Dell or Lenovo or MBP?

hajime

macrumors 603
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Jul 23, 2007
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Hello all, what do you think of the Dell G7 15 compared with the Lenovo T and P series as well as the Carbon X1 Gen6? It uses i7-8750H, 32GB RAM and Nvidia GPU. It has one Thunderbolt 3 @ 40Gbps port but it also has a HDMI 2.0 port for me to connect to a 4K TV at 60Hz. The TB3 port could be used to connect to a eGPU. Seems to have everything I want but it is about 2.8 kg with a big and possibly heavy AC adapter. The case is plastic also. Don't know how durable it is.

Regardless of whether I get a MBP of Windows laptop, I plan to install Linux on it for work related tasks such as running virtual machines and doing CUDA computations under Linux. In the past, I just installed Windows 7 and Linux on my MBPs. Under Mac OS, I use Keynote for presentation and other productivity work. Under Windows, I use CAD and other engineering applications. If I get a Windows laptop, I may need to Hackintosh it to use Keynote.
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
I'd opt for a Lenovo ThinkPad, as a personal choice, just not a fan of Dell. I switched some time back to Windows 10 for my professional need (QA/QC engineer in the energy industry). Due to an impromptu conversation I opted for a gaming platform, first a 15.6" MSI, next a 17.3" Acer and very latest an Asus 17.3" all have proved to be hugely performant with no issues.

The Asus s7BS (GL703GS) is by far the most impressive with new Intel 8750H hex core CPU, GTX 1070, 32Gb RAM & SSD with well over 3K reads. Although designed for gaming these notebooks make for really good workhorses, with the singular downside being battery life.

I just dropped Apple as I seen no future with them for my needs. If one needs a powerful GPU no Mac has one, with one needing to resort to an eGPU which is of no use to me as an engineer in the field. I also need relevant ports, keyboards designed for typing on as a priority, not solely less travel to allow a thinner chassis, most of all reliability...

Q-6
 
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hajime

macrumors 603
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Jul 23, 2007
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Am I correct that if I want a laptop with Intel 8750H hex core CPU, I should expect heat, noisy fan and other thermal issues?
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Am I correct that if I want a laptop with Intel 8750H hex core CPU, I should expect heat, noisy fan and other thermal issues?
No, some laptops may incur that, i.e., Dell, but others seem fine with the thermal management, such as the Razer.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Which model do you recommend?
My recommendation is to pick a model that is checks off most (if not all) of your requirements and try yourself. At this stage you have enough information to make a decision, most computer makers offer a 14 (if not more) day return. Tbh, I think most of the models recommend over the past weeks, and months would be a fine solution but its your money, your decision and you need to be at peace with that decision.

As for me and my needs; I'm very comfortable with windows, but I prefer OS X. I think this go around, I want a beefier computer then what apple typically provides and so I'm personally leaning towards the 15.6 Razer, specifically the 1060/144mHZ version. With specs being similar to many other coffee lake laptops, I really like the design of the Razer, and its vaper chamber cooling is superior to heat pipes, so much so, it doesn't incur the the throttling that the Dell XPS does.

The one darkhorse for my choosing a new laptop is buying a used 2015 MacBook Pro, I'm seeing them being sold for a around 1,200 (refurbs are 1,700 on apple.com). This in effect kicks the can down the road on my decision on moving off the Mac platform. I own an iMac and the laptop is for my mobility needs, so there's something to be said for sticking with a MBP, but I do wonder if Apple's direction with their laptops is compatible with my needs. The net effect of buying a used laptop allows me to defer that issue for a number of years.
 
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hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
6,018
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My recommendation is to pick a model that is checks off most (if not all) of your requirements and try yourself. At this stage you have enough information to make a decision, most computer makers offer a 14 (if not more) day return. Tbh, I think most of the models recommend over the past weeks, and months would be a fine solution but its your money, your decision and you need to be at peace with that decision.

As for me and my needs; I'm very comfortable with windows, but I prefer OS X. I think this go around, I want a beefier computer then what apple typically provides and so I'm personally leaning towards the 15.6 Razer, specifically the 1060/144mHZ version. With specs being similar to many other coffee lake laptops, I really like the design of the Razer, and its vaper chamber cooling is superior to heat pipes, so much so, it doesn't incur the the throttling that the Dell XPS does.

The one darkhorse for my choosing a new laptop is buying a used 2015 MacBook Pro, I'm seeing them being sold for a around 1,200 (refurbs are 1,700 on apple.com). This in effect kicks the can down the road on my decision on moving off the Mac platform. I own an iMac and the laptop is for my mobility needs, so there's something to be said for sticking with a MBP, but I do wonder if Apple's direction with their laptops is compatible with my needs. The net effect of buying a used laptop allows me to defer that issue for a number of years.

After comparing some laptops, I cannot find a reason to get a MBP 2017 especially after my two-week experience with the keyboard. Even it has no reliability issue, I just don't like the feel and the sound of the keys. Apple does offer good customer services though.

In general, if I don't play games, is there a point to get 144mHZ version of the screen? David Lee mentioned that 144mHz screen takes more battery life. Both Razer and Lenovo offers two screen options.

I will use Linux a lot. I found that most Lenovo Thinkpad are compatible but there is no mention about Razer's laptop. Problem is that most Lenovo laptops use i7-8650U. Heavier ones (2.7kg or above) use i7-7820HQ. Somebody in Macrumors mentioned that he has a Lenovo P series. Don't recall who that is. Possible options are: X1 Carbon 6gen, T480s, T480, T580 and P52S. P51 and P71 are too heavy as they are 2.5kg and 2.7kg respectively. I carried my MBP 2010 17" with an AC adapter and some light stuffs yesterday. The combined weight was large enough to temporary cut the blood circulation of my arm. I guess I would stay with about 2kg or below.


Here are my requirements:

- need to be able to connect to a 4K TV @ 60Hz with Chroma 4:4:4 (TV has HDMI 2.0 port)
- compatible with Ubuntu Linux and be able to use eGPU under Linux
- has a Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to the eGPU at full 40Gbps speed
- ideally below 2kg
- about 10 hours battery life and if possible, can change battery easily
- if possible no big and heavy AC adapter
- good customer support and after sales services
- Intel 8 gen (6-core is better but not a must)
- no heat/noisy fan/thermal/throttling issue
- no scaling issues when using 4K display (both internal LCD and external 4K display)
- no scaling issues when the LCD and external 4K monitor are at different resolutions
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,808
33,778
Boston
After comparing some laptops, I cannot find a reason to get a MBP 2017 especially after my two-week experience with the keyboard. Even it has no reliability issue, I just don't like the feel and the sound of the keys. Apple does offer good customer services though.
Given the high cost of MBPs, you shouldn't compromise, if there are elements of the laptop you don't like the by all means don't get it.

In general, if I don't play games, is there a point to get 144mHZ version of the screen? David Lee mentioned that 144mHz screen takes more battery life. Both Razer and Lenovo offers two screen options.
To my knowledge 144 refresh rate is really for games and I'm not a huge gamer, but it will open the door for me to enjoy. My thinking is that I can get the 144Hz and slow it down to 60Hz, however I'll not be able to buy a 60Hz and speed that up. I'm buying the 144Hz but the majority of time it will run at 60Hz.

I will use Linux a lot. I found that most Lenovo Thinkpad are compatible but there is no mention about Razer's laptop.
There is a sub forum on the razer forum, but I can't say how easy or hard it will be to install and configure linux. I may also install Linux on it, but I've not really vetted that out.

about 10 hours battery life and if possible, can change battery easily
Gaming laptops such as the razer makes sacrifices and one sacrifise is battery life. With Windows and other softwre you have full control on how to tweak the power profile unlike OS X.

Here's one review of the razer may help your decision. I recommend reading through the entire thread, its really informative, but here's the salient point I wanted to highlight.

When I'm mobile, 90% of my computer usage is just through chrome, occasional lightroom. On the stock balanced profile I was only getting about 2-3 hours of use out of the battery which was pretty underwhelming.
...
I set the maximum processor state to 10% while on battery. I don't have any performance hiccups in chrome on this setting, the uncomfortable warmth on the bottom was gone and now I get about 6-8 hours of battery life at 80% screen brightness, refresh rate is still 144hz which is fantastic. I could probably squeeze out 10 hours at half brightness. I'm finally happy with the mobile battery life of this laptop!
By changing the refresh rate down to 60Hz he should probably incur even better battery performance and the Razer is very useful while using it on the lap with that adjusted power profile. Both my kids and myself use the laptops on our laps, so for most of my usages this should be adaquate. By the way adjusting the power profile to 10% when on battery means the processor is running at 1.2Ghz, I suspect I can tweak that to get the right balance of power and battery life when I'm using it for work.
 
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