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BUYING GUIDE and a

BUYING GUIDE and a GeForce GTX 1070. Occasionally it would match a GTX 1080, but most of the time, it was, well, more like a GeForce GTX ‘1075’. We haven’t yet formally reviewed a GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 with Max-Q but in testing a new Gigabyte Aero 15X with a GTX 1070 with Max-Q puts we found it right where we expected – something akin to a GeForce GTX ‘1065’. If you want all-out performance and don’t care about the weight and size, we recommend you go with a standard GeForce card in a thicker laptop. If you’re looking for something thinner, lighter, and quieter, then take a hard look at Max-Q laptops. External graphics support The next area you should think about is the burgeoning support for external graphics in gaming laptops. Customers of Alienware have long enjoyed this with its relatively inexpensive (and proprietary) Graphics 90 TECH ADVISOR • MAY 2018 Akitio Node Worldmags.net

Amplifier technology, but many new laptops support external graphics cabinets using Thunderbolt 3. These cabinets let you plug your laptop into a more powerful discrete GPU to give your laptop more graphics grunt. The Akitio Node (£316 from fave.co/2Bvryb6) is one such Thunderbolt 3 cabinet that’s helped usher in lower prices. Although external graphics are primarily desired by users who run on integrated graphics, a gaming laptop with Thunderbolt 3 support could come in handy when the GPU inside gets too old to play the latest games. BUYING GUIDE Battery life The last topic we’ll cover is battery life. The best way to understand battery life on a gaming laptop is to accept that it’ll be horrible for all things gaming. The minute you crank up a GPU on a gaming laptop to play a game, you’re basically limiting yourself to an hour or an hour and a half of battery runtime. Period. And in some cases, far less than that. The only reason to consider battery life on a gaming laptop is if you want to use your laptop unplugged for non-gaming purposes. In that respect, you’ll find a lot of variance, with some – such as Gigabyte’s Aero 15 – offering decent battery life, albeit with a trade-off in gaming performance. Best 17in gaming laptop Alienware 17 Price: £2,449 from fave.co/2BtkOdv The arrival of Nvidia’s Pascal-based mobile GPUs transformed high-end gaming laptops. These days, Worldmags.net MAY 2018 • TECH ADVISOR 91

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Nibbles & Bits - July 2012 - lcace