Light gaming laptop under $550 - any ideas?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Balint Sipos, Mar 12, 2017.

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  1. Balint Sipos

    Balint Sipos Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey all,

    I am searching for a laptop that would be used for non high-end gaming and would satisfy the following needs:

    - 15 inch screen
    - dedicated GPU
    - price under $550

    Can be either Intel or AMD based.

    The goal is not to run the latest games on high settings but to relatively well running not extremely demanding games from the past 5 years on low to medium settings.

    Is there any outstanding ones you can think of?

    I appreciate any feedback on this. Thanks
     
  2. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    IdeaPad 510 should be available for that price - it has a 940MX

    IdeaPad 700 is about 650$ and has a 950M
     
  3. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    For that price tag, you are asking for way too much.
    Even the GTX 960M, found in laptops for around 600-650$ would fail to run most games at high settings. The lowest requirement for today's games to run at high settings is the GTX 1050, which is about the same as a GTX 965M. The cheapest laptop sporting a GTX 1050 is the HP Pavilion 15t. Provided you order the base specification (i5-7300HQ, GTX 1050 2GB, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD), it will cost you around 650$, maybe less with rebates.

    Sent from my SM-N900 using Tapatalk
     
  4. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    "The goal is not to run the latest games on high settings but to relatively well running not extremely demanding games from the past 5 years on low to medium settings."

    Huh?
     
  5. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    My friend owns an ASUS UX304 laptop with the 940MX and it runs games horribly. That's a multimedia card, not a gaming one.
    Laptops with a GTX 950M are rare these days, because most manufacturers switched to the superior 1050 while keeping almost the same price tag.
    If our friend wants to hunt for a laptop able to comfortably play games for many years, GTX1050 is the goal.

    EDIT: I did miss the "Not", thinking you were eyeing to play at high settings for that price. Sorry OP!
    My point still stands though. If you are looking for the most future proof "light gaming" machine, I encourage you to try your best and stretch your budget by not-too-much. It'll make a world of a difference!
     
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  6. Balint Sipos

    Balint Sipos Notebook Enthusiast

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    No probs Skidrow.

    Yes, I agree that the 940MX is not really a card that will be futureproof. However in this price category this is unfortunately the best option still.
    The laptop will not be for myself but for a friend who is still studying so can't go higher with the costs.

    Thanks for the answers guys! Helped a lot.
     
  7. Balint Sipos

    Balint Sipos Notebook Enthusiast

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    Actually I found 2 configurations one with 950m that might do a better job.
    Which do you think is the better one?

    Acer Aspire E5-575G-585F
    cpu: i5-7200u
    gpu: 940mx
    memory: DDR4 2133Mhz
    screen: Full HD Matte

    ASUS X550VX-XX068D
    cpu: i5-6300HQ
    gpu: 950m
    memory: DDR4 1600Mhz
    screen: HD Glare

    The second one feels stronger to me and they are actually on the same price. The real downside I feel is the non FullHD screen.
     
  8. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    The second one has a true quad-core processor versus the dual-core with hyperthreading of the first one and is indeed the better of the options presented. You can always hook up an external monitor in the future if you want a 1080p experience.
     
  9. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    I've literally just recommended the 2nd option for a friend yesterday, only, it comes with an i7-6700HQ, a full HD TN panel and the GTX 950M, and costs 700$ after taxes.

    Yes, go for the ASUS, I'd always avoid Ultra low voltage cores (like the one in the Acer) because those are battery-oriented CPUs. The GT 940MX is a multimedia card, while the GTX 950M is an entry-level gaming card.

    The low resolution is actually no issue at all, as long as it looks good. The GTX 950M struggles at 1080p when playing newer games, but is completely comfortable at lower resolutions. The 940MX coupled with a full HD panel results in an abysmal outcome, with games being absolutely unplayable.


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