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Best gaming laptop for best price?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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March 30, 2011 11:37:21 PM

I was looking at the dell xps 15 laptop and I was wondering if it hadit is the best for the price. I pretty much want a laptop than can put out the highest graphics for games like COD Black ops or Battlefeild Bad Company 2. I will mostly be playing wow cataclysm or rift and I deffiniatley want the highest graphics setting for those and for it to run smooth for me. Here are some of the specs for the laptop I wanted
Dell xps 15, 2nd generation i5 processor, 540m nvidia with 2gb of video mem., 6gb of memory, a 500 gb hdd, 720p 15.6 screen.
Will this computer run my games on high/ultra settings without any lag? And is it the best price for $999?
Also I want a graphics card that is not intergrated like this laptop because I want this laptop for a couple if years and if a game soon requires more output I would like to get a better card without haveing to buy a new laptop. And I don't want to buy a tower, I want mobility! Thanks and if you can find a better laptop with a better price, please let me know.

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March 31, 2011 3:30:50 AM
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No, the GPU is not powerful enough for high/ultra settings. It should do medium settings decently/smoothly, but games such as Black Ops or WoW will bring it to its knees on high/ultra settings.

I think if you were willing to spend up to $1200-$1300, it would be possible to find an appropriate laptop for you. For your games you are looking at a GTX280M or an HD4870 at least.

In fact the Sager NP8130 seems to have a very good performance/price ratio, here are the links:

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8130-clevo-p151hm1-out-s...

It has a 2nd generation i7 quad core (very good for games), a GTX460M which is more or less mainstream for gaming laptops and will play your games at high/ultra settings with little to no lag. Features 8GB of RAM. Has a 1080p LCD screen (same dimensions, but higher resolution than 720p), and finally has a 7200RPM 500GB hard drive (you can customize it to more storage for a few more dollars).

The default version of the laptop comes at about $1200, and if you are willing to spend that much, this one will definitely hold its own a lot better in modern games on high settings - the one you are suggesting in your post just doesn't have that great of a GPU.

The laptop I'm suggesting has a way better bang for the buck than the one you suggest, because with $200 more you get:
- a much, much better GPU
- a 1080p screen instead of a 720p one - well it's still a 15.6'' but a greater resolution
- a better CPU (quad core, although I don't know if the i5 was quad core or not)
- an additional 2GB of RAM
- same HDD, but possibly faster (you didn't mention the RPM) - can be upgraded to 750GB for $55, SSD choice available as well if you feel like it

That was my suggestion.

PS: if you are wondering, you don't need 2GB of video memory at 1080p resolution - the 1.5GB provided by the GTX460M are more than enough for 1080p gaming, and more would be more or less wasted by lack of higher resolution.
March 31, 2011 3:44:37 AM

Thanks a lot about the information, I don't plan on getting the new computer for a couple of months anyways (need to save up some money) but do you know if that graphics card is dedicated or integrated?
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March 31, 2011 3:49:28 AM

The GTX460M? Dedicated, and immensely faster than the GT540M. And from what I've heard it's reasonably easy to take it out and replace it with something else when it gets obsolete.
March 31, 2011 4:03:39 AM

Ok cool i will definitely think about it, Im just worried i will be on here in two months asking the same questions because i know either the prices will go down or there will be another computer with good specs
March 31, 2011 4:12:40 AM

Yes indeed, 2 months is a long time and changes will definitely occur. But at least you get an idea of the market and what you need to aim for to get a decent gaming experience.
March 31, 2011 4:46:08 AM

Is there some way i could find out which graphics cards are better than others? To be honest with you i thought the geforce 520m would be better than the GTX460m. I dont know much about graphics cards so its kind of difficult finding the right now for the right price :/ 
March 31, 2011 4:56:43 AM

Use this chart:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-G...

Note that in real life the performance would be slightly lower, since these benchmarks use medium resolutions (but they do use the correct level of detail settings).

As for your question, note the X in GTX, which the GT540M (520?) doesn't have. That's the difference. On the chart I linked, the GTX460M ranks as 25th best graphics card setup for laptops, while the GT540M ranks 67th.

Graphics card naming is fairly difficult to sort out and the best is usually to check benchmarks. Sometimes there is no pattern at all (although most of the time there is one, in particular the letters refer to technology, the first number to lithography, and the next ones to revision - roughly)
March 31, 2011 1:53:44 PM

Best answer selected by b-dub92.
March 31, 2011 2:02:33 PM

Wow, great chart! Thanks a lot you deffinately just saved me a lot of time and money. I've been looking for a laptop for ahwile now and had no idea about the gfx card ratings. Now would I still be able to run high/ultra settings on these games if I had a 2nd gen i5 processor? I will probably end up with the i7 but I was just wondering.
March 31, 2011 9:36:27 PM

A 2nd gen i5 should be able to power your games just fine as well.
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