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Will Maxed Out MacBook Pro Play Big Title Games or what should I get

gengyuntx
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Short Version:

 

``Based on my description, I have found that perhaps MacBook Pro 15 with graphics maxed out would be an appealing option due to the work efficiency boost but it might not differ too much from my current away-from-home set up (mid 2012 MBP Retina) except for upgraded CPU and RAM (maybe graphics? But is Vega 20 any good? Benchmark sits well below a about-to-be 5-year-old GTX 980M). So my question is 1: if I dual boot windows on this new Mac(with VEGA 20 and i9/32 G), six years later than my old Mac, will it run big titles? The GTX 650M in my machine is a disaster (horrific for any game almost).''

 

 

Full Version with Background Story:

I’m looking to get a new laptop this thanksgiving. My current MacBook Pro is 6 years old— although it still is in good shape and works perfectly I’m just thinking about a new machine.

 

I have a kick-ass gaming set up at home (GTX 1080ti (custom liquid cooled); Alienware 34 inch 120 hz GSYNC).

 

The reason that I’m looking for a mobile set up is that I sometimes game/work away from home as well (2-3 months per year). Based on my preference it is safe to assume that I will be playing some big titles that will be graphically demanding. (Witcher 3, GTA V, Tomb Raider (s), Hitman etc). Some less intensive game are also casually played (League, PUBG, Dota 2, Civ 5 etc). --So far I'm able to do none of these due to hardware limitations-- primary reason of thinking about upgrade. GT650M to blame?

 

Other tasks done on this mobile set up will include coding (matlab, Unix shell, python casually and maybe CUDA neglect-ably rarely— so AMD is fine). Some other tasks involving LaTex editing and so on. I find that I work more efficiently on Mac platforms due to ‘multiple screen’ work space (win10 has a counterpart for it but I find it works far less effectively). For this reason I find 32 GB of RAM a must. (Big system problems, full simulations and inverse problems, monte-carols etc). I do have cluster access but I like to test my code for initial results on my personal local machine.

 

Based on my description, I have found that perhaps MacBook Pro 15 with graphics maxed out would be an appealing option due to the work efficiency boost but it might not differ too much from my current away-from-home set up except for upgraded CPU and RAM (maybe graphics? But is Vega 20 any good? Benchmark sits below a about-to-be 5-year-old GTX 980M). So my question is 1: if I dual boot windows on this new Mac(with VEGA 20 and i9/32 G), six years later than my old Mac, will it run big titles? The GTX 650M in my machine is a disaster (horrific for any game almost).

 

If not what should I get instead? I hope that my set up to be light enough to be comfortably carried on a routine basis (not that I always do but this is a BIG plus) but powerful enough to run big titles. Perhaps Razer? They will not offer i9 tho (anyone has 2 cents on whether necessary). I briefly considered Alienware R5 for some time but decided it was too much weight to carry with such a small trackpad (I foresee the clumsiness on it after I was so used to MacBooks). Perhaps Dell XPS 15?

 

The last part is about money. just a comment: It make you feel funny when you know to be able to get an Alienware with 1080 OC i9 32GB ram when you are getting a whole lot less with some other options. 

 

Feel free to leave relevant/irrelevant comments. Thanks.

 

Edit after some research:

I have realized that around 1000 dollars the gaming experience on a laptop is no longer total ****-- we have came a long way. I will be looking at laptops around $1200 mark due to the simple fact that I will only use this laptop for the mere 2-3 months combined a year when I'm away from home. I briefly considered going over this budget but the diminishing in returns for throwing money in here makes it not really worth since I primarily won't be gaming on this thing.

Edited by gengyuntx
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so far i have met exactly one person trying to play on a mac book pro and he was constantly fighting with low frame rates cause apple put design over functionality and it was simply not able to cool the components enough to prevent throttling.

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Now you have met two. And yes over heating and frame rates drops and all the bad gaming experience. You name it. So are u suggesting even with the introduction of Vega 20 that has not changed? (I suspected not but still asked away in case theres people who could comment).

 

Thanks

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Keep your current macbook for OSX stuff.

 

Buy a decent mid-range gaming laptop for $1200 or so.

 

Save money.  Have a better windows gaming experience on the go.

Main Rig:

Case: Lian Li Lancool Mesh RGB

CPU: Ryzen 5 3600 

Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid 240

MB: MSI B550 Gaming Pro Carbon 

Ram: Gskill DDR4 3600 x 32GB 

GPU: Asus Arez Strix Vega 64 OC

PS: Seasonic FOCUS Gold Plus Series SSR-750FX

SSD1: Crucial P1 1TB NVME

SSD2: Adata SU800 512gb M.2 Sata

HDD: Hitatchi 2tb 7200RPM + 3x 2TB WD Passport USB 3.0

Monitors: AOC C24G1

Keyboard: Cheap Blue Knockoff Mechanical

Mouse: Uhuru Gaming Mouse
OS: Pop! 21.04



Current Vintage Equipment:  Please ask me about it, I love to talk old tech!
IBM Thinkpad 390, IBM Aptiva A12, IBM PS/2 Model 25-004.  Compaq Contura 4/25C, Presario 7596
Asus P5A-B Socket 7 Box, Tandy 1000RLX-HD "B" & 1200-2FD, VIC20, Zenith ZFL-181-93, Packard Bell 300SX.

Apple II/gs, Mac Plus x2, Mac SE x2, Performa 450

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29 minutes ago, zombienerd said:

Keep your current macbook for OSX stuff.

 

Buy a decent mid-range gaming laptop for $1200 or so.

 

Save money.  Have a better windows gaming experience on the go.

That might actually be a good idea... mid-range will be enough? saving money is important as you said but I just hate if I had to ditch a 2-3 years old device down the road thats only about half good at everything ~= not good at anything... do you see what I'm saying?

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Your biggest concern would be the GPU.  I'd say that a 1070 in a laptop should hold its own for another 4-5 years, but everyone else might not agree with that opinion.

 

Something like this machine would be my pick.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154945

Main Rig:

Case: Lian Li Lancool Mesh RGB

CPU: Ryzen 5 3600 

Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid 240

MB: MSI B550 Gaming Pro Carbon 

Ram: Gskill DDR4 3600 x 32GB 

GPU: Asus Arez Strix Vega 64 OC

PS: Seasonic FOCUS Gold Plus Series SSR-750FX

SSD1: Crucial P1 1TB NVME

SSD2: Adata SU800 512gb M.2 Sata

HDD: Hitatchi 2tb 7200RPM + 3x 2TB WD Passport USB 3.0

Monitors: AOC C24G1

Keyboard: Cheap Blue Knockoff Mechanical

Mouse: Uhuru Gaming Mouse
OS: Pop! 21.04



Current Vintage Equipment:  Please ask me about it, I love to talk old tech!
IBM Thinkpad 390, IBM Aptiva A12, IBM PS/2 Model 25-004.  Compaq Contura 4/25C, Presario 7596
Asus P5A-B Socket 7 Box, Tandy 1000RLX-HD "B" & 1200-2FD, VIC20, Zenith ZFL-181-93, Packard Bell 300SX.

Apple II/gs, Mac Plus x2, Mac SE x2, Performa 450

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4 minutes ago, zombienerd said:

Your biggest concern would be the GPU.  I'd say that a 1070 in a laptop should hold its own for another 4-5 years, but everyone else might not agree with that opinion.

 

Something like this machine would be my pick.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154945

Good idea! Both the price and specs are pretty much on par with what I need-- keeping everything the same is there some lighter devices?

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There are 15" models that are slightly lighter, but where Apple packs "high end" components in a small package (with insufficient thermal ability), MSI and other PC gaming laptops usually pack adequate cooling, which adds significant weight.

 

15" of that same lineup is more expensive, but is slightly less heavy.  https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154900

 

You can get it "open box" and save some more.  https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154900R

Main Rig:

Case: Lian Li Lancool Mesh RGB

CPU: Ryzen 5 3600 

Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid 240

MB: MSI B550 Gaming Pro Carbon 

Ram: Gskill DDR4 3600 x 32GB 

GPU: Asus Arez Strix Vega 64 OC

PS: Seasonic FOCUS Gold Plus Series SSR-750FX

SSD1: Crucial P1 1TB NVME

SSD2: Adata SU800 512gb M.2 Sata

HDD: Hitatchi 2tb 7200RPM + 3x 2TB WD Passport USB 3.0

Monitors: AOC C24G1

Keyboard: Cheap Blue Knockoff Mechanical

Mouse: Uhuru Gaming Mouse
OS: Pop! 21.04



Current Vintage Equipment:  Please ask me about it, I love to talk old tech!
IBM Thinkpad 390, IBM Aptiva A12, IBM PS/2 Model 25-004.  Compaq Contura 4/25C, Presario 7596
Asus P5A-B Socket 7 Box, Tandy 1000RLX-HD "B" & 1200-2FD, VIC20, Zenith ZFL-181-93, Packard Bell 300SX.

Apple II/gs, Mac Plus x2, Mac SE x2, Performa 450

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1 minute ago, zombienerd said:

There are 15" models that are slightly lighter, but where Apple packs "high end" components in a small package (with insufficient thermal ability), MSI and other PC gaming laptops usually pack adequate cooling, which adds significant weight.

 

15" of that same lineup is more expensive, but is slightly less heavy.  https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154900

 

You can get it "open box" and save some more.  https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154900R

I like the idea of the 17 inch one with the rebate.... its virtually the price of a phone for a full 17 inch gaming laptop. I'm now much more serious about it and researching now. Are MSI Laptops well built? Will 1080p be funky on a 17 inch screen? Thanks dude!

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1 minute ago, gengyuntx said:

I like the idea of the 17 inch one with the rebate.... its virtually the price of a phone for a full 17 inch gaming laptop. I'm now much more serious about it and researching now. Are MSI Laptops well built? Will 1080p be funky on a 17 inch screen? Thanks dude!

MSI is hit or miss with build quality, depending on the lineup.  I wouldn't really expect all aluminum chassis, there may be some flex, do your diligence and look up some reviews of that line on Youtube.  

Personally, specs for the price have always mattered more to me vs build quality.  For example, I ended up replacing the bezel and keyboard on my last laptop (an Asus mid-range productivity/gaming machine) twice over its lifespan (3-4 years) due to hard wear and tear.  That cost me about $60 total for both.

Gaming at 1080p on a 17" screen isn't bad, imo.  

Main Rig:

Case: Lian Li Lancool Mesh RGB

CPU: Ryzen 5 3600 

Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid 240

MB: MSI B550 Gaming Pro Carbon 

Ram: Gskill DDR4 3600 x 32GB 

GPU: Asus Arez Strix Vega 64 OC

PS: Seasonic FOCUS Gold Plus Series SSR-750FX

SSD1: Crucial P1 1TB NVME

SSD2: Adata SU800 512gb M.2 Sata

HDD: Hitatchi 2tb 7200RPM + 3x 2TB WD Passport USB 3.0

Monitors: AOC C24G1

Keyboard: Cheap Blue Knockoff Mechanical

Mouse: Uhuru Gaming Mouse
OS: Pop! 21.04



Current Vintage Equipment:  Please ask me about it, I love to talk old tech!
IBM Thinkpad 390, IBM Aptiva A12, IBM PS/2 Model 25-004.  Compaq Contura 4/25C, Presario 7596
Asus P5A-B Socket 7 Box, Tandy 1000RLX-HD "B" & 1200-2FD, VIC20, Zenith ZFL-181-93, Packard Bell 300SX.

Apple II/gs, Mac Plus x2, Mac SE x2, Performa 450

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5 hours ago, zombienerd said:

MSI is hit or miss with build quality, depending on the lineup.  I wouldn't really expect all aluminum chassis, there may be some flex, do your diligence and look up some reviews of that line on Youtube.  

Personally, specs for the price have always mattered more to me vs build quality.  For example, I ended up replacing the bezel and keyboard on my last laptop (an Asus mid-range productivity/gaming machine) twice over its lifespan (3-4 years) due to hard wear and tear.  That cost me about $60 total for both.

Gaming at 1080p on a 17" screen isn't bad, imo.  

I see. That is a good point. Will look into this new class of laptops that I basically was going completely no regards before. I’m seeing good lineups from Lenovo and Asus that are on the more budget friendly and not total crap side. Thanks for the input! Will keep you posted. The one you suggested is so far on the top of my shortlist. 

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17 hours ago, zombienerd said:

Something like this machine would be my pick.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154945

OKish cooling, potential quality issues, CPU a bit dated

17 hours ago, gengyuntx said:

Are MSI Laptops well built?

In general, all of them have potential hinge issue. Exterior build quality is decent in all of their 8th gen models except for GV, GF and maybe GL series

19 hours ago, gengyuntx said:

snip

1. Do you really need macOS? Macbooks are only good in OS, touchpad and display quality, the rest are crap

2. i9 8950HK will NOT give you more performance (especially multi core), you need a bulkier laptop with better cooling solution in order to utilize the full performance of it (even so, they still cannot handle the full OCed clock speed)

3. Why buy a Macbook for games

 

Where are you from? Max budget? Preferred max weight and min battery life? Any special requirements?

My Desktop specs:

Spoiler

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Nvidia RTX3060Ti 8GB PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB 16GB (8X2) 3200MHz CL16 Team Group MP33 Pro 1TB
ID-Cooling SE-224-XT White Gigabyte B550M DS3H mATX Tecware Forge M2 mATX White Case Montech Century 650W Gold

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all I have to say on the Vega MacBook is that the leaks are saying that it may be as powerful as a 1050 ti so don't expect it to be a hard core gaming rig by any stretch of the imagination. Mac has never had any luck with GPUs in laptops and the new post 2016 MacBooks are a mess for thermals already without adding a "good" GPU to it look for something with a 1050ti or a 1060 in it and your going to have a much better gaming experience and save a boat load of money since we know the new MacBook is going to be expensive as hell.

one of those things I wish Mac had better pricing and hardware so I could recommend them since the OS is fantastic.

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11 hours ago, GeneXiS_X said:

OKish cooling, potential quality issues, CPU a bit dated

In general, all of them have potential hinge issue. Exterior build quality is decent in all of their 8th gen models except for GV, GF and maybe GL series

1. Do you really need macOS? Macbooks are only good in OS, touchpad and display quality, the rest are crap

2. i9 8950HK will NOT give you more performance (especially multi core), you need a bulkier laptop with better cooling solution in order to utilize the full performance of it (even so, they still cannot handle the full OCed clock speed)

3. Why buy a Macbook for games

 

Where are you from? Max budget? Preferred max weight and min battery life? Any special requirements?

Thanks! From the US; didn't initially have a budget now I'm realizing that gaming on an 1000 bucks machine is not total crap (and maybe good in some cases) so that will be my primary starting point now. I'm seeing some diminishing in returns after 1200 so I think around there should be the sweet spot for gaming imo. 

 

I'm looking at two choices with 50 dollars difference:

 

1. MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 15.6" 

Pros: (i) very portable and with some gaming capabilities

         (ii) looks more professional and simple

Cons: (i)  GTX 1060 (will this run witcher 3 with reasonable settings? what are the outlook 3 years down the road)

          (ii)  Screen @ only 60 hz

          (iii) 15 inch instead of 17 inch

 

2. MSI GE72MVR APACHE PRO-080 17.3"

 

Pros: (i)  GTX 1070 (How much improvements?)

          (ii)  Screen @ only 120 hz (Kind of important, I'm using 120 hz display on my desktop now)

          (iii) 17 inch

Cons: (i) Not so portable 

         (ii) Looks clumsy and too 'gamey' (I'm hinting at build quality. Anyone who could comment)?

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10 hours ago, jonrosalia said:

all I have to say on the Vega MacBook is that the leaks are saying that it may be as powerful as a 1050 ti so don't expect it to be a hard core gaming rig by any stretch of the imagination. Mac has never had any luck with GPUs in laptops and the new post 2016 MacBooks are a mess for thermals already without adding a "good" GPU to it look for something with a 1050ti or a 1060 in it and your going to have a much better gaming experience and save a boat load of money since we know the new MacBook is going to be expensive as hell.

one of those things I wish Mac had better pricing and hardware so I could recommend them since the OS is fantastic.

True. I think I will opt to save some money. My question to you is that whether the performance different between 1060 and 1070 would be significant? I'm leaning towards the second option now since I don't expect too much of this thing in my backpack and definitely not a lot of coffee shop visits with this (so to eliminate the aesthetics reasons). 

 

I'm looking at two choices with 50 dollars difference:

 

1. MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 15.6" 

Pros: (i) very portable and with some gaming capabilities

         (ii) looks more professional and simple

Cons: (i)  GTX 1060 (will this run witcher 3 with reasonable settings? what are the outlook 3 years down the road)

          (ii)  Screen @ only 60 hz

          (iii) 15 inch instead of 17 inch

 

2. MSI GE72MVR APACHE PRO-080 17.3"

 

Pros: (i)  GTX 1070 (How much improvements?)

          (ii)  Screen @ only 120 hz (Kind of important, I'm using 120 hz display on my desktop now)

          (iii) 17 inch

Cons: (i) Not so portable 

         (ii) Looks clumsy and too 'gamey' (I'm hinting at build quality. Anyone who could comment)?

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On 11/16/2018 at 2:13 PM, zombienerd said:

MSI is hit or miss with build quality, depending on the lineup.  I wouldn't really expect all aluminum chassis, there may be some flex, do your diligence and look up some reviews of that line on Youtube.  

Personally, specs for the price have always mattered more to me vs build quality.  For example, I ended up replacing the bezel and keyboard on my last laptop (an Asus mid-range productivity/gaming machine) twice over its lifespan (3-4 years) due to hard wear and tear.  That cost me about $60 total for both.

Gaming at 1080p on a 17" screen isn't bad, imo.  

I'm looking at two choices with 50 dollars difference:

 

1. MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 15.6" 

Pros: (i) very portable and with some gaming capabilities

         (ii) looks more professional and simple

Cons: (i)  GTX 1060 (will this run witcher 3 with reasonable settings? what are the outlook 3 years down the road)

          (ii)  Screen @ only 60 hz

          (iii) 15 inch instead of 17 inch

 

2. MSI GE72MVR APACHE PRO-080 17.3"

 

Pros: (i)  GTX 1070 (How much improvements?)

          (ii)  Screen @ only 120 hz (Kind of important, I'm using 120 hz display on my desktop now)

          (iii) 17 inch

Cons: (i) Not so portable 

         (ii) Looks clumsy and too 'gamey' (I'm hinting at build quality. Anyone who could comment)?

 

My question to you is that whether the performance different between 1060 and 1070 would be significant? I'm leaning towards the second option now since I don't expect too much of this thing in my backpack and definitely not a lot of coffee shop visits with this (so to eliminate the aesthetics reasons). 

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5 hours ago, gengyuntx said:

1. MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 15.6" 

2. MSI GE72MVR APACHE PRO-080 17.3"

Both have major flaws

 

Preferred max weight and min battery life? Usage? Any special requirements?

My Desktop specs:

Spoiler

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Nvidia RTX3060Ti 8GB PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB 16GB (8X2) 3200MHz CL16 Team Group MP33 Pro 1TB
ID-Cooling SE-224-XT White Gigabyte B550M DS3H mATX Tecware Forge M2 mATX White Case Montech Century 650W Gold

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9 hours ago, GeneXiS_X said:

Both have major flaws

 

Preferred max weight and min battery life? Usage? Any special requirements?

"major flaws" care to illustrate?

No max weight limit. No battery life needs. Please see my Original Post long version for an overview of the usage. But in short, away-from-home gaming on big titles.

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1 hour ago, gengyuntx said:

"major flaws" care to illustrate?

Build quality and cooling

 

Will get back to you later, I wanna sleep

My Desktop specs:

Spoiler

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Nvidia RTX3060Ti 8GB PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB 16GB (8X2) 3200MHz CL16 Team Group MP33 Pro 1TB
ID-Cooling SE-224-XT White Gigabyte B550M DS3H mATX Tecware Forge M2 mATX White Case Montech Century 650W Gold

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11 minutes ago, GeneXiS_X said:

Build quality and cooling

 

Will get back to you later, I wanna sleep

Please do. Thanks for your reply. I respectfully ask for your opinion IF and ONLY IF you have used / have had a first hand experience with these laptops (or some comparable once if you could be kind enough to list them). I'm very well aware of the popular opinion on laptop build qualities of MSI and have researched about thermals of them (the thinner one might have some mild issue under long use), but I have NOT seen verifiable proof that the thermals are bad on these. I might change my view once I actually have my hand on these machines.

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19 hours ago, gengyuntx said:

I respectfully ask for your opinion IF and ONLY IF you have used / have had a first hand experience with these laptops (or some comparable once if you could be kind enough to list them)

Unfortunately, nope. I wish I could try out all the laptops, but sadly no. I'm a student, not a laptop shop owner.

19 hours ago, gengyuntx said:

but I have NOT seen verifiable proof that the thermals are bad on these

They have models with bad and OK thermals

20 hours ago, gengyuntx said:

Please do

All with 1060 GPU:

CyberpowerPC TRACER III 15 XTREME VR (TongFang GK5CN67)

CyberpowerPC TRACER III 17 XTREME VR / Eluktronics MECH-17 Pro-X (TongFang GK7CN6S)

MSI GP63/GP73 - 120Hz TN, be aware of quality issues

HP Omen 15 dc (customize) - 144Hz IPS

Lenovo Legion Y530 (customize) - 300 nits 72% NTSC 60/144Hz IPS

Dell G5/G7 - low sRGB IPS

 

If you want thin and light:

CyberpowerPC TRACER III 15 SLIM VR / Eluktronics MECH-15 G2 (TongFang GK5CN6Z)

My Desktop specs:

Spoiler

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Nvidia RTX3060Ti 8GB PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB 16GB (8X2) 3200MHz CL16 Team Group MP33 Pro 1TB
ID-Cooling SE-224-XT White Gigabyte B550M DS3H mATX Tecware Forge M2 mATX White Case Montech Century 650W Gold

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