Is there a reason my laptop can't run games very well?

I bought an HP Pavilion dv7 last August and now I'm off to school where I use only my laptop as I don't have my desktop I usually use for games and everything else.

I'm just now trying games out on here and it doesn't seem to be going so well. A lot of choppiness and visual lags in games, even with all the settings turned down to the lowest they'll go (such as Black Ops). Good news is I can play Age of Empires II and King's Quest VI flawlessly! But nothing that has come out recently, even if the requirements are below what I have.

Are laptops in general just not good for gaming? Or am I missing something? Thank you for any help.

Specs:
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Intel Core i5 2.40GHz
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 1Gb Memory
4.00Gb RAM (not sure, exactly what kind)
Anything I'm forgetting?
8 answers Last reply
More about reason laptop games well
  1. Temepratures?
  2. Not a bad setup; I would expect some games to be playable at better-than-lowest settings. The majority of laptops are not suited to gaming, mainly because of their lack of graphics muscle.
  3. Not a bad setup; I would expect some games to be playable at better-than-lowest settings. The majority of laptops are not suited to gaming, mainly because of their lack of graphics muscle.
  4. That system should be able to play anything current with high res and settings on medium to high no problem. I've got a 2 year old Alienware with a dual core, 4GB ram and a 9800GT 512mb and it can still play most new games at 1440x900 with settings medium/high with decent frame rates, so I have no doubt that yours could do better than that. It sounds like a driver issue. I know for a fact that Black Ops is horribly coded and everyone, icluding console owners are complaining about the performance, but everything else with the exception of GTA IV and Metro 2033 shouldn't be a problem for you. Try updating all the drivers, even non graphics related drivers. You'd be surprised how much a slightly out of date driver can cause problems. I recently had the same issue and did a full round of updates and it fixed my performance. I only suspected that and not that it was the age of my PC because games that had run great in the past suddenly slowed down for me, so I suspected that was the cause.
  5. What resolutiopn is your laptop running these games? At 1280x720 there shouldn't be problems, but the processor might be struggling with more tasks in the background.
  6. @dalta centauri
    I ran Black Ops at 800x600 (I think? Or whatever the lowest setting is.) Not sure about the others, just whatever their default resolution is. I've tried shutting down all unnecessary programs in the background and still no improvement.

    @alienzander76
    I used HP's tool to update all the drivers itself and everything is up to date as far as I can tell.

    @werner123
    I made a custom build desktop that I normally use for games and everything, but I'm away from home at for a few months and my laptop is my only computer I have access to. I have tried disabling background processes but it still seems pretty choppy. I will see if I can get another game to try out though in case it is Black Ops itself.

    @gamerk316
    According to GPU-Z, my GPU temp is 45.0-46.0ºC
  7. Probably has switchable graphics may have to set it up to run games on the 5650
  8. Your problem is most likely that you do not have a graphics card DRIVER. Without that, your graphics card is completely useless. Sometimes my computer uninstalls my driver on rare occasions for some reason.... you just need to download your gpu's driver from the manufacturers website.
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