Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Buying a cheap half decent gaming laptop Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Hi!

    Laptop broke (again!), so I want to buy another for £3-400 which is capable of playing skyrim as well as running a couple of maths software programs quite well. Any help would be much appreciated as I'm a tech noob! So far I've found an Acer Aspire 5560g for £382 and a HP Pavilion g6-2216sa for £350. I can't type out the specs as on phone with no laptop but these are the links:

    https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/p....wAQ#hsec:specs

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/hp-pav....html#longDesc

    Any advice on which one is best or another that's more appropriate would be brilliant!

    Thanks
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Brit_Miller)
    Hi!

    Laptop broke (again!), so I want to buy another for £3-400 which is capable of playing skyrim as well as running a couple of maths software programs quite well. Any help would be much appreciated as I'm a tech noob! So far I've found an Acer Aspire 5560g for £382 and a HP Pavilion g6-2216sa for £350. I can't type out the specs as on phone with no laptop but these are the links:

    https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/p....wAQ#hsec:specs

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/hp-pav....html#longDesc

    Any advice on which one is best or another that's more appropriate would be brilliant!

    Thanks
    Have you looked into refurbished laptops? I know someone with a refurbished Dell and he says it's fine, in perfect working order (you'd assume it'd have to be or how can they sell it! :P)

    I reckon you could get a better laptop for a cheaper price that way

    This one looks pretty good. http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/hp-pavi...93449-pdt.html
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kiai8)
    Have you looked into refurbished laptops? I know someone with a refurbished Dell and he says it's fine, in perfect working order (you'd assume it'd have to be or how can they sell it! :P)

    I reckon you could get a better laptop for a cheaper price that way

    This one looks pretty good. http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/hp-pavi...93449-pdt.html
    Yeah I've had a refurbished one before which was fine. Trouble is I don't really know what I'm looking for! I've not a clue about graphics cards/processors etc. googling is a nightmare for cheap gaming laptops.

    I was hoping to find the right laptop and then find somewhere it's refurbished

    Is that one worth the money; I'm pretty skint. thanks for the help.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Brit_Miller)
    Yeah I've had a refurbished one before which was fine. Trouble is I don't really know what I'm looking for! I've not a clue about graphics cards/processors etc. googling is a nightmare for cheap gaming laptops.

    I was hoping to find the right laptop and then find somewhere it's refurbished

    Is that one worth the money; I'm pretty skint. thanks for the help.
    S'okay!

    For gaming, it's kinda a mixture of all of the ingredients, but if I had to pick one aspect, it'd be the graphics card, followed by the processor. The processor will determine how fast the loading screens etc are (I think ha), and things like that. The graphics card determines how nice it looks, so if you try and run your game with full graphics and your graphics card can't handle it, it'll be really slow and you'll have a low fps rate.
    RAM is also important - the more RAM you have the better, but most games will not use more than 2GB I think is... you'll have more than enough with 4GB.

    Are you wanting Skyrim to simply work, or do you want it to look nice? :P
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kiai8)
    S'okay!

    For gaming, it's kinda a mixture of all of the ingredients, but if I had to pick one aspect, it'd be the graphics card, followed by the processor. The processor will determine how fast the loading screens etc are (I think ha), and things like that. The graphics card determines how nice it looks, so if you try and run your game with full graphics and your graphics card can't handle it, it'll be really slow and you'll have a low fps rate.
    RAM is also important - the more RAM you have the better, but most games will not use more than 2GB I think is... you'll have more than enough with 4GB.

    Are you wanting Skyrim to simply work, or do you want it to look nice? :P
    Oh right i see, so that HP would be pretty good then.

    Well I'd like it to look good and try a few of the mods, but I'm realistic that my budget is very low-end for gaming laptops. As that HP you linked has quad core, 8GB RAM, I guess it would be pretty good?
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Brit_Miller)
    Oh right i see, so that HP would be pretty good then.

    Well I'd like it to look good and try a few of the mods, but I'm realistic that my budget is very low-end for gaming laptops. As that HP you linked has quad core, 8GB RAM, I guess it would be pretty good?
    For the price, I reckon it's fab! It would be even better with a core intel processor, but that would put the price up, and there isn't a huge difference anyway.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    That HP laptop you linked to looks excellent - quad core, 8gb ram, nearly 5gb of graphics power, you should be able to run Skyrim fine on that. It copes OK (albeit on low graphics settings) on my laptop which is half as much ram and a puny graphics card (I think it's something like 512mb!)
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    It does look good for the price, I think I might go for it unless I see something cheaper before Monday. Thanks very much!
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Yeah, that'll do what you want it to do with no great difficulty, processor even though it's AMD is actually really good, graphics will piss all over my Intel card and you've got a surplus of RAM there. Can't go wrong at that price.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    The laptop will run Skyim, but only just. And I really mean that. You're looking at around 20 FPS on the lowest settings. It's a budget laptop, and really isn't built for any demanding tasks.

    The GPU in there is equal to the performance of this one:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Rad...G.54675.0.html

    As you can see from that, it will play games, but not really to a decent standard. Unfortunately laptops are pretty expensive when it comes to getting one that plays games well

    (Original post by Theflyingbarney)
    That HP laptop you linked to looks excellent - quad core, 8gb ram, nearly 5gb of graphics power, you should be able to run Skyrim fine on that. It copes OK (albeit on low graphics settings) on my laptop which is half as much ram and a puny graphics card (I think it's something like 512mb!)
    The power/performance of a graphics card isn't measured by the amount of memory it has! It's a lot more complicated than that, and depends on the more specific features of the card; such as the clock speed, the amount of shaders, etc etc. The second problem is that that "5GB" isn't dedicated memory for the GPU, it's taken from the laptop's RAM, meaning the performance is even worse sadly.

    (Original post by kiai8)
    Have you looked into refurbished laptops? I know someone with a refurbished Dell and he says it's fine, in perfect working order (you'd assume it'd have to be or how can they sell it! :P)

    I reckon you could get a better laptop for a cheaper price that way

    This one looks pretty good. http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/hp-pavi...93449-pdt.html
    This laptop is better, but still not great sadly. The GPU is this one;

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Rad...G.69836.0.html

    So with that you're looking at around 28 FPS on the lowest settings in skyrim, so definitely an improvement.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Brit_Miller)
    Oh right i see, so that HP would be pretty good then.

    Well I'd like it to look good and try a few of the mods, but I'm realistic that my budget is very low-end for gaming laptops. As that HP you linked has quad core, 8GB RAM, I guess it would be pretty good?
    Skyrim itself is a bit weird, it doesn't really favour quad core. Even if you had quad core it would run like you have duo core, so the Hz value is quite important (bigger the better). I think.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    Your budget doesn't really offer you that much choice unfortunately, regardless, in terms of specs I think you'll find that many of the laptops in that price range (new) have very similar components.

    You want to be looking for few things:

    - CPU; AMD or intel it doesn't matter but keep in mind that AMD is usually cheaper. (make sure it's new gen)
    - GPU (graphics); nvdia or radeon, you do not want an integrated GPU. What this means is that the GPU comes loaded on the motherboard and in this case they're usually pretty bad and soldered on so you can't easily remove them. (Don't get anything less than 512 MB, 1GB + is alright)
    - RAM (another type memory); nowadays I'd say don't settle for anything less than 4GB as its pretty much one of the recommended amounts for games. Basically RAM is going to let you run your stuff without all the choppiness and allow you to multi-task (pretty important).
    - Hard drive; now you'll most likely find that all of them are HDD, which stands for hard disk drive, this means that there's a disk turning and "needle" reading the information.
    What's important for a HDD is both the speed and space. 5400 RPM (Rotation per minute) is very low, you want 7200 RPM minimum.
    The other kind which is getting popular is SSD (solid state drive) this is basically a huge USB that replaces the HDD. It's much faster and allows you to boot up in seconds and all that good stuff but they're pretty expensive (but get one if you can).

    Scan is a very good online retailer of computer components, they sell laptops and PCs pre assembled too (check out the price of making a customised one), have a look at what they offer its often much better than what the street retailers will sell (I'd personally try to avoid curry's/pc world, etc...). http://www.scan.co.uk/

    A friend of mine used PC specialists to build a PC and he got fairly good service so check these guys out too if you like: http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/laptop-computers/

    If you don't need it to be new you can have a look on ebay or other auctions site, there's sometimes very good deals to be made on high end laptops and PCs that enthusiasts are selling, these guys always upgrade every months/years so they sell their expensive stuff pretty cheaply sometimes.

    Good luck to you

    Edit: A big amount of space on the HDD isn't necessarily good, if its slow (low RPM) it'll just drag you down, its better to get as much space as you actually need. Lastly big brands can rip you off with the components they put it, they might look good spec wise but they might be built cheaply and wont last long so make sure there's a decent warranty.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    No such thing as a half decent gaming laptop, least of all for Skyrim. You either shell out or you don't get one. It's a paint in the ass but sometimes you can find a good deal. I managed to get a decent one for £600 3 years ago brand new shipped from the USA. I recommend it if you can wait 2 weeks for delivery. :ahee:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Haha now I'm really confused as to what to get! I can't really look for specifics as I have no knowledge; I generally just buy on people's advice.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Brit_Miller)
    Haha now I'm really confused as to what to get! I can't really look for specifics as I have no knowledge; I generally just buy on people's advice.
    The single most important thing for you to look at for games is the GPU, by a long way. While you might not know much about it, find the laptop you're interested in, find what the GPU is, and then find some benchmarks for that GPU, like what I've done above.

    This may sound a bit mean, but for £400 you're never going to find a laptop that will play games well sadly. At that price they're all budget machines, and really not cut out for gaming. The best you'll be able to do is find the one that will play games the best of the lot, but don't expect to get any new games going on anything other than the lowest settings .
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Brit_Miller)
    Haha now I'm really confused as to what to get! I can't really look for specifics as I have no knowledge; I generally just buy on people's advice.
    A good start would be looking for a laptop with ATI hybrid graphics. So it has an integrated ATI chip plus a discrete ATI chip in hybrid crossfire for a "budget graphics boost".
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dan1909)
    The single most important thing for you to look at for games is the GPU, by a long way. While you might not know much about it, find the laptop you're interested in, find what the GPU is, and then find some benchmarks for that GPU, like what I've done above.

    This may sound a bit mean, but for £400 you're never going to find a laptop that will play games well sadly. At that price they're all budget machines, and really not cut out for gaming. The best you'll be able to do is find the one that will play games the best of the lot, but don't expect to get any new games going on anything other than the lowest settings .
    Oh yeah, I realise I'm not gonna get anything decent for gaming, just looking for the best of the budget ones really. I can't go over that budget unfortunately. Seems like that HP one might be my best bet!

    *will give rep to anyone I missed tomorrow, I'm at the limit
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dan1909)
    ...
    (Original post by Sulphur)
    ...
    Now that I'm at a computer, and can do this, just a quick thanks for both of those detailed replies - much appreciated!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kiai8)
    Have you looked into refurbished laptops? I know someone with a refurbished Dell and he says it's fine, in perfect working order (you'd assume it'd have to be or how can they sell it! :P)

    I reckon you could get a better laptop for a cheaper price that way

    This one looks pretty good. http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/hp-pavi...93449-pdt.html
    I bought it, and it plays Skyrim fine. Thank you very much.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Brit_Miller)
    I bought it, and it plays Skyrim fine. Thank you very much.
    Yaaaay! Glad I could help
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: January 8, 2013
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.