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Question regarding size of medium gaming/DTR for (maybe) the near future


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This is more of a general recommendation, i don't need a laptop in the next couple of months.

 

My current machine is a 17,3" Clevo, that is sitting 99% of the time closed on my docking stand connected to 32" 4k display. The GTX1060 is still fine for 4k gaming - with rather older games - and i only use it open when on business trips for FHD gaming.

 

As long as it is enough for my current games and still "just works" i won't need a new one. But if...what would you recommend in regards to size? The use case won't change. Just take again a 17"+ to cover all bases, since there is no "too big" when used mobile that rare? I am pretty sure, that 15,6" will include enough performancewise, but i don't have any experience if gaming is any fun with this display size.

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While I personally would never use one, there are more 17- and 18-inch laptop choices available now than at any point in at least the last half decade. From a price/value perspective, the HP Omen 17 is probably the sweet spot. A version with 12th-gen i7 HX CPU and RTX 3070 Ti is available at MicroCenter for $1,200, though there has been points where's been cheaper than even that. If you're OK with spending a bit more, the current-gen Omen 17 with RTX 4080 has been seen for as low as I want to say $2,000 with coupons.

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For between 4 and 4.5 years, a 15.4" (16:10) laptop was my only computer and gaming machine, no external monitor.  1280x800, although later on I upgraded its screen to 1680x1050, which has comparable DPI to a 17" 1080p laptop.

 

I never had any issues gaming on it.  As a laptop, I was sitting closer to its screen than I am to my desktop's monitor that's a bit farther back on my desk.  Disclaimer, I was in college and just after college then, so young... although with corrective eyewear, so not perfect vision.

 

Several years later, at 30, I used a medley of that same 15.4" laptop (with the upgraded 1680x1050 screen), a 17" 1920x1200 laptop, and a 15.6" 1080p laptop as my primary systems for 9 months while traveling for business, playing games on them some evenings.  There was not an appreciable difference between the screen sizes in practice, sitting at a desk not very far for them.  The 1200p laptop had a slight advantage for coding, but while in game that wasn't noticeable.

 

In the college phase, I played strategy but also quite a bit of Call of Duty, Halo, and Trackmania.  When I was 30, it was more focused on strategy although also a fast-paced co-op FPS shooter.  Plenty of fun in all cases.

 

What I don't have experience with is 4K gaming at native res on a laptop.  But for your use case, 99% docked, I see no reason to spend any extra on a built-in greater-than-HD monitor.  Avoid any potential scaling issues for that 1% of the time you are playing it on the native screen and stick with FHD.

 

But, yes, I would recommend sticking with a DTR-class (17"+) for your use case as well.  A smaller laptop would have advantages if you want to use it on an airplane, or if you have a long walk from the train station to the hotel and want to reduce weight.  But if you're traveling by car as I was, I see no real advantage to the 15.6" class.  I only have gone with that size recently because it's sometimes a better deal, and the laptops with the specific features I wanted happened to be in that size without a direct 17" equivalent.  (Well, and I also use it undocked more like 15% of the time, and it's slightly less gigantic on a coffee shop table, but that isn't a concern in your use case)

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I prefer 17.3, i can use 15.6 for office but that is about it. 3D, Gaming, movies i need a 17.3. Or 18"  note that current 18" are not like the monster 18" of the past they like 17.3" large but with 16:10 screen, so they have only a bit more depth for more screen height.

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On 6/8/2023 at 4:35 PM, Linux said:

Sounds like, if you don't really need mobility, go always big for more screen size, better cooling and more connectivity options?

 

Yours looks like a textbook DTR use case so that's a definite yes. If you buy next year we may have an even bigger selection of 18" laptops but even now you may want to check them out first.

 

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On 6/8/2023 at 10:35 AM, Linux said:

Sounds like, if you don't really need mobility, go always big for more screen size, better cooling and more connectivity options?

Yes.  The only downside in your scenario is sometimes 17" is slightly more expensive, because it physically needs more materials - plastic/metal for the chassis, and a larger screen.  But it's usually not a large difference, unless they also bump up the minimum specs on the 17", e.g. the 17" starts with a 3080 and the 15.6" starts with a 3060, and you don't have any reason to go beyond a 3060.

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Desktop: Core i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" | RX 480 | 32 GB DDR3 | 1 TB 850 Evo + 512 GB NVME + HDDs | Seasonic 650W | Noctua Fans | 8.1 Pro

Laptop: MSI Alpha 15 | Ryzen 5800H | Radeon 6600M | 64 GB DDR4 | 4 TB TLC SSD | 10 Home

Laptop history: MSI GL63 (2018) | HP EliteBook 8740w (acq. 2014) | Dell Inspiron 1520 (2007)

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