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Light Gaming/College Laptop

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  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
June 4, 2014 3:31:53 PM

Hi Toms Hardware Community,

I'm an incoming freshman looking for a relatively portable (sub 5 pounds) laptop that can handle some gaming for at or under $1500. I'd love any help you can give in my search. Here are my criteria:

1. Weight: Has to be less than 5 pounds so it's not a burden when I have to bring it to class.

2. Screen: Preferably 14" or 13", but I could go up to 15" as long as it's still under 5 lbs.

3. Graphics: Has to have a dedicated GPU, no Intel integrated graphics.

4. Games: Has to play games like Skyrim, Bioshock Inifinite, Far Cry 3 at low/medium settings. I don't mind if it doesn't look absolutely spectacular as long as there's little lag and a solid fps.

5. Brand: I've been looking at mostly Lenovo and MSI. I'd also consider Asus and Dell. I'm looking away from HP and Acer because of concerns over their sturdiness, but would be open to suggestions. One computer I've already found is the Lenovo Y40, which I can get for $829-$1299 with a student discount.

I appreciate any suggestions you have!

-Ari

More about : light gaming college laptop

June 4, 2014 5:23:16 PM

I'd say the MSI GS60 Ghost would be the best choice for you. It is a little more than 4 pounds, has a 15 inch screen, a dedicated GPU, and solid battery life. The only problem is is that it's $1700. I hope thats okay
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
June 5, 2014 1:53:15 AM

Yo - you'll like this.
http://www.xoticpc.com/gigabyte-p34gv2cf2-p-7158.html
this'll run your games on high 1080 or better.
it weighs just over 3.5 lb
it's 14'
has a full IPS Matte screen
its 21mm thin
built in 128GB SSD.
oh and the stock wireless card is great too.
and its $1499 with free shipping to 48 states of the USA.

the brand is gigabyte - they did the auros, and many other laptops as well as loads of other computer components - they aren't muppets
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June 5, 2014 6:53:50 AM

dasulman said:
Yo - you'll like this.
http://www.xoticpc.com/gigabyte-p34gv2cf2-p-7158.html
this'll run your games on high 1080 or better.
it weighs just over 3.5 lb
it's 14'
has a full IPS Matte screen
its 21mm thin
built in 128GB SSD.
oh and the stock wireless card is great too.
and its $1499 with free shipping to 48 states of the USA.

the brand is gigabyte - they did the auros, and many other laptops as well as loads of other computer components - they aren't muppets


Thanks so much for the suggestion, this looks like an absolutely perfect fit! The weight and graphics specs are awesome, but what are your thoughts on the build quality? Can it withstand four years of college life (and hopefully a few after).

I've also been looking at the MSI GE40 (http://www.msimobile.com/level3_productpage.aspx?id=403). It's not as good (GTX 760 vs GTX 860, 4.4 lbs vs 3.57 lbs) but I could save $200. Do you think the Gigabyte is worth it? My school provides free Microsoft Office, so I can spend my full budget.
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a b D Laptop
June 5, 2014 7:20:40 AM

well don't forget you also get a massive SSD for much faster work as well as loading up your games massively quicker.

Gigabyte has always had very high quality products - all gaming notebooks of this size - even with a 2 fan solution, will require a cooling pad after a while, no gaming laptop should be without one. But the laptop itself is beautifully sound.
and the GE40 isn't too higher quality, the build quality etc.
you'll also lose the full 1080p capability, the 760M is just not powerful enough.
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June 5, 2014 9:52:46 AM

dasulman said:
well don't forget you also get a massive SSD for much faster work as well as loading up your games massively quicker.

Gigabyte has always had very high quality products - all gaming notebooks of this size - even with a 2 fan solution, will require a cooling pad after a while, no gaming laptop should be without one. But the laptop itself is beautifully sound.
and the GE40 isn't too higher quality, the build quality etc.
you'll also lose the full 1080p capability, the 760M is just not powerful enough.


That sounds good, I'll definitely have to get a cooling pad. Any suggestions on reliable and cheap pads?
I do really like the SSD, 128 GB is awesome. If I were to get the Gigabyte, would you suggest I choose the option to install the OS on the SSD or just use it for caching? Having the OS on the SSD would obviously ramp up boot times, but then would that be all that giant SSD would be used for? Plus I'll be getting Win 8.1 Pro from my school for free later, so hopefully it won't screw up the SSD to reinstall the OS in two months. Gigabyte's two options are:


mSATA Option: Operating System Installed [Default] w/ mSATA(s) selected below

or

mSATA Option: Caching w/ mSATA(s) selected below ( + 0 )


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a b D Laptop
June 5, 2014 10:09:19 AM

i'd just get it put on the OS, then later on you can put all your games on the SSD. However in 2 months time, to put a new OS on, you're going to need to format it anyways. so you might as well set it up now for the next 2 months.
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June 5, 2014 11:40:59 AM

Dasulman,

Thanks so much for your advice. I think I'll get the Gigabyte P34G V2, it seems like the perfect laptop for me!
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