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Intel HD Graphics cards have been designed to meet a range of users and laptops, depending on your needs. This review of the Intel HD Graphics 5500 card will show you what it’s capable of and what type of users would suit this system.  

Intel processing unit

Processors and video graphic units have been Intel’s market niche for a long time and their success is due to the fact that they make each of them very well, and even better when combined. This review is going to look into the Intel HD Graphics 5500 to check out some of its specifications, targeted applications and where you might find them.

A video chipset or graphics card or graphics processing unit or GPU has a very important role when it comes to the visuals your computer offers. For gamers especially, knowing more about its capabilities can teach you a lot about the performance of a laptop.

The GPU generates data after receiving input to do, but getting it to generate a picture that will move in synch with sounds is much more complex. The GPU will essentially send data (from gaming software for instance) to a graphics processing unit (GPU) whose role it is to project that data as tiny specs of varying clusters, colors, shadings and numbers onto your computer screen.

From there, you brain will receive it as a whole image which can be of high quality or poor quality, depending on how good the grpahics are. The better the picture, the more you will enjoy a gaming experience and that is what drives companies like Intel and Nvidia towards continual improvement in their graphics cards.

The CPU in your computer instructs the GPU to make and move pictures and that is an important consideration when discussing graphics. Without the right GPU even the best GPU will be limited as to what it can produce.

Back in the day, when the Commodore 64 and its 64K of RAM and 1MHz GPU first brought color to our computer screens it was a very big deal indeed. This technology gave birth to the interest in the potential for using home computers for increasingly advanced gameplay.  

Companies like Intel recognized an opportunity here and moved to start development of specialized GPU’s with laptops having discrete, specialized units to manage the video end of the process.  These GPU’s are either contained as components of the computer’s motherboard or located separately within the computer.  

The GPUs that are located separately from the motherboard are typically higher performance; this is in part because of the increased space they need, and partly because they are designed and manufactured specifically to be high functioning units targeting applications such as gaming and graphic design.


Overview of the Intel HD 5500 Graphics Processing Unit

The Intel HD Graphics 5500 is one of the aforementioned integrated GPUs and one of the leading units in terms of its general purpose capabilities.  Released in 2015, it is found in the 5th generation series Core i5-5200U or i7-5600U, both of which have 24 EUs.

Intel developed the HD Graphics 5500 as an integrated GPU in its Broadwell range of hardware.  The frequency of this GPU is somewhere between the 850MHz and 950 MHz range dependent upon the GPU it is working with.

The Broadwell Quick Sync Video video decoder hardware provides VP8 decoding and encoding backing.  It is integrated within the GPU in the motherboard to provide VP9 and HEVC 10-bit decoding. With 2 independent bit stream decoders (BSD), it enables the use of one ring to process decoding and one ring to process encoding, simultaneously.

Broadwell was targeted at a range of computers such as laptops, miniature desktops, and the one-size-fits all system.  What this meant was that there was nothing provided as a desktop model, but later in 2015 Intel eventually produced a number of Broadwell desktop chips.

Specifications And Features

motherboard

Here are some of the basic specs and features you’ll find on the Intel Graphics HD 5500 computer card and what that means for its performance.

  • Integrated unit;
  • 24 unified shaders;
  • 4/8 ROP/TMU;
  • 300 – 900 core clock speed;
  • Memory DDR3 dependent upon system (shared);
  • 14-nanometer production technology;

The frequency of the Intel HD 5500 is clocked at around 950.   As a comparison, at the top end of these products, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M, hits 12400 and the AMD Radeon R7 M260 manages about 1750.

For those who know a little more about laptops and the graphics they operate with, here are some of the more in depth specs that the 5550 works with:

  • 14nm with a die size of 82mm2 and 1300M with a BIOS version 1032 PC 14.34 09/21/2014 22:25:07;
  • There are 4/8 ROP/TMU, 24 unified shaders, with a pixel fill rate of 1.2GPixel/s at a fill rate of 2.4G Texel/s;
  • Has a DDR3 type memory running at a 64 bit bus width and band width of 12.8GB/s;
  • GPU clock at 300MHz with memory running at 800MHz and the same for the default clock;

It is so important to have a basic understanding of these types of specifications as are more important than simply looking at the RAM of a GPU. As an example, when compared to the Intel HD5500 GPU with the Nvidia GT720, you’ll find that although the graphics memory specifications are pretty equal, there are some of the important factors you also need to compare:

 

Intel HD 5500

Nvidia GT 720M

Processor units

24 shader units

96 shader units

TMU

4

16

ROP

1

8

Clock

100MHz

950MHz turbo

775MHz

The Broadwell range, which is fitted with integrated HD5500 chips, features larger L1 caches, a total of 24 EU’s organizes as 3 x 8 execution units meaning it’s not only faster but also more efficient than its precursor.

The new HD Graphics 5500 has a 25 percent performance advantage over the HD Graphics 4400 in part due to its dual-channel memory.  When put up against even the entry level GeForce 820M, it doesn’t compete well at all with the GeForce outperforming it by about 25 percent.

Within the group of Broadwell GPUs, the HD Graphics 5500 is middle of the range. While it may be good at a lot of things, it is not particularly excellent at specific applications such as gaming and graphic design.


Game Benchmarks

The measure of a gaming chip is in its capacity to play games , so these results can give you some indication of what it’s capable of. These reviews were done using an Acer Aspire E5 with the Intel Core i5-5200U chip and a specific video capture card, 4GB of RAM and the latest Intel HD graphics drivers installed.  

The i5 was used because it is the middle of the range – i3 will give a slower experience, while the i7 will be noticeably quicker because of their respective GPU capabilities. A dual channel memory setup of 2 x 4GB was used rather than 1 x 8GB with the dual channel set up delivering a better result and game playing experience. Other considerations included a cooling system and the BIOS settings of the computer being used.

The old favorite Minecraft runs great on mostly high settings and achieves fps around 30.  With the graphics set on fast, you should be able to achieve 40 frames per second. The League of Legends is fine on medium high setting with a resolution of 1080p 1920x1080.  Set the quality at ‘high’, the shadows setting at ‘medium’ and turn off the ‘anti-aliasing’ for best results ,and you should get around 35 frames per second of reasonably smooth game playing.


What Titles You Can Play With The 5500

The HD 5500 is not a gaming chip so don’t expect that capability.  But it will play a lot of current games pretty well and a lot of older release games very well. Based on the Intel Core i7-5600U processor with 4M cache and speed up to 3.2GHz with the HD 5500 here is a sample of the games can be played.


  • MIRROR'S EDGE
  • STALKER - Clear Sky
  • CRYSIS 2
  • EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR 2
  • DEAD SPACE 3
  • BATTLEFIELD 3
  • SKYRIM

MIRROR'S EDGE

(1080p)         Low: 25-30fps

(1080p)         All on high: 10fps

Others that should work with some tweaking and a minor loss in quality, include:

  • Age of Empires - Definitive edition
  • Alien Isolation
  • Call to Arms
  • Civilization 5
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth
  • Counter Strike: GO
  • Cuphead
  • Diablo 3
  • Dota 2
  • Fifa 16
  • Football Manager 2018
  • Goat Punks
  • Gunscape
  • Jotun
  • Lost Sphere
  • Minecraft
  • Neverwinter Nights
  • Realm Royale
  • Sims 4
  • StarCraft 2
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Tomb Raider (2013)
  • Ultimate Chicken Horse
  • War Thunder resolution
  • World of Tanks

With most of these titles, you will need to adjust the resolution, shadow settings, ripple effects, and texture quality, so factor that in. There may also be other demands this game puts on your computer so keep that in mind as well. If your computer is modern enough to be running the HD 5500 GPU then they should play on low resolution at least.


Notebooks With The Intel HD 5500 Graphics Processing Unit

These are just some of the laptops that are fitted with the Intel HD Graphics 5500 as standard.  The quality of these is indicative of the high regard that most manufacturers hold for the Intel HD Graphics 5500:


ASUS UX303 13-Inch Laptop [2014 model]
  • 13.3" Quad-HD IPS Touchscreen Display (3200 x 1800).
  • Intel Core i7-4510U 2 GHz. NVIDIA GT840M 2GB VRAM.
  • 256GB Solid State Storage. 12GB RAM
  • Dual-Band 802.11 A/C. 8-Hour Battery life.
  • 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x miniDisplayPort, Bluetooth 4.0, SDXC slot

  • Intel HD 5500 GPU
  • Windows 8.1 64-Bit
  • Intel Core i5 i5-5200U (2.20 GHz)
  • 8GB DDR3L Memory
  • 128GB SSD

Dell XPS XPS9343-7273SLV 13.3 Inch QHD+ Touchscreen Laptop (Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Silver)
  • Intel Core i7-5500U Processor (4M Cache, 2.4 GHz)
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 256 GB Solid-State Drive
  • 13.3 Inch QHD+ (3200x1800) Touch Screen
  • Windows 8.1

  • Intel HD 5500 GPU
  • Windows 8.1 64-Bit
  • Intel Core i7 5th Gen 5500U (2.40 GHz)
  • 8 GB Memory
  • 256 GB SSD

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 3rd Generation 2015 Windows 10 Professional Business Ultrabook - Core i5-5200U, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, 14.0" FHD (1920x1080) Display, AC WiFi, Backlit Keyboard
  • Latest Generation 3 Lenovo Flagship Carbon X1 with Windows 10 Professional: legendary usability and uncompromising performance.
  • 5th Gen Intel Core i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, Up to 2.90 GHz) | 8GB DDR3 memory | 256GB Premium SSD storage
  • Premium 14.0" FHD (1920x1080) Display. Anti-glare | Integrated (720p HD) webcam
  • Windows 10 Professional | Intel 7265 AC 2x2 Premium Dual Band WiFi | Integrated Bluetooth 4.0 | Dolby Home Theatre v4 audio enhancement ; stereo speakers
  • Fingerprint Reader | I/O Ports: 2 USB 3.0 ports, Headphone/Mic Combo, OneLink Dock port, HDMI, Mini DP, Ethernet extension connection

  • Intel HD 5500 GPU
  • Windows 8.1 65 bit
  • Intel Core i7 5th Gen 5600U (2.60 GHz)
  • 8 GB Memory
  • 256 GB SSD

Software Updates For The Intel HD 550 GPU

software

As always, Intel’s customer support is excellent and they routinely develop and release software upgrades which are free and easily downloadable. Here are a few of the more recent upgrades that could help them to play games better:


Intel Graphics Driver For 4th And 5th generations Of Braswell

  • “Intel Graphics Driver for Windows (15.40)”
  • Version 15.40.38.4963
  • Windows 10 (both 64 and 32 bit) and Windows 8.1 (32 bit)

Intel Graphics Driver For 4th And 5th Generations

  • “Beta Intel Graphics Driver for Windows (10 and 7/8,1)”
  • Version 15.40.26.4474
  • Windows 10 (32 bit and 64 bit) and Windows 8.1 (32 bit)

Final Thoughts On The Intel Graphics 5500

The suitability of the Intel Graphics HD 5500 for gamers really depends on the use of your laptop. Will you be using it solely for gaming or as something to work and study with, then a bit of entertainment on the side?  


Intel didn’t design the HD 5500 as a gaming chip but it was a consideration in its integration with the Broadwell range of GPUs. This GPU was marketed as an all-purpose chip that would meet the end needs of the business and student user that would also keep casual gamers happy.  

Settling for a middle to low-end game playing GPU like the HD5500 might make sense in the short term, but soon it won’t be enough to play the more modern games. Depending on how you use your laptop mostly, this might not be the most suitable one in terms of gaming.

Intel HD Graphics 530

An integrated graphics card is found standard on many laptops and notebooks, but they’re not always the best option for serious gamers. We’re here to look at the Intel Graphics HD 530 to see how it stacks up against the competition and whether or not it would serve you well in the gaming sphere.


Overview Of The Intel HD Graphics 530

intel HD graphics 530


Intel released the HD 530 in 2015, so in terms of other graphics, it’s not really that old. However, this graphics unit was only standard in a handful of devices before it was replaced with a newer and more powerful model.

The Intel HD Graphics 530 was designed to power up all kinds of multimedia with a strong focus on photos and videos. Although it was never designed to be a gaming unit, it may still be possible to enjoy some older titles on it with varied settings.

These graphics units are found integrated into a few different laptop and desktop processors that feature those in the Skylake generation. There were just a few brands and models that featured this exact processor as they were quick to update them with a newer version coming out. Overall, anything in the HD graphics family is designed to support multimedia use, and that’s what this one was able to achieve.


Notable Features

To learn a little more about the Intel HD graphics 530 capabilities, we need to investigate its features. Just like a computer, integrated graphics processors like this come with a variety of features that set them apart from others. This is what the 530 offers that others might not:

From Skylake generation of GPUs;

24 Execution Units capable of 1150 MHz;

Accesses main memory for power;

Decodes H.265/HEVC;

Connects to displays via DP 1.2/eDP 1.3;

Max resolution of 3840 x 2160 working at 60 Hz;

HDMI 2.0 possible with converter;

Capable of supporting three separate displays;

192 shading units, 3 ROPs, and 24 texture mapping units;

These features come standard with the graphics processor but as they don’t work alone, it’s not the only way to tell how they’ll perform. Other things need to be considered as it makes up a total package within a desktop PC or notebook, like RAM, CPU, and more.

Performance And Gaming

The main interest that gamers and other end users have is how well the graphics processor helps it perform. Like other members of the HD Graphics integrated card family, the 530 is perfectly capable of handling most multimedia tasks like watching movies in HD, viewing images, browsing the web, and giving presentations on a larger scale.

When looking at the 530 for gaming specifically, it’s not quite as powerful as you’d hope for. Keep in mind that other factors need to be considered like TDP and maximum clock rate on offer for that laptop, so the performance is always going to differ.

If you’re using a desktop version of this integrated GPU then you’ll get power that can almost compete with a Nvidia GeForce 920M which means it’s able to handle games from around 2015 and earlier with varied settings. However, for the laptop versions, it probably won’t have adequate power for smooth gameplay.

To get the best use out of this graphics processor would be to use it on a desktop computer as you’ll have other aspects getting more from it. When placed into one of the laptops that they currently feature in, this GPU acts better as a multimedia support rather than something that allows smooth and crisp gameplay.

Laptops That Feature These Graphics

When the Intel HD Graphics was released in 2015, it only received a short time in the spotlight before being replaced with something better. Therefore, the number of laptops that use this graphics processor is somewhat limited. Here are just a few of the more popular devices that offer the Intel HD Graphics 530.


Lenovo ThinkPad T460p | 14.0' FHD (1920x1080) Display | Intel Core i5-6440HQ | 8GB DDR4 | 256GB SSD | Windows 7 Professional 64 bit


The T-series of notebooks from Lenovo are designed as work machines, but there’s nothing stopping you from using them at home also. This is one of the faster models thanks to the quad-core processor and with the 530 graphics card integrated it’s pretty great for other multimedia uses as well.

There are a few different versions on offer depending on what you want to spend and how much power you need. The base model cost around $1,5000 when released which isn’t that cheap for a non-gaming system, and comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a full HD IPS display in matte.

You can configure the processor to your needs but the base level has more than sufficient power for office use. You’ll also get a suite of security and business features to help seal the deal, which further highlights how this is far better as a work computer and not one you’d spend hours gaming on.


Schenker F516 Flex i5-6400T

Schenker F516 Flex i5-6400T


Schenker is known for creating laptops that can be versatile and the Flex range, just as the name suggests, is highly configurable. There are varying versions available with different degrees of graphics capabilities, with the base model offering the Intel HD Graphics 530. For those with more serious needs, you can upgrade to the one with a GeForce GTX 950M GPU instead.

The Flex i5 is an affordable entry into the notebook market and even for the highly configured version. These machines were designed predominantly for office use but they’re more than capable of handling your entertainment needs as well.

In terms of gaming, they’re probably one of the better machines that can deliver on this front. When compared to other 15 inch laptops from this era it also performs quite well, even though it’s not one of the more common names in the US market.


ASUS ROG G752VS OC Edition Gaming Laptop, 17' 120Hz G-SYNC Full HD, Intel Core i7-7820HK CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, GeForce GTX 1070-8GB, 512GB PCIe SSD, VR Ready, Overclocked, Windows 10 Pro - G752VS-XS74K

The Asus G752 series of laptops are completely customizable to your needs, and their most basic models come equipped with the Intel HD Graphics 530. If you’re serious about gaming and prepared to spend a whole lot more on a machine that can handle newer games, you’ll want to stick to this model but upgrade to the one that offers the Nvidia graphics instead.

This is part of the ROG series of laptops which means they’re made for gamers, and they look just as good as they operate. There are various Intel Core processors available from the 6th Generation and you can choose how much RAM you need as well.

Expect to pay quite a lot for this, even with the base model. If you’re getting one that features the 530 graphics then it could be better to spend elsewhere with better graphics but not as much of the other stuff that isn’t as important for gameplay.


Dell Latitude E5470 Laptop i7-6600U 8GB 256GB SSD Windows 10 Pro

Coming from the Dell Latitude 14 series of notebooks is the E5470. This laptop was designed to be a workhorse for the office with very little room for home and entertainment. That’s not to say you won’t be able to enjoy some multimedia with the device, but it definitely shouldn’t be purchased for that reason alone.

With a 14 inch screen, it’s capable of powering up most applications, but not really designed as a gaming machine. Featuring the Intel HD Graphics and an AMD Radeon R7 M360 you’ll get plenty of enjoyment watching movies on HD with this device, as well as getting all of your required work done.

The multimedia features are worth a mention with everything from HD and FHD webcam available, noise-reducing microphone, and quality speakers. It also comes with a suite of security and business features that you can use in the office and at home to protect yourself and your laptop from any risks.


Fujitsu Esprimo Q956-Q0956PXMR1IN


Fujitsu Esprimo Q956-Q0956PXMR1IN

Fujitsu has created an affordable and entry-level laptop that is even capable of some gaming. This would be the type of device to suit a business user who liked to do some part-time gaming on the weekends, provided they were playing games that were a little older.

With a desktop quad-core processor from the Skylake range and integrated 530, it’s capable of covering most of your media needs as well as watching HD movies or editing photos. The CPU isn’t as powerful as you’d hope for though and it only features a TDP of 35 watts.

This weighs around 3.5lbs which means you can take it with you virtually anywhere. It’s got a great battery life as well so just one charge should get you around five hours of use. In terms of a traveling laptop that helps you work on the move and enjoy some entertainment as well, the Esprimo is a great option.


ASUS X550VX-MS72 15.6' Laptop Computer - Matte Dark Gray with Spin Texture; Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor 2.80GHz; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 2GB GDDR5; 8GB Onboard DDR4 RAM; 256GB Solid State Drive

Another great addition to the list from Asus is the XX550VX from their X Series of office laptops. Equipped with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 that’s common for Skylake processors and a quad-core processor, it’s got enough power in it to handle everyday tasks.

Those wanting to use this laptop for casual gaming should be able to, but there may be a need to play on lower settings in modern games. The main purpose of this laptop was for the office and some basic home use, and so to get the best out of it that’s what you should stick to.

With a 15.6 inch screen, it’s pretty serious in size and the weight can be a burden also. However, the durability makes it all worth it and with the trusted Asus name behind it you’ll feel pretty confident that you’re getting a well-made machine.


The Verdict On The 530

The Intel HD Graphics 530 was certainly capable of powering up most general use laptops, but if you’re looking at it from a purely gaming perspective then it’s not going to be adequate. Games made after 2015 will be a struggle to enjoy with this graphics card and because it’s integrated there’s no way to customize it for a better experience.

Intel created their HD Graphics systems with multimedia in mind which means these cards are ideal for things like viewing HD movies or editing photos. The demands that modern games have from a laptop and its internal units are simply going to be too intense for this mid-level graphics processor to handle.

However, if you’re interested in games that aren’t necessarily brand new and don’t mind lowering the settings somewhat on those from 2015 and beyond, these graphics could be enough. You’ll need to make sure you choose the right laptop that houses the unit though; otherwise, it will be of no use.

While the Intel HD Graphics 530 is capable of great things when collaborating with other systems, in a laptop it’s never going to be able to compare to external graphics chips like the Nvidia. If you’re willing to sacrifice on playing high-end games and use this more for a home and office device though, the 530 will certainly do you well.


Resources

Searching for a quality laptop for gaming that won’t break the bank can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but they are out there. We’ve found the best gaming laptops under $500 for you to marvel at, proving that there’s no need to go break just to enjoy your favorite pastime.

best gaming laptop under 500

Gaming is an expensive hobby, but it’s a cost that most of us will gladly suffer if it means getting to do our favorite thing. Ask someone where you can find the best gaming laptop for under 500 and they’ll either laugh in your face or look shocked, but the truth is, there are some out there.

There are many reasons why someone might need a budget gaming option like an affordable laptop, but these don’t matter. All you need to know is how and where to find one that’s quality, will cater to your games, and won’t blow your entire budget in one go.

We’ve searched far and wide to come up with the best gaming laptop under 500 and there are some great options to consider. With one of these in your arsenal, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite pastime without going broke in the process, so take a look at what we’ve found.


Why Budget Can Be Best ?

Besides the obvious fact that a proper gaming setup can cost you well into the thousands of dollars when you include your monitor, computer, keyboard, mouse, and more, there are other reasons why people might want to go with a more budget-friendly option. If you’re someone new to gaming and just trying to figure out what you like and what you might need to really enjoy it, this is a great stepping stone.

Budget-friendly laptops can either be new or refurbished, with the refurbished ones showing real value for money. They’ve usually been modified just for gaming so there’s no useless applications or anything else taking up space. That’s not the say new laptops aren’t just as good, manufacturers know this is an empty market and they seem to be paying attention.

Others might want a backup gaming laptop that can serve them where their other dedicated rig can’t go. This is useful for travel, playing in bed, or taking to school and getting some serious gaming done while you’re on a break. Whatever your reasoning, choosing one of the best gaming laptops under 500 can offer many benefits.

The Benefits Of Gaming With A Laptop

When you think about gaming computers, your mind usually goes towards a dedicated gaming space at home complete with a swivel chair, RGB lighting keyboard and mouse, and super wide monitor. The reality is that this setup doesn’t always work for everyone, and the benefits of a laptop serve a much better purpose.

  • Versatility

With a laptop as your base, you can pretty much do what you wish with it. Add a gaming mouse, keyboard, monitor, or anything else to intensify the experience or just play with it as is.

  • Portability

The obvious benefit of using a laptop for anything is the portability. Being able to game anywhere you want, even on a plane, is a huge bonus for gamers who take their passion seriously.

  • Space saving

A standard gamer setup can take up an entire room, but it doesn’t have to when you’re playing on a compact laptop that can do the same thing.

  • Low cost

For $500, these gaming laptops are exceptionally priced. When compared to a full gaming setup that averages a few thousand dollars, even the more expensive laptops still come in a lot cheaper.

The Best Gaming Laptops Under 500

Making this list 10 years ago just wouldn’t have been possible, as you would have to spend thousands to get a laptop that was compatible with gaming. However, today’s market has changed and there are now many top brands that make a compact and affordable laptop suitable for your favorite pastime. Here are our top picks for the best gaming laptops under 500.

HP Pavilion 15-inch Gaming Laptop, IPS Anti-Glare Display, Intel i7+8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050TI 4GB, 16GB DDR4 RAM and 16GB Intel Optane Memory, 1 TB HD, Windows 10 64bit (15-cx0045nr, Black)

HP has designed a great media laptop here that’s not only good for gaming but also watching movies on the go. You’ll get an uninterrupted 5 hours of battery, even while doing this intensive stuff, which makes it far more capable in energy consumption compared to the others. However, it costs just a little over $500 for the pleasure, but that’s something that people could be willing to pay for.

The HP 15-bs168cl has a 15-inch HD screen so it’s definitely on the compact side of things. Although the screen is small the size is not, and you might find it a little thick. However, inside you’ll get 1TB of storage, a touchscreen, 8GB of RAM with the option to upgrade to 16GB, and a 1.6 GHz quad-core 8th Gen processor. This is great for light gamers and media lovers, as an all in one product to take on the move.

2018 Dell - Inspiron I3567-3657BLK-PUS 15.6' Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i3-7100U - 6GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - Black

The latest and greatest for Dell, who also seems to have taken notice that the budget-friendly gaming laptop market is suffering. The Dell Inspiron i3567 looks just as cool as you’d hope for and it’s comfortable to type and game with. It’s lightweight and with a 15.6 inch HD screen that will serve you well for whatever application you’re running.

Inside the computer is where it gets serious, using an Intel Core i5-7200U processor and 8GB of RAM. Dell has used the integrated Intel HD 620 graphics card which shows they mean business. For storage, you’ll get a huge 1TB  of space so there’s no need to worry about running low. Priced at around $470, this is perfect who want the latest and greatest tech without the price tag to match.

ASUS VivoBook F510UA 15.6” Full HD Nanoedge Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home - F510UA-AH51, Star Gray

ASUS is pretty much known at this point for making affordable laptops, so why shouldn’t they design one for gamers? The Vivobook F5110UA comes just a few dollars over $500 but it’s well worth it. For this price, you’ll get an Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor and 8GB of RAM, meaning it’s powerful enough for just about any game you want to play.

ASUS has used their most modern technology and software enhancement with a 15.6-inch Full-HD NanoEdge display that keeps your vision focused and healthy, even after gaming for hours. It comes with a 1TB hard drive which means it can not only game, but store all of your favorite movies, music, files, and photos on there too. Sporting a plain but professional looking gray finish, you’ll be happy to carry this one around with you at all times.

HP Notebook 15.6 Inch Touchscreen Premium Laptop PC (2017 Version), 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U 2.4GHz Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, SuperMulti DVD Burner, Bluetooth, Windows 10

This is one of the better choices for light gamers who don’t need anything too serious for their passion. Not only is it good for light gaming but it’s lightweight, and at just 4.6lbs you’ll have no issues taking it around. The HP 15-ay191ms runs on a 7th Generation Intel Core i3 processor and has 1TB of storage with 8GB of ram, meaning it can easily stack up to others that cost double its price.

The downsides are the keyboard as it’s hard enough to type on let alone game with, but everywhere else it’s great. With an integrated Intel HD graphics card, it’s best for older games and it’s got plenty of quality audio with the DTS Studio Sound that works for both gaming and movie watching. For around $450, it’s light in price, weight, and gaming options.

Lenovo Z50 80EC00GKUS  Laptop (Windows 10 Home, AMD A10-7300 1.9 GHz Processor, 15.6 inches Display, SSD: 1 TB, RAM: 8 GB DDR3) Black

Price at $470, this one comes in under the $500 mark with ease and offers plenty in terms of performance. Lenovo knows how to make a computer and as evident by their many other models o our list they can do it cheaply. It’s got a15.6 inch HD screen with 1366x768 pixels of resolution so no problem for those who like to game.

There’s no need to worry about playing newer games on this laptop thanks to the 8GB of RAM and fully integrated AMD Radeon R7 GPU. The exterior is sleek and it’s got a nice charcoal gray finish, making it look more like a device for work rather than play. Battery life is around 5 hours but probably not if you’re gaming, so bring a charger along.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330-17 - 17.3' HD - i5-8250U - 8GB - 1TB HDD - Black

 

At just under $500 this one only scraped by slightly, but it’s by far one of the top picks for high-performance laptops. This one would suit those who need something truly powerful and don’t really want to do any light gaming. Tests show it rarely even got hot during intensive gaming sessions which can be a big bonus for those who play long hours and there’ll be no need to worry about overheating or damage.

With a 17.3 inch HD LED display it’s one of the larger ones on offer, and you’ll get 1600 x 900 pixels in terms of resolution. This laptop can not only game but handle almost any other application you throw at it, thanks to the 8th Generation Intel Core i5 Processor running underneath the hood. Extra points for the additional 8G of RAM it offers, making it one of the biggest so far.

2018 Premium Dell Inspiron 15 5000 15.6' Full HD Touchscreen Business Laptop - Intel i5-8250U up to 3.4GHz 8GB 1TB Backlit Keyboard DVDRW Webcam WLAN Win 10- Upgrade to 32G RAM 1TB SSD

As one of the cheaper options on our list, you might be mistaken for thinking it’s the worst. Just because the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series is budget friendly that doesn’t mean it lacks performance, thanks to the integrated AMD Radeon R5. There aren’t many games it can’t handle which is good news for those who don’t want to play lightly.

With a 15.6 inch HD display, there’s plenty of visuals on offer, and Dell has used their special True Life display technology to deliver the best picture. Another bonus is the lightweight feel of the laptop, making it sleek and compact enough to carry around wherever you need to be. This is the perfect choice for people who travel and don’t want their gaming gear to take up too much space.

2018 Flagship Lenovo Ideapad 320 15.6' HD Business Touchscreen Laptop Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U up to 4.0GHz 802.11ac Bluetooth 4.1 Type C HDMI Win 10 -Upgrade Your RAM and SSD

This is the newest model from Lenovo on our list and yet again they’ve proven they know what gamers want. For around $470 you can get your hands on the Ideapad 320 that is a gamer’s dream. A whopping 12GB of RAM, 15.6 inch HD display, and lightweight feel of just 4.8 pounds all add to its appeal.

The Lenovo Ideapad 320 runs with an AMD A12-9720P processor that performs at 2.7 GHz. This, along with the massive RAM and 1TB of storage, means you’ve got plenty of room for games, files, and anything else you want to use the laptop for. Better yet, the keyboard is comfortable for gaming, but the addition of backlighting could have really made it special. This laptop looks and feels expensive, so nobody will ever know you had to go the cheaper route.

An Affordable Way To Enjoy Your Hobby

There are no rules that claim you have to play your games on a dedicated setup that takes up your entire room. A quality gaming laptop is possible to find, and enjoy when you’re working on a tight budget under $500.

Many years ago, finding a brand new laptop that would be suitable for gaming under $500 was like trying to find a mythical creature. Today, these computer manufacturers understand the hole in the market and are starting to pay attention to what consumers really want.

Any of these picks would make a gamer happy, but if you’d prefer something even cheaper you could look at the refurbished models as well. Whatever you decide, there are so many benefits to be found investing in one of the best laptops under $500 that will allow you to take your gaming with you anywhere you go.

Best Gaming Mouse

Gamers sometimes overlook the importance of their mouse to their gaming setup and gladly spend $2,000 on their rig only to top it off with a $10 mouse. As your controller and link between you and your game, a mouse really needs to be given more thought. We’ve compiled a list of the best gaming mouse options of the year so you can see what a mix of quality and value looks like.


The Best Gaming Mouse Of 2018


Gamers are a funny bunch, we’ll usually gladly spend thousands of dollars on the rest of our rig but leave one important accessory behind: the mouse. Sure, you can get your gaming done with any old mouse but what would be the point when there are so many great options out there for cheap that can do a whole lot better.

Shopping around for the best gaming mouse won’t hurt your pocket as much as it does with other accessories, yet it’s something we still hesitate with. People are reluctant to spend too much on this accessory because they can’t see the value, but once you’ve tried out one of the best you’ll certainly change your tune.

If you’re looking to give an upgrade to your gaming setup but don’t have a lot to spend, adding a new mouse could be just what you need. Usually retailing for under $100 and in so many different styles to suit every type of gamer, there’s never been a better time to invest.

To save you the hassle of reading through countless reviews and discussion boards to see which ones stack up, we’ve done it for you. Our list of the best gaming mouse options so far this year covers all needs, wants, and budgets, meaning you’ll find at least guaranteed winner.


Games are changing, as are the people who play them, and the mouse is one accessory that has managed to adapt. This important part of your gaming setup can mean a lot for your performance, so it’s time to invest in one that’s worth it. These are our recommendations for the best gaming mouse around at the moment, and what makes each of them so special.

SteelSeries Sensei 310 Gaming Mouse - 12,000 CPI TrueMove3 Optical Sensor - Ambidextrous Design - Split-Trigger Buttons - RGB Lighting

SteelSeries offers up their first mouse on the list and it’s one quickly poised to take home the prize this year for best gaming mouse. You can be sure to pay for the pleasure as it retails for around $100, but when you see what it’s capable of you probably won’t care. Up to 12,000 DPI is possible with customization and an ambidextrous design to suit more users, individuality was really the key when they made this.

One small flaw is there’s no calibration support so you’re kind of on your own. This can mean more work and set up, but the pay off is huge. Using the latest and greatest True Move sensor, it glides like a dream and will pick up anything you put down.

On the cheaper end of the scale is the Cooler Master MasterMouse, retailing for just over $50. You can expect a slight dip in the build quality and it can feel a little flimsy at times, but it never skipped a beat. It looks a little basic and not as sleek as the others, so if aesthetics are important to you then keep searching.

Looks aside, there was nothing wrong with the performance of this mouse and with a customizable 12,000 DPI sensor you can be sure of that. The MasterMouse uses quality Omron switches and it has three zone RGB lighting to truly enhance your gaming experience, so it’s definitely one of the better budget-friendly choices.


SteelSeries Rival 600 Gaming Mouse - 12,000 CPI TrueMove3+ Dual Optical Sensor - 0.5 Lift-off Distance - Weight System - RGB Lighting

SteelSeries has managed to make a triumphant return with the Rival 600, which many are claiming is the best gaming mouse of the year. This device has a fully customizable weight so you can get it perfect for your needs, an epic RGB lighting scheme, and looks stealthy and cool, and all for around $75.

While this might be a little more expensive than some on the list, it’s worth it. With a 12,000 DPI sensor, it won’t miss a beat. This mouse uses mechanical switches so it feels great and there’s no chance it will lag or leave you frustrated. All in all, the SteelSeries Rival 600 is a top performer for gaming mice.

Sound BlasterX Siege M04 Optical Professional Gaming Mouse - PixArt PMW3360 IR LED - Full Bottom RGB Programmable Illumination

Creative Sound isn’t normally a name you see in the mouse market, but this sound producer has taken a risk that’s paid off. The Siege M04 can rival any other big names and their standout is the RGB lighting scheme that sits perfectly at the base of the mouse and is powered by their signature software.

The Creative Sound BlasterX Siege M04 has up to 12,000 DPI and uses a PixArt PMW3360 sensor. While it could do with being a little lighter we didn’t mind so much, because the rest of it ticks boxes in functionality and style. Priced at around $90 it’s on the higher end of the scale, but you are getting quality for that price.

ROCCAT Kone AIMO Gaming Mouse – high Precision, Optical Owl-Eye Sensor (100 to 12.000 DPI), RGB AIMO LED Illumination, 23 programmable Keys, Designed in Germany, USB, Black

This looks like a super serious gaming mouse than only pros would use, and the $120 price tag might tell you the same. However, when you get down to it, the Roccat Kone Aimo is a customizable device that suits all kinds of gamers with all kinds of setups. The lights and construction alone make it worth that cost, but when you see what else it can do you’ll understand more.

The Roccat Kone Aimo works with 10 programmable macro keys that you can really use to your advantage. Being able to customize a mouse so much means you can build it exactly to your needs, even if it does still use some preprogrammed macros. The 4D Titan wheel is a nice touch and there’s 12,000 DPI for the perfect sensory experience.

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum RGB Tunable Gaming Mouse, 12,000 DPI On-The-Fly DPI Shifting, Personalized Weight and Balance Tuning with (5) 3.6g Weights, 11 Programmable Buttons

The winner in terms of DPI has to be the Corsair Dark Core RGB SE, which offers a whopping 16,000 DPI. That’s not all it has that the others don’t, as this is one of the only mouse options that uses QI charging. You’d think with this great advantage it would make it a winner, but you can’t use the mouse as it charges so it’s kind of a negative.

With 1ms latency and quality Omron switches, it’s got all of the latest tech on offer. The dynamic light displays with three-zone RGB effect will add even more personality to your gaming experience. All in all, the Corsair Dark Core is one for serious gamers.

Razer Naga Trinity: True 16, 000 5G Optical Sensor - 3 Interchangeable Side Plates - Chroma Enable - Gaming Mouse

If you’ve got the money to spend and you take your gaming setup very seriously, the Razer Naga Trinity is the way to go. At a cost of around $170, it’s serious business and has a whopping 16,000 DPI on offer to prove it.

The Razer Naga Trinity offers three swappable plates that let you adjust it depending on what game you’re playing. In addition to its ultra smooth tracking and 1000Hz Ultrapolling, it will be tough to find anything more precise on our list.

Logitech G903 LIGHTSPEED Gaming Mouse with POWERPLAY Wireless Charging Compatibility

Logitech was never known for their top of the range mouse products, but with the G903 they’ve shown everyone what they’re capable of. Sure, it’s super expensive, but it makes it all worthwhile with features like 24 hours of battery life and wireless charging using the Logitech Power Play mouse mat.

With 12,000 DPI and a PMW366 optical sensor, you’re guaranteed a smooth ride. This mouse looks as good as it feels, and with the bonus tech features thrown in, you’ll be seriously impressed at what Logitech has managed to achieve.

CORSAIR Glaive - RGB Gaming Mouse - Comfortable & Ergonomic - Interchangeable Grips - 16000 DPI Optical Sensor - Black


This is one for people who favor comfort over all else, and even though it loses some points for its mostly plastic construction, we’ll let that slide because it feels so good to use. The Corsair Glaive RGB is one of the more expensive choices but it’s perfect for those who game for long hours. You’ll get interchangeable thumb grips and a soft plastic paint coating that makes it a dream to work with.

This mouse uses a three-zone RGB lighting system and high DPI PixArt sensor to really add the finishing touches. This is one of the smoothest operating choices around for those who like to feel as if they’re gliding while they game.

HyperX Pulsefire Surge - RGB Gaming Mouse, Software Controlled 360° RGB Light Effects & Macro Customization, Pixart 3389 Sensor up to 16,000DPI, 6 Programmable Buttons, Mouse Weight 100g (HX-MC002B)

If you’re a gamer who takes the aesthetics of their setup very seriously, look no further than the HyperX Pulsefire Surge. This seriously beautiful mouse has RGB lighting like no other, but it can perform just as well.

The HyperX has a seriously impressive 16,000 DPI sensor working in it so you can be sure of precision and smoothness. It’s a great price at around $100, which for this type of tech and style is unheard of, so a great choice for those who want to look and feel premium without paying the high cost.

The Importance Of A Mouse To Your Setup

People often assume they can use any old mouse for their rig and it will perform just as well. Serious gamers would never have this approach with their monitor, computer, keyboard or chair, so why assume your mouse would be any different? A gaming mouse has been made specifically for this purpose and usually has extra buttons and features that improve your experience.

Another huge bonus is the comfort factor. Gamers are known for spending long hours in sometimes uncomfortable positions playing their favorite games. The makers of these accessories understand and try to deliver the most ergonomic design possible.

Finally, you want a mouse that can perform and isn’t going to freeze up or lag when you get to the good stuff. Using their advanced optics or sensors, these mice can move quickly and without a hassle, which is exactly what you need for gaming.

Must-Have Features For A Gaming Mouse

There isn’t all that much to a gaming mouse, so the features don’t have to be too extreme. However, depending on what games you play and the style of gamer you are, there are going to be some features that matter more than most.

  • Weight
    The weight of a mouse can affect your comfort and productivity while using it. Some might prefer a lightweight feel that they can maneuver easily and others something more sturdy, but it depends on the player.
  • Buttons
    There are options ranging from just two up 17 buttons on a gaming mouse. What you need will depend on the games you play.
  • Sensor
    The quality of the sensor will affect the responsiveness of your mouse. Better quality mice will have the latest in laser/sensor tech working for them.
  • Battery
    Most mice these days are wireless and come with a rechargeable battery or standard replaceable batteries. There are various charging options including mouse pad charger or wireless charging, all varying in pros and cons.
  • Lighting 
    RGB lighting is a big draw for gamers and there are some gaming mouse options that offer lights.

A Small But Significant Accessory

Although the mouse may be a small part of our gaming setup, it is by no means the smallest in importance. As our link between ourselves and the game, and the key way to control what happens on screen, we need to ensure we’re investing in a quality mouse that will match the rest of our rig.

As you can see from the top performers, there’s no need to spend a lot of money to get something valuable. Unlike other parts that cost well into the thousands, a quality mouse is achievable for under $100, meaning there’s really no excuse not to invest.

Best Gaming Monitor Brands

Gaming is mostly a visual experience, and what better way to increase these visuals than with a quality monitor? Unlike other accessories, when chosen right, your screen can last for years and years without needing replacing. We’ve found the best gaming monitors on the market for you to weigh up and infinitely make your game better.

Best Gaming Monitors In The Market

The latest and greatest games on the market, or even those from years ago, let you experience some of the most stunning visuals we’ve been able to witness in gaming. Yet many gamers still play them with a tired old monitor that dates back 10 years or more.

The problem with this is you’re not giving the games a chance to show you everything they have. The easy way to fix that is to invest in a quality gaming monitor, but where to start? The search for a new monitor might seem like a daunting task, and it well can be, but not when you have some expert assistance.


We’ve done the hard work to find you the 10 best gaming monitors on the market today and exactly what this new breed of screens have to offer. The simple addition of this accessory to your gaming setup will have more impact than you could have ever imagined, and you’ll be kicking yourself and wondering why you didn’t make the leap sooner.

The 10 Best Gaming Monitors Of The Moment

Computers, tech, and accessories can be a fickle bunch and as soon as something’s in, it’s back out again. However, when it comes to gaming monitors, the technology that made them so good in the first place will have some staying power. These are the best gaming monitors, and most modern, that will last you for years to come in your gaming setup.

Asus 24" Full HD 1ms 144Hz DP HDMI FreeSync/Adaptive Sync Eye Care Esports Gaming Monitor Model MG248QR
  • Combining flexibility with responsiveness, the MG248QR features 1ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate, Full HD 1080p resolution, built-in speakers and extensive connectivity (DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI) to game on any platform
  • ASUS Eye Care helps gaming marathoners reduce eyestrain with low blue light and flicker-free technologies that are customizable per-game using ASUS DisplayWidget.

By far the best in terms of budget, you can easily get the ASUS MG248Q for under a few hundred dollars when you shop around. For the low cost, you have to be willing to sacrifice on some things, like taking home a 1080P monitor and the older style TN panel technology, but we think it’s still a great choice.


The response rate is super fast and it uses Adaptive Sync which you normally only see on more expensive models. ASUS has proven again they can make something competitive in tech for a fraction of the price, and it’s a great starter option.

BenQ Zowie 24.5 inch 240Hz Esports Gaming Monitor, 1080p, 1ms Response Time, Black Equalizer, Color Vibrance, S-Switch, Shield, Height Adjustable (XL2540)
  • Native 240Hz refresh rate delivers smoothest ever gameplay experience
  • 1ms response time preventing any smearing or ghosting and pixel pitch(mm)-0.28
  • Shield helps you focus on the game by blocking out distractions. OS Compatibility- Windows 7,Windows 8,Windows 8.1Windows 10
  • Built-in black equalizer technology brightens dark scenes without over-exposing the bright areas
  • The effortless one-finger height adjustable stand provides personalized viewing angles

The first of many BenQ monitors on our list, and with good reason, but this one is the more professional gaming device. This is for those who have money and a lot of skill, and require something to suit those needs.


It’s got the highest refresh rate around, 1ms response time, and super easy to set up. The downside is the cost and a lack of G-Sync or FreeSnyc, but if you’re serious enough to get this monitor then those things probably don’t mean a lot to you. Professional gamers, this is definitely one of your better options.

Sale
Samsung CHG70 27-inch Curved Gaming Monitor (144Hz / 1ms) (LC27HG70QQNXZA)
  • Quantum dot
  • 1 billion color support
  • QHD resolution. Color Support-1.07B. Color Gamut (NTSC 1976)-Typ 88%, Min 84%. Quantum Dot Color(Nano Crystal). Color Mode-Custom/High-Brightness/FPS/RTS/RPG/AOS/sRGB/Cinema
  • Refresh rate 144Hz;Response time 1M/s
  • Product Dimensions With Stand:24.60 x 21.92 x 15.38 inches,Product Dimensions Without Stand:24.60 x 14.46 x 3.67 inches

Extremely well price but not sacrificing anything on quality, the Samsung CHG70 is the first we see of these monitors from the tech legend. This is a decent size monitor at 32-inches and will take up a lot of space, but considering the bargain price, it’s worth it to lose some real estate.


Using a curved monitor, it’s capable of a 1ms response time and 144hz refresh rate, so it’s got the goods. This is better suited for those gamers with a quality graphics card, otherwise, you may be wasting your money on something that your computer simply can’t handle.

Sale
Dell AW3418DW LED-Lit Monitor 34.1" (Certified Refurbished)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
  • The 34" curved monitor with 21:9 ratio and 1900 Radius maximizes your field of view. The new AW3418DW provides the ultimate gaming immersion
  • Fast 120Hz refresh rate (overclocked) combined with 4ms response time delivers buttery-smooth gameplay
  • This breakthrough display technology eliminates screen tearing and minimizes display stutter and input lag to deliver the smoothest, fastest, most breathtaking gaming-and a serious competitive edge
  • Designed for the enthusiast, the AW3418DW delivers a futuristic style and precise form with solid stability

Alienware is known for their ultra wide devices, and although it’s not as wide at the Samsung, they give it a red hot go. The AW3418DW does beat out the Samsung in terms of speed though with the highest refresh rate currently available in any ultra-wide monitor.


The display is pretty amazing with a 21:9 display that will bring color to your games like you’ve never seen before. With a 4ms response time, 12-Hz refresh rate, and a price tag over $2,000, this is one for the pro gamers out there who are strapped with cash.

Sale
AOC Agon AG352UCG6 35" Curved Gaming Monitor, 1800R, UWQHD 3440x1440 VA Panel, G-SYNC, 120Hz, 4ms, DisplayPort/HDMI
  • 35" Professional grade gaming monitor with 1800R curvature for immersive gaming experience
  • 3440 x 1440 Ultra wide Quad HD resolution with VA panel (cinematic 21: 9 ratio)
  • NVidia G-SYNC for smoothest competitive gameplay
  • DisplayPort 1. 2, HDMI 1. 4 inputs, 2 x USB 3. 0 hub w/ 1 fast-charging port
  • Low input lag and shadow control allows you to see and react faster

Sure, it might have a sleek black design but that doesn’t mean AOC can’t produce some of the best colors you’ve ever seen. The previous model of Agon was already a huge hit but they’ve vamped it up with better contrast and higher refresh rate which means even better picture than before.


This is another great option for ultra wide monitors and surprisingly well priced at just a little over $1,000 when compared to some of the others on the list. Just make sure you’ve got a rig that can handle it because with 120Hz and a 3,440 x 1,440 monitor you want to know you’re playing with the best gear around.

Sale
Samsung CFG70 Series 24-Inch 1ms Curved Gaming Monitor (C24FG70) (LC24FG70FQNXZA)
  • 24"1800R Curvature 1ms MPRT Gaming Monitor
  • 144 Hz Screen Refresh Rate
  • Quantum dot technology supporting sRGB 125%
  • Enhanced gaming usability : Gaming mode & Arena lighting
  • Product Dimensions With Stand: 21.5" x 20.9" x 15.2"

When size matters, the Samsung CHG90 QLED is the widest of the wide. This measures in at 49.5 inches so you’d better have somewhere to put it. With so much width they’ve had to make sure the display measures up and they’ve succeeded, giving it flawless image quality and a huge 3,840 x 1080 resolution.


You’ll need some serious cash to get this, as it retails for just under $2,000, but when you consider the size and quality you’ll know why. For the best use, you need a system that can handle it, otherwise, it will just be taking up wasted space.

Sale
BenQ EX3501R 35" HDR Gaming Curved Monitor, UWQHD, 100Hz, FreeSync, 4ms, Port HDMI USB-C
  • Panoramic Entertainment: Immerse you in 35" screen and 3440x1440 resolution with 1800R curvature,
  • High Dynamic Range:HDR technology offers greater brightness and contrast level and brings detailed image performance.Height Adjustment (mm): 60mm
  • USB-C One-Cable Connectivity: USB-C enables SuperSpeed USB data transfer and 2K video delivery over a single cable
  • Ergonomic Viewing Comfort: Height, tilt adjustments and Brightness Intelligence Plus Technology provide supreme viewing comfort
  • AMD Free Sync: AMD Free Sync empowers intensely smooth gameplay with eliminating choppy tearing and broken frames

If you’ve been wondering when you’d see an HDR monitor on our list, you can stop right now. BenQ has managed to create one of the only workable HDR monitors that is worth buying, but you have to be prepared to do some tweaking in order to get it set up.


With a 35-inch curved screen and 4ms response time, it has everything you could ever ask for. BenQ has called this their ‘video enjoyment monitor’ and they weren’t wrong. Fairly reasonably priced compared to the others, it would be great for newbies and expert gamers alike.

Sale
BenQ PD3200U 32" 4K Designer Monitor, 3840x2160 4K UHD, IPS, sRGB, CAD/CAM, KVM, DualView, 4ms , 60Hz refresh rate
  • 100% Rec. 709 AND sRGB COLOR SPACE WITH IPS TECHNOLOGY: Brilliant colors, wide viewing angle, and 4ms response time for pictures, videos and gaming
  • DUALVIEW FUNCTION: Work in two modes such as sRGB and Darkroom Mode without the need for two screens;Headphone Jack‎ : Yes‎
  • DARKROOM, CAD/CAM, AND ANIMATION DISPLAY MODE: Revolutionary modes bring out the details of intricate designs into view
  • KEYBOARD VIDEO MOUSE (KVM) SWITCH: Display contents from two PC systems using one set of keyboard and mouse
  • EYE-CARE TECHNOLOGY: Low Blue Light and Flicker-Free Technology reduce eye discomfort

Although BenQ didn’t necessarily design this for gaming when the shoe fits you have to wear it. The PD3200U was a CAD monitor at first but once gamers realized how much it could handle, they were on board. It’s pretty inexpensive overall and BenQ will calibrate yours before they send it so there’s no messing around.


Because this was made to be a design monitor, you’ll get a view of the best display from any angle. It uses 4K UHD resolution and has a whopping large screen, so it really ticks all of the boxes for what a quality gaming monitor should be.

Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518H (Certified Refurbished)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
  • Designed for the enthusiast, the AW2518H delivers a futuristic style and precise form with solid stability
  • See gaming differently with NVIDIA G-SYNC. This breakthrough display technology eliminates screen tearing and minimizes display stutter and input lag
  • Lightning-fast 240Hz native refresh rate combined with 1ms response time delivers buttery-smooth gameplay with virtually no input lag
  • Specific gaming OSD (onscreen display) design keeps your user experience in the gaming theme

This is the screen to go for if you’re not quite operating on the latest and greatest computer but still want an upgrade. The Alienware 25 doesn’t care what rig you have, it will deliver a quality picture with a super high refresh rate, albeit in 1080P.


You can expect to pay a little more for this screen, so you may even weigh up other upgrades you could make and buying a cheaper monitor instead, but this is one that will last for years. One cool point is this supports both G-Sync and FreeSync making it a lot more configurable than others on our list.

Sale
ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ 27" 4K UHD 144Hz DP HDMI G-SYNC HDR Aura Sync Gaming Monitor with Eye Care
  • 27" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 144Hz HDR gaming monitor with integrated Aura Sync and ambient light sensor embraces ROG standards and design
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC HDR for lifelike contrast and color, Display HDR 1000 and UHD Premium certified with peak 1000 nits brightness and 384 local dimming zones
  • Quantum Dot IPS display with 97% DCI-P3 (99% Adobe RGB) color gamut for realistic colors and smoother gradation
  • Marathon ready with game-grade ergonomics such as tilt, swivel, pivot and height adjustments and ASUS Eye Care Technology to reduce eyestrain via blue light filter and flicker-free backlighting
  • Flexible connectivity options with DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 hub

Coming in by far as the most expensive, but seriously impressive to match, is the ASUS ROG Swift. This beat of a monitor will cost you around $3,500 for the pleasure of using it, so long as you have a rig that’s powerful enough to match.


The ROG Swift offers 4K Ultra HD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and G-Sync, so it’s got basically everything you could ever dream of. For those who take their gaming seriously and have a capable computer to match, there’s really no better choice.

COMPARISON TABLE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

VIEW PRICES

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ 27' 4K UHD 144Hz DP HDMI G-SYNC HDR Aura Sync Gaming Monitor with Eye Care

  • 27" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 144Hz HDR gaming monitor with integrated Aura Sync and ambient light sensor embraces ROG standards and design
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC HDR for lifelike contrast and color, Display HDR 1000 and UHD Premium certified with peak 1000 nits brightness and 384 local dimming zones
  • Quantum Dot IPS display with 97% DCI-P3 (99% Adobe RGB) color gamut for realistic colors and smoother gradation
  • Marathon ready with game-grade ergonomics such as tilt, swivel, pivot and height adjustments and ASUS Eye Care Technology to reduce eyestrain via blue light filter and flicker-free backlighting
  • Flexible connectivity options with DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 hub

Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518H (Certified Refurbished)


  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
  • Designed for the enthusiast, the AW2518H delivers a futuristic style and precise form with solid stability
  • See gaming differently with NVIDIA G-SYNC. This breakthrough display technology eliminates screen tearing and minimizes display stutter and input lag
  • Lightning-fast 240Hz native refresh rate combined with 1ms response time delivers buttery-smooth gameplay with virtually no input lag
  • Specific gaming OSD (onscreen display) design keeps your user experience in the gaming theme

BenQ PD3200U 32' 4K Designer Monitor, 3840x2160 4K UHD, IPS, sRGB, CAD/CAM, KVM, DualView, 4ms , 60Hz refresh rate

  • 100% Rec. 709 AND sRGB COLOR SPACE WITH IPS TECHNOLOGY: Brilliant colors, wide viewing angle, and 4ms response time for pictures, videos and gaming
  • DUALVIEW FUNCTION: Work in two modes such as sRGB and Darkroom Mode without the need for two screens;Headphone Jack‎ : Yes‎
  • DARKROOM, CAD/CAM, AND ANIMATION DISPLAY MODE: Revolutionary modes bring out the details of intricate designs into view
  • KEYBOARD VIDEO MOUSE (KVM) SWITCH: Display contents from two PC systems using one set of keyboard and mouse
  • EYE-CARE TECHNOLOGY: Low Blue Light and Flicker-Free Technology reduce eye discomfort

BenQ EX3501R 35' HDR Gaming Curved Monitor, UWQHD, 100Hz, FreeSync, 4ms, Port HDMI USB-C

  • Panoramic Entertainment: Immerse you in 35" screen and 3440x1440 resolution with 1800R curvature
  • High Dynamic Range:HDR technology offers greater brightness and contrast level and brings detailed image performance.Height Adjustment (mm): 60mm
  • USB-C One-Cable Connectivity: USB-C enables SuperSpeed USB data transfer and 2K video delivery over a single cable
  • Ergonomic Viewing Comfort: Height, tilt adjustments and Brightness Intelligence Plus Technology provide supreme viewing comfort
  • AMD Free Sync: AMD Free Sync empowers intensely smooth gameplay with eliminating choppy tearing and broken frames

Samsung CFG70 Series 24-Inch 1ms Curved Gaming Monitor (C24FG70) (LC24FG70FQNXZA)

  • 24"1800R Curvature 1ms MPRT Gaming Monitor
  • 144 Hz Screen Refresh Rate
  • Quantum dot technology supporting sRGB 125%
  • Enhanced gaming usability : Gaming mode & Arena lighting
  • Product Dimensions With Stand: 21.5" x 20.9" x 15.2"

AOC Agon AG352UCG6 35' Curved Gaming Monitor, 1800R, UWQHD 3440x1440 VA Panel, G-SYNC, 120Hz, 4ms, DisplayPort/HDMI

  • 35" AGON professional grade gaming monitor with 1800R curvature for immersive gaming experience
  • 3440 x 1440 Ultra Wide Quad HD resolution with VA panel (cinematic 21:9 ratio)
  • 120Hz refresh rate and 4ms GtG response time with NVIDIA G-SYNC for smoothest competitive gameplay
  • DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 inputs, 2 x USB 3.0 hub w/ 1 fast-charging port
  • Low input lag and Shadow Control allows you to see and react faster

Dell AW3418DW LED-Lit Monitor 34.1' (Certified Refurbished)

  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
  • The 34" curved monitor with 21:9 ratio and 1900 Radius maximizes your field of view. The new AW3418DW provides the ultimate gaming immersion
  • Fast 120Hz refresh rate (overclocked) combined with 4ms response time delivers buttery-smooth gameplay
  • This breakthrough display technology eliminates screen tearing and minimizes display stutter and input lag to deliver the smoothest, fastest, most breathtaking gaming-and a serious competitive edge
  • Designed for the enthusiast, the AW3418DW delivers a futuristic style and precise form with solid stability

Samsung CHG70 27-inch Curved Gaming Monitor (144Hz / 1ms) (LC27HG70QQNXZA)

  • Quantum dot
  • 1 billion color support
  • QHD resolution. Color Support-1.07B. Color Gamut (NTSC 1976)-Typ 88%, Min 84%. Quantum Dot Color(Nano Crystal). Color Mode-Custom/High-Brightness/FPS/RTS/RPG/AOS/sRGB/Cinema
  • Refresh rate 144Hz;Response time 1M/s
  • Product Dimensions With Stand:24.60 x 21.92 x 15.38 inches,Product Dimensions Without Stand:24.60 x 14.46 x 3.67 inches

BenQ Zowie 24.5 inch 240Hz Esports Gaming Monitor, 1080p, 1ms Response Time, Black Equalizer, Color Vibrance, S-Switch, Shield, Height Adjustable (XL2540)

  • Native 240Hz refresh rate delivers smoothest ever gameplay experience
  • 1ms response time preventing any smearing or ghosting and pixel pitch(mm)-0.28
  • Shield helps you focus on the game by blocking out distractions. OS Compatibility- Windows 7,Windows 8,Windows 8.1Windows 10
  • Built-in black equalizer technology brightens dark scenes without over-exposing the bright areas
  • The effortless one-finger height adjustable stand provides personalized viewing angles

Acer Aspire 3 15.6' High Performance Laptop PC,AMD A9-9420 (Up to 3.6GHz), 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD,Windows 10 (Black)

  • Combining flexibility with responsiveness, the MG248QR features 1ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate, Full HD 1080p resolution, built-in speakers and extensive connectivity (DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI) to game on any platform
  • ASUS Eye Care helps gaming marathoners reduce eyestrain with low blue light and flicker-free technologies that are customizable per-game using ASUS DisplayWidget.

Features To Look For In A Gaming Monitor

We’ve shown you what the best look like, but you need to know for yourself which one is going to suit your gaming setup. Here are what features you should be looking for in a gaming monitor so you can pick the perfect choice to suit your other hardware.

Resolution

Screen size

Response time

Connectors

Refresh rate

Adaptive sync

Panel technology



What Makes Gaming Screens So Important


No matter what type of game you’re into, you’ll rely on a quality screen to make the experience that much better. You could be playing the latest and greatest game with high tech visuals and be running it on a super fast computer, but without your display up to scratch, none of it will be worthwhile.


Another important factor to think about when weighing up a new gaming screen is longevity. Unlike other parts that might need upgrading every year or so to keep up, a quality monitor will last for years.


The visual aspect of gaming is so important to the whole process and without something quality, you’ll be missing out on so much. They help to make your gaming experience more realistic and allow you to get lost in the game, which is a lot of what makes our favorite hobby such a great one.



A Small Investment For A Huge Reward

People often leave their gaming monitors to last when it comes to decking out their setup. They might just grab one from their old desktop computer or borrow one from someone in the house, thinking that as long as their computer is quality then that’s all they need.


Looking at the best gaming monitors around will surely change your perception of what they can do. Adding one of these to your ensemble will heighten your gaming experience to a level you’ve probably never experienced, and although there might be an initial outlay it’s something that will serve you well for years.

Gaming Monitor

Intel HD Graphics cards are considered some of the best in terms of gaming capabilities, but not all models are created equally. We’re here to review the Intel HD 520 Graphics Card to see what it can bring to your gaming experience and where it might be lacking.

Intel HD 520 Graphics Review


Intel has been at the front of the pack for many years, with not only their processors but also their video graphics chipsets. In terms of what impact the graphics card has on your gaming experience, this small device has a lot of say.


Just like your television set, the pictures that you see on a computer screen are actually composed of tiny dots that are grouped together to form shapes that your brain interpret as images.  These dots are called ‘pixels’ and at any given time there are more than a million of them being shuffled around into various shapes, colors and textures to form a picture.


Intel prides themselves on making graphics cards like the Intel HD 520 Graphics that help produce these pictures to help your brain have a great gaming experience. The result is a fully immersive and entertaining visual experience for gamers and other users, depending on the quality of the graphics card in question.


Intel And Graphics Cards

The information that instructs the graphics chip to make and change the picture comes from your computer’s CPU.  The significant power of the current generation of CPUs is enormous and it requires something especially capable to manage the graphics information being generated.


Graphics is such a specific and important part of gaming that most laptops and bench tops are provided with a highly specialized unit referred to as a graphics card, graphics chip or graphics processing unit (GPU). The Intel HD 520 is one such card, so we want to know how it performs.


Some computers have the capability to produce graphics already installed in the motherboard, known as ‘integrated’ units.  Others GPUs are separate from the motherboard and generally higher capability. The graphics from integrated setups though is not generally as useful for modern gaming or high-end graphics imagery.


Intel HD Graphics 520 is one of those, and one of the leading integrated GPUs in the market.  This integrated GPU was premiered when Intel released its Core i7-6700K and Core i7-6600K desktop chips as part of the Skylake series introduced in 2015. The Skylake CPU’s were designed to be 2.5 times quicker in terms of processing,  which is an incredible 30 times superior performance in graphics and triple the battery life of its predecessors.

Overview Of The Intel HD Graphics 520

Overview of the Intel HD Graphics 520

To learn a little more about the Intel HD Graphics 520, let’s see what features it offers. This can indicate whether or not it will be powerful enough for your gaming setup and the titles you intend to play.

Features

The 520 Intel HD Graphics 520 decodes H.265/HEVC via hardware and does this more effectively than previous models. In terms of using it with different displays, the 520 is capable of working with DP 1.2/eDP 1.3 or HDMI at 1.4a.   Using a display port converter will enable you to add HDMI 20, and it is capable of controlling up to 3 displays at once. Laptops and notebooks with processors powered at 15W TDP are able to power this GPU, so ensuring that you have enough power is key.

Specifications 

These GPU’s are developed by Intel and can be found in a range of Intel’s Skylake processors and provide 24 Execution Units and, depending upon what model CPU it is working with, are clocked near 1050 MHz. Here are some of the specs you’ll get with the Intel HD 520 Graphics card or Skylake GT2:

  • First launched 2015
  • 24 Execution units
  • 32,768 MiB of memory
  • 14nm process
  • Up to 3 display supported at a time
  • Intel Gen 6 architecture
  • 24 unified pipelines
  • 350 MHz base frequency
  • 300 – 1050 boosted MHz core speed
  • DDR3/DDR4 Bus width 64/128 bit shared memory

For those with an understanding of computers and gaming machines,  the Skylake processor units can be tweaked to improve the performance of the CPU and the GPU. This improves its capacity to manage those higher end games.

As the Corei7-6700HK is equipped with an unlocked multiplier, it can be tweaked to close on 7GHz, which is an outstanding increase provided you can afford the cost and the power drain it might incur on your machine.

Benchmark Results

Performance of a GPU relies mostly on the memory and clock speeds of the particular unit it is installed with but as an indication with the upper-end Core i7-6688U, it will match the Nvidia GeForce 820M.

From a gaming perspective, this means that it is mostly going to be useful only for games of generation 2015 and prior, given the always-increasing demands of modern gaming and especially with the introduction of many 3D and virtual reality games.

Intel’s Skylake CPUs have an integrated Intel HD Graphics 520  graphics processor.  These run the Core i5-6200U and i7-6500U processors, which you will find in the more common laptops and notebooks, as well as the older or less powerful laptops that were specifically aimed at gaming.

Performance

The HD5500 was its predecessor and was moderately slower, so this represents an improved GPU with speeds ranging from 1000 to 1050 MHz dependent upon the model.  The Intel HD Graphics 520 runs the low resolution, 4K, and full HD videos smoothly on an Intel Core i5-6200U processor housed in an HP Pavilion 15, 15.6 inch Full HD laptop with 1TB capacity 5400 hard drive and loaded with Intel’s HD 10.18.15.4281 drivers.


It is important to note though, that other processor units such as i3, and the thermal design of different laptop chassis and settings for the BIOS will affect the performance of any graphics unit and the Intel HD Graphics 520 is no exception.


The tests that we review used a connected computer with a capture card to avoid the slowing that can occur when you install and use a performance analyzer on the laptop you are testing. While running League of Legends it ran on the top-level graphics setting and 1080p 1920x1080 resolution.  The result was around 50 frames per second with good quality, showing you what the 520 graphics card is capable of.


Gaming With The Intel HD 520 Graphics Card


To get an idea of what types of games you could play comfortably on the Intel HD G520 Graphics card, we’ve reviewed some popular ones. Once we move forwards in time, the Intel HD Graphics 520 struggles to keep up with the rigors of the modern game.  Having said that, if you are prepared to sacrifice a little picture quality and slightly slower load and play rates it can still do a reasonable job of many of the current titles like:

  • 2018 X Plane: Playable at 18.8fps with a display of 1280 x 720 at lower end resolution
  • 2017 Team Fortress 2: Playable at 48fps with a  display of 1366x758 at medium resolution
  • 2017 Rocket League: Playable at 48.5 fps with a display of 1280 x 720 at low resolution

Minecraft is one of those older generation PC games and is at the sort of interest level that a very casual gamer might use, as a side product to the laptop they have for business or school.  The Intel HD Graphics 520 manages to run this seamlessly at around 60 to 70fps.

For those who enjoy first-person shooter games and similar, then Global Offensive was a fairly common and enjoyable game at the time this GPU was released. Using the Intel HD 520 graphics card allows you to enjoy this particular title on the high setting at 720p resolution, giving you about 65 fps which is quite good.


Games That Work With The 520

Games That Work With the 520

Here is a quick list of some of the other games that can be played using the Intel HD Graphics 520. Each game will need to be tweaked in terms of settings, with some lower quality than others, but most will do just fine.

  • Assassin Creed Black Flag
  • Batman Arkham City
  • Just Cause 2
  • Mafia 2
  • Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain
  • Modern Warfare 3
  • Prototype 2
  • Saints Row 4
  • Zombie Army Trilogy


Notebooks Featuring Integrated Intel HD Graphics 520

The Intel HD 520 was fairly common in notebooks and laptops during its release. There are just some of the computers that used it as the integrated graphics card.

2018 Flagship Lenovo Ideapad 320 15.6" HD Business Touchscreen Laptop Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U up to 4.0GHz 802.11ac Bluetooth 4.1 Type C HDMI Win 10 -Upgrade Your RAM and SSD
  • Upgrade Your RAM and Hard Drive up to 20GB DDR4, 1TB SSD for Better Performance
  • 15.6" Touchscreen HD LED Backlight (1366 x 768) Display, Intel Integrated HD Graphics
  • 8th Generation Quad Core Intel Core i7-8550U Processor, 1.8 GHz up to4.0 GHz, 8 MB cache
  • Intel Wireless-AC WLAN + Bluetooth 4.1, 100/1000M Gigbit Ethernet (RJ-45 Connector), 1x USB 3.0 Type C, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Media Card Reader, 1x Combination Audio Jack
  • Windows 10 Home, Up to 5-hour Battery Life

Intel Core i3 6006U, 4 GB, 15.6 inch, 1920x1080, Intel HD Graphics 520, 256 GB

Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6 Inch HD Laptop (Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVD RW, Bluetooth, Webcam, WiFi, HDMI, Windows 10) Black
  • Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.1 GHz, Intel HD Graphics
  • 4GB DDR3L SDRAM Memory, 500GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 4 in 1 card reader
  • 15.6 in HD LED (1366 x 768) Display, DVD RW Optical Drive, HD webcam, HDMI
  • 802.11b/g/n Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, 1G LAN Ethernet, 3-cell lithium ion (up to 3 hrs)
  • 2x 1.5W Stereo Speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio Processing 1x USB 3.0 2x USB 2.0 1x HDMI 1x Media Card Reader 1x Combination Headphone/Microphone Jack 1x VGA

Intel Core i5 6200U, 4 GB, 15.6 inch, 1366x768, Intel HD Graphics 520, 500 GB

Sale
Dell TFG4H Latitude 3380, 13.3" HDF Laptop (Intel Core i3-6006U, 4GB DDR4, 128GB Solid State Drive, Windows 10 Pro)
  • Intel Core i3-6006U Dual Core Processor (2.00 GHz, 3M Smart Cache)
  • 13.3" HDF Display (1366x768)
  • 4GB (1x4GB) 2133 MHz DDR4 Memory
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Max Memory: 8 GB

Intel Core i3 6006U, 4 GB, 13.3 inch, 1366x768, Intel HD Graphics 520, 128 GB

Sale
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (6th Gen) 20KH002RUS 14" WQHD (2560x1440) Ultrabook - Intel Core i7-8650U Processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, IR Camera, Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit (English) Black
  • Intel Core i7-8650U Quad-core 1.90GHz (Up to 4.20GHz) Processor
  • 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 14" WQHD (2560x1440) IPS Anti-Glare Display, 300 nits
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, HD 720p IR Camera, Bluetooth 4.1 with vPro, HDMI, 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), 2x USB

Intel Core i5 6200U, 4 GB, 14 inch, 1920x1080, Intel HD Graphics 520, 128 GB

Acer Aspire 3 15.6" High Performance Laptop PC,AMD A9-9420 (Up to 3.6GHz), 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD,Windows 10 (Black)
  • 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) Widescreen LED-backlit Display
  • AMD A-Series Dual-Core Processor A9-9420 3 GHz (Up to 3.6GHz) , 6GB DDR4 Memory, 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive, AMD Radeon R5 Graphics
  • 802.11ac Wifi ,Bluetooth 4.0,Integrated webcam,1x USB 3.0,2x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI Output, 1 x Headphone/Speaker/Line-Out Jack, 1 x Ethernet (RJ-45) Port
  • 1 x DC-in Jack for AC Adapter, 1 x Kensington Lock Slot, 2-cell Li-Ion (4810 mAh) Battery, Up to 5.5 Hours Battery Life
  • Weight: 4.63lbs. Note: This laptop does not include a built-in DVD/CD drive

Intel Celeron N3350, 4 GB, 15.6 inch, 1920x1080, Intel HD Graphics 520, 128 GB

COMPARISON TABLE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

VIEW PRICES

2018 Flagship Lenovo Ideapad 320 15.6' HD Business Touchscreen Laptop Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U up to 4.0GHz 802.11ac Bluetooth 4.1 Type C HDMI Win 10 -Upgrade Your RAM and SSD

  • Upgrade Your RAM and Hard Drive up to 20GB DDR4, 1TB SSD for Better Performance
  • 15.6" Touchscreen HD LED Backlight (1366 x 768) Display, Intel Integrated HD Graphics
  • 8th Generation Quad Core Intel Core i7-8550U Processor, 1.8 GHz up to4.0 GHz, 8 MB cache
  • Intel Wireless-AC WLAN + Bluetooth 4.1, 100/1000M Gigbit Ethernet (RJ-45 Connector), 1x USB 3.0 Type C, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Media Card Reader, 1x Combination Audio Jack

Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6 Inch HD Laptop (Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVD RW, Bluetooth, Webcam, WiFi, HDMI, Windows 10) Black

  • Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.1 GHz, Intel HD Graphics
  • 4GB DDR3L SDRAM Memory, 500GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 4 in 1 card reader
  • 15.6 in HD LED (1366 x 768) Display, DVD RW Optical Drive, HD webcam, HDMI
  • 802.11b/g/n Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, 1G LAN Ethernet, 3-cell lithium ion (up to 3 hrs)
  • 2x 1.5W Stereo Speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio Processing 1x USB 3.0 2x USB 2.0 1x HDMI 1x Media Card Reader 1x Combination Headphone/Microphone Jack 1x VGA

Dell TFG4H Latitude 3380, 13.3' HDF Laptop (Intel Core i3-6006U, 4GB DDR4, 128GB Solid State Drive, Windows 10 Pro)

  • Intel Core i3-6006U Dual Core Processor (2.00 GHz, 3M Smart Cache)
  • 13.3" HDF Display (1366x768)
  • 4GB (1x4GB) 2133 MHz DDR4 Memory
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Max Memory: 8 GB

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (6th Gen) 20KH002RUS 14' WQHD (2560x1440) Ultrabook - Intel Core i7-8650U Processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, IR Camera, Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit (English) Black

  • Intel Core i7-8650U Quad-core 1.90GHz (Up to 4.20GHz) Processor
  • 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 14" WQHD (2560x1440) IPS Anti-Glare Display, 300 nits
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, HD 720p IR Camera, Bluetooth 4.1 with vPro, HDMI, 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), 2x USB

Acer Aspire 3 15.6' High Performance Laptop PC,AMD A9-9420 (Up to 3.6GHz), 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD,Windows 10 (Black)

  • 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) Widescreen LED-backlit Display
  • AMD A-Series Dual-Core Processor A9-9420 3 GHz (Up to 3.6GHz) , 6GB DDR4 Memory, 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive, AMD Radeon R5 Graphics

Who Is The Intel HD Graphics 520 Aimed At?

There’s no doubt that the 520 graphics card is a high-quality GPU, but not ideal for gaming at higher levels. The Intel HD Graphics 520 has qualities that most users will find useful such as improved frame rates, increased caches to improve feeding to the GPU, color compression that is virtually lossless, higher fill rates at the back end.


Although these don’t necessarily mean an excellent gaming experience, they do assist. The best in graphics performance can usually be achieved by using a stand-alone, non-integrated GPU with one of the brands more dedicated to graphics.  However, the Intel HD Graphics 520 does provide good graphics for basic needs, just not at the high level that is demanded by the gamers who take their passion seriously.


A laptop or notebook that has this card integrated would better suit general users. Those who need their laptops for home and office use, with a little bit of gaming or entertainment on the side. Although it can game, it’s not really a serious option, so you should keep that in mind.

Downloads And Updates Available

Intel has a solid and well-deserved reputation for customer service and ongoing support and its graphics products are no exception.  It provides frequent software updates to its graphics systems, all of which are downloadable.  Here are some examples of Intel HD Graphics 520 upgrades currently available:

  • Intel Windows 10 Graphics Driver

August 2018

Version: 24.20.100.6286

  • Intel Windows 8.1 and 7 Graphics Driver

December 2017

Version: 15.45.23.4860

  • Intel Windows 7/8.1/10 Graphics Driver

December 2015

Version: 15.40.14.4352

Final Thoughts On The 520

The Intel HD Graphics 520 can be a reasonably good option for the lower demand specifications of earlier games and some of the current crop that are not going to tax your GPU, CPU, and memory too much.


This card is better suited as al all-round option for those who want to use their laptops to view movies, photos, and minimal gameplay.  The computers that have this GPU fitted are marketed more at the business and student end users who need a bit of everything, and that’s where it tends to deliver the best results.


With this in mind though, we won’t understate Intel’s impressive and ongoing performance and product range, but choosing one more specific to gaming might be best.  You are unlikely to find a laptop or desktop that will do it all for all of the people, all of the time.  Even with the aforementioned tweaking, you will likely be looking elsewhere for your serious gaming machine needs.


Intel’s marketing people are on the money with this chip as a generally handy GPU that will service a wide range of end users really well. For those with much more demanding and specific graphics needs, it’s probably better to upgrade to something that’s been designed specifically for these needs and users.

Dell is one of the leaders in notebooks, and it’s no wonder that their laptops and desktop computers are owned by millions around the world. The Dell Latitude E7450 was released in 2015 and still stands up today as a great choice for a home and office notebook, but what about for gamers? We’ll explore its features and specs to see who this computer is ideal for and whether it’s worthy of gaming.

Dell Latitude E7450 Review

Dell Latitude E7450 Ultrabook Laptop: 14" hd (1366x768), Intel I5-5300U , 128GB SSD, 8Gb Ram, Bluetooth, Win 10 Professional (Certified Refurbished)
  • Certified Refurbished product has been tested and certified by the manufacturer or by a third-party refurbisher to look and work like new, with limited to no signs of wear. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, inspection, reconditioning and repackaging. The product ships with relevant accessories, a 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic white or brown box. Accessories may be generic and not directly from the manufacturer.

As one of the leading computer manufacturers in the world, Dell knows a thing or two about how to make a quality notebook. Their Dell Latitude E7450 was released in 2015 and promised to be a business person’s best friend, and on that front it certainly delivered, but what about for recreational use?

We’re here to look deeper in the E7450, its top features and specs, and what areas it has room for improvement. As an older choice of laptop, you can still find many stores selling these and there are some refurbished models on offer too, provided it has everything you need to work and play.

Dell Latitude E7450 Overview

Dell Latitude E7450 Ultrabook Laptop: 14' hd (1366x768), Intel I5-5300U , 128GB SSD, 8Gb Ram, Bluetooth, Win 10 Professional (Certified Refurbished)

The Dell Latitude E7450 was part of their Latitude line, designed to be the ultimate business companion. When Dell released these notebooks, there were to compete with the Lenovo Thinkpad’s, which were also huge at the time.

Their aim when creating these devices was evolution and not revolution, only making slight but noticeable changes with each new model. With their latest generation CPU Broadwell, these were capable of handling all of your business applications with ease and did so in a smart and aesthetically pleasing package.

For home users, there was still a lot on offer from the E7450, although it was primarily a business focused model. In terms of gaming prowess, it’s not exactly the first notebook you’d have in mind if you were looking to game and work on a single device, but it could offer a little something.

As this notebook was released with their new CPU generation, they really made an effort to create a standout device. With most of its focus on the 14-nm architecture Broadwell chip, the 14-inch notebook still has a lot else to offer that we will delve into now.

Top Features And Specs

The 14-inch business laptop looked like many others during its release, and while there was no standout in terms of design the specs speak for themselves. At first release, these machines cost around $1,000 for the base model with options to configure, but the price has come down significantly since then. Here’s just a glimpse at what the Dell Latitude E7450 can offer:

  • Carbon fiber and magnesium alloy body;
  • 2.2-GHz Intel Core i55200U Processor;
  • Windows 8.1 Pro operating system;
  • Intel Integrated HD Graphics 5500;
  • 8GB of RAM;
  • 256GB SSD internal hard drive;
  • HDMI and USB 3.0 ports;
  • Bluetooth 4.0+LE
  • 3-year hardware service warranty;
  • 3.6lbs weight;
  • Overall Design

    motherboard

    Business laptops like this generally come in the same design, and the E7450 is no different. With a simple black on black color scheme there’s nothing too flashy about it, and until you get a close look, you won’t be able to tell that it has a carbon fiber lid and magnesium alloy chassis. However, these finer details do add to the overall picture as well as the durability of the device.

    Inside, you’ll find a Chiclet-style keyboard with a pointing stick in the middle, and five mouse buttons on the pad. There’s a fairly even distribution of the USB ports and others, including HDMI, SD card reader, headset jack,  and also an E-series docking port that can be found on the bottom with the removable battery.

    When compared to the ThinkPad, this is definitely lighter and a lot easier to carry around. Measuring in at 13.3 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches and with a 14-inch screen, it’s got ample space without being too bulky and weighs 3.8lbs. Most of the notebook is a solid back color, which adds a cool factor, except for the white indicator lights and a gray hinge.

    Durability And Security

    laptop durability and security

    As discussed earlier, you can feel the strength of this laptop despite its size and weight. Dell likes to make sure their devices pass all of the recommended tests to prove their strength, and the E7450 has passed its testing with a military standard 810G rating. This means it can take quite a thrashing without ever letting on.

    Using the now famous Gorilla Glass, you’re also able to use this as a touch screen if you wish. They’ve also ensured it’s protected against humidity, moisture, extreme temperatures, shock, and more. Overall, it’s pretty tough and would be ideal for people who travel a lot as it should be able to withstand a lot of movement.

    The security installed on this notebook is the Dell Data Protection and Encryption that comes standard. In addition, you can set up the fingerprint reader, NFC reader or Smart Card Reader so you can be sure that only you are accessing it. Dell relies on Microsoft for reporting and auditing, and you always have the option to upgrade your security if you want it any beefier.

    Keyboard And Touchpad

    keyboard and touchpad

    As the E7450 was made to primarily be a business device, they put a lot of effort into making sure you could type comfortably with it. The keyboard is well spread out and is definitely simple to type on, so for gamers who don’t want to bring along their own keyboard, it will do well on its own. The E7450’s keys are fairly spacious for such a compact keyboard and features backlighting that comes in two options for brightness.

    Following in the style of most other business laptops, you’ll find a touchpad measuring 3.9 x 2.1 inches. There are three mouse buttons above it and two below, so it looks exactly like a ThinkPad as well. They’ve added a rubber pointing stick to the middle which the gamers will appreciate, and features like zoom and scroll are a breeze on the sensitive touchpad.

    One area where Dell always stands out is how they let their customers make their notebooks unique to them. You’ll be able to adjust the sensitivity and other configurations of the mouse and notepad to suit you, which could definitely come in handy during gaming.

    Audio And Display

    headphones

     Doing things a little differently, Dell has placed the E7450’s speakers on the front lip, which actually works in its favor to produce more volume. However, if you’re using it to game or watch movies, it’s probably best to invest in some speakers that could do more for the quality.

    The display of the laptop will depend on your configuration, but for the standard 14-inch you can expect a 1,920 x 1080 display. This isn’t really the most ideal for gaming but it will work on low-end titles, so long as you’re able to lower your expectations somewhat in terms of color.

    The 14-inch screen offers more than enough space to truly enjoy what you’re doing and it consistently fares well in tests for brightness and light. When compared to the ThinkPad T450’s this is another area where it did a lot better as well.

    Pros

    • Great security features 
    • Can run HD movies
    • Very easy to use

    Cons

    • Not for gaming 
    • Overheat quite quickly  
    • Not very good camera

    Performance And Suitability For Gaming

    performance and suitability

    The Dell Latitude E7450 has a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i5-5200U CPU, 256GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM, so it’s got just enough for everyday business use. As discussed earlier, you could easily run a few basic applications at a time without a hassle and watch an HD movie with it. This would make it a great choice for home and business users who weren’t going to stretch the performance levels too far.

    When it comes to gaming though, the numbers weren’t as good. Reviewers found that you could certainly do some light gaming on your E7450 with the quality settings lowered but for higher end games it just wasn’t suitable.  One such test found that while playing World of Warcraft, this device reached 26 fps on lower settings, well below the 30fps mark required.

     

    Who Would Best Suit The Dell Latitude E7450

    The Dell Latitude E7450 was designed to be a business machine, and that’s exactly what it should be doing. While it was certainly capable of performing in some areas and running multiple applications with a hitch, to push it any further would be to truly test the limits of what this device was made to do.

    Dell certainly knows what people in the business world want, but for gamers, not so much. If you’re looking for a Dell notebook specifically for gaming, there are far better models out there. Therefore, the E7450 would only be recommended to business users and those who want to enjoy it for some basic recreational applications as well.

    Dell Latitude E7450 Intel Core i7-5600U X2 2.6GHz 16GB 512GB SSD 14'' Win8.1Pro
    • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box.
    • Intel Core i7-5600U 2.6GHz; 512GB SSD; 16GB DDR3
    • 14" LED display; 1920 x 1080; Intel HD Graphics 5500
    • 802.11A,802.11AC,802.11B,802.11G,802.11N; Bluetooth 4.0 + HS; Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional
    • Non-Backlit Keyboard; No Optical Drive; 8 Hours Battery Life

     

    A Quality Choice In Business Notebooks

     

    There’s no doubt that Dell knows how to make a business savvy notebook, and the E7450 is certainly evidence of that. However, its design is quite simple and the performance in terms of gaming isn’t really up to scratch so for anything other than a business device it probably won’t stack up.

    This notebook ticks all of the boxes for a basic and competent device that’s well within most people’s price range. Designed to compete with the hugely popular ThinkPad, it seems to meet or exceed it in most areas, which is evident by just how successful this was within the business user market.

    Dell hasn’t needed to add any frills when making this notebook and it’s extremely competent in the businesses sector to make up for this fact. Although a few years old now, this laptop would still stand up to other current competitors in terms of business use, some home use, and the occasional low-end gaming evening.

    The Pros

    There’s plenty for Dell to be proud of with the E7450 and although it’s constantly being compared to the ThinkPad, it has a lot to offer on its own. When looking at it in terms of a purely business machine, it ticks all of the boxes that you could want and has a lot to offer security features as well.

     

    The performance for work-related tasks made it a standout, and numerous reviews have pointed to just how capable it is in this regard. With a few various applications open, including spreadsheets and internet pages, it was still able to run an HD movie without every freezing, signaling that Dell knows what their customers want.

     

    Another great thing about this computer is its simplicity, with everything from the design of the outer shell to the keyboard being easy to use. While it might look utilitarian and act that way, this is all you need when it comes to a reliable and durable business notebook, so there’s nothing wrong with offering a no-frills model like the E7450.

     

    The Cons

    This laptop was made to be a business device, and with that in mind, we’re not going to judge it too harshly on how it performs with games only. However, when it does come to gaming we’re certain that it’s not going to be suitable unless you had only low-end games in mind.

    One huge issue with this laptop, regardless of how you’re using it, is the ability to overheat quite quickly. Although there’s a fan underneath it doesn’t seem the get the job done, and within just a few hours it feels warm to the touch and in need of a break in order to cool down. Even for a business computer, this isn’t acceptable.

    Another small issue is with the camera, as the images it produced were quite grainy. Producing 1,280 x 720 photos were easy enough for it, but if you had plans on using them for anything serious you’d need to update the camera.

     

     

    best laptops under 1000

    Many of the best value laptops that marry high performance with affordability can be found in below the $1,000 price point.

    Some of the best value laptops can be found just under $1,000.  Considered mid-priced falling between the cheap entry level laptops in the $300 -$500 price range and the high end models in the $1800 – $2200 price range, they offer enough power to meet the most demanding multimedia and gaming titles on the market today while keeping the price down to affordable levels.  While targeted at the middle class consumers, these laptops are suited to those who  don’t mind saving up and pending a few more dollars above the budget range for a truly satisfying multimedia and gaming experience for hours on end.

    Full high definition between 1920 x 1080 and 1600 x 900 resolutions are common in this price range as well as 1TB SATA drives and a host of other features like quad core processor and dedicated graphics processors that use midrange series from Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon with their own video RAM.  8 GB RAM is also common that allows 64-bit Window 7 or Windows 8 and many use dual channel architectures to max out hardware performance.

    Best Value Laptops Under 1000 reviews

    Some of the best Gaming laptops under $1,000

     

    MSI GP70 LEOPARD-010;  9S7-175A12-010 17.3-Inch Laptop review

    MSI GP70 LEOPARD-010;  9S7-175A12-010 17.3-Inch Laptop

     

    MSI is the brand most gamers have grown fond of as among the industry leaders in gaming laptops.  A sub-$1000 lap that excels as a serious gamer’s workstation can be had for $899 at Amazon with the MSI P70 LEOPARD-010 and 9S7-175A12-010.  The models sport a gorgeous non-reflective 17.3-inch display with full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) driven by a class 2 NVidia GeForce GT840M with its dedicated 2GB DDR3 video RAM. No problem playing Wolfenstein: The Order at medium game setting but lower resolution (1280 x 720), Same with Grid: Autosport and Watch Dogs but at low gaming setting.  The Elder Scrolls Online can be played at high game setting but lower HD resolution (1366 x 768). Powered by a 4th generation Haswell dual core Intel Core i5-4200M clocked at 2.5 GHz and up to 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost and supported by an 8GB DDR3L RAM at 1600 MHz, it comes bundled with the Windows 8.1 OS. Its 6-lb weight is backpack friendly enough while its 2-inch body may be thick by today’s standards, but that’s how gaming laptops are built to accommodate more massive heat sinks and cooling parts for its powerful GPU and CPUs. It houses the following hardware features:

    • Ÿ1TB SATA hard drive running at 7200 RPM
    • Ÿ4x Speakers with headset amp
    • ŸSuperMulti DVD writer optical drive
    • ŸSD Card reader
    • ŸWireless data connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.0; Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/
    • ŸWired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (2 ports), USB 3.0 (3 ports), and an HDMI port
    • Ÿ6-cell lithium ion battery with an estimate 2-4 hours between charging

     

    MSI Computer Corp. GP60 LEOPARD-009 15.6-Inch Laptop review

    MSI Computer Corp. GP60 LEOPARD-009 15.6-Inch Laptop

     

     

    Going to a smaller screen at 15.6 inches but with a more powerful CPU, you have this MSI GP60 Leopard which, at $999, is powered by the 4th generation Haswell quad core Intel Core i4-4700HQ clocked at 3.2 GHz that could go up to 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost.  Its non-reflective LED backlit 15.6-inch display with full HD (1920 x 1080) is powered by the same NVidia GeForce GT840M that gives it enough gaming muscle to handle most of the 2014 game release at medium game setting at a lower resolution (1280 x 720 or lower). This is proof positive that the CPU has nothing much to do with how games are played as it plays the same games as the P70 Leopard-010 which uses the same graphics engine.  But the faster CPU will certainly benefit other non-video intensive tasks that include image editing. Sporting a slimmer 1.2-inch body and weighing just 5.4lbs, this Silver HP comes bundled with the Windows 8.1 OS and houses the following:

    • Ÿ8GB DDR3L (low power) SDRAM expandable to 16GB
    • Ÿ750GB SATA hard drive running at 7200 RPM
    • ŸStereo Speakers with headset amp
    • ŸSuperMulti DVD writer optical drive
    • ŸSD Card reader
    • ŸWireless data connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11a/ac/b/g/n
    • ŸWired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (2 ports), USB 3.0 (3 ports), and an HDMI port
    • Ÿ6-cell lithium ion battery with an estimate 2-4 hours between charging.

     

    MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003 15.6-Inch Laptop review

    MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003 15.6-Inch Laptop

     

    Not a sub-$1000 laptop but we don’t quibble with just $249 over the price point since this one is powered by a Class 1 GPU – the NVidia GeForce GTX860M with its own 2GB GDDR5 video RAM.  We would like to think that anyone who can afford a $1,000 device should have no difficulty forking over another quarter of that to get a truly impressive gaming laptop that can play Grid: Autosport, Elder Scrolls Online, Titanfall and Wolfenstein: The New Order in full Ultra game setting at full HD resolution, including last’s year heavies like Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts and BioShock Infinite, to mention some.  Even the impossibly demanding Company of Heroes 2 can be played at high game setting but at lower HD resolution (1366 x 728). And this MSI GE60 Apache Pro sports a 15.6-inch LED backlit display with full HD (1920 x 1080). Powered by the 4th generation quad core Haswell Intel Core i7-4700HQ clocked at 3.2GHz, this backpack-friendly 5.3lb, 1.5-inch thick aluminium-black gaming laptop comes pre-installed with the Windows 8.1 OS and houses the following:

    • Ÿ8GB DDR3L (low power) SDRAM expandable to 16GB
    • Ÿ1TB SATA hard drive running at 7200 RPM
    • ŸStereo Speakers with headset amp
    • ŸSuperMulti DVD writer optical drive
    • ŸAdditional 2 mSATA slots for additional dives or 2 Solid State Drives
    • ŸWireless data connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11a/ac/b/g/n
    • ŸWired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (2 ports), USB 3.0 (2 ports), and an HDMI port
    • Ÿ6-cell lithium ion battery with an estimate 2-4 hours between charging.

     

    ASUS N550JK-DS71T 15.6 Full-HD Touchscreen Quad Core i7 Laptop  review

    ASUS N550JK-DS71T 15.6″ Full-HD Touchscreen Quad Core i7 Laptop 

     

     

    Without a discount, this Asus is just $96.80 above the $1000 price point ($979 from other sellers supported by Amazon).  Again, we won’t quibble over a trifle spill over considering that at this price, you not only get a Class 1 NVidia GeForce GTX850M (just 10% less powerful than the GTX860 used in the $1,246 MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003) with its own 2GB video RAM, but you also get a glossy IPS touchscreen for its 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) LED backlit display.No problem playing  Grid: Autosport, Elder Scrolls Online, and Titanfall in full Ultra game setting at full HD resolution. And since it can play last year’s Company of Heroes 2 at medium game setting and lower HD resolution (1366 x 768), you should get no problem with the rest of the 2013 game releases, with some playable at ultra high game setting and default HD resolution (Grid 2, Dota 2, and Tomb Raider, to mention some). You can buy it here. Bundled with the Windows 8 OS, this 6-lb 1.1-inch slim silver grey gaming laptop comes with the following hardware features:

    • Ÿ4th generation quad core Haswell Intel Core i7-4700HQ clocked at 2.4GHz
    • Ÿ8GB DDR3L system RAM (expandable to 16GB with 2 memory slots).
    • Ÿ1TB SATA hard drive running at 5400 RPM
    • ŸDVD reader/writer optical drive
    • Ÿ 4-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader
    • ŸBacklit Chicklet keyboard
    • ŸQuad Speakers (Bang & Olufsen) powered by ICEpower and Sonic Master
    • ŸWireless data connectivity options: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
    • ŸWired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (1 port), USB 3.0 (3 ports)

    It is covered by a 1-Yr International Warranty and 1-Yr Accidental Damage Protection.

     

    ASUS Vivobook V551LB-DB71T 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop review

    ASUS Vivobook V551LB-DB71T 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop

     

    This Asus Vivobook takes center stage as an outstanding value gaming laptop at its price.  Its Class 2 NVidia GT740M graphics engine with its own 2GB DDR3 video RAM dives the 15.6-inch LED backlit capacitive touchscreen display with medium HD resolution (1366 x 768). It will play the recently released Grid: Autosport and Elder Scrolls Online at high game setting at the default resolution, while Wolfenstein: The New Order and Titanfall will play at medium game setting. Thief may not play at all and may have difficulty even at the lowest HD resolution. It certainly will not play last year’s demanding Company of Heroes 2 but will play Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghost at medium game setting and mid-HD resolution.  It is powered by a 4th generation Haswell quad core Intel Core i7-4500U clocked at 2.GHz and supported by an 8GB DDR3 RAM expandable to 16GB.  Its slim 0.9-inch brushed aluminum body weighs a relatively light 5.3lbs, bundled with a 64-bit Windows 8, and comes with the following hardware features:

    • Ÿ1TB SATA hard drive running at 5400 RPM
    • ŸDVD reader/writer optical drive
    • ŸSD Card Reader
    • ŸHD Webcam
    • ŸWireless data connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.0; Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
    • ŸWired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (1 port), USB 3.0 (2 ports)

    Asus offers a 32GB cloud-based WebStorage service free for 3 years, and comes with a 1-Yr Accidental Damage Protection and a 30-day Zero Bright Dot Guarantee.  Battery life is specified to last 5 hours initially before charging.

     

    ASUS Republic of Gamers G55VW-DH71 15.6-Inch Laptop reviewASUS Republic of Gamers G55VW-DH71 15.6-Inch Laptop

     

    The holiday season is certainly a boon for sales in the secondary markets and this may be a great time to start looking for powerful gaming laptops that used to be expensive but is now at bargain prices.  Here’s one – a gaming laptop from ASUS powered by a high ender 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3610M clocked at 2.4 GHz with an 8GB DDR3 system RAM.  Its 15.6-Inch full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit screen is driven by a powerful Class 2 Nvidia GTX 660M belonging to the low end in the GeForce GTX 600M family of upper midrange GPUs. It has its own 2G GDDR5 video RAM, making it a second tier gaming laptop that is sure to satisfy budget-conscious serious gamers.  What that means is that it can play all the demanding games out there from medium to high game settings.  The only exception to date is Company of Heroes 2 which is considered the most demanding PC video game in the market that even high end gaming laptops can play with difficulty.  This Asus model can be the game at but only at low game setting, preferably at slightly reduced HD screen resolution. Data storage is served by a fast 500GB SATA drive running at 7200 rpm It comes preloaded with the Windows 8 OS.

    Acer Aspire V3-772G-9829 17.3-Inch Laptop reviewAcer Aspire V3-772G-9829 17.3-Inch Laptop

     

    At a list price of a cent below $1000 and now discounted to $899.00, this Acer Aspire V3-772G is configured with the 4th generation Haswell Intel Core i7-4702MQ clocked at 2 GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz) and enjoying a game performance boost with its 6 MB Cache.  It is supported by an 8GB DDR3 system RAM.  But what qualifies this Aspire model as a powerful gaming laptop is its Class 2 category NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M Graphics driving a gorgeous 17.3-inch full-HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit display.  For a wallet-friendly price, you get gaming value from higher priced upscale models as this gaming monster can play just about any sophisticated game title released this year at medium to high game setting.  Even Company of Heroes 2 can play but a low game setting. It also comes with a generous 1TB SATA hard disk running at 5400 rpm on dual drive bays for an additional hard disk or SSD, an 8xSuper Multi dual layer DVD optical drive, an HD webcam, digital card reader and an 802.11A WiFi housed in slightly hefty 7lb body. It is preloaded with the Windows 8 OS.

    MSI Computer Corp. Notebook GE60 0ND-257US; 9S7-16GA11-257 15.6-Inch Laptop reviewMSI Computer Corp. Notebook GE60 0ND-257US; 9S7-16GA11-257 15.6-Inch Laptop

     

    Priced at $999 from its $1,099 MSRP, this MSI GE60 inherits much of the gaming muscle from the more expensive MSI high-enders to deliver a budget-friendly laptop for the cost-conscious serious gamers.  Powered by a high end 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM engine clocked at 2.4 GHz and supported by an 8GB SO-DIMM system RAM, this MSI model offers a typical 15.6-inch LED backlit display with full HD (1980 x 1080) resolution.  What makes this a powerful mobile gaming solution is its Class 2 category NVidia GeForce GTX660M, an upper midrange GPU in the lower end of the GeForce GTX 600 M series.  What this means is that except for the recently released Company of Heroes 2 considered to date as the most resource intensive even for high end gaming laptops, this budget MSI model can play nearly all the most sophisticated game titles released over the last two years with no difficulty in the medium to high game settings at the default full HD or lower resolution. Data storage is average at 750 GB SATA drive that offers a fast seek and write times with its 7200 rpm speed.  It comes bundled with the Windows 8 OS.

     

     

    Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p review

    Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p

     

    This Lenovo Idea Pad model defines the gaming laptop at this price point.  Under the hood is a 4th generation Haswell Intel Core i7 4700MQ clocked at 2.4 GHz (3.4 GHz with Turbo Boost) and supported by an 8GB DDR3 system RAM upgradable to 16 GB on two SODIMM slots.  Its standard 15.6-inch LED backlit screen sports the highest HD resolution at 1920 c 1080 and behind it, is a Class 1 dual NVidia GeForce GT 750M on SLI mode with 2GB dedicated video RAM for each card. . This is the 5th fastest NVidia graphics engine in the Class 1 category overall.  With it, you can play just about all the most sophisticated PC games released over the last two years at medium to the highest game settings using default resolution. A flew games like the recent Company of Heroes 2 is so demanding, you can play this only at low game detail setting.  Other hardware specs include a 1TB SATA drive running at 5400 RPM, and a slew of connectivity options – two USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, VGA and HDMI ports, microphone and headphones jacks and a 6-in-1 media card reader.  It also has a 720p HD webcam, and all these are housed in a 1.4-inch profile laptop weighing just 6.4 lbs.  It comes bundled with Windows 8 OS. Check Out Our Indepth Lenovo Ideapad Y510 Review.

     

     

    Acer Aspire V3-772G-9653 review

    Acer Aspire V3-772G-9653

     

    The Acer Aspire offers another reasonably priced gaming laptop at $1,059.99. Powered by Intel’s 4th generation Haswell quad core i7-4702MQ clocked at 2.2G Hz (3.2 GHz with Turbo Boost) and supported by an 8GB DDR3 system RAM upgradable to 32 GB over 4 SODIMM sockets, this Aspire VR-722G-0653 brings full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) on a 17.3-inch LED backlit display driven by a powerful Class 1 NVidia GeForce GTX 760M with a dedicated 2GB video RAM.  This choice of GPU puts this Acer model among the fastest gaming laptops at this price point or elsewhere. All the sophisticated RPG and FSP games released over the last two years can be played at medium to highest game settings at the default resolution.  Even the very demanding Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light can be played at medium setting, though best played at low setting.  With a 7 lb weight from a slim 1.3-inch thick body, the Acer comes with a 1TB SATA drive running at 5400 RPM, a multi-layer DVD optical drive, a media card reader, an HD webcam, VGA and HDMI ports, a couple of USB 2 and USB 3 ports each, and the usual headphone and mic jacks.  It also comes preloaded with the Window 8 OS. You can check the V3-772G-9829 which is really similar .

     

     

     

    Sager NP 8235 (Clevo P151SM1) Review

    Sager NP8235 (Clevo P151SM1)

     

    This customizable Sager NP 8235 starts at a base price of $1,082.43.  The base configuration starts with a 15.6-inch anti-glare matte LED backlit screen sporting the highest HD resolution at 1920 x 1080.  It comes with the latest Intel  HM87 chipset that is perfect for 4th generation Haswell quad core processors, starting with the i7-4700MQ and 6 GB DDR3 system RAM upgradable to 32 GB DDR3 on 4 SODIMM sockets..    It also comes with the NVidia GeForce GTX 770M GPU considered the 3rd fastest single card graphics engine in the Class 1 category of GPUs and supported with its own 3GB GDDR5 video RAM.  With the exception of the recently released Company of Heroes 2 PC game which can be played  with this GPU at mediums settings, all the most demanding PC games can be played at their high to highest settings at the default HD resolution.   With Optimus technology, you can easily switch down to the integrated HD graphics 4600 on the CPU for less demanding applications to save on battery life.  In addition, the base configuration has three drive bays for one 750GB SATA hard drive running at 7200 RPM and two mSATA solid state drives. It also comes with an 8x super-multi combo optical drive.  It has a 9-in-1 media card as well as data connection ports for S/PDIF, eSATA, USB 3 and USB 2, HDMI, Display Port 1.2, Mic and headphone jacks, and line-in jack, to mention some. There is no bundled OS at the price.

     

     

     

    MSI GX Series GX60 3BE-240US review

    A-Series A10-5750M clocked at 2.5GHz with 8970M beast dedicated GPU.

    MSI GX Series GX60 3BE-240US

     

     

    At $1,099.00, this MSI GX Series laptop is powered by the AMD Trinity A-Series A10-5750M clocked at 2.5GHz and supported by an 8GB DDR 3 system RAM upgradable to 16GB on two SODIMM sockets. Its 15.6-inch non-glare LED backlit screen sports the highest HD resolution at 1920 x 1080 and is powered by the AMD HD 8970M graphics engine with its own dedicated 2GV video RAM.  This is the fastest single card AMD GPU in the Class 1 category and all the demanding sophisticated RPG and FSP games released to date have no problem being played at their high to highest game settings at the default HD resolution.    Its data storage is served with a 750GB SATA hard drive running at 7200 RPM, a Blu-ray ROM optical drive, and an SD card reader.    It has a THX-certified stereo speakers with subwoofer, an HD webcam, gold-plated mic and headphone jacks, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, three USB 3.0 ports, and a single USB 2.0 port. All these get houses in a 1.77-inch profile laptop weighing 7.7 lbs. Window 8 OS is bundled with the purchase price.

     

     

     

     

    MSI GE Series GE40 2OC-008US review

    Small Thin Gaming Laptop, Its like razerblade of MSI, Packed with the 4th Generation I7 Haswell Chip, and New GTX 760M card, this ones bang for the buck!

    MSI GE Series GE40 2OC-008US

     

     

    this MSI GE series model has about the same technical specs as the Acer Aspire V3-772G above. It also gets powered by the same 4th generation Haswell Intel Core i7 4702MQ with 8 GB DDR3 system RAM, as well as the same graphics engine in the Class 1 NVidia GeForce GTX 760M with 2GB video RAM. The main difference comes from a smaller 14-inch non-glare LED backlit display with a mid-HD resolution of 1600 x 900, instead of the 17.3-inch full HD screen on the Aspire.   You also can only play the very demanding Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last starting at medium setting, though best played at low settings.  In addition, its storage is served with 750 GB SATA drive running at 7200 RPM and a DVD super-multi optical drive.  It’s about $140 more expensive than the Aspire  but if a slimmer 1.14-inch profile and a lighter 4.4 lbs are what you are looking for, but without a diminution is gaming prowess, this MSI GE40 20C-008US is the better alternative in terms of footprint and lugging weight.

     

     

     

     

    SAMSUNG ATIV Book 6 NP680Z5E-X01US

    Gaming and Touchscreen? Well here’s on gaming laptop for ya. I7 and 8770M graphics with touch screen capabilites.

    SAMSUNG ATIV Book 6 NP680Z5E-X01US

     

    Close to the price point at $1,099.99, this ATIV Book6 from Samsung is powered by a 3rd generation Intel Core i7 3635QM running at 2.4 GHz which can be overclocked to 3.4 GHz using Turbo Boost technology. It is supported by an 8GB DDR3 system RAM memory with 4GB on board and another 4GB module on the single SODIMM socket.  This makes it upgradable to 12GB with an 8 GB memory module on the lone socket.  Its 15.6-inch LED backlit display has a 10-finger sensing touchscreen capability while sporting full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 powered by a Class 2 AMD Radeon HD 8770M with 1GB of video RAM.  With the exception of Company of Heroes 2 which cannot play at all, and the Metro: Last Light which can only play at low game setting, all the sophisticated games released to date can be played at their medium to the highest game settings at the default resolution. This makes the Samsung ATIV Book 6 NP680Z5E one of the better value gaming laptops for serious gamers at this price.  In addition, it comes with a 1TB SATA drive running at 5400 RPM and a 3-in-1 media card reader. With less than an inch thick profile, Samsung decided not to put in an optical drive to maintain its light 5.38 lb weight. It comes bundled with a 64-bit Windows 8 OS.

     

     

     

    MSI GE Series GE60 2OE-003US review

    4th Gen i7 Haswell Chip, with 4 cores and 8 threads, packed with monster GTX 765 with 1600 mhz 8gb RAM.. This laptop is a combination with beauty and power.

    MSI GE Series GE60 2OE-003US

     

     

    A step up from the GE40 series cited above, this GE60 20E-003US  carries the same GE 40 price tag of $1,119.99 but gets powered with a slightly more muscled 4th generation  Haswell quad core i7 4700MQ clocked at 2.40GHz (3.4GHZ when turbo boosted) with the same 8GB system RAM upgradable to 16GB on a single SOPDIMM socket.  Instead of a 14-inch screen, the GE 60 comes with a larger 15.3-inch screen and a full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) powered by slightly more muscled Class 1 NVidia GeForce GTX 765M with its own 2GB video RAM.  This allows you to play the Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light at high game setting, though best played at medium settings at the default resolution. If you are looking to play these games at a higher setting than what the GE40 delivers but at the same price point, this is the laptop to choose.  But its advantage comes at a price of being slightly thicker at 1.46 inches and heavier at 5.28 lbs, though both are still backpack friendly.  You also get the same 750GB SATA drive running at 7200 RPM, HD webcam ,multi-layer DVD optical drive, and a host of wired and wireless connectivity ports.  It comes bundled with the Windows 8 OS with multi-lingual support.

     

     

     

     

    Toshiba Satellite S55t-A5277 Touchscreen Notebook review

    Gaming Touch Screen Laptop with 12gb of RAM and I7 haswell.

    Toshiba Satellite S55t-A5277 Touchscreen Notebook

     

     

    At a reasonable sub-grand MSRP of $989.99, this Toshiba Satellite is powered by the 4th generation Haswell Intel Core i7 4700MQ clocked at 2.4 GHz (up to 3.4 GHz with Turbo Boost) and comes with a 12GB DDR3 system memory upgradable to 16GB over two SODIMM sockets. Its 15.6-inch LED backlit touchscreen display uses the famous Toshiba TruBrite display technology and has a modest HD resolution of 1366 x 768. Its graphics engine is the Class 2 category NVidia GeForce GT 740M which enables it to play most of the demanding RPG and FSP games released over the last two years seamlessly at medium to high game detail settings at the default resolution., with the exception of Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light which fail to run at all, and SimCity which can only be played at low setting.  A built-in stereo Harman Kardon speakers and DTS sound support completes is multimedia features.  Its storage is served with a 1TB SATA hard disk drive running at 5400 RPM and a DVD super-multi optical drive.  All these are housed in a light 5.3-lb body that  is just 1.2 inches thick. Windows 8 OS is bundled with the purchase.

     

     

     

     

     

    Acer Aspire V3-771G-9809 review

    The fact that it can play the recently released Crysis 3 in medium setting and Dead Space 3 in high setting speaks volumes of how well it can play other high end games released in 2012.

    Acer Aspire V3-771G-9809

     

    At $949, the Acer Aspire V3-771G-9809 has a widescreen LED-backlit 17.3-inch display with high definition 1600 x 900 resolutions and a 5400 rpm 1 TB SATA drive that is standard in laptops at this price point.  But what makes it worth the price lies under the hood.  It is powered by a 3rd generation quad core Intel Core i7-3632QM clocked at 2.2 GHz that can reach 3.2 GHZ with its Turbo Boost. Enabling it to play most of the demanding games is its DirectX 11 enabled Nvidia GeForce GT 650M which is near top of the GT 600M series.  The fact that it can play the recently released Crysis 3 in medium setting and Dead Space 3 in high setting speaks volumes of how well it can play other high end games released in 2012. Click here to get our deep review about the Acer Aspire V3-771G-9809.

     

     

    Asus N56VJ-DH71 Review

    A 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM at 2.4GHz powers the laptop with an 8GB DDR3 memory on two SODIMM sockets to maximize its dual memory channel performance.

    Asus N56VJ-DH71

     

    Just $9 cheaper is the Asus N56VJ-DH71 which has a smaller but more gorgeous 15.6-inch display with full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080, giving it a higher pixel density than similar resolutions at a higher screen size.  With a slim 1.2 inch profile on a 5lb body, this Aspire model is among the lightest and thinnest and comes with a 1 TB SATA drive running at 5,400 rpm typical in its class.  A 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM at 2.4GHz powers the laptop with an 8GB DDR3 memory on two SODIMM sockets to maximize its dual memory channel performance. Its Nvidia GT 645M with its own 2GB of video memory may be 10% less powerful than the GT 650M, but it certainly gets most if not all the demanding games running at medium to high settings Check out our in depth review of The Asus N56VJ-DH71 Budget Gaming Laptop with charts and comparisons.

     

     

     

    Lenovo Ideapad Y580 Review

    A more muscled than the rest of the group, Priced at $989, you can play just about all the highly demanding RPG and FPS games at high to ultra settings.

    Lenovo Ideapad Y580

     

    Amore muscled high end NVidia GeForce GTX 660M with its own 2GB video RAM powers the graphics of the Lenovo Ideapad Y580 to make it one of the more popular  gaming laptops on the market today. With a 3rd generation Intel Core i7 quad core clocked at 2.3GHz and supported by an 8GB DDR3 RAM under the hood, this Lenovo offers elegant portability on the side with its 1.4-inch profile on a slightly heavier 6.6lb body that sports a gorgeous 15.6-inch LED backlit display with 1366 x 768 resolution.  Priced at $989, you can play just about all the highly demanding RPG and FSP games at medium to high setting. Ideapad Y580 is part of our Top 8 Gaming Laptop picks, Click here for more detailed review of Lenovo Y580.

     

     

     

     

    Lenovo Ideapad Y500 review

    The Lenovo Ideapad Y500 offers a stunning full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution on a 15.6-inch screen driven by a powerful GPU in the NVidia dual SLI GeForce GT 650M with a fast 2GB GDDR5 video RAM.

    Lenovo Ideapad Y500 (EDITORS CHOICE)

     

    Costing slightly less at $999 but more abled, the Lenovo Ideapad Y500 offers a stunning full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution on a 15.6-inch screen driven by a powerful GPU in the NVidia dual SLI GeForce GT 650M with a fast 2GB GDDR5 video RAM.  While a single GT 650M is mid-range among laptop graphics cards, having two puts it at par with many single high end graphic cards and is certainly more able than the high end single card GTX 660M.  Powered by a 3rd generation Intel Core i7 quad core engine  that boost up 3.3ghz with 8GB DDR3 system RAM, this Ideapad has 1TB SATA drive running at 5400rpm with standard optical drive on a slightly heavier 6.5lb body. It would be difficult to find a similarly powered laptop at this price.  ABSOLUTELY(NO DOUBT!) THE BEST LAPTOP UNDER 1000 and this ones my personal favorite! – Read our full In depth review of Lenovo Ideapad Y500 plus benchmarks and comparisons.

     

     

     

    MSI C Series CX61 0NF-258US  review

    Priced at at $849.72 can be considered a great value for one of the better brands in gaming laptops in the market.

    MSI C Series CX61 0NF-258US 

     

    Last but not least is the  MSI C Series CX61 0NF-258US  which at $849.72 can be considered a great value for one of the better brands in gaming laptops in the market.  Weighing only 5.3 lbs, this MSI model comes with a 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 display and a 750GB SATA hard drive. Bundled with Windows 8, it is powered by a 3rd generation quad core Intel Core i7-3630QM  clocked at 2.4 GHz with a 6GB system RAM. Its graphics engine is midrange Nvidia GeForce GT 645M with its own 2 GB video RAM and DirectX 11 support that gives this model enough muscle to play virtually all of the most demanding games in the market today in medium to high settings.

     

     

     

    To learn more, check out our review pages on the models mentioned above.  Expect our recommendations to change over time as newer models come on line with advances in computing technology.

     

     

    Some of the best value Gaming laptops can be found just under $1,000. Considered mid-priced falling between the cheap entry level laptops in the $300 -$500 price range and the high end models in the $1800 - $2200 price range.
    best laptop under 1000
    Date Published: 08/15/2013
    Many of the best value laptops that marry high performance with affordability can be found in below the $1,000 price point.
    4.5 / 5 stars
    gaming laptop under 500

    Just like at any price point, there are good and not-so-good laptops. Finding a gaming laptop at the sub-$500 point can be a real challenge. But guided by our threshold GPU, here are few great value laptops at this price point that can satisfy a casual gamer.

    Despite discouragements from time to time by hardcore gamers, it is possible to acquire a wallet friendly gaming computer. There are some great value mobile computers which you can obtain for under $500.  They may not be able to fully serve the demanding needs of sophisticated RPG and FSP games released over the last two years, but a few gaming laptops under $500 can still provide enough muscle to play many of them at their lowest game settings.

    What you should consider.

    Being aware of what you need is very essential if you are to satisfy your gaming need. Your desktop gaming computer defines what games you play and having a laptop can be a back-up or alternative gaming station that you can bring with you on a camping trip or a visit to your friend.  If you want an exact duplicate, nothing less than a high end gaming laptop will do.  But if you just do casual gaming while on the road, are budget-constrained, or don’t mind using the lowest game setting for your favorite game, a more affordable laptop like those in the sub-$500 range will do.

    Having said that, there is not a perfect machine in existence.  Various laptops even in the same price point  have different features and it is not unlikely that one has a feature the other does not have.  This is just how the brands spread the appeal of their products to as wide a market as possible for a given demographics. Do you want the largest laptop screen for your money?  The most powerful CPU and GPU?  The largest hard disk capacity? The largest RAM?  The longest battery life?  Or the lightest and slimmest?  You can’t have all of these unless you’re prepared to go into the $2000 plus price points.  You will have to juggle them towards a compromised mix that will give you the gaming experience under $500.

    Today’s dual and quad core engines can play all the games released to date with the higher clock speeds doing a better job than others.  Unfortunately, for most practical purposes, manufacturers of general use laptops leave out the graphics engine or GPU since it is not as important as the CPU in most computing tasks.  It is the GPU that distinguishes gaming laptops from the rest. In fact, the most expensive top of the line or flagship laptop from any consumer computer maker is almost always a gaming laptop.  That’s because apart from video editing, the most resource-intensive consumer application for a computer comes from games. Not just any game, but games like Battlefield 3, Crysis 3 Metro 2033, Alan Wake or Max Payne 3.

    A screen which is 15” should serve you well but a 17” would be better. Just be aware that prices go up with the screen size with all things equal.  Nearly all laptop screens sport a widescreen (16:9)  aspect ratio and high definition starting at 1366 x 768 to full 1920 x 1080, with 1600 x 900 as the most common among 17-inch screens. Also be aware that your laptop’s gaming muscle will also depend on the resolution.

    Indeed the limiting factor for a laptop to be a gaming laptop is GPU.  They provide the computational processing muscle that renders the polygonal shapes and colors that paint the images frame by frame on your monitor.  The higher the screen resolution, the more computing demands are placed on the GPU.  A good GPU should at least be able to paint at around 30 frames per second (fps) so that no image judder or puttering can get you to miss the action and fail in your scoring.

    It is unlikely you will find midrange GPU cards under $500.  Our threshold is the Intel HD Graphics 4000 which is quite common at this price point and lower but still has enough juice to satisfy a casual gamer who don’t mind using a lower game setting for some of the more demanding games released since 2011/2012.

    Hard disk storage is another area to consider.  Solid state drives are great for a diminished weight and slimmer body but you rarely will find them at this price point.  A 500GB capacity is quite common in the SATA standard, followed by 750 GB drives.  In addition, there is now an increasing trend to forego with optical drives but gamers who download games or use USB drives shouldn’t worry.

    Just like at any price point, there are good and not-so-good laptops. Finding a gaming laptop at the sub-$500 point can be a real challenge.  But guided by our threshold GPU, here are few great value laptops at this price point that can satisfy a casual gamer.

    laptop comparison under 500

     

    Bang For The Buck – Gaming Laptops Under 500 Reviews 2013

     

     

    Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 15.6 Inch Laptop reviews

    Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 15.6 Inch Laptop

     

     

    Laptops below the $500 price point are getting scarcer. But the mid-year summer is often a good time to consider getting laptops released during the immediately preceding year as most retailers slash their prices to make room for new models.  Here is one example: the Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 with a list price of $579 at Amazon now retails at the site for just $459.99.  What in our view qualifies this as a respectable gaming laptop for the non-demanding casual gamer is its Intel HD Graphics 4400 graphics engine with its own 128MB dedicated video memory and in-built with the 4th generation Haswell dual core Intel Core i5-4200U 3 clocked at 1.6GHz or 2.6GHz with Turbo Boost.  This GPU is 20% to 30% faster than the HD4000 (for 3rd generation Ivy multi-core processors) we consider the minimum for a gaming laptop. It even comes bundled with a 64-bit Windows 8 OS.   Without an optical drive, its slim 1-inch thick “Clarinet Black” body weighs a backpack-friendly 5.2lbs and houses the following:

    • Ÿ 15.6-inch LED-backlit HD Widescreen CineCrytal with  a mid-HD resolution of 1366 x 768
    • Ÿ 4GB DDR3L (low power) dual channel RAM
    • Ÿ 500GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 RPM
    • Ÿ Stereo Speakers
    • Ÿ Digital media car reader
    • Ÿ HD Webcam
    • Ÿ Wireless data connectivity options: Bluetooth 4+HS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
    • Ÿ Wired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (2 ports), USB 3.0 (1 port), and an HDMI port

    Battery life is typical at 4-hours of continuous use before the next charge.  Interestingly enough, Aspire has a new model for this (Acer E1-472-6688 with same CPU, GPU, hard drive, RAM and other features except that it comes in “Misty Silver”)  but only sporting a 14-inch screen. Amazon has a refurbished unit at only $398 as of this writing. You can buy it here.

     

    HP Pavilion 14-n019nr  review

    HP Pavilion 14-n019nr 

     

     

    This HP Pavilion is an excellent choice for a decent gaming laptop.  Its modest gaming muscle comes from the Intel HD Graphics 4400 graphics engine built into the 4th generation Haswell dual core Intel Core i5-4200U clocked at 1.6GHz or 2.6GHz with Turbo Boost technology engaged. You won’t be able to play Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light, Woflenstein: The New Order, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Dog, or Thief, but you can play The Elder Scrolls Online, Titanfall and Grid: Autosport at their lowest gaming configuration or lower resolution. Most games in the market released last year will play at the medium to lowest game setting. The added bonus is the touchscreen feature of its 14-inch LED backlit display with a mid-HR resolution of 1366 x 768.  Gamers generally have no use for a touchscreen, but the feature can come in handy when you have to use this laptop outside of the gaming domain.  Sporting a slim 0.91 inch body and weighing just 4.6lbs, this Silver HP comes bundled with the Windows 8 OS and houses the following:

    • Ÿ  4GB DDR3L (low power) SDRAM expandable to 8GB
    • Ÿ 500GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 RPM
    • Ÿ SuperMulti DVD writer optical drive
    • Ÿ Digital media car reader
    • Ÿ Wireless data connectivity options: Bluetooth 4+HS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
    • Ÿ Wired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (2 ports), USB 3.0 (1 port), and an HDMI port

    Average life from its 4-cell Lithium Ion battery is a commendable 6.25 hours and is supported by a 1-year limited hardware warrantee and a free 25GB lifetime cloud storage service. You can buy it here.

     

    Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 15.6 review

    Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 15.6

     

     

    Lenovo has been providing several models below the $1000 mark that are excellent gaming stations. Here’s one that is priced normally at $539.99 on Amazon.   Its gaming muscle comes from the ATI Radeon HD8330 integrated with the quad core Apple (AMD) A4 processor with 1.5GHZ clock speed and 2MB cache.  It is essentially the equivalent of the Intel HD Graphics 4000 which is our minimum GPU in a gaming laptop, though benchmarked to be 2% faster in most tests and only 3% slower than the newer HD Graphics 4200.  It won’t play The Elder Scrolls Online, Wildenstein: The New Order, or last year’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghost, but it can play Grid: Autosport, F1 2013, Grid 2 , Dead Space 3 and most 2012 games at the lowest game setting or resolution.  Bundled with the Windows 8 OS but sporting no optical drive, this black Lenovo’s slim 0.87-inch body weighing just 5.1lbs comes with the following hardware advantages:

    • Ÿ 15.6-inch LED-backlit display with mid-HD resolution of 1366 x 768 that flips 300 degrees in touchscreen mode with 10-point multitouch feature
    • Ÿ 4GB DDR3 RAM expandable to 8GB
    • Ÿ 500GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 RPM
    • Ÿ Stereo Speakers using Dolby Advanced Audio
    • Ÿ Wireless data connectivity options: Bluetooth 4+HS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
    • Ÿ Wired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (2 ports), USB 3.0 (1 port)

    Average life from its Lithium Ion battery is 5hours using its proprietor Lenovo Energy Management system. You can buy it here.

     

    Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545 20B20011US  review

    Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545 20B20011US 

     

     

    Without a discount, this Lenovo ThinkPad rests right smack on the $500 price point at a list price of $502.99 at Amazon. Powered by the AMD dual core A6 530M clocked at 2.9GHz (up to 3.5GHZ on AMD Turbo Core) with 4GB DDR3 RAM, its gaming muscle comes from the AMD Radeon HD 8450G which sits roughly between the Intel Graphics 4400 and the Intel HD Graphics 4000 which is our minimum threshold for a laptop to be considered decent enough for gaming. Don’t expect it to play Company of Heroes 2 or most of the latest sophisticated RPG and FSP, but 2014 games like The Elder Scrolls Online, and Titanfall and many older games can play at the mid-to-lowest possible game setting and resolution. Bundled with the Windows 7 Professional OS upgradable to Win 8 Pro, this matte black 1.4-inch thick ThinkPad weighs 5.2lbs and comes with the following hardware features:

    • Ÿ 15.6-inch LED-backlit display with mid-HD resolution of 1366 x 768
    • Ÿ 320GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 RPM
    • Ÿ DVD reader/writer optical drive
    • Ÿ  4-in-1 Digital Media Card Reade
    • Ÿ Stereo Speakers using Dolby Advanced Audio
    • Ÿ Wireless data connectivity options: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
    • Ÿ Wired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (1 port), USB 3.0 (3 ports)

    Average life from its Lithium Ion battery is an excellent 6.2 hours between charging using its proprietor Lenovo Energy Management system. Another Lenovo ThinkPad, the model E545 20B2001CUS with the same specs but with a 720p Webcam is priced even cheaper at $402.98. You can buy it here.

     

    HP ProBook 13.3 Ultrabook  review

    HP ProBook 13.3″ Ultrabook 

     

     

    Not a sub-$500 notebook, but what’s a trifling few dollars more when you can have twice as much in value?  What gives this unit the gaming muscle is its Intel HD Graphics 4400 integrated into a 4th generation dual core Intel Core i3-4010U clocked at 1.7GHz and served by a 4GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM.  That’s around 20% to 30% faster than our minimum recommended Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated in Ivy architected processors.  But what makes this laptop stand out is that instead of a mechanical hard drive, it comes with a 128GB Solid State Drive. That should be enough to house your 64-bit Windows 7  Pro which comes bundled with it, and a few games that are sure to launch and change sceneries faster than from a standard hard drive.  In addition, you get the following hardware features:

    • Ÿ 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with mid-HD resolution of 1366 x 768
    • Ÿ 720p HD Webcam and dual-array microphone
    • Ÿ Stereo Speakers with support for DTS sound
    • Ÿ Wireless data connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
    • Ÿ Wired Data Connectivity: USD 2.0 (1 port), USB 3.0 (2 ports), VGA and HDMI

    So you would need to spend another $50-$60 for an external 500GB drive.  If you are into multimedia housing movie files or editing large photo images, this laptop may not be for you.  But if you like to play your favourite 2-3 games with a laptop while on the road, you will appreciate why serious gamers prefer a solid state drive over conventional ones. You can buy it here.

     

    Lenovo G500 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) reviewLenovo G500 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)

     

    Just a few dollars above this price point, this Lenovo G500 model offers one of the better value laptops at $513.00 discounted from its list price of $539.00.  Powered by a high-end dual core 3rd generation Intel Core i5 3230M clocked at 2.6 GHz with 3 MB Cache and supported by a 4 GB DDR3 system RAM, it offers a 15.6-inch LED backlit display with a low HD resolution of 1366 x 768. What qualifies this as a modest gaming laptop is its Intel HD 4000 GPU integrated to the core processor, our minimum recommended GPU for a gaming laptop. Hardware-wise, it comes with the 802.11b/g/n WiFi, a 500 GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, a DVD-rewritable optical drive, a webcam, and a5-hour battery housed in a light 5.7lbs body.  It comes pre-loaded with the Windows 8 OS.

    Another HP Pavilion G500 offers a more wallet friendly $399.99 discounted from $469.99. The only difference is that this model is powered down to a lower-end dual core i3-3120M clocked at 2.5 GHz with the same 3 MB Cache.  It also comes with the same 4GB DDR3 system RAM, a 500GB SATA drive running at 5400 rpm and an optical drive housed in the same 5.7lb body.  The 15-6-inch display features the same low HD resolution and LED backlighting and is driven by the same Intel HD 4000 GPU that makes it just as muscles as a modest gaming laptop of casual gamers.

     

    HP Pavilion 17-e040us 17.3-Inch Laptop reviewHP Pavilion 17-e040us 17.3-Inch Laptop

     

    Not exactly a sub-$500 laptop, but we would be remiss in not giving credit for this highly able laptop that is just $529.83 discounted from a list price that is closer to a $1000 laptop at $844.  With a gorgeous 17.3-inch LED-backlit display having a medium HD resolution of 1600 x 900, this HP Pavilion is powered by a 4th generation mid-performance dual core Intel Core i3-4000M clocked at 2.4 GHz.  Never mind that it is only dual core, as even some of the most demanding games are not designed to fully take advantage of quad core processing. But what sets it as a powerful gaming laptop at its humble price is the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 which has become standard for many dual core Haswell-architected laptops.  Depending on the clock speed setting and the games, this GPU is roughly 30% – 60% faster than the HD Graphics 4000 which is our recommended minimum graphics engine for a decent gaming laptop.  That means that while it won’t play Company of Heroes 2, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, and Need for Speed: Rivals, it can play Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, Metro: Last Light, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Saints Row 4, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Crysis 3 and a few others at low game settings. It should have no problem playing Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Grid 2, Dead Space 3, Dishonored, World of Tanks 8 and many more at medium to high game settings at default or lower screen resolution.  As far hardware features are concerned, it has 6 GB DIMM System Ram, a 750 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, and comes bundled with the Windows 8 OS.

     

    HP Pavilion 17-e030us 17.3-Inch Laptop reviewHP Pavilion 17-e030us 17.3-Inch Laptop

    Pared down to $489.99 from its MSRP of $739, this HP Pavilion is powered by the AMD Quad-core A6-5200 clocked at 2 GHz and supported by a 4 GB DIMM system RAM. It comes with a widescreen 17.3-inch LED backlit display with a medium HD resolution of 1600 x 900.  One of the few sub-$500 laptops that can be considered a poor man’s gaming workstation, its graphics engine is the AMD Radeon HD8400 integrated with the A-Series processor.  Its game graphics performance is at the top of the Radeon 8000 series, considered on par with a dedicated Radeon HD 6490M, and is roughly the equivalent of the Intel HD Graphics 4000, our minimum GPU to be considered a gaming laptop.  What this means is that it won’t play Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light, Crysis 3, Hitman: Absolution, Total War: Rome 2 or Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and a few others, but it can play Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, Batman: Arkham Origins, Diablo 3, Far Cry 3 The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Anno 2070 and a many more at low game settings.  Others like Dead Space 3, CounterStrike: GO and Fifa 2011 can be played at medium settings, while games like Fifa 12 and 13 can be played at high game settings at default or lower screen resolution. Hardware features include a 500 GB SATA drive running at 5400 rpm, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and the HP TrueVision HD webcam housed in a body weighing only 6 lbs. It comes bundled with the Windows 8 OS.

    Acer Aspire V3 551G-X419 review

    Great Bang for the Buck Gaming Laptop packed with Quadcore A10 processor with dual graphics card – This one’s a must have if you are looking for gaming laptop around 500 dollars.

    Acer Aspire V3 551G-X419

     

     

    Not exactly under $500, but with a few dollars more at $574.95, we could not overlook the value of this laptop at this price point.  Powered by the quad core AMD Trinity A-Series A10-4600M with 6 MB cache, clocked at 2.3GHz, and supported by a 6GB DDR3 system RAM, this Acer Aspire model offers a typical 15.6-inch LED backlit screen with the lowest HD resolution (1366 x 768)  driven by two graphics engines in asymmetric Crossfire configuration  – the AMD Radeon HD 7660G integrated with the A10 CPU and a dedicated entry level HD 7670M  GPU with its own 2GB video memory.  This configuaratn puts it at par with the GeForce GT 650M and slightly less muscled than the GeForce GTX 480M or Radeon HD 8790M. In some games, users can experience micro stuttering which is typical of dual cards that perform alternate frame rendering. It comes with a 750GB SATA drive running at 5400 RPM and a DVD multilayers optical drive, all packaged in a 1.3-inch profile and weighing only 5.74 lbs.  The purchase price included a preloaded Windows 8 OS. 

     

     

     

    ASUS K55 Series K55N-DB81 AMD A-Series Review

    At 440 This Laptop Kicks Arse – It’s extremely fast and could run new games in mid settings.

    ASUS K55 Series K55N-DB81 AMD A-Series

     

    With a bargain basement price of $449.99, this Asus offers the casual gamer with what could be the best gaming moments without breaking his/her bank.  Offering a modest 1366 x 768 HD screen resolution on a 15.6-inch display, this Asus model is powered by a poor man’s  processor, the AMD Trinity A-Series A8-4500M clocked at 1.90GHz with 6GB DDR3 system RAM. With an AMD Radeon HD 7640G in the mid-tier Class 3 Category GPUs integrated into the A8 CPU, this Asus offers reasonable gaming muscle just slightly better than the Intel HD Graphics 4400 integrated in some Haswell CPUs. Casual gamers can play some of the more demanding RPG and FSP games at the low to medium game details at the default or lower screen resolution.  Don’t expect Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light, Hitman: Absolution, Dishonored, Call of Duty: black Ops 2, Crysis 3 or Far Cry to play on this machine.  However, Fifa 13, Counterstrike: Go, and SIM3 will play at the high game setting It is installed with a 750GB SATA hard disk drive and a dual layer DVD optical drive and comes bundled with a 64-bit Windows 8.0.

     

     

     

    Acer Aspire V5-552G-8632 AMD A-Series Review

    Awesome dedicated card that could run 2012 games on max settings plus its a DUAL Graphics Card laptop with Quadcore Processor.

    Acer Aspire V5-552G-8632 AMD A-Series

     

     

    This is another Asus Aspire we can’t pass up with just $29.00 above the $500 price point.  Powered by the AMD Trinity A8-5557M clocked at 2.1 GHz, this laptop has a bare minimum 4GB onboard RAM (upgradable to 12 GB RAM with an 8GB DDR3 added to its single SODIMM socket). Its typical 15.6-inch LED backlit screen with the lowest HD resolution (1377 x 768) is driven by a competent Class 2 AMD Radeon HD 8750 graphics engine with its own 2GB video RAM . This is slightly below the NVidia GeForce GT 640M/ GT 735M and  at par with the HD Graphics 5200 integrated with the Haswell CPUs.  At this price point, we were delighted that it could play nearly all demanding games at low to medium game settings at the default resolution, while only a few like the Assassin’s Creed 3, and Hitman: Absolution couldn’t play at all. Even the highly demanding Crysis 3, Metro: Last Light, and Company of Heroes 2 can play at low settings.  Data storage is served with a modest 500GB SATA drive running at 5400 RPM, and no optical drive. At 4.5 lbs light, this Aspire certainly has several hardware compromise to get the price down but  you are essentially paying for its graphics ability that makes it an excellent choice not only among casual gamers but even among young gamers on their way to becoming serious.

     

     

    MSI C Series CX61 0OC-833US Review

    i5 quadcore processor fast graphics card and It’s MSI known for their gaming laptops.

    MSI C Series CX61 0OC-833US

     

    Known for its upscale gaming laptops, MSI enters the budget markets with the C Series priced close to the $500 range.  This model is powered by a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 3230M clocked at 2.60GHz and supported by a 6GB DDR3 system RAM.  It typical 15.6-inch LED backlit screen sports the lowest HD resolution at 1377 x 768 and is driven by a competent Class 3 Category NVidia GeForce GT 710M , putting it at par or  slightly lower than the Intel HD Graphics 5000 and more muscled than the AMD Radeon HD 6630M/7650M.  It can’t play Company of Heroes 2, Crysis 3, Assassin’s Creed 3, or Metro: Last Light, but it can play most other recent game releases at low to medium game settings at the default resolution. It can play CounterStrike: Go, Sims 3 and Fifa 13 at its highest game settings, while Diablo 3, Dishonored and Dead Space 3 can be played at their next to highest settings.  It comes with modest 500GB hard disk running at 5400 RPM, an optical super-multi optical drive, and is bundled with a 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium edition.

     

     

     

    TOSHIBA Satellite L55-A5278 review

    Quadcore I5 Processor with 740M – Ideal entry level gaming laptop and on the positive side, it looks really awesome.

    TOSHIBA Satellite L55-A5278

     

    At $579.99, this Toshiba Satellite doesn’t really qualify as being under $500, but why quibble over a few dollars more when you can have an excellent gaming value at that price?   It is powered by the a 3rd generation ULV processor Intel Core i5 3337U clocked at 1.80GHz with its integrated HD Graphics 4000.  But rather than use this, Toshiba installed a dedicated Class 2 graphics engine in the NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M to drive its standard 1366 x 768 resolution 15.6-inch LED backlit TruBrite screen.  With the exception of Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light, it can play all the video games released to date at medium to high settings at the default resolution. It comes with a 4GB DDR3 system RAM upgradeable to 16GB on a dual SODIMM slot.  With a modest 500GB SATA drive running at 5400 RPM , a 4-in-one multimedia card reader, and the DVD super-multi optical drive, this Satellite L55-A5278 weighs slightly less than 5 lbs with a thin 0.96-inch profile.  It has WiFi, 2 USB 3.0 and 1 US 2.0 as well as VGA and HDMI ports. and can process DTS sound over two speakers. It comes bundled with Windows 8 OS.

     

     

     

    HP Pavilion G6t (A4G30AV#ABA) review

    3rd Gen I5 with 7670M bang for the buck great specs for the price.

    HP Pavilion G6t

     

    Powered by a 3rd generation Intel Core i5-3210M CPU clocked at 2.5 GHz (up to 3.1 GHZ on turbo boost) with 6GB DDR3 system RAM upgradable to 16GB on  its dual SODIMM slots, this sub $500 HP Pavilion with its 15.6-inch low HD resolution (1366 x 768) display makes for a delightful gaming option among budget conscious gamers thanks to its Class 3 category AMD Radeon HD 7670M using its own 1GB video RAM. It can’t play the recently released Company of Heroes 2, or Hitman: Absolution game titles but can play all the other demanding RPG and FSP games at low to medium game settings at the default resolution. It can even play Counterstrike: Go, SIMS 3, World of Warcraft and  Fifa 13 at their highest settings as well as Grid 2, BioShake Infinite, Dead Space 3, Diablo 3,  Dishonored,  and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm at the second to the highest game settings.   It comes with a 500 GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 RPM, a DVD super-multi optical drive, and a multiformat media card for a backpack friendly 5.46 lbs and a slim 1.43-inch profile. It comes bundled with the 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium edition OS.

     

     

     

    Lenovo G505s (59378837) review

    A laptop to casual and the not so serious gamers.

    Lenovo G505s

    This Lenovo G505s is powered by the AMD Trinity A-Series A8-5550M clocked at 2.1GHz and supported by a 4GB DD3 system RAM  upgradable to 8GB on a single SODIMM slot.  Sporting a 15.6-inch display with the lowest HD resolution (1377 x 728), what can endear  this laptop to casual and the not so serious gamers is its dedicated Class 3 AMD Radeon HD 8570M with its dedicated 2GB video card.  This is roughly the equivalent of the NVidia GeForce GT 630M and performs slightly better than the GeForce GT 720M.   It can’t play the recent Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light, Guild Wars 2, and Crysis 3, but it can seamlessly play all the other the demanding games released over the last 2 years at low to medium settings. Some games like Counterstrike: Go, Diablo 3, Fifa 13 and SIMS 3 can be played at their highest game settings at the default resolution, while games like Dead Space 3, Dishonored and World of Warcarft can be played at a step lower than their Ultra-High game settings.  Data storage comes with a modest 500GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 RPM and a standard DVD writer/reader optical drive. It has a 720p HD webcam, built-in stereo speakers, and a 2-in01 media card read, along with a VGA, HDMI, and USB 3 /2 ports to add to its light 5.3-lb weight and a slime 1-inch profile.  It comes preloaded with the Windows 8 OS.

     

    ASUS A55VD-NS51 Review

    This Asus A55VD is powered by the 3rd generation Intel Core i5 3230M clocked at 2.60GHz (up to 3.5 with turbo boost) supported by a 6GB DDR3 system memory upgradable to 8GB on two sockets.

    ASUS A55VD-NS51

     

     

    This Asus A55VD is powered by the 3rd generation  Intel Core i5 3230M clocked at 2.60GHz (up to 3.5 with turbo boost) supported by a 6GB DDR3 system memory upgradable to 8GB on two sockets.  Its 15.6-inch LED backlit display sports a modest 1366 x 768 HD resolution driven by a dedicated class 4 NVidia GeForce GT 610 graphics engine, allowing it to play only a few of the most demanding RPG and FDP games released over the last 2 years at low game settings at the default resolution. Admittedly, this Asus A55VD NS51 offers one of the least bang for the buck as a gaming laptop at this price point.  Company of Heroes 2, Crysis 3, Metro: Last Light, BiodShock: Infinite, SimCity cannot be played, while Grid 2 and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm can only be played at the lowest setting.  Its class 4 GPU is several notches below the threshold  HD Graphic 4000 and should be considered only by the least demanding of casual gamers.  Data storage is most with its 500GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 ROM, It has a webcam, a VGA and HDMI port, a  single USB 2.0  and a dual USB 3.0  port. It comes preloaded with a 64-bit Windows 8 OS.

     

     

     

    HP Pavilion G7-2238nr review

    At $478.31, the HP Pavilion G7-2238nr sports a large 17.3” LED-backlit display with 1600 x 900 resolution that makes for a superlative HD video watching experience.

    HP Pavilion G7-2238nr

     

     

    At $478.31, the HP Pavilion G7-2238nr sports a large 17.3” LED-backlit display with 1600 x 900 resolution that makes for a superlative HD video watching experience. Powered by the AMD Dual core A6-4400M clocked at 2.7 GHz and supported by a 4 GB DDR RAM, this laptop comes with its own separate AMD Radeon HD 7520G graphic engine which is about 11% faster than the Intel HD Graphics 4000 – our minimum threshold to be considered a gaming laptop.  It provides above average gaming abilities for some of the sophisticated FPS games and RPGs on the market at low to medium setting while some like Fifa 12/13, Diablo 3 and Counter Strike: Go can be played in their highest game settings..

     

     

     

     

     

     

    HP Pavilion G7-2220us review

    Best recommended for the casual gamer who don’t mind playing some of the most demanding games released in 2011-12 in medium game settings

    HP Pavilion G7-2220us

     

     

    Discounted to $489.99 from its $549.99 regular price, the HP Pavilion G7-2220us sports a 17.3-inch LED-backlit LCD display driven by a discrete AMD Radeon HD 7520 GPU with its own 2GB graphic memory. Best recommended for the casual gamer who don’t mind playing some of the most demanding games released in 2010-12 in low to medium game settings, this pavilion is powered by the AMD dual core A6-4400M clocked at 2.7GHz and a system RAM of 4 GB DDR3. It comes with a 500GB SATA drive and DVD writer/readers housed in a 6.6-lb body.

     

     

     

     

    acer aspire review

    Bang for the buck midrange gaming laptop – probably best laptop under 500

    Acer Aspire V3-551-8469

     

     

    Slightly more able than the Pavilion G7-222us is the Acer Aspire V3-551-8469 thanks to a 10% beefier AMD Radeon HD 7640G graphics engine with its own 512MB video RAM that drives its 15.6-inch LED backlit screen with 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Despite a cheaper $439.91, it is powered by a more muscled AMD quad core A8-4500M clocked at 1.9GHz and a 4GB SDRAM.  It is likewise recommended for casual PC gamers who don’t mind playing RPG and FSP games released 2010 onwards at low to medium game settings that will not maximize its HD screen resolution. Read our in depth review on Acer Aspire V3-551-8469 best gaming laptop under 500.

     

     

     

    Asus A55A-AH51 review

    Powered by a 3rd generation dual core i5-3210M clocked at 2.5GHz with 4GB DDR3 system RAM.

    Asus A55A-AH51

     

     

    At a cent less than $500,the Asus A55A-AH51 has been heavily discounted from its $689.99 suggested retail price and can be considered a good value for a slim 1-incvh thick laptop, weighing just 5.8 lbs and powered by a 3rd generation dual core i5-310M clocked at 2.5GHz with 4GB DDR3 system RAM.  Its 15/6-inch LED backlit display with 1366 x68 resolution is powered by an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, the minimum threshold to be considered a gaming laptop for 2013.

     

     

     

    Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-10000BLK review

    Lightweight and uncomplicated – even your 90 year old grandma can use this laptop at ease.

    Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-10000BLK

     

     

    At $469 (others at $425, new),  this Dell Inspiron runs on a 3rd generation dual core Intel Core i5-3337U with a 3 Mb L3 cache and clocked at 1.8HGz that can be boosted up to 2.7 GHZ   It comes with a 4 GB DDR3 system RAM while its 15.6-inch LED backlit screen has 1366 x 768 HD resolution driven by the Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated with the Ivy Bridge CPU.  This is our minimum GPU to qualify a laptop for casual gamers, enabling it to play many of the most demanding RPG and FSP games released in 2011/12 at low settings while a few can be played at medium settings. .  Some games like Eder Scrolls V, Allan Wake, Hitman: Absolution and Assassin’s Creed III, however, will not play, while games like Fifa 13 can be played at high game settings. There’s a 500 GB SATA drive running at 5400 rpm and an 8x DVD writer optical drive and housed in superb texture matte black finish on a body.  It comes bundled with Windows 8, 32-bit OS.

     

    HP Pavilion g6-2278DX review

    It comes with AMD quadcore processor, with much faster HDD clock and Windows 8 OS. Its designed for speed and performance, with a great price!

    HP Pavilion g6-2278DX

     

     

    HP’s G-series covers an entire range of laptops that can satisfy casual gamers and even enable serious gamers to play some of the demanding games at low to medium game setting while away from their gaming workstations at home.  The G6 line sports a 15.6 inch BrightView HD screen at 1366 x 768 resolution and this particular model is powered by the AMD quad core A8-4500 CPU with a 4GB DDR3 system RAM.  At a wallet-friendly price of $479.95, the HP Pavilion G6-2278DX uses the AMD Radeon HD 7640G discrete-class GPU which is more muscled than the Intel HD Graphics 4000. While it may be challenged to play Elder Scrolls V even at low game settings, laptops with the HD 7640G GPU can play many other sophisticated RPG and FSP games released in 2012 at low to medium game settings. The G6-2268DX comes with a 640GB SATA hard drive and a multi-format DVD/CD writer optical drive. It is preinstalled with Windows 8 and a one-year WebRoot SecureAnywhere internet security software licensed for 3 PCs.

     

    HP Pavilion g7-2243us review

    Much quicker than other laptops on this price range, you could run multiple programs simultaneously and could kick some decent fps on modern games on medium settings.

    HP Pavilion g7-2243us

     

     

     

     

    Powered by an AMD quad core A8-4500M clocked at 1.9GHz that can be accelerated to 2.8 GHZ, with a 4 MB L2 cache and supported by a 6GB DDR3 SDRAM,  this $488.99 gaming laptop sports a 17.3-inch BrightView HD display with 1600 x 900 HD resolution and driven by a competent discrete-class  AMD Radeon HD 7640G graphics engine which is 20% faster than our minimum Intel HD Graphics 4000.  This gives it enough gaming muscle to play may of the demanding games released in 2012 at low to medium game settings, with the exception of  a handful of games such as Elder Scrolls V, Hitman: Absolution, and Assassin’s Creed III.  This Pavilion comes with 500GB SATA hard disk running at 5400 rpm,.  It does not have an optical drives but comes bundled with Windows 8.

     

     

     

     

    Toshiba Satellite S855D-S5148 review

    One of the bestsellers on this price range, it packs with quadcore cpu clocked at 3.2ghz, with 8gb of ddr3 ram + 7660g GPU, clearly this laptop is made for gaming. It has 15.6″ laptop screen, separate numeric keypad, and is light and compact enough for traveling. Toshiba satellite s855d is one of my picks for this price range.

    Toshiba Satellite S855D-S5148

     

     

     

    With an MSRP of $639 now discounted to $499, you can get a high performance laptop sporting a 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 HD resolution LED-backlit screen with a gaming muscle powered by the AMD Radeon HD 7660G.  This GPU is the top-of-the-line  card in the Trinity line of APUs integrated with the A10 series and is significantly more powerful (about 30% faster) than the Intel Graphics 4000 which is our minimum GPU for a gaming laptop.  It can play just about all the most demanding RPG and FSP gams at low to medium settings with just a few like Hitman: Absolution, Secret World, Max Payne 3, and Assassin’s Creed III that will not play.  Its CPU  is the AMD quad core A10-4600M with 8 GB DIMM RAM and a generous 1 TB SATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm.  It comes with a SuperMulti optical drive that supports 11 formats and all these are housed in a superbly crafted ice blue brushed aluminum body that is only 1.3-inches thick and weighing just 5.5 lbs. It comes bundled with Windows  8. EDIT : This laptop is no longer discounted. Price is now 620$.

     

     

     

    Sony VAIO E Series SVE1513TCXW review

    Maybe the best looking laptop on this price range, perfect for everyday users.

    Sony VAIO E Series SVE1513TCXW

     

     

    At just a cent below $500, this Sony VAIO E series SVE 1513TCXW sports a 15-5 inch 1366 x 768 resolution LED backlit display driven by the Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated with the CPU, the minimum graphics engine that we can consider for a gaming laptop.  Under the hood, this VAIO is powered by an Intel Pentium 2020M dual core clocked at 2.4 GHz and supported by a 4GB DDR3 system RAM.  It comes with a modest 320GB SATA Drive running at 5400 rpm and is bundled with a consumer edition of Windows 8 OS.  Its most appealing point is the 1-inch profile when closed and a 5.9-lb backpack-friendly weight and should satisfy casual gamers.

     

     

     

     

    Acer Aspire E1-571-6811

    More durable – packed with 3rd Gen i3 and 4gb ddr3 ram its a lil stronger than your average 400 dollar laptop.

    Acer Aspire E1-571-6811

     

    At $479.99 (refurbished at $359.99), this Aspire model can be considered the more expensive Intel-powered sibling of the AMD-powered V3-551-8469 mentioned above.  But rather than use a quad care, the E1-571-6811 is powered by a 2nd generation Intel dual core i3-2328M clocked at 2.2 GHz with the same 4 GB SDRAM.  It shares the same features such as the 15.6-inch LED backlit display with 1366 x 768 HD resolution and the same superb glossy black body housing a 500 GB SATA drive running at 5400 rpm and an 8x DVD optical drive. This one, however, has a lighter 5.4 lbs compared to 5.7 lbs in the V3, while the graphics engine has been scaled a notch down from the discrete class AMD Radeon 7640G in the V3 to the Intel HD Graphics 4000 in the E1-571  making it less muscled to play the most demanding games released in 2012/11. Nevertheless, it still qualifies as a gaming laptop under the $500 price point.

     

     

     

     

    Asus K55N-DS81 review

    The cheapest in the pack priced at around 360 – it packs power and style perfect for everyday needs.

    Asus K55N-DS81

     

     

    At a list price of $499 and now discounted to $379, this Asus K55N has to be the most affordable gaming laptop with a 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 LED backlit screen powered by a muscled AMD Radeon HD 7640G graphics engine integrated into the Trinity A8 series and is 20%-24%  faster than the Intel HD Graphics 4000.  Other laptops that cost more or even going beyond the $500 price point can’t touch it.  This same laptop had been featured in laptops below $400 and also recommended for college students. Under the hood is an AMD quad core A8-4500M CPU clocked at 1.9 GHz and supported by a 4GB DDR3 system RAM.  Data storage is served by a 500GB SATA drives running at 5400 rpm and is bundled with a 32-bit Windows 8. An added bonus is its 1.3-inch profile on a lightweight 5.3-lb body.

     

     

     

     

    It doesnt mean if its cheap its unfit for gaming - check out our best gaming laptops under 500.
    Bang For The Buck - Gaming Laptops Under 500
    Date Published: 08/12/2013
    Despite discouragements from time to time by hardcore gamers, it is possible to acquire a wallet friendly gaming computer. There are some great value mobile computers which you can obtain for under $500. They may not be able to fully serve the demanding needs of sophisticated RPG and FSP games released over the last two years, but a few gaming laptops under $500 can still provide enough muscle to play many of them at their lowest game settings.
    4.9 / 5 stars
    Posted by: In: Everyday, Laptop, Under 1000 09 Jan 2014 0 comments

    assassins creed 4 laptops

    Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is among the most compute-intensive  games released recently  and will tax even some of the most muscled upscale gaming laptops in the market. Categorized as a Historical fiction action-adventure and stealth RPG game, it is the latest installment from a franchise developed by Ubisoft Montreal for single player versions and by Ubisoft Annecy for multiplayer versions.  A hand-held  version was developed by Gameloft.  Since the first Assassin’s Creed game title was released for the Windows, Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms in 2007,  the franchise has been a commercial success with more 55 million copies sold as of March 2013.  Just as a background, the series is based on the novel Alamut by Slovenian writer Vladimir Bartol.  In addition to PS3, Xbox 360, PC Windows and Mac OS X platforms, several mobile versions of the game can be played on the PS Vita, Nintendo DS, Android and Nokia Symbian smartphones, and the Wii U.

    Released for the PC/laptop this November 2013, Assassin\s Creed IV: Black Flag will have future downloadable content (DLC) meant to expand the gameplay horizon, the latest of which has been released last December 17 – Freedom Cry, for the MS Windows, PS3/4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

    Systems Requirements

    Hardware and OS determines if a PC game not only can play a compute-intensive game but play it well, with none of the hiccups that could ruin an otherwise rewarding gaming pleasure.  It is always best not to tax the central and graphics processor and something around the 60%-70% utilization is best in order to maintain optimum gaming performance.  It is not uncommon that you could experience glitches once the hardware is taxed performing at 90% or maximum CPU/GPU utilization and full video RAM consumption.  And because we believe that gaming on a laptop is supposed to entertain, thrill and delight as long as the power it provides lasts, we stick only to a recommended hardware setup that we have seen deliver a rewarding gaming experience, not interminable frustrations later as you move up to more complex gaming levels.

    Table 1 shows the minimum recommended hardware and OS specs to run the Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag game. If you want to compare this with what you see in other gaming websites, you would see some significant difference. We won’t recommend a bare minimum. While the CPU specs can get the job done in many of these sites, they are often 1-2 generations old.   We certainly won’t recommend Windows XP or even Vista to play the game. There are no laptops in market today that come bundled with these operating systems.  And even among 12 month old laptops, you’d  be lucky to find one still using the older generation Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD chips.  We prefer to be more realistic and updated by recommending only the laptops you can find today as the year 2013 nears its end.

    Our recommended hardware specs to play the game are presented in Table 1.  It is not the lowest hardware specs that can run the game, but we prefer to err on the side of plenty and recommend only the laptops that offer a more reliable gaming experience with CPU/GPU and RAM headroom to spare.  The last thing we want is for you to buy the lowest and cheapest gaming laptop for the game you want, only to realize it could be gasping for breath in the middle of game as its memory and gaming muscle get fully utilized with no headroom to spare.

    Table 1: Minimum recommended systems requirements to play Dota2

    assassinscreedchart1

     

    HD display

    Full HD at 1920 x 1080 resolution is best appreciated on your 42-inch Plasma or LCD HDTV and if you like to play Assassin’s Creed IV on such a screen real estate, we’d recommend you get the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions.  In addition, if you like to multitask working on 2 or more application windows open concurrently, full HD is highly recommended on your PC or laptop.  But we would be less than honest if this is something you need with highly demanding games while trying to conserve on your computing resources to give it the necessary muscle.  Most gamers even at the professional level know how much resources are wasted when gaming at the highest possible resolution and would gladly settle for even the lowest resolution provided they see the details necessary to make a score and win the game against their opponents.  In short, gaming Laptops with the lowest HD resolution is definitely more than enough for even the most gorgeously designed RPG or FPS games recently released.

    Game Settings

    This is where the graphics card defines whether the laptop using it can play the game or not.  Low game settings can look blocky and pixelated but they won’t tax your graphics engine.  The highest game setting maximizes the gorgeous look and textures of most games so that they approach a level of realism that can easily be mistaken to come straight from movies.  But they require some really powerful graphics engine. No matter how powerful your CPU is, if the GPU is not up to the task, most demanding games won’t be able to render the screens and be quick in responding to real-time changes as you move about and make a score.

    The GPU

    With laptops manufactured over the last 2 years, it is safe to say that even the low end 3rd generation processors from Intel and AMD have no problem handling even the most sophisticated RPG and FSP games.  And with online gaming, a good part of the processing is done on powerful remote game servers. The more important hardware feature in gaming laptops is the graphics engine. They are the ones rendering the compute-intensive vector graphics on the screen.  Needless to say, the more powerful your GPU is, the faster the screens are rendered with faster responsiveness needed for you score in your game.

    Our tests results on which GPU can play the game are summarized in Table 2.  Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is one of the most demanding games that taxes even Class 1 category graphics engine.  Our minimum Class 3 Category graphics engine which is the Intel HD Graphics 4000 can’t do the job properly even at the lowest game setting on default HD resolution at 1600 x 900 and will stutter even at the low 1366 x 768 HD resolution.

    Table 2: Some of the laptop graphics cards in the Class 1 to Class 3 categories that can play AS4:BF 

    assassinscreedchart2

     

    Table 2 shows that most graphics cards in the powerful and expensive Class 1 Category can play Assassin’s Creed 4:Black Flag without a problem at the highest Ultra game settings but the lower ranges cards in the category can only up to the High settings, which is just fine. Class 2 Category GPUs will struggles at the high game settings but should have no problem at the medium game settings.  Class 3 GPUs can be inadequate for the task and even our minimum Intel HD Graphics 4000 can only play this at low game setting and with some difficulty.  If you are interested in playing AC4:BF with power to spare for future game expansion that comes with  downloadable content, you should stay clear of laptops with Class 3 category graphics cards, at most staying no lower than  only with HD 7690M if you want to play it at medium game settings, or with HD 8670M for the lowest game setting. Casual gaming laptops often hovering in the $500 – $800 are more likely unable to play this game for a truly rewarding experience.  Our recommendations start above the $800 price point even for the top-end Class 3 graphics card

    Bang for the buck Laptops for Assassin’s Creed IV

     

    Acer Aspire V3-772G-9656 17.3-Inch Laptop reviewAcer Aspire V3-772G-9656 17.3-Inch Laptop

     

    Now discounted at $1,039.99 from  its $1,299 MSRP, this Acer Aspire V3-772G offers one of the best value gaming laptop even for budget conscious  serious gamers. Not only is it powered by a 4th generation Haswell quad core i7-4702MQ clocked at 2.2GHz with its own 6MB Cache and supported by a 8GB DDR3L SDRAM, it uses a Class 1 graphics engine – the NVidia GeForce GTX 760M with its own 2GB video RAM to drive a 17.3-inch LED backlist widescreen in full HD resolution (1920 x 1080).  Its integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 is already muscled enough to play many sophisticated games in low to medium game settings at a lower HD resolution.  But if you want to play Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag at medium to high game settings at full HD, this laptop has the muscle to satisfy as it switches to the more powerful dedicated GPU.  You may even play it at the highest game setting at a lower HD resolution.  Data storage won’t disappoint at 750GB SATA drive running at 5400 rpm, and comes with an 8x double layer DVD optical drive, HD webcam, a media card reader, stereo speakers and the usual data connectivity ports that include wireless WiFi 802.11b/g/n and wired options likes USB 2.0 and USB30 ports.  Bundled with the Windows OS, it’s a bit on the heavy side at 7.5lb

     

    Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p 59388313 15.6-Inch Laptop (Dusk Black) reviewLenovo IdeaPad Y510p 59388313 15.6-Inch Laptop (Dusk Black)

     

    Just slightly above the $1000 price point, this Lenovo Ideapad Y510P takes a $20 discount from its $1,099 MSRP and gamers may just take notice, especially when its 15.6-inch Widescreen LED-back lit widescreen with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 is driven by not just one Class 2 NVidia GeForce GT 750M graphics engine, but two in SLI dual card configuration, putting the tandem in the midrange Class 1 category.  One card is enough to play Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at medium game setting using the default HD resolution, and you might be able to go higher with a reduced resolution.  Now two heads are better than one and this powerful laptop can certainly play all the demanding game titles at high to ultra-high game settings.  Even Company of Heroes 2 will play at medium settings and high at lower resolution.  The laptop is powered by a 4th generation quad core Intel i7-4700MQ clocked at 2,4GHz and supported by 8GB DDR3 system RAM.  Data storage is a generous 1TB running at 5400 rpm.  It comes with dual UltraBay so you can swap the 2nd GPU with a DVD or Blu-ray optical drive or SSD.  It has a 720p Webcam, two USB 2 and one USB3 ports, an HDMI out and stereo JBL speakers driven by a Dolby Home Theater v4.  All these are housed in a 1.4-inch thick body weight just 6.4 lbs (without the optical drive).  It is preloaded with the Windows 8 OS.

     

    MSI GP60 2OD-072US; 9S7-16GD33-07 reviewMSI GP60 2OD-072US; 9S7-16GD33-07

     

    Close to the sub-$1000 price point at $949, this MSI is among the mid-range gaming laptops powered by a 4th generation dual core Haswell-architected Intel i7-4700MQ with 6MB Cache, clocked at 3.2GHz and supported by an 8GB S)-DIMM system RAM.  Its 15.6-inch LED backlit widescreen display features a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 driven by a Class 2-category graphics engine, the NVidia GeForce GT 740M with a dedicated 2GB DGGR3 video RAM.  It won’t play Company of Heroes 2 with the seamless execution it deserves but it plays all the other recently released compute-intensive games at medium to high game setting in the default resolution.   A few titles like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag can be played only at the low to medium game setting or you could squeeze a high setting at a lower screen resolution.  Data storage is both generous and fast using a 750GB SATA drive running at 7200 rpm.  It comes with a SuperMulti DVD optical drive. an HD webcam, and the usual wired (two USB 3 and two USB3, HDMI) and wireless data connectivity ports – all housed in a 1.27-inch thick body weighing a comfortable 5.3 lbs.   A 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium OS is preloaded with the hardware.

     

    MSI GE60 0ND-654MX reviewMSI GE60 0ND-654MX

     

    Discounted to $899.99 from its $1,399 list price, this MSI GE60 specimen offers a muscled gaming experience that is rare for a sub-$1000 laptop, thanks to the generous discount it now has for the holiday season.  Powered by a high end 3rd generation quad core Intel i7-3630QM  clocked at 2.4GHz with 8GB DDR3 system RAM, it sports a high HD resolution (1920 x 1080) on its 15.6-inch LED backlit widescreen display driven by a Class 2 graphics engine, the NVidia GeForce GT 660M with a dedicated 2GB video RAM.   Not only will Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag play seamless at medium game setting (possibly up to High at 26fps at a lower HD resolution), a Class 2 GPU can play just about all the resource-intensive game titles recently released in medium game setting even at its highest HD resolution. The ads boast of a keyboard ergonomically designed for offering faster and longer-lasting keyboard action, after all, MSI is a gaming laptop brand.  It comes with a 750GB SATA drive running at a fast 6200 rpm, a SuperMulti DVD optical drive, a 2mpx Webcam, and WiFi 802.11b/g/n, a couple of USB 3 and USB 2 ports, VGA and HDMI.   All these features are housed in a slim 1-inch thick body weighing 7lbs.

     

    Dell XDell XPS 15 15.6-inch Laptop reviewPS 15 15.6-inch Laptop

     

    Thanks to the holiday season, we are lucky to find a year old Dell XPS 15 discounted to $799.00 from a list price of $1,199.00. Powered by a 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3230M processor (3M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz) with 6GB Dual Channel DDR3 system RAM on 2 SO DIMM sockets, this laptop features a 15.6-inch LED backlit widescreen that sports a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 and driven by a top-end Class3 Category NVidia GeForce GT 635M with its dedicated1GB GDDR5 video RAM.  This can play several sophisticated game titles recently released mostly at medium game setting on the default resolution, and may even go higher at lower HD settings.  It is among the few laptops using a graphics engine we consider the minimum for a satisfying gaming experience with Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag it can play the game smoothly at low to medium game setting in full HD.   Data storage is supported by a 500GB SATA drive running at 7200 rpm complemented by a 32GB mSATA Solid State Drive, must for many gamers who want to load new game levels and textures fast.  There’s an 8x slot load optical drive (Dual Layer DVD writer) Bluetooth 4.0 and comes bundled with the 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1.