Mid-level portable gaming rig advice

I am in the hunt for a mid-level laptop that would allow me to play games at decent visual levels (at resolutions like 1280X800, for example). Because my options are somewhat limited, considering the fact that most new machines take quite some time in reaching domestic markets here, I decided not to wait for the Ivy Bridge models (although I seriously, seriously wish I could) and take the plunge right now.

Which is what brings me to my query, and you guys seem like the best people to help me with it. I have, after some deliberation, picked out two laptops that are within my budget, have decent after-sales service records here and might turn out to be decent gaming machines (as long as my expectations are kept in check :D)

Machine 1: HP Pavilion G6XXX - i3 2350m (2nd gen) 2.3 Ghz with 3mb cache, AMD Radeon 7670m (2gb), 6gb DDR3


Machine 2: Asus K5XXX- i5 2450 (2nd gen) 2.5 ghz with 3mb cache, NVIDIA GT 630m (2gb), 6 gb DDR3

Please note:

1. I know that HD 7670m is probably a stronger card that Nvidia 630m, but the second machine has got a better CPU. If I do go for the first machine, would the i3 (with 2.3 ghz) suffice for modern games?

2. I'm not a big fan of games like Skyrim , but I do want to play Borderlands 2 when it comes out (anxious about it, actually). Which machine do you guys think would help me get to it?

Games I would usually play:

NFS titles
COD: MW2, MW3, Black Ops1 and 2
Borderlands: 1 and 2
Crysis:1, Warhead and 2 (with settings turned to medium, of course)
Deus Ex: Human Evolution
Dirt3 and similar titles.

It would be awesome if you guys could tell me which one to go for, because I just got a desktop with GTX 570 not too long back, and don't want to splurge right now. Also, I haven't heard too many good things about AMD drivers, and switchable graphics being a nuisance and all. Are these true, or generally stray incidents?

Thanks a ton in advance, guys. Much, much appreciated.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. For gaming the GPU is the main factor, of course the i3 could be a little bottleneck for strong video cards, but for those mid gaming portable graphics that is not the problem.

    the 7670m is really better in comparison with the 630m.

    The first one is an HP notebook, i really don't like HP notebooks, they are the most common notebooks with overheat problems, and a lot of Hp's on the market are refurbished.

    personally i would find a machine with 640m or something higher... but since the question is about the GPU on those 2 machines the 7670m would be the best choice for gaming i presume...
  2. Overheating problems did really surface with Hp laptops over here too, and it's definitely an astute observation, because of the famed Indian summer and all. However, I would also look at a decent notebook cooling pad, perhaps something from coolermaster.

    On that note, the hp configuration does let me upgrade to an i5 (SB, no IB yet :pfff: ), but I'd have to plunk down about $100, and I am not entirely sure it would be absolutely necessary in my resolutions and gaming requirements. Suggestions?
  3. IB really only gives you around a 3% improvement over SB. on desktops where people want more PCIe 3.0 lanes for trifire or something, IB-E chips might be useful. otherwise most people are sticking with their SB processors.

    In fact, IB tend to run hotter due to the die shrink. for a laptop, you're much better off with SB than IB, so don't worry about it

    as for the i5, I would only get it if you have the spare cash. I wouldn't expect a very significant performance difference for games
  4. Whoa! Thanks for clearing that out, because I really was in a dilemma over the processor thing.

    I'm sorry if I reiterate, but the hd 7670m machine does make a rather compelling case for itself. However, from the little forum-hunting that I've been doing, it seems that Ati/AMD switchable graphics is not as refined as NVIDIA Optimus (for the gt 630m), with drivers not being supported, games crashing at times and the system going into intel HD 3000 by default and refusing to acknowledge the discrete gfx card. Would it be wise to still go for the Machine with 7670m?

    Thanks for the help (again!)
  5. Yes that is a point too, Optimus Nvidia drivers are indeed very good, so what i say is, check benchmarks for those games that you like to play, are they good enough on that 630m? if yes go for it, you will be running from a lot of Radeon Drivers/HP Overheating problems.

    Personally i would not go with the ASUS... but like i have said the 7670m will give you a better performance for games when you have it running, but i also agree that the 630m would be a more stable solution.
  6. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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