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  1. #21
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    I'm late to the thread, but perhaps this helps. For the last year I've been playing on my Acer Aspire Timeline X with a 1 GB NVidia GT 540M card. I rarely run everything on full graphics, the resolution of the screen is only 1366x700-something but the games look and play fine for me. So if you can find a laptop with this graphics card and you're not too demanding I'd say you'll be fine.

  2. #22
    Activated Node Ringwraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrki View Post
    I'm late to the thread, but perhaps this helps. For the last year I've been playing on my Acer Aspire Timeline X with a 1 GB NVidia GT 540M card. I rarely run everything on full graphics, the resolution of the screen is only 1366x700-something but the games look and play fine for me. So if you can find a laptop with this graphics card and you're not too demanding I'd say you'll be fine.
    Funnily enough, I've found something that might be a reasonable, and it's also an Acer Aspire, but a V3-5710G, which has a GeForce 630M in it. The resolution is the same at 1366x768 but currently I've only got a 17" monitor which goes up to 1280x1024 anyway, so not overly fussed. It has an i5 2.5Ghz processor and 8GB of RAM too, and the 500GB hard drive isn't too shabby.
    Seeing as I get this for 500, anyone think that's fairly good value?

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    It's not a bad deal at all, but if you could throw down a little more money and get a laptop with eg. a Geforce GT 640M instead, that would make gaming on it a lot more viable. The GT 630M is a rebadged old Fermi GPU (GT 540M).

  4. #24
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    The Asus N56VZ is a great laptop if you want to play games. It has a GT650 on board, with a new Ivy Bridge i7 proc, and best of all: it has a great cooling system. You really don't want one of those cheap cases where the fan sounds like a plane lifting off...

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    It's not a bad deal at all, but if you could throw down a little more money and get a laptop with eg. a Geforce GT 640M instead, that would make gaming on it a lot more viable. The GT 630M is a rebadged old Fermi GPU (GT 540M).
    The thing is, how much would that cost me extra for that extra 10? It's nice and all, but if it's going to be cost another couple of hundred quid it's probably not going to be worth it. If you can find any decent laptops with one in let me know, but I'm just turning up stuff that is probably overkill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellhus View Post
    The Asus N56VZ is a great laptop if you want to play games. It has a GT650 on board, with a new Ivy Bridge i7 proc, and best of all: it has a great cooling system. You really don't want one of those cheap cases where the fan sounds like a plane lifting off...
    Attempting to find a price on is not only incredibly difficult, as seemingly no-where sells it, but any prices I could find were very expensive, as my ceiling is probably about 600-700 at a stretch, although most of all I want good value out of it.

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    It wouldn't necessarily cost much more to get a GT 640M. But I must admit I'm struggling to find stuff in the UK market. Sites like pricerunner are just retarded when it comes to sorting by hardware requirements. Like "dedicated graphics" apparently includes Intel GMA...

  7. #27
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    Yeah, attempting to find one is proving difficult.
    At least, attempting to find one that's not hideously-expensive and like near the grand mark.

  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Alright, it took some eyebleeding effort at pricerunner, but I did find some shiny ones:

    ASUS N55SL - 600, Core i5-2430M, Geforce GT 635M, 1600x900 screen.
    Decent Sandy Bridge dual-core CPU, and the graphics card slots in between the GT 630M and 640M oddly enough.

    Dell Inspiron 15R SE - 630, Core i5-3210M, Radeon HD 7730M, 1366x768 screen.
    Good Ivy Bridge dual-core CPU (ie. newest generation, meaning a little more performance and lower power requirements), and a pretty good graphics card for a laptop - equal to or slightly better than a GT 640M.

    Medion Erazer X6815 - 655, Core i7-2670QM, GeForce GT 555M, 1920x1080 screen.
    Good Sandy Bridge quad-core CPU, decent graphics card (the GT 635M is basically a rebranded GT 555M).

    They're all 15-inch laptops with USB3.0 and all that. The middle one might be the best value for gaming. It's got a lower-res screen but then again 1920x1080 is a bit much on a little 15-inch screen and the higher resolution puts more stress on the graphics card.
    Last edited by Sakkura; 14-08-2012 at 06:46 PM.

  9. #29
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    Yeah, 1920x1080 is a lot of overkill, seeing as currently I only play at 1280x1024 and that's more than enough on a 17", so it's really a non-issue for me.
    I'll have to look at those and shop around later (and decide which one is the most efficient and best value), but thanks a lot for taking the time to find them.

  10. #30
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    Right, so after looking at their specs a bit, and failing to find those laptops cheaper, I'm wondering if the jump up in graphics card is worth the 100+ it'll cost me.
    Out of the three 600+ lappies, I see problems with the Medion having a 3.1GHz quad core and only 4GB of RAM, thus it's likely to go to waste without the RAM to scale with the processing power. The ASUS is good, but for 30 more it gets me a slightly better processor, likely better graphics card, and double the hard drive space with the Dell, so it's probably not as good value as it, although there's a downgrade in resolution, but that was never that important to me and they're only 15" screens anyway.

    The original Acer was looking at has more RAM than it will likely ever to use I think, as 8GB seems like overcooking it a bit, so it's a question of if the jump from a Nvidia GeForce 630M to a Radeon HD 7730M is worth 130, and I don't know enough about the two cards to say if it is. As they have exactly the same processor model and the hard drive space doesn't bother me too much, as 500GB is probably plenty for me.

  11. #31
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    People keep offering you advice and you keep ignoring it and throwing gems back at us like 'how much would that cost me for that extra 10' when referencing a gt640M vs 630M.

    Let me explain why I cringed : that 'extra 10' means it is 70 percent faster...

    Also:
    -4GB vs 8 GB ram doesn't make a lick of difference for gaming, if you don't multitask then most games work perfectly fine with 2GB ram...
    -radeon 7730m is 20 percent slower than a gt640m
    -you want a 640M or better because they use the 28nm kepler architecture, which is much more power efficient (good for battery life, noise and heat) then femri (5xx M series)
    -the 640M with gddr5 is a lot faster than the DDR3 version, Nvidia likes to confuse people like you so you'd waste your money on a crap gpu that won't last you a year. Odds are high that you'll end up with the DDR3 version, enjoy.

    If that still confuses you : for bang for buck in the low end laptops that can play some games at low settings you want a gt640M, anything lower in the 6xx series will be MUCH slower and unfit for gaming

    Or waste your money and our time and buy whatever you want, you don't want advice it seems, you just want to be told that whatever shit you waste your money on is great
    No matter what you buy, a gaming laptop for use at home instead of on the move is a waste of money.
    Last edited by Finicky; 17-08-2012 at 07:31 PM.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    People keep offering you advice and you keep ignoring it and throwing gems back at us like 'how much would that cost me for that extra 10' when referencing a gt640M vs 630M.

    Let me explain why I cringed : that 'extra 10' means it is 70 percent faster...
    Right, thank you for an answer to something which I hadn't got before. I don't know much about graphics card specifics.
    Seeing as I'm standing from almost a complete novice standpoint when it comes to graphics card specs, model numbers are arcane things which don't tell me anything specific about the speed gap between cards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    -4GB vs 8 GB ram doesn't make a lick of difference for gaming, if you don't multitask then most games work perfectly fine with 2GB ram...
    Which is something I may have mentioned, that lots of extra RAM is overkill, but considering how much junk I stick on computers having some extra for free probably wouldn't go amiss anyway. Additionally, many games run quite a bit better with more than 2GB of RAM, like Skyrim for example.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    -radeon 7730m is 20 percent slower than a gt640m
    Knowing the difference between two different makes of graphics card is even harder to the outsider due to the numbers no longer having any relation to one another, and seeing as someone before went and said they were roughly equivalent, I would have no reason to not believe that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    -you want a 640M or better because they use the 28nm kepler architecture, which is much more power efficient (good for battery life, noise and heat) then femri (5xx M series)
    This is also something that has not been explained prior to this, so thanks for the extra information.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    -the 640M with gddr5 is a lot faster than the DDR3 version, Nvidia likes to confuse people like you so you'd waste your money on a crap gpu that won't last you a year. Odds are high that you'll end up with the DDR3 version, enjoy.
    Right, so I'm at fault for not recognising something which their own manufacturer tries to withhold and no-one else has informed me about? Thanks for the heads-up at least, even if it comes across rather accusatory.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    If that still confuses you : for bang for buck in the low end laptops that can play some games at low settings you want a gt640M, anything lower in the 6xx series will be MUCH slower and unfit for gaming
    So, if it was that simple, why didn't anyone just come straight out and tell me this earlier?
    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Or waste your money and our time and buy whatever you want, you don't want advice it seems, you just want to be told that whatever shit you waste your money on is great
    Actually, I don't want to be told that at all, if I didn't want advice I wouldn't be asking for it, as I'd be wasting my time before the more valuable consideration of wasting other people's time is taken into account.
    I don't want to be told what I buy is great, I want to be told what's the best deal I can get.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    No matter what you buy, a gaming laptop for use at home instead of on the move is a waste of money.
    Circumstances dictate that getting a desktop is not an option, which I have stated multiple times, knowing full-well that a desktop of a similar price would get me more power. Unless you can shrink them to the size of a laptop of course, but until then no amount of saying that I should get a desktop instead will solve my original problem.

    I apologise if any of my previous posts have come across with the impression that I'm ignoring people's advice, but I've been taking it all on board, and at the end of the day, I have to make the decision on what to do.

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    -radeon 7730m is 20 percent slower than a gt640m
    The Radeon HD 7730M is a 7750M with DDR3 memory instead of GDDR5. The 7750M is better than the GT 640M with GDDR5, while the 7730M is better than the GT 640M with DDR3, but probably a bit worse than the GT 640M with GDDR5.

    Thing is, the most common version of the GT 640M is the DDR3 one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ringwraith View Post
    Right, so after looking at their specs a bit, and failing to find those laptops cheaper, I'm wondering if the jump up in graphics card is worth the 100+ it'll cost me.
    Out of the three 600+ lappies, I see problems with the Medion having a 3.1GHz quad core and only 4GB of RAM, thus it's likely to go to waste without the RAM to scale with the processing power. The ASUS is good, but for 30 more it gets me a slightly better processor, likely better graphics card, and double the hard drive space with the Dell, so it's probably not as good value as it, although there's a downgrade in resolution, but that was never that important to me and they're only 15" screens anyway.
    It doesn't work that way. The only thing that matters is how much room your OS and running application use; this doesn't change appreciably with different CPUs. If you end up in a situation where you're using more memory than you have physical RAM, it will start writing some of it to the hard disk, and that will cripple performance no matter what CPU you're using.

    Anyway, the bottom line is: With an insufficient graphics card, games will run really poorly. You need to get at least into the midrange laptop graphics cards before things start running decently. If you could move up to a card with GDDR5 it would help a lot, but it looks like it's just a little bit out of reach for your budget. You can still make up for the slow memory a bit by staying away from higher resolutions and antialiasing levels, since those are the things that put the most strain on your VRAM.
    Last edited by Sakkura; 17-08-2012 at 09:53 PM.

  14. #34
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    Yeah, antialiasing is something I'm never fussed about too much, and seeing as the screen is so small having a resolution much higher than the standard 1366x768 is probably overdoing it.
    I'm guessing a GDDR5 card would break the 700 limit I'm sort of loosely keeping, I could may stretch it more, but considering I was having 700 as my upper limit previously, I may end up with the problem of never managing to draw a line.

    I was apprehensive about the huge CPU mostly as I rarely use my 2.5GHz quad core fully as it is, and I'm running 4GB of RAM too. So I was just unsure as to how helpful it would be for me.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ringwraith View Post
    Right, thank you for an answer to something which I hadn't got before. I don't know much about graphics card specifics.
    Seeing as I'm standing from almost a complete novice standpoint when it comes to graphics card specs, model numbers are arcane things which don't tell me anything specific about the speed gap between cards.

    Right, so I'm at fault for not recognising something which their own manufacturer tries to withhold and no-one else has informed me about? Thanks for the heads-up at least, even if it comes across rather accusatory.

    So, if it was that simple, why didn't anyone just come straight out and tell me this earlier?
    It wasn't a stab at you, AMD and Nvidia try extremely hard to deceive novices (and even people who have been building pcs for years) with their naming schemes.
    Sorry if I worded it rudely.
    The amount of pc veterans who thanks to AMD naming schemes think a hd7750 is a large upgrade from a 4890 (it's slower) is both hilarious and depressing. Same goes for those who think a recent gtx560M (mobile gpu) is even half as capable as the now ancient 8800GTX. (desktop gpu).


    People have recommended you a laptop with a gt650M (which is the minimum really for acceptable gaming performance in a cheap laptop), and someone else recommended you can go cheaper by getting a gt 640 M

    If the 630 was of any use for gaming they would have mentioned it.

    I don't know all the performance numbers by heart either, amd and nvidia constantly fuck with their naming and constantly rebrand old gpus as 'new' models with higher model numbers, especially in the mobile space their naming is just silly.

    GPU naming for dummies:
    -A crude rule is if it has M (M is for mobile, as in laptop) behind it it will be half as fast as the desktop version of the same name.
    -Any model number x40/x5xx are the lowest end gaming grade cards, anything below that is only for watching videos.
    -Also the first number is the "year or process design number" (560 is from 2010-2011, 660 from 2012) while it's the second digit that denotes the performance class (gtx 280 is MUCH faster than a gtx 640)
    -Performance differences in the low end between each model are large, the difference between the higher end models isn't as large. Performance/euro is a bell curve that peaks at the 150 euro midrange cards.

    You can use these as very crude guides to give you a general idea of what performance bracket each gpu holds, and then based on that info google the ones that you are interested in for proper performance information with actual games benchmarked and not just 3d mark.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-...ist.844.0.html
    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html (this one is inaccurate for dual gpu cards like the gtx 690 but those are irrelevant anyhow)
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/vga-charts-summer-2012/2
    Last edited by Finicky; 18-08-2012 at 01:42 AM.

  16. #36
    Activated Node Ringwraith's Avatar
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    I was pretty sorted on Nvidia's numbering scheme until they ran out of thousands and redid half of the number range starting with the 2xx's. I still know the higher second digit is better, but no longer quite they exactly mean anymore.
    Like I understand what kind of thing my current 9600 is, but not a lot about a 220 I got was, (except that it was awful).

    I've never known what AMD/Radeon were doing with theirs.

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus bonkers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    -4GB vs 8 GB ram doesn't make a lick of difference for gaming, if you don't multitask then most games work perfectly fine with 2GB ram...
    Depends on which games. Skyrim and BF3 for example have been reported to crash every now and then when run with 2GB. This issue is only resolved with going 4GB+. Also in those games fram rates can go up by 10 to 20 when going from 4GB to 8GB on a high end systems.
    With older games you are of ocurse fine with 2GB but if you want to go near anything near Skyrim 2GB will not do it, at least 4GB are required.

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonkers View Post
    Depends on which games. Skyrim and BF3 for example have been reported to crash every now and then when run with 2GB. This issue is only resolved with going 4GB+. Also in those games fram rates can go up by 10 to 20 when going from 4GB to 8GB on a high end systems.
    With older games you are of ocurse fine with 2GB but if you want to go near anything near Skyrim 2GB will not do it, at least 4GB are required.
    Eh? Skyrim wasn't even aware of any memory beyond the first 2 GB for a good long while after release.

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus bonkers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    Eh? Skyrim wasn't even aware of any memory beyond the first 2 GB for a good long while after release.
    No, not really. The problem was that Skyrim could only address up to 2GB max for itself which lead to problems with HD textures, mods and the like as more RAM was required. The patch changed that to up to 4GB.
    Having only 2GB in total is a completely different thing as your OS already takes up a large chunk and running Skyrim with only 2GB will cause Windows (7) to force a shutdown on Skyrim after a while. In BF3 2GB lead to a texture related DirectX error sometime ingame.
    Last edited by bonkers; 18-08-2012 at 11:58 AM.

  20. #40
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    Yes, hence most vs all.
    4GB is fine, (to drive the point home even 2GB is mostly acceptable)

    Point being: it's a laptop (prebuilt fixed spec hardware), 4GB vs 8GB ram should be extremely low on the decision making list for what laptop to choose.

    OP: I forgot to mention:
    Avoid medion, they use really low build quality parts (even worse than say dell desktop prebuilts)
    You are pretty much guaranteed for it to fail within 3 years, everyone I know with a medion pc had their psu fail within the first 2 years for example.
    Last edited by Finicky; 18-08-2012 at 01:42 PM.

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