Help: buying a new Pc/laptop

#1 Posted by _Judas_ (693 posts) -

So after I posted a topic regarding my crappy ol' Pc, @04dcarraher suggested that I just cought up the do' and buy a new computer -- which seems reasonable. I do need a new computer. My old Acer Aspire 5810TZG is starting to cough and moan...

I need your help, dear reader.
I want a laptop that can run some recent games in the "high" or "mid" tier.

A laptop because:
I am not really a computer gamer anymore. I used to be back in the days with single processors. Now I prefer to game on my couch on a console. I don't want to become a Pc gamer again, because frankly, it is too much hassle. I am aware of the many, many advantages the pc has over consoles. Maybe I'll become a desktop full-time pc-gamer in the future, but not at this very moment.

I want to be able to run some demanding games, and possibly be "covered" for a short time period. I don't need a high-end super-gaming laptop, I just need some guidance: a reasonable laptop with gaming capabilities at a low, low price.

My current budget is about $500 (about 300 quid). I know it isn' t much. Ok, tell you what... my birthday is coming up and If I recieve any money...let's just up it to $650.

To sum up:
-I need guidance in search for a new laptop
-Decent laptop with some gaming/multimedia capabilities
-Don't care about weight, eco friendliness, power usage, touch screen, and all that jazz
-Cheap'ish computer (>$650)

Thanks!
If you want, just leave your suggestion and feel free to ask questions.

Current Pc specs:
Cpu: Intel Pentium Processor SU4100 (1,3 Ghz, 800 Mhz FSB)
GPU: ATI mobility Radeon HD 4330 (up to 1756 HyperMemory)
Memory: 3 gb DDR3


#2 Posted by kraken2109 (13257 posts) -

I don't think you'll get a laptop with dedicated graphics for that amount of money.

#3 Edited by Coseniath (1756 posts) -

Hello.

This was really difficult since for most gaming laptops you need to pay more than $800-900 to find something decent.

But for this money (<$650) I manage to find something that it could play a lot of today's games in medium quality (like Battlefield 4 and Call of duty ghosts at 40FPS). GT840M might seem week but in reality its a maxwell GPU with 384 cores, just 128 fewer than the desktopGTX750.

Acer Aspire V3-572G-54S6 Notebook Intel Core i5 4210U (1.70GHz) 8GB DDR3L Memory 1TB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GT 840M 15.6" Windows 8.1 $629.99

Seriously with $629 this is the best I could find.

#4 Edited by 04dcarraher (20868 posts) -

You can pick up an Acer Aspire V5-552P-X440 that's refurbished for $485 it can run some games like Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs, or new Tomb Raider on medium to high settings. But for Day Z Ive heard people being able to play on A8 AMD A8-5550M which has the 8550G and get close average of 30 fps on medium settings, so this laptop with 8650G should be able to do a pretty good job.

#5 Posted by sSubZerOo (44588 posts) -
@Coseniath said:

Hello.

This was really difficult since for most gaming laptops you need to pay more than $800-900 to find something decent.

But for this money (<$650) I manage to find something that it could play a lot of today's games in medium quality (like Battlefield 4 and Call of duty ghosts at 40FPS). GT840M might seem week but in reality its a maxwell GPU with 384 cores, just 128 fewer than the desktopGTX750.

Acer Aspire V3-572G-54S6 Notebook Intel Core i5 4210U (1.70GHz) 8GB DDR3L Memory 1TB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GT 840M 15.6" Windows 8.1 $629.99

Seriously with $629 this is the best I could find.

I concur on the Acer Aspire there.. I like the fact it's screen is relatively low resolution being 13xx X 7xx, meaning your not slaved to something like 1080p which means overall better performance for longer (you basically never lower resolution on LCD's due to pixel stretching making the image look like crap).. And when the laptop runs the game well, you can just up the AA.. Being fixed hardware for laptops, I don't like 1080p screens, if I want a high resolution I just tv out it to a sharper screen...

Yeah the $800 to $1000 range seems to be the sweet spot for good smaller gaming laptops.. I absolutely LOVE my Asus 46vw laptop, it never ever gets hot or warm..... Another great laptop to keep a eye out in that range is the Lenovo 510, more powerful then the 46vw but doesn't have the cooling system of it.. If I were the OP I would bite the bullet and go for that range, and simply finance it with bill me later (if you have good credit).. Which basically gives you 0 interest rate to pay it for in 6 months time.

#6 Edited by _Judas_ (693 posts) -

Thanks for the responds -- great stuff. This is why I consulted the forum before I went shopping.

I like the Acer Aspire V3-572... it looks just right, actually. Problem is I can't find it in the shops we have in my country. Should've mentioned: I live in Norway. The thing that I don't really "get" is what processor is best for my needs; which processor is better - a quad-core 1.6 Ghz, or a Dual-Core 2.4? These are the questions that bother me... I should really read up on this.

@Coseniath Hi, and thank you for your post. Great stuff. I really like the Acer Aspire V3-572... But I can't find it in any online shops. I've dealt with GeForce graphics card before and I am a fan. Had me a Gainward prime example "back in the day". Only thing that bothers me, except for the fact tha I can not find it in the online stores, is that there is no cd/dvd-driver/player. Don't label me "old" for saying so, but I do have a couple of games on cd which I might want to play. Thank you for this! I will look for it. I have written it down, checked out a few tests, and everything looks great. The review from the site is also impressive. You have done me a great favor -- I thank you!

@04dcarraher : Hi again. This also looks pretty decent. Didn't find it either on the norwegian sites. Does it have another name? I found one simply labeled "Acer Aspire v5 series", but that wasn't it... That the machine can run DayZ at high settings is another success as it is a game I currently am fighting to run... barely. I've gotta go read up on some of this new terminology. Thanks for your help :)

@sSubZerOo : Hi. Glad to see you agree with Coseniath. Remember, I am not in search for a super-powerful laptop rig -- I just want a proper laptop with familiar tech (NVIDIA GeForce is a welcoming sight), which can run some of the current/contemporary games. But I am aware that the technology takes tremendous leaps, so you're saying; why not just spend a few extra bucks and purchase a decent laptop --that way it'll last longer. This is true...I will think about it. Thank you! :)

#7 Posted by 04dcarraher (20868 posts) -

Judas can you order from the UK?

But on your goal for searching laptops like the one I posted is looking for A10-5757M cpu "APU"

#8 Posted by Coseniath (1756 posts) -

Damn. Prices at Norway are skyrocketted...

I checked every site for Acer V3 and I couldn't find anything similar...

Komplett

Dustin Home

Advance.no

Cdon.no

MPX.no

Tofte Elektriske

PS.no

Multicom

Mamoz

Anyone who can help be my guest :P.

Btw the price @_Judas_ asked is 4000nok.

Isn't that right @_Judas_?

#9 Edited by _Judas_ (693 posts) -

@Coseniath : Wow, I'm really impressed with the amount of work you've done to help me -- and thankful, of course!

The NOK price can be about 6000 NOK, I guess.

I did search most of those sites, and a couple eof others.

The "closest" I came, was this: Acer Aspire E1-572G , but didn't have that GeForce gpu.

Also found another oddly labelled Acer Aspire E-series .

I will keep searching for similiar (to the Acer Aspire V3-572G-54S6), maybe even visiting a few stores tomorrow.

Thanks so much for your help, Coseniath.

@04dcarraher : I can buy from the UK, yes.

#10 Edited by Coseniath (1756 posts) -

The speccs we were searching at acer I found them at HP:

HP Pavilion 15-p042 15,6" HD: GeForce 840M, Core i5-4210U, 8GB RAM, 1000GB HDD, DVD±RW, Windows 8.1

Both at Komplett.no and MPX.no at same price 5.590NOK.

#11 Posted by _Judas_ (693 posts) -

Thanks you, @Coseniath!

Today I "went to town" to check out some local possibilities, and these are the "best" ones I could find at a reasonable price.
Please note that the Lenovo laptop is by far the most expensive, adding another 1000 NOK ($161), which maybe is out of my reach. I was searching for the information given by you. I used @04dcarraher 's advice and did a thorough search for the A10-5757M. Found a couple of HP "Envy"-computers. I also took some of @Coseniath 's advice and tried to find "matching" computers. These were the ones that I felt would be good buys for my "needs". I myself, based on the following "numbers", am pretty partial to the ASUS and the HP Pavilion.
What do you guys think would be the best buy?

Acer Aspire E-series : 2,0 Ghz Intel Pentium Dual-Core processor; NVIDIA GeForce GT 710; 8 GB DDR3;

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p : 2,5 Ghz Intel i5 Dual-Core Processor; NVIDIA GeForce GT 755; 6 GB DDR3;

ASUS X75VC : 2,6 Ghz Intel i5 Dual-Core Processor; NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M; 8 GB DDR3;

HP Pavilion 15-p042 : 1,7 Ghz Intel Dual-Core i5-4210u; NVIDIA GeForce 840M; 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM

HP "Envy" : 2.5 GHz AMD A10 Quad Core-prosessor; Dual AMD Radeon 8750M (Does this mean two graphic adapters?!) ; 8 GB DDR3

#12 Edited by Coseniath (1756 posts) -

Okey, since that Lenovo is expensive, the real fight goes for HP pavilion vs HP Envy. edit: Asus has the best nice CPU (lenovo has the best cause lenovo has Haswell while this has Ivybridge and 100Mhz can't fill the gap in architectural performance) but God! that 720M ruins everything...

For the CPU: HP Pavilion is 20% faster in single threaded scenarios (in dual threaded as well I guess) and the HP envy is around 4% faster in Multithreaded scenarios. (based in Cinebench R11,5) Core i5-4210U vs A10-5750M

For the GPU: HP Pavilion has a faster GPU (GT 840M scores 1500 at firestrike vs AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics scores 1300 at firestrike) not to mention that with the dual graphics you will have the problems that all dual graphics have (like microstuttering at DX9 titles). GT 840M vs AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M

ps: I just saw that its 8650G+8750M, still it doesn't change the verdict. The difference is small. Crossfiring at low end GPUs hell on APUs is bad. Avoid it.

I would go with HP pavilion. It has better overall hardware and also has a lower resolution on its monitor (1366 x 768). The HP envy has 1920 x 1080 which is useless with this GPU setup.

#13 Edited by 04dcarraher (20868 posts) -

Y510p or HP Envy

#14 Posted by _Judas_ (693 posts) -

I think it is a battle between the two HP's.

HP "Envy" ; it intrigues me with it's high powered CPU. Also the dual graphics-system. This laptop has the better cpu maybe...by the looks of the result and the possibility to turbo it up many notches.

HP Pavilion ; This laptop seems to have the better GPU, according to the benchmarks. The NVIDIA GeForce 840M is also a known name to me from my days of overclocking, modding and basic pc fidgetry.

According to the benchmarks, HP Pavilion wins (?) both cpu and gpu though the "Envy's" cpu at times beats the i5-4210u.

I'll probably end up with the HP Pavilion, though I'll keep checking/crunching the numbers and see what suits my exact needs; some gameplay, some video and photo editing. I owe you guys thanks! You been a tremendous help! Thank you, @Coseniath and @04dcarraher . This thread has been most helpful to me; learning some stuff about cpu and gpu's. Again, thank you!


#15 Posted by airshocker (31410 posts) -

You're not gonna' find a decent laptop around that price, bro. Now if you wanted a desktop, you could definitely make it happen.

#16 Posted by sSubZerOo (44588 posts) -

You should also not base the laptops just on specs, but their cooling as well.. If your doing anything intensive for a long period of time, a poor cooling system can lead it to become incredibly uncomfortable.

#17 Posted by _Judas_ (693 posts) -

@sSubZerOo: A friend of mine has a pretty sweet Alienware laptop-rig. It's pure magic; runs every game super-smooth, but; the fan!! The cooling system! It sounds like an airplane taking off... ruins everything.

But the thing I am looking for is NOT A GAMING RIGG! Basically, it's a new pc with (decent) gaming capabilities. My old Acer is slowly dying, taking several minutes opening up my browser. I often do in-depth editing and fixing of photos being a photographer for a local newspaper, and my current pc can barely(!) handle it...

I do not have a lot of funds, but for my cash I want to get the best I can get for multimedia purposes. I know that to get a high-end gaming pc, I have to go way over 10.000 NOK ($1600), and I don't want to "waste" that much money on a pc for that purpose, especially with the technology racing away. If I ever WANT a real gaming pc, I will build one from scratch and, ofcourse, make it a desktop. The way I see it, laptops aren't made for gaming...well, some are, but it's just weird.

@airshocker : but these laptops I have found seem "decent", wouldn't you agree?

#18 Edited by _Judas_ (693 posts) -

@04dcarraher , @Coseniath , @sSubZerOo :

Thank you all for your expertise when it comes to gaming at a budget -- very much appreciated.
I ended up getting a Hp Pavilion - mainly because it was on sale, and looked like a decent pc, and "recommended" by Coseniath.
This pc, that I just recieved yesterday, is way better (figures...) than my previous Acer Aspire. Now I can finally watch GameSpot and YouTube-videos in HD (720p, 1080p), instead of earier, when the HD-videos appeared asa slideshows...

I know that this is not some amazing gaming-rigg, but as stated above; when the time comes for me to purhase a real powerhouse; it is not going to be very mobile, and I will be building it myself.

I used to be such a gaming and computing expert...you know, back in the days of yore, when the fastest cpu really WAS the fastest CPU and the most RAM really WAS the most RAM, if you get what I mean. I used to own a 1,1 Ghz HP Pavilion back in 2001. I bought it solely to play "Max Payne" (the first) and "Black and White" (also the first one) at Max graphics settings. Later I started to tinker with it...added better graphics adapters, bigger harddrives, more ram and so on. I kept this beast alive for some years. The parts got more expensive and the "overclocking"/modding got deeper. I bought a new motherboard, couple of fans, new cpu and a brand, spanking new graphics adapter, fitted it all in this "sleeper" case I "borrowed" from school. The CPU I bought, was supposed to be way faster than my previous one (1,1 Ghz...this new one was 1,7'ish, I believe). Everything went excellent and I installed extra fans and stuff. I booted the computer up for the first time, and was deeply disappointed when I realized the system couldn't run many games... I was both shoked and in disbelief. This is when I turned the computer over to my parents and bought a PS3... the old beast still stands in my family home. My dad uses it for photoshopping and basially file-storage. Thinks were much simpler back then...at least for me. Now, I have changed to console gaming and mostly uses my computer for video viewing, editing photos and videos.

Sorry for the digression. Anyway; I am truely thankful to you guys! You helped me in many ways, pointing out great sites (notebookcheck.com), and some basic cpu knowledge. Thank you! Now I am off to play DayZ at Max settings ;)

#19 Posted by Coseniath (1756 posts) -

@_Judas_: Anytime :)

I am glad you got the HP pavillion, cause it was the best gaming option for the price you wanted.

Well then have fun with your new laptop ^^.

#20 Posted by PredatorRules (9086 posts) -

@04dcarraher said:

Y510p or HP Envy

Y510p always

#21 Posted by pcty (366 posts) -

I would buy the Y510p. Read the Notebookcheck review it is very helpful