Gaming Laptop?

Fire488

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Hello all,
I am in the market for a laptop. The problem that I am facing is that I would like it to be a top notch gaming rig without the top notch price tag. I have looked at most companie's selections and have learned that the "big" computer companies offer decent units for a very high price tag. The new Toshiba X305 at BestBuy looked very good except it offers a small hard drive (200gb). The question that I pose to you is: Does anyone know of a gaming laptop that is not overpriced and underpowered?
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Zetherin

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Wow, that fx is insanely cheap! It makes me wonder if something is up...I mean, anywhere else you are paying 500-700 more for the same product. What's the deal?
 

Sky15

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Maximum PC gave it a 9/10 this month. I wonder how it can be so good, and so cheap too. Maybe gateway uses magic? ;)
 

Rage_3k_Moiz

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The P7811-FX is a superb choice. However, do you really want a laptop that will run hot and have a short battery life? A desktop is more suited to gaming IMO, laptops should be used for less demanding tasks. It's your choice in the end though, and a great one too.
 

Zetherin

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The P7811-FX is a superb choice. However, do you really want a laptop that will run hot and have a short battery life? A desktop is more suited to gaming IMO, laptops should be used for less demanding tasks. It's your choice in the end though, and a great one too.

The thing is, at that price, there's no reason not to get it. Even if you don't game, you can just run less demanding tasks, and of course, you'd have the option to game at any point. ;)
 
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That Gateway is a beast for under $1300. Think you found your answer.

However, do you really want a laptop that will run hot and have a short battery life?

You don't tend to take gaming laptops to Starbucks and frag all day. You usually keep them plugged in. The good thing about a gaming laptop is that you can take them to LAN parties and not break your back. You'll still be sitting at a desk with it plugged into the wall.
 

harmattan

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That Gateway is a beast for under $1300. Think you found your answer.



You don't tend to take gaming laptops to Starbucks and frag all day. You usually keep them plugged in. The good thing about a gaming laptop is that you can take them to LAN parties and not break your back. You'll still be sitting at a desk with it plugged into the wall.

Coincidentally, I just purchased the FX from BB online today -- can't wait to pick it up this evening. I had a real conundrum when deciding on a new laptop: do I go with a compact design with middling performance, or a hefty piece with great gaming performance? In the end, I considered the amount of times I need to carry my laptop around vs. the amount of time I game. The FX's low-price for the amount of awesome was just too good to pass up.

Plus, BB's free game deal seal the deal for me.

Another consideration was that I wanted a low-power gaming solution to hook up to my monitor at home. My gaming rig uses 750W+ at load and can sound like an F16 at take-off... I really don't need all that power for surfing or playing TF2.
 

Zetherin

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Coincidentally, I just purchased the FX from BB online today -- can't wait to pick it up this evening. I had a real conundrum when deciding on a new laptop: do I go with a compact design with middling performance, or a hefty piece with great gaming performance? In the end, I considered the amount of times I need to carry my laptop around vs. the amount of time I game. The FX's low-price for the amount of awesome was just too good to pass up.

Plus, BB's free game deal seal the deal for me.

Another consideration was that I wanted a low-power gaming solution to hook up to my monitor at home. My gaming rig uses 750W+ at load and can sound like an F16 at take-off... I really don't need all that power for surfing or playing TF2.

I think you people also have to consider that this FX is not as hefty as past gaming laptop endeavors. Take the XPS Gen 2, for example, which appears to be much heftier than this Gateway FX. Now that thing was a bitch to carry around - I still have one lying around somewhere. Gaming laptops are becoming more compact, while still having a good amount of power.
 

Sky15

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It's only 9.2 pounds. It's really not that heavy. Guys need to hit the gym :D :D
 

WozniakMac

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I have the 7811-FX right now and it is an amazing laptop. Plays everything I have thrown at it. All of the Source Games, Call of Duty 4, Frontlines, etc... I don't play Crysis, so can't really say much on it, but it plays everything I need it to. The screen is also very nice.
 

Zetherin

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I am looking at this one:
http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668159.php

looks like a beast for the money. Check out the prices on Tiger Direct. Not too shabby.
Comments?

So right now it's between the Gateway and this Toshiba:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834114455

Please can someone with knowledge about this sort of thing help me out?

I am ready to buy either one right now.
Thanks

That gateway is $400 more on tigerdirect and has a slower video card - go with the $1250 one if you can.

Just to clarify, the initial gateway posted has the new 9800M GTS
The gateway you just posted uses the decent, but older 8800M GTS
And the toshiba uses the even slower 8600M GT

There is really no debate here, go with the initial posting - if you need more harddrive space buy a portable and it would still come out cheaper.
 

elite.mafia

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Just buy a couple extra batteries to carry around with you and you're set. That's what I would do.
 

Fire488

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Thanks so much for all of the help on this. There are some problems with the P7811-FX though. I read customer reviews that it heats up very badly and constantly bsod's. The other issue that i see right off the bat is the extremely small 200gb hard drive and no Vista ultimate. It has everything else though, thats what sucks.

The P-173XL FX has Vista Ultimate, 400gb Hard drives (2-200 raid0) and a far superior cooling system. It has a less vid card , lesser ram (ddr2) I wonder what it would do in a side by side comparison.

I'm getting closer to my choice though. LOL
Thanks.
 

harmattan

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Got my P7811-FX yesterday. My first impression is this is the best laptop I've ever owned. It's designed beautifully and I've had no performance issues. It runs perfectly straight out of the box. It's actually a lot more compact/lighter than I expected.

So far, I've been running Oblivion and Stalker at highest settings at 1600x1024 and these games run like butter. I haven't even updated any drivers or installed game patches. They run perfectly at 1900x1200 as well, but it seems unessessary on a 17" screen -- and the OSDs become a little to small.

My drive was partitioned into two 90GB areas, one for the OS (C:) and anotherr entitled "Data" (D:). Is this normal for these?

Two insignificant issues: the mouse pad is bit two far to the left (a little annoying for right-handers; not that I will be using it a lot...); the video card must be right under the WASD keys because it gets warm. Other than that, a perfect gaming laptop.

Note: I still can't believe this laptop was only $1250. I almost feel like I ripped off Gateway/Acer.
 

Fire488

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wow, 90gb partitions?? That is just not enough hard drive space for us gamers. I will now look in another direction and be forced to up my price range. What I am looking for apparently will not be found at Gateway. btw, I called their tech support and was immediately transferred to tiger Direct and when I asked about adding more hard drive they said that there were no slots available and i would need to add an external which i do not want.
CyberPower?, Sagar?, I'm lost now.LOL
Thanks for all the help.

PS- i guess my new price range is around $3000.00. any suggestions?
 

Zetherin

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Thanks so much for all of the help on this. There are some problems with the P7811-FX though. I read customer reviews that it heats up very badly and constantly bsod's. The other issue that i see right off the bat is the extremely small 200gb hard drive and no Vista ultimate. It has everything else though, thats what sucks.

The P-173XL FX has Vista Ultimate, 400gb Hard drives (2-200 raid0) and a far superior cooling system. It has a less vid card , lesser ram (ddr2) I wonder what it would do in a side by side comparison.

I'm getting closer to my choice though. LOL
Thanks.

The two gateway models have the exact same chassis design, so the only reason it would heat up more is because of the higher speed of the P7811. Furthermore, you have to expect a bit of overheating with gaming laptops. To put that much power into a chassis that small is begging for some heat.

200gb is extremely small for you on a laptop? Hell, when I bought my gaming laptop - the XPS Gen 2- it only had 60GB (mind you, I purchased by Gen 2 for approximately $3,000 at the time)! That was more than enough for game and OS installations. For storage you get an external! I have no clue why you'd need that much space on a laptop, so do explain.

As for Vista Ultimate, you probably won't even use the extra features. It performs exactly the same as Vista Home 64-bit, which the P7811 does come with.

If you want to spend $3,000, buy the P7811, six 1TB external drives since you need so much space, and then even go out and buy Vista Ultimate (retail!), and then even buy cooling fans to disperse the heat. Even with these expenses you'll still come out with a better system, and cheaper than most other laptops in this range.

If you want to see a ripoff, go on alienware and look at their laptops. I was just pricing one for nearly $6,000 that was only a TAD faster than this gateway. It's really insane to look anywhere else; I don't think you realize the deal that is the P7811.
 

harmattan

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QFT. $3000 for the nearly the same performance that can be had for $1250? It seems you are hellbent on wasting money...

I'm not sure why my laptop came with partitioned, but 200GB is plenty of space for a laptop (can anyone with a P7811 confirm how their's came?). Heck, I don't think I'll even have a problem with the 90GB partitions since I'll use the other partition to store video and music files.

Do you run a business or need extreme data encryption? No? You don't need Vista Ultimate.
 

Zetherin

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QFT. $3000 for the nearly the same performance that can be had for $1250? It seems you are hellbent on wasting money...

I'm not sure why my laptop came with partitioned, but 200GB is plenty of space for a laptop (can anyone with a P7811 confirm how their's came?). Heck, I don't think I'll even have a problem with the 90GB partitions since I'll use the other partition to store video and music files.

Do you run a business or need extreme data encryption? No? You don't need Vista Ultimate.

You can delete the partitions easily in Vista, so this is not even an issue.
 

harmattan

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^^Thanks^^ Didn't know you could do this. I've gotten rid of the extra partition and reallocated the space to my C.
 

Fire488

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I appreciate all of the replies with advice to my post. The original intent was to try to find a laptop that would fit my needs at the right price. The reasons that I need a larger hard drive are personal and vista ultimate 64bit is not a priority, but I would have liked it.
Does anyone know whether or not the gateway, P7811-FX has room for another internal hard drive?
 

Fire488

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Users of the P7811-FX please let me know if you are having overheat problems as stated by the recent reviews on Gateway's website.
 

Desdichado

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There are several good Asus's on newegg like these two:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220346
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220344

I have used Asus extensively, and found them to be excellent machines. The second one is lighter, has a better CPU, larger HD, more ram (if you run in 64-bit) than the Toshiba you listed, for $150 less. The only downside is the smaller screen and no SLI. I'm not up to date on mobile cards, so I don't know how a 9600 compares to SLI 8600s.
 

Roliath

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My gateway 7811 has had no problems that i've seen mentioned on forums/reviews (knocks on wood). It does get hot, gpu @ 92c with no cooling pad while Playing Crysis.

I think they all come partitioned like that, C and D 90gb each with a 10gb restore partition. Total usable space once the drive is wiped is 186gb, unless you want to run with your entire movie/music collection and install every single game you own this drive is plenty enough. And if 186gb isn't enough space, purchase an extra drive and install it as the chassis supports two.

Its hands down unbeatable when it comes to price/performance ratio and you simply CANNOT get these specs for any cheaper. Go look at Dell XPS's, Sager, AW, and other boutique computer shops.

Here's one tip though, buy some external speakers or some decent cans (headphones) as the speakers it has are a little on the weak side. My e1705 and xps m1710 had WAY better speakers than this gateway.

Penryn, 1066fsb, Montevina chipset, DDR3, 9800GTS, WUXGA, Dual HDD capable, full size keyboard (hence the offset trackpad) what more would you want?
 

harmattan

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Just to report back, I ran an almost non-stop 8-hour session of Stalker, Bioshock and TF2 yesterday. Not one hiccups and no sign of overheating whatsoever.

And yes, it looks like the chassis can fit another HD + there is an eSATA port on the left if you want to keep a fast backup drive.
 

bigddybn

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I too purchased a 7811.

It does run warm no doubt. If you can get the back of the laptop up off the desk even a bit it helps a LOT keeping the temps down. Two beer bottle caps under the rear feet dropped my gpu temps by 10C.

The partitions on the 200GB drive are easily removed. From the factory it is setup with 3 actually, 90 labled OS, 90 labled DATA, and a 10GB recovery partition.

The 7811 does in fact have a second hard drive bay.

Mine hasn't come close to even stuttering and we spent about 6 hours the other night chain wiping in the Black Temple in WoW.

Mine has two noticeable hot spots, under the right palm rest where the hard disk is and in the top left corner where the CPU and GPU exhaust is. Before I got the laptop lifted up just a bit the air coming out of this exhaust was too hot to keep my hand there. Now it's just warm.

The sale @ BB is over but even for the normal 1450 price this laptop is a steal. To do better you'd have to double the price at minimum.

Vista Home Premium does everything I need it to do. The only thing I miss form ultimate is the texas hold em game but I hardly think it's worth 100+ for a card game. There honestly isn't a single feature of than this that I miss.

This is one of the easier to upgrade laptops out there. Everything is easily accessible from the bottom. Just as an example taking 1 panel off exposes the GPU, CPU, RAM, mini PCI express slots, and the cooling systems. It's very simple to say swap the stock thermal paste with AS5 if temps are a concern to you.

Honestly the only thing that I don't like about the lappy is that the bottom left control key is swapped with the function key. So instead of CTRL FN WIN ALT it is FN CTRL WIN ALT which does bug me as I'm used to reaching down with my pinky and hitting the control key for quick copy/paste operations. The touchpad is off center but frankly I never use the thing and I'm seeing a lot of 17" notebooks with full keyboards doing this.

I'd think between the extra HD bay and an ESATA port built in you would have no problem loading up an insane amount of storage if you need it.
 

Jaerb4

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The 7811s that do work seem to be doing alright, but a high number of lemons have been reported, so there's a fair amount of inconsistency which may be due to cost cutting in the manufacturing. I've had the 6860 for 4 months now and I've been very pleased by it and by how cool it runs, but again this isn't quite the monster that the 7811 is.
 

Fire488

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well, I picked up the P7811-FX today @ BB so now i will need to remove the partitions so i can have one large drive. Thanks for all of the help and I will let you all know how my experience with it goes as time goes by.
 

caw2007

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I got mine Thursday and it wroks!! It does have an extra HDD bay. For how cheap it is you can add another ginormous drive to it with 0 problems. I have had zero issues, sure, it's hot, but it's a gaming laptop with one of the latest mobile gaming GPU's. As long as you use it on a level surface it more than adequately ventilates itself. I even replaced the stock thermal paste with AS Ceramique and it dropped the CPU temps by 10 degrees. The price makes it worth buying to try out, even if it ends up being crap. You can just return it and get a new one through BB.
 

Fire488

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^^Thanks^^ Didn't know you could do this. I've gotten rid of the extra partition and reallocated the space to my C.

I am not used to working with Vista and not sure how to do it. Could you let me know how to remove the partitions and reallocate them to the "C" drive?
Thanks for the help.
 
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