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.

[pcu id=51]

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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).

[pcu id=66]

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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.

[pcu id=70]

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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.

[pcu id=37]

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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. Can the asus g53sx house more than one graphics cards becuase i have one and i’m thinking about an upgrade to the 580m but i need to know if it can house 2.

  2. Hi Reko24. I’m guessing that you’ve ruled out the M14x? IMO it’s a nice and compact laptop with lots more performance than the M11x if you equip it with a quad core i7. Besides the very fast and very expensive Clevo there’s also the GT683DXR with the GTX 570M, which is a lot more powerful than the 560M and priced somewhere in between the mid-range and high-end offerings.

  3. @Ayoob Marafie thanks.. i already tried your advise but when i finish customizing.. oh yeahh it goes to 2.9k usd.. shoot thats out of my budget.. anymore recommended 15in gaming laptops there? thank you again ayoob

  4. @Reko24 I would recommend going for the clevo, try this website and build a custom one for you budget, you can get the best for less http://www.sagernotebook.com
    i am builing 2x 18.4″ laptops now

  5. hi guys. i want some help in choosing my next gaming laptop. for now i have my alienware m11xR2 with core i7 processor. since i would like to have a more bigger screen and faster gaming performance. any 15in laptops you could recommend? my budget is $2000

  6. I was at Best buy and they suggested a mac book pro. Any comments?

  7. That kind of battery life when actually gaming sounds very impressive. Has the hybrid Crossfire solution been improved in regard to the micro-stuttering problems?

  8. You may wish to reexamine the HP dv6z-qe range. Especially in consideration of the A8 APU.

    It is true that a 6750M does not hold up to a 6770M out of the box, however in games where Crossfire is working the numbers become similar. Additionally the 6750 CAN be overclocked with Afterburner, and you can lock that speed with a modded BIOS.

    The A8 can be overclocked more than 50% from its stock speeds, and still runs cooler than i7. With a long gaming session it will still be running at full speed while the i series has begun throttling.

    For battery performance, undervolting has a huge impact and you can still adequately game with only the integrated graphics. Depending which battery you have, this means 2.5-6+ hrs of online multiplayer.

    So, when plugged in the dv6z performs very similar to dv6t. But when unplugged, it offers a solid experience with massively improved battery endurance.

  9. Good point, Glutton! It should definitely be here. Will add it next update. Thanks

  10. What about the Clevo P180HM? (Sager 8180, Veda P180HM) 18.4″ laptop with dual GPU (up to dual 6990m), 3 hard drive bays, and lower costs due to it not using the desktop cpu. I think it should be somewhere on this list as well.

  11. Sager is on the list, but under the ODM manufacturer’s name Clevo. P150HM is Sager’s NP8150 and so on.

  12. Why there is no sager on this list? you can customize a better and cheaper laptop directly on their website.

  13. my budget is $1,700,…i dont know on how to choose in the list of gaming laptop

  14. @Pie Man: Happy Holidays!

    @John, I’d like to help, but what size and price range are you looking at?

  15. Hi sir can you plz help me to choose the best laptop,that i can play the latest game like battlefield 3 and MW3 thanks a lot more power..

  16. Yes, I assumed there was a good selection out there but I never know what to get without a second opinion and given I can’t go out to often much less get on the net art the moment I can never get much of one especially from a urm…technilogically challanged family. Thank you very much for the quick response! I shall look at those next time I am out shopping.

    Happy holidays Berg, I know I will have them now!

  17. Hi Pie Man. With a $700 budget you can find plenty of laptops that will give you a massive performance improvement over the CQ61. I’d start looking at Core i5/i3 models, and to get decent gaming performance, add a dedicated GPU like the Nvidia GT540 or AMD HD 6650M to that. There are plenty of those from Asus and Acer for example, such as the Acer 5755G.

  18. Hello, I am a big time gamer. Just got into looking at computers (spec wise). I have browsed the net for quite some time but can’t really find the right computer in the 700 dollar price range. For three years now I have had a compaq CQ61-429US Notebook (more like a laptop) it has windows seven home premium:
    Model presario cq61 Notebook PC (I still think its more like a laptop)
    Processer is a AMD Sempron(tm) M120 2.10 GHz
    RAM 3.00 GB only 2.7 GB usable of course
    Its running a 64 bit operating system. Like I said its older has good graphics and a nice processer but I was looking for a more modern version and as I said I can’t seem to find one. I need some help here and anything would be appreciated. Thank you very much. (I can always save money but this current computer is only a few runs to e waste unfortunately)

  19. I recognize the comparison and it says a lot really. Some extra tree branches and shadows and that’s about it. 🙂 I’ve played the game on both run-of-the-mill HD 5650 and HD 6630 as well as full HD ultra and unless you compare them side by side it’s unlikely that you will notice a great deal of difference. When true DX11 games start to go mainstream the situation will be different though, so I suppose you could use the “future proofing” argument.

  20. Thanks for your reply, that comment helped me narrowing it down a bit 😉

    “Kunshan is a Clevo P150HM?” – Correct!

    I actually saw that comment about [email protected] from you earlier, so I have been “cruising” the net to see how “big” the difference between HIGH setting and ULTRA setting is.. and it’s not really that much of a difference (High: http://img.gfx.no/981/981226/TES5_high.jpg vs Ultra: http://img.gfx.no/981/981229/TES5_ultra.jpg)

    So I guess the Asus will give me what I crave for, and save me some money in the process.

    Im leaning towards the Asus now, but I might be able to wait until @2012 and see if there is some good deals coming up then.

    Cheers!

  21. Hehe, you’re welcome 🙂
    Kunshan is a Clevo P150HM? I’m writing this on a P150HM but with the GTX 580M, and it sure is fast (will publish a review soon). Skyrim at Ultra settings, 16x AF and FXAA runs at 50-ish FPS. The HD 6990M shouldn’t be much different, but it does get hot and rather loud (hardly surprising), and is very expensive of course. The MSI is also said to be rather loud, but i haven’t tested it myself unfortunately. The GTX 570M is clearly faster than the 560M, even with an i5 CPU probably, but general system performance will take a hit compared to a quad-core i7. The G53 is the biggest and heaviest of the trio but the overall design and like you said, the cooling, is very good. As for Skyrim, it’s not very demanding and probably not Diablo 3 either. I did a small writeup about Skyrim using the G53 among others here: https://www.gaminglaptopreport.com/articles-guides/skyrim-laptop-requirements-%E2%80%93-is-it-playable-on-your-laptop/
    You can turn up viewing distances and details to the max. values if you turn off/down the AA/AF settings and high-detail shadows and still get playable frame rates. So in terms of value for money, I’d lean towards the ASUS, and the Clevo if I had money to burn.

    The new batch of both Asus and Alienware are most likely a few months off. Nvidia and AMD are not releasing the high-end 28nm cards for a while yet and Intel’s next-gen Ivy Bridge 22nm CPUs are scheduled for April (rumor). Then there’s the matter of putting the new hardware into new products. So late spring/summer 2012 is likely when the big changes happen. If a potential M14x R2 uses an upper mid-range GPU like the current one it might arrive sooner, but that’s 100% speculation.

  22. First of all, thanks for the review, and for confusing me even more 😉

    I want a laptop for gaming, and I have narrowed it down to 3 options (If only Alienware 14x came with a better GFX card I would probably just have bought that. Mainly because I love that design):

    1) Kunshan with Radeon 6990
    2) MSI i5 with GT570M
    3) Asus G53 with 128bit 560M

    The Kunshan is obviously the best, but it is also 50% more expensive than the MSI & Asus (which are the same price).

    Im currently just playing Starcraft 2, but I want a laptop that is able to run Skyrim with good quality (in full HD), and Diablo 3 with the best possible video settings available (But no higher than full HD [email protected]).

    Asus vs MSI: Same price. MSI wins with a better GFX (570) vs Asus (560.. with 128bus). But then again, the Asus has a better CPU. The Asus is very QUIET and has better cooling also.

    Im just not sure if the Kunshan is worth paying 50% more for, or if I should just go for the Asus or the MSI?

    None of these laptops are bad choices.. but.. which one should I get?

    PS: Do you have any idea if Asus will unleash a new gaming laptop anytime soon, with a better GFX card? Same with Alienware 14x.

  23. Hey Chappy, for minecraft I think just about any laptop from this century will suffice. 🙂 Video editing is a bit more demanding though (although I’m no expert in that department), but a common recommendation is a relatively speedy (7200rpm perhaps) and large hard drive (video takes up a lot of hard drive space in raw format).

  24. im looking for a laptop that i can use to edit videos & play games like minecraft but i have no idea what i need

  25. No problem Hamster. I hope you’ll be happy with it, it’s about as fast as it gets right now within those power constraints. And yes, there are laptop hard drives up to 1TB available now. If you upgrade it yourself, though, make sure that it’s a 9mm drive. The first 1TB 2.5″ drives that came out were all 12.5mm thick (3 platters), which won’t fit in most laptops.

  26. Thanks again for the advice Berg, i’m pretty much decided on the HP DV6 6146tx. Anything I should know about before I go out and get one? The 640gig hard drive is a little small for my liking, can it be expanded?

  27. I’m looking for some laptops that is great for playing DOTA and The Sims 3 and some fb games . I hate my slow laptop very much ><
    is there any suggestion for me with the budget under $1000 ?
    I don't understand about this laptop specification so please help me . thx a lot

  28. Sorry about the slow load and comment approval times lately (server problems that should hopefully be resolved now).

    @Hamster: Yes, that’s the one. The HD 6770M is at least 20% faster (I wouldn’t pay much extra for the 2GB version though, if given a choice). The specs on HP US says 120W for the ones with dedicated graphics, but with the MBP 15 in mind it seems very unlikely that they actually use that much.

    @Adam: Thanks for the tip! Yes, it’s definitely worth browsing around all those sub-models of the ASUS laptops. The G53SX we had for review here started with an “X” in the model name and did not come with a bag or mouse, but the GPU and VRAM should be identical in all of them (2GB and 128-bit bus width). You are perhaps confusing it with the G53SW(?), which has the GTX 460M with less memory and lower clocks but a wider memory bus that evens out the differences.

    @Zane: If you are looking for something decent in the value segment, I would say about the same thing as in the discussion with “Hamster” above. Laptops with an Nvidia GT 540M/AMD HD 6650M or better should suffice for Skyrim with decent quality settings. For GW2 the details are still scarce though, so it’s hard to say.

  29. Hey Ive been looking for a new laptop. I’ll mostly be using it to play Guild wars 2 and maybe Skyrim. I’m looking for something cheap but can still run the games at atleast medium settings. Any suggestions?

  30. Hi FelixH,
    Late spring 2012, when Intel’s next-gen Ivy Bridge and Nvidia/AMD new 28nm GPUs are fully rolled out is my best guess. On the other hand, games become increasingly demanding with each generation, so it’s a Catch 22 however you look at it. A GT 555M laptop for 540 euros sounds like a good deal at any rate.

  31. …and just so I fully understand.

    Are the only differences between the G53SX-A1 and the G53SX-XA1 that the G53SX-XA1 comes with a bag and a mouse while the G53SX-A1 comes with half a gig more memory on its GPU?

    ASUS’ website is basically useless for seeing differences between its sub-models.

  32. Great list. Very helpful to a guy who is looking to get a new gaming laptop on a budget.

    I notice you’ve got the G74SX listed as starting at around $1669 over at Amazon. Just FYI, that’s for the A1 model, which comes with a 1TB HDD and a blu-ray combo drive. If you don’t need blu-ray, the XA1 model comes with a still respectable 750 GB HDD and a DL DVD RW. All its other stats clock in the same as the A1 except the price, which drops to $1412. A heal of a deal for an awesome unit.

  33. I did a bit of research, the best laptop in that series is the dv6 6146tx, is that correct? I couldn’t find any specs on the adapter but 120w would be fine. And are you saying that it would run games better than the aformentioned laptops with the GT540m? It seems to be around the same price, the most expensive I could find was $1,100 au. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-Pavilion-DV6-6146TX-Core-i7-2630QM-8GB-640GB-HD6770M-2Gb-Blu-Ray-15-6-Gaming-/140627592149?pt=AU_comp_laptop&hash=item20be0ec3d5

  34. When do you think there will be laptops under 600€ with a graphics card above the level of a 540m? I’m just waiting for this and recently there was a special offer by a supermarket chain in coorporation with a professional hardware chain of a laptop with a Geforce 555m GT for a price of 540€. (These offers are well-established by now here in Germany and they are usually solid quality. But they last only as long as stocks.) I’ve been hoping there’d be a similar price-value in normal offers ahead soon.

    Currently I own a laptop with a 8600m GT, and I don’t want to upgrade to a merely mediocre performance, nor am I willing to pay more than up to 600€, because of the bad ratio compared to a desktop PC (but currently I often commute between uni and home at weekends) and because the current generation is already getting old and also because I don’t “need” a new system per se, if it wasn’t for the better graphics.

  35. Hmm, I haven’t been paying close attention to the power supplies, but after some checking it seems that the HP dv6t quad with the HD 6770M ships with a 120W adapter (the 6770M is a clear step up from the GT 540M). Apparently the 15-inch MacBook Pro with essentially the same hardware comes with a 85W adapter, which is an interesting comparison. In other words it seems very unlikely that the dv6t actually uses 120W. The MBP 15 is definitely a fine piece of machinery as well, but if you are going to run Windows on it anyway the 100% price hike is a bit steep.

  36. Is there anything inbetween the 35w and 95w gpu range? The laptops mentioned above come with a 90w adapter, and the top end gaming laptops come with 150w adapters. Is there anything inbetween?

  37. Exactly! You also have the Asus N53SV, MSI GE620, Acer 5750G and not least the Dell XPS 15. The HP Envy 14 should also have a sufficiently low power consumption. Unfortunately your power budget is barring the way for more powerful GPUs and the highest settings in newer games. SWTOR looks like the least demanding game of the trio, so there you might be able to turn up the settings. Skyrim is probably more demanding, but again this is only guesswork. At least we will know about Skyrim in a couple of days 🙂

  38. Thanks for the info Berg, very helpful indeed. So do you think something like the Asus K53SV? I don’t really have a price restriction, so I would prefer to get the best gaming perfomance I can with a 90w adapter max. I would like to be able to play SWTOR, GW2, skyrim at high settings, so sick of playing games at the lowest possible setting. Could you suggest any other laptops?

  39. Hey Hamster. Unfortunately the GPU is the worst offender if you want to cut back on power consumption, so you may have to go with a class below the GTX series. Dual-core vs. quad core CPU doesn’t make much difference (Core i5: 35W, Core i7 QM: 45W), but for a GT 540M vs. a GTX 560M it is more like 75W/35W (the manufacturers aren’t that forthcoming with the specifics, but something along those lines). A laptop with a GT 540M/HD 6650M and might be a reasonable compromise. Combine that with a “standard HD” display (1366×768) and you should get playable frame rates at native resolution minus much of the eye candy like SSAO/MSAA (that’s of course guesswork since neither SWTOR or Skyrim is out yet). There are plenty of laptops with those specs from Dell/Asus/Acer and others.

  40. Hi there, I’m in the market for a new gaming laptop, but I have a few requirements that are making it difficult to find the right one.

    I’m on solar power so I need something with lower power consumption, so probably a 15.6 screen at the most. Many specs don’t actually show the power consumption, but the top 5 laptops under 15.6inch on this page come with 150w AC adapters, which is a bit high for me. I won’t be playing overly demanding games, mostly SWTOR, GW2, and Skyrim.

    So I was wondering if there is a decent gaming laptop which runs at <120w while gaming?

    Cheers

  41. I’m sorry, but Sager absolutely needs to be there in place of Origin. Origin’s prices are terrible compared to Sager. Sager offers better hardware on their laptops, on the same chassis, for less. That’s a careless oversight of most people. Sager should be much more well-known than they are given credit for. I still don’t get why Alienware is rated as highly as they are when they obviously overprice everything. Of course, when you throw in Origin, it seems normal, since they overprice to almost the same extent. Sager deserves much more respect, though, for how they think of the gamer, not themselves. Give them that at least over these other companies.

  42. I had the hp envy 17… Worst laptop effa… It has a i7 with no boost….the games stard good but the proccecor cant hande the gddr5…it gets a loth of fps drops in games and blueray movies…returnd it in 6 days.. Rather go fo alien ware m17 but in nl u pay more then us…but us valuta is lower….geezus….

  43. @ErrOR, thanks for pointing that out. I should know considering I just disassembled one… I’ll change that right away.

  44. Incorrect statement on the G53SX. I have one purchased though XOTICPC and it has two hard drives, primary is 750 gb, secondary is 640 gb. Please fix this error.

  45. Thanks neo019, corrected!

  46. Misprint ‘MSI GT780R / GT780DXR’ not 740 🙂

  47. There are three Clevo laptops on this list including the X7200, P150HM and P170HM. It even says so in the article, had you bothered to actually read it.

  48. Pathetic..no Sager/Clevo. Bunch of newbs/retards.

  49. Hi Mirumoto, funny you should say that right now, I did just that in this one: https://www.gaminglaptopreport.com/reviews/asus-g53sx-review/
    It boggles the mind why that laptop ships with an empty HDD slot.

  50. Hello,

    I have an Asus G53SX and it has 2 slots for HDD. I currently boot on a SSD and use a HDD for data.

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