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.

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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. […] “gaming” computer. Iif you have the extra bling to throw around, I found a good list on gaminglaptopreport.com. Here are their Top 5 gaming laptop picks for September 2011. For a full top ten list, hit the […]

  2. @Berg, thanks for the article link. Looks like I won’t be getting the full performance out of having Premiere running on my MBP as opposed to using Final Cut because of the AMD 6490. I need to learn Avid, more Premeire, and FC or just heavily play with one so that I can pick up on the other quickly.

    Oh well thanks for the help. I’m going to go and play with MBP for a week and then decide if I want to send it back.

  3. Kirk,
    The EON 15-s is a kick-ass gaming laptop (based on the Clevo P150HM). Right now it seems to be the most powerful 15-inch laptop on the market since it can be equipped with a HD6990M or a 580M. I’m actually looking to buy one for myself. But based on your requirements (middle-ish performance in new games) it is overkill to say the least. You can easily find a laptop with “decent” gaming capabilities for well below the $1,000 mark. I would start by looking at laptops with a GeForce 540M/Radeon 6550M as a starting point. That includes the XPS 15, dv6t (with HD6770M) as well as lots more laptops from ASUS, Acer and others.
    The Razer was mentioned here too (https://www.gaminglaptopreport.com/news/razer-blade-delicious-but-expensive-gaming-laptop/). It looks amazing, but the price tag is ridiculous.

  4. @Ceasar, I’ve tried to look for reviews and comparisons that take video editing (GPU accelerated) performance in Premiere or similar into account, but it seems to be very rare. I did find this interesting article: http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm
    It looks like the difference between software-based and GPU accelerated rendering is huge as expected, but surprisingly small between different GPUs, where the rest of the system seems to be the bottleneck.

  5. Been surfing the web and you all will want to take a look at this laptop from Razor that will be relesed in Q4, they call it the first “true” gaming laptop. It is not a desktop replacement,but it is under an inch thick (0.88 to the exact) and weighs under 7 pounds (6.79lbs or something). Its called the The Blade and it looks beast. One of the only competitors with the mbp 17.3″ fully upgraded and still it has better graphics. But this beastly laptop costs just under $3000, they say $2799US.

  6. @Berg Thanks for the reply. Would you happen to know of any websites where I might find such information “Top 10 video editing or multimedia laptops?” I’ve searched the internet but only come up with 2010 and past reviews.

    Oh I just got my MBP so I will give it a spin for the next few days return it if I’m unhappy with performance.

    Oh and I came across this website for listing and rating gpu’s currently on the market. The list compares AMD to NVidia. http://www.laptop-computers-wiz.com/best-graphics-card.html

    Thanks for the help Berg.

  7. Just relized that the base value of the Eon15-S is $1549. So for a recimendation any 15.6″ laptop under $1500. Bad info on my part. Thanks.

  8. Hello Berg,
    I have been looking at the Origin Eon15-s and wondering if it was a good gaming laptop? What features and Internals should I upgrade if any for a reasonable price under $1500? It would mainly be used for school work and play some of the newer games at middle-ish speed and preformance. Even older one like TF2 and Minecraft and even COD 2. Your advice would be helpful. Thanks.

  9. @Ceasar, thanks for your confidence. Unfortunately I don’t have much experience with video editing. If I’m not mistaken, the 2.0GHz MBP 15 comes with a HD 6490M, while the 2.2GHz version also has a faster GPU (6750M) but how this translates to Adobe performance I have no idea. Believe it or not, I’ve actually owned a MacBook Pro (running Windows) and there’s no question that it’s an amazingly well built laptop. A shame about the cost. Based on graphics performance (in games) the PCs you mention are all faster than the Mac. The GT 540M in the Qosmio/Dell is faster than the HD 6490M, and the HD 6770M in the dv6t is faster even than the more expensive MBP model. However, if I were in your shoes I would still take the MBP for a spin first, with or without OS X and see how it performs.

  10. Hello Berg,
    I am planning to buy laptop for gaming purpose (hardcore gamer) and but i am little confuse about which one to buy.I have gone through Alienware(i7-2820,16GB Ram (hdd doesnt matter, 2 GB graphics only ATI ) and HP dv7 Quad edition(same config)..I have heard that hp has heating problem is it true?
    Please guide me which one is better hp or Dell. Suggest other laptop also
    my budget is $800 +

  11. Berg, you seem to know your stuff so hopefully you can recommend me something good. The past few weeks I have been researching what would be the best laptop to get for video editing/film making (Adobe Premier, Avid, Adobe Suites). I recently ordered a refurbished 2011 Macbook Pro 15″(i7quad 2.0ghz, intel/radeon GPU, 500gb hdd) to play around with for a week to see if I like it. Almost everyone I know says Apple/Macbook Pros are the notebook to go with.
    However, I see that HP dv series especially the 6t, Dell’s XPS, and Toshiba’s Qosmio 15 have higher GPUs, more HDD and are cheaper by about $300-$600. But with shorter battery life anywhere from 2-4 hours.
    Even though I know you are more familiar with gaming pcs/notebooks. What would you recommend spec wise and based off of performance and product reviews? This would be my first Mac, but I really like PCs and would rather stay with a PC and get more for my dollar if it is worth it. Please rank in order of greatest to good if possible between the 4 or more if you have recommendations.

  12. Thanks Berg. That helps. Hoping this’ll be the last laptop I buy for a couple of years at least.

  13. Dvoorak, have a look at this page: http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6990M.57308.0.html
    (scroll down for benchmarks). Looks like it’s only the notorious Metro 2033 that can’t be turned up to “ultra”, but I can also add that Crysis 2 DX11 with the high-res texture pack and ultra settings will be a tough nut to crack. That one is barely playable even with two GTX 580Ms in SLI.

  14. Hoping someone will give me an informed opinion. I bought a G73Jh with a 5870 from Best Buy a year ago and basically feel robbed due to bios issues. Now I’m considering Alienware’s M17x (glad to see it made this list). I’m not a real computer geek. I just like to game…. at ultra settings…. all the time. Here’s the specs I’m looking at.
    1920×1080
    I7 2.5 ghz turbo 3.4 ghz
    Radeon HD 6990 2 gig ddr5 256 bit
    8 gig ddr3 1600 mhz
    SS hard drive

    Is this likely to keep me above 40fps on ultra settings in hardcore 3d games (Battlefield 3 etc)?
    Is it overkill?

    Thanks for any opinions given. Really don’t want to get burned again or throw away money that doesn’t need to be.

  15. Hi Tami, I can sympathize with your situation, from both perspectives. In terms of school/homework, just about any laptop will do the trick but when you are into gaming (and a teenager on top of that) you probably want one with all the bells and whistles. 🙂

    The M17x is the one that really stands out here as it’s much bigger and also the one that can be equipped with the speediest gaming graphics card, which in turn also makes it the most expensive option. To answer your question, it is arguably worth the money if you primarily want raw gaming performance and don’t mind the size (and cost).

    The other two are closer in both size and gaming performance, provided you get the 1GB HD 6770M GPU for the dv6t, which is a very important ($25) upgrade for gaming. That GPU makes it almost as fast as the M14x.

    There’s no question that Alienware has more “gamer appeal” than HP’s Pavilion series, but the Pavilion is really hard to beat in terms of value for money at the moment.

  16. My teen son wants an Alienware M14x (or M17x), but I’m looking at the HP dv6t at best buy or HP build on line. I’m thinking of a practical laptop for school/homework; he’s thinking gaming first, then school. Which is better? Which is better value for the same features? With the HP, what features/specs should I invest in so that it’ll run like the Alienware when used for gaming? Is the M17x worth the money compared to the M14x? Is Alienware overpriced for its ‘coolness’? Any other advice? Thanks much!

  17. Hi Jeril, thanks! As far as I know Toshiba has either the Satellite P7xx or the 15-inch Qosmio that comes with a 15-inch screen and an i7 CPU. Both have a GeForce GT 540M GPU, which is OK, but not enough for maxing out the details in the latest games. I also believe that 8GB is the max amount of RAM in those laptops(2 slots).

  18. Hi, Berg. Nice article. I need your help.

    I need a Toshiba laptop that has a 15-inch screen, an i7 Sandy Bridge processor, a graphics chip that can max out games on the above mentioned screen, and atleast 8 GB of RAM which can be upgraded in the future.

  19. I’m not entirely sure, but I would venture a guess that they are region specific..

  20. Berg I have a question about those coupons you mention. How can I use them? Is it for US region only? BTW I’m here in Singapore. Thanks! God Bless!

  21. Hey Ice91! Well if you get a laptop that’s capable of high-end gaming it can definitely do almost anything else except make you coffee in the morning 🙂 I think I’ll pretty much stick to the earlier discussion with FilGamer, but with a $1000 budget you have a little more leeway. The “old” versions of the ASUS Republic of Gamers with the GTX 460M are very favorably priced now that the GTX 560M is on the market (which is only a slightly faster version of the same GPU). Models with the Radeon 5870M are roughly equivalent in gaming performance. Dell’s XPS lineup and HP’s quad edition Pavilion series (with the GPU upgrades) are also appealing options, and very affordable if you time one of the coupons that show up every now and then.

  22. Hey Berg
    I need an overall dependable computer that excells in gaming but i can also use for things like microsoft word, ppt, etc. For the gaming I want to be able to play on high settings for things like render distance and graphics, and has a lot of RAM and memory. I would also like the price to be under or near $1000. Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Ice91

  23. Hi Romanna. I have only very superficial experience with 3D creation software. Hopefully someone else might be able to fill in the blanks here, but the 64-bit 3DS Max system requirements for “large scenes and complex data sets (typically more than 1,000 objects or 100,000 polygons)” says that 1GB of video RAM is recommended (http://usa.autodesk.com/3ds-max/system-requirements/) + 8GB of system RAM. The 1GB in the GT 550M should be sufficient in other words, but the GT 555M is a
    more powerful GPU (144 CUDA cores instead of 96). Not sure how this translates to actual rendering performance though.

  24. Hi, can anybody help me with choice of a laptop for engineering and architectural and 3d design (such as 3D AutoCAD, 3D Microstation, 3D Max, BIM, Photoshop etc)? I am thinking about Dell xps17 (with dual channel ram 8gb ddr3, hdd 750gb/7200rpm). I am not an expert, and would like to know what processor will be the best for my purpose, have to select either i7 2630qm or i7 2720qm. And is video card NVidia GeForce GT 550m 1gb sufficient for software that I will work with?
    Thanks.
    Romanna

  25. Hi Berg! Thank you for the reply. I’ll keep that in mind. I’ll also check ot Asus G series.

  26. Hi FilGamer!
    The HD 6770M in the dv6t definitely trumps the GT 540M in the XPS 15 in gaming performance. Of course, both are capable of just about any game, it’s mainly a question of how much you can turn up the detail knobs. They are also both in a sweet spot when it comes to value for money.

    If you don’t mind refurbished, you could also check for the Asus G series with the GTX 460M or HD 5870M on ebay/amazon etc. Both of those cards are a great deal faster and by now it is probably possible to find one within your budget.

  27. Hi Berg. I’m just new here and I’m planning to buy a gaming laptop. My choices are the HP dv6t, dell xps 15 and I don’t know what to else choose from. My budget for buying a laptop is 800 to 900 usd. What are my options? As I don’t have that much money. Alienware is prettymuch expensive for me.

  28. Hi mlkIII, sounds like the Vaio is pretty well equipped (what is the exact model number?). The 555M is the same as in the M14x so you can check some roughly equivalent gaming performance here: https://www.gaminglaptopreport.com/reviews/alienware-m14x-review-hdd-ssd/

    And here (scroll to bottom): http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-555M.41933.0.html

    Good luck with your new laptop!

  29. Hey guys a little help here..I was looking at a Sony Vaio that seemed to be amazing for games. 8 gb RAM, NVIDIA 555 card, 750 gb hd, what do you guys think? It seems comparable to these computers, and it has a second generation I7 in it. It is 1250 at best buy.

  30. Berg, thanks for the info. I’m wary of HP since I’ve heard a lot of bad stuff from them.

    Thanks!

  31. TyGamer, the GTX 560M is faster in all key areas: faster memory, more shaders, higher clocks. I think it’s safe to say that 3GB of video RAM is overkill with any laptop GPU.

    P.S. The plan is to revise the list to make it more “apples-to-apples” based on size.

  32. The latest Toshiba Qosmio X775 laptop series are pretty nice, any reason they are not on the list? They have GTX 560M graphics card and intel i7 2630QM quad core processor.

    I’m looking at that and the dell XPS 17 laptop. Which is better? The XPS17 with 3GB GT555M or the Qosmio with 1.5GB GTX560M?

  33. Thanks gephetto,
    I can only agree that the $1,099 (i5) version that Toshibadirect is selling right now looks like good value. On the other hand the G74 is quad core, which is a huge boost in overall system performance (not games though). It’s hard to say exactly what impact the smaller memory bus will have, but there’s no doubt that all games will still be playable with decent quality settings. Another option in the same price range is the HP dv7t Quad. The current coupon takes the price down to $1059 with 1080p, 8GB RAM and HD6770. This GPU is slower than either version of the GTX 560M, though.

  34. Hi, I was wondering if you guys could help me out. I’m looking at the new Toshiba Qosmio x775 the i5 core version with the GTX560M. It seems like a great laptop for the price. I’m just wondering if it good or if there other laptops that are better for the price. I know best buy has the new asus G74 but I read that its the lower bit version on the GTX560. I’m not sure how significant that is. I’m not gamer who needs the “ultra” settings running at 30fps constantly, but I also want something that’s going to let me enjoy the graphics of the game while being playable. This is a great site and seems to be on point with most information. Thanks.

  35. Why no Hp envy 17 ??

  36. Womble, if you’re referring to this site it doesn’t sell laptops. It does have related ads of course, but so do virtually all websites and magazines.

  37. Can you actually trust a website that both reviews and sells laptops?

  38. No love for Sager?

  39. @Chatmort: Good point, but the G74Sx still isn’t available in stores. Will add it when it is.

  40. No G74SX but the G73 is here? WTf..

  41. None of the laptops Benoit mention are cheaper than an M18X with DUAL 6970M’s, tell me again how it’s “affordable”?

  42. @Benoit: “affordable” is always a relative term 🙂 Nice laptops nonetheless, especially the GTX 485M.

  43. I’m buying either:

    1) SAGER NP8170-S1
    17.3″ Full HD LED-Backlit Display with Super Glossy Surface(1920×1080)
    Intel® Core™ i7-2820QM Processor ( 8MB L3 Cache, 2.30GHz)
    8 (16)GB PC3-10660/1333MHz DDR3 – 2 SO-DIMM
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 485M GPU with 2GB GDDR5 Video Memory
    120GB Intel 510 Series SATA3 Solid State Disk Drive
    500GB 7200rpm SATA 300 with 4GB NANAD SSD Hybrid Hard Drive
    6X Blu-ray Reader/8X DVD±R/2.4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software
    IC Diamond 7 Thermal Compound GPU & CPU
    Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 – 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth Combo Module
    1 x BAT-8170, NP8170 Smart Li-ION Battery Pack (8 Cell)
    Win 7 Pro 64
    Total $3300 CAD

    or

    2)Malibal Satori
    17.3″ 1920 X 1080 FHD LED Baclit GlassView Display
    Intel® Core™ i7-2820QM Processor ( 8MB L3 Cache, 2.30GHz)
    8 (16)GB PC3-10660/1333MHz DDR3 – 2 SO-DIMM
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 485M GPU with 2GB GDDR5 Video Memory
    120GB Intel X25M (510) SATA III 6Gb/s SSD2 Drive
    500GB 7200 SATA 300
    6X Blu-ray Reader/8X DVD±R/2.4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software
    IC Diamond 7 Thermal Compound GPU & CPU
    Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 – 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth Combo Module
    $3100 US

    Both system with 3 Y Service.

    Now I call that a gaming laoptop for an affordable price.

  44. @Flux: Duly noted. List is updated.

  45. Time for an update… GX660 is taken off the market. (just a friendly reminder)

  46. @Aaron: good tip! small laptops with gaming capability are pretty cool. The N43SN is somewhat reminiscent of the Acer 4820TG (https://www.gaminglaptopreport.com/reviews/pimp-my-budget-laptop-acer-4820tg-overclocking-ssd/)
    but with an i7 CPU.

  47. What about the Asus N43SN http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=kF449KlaEsgljj6c

    in overall terms, its ok, but considering its only 14″ with a new sandybridge i7 CPU, and Nvidia GT 550m usb3.0, this has to be one of the best spec 14″ laptops around.

  48. How is Falcon Northwest not on this list?

  49. http://www.originpc.com/choose-eon-gaming-laptop.asp
    that place have some good as gaming laptops $1,557.00 for a basic model.

  50. @boo boo: I think that the np8150 is still unavailable thanks to the sandy bridge issue. Great tip though!

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