hyperthreading enabled) is ridiculously good. And jesus, even if you're not doing rendering, why the hell wouldn't you want an i7, with prices where they're at? 18 months ago, I paid $650 at a local retail establishment for my laptop. It was new, not used or refurbished, with the i7, 8 GB, a discrete graphics card, and a 750 GB hard drive. I added a 256 GB SSD above that, but still, for the money ...
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Old 05-03-2013, 7:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter.Steele View Post
Depends on the laptop.

I ran an HP Pavilion DV7 with a 3-core Phenom II for a good long while with a lot of heavy Autodesk Inventor work. Did just fine. Right now I've got a Toshiba Satellite, and I run Inventor 2013 on it for a significant fraction of its up-time. It's been flawless for 18 months now, and looks to be good for at least another year. These are just standard consumer-grade laptops, nothing fancy, nothing mil-spec or anything.







Yes, my Toshiba - with an i7 2630QM - gets a little warm from time to time, but a cooling pad takes care of it quite nicely. It's had 18 months of some pretty heavy gaming (Assassin's Creed series, Batman Arkham series, quite a few other things as well) and a lot of heavy CAD work, and it's still chugging along just fine.

There's plenty of good reasons to have an i7, especially if you're working in graphics-related fields. I'm a professional CAD monkey, and I do a lot of rendering work. Rendering on an i7, with a total of 8 cores (if you've got hyperthreading enabled) is ridiculously good. And jesus, even if you're not doing rendering, why the hell wouldn't you want an i7, with prices where they're at? 18 months ago, I paid $650 at a local retail establishment for my laptop. It was new, not used or refurbished, with the i7, 8 GB, a discrete graphics card, and a 750 GB hard drive. I added a 256 GB SSD above that, but still, for the money ...
Yeah I could see using an 17 for CAD and similar work...8 cores with hyperthreading would be ridiculous..lol

Im only speaking from experience. Im not a hard core gamer and I dont run heavy graphic programs so Ive been able to get by on my i3 2100 with 8GB RAM (the i3 has hyperthreading too). I wouldnt knock an i7, I would just make sure that you are actually using it to its full potential and making sure it stays cool! Yeah Ive seen prices come down quite a bit on the i7's. I guess as long as Intel comes out with new generations of processors they get cheaper and cheaper

I dont know but for some reason Im fixated on the i5 series. But then again, an i7 would give me reason to buy a better heatsink I wouldnt mind having an i7 but for me It would be wasted My i3 barely gets used to its full potential and Ive been pleasantly surprised!
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Old 05-03-2013, 8:41 PM
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The truth is, even though it is possible to build a laptop, you are better off just buying one. Nothing wrong with upgrading a laptop's CPU or RAM after you bought it, but building one is just not worth it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 9:45 PM
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Check out MSI. Mine came with 1 gig Nvidia GT 425m, 500g HD, THX sound, 6 gigs RAM, for $714, almost 2 years ago.
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Old 05-04-2013, 2:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin0123 View Post
Believe me, I know the limitation of laptops. But when I meant "away from home", I mean hop on a flight "away from home". I go on trips somewhat frequently and am looking to take BF3 with me. Battery life isn't that huge a concern cuz I'll be in a hotel room anyway.

Thanks for the advice so far. I put i7 because that's what the M17X came with. I know performance-per-dollar wise, I should be putting $ into a GPU.

Let me know if you guys have more advice given the new definition of "away from home". Thanks.
Then I will update my answer from crazy thoughts to, you can possibly fit into my thesis.

Technology and the internet have made many people that use it into impatient "gotta have it NOW NOW NOW!" individuals. Look at the boston bomber footage when the cops were going door to door. WE gotta catch him NOW NOW NOW! WHY? He is a criminal now, he was a criminal yesterday and he will be a criminal tomorrow. Look at all of these people that have become texting ZOMBIES. Walking out in front of busses or cars and not paying attention. For WHAT? So they can continue their conversation uninterrupted with their chatty friends who will talk for 4 more hours but still have the attention span of a ferret on meth? CA passed a Stupid law that made it illegal to drive and talk on your cell phone or text essentially. Did it work? Nope. Now I see MORE of that crap. And we HATE people that do it too (women usually).

So what does this mean for you? When you go on a plane, I am sorry but gaming is not an option. If you want to play games then play cheap ones like Fusion the Sega everything emulator or MAME32 or keep the games simple. Then when you get back home you can relax, put on some headphones and blast the real games all night long on a decent system that was made for them. The answer here is just to wait. but of course, you and many others have an adjusted mentality from all of this technology and you are becoming a slave to it. Just put it down, get a laptop with a 500GB HD or bigger and load it up with e-books and READ while you are away. No harm there. Get a google nexus 7 like me and load it up with angrybirds and e-books. I am fast tracking myself into learning 8 languages, 4 Op systems and learning how to bypass firewalls... All while I am taking my gamma to physical therapy...

Sorry you might not like my answer, but maybe instead of GAMING you really should look for something different to do when you are away.
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