Article over on anandtech where they pitted laptop setups against diablo 3 to get some performance numbers. It's not an MSI but they do feature a laptop with the same CPU/GPU setup as it (i52410m + gt540m) & it pulls some repectable numbers at lower resolutions (1366x768 & 1600x900).
Only about 700 and these are both used by the way but msi is described as only booted up once before he switched to a mac and asus described as only used when he traveled (had desktop for home).............. I will be meeting locally to check them out before purchasing not ebay.. Msi listed as 675, asus listed as 550. Thanks
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 is not a particularly good option in most cases, because it has a 15.6" 1366x768 display.
15.6" 1366x768 and 17.3" 1600x900 displays make things onscreen large, and tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast because they are manufactured cheaply. I recommend against buying laptops that have this type of display to those who have a budget that allows them to get a suitable laptop that has a better display an at the same time suits their needs, and who don't require larger text for eyesight-related reasons.
Its AMD Radeon 7690M XT is faster than both the GTX 260M and the GT 540M in the laptops you listed. It is faster than the version of the GT 555M used in the Lenovo IdeaPad Y570, because the IdeaPad's version of the GT 555M is a modified GT 540M and not a true GT 555M.
Ensure that, if you buy this laptop, that you change the BIOS setting for switchable graphics from DYNAMIC to FIXED.
Playing games on laptops is perfectly reasonable as long as you understand the limitation of a laptop vs. a desktop; i.e. very limited upgrade options and that the graphic card is not upgradeable for the vast majority of laptops.
I'm not sure what you mean by "upgradeable." You generally can't upgrade the CPU or GPU on a laptop.
By Elder Scrolls 2013 I assume you mean the online version.
Anyway, there is a HUGE difference in laptops varying from non-gaming, to light-gaming to heavy-gaming ("heavy" for a laptop I mean).
In general, you can buy a basic laptop for about $400. When you pay more money than that most of it goes to a better CPU and Graphics.
The questions are:
1) How much are you willing to pay?
2) How much noise will you accept?
IMO, people who are willing to spend over $700 for a "gaming" laptop should get an NVidia Optimus rig. The NVidia Optimus technology has a dedicated graphics GPU that is automatically turned ON when needed and OFF when not needed (You can add an EXE for a game or program if it's not yet in the list via new drivers).
If you have the money I recommend a 600M series, such as a 660M. However, some of these are previous generation and not Kepler. There's a list you can Google. Kepler is far cooler and quieter so that's what you want.
Note that the 660M is Kepler, or should be. If you go for a 600M chip, be careful to ensure that you actually get Kepler for a certain laptop. If in doubt, try getting it in writing that if it is NOT you can get a full return.
(That's how much I'm not trusting NVidia for sneaking pre-gen chips in as 600M chips, or at least allowing the laptop manufacturers the ability to do so.)
Hence my question "how much are you willing to pay?"
As I say it's hard to answer his question because he mentions a $700 laptop and later says "would it be worth the $300 extra?" so I'm not sure what his exact requirements are.
IMO, the best value would be a quad-core APU with graphics sufficient to play Diablo 3 on High at 1366x768 (or Medium with higher resolution) such as a 17" or using an external monitor.
All the information I have suggests that $600 USD can get an APU-based laptop that can play Diablo 3 and similar games BETTER than a similarly priced Intel system. The Intel system would have more CPU processing but less GPU processing and the advantage for GAMING goes to the APU system.
If he's just interested in Diablo or similar then $700 should be his upper limit and it should be an APU. He'd have to carefully compare as there are many different versions.