Gaming notebooks are considerably more expensive than desktop PCs for the same level of processing power. A gaming laptop could set you back by $1000 while you could get a desktop with the same feature set for about $200 less. Why? That’s more because of the specialized hardware that must be cramped on a small foot print where no such restrictions encumber desktops. But whether desktops or notebooks, the same computing resources such as the graphics card determine up to what level of gaming sophistication you can indulge in.
Being able to play those demanding PC games like Battlefield 3, Anno 2070, Crysis 2, and Metro 2033 shouldn’t be difficult with modern dual and quad core notebooks, provided the one you choose has a sufficiently muscled graphics engine with DirectX 10 or 11 support. The critical consideration is the screen resolution which can tax even a competent graphics card to render the polygons and textures at a respectable 25-30 frames per second on a full HD 1920 x 1080 screen. The lower the resolution, the easier it is for the GPU to paint the screen from those high end games.
Cheap Gaming notebook – What about resolution ?
But what is the smallest screen resolution a gamer is content? If the answer is 800 x 600 or at most 1366 x768 on a 12-13 inch display, then there’s a lot of cheap dual core notebooks with DirectX10 support that can do the job. But having said that, it’s really not how cheap the notebook is that matters, but the value in terms of price/performance. There are sub-$500 dual cores that won’t measure up to a seamless Skyrim: Elder Scrolls V gameplay even with low game settings. Then there are sub-$800 notebooks than can, even with a screen HD screen resolution. It all boils down to the gamer. What games are in his alley that can define value for the money in a gaming notebook to say it is cheap enough for him?
Value for the money
One of the more popular notebook brands with the highest price performance value is Acer. Its Aspire V3 series, specifically the V3-571-8469 runs on an AMD quad core A8 accelerated and paired with an AMD Radion HD7640G GPU with 512 MB video RAM. At $439.99, it offers a gorgeous 15.6 inch HD screen with a 1366 x 768 resolution that goes great with both games and movies. With DirectX 11, this Aspire model can play some of the most demanding games in 2012 like Diablo 3, Anno 2070, Star Wars: Old Republic and StarCraft 2 with ease but on a low to medium setting. There should be problem playing some of the sophisticated games released in 2011.
At a higher $600+ price level, the Toshiba Satellite L875D-S7343 offers outstanding value as a cheap gamin computers that has a 17.3-inch 1600 x 900 screen. It is powered by a powerful quad core engine from AMD’s second generation A10-4600Mintegrated with the AMD Radeon HD7660G on a single chip and sharing 6GB DDR3 system RAM.
Adding a few more dollars on your budget is often a good way to get a significantly better notebook without going overboard. Consider the latest Acer Aspire V3-571G-6622 at a street price of $649. You can get this now or wait a few months down the road when the price settles to a lower level. You get a large 15.6-inch monitor with 1366 x 768 resolution that is typical for most notebooks these days. It is powered by a third generation i5 dual core from Intel and a capable Nvidia GeForce GT 530M with 1GB video RAM on top of its 4GB system RAM.
Check out the review of each of the models mentioned above for more details. Among gamers looking for a cheap gaming computer, these three come highly recommended based on your budget and what games you have in mind to play.