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I'm currently saving up to buy moiself a gaming notebook. My budget will be about $1600ish and I should be at that goal in May. I'm really excited as this will be the first notebook I've ever bought. One of my jobs I work third shift 3 nights a week as a hotel desk clerk. This can be a very quiet shift and being able to play games, watch media, and surf the interwebs will definitely make the nights pass faster.

I've been bouncing around the net doing research and this price point should get me a pretty decent system: 17" screen, 8-12 gb ram, SSD hd, 500-750gb SATA hd, Core i5-i7, vid card w/2 gb ram, DVD drive, wifi, Win OS. One thing I don't care about is battery life as I will only use this at the hotel where I can plug it in while in use.

I'm not an experienced gamer and haven't had a notebook in years, so I have a few questions: Will this system handle most of the current games out there and should it be good for the next few years at least? I don't need it to necessarily play the latest and greatest at the highest resolution but I do want to be able to have a good choice of material to play for the next few years before I have to start considering upgrading. I'm mainly interested in FPS games.

Anyone have experience with They let you customize the system and the prices seem decent, with free shipping. Any other sites I should check that have good reputations, good prices, and that let you customize?

I've read a couple of reviews that say Optimus is not really good for gaming and thus gaming notebooks without it are better. Yes, no?

I plan to have a 128gb SSD installed. In addition to the OS (Win 7 64-bit preferably), will this be large enough to hold at least one game at at time?

Do new models come out at a specific time of the year? Spring? Summer? I'm just wondering if they are coming out in the spring then the 2012 models I'm looking at now may be discounted by the time I'm ready to buy in May.

Thanks for any input!
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