Author Topic: [Solved] Yet another which computer should I buy  (Read 8818 times)

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Offline blueskull

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[Solved] Yet another which computer should I buy
« on: November 25, 2016, 05:16:00 am »
Yes, I know, this is yet another "which computer should I buy", and I have personally answered quite a few similar questions. This time, I need help from you guys.
Keep in mind that I need a laptop, not a desktop PC, no matter how small it is. I need to be able to not only carry it around but also use it while being carried around.
Here are the requirements:

a. Runs *nix as a physical OS (not in VM).
b. Runs Altium Designer smoothly for small-mid size designs (<100 parts on SCH, <1000 pads on PCB) in a commercial, 3D optimized VM.
c. Runs pre-2010 games on high or very high settings (specifically, Half Life 2 franchise, Left 4 Dead 2 as well as Portal 2).
d. Has at least Broadwell CPU, though I would much prefer Skylake or Kaby Lake.
e. As light weight and thin as possible, IPS/OLED display and solid building quality are a must, no cheap gaming PC shit.
f. No budget limit. I don't care even if it's $2k+, but I don't feel comfortable to pay too much for superfluity.

Here are some of my thoughts:
1. To satisfy A, all low cost computers (Hassee, Clevo and its rebranded ones, Acer, Asus and their ilks) are eliminated since they tend to use some cheap obscure branded chips that doesn't have Linux drivers.
2. To satisfy B, no AMD GPUs are taken into consideration unless it is a Mac. VMWare doesn't like AMDGPU driver, and latest Linux kernel and X doesn't like fglrx.
3. To satisfy C, no AMD either since Source engine has some issues working with AMD fglrx 13+ and AMDGPU. The solution, "gl_finish 1" command option is not available on L4D2 and HL2 franchise, though it works for Portal 2 and TF2.
4. To satisfy C, Intel GPUs are also okay as long as it comes with eDRAM and has at least 48EUs. 72EU is preferred, but so far I don't know if any <$1.5k laptops come with an Iris 580/580P processor. If I am to spend any more, I would like to have an nVidia GPU.
5. To satisfy E, 2kg is the max weight I want to carry with me since I don't use a backpack.

In addition, no Vaio branded ones. One Vaio Z model fits exactly what I need, i7 dual core, PCIe SSD, Iris 550 GPU, ultra thin and light, but I do NOT want to have another Vaio considering their poor quality or my bad luck with my current Vaio Z.
Also, no tablets or convertibles, I've played enough with these toys, and I now want a real laptop that does have a real keyboard and preferably, no touch screen.
Finally, HDD/ODD bays are optional, but SSD slots is a must, preferably PCIe x4 m2 slots.

Here I have a list of candidates, welcome to add some more if you know some other ones that fit my requirements:
1. Macbook Pro 13 inch: dual core ridiculously high frequency i7, Iris 550, downside: touch bar and price as well as IO ports.
2. Macbook 12 inch: best portability, reasonably long battery life, reasonable CPU power, downside: very bad GPU performance, single USB-C port.
3. Alienware 13R3: OLED display, super powerful GTX1060 GPU, quad core i7, serviceable, downside: heavy, OLED burn-in, short battery life.
]4. XPS 13: 3.5GHz turbo boost i7 with very long battery life, comparable to Apple building quality, downside: poor GPU, as bad as 12-inch MacBook.
5. Razer Blade Stealth: same i7 CPU as of XPS13, external GPU possibility, 4k LCD option, downside: poor integrated GPU, large LCD bezel.
6. Lenovo X260/T460/T460S: legendary building quality, FHD (not the 2.5k/5k rubbish), serviceable, downside: poor integrated GPU, very thick.
7. Lenovo T460P: just enough GPU, powerful quad core CPU, high quality, serviceable, downside: as expensive as much thinner and lighter competitors.

I know number 2 is a stupid idea, but it just looks irresistibly beautiful. My personal ranking: 7, 3, 1, 2.

I would like to ask your opinion on which one should I choose, and if you have other recommendations, please add it down below.


tl;dr:

Update: new candidate list:
1. Alienware 13 R3, i7 6700HQ, GeForce 1060, $1799+$160
2. ThinkPad P50, E3 1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, $1507
3. ThinkPad P50s: i7 6600U, Quadro M500M, $1182
4. ThinkPad T460P: i7 6820HQ, GeForce 940MX DDR3, $1182
5. Precision 15, E3 1505M v5, Quadro M1000M, $1829+$160


Final decision: MSI GS63VR with:
i7 6700HQ
GTX1060
32GB DDR4 2400
512GB NVMe SSD
15.6'' 1080p IPS
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 09:37:28 am by blueskull »
 

Offline Falcon69

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2016, 05:56:23 am »
MSI are making some very nice laptops now, as well as the clevo platforms (i.e. Sagers).  Have a looksy at Xoticpc.com. I bought my Sager from them and was very happy with it, and still am, but I need to replace the battery now. Never did last long, but it was a gaming Laptop.

Don't by an Alienware. Although they have the nice Dell warranty, they are way overrated for the price they want for them.

Some of the MSI, as well as the Clevo Platforms also use full desktop Processors.

If you can afford it, get yourself one of the new ultra m.2 Solid State Drives. Super Fast. I love mine. I think it is the Samsung 951? I forget, was awhile since I bought it, but it is super fast, like 2GB/s speed for read and write.  My Windows 10 boots up to desktop in like 8 seconds.

EDIT:  Just reread and notice you said no Clevos. They've improved over the last 5 or so years. but okay, still a good system.  MSI is still a good choice.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 06:00:58 am by Falcon69 »
 
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Online Ampera

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2016, 06:10:26 am »
Only consider 4, 6, or 7. Any of the others and I promise you WILL be disappointed, and I spray no hyperbole.

My personal rating: 7, 6, 4. XPS 13 seems a bit wimpy to me.

And if this wasn't clear, NEVER buy Apple,

NEVER buy Alienware

Razer is considerable for SOME stuff, out of Apple, Alienware, and Razer, Razer is the best least rubbish but I wouldn't buy anything Razer unless it was a really really good deal.

These three companies are the set of classic mistake to buy from companies, especially Apple. Apple is Alienware/Razer, except they gouge you more, and force you to use their very lacking and poor ecosystems. And for a Linux host machine, buying Apple is like trying to buy a car and buying a bus.
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2016, 06:15:09 am »
MSI are making some very nice laptops now, as well as the clevo platforms (i.e. Sagers).  Have a looksy at Xoticpc.com. I bought my Sager from them and was very happy with it, and still am, but I need to replace the battery now. Never did last long, but it was a gaming Laptop.
Don't by an Alienware. Although they have the nice Dell warranty, they are way overrated for the price they want for them.

No Clevo and its rebranded ones, such as Hassee, Sager, MSI, etc. Not only for the lack of support from a multi-billion dollar business, but also for the cheap looking that lacks the sophistication of a professional laptop.
Also, I need one that is light enough that I can carry it with me without a backpack, and I need the kind of warranty that gives no-bullshit repair or return. I will use it in a real HV lab/field environment, and accidents do happen.
I will run Altium Designer on it, which on its own is an $8k software. Its license agreement allows up to 2 installations at a time, so essentially I'm locking a $4k license on the new machine. Therefore, saving pennies is not my main focus on this purchase.

Some of the MSI, as well as the Clevo Platforms also use full desktop Processors.

Some ROG ones even have water cooling. However, I am looking for a daily driver, not a stationing workstation. Weight and size matter. I already have a 22-core Xeon E5 beast at home.

If you can afford it, get yourself one of the new ultra m.2 Solid State Drives. Super Fast. I love mine. I think it is the Samsung 951? I forget, was awhile since I bought it, but it is super fast, like 2GB/s speed for read and write.  My Windows 10 boots up to desktop in like 8 seconds.

If the machine comes with a SATA SSD, I won't likely to spend money on a PCIe SSD, but if it doesn't, I will definitely get an NVMe SSD.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 06:26:22 am »
And if this wasn't clear, NEVER buy Apple

I had reasonable experience with my previous 2012 model Macbook Pro, unfortunately it runs so hot in Windows, and its LCD is really prone to get watermarks and other artifacts, let along an LCD repair is expensive like hell.
For option 1 and 2, I chose them solely for aesthetic reasons, and especially number 2, I know it is gonna be a very dumb idea.

NEVER buy Alienware

Care to explain? I think the new AW13R3 is really awesome. Powerful MXM (upgradable) GPU, up to 32GB RAM, less than 1'' thickness, selectable FHD IPS/2k OLED display, 2kg weight, plus the best warranty on this planet.

And for a Linux host machine, buying Apple is like trying to buy a car and buying a bus.

If, just in case of the most remote chance, I chose a Mac, I will be running OSX. As far as I am concerning, I only need a real bash environment and a set of real automake/autoconf tools as well as gcc.
Linux or whatever *nix, I don't care, as long as it is not Windows. Windows 10's bash, aka Linux subsystem, is not doing as well as I expected, so I need a real *nix.
MINGW is itself a bottomless pit of trouble, and I've been dealing with it for the recent years. I have managed to live with many of its issues, but there are just more keep popping up.
CygWin is also not an option since I don't want to pay for it, nor do I plan to copyleft all of my code.
 

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2016, 07:25:35 am »
And if this wasn't clear, NEVER buy Apple

I had reasonable experience with my previous 2012 model Macbook Pro, unfortunately it runs so hot in Windows, and its LCD is really prone to get watermarks and other artifacts, let along an LCD repair is expensive like hell.
For option 1 and 2, I chose them solely for aesthetic reasons, and especially number 2, I know it is gonna be a very dumb idea.

NEVER buy Alienware

Care to explain? I think the new AW13R3 is really awesome. Powerful MXM (upgradable) GPU, up to 32GB RAM, less than 1'' thickness, selectable FHD IPS/2k OLED display, 2kg weight, plus the best warranty on this planet.

And for a Linux host machine, buying Apple is like trying to buy a car and buying a bus.

If, just in case of the most remote chance, I chose a Mac, I will be running OSX. As far as I am concerning, I only need a real bash environment and a set of real automake/autoconf tools as well as gcc.
Linux or whatever *nix, I don't care, as long as it is not Windows. Windows 10's bash, aka Linux subsystem, is not doing as well as I expected, so I need a real *nix.
MINGW is itself a bottomless pit of trouble, and I've been dealing with it for the recent years. I have managed to live with many of its issues, but there are just more keep popping up.
CygWin is also not an option since I don't want to pay for it, nor do I plan to copyleft all of my code.

Alienware is overpriced and poorly made. Honestly any pre-built manufacturer is horrible, and for desktops I will never with my own money, or with money from people I respect buy for me or anyone a prebuilt small form factor or desktop machine. Laptops are a sad case as I honestly wish there was a standardized AT based standard that allowed you to buy a chassis, CPU, GPU, memory, motherboard, drives, etc. and get a custom built amazing laptop. It needs to be a thing in my eyes.

Alienware, Apple, and Razer are all overpriced compared to what you can get elsewhere, and especially in the case of the 13 inch Macbook pro, there isn't a single power user I know that wants to main a dual core x86 chip in ANYTHING. Apple sells, and no offense to you, to idiots. I can't sugarcoat this, everybody who buys Apple products has fallen for an embarrassingly effective marketing campain. Apple ALWAYS marketed to idiots, but the type of idiot they used to market to and they do now is different.

In the past Apple marketed to people who were unused to computers, even with their original iMac line, intended to get everybody and their gran (literally) on the web. This was not an unwise person, and it is
true that up until about Windows XP, PCs were confusing learning curves for many, and Apple targeted those people with respect.

Now, Apple purely targets people who think a shiny grey case with a load of wanky buzzwords is worth thousands. I have seen in the past the iPod shuffles go for around 40 bucks. I have an RCA MP3 player that HAS a display, built in storage, and a smaller form factor that my dad got randomly somewhere for free. The disadvantages of Apple are almost infinite.

Their iPhones, Pods, and Pads are granted not underperforming devices. Somehow Apple cranks power out of them, but it's not that great when you can't run something that could probably use that for a lot of
people like Emulators without having to jailbreak, There is no way to install ANYHTING Apple hasn't already approved and allowed without going behind their backs and making code alterations to the device. Android on the other hand allows free running of APKs on almost any device, and for true control, rooting is allowed and thriving without breaking warranties on several popular devices.

The computer line is NEVER powerful. There is not a single Macintosh that could be considered powerful by anybody. The CPUs are not powerful, the graphics chips are not powerful, and without installing something else you will be stuck with an operating system that from its beginnings as the Macintosh System was NEVER designed for power users, and with the out of range "Exception" of SOME artists, they are overpriced, underpowered, and have only flashy silvers and gimmicks making people buy them.

Everybody is entitled to their opinions on what is better, and we can bicker all day, I am trying to make sure you don't waste your money as buying a prebuilt computer is a total minefield that risky to traverse.

And your *nix requirement, I forgot the * part. Suggest you run windows of SOME sort (7 is alright, but a funny suggestion is to run a Server operating system as they are a bit more cut down and secure) as that is where most of the software support is. OS/X (MacOS now because let's go back to old product names) has less software support than linux considering the TINY userbase and lack of intelligent people using them. Run a hackintosh if you insist on using it.

Sorry for the rant, I can get easily heated by this.
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2016, 07:52:52 am »
Sorry for the rant, I can get easily heated by this.

Perfectly understandable as I don't think buying an Apple is reasonable either.

So the question: why an Alienware is not a good idea? I mean, for a similarly powerful CPU and thin profile and light weight, a Dell Precision 15 is around the same price point ($1799 for AW, $1999 for Precision), so it doesn't seem to be that overpriced if compared with similarly high end, no cut-corner computers.

Here is a list of hardware that I'm now interested in:
1. Dell AW 13 R3, i7 6700HQ, GeForce 1060, 8GB DDR4 2400, 256GB PCIe, 1440p OLED, $1799. Additional cost: 2*16GB RAM, $160.
2. Dell Precision 15, E3 1505M v5, Quadro M1000M, 8GB DDR4 2133, 256GB NVMe, 1080p IPS, $1829. Additional cost: 2*16GB ECC RAM, $240.
3. Lenovo T460P: i7 6820HQ, GeForce 940MX DDR3, 32GB DDR4 2133, 256GB SATA3, 1080p IPS, $1182.
4. Lenovo P50s: i7 6600U, Quadro M500M, 32GB DDR4 2133, 256GB SATA3, 1080p IPS, $1182.
5. Lenovo P50: E3 1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, 32GB DDR4 2133 ECC, 256GB NVMe, 1080p IPS, $1507.

In terms of performance, number 5 gives me the best performance, but it is slightly more heavier than I would like to carry around. It is 2.5kg on its own.
Number 1 has slightly less CPU power, but considerably higher GPU power, though I might not need that kind of super graphics, but it is just 2kg, and has superb warranty, including drop or water damage. Also keep in mind that only this one has latest Pascal GPU.
Number 3 and 4 all have poor GPU performance. So far, they satisfy my needs, but who knows if I want to play some new games on them, and by then, they will become under-powered.
Number 2, well, has the best building quality and reasonably fast CPU and GPU, but also the highest price tag, and not as serviceable as other "full sized" options, though it is the lightest and thinnest one yet has probably the longest battery life.

Please advise.
 

Offline Someone

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2016, 09:29:19 am »
The computer line is NEVER powerful. There is not a single Macintosh that could be considered powerful by anybody. The CPUs are not powerful, the graphics chips are not powerful, and without installing something else you will be stuck with an operating system that from its beginnings as the Macintosh System was NEVER designed for power users, and with the out of range "Exception" of SOME artists, they are overpriced, underpowered, and have only flashy silvers and gimmicks making people buy them.
Lol, haters gonna hate. Apple had leading performance on their pro line until the end of the Mac Pro tower, the trash can was ok but they left it without updates and it fell by the wayside with the iMac and most laptops now faster for single threaded tasks and the loaded iMac faster for some multithreaded tasks! They kept up new processors and GPUs for a long time. But its always been the same pattern of setting the price at release and then leaving the price and product to get stale before the next release, the desktops are all due for a refresh and it should be interesting what arrives.

Have a look at the entire industry, growth in processor speed has been stagnant for years.

But the new mac "pro" laptops are going backwards and offer nothing compelling for performance, its only in the last year that you might be able to say Apple have stopped making high performance machines.
So the question: why an Alienware is not a good idea? I mean, for a similarly powerful CPU and thin profile and light weight, a Dell Precision 15 is around the same price point ($1799 for AW, $1999 for Precision), so it doesn't seem to be that overpriced if compared with similarly high end, no cut-corner computers.
Dell build quality varies wildly from model to model, find a retail shop and have a feel of the product before buying. Alienware have their good/bad examples too, don't discount them from your search based on the unsupported comments of one hater.

1. Dell AW 13 R3, i7 6700HQ, GeForce 1060, 8GB DDR4 2400, 256GB PCIe, 1440p OLED, $1799. Additional cost: 2*16GB RAM, $160.
2. Dell Precision 15, E3 1505M v5, Quadro M1000M, 8GB DDR4 2133, 256GB NVMe, 1080p IPS, $1829. Additional cost: 2*16GB ECC RAM, $240.
3. Lenovo T460P: i7 6820HQ, GeForce 940MX DDR3, 32GB DDR4 2133, 256GB SATA3, 1080p IPS, $1182.
4. Lenovo P50s: i7 6600U, Quadro M500M, 32GB DDR4 2133, 256GB SATA3, 1080p IPS, $1182.
5. Lenovo P50: E3 1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, 32GB DDR4 2133 ECC, 256GB NVMe, 1080p IPS, $1507.
Good looking list there, grab any of them and enjoy. The warranty on the workstation lines tends to be both longer and better support which is worth factoring in.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 09:55:34 am by Someone »
 
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Offline Someone

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2016, 09:33:08 am »
Sorry for the rant, I can get easily heated by this.
Perfectly understandable as I don't think buying an Apple is reasonable either.
Given your reasons for crossing them off your list above consider a refurb/clearance 15" retina of the last model. The screen grime/wear is the worst part of it, and the 2 USB ports can be limiting but you need to sacrifice something to keep the weight down.
 

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2016, 12:53:42 pm »
Sorry for the rant, I can get easily heated by this.
Perfectly understandable as I don't think buying an Apple is reasonable either.
Given your reasons for crossing them off your list above consider a refurb/clearance 15" retina of the last model. The screen grime/wear is the worst part of it, and the 2 USB ports can be limiting but you need to sacrifice something to keep the weight down.

That's my big deal here. If I wanted lightweight I wouldn't bother with a laptop AT ALL. I would go for a Shield Tablet with a Bluetooth detachable keyboard. Tiny, Light, and damn powerful. It can run anything you want, and is actually USEFUL unlike iOS devices which bolt you into a restraining table where you have to hope Apple doesn't forget to feed you SOMETHING.

If I wanted POWER, I would use one of the insane Desktop parts in a laptop case devices. You can't beat them, a desktop i7 with a desktop 980 (At the time that was impressive :<) was AMAZING for a portable device. Sure the battery lasts about 2 seconds on full load, but don't use full load while roaming and you're alright.

Apple falls in between as a lightweight device that isn't lightweight enough to make me say, Wow, I can take that ANYWHERE, but it's not powerful enough for me to say, Wow, I can do ANYTHING on this!. The devices look shiny and minimalist, but that's just a facade to make you buy it.


In terms of laptops, I would choose the first one. Quadros make me queezy as up until a point, a mainstream GPU will outperform a similarly priced Quadro chip. They have their uses, if you don't absolutely know you need one, you shouldn't get one is my point.

THEN AGAIN, I need to check. I think I saw something pretty impressive a bit ago, let me go find it.
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Online Ampera

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2016, 01:09:09 pm »
After some scrounging on Newegg, I have come up with a list you may want to consider.

http://bit.ly/2fykkaU

Sorry for the bit.ly, but the link is about 2-3 lines long on this forum, so I will save you the massive blob.

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Offline blueskull

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2016, 03:49:19 am »
I went shopping today and now I have a new list. All of the following have same i7 6700HQ CPU, GeForce GTX1060 GPU and 16GB dual channel DDR4 2133/2400 RAM:

1. Razer Blade 2016, 256GB NVMe, IPS 1080p, $1800.
2. MSI GS63VR-001, 128GB SATA, TN 1080p, $1500.
3. MSI GS63VR-001, 256GB SATA, IPS 1080p, $1730.
4. Alienware 13 R3, 256GB NVMe, OLED 1440p, $1750.
5. Alienware 13 R3, 256GB NVMe, IPS 1080p, $1600.
6. Alienware 15 R3, 256GB NVMe, IPS 1080p, $1500.

Number 2 and number 6 are the best in terms of bang per buck, but number 2 has poor TN screen, and number 6 is 3.5kg.
Number 1 physically as large as number 2/3 while providing only 14'' of LCD size, and is the most expensive one.
Number 4 has the best hardware due to the beautiful OLED display, but whether it will show burn-in effect is yet to be discovered, and buying a $1750 lottery is not something I can afford.
Number 5 is more heavy and more thick than number 2 and number 3, while today I tried out another Alienware, and I have to say, I hate the rubberized plastic palm rest and logo that can't be turned off.
Number 3 is not perfect either since it has only SATA SSD, which means I either have to live with it, or replace it at the cost of voiding warranty. MSI does not allow parts swapping without voiding warranty.

Keep in mind that number 1, 2 and 3 are incredibly thin and light, while managed to both outperform or at least break even with Alienware 13 R3.

So, I am now making decision between these, please advise.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 03:53:11 am by blueskull »
 

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2016, 04:13:32 am »
I went shopping today and now I have a new list. All of the following have same i7 6700HQ CPU, GeForce GTX1060 GPU and 16GB dual channel DDR4 2133/2400 RAM:

1. Razer Blade 2016, 256GB NVMe, IPS 1080p, $1800.
2. MSI GS63VR-001, 128GB SATA, TN 1080p, $1500.
3. MSI GS63VR-001, 256GB SATA, IPS 1080p, $1730.
4. Alienware 13 R3, 256GB NVMe, OLED 1440p, $1750.
5. Alienware 13 R3, 256GB NVMe, IPS 1080p, $1600.
6. Alienware 15 R3, 256GB NVMe, IPS 1080p, $1500.

Number 2 and number 6 are the best in terms of bang per buck, but number 2 has poor TN screen, and number 6 is 3.5kg.
Number 1 physically as large as number 2/3 while providing only 14'' of LCD size, and is the most expensive one.
Number 4 has the best hardware due to the beautiful OLED display, but whether it will show burn-in effect is yet to be discovered, and buying a $1750 lottery is not something I can afford.
Number 5 is more heavy and more thick than number 2 and number 3, while today I tried out another Alienware, and I have to say, I hate the rubberized plastic palm rest and logo that can't be turned off.
Number 3 is not perfect either since it has only SATA SSD, which means I either have to live with it, or replace it at the cost of voiding warranty. MSI does not allow parts swapping without voiding warranty.

Keep in mind that number 1, 2 and 3 are incredibly thin and light, while managed to both outperform or at least break even with Alienware 13 R3.

So, I am now making decision between these, please advise.

You know, go with the Razer. Don't use Alienware, their build quality is often poor, and I have heard, but never seen bad things about MSI. Razer is not a bad company. They are pricy, but it's a get what you pay for moment, only problem is you might not like where they put the money towards.

I hate laptops with burning passion. They are only if you have 0.0 space, or have to go traveling very frequently. I would take it over nothing, but I would take anything over a laptop. I'd rather run a 486 as a main rig than main a modern laptop, and this is not a joke.

I'd also be willing to shove forks into my chest over maining a laptop, but whatever.
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2016, 04:43:26 am »
You know, go with the Razer. Don't use Alienware, their build quality is often poor, and I have heard, but never seen bad things about MSI. Razer is not a bad company. They are pricy, but it's a get what you pay for moment, only problem is you might not like where they put the money towards.

I think I will go for the MSI one. I just came across a deal on eBay, sold by NewEgg official webstore, a brand new MSI GS63VR-041 with same i7 and GTX1060, plus 32GB RAM and IPS 1080p LCD.
Talking about Razer, as most engineers do, I hate clone with passion, and that includes the blatant copy of Apple's UniBody. I'm not an Apple fan (we call them fruit worms in China), but I don't like cloned Apple designs either.

I hate laptops with burning passion. They are only if you have 0.0 space, or have to go traveling very frequently. I would take it over nothing, but I would take anything over a laptop. I'd rather run a 486 as a main rig than main a modern laptop, and this is not a joke.

I'd also be willing to shove forks into my chest over maining a laptop, but whatever.

Me too. I have a 22-core, 1.2TB NVMe SSD, R9 nano GPU workstation with 64GB of RCC REG DDR4 2400 memory (in an ITX shoebox!!!). However, I do need one that allows me to tweak code or parameters while I'm in the field.
So my daily work is to design wide band gap power modules and build test converters with them. Sometimes, to test a power module, I need to play with some really high power things, and apparently, that can't be done in a small lab. Therefore, I need a laptop that I can bring with me to our HV test bay.
I used to just being my super powerful ITX shoebox with me, but that's really annoying, plus each time I moves it, I have to worry about leakage of its water cooling system. I hope this new laptop can being this practice to an end.
But of course, I don't expect to do my daily design on a laptop, no f*ing way. I spent more money on my HID and screens than the cost of a mainstream laptop, there is no way I can work all day with a laptop.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2016, 04:50:18 am »
I just pulled the trigger and bought an MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro-041 with 32GB of RAM and 128GB of SATA SSD plus 1TB of HDD.
I think I will also add a 256GB NVMe SSD to my shopping cart, and dump the 128GB SATA SSD and 1TB HDD on eBay for cheap.
 

Online Ampera

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2016, 05:24:20 am »
I just pulled the trigger and bought an MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro-041 with 32GB of RAM and 128GB of SATA SSD plus 1TB of HDD.
I think I will also add a 256GB NVMe SSD to my shopping cart, and dump the 128GB SATA SSD and 1TB HDD on eBay for cheap.

Good choice. I run an MSI motherboard, and they are pretty alright. Have fun!
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Offline System Error Message

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2016, 06:01:08 am »
business laptops like the dell latitude or lenovo thinkpads are good laptops. Thin and light dont necessarily go with superior performance + build quality as they also lack a lot of connectivity that would be important for you. Even apple's latest laptop has flaws as shown by louis rossman on his youtube that is serious.

You can also consider gaming laptops. MSI for instance make medium sized laptop with the latest i7 and nvidia 1060 for dedicated GPU. Its still portable as theres the intel GPU for battery use and the i7 quad core, ddr4 can handle more demanding software. GPU can also be used if software makes use of it and DDR4 has more memory capacity than DDR3 per dimm available more easily.

SSDs are a great upgrade especially for those SDKs and development software that have many small files that can take minutes to open on a hard drive, provided theres a fast CPU and plenty of ram.

Gaming laptops arent necessarily built cheaply, if looking at around the $2000 gaming laptops are actually well built for that price as long as you arent looking at alienware. They do come with good screens (not talking about resolution here) and because its a gaming laptop they get more connectivity and recent gaming laptops are actually much slimmer and not bulky (just almost not thick enough for ethernet). You'll want usb 3 and usb type C, ethernet and thunderbolt for connectivity. Dont rely on adapters as they're messy to have to bring around so many adapters other than the adapter you need to connect your laptop to your project.

Some business laptops like some of the thinkpad line are spillproof, some which are military grade that can handle being crushed or thrown into the pool however dont have the most up to date and better performance hardware though.

Regarding drivers theres literally nothing to worry about with linux support. Theres wide hardware support and its probably wifi cards that you should be worry about. Make sure you pick a laptop that has many internals you can replace that are slotted rather than stuff soldered onto it. Many thin and light laptops have CPU, ram,drive and wifi soldered on aside from lack of connectivity. For your use those paper thin laptops should be avoided.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2016, 07:15:29 am »
business laptops like the dell latitude or lenovo thinkpads are good laptops. Thin and light dont necessarily go with superior performance + build quality as they also lack a lot of connectivity that would be important for you. Even apple's latest laptop has flaws as shown by louis rossman on his youtube that is serious.

You can also consider gaming laptops. MSI for instance make medium sized laptop with the latest i7 and nvidia 1060 for dedicated GPU. Its still portable as theres the intel GPU for battery use and the i7 quad core, ddr4 can handle more demanding software. GPU can also be used if software makes use of it and DDR4 has more memory capacity than DDR3 per dimm available more easily.

SSDs are a great upgrade especially for those SDKs and development software that have many small files that can take minutes to open on a hard drive, provided theres a fast CPU and plenty of ram.

Gaming laptops arent necessarily built cheaply, if looking at around the $2000 gaming laptops are actually well built for that price as long as you arent looking at alienware. They do come with good screens (not talking about resolution here) and because its a gaming laptop they get more connectivity and recent gaming laptops are actually much slimmer and not bulky (just almost not thick enough for ethernet). You'll want usb 3 and usb type C, ethernet and thunderbolt for connectivity. Dont rely on adapters as they're messy to have to bring around so many adapters other than the adapter you need to connect your laptop to your project.

Some business laptops like some of the thinkpad line are spillproof, some which are military grade that can handle being crushed or thrown into the pool however dont have the most up to date and better performance hardware though.

Regarding drivers theres literally nothing to worry about with linux support. Theres wide hardware support and its probably wifi cards that you should be worry about. Make sure you pick a laptop that has many internals you can replace that are slotted rather than stuff soldered onto it. Many thin and light laptops have CPU, ram,drive and wifi soldered on aside from lack of connectivity. For your use those paper thin laptops should be avoided.

The one I chose has a 2.5'' HDD bay, a PCIe x4 m2 SSD slot, a PCIe x1 m2 WiFi card slot, and 2 DDR4 SODIMM slots.
All Skylake mobile processors are soldered, this is limited by Intel, and MSI doesn't have a workaround either.
 

Online Ampera

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2016, 07:25:16 am »
business laptops like the dell latitude or lenovo thinkpads are good laptops. Thin and light dont necessarily go with superior performance + build quality as they also lack a lot of connectivity that would be important for you. Even apple's latest laptop has flaws as shown by louis rossman on his youtube that is serious.

You can also consider gaming laptops. MSI for instance make medium sized laptop with the latest i7 and nvidia 1060 for dedicated GPU. Its still portable as theres the intel GPU for battery use and the i7 quad core, ddr4 can handle more demanding software. GPU can also be used if software makes use of it and DDR4 has more memory capacity than DDR3 per dimm available more easily.

SSDs are a great upgrade especially for those SDKs and development software that have many small files that can take minutes to open on a hard drive, provided theres a fast CPU and plenty of ram.

Gaming laptops arent necessarily built cheaply, if looking at around the $2000 gaming laptops are actually well built for that price as long as you arent looking at alienware. They do come with good screens (not talking about resolution here) and because its a gaming laptop they get more connectivity and recent gaming laptops are actually much slimmer and not bulky (just almost not thick enough for ethernet). You'll want usb 3 and usb type C, ethernet and thunderbolt for connectivity. Dont rely on adapters as they're messy to have to bring around so many adapters other than the adapter you need to connect your laptop to your project.

Some business laptops like some of the thinkpad line are spillproof, some which are military grade that can handle being crushed or thrown into the pool however dont have the most up to date and better performance hardware though.

Regarding drivers theres literally nothing to worry about with linux support. Theres wide hardware support and its probably wifi cards that you should be worry about. Make sure you pick a laptop that has many internals you can replace that are slotted rather than stuff soldered onto it. Many thin and light laptops have CPU, ram,drive and wifi soldered on aside from lack of connectivity. For your use those paper thin laptops should be avoided.

The one I chose has a 2.5'' HDD bay, a PCIe x4 m2 SSD slot, a PCIe x1 m2 WiFi card slot, and 2 DDR4 SODIMM slots.
All Skylake mobile processors are soldered, this is limited by Intel, and MSI doesn't have a workaround either.

Don't even bloody bother, Mobile part interchangeability is pretty much only useful for minor upgrades or part replacement. Without a true AT based laptop construction standard like ATX, it's just stupid.
C/C++/Java Programmer, Legacy hardware enthusiast, madman.
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Offline blueskull

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Re: [Solved] Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2016, 08:31:10 am »
I also got a 512GB Plextor M8Pe SSD, blazing fast (only slower than Samsung SM/PM961 and 960 Pro), but at a much more affordable price. I just can't justify the extra price paid for Samsung while the performance increasing is not really noticeable.
It does thermal throttle, but looking at power numbers (deduced from max current), it should be in the same power consumption level as 960 Pro, so no worries, plus I don't plan to run it for tens of seconds continuous write.
Also, the Plextor 512GB one has a special deal today, its price has dropped from $270 down to $180 for 48 hours, so I decided to get one before this deal lapses. Well, another reason is I really don't like Samsung, with passion.
One of my friends' Samsung 950 Pro just died, with his all data. So I decided to get away from Samsung. Also judging from my own experience from 850 Pro, I would say it is decent, but its performance doesn't match its price tag.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [Solved] Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2016, 08:51:53 am »
Practically speaking, how much performance difference is there between NVMe/PCIe and conventional SATA 3 SSDs? Sure in benchmarking tests there's an apparent huge difference, but what about in day to day use?

Of the three high end machines I've built in the past couple of months (i7-5820k, -6800k and a -6700k) it wasn't noticeable to me whether I used, say, a Samsung 950 M.2 over NVMe or a Samsung 850 SATA 3 unless I actually measured it with benchmarking software. In day to day use I've been unable to determine any noticeable speed benefit, they're all bloody quick.

I raise this because NVMe hold eyewatering pricing for the same storage size SATA 3. While you can fiddle around keeping your OS on a small super fast SSD and put your other stuff elsewhere, I find splitting an OS environment over drives to be an irritation I'd rather not have to deal with if there's no apparent benefit.


 

Offline blueskull

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Re: [Solved] Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2016, 08:56:56 am »
Practically speaking, how much performance difference is there between NVMe/PCIe and conventional SATA 3 SSDs? Sure in benchmarking tests there's an apparent huge difference, but what about in day to day use?

Of the three high end machines I've built in the past couple of months (i7-5820k, -6800k and a -6700k) it wasn't noticeable to me whether I used, say, a Samsung 950 M.2 over NVMe or a Samsung 850 SATA 3 unless I actually measured it with benchmarking software. In day to day use I've been unable to determine any noticeable speed benefit, they're all bloody quick.

I raise this because NVMe hold eyewatering pricing for the same storage size SATA 3. While you can fiddle around keeping your OS on a small super fast SSD and put your other stuff elsewhere, I find splitting an OS environment over drives to be an irritation I'd rather not have to deal with if there's no apparent benefit.

$180 for 512GB NVMe SSD with the second fastest controller only next to Samsung Polaris. It's cheaper than similar big brand MLC SATA ones.
I don't want to carry around a HDD to reduce power consumption, weight and shock sensitivity, and I don't want to split storage even using an HDD.
And no, there are not that much difference between high end SSD and low end SSD, unless you touch the absolute cheapest ones. But hey, even for the $/GB, it is still a steal.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [Solved] Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2016, 09:09:30 am »
I'm not suggesting that you carry around an HDD, just that I've yet to experience any real world benefit of NVMe over SATA 3, so I'm yet to be convinced of the benefit of paying more for it.

The Plextor you mention is showing a premium of about 80% over the SATA version in the UK. I'd rather invest that difference in more storage than faster speed if I'm not benefitting from that extra speed.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: [Solved] Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2016, 09:17:28 am »
The Plextor you mention is showing a premium of about 80% over the SATA version in the UK. I'd rather invest that difference in more storage than faster speed if I'm not benefitting from that extra speed.

Not in US. Here the cheapest brand new 512GB big brand SSD, even the TLC rubbish, is $120, while the cheapest brand new MLC one is $150.
Considering this fact, $180 for an MLC NVMe is really cheap.
Performance wise, the difference from filesystem and security software has more impact than SSD technology. My NVMe Intel 750 SSD running NTFS and MSE responses slower than my SATA Micron MX550 running ext4 (noatime, discard, nodiratime) without any AV software.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 09:24:16 am by blueskull »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Yet another which computer should I buy
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2016, 11:08:39 am »
SSDs are a great upgrade especially for those SDKs and development software that have many small files that can take minutes to open on a hard drive, provided theres a fast CPU and plenty of ram.
Unfortunately not. Depending on the OS the files are probably already in the cache anyway because they either where unpacked before or read by the IDE. A couple of years ago I did a test with compiling a small Linux distribution from scratch on Linux (Intel core 7 950). It didn't matter at all whether the source was on a Western Digital green hard drive or an SSD.
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