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Cheap laptop with good gpu

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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June 17, 2012 5:18:11 PM

Hello, my HP dv4 finally gave out on me. It already had a broken screen so I was just using it with a external moniter. I am now having a blank screen when I turn it on and the error code tells me that the cpu is not functioning. I have done a little diagnosing and I believe that it is either the mb and/or the processor that has failed. Since it would be pretty expensive to fix this and the screen was already broken, I have decided to purchase a new laptop and I have come here for advice. First, my budget is under $400. I know this is not very much but from what I understand the gpu is really the only thing that is not upgradable, so I would like a laptop with a good gpu and I plan on upgrading hdd, processor, RAM and other things as finances allow. Am I correct in the belief that this would be the best option? As far as use goes I am a college student so I would use it for schoolwork (ppt, word, etc.), as well as iTunes, internet browsing, dvd playing, and one game that I play regularly. This game is my main concern. It is called MX Simulator (mxsimulator.com). I would like to play this game with relatively high graphics resolution without having to worry about lag and I am clueless as to what I need for this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and if it seems like I don't know what I am talking about it is because I really don't. So don't be afraid to correct any of my notions. Thanks

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a c 249 D Laptop
June 17, 2012 5:40:19 PM

Hi :) 

You cannot upgrade much on a lappy apart from Ram...

For $400 you are not going to get much choice either and for that price you are NOT getting a good gpu...

Think about buying second hand or refurb though...

All the best Brett :) 
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June 17, 2012 5:52:10 PM

The only reason I'm looking for a good gpu is for the game I play. Does the gpu matter all that much as far as game performance for this specific game? I am not at all opposed to a used or refurbished laptop I am just looking for advise for what gpu, CPU and all to look for.
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a c 249 D Laptop
June 17, 2012 5:54:42 PM

nxtst said:
The only reason I'm looking for a good gpu is for the game I play. Does the gpu matter all that much as far as game performance for this specific game?



Hi :) 

Look up the MINIMUM system requirements for the game (games website) and then decide...

All the best Brett :) 
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June 17, 2012 5:57:43 PM

"Requires 2 GHz CPU with 1 GB RAM and 3D graphics accelerator with full OpenGL 1.1 support. Works on either Windows (XP or newer) or Linux." sorry for all the noob questions but can you simplify this? Also I am not at all opposed to a used or refurbished laptop I am just looking for advice for what gpu, CPU and all to look for.
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June 17, 2012 6:03:02 PM

I understand 2ghz CPU and 1gb ram but not the graphics jargon. Can someone please help.
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June 17, 2012 6:27:58 PM

The minimum requirements are nothing compared to laptops hardware from $300 price point and beyond so you'll be able to murder the game with your budget, though games that are very demanding like battlefield 3 will force you to play on low. If your going to focus on gaming on a $400 dollar budget avoid intel and go with amd. Their graphics chips are more stable then intel laptops that use their own graphics chips. At around $400 you can get a new AMD A6 laptop from newegg and best buy, you can later upgrade to an A8 which can be found on ebay , preferably an MX version, and two 1600 mhz ram sticks. AMD and intel laptops integrate the gpu and the cpu now so when you upgrade the cpu you'll usually get a better gpu. Still separate gpu that are integrated into the laptops motherboards are usually much better than the integrated ones.
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June 17, 2012 6:44:13 PM

Also it should be known that if your a pc gamer you shouldn't game on laptops. For $500 dollars you can build a gaming desktop that's as good as a $1,000 laptop or more. Laptops are too expensive for people to economically game on them. I would suggest than you buy a cheap $200 net top and save up for a $500 gaming desktop. If you do this you'll be blown away buy the value you get.
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June 17, 2012 6:54:40 PM

Reminder, don't go in store to buy from best buy. Their best deals are from the internet. Also don't let them sell the geek squad services, that's how they make money on their cheap prices.
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June 17, 2012 7:13:17 PM

No other games other than minesweeper. I already have good ram sticks I wonder if I could get a laptop without ram or crummy for cheaper? Will an intel work fine with just that game? What about the 3d graphics accelerator with open gl 1.1 support? Is that a hardware or software specification?
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June 17, 2012 7:21:26 PM

Phyrexiancure said:
Also it should be known that if your a pc gamer you shouldn't game on laptops. For $500 dollars you can build a gaming desktop that's as good as a $1,000 laptop or more. Laptops are too expensive for people to economically game on them. I would suggest than you buy a cheap $200 net top and save up for a $500 gaming desktop. If you do this you'll be blown away buy the value you get.


Well the reason I am going for a laptop is because of the fact that I am a student and a laptop is much better suited for me. I would rather not build a gaming specific desktop as this specific game (mx simulator) is the ONLY game I will play other than flash Internet games and windows preloaded games like minesweeper and solitaire. Will an intel or amd laptop work well for this with 2.0 ghz CPU work well for me? And gpu. What do I look for in this?

Thanks everyone for the replays y'all have been extremely helpful.
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June 24, 2012 1:55:42 PM

Best answer selected by nxtst.
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a b D Laptop
June 24, 2012 3:06:29 PM

So which laptop did you buy?
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