Gaming laptops

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roymond
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Gaming laptops

Postby roymond » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:29 pm

My son wants an Alienware 14. Anyone have experience with such things? Suggestions?
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Re: Gaming laptops

Postby fluffy » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:56 pm

I hear they're decent but I've never used one myself. The battery life isn't going to be anything phenomenal but you don't buy Alienware for its power efficiency. Otherwise, it's pretty much the closest you can get to a gaming PC in a laptop form factor.
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Re: Gaming laptops

Postby Generic » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:32 pm

I spent some time working for Dell, who currently own Alienware. When Dell made the acquisition, they "improved" the bottom line by placing some restrictive limitations on customization options, but they still have good high-end hardware. Internally at Dell there's a constant battle between providing good customer service and limiting the cost of their warranty dispatches, and that means that if you buy a warranty, you'll have to fight with the customer service rep to get them to actually replace anything or dispatch a technician. It might be advisable to skip the warranty if you think that sounds too Kafkaesque, but I still think it's worth it, because most Dell warranties pay for themselves with one replaced part.

I agree with what fluffy said; it's the closest you'll get to a performance gaming box in a laptop form-factor. Mine is a lukewarm recommendation, though. What's your reason for specifying a laptop? All the best gaming rigs I've ever seen have been home-built desktop PCs.
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Re: Gaming laptops

Postby fluffy » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:55 pm

The fact that Roymond and his family live in a Brooklyn brownstone should be explanation enough for why they'd want a gaming laptop instead of a desktop PC (immobile, with monitor, desk, etc.)
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Re: Gaming laptops

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:05 pm

Call me old-fashioned, but I don't trust gaming components in a laptop.

Gaming components get hot. Laptop components are flakey in general. Even sturdy laptops don't handle traveling very well.

Under a constrained space situation, I would be tempted to try out this Steam streaming solution that's been bandied about... throw a supercomputer in the closet, and then game on whatever laptop is laying around.
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Re: Gaming laptops

Postby roymond » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:38 pm

Thanks guys. Yes, space is an issue, and portability so that a 13 year old can lug his machine to his friend's house and code or play. He's very interested in learning to code more and use tools on Windows. I like the Steam solution in general. It answers a bunch of things (like my other son accessing from his Mac, etc.) but a portable is certainly the way for now.

Even though it may very well end this way, I have no interest in building machines or servicing them. I'm so over that. I buy warrantees for that reason and in NYC it's easy enough to drag a machine to a shop when needed. Macs have served me very well for the past 25 years but I respect his desire to try out other platforms and respect that there are tons of free tools on Windows. With Time Machine and a Windows equivalent, automatic backups in the background put me more at ease.
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Re: Gaming laptops

Postby fluffy » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:45 pm

If you want a backup solution for Windows, I highly recommend Crashplan. It's cross-platform and lets you turn all of your computers into a "mesh" of backup targets, and for something like $5/month you also can use their offsite backup servers and there's no storage limit on them (I have literally terabytes stored with them and they have not complained). They also let you restore arbitrary files from anywhere (with something like 250MB/month for free) so they're sort of like Dropbox except you have access to ALL your files, not just the ones you remembered to put in your Dropbox folder.

You can also do offsite backups with and for friends who are using Crashplan, as well.

Basically I use Time Machine for my local backups and Crashplan for offsite, and it's saved my ass on more than one occasion.
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Re: Gaming laptops

Postby HeuristicsInc » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:11 pm

yeah, we use crashplan too. it's great.
it even allows you to restore to a different machine, e.g. when one machine dies, you can bring all its important data back onto its replacement.
dunno if high-end laptops are needed for gaming anymore. just the standard ones seem to handle most jobs just fine. just my opinion.
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