500$, Article Parts, Articles, By Price, Cheap Gaming Laptops, Recommendations

Gaming Laptops Under 500

Highest gaming performance:

  Good gaming laptops under $500 are not abundant, but there are some laptops that are more suitable for gaming and have some advantages over others. Currently, the highest value you’ll get under $500 is a Radeon 7670M or even Radeon 8750M performance level (equivalent to Nvidia GT 730M/740M), which is quite nice for medium settings (high settings in some games).

However, the problem is usually the lower end display quality, in my opinion. Better 1080p screens start to appear in the $600 range and you should consider adding $50-$100 and getting one of gaming laptops under $600 options (check here to see recommendations).

 

1. Acer V3-572G 15.6″ for $550. Comes with GT 840M, I5-4210U CPU, 8GB DDR3 RAM which is very nice and 1TB HDD. The screen is probably of low quality, but I’m sure you can replace it easily as it is an eDP display (probably) like in the V5-552G case. A good 1080p IPS level display will cost you around $80-$90 tops. A very good deal for $550. Currently it’s the best for around that price.

Good battery performance of 5-8 hours is also expected, with actual users backing up.

2. Refurbished HP Envy 15z with Radeon 8750M, 6GB and 1080p screen. Prices are around $520-$550. The performance is the fastest for its class and the 1080p adds a lot (though it is only a mediocre quality 1080p screen). If you consider that one, go to the under $600 recommendations.

The two best options are above $500, so I would suggest waiting for some other deal or bite it and get another $50-$100 for one of the $500-$600 gaming laptops and getting one of the more interesting options.

If you are restricted to $500 tops, I would wait for some deal on the Acer V5 (was selling for $470-$500 for a week or two) or on the HP 15z-j100. The laptops in this list, however, are the fastest you’ll get for such a price.

(???) What can you do with such a configuration? Most games on medium settings at least and too few on high settings – CS:GO, Torchlight 2, F1 2012, CoD: Modern Warfare 3, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Dirt 3 and more. See how the Radeon 7660G manages Skyrim and or how the 7670M handles Skyrim too on high setting. Note: You could get some 20%-30% higher performance with the 600$ gaming laptops offers currently.

Saving money – 400$ gaming laptop

Asus K55N (AmazonAdorama), equipped with the AMD A8-4500M cpu and integrated 7640G GPU giving you very high performance for the money. I would strongly recommend getting one of the more expensive options if you are planning to play some 3D games

 

Complete List

For Beginners The 400$ option (like the current K55N) is good for low gaming requirement and also for medium-high settings in games like WoW, Minecraft, Counter Strike and more light games. The 500$ option with Radeon 8750M is good for high settings in light games and also medium-high settings in many games, like Borderlands 2, Torchlight 2, Mass Effect 3 and more.

 

 

Model (link to coupon or product)GPU/CPUStreet PriceWhyWhy notsources
Lenovo IdeaPad Z585AMD A10-4600M / Radeon 7660Gamazon (485$)
  1. Fast AMD quad core
  2. Probably good battery performance
  3. 6GB DDR3 memory
  4. 750GB HDD
  5. Good gaming performance
  1. 768p screen (as the rest in this list)
  2. For 600$ you can get much more
Acer V3-551G-X419 15.6″Radeon 7670M + 7640G / A10-4600M500$
  1. Very good gaming performance for the price
  2. Good build quality
  1. 768p screen quality
  2. Temps aren’t that good (but not that bad either)
review
Lenovo IdeaPad Z585AMD A10-4600M / Radeon 7660Gamazon (485$)
  1. Fast AMD quad core
  2. Probably good battery performance
  3. 6GB DDR3 memory
  4. 750GB HDD
  5. Good gaming performance
  1. 768p screen (as the rest in this list)
  2. For 600$ you can get much more
Lenovo Z585 15.6″Radeon 7670M + 7640G / A8-4500M500$
  1. Very good gaming performance for the price
  2. Good build quality
  1. 768p screen quality
  2. Temps aren’t that good (but not that bad either)
review
Acer V5-552G-8632 15.6″Radeon 8750M / A8-5557M$475 with coupon code NAFSAVE25NOV1R (or Amazon)
  1. Highest gaming performance under $530/$550
  1. 768p screen
  2. For 100$ more you get a lot more value and for 200$ more you get some more + 1080p screen
review of similar model
Asus K55N 15.6″Radeon 7640G / A8-4500M400$
  1. For 400$ it’s has some power
  1. 768p screen
  2. For 100$ more you get a lot more power and for 200$ more you get some more + 1080p screen
 
  • Jason

    Can Asus K55N run SC2 in low settings well?

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

      Yes it can! even my older desktop with slower hardware can do it can do it. It should run SCII on medium settings actually

  • Chris

    Just wondering now that Mists of Pandaria has dropped for WOW what your suggestions might be for an affordable (400-500) laptop might be? Any feedback will be appreciated.

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      Hi!

      Since the highest performance you’ll get is anyway the Radeon 7670M performance level. I’d go with one of the first suggestions as it will give you the most.
      If you consider also used / refurbished laptops, there might be some more options

  • Randy

    Hi, looking for a laptop in the $400 range to play guild wars 2 at low to med settings any suggestions would be great Ty.

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      will you take a used/refurbished laptop?

      • Randy

        Yes I would consider a refurbished one

  • Dan

    Any suggestion for a decent laptop that could run skyrim on medium settings? ~$600 budget, I was thinking of the Lenovo IdeaPad G780 with NVidia GeForce GT 635M. It’s a decent card I guess, but I think it would be able to run skyrim on medium.

    Thanks :)

    • Dan

      woops sorry for the double reply and I’ll use that forum now. Your response didn’t get forwarded to my email..

  • Daniel

    What’s the cheap laptop, but powerful enough to run skyrim on medium, per se? My budget is ~$600

    Suggest me something! :D

  • joaquin

    k55n is not avaible anymore =( another laptop in that price pls

  • Brix

    Which would be better for gaming power, the HP g6t-2200 with the i3-3110M\7670 or the envy dv6z-7200 with the a6/7670? it seems like the i3 is a better processor, which makes the g6t not only cheaper, but also more powerful. Is that a correct assumption? I assume the reason the envy is more expensive then is build quality/larger hd/ram, which would not necessarily impact gaming performance? Trying to get the best cost efficiency for the lowest price.

    Thanks for the blog!

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      the g6t is not cheaper, but I’d pick it over the g6z currently. The difference in performance should be that significant

      • Brix

        Hmm, I’m a little confused. Perhaps you thought I was asking whether the g6z or g6t would be better, but I was asking about the envy dv6z-7200 performance compared to the g6t. Even above, you have the g6t listed as cheaper than the dv6z.

        • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

          yes, sorry – my mistake.

          I’d pick the g6t-2200. Wouldn’t spend the extra money. For the g6t-2200 however, I’d replace the memory myself (the upgrades are too expensive) – buy from newegg.

          The g6t-2200 has good reviews for a 450-480$ laptop. Sometimes the dv6z-7200 can be bought for 500$, so the difference isn’t that big and I’d recommend the Envy, but currently, 50$ is too much

          • Brix

            Alright, thanks a ton man, gonna place the order soon then.

  • Beaverboyb

    Also i was wondering if i would be able to play world at war.

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      yes, you would. Probably on some good settings

      • Beaverboyb

        thank you

        • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

          note that now the g6t-2200 price has changed. I recommend considering the g6z or the dv6z

    • Fay
      • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

        350$! this is an excellent price. Thanks for updating me. I’m occupied currently so it helps me a ot.

        The K55N in my opinion is a much better choice than an I3 counter parts.

      • Fay

        Sorry I meant K55N. Anyway it looks like it is by far the best deal in its price range.

        • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

          totally agree. I’d buy it

          • Fay

            k55n price dropped again. Now only $339.99

            Laptop gaming has never been so cheap

            • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

              another drop! Thanks!
              It is only very light gaming, but anyway a very good laptop for the price

  • Beaverboyb

    ok so if i got the ASUS K55N what kind of games would i be able to play. could i at least play minecraft with no lag and lol on any settings?

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      minecraft – yes. LoL – no, only on low/medium settings

      • Beaverboyb

        thank you

  • Eric

    Whats the cheapest A6-4400M equipped laptops out now?

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      I don’t know, but the Asus K55N is sold for 380$ and it has the faster A8-4500M which is quite cheap and there are also Liano equipped laptops for less I think.
      What are you looking for?

      • Eric

        Well if I can’t find an A10 for a descent price, I’m going to get an A6 and swap an A10 in it ($130). I’ve seen a few for $325-335 around BF/CM but I hadn’t decided if I wanted the A10 or not at that time. Now I know its what I want. The A8 is out because given the perf upgrade and price point, it probably isn’t worth it…if that makes sense.

        • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

          For gaming, you should focus more on the GPU side. Swapping the cpu, if possible, won’t give you much for gaming, if any. Also, the older Liano CPUs (like the A8-3500M) are easy to overclock and several benchmark show they perform better in games.

          • Eric

            Isn’t the GPU on the CPU with AMDs (aka APU)? Thats what I’m interested in here. The A10/7660G

            • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

              but the 7660G is not as fast as the 7670M which you can get for a lower/same price

  • Lorie
  • David

    I have a question. You know how they give you the option of customizing the laptop?
    Well, i’m currently looking at the hp g6t-2000 and was wondering if the upgrade to
    the 2nd gen i5-2450M coupled with the 1GB AMD Radeon 7670M graphics card would be worth
    the $600 it costs
    I really like cpu speed and the graphics card would be great for gaming since I plan on
    keeping the laptop for many years through school work in college while playing games (League, D3, BF3) on the side

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      For gaming – no, spending another 75$ for the I5 is not a good thing to do.
      You’ll get higher gaming performance mainly from upgrading your GPU.

      Currently, the offers between 500$ and 600$ do not add anything over the 500$ offers. If you really want higher gaming performance, then go to the 800$ gaming laptops recommendtions:
      http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/gaming-laptops-under-800/ and get one of the cheapest options, like Y570 or others – you’ll get much higher gaming performance than simply upgrade to I5-2450M in this particular machine.

      or wait few weeks to see if there are new options

      thoughts?

      • David

        Thanks for the reply! Do you think it’s a good idea to wait for Black Friday/Cyber Monday for great deals? Or do they not normally sell off good laptops? (That’s IF everything good is not sold out in the first 5 minutes)

        • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

          it is hard for me to believe such laptops will be even 50$ less than what they are now, but it might be.
          If you are in no hurry, then such deals will anyway show again at some point or another

  • Chad

    Hey, Junky — thanks for this site…it’s been VERY helpful in trying to figure out the ins-and-outs of laptop gaming rigs as I look to replace my netbook that died. Whatever PC I buy, it’ll be more about doing my grad-school work on OpenOffice and streaming movies from Netflix and the like, but I’d definitely love to do a bit of gaming — things like Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and the like — I’m not really into things like Battlefield 3 or things like that.

    I’m having trouble finding info on the above-mentioned games and how they’d do with systems containing the A8-4500M, like that K55N if I just went with the integrated 7640G and skipped the dedicated card. Do you have any insights?

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      it should run with quite high settings with the 7660G and 768p resolutions. The new Vegas too as it run well with the desktop part radeon 5670.

      can you get to 500$?

      • Chad

        Yeah, I can probably go $500 for the right system…for me, it’s more about needing a laptop soon…so any custom options are kinda out for me.

        • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

          The Z585 is not a good option?
          The integrated 7660G is excellent + you’ll get good battery performance for that price.

          If you can wait, sometimes there are deals with such a system for 450$, but it’s currently rare.
          Also, with Amazon you get free shipping.

          From the price/performance perspective, the 500$ options are better than the 400$ ones. You pay 25% more and get 50% higher performance at least.

          • Chad

            I’ll definitely consider it! I didn’tget to follow the Amazon link earlier andtandthought it was higher than $500now. Thanks for clearing it up for me!

            • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

              it comes and goes. I’d suggest selling its memory and getting some 1600MHZ 2x2GB or 2x4GB from Newegg – pretty cheap actually. Since the integrated 7660g and A10-4600M cpu sip from the same memory bandwidth, this would help maximizing the performance.

    • Anonymous

      HP g6z-2200 is not a6 but a a4 will that affect gaming permance in any way?

      • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

        yes, you’re right
        in that case, the difference is very small between A6 and A4

  • Ezra

    I think the Toshiba L850D offer has changed. It’s still cheap, but not as cheap as your offer says. I had a sweet deal last night…should’ve gotten it. It had 2 external 1TB drives for free, plus a 16gb flash drive for sweet. I should’ve bought it right then.

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      don’t sweat it. Such deals come and go.
      The Lenovo Z585 with A10-4600M is now sold on Amazon for 500$ including shipping, 6GB DDR3 and 750GB HDD – quite nice deal.

  • Mike

    Hey junkie,

    What do you think about the Toshiba 850D with the A-10 for 433$. It seems the price has dropped a little which adds some more bang for the buck. Can you tell me more about the graphics card? Would it be able to handle intensive games like battlefield on low at native resolution?

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      Certainly! Thanks!
      Only thing is that in order to get the most from the 7660G, you better get dual channel memory configuration – and better buy it yourself because the upgrades on the site are priced real high – I added some example.

  • John

    Is there something going on now that is affecting availability? It seems there are hardly any choices anymore for decent laptops. Even Newegg has only 2 laptops with a graphics card below $600 and one is out of stock.

    Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? I can hold off on getting a new laptop for the moment but if the future looks bleak I might jump on the lenovo. Toshiba seemed nice but after shipping and tax its well above $500 and will take much longer than Prime shipping.

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      Many good options go out of stock or discontinued rather quickly. I guess they make it on purpose.
      But currently there are some good models. All the models with A10-4600M cpus for under 1000$ are quite good actually and also the HP g6t-2000 with I3 and 7670M.

      The under 600$ case is more problematic, yea, but you do have 3 options and some more at the range of 600$-700$

  • Katie

    I am completely lost when it comes to all the details about everything in a laptop. I have tried to look things up, and learn us much as I can, but there is just so much. I like playing games, mostly WoW and minecraft, yet I am a broke nursing major, and my old laptop finally crapped out. I was looking at Asus Z54C-JS91 15.6″ LED Notebook – Intel Pentium B960 2.20 GHz (copied if from the website…) and Asus K53U-JS11 15.6″ LED Notebook – AMD E-450 1.65 GHz . Which do you think would be better? I found them both for under 400. If you have any other suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      wow, sorry, I didn’t see there was another comment!

      I understand your frustration and you’re right – I’ll try to address this issue with some revision that explain which games you can run smoothly on good settings with each laptop.

      My suggestion is the K55N from the list for 400$. For lower price, try to find gaming laptops with 6520G GPU – try finding some refurbished ones.

  • Matt

    Man, I got so excited when I first saw this list, but almost everything is sold out! The problem is that the only laptops which aren’t sold out (I even called a couple compUSA’s for store availability on the TigerDirect Acer) are the ones without the Radeon 7670M graphics card which, from the links on this subreddit, seems to be a pretty big step up from the 7640G. Every single other one is sold out. The last one on the list, the HP g6t, comes to $600 with the Radeon card after taxes and that’s with an i3 which is weaker than the AMD A6 of the Acer…

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      1. I know. Availability is a problem. You’ll have to either wait or go 550-600$
      2. I3 is at least as fast for gaming as the A6
      3. GT 630M is something like the 7670M gaming performance wise

  • Steve

    What do you think about the Toshiba listed but upgrading to the A10 4600M processor. It doesn’t mention but I assume it comes with the 7660G instead of 7520G.

    That would run me to $499.

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com junky

      it will be slower for gaming then the g6t, for example, as the 7670M with I3 should be faster a little but, but it should also have longer battery running times. The 7660G + A10 is a potent combination, but it won’t be faster.
      why do you want it?

      • Steve

        My girlfriend will be using it. She will be mostly using it for photoshop as a photographer but also likes to play games like CounterStrike which isn’t super demanding. (No BF3 or anything)

        • Steve

          I always thought it took more battery to run a processor and a GPU vs just a processor with integrated graphics. BTW I just chose the A10 based on your GPU battle article.