Winter 2011 Gaming Laptop Guide

By Published November 05, 2011 at 3:17 pm
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As powerful as desktop PCs are (our $800 build is a testament to this), they are inherently cumbersome and have limited mobility. If you're often on the go, attend LAN parties with your friends frequently, or just prefer something smaller (relatively), then you may prefer a gaming laptop; we've picked these out for their ability to run the newest games (like Skyrim or BF3). Here is a run-down of the different laptops based on price-point:

Before we go on, keep in mind that most of these laptops have a lot of customization options in terms of the hardware that can be included with the system. This means you can pick and choose from a variety of options (CPU, RAM amount, hard drive space) that you want in order to better fit your budget. For the sake of picking the best bang for the buck we have picked the best hardware possible for you in the laptops featured.

 

$900 - Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 (found here)

lenovo-laptop

Specs:

  • Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM Processor (2.2GHz 1333MHz 6MB )
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 1GB
  • 8 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz
  • 814 GB Hard drive

 

A Lenovo laptop? Yes, I know it is not by any means a "gaming" brand per se, however this particular model can actually run games at decent settings. Though it is certainly not an extremely high-end gaming system, this laptop is great for its medium budget price and will churn out a fantastic performance on most games; it will run newer games like BF3 at lower settings (based on specs).

$1200 - Asus G53SW-A1 (found here)

asus-laptop-1

Specs:

  • Sandy Bridge" Core i7-2630QM quad-core processor (2.0GHz~2.9GHz Turbo Boost, 6MB cache, 45W TDP)
  • Intel HM65 chipset
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M graphics w/ 1.5GB GDDR5 dedicated memory
  • 8GB DDR3-1333 dual-channel RAM (2x 4GB, supports up to 16GB - 4x 4GB)
  • 750GB 7200RPM Seagate hard drive (ST975042AS)

 

The Asus G53 is a laptop for hardcore gamers seeking to buy a performance-oriented system at a decent price. The system is a bit budgeting flexible in that you may choose alternative hardware (the site lets you change the CPU, OS, memory, HDD, and other hardware). Let's just go all-out with it for purposes of this article and choose the Intel Core i7 2630QM Processor for the CPU and use the default nVidia 460m 1.5 GDDR5 video card.

Using these specs, if we look at our Battlefield 3 performance chart, this system should be able to run Battlefield 3 on around medium to high settings.

$1900 - Asus G74SX (found here)

asus-laptop-2

Specs:

  • Intel® Core™ i7 2630QM Processor
  • 750GB 5400rpm/7200rpm
  • 8 GB DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560M with 3GB/2GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 17.3" monitor 9.4 lbs.

 

Though aesthetically the G53SW and the G74 are the same, the G74 contains much more powerful hardware underneath that black exterior, including an SSD, GTX 560, and up to 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. It should run newer games like a champ.

This laptop is a bit pricier, however, and costs up to $1900 depending on configuration options. The above specs are the best hardware upgrades that can be chosen over at the ASUS website for this particular model.

$ 2000+ Origin PC Eon 17 (found here)

origin-laptop

Specs:

  • Single 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 580M
  • Intel® Extreme Edition Core™ i7-2960XM 3.6 - 4.8GHz with Turbo Boost (8MB Cache), 32nm
  • Up to 32GB Dual Channel DDR3 - 1333Mhz
  • Up to 750GB – 7,200RPM
  • 16.22 inches, 8 lbs.

 

Though not exactly the best looking laptops out there, the Origin EON17's are entirely gaming-based machines. If you want a laptop with the absolute best hardware and performance, look no further. The Origin Eon17 was made for gaming and will provide the best gaming experience of all of these systems, but for a higher price. Depending on the way you customize the machine, it can cost upwards of $2000+.

 

Gaming laptops are always pricier than desktop systems (by far); however, they're a lot more mobile. As mentioned earlier, if you're into social gatherings, LAN parties, or maybe in college, a gaming laptop may be for you. If you want something affordable, powerful, and don't mind about being immobile, check out one of our above-linked PC builds.

All of these have different options that can increase or decrease price, the price tags above are there to give a general sense of the budget each of these would fit in. If you're interested in buying any of these, please comment below or post in our hardware forums for further help -- we're glad to help our users! Be sure to check out their manufacturers' websites as well, you might be able to customize these to your budget.

Last modified on November 05, 2011 at 3:17 pm

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