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My Short Gaming Laptop Experience
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scrapser
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Default My Short Gaming Laptop Experience - 12-30-2016, 01:23 | posts: 575 | Location: Dover, NH USA

First I will say I probably stepped in it trying this out. It turned out to almost be a good idea.

I bought an Alienware 17 R4. It was beautiful as laptops go. 17 inch screen, nice sound, large keyboard. It sort of felt like a desktop in look and feel. It had Windows 10 Home, a 128 SSD and a 1T HDD with a GTX1070 GPU. Nice.

I bought it at Best Buy for $1699. Seemed like a good price. I checked Newegg, Amazon and eBay and could not find any better offers. At the last minute I realized it doesn't come with an optical drive so I picked up an external drive unit as well. I guess it's more important to have a skinny laptop than it is to be able to use discs for installing or recording all types of software and data. Sort of reminds me of people who dress in fancy clothes in the winter time and wonder why they're freezing.

I went home and began the set up process. Alienware and Microsoft want to know everything about you and the laptop is designed to record it and send it into cyberspace. They wanted to record where I was at any given moment, my voice, my handwriting and of course my Internet activities. The laptop uses face recognition, too. All of this is optional but much is turned on by default if you use the express setup which many people will do out of ignorance.

Then it came to setting up the OS. Well it's pre-installed and you don't get any backup other than a factory image copied on the SSD. No DVD or anything like that. No manual either. Just a little pamphlet that tells you what everything is on the outside of the laptop. Windows 10 Home does not allow you to turn off automatic updates. You can't even see what's updating for that matter.

Then there's the SSD. With Windows installed plus the factory backup it's nearly one third full. So you have to mess around with settings to get all your software to install on the "D" drive instead of the "C" drive like it's been since the beginning of time.

At this point I was done with the laptop as a viable tool. I had it for maybe 5 hours and returned it to Best Buy for a full refund. Laptops are good for something I suppose. I'm done with them. LOL

Last edited by scrapser; 01-03-2017 at 00:35.
   
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jbmcmillan
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Default 12-30-2016, 06:17 | posts: 2,250 | Location: Langley,B.C. Canada

You can't turn updates of in any version of 10 except Pro and Enterprise allow a little more configuration.In 5 hrs you decided that laptops aren't for you.In that little time I think you already had your mind going that way to begin with.Laptops aren't for me but I didn't have to spend 1600 bucks to decide lol.
   
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scrapser
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Default 12-30-2016, 07:36 | posts: 575 | Location: Dover, NH USA

Well like I said, I think I stepped in it trying this out. I liked what I saw on the store shelf. I didn't mind taking it home as I knew I could get my money back. I have never owned a laptop so having an opportunity for some hands on time was also part of my decision to buy. I was just so surprised at how quickly I lost interest in owning one after seeing how limited they are with customization and such.
   
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nhlkoho
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Default 12-30-2016, 15:55 | posts: 7,065 | Location: Washington DC

Laptops are good for some. I personally like a powerful laptop to take on travel with me but I don't want some huge "gaming" laptop that ways 20 pounds. Something that can play light games.
Nothing will beat a full desktop for gaming though. Unless you are a college student of have limited work space, get a desktop.
   
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serbicu
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Default 01-02-2017, 12:57 | posts: 1,616 | Location: Germany

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapser View Post
Well like I said, I think I stepped in it trying this out. I liked what I saw on the store shelf. I didn't mind taking it home as I knew I could get my money back. I have never owned a laptop so having an opportunity for some hands on time was also part of my decision to buy. I was just so surprised at how quickly I lost interest in owning one after seeing how limited they are with customization and such.
At least you should've tried some games on it, and then return it.

It has more gpu power than your desktop. LOL
   
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Extraordinary
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Default 01-02-2017, 13:01 | posts: 17,546 | Location: 127.0.0.1

SSD could have been upgraded I expect, and 10 Pro / Ent installed without the Alienware spyware / bloatware if that's what's phoning home
   
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Agent-A01
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Default 01-02-2017, 15:13 | posts: 9,408 | Location: USA

So basically you are saying reinstalling windows and changing program installation to another drive is too much trouble?

All that you said would be required to do the same on a prebuilt desktop too so....
   
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Default 01-02-2017, 23:23 | posts: 13,047 | Location: Scotland

I more find the idea of a $1700 impulse poorly thought out purchase to be insane.
   
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scrapser
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Default 01-03-2017, 01:00 | posts: 575 | Location: Dover, NH USA

I must post again after spending some time talking with laptop users and technicians in person over the past several days. I even managed to have a discussion with a Microsoft software tech. Together they have helped me see through my concerns. I wish I had done this first but that's life.

I found an offer online for the same laptop but with a 256GB SSD instead of a 128GB SSD. The laptop ends up costing $1715 after the promo code. I called Dell and got them to include Windows 10 Pro instead of the Home edition. So I feel like this is all working out for the best.
   
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nhlkoho
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Default 01-03-2017, 13:14 | posts: 7,065 | Location: Washington DC

Good luck I guess. I still can't see spending that much on a laptop that in 2-3 years will be pretty much a paperweight.
   
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Default 01-03-2017, 14:12 | posts: 823 | Location: finland

My MSI GT70 is 3.5 years old and no way a paperweight. The upgrade process has been pretty slow ever since - now the 10xx series graphics is a big leap forward and closing the gap to desktops almost zilch. Time to upgrade for me. The cost is atrocious yet.
   
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scrapser
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Default 01-03-2017, 15:08 | posts: 575 | Location: Dover, NH USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlkoho View Post
Good luck I guess. I still can't see spending that much on a laptop that in 2-3 years will be pretty much a paperweight.
It is a lot of money. No question. But there are even more expensive versions out there. And it's questionable how much value is acquired as the price increases. Then as you point out there's the question of longevity. All these factors on top of understanding the in's and outs of the laptop ownership in general. It's no wonder I freaked at the beginning.

But for me I have decided to stop trying to second guess the situation to a degree and simply wade in with both feet. I think I have found a good compromise for my needs. The laptop is powerful, has a current OS and a fair amount of nice features. It's big but I won't be hauling it around so much.

I plan on using it as my primary Internet-based computer with a little gaming on the side. It will sit next to my gaming desktops. I have three desktops for gaming (Win98SE, WinXP Pro and Win7 Pro) and emulators for games going back to the early 80's. Gaming is my hobby which is why it had to be a gaming laptop.
   
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serbicu
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Default 01-03-2017, 15:54 | posts: 1,616 | Location: Germany

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlkoho View Post
Good luck I guess. I still can't see spending that much on a laptop that in 2-3 years will be pretty much a paperweight.
Not really.

I have mine for more than 2 years now, and can still play anything on PC today with high/ultra settings.

And these new laptops have desktop GPUs in them, so they are more future proof now.

I had mine because I worked a lot on sites, and had to be mobile.

Now, I work from office, so no need for mobile gaming.

I would not see why someone would buy a gaming laptop, it they use it like a desktop, except maybe if you have to spend money....
   
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scrapser
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Default 01-03-2017, 16:43 | posts: 575 | Location: Dover, NH USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by serbicu View Post
Not really.

I have mine for more than 2 years now, and can still play anything on PC today with high/ultra settings.

And these new laptops have desktop GPUs in them, so they are more future proof now.

I had mine because I worked a lot on sites, and had to be mobile.

Now, I work from office, so no need for mobile gaming.

I would not see why someone would buy a gaming laptop, it they use it like a desktop, except maybe if you have to spend money....
I'm almost 62 and gaming has been a life long hobby. That should say a lot. LOL
   
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Extraordinary
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Default 01-03-2017, 17:09 | posts: 17,546 | Location: 127.0.0.1

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapser View Post
I'm almost 62 and gaming has been a life long hobby. That should say a lot. LOL
Can you remember which games you started out playing as a kid?
   
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zipper
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Default 01-03-2017, 17:23 | posts: 823 | Location: finland

I'm 66, started with a Pong clone perhaps '77...
   
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scrapser
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Default 01-03-2017, 19:44 | posts: 575 | Location: Dover, NH USA

In answer to post #15 above.

When I was a kid JFK was president. I actually got the chance to see him when I was 8 years old when he visited Great Falls, Montana to give a speech about the importance of nuclear weapons to deter the Soviet Union. A couple months later he was assassinated.

I grew up playing analog pinball machines in bars and bowling alleys. Everything began to change in the 1970's. If you went to a state fair you could find arcades and some of them began to feature hybrid games that were part analog, part TV and part electronics. Pong was one of the games I remember when it first appeared at the local bowling alley. Then a game showed up called, "Tank!". It was a two player arcade game that had twin control sticks to drive each tank on the screen.

It all really took off with Space Invaders in the late 70's. I was 29 when I bought my first computer (Commodore 64). I did so to save money as I was addicted to arcade games which had been going strong for many years. I figured I would save a quarter every time I played my computer and the computer would eventually pay for itself. My first computer game was Silent Service by MicroProse in November 1984. I played it for years but also began building my gaming library. I had a WW2 carrier battle simulation which was really an electronic board game made by Avalon Hill.

I bought games from Epyx, Electronic Arts, LucasFilms, Sierra, MicroProse, Rainbird and many others. I really loved MicroProse most. Their slogan was, "The action is simulated, the excitement is real!"

But very soon I wanted a better computer as I became aware of this new world unfolding before my eyes. I next bought a Commodore 128 and a few years after that a Commodore Amiga 500. By the early 90's the Amiga was dead so I reluctantly bought my first Gateway Pentium computer. It came with a 450 Hz processor, a 2X CD drive and 4 megs of RAM and DOS operating system. I learned how to set up a DOS menu when the computer booted so I could pick which program to start.

Then Windows 3.1 was released so I had to have that. Then Windows 95 a couple years later...and on and on. By 2002 I decided to try building my own computers. I couldn't believe how easy it was and never looked back. I suppose I could write a book about my experiences with computer gaming. I decided at some point to keep everything. But I had already sold my Amiga at that point. Fortunately today you can buy a legal license for an Amiga emulation and play all the original games. There's an emulator of the Commodore 64 as well.

I always think of Silent Service as being my first computer game even though I had been playing computer games in arcades for years. My favorite arcade game is Discs of Tron. As far as where things are today I would say I miss the variety that once was computer gaming. There are a lot of games out there still but it has all consolidated down in many ways. The days of wide spread experimenting appears to be over. Today it's all about protecting market share more than innovation. I do think the VR genre has a lot of promise but the screen resolution needs to be brought up to 4K or 8K to be really appreciated.
   
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