Buying new laptop, need advice

I am a student looking to buy a new laptop, but when reading and comparing specs I have no idea what all the abbreviations and acronyms mean. I consider myself a casual gamer and tend to play a lot of graphics intensive games such as Sims, Skyrim, Civilization, etc. I understand that many of the issues I have with my current laptop stem from a poor video graphics card- I need more dedicated video RAM.
I know if I go buy a high end gaming laptop it should cover everything, but I was hoping to find something less expensive, maybe a mid-range laptop with a better video card.
Can someone please explain in layman terms what I should look for in a processor and video card to meet these needs?
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More about buying laptop advice
  1. Look for a laptop with a core i7 or i5 processor and a gtx 650m graphics card, also at least 8gb of ram.
    Here are some
    (17.3 inch screen)
    http://www.amazon.com/HP-DV7-7212nr-Windows-Notebook-Upgrade/dp/B009VQU27A/ref=sr_1_14?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1365105245&sr=1-14
    (15.6 inch screen)
    http://www.amazon.com/HP-dv6t-7200-Anti-Glare-HYBRID-Midnight/dp/B009Z95ND6/ref=sr_1_6?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1365105368&sr=1-6


    Hope it helps!
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