TLDR: Looking for a $2k or less laptop that gets me in business for gaming and BoXing and MSFSing and DCSing; massive 10 lbs ‘desktop replacements’, need not apply. And yes I know Desktops are more cost efficient, but I now need portability more than economy. Looking like the Nvidia 3070 GPU is the sweet spot, especially when being payloaded by an Asus ROG Zephyrus G15:
Open to other ideas though, as I’m ignorant of how good/bad that modern AMD CPU is. The general “Gaming” community says “good”, but simming isn’t quite ‘gaming’ when it comes to modern PC hardware…
Back in college I had a Dell XPS 17” laptop with a hot rodded Celeron cpu kicking out two point somthing Ghz out of it’s single (lol) core, a voluminous 512MB of RAM, and the latest mobile 5 series GPU (we’ve wound all the way back around the GPU naming convention since then…). It also featured a surprisingly ahead of the time 1920x1200 screen; (what would be a high water mark until almost a decade later when 1440P screens started to become common place.)
It was a great machine, but a bad idea: at about 11 lbs, it was a “lap” top ironically took up more room on a desk than a KB/Mouse, and flat panel monitor would (flat panels then being a luxury, mind you).
Lets fast forward 15 years. I’ve since converted to the church of latter day desktops, and discovered the joys (and cost efficiency) of building ones own machine. And the nights and weekends spent specing components, building a machine, tuning it, upgrading, etc were fun! …Until I had a kid. Now, I’m thankful just to grab a few hours a weekend to play, as I’m otherwise chasing a toddler around. My in-laws also just bought a lake house and my parents have a very nice in-ground pool, so as my wife said idly one day “you know, we’ll probably not spend a single weekend at home next summer once the lake house is fixed up!”
Now. Mind you. I love my family. And it’s not lost on me my how fortunate I am to have both sets of my daughters grandparents living nearby, and that both have very nice places for us to spend our time.
But this also means more time away from by PC, which is deeply entrenched in my flight sim setup on my desk. I don’t even know what half the USB cables behind it connect to anymore, and frankly I’m scared to find out.
I’ve also been thinking it would be nice to prop up my LT on a table in the family room when, say, my daughter is watching a movie, so I can just be closer to my family.
Those needs collide with modern gaming laptops being (potentially) far sleeker and more manageable than my old school one.
Finally, our aging levovo convertible tablet is about to die, so wife needs a new machine to do occasional work on, as well as attend school board Zoom meetings on. She’s scared of the Obutto and the desktop and the 4K monitor, but the laptop seems more manageable. (I have a Macbook Pro work assigned me, so I’m set on the professional side). Said gaming laptop will also be pressed into service as a photo editing platform when traveling, but I figure that’s going to be covered by being a gaming grade machine anyway.
All of this is a very long winded way of saying “I know desktops are cheaper. Shut up and lets talk laptops.”
As noted in the TLDR, budget is $2k or less. Looking for:
-Ability to play the occasional tripple A console style title (eg. Red Dead 2, SW Squadrons, Mechwarrior, etc), but mainly sims like MSFS, DCS, and BoX, and be ready for Microposes new crop of strategy games (which don’t look too terribly needy). Civ 5, Xcom 2, and KSP are also on the docket
-3070 GPU (anything less seems to lack some future proofing, anything more seems like it’s past the point of diminishing pixel pumping returns);open to counter opinions tho
-16GB of ram or more (fine with 16; tends to be upgradable on most machines)
-1TB SSD. Possibly willing to drop down to 512 gb for a deal, but then would want the machine to have a second slot for an additional drive.
-~15”, 1440P screen. Don’t really want more size in pixels or screen real-esate. 4k seems a tad wasteful on a 15” screen, and 17” screens are getting past portability.
-VR support (specifically for WMR headsets).
-Trying to keep it around 5lbs or less; generally not looking for “desktop replacement” sized machines.
Right now the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 equipped with a 3070 seems the sweet spot; but open to ideas.