Continuance of first impressions...
First off, the Lapcool4. This is an outstanding piece of equipment. A bit flimsy on construction, but if you're at all careful with it, it should last. $55 from newegg.com and it has three USBs and a number of other card readers. Sort of a mini docking station. It is portable but exapnds enough to quite nicely handle the large footprint of the 7700. It has a fan control and an on/off switch and so far it has worked superbly in keeping the unit running cool. I run it off the USB adapter right off the AW, so even though it comes w/ an AC adapter, I don't have a need for it.
On to the lappy..
Packed perfectly ... of all the accessories, three really stand out...
* The AW back pack is perfect and superbly built and well worth the money. It holds the unit and all accessories with ease and is comfortable to carry.
* The Creative Audigy Soundblaster sound card is perfect. It matches in color almost and is seamless into its integration into the one slot that the 7700 comes with. The internal sound card drives the 5.1 sound control very well (although I did have to get into the settings and 'remind' it that it was 5.1, not just stereo) and the speakers are outstanding. I'm surprised by how much I can hear the subwoofer.
* The Ozma 7 headphones. Dear god just get them. I run them thorugh the sound card (I actually created a shortcut to my sound controls so its very easy to quickly choose between Card and internal for when I'm using the Ozma's or the lappy's speakers). They produce an amazing and clear base and are so snug fitting that you don't need sound dampeners. Sound doesn't get in!
The 7700 is gorgeous if not just a bit boxy, but I personally love the style. Using the Alienguise really allows you some options on how your desktop looks. The keyboard is huge for a laptop and full-size, allowing for easy typing and/or game control. The full numeric keypad is a big plus for altering game input settings to suit your gaming styles.
The touchpad which includes its little area that acts as a mouse wheel is comfortable to the touch and very responsive. My only wish is for a middle mouse button....ah, well. See, I actually like gaming with the pad as opposed to the mouse...I know, I'm nuts
Internal wireless works exceptionally well. Picks up my wireless router with ease and stays connected. No problems, no worries!
If I forgot anything in this area (hardware, etc.) let me know or ask!
Now, the video card. Look, I was lucky here. A small real estate venture later and I had some cash to spend on this. So I say this understanding that expense can be an issue. But if you can afford the 7800 GTX, get it. Runs very cool (so far, although I really haven't pushed it too hard yet). Seemless graphics and no worries for years on needing an upgrade whooo hooo
See my specs below and you'll see that I did spend a bit on the RAID 0 hard drive and 2 gigs of ram. Thought about three, but well, two for now ought to do! Plus there's the news that Samsung is coming out with the 8 gig cards? Holy crap!!!
My main testing has been to run AOE 3 and Black and White 2 on full tilt settings. The graphics have been superb and in particular, with BW2, there has been no frame lag of any kind, even in some of the graphic intensive cut scenes. Water, bloom, fire, shadow, it's all there with no hiccups and no slow down in performance.
Folks, that's all I can think of for now, but if its okay, I'll keep adding to this thread as I think of things.
I hope to do some benchmarks over the weekend, so hang tight!