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Gaming/College Laptop Recommendations

twstdstrangetwstdstrange Member Posts: 474

Hey, chums.

I've been scouring the web for a few days on the hunt for a new laptop.

I'll be using it for college this fall, and since my major is Game Design & Programming, I reckon I'll need a nice gaming system to assist me in my studies (and to play some nice new games on for once! I've been stuck with the same sytem for nearly ten years now!).

I've found three candidates I need some opinions on:


#1 - MSI-E7235 -

This one seems good for the price, and has a nice 17'' screen (I woud prefer a nice large screen).


#2 - Asus N61JV -

Also seems like a great deal.


#3 - Asus K72JR -

17'' Screen. Seems good.


I know I haven't really gone into technical specifics, but I'm sure each of these will do what I need them to do.

I just needed some extra feedback.

Other system recommendations are, of course, welcome! :3

Thanks guys.


Also, a nice set of recommendations on software that I should get for my upcoming system.

Anything useful and cool.


  • mcvfxxmcvfxx Member UncommonPosts: 59


    lets make few comments on your choices. If you insist that you wanna play some reasonable games on it, you have to go and choose best graphics card you can afford. Most of graphics cards in nowadays laptops perform quite poorly game wise and you have to do your choice very carefully. It is very typical that good graphic card means there will be also good CPU. Now, the question is, how do you know which VGA is strong enough to bear some games? There is a site

    where you can take their numbers and compare between different graphics card. If you wanna have something reasonable for today's games, you better get something which can play Crysis at least with medium details. If it cannot, you will have quite limited choice of modern games. Of course, you wanna have at least 3GB (more natural is 4GB) of RAM to have reasonably smooth running.

    CPU wise anything over 2GHz will be enough for any game so far. You will be probably forced to pick VGA in first round and match it with your favourite/preferred CPU for a given budget. Note that many laptops have quite good CPUs, but paired with very poor VGA. Gamewise, VGA is very important.

    My 2c.

  • twstdstrangetwstdstrange Member Posts: 474

    Thanks very much, mcvfxx!

    While I do know more than the average computer user, statistcs aren't *precisely* my forte, so your post has definitely given me a great guideline to work from.

    Once again, thanks! :3

  • fnorgbyfnorgby Member Posts: 158

    I'm starting grad school next month, and will be renting a room & commuting on weekends, so I need something similar.


    Small & portable enough for classrooms not necessarily built with laptops in mind, capable of playing games and doing multimedia/etc.  I'm not looking for a "desktop replacement", but it has to be powerful enough to do most of what I would do with a desktop.

    My budget might be different from yours but I've decided on the Dell XPS Studio 16 (works out to about $1250 the way I want it configured -- 6 gb, 1080p, 500mbx7200 HD, ATI 5730).  That's if I can get the 5730 with the i530 processor.  Even with the 530 the battery life will be tetchy...

    Since it's got to last me three years of law school, I decided on core i5-530m as the minimum processor, so the first of your choices is out for me.  I don't want to be an early-adopter type on the nvidia graphics switchy thing, so the n61jv is probably not for me.

    The main reason for picking the Dell is the 1080p display (1920x1080).  2nd reason is the complement of ports -- HDMI is important to me to connect to TV at home.  I'm disappointed it doesn't have USB 3.0 but it does have esata/USB2, which is almost as good.  In addition it has two more USB ports (total of 3).

    I know I looked at the K72JR... just not sure why I passed on it.  It might be the 17" size.  I'll give it a second look before pulling the trigger on the dell.

    I can also roleplay the tower in a chess game and shout "is that a peasant at the horizon I see? I will smash it I will! Oh damn I broke one of my merlons!". -- maji

  • HrimnirHrimnir Member RarePosts: 2,415

    If you are computer savvy enough that you don't mind having a freshly installed OS with NOTHING else on it, you can't really do better than sager notebooks.  A couple places sell them, xoticpc is generally known for having good customer service.

    You can get a pretty kitted out 17" gaming laptop with everything else you'd need for it to double as a school computer for $1500.

    My reccomendation:

    "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    The first one is hopeless. The other 2 are somewhat better as long as you like playing older games.

    The real problem here is that laptops are expensive and still performs worse than a desktop for twice the price. You just can't get one with a good gfx card.

    The best thing is actually to get a desktop and a palmpilot or similar thing (like those real small mini laptops) if you need something to bring to school.

    My laptop is far superior to those 3 (I have a Sony VAIO F something) but I use it to surf on, to watch movies and listen to music on (while traveling) and sometimes as a portable music machine. sometimes my buddie plays EQ2 on it if we play at my place.

    It is far from a gaming computer. For that I use my desktop.

    A laptop is fine enough for Wow or EQ2 but it will run new good looking games badly. This surprises a lot of people because often do laptops have a lot of ram memory and a acceptable processor but it is the GFX card that makes the computer.

    If you still want to get the laptop, go for number 3.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,164

    Since you are going to college for it, why don't you speak with someone in your new department?

    a, they might have recomendations

    b, you might get an educational discout through the college. At Berklee college of music, for example, students get discounts on computer equipment

    c, you might save yourself a bit of a hassle in the end.

    What I mean by that is when I was going to college I was majoring in the classical guitar. I saved up all summer, found a good guitar and bought it.

    My first lesson my teacher said "the first thing we need to do is get you a new guitar".

    I'm not sure what type of programs you will be using but there might be a few things that you have to have and again, your school might have discounts to students.

    just a thought.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Basically, it's like Loke666 said.

    Just to put this into perspective, a Mobility Radeon HD 5870 has almost the exact same specifications as a desktop Radeon HD 5770, which means that even to get something remotely capable, you're paying $1500 for a notebook with the power of a $600 desktop, and a single Radeon HD 5770, while powerful enough to get you by pretty decently at moderate resolutions (the only thing you won't be playing pretty maxed out, afaik, is Metro 2033). The problem is that it's still not really adequate to play the newest games at 1920x1080, and laptop makers always try to shove 1080P panels into gaming notebooks (for some dumb reason), even though that's not reaslistic for smooth gameplay.

    What's more, a desktop Radeon HD 5770 is replacable in a year or two; a mobility Radeon HD 5870 is not, and buying a $1500 laptop every year or two is almost certainly not an option for a college student (for most people, college is basically a graceful form of poverty for 4 years image).


    So take the money and get a desktop if you want to game. LIke Loke, I also have a laptop more capable than those linked in the first post (Asus N61jq, has a mobility Radeon HD 5730), and for $1049, it's barely capable of playing Modern Warfare 2 at max settings at the panel's modest resolution of 1366x768 (and realistically, AA needs to be knocked down to 2x for real smooth gameplay). Crysis is just barely playable at high (not very high) settings, giving about 27-33 fps with 2x AA, and that's a 2007 game! This machine of mine would not be suitable for a primary gaming machine, especially because a year or two down the road, I'm going to start that slide of continually lowering settings with every new game.


    So if you have $1200-$1500 to spend, get a $450 Toshiba (best brand out there for reliability next to Asus, which is more expensive usually), and then blow the rest on a gaming desktop that will allow for upgradeability. If you don't have that much, then you weren't in shape to buy a real gaming laptop to being with (don't fret, most people aren't), and you should just buy a desktop (maybe save up after for a laptop?). Plenty of people have desktops in college that I know; they work out fine.

  • TheHatterTheHatter Member Posts: 2,547

    Typing this on my K72JR right now that I bought 2 months ago for $965 total after shipping, from newegg. The next day, they stopped selling them........ so I wouldn't get it if I was you.

    The GPU is a bit lacking, but it's a 17.3" 6lb machine with an i5 and a dedicated video card that's not too terribly bad. But, I also own a full gaming desktop at home and this is just for travel and it's primary purpose is browsing websites and watching movies.

    Not a good gaming machine, but a good general use machine for a decent price. You could probably get better if you looked around a bit more. 

    I didn't bother looking at the others.

  • jammertk10jammertk10 Member CommonPosts: 88;+Core%26%23153;+i7+Processor+/+17.3"+Display+/+6GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/9741729.p?id=1218165344675&skuId=9741729


    In my opinion that is an amazing laptop for the price. 1200$ will get you an i7 w/ 6GB RAM and a 5870 Mobility. Almost nothing can beat the performance:price of that LAPTOP. However I will throw in the run-of-the-mill warning that a desktop at the cost could easily blow that machine out of the water. Like I've said many times before, if you're dead-set on a laptop, that one is a winner. If you're open-minded you could end up with an amazing rig for ~800$ and a 400$ Acer that could be your portability factor for college. 


    Good luck,



    “The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.” - Voltaire
    i5-750 OC'd to 4.0Ghz - PNY GTX 470 Performance Edition - Western Digital 2X2TB in RAID 0 - Samsung BD Drive - 4GB DDR3 2000Mhz - CM Storm Scout

  • eyceleycel Member Posts: 1,334

    I love love laptops, I do almost everything on my laptop.  I own an alienware so of course my recomendation is to go with an alienware.  The new m11x is very mobile and capable, it scores the new one at least, close to 8k in 36mark06.  You would be able to take it everywhere with you on your studies and such, and it only costs nill, so it wouldnt set you back a ton, you can get a brand new one with discounts for around 600.  You could then get yourself a larger laptop for in your dorm or what not, like the ones you listed.   

    But geting back to your 3 laptops all 3 of them arn't mainstream laptops.  I have some suggestions tho, envy 14  just released a few days ago.  It starts at around 1k. Alot of people have been buzing over it for a long long time, and its finally out.  Might wana take a look at it.   Even tho your xoticpc you listed has a nice led 1600x900 screen, for a package like that Id want bluetooth for christ sakes.  I didnt see it listed.  The ati card is not right for a 17 inch laptop, although I love ati, its a bit underpowered if I was to be so bold.  Both the msi and asus for me would be underpowered for that price point.  If you want a big 17 inch screen with lots of goodies, the asus g72 might be right for you, but its more then the ones you listed at around 1500, you might be able to find discounts.  Also from the laptops youve listed it seems like you wanting to get the best possible deal you can without sacraficing performance.   I guess Ill stop here, I could keep going on, but I wont.  lol...Dont forget ebay has alot of great deals, they have hundreads of 1000s of people selling laptops on there everyday, so if you good at buisness then you might be able to find a good deal on there too. If you didnt know about notebookreview that would be your best bet.  Theres alot of information on all sorta of brands of laptop.  There is also a merchant section in notebookreviews that can give you an idea of what type of laptops are being bought and sold now.  Any way, I hope you find one that you like, and dosnt give you and headacks or isnt fun! 


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