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What gaming laptops should I consider for $900 or less?

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 19, 2012 3:25:28 AM

http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/LX.RW602.033
http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/LX.RHJ02.220
http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-17/pd?sc_err=noocs

These are what I am mostly considering at this point due to good bang for my buck.
I am not currently thinking about getting a desktop, I will be doing that later though.
I have looked at ASUS, Alienware, MSI, and several others, but I don't really want to pay more than $900-950 and all of their products seem to be above that mark and well into the $1000s.
I just want to know what would be the better overall buy for gaming and which will probably hold up (physically, like not break) the best for several years.

If there are any other better options that are still in my price range that would be appreciated as well.



I just noticed that this seems to be in other posts:
1. What is your budget?
About $900.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15"- 17" I guess.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
HD would be nice

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
It doesn't need to be terribly portable, but I don't really want it weighing like 10 lbs.

5. How much battery life do you need?
It doesn't really matter

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. Skyrim, Starcraft II and such on Medium or high. (I'm not sure if I am being too hopeful)

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

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
500GB is plenty.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I'll put these here again:
http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/LX.RW602.033
http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/LX.RHJ02.220
http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-17/pd?sc_err=noocs
Although I am not totally sure about this stuff.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3-5+ years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD is probably fine. Bluray would be cool though.

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 don't really have a preference; I am fairly new to this.

13. What country do you live in?
US.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I kinda said some stuff at the top that covers this.

More about : gaming laptops 900

April 19, 2012 3:44:24 AM

I bought a 7750g about 3 months ago and think it is an excellent product. I haven't rigorously tested it, but I do play halflife 2, The Witcher and Eve on pretty high settings. I did however upgrade the memory from 4gb of ddr3 1066 to 8gb of ddr3 1600 which provided a good boost in performance. I really can't find a con with this notebook.
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April 19, 2012 3:50:03 AM

gnxkroz said:
I bought a 7750g about 3 months ago and think it is an excellent product. I haven't rigorously tested it, but I do play halflife 2, The Witcher and Eve on pretty high settings. I did however upgrade the memory from 4gb of ddr3 1066 to 8gb of ddr3 1600 which provided a good boost in performance. I really can't find a con with this notebook.


What brand is that? Could you send me a link? Also how much would upgrading the memory cost, and how difficult would if be? Thanks!

Edit: Just googled it. Looked at it. So, yea.
Edit²: What model number did you get?
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 19, 2012 4:35:08 AM

From XoticPC: Sager NP6165 $900
Core i5-2450M 2.5Ghz CPU, 15.6" 1920x1080 LCD w/ GeForce GT 650M GPU

GeForce GT 650M review
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April 19, 2012 8:50:56 PM

WR2 said:
From XoticPC: Sager NP6165 $900
Core i5-2450M 2.5Ghz CPU, 15.6" 1920x1080 LCD w/ GeForce GT 650M GPU

GeForce GT 650M review


How much would getting the next processor up help to improve gaming performance?

Sager - 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-2450M, 2.5-3.1GHz, (32nm, 3MB L3 cache) (Supports up to 8GB - DDR3 1333MHz of Ram (2 SODIMMS))

vs.

Sager - 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM, 2.2-3.1GHz, (32nm, 6MB L3 cache)

Also is there anything else in there that would help to increase gaming performance from this customization window?
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344...
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 19, 2012 11:25:54 PM

The extra $70 for a quad core upgrade to the i7-7-2670QM is most useful in games like BF3 running in multi-player. And when you multi-tasking while gaming (headset chat, helper programs and music, etc).
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April 19, 2012 11:55:53 PM

gnxkroz said:
I bought a 7750g about 3 months ago and think it is an excellent product. I haven't rigorously tested it, but I do play halflife 2, The Witcher and Eve on pretty high settings. I did however upgrade the memory from 4gb of ddr3 1066 to 8gb of ddr3 1600 which provided a good boost in performance. I really can't find a con with this notebook.
I can play Half Life 2 and The Witcher with pretty good settings with my $250 i3-2330M laptop with HD 3000 graphics. At this price range, his laptop should give decent Metro 2033 performance.

OP, look for something on the order of a GT 560M at this price range. Ideally, you want a 2nd Gen i5 w/ something on that level for graphics.

Here's a great place to compare mobile CPUs: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmar...
Here's a great place to compare mobile Graphics Cards: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benc...

Note that most of the benchmarks show the respective cards with GDDR5 memory if the card offers both DDR3 and GDDR5. The memory bandwidth REALLY matters, so do not overlook this. Dell typically sells its midrange graphics cards (like GT 540M or comparable Radeon 6750M) with DDR3 memory. HP typically sells them with GDDR5. If the seller doesn't state which it is, you can safely assume it's the cheaper one.

The XoticPC link is pretty good. But those are really only that great of a bargain if you install Windows yourself.

As far as physically not breaking, the brand matters. Unfortunately, I've heard negative things about nearly every brand but Lenovo. Sony's tend to be built pretty well too. Both vendors charge a premium. Personally, I'd rather pay $200 less and just get a new laptop in 3 years. So I buy from any vendor and hope I don't get unlucky since it seems there's little I can count on.

The good news is that all laptops seem to be built better all the time. The Dell my wife got in 2007 is way more resilient than the Compaq my family got in 1999. But I still feel that her Dell is falling apart. My newer HP, Asus, & Dell laptops (two loaned/sold to friends) all seem to be built much better than that 2007 Dell, with higher density plastic and better hinges.
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April 20, 2012 12:00:28 AM

The upgrade from an i5 to i7 won't help much in most games. As WR2 said, it'll help in several very CPU heavy games like BF3 and maybe some more in the next couple years. I wouldn't bother with it, but you may want to.

What system are you currently gaming with? Because if your current machine is significantly weaker than the upgrade we're talking about, I don't want to overcompensate and make you buy something way more expensive than you need.

XoticPC also has the draw back of like $65 shipping last time I checked.

EDIT: OP, how important is resolution to you? While resolution improves your user experience, it drastically reduces gaming performance. I think 1600x900 is the optimal compromise.

Depending on the gaming performance you're used to, a Radeon 7690M might be adequate. If so, you can sign up for HP's email list and buy something like their dv6t Select w/ 2nd Gen i5 and Radeon 7690M 1GB GDDR5 when it goes 33% off (should be $634): http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_can...
HP has sales every two weeks or so.

If you look at my notebookcheck links above, you will see that this is a tier below the GTX 560M, so you'll have to determine what level of gaming graphics you're used to. This laptop can play nearly all games on pretty solid settings. But you'd be on LOW on BF3, Metro 2033, and Crysis 2.
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 20, 2012 1:04:05 AM

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April 20, 2012 1:33:31 AM

Hahaha. It's good XoticPC got that policy. Their shipping used to be ridiculous. If the OP has a copy of Windows already, that's definitely the way to go for a high end gaming machine.
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April 20, 2012 3:27:43 AM

Thanks for all of the help! I am going with the Sager offer because I think I can get a copy of Windows 7 cheaply due to my student status.
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April 20, 2012 3:28:39 AM

Best answer selected by elsamu.
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 20, 2012 3:37:37 AM

Check to see if you can get a student discount of a cash discount at XoticPC.
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April 20, 2012 3:39:57 AM

If you're an Engineering Student, you can get Windows for free (legally). The GTX 570M is about 10% faster than the GTX 650M. I don't know if that's worth $60 though, especially when the 650M should use significantly less power.
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April 21, 2012 4:46:36 AM

dalauder said:
If you're an Engineering Student, you can get Windows for free (legally). The GTX 570M is about 10% faster than the GTX 650M. I don't know if that's worth $60 though, especially when the 650M should use significantly less power.

Where would I go to to utilize the engineering student free windows deal?
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April 22, 2012 4:44:12 AM

elsamu said:
Where would I go to to utilize the engineering student free windows deal?
The website has changed some recently, but you can look into these sites:
http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/gb/software/windows...
https://www.dreamspark.com/

The computer lab at my school had info about signing in and downloading free Microsoft software. We just logged in here: http://www.seasnet.ucla.edu/software/software-download

Keep in mind that Windows 8 Beta (or something like that) is legally publicly available. Of course, it expires at the end of the year (or something like that).
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April 27, 2012 1:25:18 AM

I'm closing this thread in my browser. PM me if you have any questions.
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!