Budget Gaming Laptop?

Not too sure where to post this!!


I am looking for a laptop that's less than $800 that can run some PC games.

First, let me start by saying I am not looking into an expensive amazing laptop that is off the charts. This past spring/summer I built a desktop for my boyfriend so he could play all the games he wants. (I'm proud of it!!)

What I am looking for is a laptop that would be (mainly) used for basic things, but also has the specs that can decently run games.
I am interested to try to learn some PC games to play with my boyfriend, and since we can't be on the same computer, we need to get a second. My laptop just died.. so ideally I would like a laptop for the convenience.

The biggest dilemma I am having at the moment is with the CPUs. I went on and looked at system requirements for games like SC2 and Diablo III to get an idea, but when reading in some forums, a lot of people are claiming less powerful CPUs could run the games just fine. Right now he has been playing LOL, which isn't as demanding.. but I'm looking for a machine that could potentially support future games as well.

So, I guess what I am asking is :

-How important is CPU speed?
-Intel vs AMD?
-I know the GPU should have dedicated memory, is there a certain amount I should be looking for?
-Does anyone have an inexpensive laptop that they game on?


If anyone could help me, I would be very thankful!!!

Thanks in advance!
25 answers Last reply
More about budget gaming laptop
  1. You're wasting your time. Build another desktop.
  2. Ignore the people telling you this isn't possible.

    Laptop gaming has come a LONG way lately.

    That said, you do have to make some sacrifices in terms of power, especially at the $800 price range.

    One example is the Lenovo Y480.
    http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:category.details?current-catalog-id=12F0696583E04D86B9B79B0FEC01C087&current-category-id=C7563337D3E07CC4B84607F2E57AE7FD

    i7-3630QM - 2.4GHz
    8GB RAM
    Nvidia 650m 2GB
    14" 1336x768 screen
    1TB 5400RPM hard disk.

    This laptop is well-reviewed and made by a reputable company. It has a solid CPU. (quad core mobile i7, if the low end) It has a solid GPU. (roughly an underclocked desktop 650) The only real downside you have here is the lower-resolution screen, and the low-rpm hard disk.

    There isn't anything it won't play, but you will need to turn down the settings to play the most difficult titles.


    If you don't like that one, shoot for an i7 3630 and nvidia 640m or 650m if possible. (higher is not likely in this price range)
    Ignore the RAM amounts as 1GB or 2GB makes entirely no difference below 1080p. (and gaming above 1080p for a laptop is pushing it)

    The AMD laptops listed above would be ok too, but not as fast as the one I listed. Samsung makes good stufff, it just won't have the kick of a 650m and i7.
  3. ram1009 said:
    You're wasting your time. Build another desktop.


    Some times i wonder about people

    This laptop would do the job well

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215541

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834131393


    the Top one would have more CPU power(30%-50%) with probably 5-10% less GPU power.

    To get a I7 and a 640M for just 750$ is a pretty good deal. And it has a 17.3 screen :)
  4. Had I wanted to build another desktop, I wouldn't have posted this!! Lol! That is the plan for the future.. but not now.

    Thanks for all the responses everyone! :)
    So, out of all the laptops listed, is there one that trumps the rest? Obviously the i7 and 640M seems like the best deal.

    Would everyone go with intel over amd for a processor?

    Also, would all of these comps run an advanced game on medium-ish settings?

    Thanks for the help :)
  5. Haven't had a chance to look around for you, but for alot of games you'd benefit more from a better video card, and less from an i7, of course that does depend on the game. So if you could pick up a system with an i5 and a 650m I think you'd generally find better gaming performance.

    Edit: If you can go a bit over budget (assuming 800 wasn't taxes in) Here is a suggestion.

    http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344.html
  6. calmlikeabomb said:


    +1 This is where you need to go. An updated list of the best Laptops sorted by price.
  7. calmlikeabomb said:


    Definitely some good suggestions from there +1
  8. jdwii said:
    Some times i wonder about people

    This laptop would do the job well

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215541

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834131393


    the Top one would have more CPU power(30%-50%) with probably 5-10% less GPU power.

    To get a I7 and a 640M for just 750$ is a pretty good deal. And it has a 17.3 screen :)



    You're lucky it's only sometimes. I wonder all the time. I see people posting here every day about how disappointed they are with the performance of their "gaming laptop". I think you probably do too. It's not fair to let people think they can use a laptop for gaming. They all get too hot very quickly and they always will. Battery life is also an issue with the heavy usage games demand. Laptops are great for things that require mobility. Games aren't one of those things.
  9. Quote:
    ******removed********



    I hardly think it off topic to warn someone they are about to waste their money, however if I am what are you? BTW, your opinions of "gaming laptop" performance and their owner's opinions of them are contradicted daily on this forum. So if you want to lecture someone try some of them.
  10. jdwii said:
    Some times i wonder about people

    This laptop would do the job well

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215541

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834131393


    the Top one would have more CPU power(30%-50%) with probably 5-10% less GPU power.

    To get a I7 and a 640M for just 750$ is a pretty good deal. And it has a 17.3 screen :)


    EDIT: I agree an i7 QM for $750 is a good deal

    The gt 640m from what I've read is a rebrand of a 550m or 540m I cant remeber. The 550m which is the equivalent of a desktop 7800 GTX 512(this is a 5? year old gpu). It may do well with steam games but you may need more power. What games will you play? I mean you will need at leasts a 650m or a 7670 with an a-10 or a 7730 with either amd or intel.

    I also would put out there that to get a laptop that will play games "well" you will need a gtx 660+. but these laptops cost 1k+.

    With her budget I agree with ram.
  11. The 640m is the same chip as the 650m....
    The 630m is a rebrand.

    Go to nvidia.com and compare shaders, clocks, etc.
    http://www.geforce.com/hardware/notebook-gpus/geforce-gt-640m/specifications

    Using notebookcheck.net's tests...
    example: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.71887.0.html
    The difference between the 550m and the 640m is over 70%!
    The difference between the 640m and the 650m is roughly 20%
    The difference between the 650m and the 660m is roughly 20%
    (just look up the GPUs, they list comparisons... the GPU score under 3dmark11 is fairly reasonable)

    The 640m is actually around 15% better than the AMD 7730...
    (not counting x-fire with the A-10)
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7730M.72678.0.html

    OP, I think you can safely ignore the people offering advice without documentation.

    I am playing on a nvidia 9800m GTS (roughly an underclocked desktop 9600GT)
    I can play more than steam games.
    The 640m and 650m are significantly faster, cooler, take less power, and are full DX11 GPUs.

    Once again, they will not beat an $800 desktop, but an $800 laptop will easily play games as long as you aren't being rediculous in your expectations. If you are hitting the links I am giving, you know exactly what to expect.

    This comes from a 20+ year IT veteran and a guy who has worked on more laptops than most people see in their lives.
  12. My best friend bought a laptop back about 2 months ago, that has an i7-3610QM (2.3GHZ) and the Intel HD4000 integrated graphics chip. He paid $800 USD for and he absolutely loves it, he would marry the damn thing if he had the chanc but its an HP, He can play Skyrim on Mid-High settings with around 30 fps, very smooth too. his screen res was 1600x900 to give you an example. I can try to find the link but i believe he bought it at walmart in downstate NH. His laptop is what came into mind when you described the type you wanted. Not Over whelmingly powerful, but good at the same time. You DO NOT need Alienware to play these gmes...your paying for the name and convenience.
  13. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Asus-15.6-K55VD-DS71-Laptop-PC-with-Intel-Core-i7-3610QM-Processor-and-Windows-7-Home-Premium-with-Windows-8-Pro-Upgrade-Option/21863297#Product+Reviews

    There is this one. It wont Specfy the screen resolution but is an equivelant to his, except if im correct, you could in fact switch out the graphics chip because its an aftermarket chip. Correct me if im wrong. for 858USD you cant go wrong

    EDIT: http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Refurbished-Steel-Gray-15.6-Pavilion-DV6-6153CL-Laptop-PC-with-Intel-Core-i7-2630QM-Processor-and-Windows-7-Home-Premium/19793191?findingMethod=rr#Item+Description

    Heres another thats good for the price, and the chip IS switchable on this, as well as upgradable RAM
  14. thinkpink87 said:
    Not too sure where to post this!!


    I am looking for a laptop that's less than $800 that can run some PC games.

    First, let me start by saying I am not looking into an expensive amazing laptop that is off the charts. This past spring/summer I built a desktop for my boyfriend so he could play all the games he wants. (I'm proud of it!!)

    What I am looking for is a laptop that would be (mainly) used for basic things, but also has the specs that can decently run games.
    I am interested to try to learn some PC games to play with my boyfriend, and since we can't be on the same computer, we need to get a second. My laptop just died.. so ideally I would like a laptop for the convenience.

    The biggest dilemma I am having at the moment is with the CPUs. I went on and looked at system requirements for games like SC2 and Diablo III to get an idea, but when reading in some forums, a lot of people are claiming less powerful CPUs could run the games just fine. Right now he has been playing LOL, which isn't as demanding.. but I'm looking for a machine that could potentially support future games as well.

    So, I guess what I am asking is :

    -How important is CPU speed?
    -Intel vs AMD?
    -I know the GPU should have dedicated memory, is there a certain amount I should be looking for?
    -Does anyone have an inexpensive laptop that they game on?


    If anyone could help me, I would be very thankful!!!

    Thanks in advance!



    I still advise against this but if you must, I suggest buying something from Costco because they allow you to return within 90 days, no questions asked. Even if you can't find *exactly* what you want you should be able to get a feel for what's available and establish a starting point to buy elsewhere. You might even find something you like. BTW, Costco extends all computer warranties to 2 years.
  15. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pavilion+17.3%22+Laptop+-+8GB+Memory+-+750GB+Hard+Drive+-+Midnight+Black/5422093.p;tab=reviews?id=1218643219395&skuId=5422093

    This is the same exact Laptop my best friend has aside the fact that his is silver, same everything in it. This thing has Beats audio, which is amazingly good quality, 1696mb of VRAM HD4000 graphics (Can run Skyrim Mid-High to High w/i7-3610QM) Which this has. Great buy, you wouldnt be disapointed, look i up on youtube im sure they have something
  16. 2 words that definitely do not go together..

    BUDGET and GAMING.... lol
  17. xendrome said:
    2 words that definitely do not go together..

    BUDGET and GAMING.... lol



    LoL i hear you, but these computers ive put up can absolutely play these games pretty decently and dont cost all outdoors for it either, considering what she wants. I will say that with 800USD i could build her a helluva desktop though hahaha
  18. Hi :)

    I own computer shops in the UK and sell BOTH ....GAMING Pcs and GAMING Laptops...

    What the more sensible people above are trying to tell you is this....

    For $800 you will get at least TWICE the gaming performance from a Pc than you would from a Laptop....

    As you are obviously capable of building a Gaming Pc.... take my advice...do it again...

    OR add another $1000 to your budget is you want a serious gaming Laptop...

    All the best Brett :)
  19. Brett928S2 said:
    Hi :)

    I own computer shops in the UK and sell BOTH ....GAMING Pcs and GAMING Laptops...

    What the more sensible people above are trying to tell you is this....

    For $800 you will get at least TWICE the gaming performance from a Pc than you would from a Laptop....

    As you are obviously capable of building a Gaming Pc.... take my advice...do it again...

    OR add another $1000 to your budget is you want a serious gaming Laptop...

    All the best Brett :)



    I agree!
  20. Sorry for the lack of responding! I haven't been able to focus on research because of the craziness of life! Lol.

    Anywho..

    A lot of the computers mentions are currently unavailable. I started doing research again and came across:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834246492

    &

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834256348

    Would either of these be decent with what I am looking for?


    I appreciated all the responses about building another computer, that may be an option in the future, but right now it is not what I am looking into doing. I really want a laptop that is able to run the games. I am not expecting a desktop-like performance, I am fully aware there is no comparison! Lol.

    Thanks again :)
  21. thinkpink87 said:
    Sorry for the lack of responding! I haven't been able to focus on research because of the craziness of life! Lol.

    Anywho..

    A lot of the computers mentions are currently unavailable. I started doing research again and came across:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834246492

    &

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834256348

    Would either of these be decent with what I am looking for?


    I appreciated all the responses about building another computer, that may be an option in the future, but right now it is not what I am looking into doing. I really want a laptop that is able to run the games. I am not expecting a desktop-like performance, I am fully aware there is no comparison! Lol.

    Thanks again :)


    Hi :)

    NO and NO to those two...

    I was serious about ADDING $1000 to your budget for a good GAMING laptop...to be honest, you SHOULD be adding $2000...

    All the best Brett :)
  22. This is all fine and dandy folks but she stated she just wants mediocre performance in some games that aren't that demanding to start with. This being said those two are definitely not great choices.. The graphics cards in them will struggle at even low settings in today's games. If you're willing to bump your price up a smidge here are a couple options.

    http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344.html

    http://www.xoticpc.com/force-qal51hd-compal-qal51-p-4808.html

    They'll in no way be competitive with a desktop at a similar price point but you are aware of that.
  23. Brett928S2 said:
    Hi :)

    I was serious about ADDING $1000 to your budget for a good GAMING laptop...to be honest, you SHOULD be adding $2000...

    All the best Brett :)



    /sigh this guy must be one of those guys that "needs" to game at 150fps...

    $1800 would be an i7/7970m or 680m... which are downclocked desktop 7870 and desktop GTX 670s... you are clearly misinformed if you believe those will not game.

    $2800 is an SLI setup with an X39xx-series i7... (and ALL the trimmings) The result is something that would embarrass most desktops.

    I think we can easily say the above is clearly incorrect for the OP.


    $800 is an i7 or i5 with a 640m 650m or possibly 660m.
    Those three are underclocked desktop 650 or 640. We aren't talking godly, but should be fine at 720p or 1080p with some settings turned down.

    Here's an example:
    http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:category.details?current-catalog-id=12F0696583E04D86B9B79B0FEC01C087&current-category-id=5B0116E237099FA0FCA012D9B20ED2FB&action=init

    That's a Lenovo Y500 15" laptop for $799 with i7-3630QM, 650m, 8GB RAM, 720p screen, Windows 8, and 1TB 5400rpm hard disk.
    The Y500 is Lenovo's newest laptop and has a very solid build.
    Here's a review by a new owner (with pics)
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/ideapad-essential/698723-lenovo-ideapad-y500-review.html

    According to notebookcheck.net, the 650m games at 720p with these settings/FPS.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.71887.0.html

    Diablo 3 = Ultra at 41 FPS, High in excess of 58FPS.

    Skyrim = High at 41 FPS, Medium in excess of 56FPS.

    Borderlands2 = Ultra at 35FPS, High 54FPS.

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 = High at 42FPS, Medium at 63+ FPS.

    Yeah, a $800 PC would do better... but the above is more than playable and quite portable. (6lbs)
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