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Durable, High-Performance Notebook heavy on Storage, Memory, Screen Real Estate, Color Gamut


Quark
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I'm new here and found my way to this area; here is a summary and replies to the list of questions for "which laptop should I buy." I am interested to learn what you think.

 

Summary:   I bring work on some travel (maybe it is 10 to 20% travel). Some tasks are compute intensive and can use plenty of physical memory.  A lot of tasks are easier for me with larger screen real-estate (in office I like a second monitor).  I seem to use plenty of storage.  There is low priority on games but sometimes bought gaming notebooks just for performance.  I don't think display speed is highest priority (because games would be rare or none) but I would really like good color gamut for sometimes working with images.  I don't want a hobby in making custom modifications: I want a powerful machine for cranking out work instead of diverting time into the machine itself.

 

I want at least 4 or 5 years of service even when some travel miles have been put on it, so build quality really matters and my preference is toward cooler and bulkier instead of thin / throttled / hot.  I would be extremely unhappy with a notebook that fell apart in 2 years.  Lately I have started to think maybe 64GB max memory is going to be too small during the next 4-5 yrs; not sure but I am getting leery about designs with max 64GB.  


General Questions

1) $6k US or below.

2) What size notebook would you prefer?
e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
 
3) In which country will you buying this notebook?
US

4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
a. Like:  Dell's gave me good durability but still have 64GB max memory.
b. Dislike:  "Workstation notebooks" are much too expensive.  Anything flimsy that will last only a year or two (or three).
 
5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
Not this time around.

6) What are the primary tasks you will be performing with this notebook?
Running VMs, Simulations, Emulators, high-quality image review/edit, moderate to big file copies, plus entire range of general purpose tasks (spreadsheets, document editing, some streaming, etc. etc.)

7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
Both, including occasional use while in transit.

😎 Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
Very rare.

9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
Will sacrifice for performance.  Willing to plug in wherever I can.

10) Would you prefer to see the notebook you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
Probably can't find what I am looking for in most retail stores.

11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
Would ideally like to run multiple OS on one notebook but Windows is a non-negotiable must-have.  
12) What ports do you require on your laptop? (ex. MiniDisplayPort or HDMI? Displayport or USB-C w/ DP?)
Plenty of connectivity is a good idea since I want 4+ years of longevity (and I can't predict exactly what I will need in 4 years).

Screen Specifics

13) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? See further below for explanations.
4K

14) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? See further below for explanations.
I dislike glare for this reason matte better I think

Build Quality and Design

15) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
Performance is higher priority.  Stylish is only a bonus but not a necessity.

Notebook Components

16) How much storage space do you need?
6 to 8TB for today.  Maybe grow it later.

Timing, Warranty and Longevity

17) When do you consider purchasing this laptop?
Now

18) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
Want to get 5+ years lifespan.  4 is almost too low.

19) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
About 1 week

20) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
Difficult decision.  I could ship but one week downtime is about the most tolerable. Maybe 7 business days??
 
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Your "workstations are too expensive" statement doesn't jibe with your budget. A workstation would actually be pretty ideal for your use case, and I would suggest the ThinkPad P16.

 

ThinkPad P16 (16″ Intel) | New-look, pro-level mobile workstation | Lenovo US

 

A 16-inch screen, especially one with a 16:10 aspect ratio as this has, offers plenty of visible real estate while still coming in a reasonably portable package. Most models come with 64 GB of RAM from the factory, the CPU is crazy fast, the Quadro A4500 GPU is akin to a mobile RTX 3070 Ti (but with more VRAM), and there's even an OLED display option. You can also equip the laptop with up to five years of on-site next business day warranty coverage.

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Desktop: Ryzen 9 5950X | 32 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 4070 | 2 TB SSD | Windows 10

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Core i9-13900HX | 32 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 4080 | 2 TB SSD | Windows 11

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gaming: Ryzen 7 6800H | 16 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 3050 | 512 GB SSD | Windows 11

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro: Ryzen 5 5600U | 16 GB RAM | Radeon Graphics | 512 GB SSD | Windows 11
Apple iPad Gen 9: A13 Bionic | 3 GB RAM | 64 GB | iPadOS

 

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19 hours ago, saturnotaku said:

Your "workstations are too expensive" statement doesn't jibe with your budget. A workstation would actually be pretty ideal for your use case, and I would suggest the ThinkPad P16.

 

ThinkPad P16 (16″ Intel) | New-look, pro-level mobile workstation | Lenovo US

 

A 16-inch screen, especially one with a 16:10 aspect ratio as this has, offers plenty of visible real estate while still coming in a reasonably portable package. Most models come with 64 GB of RAM from the factory, the CPU is crazy fast, the Quadro A4500 GPU is akin to a mobile RTX 3070 Ti (but with more VRAM), and there's even an OLED display option. You can also equip the laptop with up to five years of on-site next business day warranty coverage.

 

I had been looking at DELL precision 7000 series as "workstation" laptops and happened to be on 50% clearance.  I went through configuration tool and specified options for memory and storage that I thought would be similar to the way I'd equip a CLEVO X170 or MSI GT77, and the Precision came out as $15000.  (I think graphics memory on the config I tried was 6 GB vs 16GB on the 3080 or 8 GB on the 3070.)  Even at 50% clearance discount it was still $7500 USD.  I said "ouch", too far above budget even with 50% discount in effect.  I'll look at the ThinkPad before deciding what to do ... thank you!

 

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https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpadp/thinkpad-p16-(16-inch-intel)/len101t0041?orgRef=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&visibleDatas=696%3AIntel%C2%AE%20Core%E2%84%A2%20i9%3B699%3AWindows%2011%20Pro%2064%3B710%3ANVIDIA%20RTX%E2%84%A2%3B704%3A128%20GB%3B701%3AWQUXGA%20(3840%20x%202400)

 

128gb of ram and a rtx gpu with 4k display comes out to under 6k

 

15000? are you trying to get something that doesn't exist Ive never heard of anyone needing a 6000 dollar laptop...unless your competing with microsoft and programming a OS I really don't get it. I guess I'm ignorant when it comes to seeing why people want more than 32gb ram or 1000000TB of storage.

 

but yeah what saturn suggested is probably your best bet. I would say good luck finding something better(being subjective)

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12 hours ago, Quark said:

 

I had been looking at DELL precision 7000 series as "workstation" laptops and happened to be on 50% clearance.  I went through configuration tool and specified options for memory and storage that I thought would be similar to the way I'd equip a CLEVO X170 or MSI GT77, and the Precision came out as $15000.  (I think graphics memory on the config I tried was 6 GB vs 16GB on the 3080 or 8 GB on the 3070.)  Even at 50% clearance discount it was still $7500 USD.  I said "ouch", too far above budget even with 50% discount in effect.  I'll look at the ThinkPad before deciding what to do ... thank you!

 

if youre comfortable with it, choose the base config and get everything else via aftermarket upgrades, i.e. installing it yourself. anything related to RAM and storage is a breeze, same with wifi. gpu i would get with the machine, cpu depends on if socketed or not.

Mine: Hyperion "Titan God of Heat, Heavenly Light, Power" (2022)
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X / Asus ROG Crosshair X670E Extreme / MSI Geforce RTX 4090 Suprim X / G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6600 2x16 GB / Seagate Firecuda 530 4 TB / 2x Samsung 860 Evo 4 TB / Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 / Seasonic TX-1600 W Titanium / Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 TG / Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 32" UHD 240 Hz / Ducky One 3 Daybreak Fullsize Cherry MX Brown / Corsair M65 Ultra RGB

 

My Lady's: Clevo NH55JNNQ "Alfred" (2022)
Sharp LQ156M1JW03 FHD matte 15.6" IGZO 8 bit @248 Hz / Intel 12600 @ 4.4 - 4.8 Ghz / Nvidia 3070 Ti 8 GB GDDR6 / G.Skill 16 GB DDR4-3800 / Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB / Intel AX201 ax+BT / Win 11 Pro Phoenix Lite OS / 230 W PSU powered by Prema Mod!

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13 hours ago, Quark said:

 

I had been looking at DELL precision 7000 series as "workstation" laptops and happened to be on 50% clearance.  I went through configuration tool and specified options for memory and storage that I thought would be similar to the way I'd equip a CLEVO X170 or MSI GT77, and the Precision came out as $15000.  (I think graphics memory on the config I tried was 6 GB vs 16GB on the 3080 or 8 GB on the 3070.)  Even at 50% clearance discount it was still $7500 USD.  I said "ouch", too far above budget even with 50% discount in effect.  I'll look at the ThinkPad before deciding what to do ... thank you!

 

 

Unless you're buying a MacBook or other computer with soldered RAM and storage, it makes no sense to pay for such upgrades from the OEM, especially since access to those components in machines like the Precision or ThinkPad is super easy.

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Desktop: Ryzen 9 5950X | 32 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 4070 | 2 TB SSD | Windows 10

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Core i9-13900HX | 32 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 4080 | 2 TB SSD | Windows 11

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gaming: Ryzen 7 6800H | 16 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 3050 | 512 GB SSD | Windows 11

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro: Ryzen 5 5600U | 16 GB RAM | Radeon Graphics | 512 GB SSD | Windows 11
Apple iPad Gen 9: A13 Bionic | 3 GB RAM | 64 GB | iPadOS

 

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On 9/21/2022 at 6:22 AM, ryan said:

 

15000? are you trying to get something that doesn't exist Ive never heard of anyone needing a 6000 dollar laptop...unless your competing with microsoft and programming a OS I really don't get it. I guess I'm ignorant when it comes to seeing why people want more than 32gb ram or 1000000TB of storage.

 

 

TBH  I have yet to understand pricing on ultra-high-end notebooks that can come out to $15k (like Precision 7000 series) but the specs on paper can end up slower than a fast gaming laptop.  Is it something about build quality, cooling, durability, harsh environments?  Or maybe they send 5 engineers onsite by helicopter when it needs service? (kidding about the last one).  Maybe a buyer of those could explain the difference in value.

 

 

On 9/21/2022 at 6:41 AM, jaybee83 said:

if youre comfortable with it, choose the base config and get everything else via aftermarket upgrades, i.e. installing it yourself. anything related to RAM and storage is a breeze, same with wifi. gpu i would get with the machine, cpu depends on if socketed or not.

 

I agree. There is a price disadvantage for buying RAM, SSD, etc. pre-installed from the Mfr and the difference vs installing aftermarket can get pretty big.  I don't mind adding drives or RAM at all.  Do you find CPU thermal paste a little fiddly to work with?

 

 

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5 hours ago, Quark said:

 

TBH  I have yet to understand pricing on ultra-high-end notebooks that can come out to $15k (like Precision 7000 series) but the specs on paper can end up slower than a fast gaming laptop.  Is it something about build quality, cooling, durability, harsh environments?  Or maybe they send 5 engineers onsite by helicopter when it needs service? (kidding about the last one).  Maybe a buyer of those could explain the difference in value.

 

 

 

I agree. There is a price disadvantage for buying RAM, SSD, etc. pre-installed from the Mfr and the difference vs installing aftermarket can get pretty big.  I don't mind adding drives or RAM at all.  Do you find CPU thermal paste a little fiddly to work with?

 

 

depends on the paste and its viscosity, but in general its also no biggie. ull only need to get a feeling of how much paste is adequate for ur particular chip / heatspreader size. after a few tries ull get the hang of it, for sure 🙂 

Mine: Hyperion "Titan God of Heat, Heavenly Light, Power" (2022)
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X / Asus ROG Crosshair X670E Extreme / MSI Geforce RTX 4090 Suprim X / G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6600 2x16 GB / Seagate Firecuda 530 4 TB / 2x Samsung 860 Evo 4 TB / Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 / Seasonic TX-1600 W Titanium / Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 TG / Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 32" UHD 240 Hz / Ducky One 3 Daybreak Fullsize Cherry MX Brown / Corsair M65 Ultra RGB

 

My Lady's: Clevo NH55JNNQ "Alfred" (2022)
Sharp LQ156M1JW03 FHD matte 15.6" IGZO 8 bit @248 Hz / Intel 12600 @ 4.4 - 4.8 Ghz / Nvidia 3070 Ti 8 GB GDDR6 / G.Skill 16 GB DDR4-3800 / Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB / Intel AX201 ax+BT / Win 11 Pro Phoenix Lite OS / 230 W PSU powered by Prema Mod!

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6 hours ago, Quark said:

 

TBH  I have yet to understand pricing on ultra-high-end notebooks that can come out to $15k (like Precision 7000 series) but the specs on paper can end up slower than a fast gaming laptop.  Is it something about build quality, cooling, durability, harsh environments?  Or maybe they send 5 engineers onsite by helicopter when it needs service? (kidding about the last one).  Maybe a buyer of those could explain the difference in value.

 

 

 

It's about all of those things you mentioned and more. Most workstation-class laptops have Quadro GPUs, which are far costlier than their GeForce counterparts. There are also various certifications that the manufacturer must put the machine through in order to be seen as a legitimate purchase option for businesses. Lenovo has a dedicated website where prospective buyers can view what hardware has been tested with different professional applications.

 

ISV Certifications | Think Workstations

 

 

Desktop: Ryzen 9 5950X | 32 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 4070 | 2 TB SSD | Windows 10

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Core i9-13900HX | 32 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 4080 | 2 TB SSD | Windows 11

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gaming: Ryzen 7 6800H | 16 GB RAM | GeForce RTX 3050 | 512 GB SSD | Windows 11

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro: Ryzen 5 5600U | 16 GB RAM | Radeon Graphics | 512 GB SSD | Windows 11
Apple iPad Gen 9: A13 Bionic | 3 GB RAM | 64 GB | iPadOS

 

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On 9/20/2022 at 5:44 PM, Quark said:

I had been looking at DELL precision 7000 series as "workstation" laptops and happened to be on 50% clearance.  I went through configuration tool and specified options for memory and storage that I thought would be similar to the way I'd equip a CLEVO X170 or MSI GT77, and the Precision came out as $15000.

 

That's a crazy price.  I just got a Precision 7770 with near max specs, other than storage.  I think the only things missing from mine are the high-end RTX GPU (I opted for the GeForce which has similar specs) and WWAN.  I did upgrade the warranty to five years ProSupport Plus.  The system just ran me about $6,200 with tax included.  (I did spend extra on SSDs that I did not buy from Dell, but even with 26TB SSD storage I am nowhere near $15,000.)

  • Contact a sales rep and ask for a quote.  I got almost $1,500 knocked off the web price.  They will discount more for higher-end systems than they will for base systems.
  • Buy your own SSDs, don't get them from Dell, their prices are nuts.  Precision 7000 systems come with everything that you need to install the extra drives.

The only 12th-gen Alder Lake systems that I'm aware of that support four NVMe SSDs are Precision 7770, MSI GT77, and HP's new 16" ZBook (forget the exact name/model).

Dell Precision 7770 (personal) • Dell Precision 7560 (work) • Full specs in spoiler block below
Info posts (Dell) — Dell Precision key postsDell driver RSS feeds • Dell Fan Management — override fan behavior
Info posts (Windows) — Turbo boost toggle • The problem with Windows 11 • About Windows 10 LTSC

Spoiler

Dell Precision 7770 (personal)

  • Intel Core i9-12950HX ("Alder Lake"), 8P+8E
    • 8× P cores ("Golden Cove"): 2.3 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading
    • 8× E cores ("Gracemont"): 1.7 GHz base, 3.6 GHz turbo
  • 128GB DDR5-3600 (CAMM)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 16GB (DGFF)
  • Storage:
    • 2TB system drive: Samsung 980 Pro, PCIe4
    • 24TB additional storage: MDRAID, RAID 0
      • 2× 8TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, PCIe4
      • 1× 8TB Inland Performance Plus, PCIe4
  • Kubuntu 23.04 (KDE Plasma 5.27, Linux kernel 6.2)
  • 17.3" 3940×2160 120 Hz display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX211 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth)
  • 93Wh battery
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Dell Precision 7560 (work)

  • Intel Xeon W-11955M ("Tiger Lake")
    • 8×2.6 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading ("Willow Cove")
  • 64GB DDR4-3200 ECC
  • NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB
  • Storage:
    • 512GB system drive (Micron 2300)
    • 4TB additional storage (Sabrent Rocket Q4)
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021
  • 15.6" 3940×2160 display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX210 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth)
  • 95Wh battery
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Previous

  • Dell Precision 7530, 7510, M4800, M6700
  • Dell Latitude E6520
  • Dell Inspiron 1720, 5150
  • Dell Latitude CPi
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Just seeing this now, looks like silm pickings at the moment!

 

With unknown needs for the upcoming years I would probably look into the GT77 / CreatorPro X17 and the Dell 7770 if it has to be something from this generation with up to 128GB memory and a 17+" screen.

 

You may want to look into the warranty and downtime options offered by Dell and MSi as they may differ, there may also be a difference between the MSi workstation and gaming model.

 

Generally speaking Dell will come out on top with regard to configurability and warranty and MSI will be ahead in raw performance and bios options.

Dell will look more business like and less deep but you may still prefer the half stealthy half aggressive look of the MSI versions, for quiet typing and less RGB to deactivate you might want to go with the X17 instead of the GT77. Overall I find that Dell looks more solid and has a better keyboard layout but  prefer the tactile feedback on the MSI keyboards and I also prefer their non-rubberized palm rests.

 

MSI is all BGA now so that warranty may even be more important because a defective mainboard may really break the bank as both CPU and GPU are soldered to it We lovingly call that BGA book, BGA filth, craptop or turdbook 😄

With the Dell at least the GPU is socketed which reduce the potential for catastrophic failure but then you would probably buy warranty anyway so that point may be moot for your use case.

 

Oh and one last thing: You may want to invest in a second 17.3" portable screen - I find at least one of them really helpful when on the road and for some time now they actually have 17.3" UHD screens available, for example this:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/284902126872?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=nu0vana7reg&sssrc=2047675&ssuid=YOZgifDWTYu&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

 

I have the QHD version and it is really good and also costs less. if you resize to 150% anyway you may consider to go with the QHD screen.

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On 9/26/2022 at 12:22 PM, 1610ftw said:

Oh and one last thing: You may want to invest in a second 17.3" portable screen - I find at least one of them really helpful when on the road and for some time now they actually have 17.3" UHD screens available, for example this:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/284902126872?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=nu0vana7reg&sssrc=2047675&ssuid=YOZgifDWTYu&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

 

I hadn't thought about a second monitor for traveling and that looks like a great idea.  Thank you

 

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  • 4 months later...

I have a second 14" touchscreen I use for editing on the road, and put it below my two 24 inch monitors when home for putting tools on for editing at my workstation.  They are great to have!

Workstation - Dell XPS 8940 - desktop creative powerhouse

Mobile Workstation - Dell inspiron 5406 2 in 1 - mobile creative beast

Wifey's Notebook - Dell inspiron 3169 - Little gem for our businesses

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