This is the main one that I can really recommend within that price range for someone interested in gaming is this one:
**HP DV6t** (NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - **$749 + tax**
- Saved Configuration: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Apply coupon code **NB7453**
- Don't downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M or to Intel HD 4000 graphics. The GT 650M is considerably faster than either, and if one of the lower GPU options would work just as well for you then I would probably suggest getting an entirely different laptop.
- Don't downgrade the display to 1366x768. The 1366x768 display makes things onscreen large, and is a low-grade LCD panel with very poor image quality due to low contrast. The availability of the upgraded 1920x1080 display is part of why I'm recommending this laptop; I wouldn't be recommending this laptop if it didn't offer it.
This hits the two critical points that you need to be focusing on, in that it has a decent GPU ("graphics card") and a decent display, and it hits those two points well.
The GPU is what matters for game performance. Game performance depends considerably more on the GPU than on anything else. If you're interested in game performance, what you need to be focusing on is the GPU, not the processor/RAM/etc. The GT 650M in the HP DV6 should be more then enough to run a lot of recent titles on decent settings.
The display is a critical issue in general, because a lot of laptops don't come with decent displays. 15.6" 1366x768 and 17.3" 1600x900 displays make things onscreen large, and tend to be low-grade LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast. You should make a point to avoid displays like this when it is reasonable to do so, unless you require the larger text for eyesight-related reasons. The HP's 15.6" 1920x1080 display is well above this though, not just in resolution itself but in contrast/quality too.
I couldn't really recommend the MSI CX61. The reason is that there is conflicting information about what type of display it comes with. Some sites list the display as 15.6" 1920x1080, and other sites list the display as 15.6" 1366x768.
1366x768 resolution in a 15.6 inch display make things onscreen large, and 15.6 inch displays that have 1366x768 resolution tend to be low-grade LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast. You should make a point to avoid displays like this when it is reasonable to do so, unless you require the larger text for eyesight related reasons.
If this laptop does come with 1920x1080, then it's a great choice, but I can't recommend it until there is definite confirmation on this. If the laptop comes with 1366x768, then it isn't a particularly good choice. XoticPC cites it as 1920x1080, but that site cites it as 1366x768. Err on the side that it's the type of display you need to avoid.
That aside, the DV6t configuration linked above has a faster GPU than the CX61 anyway.