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Low to mid-end gaming laptop under $800

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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July 3, 2010 8:31:14 PM

1_What is your budget?
$600-800

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
around 15" screen size, not too concerned about its weight

3_What screen resolution do you want?
I'm used to 1024x768, so anything higher is just icing on the cake

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
desktop replacement

5_How much battery life do you need?
around 2 hours of internet surfing, I'm assuming it needs to be connected to a power source for any serious gaming.

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Civilization 5, Football Manager 2011, League of Legends, GTA 4. High for the first three, low-medium for GTA 4.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Watching movies, though it's not a priority. I also need a webcam.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
Over 250 gb

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I've always had good luck with Newegg, but I'm open to other sites.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
I want to be able to play games with it for around 2 years, after that I'll just use it for internet.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD RW

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
No preference.

13_What country do you live in?
USA, but I'll be taking this to France in the fall.

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Most of the games I'll want to play seem to be more CPU/RAM intensive than graphics intensive. It would be great if my laptop could handle something like Mafia 2 on low settings, but if something needs to be cut to fit my budget, games like that would be it.
I'd also prefer a laptop that stays reasonably cool while gaming.

To give you an idea of what I'm looking for, these two caught my eye on Newegg:
Acer Aspire
Toshiba Satellite
From what I understand, the Satellite has the better processor, while the Aspire has the better graphics card.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions
a b D Laptop
July 3, 2010 10:20:43 PM

I took alook around on Tiger Direct and I came up with basically the same thing. Out of the two, I'd go with the Acer Aspire, as it has a stronger GPU. I think that will make a difference when it comes to gaming. The quad core phenom is a decent chip, but I think the GPU in the toshiba would pull you down.

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July 4, 2010 12:19:15 AM

thanks for the quick response. Do you think it would be worthwhile getting this version for $50 more with a Intel Core i3 350M(2.26GHz) processor instead of the AMD Turion II? From what I understand after googling around a bit, the i3 is the faster processor, but can be limited by your video card, would that be the case here?
cpubenchmark.net says that the i3 scores 2011 while the Turion II scores 1454. Problem is those numbers mean nothing to me, any help interpreting them would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again
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July 6, 2010 12:27:17 AM

One more question: I'll be taking the laptop to France, and from what I've read, it needs to be able to handle 240v. Acer's website doesn't seem to specify voltage though. Would it be safe to assume that all laptops are built to handle the appropriate voltage range? Are there any issues with using a cheap $5 plug adapter?
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