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Thread: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

  1. #1

    Default Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Because I am finishing my Master's Degree and I have been working and studying with no free time, I decided to give myself a present: a new gaming laptop. I know desktops are better choice but I need the portability and I currently own a gaming laptop from 2016, Alienware 17 R3 (CPU i7-6700HQ @2.60 GHz - 3.50 Ghz, 16 GB RAM DDR4 2100 MHz, GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3 GB DDR5) where I can play Empire, Napoleon and Shogun 2 FotS with the max. settings, Rome 2 (Patch 19, before Ancestral Update) with everything at max settings except shadows on ultra and alpha vegetation off with 46 fps and Attila on Quality with 38 fps.


    My goal is to play Empire, Napoleon, Shogun 2 and Rome 2 with the highest quality and good fps and if possible, Attila Total War in quality settings and at least 45 fps. I have a max. budget of 2500€. After researching a month, these are my favourite options:


    1- Option 1: Strong CPU and good GPU. Octane V 17.3'' Customized gaming laptop (pc specialist). 2302€



    • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700k (3.7 GHz) 12 MB cache
    • RAM: 16 GB Corsair 2666 MHz SODIMM DDR4
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 OC 1518 MHz 8 GB DDR5 Directx 12.1
    • HDD: 1 TB SAMSUNG 860 QVO 2.5'' SSD SATA 6 Gb/s (Up to 550 Mb/SR)
    • Coolermaster refrigeration for 17.3'' laptops (because of the CPU and GPU OC)
    • Display: 17.3'', Resolution: 1920x1080



    2- Option 2: Good CPU and strong GPU. MSI GE75 Raider 8SF-03. Brand gaming laptop. 2249€



    • CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2 GHz Base - 4.1 GHz Turbo) 9 MB cache
    • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB GDDR6
    • HDD: 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD + 1TB (SATA) 7200rpm
    • Display: 17.3'', Resolution: 1920x1080



    As I researched, option 1 would benefit Empire Total War, Napoleon Total War and Shogun 2 Total War while option 2 would benefit Rome 2 and Attila. I don't have much expectations with Attila and I just want to play this game for historical battles and custom battles with not too much units to avoid bottlenecks. Which option do you think is the best overall?

    PS. I almost forgot to mention that I don't spend too much time playing since I have other hobbies as well such as reading historical books, watching documentaries, movies at cinema, etc. That's the reason my Alienware still runs perfectly today.
    Last edited by Incendio; March 10, 2019 at 04:11 PM.

  2. #2
    King Athelstan's Avatar The Wheel of Time turns
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    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Both of those laptops would serve you well. While the 2070 is a stronger card, on 1080p the 2070 will be close to overkill, so a 1070 is fine there. Good to see the first laptop has some extra cooling, as the 8700k is a desktop CPU and thus is likely to run very hot, while also having stronger performance.

    I see both have an SSD+HDD, which is good. The Nvme SSD in the MSI one will run faster than a standard SATA one, but both are of course much faster than a standard hard drive. What's the size of the one in the octane?

    I reckon both of these will give you more than what you need. If you'd like to spend less money, you can safely step down on a few points there if you wish.
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  3. #3
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    I think option 2 is most cost effective of the two. You will almost always notice the better gpu than cpu in games for fps increases.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    I think option 2 is most cost effective of the two. You will almost always notice the better gpu than cpu in games for fps increases.
    Thank you very much for your feedback. I have read that Total War games are more CPU demanding than GPU, is that true? I am worried of Empire Total War. To be honest, I have never been able to play this game as I want to play it and compared to other players experience, I am a little dissapointed with my performance. I have never had a top gaming computer, but I expected a better performance in my Alienware, however I struggle with more than 2500 units per side. I was surprised when I got by far better performances with the same amount of units in Napoleon and Shogun 2 FotS with the same graphics settings: everything at max. settings. However, in the other side, I see that Attila requires a better GPU than GTX 1070 to make it enjoyable. I am a little hesitant at this moment...

    PS. I have seen very few youtube videos of Empire Total War with huge units/armies, that makes me think that this game is not designed to play it with full stacks armies.
    Last edited by Incendio; March 12, 2019 at 05:02 AM.

  5. #5
    King Athelstan's Avatar The Wheel of Time turns
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    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    The second one will give you the best performance, to clarify. There is a larger performance difference between the two GPUs than CPUs
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  6. #6
    ♔Greek Strategos♔'s Avatar BEARDED MODERATION
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    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    We already talked about Total War's engine many times, but one more time won't hurt, I guess
    So, If you're only playing TW titles, then just go for the fastest CPU you can afford, with core to core ''raw'' power (INTEL). Warscape is a heavily CPU related engine with very bad multi-threading optimizations. So you'll rely on core power and not core number. A 1070gtx will serve you indeed very well. No need for anything above it when playing on 1080p. A fast SSD will help you with loading times and turns. Even with the most advanced hardware around, TW will have issues with texture coalition and particles the moment you'll start the battle (drops, stutters etc) not much we can do about it, but there are tweaks and tips you can follow (check my Signature). That's all you'll need to know if you're only going to play TW titles

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    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Quote Originally Posted by King Athelstan View Post
    The second one will give you the best performance, to clarify. There is a larger performance difference between the two GPUs than CPUs
    Yep pretty much, I was extremely disappointed by my "upgrade" (even if the CPU was free, mobo & ram wasn't) from a 3770k to an 8086k. You would see even less difference with an 8750h and a 8700k in my opinion than what I saw between a 3770k and 8086k.

    As long as it's an i7, you won't really notice a massive difference in TW games between the two. Better GPU would give you better FPS gains.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    Yep pretty much, I was extremely disappointed by my "upgrade" (even if the CPU was free, mobo & ram wasn't) from a 3770k to an 8086k. You would see even less difference with an 8750h and an 8700k in my opinion than what I saw between a 3770k and 8086k.

    As long as it's an i7, you won't really notice a massive difference in TW games between the two. Better GPU would give you better FPS gains.
    A Game's multithreaded optimization is one of the major things that will give you the boost you wanted. It's not always about hardware. You can see properly written engines like Dunia Engine (Far Cry 5) or AnvilNext 2.0 (Assassin's creed origins) can utilize both Core power and Threads much more efficiently with very stable FPS boost. The most common differences between latest CPU versions are more like overclockability, better temps-thermal throttling etc For gaming and FPS all around, a clocked 2500K ( LGA1155) won't have a big difference with an unclocked 9700K ( FCLGA1151) and when the game (Rome 2, Shogun 2, Empire) is poorly optimized or still run on 32bit, then the clocked 2500K will have better performance. Actually, I still have a 2500k around, as a 3rd pc for movies and stuff, clocked to 5ghz (AIO) and it's still a beast with most games.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Thank you very much for your feedback. Now, considering the same CPU and this CPU as i7-8750H, which GPU would be better: Nvidia GTX 1080 or Nvidia RTX 2070? I found a similar MSI laptop compared with option 2 but with Nvidia GTX 1080:

    3- Option 3: Good CPU and Strong GPU. MSI GT75 Titan 8RG-278. Brand gaming laptop. 2487€


    • CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2 GHz Base - 4.1 GHz Turbo) 9 MB cache
    • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X
    • HDD: 256GB NVMe PCIe Gen3x4 SSD +1TB (SATA) 7200rpm
    • Display: 17.3'', Resolution: 1920x1080


    Option 3 is more expensive than Option 2. Option 2 and 3 have the same CPU, RAM and display. Unfortunately, I can't afford a RTX 2080 because would be more expensive than 3 of the grand. I guess RTX 2080 is almost the only GPU that can handle well Attila Total War so regardless my decision: Option 1, Option 2, Option 3, I will need to sacrifice graphics settings in Attila that would be the game that will bottleneck anything I can afford.

  10. #10
    AqD's Avatar (~‾▿‾)~
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    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Have you checked how good their heatsink/fans are? Some of MSI's should have two fans and both fans might be connected to both of CPU and GPU - that's important and much better than dedicated CPU/GPU fans.

    Some CPU models allow Intel XTU to customize current etc, for optimal Turbo Boost performance.
    Last edited by AqD; March 17, 2019 at 07:09 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Finally the best I can afford is a customized laptop with CPU i7-9700k paired with GPU Nvidia RTX 2060 or GTX 1070, 16 GB DDR4, and SSD. The games I want to play are: Empire, Napoleon, Shogun 2 (with Fall of the Samurai) and Rome 2 (fully updated). I would like to play Attila as well, at least the historical battles, but I don't know if worths investing in a game I am not sure will run well. I have seen benchmarks in which even a GTX 1080 can't run it well. Probably the only GPU able to run Attila decently is RTX 2080/RTX 2080 Ti but unfortunately I can't afford it since is too expensive. Should I skip Attila Total War then and stick up to Rome 2? I think I can live without Attila...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Sorry, I don't want to bother you more time with this topic, this is the last question. I need someone to give me an opinion about which of these two laptops offer a better cooling system/solution:

    MSI GE75 Raider (Brand laptop)



    Octane VI (customizable laptop from Pc Specialist)



    I need an honest feedback. I am close to make my purchase, I would love to have a very strong CPU but I am worried about temperatures in a i7-8700K (Octane VI, second pic) and I am not very good with hardware so I need to know if the Octane VI (second pic) has enough cooling for a CPU i7-8700K or it would be better to sacrifice CPU for a better cooling with a i7-8750H (MSI, first pic).

    You will make me a huge favour. God bless you.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Go with the Octane if you want peace of mind when playing TW games. Temps will remain okay unless you overclock the CPU manually since it's a "K" type Intel CPU.
    You would have to manually clean the laptop though. Making sure Dust isn't lined up in the fans and even apply superior aftermarket thermal paste. But all of this is in future after like 1 year of use, when you begin to notice that temps are 10°C+ in comparison to last year.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    I've found reviews of the two computers: MSI and Octane VI:

    MSI GE75 Raider https://www.notebookcheck.net/MSI-GE....411539.0.html
    Octane VI https://www.kitguru.net/lifestyle/mo...in-a-laptop/6/

    Now let's talk about temperatures... I am surprised Octane VI with i9-9900K only reaches 80 degrees while other brands with i7-8750H and i7-7700HQ reach 90 degrees (dissapointing for Gigabyte honestly). I am more worried about GPU, that RTX 2080 reaches 82 degrees, do you think such temperatures are? 1) a risk for the computer, 2) can cause performance issues. On the other hand, MSI has better temperatures on GPU (up to 71 degrees) but CPU reaches 82 degrees. I would go up to i7-8700K and RTX 2070 but still I figure out that temperatures would be quite similar.

  15. #15
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    No. Computer parts are meant to get extremely hot, my old OG titans were meant to run hot back in the day.


    If it goes over the upper limit, the driver will throttle the performance in an attempt to get the temperature back down anyway (for GPU's) or shut down if all else fails and for CPU's the same thing happens. In fact computers won't even start up if there's an issue with the cooling on a CPU.

    https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answ...nd-overheating
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Advice to choose between two gaming laptops to play Total War games

    Yeah temps will be quite similar and there are multiple fail safes involved to prevent hardware damage, as pointed out by zen.

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