Best Gaming Laptops – January 2013

Top 10 Gaming Laptops – January 2013

This list is based on actual or estimated gaming performance, factoring in the hardware specification (particularly the graphics card) relative to the laptop’s size.

January Update: Not many changes from last month; current gaming laptops are all based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge platform (Core iX-3XXX series) which is an improved version of its predecessor Sandy Bridge. Some more affordable alternatives based on AMD’s Trinity chips can also be found. On the graphics front, Nvidia and AMD have rolled out Kepler and GCN-based GPUs, which are all-new architectures as well as die shrinks (down to 28nm from 40nm). The fastest mobile graphics card at present is Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 680M followed by AMD’s Radeon HD 7970M. It’s important to note that the GeForce GTX 675M and 670M are renamed (and perhaps slightly modified) versions of the 580M and 570M, respectively. There are however newer GPUs with almost identical names: GTX 675MX and 670MX, which are Kepler-based cards. GeForce GT 650M and GTX 660M are also Kepler GPUs.

The Ivy Bridge processors have names in the ix-3xxx range, with a ‘QM’ at the end of the model name signifying quad core. The quad-core Ivy Bridge range was updated late 2012 with revised clock speed. The most common CPUs in gaming laptops are therefore the Core i7-3630QM (45W, replaces 3610QM),  i7-3740QM (45W, replaces 3720QM), i7-3840QM (45W, replaces 3820QM), i7-3632QM (35W, replaces 3612QM) and finally the Extreme Edition, unlocked Core i7-3940XM (55W, replaces 3920XM).

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Top 10 17″+ Gaming Laptops
Sub 17″ Gaming Laptops

17-Inch +

1. Alienware M18x R2

Alienware M18xThe Alienware M18x R2 has been updated several times–almost meriting an M18x R3 designation. The most important update by far is on the GPU  front: Dell’s gaming monster is now available with two of the fastest mobile graphics cards on the planet–dual Nvidia GTX 680M’s in SLI. The second-best option is two of AMD’s best chips, Radeon HD 7970M’s in Crossfire. There are also single card configurations starting with the GTX 660M, the GTX 675M (a rebadged GTX 580M), or a single GTX 680M. In all, the M18x remains an exceptional gaming laptop that will handily defeat quite a few gaming desktops in terms of frame rates and visual bliss. It also comes with a choice of 3rd-generation (Ivy Bridge), quad core Intel Core i7 CPUs, the fastest of which is a factory overclocked i7-3840QM that runs at up to 3.8 GHz in Turbo Boost mode. Other features include USB 3.0, optional 1866 MHz DDR3 memory, the usual AlienFX back-lighting artillery, as well as extremely fast RAID 0 SSD storage configurations. The base model starts at $1,999 and includes a Core i7-3630QM and a single GTX 660M.

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2. Clevo P370EM

Origin PC Eon 17The original Frankenlaptop, the Clevo X7200 with desktop processors, has been discontinued by most vendors and replaced by the more conventional (in relative terms) P370EM. It is also sold under other names depending on the builder, such as Origin PC’s EON 17-SLX (European readers: check out Schenker Notebooks (mysn.de). It’s still a monster at 8,6 lbs/3,9 kg but more compact than its predecessor due to the fact that it uses regular notebook processors, up to the Core i7-3960XM (overclockable Extreme Edition). The range of quad-core Ivy Bridge GPUs can be combined with dual graphics cards in SLI/CrossFire up to the fastest models from Nvidia and AMD–the GTX 680M or HD 7970M, respectively and up to 32 GB RAM. It will also hold two laptop hard drives or SSDs (three if you replace the optical drive) as well as an optional mSATA SSD.

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3. Alienware M17x R4

The M17x R4 has also been given the Ivy Bridge makeover and new GPU options, but this smaller (relatively speaking) Alienware gaming machine can only house a single GPU. Pretty much every component in the M17x R4 is configurable. It offers a choice of high-end Nvidia or AMD GPUs, up to 32 GB of 1600 MHz RAM, various quad-core Core i7 processors, 1600×900 or 1920×1080 panels and dual hard drives or SSDs in RAID 0. It is also available in a 3D version that includes the mandatory 120Hz panel and an Nvidia 3D Vision kit. The base model ($1,499) includes a GTX 660M, but from a price/performance perspective, the Radeon 7979M upgrade is unbeatable. The best optional GPU is the fastest on the planet: the GTX 680M.

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4. MSI GT70

gt780rMSI has updated its 17-inch gaming laptop with Ivy Bridge processors and new GPUs ranging from the Nvidia GTX 670M to the GTX 680M. Instead of various model names and numbers in the preceding GT780 series (DX, DRX, 783 etc.), it is now simply known as the MSI GT70, and most configurations ship with the new quad-core Core i7-3610QM. It comes with a multi-color backlit keyboard designed by SteelSeries that resembles the Alienware counterparts. What makes this and other high-end MSI laptops a little more interesting than the competition is the TDE (Turbo Drive Engine) feature that automatically overclocks the laptop by up to 30%. It also ships with 12 GB of DDR3 and either lots of conventional hard drive storage or an SSD/HDD combo.

[pcu id=65]

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5. Clevo P170EM

EON 17-SThe 17-inch Clevo P170EM is the Ivy Bridge-based successor to the P170HM and is sold by several different boutique gaming brands. Besides the new Intel processors, it can be configured with the new HD 7970M from AMD or the GTX 680M from Nvidia. The new model also comes with a backlit keyboard. In combination with the fastest single-GPU graphics solution on the market and (in its class comparatively) lightweight chassis (8.6lbs), this is a very desirable laptop. If you don’t want to pay a premium for the fastest of everything, you can also opt for the base configuration, which (usually) includes a capable GTX 660M. The laptop has four memory slots with room for up to 32 GB of RAM. Moreover, it has room for dual hard drives or SSDs that can be configured in RAID 0 mode. Or you could use an ultra-fast Vertex 3 as the boot drive and a secondary 7,200rpm hard drive for storage.

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6. ASUS Republic of Gamers G75VW

The Asus G75VW picks up the mantle from the G74Sx as the manufacturer’s 17-inch flagship; the design has been updated but the cooling solution seems to have stayed intact, which is a good thing that keeps the laptop reasonably cool and quiet even under load. Naturally, the G75VW has been updated with new Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs–either the new GTX 660M or the GTX 670M depending on configuration. Just like its predecessor, the G75VW is also available in a 3D edition that ships with an Nvidia 3D Vision kit and a compatible 120Hz panel. One of the best things with the G75 lineup is that it is still very favorably priced compared to the closest competitors. Read the review (by Florian Glaser).

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7. Toshiba Qosmio X875

Toshiba Qosmio X870Qosmio is Toshiba’s premium entertainment brand, so the most surprising aspect of the new X875 is the attractive price point for the entry models (considering the hardware). For less than $1,500 (at this writing) you get a capable desktop replacement with a quad-core Ivy Bridge Core i7 CPU and most importantly a GeForce GTX 670M to take care of your gaming needs. There are other, more pricey configurations available as well; some that include 3D kits from Nvidia, but the base model should hold up pretty well in just about any game thanks to the solid GPU. It can also be equipped with dual hard drives–some hybrid drives with better performance–for up til 1.75 TB of storage space. The base model’s processor is a Core i7-3610QM.

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8. Razer Blade R2

Razer BladeWhether Razer’s most advanced piece of gaming hardware is the world’s “first true gaming laptop”, as Razer claims, is a subject of some debate. However, it is clearly an original machine, and the latest revision made it considerably more interesting. Gone is the dual core processor in favor of a quad core, 35W Ivy Bridge (3632QM) CPU that is considerably more powerful than its predecessor without inflating the power consumption, which has to be kept low considering the Blade’s thin-and-light build. The somewhat mediocre (by today’s standards) GeForce GT 555M has also been replaced by a much more capable GeForce GTX 660M. This duo is complemented by an HDD/SSD combo that should provide ample storage performance.

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9. HP Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition

dv7t quadThe quad-core edition of the HP Pavilion dv7t is another interesting option for gamers–not least because it offers a great deal of powerful hardware for the money. You can order it with a range of 3rd-generation Core i7 CPUs, and the graphics card has now been upgraded to the new GeForce GT 650M with 1 GB or 2 GB of GDDR5 video RAM, which should be almost as fast as its almost identically-specced big brother the GTX 660M. This pushes the dv7t and it’s 15.6-inch counterpart the dv6t into the high-end segment while retaining a highly affordable (in relative terms) price tag. It’s important to note that the GT 650M is an optional upgrade, but this is an absolute must-have if you want to call it a gaming laptop.

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10. MSI GE70

MSI GE70The GE 70 is yet another gaming machine from MSI. It is slimmer and less expensive than the GT 70 (see above). This laptop is either equipped with the GeFore GT 650M or the faster GTX 660M. A key feature in the GE70, at least according to MSI, is the use of a Killer E2200 wireless module that reduces latency in online gaming by prioritizing said transfers. Another unique feature in MSI’s line of gaming laptops is the Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) feature, which is basically an overclocking button that increases the GPU clocks in an accessible and safe way. It’s of course possible to overclock most dedicated mobile GPUs with some manual labor, but MSI removes the trial-and-error factor–presumably without warranty issues.

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Up to 15.6″

1. Clevo P150EM

Origin PC Eon 15-SWhen it’s fully tricked out in the GPU department, the Clevo P150EM is the fastest 15-inch gaming laptop on the planet. It is known under different names and built-to-order by Origin PC, Sager, AVADirect, or a number of other gaming PC specialists. What makes the P150EM special is that it’s configurable with one of the fastest GPUs on the market right now–the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M or the Radeon HD 7970–as well as 3rd-gen quad-core Intel CPU all the way up to the Core i7-3940XM Extreme Edition. It can also house up to 32 GB of RAM. This hardware puts it a step ahead of all of the competition in the 15-inch segment today, no matter if compared in gaming performance or raw processing power.

Read our review of its predecessor the EON 15-S/P150HM here.

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2. MSI GT60

MSI GT60The new GT60 from MSI is also equipped with very powerful hardware for its size. It has the “new” GeForce GTX 670M with 3GB of GDDR5 and 3rd-gen Intel Core i7 CPUs–in most cases the Core i7-3610QM as well as 12GB of RAM and dual hard drives in RAID 0 (optional). Just like its bigger brother the MSI GT70 and the GE-series, the GT60 is also equipped with MSI’s proprietary overclocking technology TDE, which boosts the CPU/GPU clocks by up to 30% with the push of a button. The design has been revised and the 15.6-inch version of the laptop now looks like the 17.3-inch model, only smaller.

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3. Alienware M14x R2

The M14x has just been updated to its second revision, and the Nvidia GeForce GT 555M in the previous version has been replaced by a brand new Kepler-based GT 650M with either 1 GB or 2 GB of video RAM. This graphics card in combination with a choice of 3rd-gen Intel Ivy Bridge processors should be more than enough to let the Alienware M14x keep its title as the world’s fastest 14-inch gaming laptop. The base model ships with an older dual-core processor that can be upgraded to the latest quad-core Ivy Bridge models. It also has  options for a 1600×900 WLED panel and new SSD/hard drive combos that consist of an mSATA SSD and a regular hard drive, taking advantage of Intel’s Smart Response technology. Thanks to a lower resolution compared to most 15-inch gaming laptops, it should be easy to run most games at the M14x’s native resolution.

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4. Asus G55VW

Asus’ new G55VW replaces the G53SX (comparison here) which has been one of the most popular 15-inch gaming laptops on the market. The old GTX 560M has been replaced by a newer, better and faster GTX 660M, while the processor has been upgraded to a new quad-core Core i7–in most cases the Core i7-3610QM. It is more or less a 15-inch version of the 17-inch G75 and comes with a 1080p display, a backlit keyboard and an option for dual hard drives or SSDs, but this time only in an mSATA/SATA combination (and DIY upgrades are very difficult). Just like its bigger brother the G75VW, the G55VW has retained the exceptional cooling solution that keeps its noise level to a minimum. Read my full review here.

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5: Lenovo IdeaPad Y580

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580Lenovo used to be known mostly for its boring-yet-functional business laptops, but that trend is now officially broken with the manufacturer’s IdeaPad series, and in particular the 15.6-inch Y580, which is basically Lenovo’s first gaming laptop. Not only is it a real powerhouse courtesy of a GeForce GTX 660M GPU and a quad-core Intel Ivy Bridge CPU, but also surprisingly inexpensive. The range of configurations (and prices) differ mainly in what panel is used–entry-level models ship with a 1366×768 panel, while others have a 1020×1080 display. There are also versions with the slightly less powerful GT 650M graphics card instead of the 660M.

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6: Gigabyte P2542G

Gigabyte P2542GGigabyte is a very well-known quantity in PC parts, having manufactured graphics cards, motherboards and other components for decades (the company was founded in 1986). However, it was only recently that the company moved into the notebook segment with a few exciting products. One of them is the P2542G – a compact 15.6-inch gaming laptop based on quad-core Intel Ivy Bridge processors and the Nvidia GTX 660M (Kepler). A very attractive value proposition is the inclusion of a 128 GB mSATA SSD in combination with a mechanical hard drive The SSD is used in conjunction with Intel’s Rapid Start Technology (RST) to speed up boot and load times significantly.

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7: HP dv6t Quad Edition

dv7t quadHP’s Pavilion dv6t is the more portable version of the dv7t, and just like it’s bigger counterpart the Quad Edition of the dv6 comes with a choice of the latest quad-core CPUs from Intel as well as a GeForce GT 650M GPU (optional upgrade). This graphics card is a major upgrade over the previous versions of the dv6t, but the pricing is largely unchanged and it all adds up to a very affordable yet powerful 15.6-inch laptop capable of playing all the latest games without breaking the bank.

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There are lots of factors to take into consideration when choosing a good gaming laptop; hardware, build quality, features you value personally, and of course the price tag. As for the hardware, the graphics card plays the key role in a gaming notebook. Sure, the processor is very important for overall performance, as is the hard drive (or preferably: SSD), but at the end of the day the graphics card is what determines the frame rate and whether your games are playable.

To play the latest titles at high resolution with all the detail knobs turned up, you are going to need a powerful GPU. No amount of tweaking or optimizing will substitute better hardware. Both AMD (formerly ATI) and Nvidia have highly capable mobile video cards on the market. In bigger, 17-inch plus laptops, you will also find them in dual GPU configurations–called SLI or CrossFire for Nvidia’s GeForce and AMD’s Mobility Radeon series, respectively. The fastest mobile graphics cards as of January 2012 are the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 7970M and the Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 680M (actually the GTX 680MX, but this GPU is thus far unavailable in current laptops, it has only been unveiled as part of Apple’s new iMac).

Site founder and gaming hardware enthusiast.

257 Comments
  1. Happened on this site by accident, found some very interesting reviews and just had to give my 2 cents.
    I recently (3 months ago) bought the g74sx Republic of Gamers-laptop, with the geforce 560m 3gb graphics card.
    3 months ago I had no idea laptops were this good!
    I however disagree with above review and comments saying the 560m could only handle newer games on Low to Medium settings.
    I run Skyrim in 1920×1080 with EVERYTHING on Ultra settings AND running ~50 fanmade mods at the same time, half of which are HD Texture packs (up to 8x the original texture sizes!!) and other enhancers like more AA and Realistic lights – with (although maybe barely playable) ~30 fps.
    BF3 on the other hand at 1920×1080 res can’t really go higher than High graphic settings, in order to keep the playable 30 fps. In full Ultra settings (I just had to try, right?) it actually performs well with around 20-25 fps, which works almost perfectly during the campaign! But for the more fast-paced and competative Multiplayer I need to dial it back down to High settings to be able to keep up on the largest maps.

    This is an awesome computer all over!
    I frequently render movies in Adobe After Effects and Premiere, and ofcourse play a lot. Hasn’t disappointed yet!

    I strongly recommend it for this price-range!
    My next computer will definitly be a laptop as well (as a former die-hard stationary computer-fan I now consider myself CONVERTED to laptops) and I will make sure it has an Nvidia graphics card in it, cause I AM SOLD on Nvidia with this computer!

    Hope this helped someone decide.

  2. @Linkalee: here are my two cents on the G53SX: https://www.gaminglaptopreport.com/reviews/asus-g53sx-review/
    The AH71 is an updated model with a 10 % faster processor but the same graphics card.

    @therandleray: I’m not entirely sure, but I think that the G74SX is like the G53SX and has the GPU soldered to the motherboard, so no upgrading there. The M18x and M17x use MXM boards, so it’s technically possible but the parts are quite rare and expensive. Two 580M’s in SLI are crazy fast and definitely overkill if you just play WoW. BF3 is something else entirely. With the highest detail setting it is choppy with all but the fastest mobile GPUs, but you can definitely play it on a G74SX with some of the knobs turned down. For WoW in native Full HD it should be more than adequate.

    @Mack: Is that the one with a GT 550M? In that case it should be sufficient for most games, but demanding ones like BF3 will probably only run with low/medium settings.

  3. anyone’s opinion on the Asus N53SN-SH71-CBIL
    or on a Gateway laptop 10131393 i7
    again looking to play Minecraft, Starcraft, STOR, WOW, Civilization V, Sims3, BF3, COD,
    Thanks in advance.

  4. @Berg Thank you for your response on my last question, I know this is going to sound like ive already got my mind made up, but again, like i said im more interested in bang for buck. Do we know how upgradeable the G64SX is GPU wise. Like could i get a 570 or 580 or hell even 590 and it handle it? And lets say i go for the M18X alienware, and upgrade to the 580M SLI.. how overkill are we talking? I think that from what i was reading its a dual 580M, but thats also like an extra grand on top of what i can get the Asus for. Like i said i really only play WoW. I’m interested in maybe going to BF3 in the future, but more so WoW is my main interest. And im assuming that since you said WoW is not that graphics demanding, that the G74SX is probably overkill in itself, would i be correct on assuming that?

  5. What is anyone’s opinion about the Asus G53SX-AH71?

  6. in addition to my previous post: one more game to the games we are looking for the gaming laptop to play are Minecraft.

  7. we are looking to purchase a gaming laptop in the $800 to $1300.00 range. One that will play Star Wars Old Replublic, Sims 3, Civilization V, Starcraft, Skyrim, WOW, COD, etc. and one that will play the new games that are coming out. I have researched DELL XPS 15 & XPS 17, wondering about Asus and Toshiba, Gateway and Samsung gaming models.

  8. Hi. I would like to know what’s a good pick for under $1000. All i want to play on it are Sims 3 games. Thanks in advance.

  9. Andycinoz, I poked around the Origin website, but building their EON15-S with similar specs to an Alienware M14x will cost me about $500 more. If they have a cheaper laptop model, I can’t find it on their site.

  10. Linkalee, have a look at Origin as well, they tend to be a little cheaper than Alienware, although they can be a bit more complicated to spec. I’ve also heard that Dell can be a bit funky with their driver updates….

  11. My current laptop has had some issues with games, but it’s able to play WoW and Left 4 Dead 2 and such without much difficulty. However, recently it’s been nothing but trouble; it constantly loses power from overworking itself, despite cleaning the fans and getting a new battery, and it refuses to launch the Saints Row the Third demo outright. Even in multiplayer Terraria I lag to the point where I’m spending more time lagging at home than exploring with friends, let alone using a video recording program to capture the adventure on film. I’m getting tired of all the limitations and I’m thinking of buying a new laptop outright.

    Does anyone have any advice for a solid gaming laptop that can handle the above-mentioned issues, that I’ll be able to use for the rest of the forseeable future without breaking down or losing the ability to handle future games, and that costs around $1000-$1300? I’m looking at the Alienware M14x right now, but I’m not a computer expert and I’d like some reassurance that I’m making the best decision before I go buying a new laptop based on only one night’s research.

  12. Erazer Medion – x6819
    http://tinyurl.com/89a7nsn
    that spec for that price? Unbeatable I think.

  13. @Infothirst: No the i5 should be sufficient not to affect the frame rates in most games by a large amount. The GPU is much more important in that case.

  14. Yes, the m14x should be able to handle WoW and similar games without any problems whatsoever. If you are referring to network lag I believe it is now also being sold with Bigfoot’s “Killer” wireless, which is a better WLAN solution than the Intel standard issue.

  15. Do I need to upgrade my existing Intel Core i5 2410M to get the games to playable frame rates?

  16. if i buy the m14x will it be able to handle big games like world of warcraft without lag?

  17. Hi Kon,
    OK, an external video card, that’s quite unusual! Then you should be able to use a relatively affordable laptop (but perhaps with a quad-core CPU so it’s not a bottleneck for the GTX 560). The big question is what interface you will be using to hook it up? That could restrict your choices a great deal.

  18. Thank you very much for this good review!
    Can you please answer my question?
    I want to buy notebook that can run modern games, but the thing is:
    1)I will use external video card (GTX 560)
    2)My budget is only 500-700$

    I was thinking about HP g7, but not so sure…
    Also notebook should support wi-fi internet of course.
    Thanks!

  19. @Infothirst: The GPU is definitely your weakest link almost regardless of the rest of your system specs. SWTOR should be playable in lower settings, but BF3 and similarly demanding games (likely including GTA V) will likely stutter even at the lowest details and resolutions (BF3 was just barely playable with the more powerful HD 6630M that I just tested). I would recommend moving up to at least a HD 6770M/HD 7690M (essentially the same GPU) or GeForce GT 555M/GT 635M (also same). To get away as cheaply as possible the refurb./used market may have some attractive options, alternatively HP’s (quad-core) Pavilion lineup.

    @Andycinoz: If I was about to drop 3K on a Frankenmonster right now I would (at least try) to hold out for a few months. Once the new chips are widely available it is unlikely that the price points will differ a great deal (or at all) from the current ones. Usually, when a new generation is rolled out it may be a bit more pricey at first (when old stock clears out) and then drop to about the same levels as before (my two cents).

  20. Any idea of a rough price point on the new Radeon/ nVidia cards that are coming a little later in the year? I’m wondering wether to drop about 3k used on a frankenmonster rig now, or wait and get the next frankenmonster that comes out, but I’m a little concerned about my price point…..!

  21. I have a laptop with 4 GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM and dedicated graphics card AMD Radeon HD 6470M with 1GB memory. I want to know if it is possible to play SWTOR, CoD:MW3, Battlefield 3, GTA IV and the upcoming GTA V with low or medium settings. If it is not enough, then would you please recommend me the cheapest gaming laptop that can handle them.

  22. Berg, I originally started with a Asus G50 RoG series gaming lap top and quickly moved to the G60 when windows 7 came out a year later. I’m still using that laptop today with realtively no issues. I have had to restore it to factory setting once due to a virus that shut me down. But i was able to do it from the computer with no extra disc and such. Im ready to move up in the world of gaming laptops and i’ve eyed the G74SX. I have loved my Asus ever since i bought it but have been encouraged to consider all. So i am. My question to you is, What is going to get me my bang for buck. Im not interested in creating a Frankenmonster, but if i were to go to Fry’s or Bestbuy and say whats the best laptop AsIs that money can buy right now. Which way am i going to be swayed. For the recored I am a WoW geek and soon to play the Beta for Diablo 3. What is your suggestion as i have enough money to go with the Alienware m18x, but is it really worth the extra 600$. If your able to email me back ill get it faster..

    • @ therandley: The G74SX is a well rounded machine, but you may also want to consider the MSI GT780DX(R) with the faster GTX 570M GPU (the GPU should always be priority #1 for gaming). The M18x starts with a GTX 560M, but with the SLI configurations it gets a lot more expensive. Another option might be the M17x, which is in the same size category as the G74SX but can be equipped with a single GTX 580M or HD 6990M. The 580M is vastly superior to the 560M. Another option still would be to wait 2-3 months until the new 28nm mobile GPUs are launched along with Intel’s Ivy Bridge update. If AMD’s desktop HD 7970 is anything to go by, we will see some significant improvements in the next-gen laptop GPUs.
      [edit: Oh, I should also have mentioned that WoW is not particularly demanding compared to BF3 for example, so an ultrafast graphics card might be overkill. No idea about Diablo 3 though (?) Sounds interesting with the Beta!]

  23. Hi so i am trying to find a laptop that I can play battlefield 3 on but i only have a grand any sugestions?

    • @ Gordon.black: I’m currently reviewing the Envy 17 with the Radeon HD 7690M XT (same GPU with marginally lower clocks is available with the much cheaper dv6t/dv7t quad + others) and I’d say that this is the bare minimum for running BF3 at decent resolutions. It produces around 30 fps at 1600×900 medium preset and roughly 25 fps at 1920×1080 low preset. And if it plays BF3 it plays every other game that I know of.

  24. Where the [SNIP] is Razorblade

  25. Hi netgold, I’m currently testing the Radeon HD 7690M (in the Envy 17, but the dv7t has the same GPU) and it’s quite impressive for a midrange graphics card. Not as speedy as the GTX 560M, but great value, as are the Quad Edition Pavilion laptops IMO).

  26. Is the HP Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition a good gaming laptop?

  27. Hi Dain, no not yet. The latest rumor sets the time frame for Intel’s new Ivy Bridge to around April, which might also coincide with the new 28nm mobile GPUs from AMD and Nvidia.

  28. Has there been any information released about any of these machines shipping with the new third gen i7 CPUs?

  29. You are asking whether the most powerful Franken-Laptop available is overkill? 🙂 Of course, but also awesome. Here’s a comparison of two 580Ms vs two 6990Ms: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gtx-580m-sli-hd-6990m-crossfire,3022-12.html (that’s also an X7200, so basically the same system as the EON 17).

  30. I want to get a Intel Core i7 990X 3.46GHz or 970 3.2GHz LGA 1366 Hex-Core Processor and Dual 2 GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6990M graphics cards with a 24GB Triple-Channel DDR3 1333MHz memory unit. would that be good enough or overkill? granted i don’t really think you can go “overkill” on a CpU or laptop/desktop replacement.

  31. dead_nd: I would definitely prioritize the GPU before even looking at the other components. The difference (in games) when moving from a GTX 560M to 580M is huge compared to paying lots for a Core i7 2960XM over a 2760QM, for example. Personally I’m also a sucker for SSDs for the ultrafast boot and load times, but they are also expensive and do nothing for your games (other than decrease the load times, obviously).

  32. hey folks, i need a lil help with a laptop purchase… i’m pretty dead set on the eon17 but i’m unsure what equipment to get inside the damn thing, i wanna play skyrim and batman: AC maybe a lil bf3 and some older games like black and white. but can someone hold my hand and walk me through the hardship that is customizing a new laptop? also it has to be good enough to play max or ultra settings. now i know i could get a desktop for twice as cheap as this laptop but i travel around alot, so it’s gotta portable. kthnx.

    p.s. can you use the tv tuner on the laptop to use its monitor to play a ps3?

  33. @Player,
    Low weight unfortunately not an area where gaming laptops shine, because of all that beefy hardware and cooling systems. The Clevo P150HM is probably the least heavy (but still the potentially fastest laptop below 17″) at 6.8 pounds/3kg. If you are willing to trade off some graphics performance, HP’s Pavilion and Envy lines are also reasonably lightweight.

    @Sc2boss,
    I would again like to refer to Notebookcheck’s comparison page (by GPU) linked to above (SC2 is listed). It looks like an Nvidia GTX card, or AMD 6870M/5870M or better is needed for frame rates consistently above 30 at ultra settings. But there are plenty of options with sufficient capability below 1500, including the Asus G74/G53SX, Qosmio X775 or Alienware M17x.

  34. Hi I was wondering what gaming laptop I should get to play Starcraft 2 on ultra setting while trying to maintain a good fps when playing something like 4v4. I’m looking to spend below 1500

  35. I need a laptop that is less than 17 inch and it’s not heavy .. can someone please tell me, oh I need it good e.g. 1 GB video card.. somehow like that, Thanks 🙂

  36. I went for the HP. My concern is general hardware failure but I’m taking the risk. hoping no switching problems will occur

  37. JF,
    Nothing wrong with Toshiba, but the 6770M is quite a bit faster than the 540M. (here’s a very comprehensive GPU comparison: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphic-Cards.13849.0.html)
    I believe the Pavilion laptops had some issues with the auto-switching graphics. Not sure if that’s resolved in the latest AMD drivers, but the new firmware should allow you to switch off the switching 🙂 in the BIOS. (if this was the source of the reliability concerns, that is)

  38. i’ve seen two similarly priced laptops, one a Toshiba with the nvidia 540m and the other an HP pavillion dv6 with radeon 6770m.
    i was going to go for the HP but then heard that they are less reliable. Is this still true? and is the 6770m going to be that much better?

  39. Hi Tim, I’ve said about the same thing before but it’s somewhere among the older comments: With a budget around $700 I’d suggest looking for laptops with the Radeon HD 6650M (AMD) or GT 540M (Nvidia). Those are sometimes available with quite inexpensive laptops from, for example, Acer or Asus and offer decent mid-range performance.

  40. Hello Tim here I was looking for the most powerful gaming rig around 700$

  41. Staples had a nice Dell XPS 17″ HD laptop for sale for $1199 over the holidays. For $1200, it had the better components of anything comparable at that price. I think Best Buy has the same model. Make sure it’s the one with the HD screen…not the other one.

  42. I’m looking for a new gaming laptop as my MX17 has broken and can not be repaired even with extended warranty. I need one with SSD if possible which would you recommend? I’ve already looked at Toshiba, Clevo seems to be the only one I can see with SSD any ideas?

  43. So I can’t even put a radeon graphics card in it? That sucks.

  44. @Anonemuss: Sadly no. Theoretically the cooling should be enough to handle a single 580M, but the G53’s motherboard layout rules out any form of GPU upgrade as far as I know.

    @Fudge: It’s not an unreasonable asking price for that hardware, but I wouldn’t call it a great deal. You can get, for example, the 17-inch Toshiba X775 with the faster GTX 560M for about the same price.

    @itheman: Thanks Confused (nice system btw!). You can also check out a Skyrim-specific test here: https://www.gaminglaptopreport.com/articles-guides/skyrim-laptop-requirements-%e2%80%93-is-it-playable-on-your-laptop/
    As it turns out, Skyrim isn’t particularly demanding since it’s DX9. It even plays well on a HD 5650, so all of the laptops listed above will be able to play it with decent quality settings (even the M11x).

    @Wartle: SWTOR is also comparatively easy on the GPU, so I would say the same as the above.

  45. hey, I am looking for a new laptop to play Star Wars: The Old Republic,I do not have to run it on ultra graphics but i do want a good laptop, my budget is 1200$ which one would be best for me?

  46. itheman, check out the review of Asus G53SX (on this page). You can play Skyrim at full HD with high details! I think that should be in that price range. Im sure there are some good January deals on it as well!


    I’ve been in the boat for a new laptop for a while myself now. I decided to wait until the New Year sale started, and luckily I made the right call. Saved quite a bit by waiting until today, and I just bought a Clevo with 6990M and 120gb SSD.. 🙂

  47. Berg answer my last post

  48. I want to play Skyrim and similar games on a laptop thats no more then $1000-$1500. Any advice

  49. I’m looking for a gaming laptop and have a line on a 17.3″ Clevo with:

    -i5-2430QM, 2.4 GHz, 3MB L3 cache
    -GeForce GT 555M + 2GB
    -8GB 2x 4GB DDR3-1333MHz PC3-10600
    -500GB 7200RPM SATA II 3Gbs HDD

    for about $1300…is that a good price?

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