The Alienware m17xR4 is Dell’s top-of-the-line quad core gaming laptop with 17-inch screens. Its GeForce GTX 675 gives it enough muscle to play all the demanding games of 2012, including the latest 2013 Crysis 3 at high game settings. It also comes with an integrated Intel HD Graphics you can switch down to for less demanding games to conserve battery power. With high definition display, HDMI support and Klipsch speakers, it is also a multimedia center at its best. The Alienware m17x series is considered among the best and fastest gaming laptops on the market over the last few years and enjoys a strong following among serious gamers Click here to read our in-depth review of Alienware m17x.
At a discounted price of $1,717.05, the Toshiba Qosmio x875 powered by a 3rd generation Intel quad core offers great value on a gaming laptop that used to be priced in the $2,000 price point. Thanks to its GeForce GTX 670M graphics engine, it offers high end gaming that can play virtually all the latest sophisticated games at medium to high setting. It also comes with 3D abilities for 3D games and movies while sporting a slim 1.7" profile on a 7.5lb body that is light for a gaming laptop Click here to read our In-depth review of Toshiba Qosmio.
The latest Razer Blade RZ09-00830500-R3U1 gaming laptop continues the Razer tradition of targeting the serious PC gamer with laptops designed for gamers from the ground up. But this time, the powerful laptop is housed in slim and lightweight body. Powered by a 3rd generation Intel quad core and GeForce GTX 660M graphics engine, the new Razer plays just about all the sophisticated games at medium to high settings. It also features the Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated with the i7 CPU which you can switch to when playing games in low settings or watching HD movies to conserve battery power Click here to read our In-depth review of Razer Blade.
Lenovo Ideapad y580
The Lenovo Y580 offers a blend of gaming power, portability and affordability for serious gamers with a budget below $1,000. Powered by a quad core Intel i7 and a high end GeForce GTC 660M in a slim 1.4-inch slim body weighing just 6.6 lbs, it has the raw power to play all the demanding games from medium to high game settings that other gaming laptops similarly powered can do but costing more and sporting a heavier and thicker body. It also serves your multimedia entertainment needs on the road while allowing you to play on the big screen at home from its HDMI out Click here to get more detailed review about Lenovo Ideapad Y580.
Asus Republic of Gamers G-series G75VW
The Asus Republic of Gamers G-series G75VW-AS71 combines the performance of a desktop gaming workstation with the portability of a notebook while providing THX-grade 3D audio technology that makes it a multimedia entertainment center at the same time. Its sub-$2000 price point puts it among the high end Intel quad core gaming laptops whose 17.3 inch full HD screen is driven by the upper midrange NVidia GeForce GTX 660M. You can easily play the 2013 release of Crysis 3 at medium setting, Tomb Raider at high setting and the highly demanding Ghost Recon: Future Soldier seamlessly at low game settings Click here for more detailed review about Asus Gaming Laptop G75VW.
The MSI GT70 series is without a doubt one of the best value gaming laptops in the market and ranges in price from $1,400 to $2,600 depending on hardware configuration. But regardless, all of them under the series sport a gorgeous 17.3-inch LED backlit screen with full 1920 x 1080 resolution and powered by a 3rd generation Intel quad core. This GT70 0ND-444US occupies the lowest rung at $1,399.99 but provides superb gaming abilities courtesy of NVidia’s GeForce GTX 675M considered the fastest single chip GPU for laptops as of March 2012. Consequently, you can play the most demanding games like Crysis 3 in high game setting while Ghost Recon: Future Cop that many gaming laptops can only play at low settings can be played at medium game settings Click here for more detailed review about MSI GT70.
Samsung Series 7 Gamer
The Samsung Series 7 Gamer range occupies the brand's flagship high performance laptops aimed at serous PC gamers. With heavyweight features that rival some of the best features in desktop gaming computers like a 16GB RAM, 1.5TB hard drive and a combo Blu-ray/DVD optical drive, this quad core Series 7 Gamer NP700G7C-S01US harnesses what is considered the fastest single chip GTX 675M (as of March 2012) to play just about all the demanding games your throw in at high game settings. There are just so few exceptions where medium setting can be the better option like in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Click here for more detailed review of Samsung Series 7 Gamer.
Best Laptop for Gaming Checklist
Best Gaming Laptop - Aiming for Quality
With a bewildering assortment of laptops on the market promising the best value from just about every CE makers like Sony, Toshiba, Asus, HP, Samsung, Dell, Apple, and new brands from China, who do you turn to for help when making a purchase decision? If you have come this far reading this, then you are in the right place to know about the best gaming laptops in town for your budget and needs. Not only do we provide reviews on new laptops, we are always on the lookout for the best deals on the web that provide the best value for your money. We gather them, update the information, and share them to you on our site. We believe that a well-informed consumer is best-equipped to know what the best gaming laptop should be for his or her need, and not be easily suckered into the hype that come with many of the popular brands.
What to look for in a good gaming laptop for your budget
To be sure, all laptops can play games. And with today’s powerful CPU engines, almost all of them can play the games developed as late as 2011. But only a few can play the more demanding games such as Battlefield 3 or Crysis 2, or those forthcoming this year. And some that do may not be able to play them smoothly at their highest configurable settings. For instance, you could play a moderately demanding Skyrim, but only at its lowest-to-mid setting. Some can play a demanding game but only to end up crashing while in the middle of a gameplay. This is not what you want.
If you are on the market for the best gaming laptops for your budget, it is often a matter of knowing what games you want to play and compromises you are willing to take for your budget. As a consumer who is also a desktop PC gamer, you already know what it takes to play some of the most demanding PC games like Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, Far Cry 3, Shogun Total War, Metro 2013, or Batman; Arkham city. Here are some things to consider when looking for best gaming laptop in your budget.
The CPU engine
Today, almost all the latest mid-priced laptops using the latest processors from Intel or AMD are quite powerful with their dual core and quad core configurations. Depending on the game, or the architecture, pure gigahertz clockspeed remains paramount in gaming laptops. A laptop with a dual core clocked at 3 GHz can outperform a quad core clocked 2.4 GHz, but only if the game was optimized to use 2 cores at the most. Today, games designed to use quad cores have become increasingly common. In addition, over the last 3 years, quad-cores have dropped in prices. Hence, if you want to achieve some future-proofing on your gaming laptops, a quad-core laptop is a worthwhile investment. If you’re on a budget, a dual core remains an attractive option.
The Graphics Card or GPU
The most important feature and the one that limits your ability to play the latest games is your video card or Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). This is really a second CPU in itself but dedicated to offload the complex polygonal rendering tasks from the main CPU. All the Role Playing games and First Person Shooter games are graphics intensive. They demand a muscular GPU that can deliver the spectacular 40 - 60 frames per second (fps) polygonal rendering and 16 million color support for some of the most breathtaking graphics in those games. If you set your screen to a high resolution of 1920 x 1080, some gaming laptops may not be able to play them smoothly or suffer a lag in screen responses that would make you miss making a score. But you can play them with a lower screen resolution or lower color support. If you are on a budget, consider making a compromise by choosing a dual core processor instead of a quad core, but has the right graphics card that is equivalent to a mid- end NVidia GeForce or ATI Radeon video card. You can also compromise with an 800x600 or 1072 x 768 display resolution which is never that bad in a small 13” or 14” display of your laptop. No need to go HD which is often best reserved when playing games on a larger 23” or 32” display on your desktop.
If budget is not a problem, stay clear from laptops with integrated GPUs from either AMD or Intel as they are quite challenged to run sophisticated games. Get one with a separate GPU that is equivalent to the ATI or AMD 5000 series or the 300s series from NVidia. They come with the own video RAM separate from your system RAM for optimized performance. However, this is another area for the budget-conscious. A laptop with an integrated graphics and CPU will always be cheaper.
Getting a muscled GPU specs is important right from the start because unlike the CPU, memory and HDD, it can no longer be upgraded later on. The GPU chip is hard-soldered on the motherboard and while it may be software upgradable to the latest DirectX version, you will need to replace the motherboard or the entire laptop sooner or later to play the newer games. This is often the reason why laptops are considered disposables. For playing the latest games, they are only good until the next generation of GPUs and the games that need them flood the market. This can happen every 12-18 months.
Lastly, apart from its processing power, the one significant aspect of the GPU that matters a lot to gamers is the support for DirectX for their Windows OS. The latest games up to this point in time require video graphics card that support DirectX 10 or DX10 at the very least which is supported on Windows 7 and 8 and exclusively on Vista. A gaming laptop that lists this this support will allow you to play any of the latest RPG and FPS games to-date. But to be more updated, get one with DX11 support as some forthcoming games like Crysis 3 can only run with it. Forget about those minor features like Pixel Shader of this or that version. Most games will require this, but if you have DX10 or DX11, Pixel Shader comes with it.
Adding another 4 GB memory module is not about increasing the RAM which does little to your laptop’s gaming performance unless you are using a 64-bit version of your Windows 7. The benefit comes from taking advantage of higher memory bandwidth when going form single to dual channel dual core and quad core processors. You can expect a 25% increase in performance this way.
Look for a laptop with large L2 cache memory. In general, a larger L2 cache memory gives your CPU ready access to memory built right next to the CPU (as compared to L1 cache which is built into the CPU). This cuts down on using the motherboard data bus to access RAM and hard disk that can slow down your laptop’s performance. Some games occasionally sputter when L2 cache is small. Be sure to buy only those with L2 typically in the 8Mb to 12Mb range, which is often enough to play even the most demanding game like Crysis 2..
Games consume more power than if you were just using MS Word or Exel on your laptop thanks to the power hungry GPU working all the time to deliver you excellent life-like graphics on your screen. Games set to their highest configuration will drain your power fastest and most gamers tether their laptops to their chargers all the time. With today’s powering technology, it is doubtful that any laptop can allow you to play those demanding games on battery power for more than an hour. If you plan to play them on battery power, don’t expect full performance since most laptop battery settings automatically lower the CPU and GPU speeds to conserve battery power. If you override this setting with “full performance”, don’t expect the battery to last long.
Gaming laptops are generally heavier at around 7-10 lbs and larger than regular laptops. A lot of marketing hype surrounds laptops that are thin and lightweight at 5 lbs or less. They are great for writing a Word Document while sipping a cup of latte at Starbucks. But don’t expect to play Battlefield 3 on them.
The best gaming laptops today should have USB version 3.0 for faster data transfer speeds between your laptop and any compatible device. USB 2.0 can only go as much as 35 MBps while USB 3.0 can be 20 times faster. You will realize this benefit when using an external hard drive to store your games. Another data connectivity must is the ability to connect to your online games via hot spots in malls and cafes with a WiFi connectivity feature. This is often a standard feature in most laptops.
The best gaming laptop is often upgraded from the start using a Solid State Device for its HDD. If budget is not a constraint, an SSD hard drive not only lightens the weight, power consumption can be reduced while giving you the fastest possible seek times and data transfer rates. You can have the OS installed here and the most demanding games installed on the SSD.
HDD storage capacity is one of the areas where a budget-conscious gamer can save. You can make do with a default 500GB to 750GB hard drive instead of upgrading to a more generous 1 TB to 1.5TB HD capacity. You can just get an external HDD later on when finance allow.
Many gaming laptops use 7200 RPM drives for faster response times, higher data transfer rates and seek times. But aware that higher RPM disk drives consume more power. As a compromise and for those on a budget, consider having an HDD with 5400 RPM which can also extend battery life.
Not every gamer warms up to those touch pad input devices in laptops. It can be a real nightmare controlling a game from them. Be prepared to pay extra for a gaming mouse or joystick tethered via USB or wireless. Needless to say, you should consider a gaming laptop with a least 2 USB sockets – one for an external HDD for your games if the internal drive is not sufficient, and another for your external mouse or joystick. In addition, see that the keyboard comes in standard size for each key. Many gamers who are used to playing on the desktop PC do not want to adjust to a smaller keyboard when playing on a gaming laptop.
Last but not least, invest on a decent pair of headphones. There are no laptops with built-in speakers that can be anywhere as good as the listening enjoyment you get from a decent set of headphones. You can also consider some of those small powered stereo speakers with a cube subwoofer if you are bothered using headphones. Just be aware you may need to carry a separate backpack or a large one for your laptop to accommodate these speakers.
If you are planning to buy the best gamin laptop for your budget, it is a good idea to know what games about to be released this year is up your alley. For instance, with the forthcoming release of the much-awaited Tomb Raider in early 2013, many gamers may be left with recourse than to upgrade to a new gaming laptop. The latest iteration on the exploits of heroine Lara Croft lists a minimum CPU requirement of an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3600+, or an Intel Celeron E1200 Dual-Core 1.6 GHz. It will also require a minimum GPU from an AMD Radeon X800 GTO or an Nvidia GeForce 7800 GS. The latest Tomb Raider will also need no less than 2 GB of RAM and DirectX9. But as every serious PC gamer knows, getting by with the barest minimum requirement is just a nice way to say you need to go higher than this. So bear this mind when purchasing your next gaming laptop with a game like the latest Tomb Raider in mind.
To sum it UP!
Multi Core CPU(quadcore +)
More than 8GB ram
Solid State Drive(SSD)
More than 1GB GPU(ddr5)
Good Cooling System
The more ports the better
1080p Led Display
Long Battery Life
Longer the warranty the better
Last but not the least - look for reviews before buying!
Following after Lenovo’s market success in its IdeaPad Y580, Lenovo lost no time introducing its next gaming laptop in the IdeaPad Y500 using the Nvidia's Kepler architecture to create one of the most muscled graphics engines on the laptop. Read more...
The Samsung Series 7 Gamer occupies the brand's flagship laptops aimed at serous PC gamers. With heavyweight features that rival some of the best built desktop gaming computers, this quad core Series 7 Gamer NP700G7C-S01US uses the fastest single chip GTX 675M (as of March 2012) to play just about all the demanding games your throw in at medium to high game setting. Read more...
The Lenovo Ideapad Y580 offers a blend of gaming power, portability and affordability for serious gamers with a budget below $1,000. It has the raw power to play all the demanding games from medium to high game settings that other gaming laptops costing more can play but at heavier and thicker body. Read more...
The Toshiba Qosmio x875 offers great value on a gaming laptop at its discounted price. It provides high end gaming with 3D abilities while sporting a slim 1.7" profile on a 7.5lb body that is light for a gaming laptop... Read more...
The Alienware m17xR4 is Dell’s top-of-the-line quad core gaming laptop with 17-inch screens. Its GeForce GTX 675 gives it enough muscle to play all the demanding games of 2012, including the latest 2013 Crysis 3. Read more...
This high end notebook is considered the King of Hill in gaming notebooks, thanks to a muscled Intel quad core with 12 GB of RAM coupled with mid-range NVidea GPU with its own 3GB of video RAM. Read more...
Your PC keyboard and mouse provide the most intimate physical interaction between you and the PC or laptop hardware. Of course, newer technologies have enabled the LCD display to serve similarly using touchscreens, but among gamers, the mouse is still the preferred way to control their games. Read more...
With quad core as the basic CPU configuration with at least 8GB of system RAM, we came up with a list of recommended 17-inch gaming laptops using any of the top 40 or so graphics cards in the market today. Read more...