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Krypton: There Can Be Only One

Post Date: 2014-04-13

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Roykirk View Drop Down
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Krypton: There Can Be Only One
    Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 5:30pm
Part the First: Background and the Order

My Previous Gaming Laptop: Alienware M17xR3
CPU: Core i7 2720QM
RAM: 8GB Crucial 1333 (upgraded from original 4GB)
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M
Hard Drive 1 (OS and apps): Corsair Performance Pro SSD 256GB (upgraded from original 500GB platter drive)
Hard Drive 2: Seagate 750GB Hybrid Drive (upgraded from original empty bay)
Optical Drive: slot-load Blu-Ray Reader, DVD+/-RW
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8.1 Pro over the years


I've had that system for a few months over 3 years now, and I've been looking at what I'd be buying to replace it since the latter half of last year.  I tend to upgrade my computers (laptops and desktops) an average of every 3 years.

Digital Storm was on my shortlist for all of that time.  Besides being well-rated (from what I've been able to find), DS was the only company that came close to allowing me to buy the kind of gaming laptop with the components I'd want.  A lot of others were selling gaming laptops with a lot of bells and whistles that I don't need, as well as useless bling, for prices on the configurations I wanted that put it outside the budget I have on all my laptops since I started buying them in 2003.

I was especially disappointed with the direction that Dell has taken Alienware in recent years.  You used to be able to tweak almost every component.  Now you can barely make any changes at all to their base configurations, and if you want equivalent power to what I now have in my hot little hands, I'd have had to pay close to $1000 more.

The main concern I had about DS was their warranty.  1 year of parts coverage seems short and still does, based on my previous experiences with laptops, both Dell and others.  I have always purchased full coverage for my laptops, and though it added close to $500 to the cost of my Alienware, I was happy to do so for the piece of mind I've had over the last decade.  In fact I added another two years to the Alienware back in January because I wanted to have a working, gaming laptop in case I ever needed to send my new one back to the factory.  My PC is pretty much the center of my life, the one electronic device I cannot be without.

However, I understand that other than parts, Digital Storm's support is top notch.  That will be something I may have opportunity to test in future, but let's hope not.

So back in the beginning of March, I decided to take the plunge and make my purchase...and then all of DS's laptops started to go out of stock, starting with the Krypton, which even disappeared from their product pages.  You may have seen some of my concerned posts here on the forums.  Luckily, I worried over nothing.

I ordered my Digital Storm Krypton the day they came back in stock, April 3.  I received it on Thursday, April 10, exactly a week after I ordered it.  I think I was pretty lucky.  Not only was my system ready to ship 3 business days after I ordered it (without paying for expedited build and shipping), but some of the parts I ordered were not available the following day in the Configurator, so there must have been a flurry of orders.  Despite this, my order was at Level 5 by Thursday's end, Level 6 on Friday, Level 7 Monday, and shipped on Tuesday, everything happening much faster than I expected or demanded.  Nicely done, Digital Storm.

This was a refresh of the Krypton, with (from what I understand) a slightly newer Clevo chassis, the new Core i7 4810QM with an extra .1 GHz clock speed, and the availability of the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 8x0M series cards.  I started the configuration with Level 3 and then made some slight improvements.

Chassis Model: Digital Storm Krypton 17.3 Inch Laptop (Model: S:8298)
Display: 17.3 Inch (16:9) (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) (Anti-glare) LED-Backlit Display
Processor: !SPECIAL PRICE: Intel Core i7 4810MQ (Up to 3.80Ghz) (Quad Core) (6MB Cache) (LIMITED TIME ONLY)
Thermal Compound: Premium CPU and GPU Thermal Compound (Reduces Thermal & Laptop Noise)
Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
mSATA SSD: 256GB mSATA Solid State - Crucial M4 Series
Storage Drive 1: 750GB 7200RPM (SATA 3Gb/s)
Storage Drive 2: - No Thanks
Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Player (Blu-Ray 6x) & DVD/CD Writer
Wireless Card: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 + Bluetooth 4.0
Graphics Card(s): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M 8GB with NVIDIA Battery Boost + NVIDIA Optimus
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional (64-Bit Edition)
Recovery Tools: Windows Recovery Toolkit (Bundled with Windows CD)
Virus Protection: - No Thanks
Office Suite: - No Thanks
Cooling Pad: - No Thanks
Extra Charger: - No Thanks
Extra Battery: - No Thanks
Carry Bag: - No Thanks
Audio: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
T-Shirt: FREE: Digital Storm T-Shirt - Black (Extra Large)
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 10-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty Plan: Life-time Expert Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty (3 Year Labor & 1 Year Part Replacement)


It's hard to recall now because the base Level 3 configuration has changed because of parts availability (I think the 256GB mSATA was standard at Level 3 that day), but I added the upgraded thermal compound and went to the Pro version of Windows 8.1.  I work as a SysAdmin so need access to all the Active Directory and other domain tools.  I've never ordered less than a Pro version of Windows in all my years of building desktops and buying laptops.  I plan to eventually upgrade to 32GB of RAM, but knew that was something that wasn't a priority and was an easy upgrade.

But even with 16GB of RAM, I was drooling at the thought of having this in my hands.  "That GTX 880M is sure to be a stunner," I was thinking.

NEXT - Krypton 2: The Unboxing
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 5:31pm
Part the Second: The Unboxing and First Boot

The box showed up at work from UPS Ground on Thursday morning without any major damage, just the expected rough edges and small dents.



Upon opening the box, I saw that even if the packaging had been damaged a bit more, odds of survival would still have been good.  The laptop was suspended in the middle of the box, with lots of space between the sides as well as the top and bottom.



I decided to save the removal and reveal of the laptop for last and pulled the accessory box out and opened it.  I noticed that it seemed to be a bit overstuffed, the top bowed upward before I opened it.  It appears that the T-Shirt was the culprit.



However, it appears that the T-Shirt was providing an extra layer of protection for the power brick, so no worries.



A nice little binder with all my documentation and disks.



Slipped loose inside the binder were four items: a coupon for some games from Nvidia that I won't see myself playing, but might be useful to others; a Digital Storm sticker which, I assume, is something I can choose to place on the lid of my new laptop; and the Clevo manual and a small micro-fiber cloth (for the monitor? Nope, turns out you'll need it to clean the exterior) in a plastic bag.



I do like having the physical manual for the chassis as there are already several things I learned from it which I will go into later in this review.

Inserted in the binder itself were several documents, the first of them a Certificate of Ownership.



A nice little sheet telling me what to do if there had been issues with the package or with the contents after opening.



A checklist of all the tests my new possession passed.



Some setup instructions.



This sheet was actually a disappointment as it was obviously geared towards purchasers of Digital Storm desktops with little useful information for a laptop owner.  I'd like to see DS improve this, especially if their laptops continue to be an important part of their business.  It made me feel a little like I was out in the cold because I didn't buy a desktop.

There were some other sheets in there as well, like the warranty and some other items, but didn't want to flood this review with too many photos.  There are already more than enough.

Finally there were 4 discs: A full version of Windows 8.1 Pro x64, a couple of drivers and utility disks, and the Cyberlink Power Suite disc that was in its own sleeve that you can see behind the others in this photo.



It was in its own sleeve because it was the only one that had a serial number that was stickered on the sleeve.

I have some thoughts and concerns about this latter part of the binder.  Digital Storm appears to lack a central clearinghouse on its website where I can look up my configuration and find the latest drivers and firmware for my hardware.  A lot of other laptop manufacturers have drivers available, and I'm not even asking DS to host them, but—at a minimum—to at least link us to the locations where we can update.  I can go to Nvidia of course, and update some other major drivers, but there are a lot tied to the Clevo chassis that I would have no idea how to find. BIOS updates would be probably the most important, but the fingerprint reader and other software tied to the functions of the chassis are pretty unique and not common. Perhaps this service exists, but I have yet to find it on the site.  Correct me if I am wrong.

And here is the last of the accessory box contents, the T-Shirt, front and back.





NEXT - Krypton 3: The Final Artifact


Edited by Roykirk - 13 Apr 2014 at 10:03pm
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 5:32pm
Part the Third: The Unboxing Part Deux

After photographing all the accessories and stowing them away again, I pulled the large cardboard sleeve assembly out of the main box.



You can see how the bottom of the laptop is floating above the table thanks to the way it's held in that assembly.  In order to remove it from the tight sleeve, I unfolded the cardboard until it was almost flat, loosening the plastic sleeve so I could "Release the Kraken (sorry, Krypton)!"

The beast was still protected, even outside its cage, by plastic lightly taped to the front and back of the lid as well as the main unit.





AFter removing the plastic sheets, I was able to behold the creature I had brought into my home, and I was not disappointed.  Relatively sleek for what it was, very little fluff, no real bling to speak of.  It looked clean and functional.  You'll see some of that in the next few pics.

First the left side ports:



The right side ports:



The right side tray-load optical drive:



This one actually caused me a few minutes of concern.  There is no Blu-ray logo on the drive, only DVD and CD logos, so I wondered if DS had configured my laptop with the wrong optical drive.  That concern was later alleviated when I got it home, installed AnyDVD HD, and inserted a Blu-ray.  While this laptop does not ship with software that can play Blu-rays, AnyDVD detected the drive as an HP Blu-ray drive and was able to read the metadata from the disk I inserted, so some relief there.  I later purchased PowerDVD and played a Blu-ray on it beautifully.

The back with vent ports for the cooling system, HDMI, DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort, and power.



People who purchase this laptop should be very careful with the power cord.  It's hard to insert even after you've lined up the pins, so don't force anything if you're unsure.  It had nowhere near the ease of attaching and detaching AC power as all my Dells have had.  And I assume that power cords that attach magnetically are an Apple exclusive patent.  I've never seen that from anyone else.

Here are the front power status lights beneath their icons:



The status lights above the left side of the keyboard before I powered it on:



Power button and its status light:



An unexpected feature: lights that come on when sound is playing, looking very much like a classic equalizer:





My one issue with these is that you cannot change the lighting color on them, unlike all the other lights—keyboard, touchpad, power, etc.—so depending on the colors of your other lights, they could clash as they remain blue.

Touchpad unlit and lit (after I made color changes to the lighting):





First Power On:



And the main BIOS screen:



I was actually surprised by how sparse the BIOS options were.  I'd expected more from a boutique gaming laptop BIOS.

Once I booted into Windows I didn't have to go through any of the usual accepting of the EULA and initial Windows configuration.  DS had done that already during the testing phases and it was documented in the checklist.  Luckily, they'd cofigured my account name as I have always had, so no need to worry about that.  If you order a PC, I'd recommend you add the Windows account name you'd like to the special requests box during the ordering.

Now that the unboxing and initial notes are complete, in the final section it'll be time to get into the meat of the review.

NEXT - Krypton: Endgame


Edited by Roykirk - 13 Apr 2014 at 10:08pm
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 5:33pm
Part the Fourth: The Wrath of Krypton

Important Note: this review is subjective, not objective.  As I mentioned in another thread on this forum, I don't run benchmarks or other tests.  I use the laptop.  This review will be how I feel about a serious investment and whether it was worth it.  So, number crunchers, beware: you won't enjoy the ride.

First Impressions:

1) The Devil Wears Prada:

I like the look of the unit a lot.  It's less gaudy than I was expecting.  The lines are clean.  It's completely black on the outside and in some ways reminds me of the Asus G7x series, but not as SR-71 Blackbird-like.  It's more subtle than one of those or my M17xR3.  The exterior is matte rather than glossy black, so when the lid is closed it's simple and clean in design.  The one issue I have with it is the material used on the exterior and part of the interior picks up greasy fingerprints with ease, and they don't easily wipe away.  They'll have to be cleaned off with the included micro-fiber cloth or another method.

2) Speed:

The Krypton is fast, especially compared to my previous rig detailed in my first post of this review.  But that was expected.  It's fresh out of the box, top of the line laptop parts, built by a company that cares about gaming PCs and how happy their customers are with the products they buy.  Nevertheless, "it was like buddah."  Fast boots.  From pressing the power button to working desktop, 15-20 seconds.  You can shave at least 5-10 seconds off that time if you don't consider the POST.  Applications installs, reboots, app launches, everything...fast.

3) The Big Picture:

All my previous laptops have had glossy screens, so I had some minor trepidations about how I'd like a matte screen.  Well, after experiencing it for a few days, I'm not going to go glossy again if there's a choice in future.  The colors are still vibrant and the lack of glare really makes a difference.  I'm very pleased with the screen and have no regrets about matte and actually prefer it.

4) The Pianist:

This is one weakness on the Clevo chassis.  While the keyboard is full size, with numeric keypad and various other special keys that you find on a desktop discrete keyboard, there is some strange placement and sizing of certain keys that are causing me to mistype and hit a lot of the wrong keys by mistake. This can get especially frustrating while play games or trying to write this review.  Perhaps my biggest annoyance is that the Home and End keys are tied to the Function key and are not separate keys.  This makes moving around and editing this review very difficult when I want to make a change to a line already written.  I have to think about it and carefully place my right thumb on the Fn key and then hit the PgUp (Home) or PgDn (End) keys which reside above the numeric keypad.

I am hoping that I will eventually get used to it, but it is much more awkward than I recall any keyboard layout change in the past.

5) The Player:

Gorgeous.  I fired up Star Trek Online, Elder Scrolls Online, and Second Life, the three games I play regularly.

First was Second Life as it was the quickest to install.  I cranked the graphics up to Ultra and then enjoyed all the lighting, shadows, and deeper textures that I'd been missing all this time, at frame rates still much better than with my old 460M.  Everything seemed more deep and lifelike. Definitely a huge step up from what I had.

Next I downloaded and installed Star Trek Online through Steam.  After about 20 minutes it was ready to go.  From the first moments, even before getting into the game I could see the difference.  The graphics at the character choice screen were smooth and more vivid.  And once in game I was blown away.  I immediately got into an STF so I could watch my Avenger's phaser beam arrays light up the screen.  I wasn't disappointed.  They flickered like I remembered from classic Trek and there was a halo around them and other things.  I found out later this was a setting called PostProcessing that I'd never had turned on previously.  I turned it off and played without it for a while, but I like its effect, so I've gone back to it as it's very pleasing to the eye.

Last, after an overnight 22GB download, I ran Elder Scrolls Online Friday morning.  This game is supported by the GeForce Experience, so I had that applet Optimize it before my first run.  Absolutely beautiful.  It ran at close to 60FPS even without VSync turned on.  And this was the most lifelike of all the games I've played on this new machine so far.  Stunning in its beauty.  Tamriel in this game may not be quite up to Skyrim standards (especially with the graphics mods), but I've not played a game this good looking ever.  Important Note: I do not play first person shooters as they make me nauseous (only third person games are playable for me), so I cannot report on how this laptop runs those particular types of games.

6) The Sound and the Fury:

I haven't really tried the laptop speakers themselves as my setup at home has some Klipsch 2.1's that are going to be far better than any laptop speakers, no matter how good.  Perhaps at a later date I'll have more thoughts on the Onkyos.

However, I did notice that when I was gaming I was hearing things in familiar games that I've not heard before.  I'm not sure if that's due to the Realtek system as I don't think there's been any improvement in that hardware in a decade or so.  Maybe the Audio settings in the games themselves set up automatically to be more robust than in previous laptops.  In any case, no complaints about sound here.  Just more good stuff.

7) The Big Heat:

One of my main concerns with this purchase—and if you've seen some of my posts elsewhere on this forum—was heat.  I have been unhappy with my Alienware since pretty much the time I purchased it.  The keyboard would always be warm, even when not gaming, and it's only gotten worse over the last 3 years.  Fan noise is going to be a fact of life with these kinds of laptops, so that was not so much a concern.

Right now I'd say this baby handles heat quite well.  Yes, when I'm playing any of the games the fans are going non-stop, adjusting speed on occasion and even ramping down if I have the gaming window minimized while doing something on the desktop.  I even have a second monitor connected via HDMI that I have my browser and other apps displayed on while I'm gaming.  But I'm not getting any heat through the keyboard.  The top panel with the status lights and EQ lightshow does get warm, but that's it.  Everything else appears to be venting very well.  We'll see if this changes over time, but right now heat is not a concern.

8) The Battery:

Not a whole lot to say here.  It's a gaming laptop with a monstrous discrete video card.  I don't plan to game on battery (since the card gets throttled automatically), so that's not something I've been able to test yet.  However, running strictly on Optimus without the Nvidia kicking in, I'd estimate I could squeeze about 1 1/2 hours out of this with normal use.  Let's face it, you don't buy a gaming laptop for battery life.  You buy it to game with some mobility, which I've been doing happily for years now.

That's it for the main points.

NEXT - The Final Countdown
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 5:33pm
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act V, or Final Thoughts

Trouble in Paradise

1) The laptop arrived not fully patched.  When I fired it up the first time, I checked Windows Update and there were around 60 or so important updates that had not been applied.  These did not even include the brand new semi-service pack for Windows 8.1 that came out last week.  That popped up later.  There was also a WDDM driver that had not been updated either.  This came to bite me in the behind later when it came to using WiDi.  I understand that Digital Storm's images are probably not fully up to date as it would be a pain to create new images every month.  However, it can also be argued that the care Digital Storm appears to take means that this is something of a lapse.

2) WiDi didn't work out of the box.  WiDi was the main reason I made sure my Krypton was configured with the Intel AC7260 card.  I've used it for years and have it on three of my family's current laptops.  I tried yesterday (Saturday, April 12) to connect the laptop to my Netgear PTV2000.  While it was able to partially talk to the device, enough to generate the passcode on the device, it never got to the point where I could input that code on the laptop.  It just failed to connect fully.  Very frustrating.  Further research indicated that the missing WDDM 1.3 driver I mentioned above was needed.  Sure enough, I updated the driver, rebooted, and connection to the PTV went smoothly.  The service pack may have also helped with this since Windows 8.1 has a lot of people reporting problems with WiDi since it was released.  Another reason that the laptops should be fully patched before shipping.

3) Missing Blu-ray software.  I realize this one probably has to do with the damned DRM that makes our lives a bane when trying to watch high-resolution entertainment.  The cost to provide the software was probably not something Digital Storm wants to eat.  But perhaps instead of including the useless Cyberlink Media Suite with Blu-ray laptops, DS can make it an option to purchase the software while ordering the hardware?

4) Optimus isn't perfect.  This one is definitely not Digital Storm's fault as I've had the problem on every Optimus-enabled laptop that I've worked on, including my work laptop with the NVS4200 card.  But Optimus will often be switched over to the discrete graphics for no reason that I can determine.  It will say there's 1 application using the Nvidia card, but not details as to what that application is, and as a result, my fans are whirring up and down and battery is potentially drained at a faster rate for no good reason.  Nvidia needs to get off the ball and provide a lot more details and control to the user over how Optimus is being used.

Blue Velvet

All of the above said, I'm very happy with what I have in my hands.  For the same cost as my Alienware 3 years ago, I have a unit that's sleeker, way faster, and perhaps even a bit more stable than that one.  I've already sent screenshots of my games to friends and let them drool.  As time passes, I'm sure I'll have more detailed things to say and give a good impression of how this laptop works over time, but right now I'm liviing the good life.

Rating: HIGHLY Recommended.

EDIT 4/18/2014:  I've had this laptop for a week now and have been putting it through its paces, so I thought I'd give some updates.

It's been extremely stable.  The only time I had any kind of hard crash (it took down the OS and I had to unplug HDMI to get it to boot again) was when I was playing a Blu-ray on PowerDVD over HDMI while simultaneously playing Elder Scrolls Online on the main laptop display.  It didn't like that combo much at all.  It's interesting as PowerDVD is using the Intel onboard graphics while ESO was using the 880M.

But it's been rock solid otherwise.  No STOP errors other than the one above, software installs flawlessly and works.  The thing is fast in all respects.  Very happy with the mSATA.  It's so nice having that free hard drive bay that I'm thinking of pulling my 750GB drive from my M17xR3 and putting in the open bay on my Krypton so I can doublecheck and make sure I have all my data files from that laptop copied over.

I thought I'd be most impressed by the way it runs games, and while that is indeed impressive, I'm almost more impressed by how it just works.  It doesn't call attention to itself.  It just lets me do everything I need and does it fast and well.  And the heat is almost non-existent.  Even the exhaust ports aren't pushing air out that's very hot.  The fans are no louder than other laptops I've owned with discrete cards and I found that Optimus is working better on this laptop than previous ones.  It does eventually turn off the discrete card after it has a while to see that nothing needs it.  Never had that happen before.

I'm upping my rating.  This is the best laptop I've ever owned.  I don't miss my gaming desktop at all.

Thank you, Digital Storm.  I'd love to rate your technical support crew at some point, but I haven't needed them yet.Upset

EDIT 4/25/2014: I finally had a chance this week to try out DS tech support and sales.  I had some questions about the Krypton about the touchpad issues and also the SoundBlaster X-Fi MB3 software, as well as the possibility of buying the extra 16GB of RAM to push this baby up to 32GB since I have a $50 credit on my account (they had a sale just days after putting in my order, so credited me since the Krypton was already built, billed, and ready to ship).

The first gentleman I spoke to was more of a dispatcher.  He politely and efficiently took down my information, my questions, and said someone would call me back before 5pm that day (I placed the initial call around 3pm or so).  He even made sure that he'd gotten things right, repeating some of what I asked back to me

Sure enough, I got a call from the next tier of tech support around 4:30.  He was very polite and helpful even though I had figured out some of my own questions between the initial call and his call back.  So it wasn't an in-depth technical call, but I was encouraged by the responsiveness and attitude of both men.

Two days ago I placed another call, this time to the sales line to purchase the RAM upgrade.  I received the same polite efficiency from this gentleman and none of the typical attitudes I often get from sales people on the phone.  He even checked to make sure that my Krypton had 2 8GB SODIMMs and not 4 4GB ones, so that I would be getting what I expected.  He also seemed to want to make sure I needed the RAM upgrade, asking me what I did on my laptop, what kind of apps I ran.

All 3 people I spoke to knew their stuff to varying degrees.  The tech support dispatcher was not as knowledgeable as the person who called me back, but that wasn't in any way detrimental.  He got the info needed and got someone to take care of me.  All very nice.

To this point, all my dealings with Digital Storm have been very positive.


Edited by Roykirk - 25 Apr 2014 at 11:40pm
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  Quote Dekerfman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 7:54pm
 Great review and pictures. Enjoy!
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  Quote fstcvc Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 9:13pm
Congrats and thanks for sharing!!!

You might want to look at resizing the photos (using paint) to be no wider than 780px...
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 10:10pm
Originally posted by fstcvc

...You might want to look at resizing the photos (using paint) to be no wider than 780px...


I saw that after I made the post and was going to correct it at some point.  Now that I know the 780 pixel width, I've edited the photos and made corrections to the two posts that have them.  Everything should look good now.

Thanks for the info.
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  Quote ArkansasWoman777 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 5:00am
In the trouble in paradise part Number 1: DS can't install all updates for every computer, i believe they've mentioned somewhere that there was a reason can't remember what i think it had something to do with servers. Other than that, awesome review.
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 6:57am
Great job on the review and pics.  Awesome

Enjoy.  StrongBig%20Smile
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  Quote fstcvc Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 7:51am
Originally posted by Roykirk


Originally posted by fstcvc

...You might want to look at resizing the photos (using paint) to be no wider than 780px...
I saw that after I made the post and was going to correct it at some point.  Now that I know the 780 pixel width, I've edited the photos and made corrections to the two posts that have them.  Everything should look good now.Thanks for the info.

Pics are much easier to view now...

Again, congrats on your system and hope you are enjoying it!!
HailStorm II
i7 4770K @ 4.5GHz
Asus Maximus VI Extreme
16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum
3xSLI EVGA SuperClocked GTX TITAN
Samsung 840Pro SSD 256GB+512GB
HydroLux+XSPC CPU/MoBo/GPU Liquid Cooling
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Apr 2014 at 3:29pm
For those who are interested and have been following my review here, I've added some updates to section five of the review.

TL;DR, if you are looking for a 17" laptop, especially for gaming, I don't think you need to look any further.
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  Quote oldlady RPGer Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Apr 2014 at 12:47am
Now that's one hell of a laptop!!!!! We also have a DS laptop (and a Bolt and a Syndicate) and love it!!!
Makes my old Alienware M17x look like crap.....Oh I'm sorry IT is crap.
Beautiful review!!!!   
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Apr 2014 at 11:45am
Great detailed review! Thank you for taking the time to post this. We value your feedback and will share it internally.

Cheers!
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Apr 2014 at 12:53pm
Originally posted by oldlady RPGer

Now that's one hell of a laptop!!!!! We also have a DS laptop (and a Bolt and a Syndicate) and love it!!!
Makes my old Alienware M17x look like crap.....Oh I'm sorry IT is crap.
Beautiful review!!!!   


Yeah, makes my Alienware look like crap too, but then I suppose that's expected from something that's over 3 years old, an eternity on the technological time scale (the opposite of cosmological time scale?).

But as I added in my edit, I am more and more appreciative about how it just works with little fanfare or calling attention to itself.

Something else I wanted to add about the keyboard: while I'm still having issues getting used to the Fn key placement, the feel of the keyboard is better than on the Alienware and other Dells I've used.  Just a bit more solidity and a lot less flex.

Now if only there were a way to turn off Tap-to-click on the touchpad.  There appears to be no dedicated application for the touchpad, and the Mouse control panel applet doesn't have any settings for the touchpad.  The Mouse applet doesn't even list the touchpad as a device.  It seems the only way to stop it is to turn off the touchpad completely.
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  Quote joguco2012 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 22 Apr 2014 at 5:33pm
Congrats on your new laptop. Nice review and pics!!
 
Enjoy!Big%20Smile
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  Quote Mysto59 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Apr 2014 at 4:11pm
I just took the plunge and ordered a Krypton 17.3 Inch level 4 Laptop. Based on Roykirk's review I'm drooling waiting for it to arrive!
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Apr 2014 at 4:55pm
Originally posted by Mysto59

I just took the plunge and ordered a Krypton 17.3 Inch level 4 Laptop. Based on Roykirk's review I'm drooling waiting for it to arrive!

Awesome!  You should love it! Awesome
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  Quote Nav Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Apr 2014 at 5:02pm
Originally posted by Mysto59

I just took the plunge and ordered a Krypton 17.3 Inch level 4 Laptop. Based on Roykirk's review I'm drooling waiting for it to arrive!


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  Quote joguco2012 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Apr 2014 at 5:57pm
Awesome Congrats!!
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  Quote Mysto59 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Apr 2014 at 7:31pm
Thanks guys, I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas day! Excited
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 25 Apr 2014 at 11:36pm
I've updated my review in section 5 again, this time chronicling my experiences with DS tech support and sales.
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  Quote Mysto59 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 31 May 2014 at 7:38pm
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  Quote Mysto59 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 31 May 2014 at 7:54pm
My Krypton level 4 arrived a week ago and I have been putting it through it's paces. Everything Roykirk has said is spot on. This is the BEST laptop I have ever owned. Digital Storm has another VERY satisfied customer.

I highly recommend Digital Storm and will be purchasing from them again.

As I learn the "ins and outs" of my new beast I'll post a more detailed review.


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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 01 Jun 2014 at 4:17am
Good to hear and Congrats.
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  Quote Snaike Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 01 Jun 2014 at 5:56am
Originally posted by Mysto59

My Krypton level 4 arrived a week ago and I have been putting it through it's paces. Everything Roykirk has said is spot on. This is the BEST laptop I have ever owned. Digital Storm has another VERY satisfied customer.

I highly recommend Digital Storm and will be purchasing from them again.

As I learn the "ins and outs" of my new beast I'll post a more detailed review.


 
DS quality and Roykirk's review already has me sold on the Krypton if/when I am in need of a laptop. 
 
What's that old saying?   "You had me at 'Hello.'"
 
Big%20Smile
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Jun 2014 at 10:04pm
Glad to hear my review has been helpful to you gaming laptop fans.  Congratulations on your Level 4, Mysto59.  And Snaike, here's hoping you find that you "need" a laptop soon. Evil

Would love to see a lot more laptop users on these forums and buying DS systems.
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  Quote joguco2012 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Jun 2014 at 4:12pm
Originally posted by Roykirk

Glad to hear my review has been helpful to you gaming laptop fans.  Congratulations on your Level 4, Mysto59.  And Snaike, here's hoping you find that you "need" a laptop soon. EvilWould love to see a lot more laptop users on these forums and buying DS systems.



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  Quote police215 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 07 Jun 2014 at 9:35am
Thanks for the review!!!! Im getting ready to order this configuration:

System Configuration:
Chassis Model: Digital Storm Krypton 17.3 Inch Laptop (Model: S:8298)
Display: 17.3 Inch (16:9) (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) (Anti-glare) LED-Backlit Display
Processor: !SPECIAL PRICE: Intel Core i7 4810MQ (Up to 3.80Ghz) (Quad Core) (6MB Cache) (LIMITED TIME ONLY)
Thermal Compound: Premium CPU and GPU Thermal Compound (Reduces Thermal & Laptop Noise)
Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
mSATA SSD: 120GB mSATA Solid State - Intel 525 Series
Storage Drive 1: 750GB 7200RPM (SATA 3Gb/s)
Storage Drive 2: - No Thanks
Optical Drive: DVD/CD 8x Multi-Drive (Writes and Reads DVDs, CDs)
Wireless Card: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 + Bluetooth 4.0
Graphics Card(s): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 4GB with NVIDIA Battery Boost + NVIDIA Optimus
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional (64-Bit Edition)
Recovery Tools: Windows Recovery Toolkit (Bundled with Windows CD)
Virus Protection: - No Thanks
Office Suite: - No Thanks
Cooling Pad: - No Thanks
Extra Charger: - No Thanks
Extra Battery: - No Thanks
Carry Bag: - No Thanks
Audio: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
T-Shirt: - No Thanks
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 10-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty Plan: Life-time Expert Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty (3 Year Labor & 1 Year Part Replacement)

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  Quote Seafoam Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 08 Jun 2014 at 9:58am
Sweet Review, hope all goes well.
PC SPECS:

- Intel Core i7 4930k 3.4Ghz
- ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
- 16 GB DDR3 1866MHz Corsair Vengeance Pro
- 750W Corsair
- Samsung 250 GB SSD
- 1TB Storage
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3 GB
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 08 Jun 2014 at 4:37pm
Looks good, Police215.

Your configuration is a bit different that mine, so would love to hear how it works for you once you order and receive it.
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  Quote Snaike Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 2:02pm
Uhoh, the word is out.   They're catching on!

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  Quote jd63636 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2014 at 4:16pm
My Krypton order is at stage 5 today and will be replacing my Alienware M17x R4. I am totaly stoked!

Chassis Model: Digital Storm Krypton 17.3 Inch Laptop (Model: S:8298)
Display: 17.3 Inch (16:9) (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) (Anti-glare) LED-Backlit Display
Processor: !SPECIAL PRICE: Intel Core i7 4810MQ (Up to 3.80Ghz) (Quad Core) (6MB Cache) (LIMITED TIME ONLY)
Thermal Compound: Stock CPU and GPU Thermal Compound
Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
mSATA SSD: - No Thanks
Storage Drive 1: 500GB Solid State - Samsung 840 EVO
Storage Drive 2: 500GB 7200RPM (SATA 3Gb/s)
Optical Drive: DVD/CD 8x Multi-Drive (Writes and Reads DVDs, CDs)
Wireless Card: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 + Bluetooth 4.0
Graphics Card(s): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M 6GB with NVIDIA Battery Boost + NVIDIA Optimus
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)
Recovery Tools: Windows Recovery Toolkit (Bundled with Windows CD)
Virus Protection: - No Thanks
Office Suite: - No Thanks
Cooling Pad: - No Thanks
Extra Charger: - No Thanks
Extra Battery: - No Thanks
Carry Bag: - No Thanks
Audio: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
T-Shirt: Digital Storm Premium T-Shirt - Black (Extra Large)
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 10-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty Plan: Life-time Expert Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty (3 Year Labor & 1 Year Part Replacement)


Edited by jd63636 - 16 Jun 2014 at 4:20pm
Krypton
i7 4810MQ
16GB DDR3 1600MHz
500GB Samsung 840 EVO
500GB Samsung 840 EVO
GTX 870M
Win 7 Home Premium

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough". Mario Andretti
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Jun 2014 at 9:55am
Looking good, jd63636. Drooling

Let us know what you think after you've put her through her paces.
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  Quote Roykirk Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 22 Oct 2014 at 11:05pm
6-Month Update:

Well, I've had half a year to put this baby to the test, and I continue to be impressed.  Folks may have seen me mention in other threads that this 880M is absolutely killer for heavily-textured games like Skyrim, where I have loaded all kinds of 2-4K texture mods, along with a lot of script-heavy mods, and it keeps up with it all.

Elder Scrolls Online actually runs even better than at the beginning thanks to continual improvements from Zenimax in both graphics quality and graphics efficiency of that game.

Temps continue to be good, and the design of the chassis vents heat out the back, keeping the keyboard relatively cool.  I have cleaned (dusted) it a couple of times, and that keeps it in good, cooling order.

For the last month or so I've been pumping out my games over the DisplayPort to an Ultrawide LG monitor at 2560x1080 and frame rates continue to be damn good in the games mentioned above, regularly staying at 50-60fps in ESO and between 30 and 50fps in the texture heavy Skyrim

I've had zero hardware issues so far, and am absolutely loving this beast, telling friends and co-workers that there's only one place to get a gaming laptop.
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