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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Need advice on gaming laptop

My recent laptop is starting to show its age, most especially with the adapters that keep breaking apart. Since I've bought my first replacement, they've all had problems within a few months and I'm thinking I'm just better off getting a new one at this point. The GTX 1650 is also outdated as hell at this point.

Anyways, I'm looking at an MSI model (GF66)

CPU: i5 11400H

GPU: RTX 3060 (6 GB)

Storage: 512 GB SSD

Costs 1099 CAD, so better than what I can find out there for the most part, though the CPU is a bit weak. Strong GPU however. What y'all think? One thing I'm concerned about is that I've heard that MSI laptops have issues with cooling. I could go for an Asus model that is similar but costs 200 dollars more. 



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The reviews don't exactly paint the greatest picture. There was a Dell G15 with a 5800H + 3060 for similar price but the battery life on that is nuts and the screen is pretty good too but sadly, I think it's out of stock. The performance on the GF66 looks good but there's a lot of compromises so depends on if you can live with them or not:

https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/msi-katana-gf66



             

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Avoid Dell(Even Alienware),HP. They make junk. MSI has a lot of problems yeah.

Asus, or even Acer is better. See what you can find in those for your money. I just upgraded from my 1060 Acer to a 3070 Asus tho I went over my limit because I want it to last several years.



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Leynos said:

Avoid Dell(Even Alienware),HP. They make junk. MSI has a lot of problems yeah.

Asus, or even Acer is better. See what you can find in those for your money. I just upgraded from my 1060 Acer to a 3070 Asus tho I went over my limit because I want it to last several years.

I have had 0 problems with my Dell. On the other hand my Asus overheated within 2 years. My brother's MSI had similar problems. Honestly not sure which one is actually the best, maybe just certain makes?

@ OP, I bought a Dell Inspiron 7577 years ago, I think it is at least worth checking out that line of computers.



Farsala said:
Leynos said:

Avoid Dell(Even Alienware),HP. They make junk. MSI has a lot of problems yeah.

Asus, or even Acer is better. See what you can find in those for your money. I just upgraded from my 1060 Acer to a 3070 Asus tho I went over my limit because I want it to last several years.

I have had 0 problems with my Dell. On the other hand my Asus overheated within 2 years. My brother's MSI had similar problems. Honestly not sure which one is actually the best, maybe just certain makes?

@ OP, I bought a Dell Inspiron 7577 years ago, I think it is at least worth checking out that line of computers.

What I found with most gaming laptops, you need the fat heavy ones otherwise airflow isn't great.

I also read that a lot of them have poorly applied thermal paste and sometimes too much of it.

I personally use ThrottleStop to disable turbo boost on the CPU and down volt the CPU. When I do that my laptop runs at about 70 degrees max and maintains a better frame rate then if left with default settings as they generally get up to as high as 95 degrees.



 

 

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Easy answer: Skip getting a laptop and instead get a desktop

Answer to OP - Asus, I wouldnt recommend going with HP, Dell or Acer.

Check here for current deals - carefully look at the specs cause some of them are non-gaming laptops.

https://slickdeals.net/laptop-deals/

Good luck.



    

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Farsala said:
Leynos said:

Avoid Dell(Even Alienware),HP. They make junk. MSI has a lot of problems yeah.

Asus, or even Acer is better. See what you can find in those for your money. I just upgraded from my 1060 Acer to a 3070 Asus tho I went over my limit because I want it to last several years.

I have had 0 problems with my Dell. On the other hand my Asus overheated within 2 years. My brother's MSI had similar problems. Honestly not sure which one is actually the best, maybe just certain makes?

@ OP, I bought a Dell Inspiron 7577 years ago, I think it is at least worth checking out that line of computers.

I've had too much experience with Dell and their propiitary garbage and even their Laptops literally physically fall apart. Alienware is esp bad in every way. Dell purposfully uses the cheapest parts and parts meant to fail. Complete junk.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

All of the laptop manufacturers are really just assemblers of third party parts. And in many cases, they are really just marketers, they're not even assembling machines. Everybody works with multiple suppliers for parts.  In some cases, even within the same model, parts suppliers can vary. So I can buy a Dell model XXX machine and it will have different brand parts than your Dell model XXX machine. There are some laptops that are better than others, but you can't determine that by the brand name on the case.

Are you actually going to use it on the go regularly? If so, then battery life and portability are important. If not, then go with one of those big, thick, barely qualifies as a laptop units that almost universally have better cooling than the thin, lighter weight laptops.  You can still take it with you when you travel, if what you really need is just occasional portability like that, but primarily will use it at home. 

Beyond that, I'd just look at specs and price tag. Unless you're going to buy a couple of them, take them home to disassemble and inspect, then return the one (s) you don't want, I don't think there's really a good way to determine if one is higher quality than another.



Personally I opted for an Acer Nitro 5 last year... For about $850 AUD. - Intel i5 11400H, RTX 3060, 8GB of Ram, 512GB SSD, 1080P IPS 144hz panel... So I dropped in 32GB of DDR4 3200mhz Ram and a 2TB nVME SSD and called it a day.

And like you alluded to... The 11400H is hot garbage, only 6 CPU cores, 2.5-4.5Ghz CPU clock... But it does have a 35-45w TDP, which does help maintain higher clocks than say... 10-15W CPU's would. Bonus. At the expense of battery life. - Roughly comparable in performance to the Ryzen 5600H.
But it also doesn't have a P and E core setup, which means compatibility wise, it does have an edge over the 12th and 13th gen chips... Which was my argument for opting for this class of notebook. - That and AMD still doesn't seem to get many design wins with competent GPU's at a decent price point, which is a bizarre turn of fate when Intel+nVidia offer better value.

But that is the point of this system and systems in this class, cutbacks to DRAM and CPU to sell us a better GPU and Display, which arguably have the biggest impacts to gaming... With the cost burden of RAM shifted to the consumer.

In terms of GPU, you will probably see roughly a doubling in terms of overall performance compared to the GTX 1650, some games will be 50% faster, some 125% faster depending on game and where the bottleneck lays. (CPU or GPU.)

You could do a ton worst in regards to hardware.

Remember though, this class of devices are primarily plastic construction, they aren't super durable, rugged machines... And they *are* using older CPU's... nVidia should also be ready to release their 40 series of mobile RTX GPU's as well soon which should offer 50% more performance at the same price points.

I wouldn't use one as a daily driver... I have my desktop for that, but as a secondary machine for when you aren't at your Desktop, you could do a ton worse.

But it also *really* depends on what games/software you intend to play, if you are running say... Civilization, I would even argue dropping down to an RTX 3050 and getting a system with a better CPU and more RAM for the same price will likely be more impactful.

If you want durability out of your device, I suggest taking a look towards Lenovo, I don't use my notebook enough to care about durability, I'd just replace it, hence the Acer, but it might be more of a selling point if you are using it constantly... Rather than once every 6 months like I would.



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