helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

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Shopping for Laptops

My Macbook Pro is officially no longer at the minimum spec for Elder Scrolls Online, so I need a new computer. Since Apple don't make laptops with sufficient graphics capabilities for gaming, I'm being forced back to a PC. I am not very happy about this and will be keeping my Mac for work purposes, most likely.

I'm looking at a couple of "extreme gaming" laptops online. (I don't know what "extreme gaming" is - I've been assuming it's like extreme ironing. In which case I don't need to worry too much because my physical limitations prevent me from climbing narrow rocks in order to play my video game at the top of them. Also, I'm pretty sure that the internet connection isn't too good up most mountains.)

Since laptops are not easily upgradable, one must start with the best possible spec now in order to make sure that the machine is still usable in 5 years time.

I've got it down to 2 possibilities. One has a better screen (GLOSSY 3840 x 2160 rather than matte 1920 x 1080), the other has twice as much video RAM (8 GB vs 4 GB). The one with the better screen and less video RAM is also lighter (2.5 kg vs 3.1 kg). My MacBook Pro is something like 2.7 kg including its fancy case, so I know I can just about lift that much.

Here's the spec:
  • 15.6" glossy 4K PLS LED widescreen (3840 x 2160) - sounds like insane resolution to me but it's the only glossy screen that was offered. I'm not going back to matte after using a MacBook Pro.

  • Intel (R) Core(TM) i7 Quad Core Mobile Processor i7-4720HQ (2.60 GHz, 3.5 GHz Turbo)

  • 16 GB Kingston SODIMM DDR3 1600MHz (2 x 8 GB)

  • NVidia (R) GeForce (R) GTX 980M - 4 GB DDR5 Video RAM - DirectX (R) 11

  • 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, Sata 6 Gb/s (upto 540 MB/sR |520 MW/sW) - deliberate choice, I can't see myself needing much storage space considering that I've only used about 240 GB of my current hard drive on a machine which has both games and work on it.

  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit /w SP1 - inc DVD & License (YES! Not Windows 8.1! Also a free upgrade to Windows 10 when that's released.)

  • Obviously it has a sound card and some USB ports, but I'm not hugely excited by those. They're just there.

  • Various warranties, etc.

Does that sound good? I hope it should last for the life of ESO, anyway. The price for that spec is £1216.67 ex VAT or £1460.00 inc VAT.

Have any of you ever bought machines from PCSpecialist? Richard knew of them as a place where you can get custom laptops, but neither of us knows what the build quality is like. Also whether it's possible to get an "extreme gaming" laptop with this kind of spec from anywhere else for cheaper.

I kinda wish I could get the glossy super high resolution screen and the extra video RAM on the same machine, but that doesn't seem to be an option.
Tags: dangerously nerdy, video games
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