Looking For Gaming Laptop for College Next Year

Hello, next year I will be going to college (of course) and enrolling in a game design course. Thus I need a gaming laptop, though honestly I have never been too knowledgeable in the field of hardware. So yeah, I'm asking you.

1. What is your budget?

I'd say about 1000 dollars, give or take a few hundred,

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

I'd say about 15 inches... Well, about as big a screen as a regular computer monitor.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

I'm currently using 1152 X 864, and that seems to be quite well at the moment though not sure it is the best.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Desktop replacement.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Hm... I'd say around 7 hours. Doesn't need to be able to go unplugged forever but definitely should be able to hold its own for a while.

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)?

Yes, I would. Not any particular games I'd want to play, but I'd need to be able to run almost any games released recently. Like not Crysis on High, but it should be able to run most things at a decent setting.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

It should support virtualization and visual machine images. Other then that, just browsing the web and normal stuff like that.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

At least 4 GB. Preferably more.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

Says to buy a modestly priced laptop at year 1, and then buy another one at year 3 (due to computers constantly being upgraded, ect) So in about 2 years I may be upgrading. Failing that, then 4 years, though 2 years is probably a better bet.

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


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.

I'd prefer Windows if only because most games run on that rather then Mac, at least from my standpoint.

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Processor speed needs to be at least 2 GHz, though I'm sure that would have been a given for a gaming laptop. Needs an Integrated Ethernet adapter.

Hm... yes, that should be all. Any help at all would be appreciated. :D
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More about looking gaming laptop college year
  1. Hello RockSauron;

    That advice about starting out with a mid-range laptop and upgrading in two years is sound adivce IMO.
    But your requirement for a bit of gaming 'kicks it up a notch' as far as budget requirements go.

    A couple good options:
    ASUS N53SV-A1 $1060 cash and/or student discounts available to you.
    Core i7-2630QM, 2.0Ghz (2.8GHz turbo) Sandy Bridge CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ GT 540m graphics.
    Optional configurations for more RAM, bigger HDD, etc.
    Includes Win7 and 2yr warranty, 1yr accidental damage warranty.
  2. Quote:
    I'd prefer Windows if only because most games run on that rather then Mac, at least from my standpoint.

    I think no-one would even consider seriously gaming on a Macbook :)

    At least 4 GB. Preferably more.

    Erm.. no typo? The OS alone takes 12-15GB, and considering that you can get 1TB (1000GB) hard drives for less than a hundred dollars ... I think you meant RAM (memory), and most laptops that are in the list shown below (keep reading) have at least 4GB of memory.

    I'm currently using 1152 X 864, and that seems to be quite well at the moment though not sure it is the best.

    Mainstream resolution for laptops is currently 1366x768, and the next step up is 1080p: 1920x1080 resolution, which is unfortunately hardly affordable within your budget (but it can be done).

    Hm... I'd say around 7 hours.

    You do realize that this is A LOT to ask for, and that it is basically impossible to achieve if you are going to game while on battery?

    Anyway, have a look at those: http://www.xoticpc.com/custom-gaming-laptops-notebooks-gaming-laptops-ct-118_96_98.html
    And use this chart for GPU evaluation: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphic-Cards.13849.0.html

    You should be able to find a sweet spot within the list and get the ideal laptop for you - by the way you can customize them, which is pretty good particularly for hard drives.
  3. No, I didn't realize battery life, I just chose a random time :p So yeah, thanks for the links, I'll look at it.

    As for the 4GB, ya I did mean RAM. Sorry, I got confused.

    Anywho, I'll take a look at that stuff now...
  4. Also on the same XoticPC website:

    The custom Sager NP5160 $769 base price also with the discounts:
    Configured @ $945 with Core i7-2630QM, 2.0Ghz (2.8GHz turbo) Sandy Bridge CPU, 8GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 15.6" 1920x1080 LCD w/ GT 540m graphics
    This does not include Win7 but you can probably get a student discounted version.
    -> don't skip over the base version with i5-2520M, 2.5Ghz (3.3Ghz) dual core Sandy Bridge, 4GB, 1366x768 res base model too fast. It would be a great laptop at a great price IMO.

    GT 540M is a mid-range laptop graphics card - and you'll get mid-range performance compared to more expensive models with the GTX 460M you'll also see on the XoticPC website. You can use those as price comparisons.
  5. Here is a rough comparison of the GT 540M vs GTX 460M as far as gaming performance goes:

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
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