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Other => General Topics => Topic started by: Misuzu on November 04, 2012, 09:09:54 PM

Title: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 04, 2012, 09:09:54 PM
This is in response to my previous topic: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=106321.0

My family has decided to get a gaming laptop. We're willing to spend up to $1,000 or less on it. Unfortunately, we're all not very knowledgeable about computer specs and technical things, so we need some assistance in picking out a good laptop. We've been recommended some laptops, as you can see below. They all sound promising, but I thought I should get the opinion of fellow Avast members before we buy anything.

The main game we're buying the laptop for is The Sims 3 (I posted specs below for it) and all of it's add-ons (Expansion packs and stuff packs). The Sims 3 isn't supposed to be very demanding, despite that, my current laptop has been crashing to desktop and lagging horribly after installing an expansion pack. However, in general, we just want a good gaming laptop that can play most games without hardly any graphical, flickering or crashing problems etc...

Another thing that is important is that it doesn't overheat quickly. I hear gaming laptops do that frequently. Lastly, almost everyone we've talked to said that the most important thing that a gaming laptop should have is a "dedicated graphics card". Is this the GPU or a specific type of GPU?

All right, here's the specs of The Sims 3

Quote from: The Sims 3 specs
PC System Requirements
OS: XP SP2 / Vista SP1 / Windows 7
CPU: For XP 2.0 GHz P4 processor or equivalent; For Windows Vista and Windows 7 2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
RAM: For XP 1 GB RAM / Windows Vista and Windows 7 1.5 GB RAM*
DISC DRIVE: DVD drive
Hard Drive: At least 3.5 GB** of hard drive space with at least 1 GB additional space for custom content and saved games.
Video: 128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
* For NVIDIA ION™ computers, the game requires at least 2.0 GB RAM.
** 9.6 GB of hard drive space if installing with The Sims 3.
Supported Video Cards: Nvidia GeForce 6 series or better, and all NVidia G, GT, GTS, and GTX video cards. ATI Radeon™ series card 9500 series or better, and all ATI X, X1, and HD video cards; Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA): GMA 3-Series, GMA 4-Series
Please note that the GeForce 6100 and 7100 cards are not supported.

Sims 3 isn't compatible with Windows 8 yet, I don't believe, that's why we're looking for a Windows 7 laptop.

Here's the specs for several computers we found/someone recommended to us.

Quote from: Alienware
Alienware
AMD FX 4100 Quad Core Processor
8.00 GB RAM
64 bit operating system
1 Terabyte space
^ I'm not sure if this is a laptop though. An acquaintance just sent me specs through email without specifically telling me.


Lenovo IdeaPad Y480 i7-3610QM GT640M-LE(2GB) 8GB 1TB Gaming Laptop Win7 209388U
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-IdeaPad-Y480-i7-3610QM-GT640M-LE-2GB-8GB-1TB-Gaming-Laptop-Win7-209388U-/160912995743?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item257729759f

IdeaPad Y480 Laptop - 20938RU
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?GroupID=457&Code=20938RU&category_id=C7563337D3E07CC4B84607F2E57AE7FD#.UJWH1YY2jSj

The above two are the same aren't they? Just in case, I decided to post them anyway.

ASUS G74 Series G74SX-BBK11 Notebook Intel Core i7 2670QM(2.20GHz) 17.3" 8GB Memory 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230454

Some other laptops that might be worth considering?: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2020688,00.asp

Note: We're not necessarily going to be buying the same exact product shown in the links (in other words, we may search around for better prices etc...), it's just to show the specs.
___________________________________

So far, we like the lenovo laptop the best. According to my relative, even though it's heavy, it doesn't get hot as quickly as other gaming laptops. Is this a good idea? I hear lenovos have a lot of bloatware though...

Is any of the laptops we picked out any good? Or do you have any other suggestions?

Sorry for the long post.
Thanks in advance!
Best regards.
-Misuzu
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: bob3160 on November 04, 2012, 11:04:25 PM
Here's my recommendation:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412wqN5gYML._SL500_SS500_.jpg)
What ever laptop you decide to buy, this should prolong it's life. (Model and type is up to you)
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 04, 2012, 11:32:29 PM
^ Thanks for the reply! :)
I have a laptop fan, though I probably could use a better one. (My laptop fan makes loud grating noises when slight pressure is put on it)
So a laptop fan keep most gaming laptops cool despite how hot they supposedly get?

Also, is any of the laptops I listed in the first post fairly good? I hear Asus is a very good gaming laptop.

Thanks!
Any suggestions are always welcome! :)
-Misuzu
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: bob3160 on November 04, 2012, 11:48:01 PM
^ Thanks for the reply! :)
I have a laptop fan, though I probably could use a better one. (My laptop fan makes loud grating noises when slight pressure is put on it)
So a laptop fan keep most gaming laptops cool despite how hot they supposedly get?

Also, is any of the laptops I listed in the first post fairly good? I hear Asus is a very good gaming laptop.

Thanks!
Any suggestions are always welcome! :)
-Misuzu
Since I'm not a gamer, I can't answer that Question. Sorry.
The fan helps to keep any laptop cooler and heat is the greatest killer of laptops.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Chris Thomas on November 04, 2012, 11:49:59 PM
If you want a gaming laptop.

You can buy one Alienware laptop

http://www.alienware.com/Landings/laptops.aspx

Samsungs Series 7 Gamer Laptop i
s also worth mentioning.

Review here

http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/09/19/series-7-gamer-laptop-review

Or you can just buy a Dell XPS.

Sims 3 can even be played in a Dell inspiron laptop

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/performance-laptops-inspiron-r-special-edition?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

About Asus gaming laptops

You can check here http://rog.asus.com/

Lenovo laptops are now thinner. You will need a laptop cooler if you intend to play for long hours.

Some help here

Gaming laptops with 1080p screen under 1100$

http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/gaming-laptops-with-1080p-screen-under-1000-recommendations-summary/
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Charyb on November 05, 2012, 12:05:00 AM
Any suggestions are always welcome! :)
-Misuzu

PlayStation.

1. Around $300.00. Much less than a gaming laptop.
2. Comes with controller
3. Always compatible. Backward compatibility - not certain if always backward compatible.
4. Blue-Ray disc player
5. Can overheat if vents are blocked. Less likely to overheat than a laptop.
6. Hooks up to TV. Large screen size. PC can do this too.
7. Console is not upgradeable (except hard drive?). Laptop is upgradeable but may still be limited.
8. I'm not certain if you can play 2 player mode with a laptop.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Aventador on November 05, 2012, 12:39:22 AM
PC gaming is dead and has been for a long time. I was an avid pc gamer till I bought an XBOX360. Upgrading GPU's every 6 months. Download the latest drivers just to gain more FPS. Tweaking your FSB and ram timings. Overclocking your CPU and GPU. It all gets old. Why buy a gaming laptop for $2000 when you can pick up an XBOX360 or a PS3 for cheaper and get more out of it. Never mind about a million more titles.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 05, 2012, 05:19:13 AM
Hello.
Thanks everyone for your replies.

@Chris Thomas:
Thank you for your suggestions!

@Charyb and Aventador:
Thanks for the feedback and I agree. Consoles were made for video games, whereas computers were not. My family even owns a few consoles. We aren't avid pc or video gamers either. However, the few pc games we play (which usually are PC-exclusive or was on PC first), we play considerably. We're just looking for a good gaming computer so we can be fairly certain that the pc games that we want will work and work well. We decided to get our first gaming laptop (for on the go gaming ;) ) because we've had difficulties with pc games in the past due to our "not so good" computers. We thought that if we're going to get a gaming computer (or laptop, in this case) we might as get one that plays the games great at higher settings.

That's the reason why we want a gaming laptop.
Sorry for about the long explanation haha. But it explains why we want a gaming computer. We're not avid gamers, just people who enjoys PC games. ;)

So far we're thinking we want the Y480 Lenovo. :)
But is it true that it's full of bloatware?

Thanks everyone!
Best regards.
-Misuzu
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: CraigB on November 05, 2012, 06:52:18 AM
Here's my recommendation:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412wqN5gYML._SL500_SS500_.jpg)
What ever laptop you decide to buy, this should prolong it's life. (Model and type is up to you)
These coolers are usless in most modern gaming rigs as there are no fans or vents underneath, all air is usually drawn in from the top and vented out the side or rear now day's :)

Misuzu I can thoroughly recommend the Asus ROG laptops " G74sx " as there build quality is excellent and the keyboards are rated as one of the best on any laptop but being a 17inch with a bit of weight to it you might not want to lug one of these beasts around to much ( you'll probably throw your back out ;D )

Xbox's and PS3 are really the way to go for gaming but if your after portability then a laptop is definitely what you'll have to get :)
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 05, 2012, 06:54:55 AM
Here's my recommendation:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412wqN5gYML._SL500_SS500_.jpg)
What ever laptop you decide to buy, this should prolong it's life. (Model and type is up to you)
These coolers are usless in most modern gaming rigs as there are no fans or vents underneath, all air is usually drawn in from the top and vented out the side or rear.

Is there anything that can help cool gaming laptops?

Quote from: craigb
Misuzu I can thoroughly recommend the Asus ROG laptops " G74sx " as there build quality is excellent and the keyboards are rated as one of the best on any laptop but being a 17inch with a bit of weight to it you might not want to lug one of these beasts around to much ( you'll probably throw your back out ;D )

Xbox's and PS3 are really the way to go for gaming but if your after portability then a laptop is definitely what you'll have to get :)

Thanks! I'll take a look at the Asus laptop!
We actually own some consoles (as I said above), but we just like some PC games and portability is a plus. :D
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Aventador on November 05, 2012, 12:16:37 PM
Lol..................If I spent $2000 on a gaming laptop and it overheated I would demand my money back. Alienware comes with great cooling.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: CraigB on November 05, 2012, 01:18:23 PM
Is there anything that can help cool gaming laptops?
Shouldn't be needed, as I mentioned most of the good gaming laptops now days don't have venting underneath anymore as it restricts the airflow.

I can run multiple programs together with my flight simulator and my G74sx barely gets warm :)
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Dch48 on November 05, 2012, 04:27:49 PM
As always, I would recommend an HP with an AMD APU processor of at least the A8 series. You do not need a discrete graphics card with an APU as it's built in graphics are discrete class. These laptops offer the best bang for the buck for the moderate gamer as you seem to be. I paid $599 for mine a year ago and it still will run any game out there at least medium settings. I play WoW, LOTRO, Skyrim, Rage, DiRT3, Dead Island and more with fluent graphics so it would easily run a SIMS game. From the game specs you gave, it looks like my 2005 single core XP machine could run the game. I recommend HP for another reason. Unlike makers like Toshiba, Sony, and maybe even others like ASUS and Alienware, the latest drivers from AMD can be installed on an HP laptop. With some other brands you are stuck with the drivers offered by the manufacturer which can wind up being years out of date since they rarely offer updates for machines more than a year old.

Contrary to a lot of FUD you will see on the net, HP laptops do NOT overheat. This one I have now never goes over 148ºF even after hours of full screen gaming. The older XP machine in my sig served me well for 6 years and also never overheated. It would reach CPU temps as high as 196ºF but that is still below the rated max. By the way, I have never used a cooling pad either. Laptops are designed to run at higher temps than their desktop counterparts with no ill effects.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 05, 2012, 06:57:39 PM
Thanks for the input everyone! Sorry, I forgot about the HP AMD laptops you talked about Dch48. I'm going to check out the Asus and HP laptops mentioned. :)
We have a nice selection of laptops picked out now, thanks guys! I'm sure we'll be able to find one we like out of all these.  ;D

Lastly, I was just curious, but is it true that Lenovo laptops are full of bloatware? I read that somewhere...

Thanks guys! :D
-Misuzu
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: CraigB on November 05, 2012, 07:07:31 PM
Unless you have ordered a custom built laptop/desktop they all come with additional rubbish ( bloatware ) installed, that why I'll alway's grab an oem windows disc from a computer seller/repair shop and do a clean install of the operating system, Asus ROG systems make this easyier by supplying the drivers disc with your purchase as well.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: bob3160 on November 05, 2012, 07:35:29 PM
If you order directly from Dell, you can insist that it be shipped with just the OS and nothing else.
They may balk at first but persistence pays off. My Dell Vostro came to me with just the OS. :)

Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 05, 2012, 08:38:39 PM
I see. I thought "bloatware" was something else.
Thank you everyone! You've helped a lot.  ;D

Best regards,
-Misuzu
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 06, 2012, 08:06:26 AM
Oh sorry! One last question, I promise!  ;)

Is it safe to buy a "Manufacturer refurbished" computer? I know it's when a computer is defective and sent back and fixed. But is there any "dangers" to buying a "Manufacturer refurbished" computer? Is it possible for it to have malware (viruses, keyloggers, trojans etc...) from previous owners or do they contain easily breakable parts due to originally being defective?

"Manufacturer refurbished" computers seem to be cheaper (for obvious reasons), and we are considering buying one, but we wanted to know if they were safe to buy.

Thanks!
-Misuzu
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: CraigB on November 06, 2012, 08:11:51 AM
There should be no problems with a refurbished system, whatever problem it may of had should have been fixed and the unit is restored to factory state.

It would also come with at least 6 to 12 months warranty, this is how I purchased my older Acer 8920G with a $700 discount :)
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 06, 2012, 08:25:59 AM
There should be no problems with a refurbished system, whatever problem it may of had should have been fixed and the unit is restored to factory state.

It would also come with at least 6 to 12 months warranty, this is how I purchased my older Acer 8920G with a $700 discount :)

Wow thanks for such a quick reply!
I was pretty sure buying a refurbished computer would be safe, the main thing bugging me is the possibilities of malicious/malware on the system. But it sounds like it's safe too.
Though, isn't it possible for malware and such to "live through" a factory restore? Then again, the restoration the manufacturers do on the computer should be more foolproof.

Sorry for all the questions.  :-\
-Misuzu
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Asyn on November 06, 2012, 08:28:52 AM
Though, isn't it possible for malware and such to "live through" a factory restore?

No. (If it's done right.)
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 06, 2012, 08:34:13 AM
Though, isn't it possible for malware and such to "live through" a factory restore?

No. (If it's done right.)

Then we must not have been doing it right in the past.  :P Then again, I think what we couldn't get rid of was roguewear. (Though all the malicious things, like viruses, keyloggers, roguewear etc... Are categorized as malware, yes?)

Well, it sounds like refurbished is the way to go. I'm sure the manufacturers would restore a computer "correctly", right? I guess I'm just malware-paranoid haha.   :P
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Asyn on November 06, 2012, 08:37:55 AM
1. Then we must not have been doing it right in the past.  :P Then again, I think what we couldn't get rid of was roguewear. (Though all the malicious things, like viruses, keyloggers, roguewear etc... Are categorized as malware, yes?)

2.I'm sure the manufacturers would do restore a computer "correctly", right?

1. We've guys here, who can help you to get it clean.
2. Yes.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: CraigB on November 06, 2012, 08:43:26 AM
You would more than likely find that the computer was returned for a hardware issue and refurbished, you can always ask them what the reason for it's return was but it really wouldn't matter anyway as it should be all in good working order.

You can also google the model and see if there were any known problems that they were returned for, my old Acer was returned for bad screen flickering but was perfect once I got it and it still runs great now 5/6 years later.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 06, 2012, 08:56:31 AM
Thank you guys for the fast replies!  ;D

@Asyn:
I was referring to an old desktop that we don't have anymore. Sorry if I was misleading.

@craigb & Asyn:
Thanks for the answers, I'm so paranoid sometimes.  :P

Thanks everyone! As stated, you've been a great help! That should be it, for real this time.  ;)
Best regards,
-Misuzu
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Asyn on November 06, 2012, 08:59:17 AM
1. @Asyn:
I was referring to an old desktop that we don't have anymore. Sorry if I was misleading.

2. @craigb & Asyn:
Thanks for the answers, I'm so paranoid sometimes.  :P

1. NP Misuzu. :)
2. You're welcome.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: CraigB on November 06, 2012, 09:15:32 AM
@craigb & Asyn:
Thanks for the answers, I'm so paranoid sometimes.  :P
Your welcome :)
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: DavidR on November 06, 2012, 12:11:13 PM
Though, isn't it possible for malware and such to "live through" a factory restore?

No. (If it's done right.)

As has been said it shouldn't be an issue, but in life there are no guarantees. Some years ago some new hard disks were coming out of the factories already infected.

So whatever you get ensure you do install avast and run a scan.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Asyn on November 06, 2012, 12:14:01 PM
1. As has been said it shouldn't be an issue, but in life there are no guarantees. Some years ago some new hard disks were coming out of the factories already infected.

2. So whatever you get ensure you do install avast and run a scan.

1. Don't scare her Dave, she's already paranoid. ;)
2. +1
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Dch48 on November 06, 2012, 02:28:54 PM
That's the problem with wiping the disc and doing a fresh windows install on a laptop. Most laptops have special keyboard functions and other things that require the drivers from the manufacturer. Even things like networking drivers may be manufacturer specific. HP offers all the drivers for their machines as downloads though so it can be done. What I do is just remove the bundled software that I don't want and keep the few that I like. I have kept the Cyberlink PowerDVD program on my Win 7 machine for instance because it has BluRay playback. I was even able to upgrade it for free to the full version. If you are going to wipe an HP clean, you should backup the folder called SWSETUP as that contains all the driver and software installation files that come with the machine. Then you can easily install your drivers and whatever else you might want without having to download anything.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: Misuzu on November 06, 2012, 08:49:14 PM
Though, isn't it possible for malware and such to "live through" a factory restore?

No. (If it's done right.)

As has been said it shouldn't be an issue, but in life there are no guarantees. Some years ago some new hard disks were coming out of the factories already infected.

So whatever you get ensure you do install avast and run a scan.

Was those computers factory refurbished or brand new? Either way, it's bound to happen at some point somehow. Though hopefully that doesn't become a frequent problem.  :o
I always do Avast! and MBAM scans on the new computers my family gets anyway. ;D

And thanks for the info, Dch48. I usually don't uninstall a lot of programs except the pre-installed antivirus programs.
Title: Re: Recommendations for a gaming laptop
Post by: DavidR on November 06, 2012, 10:04:22 PM
It was the hard drives coming from the factory, so the possibility is going to be there for infection from any point in the chain, be that new PC or refurbished. However, that is a limited possibility at all points suppliers would/should be exercising due care. But you shouldn't be too concerned when you also exercise due diligence, get your security software on there and run your scans.