So, you don’t really know what you want. You want to play games on settings that will let you tell where the dungeon wall ends and the monster that comes towards you starts or even better – you want it to look good. You have a budget but the problem is that you don’t really know what it can buy – should you try and hoard some more bucks or you better lower the budget and save some money.
Well, the good news are that you don’t need the highest end of graphics performance to get it and you don’t need to spend 2000$ for a laptop in order to get it. In short, you need a laptop that is equipped with a GPU that will give you the performance level the GT 650M.
This post won’t discuss the architecture and technology of various GPUs but rather bring some benchmarks number to clarify the question it’s trying to answer. It will discuss which hardware you need to play most games on high settings (and some on medium) and fullHD resolutions.
Some numbers and benchmarks
First, lets get some more ground to make sure it’s right and then we’ll overview the available laptops and their prices. Lets take a look in Anandtech Eurocom Monster benchmarks and notebookcheck GPU comparisons. What do we see?
According to Anandtech benchmarks, the GT 650M DDR3 +I7 systems will run smoothly on high settings even the more heavy games currently – BF3, Batman, Skyrim will all run smoothly on high settings with no AA and 900p resolution and probably on FullHD resolutions. That means that most games will run smoothly on FullHD resolutions with high to highest settings most of the time, because most games are less 3D demanding. Now, these are only benchmarks and you’ll probably get into more 3D intensive scenarios if you play a lot but generally, we see that even for heavy games the GT 650M DDR3 + I7 rig is a real fighter.
Moving on to the M3-581TG with GT 640M and dual core I7-2637M we still see good performance in 900p / high setting / noAA settings. Skyrim will fly high, Batman and Shogun 2 too.
|Game||Details level||GT 650M DDR3, I7-QM (Eurocom Monster 1.0)||GT 640,I7-2637M (M3-581TG)|
|Batman: Arkham City||Extreme Detail Preset, DX11 Enabled, 4x MSAA – 1920×1080||24||17|
|High Detail Preset – DX11 Enabled – 1600×900||41||31|
|Battlefield 3||Ultra Detail Preset – DX11 – 4x MSAA – 1920×1080||18|
|High Detail Preset – DX11 – 1600×900||36|
|The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||High Detail Preset – No AA – 1600×900||52||42|
|Ultra Detail Preset – 4x MSAA – 1920×1080||31||24|
|Portal 2||All Settings at Max – 4x MSAA – 1920×1080||60||50|
|Diablo III||High settings Preset – DX11 and high AA 1920×1080||38|
|Medium-High settings – DX11 – 1600×900||66|
We’ll add some other results from notebookcheck. Except “The Secret World”, most of the games in this list are less demanding than BF3 and Batman.
|Game||Details level||GT 650M||GT 640||Radeon HD 7730M|
|Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||1920×1080 Extra, all on, Image Quality: Native 4xAA||41||44||41|
|1366×768 High, all on, Image Quality: Native 2xAA||68||63||25|
|Diablo III||ultra, 1920×1080 High on AA||52||43||27|
|high, 1366×768 High on AA||81||65||44|
|Mass Effect 3||ultra, 1920×1080 all on on AA 8xAF||45||32||25|
|high, 1366×768 all on on AA 4xAF||59||49||36|
|The Secret World||1920×1080 Ultra Preset DX11 Full Tessellation FXAA||14||9|
|1366×768 High Preset DX11||36||27|
|Darksiders II||1920×1080 2/4 Shadows, No Ambient Occlusion, Low AA||41|
|1366×768 2/4 Shadows, No Ambient Occlusion, Low AA||71||58|
You can check the links and find the games that interest you, but the general picture is quite clear – GT 640M / GT 650M will suffice for most games on FullHD resolution and high to highest settings, even with AA sometimes. In cases it won’t, you can lower the settings a bit – filters first and some extra features.
As a rule of thumb, if you want to have the ability to game with medium-high settings on, on FullHD resolutions, you can bet on the GT 640M / GT 650M performance level. AMD’s Radeon 7750M to 7850M are equivalent. Top gaming laptops with these GPUs are usually within the range of 700$-1100$ and finding one for 800-900$ is easy.
If you are going to game on 768p resolutions or you are willing to take the “risk” that you’ll have to play on medium settings, then you can go for the GT 555M / GT 640M LE or AMD’s 7690M / 7730M and get very high FPSs too. Price range is something around 700$-900$ and they are easy to find too (under 800$, under 1000$)
For a specific game, you should check specific benchmarks and read user experiences over hardware forums or ask in our Forums.