Which "gaming laptop" suits my needs?

So, I've been considering a gaming laptop for awhile now, once I found out my computer, a Gateway ML6732, had these specs;

-about 3GB RAM and 250GB hard drive
-display adapter type of Mobile Intel(R) 965 Express Chipset Family
(whatever the heck that is, I haven't seen that anywhere)
-Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU T2370 @ 1.73GHz

Which of course, these specs weren't able to run my favorite games, such as Borderlands, WOW, Bioshock, Dragon Age, Sims 3, Fallout 3, etc.

The reason why my basic internet-browsing/data-input laptop can't run things like Crysis, (haha), is because of my sad little processor and my graphics card/speed, as far as I know. I need a "gaming laptop", but I don't need tons of hard-drive space, etc.

So, I've been considering everything from a variety of ASUS computers, and my favorite, the Macbook Pro MB986LL/A, because I've a basic need for at least a Duo Core processor, (not a quad core) rate of 2.5ghz, and a nice graphics card with at least 512mb divided ram. The older Macbook Pros (2008) are also a consideration, as I'm trying to find something refurbished or "Like New", so I can get more bang for my buck. I don't want to spend more than $2000 on a laptop, and as I'm a student, I really don't have the option to get a desktop, as I need something portable.

My dilemma: I don't need 500000GB of hard drive space, as the higher-end gaming computers advertise, as I have an external hard drive of 1 TB that will do me just fine. I want to get a processor around 2.5ghz, and a nice graphics system that'll last me through all I games that I want to play (That I currently play on my friend's Macbook pro 2008 (2.4ghz and NVIDIA 8800GT with 512mb divided, and my other friend's ASUS G50VT, which has NVIDIA 9800m GS, 512mb divided, I think.)) I'd also like 4GB of RAM. And a computer that'll last me at least 4 ish years plus. And all of this for cheap-ish. Tough, I know, but I could really use some advice.

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  1. The base config of the Sager 8662 should blow all of those machines out of the water for $1500.

    Just a note, it's not 'divided' memory, it's 'dedicated'. And no Apple notebook carries an 8800GT - there's actually no such thing for notebooks. That machine has an 8600M GT.

    Edit: I should probably note that 1920x1200 at 15.4" makes for some pretty small pixels. If you don't like reading small print, you might want to opt for this guy:
    Which is still a very powerful machine, much moreso than your friends'.
  2. The first computer you suggested looks great. That Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M Graphics with the 1GB DDR3 memory definitely could last a long time. The second computer you suggested, for less than $1000, with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 Graphics card, according to Notebookcheck.net, is average, but not really in the same class as my friend's ASUS GeForce 9800M GS card, also with 512mb "dedicated" memory. (Sorry about that, the internet uses a lot of terms, and I've only just recently tried to teach myself them).

    But thank you for the info, I've never heard of "Sager" before.
  3. If you check the actual gaming benchmarks, the 4650 really isn't too far behind the 9800M GS at all:

    But you are right, the 9800 is the better card. I put the second notebook on there because of the large resolution on such a small screen. There is another option I found, also

    Near the same as the 8662, but with a lesser resolution on a larger screen:
  4. Yeah, the resolution is pretty important for me. I hate when games or videos and such get stretched, so it looks kinda funky. Which would you say has the best resolution for a computer with around a 15inch screen? Anything larger than that would be difficult to carry around...
  5. It's not really a matter of getting stretched, it's a matter of readability.
    The resolution on the Sager 15" notebook (the first one I linked to) is really, really high (1920x1200). That kind of resolution is normally available on 24" monitors for desktops - which, when scaled down to a 15" monitor, makes pixels really..really...really small. I have a 17" 1920x1200 display on my notebook (also a Sager), and text is pretty small on it. It makes everything look gorgeous with such a high pixel density, but it can be hard to read at times - and it almost makes noticing heads popping in windows and behind bushes difficult when gaming, since they appear so much smaller.

    To me, the optimal screen res for 15" is 1680x1050 - but that's because I really like the smaller density; I'm used to it. Some people may find it difficult to read. Make no mistake though...it will look phenomenal.
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