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Gaming Laptop Advice Please

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Looking at replacing daughter's laptop as a Christmas present. Mostly for homework but she's also a wannabe gamer. Budget of about £550 (no don't worry I'm not paying that much. I've told her we can go halves and should be able to flog the old one for £50-100)

So which performs best on, say, Call of Duty:

Core i5 processor with dedicated graphics

Core i7 with integrated graphics

Budget would seem to run to either of these choices with around 6gb RAM and a 750gb to 1tb hard drive.

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Dedicated graphics all day long. In fact with out maybe not playable.

Look at MSI laptops, not sure if they do laptops at that price but they are the new kids on the block for gaming laptops and offer the best value for money, even better than Dell.

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Dell XPSs have always had overheat problems with the graphics cards for me, have had 2 of them and had to have them repaired despite keeping them clean and on a good surface, just a tip

Wouldn't get another one.

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I'd be personally wary of buying a Laptop for gaming, as the games specs change so quickly...I'd rather get a console for that...at least you semi future proof yourself, as something like the PS4 will have a shelf life for at least another 3 or 4 years..

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You have to be careful about the dedicated graphics card argument nowadays.

Firstly, the integrated Intel video cards are now actually very good indeed. Secondly, if you compare the actual performance of the integrated Intel video cards to various dedicated graphics cards in laptops you will find that the integrated Intel ones are actually better. So you have to choose very carefully.

It is the same with the i7 and i5 chips - a quad core i5 is better than a dual core i7 in terms of peformance for gaming so you need to check whether the CPU in the laptop you choose is quad core or dual core. A lot of laptops now come with dual-core CPUs because they use less power and hence you get longer battery life.

There is a lot of bull-sh*t out there about laptops nowadays when it comes to CPUs and graphics cards - usually you get the gamers saying i7 and dedicated graphics every single time... but that often is because they don't know what they are talking about.

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You have to be careful about the dedicated graphics card argument nowadays.

Firstly, the integrated Intel video cards are now actually very good indeed. Secondly, if you compare the actual performance of the integrated Intel video cards to various dedicated graphics cards in laptops you will find that the integrated Intel ones are actually better. So you have to choose very carefully.

It is the same with the i7 and i5 chips - a quad core i5 is better than a dual core i7 in terms of peformance for gaming so you need to check whether the CPU in the laptop you choose is quad core or dual core. A lot of laptops now come with dual-core CPUs because they use less power and hence you get longer battery life.

There is a lot of bull-sh*t out there about laptops nowadays when it comes to CPUs and graphics cards - usually you get the gamers saying i7 and dedicated graphics every single time... but that often is because they don't know what they are talking about.

..but you also have to be very wary on the CPU you choose in a Laptop, as they are often rated as "M" (Mobile) - Intel's can be for instance (to save battery life and so on), so they may not be as powerful as the equivalent desktop versions...

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..but you also have to be very wary on the CPU you choose in a Laptop, as they are often rated as "M" (Mobile) - Intel's can be for instance (to save battery life and so on), so they may not be as powerful as the equivalent desktop versions...

Yep.

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Looking at replacing daughter's laptop as a Christmas present. Mostly for homework but she's also a wannabe gamer. Budget of about £550 (no don't worry I'm not paying that much. I've told her we can go halves and should be able to flog the old one for £50-100)

So which performs best on, say, Call of Duty:

Core i5 processor with dedicated graphics

Core i7 with integrated graphics

Budget would seem to run to either of these choices with around 6gb RAM and a 750gb to 1tb hard drive.

if you were going for gaming I would choose the I5 and get a proper graphics card.

with the dedicated ones you do get a vastly superior performance/definition/frame rate.

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..but you also have to be very wary on the CPU you choose in a Laptop, as they are often rated as "M" (Mobile) - Intel's can be for instance (to save battery life and so on), so they may not be as powerful as the equivalent desktop versions...

true.

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Console. With HDMI monitor.

You could consider buying one of the refurb laptops listed regularly on hotukdeals for about £200 to £250 for her basic homework stuff and then buy an xbox for the gaming aspect,

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Depends on the seriousness of the gaming aspect but desktop would be the way to go just for the upgrade aspect. That's not to say you can't game on a laptop, I do at the moment, but I'm looking to go desktop soon.

What types of games does she play?

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Depends on the seriousness of the gaming aspect but desktop would be the way to go just for the upgrade aspect. That's not to say you can't game on a laptop, I do at the moment, but I'm looking to go desktop soon.

What types of games does she play?

Cod, WoW, mine craft, Dota2, GTA, amnesia.

I have no idea what this is, merely repeating verbatim.

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Cod, WoW, mine craft, Dota2, GTA, amnesia.

I have no idea what this is, merely repeating verbatim.

It all depends what her friends are using for gaming as well I suspect. If her friends are gaming on PCs then she will need a PC to join in. If her friends are gaming on a console then she will need a console - and even then you will need to know whether her friends are on an xbox or on a playstation.

Generally I would advise against buying any kind of desktop PC as they simply are not mobile - you want mobility nowadays. She can take a laptop to school or to the library or to a coffee shop or just up to her bedroom. Mobility is important.

Most gaming laptops would be 15 inch or 17 inch screen but would she be wanting to try and lug something so big around.

I think you need to sit down with her and ask her some questions about where she will be wanting to use it just as much as what she wants to do it on it.

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Generally I would advise against buying any kind of desktop PC as they simply are not mobile - you want mobility nowadays. She can take a laptop to school or to the library or to a coffee shop or just up to her bedroom. Mobility is important.

Depends how your cost / value / mobility preferences stack up. You'll get the best gaming setup with a desktop PC, over a console or a laptop (although there are more games available on consoles and you get more for your pound, the ceiling is lower though). Any laptop suitable for more than the most basic gaming (i.e. not bothered about running at a low frame rate at the lowest settings) will be a bit of a brick to lug around anyway, OK for going somewhere else to stay for a few days, or changing rooms in the house, but not worth bothering with for a trip to the library or coffee shop.

I'd be surprised if £550 could get you something much good for current games.

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Generally I would advise against buying any kind of desktop PC as they simply are not mobile - you want mobility nowadays. She can take a laptop to school or to the library or to a coffee shop or just up to her bedroom. Mobility is important.

Apart from gaming which is his main point. You don't (necessarily) want mobility for gaming.

I think you need to sit down with her and ask her some questions about where she will be wanting to use it just as much as what she wants to do it on it.

That's a sound point though.

Any laptop suitable for more than the most basic gaming (i.e. not bothered about running at a low frame rate at the lowest settings) will be a bit of a brick to lug around anyway.

I'd be surprised if £550 could get you something much good for current games.

Good points. Should be able to upgrade an existing PC into something good for games for £500 though.

As others say a console may not be a bad shout depending on what her friends are doing. No good for WoW though.

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Console. With HDMI monitor.

Two or three weeks ago, Tesco had a deal on an Xbox One with a 40" LED LG TV for £499...Thought it was a great deal at the time...

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I think you've got to ask three questions here.

First is what sort of games you want to play. Second who you want to play with, or indeed whether you want to play with anyone. Third is how much budget you have.

Regarding the first point, if you are into shooters and games like GTA probably PC/XB1/PS4. It's only really important IMO to have the latest console though if you want to play online. A lot of women though are more into the cutesy games offered by Nintendo (which are known for colourful graphics and outstanding gameplay) and tablet games, rather than running round like crazy with a bunch of 14 year old boys swearing and machine gunning each other (from my very limited experience of on line first person shooters on consoles).

If you want to play games with your mates then you have to have the same platform as them, so this dictates your choice.

As regarding budget, I think if you are getting into gaming and have little previous experience the PS3 and XBox 360 offer outstanding value at the moment, especially if you are not so interested in online. Get a PS3 with a 250mb hard drive and a game thrown in, I think you can get PS3 and GTAV package for less than £200. The back catalog on PS3 XBox 360 is amazing and can be picked up on line as cheap as chips on fleabay provided you are not so bothered about the online element.

For example I was thinking about purchasing XB1 for Forza Horizon 2 (I love racing games) but I decided not to. For the £50 I would have spent on FH2 I picked up on fleabay the following to play over christmas :

Assasins Creed V

GTA V

Bioshock Infinite

Uncharted 1+2

Batman Arkham City and Asylum.

All of the above are top rated games. In addition if you are looking at games that are more "gender inclusive" for women then the Last of Us on PS3 is great. 18 rated though I think, but is a great game which won many game of the year accolades.

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^^^He answered this at post #14:

Cod, WoW, mine craft, Dota2, GTA, amnesia.

I have no idea what this is, merely repeating verbatim.

Only thing I've been able to find in line with the OP is: http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/cosmosII/No idea what this company is like as I've not dealt with them. Slightly over budget at £600 if you bump up the processor and graphics card. Problem with gaming laptops is they are expensive for the performance and they usually look pretty ugly.

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Don't forget - if all your friends are on xbox 360 and you have xbox one, or vice versa, then you can't play with them either.

Personally, I think the xbox one is still a crazy price and will not buy it until it is about £220 for the console, a new game and 12 months of xbox live gold - which probably will be sometime in the next year.

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Don't forget - if all your friends are on xbox 360 and you have xbox one, or vice versa, then you can't play with them either.

Personally, I think the xbox one is still a crazy price and will not buy it until it is about £220 for the console, a new game and 12 months of xbox live gold - which probably will be sometime in the next year.

Pretty much my view as well. I would go for PS4/XB1 if it were cheap enough, but its not, and there are no significant games that are really tempting me at the moment. Of the two I think my conclusion is PS4 is slightly more powerful. XB1 has the better games.

For PC I was considering buying a gaming pc, but I have a works Dell that should be good enough for me to try out PC gaming to find out whether its something I want to do or not. Might get round to it in the new year.

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I she says her preference for a laptop is down to portability, being able to use it in the living room or bedroom or round at a friend's. I have my suspicions though that one of the many youtubers of which she is a fan might use one. Probably the other thing is that Mrs blobloblob insists on the kids not having TVs in their bedrooms, hence a console would not go in her room.

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I she says her preference for a laptop is down to portability, being able to use it in the living room or bedroom or round at a friend's. I have my suspicions though that one of the many youtubers of which she is a fan might use one. Probably the other thing is that Mrs blobloblob insists on the kids not having TVs in their bedrooms, hence a console would not go in her room.

So, in terms of her wanting portability, you need to think about what size she needs or wants.

You can pick up really good 11 inch laptops for a few hundred quid now but they are not gaming capable. On the other hand, is she going to want to be lugging a 15 inch or 17 inch laptop round to her friends?

It is really not easy picking laptops nowadays because you really have to sit down and think long and hard about what you want it for and what you want to do on it. You ain't going to sit in a coffee shop with anything bigger than a 14 inch laptop but most laptops under 15 inchs usually are not powerful enough to play games.

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So, in terms of her wanting portability, you need to think about what size she needs or wants.

You can pick up really good 11 inch laptops for a few hundred quid now but they are not gaming capable. On the other hand, is she going to want to be lugging a 15 inch or 17 inch laptop round to her friends?

It is really not easy picking laptops nowadays because you really have to sit down and think long and hard about what you want it for and what you want to do on it. You ain't going to sit in a coffee shop with anything bigger than a 14 inch laptop but most laptops under 15 inchs usually are not powerful enough to play games.

I'm thinking 15.6 inches. The .6 seems to be important.

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I'm thinking 15.6 inches. The .6 seems to be important.

Lose an inch and consider this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151482931194?clk_rvr_id=738062652683

Heck of a laptop for £250.

No CD or DVD drive though but you can pick one up for under £50 if needed.

It would have trouble with the latest console style games but it all depends on what games she wants to play. It would be a bit mad paying for a laptop to play 'Call Of Duty' if the only games she wants to play are Hay Fever and Angry Birds.

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