I will look into the laptops as I am not readily knowledgeable in them, I don't buy them so I don't keep up with availability and spec.
The nVidia side of it though.
I am and AMD user, but at this stage nVidia have become so bad that even I am annoyed over what they are doing. The 700 series looks to be being actively slowed down and held back to further push the 900 series sales. A prime example of this is two made for nVidia games, Witcher 3 and Project CARS. In both these games results have returned the 960 slightly outpacing the 780, the 780 is normally on average 34% faster than the 960 (adjustable quality benchmark graphs at the bottom). While I will not out right say this intended, there is little to say other wise and nVidia silencing people on their own forums when ever it is brought up does not help the case.
Even their own users agree but accept that the Kepler GPUs are being held back to further sell 900 series GPUs.
The was a post from a representative of nVidia on the forums stating they had found a bug in the 700 series. But it would have to be one hell of a bug two slow a 780 down by 34% and this goes by degrees for all 700 series cards. They are all much slower than they should be.
There is also reoccurring "regression" in the mobile drivers that disables overclocking. It was caught the first time and the outrage got it re instated, it appeared again a few weeks back and this time it was labelled a regression and fixed again but they will not say why it keeps happening, to all the users and outside observers it appears to be an intentional locking of features. Especially considering that the mobile chips are largely not all different but just clocked high or lower and given a different model number. Like the 745M to 750M or 760M, you can effectively over clock the 745M up to the 750 or 760 if cooling allows.
There was the well known 970s with 3.5GB of Vram and other hardware reductions that were "unnoticed" for 4 months until the community called them out on it. First lying, then covering it up and finally passing the blame to marketing as they were the ones to write the spec sheet. To this date theer still has been no official recourse or apologise. Only this from the CEO no less.
Unfortunately, we failed to communicate this internally to our marketing team, and externally to reviewers at launch…
Instead of being excited that we invented a way to increase memory of the GTX 970 from 3GB to 4GB, some were disappointed that we didn’t better describe the segmented nature of the architecture for that last 1GB of memory.
That is rude to begin with but it looked like an isolated incident so people let it slide. But what it effectively did was force people who needed 4GB of VRAM to buy a 980. A significantly more expensive card.
Add to this that Witcher 3 and Project CARS require a TITAN X to run at 60fps (benchmarks) at 1080p at near max and it looks more and more like nVidia are forcing people into spend far more money than they need to. It all stacks up to look deliberate.
Then we have Gameworks, more or less the root cause of all of this but the drivers are also to blame. There is no justification for Gameworks. Developer aligned with nVidia have come out and said that Physx/Gameworks is a blackbox, nVidia continues to say this is a lie and Physx/Gameworks is not a balckbox. So now you have the community saying nVidia is lying, the competition saying nVidia is lying and their own aligned developers saying nVidia is lying.
There are also risks associated with this middleware approach, such as crashes occurring in, what is to us, a blackbox. Our programmers often cannot trace what has caused a crash when it happens in these libraries. We then try to debug with the engineers at NVIDIA, which can result in: us implementing a work-around on our side, them updating the libraries, or the issue not being solvable for a while.
Not going to put word in mouths but to me nVidia is lying to everyone, barefaced. I care not for any counter argument to this any more. When Gameworks is negatively effecting their own cards there is no justification for it.
On the driver front, users have found that reverting to the 350.XX drivers improves performance on the 700 series over the latest 352.XX drivers. Particularly with one user who found that after the downgrade his single 780 was performing better than his SLi 780s with the newer driver. I am not so quick to lash out at this as I have been on the receiving end of bad drivers before and I know it can be an honest mistake, but with everything else in mind I cannot help but feel that it is in some way intentional. Original reddit thread amassing the information on the overall downgrade of the 700 series
There is also the matter of G-Sync, which looks more and more like an implementation of Adaptive Sync but on a proprietary hardware module with some ram to make it smoother. And of course nVidia licence the hardware and drive up the price of monitors while simultaneously locking you further into their platform.
And nVidia GameStream which is tied to ShadowPlay and always running as a consequence. GameStream whether you have an nVidia Shield tablet is always running in the background using up some RAM and CPU time. This I can confirm as it was again slowing my friends load times on TF2. TF2 is sufficiently old enough to be able to strong arm with power yet still nVidia own tech was hindering performance. Disabling the streaming service also disables ShadowPlay. This could be looked at as an error but again with mounting issues it looks more and more like it is on purpose. There is zero need to have this running all the time in the background, it should be a user option. But here is nVidia again forcing its borderline malware on people.
With all that in mind how can any person who stands for any sort of balance, freedom of choice or just plain hardware enthusiast what to support anything to do with nVidia.
When they were attacking AMD that is one thing. Even if it was verging on unfair competition most users knew what to expect. but this is beyond justifiable.
NVidia enjoy a monopoly, One which we the gamers and reviewers put them in by backing them up and buying their products. They have no abused this position of trust and stabbed everyone in the back. How is that right?
That is why I am against all thing nVidia now. Before I did not like them, now it is outright wrong for anyone with any sort of respect for PC gaming to be seen supporting such practices in my eyes.
All of this is unconfirmed or denied officially and some speculation on my half but the numbers and user experience is backing it up more and more. Either it is the greatest case of a GPU vendor mishandling their software of it is intentional. Either way they are in no rush to fix it and so far are only making it worse with every game, blackbox Gameworks DLL and driver update.
This does not effect my views on Tek Syndicate as a whole but it does lower my confidence in the reporting when I see nVidia being supported and recommended.
I will look into other laptops now.