Laptop suggestions for running SWTOR on max settings

jmdMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 8, 2010
218
1
Alaska
Hey all, I am currently in the market for a gaming laptop that will allow me to run SWTOR on max settings with >60fps.
Please, no bootcamp suggestions I have already tried and it does not run that smooth.

Here is my criteria:
1) What is your budget?
Under $2000

2) What size notebook would you prefer?
17-18"

3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
USA

4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
Something reliable

5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
No

6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
SWTOR Gaming

7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
Desk

8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
SWTOR

9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
1-2

10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
Online (I live in Alaska)

11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
Windows 7

Screen Specifics
1900x1080

13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
Either

Build Quality and Design

14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
No

15) When are you buying this laptop?
~1 month

16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
2-3 years

Notebook Components

17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
>350GB, don't need SSD

18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?
Yes, just CD/DVD

Thanks.
 

Killery96

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2011
281
0
Hey all, I am currently in the market for a gaming laptop that will allow me to run SWTOR on max settings with >60fps.
Please, no bootcamp suggestions I have already tried and it does not run that smooth.

Here is my criteria:
1) What is your budget?
Under $2000

2) What size notebook would you prefer?
17-18"

3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
USA

4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
Something reliable

5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
No

6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
SWTOR Gaming

7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
Desk

8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
SWTOR

9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
1-2

10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
Online (I live in Alaska)

11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
Windows 7

Screen Specifics
1900x1080

13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
Either

Build Quality and Design

14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
No

15) When are you buying this laptop?
~1 month

16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
2-3 years

Notebook Components

17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
>350GB, don't need SSD

18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?
Yes, just CD/DVD

Thanks.
I would check out some of the Asus or MSI laptops that are out there. I wouldn't expect 3 years life though lol. And thinking you'll spend all that for one game is foolish. You'll want to play MORE games after about two weeks maximum. Getting a laptop for a desk is pointless.

I'd say a Mac. Seeing how the graphics of SWTOR compare to Dragon Age Origins which the Macbook Pro from EARLY 2011 can easily run at maximum eye candy, I'd say the Mac can Max it.

Edit: JUST READ the top part of your post. It seems unlikely that something with those graphics would run choppy on a Macbook Pro with a 6750m. Even a 330m should handle it. Driver problems?
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,029
1,054
Huh? Bootcamp doesn't have any speed difference from a real PC.

I played it on my 3 year old Macbook Pro medium/low just fine in Bootcamp. I'm sure a new Macbook Pro wouldn't have any issues on max.
 

huck500

macrumors 6502
May 10, 2004
386
29
Southern California
If you really need a laptop (because I'd build a PC if possible), I'd look at the Asus and Toshiba brands, since those are consistently more reliable than other PCs (and even mac laptops in Toshiba's case, according to Consumer Reports;)).

ASUS G74Sx Republic of Gamers
Toshiba Qosmio X775

are a couple of choices... they can be customized all you want on the websites, but are pretty reasonably priced in general.

Good luck! SWTOR is a lot of fun.
 

jmdMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 8, 2010
218
1
Alaska
I would check out some of the Asus or MSI laptops that are out there. I wouldn't expect 3 years life though lol. And thinking you'll spend all that for one game is foolish. You'll want to play MORE games after about two weeks maximum. Getting a laptop for a desk is pointless.

I'd say a Mac. Seeing how the graphics of SWTOR compare to Dragon Age Origins which the Macbook Pro from EARLY 2011 can easily run at maximum eye candy, I'd say the Mac can Max it.

Edit: JUST READ the top part of your post. It seems unlikely that something with those graphics would run choppy on a Macbook Pro with a 6750m. Even a 330m should handle it. Driver problems?
Ya I'm really thinking that two years if that is more realistic. I'm not buying it just for SWTOR, however it is my main concern when it comes to gaming. I want to run it maxed out flawlessly. I also want to load up all my old RTS games on it (AOE 1,2,3; C&C, etc) :)

And my mac just gets uncomfortably hot when doing any type of gaming, and I don't want to stress it more than needed. I like to baby my mac, plan on keeping it for a while.

----------

Also for those recommending the MSI, Asus, and Toshiba...

Is a single 560m GPU going to do the job I'm looking for? I ask because I really do not know.

I could also look for something with dual 560m in SLI, if SWTOR utilizes SLI???

Finally, would a single 570 or 580 be better than dual 560 in SLI??

Any/all of these answered would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks again.
 

doh123

macrumors 65816
Dec 28, 2009
1,304
1
SWTOR's engine is single threaded DX9 that needs hardly any horsepower... no SLI needed to run it maxed out.
 

Wyldechild

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2010
11
0
SWTOR's engine is single threaded DX9 that needs hardly any horsepower... no SLI needed to run it maxed out.
It's not a very well coded game. If you want to run it maxed out with good frame rates, you're going to need a reasonably powerful computer. A laptop won't suffice unless you like wasting money.
 

jmdMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 8, 2010
218
1
Alaska
Any reason you need a laptop? A $600-800 gaming PC would be more worth it.
I realize that, however I do need to be able to move around a little. I am graduating in May, so will be moving then, and again later in the summer. Would like to be able to bring a laptop to a friends rather than have to pack up a desktop.

I do realize that there is WAY more bang for your buck with a custom desktop, and I will be investing in one a few years down the road when I have a more stable home base.

I think I have narrowed my search down to 4, please feel free to chime in and make suggestions. Please back them up with either personal experience or just some good old fashion know how.

  • All of these have either the i7-2630 or 2670 so not much different there and I feel either of those are more than suitable.
  • Also, all have the wireless card and thermal paste upgraded.

  • All prices are from xocticpc.com
Sager/Clevo NP8170: 2gb GTX 580 w/12gb RAM (not Vram)---------------~$1800

Force/MSI 1761: 1.5gb GTX 570 w/8gb RAM (not Vram)--------------------~$1450

MSI GT780DX-406: 1.5gb GTX 570 w/12gb RAM (not Vram)----------------~$1625

Malibal Veda P180HM: dual 1.5gb GTX 560 SLI w/8gb RAM (not Vram)----~$1700

Thanks again for the feedback.
 

MasterTick

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2009
325
0
I realize that, however I do need to be able to move around a little. I am graduating in May, so will be moving then, and again later in the summer. Would like to be able to bring a laptop to a friends rather than have to pack up a desktop.

I do realize that there is WAY more bang for your buck with a custom desktop, and I will be investing in one a few years down the road when I have a more stable home base.

I think I have narrowed my search down to 4, please feel free to chime in and make suggestions. Please back them up with either personal experience or just some good old fashion know how.

  • All of these have either the i7-2630 or 2670 so not much different there and I feel either of those are more than suitable.
  • Also, all have the wireless card and thermal paste upgraded.

  • All prices are from xocticpc.com
Sager/Clevo NP8170: 2gb GTX 580 w/12gb RAM (not Vram)---------------~$1800

Force/MSI 1761: 1.5gb GTX 570 w/8gb RAM (not Vram)--------------------~$1450

MSI GT780DX-406: 1.5gb GTX 570 w/12gb RAM (not Vram)----------------~$1625

Malibal Veda P180HM: dual 1.5gb GTX 560 SLI w/8gb RAM (not Vram)----~$1700

Thanks again for the feedback.
Sager laptops are awesome, the one you listed would max out SWTOR no problem.
 

DustinT

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2011
1,556
0
I would check out some of the Asus or MSI laptops that are out there. I wouldn't expect 3 years life though lol. And thinking you'll spend all that for one game is foolish. You'll want to play MORE games after about two weeks maximum. Getting a laptop for a desk is pointless.

I'd say a Mac. Seeing how the graphics of SWTOR compare to Dragon Age Origins which the Macbook Pro from EARLY 2011 can easily run at maximum eye candy, I'd say the Mac can Max it.

Edit: JUST READ the top part of your post. It seems unlikely that something with those graphics would run choppy on a Macbook Pro with a 6750m. Even a 330m should handle it. Driver problems?
I concur, for the money, a 15" base MBP will play this game just fine.

Huh? Bootcamp doesn't have any speed difference from a real PC.

I played it on my 3 year old Macbook Pro medium/low just fine in Bootcamp. I'm sure a new Macbook Pro wouldn't have any issues on max.
Correct, Bootcamp has no impact on the performance of a system.

I realize that, however I do need to be able to move around a little. I am graduating in May, so will be moving then, and again later in the summer. Would like to be able to bring a laptop to a friends rather than have to pack up a desktop.

I do realize that there is WAY more bang for your buck with a custom desktop, and I will be investing in one a few years down the road when I have a more stable home base.

I think I have narrowed my search down to 4, please feel free to chime in and make suggestions. Please back them up with either personal experience or just some good old fashion know how.

  • All of these have either the i7-2630 or 2670 so not much different there and I feel either of those are more than suitable.
  • Also, all have the wireless card and thermal paste upgraded.

  • All prices are from xocticpc.com
Sager/Clevo NP8170: 2gb GTX 580 w/12gb RAM (not Vram)---------------~$1800

Force/MSI 1761: 1.5gb GTX 570 w/8gb RAM (not Vram)--------------------~$1450

MSI GT780DX-406: 1.5gb GTX 570 w/12gb RAM (not Vram)----------------~$1625

Malibal Veda P180HM: dual 1.5gb GTX 560 SLI w/8gb RAM (not Vram)----~$1700

Thanks again for the feedback.
Those systems are a complete overkill and waste of money if you plan on mainly playing SWTOR on your desktop.
 

JInx3110

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2011
19
0
N.Ireland
At 1080p you will be sweet with either 560m or 570m but be safe and go for 570m as you want maximum and swtor is horribly optimised. whatever you do don't go AMD gpu for swtor though its far worse. I get higher fps in assassins creed revelations everything max with 8x msaa 2560 x 1440 than i do in swtor (same settings but with forced 4xMSAA and 16x AF)
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,029
1,054
TOR is not actually that graphically intensive of a game, all the systems you're looking at are total overkill.

You're going to want a card with more VRAM, and a laptop with more RAM. Other than that, as other people have mentioned, it's single threaded, so core count doesn't matter, and the speed of the GPU doesn't really matter.

Honestly, your Macbook Pro should still be able to play it fine. Did you try updating the drivers on it?

My Mac Pro with a single 5870 absolutely screams running this game at max. Even though a recent Macbook Pro is still slower, it shouldn't be slow enough to cause problems.

Keep in mind, there are issues with all ATI cards right now, Mac and PC, that will keep you from hitting 60 fps on max until ATI drops a new driver. That could be your problem, and if so, buying a PC won't fix it.
 

Json81

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2012
107
83
Have people commenting here even played the game?

560m/570m is not enough to max it in 1920x1080 in warzones, fleet etc.

If solo questing is all you do and drops below 20fps in some scenarios/zones is ok it will be fine though.
 

DustinT

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2011
1,556
0
Have people commenting here even played the game?

560m/570m is not enough to max it in 1920x1080 in warzones, fleet etc.

If solo questing is all you do and drops below 20fps in some scenarios/zones is ok it will be fine though.
Yes, I have.
 

jmdMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 8, 2010
218
1
Alaska
It's not a very well coded game. If you want to run it maxed out with good frame rates, you're going to need a reasonably powerful computer. A laptop won't suffice unless you like wasting money.
Thanks, it's nice to hear someone finally admit that although this game may not be graphically intensive by design, it is coded poorly. So overkill is the only way to combat that right now.

Please, people, stop with the MBP and bootcamp. I have one, and an iMac. I want a gaming laptop. Also, yes a desktop would be better, but not for my living situation in the next year or so. That will have to wait till I settle into my job location.

I have narrowed my search down to this:

Sager NP8170: 2gb GTX 580 w/12gb RAM (not Vram)---------------~$1800

Force/MSI 1761: 2gb GTX 580 w/8gb RAM (not Vram)--------------------~$1715

MSI GT780DX-406: 1.5gb GTX 570 w/12gb RAM (not Vram)----------------~$1625

Don't pay attention to the RAM, that is what they come with for no extra charge.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,029
1,054
SWTOR maxes out at 4 gigs of RAM, so don't worry about the RAM. More than 8 gigs will be a waste.

You probably want a desktop GPU to do what you want. Sorry to say, but it's the truth. It's going to be way cheaper too.
 

jmdMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 8, 2010
218
1
Alaska
SWTOR maxes out at 4 gigs of RAM, so don't worry about the RAM. More than 8 gigs will be a waste.

You probably want a desktop GPU to do what you want. Sorry to say, but it's the truth. It's going to be way cheaper too.
Not trying to be rude, but did you read my post before yours?

I said "Don't pay attention to the RAM, that is what they come with for no extra charge."

And, " Also, yes a desktop would be better, but not for my living situation in the next year or so."
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,029
1,054
I said "Don't pay attention to the RAM, that is what they come with for no extra charge."
Sure, which implied you were thinking of adding more for extra charge, and I told you not to worry about it. The amount they come with is already way more than TOR can use. Maybe I was wrong about your intent, but whatever.

And, " Also, yes a desktop would be better, but not for my living situation in the next year or so."
Eh, just saying. If you don't want to get a desktop, you may need to lessen your requirements. I'm starting to doubt you can hit your target FPS, even on those machines. And for the amount you'll pay, you could probably buy two desktops that could play TOR how you want.

But if you're willing to play at 30-45 fps, yeah, those machines will probably work. Your bottleneck is the GPU, and laptop GPUs are much slower.
 

jmdMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 8, 2010
218
1
Alaska
TOR is not actually that graphically intensive of a game, all the systems you're looking at are total overkill.
Eh, just saying. If you don't want to get a desktop, you may need to lessen your requirements. I'm starting to doubt you can hit your target FPS, even on those machines. And for the amount you'll pay, you could probably buy two desktops that could play TOR how you want.

But if you're willing to play at 30-45 fps, yeah, those machines will probably work. Your bottleneck is the GPU, and laptop GPUs are much slower.
Are they overkill or not enough??

At this point I'm just asking if anyone can recommend any of those listed.
 

cluthz

macrumors 68040
Jun 15, 2004
3,118
3
Norway
The fastest moblie GPUs atm are 580M and 6990M, they have a 3DMark06 at around 21k.

My rig (desktop) scores around 19k in 3DMark06, so it would be slightly faster.
My experiences is that with soloing and 4 Man instances I can keep 60 FPS at all times, but however at fleet and in war zones FPS do drop to 30ish and sometimes lower. One of my friends do have a desktop with 5870 and he has the same problem (the 5870 do around 22k 3dMark06).

I run at 1680x1050 at max res with forced 4x AA.

I do however believe that with optimizing this will be fixed, but for now no laptop would be able to push 60FPS at all times.

I would really recommend getting SSD. Load times in SWTOR is really slow and zoning with a HD will take 10-15 sec more when zoning compared to SSD.
(I had the game on a 2TB 7200 RPM WD Black desktop HD, which is one of the fastest spinning SATA drives (except raptors), and much faster than any laptop 7200RPM, and when I moved SWTOR to my SSD it really got a boost.)

If you buy a gaming laptop you usually have space for both SSD and HDD, so get a 500GB+ HDD and a 64 GB SSD (enough for win+SWTOR), it's worth it!
 

jmdMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 8, 2010
218
1
Alaska
The fastest moblie GPUs atm are 580M and 6990M, they have a 3DMark06 at around 21k.

My rig (desktop) scores around 19k in 3DMark06, so it would be slightly faster.
My experiences is that with soloing and 4 Man instances I can keep 60 FPS at all times, but however at fleet and in war zones FPS do drop to 30ish and sometimes lower. One of my friends do have a desktop with 5870 and he has the same problem (the 5870 do around 22k 3dMark06).

I run at 1680x1050 at max res with forced 4x AA.

I do however believe that with optimizing this will be fixed, but for now no laptop would be able to push 60FPS at all times.

I would really recommend getting SSD. Load times in SWTOR is really slow and zoning with a HD will take 10-15 sec more when zoning compared to SSD.
(I had the game on a 2TB 7200 RPM WD Black desktop HD, which is one of the fastest spinning SATA drives (except raptors), and much faster than any laptop 7200RPM, and when I moved SWTOR to my SSD it really got a boost.)

If you buy a gaming laptop you usually have space for both SSD and HDD, so get a 500GB+ HDD and a 64 GB SSD (enough for win+SWTOR), it's worth it!
Awesome, great advice thanks a bunch.

Any suggestion as to which laptop would be best or your preference?
 

DustinT

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2011
1,556
0
Please, people, stop with the MBP and bootcamp. I have one, and an iMac. I want a gaming laptop. Also, yes a desktop would be better, but not for my living situation in the next year or so. That will have to wait till I settle into my job location.
I guess the problem is that we know the majority of the laptops you are talking about aren't made that well. Spending the better part of $2000 now will give you a system that is creaky, overheating, and worthless from a gaming and monetary standpoint in a couple of years. Gaming laptops are made for rich kids who like lots of lights, vents and noise... And there's so many tradeoff's made in the design and manufacturing process that it's just not a good idea when you can spend less than half the money and get a properly made gaming desktop that will be much faster than any gaming laptop on the market.

Oh, the reason you are getting so many comments to buy a MBP and bootcamp it is that we know that a properly spec'd MBP will cost the same as the gaming laptops you are mentioning, it will play the game reasonably well and won't have the issues I posted about above. In fact, a couple of year old MBP will retain a significant percentage of it's value when you go to sell it, unlike the laptops you are mentioning above.

But, if you are still convinced that you need a gaming laptop, I recommend you check Anandtech.com's reviews. They have looked at the Clevo, Dell, Asus and a few more I can't remember. I trust their reviews and I think you'll enjoy reading them. Then, buy a MBP and bootcamp it.

:)

(sorry, I couldn't resist.)
 

cluthz

macrumors 68040
Jun 15, 2004
3,118
3
Norway
I do believe all those machine will run it maxed once BIoWare figures out the issues. In the beta Warzones was a lot smoother and my gfx card is actually running (same with CPU) at roughly 50-60%. Temps peak at 65°C, and while playing other games I'm pushing 75°C (and I've seen 84°C during furmark stress tests).

I'm not sure which of those that have a second drive bay, but any of those with option of a second drive will be a good buy.
Just buy it with a standard HD and add the SSD of your choice yourself.
A 90GB Vertex 3 costs $115 at newegg with rebates, but there are many good choices (and all is faster than mine, as I have a 2009 model Vertex Turbo).
64GB should suffice, but having a few extra GB won't hurt and you'll have space for another game, if you find out you wanna play some other games.

When it comes to brands there are small differences, and most (but not all) new SSDs are only possible to differentiate with benchmarks.
The SSDs of choice now seems to be Kingston HyperX, OCZ Vertex 3 and Agility 3, Corsair Force 3 and GT, Samsung 830 and Crucial m4. Intel 510 and 320, kIngston v200 does not seem to be worth the money.

As DustinT suggested, read reviews, as the biggest difference between the machine would be noise, temps and build quality.

By the way, both AMD 7k and GeForce 700 (mobile series) was announced just before xmas and should be shipping within weeks, it might be worth the wait.
 

MasterTick

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2009
325
0
I guess the problem is that we know the majority of the laptops you are talking about aren't made that well. Spending the better part of $2000 now will give you a system that is creaky, overheating, and worthless from a gaming and monetary standpoint in a couple of years. Gaming laptops are made for rich kids who like lots of lights, vents and noise... And there's so many tradeoff's made in the design and manufacturing process that it's just not a good idea when you can spend less than half the money and get a properly made gaming desktop that will be much faster than any gaming laptop on the market.

Oh, the reason you are getting so many comments to buy a MBP and bootcamp it is that we know that a properly spec'd MBP will cost the same as the gaming laptops you are mentioning, it will play the game reasonably well and won't have the issues I posted about above. In fact, a couple of year old MBP will retain a significant percentage of it's value when you go to sell it, unlike the laptops you are mentioning above.

But, if you are still convinced that you need a gaming laptop, I recommend you check Anandtech.com's reviews. They have looked at the Clevo, Dell, Asus and a few more I can't remember. I trust their reviews and I think you'll enjoy reading them. Then, buy a MBP and bootcamp it.

:)

(sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Sager laptops are every bit as well built as a MBP, granted they don't look as good, but they're function over form.
 
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