Is this gaming laptop still a good choice?

I’m saving up for a gaming laptop and had decided on this one about 9 months ago. It seemed like a great one when I started looking, but I need to know if it’s still a good one to get:

If not, I’m open to suggestions on great gaming laptops for around $1,600. I’d like it to not be obsolete after 18 months if that’s not too much to ask.

While I don’t know for certain whether it’s still a good value or not, since I haven’t checked all the benchmarks for similarly priced computers, I’d have to say probably not:

It looks to be about a generation behind in all regards now actually. Intel upgraded their architecture to Sandy Bridge around February to March, which is indicated by four digit model numbers. Before that, around december, AMD (the company who bought out the now axed ATI branding) introduced their 6XXX series GPUs as a replacement to the 5XXX series GPUs. Although I’m not certain, you can probably find much faster stock for about the same price range, as 1,600 is a moderately high budget for a laptop computer. By the time you started looking seems to’ve been about the end of that generation’s life-cycle for both companies.

Also, if you don’t want your laptops to be obsoleted too quicky, here’s a bit of a tip: System RAM and Hard Drives are typically fairly easy to replace, while GPUs and CPUs are almost always integrated into the system. Currently anything above 4GB of RAM is probably going to be a waste for all but the most intensive of computer use:

This means you can definitively afford to skimp on RAM for now and then a year down the line, when your warranty is just about up and RAM use grows more intensive then you can upgrade. Currently two sticks of 4GB DDR3 SD-RAM costs about 40-80 dollars for a pair of 4GB sticks after market, self installed, while the companies typically charge more like a $200 in parts and labor for the extra 4GB upgrade. You likely won’t be able to reuse your old sticks but you can probably resell them.

Replacing RAM is only marginally different from replacing a cartridge in an NES slot loader, once you get to it. It’s a little more finicky about being properly inserted and the ejection mechanism can vary a bit but it’s still just eject, pull out, insert, push down. Didn’t take me more than 15 minutes to replace my own and the only tool I needed was a phillips screwdriver and it saved myself $135 bucks over an OEM upgrade. (Your mileage may vary pendent on your computer.)

There are also a few specs you have to double check to ensure proper compatibility, namely like pin count, clockrate and latency but again, none too difficult.

Pretty tricky if you want the latest and greatest. Intel’s currently using a tick/tock cycle where every year they do at least a minor upgrade and every 2 years they do a major one. They just did a tock, so if this is a must, you might want to wait until Ivy Bridge next year, which should be the next tick. Then you’ll have about 24 months before anything greatly noticeable, rather than 18…

Once you have what you want though, the best value is typically to wait for at least four years before upgrading to a model of the same caliber.

Actually computers and electronics are obsolete on the first day they hit the market, because there is something already in the works for the next stage of development at what ever company’s labs.

That’s not what obsolete means.

Retracted: (see below)
Change it for ‘out of date’ then, and it makes sense.

Still valid:
On the original point, I agree with the fact that the laptop shouldn’t be 1600 now. 9 months in the gaming world is an eternity.

Thanks for the great information, it’s really helpful. I’ve never had a** gaming **laptop and I have a couple more questions.

  1. A lot of the laptops I saw after reading the replies in this topic said that they had no trouble with games running at 30 fps. But a lot of the games that I planned on playing on it, are fighting games on GGPO. My question is since fighting games usually run at 60 fps, will my laptop be able to keep up with it?

  2. Regarding the tick tock cycle, roughly how far into the year is the upgrade most of the time? Roughly, when’s the next major upgrade (tick) coming? I was hoping to have a new laptop in time for EVO so I could watch it with no problems, but it looks like that’s not going to happen.

  3. Since it looks like I have to keep saving longer for a more current, high end gaming laptop, I was looking at this one. This one has several options to customize it. Should I still wait for the next tick, or do you think this one will be sufficient for the next couple of years?

I appreciate all of the suggestions and help you’ve given!

Just to let you know, If you only plan to play GGPO games on it, than there isn’t any reason to spend that much. If you don’t want to play FPS at perfect framerate, than you don’t need an extremely powerful machine. Almost any current machine with a dedicated GPU can play GGPO games at 60fps no problem, and if that’s all you need it to do, than a $1600 machine is overkill, and you could save money. Now if money isn’t an issue, than an alienware, sager, or XPS is the way to go. I don’t like ASUS gaming laptops personally, and honestly, don’t like any gaming laptops. PC Gaming is a strenuous thing for a computer, and the heat generated by the processor and GPU needs to have a way to get out, which has always been a problem in the laptop department. If you don’t need the portability, build yourself a desktop, you’ll thank yourself later.

No I actually mean obsolete, not out of date; OBSOLETE.
Start taking actual college level computer classes, and 9 out of 10 the text books would agree with some form of my definition.
Its on the A+ Certification.
New Video cards comes out every 3 to 6 months, Dollar to Gigabyte prices for hard Drives and Solid State drives are dropping constantly. Ram and CPUs have minor improvements yearly with real major improvements every 2 years. USB 3.0 is expected to start having native support on ADM and Intel chip sets by next year. And USB 4.0 is already being researched as well as fiber optic ports to replace PCI-E and CPU sockets are underway.

Actually, after D wrote his piece above, I looked up the exact definition of Obsolete:

Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.

By this definition, I totally agree with what he’s said, and retract my previous statement.