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Any advice for a gaming/student laptop?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 18, 2011 1:46:49 PM

I've been researching this for a while but up until now I haven't been much of a PC gamer so I figured it'd be good to ask.

I need a laptop to go away with and I'm planning to use it for gaming (before anyone tells me, I do know desktops are better for gaming but it isn't really an option).
My budget's around the £750 mark but the less I spend the better. In terms of gaming, the main game I'm hoping it'll play is Skyrim if that helps at all.


I'm open to suggestions but this is the best deal I've been able to find and I was hoping for some advice on that.
http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/optimusII-15/
I don't know much about PC Specialist's reputation so if you can tell me about that I'd appreciate it and if you can give me some advice on tweaking the specs that'd be great too.

I have checked benchmarks and the graphics card (Nvidia GT555m 2gb) seems powerful enough for what I want but if I'm wrong I'd appreciate letting me know.
Out of the other specs you can tweak I haven't decided whether or not I'll need a blu ray drive, I'll probably give it 4gb RAM (I'd get 6gb if it was an option but unless I'm really going to need it 8gb costs too much) and a bigger hard drive (500gb or 640gb, haven't decided) and go for either an i5 or the 2.00ghz i7 for the processor (I'm trying to figure out how much I'd need a quad core at the moment).

Thanks for the help.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
July 18, 2011 4:44:59 PM

Hi and welcome to the forums,

the laptop case that you linked is produced by Clevo, which is a reputable company
I think it's this one link

Regarding the PCspec, can't tell you myself, try to do some research on the company.

Regardless, GT 555M is at the top of the medium class video cards, so in theory, you should be able to at least run Skyrim on low settings with that (could probably do medium reasonably). But, since the game hasn't come out yet, no way to guarantee it.

Regarding the rest of the specs for the laptop, I can't see what the price for upgrading each of the components is, so it's hard to judge what you can afford.

In general, you want at least 4Gb of ram, if you need more later, you can upgrade, ram is pretty cheap and clevo laptops place ram in an accessible place.

and I'd recommend at least an i-5 CPU, if you can afford i-7 2630 that would be the best option.

But it seems you already knew all that, so great job on the research.

I don't know if you've been to this website yet, but I'll link you to give you an idea of performance you get from GT555m
notebookcheck.net

Best of luck shopping, if you got anymore questions, we always here.
July 20, 2011 9:39:53 AM

AntiZig said:
Hi and welcome to the forums,

the laptop case that you linked is produced by Clevo, which is a reputable company
I think it's this one link

Regarding the PCspec, can't tell you myself, try to do some research on the company.

Regardless, GT 555M is at the top of the medium class video cards, so in theory, you should be able to at least run Skyrim on low settings with that (could probably do medium reasonably). But, since the game hasn't come out yet, no way to guarantee it.

Regarding the rest of the specs for the laptop, I can't see what the price for upgrading each of the components is, so it's hard to judge what you can afford.

In general, you want at least 4Gb of ram, if you need more later, you can upgrade, ram is pretty cheap and clevo laptops place ram in an accessible place.

and I'd recommend at least an i-5 CPU, if you can afford i-7 2630 that would be the best option.

But it seems you already knew all that, so great job on the research.

I don't know if you've been to this website yet, but I'll link you to give you an idea of performance you get from GT555m
notebookcheck.net

Best of luck shopping, if you've got anymore questions, we always here.



Thanks for the advice. I did a fair bit of research, nice to see it backed up.
I'd always thought upgrading laptops was fairly difficult so it's good to know I might be able to add to the RAM. I don't suppose the same is true for the graphics card?

It's strange that you can't see the prices:

There's £21 difference between the 640gb hard drive and the 500gb. Getting Blu Ray adds £79 and there's £39 difference between the i5 2410m(2.3ghz) and the i7 2630qm (2.00ghz) with the i5 2510m in between them (Is there a reason the i5 2540 costs more than the i7 2630 by the way, which is better for me?)

With the i7 2630, 4gb ram and a 640gb hard drive it works out at £785. I think that's what I'll get but I'm thinking about stretching my budget and adding blu ray to that.

I still haven't had much luck looking into PC Specialist. I've seen good reviews but most of them aren't professional, they also have a lot of testimonials on their own site.
I've looked into Clevo and they seem to have a good reputation so that's reassuring. As far as I can tell you can't buy direct from Clevo, am I right?

The only other question I have is does anyone know any other 14"-15.6" laptops with similar specs in the same price range?
July 21, 2011 5:44:57 PM

I’ve asked a few questions in the post above this already but I thought I'd fill this in to see if it helps:

1. What is your budget?

Ideally around £750 (even less would be nice), I can stretch to more than that but I'll need a good reason to.

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

Anything between 14" and 15.6" would be great.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

The higher the better and hopefully 1366 x 768 or more. This isn’t really my priority though.

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

I do want something portable so if it's not too heavy (less than 3kg) that would be nice. This would be instead of a desktop for me though, for a while at least.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Again the higher the better. I don't think I'll use it for intensive things like games much when it isn't plugged in but I would like it to last as long as possible running basic programs like Microsoft Word and Google Chrome.
Being able to switch to integrated graphics to save battery would probably be really useful for me (from what I've looked up I get the impression Nvidia Optimus would be ideal).

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)?

This laptop will probably be all I use for games for a while.
I want to play older games like Oblivion (and its mods like Nehrim), The Orange Box, Dragon Age Origins, Amnesia and Mass Effect 1/2 smoothly and hopefully with fairly high settings. There are even older PC games I’d want to play but I’m not too worried about those.
I don't expect I'd be able to play new games with it for long but if I could play The Witcher 2 along with Skyrim, Deus Ex HR and Mass Effect 3 when they come out that would be fantastic. I'd be happy as long as they ran smoothly but Skyrim's the main game I'm looking forward to so it'd be great if I could play it with medium settings.
I'm hoping to use it with emulators as well but I'm not sure how demanding emulating some systems (PS2/gamecube) is.

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

I’d be using it to keep in touch with home and I might want to hook it up to a monitor or a TV so a HDMI port and a good built in web cam are two other things I’m looking for.

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

I do have an external hard drive I could use with it but I’m still looking for 500gb or more.

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

I don’t really have a preference but I’d prefer buying from somewhere I’d heard of.

This is the main laptop I’m looking at so far:
http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/computers/optimusII-15/

This one caught my eye in HP’s clearance sale, I know it isn’t perfect for everything I’ve mentioned but I still like it a lot:
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/ho/WF05a/321957-32...


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

At least two or three years.

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

I’d definitely want to play and write DVDs and CDs. Blu Ray would be nice as well but I’m not sure if I need it or not so it depends on how much I’d be paying for it.

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 like the style of HP Envy notebooks I’ve looked at but build quality and value for money are more important to me than getting a particular brand.
I can’t really think of a brand I don’t like but let me know if there’s one I should avoid and why.
Like I said before, any recommendations would be great.

13. What country do you live in?

United Kingdom



Thanks again.
!