Processor: Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core (2.6-3.5GHz TurboBoost, 6MB L3 Cache)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM (2 Dimm)
Display: 15.6″ Full HD IPS Anti-Glare Matte Display (1920 x 1080)
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 965M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
Primary Drive: 256GB M.2 SATA III MLC NAND SSD
Secondary Storage: 1TB 7200RPM SATA III Hard Drive
I really agonized over this for a long time. At first I was saving for a 970m equipped laptop, and then waiting to see what the new 10 series looked like. And, hoping that the 10 series bumped the 970m down the price chain. But, it replaced it instead. And honestly, that ~$1500 price point is just a little too rich for my blood.
After lots of soul searching and video and article review watching, I felt the 965m would handle everything I needed it to, especially since it got a little boost/update last year. And thus far, that has absolutely been true. Though it may be a small thing, its amazing that for the first time ever, I’m able to play World of Tanks with all the settings absolutely maxed out. Even No Man’s Sky runs at a hybrid Medium/High setting just fine.
Speaking of which…yes, I’m going to review it. The TL;DR version for now is that I have not had any technical issues running it (even on the old dying laptop), and I’ve spent 15 or so hours in the game and am just now ready to leave my home system where I spawned.
Anyhoo, the matte screen is taking some getting used too. It doesn’t seem as crisp at the Lenovo, but that’s more than made up for by the fact that I can see it decently in just about any lighting level (the Lenovo gave me fits in outdoor lighting).
For the curious, I would highly recommend Eluktronics (website here, Amazon boutique here). I pestered them about three times with questions either through their website or Amazon pages I got responses within 24 hours except for once, and that response came with an apology for the delay. In all cases, the answers were clear and helpful. Every place I have checked for reviews they have received high marks, and so far everything about this purchase convinces me I am going to have the same high quality experience.
The purchase comes with a clean install of Windows and absolutely zero bloatware, which is amazing. The build is solid, and the barebones is a Clevo N151RF-1. Clevo’s barebones are, for my two cents, some of the best designed gaming laptops in the world. Audio jacks are on the left (away from mouse hand entanglement), the power and display jacks are on the back, there are dual cooling units (one for GPU, one for CPU) with rear exhaust, the speakers are angled towards the user and are run by SoundBlaster drivers, has a full number keypad, and the touchpad is top notch with the bonus of real mouse buttons. All on a frame that has zero flex and clocks in at 5.6 pounds. Oh…and its quiet. Like, mouse quiet.
And while I know red accents and badges are all the rage for gaming laptops, this one is a little more subtle. Blue LED backlighting and more professional looking branding allow me to use this in settings where a case screaming “I’M A GAMER” would be distracting.
So, this puts me back in the saddle for nightly gaming sessions, and I couldn’t be happier. The past six months have mostly been catching up on my back catalogue of single player games and reconnecting with World of Tanks as Armored Warfare continues to tank (pun intended, but not in a good way). And a few months limping along in SWTOR that came to an abrupt end with the bizarrely implemented Summer/Fall marathon.
So, its time to find my way back into an MMO. EQ2 is an early favorite with its Level 95 character giveaway. WoW might be interesting as a nostalgia trip, though I missed the max level giveaway there, so I’m not higher than 45 or so. I still have a trial key for Black Desert. TERA beckons as always.
Its good to have choices. The world(s) is (are) my oyster. Where do you think I should head next?