That’s true that if you don’t know what you’re looking for, then this article won’t help you. True, and we’ll try to address this issue in another post.
But, if you know that you need a high-end midrange gaming performance then this post can help you. high-end midrange means that you’ll be able to run most of the games, even the heavier, on high to highest settings on FullHD resolution. Some will run on medium settings on FullHD (BF3 is an example for a very graphic intensive game). In this post we’ll look into laptop offerings that sport GPUs like the nice GT 650M / GTX 660M from Nvidia or the still to be widespread AMD’s Radeon 7730M / 7750M and 7770M. We’ll mainly see laptops with the former GPUs (650M/660M) as they are currently found in more laptops and have been reviewed thoroughly.
As for the performance of the 7730M and 7750M The 7750M and 7770M: The 7730M performance should be around the 7690M performance, maybe a bit more. Without the memory bandwidth limitation of the 7730M DDR3 memory, the 7750M/7770M should be considerably faster – around the GT 650M performance according to estimations over the net (1) plus the fact that it has a good >15% higher core clock than the 7730M + a much higher memory bandwidth (twice or more) => estimation for much higher performance than the 7730M. Anyhow, as I said in the other post – we’ll need to wait for more reviews and concrete gpu specs to know better.
Before I start, an important point – there is a real flaw to all these laptops and this is the missing SSD/mSSD. Great gaming laptops without an SSD. So do youtselves a favor and when you weigh the price and features against your budget, keep in mind that you might want a 50-60$ SSD just for the OS and such. It makes the laptop much more enjoyable.
|Model (link to coupon)||GPU/CPU||Street Price||Why||Why not||price / gaming perfratio||sources|
|Alienware m14x R2 14.0″||GT 650M GDDR5 / I5-3210M||1100$ for basic configuration||
||OK||Alienware m14x-r2 review|
|Samsung 700Z5C-S03US 15.6″||GT 650M / I7-3615QM||1260$||No in-depth review, but this machine has a very good price / performance ratio and the Samsung series 7 qualities||Still unknown||OK|
|Samsung 700Z7C-S03 / S01 17.3″||GT 650M GDDR5 / I7-3615QM||1350$||
||OK||Samsung 700Z7C-S01 review|
|MSI GT780DX 17.3″||GTX 570M / I7-2670QM||1300$||
||OK||MSI GT780 review|
|MSI GX683DX||GTX 570M / I7-2670QM||1250$||
||Good||MSI GT683DXR review|
|MSI GT60||GTX 670M / I7-3610QM||1450$||Same as GT70 (see below)||Same as GT70 (see below)||OK to Good||MSI GT60 review|
|MSI GT70||I7-3610QM / GTX 670M||1500$||
||OK to Good||MSI GT70 review|
|MSI GE70 17.3″||GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5 / I7-3610QM||1200$-1250$||
||Good||MSI GE70 review (GT 650M version)|
|MSI GE60 15.6″||GT 650M / I7-3610QM||1100$, 1200$ for GTX 660M version||
||OK to Good (660M)||MSI GE60 review|
|Asus G75VW||GTX 660M-GTX 670M / I7-3610QM||1500$||
||1500$ for GTX 670M – you can get more if you agree to let things like build quality off||OK||Asus G75VW review 1Asus G75VW review 2|
|Asus G55VW||GTX 660M / i7-3610QM||1200$-1350$ (FullHD version)||
||Good to Very Good||Asus G55VW review|
|HP Envy 15t-3200||I5-3210M / Radeon 7750M GDDR5 for basic configuration||905$ or 1000$ with FullHD display with coupon (Same as Envy 17, look for deals)||
||OK to Good||Envy 15 review (previous model)|
|HP Envy 17t-3200||I5-3210QM / 7850M||1005$ with coupons||
||Excellent||HP Envy 17-3D review|
|HP Pavilion dv4t-5100 14.0″||GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 / Intel Ivy Bridge I5-3210M||680$ with coupon||
|Lenovo IdaPad Y580 15.6″||GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5 / i7-3610QM||900$ w/o FHD 1100$ with.Wait for coupons||
||Excellent to Best (660M for 850-900$)||user review no 1user review no 2|
|HP Pavilion dv6t-7000 select edition||Nvidia GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 / Intel Ivy Bridge I5-3210M||825$ with FullHD display, 712$ without||
||BEST||review of previous generation dv6tse,dv6t-7000 quad edition review|
|HP Pavilion dv6t-7000 quad edition||GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 / i7-3610QM||971$ with FullHD display + mSSD + backlit kb, 835$ without FullHD and mSSD, but extended battery||
||Excellent-Best||dv6t-7000 quad edition review,Another one|
|Eurocom Monster 1.0 11.6″||GT 650M 2GB DDR3 / I5-2410M||825$ base price, 912$ with high quality display||
||Excellent||Eurocom Monster review|
|Eurocom Fox 4.0 15.6″||GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 / I7-2670QM||825$ for base configuration (FullHD), 894$ with high quality fullHD display||
||Very Good||Still no in-depth review|
|15.6″ Sager NP6165 /17.3″ Sager NP6175||Nvidia GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 / Intel I5-3210M||870$-970$ : 970$ for the FullHD high quality display||
||Excellent||Sager NP6175 user review,Clevo P170EM review,
|Sager NP9150 (15.6″) / NP9170 (17.3″)||GTX 670M (upgradable to 7970M) / Ivy Bridge I7||1100$-1600$ (7970M + Very High quality display)||
Note that some laptops were not mentioned here as they are no very cost effective compared to the others in this price range (like the Acer V3 and more).
1. If you want the most gaming performance for your money (up to 1500-1600$) go with:
- One of the “best” price/performance ratio gaming laptops, like the dv6t-7000 select edition or the heavy duty Sager and 7970M for 1500-1600$. The Sager NP6165 and NP6175 offer
- One of the other “excellent” gaming laptops, preferably the Lenvo Y580 with its good build quality or the Sager NP6135. Still no in-depth reviews, but the Y580 seems to be as expected – very high build quality, very good FHD TN panel (but still a TN panel with the not-very good viewing angles and so on), high temps during load (but that’s no different than other laptops in the sub 1000$ gaming laptops, very high gaming performance.
2. If you want an all rounder with very high gaming performance (GTX 660M, GTX 670M, Radeon HD 7850M) but also overall good gaming laptop (build quality, screen quality, heat and noise) then:
- Still the Lenovo Y580 and the HP Envy 17t-3200
- The HP dv6t-7000 select edition or dv6t-7000 quad edition - both offer top features to price ratio.
- Asus G55VW which offers quite a lot including good heat and noise handling, but not long battery runtime.
- HP dv6t-7000 select or quad edition with the FullHD option + buy a nice and cheap mSSD and you get great laptop for 950-1000$.