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Looking for a gaming laptop

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  • Laptops
  • Gaming
  • Product
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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July 16, 2012 7:06:13 PM

Hey everyone, I'm looking to get a gaming laptop. My current laptop is really struggling to run things even on mimimal graphics. I'm about to head into college so I think it would be a nice time to get an upgrade. I really don't care about the graphics in a game as much (I'm pretty much running on low level settings right now). I currently have a Dell Inspiron 1545 with the extra battery.

Here is what I'm looking for

1. $650 preferred, $850 max budget

2. 15.6" is the size that I have now, so I'd like to stay close to that if possible

3. Again 1366x768 is what I have and I'm fine staying with that.

4. This will be my main computer, but it needs to be portable so I can bring it around with me at college.

5. I will have a power source at most places so 3-4 hours of work is fine by me

6. I'm good with low-medium settings on most games, the games I want to play are:
Guildwars 2
Heavily Modded Minecraft
Borderlands (and borderlands 2 when it comes out)
Portal 2
League of Legends

7. I'm an engineering major so I will be using programs like CAD a lot, but I'm not really into photo or video editing very much.

8. I currently have 250 gb of space (and running out), so I'd like to upgrade (350 gb should do just fine).

9. I'm not looking at any particular site for my laptop, I'm just looking for a good deal.

10. Ideally, I would like to keep it for 4 years so I can graduate and get a nice desktop instead. But I'm good with 2-3 years.

11. I don't really need a disk drive, I do most gaming through steam, and I rarely watch movies with my laptop.

12. I'd like to stay away from an hp laptop (it doesn't seem to have a good reputation). I also hear that alienware is over-priced, but I'm not sure if that is true or not.

13. I live in the U.S.

14. I'll be satisfied if I can run borderlands and guildwars 2 fluently. I bought Borderlands from steam two days ago, and the framerate was so low it was unplayable. I'm open to suggestions and any ideas. Also be honest and tell me what I'm going to need if I want to run those kind of games and an $850 laptop is not going to cut it.

Thanks everyone in advance for any and all advice


More about : gaming laptop

a b D Laptop
July 16, 2012 7:30:45 PM

Good luck! Let me know if you find one for that price and I'll buy thousands!

Seriously, you can't get what you're asking for at that price point and it be any good for gaming. You have to spend more. A Decent gaming laptop goes for about $1450 +/- including shipping.
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July 16, 2012 7:50:07 PM

Where is the problem then? How much am I going to have to spend to run borderlands and Guildwars 2 at minimum settings?
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July 16, 2012 7:50:56 PM

Alienware desktops are horribly over priced. Laptops though, since you cant 'build your own' laptop, alienware would be the best way to go. It will cost you about $1400+/-, and you need to get one with the biggest GPU you can find.
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July 16, 2012 7:51:57 PM

Well, with $100 added to your max, you could have gotten something really good, but whatever. Try the lenovo y470. Its got OK specs. The best you'll ever get with your price range. Lenovo has great reliability and good prices. The build quality on this is real good, and should run most games at medium. The battery life is around 3-4 hours. Screen is decent.
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...
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July 16, 2012 7:54:06 PM

umaddbro said:
Well, with $100 added to your max, you could have gotten something really good, but whatever. Try the lenovo y470. Its got OK specs. The best you'll ever get with your price range. http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...


What were you thinking in the $1000 dollar price range? I'll take all the suggestions I can get
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July 16, 2012 8:00:19 PM

Your best bet is to keep an eye on deal sites (here, newegg, etc.) and see if you can snag a deal. That's extremely low end for a laptop to play games on. That said, you're not looking to play anything hardware intensive (except maybe Borderlands 2) so you might be ok. With GW2 and BL2, you're better off waiting because you really have no idea whether the games will be playable since they aren't out yet.

Something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

might be ok. In general, you want something with a decent processor, pretty quick HDD, 4 GB RAM, and (most importantly) a discreet graphics card.

If that's not in the cards, some of those games will play on the new Ivy Bridge integrated HD, but not GW2 or BL2. That would save you a bunch of money.

As other people will tell you, laptops are not made for playing games. You are better off putting together a decent desktop and then buying something cheap for portability. It would cost right around the top end of your price range to do so.
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July 16, 2012 8:00:50 PM

Well they just released a new laptop that is fricking amazing, I am currently about to be a freshman in college and have been looking at laptops and this one really interested me. http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...
Amazing graphics card, you'll be able to play almost all games on ultra with amazing FPS. ~$949

Then there's the better version with blueray and 1080p screen for an extra $150. so in total $1099.
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...

The warranties are relatively cheap
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a b D Laptop
July 16, 2012 8:11:24 PM

gaming laptop=oxymoron
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July 16, 2012 8:22:50 PM

*Gag* Lenovo? If you wanna flush your money down the toilet give it to me, ill at least give you an abacus and a notepad with crayons.

Your biggest bottle neck is gonna be your GPU. Get a laptop with these specs:

intel i5
8gb ram (or upgrade it to 8gb)
additional graphics card (as big as you can get)

Dont worry about:

Screen size (you can always buy a monitor)
cd/dvd/blueray (you can get an external dvd drive)
battery life (lets face it, they weigh alot and you can plug laptops into cars now adays)

Just found these:

Laptop 1
Laptop 2
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July 16, 2012 8:25:23 PM

ram1009 said:
gaming laptop=oxymoron


indeed!
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a b D Laptop
July 16, 2012 8:29:43 PM

These days, you DEFINITELY want an SSD as your drive on a laptop - so figure that cost in somewhere.

I would also Definitely Not buy a refurbished one.
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July 16, 2012 8:45:24 PM

dingo07 said:
These days, you DEFINITELY want an SSD as your drive on a laptop - so figure that cost in somewhere.

I would also Definitely Not buy a refurbished one.


Ignore this. Unless you want your hard drive to cost more than your laptop. (well maybe not but close to half of your budget.)

Graphics Cards

Go by this link. Get a laptop with the highest ranking GPU you can afford. Consider GPU, then Manufacturer, then CPU. If you can get an i5, thats great, if not get the i7.
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July 16, 2012 8:46:47 PM

Thanks a lot everyone. I'll be taking a look at all of these options
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July 16, 2012 8:58:57 PM

Cutting down your boot time by a few seconds isn't really worth a 100 dollars IMO. Not to mention that SSDs have no measurable impact in gaming other than improving load time.
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July 16, 2012 9:58:02 PM

dingo07 said:
DarkOutlaw obviously has never used a computer with an SSD and isn't aware of the speed increase it provides across the board. Not to mention they are not as pricey as he may suggest.


Lets see...I have 2 OCZ Agility 3's in a Raid 0 that I am using right now, 2 TB HDD in a raid 1. Lets replace the only possible hard drive that the laptop can hold with a measily 120gb hard drive! That sounds like a plan...Now if you were like my Dad who blows $1k on a 500gb ssd, then yeah its great for a laptop, especially one he spent somewhere near $3k for.

You really should think about the big picture a little more dude, not just boot time.
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a b D Laptop
July 16, 2012 10:20:38 PM

I Know the Big Picture, Dude - and it's all about boot time and program launches - nothing with heavy I/O

and on a laptop that's what most care about, boot time - the other stuff, like gaming, can't be affected anyhow because its all dependent on the GPU and Processor

There's no argument you can make that says an HDD is faster than a SSD in a laptop!

I now rememeber why I haven't visited these forums in some time - because every positive suggestion turns into a pissing match...

Hey Castaway - good luck with your gaming laptop!
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July 16, 2012 11:45:02 PM

dingo07 said:
There's no argument you can make that says an HDD is faster than a SSD in a laptop!


We'll...so far you are the only one that has said anything about a HDD being faster than an SSD. If you call pointing out every flaw of what you are suggesting by putting a 120gb ssd into a laptop then absolutely, and yes it sucks when someone comes out of no where and starts dishing out such crappy advice.

Quote:
8. I currently have 250 gb of space (and running out), so I'd like to upgrade (350 gb should do just fine).


To the OP, please do not listen to anything this dingo has to say about hard drives, a 120gb SSD would be spectacular in a system that has 1 TB of HDD space. You have the right idea going with 350gb, and you should stick to that. The larger the HDD the longer overall system performance can be. You maybe hard pressed to find something at exactly 350gb, I think most laptops are comming standard with 500gb, but just stick with getting as close as what you need as possible and you will be fine.
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