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Old May 17, 2013, 12:06 PM   #1
Mikhailov
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Thinking of selling rMBP and getting an Alienware desktop and MBA

Right now the 80GB Windows partition just doesn't seem good for games space-wise, and the weight of the MBP seems just a little too heavy. I don't even use the Retina Display too much. I hook it up to a playstation monitor. I think I would like a lighter laptop and dedicated gaming pc. The Alienware I'm looking at has a core i5 as opposed to the rMBP's i7. I'm hoping if I get $1900 for the rMBP, I can get both an air and a $700 Alienware. Don't have the money saved up to just get the desktop, and don't foresee this possible without selling because money has to go toward destination weddings in the next year (first world problem I know).

Someone told me to just get a 1TB external drive and stick with what I have, which is another (probably smarter) option. The person told me that would be better if I want to game on the go. I may just suck up my first world problem and do that.

What would you do in this situation? MBA and Alienware, or the smarter more practical option?
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Old May 17, 2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mikhailov View Post
Right now the 80GB Windows partition just doesn't seem good for games space-wise, and the weight of the MBP seems just a little too heavy. I don't even use the Retina Display too much. I hook it up to a playstation monitor. I think I would like a lighter laptop and dedicated gaming pc. The Alienware I'm looking at has a core i5 as opposed to the rMBP's i7. I'm hoping if I get $1900 for the rMBP, I can get both an air and a $700 Alienware. Don't have the money saved up to just get the desktop, and don't foresee this possible without selling because money has to go toward destination weddings in the next year (first world problem I know).

Someone told me to just get a 1TB external drive and stick with what I have, which is another (probably smarter) option. The person told me that would be better if I want to game on the go. I may just suck up my first world problem and do that.

What would you do in this situation? MBA and Alienware, or the smarter more practical option?
lol@ first world problem. at least you recognize it, hard to fault you for wanting to optimize your setup :-)

the 13" MBA is only about half a pound lighter than the rMBP and actually has a larger footprint. I doubt you'd be unhappy with it, but i don't know if i'd want to take that kind of loss just to make the switch you are talking about doing.

of course, i don't play games anymore so what would i know?
alienware machines always seemed like a bad investment to me...in the PC world you could build something you wanted without paying for that kind of name - and the cases you can buy individually are every bit as attractive as those alienware cases are in my opinion... maybe they've changed since being acquired by Dell?

Look at it this way, the money you have already put into your set up is what economists call "sunk costs" if you think the MBA and an AW machine are what you would rather have, you just have to look at what it will cost you to get. if it will just cost you your MBP and you value the ability to separate your gaming machine from your carry-around more than owning that MBP then that's your answer!

either way you sound like you've got a clear idea of what you want so whatever you do i'm sure you won't regret it. provided, of course, that you go to the fruitstand and try that MBA out before you buy it...

i keep telling people that i went in there looking to get the 13" MBA and while it's an incredible machine, for me it wasn't what i was looking for which is an ultraportable. i will say that bang for your buck it's a better deal than the admittedly superior 13" rMBP. but i wanted an ultra light.

my other 2 issues with the 13" rMBP is A- there's no dedicated gpu and B - it's a first generation device which makes me nervous...
that being said, i doubt many people that buy either ends up regretting it.
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Old May 17, 2013, 12:44 PM   #3
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The 13" rMBP is so ridiculous. It's priced ~ $500 more than the 13" Air, and has the same (usable) specs. Unless you're the type of person who maxes out their CPU and never uses your GPU, you won't notice difference except in price.

Also, have you considered building your own PC? You can probably put together a better machine for less money.

I have an air and love it, except it needs more SDD space.
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Old May 17, 2013, 12:50 PM   #4
DisplacedMic
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The 13" rMBP is so ridiculous. It's priced ~ $500 more than the 13" Air, and has the same (usable) specs. Unless you're the type of person who maxes out their CPU and never uses your GPU, you won't notice difference except in price.

Also, have you considered building your own PC? You can probably put together a better machine for less money.

I have an air and love it, except it needs more SDD space.
that's not really fair.
it's more like $300 more and comes standard with a faster chip and twice the ram than the base 13" mba, in addition to the retina display.
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Old May 17, 2013, 01:01 PM   #5
itsOver9000
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MBA + Build your own desktop.
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Old May 17, 2013, 01:07 PM   #6
Mikhailov
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I thought about building my own, but thought it would be more expensive with having to hire a friend to put the components together.
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Old May 17, 2013, 01:20 PM   #7
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MBA + Desktop is an awesome combo!

I was originally looking for an alienware, but keep a look out on deal sites for XPS 8500 sales, I've seen them on sale at $649 and sometimes even lower. I've had mine since September 2012 and like it alot. I haven't swapped my gfx card yet, but throw in a 660ti or 7890 and you've got yourself an awesome gaming rig!
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Old May 17, 2013, 02:59 PM   #8
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I think MBA + gaming Desktop is a good setup.

An i5 Alienware doesn't sound very good however. Honestly I have no idea where to find a good gaming rig, but if you can maybe stretch the budget a bit to $1000.

Aren't there web stores where you can put together your own configuration?
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Old May 17, 2013, 03:00 PM   #9
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MBA + desktop is probably the best combo you can go with.

I'm running with the same combo (with a 11" MBA)
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Old May 17, 2013, 06:14 PM   #10
Mikhailov
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Originally Posted by thundersteele View Post
I think MBA + gaming Desktop is a good setup.

An i5 Alienware doesn't sound very good however. Honestly I have no idea where to find a good gaming rig, but if you can maybe stretch the budget a bit to $1000.

Aren't there web stores where you can put together your own configuration?
I'm not sure, but this is a concern of mine going from an i7 to an i5. Right now the rMBP runs Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, and Star Trek online BEAUTIFULLY. The desktop would have to do the same. The Dell XPS mentioned earlier looks like a comparable machine for less. i5 3.10GHz, 8gb ddr3 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 620. Comparable to the rMBP. Can't tell if it has HDMI out though.


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Originally Posted by Idarzoid View Post
MBA + desktop is probably the best combo you can go with.

I'm running with the same combo (with a 11" MBA)
I think if I decide to do this, I might get the 13". I had a 2010 13" and it just didn't cut the mustard power wise. The new MBAs look like they can handle themselves much better. I honestly got the rMBP because I was all "omg retina display." Since going to an iPad mini, I decided that isn't as important as I originally thought.
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Old May 17, 2013, 07:41 PM   #11
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I'm not sure, but this is a concern of mine going from an i7 to an i5. Right now the rMBP runs Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, and Star Trek online BEAUTIFULLY. The desktop would have to do the same. The Dell XPS mentioned earlier looks like a comparable machine for less. i5 3.10GHz, 8gb ddr3 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 620. Comparable to the rMBP. Can't tell if it has HDMI out though.
Many PC Gaming magazines have buying guides for gaming PCs. Maybe something is available online.

Usually the graphics card is more of a bottleneck than the CPU. So maybe the i5 is ok, however I am worried that a GeForce 620 is not even mid-range graphics.

For some inspiration, look here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasoneva...em-included/2/
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Old May 18, 2013, 09:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhailov View Post
I thought about building my own, but thought it would be more expensive with having to hire a friend to put the components together.
check out www.reddit.com/r/buildapc
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Old May 18, 2013, 09:10 AM   #13
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I thought about building my own, but thought it would be more expensive with having to hire a friend to put the components together.
Check out the gaming PC guide here at Ars Technica. Has some good suggestions for building your own at various price points.
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Old May 18, 2013, 09:18 AM   #14
Mikhailov
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Originally Posted by thundersteele View Post
Many PC Gaming magazines have buying guides for gaming PCs. Maybe something is available online.

Usually the graphics card is more of a bottleneck than the CPU. So maybe the i5 is ok, however I am worried that a GeForce 620 is not even mid-range graphics.

For some inspiration, look here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasoneva...em-included/2/
Hmmm you might be right. The rMBP has an i7 and GeForce 650M. Might explain why it's such a gaming beast. The more I think about it the more I wonder if I should just get that external hard drive for now and save up money to build a decent gaming rig down the line. I can buy the parts a little at a time if I go that route

Thank you for the resources everyone. I might get myself a custom rig after all.
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Old May 18, 2013, 12:25 PM   #15
DisplacedMic
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Originally Posted by thundersteele View Post
Many PC Gaming magazines have buying guides for gaming PCs. Maybe something is available online.

Usually the graphics card is more of a bottleneck than the CPU. So maybe the i5 is ok, however I am worried that a GeForce 620 is not even mid-range graphics.

For some inspiration, look here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasoneva...em-included/2/
in addition, the lack of upgradability with most laptops but with the MBAs in particular adds another variable to this equation. if you're going to spend over a grand on a computer you want to be sure it's going to meet your needs for the long-haul, either through upgrading or future-proofing.

Last edited by DisplacedMic; May 19, 2013 at 08:49 AM.
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Old May 18, 2013, 04:25 PM   #16
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MBA + Build your own desktop.
Rather good suggestion and the OP should remember the an Alienware computer is a Dell computer with a different name. You get what you pay for.
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Old May 18, 2013, 04:39 PM   #17
Mikhailov
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Rather good suggestion and the OP should remember the an Alienware computer is a Dell computer with a different name. You get what you pay for.
I knew Alienware was Dell but always wanted one for some reason. I must be weird.
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Old May 19, 2013, 08:25 AM   #18
DisplacedMic
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I thought about building my own, but thought it would be more expensive with having to hire a friend to put the components together.
sounds like you need better friends.
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Old May 19, 2013, 08:38 AM   #19
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I knew Alienware was Dell but always wanted one for some reason. I must be weird.
Nothing wrong with dell, people are just snobby.

Check out price/spec comparisons with smaller independent companies before buying tho.
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Old May 19, 2013, 08:45 AM   #20
Mikhailov
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in addition, the lack of upgradability with most laptops but with the MBAs in particular adds another variable to this equation. if you're going to spend over a grand on a computer you want to either be sure it's going to meet your needs for the long-haul, either through upgrading or future-proofing.
This is a good point too. The rMBP I'm sure already meets my needs for the next several years in everything but hard drive space. That and it is a little heavy but will a 13" Air be that much lighter?
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Old May 19, 2013, 08:48 AM   #21
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This is a good point too. The rMBP I'm sure already meets my needs for the next several years in everything but hard drive space. That and it is a little heavy but will a 13" Air be that much lighter?
.5 lb

you definitely want some hands on time before buying - i can't stress that enough.
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Old May 19, 2013, 08:56 AM   #22
Mikhailov
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.5 lb

you definitely want some hands on time before buying - i can't stress that enough.
Yeah agreed. I think at this point I have a few options available to me. My immediate solution is to install games to an external HD.

I think based on talking to others, and from the conversation on this thread, in the long term, I'm going to keep the rMBP and either start to save up for a gaming desktop build or get an OWC SSD upgrade. Or maybe even both.

Thanks for the feedback. Really helped put things in perspective.
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Old May 19, 2013, 09:16 AM   #23
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Yeah agreed. I think at this point I have a few options available to me. My immediate solution is to install games to an external HD.

I think based on talking to others, and from the conversation on this thread, in the long term, I'm going to keep the rMBP and either start to save up for a gaming desktop build or get an OWC SSD upgrade. Or maybe even both.

Thanks for the feedback. Really helped put things in perspective.

good luck!
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