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$400 Gaming Laptop?

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December 10, 2012 11:30:21 PM

Hello! Is it possible to get a Laptop that can game on graphics equivalent to an Xbox 360 on the budget of $400. I am willing to buy used or refurbished. I'm planning to play games like Skyrim and Fallout. Thanks for your time!

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December 10, 2012 11:34:08 PM

....... $400? ? I think your gonna need to spend more to play games like skyrim and such
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December 10, 2012 11:37:55 PM

exking said:
....... $400? ? I think your gonna need to spend more to play games like skyrim and such


Well a buddy of mine bought a laptop from 2009 for pretty cheap that can play Skyrim without a problem. Can you help me find that computer? It's called a Gateway FX P-7805u.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 10, 2012 11:44:16 PM

kassuba39 said:
Well a buddy of mine bought a laptop from 2009 for pretty cheap that can play Skyrim without a problem. Can you help me find that computer? It's called a Gateway FX P-7805u.

^That one was $1200 when it was released. If you want to play games on a laptop, you'll need at least $700.

These should play games about as well as an X360:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 10, 2012 11:44:37 PM

Well for $500 you can by Build a PC that will max out any game. If you can't spend $500 on a PC then just buy a console as even an entry level gaming laptop will run you $1000 to start.
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December 10, 2012 11:54:22 PM

jessterman21 said:
^That one was $1200 when it was released. If you want to play games on a laptop, you'll need at least $700.

These should play games about as well as an X360:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yikes. This is actually for a friend of mine as a Christmas Present. I can't buy a nice computer then for about $400 that can game even if its used or refurbished?
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December 10, 2012 11:55:04 PM

Tom Burnqest said:
Well for $500 you can by Build a PC that will max out any game. If you can't spend $500 on a PC then just buy a console as even an entry level gaming laptop will run you $1000 to start.


Even if it's used or refurbished. Even older like a computer from 2010?
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a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2012 1:24:18 AM

kassuba39 said:
Even if it's used or refurbished. Even older like a computer from 2010?

Not sure, check ebay and other sites for used stuff.

I'm sure you could find a deal. Post a few links of what you find, and we'll check them for you.
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December 11, 2012 1:55:48 AM

kassuba39 said:
Even if it's used or refurbished. Even older like a computer from 2010?

You could find something used for a decent price but remember you are sacrificing to much IMO. Please do yourself a favor and build yourself a proper gaming PC like this one I will try and build you a template for as cheap as possible that will play any game will great performance and top IQ settings.

CPU - Intel Pentium G860 Sandy Bridge $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

Mobo - ASRock H61M-DGS LGA 1155 $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - Radeon HD 7850 $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Memory - CORSAIR 4GB $19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Antec VP-450 450W $39
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - Seagate ST3160815AS 160GB $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - GIGABYTE gz-ph2a3 Black SGCC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS - Beg borrow or ...... PM me

Total $403

This rig will run any game on max settings @ 1080P with absolutely great performance and top IQ.

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December 11, 2012 2:06:34 AM

If it has to be a laptop look at the Gateway FX P-xxxx series. They were (and still are) beasts. I had a P-6860 that tore up WoW, MW3 & Skyrim (Medium settings 60fps).

They can usually be found on eBay for ~$400. The only problem is that they're so big, heavy and need constant cooling they're more of a desktop replacement than an actual mobile laptop.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2012 2:30:06 AM

If you ablsolutely need a laptop that can sorta run games, then grab a AMD apu like the a8 4500m or the a10 4600m.
It should play most games at 30+fps avg on 720p @ low/medium settings.
I run the 5650m and Phenom II N930 quad on my laptop which is very similar specs wise.
I hit 60+ fps at medium settings in CS:S, MW3, Blacklight Retribution

Bnechmarks of the 4500m gpu
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7640G.69836....
Benchmark of the 4600m
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7660G.69830....

If you want some more serious gaming I would point you towards a desktop like some of the other users have suggested.

I would expect this system to be run games for 1080p medium settings fine at least until the next gen consoles hit in 2014. You can then upgrade the PSU, CPU(chose motherboard because it can overlcock if you put a 3570k in for the future)
and GPU to stronger options then while keeping the rest of the components. I did not include the OS.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G645 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($107.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Thermaltake VL800P1W2N (Black/Red) ATX Mid Tower Case ($37.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $405.48
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-10 23:40 EST-0500)
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December 11, 2012 2:36:13 AM

People need to stop suggesting desktop builds (especially if they don't have an HDD or Optical drive) when the OP didn't ask anything about desktops.

kassuba39 asked about a LAPTOP for $400. Respect the OP and answer the question.
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a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2012 2:46:53 AM

^I agree with you, but the fact of the matter is that for $400, no laptop is going to do what he's looking for, whereas a desktop would.

OP, does your friend travel a lot? What's the reason for the need for a laptop?
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a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2012 2:57:53 AM

$400 is a minuscule budget for a gaming laptop. I would stay aaway from used since laptops do not have that long of a lifespan.
I wonder if remote access/control would be an option to game with?
Like use a cheap laptop to control a desktop at home to game with?
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December 11, 2012 3:28:13 AM

kassuba39 said:
Well a buddy of mine bought a laptop from 2009 for pretty cheap that can play Skyrim without a problem. Can you help me find that computer? It's called a Gateway FX P-7805u.


HERE'S an eBay search for the specific laptop you asked for, the Gateway FX P-7805u. Like I said, I had a Gateway FX P-6860 and it was very strong, more of a desktop replacement.

The problem with eBay is you really don't know what you're getting. Unless you get it from a seller with a high rating that accepts returns (just in case something goes wrong) you're taking a chance on electronics.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2012 3:47:36 AM

Hmm looking at the specs for that laptop, they don't seem that strong.
I am pretty sure an A10 would beat it CPU wise and graphics wise. An a8 might have a harder time to do that.
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December 11, 2012 4:16:00 AM

Buy a monitor from the salvation army for $15 then build the desktop in a briefcase. If you use a pcie riser card you can fit a full size graphics card

Look up briefcase Pc on youtube I am planning on building one with an old core 2 duo proccesor and a 9800 gtx+ to make a laptop for $200
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a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2012 4:31:15 AM


Building a A8 5600k APU backpack computer for my friend =)
Here is my rough plan =P
Mine is more of a mobile desktop while smauel's is more a heavy laptop.
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December 11, 2012 9:32:19 AM

DarkSable said:
^I agree with you, but the fact of the matter is that for $400, no laptop is going to do what he's looking for, whereas a desktop would.

OP, does your friend travel a lot? What's the reason for the need for a laptop?


Yes he does, and he already has a decent desktop pc. He has a i5 2500k with a 550 ti I think.
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December 11, 2012 9:39:42 AM

All of you guys are helping well but my question is, is there an alternative to Gateway? Nothing against but it gives me something extra to look for.
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December 11, 2012 9:43:28 AM

I know you said laptop, but in truth your better off with grabbing a desktop....much easier to cool and for $400 you can get a Phenom II X4 955 Build.

Edit: You could consider HP for a good laptop. I own one and it seems to run very good, in fact the only problem I ever had for it was the battery loosing charge easily (which I fixed with a new battery).
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December 11, 2012 9:43:34 AM

kassuba39 said:
Yes he does, and he already has a decent desktop pc. He has a i5 2500k with a 550 ti I think.


550 Ti. Joke GPU. No you simply can't get a good laptop for $400, then why would people pay more than $400?
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December 11, 2012 9:47:24 AM

stickmansam said:
http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/4941/backpackpcdraft.jpg
Building a A8 5600k APU backpack computer for my friend =)
Here is my rough plan =P
Mine is more of a mobile desktop while smauel's is more a heavy laptop.


Thats a great idea! Shame that the OP can't do that.

However I found a decent refurbished for $499, and I would like the other forum members to a pprove

HP Pavilion m6-1035dx Notebook AMD A-Series A10-4600M(2.30GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory 640GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi AMD Radeon HD 7660G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2012 4:30:47 PM

I would stay away from the refurbished HP since there are better new alternatives. I had a friend who managed to pick up a Samsung 15.6inch, 8 GB ram, 750GB HDD, A10 4600m for $479 over blck friday at best buy [it was online too, not just in store so no lineups =)] There was also a similar Toshiba model going for about the same. The OP should wait for one of those and grab them if prices drop again near Boxing Day. That was in Canada though (expect to be roughly the same in the states).

http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/cdetland.to?poid=20...

The a10 4600m is the minimum for 720p gaming @ low/med settings. The a8 4500m is low settings. The a6 4400m only has a "dual core" cpu
Benchs for the a6 4400m
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7520G.71728....
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December 11, 2012 5:21:40 PM

What I imagine whenever I see a good deal on a used gaming laptop:
"Oh crap my laptop over heated and the gpu fried, it won't even turn on!"
"Hrm, google laptop overheated... oh I can just wrap it in a towel and shove it in the oven to fix it... oh, but the fix won't be permanent... hrm..."
"Ebay, what's my laptop worth? 500$! Sweet time to get rid of this junk while it still runs!"
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a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2012 9:22:57 PM

djscribbles said:
What I imagine whenever I see a good deal on a used gaming laptop:
"Oh crap my laptop over heated and the gpu fried, it won't even turn on!"
"Hrm, google laptop overheated... oh I can just wrap it in a towel and shove it in the oven to fix it... oh, but the fix won't be permanent... hrm..."
"Ebay, what's my laptop worth? 500$! Sweet time to get rid of this junk while it still runs!"

Truth. Second-hand laptops are a big pail of fail.

Kassuba, you've gotta stretch your budget to at least $500 for a new laptop that will play games. (Do you really want to get your friend a super-cheap/old-probably-ready-to-die laptop for Xmas?)
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December 12, 2012 4:05:41 PM

The worst problem here is that people are quoting $400 desktops missing important things like screens. You cannot compare a "headless" build to a laptop. You must include a screen to even begin to compare.

For the OP... the laptop you will be looking at in the $400 range will not be a gaming laptop. It will be an economy laptop with an APU that can game to some degree.

As long as you understand that your budget severely limits you in this case, and that even $50 desktop GPUs or lower-end APUs will be outperforming the laptop in question, it IS possible.

As of now, I cannot find anything quickly under $400 that isn't a netbook-level cpu/gpu. The closest I found was a Gateway with an A6/7520G for $443.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It is theoretically possible to find a deal or refurb to drop it below $400, so keep your eyes open, but even then the A6 isn't going to set any land speed records.

The others I found below $400 have netbook-level processors and GPUs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That's a Lenovo G-series with an E1-1200 and 7310. (not really recommended for gaming)

A refurb or friend selling an old laptop might be doable, but those are risky business. Even if the seller is honest and gently used his laptop, an older laptop is closer to the end of its useful life. Furthurmore, you are more than likely going to be disappointed with gaming on such hardware.
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December 13, 2012 2:48:25 PM

stickmansam said:
This A10-4600M below $500

http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/cdetland.to?poid=20...


If you follow the link, that's an A6.
That's even more expensive than the Gateway I listed, which was already over the budget.

If you put the A10 in, it pushes it to $580.


Even refurb A10 laptops are over $500.
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December 13, 2012 4:05:43 PM

with a laptop at that price, you could run vanilla skyrim at lowest settings for abt 25fps
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a b 4 Gaming
December 13, 2012 7:02:28 PM

Dang i got trolled ><
Well the a10 will drop to below $500 for new ones when on sale
still won't be as cheap as $400 though
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December 13, 2012 7:08:48 PM

The main thing when considering a Laptop for "gaming" is to look at the Graphics. A dedicated GPU (or APU) is mandatory (with dedicated RAM) if you're trying to achieve playable framerates.

Check out this CHART for a full list of graphics adapters.

The system RAM & HDD can always be upgraded, so you're priorities should be GPU, CPU, RAM (in that order).
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December 14, 2012 5:46:11 AM

the absolute best you can get is the refurbished m6 1035dx from walmart for $450
this laptop comes with amd A10 4600M and the APU 7660G graphic card with 6gb ram.

on the bottom of this page it shows the benchmarks for this graphic card and it can play skyrim on low settings I actually got this laptop and it handles games well FOR ITS PRICE. he can overclock that gpu a bit too.

overall for $450 this is REALLY the best you can do in my opinion. others may help you on other things.
I researched for over a week to choose laptops for myself and others for holiday. I am not aware of used laptops look on ebay.com for used laptops (i wouldnt recommend buying a used one tho)

good luck and if you need help finding a used laptop on ebay let me know ill see what i can do.
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December 14, 2012 1:07:31 PM

If you are savvy with a screwdriver and soldering iron repairing laptops isn't that hard. Remember that they get moved a lot, so connections and mounts get loose. Just don't mess around with something that's been dropped.

If the outer shell has a crack or chip in the plastic, it's all bad.
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December 14, 2012 7:32:23 PM

mhsamsim said:
the absolute best you can get is the refurbished m6 1035dx from walmart for $450
this laptop comes with amd A10 4600M and the APU 7660G graphic card with 6gb ram.

on the bottom of this page it shows the benchmarks for this graphic card and it can play skyrim on low settings I actually got this laptop and it handles games well FOR ITS PRICE. he can overclock that gpu a bit too.

overall for $450 this is REALLY the best you can do in my opinion. others may help you on other things.
I researched for over a week to choose laptops for myself and others for holiday. I am not aware of used laptops look on ebay.com for used laptops (i wouldnt recommend buying a used one tho)

good luck and if you need help finding a used laptop on ebay let me know ill see what i can do.



If you can truly get an a10 for $450, it likely is your absolute best deal.
(do we have a link for the deal for the refurb laptop?)

The A10 actually has about as good of a GPU built into it as you will be able to afford with this budget.

The only issue is dealing with refurb. Refurb is a toss-up... some of them are just barely opened units where the battery didn't work or a piece of RAM was bad. (easy replacement) Others have major problems. (bad paste job andgot cooked, someone dropped it, etc.)
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a b 4 Gaming
December 15, 2012 2:06:07 AM

I would say the A10 4600m Envy one is worth it
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December 15, 2012 8:40:51 PM

KernalPanic said:
If you can truly get an a10 for $450, it likely is your absolute best deal.
(do we have a link for the deal for the refurb laptop?)

The A10 actually has about as good of a GPU built into it as you will be able to afford with this budget.

The only issue is dealing with refurb. Refurb is a toss-up... some of them are just barely opened units where the battery didn't work or a piece of RAM was bad. (easy replacement) Others have major problems. (bad paste job andgot cooked, someone dropped it, etc.)


As I mentioned before for $458 the best you can get is A10 4600m with 7660G I am currently writing this reply with this laptop bought from walmart and its refurb. works great

for those who are interested here is the link:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Midnight-Black-15.6-Refurb...

(I hope iv helped and get the appreciation :D 
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December 22, 2012 7:47:57 PM

If it isn't to late to add to the discussion, I just got an Asus K55n from BestBuy for $379. A8-4500m, 4 MB Ram. For $22 more I got another stick of 4GB DDR3. So a grand total of $401 plus tax. Very good budget gamer.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+K-Series+15.6%26%233...;jsessionid=A1187E7599A19F6DD41F4FDF471EC145.bbolsp-app04-30?id=1218816101846&skuId=6940249&st=asus%20k55n&cp=1&lp=1
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