Has anyone here went from a PC Tower desktop to a laptop ? If so why and do you feel it was worth it?

ng4ever

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Mobility can be a plus. Cost followed by heat can be big negatives.

I have a high end Alienware m15, but typically daily a 15.6" i5 XPS. Z

Do laptops cause more heat than desktops or are you talking about putting more strain on the hardware ? Sorry not trying to be confusing.
 
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Do laptops cause more heat than desktops or are you talking about putting more strain on the hardware ? Sorry not trying to be confusing.

Basically, because of their smaller form factor, cramped internal conditions, and reduced mass (i.e., heatsinks are heavy), they are less capable of dumping any heat generated by the CPU/GPU/etc. So they get hotter that a typical desktop ever would, and are more likely to throttle. Laptop CPUs/GPUs also typically have lower TDP to compensate.
 

ng4ever

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Does it matter to have a dedicated graphics card if you don't game on a laptop ?
 

kirbyrj

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Does it matter to have a dedicated graphics card if you don't game on a laptop ?

No not really. The IGP will generally be sufficient for any 2D/Desktop tasks as well as external output probably up to 4K 30Hz as long as it is somewhat recent. Shouldn't have a problem playing video, Netflix, YT, etc. either.
 

Aurelius

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Is there any advantages ?

Portability is the obvious advantage, but there are a few others.

A laptop can be really helpful if there's a power outage. You can finish work or even keep going as usual if you have a phone with a tethering-friendly service plan. As someone who has worked from home for a long time, having a laptop (even as a backup) is a must.

The small footprint also helps. A laptop can consume a fair amount of space if you treat it like a desktop (external keyboard/mouse/monitor), but by itself it's quite compact. You can also tuck it away when you're done.

Like all-in-one PCs, it minimizes the number of cables and accessories you need if you don't have particularly stringent demands. That can be rather important if you have pets or young kids who tend to play with wires.

The potential for throttling is there, of course, and I'm not saying you should buy a laptop if you intend to play the latest games at max detail. But if you're not a heavy-duty gamer or a certain kind of creative pro, a laptop can be just dandy.
 

Spun Ducky

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I completely abandoned normal desktops in 2018. I keep a gaming laptop for gaming/heavy lifting and an LG Gram 17 for portability. I also keep a ton of hp elitedesk and intel nucs for dev servers and a stack of those the size of a regular mid tower atx is about 20 machines. My main reason was portability for team project meetings and also foot print size. I keep my stash of mini pcs stacked in a corner headless to remote into for various projects and then the main laptop is the gaming machine while the gram is my portable and when I want to sit on the couch to code.

I also noticed that while not as powerful as desktop hardware these mini machines and laptops tend to draw far less power and produce less heat. They of course hold in heat more so than a desktop but for my uses it saved a ton of space in the home office.

If I could do it all over again I would probably dump the gaming laptop and keep one super heavy hitter desktop as the gaming machine rarely moves although when it needed to move for like a presentation that used tensorflow the laptop form factor with an rtx 2060 was priceless.
 

Jinto

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I went from desktop, to gaming laptop, to laptop with EGPU over the past couple years. Now planning to go back to a desktop. Mostly because I am looking to get back into newer games and a desktop is still the best bang for the buck.
 

Archaea

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I've gone from my desktop with a Intel I7 6950X (10 core/20 thread) and Nvidia 2080 to a laptop with a Intel I7 7700HQ (4 core/8 thread) and an Nvidia 1070 temporarily while I wait for my RTX 3080. I've been using the laptop for close to a month now, and the desktop for the last 3 years.
Both with SSD operating systems with 16GB of RAM.

I realize the desktop processor has significantly more cores, but it's really noticeable how much slower the laptop is, and it's not really gaming that's the biggest subjective difference. (a 1070 is still surprisingly capable). The subjective difference, feeling slower, is desktop app use, boot up responsiveness, background CPU use as a constant.

The desktop feels like quite a bit stronger machine...I miss it. (even though most would describe that laptop hardware as quite capable).
 

viper_0307

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I used to build all systems around desktop towers. The main advantage is portability; there are sacrifices. Probably a little greener (less energy).

I recently started buying the HP mini desktops (e.g.: HP Prodesk 600 G4) to save space.
 

mnewxcv

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I've gone desktop to laptop to desktop to laptop many times. The new ryzen laptops are the only laptops I'd consider suitable desktop replacements, but, I have decided on high end desktop and a low end laptop to remote into said desktop. That works well for me and in a sense is the best of both worlds.
 

n0ob3r

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I have my primary gaming desktop in the office and I bought a budget gaming laptop so I could game in the house.

I definitely still prefer to game on the desktop. I am sure my experience would be different if I bought an expensive gaming laptop but not at a place to shell that kind of money out.

A plus side for the laptop: if you use steam, you can stream your main desktop to your laptop which will use the hardware from your desktop but on the screen , mouse and keyboard of the laptop.
 

Hulk

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Just get The Dell Precision™ M6400 Mobile Workstation from ebay for like $200. They are quad core and have a massive 17" screen with great resolution and you can easily customize them.
 
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My primary gaming desktop is an aging i7-4770K 4.5 GHz/32 GB DDR3-2400/GTX 980 system, and while I've been itching to upgrade the GPU in it, the availability of NVIDIA's new Ampere cards has been a total joke. We'll see if AMD fares better with the RX 6800 XT.

However, I kept missing it every time I left home, and my aging Fujitsu T902 was just not cutting it any more. I can only suffer integrated Intel graphics for so long, and having a separate Cintiq Companion Hybrid negated the requirement to have my next laptop be a convertible tablet, which almost always meant integrated or low-end dedicated GPUs. (It's only recently that the Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel and ConceptD 9 started existing, and even then, they're quite expensive!)

So the local Micro Center had an open-box HP OMEN X 2S for under $1,200, and while it wasn't the highest-end variant (i7-9750H, 16 GB DDR4-2666, RTX 2070 Max-Q, 500 GB NVMe, 144 Hz 1080p IPS), I don't think I could've done better at that price, considering you'd normally need to spend hundreds more to get this or any other laptop with even the underclocked 2070 Max-Q, let alone a proper, "full-speed" Max-P mobile variant.

This little thing somehow manages to outperform the aforementioned desktop and not even throttle itself during the process, though the fans are noticeably louder. I can even drive my Valve Index off of the USB-C port with a DisplayPort female adapter, though it's not that much better than a desktop GTX 980 in limited testing, compared to when that same desktop was running an RTX 2080 I was borrowing for diagnostic purposes. I should mention, better VR performance is the primary reason I wanted to upgrade my desktop's GPU to begin with, because avoiding framedrops in a Valve Index, especially at refresh rates above 80 Hz, is no small task, particularly in unoptimized titles like No Man's Sky or DCS World.

And for everything else, it's a competent laptop. Great screen, solid build quality, still fairly portable instead of being a total brick like old 17"+ gaming laptops used to be. Perhaps it could have better battery life when away from the outlet, but I'm not generally gaming when unplugged anyway, and overall responsiveness when piling on the browser tabs with streams running is still far, far better than the aging T902. Feels like having the desktop performance I'm used to on the go for once.

That said, there will always be some kind of desktop in my life. Desktop GPUs struggle enough with the demands of high-end VR; laptops have no chance for several years yet, especially since their GPUs are difficult at best to upgrade.

Case in point: I have a decommissioned HP ZBook 15 G2 that I'd love to upgrade from the Quadro K1100M, but my best option seems to be a mere Quadro M2200M or whatever the GeForce equivalent is because it uses MXM-A, not MXM-B that all the higher-end GPUs require. On top of that, this isn't even getting into the likelihood of a business-class mobile workstation having some kind of BIOS/UEFI whitelist that prevents non-approved hardware from working at all.

If you propose an eGPU, it only has Thunderbolt 2, which means it'd need adapters to work with Thunderbolt 3 and only have half the bandwidth, where TB3 is already enough of a bandwidth constraint for a high-end GPU. There's also the irony in how a lot of computers that would benefit the most from Thunderbolt eGPUs lack the interface entirely.
 

TheSlySyl

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Due to events last year, I had to use a gaming laptop in a hotel for 6 weeks instead of my desktop computer which I left at home.

I ended up buying a secondary monitor, a keyboard and a mouse and making it as absolutely close to a desktop as I could. The performance of the laptop was only a little less than my desktop at the time, but that form factor is not for me.

Laptop's still going strong, making this post on it right now as it basically lives next to the living room couch when I'm not out of town.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Good used thinkpads are cheap if you research specs and are patient. They run *nix like a Swiss watch and do pretty much everything but hardcore gaming. Get one for couch surfing and keep the desktop for work and 3D pursuits.
If you need two machines that can fulfill the same functions the restriction is still and will always be cost. If we are accepting substitutes that aren’t able to perform the exact same functions to a reasonable degree then sure, there are tons of replacements.

At this point a server administrator can use an iPad to use a remote VM. That’s great for you if that’s all you need, but the implication in my statement from the beginning is in my mind obvious and shouldn’t need this level of explanation.
 

Machupo

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Nov 14, 2004
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I stopped gaming, I travel a lot, and offloaded all my intensive jobs to my rack in the basement. No need for a desktop anymore.

XPS13 has been going strong for 4 years on ubuntu without complaint.
 
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