hey guys, i'm buying my girlfriend a laptop she's a die-hard sims addict, i'm talking like hours upon hours of sims action
i realize a laptop is not the best choice as it comes to gaming as theres an overheating issue.. but sims 3 is pretty basic and i probably could honestly get away with buying anything with an integrated gpu and she wouldnt be of the wiser.. but thats neither here nor there, i wanna get her something nice so and im sure she'll end up playing some other games so i'd rather have a dedicated graphics card.. aaanndddd thats where you guys come in (lucky you!)
i'm looking at about a 500 dollar budget, will go up to 600-650 if the price is right for what i'm getting.
i have no preference to amd/intel, both are good imo, and i'd like the screen to be at least 15+
What terrible things? Perhaps in the past with their "GMA" integrated graphics. But with the "Intel HD" graphics series is a game changer. The Intel HD 4600 is currently the best performing integrated graphics core from Intel. There are only two AMD integrated graphics cores that is better that it; the Radeon HD 8610g and Radeon HD 8650g. However, that is based on specs alone. While there are game benchmarks for the Intel HD 4600, there are none for the HD 8610g or HD 8650g yet.
Click below link for a few benchmark results and ranking. The Radeon HD 7660G is the best iGPU in AMD's Trinity generation APU.
The Intel HD graphics are not that "terrible", they are as fast as gaming video cards from a several years ago. Plenty good for SIMS 3. If you want to go to faster video, you either need to get a used laptop, or go up a few more $100 to a real gaming system. The HD4600 with the i5 CPU will run games like WOW and SIMS with no issues.
At close to your limit you can simply order the following 15.6" HP Envy 15z-j100 with an A10-5750m APU and a dedicated Radeon HD 8750m for $640. It comes with 8GB of RAM. It is somewhat light at under 5lbs.