You need to Read the rules and Join the forums before you can post.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Gaming Laptop GPU differences - pro / con question(s)
12-08-2012, 07:02 PM,
#1
Gaming Laptop GPU differences - pro / con question(s)
Hey all,

Helping family look into buying a gaming laptop (heck, after all this I may buy it for myself too... if budget is forgiving Smile), and given that I'm a HR vetran now (*cough* *cough*), figured I'd help in the decision making process. However I got stuck.

To start, other than CPU power being a factor, seems all the reviews are talking about how great the GPUs are the key differentiator. Yes?

Here will speak specifically regarding Alienware (both m17x and m18x highlighted on ichi's post), even though I know there are some haters on the whole cost/value discussion. Also they are dead set on getting a gaming laptop, no tower despite my best efforts. However putting that aside for a bit, noticed some differing comments.

If you look at anand's comments, they give it a solid review but not spectacular/fanboy review given they didn't do much other that upgrade the insides - which I can appreciate by the way.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6336/alien...80m-in-sli
Other sites were like it's the best thing ever, but mostly because it obviously is pretty powerful. But again, not going to recommend to invest all that cash just for bragging rights... more thinking performance and future. Difficult to get a more objective review as all of them seemed to have the dual 680ms when doing reviews.

Another aspect I realized, is I really couldn't find the key comparative factors in what makes a good GPU/set for a laptop taking into account longevity and future risk of micro-studdering.

For first question: Always best to go for SLI/Xfire? Given you purchase it as such, no real setup issue, so it's always a go?
Also from the AnandTech article, clearly the 680ms in SLI is a bit overkill for now, and perhaps will eternally CPU limited, so is it really worth it, even for future considerations?

Given this I'm thinking that this would be the order of preference for an m18x would be (given all same cost):
  1. Dual 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon™ HD 7970M - CrossFireX™ Enabled
  2. Dual 2GB NVidia GTX 675Ms in SLI
  3. Single 2GB nVidia GeForce GTX-680M

Second question comes up on future games which may bring the frame rates below the 30fps range. So then would microstuddering be a concern? So the safe bet for them would be have the single GTX-680M instead so it take it out of the picture?

Any sense to the rankings?

And for an m17x build, would be probably easier given nothing is in Xfire or SLI, so maybe that's an easier discussion. My real hang up was on dual or single.

Thanks for any viewpoints on this.

Cheers,
-pedwards
CPU: Intel i7-2600K @4.2GHz Mobo: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3 GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 256GB SATA 6.0Gb/s HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB PSU: SeaSonic Platinum-1000 80 PLUS Modular ODD: SONY DVD 24x
CPU Cooler: Thermalright SilverArrow Sound: Creative SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty PCI-E Case: CM Storm Trooper
Reply
12-08-2012, 11:31 PM,
#2
RE: Gaming Laptop GPU differences - pro / con question(s)
Personally, for me, a good gaming laptop is as portable as it is powerful. Anandtech's review was solid in that they approached the laptop in a practical matter.

Question 1: I don't recommend the GTX 675M SLI because they are basically the 580M SLI, meaning they produce a lot of heat and consumes much more power. That leaves the 7970 xFire or the GTX 680M. Assuming they are the same price and laptop, why not go with the 7970 xFire setup? Overkill isn't a bad word if its the same price, as long as you don't mind more heat and less battery life. Which I would assume won't matter too much considering you are already interested in the Alienware beast. Big Grin

Even if the CPU is the bottleneck with the 7970 xFire, if the prices are the same compared to a single GTX 680M, the performance gained up till the bottleneck still exists. Thus, for purely performance and not considering heat/battery, the 7970 xFire setup is the better choice.

Additionally: Mods take advantage of more VRAM. Micro stutter shouldn't be too much of a problem because the 7970 xFire will rarely run anything lower than ~30 fps.

Question 2: While your statement is true, considering the two laptops to be the same price, I would still go with 7970 xFire performance and possible micro stuttering than overall lower fps with 680M.

Choosing the M17x makes the decision much easier as like you said only comes with a single card.

On the side: Unless your clients are set on Alienware, the Sager NP9150 (available all over the internet) goes for much cheaper with the same specs as the M17x.
Desktop: CPU: Intel Core i5 2500 3.30GHz RAM: G.Skill 8GB MOBO: ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 Video Card: SLI MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 768 SSD: Corsair Force 3 60GB HDD: Samsung F3 1TB Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Mouse: Storm Sentinal Z3RO-G Keyboard: Das Keyboard Silent/Filco Majestouch 2 Speakers: Behringer MS-16 Headphones: Alessandro MS-1/Shure SRH440 modded Router: D-Link Xtreme DIR-655 Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM De-anti-glared Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad X120e/Thinkpad T430
Reply
12-09-2012, 04:41 AM,
#3
RE: Gaming Laptop GPU differences - pro / con question(s)
(12-08-2012, 11:31 PM)ichigeki Wrote: Additionally: Mods take advantage of more VRAM. Micro stutter shouldn't be too much of a problem because the 7970 xFire will rarely run anything lower than ~30 fps.

Question 2: While your statement is true, considering the two laptops to be the same price, I would still go with 7970 xFire performance and possible micro stuttering than overall lower fps with 680M.

Great thanks Ichi. So the part about the laptop longevitity is worth it to have dual cards, even with games in the future that may be more demanding on the unit and pull her down below 30fps?


(12-08-2012, 11:31 PM)ichigeki Wrote: On the side: Unless your clients are set on Alienware, the Sager NP9150 (available all over the internet) goes for much cheaper with the same specs as the M17x.

You know I was looking at the Sager line as well. Will see how I can steer them in that direction. Depends if they are dead set on AW, will find out soon enough. Smile

Thanks much!
CPU: Intel i7-2600K @4.2GHz Mobo: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3 GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 256GB SATA 6.0Gb/s HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB PSU: SeaSonic Platinum-1000 80 PLUS Modular ODD: SONY DVD 24x
CPU Cooler: Thermalright SilverArrow Sound: Creative SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty PCI-E Case: CM Storm Trooper
Reply
12-09-2012, 11:38 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-09-2012, 11:39 AM by ichigeki.)
#4
RE: Gaming Laptop GPU differences - pro / con question(s)
Quote:Great thanks Ichi. So the part about the laptop longevitity is worth it to have dual cards, even with games in the future that may be more demanding on the unit and pull her down below 30fps?

That would be up to you. Would you prefer higher overall fps and possible micro stuttering at lower fps? or Would you prefer to have overall less fps and eliminate stuttering.

For me, I would prefer overall more fps and possible stuttering at lower fps.
Desktop: CPU: Intel Core i5 2500 3.30GHz RAM: G.Skill 8GB MOBO: ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 Video Card: SLI MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 768 SSD: Corsair Force 3 60GB HDD: Samsung F3 1TB Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Mouse: Storm Sentinal Z3RO-G Keyboard: Das Keyboard Silent/Filco Majestouch 2 Speakers: Behringer MS-16 Headphones: Alessandro MS-1/Shure SRH440 modded Router: D-Link Xtreme DIR-655 Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM De-anti-glared Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad X120e/Thinkpad T430
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)