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Pros: Thinnest/Lightest GTX 880M unit I have found. It doesn't have that "fat" look to it like the other 880M machines, and it weighs about 6.5lbs. Don't know how they did it.
Thinner/lighter usually comes at a steeper price, but not the case here. Cheapest brand new 880M machine I came across in weeks of researching.
Has everything I wanted in a gaming notebook, top-tier GPU, great CPU, 128GB mSATA SSD boot drive, adequate ram, a matte IPS screen, and a fairly large battery.
Throw all that together, and you have a pretty beastly system. Boots up in about 15-20 seconds, runs any game you throw at it on high, has surprisingly good non-gaming battery life, and has a quality cooling system.
Cons: The speakers are just plain bad, and the sad part is, Gigabyte actually advertises them as one of the great "features" of this notebook on their website. I guess they have to cut costs somewhere.
Other Thoughts: Keep in mind, there's a more premium(expensive) model of this unit, with 2 SSDs in RAID, a bluray drive, and 16GB of ram. If you feel you need those extra specs, look that one up.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: New Sandy Bridge i7 2600K CPU- Very overclock friendly CPU, and outperforms almost every other processor out there, without (completely) breaking the bank.
GeForce GTX 570- Another great piece of hardware in terms of price/performance, one of the top single GPU units available currently and will run almost any game you throw at it on max settings smoothly.
Azza Hurrican 2000 Case- Huge case, with lots of space and 8 fans resulting in great cooling. Also has an "easy-swap" HDD system which makes installing and removing HDD's a breeze. Blue/red LED lights are neato.
8GB of 1333 DDR3 ram- 12GB of ram is unneeded for 99% of people, so it's nice not paying for overkill.
My unit arrived quickly without any faulty/disconnected hardware, or broken pieces. Hasn't crashed, and has run every game I've thrown at it effortlessly. Almost no bloatware(I did a clean install anyway), and runs quiet despite 8 fans. Very happy with my purchase so far.
Cons: Pricey.(but parts justify the price.) Cheap power supply. Case may be too large for some(I like it.) Comes with SSD brackets, but the brackets do not match up your SSD with the sata port in the "easy-swap" bays. Easily remedied, but if you plan to use an SSD you won't be able to swap it out as easy as a 3.5" drive. Just a small annoyance.
Other Thoughts: My old desktop recently died, and I saw an Open-box version of this unit for much cheaper than the current retail(which is why I won't be listed as a "verified buyer"), so I impulse bought it despite the risk. I've read many reviews of CyberpowerPC and Ibuypower units arriving and not booting or having broken parts, and even though I figured the chance of this would be greater with an Open-box unit, I went for it anyway. Got lucky I guess. Upon arrival I installed the SSD from my recently deceased desktop to use as a boot drive and did a clean install of windows 7 and formatted the included 2TB 7200rpm drive to use as a storage drive. Everything is running great. I had to ghetto rig the SSD to get it to connect to the sata port in one of the easy swap bays, so if you're planning on installing an SSD, keep that in mind.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Great combination of quality and affordability. Normally one would not expect to get high-end specs along with all the other nifty little features this laptop has for this price. The design is really cool, yet not over-the-top like some other gaming laptops. It arrived in 1 day with no problems whatsoever. Has run every game I've thrown at it at high settings/resolution without any issues. Runs QUIET and COOL, something gaming laptops are usually not known for. With one vacant HDD bay, and 4 ram slots there's plenty of room for upgrading(if you choose to).
Cons: Moderate amount of Bloatware. It's pretty bulky, even when compared to other 15" laptops, and the power brick is larger than average. Only 4GB of ram, when most users prefer to have 6GB or 8GB nowadays. Upgrading ram and HDD requires taking the keyboard, palmrest+touchpad, and back panel off. There's no second HDD caddy for second HDD bay, so you'll either have to purchase a G73 caddy online(G53 caddies don't exist it seems), or ghetto-rig it yourself if you plan on adding a second internal drive.
Other Thoughts: Don't be discouraged by the cons, they are all small annoyances and overall I am very happy with my purchase, thus the five-egg review. I upgraded my machine to an SSD and an extra 4GB of ram, and Windows 7 is fully operational in about 15 seconds from the time I hit the power button.
I've never upgraded anything on a laptop before, and despite the slightly complicated process of taking the keyboard/palmrest+touchpad off before being able to access the back panel, I was able to upgrade without any problems. There's several guides out there that help the process go smoothly, make sure to check them out if you plan on upgrading. If you're super crazy and plan on upgrading to 16GB of ram, keep in mind one of the 4 ram slots is very hard to reach (behind the screen) and has a 2GB stick in it already. So the max is more like 14GB, unless you're really dedicated =P.
Display Name: Ryan M.
Date Joined: 07/02/05
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