Good mid price gaming laptop?

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#1 Posted by aldo_q (125 posts) -

I've more or less lost track of anything Windows PC related aside for when it's work related. But my wife really wishes we would have a Windows based PC again (mainly for her work which uses a lot of software not compatible with Mac). Since I do kind of miss playing some great PC games I thought why if we get a Windows based machine again not immediately also make it a good gaming rigg?

Since we far prefer laptops to desktops it would have to be a laptop. Which I know is more limiting and more expensive. But it just better suits our needs. I've just not looked into these things for years now and was kind of hoping to get some good advice here. Can any of you recommend a good gaming laptop that is kind of in the mid price range? Preferably something that can be used for a couple of years. Mostly for games like the upcoming Xcom game and other strategy games that simply don't play well on a controller. I'm not to worried about shooters and everything since I am more then happy to play the 'inferior' versions on the consoles :D

Anything easy to hook up to a TV, controler, wireless keyboard and mouse would be a plus. Anything not as butt ugly as an Alienware even better :D

#2 Posted by Cubical (637 posts) -

Unless you are taking it on the bus do not buy a laptop to play games.

Problem solved.

#3 Posted by jacksmedulla (278 posts) -

@Cubical said:

Unless you are taking it on the bus do not buy a laptop to play games.

Problem solved.

Yep.

#4 Posted by Stonyman65 (2608 posts) -

What you want doesn't exist. Buy a Laptop to use a Laptop. Buy a Desktop for gaming. Unless you want to spend $2,000 for a machine that will be obsolete in 8 months, then don't buy one.

#5 Edited by Cubical (637 posts) -

I use an alienware mx11 but that is just so I can do basic small 3d studio max and Maya work on the road or at starbucks and its compact and it has keys that lightup in the dark. I dont play games on it I play them at home on my Desktop. And I dont do big 3d studio max or Maya work or rendering on it I transfer it to the desktop when it gets to big for the laptop to handle.

I would not get anything with less power than this because those walmart special laptops and crap apple products as slow as hell and suck balls they do not have decent GPUS or CPUs and are to slow for anything other than web browsing.

And the models are not set in stone they can be customized I have one with more RAM and CPU power than the stardard models.

#6 Posted by drGiggless (222 posts) -

asking PC gamers about computers will result in the same answer every single time, no matter what question you ask.

#7 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@drGiggless said:

asking PC gamers about computers will result in the same answer every single time, no matter what question you ask.

Well what do you want? The OP could pay out the ass for a laptop capable of running modern games semi-competently, or he could pay a more modest sum for a nonportable desktop that will do the same thing but better.

#8 Posted by Killroycantkill (1388 posts) -

Honestly laptop tech is too expensive to go for gaming. I got my Dell XPS becasue of the christmas sale and it came out to $1400CND on $1700CND worth of parts. So unless you're wiilling to shell out at least 1000 then I would just stick to a desktop for gaming. Hook that shit up to your TV.

#9 Posted by SirPsychoSexy (1328 posts) -

I have friends who have bought $2k+ gaming laptops and they all have sucked ass. They might play some games okay on medium settings, but a year or so down the line it won't be able to handle much. They just get so goddamn hot and loud and play shit so poorly. Trust me on this don't waste your money, if you want to game it is pretty much a desktop or bust.

#10 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

As long as you don't care about how the game looks, one of the ~$800 Asus laptop will be fine. It should be able to play indie games and most modern games on low settings. Just keep in mind that if you're getting a laptop, it's because you need/want one because of what it offers. If you're getting this solely to be a gaming machine, then it's probably not a good idea.

#11 Edited by murisan (1119 posts) -

I just got an ASUS G53SX. GeForce 560M, Intel i7, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD. $1,100. Max Payne 3 @ 1920x1080 on high settings, DX11, with tessellation and HDAO.

#12 Posted by sgjackson (528 posts) -

Quite a bit of laptop hate here, but as a convert to laptops for gaming I'm going to ask a couple of questions.

1. What is "mid-priced?" Your budget is going to have a pretty large effect on what's viable here.

2. Why do you have a significant preference to laptops from desktops? I made the conversion for two reasons.

-I didn't really give a shit about the difference in visual fidelity. I get a new computer every eighteen months to two years so the lack of longevity didn't bother me, and I've never really cared about the difference between, say, 1080p 2xAA on High and 720p no AA on High, especially because I don't play the most demanding games usually (shooters). My biggest sensitivity was always framerate - if I can keep it locked at 30 (and ideally 60) I'm happy staring at jaggies or blurry textures or whatever.

-I was going off to college and wanted a computer I could carry back and forth more easily than a desktop. This portability advantage manifested itself in other ways - it's way less of a pain in the ass to shift from a desk to a TV now, and I can take my machine to watch movies/fuck around with games at friends houses much more easily. Also playing games in bed is pretty sick.

Now I'm spoiled by easy couch gaming and portability, so I can't imagine going back. That said, your options shake out roughly like this -

-Ivy Bridge laptops with HD4000 graphics can run games on low at 1366x768 (I've seen this on video, with ME3, Skyrim, MW3, etc). I wouldn't consider this acceptable performance, but it's viable if you want a cheap option. Make sure it's an i5 - the i3 integrated graphics chip is underclocked and can't pull this off. If you just want to fuck around in indie games or something I'd go this direction.

-Mid-range "entertainment" laptops like the Lenovo y580 and HP dv7 series. I'd avoid these - they usually either have underpowered graphics cards for gaming purposes, or try to shove a decent card into a consumer laptop shell and run way too hot for me to be comfortable. The ASUS models that do this (the N series, I think) are usually OK so if you really want this kind of laptop I'd look at that.

-Gaming laptops. These start at like 1000-1200 bucks for laptops equipped with cards like the GTX 660m that run Battlefield 3 on high at 1366x768 at 40 fps up to laptops equipped with the 7970m that range from 1500-2000 dollars that can pull off basically anything at 1920x1080 on high/ultra settings.

tl;dr: Basically, if you can't afford the last option and the first option doesn't sound acceptable to you, get a desktop. If you're a weird fringe case like me who loves the portability a laptop provides and doesn't mind the shift down in visual quality going from 1920x1080 for a decent, relatively inexpensive desktop to 1280x720 for a similarly priced laptop, I'd consider your options there.

#13 Posted by aldo_q (125 posts) -

Mid price for me would be around 800 euro's. Thats around the 1000 US dollars. So anythng from 800 to 1200 dollars. The reason for a laptop should not matter for the question. But I know the internet always loves to answer with the answer you are stupid for asking your question as they personally disagree. ;) The reason is very simple, we are long since decided to not house a computer anymore in the livingroom. But it's non viabale to have a non mobile pc only in the study. Especially with kids playing in the livingroom when you also need to do somethimg behind the pc. But othertimes its prefeered to use the study so the kids don't bother you when somebody else is warching them. Plus need the ablity to hok it up to either the tv in the livingroom or the tv in the media room..... I don't live in a dormroom with 1 room on my own. A real house with multiple people to keep in mind :)

#14 Posted by aldo_q (125 posts) -

Thanks for the concrete answees I got from some people. I have some things to consider now. As I said, it would never be used for the best first person shooters. As I am more then happy to play these in their crappier versions on either xbox or ps3. Mostly it would be for stategy games and the laptop would mainly be used for work related things. It would simply be nice if it could also run some pc only games.

#15 Edited by CornBREDX (4864 posts) -

You don't have to go crazy to get a decent laptop that plays modern games fairly well. My mom got one recently (within the past year) for like 500$. Nothing fancy, but it plays modern games and that's all that matters. Just look around online. I guess my only addendum is I live in the US. I don't know if it's different elsewhere. Laptops are cheaper then they used to be though.

Online
#16 Posted by Wallzii (173 posts) -

sgjackson pretty much nailed it with his post, and it contains some great points and advice. With your budget, it is really hard for me to recommend anything to you. If you are able to give me the smallest screen size you are willing to have, I may be able to make a few sugestions if you are set on a laptop.

I really don't understand all the hate people are giving gaming laptops. Of course a similar performing desktop will always cost less, but sometimes the ease of mobility makes it worth it. I love being able to unplug my laptop, pack it up, and bring it to a friends house for some gaming, or into another room of my house, or a hotel on the road with ease. Doing this quite often, it would be hard for me to go back to a desktop, but those are my needs and they suit me. If you don't care about mobility, I'd never suggest a laptop for gaming. If you are like a lot of other people out there who do however, there are some great options out there.

Mobile GPUs have come a long way over the last few years, the most recent flagships from team red and green on par with GTX 570 performance. That will definitely not be obsolete in a year or even two, and upgrading is always an option in any quality gaming laptop.

#17 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

@Cubical: I also own a M11x R1, and have to say it's perfect, good build quality, light, good battery life, and plays 'most' current to recent games. Portal 2 is fine, just cause 2 is good, trackmania 2 is like 120 frames, and pretty much any xbox 360 tier PC games it handles wonderfully. I know you know about the m11x cubicle, but just wanted to tag you to show more than one person likes this thing. I've had it for over a year and it works great.

#18 Posted by sarge1445 (676 posts) -

@aldo_q:

I have an alienware m11x for around 1200 you can get a 560m 8 gigs of ram with an i5 and a 500 gig hdd. I have the same model but with a worse video card and it plays most modern games on medium to high at 30 fps

#19 Posted by Wallzii (173 posts) -

@sarge1445 said:

@aldo_q:

I have an alienware m11x for around 1200 you can get a 560m 8 gigs of ram with an i5 and a 500 gig hdd. I have the same model but with a worse video card and it plays most modern games on medium to high at 30 fps

Sounds a little over-priced. For the same price you can get a 15.6" Sager with a higher resolution 1080p panel, Ivy Bridge i5 CPU, and a 670M GPU. That GPU will push out a considerable performance increase over the 560M, allowing a great gaming experience even at 1080p resolution. Throw another $300 in there and you've got an i7 CPU and the beast of a card 7970M that will effortlessly chew through anything you throw at it.

#20 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

@Wallzii said:

@sarge1445 said:

@aldo_q:

I have an alienware m11x for around 1200 you can get a 560m 8 gigs of ram with an i5 and a 500 gig hdd. I have the same model but with a worse video card and it plays most modern games on medium to high at 30 fps

Sounds a little over-priced. For the same price you can get a 15.6" Sager with a higher resolution 1080p panel, Ivy Bridge i5 CPU, and a 670M GPU. That GPU will push out a considerable performance increase over the 560M, allowing a great gaming experience even at 1080p resolution. Throw another $300 in there and you've got an i7 CPU and the beast of a card 7970M that will effortlessly chew through anything you throw at it.

An i7 won't help much for gaming, especially with all the rumors that the next gen of consoles are quad cores. Plus I believe i7s run a bit hotter than i5s.

Also if you are a student/military personel, most of the bigger companies like Dell give you good discounts.

#21 Posted by MikkaQ (10269 posts) -

@Wallzii said:

sgjackson pretty much nailed it with his post, and it contains some great points and advice. With your budget, it is really hard for me to recommend anything to you. If you are able to give me the smallest screen size you are willing to have, I may be able to make a few sugestions if you are set on a laptop.

I really don't understand all the hate people are giving gaming laptops. Of course a similar performing desktop will always cost less, but sometimes the ease of mobility makes it worth it. I love being able to unplug my laptop, pack it up, and bring it to a friends house for some gaming, or into another room of my house, or a hotel on the road with ease. Doing this quite often, it would be hard for me to go back to a desktop, but those are my needs and they suit me. If you don't care about mobility, I'd never suggest a laptop for gaming. If you are like a lot of other people out there who do however, there are some great options out there.

Mobile GPUs have come a long way over the last few years, the most recent flagships from team red and green on par with GTX 570 performance. That will definitely not be obsolete in a year or even two, and upgrading is always an option in any quality gaming laptop.

I think it's more than it's a category of computers that just shouldn't exist. Battery life is laughably bad when playing games to the point where it's almost useless, 3 hours of a game isn't much. Plus there is the ungodly amount of heat that comes out of these things, combined with cheap building materials and you get a laptop that is not really built to last. Plus they're so thick and heavy that they completely defeat the point of them being mobile anyway. Basically, the technology just isn't there.

The only reason I'd get one is if I'm travelling abroad for over a year and want something beefier than an iPad. I don't feel the need to lug around the latest PC games around, because I'm know my desktop is going to be there at the end of the night, and I don't really need to play games when I'm travelling anyway. Coulda stayed home for that.

#22 Edited by aldo_q (125 posts) -

@Wallzii said:

sgjackson pretty much nailed it with his post, and it contains some great points and advice. With your budget, it is really hard for me to recommend anything to you. If you are able to give me the smallest screen size you are willing to have, I may be able to make a few sugestions if you are set on a laptop.

I actually had not thought about the screensize at all. I must admit I am quite used to the 17" of my MacBook, but that is not a demand for sure. 15" is probably preferred.

Edit: checking out some laptops I might have to lower the 15" wish :D

#23 Posted by sgjackson (528 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

@Wallzii said:

sgjackson pretty much nailed it with his post, and it contains some great points and advice. With your budget, it is really hard for me to recommend anything to you. If you are able to give me the smallest screen size you are willing to have, I may be able to make a few sugestions if you are set on a laptop.

I really don't understand all the hate people are giving gaming laptops. Of course a similar performing desktop will always cost less, but sometimes the ease of mobility makes it worth it. I love being able to unplug my laptop, pack it up, and bring it to a friends house for some gaming, or into another room of my house, or a hotel on the road with ease. Doing this quite often, it would be hard for me to go back to a desktop, but those are my needs and they suit me. If you don't care about mobility, I'd never suggest a laptop for gaming. If you are like a lot of other people out there who do however, there are some great options out there.

Mobile GPUs have come a long way over the last few years, the most recent flagships from team red and green on par with GTX 570 performance. That will definitely not be obsolete in a year or even two, and upgrading is always an option in any quality gaming laptop.

I think it's more than it's a category of computers that just shouldn't exist. Battery life is laughably bad when playing games to the point where it's almost useless, 3 hours of a game isn't much. Plus there is the ungodly amount of heat that comes out of these things, combined with cheap building materials and you get a laptop that is not really built to last. Plus they're so thick and heavy that they completely defeat the point of them being mobile anyway. Basically, the technology just isn't there.

The only reason I'd get one is if I'm travelling abroad for over a year and want something beefier than an iPad. I don't feel the need to lug around the latest PC games around, because I'm know my desktop is going to be there at the end of the night, and I don't really need to play games when I'm travelling anyway. Coulda stayed home for that.

"Shouldn't exist" is pretty harsh. I'm more than happy to admit if you're a more traditional PC gamer a desktop makes significantly more sense (and I hope I was clear in saying as much). You can build a quality desktop for 1000 dollars or so that'll beat the shit out of almost any gaming laptop in performance and longevity and you'll have a nicer, larger screen. However, there is merit in portability. It makes going back and forth from college significantly easier, and I really can't undersell how awesome it is to PC game from the couch, which is great for console ports.

An example: I've been playing a lot of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit recently. My laptop (an Alienware m14x) runs it at native rez (1600x900) with everything turned on at an average of 50 or so FPS and doesn't dip below 30. I do this often sitting on my couch with the machine in my lap, for an hour or two at a time. It's far from uncomfortable.

The tech used to power laptops now has improved by a pretty fair margin, and being dismissive of the concept because it doesn't fit your own needs is short-sighted. Like I said, it makes more sense to ask yourself why you want one, and make an educated decision based on benchmarks and reviews from there.

#24 Posted by Kidavenger (3514 posts) -

@aldo_q said:

Plus need the ablity to hok it up to either the tv in the livingroom or the tv in the media room.

The only reason most gaming laptops get away with running the games that they do, is because they run at a lower resolution, the output from a laptop to your TV isn't going to look very good.

Asus makes the best mass market gaming laptops, I'd start with them.

Online
#25 Posted by aldo_q (125 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@aldo_q said:

Plus need the ablity to hok it up to either the tv in the livingroom or the tv in the media room.

The only reason most gaming laptops get away with running the games that they do, is because they run at a lower resolution, the output from a laptop to your TV isn't going to look very good.

Asus makes the best mass market gaming laptops, I'd start with them.

It's something I'm simply interested in to experiment with. I guess perhaps that will not go to well then :D It all remains minor to it simply being a good Laptop for my wife to work on that I can abuse to finally play Windows based games on again to get my RTS kicks :D

#26 Edited by MadMagyar92 (66 posts) -

Smh on this board. I would recommend what Kidavenger said: start with ASUS. They have some pretty relevant laptops and are generally pretty reasonably priced. I can't point you to specifics, as the ASUS I currently have does not seem to be what you're looking for, but what I've browsed, I'm sure you'll find one up your ally.

#27 Posted by sarge1445 (676 posts) -

@Wallzii said:

@sarge1445 said:

@aldo_q:

I have an alienware m11x for around 1200 you can get a 560m 8 gigs of ram with an i5 and a 500 gig hdd. I have the same model but with a worse video card and it plays most modern games on medium to high at 30 fps

Sounds a little over-priced. For the same price you can get a 15.6" Sager with a higher resolution 1080p panel, Ivy Bridge i5 CPU, and a 670M GPU. That GPU will push out a considerable performance increase over the 560M, allowing a great gaming experience even at 1080p resolution. Throw another $300 in there and you've got an i7 CPU and the beast of a card 7970M that will effortlessly chew through anything you throw at it.

I paid 980 for mine same specs except with a 335m also you got to factor in size and battery life when im not gaming I can get a solid 7-8 hours. When I am gaming about 3-4

#28 Posted by StevieQ (241 posts) -

I'm also interested in getting a gaming laptop. I want to be able to play games, but as a student I need a laptop I can lug between school and home. So either I get a crappy laptop for portability and a decent gaming PC, or try and combine the two. Which would be cheaper? Probably buying a good gaming laptop. Basically, thanks for all the advice available here.

#29 Posted by sgjackson (528 posts) -

@StevieQ said:

I'm also interested in getting a gaming laptop. I want to be able to play games, but as a student I need a laptop I can lug between school and home. So either I get a crappy laptop for portability and a decent gaming PC, or try and combine the two. Which would be cheaper? Probably buying a good gaming laptop. Basically, thanks for all the advice available here.

what's your budget?

#30 Posted by Wallzii (173 posts) -

There is definitely a bit of ignorance regarding the current state of mobile gaming with laptops in this thread. Made to game on low resolution and using shitty parts, not built to last, overheating? This is all laughable, and I'll elaborate when I have time. On my way to catch my bus to Singapore, I'll be back in a bit.

#31 Posted by MikkaQ (10269 posts) -

@sgjackson said:

"Shouldn't exist" is pretty harsh. I'm more than happy to admit if you're a more traditional PC gamer a desktop makes significantly more sense (and I hope I was clear in saying as much). You can build a quality desktop for 1000 dollars or so that'll beat the shit out of almost any gaming laptop in performance and longevity and you'll have a nicer, larger screen. However, there is merit in portability. It makes going back and forth from college significantly easier, and I really can't undersell how awesome it is to PC game from the couch, which is great for console ports.

An example: I've been playing a lot of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit recently. My laptop (an Alienware m14x) runs it at native rez (1600x900) with everything turned on at an average of 50 or so FPS and doesn't dip below 30. I do this often sitting on my couch with the machine in my lap, for an hour or two at a time. It's far from uncomfortable.

The tech used to power laptops now has improved by a pretty fair margin, and being dismissive of the concept because it doesn't fit your own needs is short-sighted. Like I said, it makes more sense to ask yourself why you want one, and make an educated decision based on benchmarks and reviews from there.

Yeah but if you just use the laptop to game on the couch for console ports... why not just play a console?

I believe in using the right tool for the right job. Couch gaming on a laptop sounds weird and defeats the purpose of leaning back and enjoying a nice TV. Like yeah it's nice that you can sit on the couch and run Hot Pursuit at 1600x900 at 50-30FPS, but I'd rather do the exact same thing on a 40" TV at 1080p at 60 FPS off my desktop, and just deal with hiding the long HDMI cable from the TV to the office, or you know.. play a console.

Anyway, I'm done with laptops at this point. They feel archaic and slow compared to the iPad. There's nothing I need a laptop to do that an iPad + Keyboard case can't, and it's lighter, has a longer battery, doesn't run hot and the resolution on the display is so high that text editing is like using a typewriter, I don't see a single pixel. It's the perfect portable experience. I keep the "real" work (as in not writing and not-emails) to my desktop, since no laptop is going to be able to handle or come close to the experience of editing uncompressed video across multiple monitors.

The reason I say "shouldn't exist" is because the technology just isn't there between the batteries, the gimped hardware and the sheer heat and weight of the machine to deliver a good gaming experience on the go. And even if we could deliver that perfectly, that is to say a laptop that runs cool, can play games for like 6 hours off the batteries and run them all on max, why would you need to? Just play with a phone or gameboy until you get home, I don't feel the need to have the latest greatest games at college or work, I can just wait until I get home.

#32 Posted by tourgen (4432 posts) -

Thinkpad W520 or W530 isn't bad. > $1200 though.  really good CPU.  Quadro gfx card so you know you get gfx drivers that are actually debugged and rated for real work.  It's not really made for gaming but my older model with lower specs plays quite a few games on medium.  Also excellent battery options with 9cell options and an optional secondary battery that swaps into the CDROM slot (another 2 or 3 cells).  I use the shit out of my thinkpad when I'm travelling for work.  They keyboard is great and the touchpad works pretty well too compared to those crap dell pads.

#33 Posted by wewantsthering (1553 posts) -

Buy a cheap Windows desktop that can do decent gaming and also get a tablet. This will be cheaper and both devices will do their intended functions better than a gaming laptop. Gaming laptops are to hot, bulky, heavy, and expensive. It's just not worth it.

#34 Posted by sgjackson (528 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

@sgjackson said:

"Shouldn't exist" is pretty harsh. I'm more than happy to admit if you're a more traditional PC gamer a desktop makes significantly more sense (and I hope I was clear in saying as much). You can build a quality desktop for 1000 dollars or so that'll beat the shit out of almost any gaming laptop in performance and longevity and you'll have a nicer, larger screen. However, there is merit in portability. It makes going back and forth from college significantly easier, and I really can't undersell how awesome it is to PC game from the couch, which is great for console ports.

An example: I've been playing a lot of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit recently. My laptop (an Alienware m14x) runs it at native rez (1600x900) with everything turned on at an average of 50 or so FPS and doesn't dip below 30. I do this often sitting on my couch with the machine in my lap, for an hour or two at a time. It's far from uncomfortable.

The tech used to power laptops now has improved by a pretty fair margin, and being dismissive of the concept because it doesn't fit your own needs is short-sighted. Like I said, it makes more sense to ask yourself why you want one, and make an educated decision based on benchmarks and reviews from there.

Yeah but if you just use the laptop to game on the couch for console ports... why not just play a console?

I believe in using the right tool for the right job. Couch gaming on a laptop sounds weird and defeats the purpose of leaning back and enjoying a nice TV. Like yeah it's nice that you can sit on the couch and run Hot Pursuit at 1600x900 at 50-30FPS, but I'd rather do the exact same thing on a 40" TV at 1080p at 60 FPS off my desktop, and just deal with hiding the long HDMI cable from the TV to the office, or you know.. play a console.

Anyway, I'm done with laptops at this point. They feel archaic and slow compared to the iPad. There's nothing I need a laptop to do that an iPad + Keyboard case can't, and it's lighter, has a longer battery, doesn't run hot and the resolution on the display is so high that text editing is like using a typewriter, I don't see a single pixel. It's the perfect portable experience. I keep the "real" work (as in not writing and not-emails) to my desktop, since no laptop is going to be able to handle or come close to the experience of editing uncompressed video across multiple monitors.

The reason I say "shouldn't exist" is because the technology just isn't there between the batteries, the gimped hardware and the sheer heat and weight of the machine to deliver a good gaming experience on the go. And even if we could deliver that perfectly, that is to say a laptop that runs cool, can play games for like 6 hours off the batteries and run them all on max, why would you need to? Just play with a phone or gameboy until you get home, I don't feel the need to have the latest greatest games at college or work, I can just wait until I get home.

This is where I shrug and say we'll have to agree to disagree. I play WoW on my couch (a game that looks like shit on a TV no matter how nice the PC because of the reliance on text and crisp UI elements). That owns. You don't see the point. There's a market for it, and it isn't you, which is totally cool. But I think being dismissive of an idea just because it doesn't fit your personal usage patterns is short-sighted.

#35 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@aldo_q said:

Plus need the ablity to hok it up to either the tv in the livingroom or the tv in the media room.

The only reason most gaming laptops get away with running the games that they do, is because they run at a lower resolution, the output from a laptop to your TV isn't going to look very good.

Asus makes the best mass market gaming laptops, I'd start with them.

you can always up the resolution when it's on a bigger screen, but most Gaming Laptops have Graphics cards meant for their native resolution. For example, I had an Asus G73 at 1600x900 that ran battlefield at (usually) 60 fps on medium, but at 1080p it ran at sub 30

#36 Posted by mitsuko_souma (135 posts) -

once you go laptop, you never go back.

#37 Posted by ItBeStefYo (1020 posts) -

I bought a Dell XPS 15. It was about 600 pounds and its pretty good for just about every game. Only games I cant play are the Witcher 2 and thats about the only trouble I've had.

3GB RAM, 1GB 525M Geforce card, i5 processor

#38 Edited by Wallzii (173 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

@sgjackson said:

"Shouldn't exist" is pretty harsh. I'm more than happy to admit if you're a more traditional PC gamer a desktop makes significantly more sense (and I hope I was clear in saying as much). You can build a quality desktop for 1000 dollars or so that'll beat the shit out of almost any gaming laptop in performance and longevity and you'll have a nicer, larger screen. However, there is merit in portability. It makes going back and forth from college significantly easier, and I really can't undersell how awesome it is to PC game from the couch, which is great for console ports.

An example: I've been playing a lot of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit recently. My laptop (an Alienware m14x) runs it at native rez (1600x900) with everything turned on at an average of 50 or so FPS and doesn't dip below 30. I do this often sitting on my couch with the machine in my lap, for an hour or two at a time. It's far from uncomfortable.

The tech used to power laptops now has improved by a pretty fair margin, and being dismissive of the concept because it doesn't fit your own needs is short-sighted. Like I said, it makes more sense to ask yourself why you want one, and make an educated decision based on benchmarks and reviews from there.

Yeah but if you just use the laptop to game on the couch for console ports... why not just play a console?

I believe in using the right tool for the right job. Couch gaming on a laptop sounds weird and defeats the purpose of leaning back and enjoying a nice TV. Like yeah it's nice that you can sit on the couch and run Hot Pursuit at 1600x900 at 50-30FPS, but I'd rather do the exact same thing on a 40" TV at 1080p at 60 FPS off my desktop, and just deal with hiding the long HDMI cable from the TV to the office, or you know.. play a console.

Anyway, I'm done with laptops at this point. They feel archaic and slow compared to the iPad. There's nothing I need a laptop to do that an iPad + Keyboard case can't, and it's lighter, has a longer battery, doesn't run hot and the resolution on the display is so high that text editing is like using a typewriter, I don't see a single pixel. It's the perfect portable experience. I keep the "real" work (as in not writing and not-emails) to my desktop, since no laptop is going to be able to handle or come close to the experience of editing uncompressed video across multiple monitors.

The reason I say "shouldn't exist" is because the technology just isn't there between the batteries, the gimped hardware and the sheer heat and weight of the machine to deliver a good gaming experience on the go. And even if we could deliver that perfectly, that is to say a laptop that runs cool, can play games for like 6 hours off the batteries and run them all on max, why would you need to? Just play with a phone or gameboy until you get home, I don't feel the need to have the latest greatest games at college or work, I can just wait until I get home.

I'll start with saying that I understand you don't value the mobility of a gaming laptop, that it isn't for you, and that is fine. To each their own. If you don't have a reason to use something, then there is hardly a reason for you to support or buy it. That said, there is also no reason to to spread misinformation to those that may have a use or need for something, regardless if you may not agree with it.

There are a lot of shit "gaming laptops" out there that I would never consider buying, nor consider giving advice to another to purchase. There are however a few reputable brands out there that are extremely high quality that won't break the bank either. When people say that gaming laptops use shitty components, they really are generalizing and obviously don't know the industry. Take Clevo for example, one of the largest botique laptop manufacturers out there that supplies hundreds of resellers. They provide a massive array of customization options for the customer on multiple different platforms, from little 14 inch basic machines to 18 inch monsters with desktop components and dual GPU configurations. These things are built to last with extremely sturdy chassis and name-brand components. Failure rates are very low, and warranty services are excellent through official resellers. My NP8170 is as sturdy as the day I bought it over a year ago, the hinge tight, no creaks in the chassis, solid.

Any gaming laptop worth its own weight will have a good cooling system, as Asus, Alienware, and Clevo have shown. Otherwise, it isn't worth considering, and falls into the category of "shit gaming laptop." I've never had my internal components get dangerously hot that there was a risk of damage, nor the chassis iteself anything beyond warm. Customizable fan profiles, like in a desktop, will allow you to keep your fans running at lower RPMs by kicking in before they are needed, reducing noise. I frequently overclock my GPU, increasing its temps, and still it is not an issue.

My laptop weighs 8.6 pounds, the power supply included. That fits in my bag easily, and allows me to take it wherever I want. It is a lot easier to take this light and compact package wherever you want to game than lugging around a tower, monitor, and cables. If you want PC quality gaming and mobility, a high end gaming laptop is a no brainer if you don't mind paying the difference. I often game on my desk in my room, or out in the living room on the TV, or go to a friends house with my system. Having the ease of portability for these scenarios is awesome and extremely beneficial to me, but again not for everyone. When you're on the road doing something that isn't exactly your idea of a leisure excursion, being able to grab my gaming rig and take it with me is a welcomed pass of the time.

Let's talk about the elephant in the room, battery and power. A gaming laptop should never be thought of something that you can play on unplugged for any reasonable amount of time. If that is anyone's dea of a gaming laptop, the reality check is that isn't how things are. These are to be thought of as mobile desktops. When you aren't plugged in, your performance is throttled, and the battery will run dry quickly depending on the power of your system. People with a misconception of what gaming laptops are aimed towards, which is portability between plug-in spots, should think twice if this is the right fit for them. I can't stress this enough. I will play on my 3DS on short commutes, or on a break at work if I want to play something, not even so much as to consider my laptop. Do I still value the portability of my system for the needs that I have? Absolutely, because I know what the machine was built for and how it caters to me. Others may not appreciate this quality, and again, that is fine. Many people do, however, and will continue to do so.

As for performance, mobile components have come a LONG way in the last few years. The advances in GPU and CPU technology in regards to the mobile platforms they are designed for are coming faster, and will continue to only get better as die sizes shrink, power consumption is decreased, and heat output allows for more performance and less downclocking due to heat limitations compared to their desktop counterparts. For gaming, I don't see how any of the current CPU offerings could be considered not enough, and most are overkill. Looking at GPUs, technology has now come far enough that you can get desktop GTX 570 performance out of a card on stock clocks. That is more than enough for any title on max at 1080p resolution and 60+ FPS, the odd exception here and there with a setting or two adjusted (Metro, The Witcher 2). The aforementioned GPU, the 7970M, will hold its own into the forseeable future, being a viable platform for at least a year or two. Next year we have the 8xxxM series to look forward to from AMD, and the 7xxM series from nVIDIA. Will the performance increase be as much from the previous generations, which was a huge leap, or be a smaller jump? It is hard to say, but things will only continue to get better and more powerful. Even my 6970M from last generation plays everything I've put up against it at 1080p and smooth frame rates, odd adjustments here or there, on ultra or high settings.

Sorry to write a novel, but the platform is extremely viable for those that want or need it. I won't go back to a desktop because I value the portability too much, and there are no issues with performance, and when I need more power I'll switch my GPU out for another one. Dislike the concept and have no need for it, but don't discount it for the market out there who see the value. Is it expensive, yes. Can I recommend lower-end "gaming" laptops for the price they are at? No, I cant. If you're willing to spend around $1500 though, you can get something top-tier that is a beast of a machine.

#39 Posted by Tennmuerti (8013 posts) -

People who think you can't game on laptops are dinosaurs at this point.

There are a great number of decent laptop manufacturers available that supply very good gaming laptops. Nowadays you can buy laptops that don't run hot, are very quiet more so then consoles or rigs with fans. And you can find great deals for the hardware they're packing. It's not hard to find $1500 laptop at his point can play anything you throw at it at 1080p at high (just below ultra/highest/whatever) settings no problem. My 2 year old $1200 ASUS could do it last year for Witcher2 and BF3 at 1900:1020 on high with only occasional noticeable frame rate drops and any other games below that top level of graphical quality are peanuts at highest settings.

It all depends on your needs, there is a time and a place. Laptops can make for great gaming depending on what you actually want out of them. As well as budget. A laptop will always be more expensive then just putting together a rig yourself this is a given no brainer. The only questions to ask is are the advantages worth it to you for the extra price. If you simply want a gaming PC but are not going to move it around, there is really no need to get a gaming laptop, get a desktop.

There are your smaller laptops with 15 inch and smaller screens that are built more for battery life and portability. They won't pack as much juice but are still able to offer quality far above console level on the fly. Then you got your gaming powerhouses packed with goodies and 17+ inch screens that are basically a gaming rig that you can put in a bag. You won't be playing these mothers on a plane or anything but they are phenomenal for a PC gamer that loves taking his hobby with him wherever, on vacations, business trips, or simply offering great flexibility moving around the house playing on the TV, on the bed or even in the bathtub. With far less cables, and in a much less clunky and sleeker package. With a wireless mouse the only messy wire you ever truly need is a power cable, if you are a neat freak this is great :P

There are some negatives however to be aware of. Most importantly it's price, as mentioned before a laptop equivalent of the same will always be more expensive, it's simply the price you pay, but over the years the difference margin has gone down. Secondly customization, it's possible but much harder to upgrade your laptop, things like ram, HDD are possible but anything beyond and you are looking at taking it to the manufacturer, however with the protracted console life cycle hardware progress has slowed considerably and the life of hardware has been much extended, so a laptop can now last you several years easy. Finally if shit breaks down hard beyond software level you again pretty much can only take it to the manufacturer (so a long warranty is a must for a gaming laptop), (self repairs are possible but more risky and replacement hardware harder to obtain, it's not worth it).

#40 Edited by Meowshi (2911 posts) -

@SirPsychoSexy said:

I have friends who have bought $2k+ gaming laptops and they all have sucked ass. They might play some games okay on medium settings, but a year or so down the line it won't be able to handle much. They just get so goddamn hot and loud and play shit so poorly. Trust me on this don't waste your money, if you want to game it is pretty much a desktop or bust.

You don't know what you're talking about. You can buy a laptop that plays games on medium for much less than two thousand dollars, what the hell.

Feels like people in this thread are just parroting things they've heard other people say. These arguments may have been relevant in 2006, but come on. Overheating? Seriously?

#41 Posted by Vitor (2812 posts) -

@Cubical said:

Unless you are taking it on the bus do not buy a laptop to play games.

Problem solved.

@jacksmedulla said:

@Cubical said:

Unless you are taking it on the bus do not buy a laptop to play games.

Problem solved.

Yep.

@Stonyman65 said:

What you want doesn't exist. Buy a Laptop to use a Laptop. Buy a Desktop for gaming. Unless you want to spend $2,000 for a machine that will be obsolete in 8 months, then don't buy one.

Ignore all of these people who have clearly never ordered a custom built laptop over the past 2 or 3 years.

Yes, Desktops are substantially cheaper and run better but they're just not viable for everyone, especially if you move around a lot based on your style of life.

You can get a laptop for $1500 (if you consider this 'mid-range') which will run any current game on max settings at 1080p with 30FPS at least, this includes the original Crysis, Metro 2033, BF3 and other demanding games.

My laptop is 2 years old, was $1500 on release and still vastly outperforms a 360. I play all multiplatform games at 1080p on high/medium settings with a constant 30FPS.

That being said, go with Sager, Clevo and other specialist brands over Alienware. The latter is vastly overpriced (and ugly).

The fact remains, for the same price as a macbook, you can get a gaming laptop that can run any modern game well.

Honestly though, you should be asking this question here: http://www.notebookreview.com/

And anyone doubting how far mobile chip-sets have come in recent years so go there and see performance evaluations themselves to realise that, while it is undeniably more expensive, gaming laptops are totally viable. You won't have portability or long battery life but you'll still get a great rig.

#42 Edited by Vitor (2812 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@aldo_q said:

Plus need the ablity to hok it up to either the tv in the livingroom or the tv in the media room.

The only reason most gaming laptops get away with running the games that they do, is because they run at a lower resolution, the output from a laptop to your TV isn't going to look very good.

Asus makes the best mass market gaming laptops, I'd start with them.

This is nonsense. My laptop is 2 years old and runs all multiplatform games at 1920x1080 at 30FPS on medium/high settings. Only things like Crysis or BF3 make me turn down the resolution. Mobile chip sets are so much better than that these days and my 2 year old laptop vastly outperforms the current consoles.

#43 Edited by Kidavenger (3514 posts) -

@Vitor said:

@Kidavenger said:

@aldo_q said:

Plus need the ablity to hok it up to either the tv in the livingroom or the tv in the media room.

The only reason most gaming laptops get away with running the games that they do, is because they run at a lower resolution, the output from a laptop to your TV isn't going to look very good.

Asus makes the best mass market gaming laptops, I'd start with them.

This is nonsense. My laptop is 2 years old and runs all multiplatform games at 1920x1080 at 30FPS on medium/high settings. Only things like Crysis or BF3 make me turn down the resolution. Mobile chip sets are so much better than that these days and my 2 year old laptop vastly outperforms the current consoles.

Maybe the OP would like to know what laptop you have, it sounds like exactly what he is looking for.

These Sager laptops are actually priced very well.

http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_browse&selected_cat=8

Online
#44 Posted by Vitor (2812 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@Vitor said:

@Kidavenger said:

@aldo_q said:

Plus need the ablity to hok it up to either the tv in the livingroom or the tv in the media room.

The only reason most gaming laptops get away with running the games that they do, is because they run at a lower resolution, the output from a laptop to your TV isn't going to look very good.

Asus makes the best mass market gaming laptops, I'd start with them.

This is nonsense. My laptop is 2 years old and runs all multiplatform games at 1920x1080 at 30FPS on medium/high settings. Only things like Crysis or BF3 make me turn down the resolution. Mobile chip sets are so much better than that these days and my 2 year old laptop vastly outperforms the current consoles.

Maybe the OP would like to know what laptop you have, it sounds like exactly what he is looking for.

These Sager laptops are actually priced very well.

http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_browse&selected_cat=8

Judging by the OP's price range, he's likely in the EU. While those are well priced, I don't know if shipping is possible. And unfortunately, price conversion for tech in the EU (especially in the UK at least) is at least 1 to 1 from $ to £ or Euro and then some more. The 670m laptop in the UK is £2000. I hate being in the EU sometimes... I'd love to get my hands on that 680m too.

#45 Posted by s10129107 (1179 posts) -

There is no such thing as a mid-priced gaming laptop. Either shell out a lot of money (which will not be worth it believe me) or put a quarter of that money into a serious desktop.

#46 Posted by Tennmuerti (8013 posts) -

@s10129107 said:

There is no such thing as a mid-priced gaming laptop. Either shell out a lot of money (which will not be worth it believe me) or put a quarter of that money into a serious desktop.

You can buy a serious desktop for $250? Sweet!

#47 Posted by Towers (96 posts) -

I would hope that your $1500 laptop outperforms a $300 console.

@Vitor said:

My laptop is 2 years old, was $1500 on release and still vastly outperforms a 360. I play all multiplatform games at 1080p on high/medium settings with a constant 30FPS.

#48 Posted by Vitor (2812 posts) -

@Towers said:

I would hope that your $1500 laptop outperforms a $300 console.

@Vitor said:

My laptop is 2 years old, was $1500 on release and still vastly outperforms a 360. I play all multiplatform games at 1080p on high/medium settings with a constant 30FPS.

It also outperforms a variety of mid range PCs which at the time would have cost me half the price of my laptop.

Sure I paid double, but as someone who travels a lot, I'd rather be pay the premium and actually get to game than have a powerful desktop sitting at home being useless.

#49 Posted by Bollard (5298 posts) -

"Good" and "Gaming Laptop" do not belong in the same sentence, let alone the phrase "mid price". You insane dawg.

#50 Posted by Wallzii (173 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

"Good" and "Gaming Laptop" do not belong in the same sentence, let alone the phrase "mid price". You insane dawg.

Care to elaborate? You can build a high-end gaming laptop for around $1,500 that will shame any desktop using anything less than a GTX 570. Throw in some overclocking, and you can make that a GTX 580. Is that not "good" enough?

As for the earlier comment about building something for a quarter of the price, you're dreaming. 3/4 sounds about right for the basic components. Good luck finding a GTX 570 or HD 7870 paired with an i5 for $400. You're still going to need an HDD, RAM, power supply, case, and just for shits we'll leave the monitor out.

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