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Topic: Gaming Laptop

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kyleforrester87

I’ve been thinking about getting a gaming PC for a few years but haven’t really had the space for a nice set up. It’s been about 15 years since I’ve gamed on PCs so I’m very out of the loop.

Anyway I’m thinking about getting a laptop to scratch the itch. I don’t necessarily want to play the newest games in the best graphics (although that’d be nice, but I think my PS4 Pro has me covered in that area and with PS5 incoming I am sure i’ll remain satisfied!) but I’m more interested in the idea of exploring some of the more unique experiences on Steam including some older games I missed (even stuff like Diablo, some Command + Conquer games, etc)

Does anyone game on a laptop? Any tips? Any particular models you’d recommend? I don’t really have space for a dedicated desk so I suppose if I’m playing keyboard and mouse games I’d need some sort of small desk I can use while sitting on the sofa? How easily does it connect to your TV these days and can I use my PS4 controller?

Any initial tips would be useful at this stage!

Edited on by kyleforrester87

kyleforrester87

PSN: WigSplitter1987

themcnoisy

@kyleforrester87 you are best looking for yourself. What I did was found out what graphics cards I wanted, the cpu, minimum hdd size and the size of screen. Once you know that you can search for laptops with those specs. From there you can work out what's a good and bad deal.

Also make sure it has a disc drive. Loads don't so if you have an issue you need to take it in to a shop rather than booting from disk if needs be.

I could post links but honestly when I bought my laptop was 2 years ago. Got a bargain from China. £600 odd quid for the equivalent of £1300 here. Took a gamble and it paid off!

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BAMozzy

@kyleforrester87 I don't game on a laptop myself but I am aware of gaming laptops etc and do know that a PS4 (or Xbox - whichever you prefer) controller can be used with PC's. Ideally, you will want a mouse too as the trackpads of Laptops are not great for gaming. You can get mini tables - those that can be used by elderly or disabled to enable them to have a table in bed for example. You can even have these 'tilted' too. I doubt they will be too expensive and possibly easier than a mini desk.

When it comes to the Laptop, the big question is 'budget'. I know you don't want/need anything to extravagant but you still need to consider what your budget is. You can get a Laptop that is, on spec, around a PS4 Pro for ~£600 - a better CPU of course with a Ryzen 5 and RX580 GPU. You can get an intel i5/GTX1050 laptop for similar money too - both should be more than adequate for 1080p gaming and certainly good enough for games like Diablo, C&C etc - at least unless we get 'newer' iterations that are far more demanding.

A lot of laptops have a HDMI port for connecting to a TV so you shouldn't have too many issues with that. I would check any specs of any Laptop you are considering to ensure they have a HDMI port out. If you intend to use the Laptop screen, you may want to check to see what the refresh rate is - cheaper Laptops may only have a 60hz refresh rate.

Most big brands are good - whether its HP, Alienware, Razer etc. They generally share a lot of the same components under the hood - like AMD or intel CPU's, GPU's, Samsung RAM, and HDD's etc. It just depends on which those big brands opt to deal with to supply their components. HP for example aren't making all the components (like Sony don't for their PS4 either) so a lot share the same parts - often just differing in the 'shell' - internally they could be virtually identical. Point is, the most important factor isn't necessarily the brand but what's the best 'specs' your budget will allow - you may end up paying more for Alienware than the same and/or better spec with HP or Acer for example because 'Alienware' is a 'bigger' brand amongst gaming PC/Laptops.

Whatever you buy, something better for the same money will be available within 6months and you can probably buy a PC to sit under your TV that is better than a Laptop but obviously lack the flexibility and portability of a Laptop. I am not trying to put you off but remind you that tech moves much faster in the PC than the Console market. Anything that may be recommended today for your budget is likely to be surpassed relatively soon after buying but if that doesn't matter too much to you - I assume not if you have a Pro and looking to get a PS5 at some point and thus the laptop won't be a primary gaming device, I would suggest just buy the best spec you can within your budget - just double check the screen refresh, ports etc but I would be surprised if anything at a current entry level gaming laptop price would be underpowered to play the type of games you mentioned at full HD and at least 60fps

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

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RogerRoger

@kyleforrester87 I've just gotten a new PC, after having used a laptop at home for years. Whilst it's the opposite of your transition, and I never used my laptop for gaming, I can say that technology feels like it's become incredibly personal of late. There are so many teeny-tiny differences between resolutions, user comfort, etc. that one person's solid recommendation might end up being another's nightmare rig.

For example, you ask about using your laptop on your lap (hence the name) but I could never, ever do that and always had to use it at a desk, at which point I was thinking "Should've just gotten a tower." You might be more comfortable; depends on your seating, reach, etc. and only you'll know that.

I got some Bose speakers for my new PC and when I added a tiny bit of bass boost via my media player's equaliser, my partner reacted like I was some kind of heretic. Everybody's different.

All I will say is that using a trackpad for mouse-based aiming is a nightmare. Like you, I only really play older PC games (otherwise why have a PS4 Pro?) so I luck out with mostly keyboard-only control schemes, but on an old work laptop I did once install and play Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II and it briefly required me to "free aim" and boy, was it awful. So if you're planning on using anything that requires aiming, you'll need a wireless mouse, which then means you're looking at some kind of small lap tray, if not a full desk.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
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AXEL314

I bought the Dell G7 7588 last year and love it. Doesn't scream that "gamer" aesthetic, and plays that AAA titles just fine; and with services like GoG, it's possible to go back and play the older PC stuff for dirt cheap.

AXEL314

andreoni79

@kyleforrester87 Last year I bought a € 300 HP laptop since I needed something cheap to use outside the office. AMD R5, 3.1 Ghz and SSD are more than enough for working, but it struggles to run recent games with high settings. However, it's perfect to play most of the games that Epic Store, Steam, Gog and Uplay let me download for free. The hdmi port let me play them on any tv and the PS4 pad works perfectly.

Edited on by andreoni79

Praise the Sun, and Mario too.

RogerRoger

@themcnoisy Awesome. Even if it does kinda look like the gaming equivalent of one of those novelty beer-holding hats you see at ball games.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

@kyleforrester87 If it doesn't have some kind of cushion on the underside (which I can't see from those product pictures) then I'd probably say "ouch" but you could likely do worse. Depends what you're like with lap trays and whatnot in general anyway. I personally hate having anything on my lap.

I'll leave the technical question to somebody more... well, technical.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

hotukdeals

@kyleforrester87

I just got a cheap Asus gaming laptop was about £600. But I have since moved on and use a PC Game streaming service works out about £1 a day and will run all games at Ultra settings. Never a need to upgrade your pc and will run on any device including tablets. It does not matter how good your laptop is as it will run on anything from new to old. The service I use is shadowtech gaming. . You can also cancel at anytime if you want a break from PC gaming.

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PSVR_lover

PS5 or a gaming PC..... both are great choices, we’ll see next year I suppose.

The PSVR is the best VR system on the market today.

clvr

It’s awesome you made this thread Kyle cause I’ve been wondering the same for some time now.
I need to buy a laptop and thought it’d be nice to buy something to also play games on, but I’ve never been into PC gaming so I don’t know the first thing about graphics cards and the likes.

@BAMozzy I took the liberty of tagging you because I appreciate your very in-depth explanation and you clearly know a lot of things on the subject 😃
Bearing in mind that I’m not a graphics w***e and don’t mind 30 fps (as long as the frame rate is stable); that I’d like to play newer games like CyberPunk 2077 even if not on max settings; and that I’d like it to be a bit future-proof (basically I’d like it to be powerful not for graphics but to run games released in the next few years);
My question is: do you think one of those you mentioned could do it for me? Could you recommend some under-the-hood pieces to look out for (graphics cards, HDD’s, etc.)?
What do you think would be a fair price? Cause I was thinking of spending 600-800€ but, as I said, I don’t know anything and might be way off in my estimation.
Thank you in advance, and sorry to bother you with all of this 😃
You don’t have to reply and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t lol 😄

Clover.

PSN: clvr51

BAMozzy

@clvr Are you looking for a Laptop or a PC? With a laptop, you don't get as high specs and end up paying more for portability and the screen. At the price point you are looking at, I wouldn't look for anything more than a 1080p screen. Frame rate shouldn't be too much of an issue if you get a decent CPU and you don't need as much of a GPU either if you are only targetting 1080/60. A GTX1070 and an i7 CPU should be sufficient for that but these are not quite the same as 'desktop' versions.

Its difficult to predict how future proof something will be. No one is a mind reader and something 'could' change. At the moment, those specs are more powerful than a PS4 Pro (although RAM may not be). In general, the higher the spec, the longer you can go without upgrading but sometimes technology can go a different way that's unexpected. A classic example was CPU multi-threading instead of increasing the single core clock-speeds. Its why old games don't tend to benefit with newer CPU because the single core speeds are not much faster than they were back then. Even the PS3 and XB360 have faster clock speeds than the PS4/XB1 - but less cores.

What I am trying to say is that you can't really account for what may or may not occur in the future and can't really buy something with Future Proofing in mind. The whole business of Laptop/PC hardware is change and progression. With a desktop, you do tend to have more scope to upgrade parts to keep them relevant and up to date but you could buy a Laptop today and its price drop by a third tomorrow. What's best in your price range may not be best tomorrow. Of course you could still be ok for several years too.

As far as HDD's go, at the price you are looking at, I would expect it to be a mechanical HDD and not an SSD. Ideally you want to look at Intel for both CPU and HDD. If you have to compromise on anything, you may have to look at a GTX1060 GPU but all games allow you to scale back some aspects to High instead of Ultra at 1080p to run at 60fps as a minimum - which if you are playing on a 11" Laptop screen isn't going to matter visually.

I think its better for you to check what Laptops you can buy for the budget in your area. You will then see what is around, what you can get for your money and have some idea of the specs that you are able to buy - maybe even see what some gaming laptops can cost and what they offer spec-wise.

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

Ryall

@clvr For me the most important thing is to get an SSD the difference in initial boot time is seconds for an SSD and minutes for a traditional hard drive. This is particularly important if you ever want to run your laptop off the battery.

As @BAMozzy says limit yourself to a 1080p screen but read a review or see it running as not all screens are equally good even at the same resolution.

It’s usually worth reading a review of what you want to get. There’s no point having slightly higher specs on the graphics card to making cyberpunk slightly prettier if it cooks your lap in the process.

Ryall

clvr

@BAMozzy sorry, I should’ve been more specific 😅
Yes, I’m looking for a laptop and I’ll happily “settle for” 1080p/60 fps gaming. I’ve played through both DOOM 2016 and Wolfenstein 2 on Switch so rest assured I’m not that demanding lol

@Ryall oh I didn’t know that (SSD vs HDD), as I said I’m very ignorant in this field.

Thank you both a lot for your time, now I know at least where to start looking! 😄
Have a good day/night!

Clover.

PSN: clvr51

BAMozzy

@clvr At the Price Point, I would be very surprised if you can buy a Laptop for gaming with an SSD - certainly will be limited capacity. It makes more sense to get the best GPU/CPU combination for gaming rather than go for an SSD and compromise on storage capacity AND gaming performance. 8GB RAM is most likely all your budget will allow too.

You don't want to look at touch screens either as they add to the cost and won't benefit you for gaming. If you only have €600-800, you want the majority to go on the CPU/GPU. 1080p screen is a given and 8GB of RAM should be too. For the money, HDD will have a bigger storage capacity for games than SSD will and I doubt you will get more than 256GB and probably just 64GB and a GPU that won't be very good for modern games. You will also need a mouse (or Controller if you prefer) as a touchpad isn't great for gaming.

As I said, have a look at what Laptops are available in your area and price range. That will give you an idea of how areas are compromised to offer higher spec elsewhere - like lower spec CPU and/or GPU, less storage for a SSD, Touchscreen or higher resolution.

With November a few months away, it might be worth seeing what's around, what you can get for your money but hold off until Black Friday. By then you also may have a better idea of what specs to look and which aren't worth spending on too

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

leucocyte

if you want consistent 1080p/60fps, then i'd say the minimum GPU you'd be looking at is a GTX 1060 (preferably the 6Gb VRAM model) - a GTX 1050 would only suffice on older or less demanding games, otherwise you'd probably have to settle for 30fps or really lower the settings, and would need to paired with at least an i5 or i7 (7th gen minimum) CPU. or an AMD Ryzen 7/Vega 10 combo (not sure if Ryzen 9/Vega 11 is out yet - and if it is, it's probably very expensive). neither the i7/GTX1060 or Ryzen/Vega10 option is particularly cheap though, any laptop with a GTX 1060 is going to be around £800 at least even without going for the best specs in other components (screen, HDD, CPU, RAM etc). my PC is on its last legs, and i've been toying with replacing it with a laptop, but i absolutely detest windows 10, and don't really want to spend that kind of money to run linux as the gaming options aren't there to justify it.

leucocyte

BAMozzy

@leucocyte That's basically what I think @clvr should look for too. I don't know the Prices where they are but as they said their budget was €600-800, I assumed they were European based, maybe Ireland too. As such, I don't know the current pricing and alluded to looking now with the hope that Black Friday could make purchasing these specs a more affordable reality - albeit at the very top end of their budget.

I doubt that any will come with a touch screen, higher res than 1080 or Solid State storage but may get the i7/GTX1070 (just) at their high end of the available budget on Black Friday. With intel now making GTX20XX for Laptop gaming and the prices dropping on 1060/70 gaming Laptops, it maybe possible to find one for ~€800 in a couple of months.

The reason I said to start looking around now was to see what the prices of these specs were and therefore not set their expectations on getting a 1080p+ touchscreen, 512GB SSD that can run games like Cyberpunk (or the Witcher 3) at 1080p Ultra settings and 120fps so that in 5-10yrs time, its still running the latest games at 1080/60 at the minimum with mostly Ultra and a few 'high' visual settings. A laptop 1070 isn't going to be much more powerful than an X (if at all) but at least if its only running at 1080p, combined with a decent CPU, 60fps should be relatively easy with the majority of games right now. A 1070 for example is a great card for 1440p on Desktops (I know it can push 4k too with concessions to visuals and frame rates) and the Laptop version is not as capable.

I don't know what issue you have with Win10 - works fine and have no issue with it on my laptop - admittedly mine is a HP Spectre x360 i7 with SSD and 1440p touchscreen. Its a very slim Laptop and the 360 touch screen can be used like a Tablet but it doesn't have a gaming GPU at all. Its fine for what I needed as I don't game on PC/Laptop/Tablet anyway. If/when I come to replace, I am thinking more about the MacBook Pro (mostly for Garageband) but have no issue with Win10 and it has advantages due to Win10 on Xbox.

Anyway, we both agree on the specs @clvr should be looking for as their gaming laptop

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

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