Author Topic: I'm in the market for a nice-ish gaming laptop. What should I look for?  (Read 258 times)

Mister Six

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I'm in the market for a new laptop - something good enough to handle simple 3D games (think Wasteland 2 or the next Civilization, not Fallout 4 or Call of Duty) without looking TOO shit, but not so absurdly heavy that it will dislocate my shoulder if I have to take it somewhere.

What specs should I be looking for? It's all gibberish to me these days. I want something that will last a while so don't worry about pitching too low, but also don't go nuts and tell me I need 4K resolution and a HAL-level processor.

I live in New York now, if that matters. Dunno if there's a decent store there people know about...

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
Re: I'm in the market for a nice-ish gaming laptop. What should I look for?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2016, 10:00:24 PM »
I have an Acer Aspire V nitro 15 incher with a Radeon 960m. With vanilla win 10 installed, it's a dream. And fairly futureproof. Certainly good for Civ.

MojoJojo

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Re: I'm in the market for a nice-ish gaming laptop. What should I look for?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 11:31:42 AM »
Quote
I'm in the market for a new laptop - something good enough to handle simple 3D games (think Wasteland 2 or the next Civilization, not Fallout 4 or Call of Duty) without looking TOO shit, but not so absurdly heavy that it will dislocate my shoulder if I have to take it somewhere.

What's absurdly heavy? Don't think you can get laptops over 3kg anymore, and that would only be uncomfortable if you had to carry it around all day.

Probably best off working out what size screen you want first.

Benevolent Despot

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Re: I'm in the market for a nice-ish gaming laptop. What should I look for?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 08:07:54 PM »
How much are you willing to spend?

I'm going to be ordering a new thin-and-light gamer soon. For me, 14-inchers are the best size. They fit in a backpack, are light enough (<2kg) to be used as a 'chest-top' (I often use mine lying down with it balanced on my chest). Anything smaller and you're squinting, and compromising heavily on performance. Since I use it a lot, I'm willing to spend alorra money on them. I'm a GIGABYTE guy, but there are also highly-specced thin 14-inchers from Razer, MSI, Aorus (others too, but I think these are regarded as the top choices).

I've had a Gigabyte U2442N for 4 years and its served me well for light and heavy tasks, and much travel. They have a new model along the same lines - the Aero 14: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5902#kf

But wait. In that model and most others from all manufacturers there is a major refresh of the graphics cards currently underway, upgrading all to the Nvidia 10 series, and I would heavily advise you choose a laptop with this card. They offer massive improvements over the 9 series, for the same price.

The Nvidia 1060 which is going to go in all top-spec 14-inchers is equivalent in power to the desktop version of the Nvidia 980 - the most powerful graphics card that you could buy, full-stop, precisely 2 years ago. Laptop graphics are almost on-par with desktop now (there are now 17-inchers with the Nvidia 1080, a card with parity of power with the desktop 1080, the most powerful card. But probably overkill for your needs + extremely costly).

Brand wise, I think Gigabyte have the best value in price-performance, with average build-quality, and an understated look. Razer have Apple-like build quality, better screens, keyboards, touchpads etc, pretty similar performance, and a high price. Aorus are Gigabyte on steroids with extra performance but still average-build. MSI, dunno, I haven't really looked into them. Don't like the logo or the style.

If you're after 15-17 inchers then there are options from these manufactuers apart from Razer, who are purist. I just find these too cumbersome and heavy for frequent travel, or for actual use on a lap or a chest. 14-inchers have elegance.