New Laptop with or without GPU?
I hope you guys can help me with a decicion.
An abroad year starting in September needs a dicision in order to be able to keep on gaming over there.
Firstly, i am currently playing on a rig with an i7-4770k, 16gb RAM and a RTX2060 (got the GPU in march - last thing i would this setup upgrade with before buying new).
Now the problem. I don't trust any courier services so shipping my rig won't be an option, except maybe dissassemble everything and carry it in my luggage if all other options are too expensive.
I am now willed to buy a "gaming" laptop and with that i want to get rid of my old rig and invest into the future. But what would you suggest would be worth it more?
Buying a notebook with TB3 + eGPU and use my 2060 or just a powerfull notebook with integrated GPU and try to sell that 2060.
For what I have seen in the past 3 hrs googling this an empty eGPU would cost me around 200-400 bucks (are there any cheaper ones, i could use the 500W power supply from my PC with?) and a gaming laptop with a good GPU just a bit more. I am curious... Obviously i want to spend as little as possible.
Thanks in advance
At the moment when looking for a gaming laptop, one have only one choice, ergo Nvidia GTX/RTX dGPU's.
But there is a something to care about when choosing, Nvidia laptop gpu's come into two flavors: a normal gpu or the MAX-Q variant of the same gpu.
So if one is willing to get an ultrabook with a powerful gpu into, one need to remember that MAX-Q gpu's are far less powerful than a normal one.
On the other hand MAX-Q gpu's exhibit better thermal output, meaning that the overall laptop thermals will also be better.
One can check this article from Techspot aka Hardware Unboxed utuber to get a better picture: https://www.techspot.com/review/1792-geforce-rtx-2070-max-q-laptop/
TL:DR: Choose carefully your discrete gpu if looking for a long lasting gaming laptop.
Now, personally i would get the best of the two worlds, i mean getting laptop with a cheap but decent capable gpu, like a GTX1660Ti and also keeping a beefy eGPU if one wish more.
@wimpzilla Wow thanks for that detailled answer! That issue with MX-Q variants is nice to know. Unfortunatley most of the affordable gaming laptops dont have TB3 so that best of both worlds is not possible at least for me. There are actually some good ones with a 1070 which is on the same level with the 2060.
@itsage After searching a bit more in the gaming laptop sector i guess you are right. Maybe i can sell a few things from my rig.
A wild card option...
Buy a second hand cheap Macbook Pro and use it with an eGPU + 2060 for the year you are away. They don't lose their value as much as PC's so you could re sell at not much of a loss.
Understood, to be honest i didn't thought about the TB3 laptops availability along mid's end gpu's.
As usual just take care about the cooling system shipped with the laptop, to be at least decent for the standards.
A full 1070 is still quite a powerful beast to cool down, in addition to the cpu.
My favorite gaming laptop with eGPU-option is the Alienware 13 R3. Used units can be found for a good deal. You would have the choice between Thunderbolt or Alienware Graphics Amplifier. Quad-core 45W CPU + GTX 1060 is not bad. Downside is bulkiness and larger footprint compared to other 13" laptops. It does make for very effective cooling though.
Thanks for this idea, but with which generation do MacBook Pro's come with TB3? And the investment would be higher overall than I am able to bear i think. The ones with good CPU and acceptable SSD size are still quite expensive.
Alienware 13 looks quite nice, but it is definetly not cheap especially with TB3, despite the Alienware eGPU option is actually quite cheap. But i think their notebooks offer not that much of power for that amount of money tbh. I wont mind the bulkiness but i think Alienware is the Apple under the PCs.
@knusper Price depends on your local market. Here in the US, a nice used AW13R3 is not more than a new Thunderbolt 3 ultrabook. What I like about it is i7-H 45W CPU. Also it has direct CPU connection to both Thunderbolt 3 and AGA connector. I'm not aware of any other PC laptops with this arrangement. They all route the Thunderbolt 3 connection through the PCH which shares bandwidth with other components.
I agree with @itsage, Alienware laptops are quite unique, since it offer an eGPU solution that is the closest to a normal desktop computer.
The overall gaming experience with the AGA is more pleasant and smooth than other TB3 devices, mainly due to better latency and frametime while playing.
Also Alienware owned by Dell have nothing to do with apple, especially when speaking about corporate/pro/gaming laptops, it's day and nigh performance and cooling wise.
The customer support is also quite different, in any shapes or forms Dell treat you like apple when it come to issues and support.
Not saying that Dell never screwed up, it did and will, but Alienware is absolutely not the apple of pc's, lol.
Anyway to help your search, here updated TB3 notebook list, check it out: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/10579-laptops-thunderbolt-3/
Only AW has this? I legit thought every TB3 slot is connected like this. Sharing the bandwitch is bs if you want to get full potential out of en eGPU
Thank you for that list! Yeah I guess i was a bit premature with that AW Apple comparison. You guys make me want an AW lol.
@knusper Alienware laptops I've tested since 2016 models have a x4 PCIe connection over Thunderbolt 3 attach directly to the CPU. Thunderbolt 3 15" MacBook Pro is another model with this same configuration. The Alienware 13R3 has matte screen, two M.2 PCIe slots, two user replaceable RAM slots, user replaceable battery, and a very beefy cooling system. I like it better than my 2016 15" MacBook Pro. Some may complain about battery life but what I found is it's Windows to blame. When I use Linux (Pop!_OS) I can get 10 hours on a charge doing casual stuff. I should put together a build guide for it but the specs are same as AW15R3 in this build.