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Best Laptop for ~$800

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I know this is such a common thread, but I'm looking for a laptop in the $800 range that would be suitable for some casual gaming while on travel.

I'm not tied to a specific brand, screen size, or specific feature set, but gaming and durability would be a little more important than other things (screen size, battery life, etc.)

Costco has several models in this price range, but mostly with the GTX950M or R9 M375 video card variants, which according to reviews, have been slightly disappointing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 5
Dell Inspiron 7559

Sig Rig only has an added 1TB drive and another 4GB stick of RAM and that's it. Best possible deal.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac 'Ripper' Mouse Pad 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
17.3" - 1600x900 Standard backlit 180w Power Adapter Logitech G500s 
Audio
Harmon/Kardon Onboard 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac 'Ripper' Mouse Pad 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
17.3" - 1600x900 Standard backlit 180w Power Adapter Logitech G500s 
Audio
Harmon/Kardon Onboard 
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post #3 of 5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683423426

Refurbished
$850
ASUS ROG G751JL-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2 GB GDDR5
4th Generation Intel Core i7 4720HQ (2.60 GHz)
16 GB Memory 1 TB HDD
17.3" 1920 x 1080
16.30" x 12.50" x 0.78"-1.69" 9.50 lbs.
DVD±R/RW
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i7 4710HQ Nvidia GTX 980m 8GB 16GB [2x8GB] 1600MHz Blu-ray Burner 
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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreatsquare View Post

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683423426

Refurbished
$850
ASUS ROG G751JL-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2 GB GDDR5
4th Generation Intel Core i7 4720HQ (2.60 GHz)
16 GB Memory 1 TB HDD
17.3" 1920 x 1080
16.30" x 12.50" x 0.78"-1.69" 9.50 lbs.
DVD±R/RW

2GB Vram isn't enough anymore. :c You need at least 4GB for most 1080p titles. Hell, Dying Light on max settings pulls 3.5GB from the 4GB my 960M has. tongue.gif
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac 'Ripper' Mouse Pad 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
17.3" - 1600x900 Standard backlit 180w Power Adapter Logitech G500s 
Audio
Harmon/Kardon Onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac 'Ripper' Mouse Pad 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
17.3" - 1600x900 Standard backlit 180w Power Adapter Logitech G500s 
Audio
Harmon/Kardon Onboard 
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post #5 of 5
I wouldn't consider Dying Light to be "casual gaming". TC should give an example or two about what's "casual gaming" means.

The choice between the 960m and 965m is the choice between 640 cores w/4GB vs 1024 cores w/2GB. Both cards have a pretty pathetic 128bit memory bus.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-960M.138006.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-965M.134120.0.html


It's been my experience that games make do with what VRAM you have until it just can't anymore, but more cores always help and since both have the same memory bandwidth then that part is a wash. The 960m may be "future proof" as far as VRAM goes, but going by the benchmarks it's still leading the 965m in the race towards the grave. Both cards are going to be irrelevant via the memory bus before anything else for the most part.


...this is usually the point in the thread where I try to promote a good deal on a 970m laptop that's above TC's budget, so here's two good deals for $1k [new].

http://www.microcenter.com/product/466732/ROG_G751JT-WH71(WX)_173_Gaming_Laptop_Computer_-_Black
http://www.microcenter.com/product/464634/GE62_Apache_Pro-254_156_Gaming_Laptop_Computer_-_Aluminum_Black

http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-970M.126694.0.html


Unless casual gaming includes stuff like Dying Light, it's overkill, but I do it just to show where the next step up is money wise. The performance increase is a good deal higher than the price increase percentage wise. And if you mod the VBIOS the 970m can get to stock 980m performance.

I don't think the ASUS has Gsync, so this would be the vBIOS mod: https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/files/file/91-g751jt_3gb_gtx970m_oc_pm/

... for $200 more, how long would up to 980m performance last you for casual gaming?


Back on topic, between the 960m/965m, I'd take the raw graphics power in the core count over the larger video memory buffer.
Quote:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1605504/looking-for-a-gaming-laptop/0_100#post_25375270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imglidinhere View Post

The 965M got a recent boost to its core clock speeds, was relatively recent at least, within the past 6 months from what I understood. It lessened the gap between the 960M and 970M by creating a rather competitive middleground and a solid choice for most gamers. The only thing I think the 960M lacks is a bit better pixel and texture fill rate. If I had the 965M, I'd be happy for the next few years... but ahh well... such is life. tongue.gif[/B]

"The only thing I think the 960M lacks is a bit better pixel and texture fill rate."?

Pixel/Texture fill rate is basically what a GPU always needs to have more of.

... "The only thing I think the 960M lacks is a bit better pixel and texture fill rate." is the sort of thing you type when you're afraid the 960m laptop you're on might be offended and you don't want to hurt its feelings.


*The last three lines are funnier if you read it in John Oliver's voice.
Edited by thegreatsquare - 7/31/16 at 4:30am
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i7 4710HQ Nvidia GTX 980m 8GB 16GB [2x8GB] 1600MHz Blu-ray Burner 
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i7 4710HQ Nvidia GTX 980m 8GB 16GB [2x8GB] 1600MHz Blu-ray Burner 
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Windows 8.1 x64 Steel Series Full-Color Programmable 230w Power Brick MSI GT72 DOMINATOR 
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