A list of the world’s most reliable laptops,
at the lowest cost per year of service.
What makes this list unique?
  • It is one of extremely few lists ever created by someone who is not paid by laptop vendors.

    If you buy a laptop based on a magazine article, Youtube video, forum post, or any “top 10 list”, you are being duped!
    All the big vendors: Acer, Apple, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, NewEgg, Razer, & Toshiba have Affiliate Programs that typically pay 2% to 3% of the sale. None of those companies manufacture laptops. They just order, market, rebrand, and sell laptops. 90% of the world’s laptops are manufactured by Quanta, Compal, Wistron, Foxconn, and Pegatron.
    Every YouTube video, computer article, and forum post about computers that you’re likely to find, has been written or created by an advertiser or affiliate who gets paid when suckers follow their identifying links, and buy the garbage they “recommend”.
    Because the best vendors of the world’s most reliable laptops don’t have affiliate programs, no PC magazine, even Consumer Reports, ever mentions the only laptops (like Laptop #1) that can be configured with a 9th gen Intel i9-9900K desktop processor, RTX GPU, 4 RAM chips totallying 64 GBs of RAM, 4 hard drives, 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 / USB C, battery protection technology, benchmarks in the top 1% of all computers (even desktops), can serve for 20+ years without repair, and cost 25% less per year than the average laptop.
    I’ve been custom configuring and recommending computers to my clients since the mid 1990s. In all those years, no client, friend, or family member has ever expressed regret for following my advice.

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  • These are the most reliable laptops in the world.

    Each component is deeply researched, and chosen not only for performance, but for some of the lowest failure rates, and the lowest price for performance.
    Every computer that I recommend is custom configured. Unlike off-the-shelf laptops, recommended by affiliates, I know the specs, failure rates & real world performance benchmarks of the storage drives, RAM, Wi-Fi, displays, CPU, graphics card and every other component that goes into each laptop. It is for this reason, and others, that the laptops that I recommend serve for 10 to 20+ years, rather than the industry average of just 3 to 4 years, and have a failure rate of less than 5% over 10 years, rather than the industry average failure rates of 15% to 25% over just the first 2 years.

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  • These custom laptops cost less per year than off-the-shelf laptops.

    A quality laptop is an investment that costs less in the long run.
    The average laptop, costs about $750 and has a lifespan of only 4 years. with an average 20% failure rate in just the first 2 years. They are slow, and barely capable of the most basic tasks, yet cost $187 per year. (750 / 4 = $187) This doesn’t even include the cost of data recovery, lost time and frustration.
    A well configured quality laptop, from the least expensive vetted vendor costs less than $150 per year, with a failure rate well under 5% over 10 years.
    It’s mind boggling that anyone would pay $187 a year for slow, unreliable crap! Or that pure greed perpetuates such pathetic recommendations.
    Each month, I compare the prices of well vetted vendors for the laptops that I configure, and recommend the vendor with the lowest price. The price difference between the two lowest priced vendors is often more than my research fee, and the price difference between lowest and highest price is often 20+%. No one can configure a more powerful, more reliable laptop from a quality vendor for a lower price!

    If you still want a sluggish, unreliable, cheap computer, then you should probably just buy a couple of the cheapest Amazon Windows 10 computers with a keyboard, for $100 each, and a BUNCH of headache medicine. It’s not that the cheapest laptops are too crappy for affiliates to link to, it’s that the $2 affiliate fee isn’t worth their time to post a link.

     

     

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  • These laptops are among the fastest in the world.

    Unless you buy a very expensive “gaming laptop” ($400+ per year) chances are that any off-the-shelf laptop will have a celeron or other very slow CPU, integrated graphics, low performance RAM, an HDD or eMMC SSD, and other slow, high failure rate components.
    The laptops that I configure all have high performance CPUs, and high performance RAM, quality 144Hz displays, 1.73Gbps Wi-Fi, and most have an RTX GPU, a 1TB SSD drive to store your files, and backup your OS drive, as well as the latest in storage drive technology, a PCIe SSD OS drive, which is 30 times faster than an average HDD and will be the standard for at least the next 20 years, like HDD has been for the last 30 years.

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Other important info:
  • Batteries: The solution to laptop's Achilles heel.

    The laptops that I recommend are the only ones with battery protection technology.
    The problem with Lithium-Ion batteries is that they have a limited lifespan. Most electronic devices “saturation charge” the battery, which limits the lifespan to only 300 to 1,000 charging cycles.
    By using battery protection technology, you can set the battery to only charge when the battery capacity drops below 60%, and charge to 80%. These settings can increase the number of cycles from under 1,000 cycles to over 5,000 cycles. Without this technology all off-the-shelf laptops require battery replacement in just a couple of years, instead of more than 10 years.
    Just like a NASCAR vehicle only gets 5 MPG compared to a scooter’s 100MPG, a powerful laptop will have a shorter battery life. The best solution for ANY laptop is to use a Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter in your vehicle, and a Pure Sine Wave Power Bank elsewhere.
    Most off-the-shelf laptops have a battery capacity of 35 to 60 Watt Hours (Wh). The laptops that I recommend have battery capacities between 62 & 86 Wh.
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  • Storage drives: Failure rates / speed / capacity & price.

    The storage drive is the most important component in a laptop. If any other component fails, you replace it, if you can, and you’re back up and running, but when a hard drive fails, you can lose your data, and endure days of frustration.
    I never configure laptops with a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), because they rarely run for more than 6 years (52,560 hours). The expected lifespan of the quality Solid State Drives (SSD) that I configure are 60+ years.

    I configure most laptops with 2 drives:
    One 500 GB PCIe SSD for the Operating System and Software. PCIe, rarely found in off the shelf laptops, will be the standard for at least the next 20 years, and is 30 times as fast as a typical HDD.
    One 1TB SATA SSD for storing files, and backups of your OS drive. This configuration allows you to recover from a bad update, malware, or other software catastrophe in under an hour, with no data recovery necessary.

    Don’t be fooled by Vendors listing SATA III storage drives as 6 Gbps. The fastest SATA SSD has a sequential read speed of 3.9 Gbps. The fastest SATA HDD has a speed of 1.6 Gbps. The PCIe SSDs that I configure have a read speed of 21.2 Gbps! Don’t be fooled by expensive gaming laptops with SSDs. Vendors rarely mention the manufacturer of the drives, and often use cheap SSDs with low binned components and 10 times the failure rate, even in laptops with fast CPUs and GPUs.

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  • To understand quality and reliability, you need to understand binning.

    Many components come off the exact same assembly line. The difference is their performance in quality control testing. The components that fail testing are binned as lower performance components, which are relative to higher failure rates. Off-the-shelf laptops have lower binned components that are relative to their price, performance, and failure rates.
    The custom configured laptops that I recommend, have top binned components that haven’t failed quality control tests.

    A YouTube video that explains binning

    Even expensive “gaming laptops” will have low binned components to maximize profit margins. They may have the CPU / GPU that gamers are looking for, but will have cheap SATA SSD drives and RAM chips, with 10 times the failure rate of a quality SSD and RAM.
    I scour the internet for data in multiple languages for reliable failure rates of many different components.

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  • The many reasons not to buy the laptops that affiliates recommend.

    Affiliates do very little if any real research. Most of them couldn’t even tell you the manufacturer of the RAM or storage drive, much less the failure rates or benchmarks of the components in the laptops they recommend.
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    All vendors with affiliate programs have deplorable customer service.
    Click the name of each vendor with an affiliate program, to see their scores, click the screenshots to go to the review page and read the reviews. Some vendors have been manipulating their scores.
    Signs of manipulation are:
    Huge numbers of reviews.
    5 star reviews that outnumber 4 stars by 1000+% instead of under 500%.
    5 Star reviews that all contain perfect grammar, punctuation and spelling etc…
    Customer review scores of at least 8 of 10 are just the beginning of my vetting process. Any vendor that I recommend must:
    Solve legitimate problems quickly.
    Have been in business for many years.
    Not involved in any class action lawsuits

    apple
    dell
    hp
    It appears that Micro-Star International (MSI) has taken some type of legal action, to have their reviews permanently removed from ResellerRatings and ConsumerAffairs. I’ve even submitted multiple requests to ResellerRatings to add both us.msi.com and msi.com, neither has been added, and probably never will be.
    NewEgg’s recent positive reviews are similar to what I look for in a vendor, but they would never pass my subsequent scrutiny. They may be trying to turn over a new leaf, but I couldn’t find a single laptop that measures up to my criteria. Unless you are choosing the SSD and RAM manufacturer, as well as the CPU and GPU, then you’re almost guaranteed to pay way to much per year, on a laptop that will never serve for 10+ years.
    razer
    Info

    All vendors with affiliate programs have deplorable customer service.
    Click the name of each vendor with an affiliate program, to see their scores, click the screenshots to go to the review page and read the reviews. Some vendors have been manipulating their scores.
    Signs of manipulation are:
    Huge numbers of reviews.
    5 star reviews that outnumber 4 stars by 1000+% instead of under 500%.
    5 Star reviews that all contain perfect grammar, punctuation and spelling etc…
    Customer review scores of at least 8 of 10 are just the beginning of my vetting process. Any vendor that I recommend must:
    Solve legitimate problems quickly.
    Have been in business for many years.
    Not involved in any class action lawsuits

    Acer
    Apple
    apple
    ASUS
    Dell
    dell
    HP
    hp
    Lenovo
    MSI
    It appears that Micro-Star International (MSI) has taken some type of legal action, to have their reviews permanently removed from ResellerRatings and ConsumerAffairs. I’ve even submitted multiple requests to ResellerRatings to add both us.msi.com and msi.com, neither has been added, and probably never will be.
    NewEgg
    NewEgg’s recent positive reviews are similar to what I look for in a vendor, but they would never pass my subsequent scrutiny. They may be trying to turn over a new leaf, but I couldn’t find a single laptop that measures up to my criteria. Unless you are choosing the SSD and RAM manufacturer, as well as the CPU and GPU, then you’re almost guaranteed to pay way to much per year, on a laptop that will never serve for 10+ years.
    Razer
    razer
    Samsung
    Toshiba
  • A REAL laptop buying guide.


    When you set a price for buying a computer, and ask for recommendations that fall under that price, what you are asking the “expert” (and the crappy vendor) to do is to choose which sacrifices will be made to achieve that price.
    Sacrifices made to reduce the price of a laptop:
    Reliability is the most common sacrifice made, and the one that never should be made, which is why the average laptop only lasts 4 years.
    Choose a laptop with a cheap HDD drive for instance, and you’ve just chosen to turn that laptop prematurely into a paperweight. At which point you will either buy a new drive and replace it yourself, pay a technician to replace it, or replace the entire laptop.
    The money spent on a new drive, and labor to install the drive, that is money that could have been spent on a more reliable drive.
    When you choose to replace the entire laptop because of one bad component, you are buying a new keyboard, touchpad, display, CPU, GPU, RAM, wireless network card, fans, heatsink, ports etc that were still working in the broken laptop. That makes as much sense as buying a new car each time the tires need to be changed. Then again, pouring money into slow, cheap garbage with no room for more RAM or another drive, doesn’t make any sense either.
    Longevity. Laptops don’t become obsolete because of how fast technology advances, but because of current technology that they lack. A cheap laptop won’t have PCIe SSD (or room for more than one drive), 6 or 8 core CPU, 2666 MHz RAM (With room for 32GB), RTX graphics, Thunderbolt 3 / USB 3.1 combo port, Dual band Wi-Fi, 4K HDMI, Display Port, Bluetooth, 62+Wh battery. battery protection technology, or a 144Mhz display.
    Plan for the future!
    Performance. How many times have you gotten frustrated with the sluggishness of a computer? A quality laptop will not bog down, because it will have a powerful CPU, plenty of RAM, a powerful graphics card, and everything that you’re likely to need for the next 10 to 20 years.
    On my 4 year old laptop, I often have a dozen Chrome windows open, with 20 to 30 tabs in each window. Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Photoshop, Notepad++ IrfianView, a few Explorer windows, Foxit PDF, and a video playing on PotPlayer to my second display. Yet when I open a fresh program, it still opens instantly. Just running 1/4 of those programs on an average laptop would lock it up.
    Cost over 20 years: The average laptop costs $750 and lasts for 4 years. So, the average consumer is going to spend $187 a year for a laptop. That’s over $3700 in 20 years. Why would anyone spend that much money, to get one slow laptop after another after another, when they could have a blazing fast laptop that costs 25% less? It’s like buying 5 Fiats rather than 1 Tesla. Sure, you don’t NEED to go 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds, but it’s nice to be able to! Especially when it’s cheaper.

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The quick specs table for each computer below is color coded:

Configured for longevity Small Compromise Big Compromise Huge Compromise Extravagantly Expensive
G1 = USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) G2 = USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) Combo = TB3 / 3.1 G2 Gb = Gigabit GB = Gigabyte / 8 Gigabits
  • Quick specs table for all recommended computers.

    Long term
    desktop replacement
    Laptop #1
    Best long
    term mobile
    Laptop #2
    Inexpensive
    Laptop #3
    Budget
    gaming
    Laptop #4
    Extravagant
    gaming
    Laptop #5
    Smaller
    desktop replacement
    Laptop #6
    Compromise
    between 2 & 3
    Laptop #7
    Long term
    Desktop #1
    Budget gaming
    Desktop #2
    Extravagant gaming
    Desktop #3
    Reliable but
    Basic Laptop
    Reliable but
    Basic Desktop
    <$2800 <$2100 <$1500 <$3100 <$5800 >$2700 >$1750 <$2650 <$3050 <$5750 <$1000 <$1150
    Screen / Tower Size 17.3″ / 44cm 17.3″ / 44cm 15.6″ / 40cm 17.3″ / 44cm 17.3″ / 44cm 15.6″ / 40cm 15.6″ / 40cm E-ATX XL-ATX XL-ATX 15.6″ / 39cm E-ATX
    CPU i9-9900K i7-8750H i7-8750H i9-9900K i9-9900K i9-9900K i7-8750H i9-9900K i9-9900K i9-9900K i5-8300H i3-8350K
    GPU RTX 2060 RTX 2060 GTX 1060 RTX 2070 RTX 2080 RTX 2060 GTX 1060 GTX 1060 RTX 2070 RTX 2080 Ti Integrated UHD 630 Integrated UHD 630
    RAM 32GB RAM (2X16) 32GB RAM (2X16) 16GB RAM (1X16) 32GB RAM (2X16) 32GB RAM (2X16) 32GB RAM (2X16) 16GB RAM (1X16) 32GB RAM (2×16) 32GB RAM (2X16) 64GB RAM (4X16) 8 GB RAM (1X8) 8 GB RAM (1X8)
    Max RAM 64GB (4×16) 32GB (2×16) 32GB (2×16) 64GB (4×16) 64GB (4×16) 64GB (4×16) 32GB (2×16) 64GB (4×16) 64GB (4×16) 64GB (4×16) 32GB (2×16) 64 GB (4×16)
    PCIe drive 500GB PCIe 500GB PCIe 500GB PCIe 500GB PCIe 2TB PCIe 500GB PCIe 500GB PCIe 500GB PCIe 500GB PCIe 2TB PCIe Room to add 1 None
    SATA drive 1TB SATA 1TB SATA No SATA Drive 1TB SATA 4TB SATA 1TB SATA 1TB SATA 1TB SATA 1TB SATA 4TB SATA 500 GB 500 GB
    Max drives 2x PCIe & 2x SATA 2x PCIe & 1x SATA 1x PCIe & 1x SATA 2x PCIe & 2x SATA 2x PCIe & 2x SATA 2x PCIe & 2x SATA 1x PCIe & 1x SATA 2x PCIe & 6x SATA 2x PCIe & 6x SATA 2x PCIe & 6x SATA 1x PCIe & 1x SATA 2x PCIe & 5x SATA
    Thunderbolt 3 Thunderbolt 3 Thunderbolt 3 No Thunderbolt Thunderbolt 3 Thunderbolt 3 Thunderbolt 3 No Thunderbolt Add-in-card support Add-in-card support Add-in-card support No Thunderbolt Add-in-card support
    USB Type C Ports 1x combo & 1x G2 1x combo 1x G2 1x combo & 1x G2 1x combo & 1x G2 1x combo & 1x G2 1x G2 1x G2 1x G2 1x G2 1x G2 1x G2
    USB Type A Ports 4x G1 2x G2 & 2x G1 1x G2 & G1 & 2.0 4x G1 4x G1 3x G1 & 1x 2.0 1x G2, 3.0, & 2.0 1x G2 & 8x G1 3x G2 & 4x G1 3x G2 & 4x G1 1x G2 & G1 & 2.0 1x G2, 2x G1 & 2x 2.0
    Mini DisplayPort 2x 1.3 2x 1.3 1x 1.3 & 1.2 2x 1.3 2x 1.3 2x 1.3 1x 1.3 & 1.2 1x 1.4 1x 1.4 1x 1.4 1x 1.3 & 1.2 2x 1.2 ready
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Different people have different computer needs.
The list below, in order of popularity, covers the long term needs of almost everyone.

Once you’ve chosen the best laptop for your needs, click the “I want this laptop / desktop” button, pay the $40 research fee. Upon completion you’ll be taken to the vendor’s website to add the laptop to your cart, and make your purchase.

 

Research support fee: $50
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Laptop #1 <$2800:
The best long term choice for most people.
An awesome balance of performance and price (per year of service), with absolutely no compromise on longevity. Plenty of power with the fastest reasonably priced DESKTOP CPU, a powerful VR ready 6GB RTX 2060 GPU, 17.3″ screen, 32GB of RAM, with room for up to 64GB. A super fast 500GB PCIe OS drive, and a 1TB SATA drive for storage and OS backup, with room to add another PCIe AND SATA drive in the future, and of course Thunderbolt 3. At a price tag under $2850.
With some of the most reliable high tech components, and ranking in the top 1% fastest laptops in the world, this laptop should serve the average consumer for close to 20 years … or more!
Screen Size CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports Mini DisplayPort Weight Battery
17.3″ / 44cm i9-9900K 6GB RTX 2060 32GB RAM (2X16) 64GB (4×16) 500GB PCIe 1TB SATA 2x PCIe & 2x SATA YES 1 combo & 1x G2 4x G1 2x 1.3 8.6lbs (3.9kg) 82Wh
  • Laptop #1 Detailed Specifications

    CPU 9th gen Intel Core™ i9-9900K 8-Core 16-Thread 3.6 – 5.0GHz Turbo, 16M Cache Desktop Processor
    Display 17.3″ Full HD 144Hz VA 72% NTSC Matte with G-Sync
    Memory 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL15 (64GB Max)
    Video
    Controller
    NVIDIA® GeForce™ RTX 2060 with 6GB GDDR6 Video RAM

    PCIe x16

    Supports 4 active displays

    Supports NVIDIA Surround via HDMI x1 and Mini DP x2

    Microsoft® DirectX® 12 compatible

    NVIDIA® PhysX® Technology

    NVIDIA® CUDA™ Technology

    Storage 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg MB/s Max MB/s
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    1TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg MB/s Max MB/s
    Read 474 516
    Write 454 493
    Mixed 425 469
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Room to add one more PCIe Gen3x4 SSD AND one more SATA 2.5″ SSD

    Sound System High Definition audio interface

    S/PDIF digital output

    Built-in Array Microphone

    Built-in two 2W speakers and a 4W subwoofer

    Sound BlasterX® Pro-Gaming 720 software compatible

    ESS™ SABRE HiFi DAC for high resolution headphone audio

    External 7.1CH audio output supported by 2-in-1 Audio, microphone, Line-in and Line-out jacks

    Keyboard RGB Per Key illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad and anti-ghost keys

    W/A/S/D gaming keys

    Fully programmable macro capability

    Pointing Device Integrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
    I/O Ports 1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)

    2 Mini Display port 1.3

    1 USB 3.1 / Thunderbolt™ 3 Port (Type-C)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports (Type A)

    4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)

    1 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Line out / S/PDIF Optical output)

    1 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

    1 3.5 mm Microphone Jack

    1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

    Card Reader 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II)
    Communication Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth

    Other Features Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

    Battery Protection

    Virtual Reality ready

    Support Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana with Voice

    Power Full Range 330W AC Adapter AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 16.9A
    Security Kensington® Lock

    Fingerprint Reader

    OS Support Windows® 10 (64-bit)
    Ubuntu is an option for the tech savvy.
    Weight &
    Dimensions
    8.60 lbs. Including 82WH battery pack 16.46″ (w) x 11.63″ (d) x 1.61″ (h)
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Research support fee: $40
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Laptop #2 <$2100:
The best laptop if you’re highly mobile.
This laptop has the fastest reasonably priced laptop CPU. About 20% less powerful than the desktop CPU of Laptop #1. It has a powerful RTX 2060 GPU but will use the integrated graphics on the CPU for lower power consumption, when the power of the GPU isn’t needed.
The power saving configuration of this laptop should extend battery life of both the battery and Pure Sine Wave Power Banks that that I recommend by about 50%.
Even with the laptop CPU, and weaker VR ready GPU, this laptop ranks in the top 5% fastest laptops in the world and should serve the average consumer for well over 15 years.
Screen Size CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports Mini DisplayPort Weight Battery
17.3″ / 44cm i7-8750H 6GB RTX 2060 32GB RAM (2X16) 32GB (4×16) 500GB PCIe 1TB SATA 2x PCIe & 1x SATA YES 1 combo 2x G2 & 2x G1 2x 1.3 6.6lbs (3kg) 66Wh
  • Laptop #2 Detailed Specifications

    CPU Intel Core™ i7-8750H 6-Core 2.20 – 4.10GHz Turbo, 9M Cache Mobile Processor
    Display 17.3″ Full HD 144Hz VA 72% NTSC Matte with G-Sync
    Memory 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, Grey, SO-DIMM Memory (32GB Max)
    Video
    Controller
    User Switchable between Microsoft Hybrid Graphics Mode or dGPU Mode

    Supports 4 active displays

    Supports NVIDIA Surround via HDMI x1 and Mini DP x2


    NVIDIA® GeForce™ RTX 2060 with 6GB GDDR6 Video RAM

    Intel® UHD Graphics 630 (Integrated in Core i7-8750H CPU)
    • Dynamic frequency
    • Intel Dynamic Video Memory Technology
    • Microsoft ® DirectX® 12 compatible
    Storage 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg Max
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    1TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg Max
    Read 480 516
    Write 449 493
    Mixed 421 470
    SusWrite 437 489


    Room to add one more PCIe Gen3x4 SSD

    Sound System High Definition audio interface
    S/PDIF digital output
    Built-in Array Microphone
    Built-in two 2W speakers and a 4W subwoofer
    Sound BlasterX® Pro-Gaming 720 software compatible
    5.1CH audio output supported by 2-in-1 Audio, Microphone and Headphone jacks
    Keyboard RGB Per Key illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad
    W/A/S/D gaming key
    Pointing Device Integrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
    I/O Ports 1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)

    2 Mini Display port 1.3

    1 USB 3.1 / Thunderbolt™ 3 Port (Type-C)

    2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports (Type A)

    2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports (1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)

    1 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Line out / S/PDIF Optical output)

    1 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

    1 3.5 mm Microphone Jack

    1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

    Card Reader 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II)
    Communication Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth

    Other Features Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

    Battery Protection

    NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ Technology at dGPU mode

    Virtual Reality ready

    Support Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana with Voice

    Power Full Range 200W AC Adapter, AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 10.5A
    Security Kensington® Lock

    Fingerprint Reader

    Intel® PTT (Platform Trust Technology)

    OS Support Windows® 10 (64-bit)
    Ubuntu is an option for the tech savvy.
    Dimension 6.61 lbs. including 66WH Battery Pack 16.48” (w) x 11.31” (d) x 0.98” (h)
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Research support fee: $25
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Laptop #3 <$1500:
The best choice for those on a tight budget.
Despite the technology that this system lacks, it still has the fastest reasonably priced laptop CPU, and one of last years fastest gaming GPUs. The 16GB of quality RAM will be adequate, but will swap to the super fast PCIe drive now and then.
To cut cost, there is no second SSD drive for storage & OS drive backup, but there’s room to add an SATA SSD and another 16GB of RAM later. It does lack Thunderbolt 3, but the 3.1 Gen2 type C port is still fast.
Compared to any cheaper off the shelf laptop it has huge advantages! It has a super fast PCIe drive, which is far more reliable and capable of transferring data 30 times faster than a typical HDD, and 5 times faster than SSDs found in any cheaper laptop.
With the less expensive GTX 1060 GPU (1/2 the speed of the RTX 2060), this laptop will barely rank in the top 10% fastest laptops in the world, but it’s lower in price than 20% of laptops, and with components from the most reliable vendors, and battery protection technology to greatly extend the battery’s lifespan, it will outlive any off the shelf laptop.
Screen Size CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports Mini DisplayPort Weight Battery
15.6″ / 39cm i7-8750H 6GB GTX 1060 16GB RAM (1X16) 32GB (2×16) 500GB PCIe None 1x PCIe & 1x SATA No Thunderbolt 1x G2 1x G2 & G1 & 2.0 1x 1.3 & 1.2 5.5lbs (2.5kg) 62Wh
  • Laptop #3 Detailed Specifications

    CPU Intel Core™ i7-8750H 6-Core 2.20 – 4.10GHz Turbo, 9M Cache Mobile Processor
    Display 15.6” Full HD (1920×1080) IPS Display, Matte Finished.
    Memory 16GB Kit (1 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, Grey, SO-DIMM Memory (32GB Max)
    Video
    Controller
    User Switchable between Microsoft Hybrid Graphics Mode or dGPU Mode

    Supports 4 active displays


    NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 Graphics NO G-SYNC

    Intel® UHD Graphics 630 (Integrated in Core i7-8750H CPU)
    • Dynamic frequency
    • Intel Dynamic Video Memory Technology
    • Microsoft ® DirectX® 12 compatible
    Storage 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg Max
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    Room to add one SATA 2.5″ SSD

    Sound System High Definition audio interface
    Built-in Array Microphone
    Built-in speakers
    Sound BlasterX® Pro-Gaming 720 software compatible
    Keyboard RGB illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad
    Pointing Device Integrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
    I/O Ports 1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)

    Mini Display port 1.3

    Mini Display port 1.2

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Port (Type-C) (NO THUNDERBOLT 3)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Port (Type A)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port

    1 USB 2.0 Port

    1 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

    1 3.5 mm Microphone Jack

    1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

    Card Reader 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II)
    Communication Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth

    Other Features Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

    Battery Protection

    Support Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana with Voice

    NOT VR READY

    Power Full Range 120W AC Adapter AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 6.15A
    Security Kensington® Lock

    Intel® PTT (Platform Trust Technology)

    NO FINGERPRINT READER

    OS Support Windows® 10 (64-bit)
    Ubuntu is an option for the tech savvy.
    Weight &
    Dimensions
    5.51 lbs. including 62WH Battery Pack 14.88” (w) x 10.51” (d) x 1.06” (h)
    *********************************************************
Research support fee: $70
Processing ...
Laptop #4 <$3100:
A Great Gaming Laptop.
This laptop, similar to Laptop #1, has one of the fastest video cards, the RTX 2070. A 2080 is only 13% faster, but costs $450 more. See laptop #5.
Real world benchmarks show the RTX 2070 to be:
128% faster than the GTX 1060
22% faster than the ($259 less expensive) 2060 and 1080.
Screen Size CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports Mini DisplayPort Weight Battery
17.3″ / 44cm i9-9900K 8GB RTX 2070 32GB RAM (2X16) 64GB (4×16) 500GB PCIe 1TB SATA 2x PCIe & 2x SATA YES 1 combo & 1x G2 4x G1 2x 1.3 8.6lbs (3.9kg) 82Wh
  • Laptop #4 Detailed Specifications

    CPU
    9th gen Intel Core™ i9-9900K 8-Core 16-Thread 3.6 – 5.0GHz Turbo, 16M Cache Desktop Processor
    Display 17.3″ Full HD 144Hz VA 72% NTSC Matte with G-Sync
    Memory 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, Grey, SO-DIMM Memory (64GB Max)
    Video
    Controller
    NVIDIA® GeForce™ RTX 2070 with 8GB GDDR6X Video RAM
    Storage 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg Max
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    1TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg Max
    Read 480 516
    Write 449 493
    Mixed 421 470
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Room to add one more PCIe Gen3x4 SSD AND one more SATA 2.5″ SSD

    Sound System High Definition audio interface
    S/PDIF digital output
    Built-in Array MicrophoneBuilt-in two 2W speakers and a 4W subwoofer
    Sound BlasterX® Pro-Gaming 720 software compatible
    7.1CH audio output supported by 2-in-1 Audio, Microphone and Headphone jacks
    Keyboard RGB Per Key illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad W/A/S/D gaming key
    Pointing Device Integrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
    I/O Ports 1 HDMI™ 1.4b output Port (with HDCP)

    2 Mini Display port 1.3

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 / Thunderbolt™ 3 Port (Type-C)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Port (Type C)

    4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)

    1 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Line out / S/PDIF Optical output)

    1 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

    1 3.5 mm Microphone Jack

    1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

    Card Reader 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II)
    Communication Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth

    Other Features Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

    Battery Protection

    Virtual Reality ready

    Support Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana with Voice

    Power Full Range 330W AC Adapter AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 16.9A
    Security Kensington® Lock

    Fingerprint Reader

    Intel® PTT (Platform Trust Technology)

    OS Support Windows® 10 (64-bit)
    Ubuntu is an option for the tech savvy.
    Weight &
    Dimensions
    8.60 lbs. Including 82WH battery pack 16.46″ (w) x 11.63″ (d) x 1.61″ (h)
    *********************************************************
Research support fee: $85
Processing ...
Laptop #5 <$5800:
MAXED OUT Gaming Laptop.
This laptop has a 9th gen Intel i9-9900K DESKTOP CPU, RTX 2080 GPU, 4K QFHD display, 64 gigabytes of RAM, and 10 terabytes of storage space. 2x 1TB PCIe and 2x 4TB SATA drives. I can configure a full 12 TB of storage space in a phone consultation, from a more expensive vendor.
There is ONE laptop more powerful than this, around $10,000 with binned, delidded – unlocked, undervolted, and overclocked 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K 8 Core 16 (Rated to 5.1GHz) CPU, 128 gigabytes of RAM, and lots of other extras available, that can only be configured through a personal phone consultation.
Screen Size CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports Mini DisplayPort Weight Battery
17.3″ / 44cm QFHD i9-9900K 8GB RTX 2080 64GB RAM (4X16) 64GB (4×16) 2x 1TB PCIe 2x 4TB SATA 2x PCIe & 2x SATA YES 1 combo & 1x G2 4x G1 2x 1.3 8.6lbs (3.9kg) 82Wh
  • Laptop #5 Detailed Specifications

    CPU
    9th gen Intel Core™ i9-9900K 8-Core 16-Thread 3.6 – 5.0GHz Turbo, 16M Cache Desktop Processor
    Display 17.3″ 4K QFHD Matte with G-Sync
    Memory 64GB Kit (4 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16 SO-DIMM Memory (64GB Max)
    Video
    Controller
    NVIDIA® GeForce™ RTX 2080 with 8GB GDDR6X Video RAM
    Storage 2x 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg Max
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    2x 4TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg Max
    Read 480 516
    Write 449 493
    Mixed 421 470
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Room to add one more PCIe Gen3x4 SSD AND one more SATA 2.5″ SSD

    Sound System High Definition audio interface
    S/PDIF digital output
    Built-in Array MicrophoneBuilt-in two 2W speakers and a 4W subwoofer
    Sound BlasterX® Pro-Gaming 720 software compatible
    7.1CH audio output supported by 2-in-1 Audio, Microphone and Headphone jacks
    Keyboard RGB Per Key illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad W/A/S/D gaming key
    Pointing Device Integrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
    I/O Ports 1 HDMI™ 1.4b output Port (with HDCP)

    2 Mini Display port 1.3

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 / Thunderbolt™ 3 Port (Type-C)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Port (Type C)

    4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)

    1 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Line out / S/PDIF Optical output)

    1 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

    1 3.5 mm Microphone Jack

    1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

    Card Reader 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II)
    Communication Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth

    Other Features Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

    Battery Protection

    Virtual Reality ready

    Support Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana with Voice

    Power Full Range 330W AC Adapter AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 16.9A
    Security Kensington® Lock

    Fingerprint Reader

    Intel® PTT (Platform Trust Technology)

    OS Support Windows® 10 (64-bit)
    Ubuntu is an option for the tech savvy.
    Weight &
    Dimensions
    8.60 lbs. Including 82WH battery pack 16.46″ (w) x 11.63″ (d) x 1.61″ (h)
    *********************************************************
Research support fee: $45
Processing ...
Laptop #6 <$2700:
Smaller but just as powerful.
With a 15.6″ screen this laptop has all the power, longevity, and expandability of laptop #1, but more compact. i9‑9900K Desktop CPU, RTX 2060 GPU, 32GB RAM (64GB Max), 500GB PCIe OS drive, 1TB SATA storage drive with room for another PCIe AND SATA drive, & Thunderbolt 3.
Screen Size CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports Mini DisplayPort Weight Battery
15.6″ / 39cm i9-9900K 6GB RTX 2060 32GB RAM (2X16) 64GB (4×16) 500GB PCIe 1TB SATA 2x PCIe & 2x SATA YES 1 combo & 1x G2 4x G1 2x 1.3 7.5lbs (3.4kg) 82Wh
  • Laptop #6 Detailed Specifications

    CPU 9th gen Intel Core™ i9-9900K 8-Core 16-Thread 3.6 – 5.0GHz Turbo, 16M Cache Desktop Processor
    Display 15.6” Full HD (1920×1080) 144Hz VA 72% Matte with G-Sync
    Memory 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, Grey, SO-DIMM Memory (64GB Max)
    Video Controller
    NVIDIA® GeForce™ RTX 2060 with 6GB GDDR6 Video RAM
    Storage 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg Max
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    500GB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)

    1TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg Max
    Read 480 516
    Write 449 493
    Mixed 421 470
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Room to add one more PCIe Gen3x4 SSD AND one more SATA 2.5″ SSD

    Sound System High Definition audio interface

    S/PDIF digital output

    Built-in Array Microphone

    Built-in two 2W speakers  (NO SUBWOOFER IN THIS SMALLER LAPTOP)

    Sound BlasterX® Pro-Gaming 720 software compatible

    ESS™ SABRE HiFi DAC for high resolution headphone audio

    7.1CH audio output supported by 2-in-1 Audio, Microphone and Headphone jacks

    Keyboard RGB Per Key illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad and anti-ghost keys
    W/A/S/D gaming key
    Pointing Device Integrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
    I/O Ports 1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)

    2 Mini Display port 1.3

    1 USB 3.1 / Thunderbolt™ 3 Port (Type-C)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports (Type A)

    3 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports (1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)

    1 USB 2.0 Port

    1 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Line out / S/PDIF Optical output)

    1 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

    1 3.5 mm Microphone Jack

    1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

    Card Reader 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II)
    Communication Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth

    Other Features Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

    Battery Protection

    Virtual Reality ready

    Support Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana with Voice

    Power Full Range 330W AC Adapter AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 16.9A
    Security Kensington® Lock

    Fingerprint Reader

    OS Support Windows® 10 (64-bit)
    Ubuntu is an option for the tech savvy.
    Weight &
    Dimensions
    7.5 lbs. Including 82WH battery pack 15.20” (w) x 10.32” (d) x 1.50” (h)
    *********************************************************
Research support fee: $35
Processing ...
Laptop #7 <$1750:
Compromise between #2 & #3.

Differences between Laptop #2 and this one:
15.6″ display, no high definition audio, no 2-in-1 line-out / S/PDIF digital output, no subwoofer, no per key RGB keyboard or W/A/S/D gaming keys, no Thunderbolt 3, one less Gen 2 USB port, no fingerprint reader, and a 62Wh battery.
Differences between Laptop #3 and this one:
144Hz WVA display rather than ISP, 6GB VR Ready GTX 1060 GPU rather than 4GB 1050, 1 TB SATA SSD.

Screen Size CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports Mini DisplayPort Weight Battery
15.6″ / 40cm i7-8750H 6GB GTX 1060 16GB RAM (1X16) 32GB (2×16) 500GB PCIe 1TB SATA 1x PCIe & 1x SATA No Thunderbolt 1x G2 1x G2, G1 & 2.0 1x 1.3 & 1.2 5.5lbs (3kg) 62Wh
  • Laptop #7 Detailed Specifications

    CPU Intel Core™ i7-8750H 6-Core 2.20 – 4.10GHz Turbo, 9M Cache Mobile Processor
    Display 15.6″ Full HD 144Hz VA 72% NTSC Matte with G-Sync
    Memory 16GB Kit (1 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, Grey, SO-DIMM Memory (32GB Max)
    Video
    Controller
    User Switchable between Microsoft Hybrid Graphics Mode or dGPU Mode

    Supports 4 active displays

    Supports NVIDIA Surround via HDMI x1 and Mini DP x2


    NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 Video RAM

    Intel® UHD Graphics 630 (Integrated in Core i7-8750H CPU)
    • Dynamic frequency
    • Intel Dynamic Video Memory Technology
    • Microsoft ® DirectX® 12 compatible
    Storage 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg Max
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    1TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg Max
    Read 480 516
    Write 449 493
    Mixed 421 470
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Sound System High Definition audio interface
    Built-in Array Microphone
    Built-in two speakers
    Sound BlasterX® Cinema 3 software compatible
    Keyboard Full color illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad
    Pointing Device Integrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
    I/O Ports 1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)

    1 Mini Display port 1.3 & 1.2

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Port (Type-C)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Port (Type A)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port

    1 USB 2.0 Port

    1 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

    1 3.5 mm Microphone Jack

    1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

    Card Reader 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II)
    Communication Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth

    Other Features Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

    Battery Protection

    NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ Technology at dGPU mode

    Virtual Reality ready

    Support Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana with Voice

    Power Full Range 200W AC Adapter, AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 10.5A
    Security Kensington® Lock

    Intel® PTT (Platform Trust Technology)

    OS Support Windows® 10 (64-bit)
    Ubuntu is an option for the tech savvy.
    Dimension 5.51 lbs. including 62WH Battery Pack 16.48” (w) x 11.31” (d) x 0.98” (h)
    *********************************************************
  • Keyboard / Mouse / Displays

    For laptops as well as desktops, I suggest wireless keyboard & mouse, and multiple displays, for home or office.

    For wireless keyboard & mouse, my preference is the Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo, mainly due to the small USB “Unifying receiver” that doesn’t NEED to be unplugged when stuffing a laptop into your backpack, the semi-ergonomic keyboard, and the extra mouse buttons (including 2 on the side and 3 in the wheel), which I set to control the volume, and other tasks in different programs, with the Logitech Options software.

    If you spend hours on your computer each day, at home or the office, it’s worth making yourself as comfortable as possible. If you frequently switch between programs, extending your desktop to multiple displays, a 32:9 ultra-wide monitor (divided in 2) using windows snap, or huge 55″+ 4K TV (divided into 4 or more) using UltraView Desktop Manager, is a wonderful experience (moving your eyes instead of switching windows). With the HDMI and DisplayPorts, and high resolution capabilities of the computers that I recommend, that is a simple luxury (that you’ll dearly miss when you are limited to the laptop display).
    Like Laptop #4 for gamers, #2 for highly mobile, and #1 for everyone else, finding the right monitor isn’t one size fits all. Some business multi-taskers, would do better with one HUGE, high resolution, wall mounted 55″+ TV, that they divide into 4 screens, 6ft. in front of their desk. Others with two 27″ monitors side by side on their desk, and of course there’s the 32:9 ultrawides.

    I’m still in the process of researching the best displays, which has turned out to be nearly as complicated as researching laptops. For basic computing, most people probably wouldn’t notice the flaws of a quality ViewSonic or BenQ monitor, or Vizio, LG, or Samsung TV.
    A Virtual Reality Gamer on the other hand will likely notice every flaw, like screen tearing, micro stuttering, input lag, and ghosting. How many pixels per second can your display handle and still look good?

    I continue my quest for finding a gaming monitor with the following criteria:
    Trusted vendor, which leaves out Acer, ASUS, & Dell (the biggest names in monitors)
    Response time under 10ms, for the best image and to reduce ghosting.
    120Hz with G-Sync HDR, to prevent screen tearing.
    HDMI, DisplayPort (in & out), 2 USB A & 2 C ports (for Miracast and all future USB wireless technology)
    Raise and tilt stand (for a perfect viewing angle)
    27″ or larger.

    My goal is to always find most reasonably priced options, and then determine the vetted vendor with the best deal. Going cheap is more expensive over the long term, and much more frustrating!

Research support fee: $45
Processing ...
Desktop #1 <$2650:
The EATX tower equivalent to Laptop #1
Similar to Laptop #1 this desktop is configured to economically maximize longevity, with the an i9-9900K CPU, 500GB PCIe OS drive, 1TB SATA SSD, & 6GB RTX 2060 GPU. With the modular E-ATX tower case, ASRock Z370 Extreme4 motherboard, and 750 Watt power supply you can take advantage of the reason for choosing a desktop over a laptop, expandability.
The GPU can be changed on the vendor’s website to the 8GB RTX 2070 XC Ultra Gaming for $346 more.
THIS DESKTOP CONFIGURATION DOES NOT INCLUDE REQUIRED KEYBOARD, MOUSE, OR DISPLAY
(See KEYBOARD / MOUSE / DISPLAY accordion.)

DOES NOT INCLUDE THUNDERBOLT 3 CARD (other sources)
Tower Case Power Supply CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports DisplayPort
E-ATX 750 Watt Semi modular i9-9000K 6 GB RTX 2060 32 GB RAM (2X16) 64 GB (4×16) 500GB PCIe 1TB SATA 2x PCIe & 6x SATA3 Slot for card 1x G2 1x G2, 4x 3.1 & 6 2.0 2x 1.4 ready
  • Desktop #1 Detailed Specifications

    Case Core V71 E-ATX
    Extra Fans 5 extra 86 CFM 23 dBA case fans beyond the 3 LED and 1 140mm fans standard with the V71 tower case
    Power Supply 750W Semi-modular
    Motherboard ASRock Z370 Extreme4
    CPU 9th gen Intel Core™ i9-9900K 8-Core 16-Thread 3.6 – 5.0GHz Turbo, 16M Cache Desktop Processor
    CPU Cooler 220W TDP 90%+ efficiency
    Memory 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, White, SO-DIMM Memory (64GB Max)
    GPU NVIDIA® GeForce™ RTX 2060 with 6GB GDDR6 Video RAM

    PCIe x16

    Microsoft® DirectX® 12 compatible

    NVIDIA® PhysX® Technology

    NVIDIA® CUDA™ Technology

    Storage 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg MB/s Max MB/s
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    1TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg MB/s Max MB/s
    Read 474 516
    Write 454 493
    Mixed 425 469
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Sound System 7.1 Channel High Definition audio

    Realtek ALC1220

    S/PDIF digital output

    Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

    120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier

    Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets

    Connectors 1 x COM Port Header
    1 x TPM Header
    1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
    1 x RGB LED Header*
    1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)**
    1 x CPU Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)***
    2 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
    1 x Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)****
    1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
    1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
    1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
    1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector (5-pin) (Thunderbolt 3 CARD NOT INCLUDED!)
    3 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 6 USB 2.0 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection)
    1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (ASMedia ASM1074 hub)
    Card Reader Siverstone SST-FP56
    Communication Intel® Gigabit LAN
    Archer T9E dual band 600/1300 Mbps Wireless
    Other Features XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
    Premium Memory Alloy Choke (“Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke”)
    AMI UFEI BIOS
    *********************************************************
Research support fee: $60
Processing ...
Desktop #2 <$3050:
Powerful yet cost conscious gaming desktop, similar to Laptop #4
A gaming desktop similar to Laptop #4, with a Obsidian Series™ 750D Airflow Edition XL-ATX tower case, ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard, i9-9900K CPU, 750 Watt power supply and a RTX 2070 XC GPU.
It’s the best current desktop investment, for a VR gamer with the future in mind. I’d wait until game developers invest in ray tracing technology, before blowing an extra $1,000 on the 2080 Ti. Ray tracing may go the same way as SLI, that hard core gamers typically say isn’t worth it.
THIS DESKTOP CONFIGURATION DOES NOT INCLUDE REQUIRED KEYBOARD, MOUSE, OR DISPLAY.
(See KEYBOARD / MOUSE / DISPLAY accordion.)

DOES NOT INCLUDE THUNDERBOLT 3 CARD (other sources)
Tower Case Power Supply CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports DisplayPort
XL-ATX 750 Watt Semi modular i9-9900K 8 GB RTX 2070 XC Ultra 32 GB (2X16) 64 GB (4×16) 500GB PCIe 1TB SATA 3x PCIe & 8x SATA3 Slot for card 1x G2 3x G2 & 4x 3.1 2x 1.4 ready
  • Desktop #2 Detailed Specifications

    Case Obsidian Series™ 750D Airflow Edition XL-ATX tower case/td>
    Extra Fans 7 extra 51 CFM 19 dBA case fans beyond the 3 140mm fans standard with the 750D tower case
    Power Supply 750W Semi-modular
    Motherboard ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate
    CPU Intel Core™ i9-9900K 8-Core 4.0 – 5.0GHz Turbo, 12M Cache Desktop Processor
    CPU Cooler 220W TDP 90%+ efficiency
    Memory 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, White, SO-DIMM Memory (64GB Max)
    GPU NVIDIA® GeForce™ RTX 2070 XC Ultra Gaming with 8 GB GDDR6 Video RAM
    Storage 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg MB/s Max MB/s
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    1TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg MB/s Max MB/s
    Read 474 516
    Write 454 493
    Mixed 425 469
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Sound System 7.1 Channel High Definition audio

    Realtek ALC1220

    S/PDIF digital output

    Gold HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

    120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier

    Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets

    Connectors 1 x TPM Header
    1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
    2 x RGB LED Header
    2 x Addressable LED Header
    1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)
    1 x CPU Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)
    6 x Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)****
    1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
    1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
    1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
    1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector (5-pin) (Thunderbolt 3 CARD NOT INCLUDED!)
    3 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 6 USB 2.0 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
    2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C Header Front Panel  (ASMedia ASM1562 Retimer)
    1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (ASMedia ASM1074 hub)
    Card Reader Siverstone SST-FP56
    Communication Intel Wireless AC 9560 on motherboard
    Intel® Gigabit LAN
    Other Features XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
    Premium Memory Alloy Choke (“Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke”)
    AMI UFEI BIOS
    *********************************************************
Research support fee: $130
Processing ...
Desktop #3 <$5750
An extravagant gaming desktop
Similar to Laptop #5, but with an RTX 2080 Ti XC Ultra Gaming GPU, and the same tower case, power supply, CPU cooler and motherboard of Desktop #2.
Like laptop #5, this desktop has 10 terabytes of fast reliable drive space. 2 PCIe SSDs and 2 SATA SSDs. I’d wait until some ray tracing games come out that can actually use the RTX capabilities, and apply the extra $1,000 to the next flagship NVidia GPU. NVidia’s gamble on ray tracing may end up a lot like SLI, that few games support, and most hard core gamers who’ve had dual cards, have said wasn’t worth it, and went back to a single card.
THIS DESKTOP CONFIGURATION DOES NOT INCLUDE REQUIRED KEYBOARD, MOUSE, OR DISPLAY
(See KEYBOARD / MOUSE / DISPLAY accordion.)

DOES NOT INCLUDE THUNDERBOLT 3 CARD (other sources)
Tower Case Power Supply CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports DisplayPort
XL-ATX 750 Watt Semi modular i9-9900K 11 GB RTX 2080 Ti Ultra 64 GB RAM (2X16) 64 GB (4×16) 2x 1 TB PCIe 2x 4 TB SATA 3x PCIe & 8x SATA3 Slot for card 1x G2 3x G2 & 4x 3.1 2x 1.4 ready
  • Desktop #3 Detailed Specifications

    Case Obsidian Series™ 750D Airflow Edition XL-ATX tower case
    Extra Fans 7 extra 51 CFM 19 dBA case fans beyond the 3 140mm fans standard with the 750D tower case
    Power Supply 750W Semi-modular
    Motherboard ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate
    CPU Intel Core™ i9-9900K 8-Core 4.0 – 5.0GHz Turbo, 12M Cache Desktop Processor
    CPU Cooler 220W TDP 90%+ efficiency
    Memory 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, White, SO-DIMM Memory (64GB Max)
    GPU NVIDIA® GeForce™ RTX 2080 Ti XC Ultra Gaming GPU with 11 GB GDDR6 Video RAM
    Storage 2x 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
    Real world benchmarks:
    Avg MB/s Max MB/s
    Read 2,195 2,578
    Write 1,978 2,369
    Mixed 1,371 1,656
    SusWrite 787 891

     

    2x 4TB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)
    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg MB/s Max MB/s
    Read 474 516
    Write 454 493
    Mixed 425 469
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Sound System 7.1 Channel High Definition audio

    Realtek ALC1220

    S/PDIF digital output

    Gold HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

    120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier

    Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets

    Connectors 1 x TPM Header
    1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
    2 x RGB LED Header
    2 x Addressable LED Header
    1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)
    1 x CPU Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)
    6 x Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)****
    1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
    1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
    1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
    1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector (5-pin) (Thunderbolt 3 CARD NOT INCLUDED!)
    3 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 6 USB 2.0 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
    2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C Header Front Panel  (ASMedia ASM1562 Retimer)
    1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (ASMedia ASM1074 hub)
    Card Reader Siverstone SST-FP56
    Communication Intel Wireless AC 9560 on motherboard
    Intel® Gigabit LAN
    Other Features XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
    Premium Memory Alloy Choke (“Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke”)
    AMI UFEI BIOS
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The following systems break the rules for longevity and performance, but not reliability
It is with strong reservation that I list the following two systems. If you were a personal friend, friend of a friend, or pet fish of a friend, I would do my best to educate you into buying laptop #3, rather than the following basic systems. But if you told me that all you have is around a thousand dollars, are working 80 hours a week, living on Ramen noodles, and that you’ll end up buying some cheap crap on Amazon, then I’d say “No! Please don’t do anything stupid”. The following systems will be slow (Not as slow as anything under $1200 on Amazon), but 10 years from now, these two systems will still be running, unlike the cheap Amazon crap that will likely die a lot sooner
Research support fee: $15
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Least expensive reliable laptop <$1000:
Still no components with high failure rates.
The only honest way to describe this laptop is by telling you why, despite being better than crap from the big vendors, it isn’t worthy of my endorsement.
To get the price below $1000, I had to cut some corners, other than reliability. It has a slower i5-8400 CPU, which is still 600% faster than the Celeron N3060 crap, but 6% slower than the 8750H, and than the 9900K.
It only has 8 gigabytes of high performance DDR4 2666MHz CL15 RAM, but that’s far better than the 6 gigabytes of DDR3 1600MHz of Amazon’s best seller. (A 1×16 chip of the exact same RAM costs $50 more. This would be a wise modification!)
It has a reliable 500GB SATA SSD, not an HDD like almost every big brand under $1000.
BTW: Don’t fall for the “SSD drive” in cheap laptops. Unless it says “SATA”, it’s an (Embedded Multi-Media Card) EMMC SSD, which is like the USB flash drive.
It has UHD 630 integrated graphics. This is what really slows it down! It steals RAM from the CPU, but at least there’s 8 gigabytes, the GPU will use 2 gigabytes. With only 6 gigabytes of RAM for the CPU, it will have to do a lot of swapping to the SSD, but that’s 5 times better than swapping to a cheap laptop HDD which rarely run for 6 years.
I won’t even get into the IPS display rather than WVA, no Thunderbolt 3, headphone jack rather than digital audio jack, no displayport… BUT this laptop DOES have room for a PCIe SSD in the future, 32 (2×16) gigabytes of total RAM, FHD webcam, 1.73Gbps dual band Wi-Fi, USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB A & C. 6‑in‑1 SD card reader, battery protection technology, and is Kensington lock compatible. All things that you aren’t likely to find in off the shelf garbage.
If you now realize that these are fairly big compromises, maybe I can now convince you to scrimp for laptop #3? You’ll be a lot happier, and may actually learn that a good laptop is a totally different experience than what you’re used to, like a motorcycle to a bicycle, or Range Rover to a minivan.
Screen Size CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports Mini DisplayPort Weight Battery
15.6″ / 39cm i5-8400 Integrated UHD 630 8GB RAM (1X8) 32GB (2×16) Room to add 1 500 GB 1x PCIe & 1x SATA No Thunderbolt 1x G2 1x G2 & G1 & 2.0 1x 1.3 & 1.2 5.5lbs (2.5kg) 62Wh
  • BASIC LAPTOP SPECS SHEET

    CPU Intel Core™ i5-8400 6-Core 2.20 – 4.00GHz Turbo, 8M Cache Mobile Processor
    Display 15.6” Full HD (1920×1080) IPS Display, Matte Finished.
    Memory 8GB Kit (1 x 8GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, Grey, SO-DIMM Memory (32GB Max)
    Video
    Controller
    Supports 1 HDMI & 1 VGA external display
    Intel® UHD Graphics 630 (Integrated in Core i5-8300H CPU)
    • Dynamic frequency
    • Intel Dynamic Video Memory Technology
    • Microsoft ® DirectX® 12 compatible
    Storage 500GB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)Real world benchmarks:
    Avg Max
    Read 480 516
    Write 449 493
    Mixed 421 470
    SusWrite 437 489


    Room to add one PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD

    Sound System High Definition audio interface
    Built-in Array Microphone
    Built-in two speakers
    Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3 software compatible
    Keyboard Multi languages white-LED illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad
    Pointing Device Integrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
    I/O Ports 1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)

    1 external VGA Port

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Port (Type-C) (NO THUNDERBOLT 3)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Port (Type A)

    1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port

    1 USB 2.0 Port

    1 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

    1 3.5 mm Microphone Jack

    1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

    Card Reader 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II)
    Communication Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth

    Other Features Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

    Battery Protection

    Support Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana with Voice

    NOT VR READY

    Power Full Range 90W AC Adapter AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 4.74A
    Security Kensington® Lock

    Intel® PTT (Platform Trust Technology)

    NO FINGERPRINT READER

    OS Support Windows® 10 (64-bit)
    Ubuntu is an option for the tech savvy.
    Weight &
    Dimensions
    5.51 lbs. including 62WH Battery Pack 14.88” (w) x 10.51” (d) x 1.06” (h)
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Research support fee: $20
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Least expensive reliable desktop <$1150:
Pinched every penny, without sacrificing reliability.
If you know nothing about motherboards, then you won’t understand why some companies can sell “gaming desktops” so cheap. A glance at the specs between a basic motherboard, the reliable Fatal1ty B360 Gaming K4 configured in this desktop, the Z370 Extreme4 configured in desktop #1, and the Z390 Taichi Ultimate configured in desktop #2 & #3, will hopefully give you some idea of the even more extreme compromises made for cheap desktops.
What this desktop has that most cheap “gaming desktops” don’t have is:
Overclockable i3-8350K CPU (The i7-8086K costs $295 more)
600W BQ semi-modular power supply (worth the extra $23 over a 450W)
8GB high performance 2666MHz CL 16 RAM (64 GB max)
USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A & C ports
UEFI BIOS
140W TDP CPU Cooler
5x Be Quiet! SILENT WINGS 3 120mm PWM, 1450 RPM, 50.5 CFM, 16.4 dBA, Cooling Fans
500GB 476MB / 428MB real world SATA SSD
Dual-Band 2.4 / 5GHz, 150 / 433 Mbps, USB, Wireless Adapter (Save $27 if you already have one)

THIS DESKTOP CONFIGURATION DOES NOT INCLUDE REQUIRED KEYBOARD, MOUSE, OR DISPLAY
(See KEYBOARD / MOUSE / DISPLAY accordion.)

DOES NOT INCLUDE THUNDERBOLT 3 CARD (other sources)

Tower Case Power Supply CPU GPU RAM Max RAM PCIe drive SATA drive Max drives Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports USB Type A ports DisplayPort
E-ATX 750 Watt Semi modular i3-8350K Integrated UHD 630 8 GB RAM (1X8) 64 GB (4×16) None 500GB SATA 2x PCIe & 5x SATA3 Add-in-card support 1x G2 1x G2, 2x G1 & 2x 2.0 2x 1.2 ready
  • BASIC DESKTOP SPECS SHEET

    Case Versa N26 ATX
    Extra Fans 5 extra 50 CFM 16.4 dBA case fans beyond the 1 120mm exhaust standard with the N26 tower case
    Power Supply 600W Semi-modular
    Motherboard Fatal1ty B360 Gaming K4
    CPU Intel Core™ i3-8350K 4-Core 4.0GHz, 8M SmartCache Desktop Processor
    CPU Cooler 140W TDP
    Memory 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4 2666MHz, CL16, White, SO-DIMM Memory (64GB Max)
    GPU
    Intel® UHD Graphics 630 (Integrated in Core i3-8350K CPU)
    • Dynamic frequency
    • Intel Dynamic Video Memory Technology
    • Microsoft ® DirectX® 12 compatible
    Storage 500GB 2.5” SATA III SSD, 7mm(H) / 9.5mm(H)

    Real world benchmarks:

    Avg Max
    Read 480 516
    Write 449 493
    Mixed 421 470
    SusWrite 437 489

     

    Room to add 4 SATA and 1 PCIe NVMe M.2 drive

    Sound System 7.1 Channel High Definition audio

    Realtek ALC1220

    S/PDIF digital output

    Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

    120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier

    Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets

    Connectors 1 x COM Port Header
    1 x TPM Header
    1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
    1 x RGB LED Header*
    1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)**
    1 x CPU Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)***
    2 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
    1 x Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)****
    1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
    1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
    1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
    1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector (5-pin) (Thunderbolt 3 CARD NOT INCLUDED!)
    3 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 6 USB 2.0 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection)
    1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (ASMedia ASM1074 hub)
    Card Reader Siverstone SST-FP56
    Communication Intel® Gigabit LAN
    Archer T9E dual band 600/1300 Mbps Wireless
    Other Features XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
    Premium Memory Alloy Choke (“Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke”)
    AMI UFEI BIOS
    *********************************************************