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Help finding a laptop for portable gaming?

I've got a desktop for gaming, but whenever I decide to play with friends transporting it is too much of a burden. So I've been seeking out a laptop that could smoothly play games when we all decide to get together. Unfortunately I'm not sure what to look for, and what I've seen is ridiculously expensive.

Budget: Lower the better, up to $1,000 USD
Size: Doesn't matter.
Screen Resolution: I'd like 1920x1080, but if a lower res makes it cheaper I'm all for it.
Portable or Desktop Replacement: A bit of both.
Battery Life: Doesn't matter.
Games: PlanetSide 2, Tribes: Ascend, Dota 2, StarCraft 2, most new releases.
Other Tasks: None (Internet browsing and such.)
Storage: Anything works. I can always get a bigger HD.
Additional info: I am up to the idea of building my own, but have no idea where to start, is that a good route? Is it cheaper?


As I'm looking for this just to play with friends (and play during trips), I want to get away with spending as little as possible.

So what am I supposed to be looking for? Do you have any recommendations?

Thanks,
Noid
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about help finding laptop portable gaming
  1. noidis said:
    I've got a desktop for gaming, but whenever I decide to play with friends transporting it is too much of a burden. So I've been seeking out a laptop that could smoothly play games when we all decide to get together. Unfortunately I'm not sure what to look for, and what I've seen is ridiculously expensive.

    Budget: Lower the better, up to $1,000 USD
    Size: Doesn't matter.
    Screen Resolution: I'd like 1920x1080, but if a lower res makes it cheaper I'm all for it.
    Portable or Desktop Replacement: A bit of both.
    Battery Life: Doesn't matter.
    Games: PlanetSide 2, Tribes: Ascend, Dota 2, StarCraft 2, most new releases.
    Other Tasks: None (Internet browsing and such.)
    Storage: Anything works. I can always get a bigger HD.
    Additional info: I am up to the idea of building my own, but have no idea where to start, is that a good route? Is it cheaper?


    As I'm looking for this just to play with friends (and play during trips), I want to get away with spending as little as possible.

    So what am I supposed to be looking for? Do you have any recommendations?

    Thanks,
    Noid


    There are a couple of HP options that can be upgraded to a GT 650m and 1080p screen that fall under the 1k mark, then there is the lenovo y580 that is right at the mark at $999 and comes with a GTX 660m and 1080p screen.
  2. Best answer
    Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 (i7-3630QM, NVIDIA GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080 glossy display) - $939 + tax
    - Sign up and sign in here: http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/na/StdAffinityPortal/en_US/Lenovo:EnterStdAffinity?affinity=barnesnoblegold (Barnes and Noble Gold discount page)
    - http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barnesnoblegold/StdAffinityPortal/en_US/config.workflow:ConfigureMtmAsItem?mtm-item=:000001C9:0000717E: (500GB 7200RPM) - $939 + tax
    - http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barnesnoblegold/StdAffinityPortal/en_US/config.workflow:ConfigureMtmAsItem?mtm-item=:000001C9:0000717D: (1TB 5400RPM + 32GB SSD) - $1029 + tax
    - Click the green "Activate eCoupon" button in the cart.
    - These models come with the 1920x1080 display. There are other models that come instead with a 1366x768 display, but those models are not recommended unless you need the larger text. 1366x768 resolution in a 15.6" display makes things onscreen large, and 15.6" displays that have 1366x768 resolution tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast.
    - Note: the NVIDIA GTX 660M is not significantly faster than a NVIDIA GT 650M.

    MSI GE60 (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $939 no tax
    - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152339
    - http://www.amazon.com/MSI-GE60-0NC-006US-9S7-16GA11-006-15-6-Inch/dp/B007YDHLYE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346102799&sr=8-1&keywords=msi+ge60

    Sager NP6165 (i5-3210M, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 glossy display) - $920 no tax
    - http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344.html?wconfigure=yes
    - Select Windows 7 under Operating System if you cannot acquire your own copy for cheaper.
    - 17.3" version: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6175-clevo-w170er-p-4345.html?wconfigure=yes

    Sager NP6350 (i5-3210M, NVIDIA GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080 glossy display) - $999 no tax
    - http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6350-clevo-w350etq-ships-midseptember-p-4897.html?wconfigure=yes
    - Select Windows 7 under Operating System if you cannot acquire your own copy for cheaper.
    - Recommended: Matte display upgrade.
    - Note: the NVIDIA GTX 660M is not significantly faster than a NVIDIA GT 650M. But there are other differences between the NP6165 and NP6350.
    - 17.3" version: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6370-clevo-w370et-p-4796.html?wconfigure=yes

    Quote:
    I'd like 1920x1080, but if a lower res makes it cheaper I'm all for it.

    There are a lot of places where you might want to look to save money, but the display is not one of them. If you need to save money by getting a cheaper laptop, then there are plenty of sacrifices that will be less significant than the sacrifice of a 15.6" 1920x1080 display for a 15.6" 1366x768 display. For example, you could get a laptop that has a Core i5-3210M instead of a Core i7-3630QM, because game performance tends not to be affected very much by the processor since it is primarily GPU-bottlenecked. Or, you could settle for a moderately slower GPU: for example, the GT 650M is only around 10% slower than the GTX 660M, so that difference is not really going to be make-or-break. A Core i5 is not a terrible processor (it's probably more powerful than you need), a NVIDIA GT 650M is not a terrible GPU, but a 15.6" 1366x768 display is a terrible display. You should consider minor sacrifices in performance before considering major sacrifices to the display.
  3. Best answer selected by Noidis.
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