Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Divergent2000

Need help picking a powerful laptop for college

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

This August I will be starting electrical engineering college and will need to buy a good laptop since my existing PC is a slightly outdated (GeForce GT630 GPU+Celeron G1820) and not exactly worth shipping overseas to the US. My budget is $2000 (or slightly higher if needed). I'd like some community recommendations, so without further ado here is a complete list of requirements:

 

-Enough CPU power and RAM to handle heavy simulations in MATLAB and other software typically used in engineering college

 

-I'm not too big on gaming, but I play here and there and my current potato of a GPU can't even run free UE4 games well. I'd like something that can handle heavy games and heavy graphics demos without a hitch (preferably a newer gen high end card)

 

-Perfect Windows 10 support and no constant 100% endless CPU load issues with Windows Update. I need something that is 100% reliable and won't mess up or slow down when I'm doing an assignment or something else important.

 

-Decent web-cam, preferably 720p or higher

 

-A proper microphone so that I can voice-over screen recordings without it sounding like I'm a mushy-voiced 1 year old (my current 11 year old webcam w/ microphone does this voice distortion and has embarrassed me on youtube).

 

-A high quality no-flex keyboard. RGB is optional, but if included it must have the option to turn it off and change colors at will.

 

-Proper cooling for the CPU and GPU

 

-Either a single 1TB SSD or  a 512GB SSD + 1TB 7200RPM HDD

 

-Proper screen, at least 1080p. I need something that will PROPERLY display photos. VERY picky about this. The $180 monitor I currently have, and even my mom's $820 HP laptop, TERRIBLY wash out colors on photos (even my mid-tier IPS cellphone beats both these computer screens big time).

 

-Built-in ethernet, USB, headphone and other ports. I absolutely LOATHE dongles.

 

-Android emulators must run SMOOTHLY (my current PC doesn't even come close)

 

-Good build quality and durability. I don't want to see flex of any kind while picking up the laptop, and I need it to last me through college (4 years min.) without any repairs.

 

- Ability to run 2-4 VirtualBox VMs simultaneously without locking up (don't ask how my current machine handles this LOL)

 

-I'm very picky about touchpads and click buttons, so a decent touchpad with good buttons is a must.

 

-(Optional) removable battery

 

 

 

 

 

I've been looking at some MSI laptops (such as https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/msi-ge75-raider-021-gaming-laptop/938crc9f8f9x?cid=msft_web_collection&activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab), but would like to hear what the community here thinks would be a good deal for me. Also, I'd like to know if any of these modern laptops would fit in the vintage Compaq laptop bag from 2001 that I happen to have. :) It is soooooo much harder to choose a decent PC than choosing a cellphone or tablet, despite being an electronics geek. I'm open to all-AMD, AMD+Nvidia or Intel+AMD based laptops (I have no brand preferences).

Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote is going to go to the ThinkPad X1 Extreme. It ticks pretty much every box, and with the 1080p screen, the 1050 Ti is going to let you play some decent games.


Sabre - i7-8086K - MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X - AsRock Z370 Fatal1ty Gaming K6 - 32GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4-2400 - 250GB Western Digital Black M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0x4 - 1TB Inland Professional SSD - 960GB SanDisk Ultra II - 4TB Seagate Barracuda - Corsair RM650i - Fractal Design Meshify C White TG - Noctua NH-C14S

 

Senketsu - Ryzen 5 1600 - MSI GTX 1050 Ti LP - Gigabyte B450 AORUS M - 16GB "OEM Special" craptastic DDR4-2400 with a stunning green PCB - 500GB Dell M.2 NVMe SSD - Silverstone SF450 - ABS R206-ITX (worst/best case ever) - Wraith Spire

 

Banzai - i7-6700T - MSI RX 550 LP - Gigabyte GA-B150N Phoenix - 16GB HyperX Fury DDR4-2400 - 240GB Crucial M500 - Seasonic 300W Server PSU - HP Slimline s3200n chassis - Rosewill RCX-775-LP

 

Harvey Dent - Pentium G3258 - MSI GTX 750 Ti LP - ASUS H81M-C - 16GB Patriot Viper DDR3-1600 - 480GB SanDisk Ultra II SSD (Windows 10) - Vaseky 64GB mSATA SSD (Windows XP) - Corsair SF600 - Athenatech A100BB - Arctic Alpine 11 Plus

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's easier (and likely cheaper too) to get an ultrabook with the quality-of-life stuff you're looking for (good software compatibility and reliability, webcam, build quality, microphone, screen, HID), then remote into a desktop in your room for your other requirements (quiet, powerful hardware, good cooling).

 

Expecting a 6lb 17" laptop with less than 4 hours of non-gaming battery life to work well in a classroom setting is a mistake. The only "compromise" laptops I've seen perform reasonably here are things like the XPS15, which have a midrange GPU (1650, 1050, etc), while still paying attention to the quality of life aspects that make it practical to use on the go. Even then, you're probably going to want a second monitor to use in your room when working.

Link to post
Share on other sites

are you open to buying your own ssd and installing it youself?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a few good choices for you:

Custom Built MSI GE75 8SF Raider-049 - 17.3" Thin Bezel FHD 144Hz - i7-8750H - RTX 2070

Alienware m15 (this has a better trackpad although it's 15 inch but still sports an awesome 144hz IPS screen and insane battery life)

 

Custom Built ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II GL504GW-DS74 - 15.6" FHD 144Hz - i7-8750H - RTX 2070

HIDevolution has superb build quality and their thermal upgrades are superb. I recommend you select "Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut + Fujipoly Extreme Thermal Pads" in the lap confrigurator for the best cooling. They do ship internationally and also have a global warranty option which covers shipping costs both ways should anything go wrong with your laptop which is why I always buy from them as I live in Dubai.


Alienware Area-51m | i9-9900K @ 5 GHz | Samsung M471A4G43MB1 128GB 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM | GeForce RTX 2080 8GB GDDR6 | LG 173WFG 17.3" FHD 144Hz IPS Display w/ G-SYNC + Tobii eyetracking technology | 2x 2TB Samsung 960 PRO [RAID 0] + 4TB Samsung 860 EVO + 2TB Samsung Portable SSD T5 | Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x | Alienware Elite Gaming Mouse AW959 | Alienware Wireless Gaming Headset AW988 | Windows 10 Pro for Workstations
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nimrodor said:

It's easier (and likely cheaper too) to get an ultrabook with the quality-of-life stuff you're looking for (good software compatibility and reliability, webcam, build quality, microphone, screen, HID), then remote into a desktop in your room for your other requirements (quiet, powerful hardware, good cooling).

 

Expecting a 6lb 17" laptop with less than 4 hours of non-gaming battery life to work well in a classroom setting is a mistake. The only "compromise" laptops I've seen perform reasonably here are things like the XPS15, which have a midrange GPU (1650, 1050, etc), while still paying attention to the quality of life aspects that make it practical to use on the go. Even then, you're probably going to want a second monitor to use in your room when working.

The XPS 15 has a lot of problems. Just go to the Dell subreddit and spend five minutes browsing. I've seen it referred to as the XPOS 15 on there.


Sabre - i7-8086K - MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X - AsRock Z370 Fatal1ty Gaming K6 - 32GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4-2400 - 250GB Western Digital Black M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0x4 - 1TB Inland Professional SSD - 960GB SanDisk Ultra II - 4TB Seagate Barracuda - Corsair RM650i - Fractal Design Meshify C White TG - Noctua NH-C14S

 

Senketsu - Ryzen 5 1600 - MSI GTX 1050 Ti LP - Gigabyte B450 AORUS M - 16GB "OEM Special" craptastic DDR4-2400 with a stunning green PCB - 500GB Dell M.2 NVMe SSD - Silverstone SF450 - ABS R206-ITX (worst/best case ever) - Wraith Spire

 

Banzai - i7-6700T - MSI RX 550 LP - Gigabyte GA-B150N Phoenix - 16GB HyperX Fury DDR4-2400 - 240GB Crucial M500 - Seasonic 300W Server PSU - HP Slimline s3200n chassis - Rosewill RCX-775-LP

 

Harvey Dent - Pentium G3258 - MSI GTX 750 Ti LP - ASUS H81M-C - 16GB Patriot Viper DDR3-1600 - 480GB SanDisk Ultra II SSD (Windows 10) - Vaseky 64GB mSATA SSD (Windows XP) - Corsair SF600 - Athenatech A100BB - Arctic Alpine 11 Plus

Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for premium business laptop / mobile workstation. If you want something that is powerful, consider Thinkpad P52 / Precision 7530 / Zbook 15 G5


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I purchased the MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG (479) to have a mobile workstation at home.  Needless to say I have everything I need.  MSI made the most powerful laptop setup money can buy from the thin and light category.  Pick up your portable SKYNET today!  I also have a CalDigit TS3+ running all the peripherals and extras.  Works really well with the MSI GS775 Stealth 9SG.

msi1.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks for the recommendations! Anyways, now that Malibrew brought up the GS75 series (thanks for bringing this up!), I took a look and found a seemingly good configuration that should suit my needs. What do you guys think about the GS75237 variant ( https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/msi-gs75-stealth-gaming-laptop/8r9h5pxrxfxc?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab )? Is it worth it for $2099? I don't need anything super over the top, especially not custom modified laptops. Also, what is cooling like on these GS75 laptops?

Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Divergent2000 said:

GS75

Consumer grade - lower QC

Thin and light - weaker cooling


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to offer another vote for the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme.  It won't have as fast a GPU and doesn't have a regular Ethernet jack (there's a "network extension" which is basically a small connector for Ethernet, from the looks of it), but it should nail the keyboard, trackpad and build quality points in a way MSI might not.  That and Lenovo's after-sale support is likely to be considerably better if something does go wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/2/2019 at 10:44 AM, GeneXiS_X said:

Consumer grade - lower QC

Thin and light - weaker cooling

The Turbo-Boost feature in Dragon Center is unnecessary.  Consumer grade is a laughable comment and the weaker cooling comment is not applicable.  MSI strengthened their chassis by increasing the thickness of the aluminum body among other upgrades.  Also, my consumer grade setup holds the current world record for benchmarks in CPU, and outperforms 95% of other RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU's.  For the cooling, the GS75 is phenomenal.  I've made numerous adjustments to tweak performance none of which caused heat build-up or thermal throttling.  The Dragon Center fan adjustments make it easy to manage how often and loud the fans get.  Whatever you decide, run away from the new MacBook.  They've had thermal throttling issues, port adjustments (for the worse), and offers high end CPU's that under-perform their lower clock-speed counterparts.  Speaking in generalities previously posted by streamers instead of personal experience adds nothing to the solution.  It's just more clutter to skim through.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Buy VPN

×