Is this laptop a good one for the sims 3?
is this laptop - TOSHIBA Satellite C870D-11X 17.3 a good laptop form playing the sims 3 on? just need it to run the game and maybe a few of the expansions, plus good for doing college work on?
17 inches is a bit big for portable college work, the 17 inch range is generally called "desktop replacement" because it's made to sit on a work desk.
unless you're in an online college program, you should look for a smaller, more portable laptop.
it will probably be able to run the game, but don't expect too much performance.
Yeah, 17" is a bit cumbersome if you ask me. But to your question...
The Radeon HD 7340 is actually a very slow iGPU (integrated graphics). It is much slower than the Intel HD 3000 iGPU in Intel's previous Sandy Bridge generation CPUs. The Intel HD 4000 in Intel's current Ivy Bridge CPUs will simply crush the Radeon HD 7340. See link below for some game benchmarks.
For example, in FIFA 2013 the Intel HD 3000's performance is 166% better than the Radeon HD 7340. That's an extreme exception though since the Intel HD 3000's performance is generally better by double digits, not triple digits. I test the Intel HD 3000 on my laptop (Lenovo Y470) with Mass Effect 3 (not a very demanding game) and while it is quite playable it is not as enjoyable as using the nVidia GT 550m GPU in the laptop. The Intel 3000's performance in ME 3 is 64% better than the Radeon HD 7340. In other words, the game would have been unplayable using a Radeon HD 7340.
Based on Google search, it seems that specific Toshiba model is only sold in the UK. Therefore, I assume you live in the UK. I recommend the following 15.6" HP laptop selling for £399.99. It has the Radeon HD 7500G graphic core which is more powerful than the Intel HD 3000, but a little less powerful than the Intel HD 4000.
Radeon HD 7500G:
For £369.00 you can buy the following 15.6" ACER Aspire which comes with the Core i5-3210M CPU that has the Intel HD 4000 graphics core.
Intel HD 4000: