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Need help finding laptop - i7, 16GB RAM, SSD, USB 3.1 gen 2, matte display


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#1 afrank

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 04:14 PM

Hi all!
I'm new here. This will be my first post.
I'm shopping for a 15-inch Windows laptop with the following specs:
 
  • i7 processor
  • at least 16GB RAM DDR3 or DDR4
  • SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce 2GB (or more)
  • at least one USB 3.1 gen 2 (type C) / Thunderbolt 3 port
  • matte IPS display
 
I'll mainly be using this for video and photo editing, as well as some audio work.
I'll be connecting it to a 2nd display.
 
So far, i haven't been able to find a laptop with these specs. I've found a few with all except a glossy display. I feel a just a bit silly making that a deal breaker, but I just know I'll cringe a bit every time I see those reflections shining back at me. I would love to find one with a matte screen.
 
The models I've found (with the glossy display) are:
  • Dell XPS 15 (around $1830)
  • ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71 (around $1100)
  • ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW-DS71T (around $1500)
All are nice, but... the gloss finish : (
 
Any help on this would be highly appreciated. Thanks!!


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#2 SEANIA

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 10:59 PM

OH um. You mentioned you need it for photo editing. Would a 4K screen be a requirement for that to? 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#3 afrank

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 11:31 PM

Hi SEANIA, thanks for your reply : )

Good question. I'm actually a bit on the fence on that one.

I assume it would be more future-proof to go 4k, but I've also read some complaints regarding scaling issues, mostly.

Never used a 4k screen before, so I don't have any hands-on experience.



#4 SEANIA

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 11:07 PM

I assume it would be more future-proof to go 4k, but I've also read some complaints regarding scaling issues, mostly.

 

Most basic everyday programs, webpages, and other visual user interactive things on a computer are made to be used with a 1366x768 resolution. Most laptops have a 15.6 inch screen.

A lot of professional software, professional software company webpages, and more enthusiast centered things are made to run on a screen that is 1920x1080 (1080p), and regular things also are tend ot be made to scale up to fit 1080p relatively well.

These laptops, are still, mostly 15.6 inches. So a item that was made to show up as an inch across on a 1366x768 screen. Will be seen physically as almost a half-inch item instead of a whole inch on a 1080p screen of the same physical size.  However, 1080p isn't to much bigger, and things coming up as half their designed to be viewed at size is still very usable (again, most things have scailing built in them to try to adjust for this).

 

Now, 4k is, well consumer grade 4k and "UHD" is, 3840x2160 pixels. Professional use grade 4k screens are 4000x2160 (see where the name 4k comes from?). 

That resolution is almost 4 times as high, and almost 4 times as wide as that "designed to be viewed at" resolution and screen size, and has twice as many pixels as the "designed to scale up to" resolution of 1080p. So things will come up, on that same 15.6 inch screen mind you, as 1/8th or, in the best scenario, 1/4th the size visually that they wee meant to be viewed at. 

 

Windows has built in scaling you can use to automatically adjust things that come up, but generally speaking it's counterproductive for daily tasks. 
 

However, it's an advantage if you're a photographer or video editor. Since your pictures are generally taken at extremely high resolutions. Resolutions much higher then either 1080p or 768. So if you want a full, more accurate, representation of what the picture really looks like. A 4k screen is extremely useful. 

 

For video editing, video is typically filmed at a much higher resolution (usualy 4k) before being down-scaled to 1080p. Even if it's not being edited in 4k, having a screen with a higher resolution then 1080p means that you can have all of your editing tools on the screen around the edited video, without taking the video out of it's 1080p native viewing resolution to fit along side them. 

 

4k everyday use is garbage right now, but if you really are buying the laptop for photo editing. Then getting one with it would be the obvious choice. As the advantage to view your photos in higher detail is much more important then your ease of use on Facebook. 

That said, if at your price, you have to make a choice between a low RGB rated 4k screen, and a high rated RGB 1080p screen. I'd go with the 1080p one. As what's the point of being able to see more detail if the screen can't spit out the color to display that? 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#5 afrank

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 09:59 AM

@SEANIA Thanks so much for the detailed explanation. Taking your tips into consideration, it seems to me that the best setup for my needs would be a 1080p screen for my 15-inch laptop and have the 2nd screen (a normal desktop display) be a quality 4k display, since I'll be using the laptop for general use as well, and the 2nd monitor can be for video/photography purposes. It means won't have the 4k resolution when on the go, but I can live with that.

 

In that case — do I have any other options other than the Dell XPS 15?

 

I was hoping to spend less than $1500, since I'm also going for a 2nd 27-inch 4k desktop display.



#6 SEANIA

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 11:44 AM

 

In that case — do I have any other options other than the Dell XPS 15?

 

 I would love to find one with a matte screen.

 
The models I've found (with the glossy display) are:
  • Dell XPS 15 (around $1830)
  • ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71 (around $1100)
  • ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW-DS71T (around $1500)
All are nice, but... the gloss finish : (

 

ASUS ROG G752VL-UH71T (Amazon)

 

 

This ASUS laptop meets all of your specs for 1400$. It doesn't use type C for charging, but it has thunderbolt, and USB 3.1 in the shape of a Type C connector. Not to mention a matte IPS 1080p screen. Uses a brand new Intel 6th gen Skylake quad core hyerthreaded i7. Is ASUS, so really good build quality. 

 

....I could go on for ages. It's really good. It may not be "sleek" or "stylish" like the Dell XPS 15, but I can guarantee the Dell XPS 15 overheats- making its quad core i7 kinda useless since it'd thermal throttle it self into oblivion. The ASUS on the other hand. Built like a tank. Can handle all you throw at it and more without breaking a sweat. 

 

It's on pre-order sale for June 11th. Would recommend picking it up for the 1400$ it's listed at now before it jumps back to its 2000$+ price tag. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#7 afrank

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 12:21 PM

How about this one:

https://www.amazon.com/GL552VW-DH74-15-Inch-Discrete-GeForce-Metallic/dp/B015ZG997I?ie=UTF8&psc=1&ref_=twister_B018KGK3XO

 

Seems to me that it's the same as the model you recommended but with 15" screen rather than 17", just 16GB RAM rather than 24GB, and a 128GB SSD rather than 256GB.

I think I'll be fine with those specs. Am I overlooking anything?

I prefer 15".

 

Thanks again for your help on this : )

 

Edit: Actually, I just noticed that the 15" ASUS model I suggested has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port. I'm looking for Gen 2  :unsure:


Edited by afrank, 08 June 2016 - 01:53 PM.


#8 SEANIA

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 01:08 PM

 Am I overlooking anything?

 

It has a weaker graphics card. It has a GTX 960m, and the other has  GTX 965m. The 965m is 40% faster then the 960m, and uses less power. 

The one you posted also has a much weaker cooler since it uses a very slim form factor. So, more thermal throttling from that cutting down performance.

Lacks a touch screen if that matters.

 

 

Considering the lower price though, it'd be a better buy.

 

 

Edit: Actually, I just noticed that the 15" ASUS model I suggested has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port. I'm looking for Gen 2  :unsure:

 

Where does it say that?

USB 3.1 gen 1 is just a rename for USB 3.0. Also I can't find anywhere where it says it'd Gen 1 and not Gen 2 (I checked their website to). 

 

The only difference between the two is that 3.1 is as fast as Gen 1 thunderbolt, and you'd need a device that was compatible with 3.1 anyways to use it (which there are little to none of, and would cost $$$ for anything that could take advantage of it). Further more, USB type C has thunderbolt built into it. Among other things that make it much, much faster then 3.1. So even if it's using USB 3.0 instead of 3.1 in its TypeC port. It won't matter because anything that you'd want to take advantage of the extra bandwidth of USB 3.1 over the type C connector, would just use the other faster parts of TypeC instead. 

 

The 3.0/3.1 is more or less just in there for backwards compatibility. The higher performance stuff probably won't end up using it, so why do you care if it's 3.0 instead of 3.1?


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#9 afrank

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 01:34 PM

Hi SEANIA, 

Your recommendation is convincing : )

So convincing, that I actually went over to the nearest Best Buy to take a look at 17-inch laptops. I needed to see them in front of me to really picture how it would be to have one of those on my (limited) desk space, and lugging one around.

I have to say that I'm a bit torn. I feel I might regret getting a 17-inch. It seems to me that it'll be just a bit too large.

I intend to have an additional 27" inch screen on my desk and I don't know I'll be able to comfortably have both.

 

Do you possibly have any recommendations for a 15-inch laptop that wouldn't face those thermal throttle issues you wrote about?

 

Thanks so much BTW for staying with me on this  :bowdown:



#10 SEANIA

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 01:07 AM

hose thermal throttle issues you wrote about?

So, thermal throttling is that when a CPU detects its getting to close to its max safe operating temperature, it will lower its max speed to produce less heat, and thus save it self from burning up. Making, lets say, a 3.2 Ghz CPU turn into a 2.3 Ghz CPU because it's over heating. You lost almost a third of the CPUs performance just because the cooler couldn't keep up. 

 

It's a place where a lot of manufacturers cut back to save space/make it thinner/more compact/lighter. The Dell XPS 15, being shown here, will thermal throttle its CPU to 1.5 Ghz out of its max 3 Ghz. Dells idea being you'd never use it in a  situation that would put it under 100% load for more then a minute at a time (never giving it enough time to fully saturate the cooler with heat).

 

 

Do you possibly have any recommendations for a 15-inch laptop that wouldn't face those thermal throttle issues you wrote about?

 

Problem with that. Sad to say you wont find one that wont thermal throttle for the hardware you want in it

Current, Intel quad core i7s are rated at 45 watts. The GPU will probably be around 50 watts. Plus system draw, a 110 watt laptop (maybe 150). 

To put that in perspective, 15 inch laptops have always tended to be designed around 45 watts max total draw. 

 

So, what you're asking for, is for something that crams twice as much heat into what it was designed to do.

You're either going to have to carry around a awkward nonuniform 17 inch powerhouse , or a lightweight 15 inch crippled hot plate, for the specs you want in it at that size. Even that 15 inch ASUS you listed, benched here, thermal throttled. 

 

It's not that ASUS or HP are bad manufactures. It's that you can't make a 15 inch (well, 15.6 inch) laptop happily run those kinds of parts. Less you make it thick as a brick, but no one seems to do that any more for 15 inchers. 

Microsoft has been experimenting with a hybrid air/water cooler in their Surface Pro to make it happen, but that's not relevant to this. 

 

If you have a edit images on the go, wouldn't a 17 inch screen be more useful anyways? Granted, if its to big to take with you then what's the point? 

 

Hmmm I duno. If you really need the extra beef, get the first 17.3" ASUS, but if you're okay with a bit less power under the hood for portability then get the 15.6" ASUS laptop you listed. 


Edited by SEANIA, 13 June 2016 - 01:09 AM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#11 afrank

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 07:12 PM

Got it. That makes sense. Thanks for all your advice!



#12 afrank

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 09:11 AM

Hi Seania,

Sorry to bother you again with this...

I actually haven't pulled the trigger on any laptop just yet.

 

Got a quote from Lenovo and just wanted to run this by you to get your opinion.

 

It's for a Lenovo Y50 P50 (edit: fixed typo) Mobile Workstation

 

• Intel Core i7-6820HQ processor (8MB Cache, Up to 3.6 Ghz)
• Windows 10 Home 64
• 15.6 FHD(1920x1080) IPS Non-Touch
• 16GB DDR4-2133MHz SODIMM
• NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4GB
• 720p HD Camera with Microphone
• Keyboard with Number Pad
• 256GB SSD PCIe-NVMe OPAL2.0
• 6 Cell Li-Polymer Battery 90Wh
• Four USB 3.0 (one Always On), one USB Type-C / Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, 
HDMI, Ethernet (RJ-45) and Dock connector 
 
Price: $1485 before taxes
 
I can also get the 17" version of this for around $100 more (if I remember correctly).
 
My intention is to use the 256GB SSD that comes with the laptop as a system and installed applications drive. I also plan to add a second SSD drive (512GB) as a temporary project drive to place media files on it. When I'm done with a specific project, I'll transfer the files from the 512 drive to an external drive for storage and then wipe the internal 512GB SSD to make it ready for the next project. 
 
If you have a minute, I would be very happy to get your opinion. Is this Lenovo mobile workstation considered relatively "well-built" as far as air-flow as far as you know? I understand that in general laptops are not built for this type of hardware... but would this Lenovo be comparable with the Asus ROG laptops we were discussing earlier, for example?
 
Thanks so much!

Edited by afrank, 24 July 2016 - 02:22 PM.


#13 SEANIA

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 09:44 AM

If you have a minute, I would be very happy to get your opinion. Is this Lenovo mobile workstation considered relatively "well-built" as far as air-flow as far as you know? I understand that in general laptops are not built for this type of hardware... but would this Lenovo be comparable with the Asus ROG laptops we were discussing earlier, for example?

 

It'd be much better then the ASUS ROG for your work.

 

It has a Nvidia Quadro card in it. Which are designed to be used by professional software to aid in processing, produce less heat, and be overall more stable then their regular GT/GTX branded counterparts. It's rated at 40 watts TDP as apposed to the 65 watt TDP of the GPUs in the other laptops. 

 

The CPU is nice and powerful. which is good for processing large raw uncompressed image files (again that the Quadro can aid you in if the software supports it). It does also mean would be off quite a bit of heat, but considering that the GPU is so efficient and not thermally adding much to a system designed to handle the additional load of a GPU- it should be fine.

The CPU it uses is also runs on some newer generation tech that helps it run cooler. It's rated at a 45 watt TDP, but Intel lists it as being able to be set to a lower 35 watt TDP by Lenovo.

 

Yeah it's a little over what that size of laptop is mad to handle, and it may feel hot under extended heavy editing use while processing larger multi-gigabyte picture files, but it's a workstation graded Lenovo ThinkPad. It's not going to over heat and is made for professional use to never die.

I mean really, it's better then any of the other laptops thus far for what you're doing. Also would make you look more professional as Lenovo Thinkpads are to go-to trusted professional brand/model of laptops. If I found a 15 year old think pad I'd have no doubts that it'd still be working. They are just rock solid and made to last. 

 

Wait, can you give me the full model number? 


Edited by SEANIA, 24 July 2016 - 09:45 AM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#14 afrank

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 09:57 AM

 

 

Wait, can you give me the full model number? 

 

 

 

I got the quote during an online chat with a Lenovo rep. He customized the build per my requests.

The quote sent to my email says:

ThinkPad P50 Mobile Workstation
Part #: 20ENCTO1WW
 
Is that helpful?

Edited by afrank, 24 July 2016 - 10:47 AM.


#15 SEANIA

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 11:50 AM

I got the quote during an online chat with a Lenovo rep. He customized the build per my requests.

The quote sent to my email says:

ThinkPad P50 Mobile Workstation
Part #: 20ENCTO1WW
 
Is that helpful?

 

 

Very. You put "y50" after "Lenovo" which threw me off. The Y50 line is a consumer line of their laptops. Much like Thinkpad is their professional line. 

 

I un-cross my previous statement. 

 

Yeah it's a little over what that size of laptop is mad to handle, and it may feel hot under extended heavy editing use while processing larger multi-gigabyte picture files, but it's a workstation graded Lenovo ThinkPad. It's not going to over heat and is made for professional use to never die.

I mean really, it's better then any of the other laptops thus far for what you're doing. Also would make you look more professional as Lenovo Thinkpads are to go-to trusted professional brand/model of laptops. If I found a 15 year old think pad I'd have no doubts that it'd still be working. They are just rock solid and made to last. 

 

 

It's kind of pricey yeah, but it's Thinkpad so it's worth every dime. Fun fact, Thinkpads are the only laptops approved for use aboard the international space station as nothing else is considered durable enough. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 





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