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  1. #1
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    Laptop for playing games around £500?

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to get a cheap'ish laptop so I can play some games when I'm staying over with work during the week.

    I accept that I will likely struggle to get anything at this price range to max Crysis 3, but I would be happy with something that let me play some Civ 5, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Shogun 2, Crusader Kings 2, Diablo 3, and some FPS games at reasonable settings.

    I'd also like to be able to play the likes of Risen 2, Stalker CoP, Company of Heroes 2, Farcry 3, etc - I'd guess I would have to turn the settings down, but would they be playable?

    Also, I would like a bluray player so I can play the odd movie too.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
    Last edited by Mac; 11-08-2013 at 09:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    At that budget you'll struggle to get a laptop with dedicated graphics (it's possible but it won't be a quality item) but you'll easily pickup an Intel 'Ivy Bridge' (ix-3xxx) based system - and that includes HD4000 graphics which will play most of what you listed on low/med settings.

    The 'most' comes from the fact that no developer really supports laptop chipsets and so some games may be a bit moody about them - and a game like CoH2 being brand-new will probalby struggle in particular.

    I'm guessing Haswell (ix-4xxx) chips probably don't quite fit into your budget yet - but I've not looked that hard.

  3. #3
    Network Hub Prester John's Avatar
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    I got an Acer Aspire 5755G with i7-2670QM, NVIDIA GT630M and 6GB memory 1 year ago. Cost about £500 then and can play all the games in your first paragraph (except Diablo 3 - i don't own it so don't know). It struggles with Risen 2 and i don't have any of the other games in your second para.

    So its doable. You must get dedicated graphics card and then as much RAM and processor as you can find. Everything else is gravy.

    Laptop will never be as good as desktop, so long as you're fine with lower graphics and lower lifespan (in terms of modern games it can play) then good luck.

  4. #4
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    Thanks both ... I'll take a look at the Acer, although I generally avoid them.

    I do accept that it wont be the same as my desktop, but medium settings on a smaller screen should be okay to pass a night or two along.

    Any links to laptops you would recommend?

    How about:
    http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/ASUS_N56_1361862.html
    http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/ASUS_...V_1352938.html
    http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/Acer_...3_1347410.html
    http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/Lenovo_Z580_1336874.html
    http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/ASUS_...H_1385714.html
    http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/Lenov...h_1357423.html

    Would any of them fit the bill?
    Last edited by Mac; 11-08-2013 at 10:53 PM.

  5. #5
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    I'd very super wary of cheap laptops with lower-end 'dedicated' GPUs - basically they're a road to rack-and-ruin thanks to poor cooling or just crap build - and the software support often isn't there either.

    I dislike Acer in particular because their quality is variable and their long-term support is dismal (they make SO many models it's impossible to get bits and software support is often lacking).

    I'd normally not have a problem with Lenovo but their cheaper laptops aren't much better than Acer these days - I've scrapped 2 (on behalf of their owners) for motherboard failures in the last year (neither was more than 3 years old).

    I keep saying this, but WHERE you buy a laptop is as important as the laptop you buy. Get one from a megastore laptop farm like saveonlaptops or PC World or Amazon and you've got no support at all 6 months later.

    Go direct to Dell and get their onsite support for however long you can afford it - it can be worth a lot more than you think!

    p.s. another factor with gaming on laptops is the screen size/resolution. If you choose a massive laptop with a huge resolution, your GPU will struggle and you'll end-up downsizing (which looks like crap) - wheras a lower-res screen will work better AND look better - esp on a budget.

    Also - 17" laptops are too massive to carry anywhere ;)

  6. #6
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    Dell example (and I've not even headed into the Outlet yet)

    Inspiron 15R - 1366x768 screen (practical resolution for the hardware on-offer) - i5, 8Gb, 1Tb £530 which includes 90days premium phone and 12 months next-day at-home repair. £29 extends the phone support to the year, £59 to extend everything to 2 years - £99 to 3 years - you'll thank me if it breaks :)

    You can even spec it with a touchscreen and a 8730M GPU for the same money (cutting some other features) but they're OOS on touchscreens atm...

  7. #7
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    Thanks trjp. I've just taken a look at the Dell Outlet, and they have the following for sale: http://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/S...&puid=18e959a4 Do you have any clue why they have 3 different prices for the same refurbished laptop? How would this fair with games?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Thanks trjp. I've just taken a look at the Dell Outlet, and they have the following for sale: http://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/S...&puid=18e959a4 Do you have any clue why they have 3 different prices for the same refurbished laptop? How would this fair with games?
    Just realised that the link isn't working. I was looking at:

    Inspiron 15R - 7520
    Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM (2.2GHz, 6M cache)
    Windows® 8
    6 GB DDR3 Dual Channel 1600MHz (2 DIMMs)
    750 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    8X DVD+/-RW Drive
    Display: 15.6 inch High Definition LED Display (1366 x 768) with TrueLife
    Graphics: 2 GB AMD Radeon HD 7730M Card
    Back Up Media Not Included
    Windows® 8 64bit (Englilsh)
    Wireless : Intel Centrino Advanced-N 2230 (2x2, a/g/n) + Bluetooth
    LCD Back Cover : Aluminium
    LCD Back Cover : Aluminium
    Battery : Primary 6 Cell 48W/HR
    Internal Qwerty Backlit Keyboard

    Which has 3 purchase options - 443.89, 466.87 and 467.66 incl VAT & Delivery

    Anyone know what the difference will be between each one given the small variance in price? Is there any way of telling?
    Last edited by Mac; 12-08-2013 at 08:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    Dell Outlet Prices are set when the item is put into the Outlet - so similar (or indeed identical) machines will often appear at different prices.

    Odds are tho the difference will be something like the color of the lid, the size of the battery, the type of PSU, the warranty - something like that so check everything in detail.

    That's a amazing price for an i7 laptop tho - you sure thats INC vat? Is that also a swappable GPU (you can use the dedicated or just the HD4000 as you see fit?) Is a 7730M even worth having over HD4000 I wonder?

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    The 7730M is worth it compared to HD Graphics 4000. Easily worth it; it's better than HD Graphics 4600 too. It should offer switchable graphics, but Enduro (AMDs version of switchable graphics) tends to be flaky.

    The Core i7-3632QM is from the "old" Ivy Bridge generation, so that's probably a factor in the low price. But Ivy Bridge is still quite viable. Performance is very samey, you're mostly missing out on some power optimizations.

  11. #11
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    Double checked - it's incl VAT, but excluding Delivery - so an extra £20 for delivery

  12. #12
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    Only thing I'd be looking at before hitting 'go' is the warranty - what do you get on Outlet in terms of on-site support etc??

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