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Help finding a great laptop under $1000

stringboistringboi Atlanta, GAPosts: 394Member Uncommon

I'm in need of a laptop to use as a secondary gaming device and could use some help getting the best bang for the buck.  I dont need the best graphics while on it, but would like at least high settings on most sliders, my serious gameplay will take place at home, on my desktop. 

While I know all the ins and outs about desktop hardware, I know close to nothing about how things translate in the laptop department.  I'm running around in circles searching the web, and a lot of the info seems relevent to last years specs. 

I keep seeing the Lenovo Y500 or Y580 being mentioned.....but I also hear a lot about companies that will make a custom laptop for you using brands like Clevo/Sager, MSI, Asus.  I keep going back to, and have had my eye on the Sager NP7352. 

Being that I know nothing about mobile CPUs or GPUs....would I be getting a kick ass laptop with those specs?  Is there something cheaper on the list that would make more sense....and if so, could you explain the major differences why....specifically in the GPU/CPU area. 

It feels like I'd get more bang for the buck buying from a place like this (almost like building your own desktop), rather than something premade.....Is this for the most part correct?  Any other suggestions? 


Thanks for all your help!


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,357Member Epic
    Why do you want a laptop in the first place?  Are you a business traveler who wants to sit and play games in hotel rooms?  Are you a student who is going to carry it around in your backpack for half an hour per day and puts a high priority on light weight?  Are you going to use it for extended periods of time without being able to plug it in and need good battery life?  Appropriate laptop hardware varies wildly with the intended use.
  • stringboistringboi Atlanta, GAPosts: 394Member Uncommon

    It's going to be my gaming computer while at work.  I have a lot of spare time in between clients and want something that will be able to play games fairly well.   It will also be used as a very basic business pc as well.  Simple website maintenance and MS Office....nothing that a PC that could play games well couldnt handle.  Thats pretty much it!

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,357Member Epic
    So it sounds like it's always going to be plugged in while in use, so that battery life doesn't matter?  Are you going to carry it around a lot and want light weight, or would you put a higher premium on high gaming performance and perhaps even prefer a larger monitor?
  • stringboistringboi Atlanta, GAPosts: 394Member Uncommon
    It will be plugged in and stationary 90% of the time, so battery life isnt important....but I do not have room for a full desktop so that isnt even an option.  Weight isnt an issue either.  A 17" screen sounds nice, but I think 15.6" will be good enough.  I'd prefer a higher resolution over bigger screen size, unless it was a no brainer to get the bigger screen for the same price....1080 is desireable and I'd like that the picture doesnt look grainy.    I'd prefer better performance over screen size though. 
  • noctisglowsnoctisglows rohnert park, CAPosts: 3Member
    You want a good laptop? Check out Acer or Asus. I have an Acer aspire V3 and it is wonderful lol. It can run anything and I got it for about 680$ and 50$ for insurance on it. Other than that if you want something really powerful, I would think something by ibuypower would be prefered i guess
  • SyllendaleSyllendale Fayetteville, NCPosts: 156Member Uncommon

    To the OP here, I have a Lenovo Y500 series and simply love it (so far, I say that because its my first ever laptop)..  I got it for 1k on their website in April and here are some of it's specs:

    Intel i7 @ 2.40 ghz

    16 gigs of DDR3 ram

    2 gig DDR5 Nvidia GT650

    1TB hard drive with 16gig SSD drive

    Blu-Ray player/DVD-rewriter

    15.7 screen on it.

    Also, though might not matter, the keyboard illuminates a red color. That got me some stares and appraise from Geek Squad when I got my insurance on it. Small thing but still, its my baby and you like people saying good things about your kids haha :) 

    I got it on a special, but they are always having them and I would advise checking them out. 

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,357Member Epic

    To put it bluntly, what you want doesn't fit your budget.  On a strict $1000 budget, you can basically get two of the following:

    *Monitor larger than 1366x768

    *Decent SSD

    *Quad core CPU

    *Video card substantially faster than integrated graphics

    If you're willing to expand your budget somewhat, then you could consider either of these:

    The first of those does not include an OS by default, so you'll have to add that yourself, which is why it goes over the budget.  The video card in the first laptop is basically an underclocked GeForce GTX 650 Ti, while the one in the second is basically an underclocked Radeon HD 7870.  You can bring the price down on the second a bit by skipping the Blu-Ray drive in favor of a simple DVD burner.

    If you're not willing to go over your stated budget, then what do you want to give up?

  • stringboistringboi Atlanta, GAPosts: 394Member Uncommon

    I am willing to go slightly over my 1k budget...but only slightly.  The Sager 7352 was my first choice.    How do you think that system would compare performance wise to say the Lenovo Y500 ( I've heard great things about it before, but...its got some older hardware.  If I'm correct...last gen i7, and SLI 650m's, only a 5400rmp HDD...but it does come in under $1k and includes an OS.  But is it already too dated?

    I've never been into dual GPU's as well, because of performance/driver issues....would that still be the case in a laptop and would SLI GT 650m perform better than a single GTX 765m in the Sager? 

  • stringboistringboi Atlanta, GAPosts: 394Member Uncommon
    Lenovo's website looks like its now making the Y500 with GT750's or SLI 750s
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,357Member Epic

    You should note that the Sager 7352 listed there by default comes without an operating system, so adding an OS will push you over the $1000 budget.

    As for the Lenovo Y500, I'm not sure what to make of it.  I'm pretty sure that Amazon has at least some of the specs wrong.  The difference between Ivy Bridge (Core i7-3***) and Haswell (Core i7-4***) basically amounts to battery life, so if you're not worried about battery life, go ahead and get the older Ivy Bridge.  Haswell doesn't save you on heat at load, either; it's reduced idle power consumption that extends the battery life.

    Nvidia isn't saying what a GeForce GT 750M is, but it's probably just a GeForce GT 650M that Nvidia's marketing department awarded an extra 100 naming points to in order to make it sound newer.  It might also be clocked a bit higher or some such just to make it different, but the GT 650M didn't have fixed specs, anyway.

    I'm also dubious about the prospect of SLI in a 15" laptop, as that's going to be awfully tight on space.  It sounds like one of the GPUs is optional, so the laptop might not even come with it.  Or if it does, it's at least removable, in which case you have to worry about how much PCI Express bandwidth the second card gets through a removable connection.

  • stringboistringboi Atlanta, GAPosts: 394Member Uncommon
    Thanks for all your input guys....I ordered a Sager NP7352.  I felt it to be just slightly better than the Y500, and even the newer Y510p (single gpu versions)
  • PocketprotectorgamesPocketprotectorgames Arlen, TXPosts: 22Member

    Your sager working well?

    I've had the Lenovo Y480/Nvidia GT650m model for a year (travel A LOT for work.)

    And it's held up well enough I was thinking of going for the New Y500 model or something newer

    when I decide to get a new lappy.

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