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Looking for a light gaming laptop under $500

Tags:
  • Laptops
  • Gaming
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
November 5, 2013 5:14:08 PM

1. What is your budget?
$4-500
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
~15.6+ inch
3. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable
4. How much battery life do you need?
Battery life not important, 2 hours is fine
5. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Very light gaming (Terraria, hearthstone, etc), have a gaming desktop for the big games
6. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Watch movies in HD, stream to TV
7. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
min 500gb, would like 750gb
8. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Newegg?
9. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3 years
10. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Basic DVD ROM/Writer
11. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Asus, Acer, open to other suggestions, always heard those two brands were decent
12. What country do you live in?
USA
13. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
needs to have an hdmi port, prefer Intel to AMD but want fastest available for budget, would like decent graphics

More about : light gaming laptop 500

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a c 1084 D Laptop
a c 334 4 Gaming
November 5, 2013 6:38:28 PM

For playing games, you should consider a laptop with an AMD APU since in general (depending on the model) the integrated graphics is more powerful than Intel iGPU which generally means better gaming performance even though the CPU core is less power. Below are links to two Acer laptops. The difference between is the amount of RAM and the price.

Acer Aspire V5-552-8854 = $450 6GB of RAM 4GB + 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Acer Aspire V5-552-8404 = $400 4GB of RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I believe the 4GB stick is embedded into the motherboard so it has one slot for additional RAM. You basically more than 4GB of RAM because with the extra stick of RAM the RAM will be operating in dual channel mode rather than single channel mode. The $450 version has 6GB of RAM so it will perform better, however you are paying $50 more for a mere 2GB more RAM.

If you do not mind installing your own RAM, then for around $50 you can buy a 4GB stick of RAM. That means buying the cheaper laptop + buy a 4GB RAM stick + some work on your end means you will spend about the same amount of money, but end up with 8GB of RAM instead of 6GB of RAM. Crucial has a list of RAM that is compatible for that laptop. Of course they recommend the more expensive 8GB stick of RAM because they know you have "anus monetary-itist", that rare medical disorder where you have money falling out of your ass.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Aspir...

Below are the two faster versions of 4GB sticks:

4GB - $50
http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=0A...

4GB - $45
http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=46...

Both are rated at the same speed, but the $50 version has tighter times which can mean better performance, but you will likely need to run benchmarks to tell the difference. Since this is a cheap laptop, the 4GB of embedded RAM has RAM similar to the cheaper version.

You can also check newegg / amazon to see if you can get better prices.
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a c 1084 D Laptop
a c 334 4 Gaming
November 5, 2013 6:53:27 PM

For Intel you basically have two choice with an Intel HD 4400 iGPU. Not as powerful as the integrated AMD Radeon HD 8550G in the above laptops which I think I neglected to mention. I also neglected to mention the AMD A8-5557M is a quad core CPU vs. dual core Intel CPUs. And I also neglected to state they are 15.6" laptops.

15.6" Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 = $500
Intel Core i5 4200U(1.60GHz, 2.6GHz Turbo Boost)
4GB of RAM = Single Channel Mode - You need to add another stick of RAM to benefit from dual channel mode for better performance
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

17" DELL Inspiron 17 (i17RV-6273BLK) = $500
Intel Core i3 4010U(1.7GHz, no Turbo Boost)
4GB of RAM
1600x900 resolution screen
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Related resources
November 6, 2013 3:01:31 PM

jaguarskx said:
For playing games, you should consider a laptop with an AMD APU since in general (depending on the model) the integrated graphics is more powerful than Intel iGPU which generally means better gaming performance even though the CPU core is less power. Below are links to two Acer laptops. The difference between is the amount of RAM and the price.

Acer Aspire V5-552-8854 = $450 6GB of RAM 4GB + 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Acer Aspire V5-552-8404 = $400 4GB of RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I believe the 4GB stick is embedded into the motherboard so it has one slot for additional RAM. You basically more than 4GB of RAM because with the extra stick of RAM the RAM will be operating in dual channel mode rather than single channel mode. The $450 version has 6GB of RAM so it will perform better, however you are paying $50 more for a mere 2GB more RAM.

If you do not mind installing your own RAM, then for around $50 you can buy a 4GB stick of RAM. That means buying the cheaper laptop + buy a 4GB RAM stick + some work on your end means you will spend about the same amount of money, but end up with 8GB of RAM instead of 6GB of RAM. Crucial has a list of RAM that is compatible for that laptop. Of course they recommend the more expensive 8GB stick of RAM because they know you have "anus monetary-itist", that rare medical disorder where you have money falling out of your ass.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Aspir...

Below are the two faster versions of 4GB sticks:

4GB - $50
http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=0A...

4GB - $45
http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=46...

Both are rated at the same speed, but the $50 version has tighter times which can mean better performance, but you will likely need to run benchmarks to tell the difference. Since this is a cheap laptop, the 4GB of embedded RAM has RAM similar to the cheaper version.

You can also check newegg / amazon to see if you can get better prices.


Thanks for recommending these. I'm going to go with the 8404 and get a stick of the 4gb RAM too. I built my own desktop, so putting one stick of RAM in a laptop should be cake.

I heard Win8 is a resource hog, so i'm considering wiping this laptop as soon as I get it, putting the RAM in, then putting Win7 Ultimate on it instead. Any advice or opinion on that?

Thanks!
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a c 1084 D Laptop
a c 334 4 Gaming
November 6, 2013 4:21:59 PM

Not sure how much of a resource hog Win 8 is. I have read that it is a very involved process to install Win 7 on a laptop / PC already installed with Win 8. I think Win 8 uses a new file system.
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November 6, 2013 5:21:25 PM

jaguarskx said:
Not sure how much of a resource hog Win 8 is. I have read that it is a very involved process to install Win 7 on a laptop / PC already installed with Win 8. I think Win 8 uses a new file system.


Can you confirm that this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

will go in this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and is my best option for memory?

If so, I'm going to make up my mind and buy this.

Also, any idea if I should wait on Black Friday/Cyber Monday and see what is on sale or is this a good enough deal not to pass up?

Thanks!
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