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Looking for ~$500 gaming Laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2012 4:52:13 AM

Hello all. As the title states it, I'm looking for ~$500 gaming Laptop. I know this will be hard to find, but I've listed a couple that I've found so far.

So here it goes:

1. What is your budget? ~$500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 14-17" Screen

3. What screen resolution do you want? I want 1920 x 1080, but I know that is asking much. I do like the option of 1600 x 900 if possible.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? This laptop is for portability, but I will generally be using this on the couch and when I go on trips. Weight isn't too much of an issue.

5. How much battery life do you need? Not too concerned on battery life, since I'll have this plugged in most of the time. 4-6 hours (under power saving mode, low screen brightness/reduced CPU speed/etc.) would be nice, but battery life is not my highest priority.

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)? I'll be playing Skyrim, Diablo III, Word of Tanks/War Planes, Counter Strike Source, Everquest, etc. I would like to be at least at medium settings if possible at the screens native resolution (i.e. 1920 x 1080 or 1600 x 900 or 1366 x 768).

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) This will be for general use, but with attention to gaming.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? I will probably install a 120 gb SSD or I'll just use my 320 gb 7200 rpm HD that I have or use the HD that comes with the laptop.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. I'll be looking at Newegg, Amazon, Dell, HP, Lenovo, or just about any reputable website.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 3-5 years. My current Laptop is 6+ years old (it just can't play the games that I want to anymore).

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? DVD burner is the minimum (I don't own any BluRay so no loss if it doesn't come with a BluRay drive).

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'm not too picky on brands, but I have had good luck with Dell and Acer at this point in time.

13. What country do you live in? U.S.A. :) 

I'm looking for laptops with a DEDICATED GPU, so I can have a decent gaming experience.

Here is the two systems that I've found so far that meet my requirements:

1) $500 shipped! Ships with A6-3420M and Dedicated 6650M GPU for crossfire w/the 6520 iGPU
lenovo IdeaPad Z575 (12992PU) Notebook AMD A-Series A6-3420M(1.5GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory DDR3 1333 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD±R/RW AMD Radeon HD 6650M

2) $500 shipped and I'm thinking I will want the $20 upgrade to A6 3430MX CPU (total would be $520 w/the upgrade)! I have listed the A6 CPU that I would buy below. The A6-3420M is the standard CPU.

* Processor
AMD Quad-Core A6-3430MX Accelerated Processor (2.4GHz/1.7GHz, 4MB L2 Cache)

* Operating system
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

* Graphics card
1GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7690M GDDR5 Discrete Graphics(TM) [HDMI, VGA]

* Hard drive
FREE UPGRADE to 640GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive

* Memory
FREE UPGRADE to 6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)

*Primary battery
6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (standard) - Up to 5.5 hours of battery life +++

* Display
15.6" High Def LED HP Brightview (1366x768)

* Primary optical drive
SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support

* Personalization
HP TrueVision HD Webcam with Integrated Digital Microphone and HP SimplePass Fingerprint Reader

* Networking
802.11b/g/n WLAN

* Keyboard
Standard Keyboard with numeric keypad

So if there are similar spec'd laptops out there, please let me know. The ones I've listed above can run in crossfire when needed, but it seems that this only works some of the time, from what I've read (not 100% on this, since I've only read a few posts on this).

I will be buying in the next few days, just so you know.

More about : 500 gaming laptop

a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2012 11:02:58 AM

Anyone have anything better or equal to the those listed above??
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a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2012 3:01:24 PM

Dwellman, thanks for your input, but the laptop that you linked doesn't come with a dedicated GPU. Both of the ones that I've listed have a dedicated GPU, so I can get better gaming with them than just the integrated AMD GPU.

Are there any brick and mortar shops that your familiar with that run good deals?
a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2012 1:43:35 AM

Anyone have any experience recently with build quality on HP or Lenovo (specifically the Ideapad)??
a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2012 6:10:10 AM

I'm thinking that the HP laptop is the one to get with this price range. Especially since I get a bit better dedicated GPU and I can also upgrade the CPU to the A6-3430MX for better OC'ing, if I decide to go that route.

Anyone have any further input on which one is better or on the build quality of either laptop?
a b 4 Gaming
June 20, 2012 4:06:36 AM

Buying in a couple of days and I really haven't had any response from the community, which is really odd. I have posted several times in the past and had at least 10x the response to my posts, so either I'm asking the wrong questions or I already have my answers to the topic?
June 20, 2012 4:57:32 AM

I'm pretty sure the 7690m is better than the 6650m, (maybe the 6650 does better in crossfire, I dunno?) so I would go for the hp. too bad for me personally, I bought the lenovo before I was aware of the hp. It's being shipped in either today or tomorrow.

I'll let you know how it does in battlefield 3 if you're willing to postpone your purchase a day or two (still have to download, 600kb/s max here, so its an overnighter for sure..

a b 4 Gaming
June 20, 2012 7:19:59 AM

I will look forward to your personal review of the laptop. I don't know if I'm going to get the HP, just because it'll cost me more out of pocket (I have a $60 gift card for Newegg :)  ). I wish I knew more about HP's manufacturing/support on their laptops. They have an iffy reputation in the past, but I'm curious how it is now.
a b 4 Gaming
June 21, 2012 6:12:03 AM

So here is what I just bought, in case anyone is interested.

$400 - $20 promo code + $10 shipping = $390 :) 
Acer Aspire AS5560G-7809 NX.RURAA.001 Notebook PC - AMD Quad-Core A6-3420M 1.5GHz, 4GB DDR3, 320GB HDD, DVDRW, AMD Radeon HD 7670M, 15.6" Display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Black

The dedicated GPU is a 7670m, which by Notebookcheck.net's hierarchy chart is a mid level Tier 2 GPU! This should do quite well for gaming at 1366 x 768.

The laptop comes w/DDR3 1066 mHz RAM, so I order some DDR3 1600 mHz RAM, since I know Llano APU's like more RAM speed.

Total w/RAM = $435!! Now if I sell the RAM that comes w/the laptop I'll get about 15-20 back, so I'm really happy w/a total purchase of about $415!!

I will be getting this next week and I'll post back with my impressions.
June 22, 2012 5:15:51 PM

thats a pretty sweet deal. dammit it looks like I could have saved a hundred bucks and gotten basically the same thing. Then again the lenovo has a lot of bells and whistles, and I've heard bad things about acer build quality. Still downloading bf3, but mass effect 3 runs great! Overall I am very happy with my purchase.
a b 4 Gaming
June 22, 2012 11:12:15 PM

Yeah I will be looking at the build quality of the Acer (my wife has one and it works fine - she's really hard on laptops too). I just didn't have the $ for something better. I was going to buy the lenovo, but I found the better deal with the Acer. I just have too many things to pay for so I had to settle for the lesser price. I think that I'll probably replace this laptop in 2-3 years anyway.
!