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Yet Another General Advice Thread

by Phantom121904 / January 3, 2013 2:57 AM PST

I know there are a bajillion threads on advice for gaming laptops here, but I haven't found one dealing with my particular scenario. I'm looking to buy a gaming laptop in the next couple of months or so, and I'm trying to get some general advice at this point.

Currently, I have a gaming desktop I built myself 2 and a half years ago. It still runs like a champ, but I'm wanting something a little more portable, mainly for around the house. Understand that this is very important to me, and I don't want another desktop. However, since I'm not likely to leave the house much with my machine, I'm mainly interested in "desktop replacement" computers. I want no less than a 17" screen, battery life and weight are not that important to me, and while I don't have an exact budget yet, I imagine I'd be willing to spend up to $3,000. I primarily play RTS/4X games, which from my understanding are more demanding on the CPU as opposed to the GPU.

I'm looking for advice on brands, what components to focus on (assuming I buy a customizable rig), expected life span, and any other experience you can share. I've done some initial looking around, and I'm particularly interested in the Alienware 18x, Digital Storm's x17E, and CyberPower's Fang III Taipan. I'm open to non-customizable options as well (such as the ASUS 75vw). Mainly, I want the best bang for my buck, and I want something that will last more than a year and a half before it craps out.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

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Best Answer chosen by Phantom121904

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Let's differentiate life span from MTBF and such.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2013 3:09 AM PST

If you get into reliability studies you encounter a slew of terms. I've done reliability studies for products long ago (not PCs but telecom/military gear) and the mean time between failures from my experience is about 2 years. The failure is not detrimental to the life span as you get it fixed and move on.

Increasing the screen size and then going mobile should and has decreased the MTBF as well but that's your choice to make.

I find most desktop owners to be upset as the gaming performance has yet to rival/match that of a desktop but we can't use many hundred watt GPUs in laptops.

As to your list, I only recognize 2 of the names and both of those do have good repair shops.

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PS. Look at extended warranties.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2013 3:21 AM PST

A few come with 2 year warranties (takes a bat to HP over not fixing my laptop in warranty) and we have used Dell's warranty a lot over the years. But then again you expect that with over a hundred units.

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