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Buying a gaming laptop

  1. Jul 22, 2012 #1
    Hello,
    I have in the vicinity of 800 dollars and want to research thoroughly before buying a laptop without regrets. My first priority is running college software like MatLab, Programming Language IDE and second priority is gaming. Being a novice in buying computers, I want a recommendation on what I can get with such an amount. Like what sort of processor, how much RAM and graphics card size I might get with 800 dollars.
    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2012 #2
    I personally love Toshiba's laptops. I have had great luck with them and they last a long time and perform great for the money. (however they do come with bloatware you will want to uninstall).

    This is $900 one, but you should look into it. Toshiba
     
  4. Jul 23, 2012 #3
    800 bucks is going to get you a decent computer. I'd start by looking at Asus, they have affordable gaming systems. Avoid brand names like Alienware, you will pay an extra thousand just for the logo.
    I'd look at systems with at least an Intel i5 or equivalent processor, 6-8GB of RAM and a dedicated video card.
    You want to keep in mind that notebook computers are designed with portability in mind not performance. If you were to build a notebook computer that can compete with a desktop system in performance, you'd end up with a 17" or 19" notebook computer that weighs like 10-15kg and heat will be an issue.
    Bang for buck on performance, desktop is the way to go.

    That said, for 800 bucks you should be able to get yourself an i5 processor, a 15" screen, 6GB of RAM and a decent ATI Radeon video card. You wont be playing games with the graphics turned up but you will be able to play them at lower detail and enjoy the experience. Shouldn't have any issues running software like MatLab as long as you have a good processor (i5 or i7 with a decent amount of RAM)
     
  5. Jul 23, 2012 #4
    I recommend the Steam Hardware forums for advice on any commercially available computers. Prices and quality can change dramatically within a few months time and they tend to keep on top of it better than most and have excellent moderators.

    Toshiba, Asus, and MSI are all great for laptops in your price range and the real issue these days is getting the most bang-for-your-buck which includes quality customer service. For what you want in that price range my guess is an i5 and amd 7000m series gpu would fit the bill. The i5 is very fast for almost any application and the new 7000 series are aimed at gpu compute functions, but still excellent for gaming as well. Again, I'd check with the Steam Hardware forums and I also recommend Newegg for any electronics shopping.
     
  6. Jul 24, 2012 #5
    If this is for school use, you will need to lean toward long battery life. Most gaming "laptops" are little more than small desktops that can't be far from a power outlet for long. Since your priority is school (GOOD FOR YOU!), I'd shoot for the battery life and maybe enough of a graphics card to meet the minimum(ish) specs of the games you like the most. The frame rates won't be great, but you won't be going from class to class trying to get a seat near a power outlet.

    Good luck with school!
     
  7. Jul 24, 2012 #6
    Any gaming laptop will be overly powerful to run the programs you need for school, but i think if you were to give more information what kind of games you want to play then we could be of more use. (if you want it for a game like minecraft instead of a graphics heavy game like crysis 2 then you wouldn't need such an intensive GPU and you could save some serious battery life like ThinkToday suggested)
     
  8. Jul 24, 2012 #7
    Dell's Low end Alienware laptops have been really competitive lately. I purchased mine for 1200$ but I believe many of their gaming laptops start at around 700$. For my hardware choices Alienware beat most competitors for price spec for spec, but that was about 6 months ago.
     
  9. Jul 27, 2012 #8
    Check out in ebay web-site for this machine.

    ASUS G53SX-TH71 i7-2670QM 2.2GHz 8GB 640HDD Nvidia GTX 560M 2GB 15.6" 1920X1080
    I think price of it 915$ dollars.If you are unsure of asus brand then go to this link and read.You will see asus brand is in 4th place.It means asus brand is not bad.
     
  10. Jul 27, 2012 #9
    Hi! I just bought a new gaming laptop and, not knowing much about what I was needing, took all the advice I could get on which was best. Like you I plan to use it for college as well but as some others said, anything that runs heavy duty games will run softwares no problem. So anyway, I learned that RAM was important for speed, but that 8GB is typically all you'll ever need. Very few games will require any more. I'd say a 1TB hard drive is best and 5900RPM looks pretty common to me so I'm sure it'd be fine. Graphics-wise, NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX series are ususally the best. Mine has the 660m and it's amazing! And finally make sure what ever you get has good cooling.
    The new laptop I got is an ASUS G75VW DS71, and it's a little over the price you gave, but it's an incredible machine. I've heard great things about all ASUS Gseries though so maybe look into that line of computers. $800 is on the low end for gaming laptops unfortunately, but if you could afford $900 plus some change you can get a pretty good machine.
    Hope that helped a little! Good luck in your search!
     
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