A bunch of years ago, I bought a new laptop, one with an actual dedicated graphics card and modern processor. Sufficed to say that as time moved on, it was not as hot or useful as it was when I got it. It wasn’t just that games nowadays require more power in pretty much everything — processor, graphics card, RAM — and year even indie games were causing my computer to chug at times, but really the problem was that thanks to the ongoing updates, my internet browser were causing constant slowdowns and crashes. As well as that MSI GX660 served me, it was time to get a new laptop.
It had been time for a while and I was just going to push through with the old one, but then I got enough money from my Birthday and Christmas to make getting a replacement a viable option. Funny, I’ve bought one new electronics device for myself in after Christmas sales over the past three years. It’s nice getting oneself something new and shiny, especially when you didn’t think you could.
I had so many tabs open to many different digital store fronts and laptop maker websites looking for the best option. I was balancing getting the most powerful machine I could at a price I was willing to spend and one that had the user reviews that would convince me it wasn’t about to fall apart out of the box. As much as I liked the MSI and for all its positive features, I had to send it back for warranty twice, have the power jack replaced and buy a new AV battery and cord…twice. This isn’t a whim purchase and you want to make sure you get it right.
The flip side is you can really get lost down a rabbit hole comparing every minute tech stat and trying to parse the differences in subjective, undetailed user experiences. Buyer reviews are not as helpful as you’d hope they’d be.
Then my dad suggested when we went to Costco to check out the laptops they had on display and try them out. This is the type of thing you want to get your hands on. It was a good idea. Because that’s where I got the laptop I’m now writing this on.
The ASUS Republic of Gamers GL753, 17.3 inch screen, 1080p, 7th generation i7 quad-core processor, 16 gigs of RAM, NVIDIA GTX 1050 Titan, and two hard drives — one 128 gig solid state for a quick Windows 10 boot and a 1 TB 5400 rpm one for everything else.
It was outside the $800-$900 I was willing to spend, even on special Costco $200 off sale they were doing, but it was also everything I wanted without any of the tradeoff for a cheaper price I had been looking at. All the laptops I was looking at online either had less RAM (but upgradable), or only 1 hard drive (but with an empty slot for a second one) or a lesser version of the GTX 1050. Plus, any laptop online with the stats this thing had was going to be double what I was willing to spend. Then my dad said he’d buy it and I pay him back. The price difference being made up in a business tax write off. I got right there.
I got it before the New Year, but I had a certain project to finish in the mean time, so setting it up and enjoying it got delayed several days. Once I had the first time set up done, I installed Steam and tested it out with the beefiest game I had, which was only Metro: Last Light. The game’s auto detection started me out on max settings. The game was so smooth with nearly a whine from the computer itself. Then I bought Prey for PC for the sole purpose of seeing what it looked like on max settings. Again, it handled it with nary a complaint and looked gorgeous while doing so.
First few days or so I spent migrating all of my files, installing all my programs and setting them all up just how I like them. The only loss from this transfer is that my RSS reader only picks up the most recent entries, which means I lost all my unread items before that. That’s about 3000 unread items gone. On the other hand that’s 3000 unread articles that aren’t hanging over my head anymore. Plus, they’re still on the MSI, not like I’m throwing it out or anything.
I’ve spent the rest of the past week learning what this thing is capable of. I wrote the TYIVGB post-mortem on this and the keyboard is a joy. It’s got that mechanical keyboard sound and just the right amount of resistance. When I’m rewriting a sentence, I don’t edit it so much as actually rewrite the entire sentence with the changes because the act of typing on this thing is so pleasurable.
Oh yeah, the keyboard is backlit and I can change the colors to anything I want.
The ASUS actually has more USB ports than my MSI did and all of them are 3.0. Also, I used to have trouble with one of my external hard drives. It wouldn’t always read it and I’d end up unplugging and replugging it in until the computer recognized it. Used to think it was the cable, because jiggling it would help. No such problem here. Plug it in and it’s immediately recognized. No interruption during file transfers. It just works.
The colors are so crisp and bright. It has this button that brings up a special program specifically to tell you how well all the components are working and if you want to adjust anything. One of the settings in the Control Panel is for the “Gaming Bar” which you can bring up with a simple button combo. On the bar are buttons to record the game you’re playing, stream it to Xbox Live, share screenshots and more. I used to think it would require multiple programs and a lot of effort for game capture, nope, here it’s one button.
The screen size requires getting used to. Because it’s 1080p and 17.3 inches it means that pretty much everything has to be resized or the text is so tiny. Not a big problem, but something I’ve had to keep in mind. On the other hand, thanks to the screen size and resolution, all the icons that used to cover my desktop now take up less than a fourth of the space.
I’m still settling in with my new machine, but I am super happy. It’s like that feeling when you just get out of the shower. Everything didn’t feel really off before you go in because you got used to it, but afterwards you just feel so refreshed and free.
I think that’s enough of me bragging about my new machine and the luck in getting it. w00t!
RSS Reader Addendum:
I looked at my old post for when I bandied about my then new MSI laptop, I saw that the second half was a metaphorical funeral to dead RSS feeds. I could clean up my RSS reader more regularly, but I don’t find that useful. By keeping the feeds in my reader I get to keep the history of posts of what the blog once was. However, transferring all the data over to the PC doesn’t transfer the backlog of archived posts. This leaves an opportunity to clean up my feeds without the risk of losing anything.
I’m only clearing out those feeds for blogs and sites that are dead. I don’t mean they haven’t updated in year, I’m keeping those in a vain hope. I mean the feeds for sites that no longer exist or do not use RSS anymore or have transferred ownership to someone else outside the critical games community. (A few of these are now spam blogs for cheats in mobile games. One is in Japanese.)
So let’s pour one out for:
Alive Tiny World: http://alivetinyworld.wordpress.com/feed
Ambient Challenge: http://ambientchallenge.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Critical Missive: http://criticalmissive.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
Cruise Elroy: http://cruiseelroy.net/feed
Design Ramage: http://designrampage.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
Digital Spirit Guide: http://digitalspiritguide.com/feed
Dire Critic: http://direcritic.com/feed/
Edge Online: http://www.edge-online.com/feed
False Gravity: http://www.falsegravity.com/?feed=rss2
flickeringcolours v2: http://flickeringcolours.net/v2/?feed=rss2
Follow and Engage: http://followandengage.com
Functional Reality: Buttons Optional: http://pandasez.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Gamer Melodico: http://www.gamermelodico.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
Games: Paste: http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/games/index.rss
Gaming Vulture: http://gamingvulture.com/feed
Glamgeekgirl’s Hub 2.0: http://almud.auner.net/feed
GONE TO STRANGE COUNTRY: http://gonetostrangecountry.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Head North: http://headnorth.posterous.com/rss.xml
Here is a thing: http://kirbybits.wordpress.com/feed
Imaginary Funerals: http://imaginaryfunerals.com/feed/
Kill Screen Daily: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/latest
Little Bo Beep: http://littlebobeep.com/feed
Ludus Dramatica: http://ludusdramatica.wordpress.com/feed
Medium Difficulty: http://www.mediumdifficulty.com/feed
Mending The Wall: http://mendingthewall.com/feed
Midnight Resistance: http://midnightresistance.co.uk/rss.xml
Nightmare Mode: http://nightmaremode.net/feed
Playful Narratives: http://www.playfulnarratives.com/feeds/posts/default
Playing the Canon: http://playingthecanon.com/feed
Preparations For Birth: http://preparationsforbirth.wordpress.com/feed
Project Ballad – Writing: http://www.projectballad.com/category/writing/feed
Purvis’ Perspective: http://danielpurvis.com/blog/feed
Roger Ebert’s Journal: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/atom.xml
Save the Robot – Chris Dahlen: http://savetherobot.wordpress.com/feed
Second Quest: http://www.secondquest.vg/feed
Sexy Videogameland: http://sexyvideogameland.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
split/screen co-op: http://splitscreencoop.com/feed
sunset surfers: http://www.sunsetsurfers.net/articles?format=RSS
Systems Operational: http://systemsoperational.com/?feed=rss2
Tales from the Ebony Fortress: http://www.ebonyfortress.co.uk/blog/feed
Tales of a Scorched Earth: http://toase.net/feed
Tiny Subversions: http://tinysubversions.com/feed
The Arcade Review: http://www.arcadereview.net/published/?format=rss
The Border House: http://borderhouseblog.com/?feed=rss2
The Game Design Forum: http://thegamedesignforum.com/feed.xml
The Game Journal: http://www.thegamejournal.com/home/rss.xml
The Game Prodigy: http://thegameprodigy.com/feed
The Ontological Geek: http://ontologicalgeek.com/feed
The Rules on the Field: http://therulesonthefield.com/feed
The Serious Work of Play: https://coreymilne.wordpress.com/feed
Think Feel Play: http://www.thinkfeelplay.com/feed
THIS FUCKING AMUSEMENT ARCADE: http://effingarcade.tumblr.com/rss
Top of the Sphere: http://thetipofthesphere.com/feed
Video Game Heart: http://www.videogameheart.com/feed
Words That Wont Sell: http://www.wordsthatwontsell.com/feeds/posts/default
You Have Lost!: http://www.shoinan.com/?feed=rss2
Such is the fleeting nature of the internet and its communities.