Which Is The Right Gaming Gpu For You
Contrary to what you may read on Reddit or gaming forums, you don’t need to have the biggest, fastest, priciest GPU to get a great gaming experience. The biggest difference between graphics cards, besides price, is how fast it helps your RAM and CPU load and process game assets basically, the more video memory your card has, the faster it can dump assets to your computer’s RAM channels, giving you higher frame rates and better performance.
And unless you’re a big-time content creator on Twitch or YouTube, you don’t need to buy that $1500 RTX 3090. Nvidia’s newer RTX 3050 provides plenty of power at a decent price, and you can even opt for an older card if you want to save even more money and don’t plan on playing any really graphically intensive games.
Choose this gaming GPU
A high-end GPU to future-proof your gaming PC
MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus GP
An older GPU for less intensive gaming
Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Master
A GPU that can handle gaming as well as video and photo editing
Best For School: Dell Inspiron 15
Buy it used or refurbished: eBay
Why it made the cut: The Dell Inspiron 15s simple design is great for schoolwork, and can play a game or two between study sessions.
- Limited port selection
If you need something simple to power through note-taking, research papers, and presentations, the Dell Inspiron 15 is an excellent option. Of course, youll want to take breaksand theres no better way to unwind than with video games. Dells affordable laptop features an Intel Core i3 processor, UHD graphics, and 8GB of RAM to power through games like Rocket League and Counter-Strike: GO. The Inspiron 15 also features a 256SSD, giving you plenty of storage to save those vital school projects and download your favorite titles from Steam.
Our Pick: Acer Predator Triton 300
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The Triton 300 we tested comes with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD, which is enough to meet any current games recommended system requirements. Its also easy enough to upgrade either component. After removing the 11 Phillips screws on the bottom, we had to slide a guitar pick around the border a few times to gently loosen the panel, but the process was quick and straightforward.
The keyboard has 4-zone RGB backlighting, which means you can customize and program four different areas on the keyboard with colorful lighting and effects. Its satisfying to type on, and theres a full number pad on the side that adds a lot of functionality compared to less-gaming-focused laptops. All our picks have this extended keyboard layout, though only our runner-up, the Aorus 15P, has more customizable lighting options. The Tritons trackpad is responsivewe tested a number of games without a mouse and had no trouble clicking around.
The Triton 300 has two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, a Thunderbolt 4/USB-C port, and slots for Ethernet, HDMI, and Mini DisplayPort cables, though it lacks an SD card reader. It also comes with a one-year limited warranty.
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Who Should Use A Cheap Gaming Laptop
If you are looking for a cheap gaming laptop, then it is best to buy one that has been built with the right components. You should also consider buying from a reputable brand and make sure that they have an excellent customer service team in place. This will ensure that if anything goes wrong with your device, you can get it fixed or replaced quickly without any hassle at all.
The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Right Now
TheDell G5 15 SE is currently our top overall pick for the best cheap gaming laptop in 2022. Looking for solid endurance? The G3 15’s got you covered lasting over 7 hours on our battery test. The all-AMD system also delivers solid performance across the board.
The HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr is a great combination of style, power, and endurance. Plus, it comes in well below $1,000. We were particularly impressed with its agile SSD and it stays cool while gaming and lasts almost 6 hours on a charge.
The MSI Alpha 15 and Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i are our honorable mentions. The first features both an AMD processor and graphics card, it marks the chipmaker’s return to gaming laptops. While the other is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. Both are great entries but don’t hold up to the systems on this list.
See our picks for the best cheap gaming laptops of 2022 below.
The Dell G5 15 SE is a great mainstream gaming laptop thanks to its wild CPU performance, awesome battery life and bright 15.6-inch display. With its AMD processor, the system continuously blew out the competition. The notebook also impressed with its battery life, lasting over 7 hours. Throw in an AMD graphics card that can hold its own on even the most demanding AAA titles and you’ve got a certified winner.
See our full HP Gaming Pavillion 15-dk0046nr review.
See our full Asus TUF Gaming FX705 review.
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Do Budget Gaming Laptops Have Good Displays
Most of your money is going toward components, so the other parts — the display, keyboard and trackpad and build quality — are going to be OK, but not fantastic. This is why I lean toward models like the Dell G15, which has its power input and other ports on the rear for a cleaner setup when connected to external peripherals. It also has a decent battery life, which is something that typically falls by the wayside on cheap gaming laptops.
That said, display quality has improved on entry-level gaming laptops in the past couple of years, particularly when it comes to refresh rates. It’s now common to find 120Hz or 144Hz displays offered, which will make fast movement in your games look smoother and give you a more responsive experience. It’s not worth paying extra for, though, unless the GPU is capable of faster frame rates for your games, too.
Things To Consider When Shopping For The Best Gaming Laptops Under $500
The fact of the matter is, you cant really get a new dedicated gaming laptop for $500. For reference, our list of the best cheap gaming laptops highlights strong systems that cost less than $1,000, and it often features models that are 1-2 years old. Most of our picks are budget productivity laptops that happen to provide decent processing power for their prices. Few, if any, feature a dedicated graphics card, which youd need to play many of the biggest games. Those that work will only run on low or medium settings.
If you are purchasing this device specifically for gaming, there are many other devices that will offer you a much better experience for that same $500. Though they can be hard to find, we would recommend any of the current game consoles over these laptops, including the PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch. You might also consider the 2022 iPad Air, which provides access to an increasingly large library of games thanks to game streaming services like Xbox Game Pass. In the realm of PCs, you may be able to build a budget desktop gaming PC for around $500 using older and/or used parts. This may be more difficult than in the past due to pandemic-era supply constraints, but it is not outside the realm of possibility.
If you have your heart set on a laptop, or need a more holistic device, here are the basics of picking a laptop so you can make your own choice:
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Where Are The Laptops With Amd Graphics Cards
Your guess is as good as ours. A few gaming laptop SKUs offered the RX 5000-series cards, but they were thin on the ground. But AMD has promised RX 6000, Big Navi mobile GPUs will be on their way to gaming laptops in the first half of this year, but so far we haven’t seen them in the labs.
Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 . He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he’s back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.
With contributions from
What Is The Cheapest Gaming Laptop
Gaming laptops for less than $500 exist and are marketed as such, though it is debatable how suitable for gaming they actually are. Ultimately it depends on what games you want to play and at what level of graphical settings. If you want to play the latest AAA FPS games on medium settings at decent FPS then you will need to pay $1,000 at the very least. If you are interested in older titles, or in less graphically demanding games , then you may be able to get away with paying as little as $500, $600, or $700.
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How To Find The Right Cheap Gaming Laptop
When shopping for a gaming laptop, there’s a lot to consider. To help you choose a system, here are five key points to keep in mind when choosing a system.
Budget: What you get for the money.
You can find good inexpensive gaming laptops for under $1,000. However, more powerful mainstream gaming laptops are often priced between $1,500-$2,000. Premium systems typically cost more than $2,000 and come stacked with a host of high-powered goodies such as high-powered specs and tricked-out software.
Screen Size: 15 inches is the go-to
It’s very rare that you’ll find a 13 or 14-inch gaming laptops nowadays as smaller bezels and lighter frames have paved the way for seriously thin-and-light gaming laptops. That means the days of chunky 15.6-inch laptops putting a strain on your back are over .
From there, you have the 17.3-inch desktop replacements that like their smaller counterparts are becoming super svelte. But there are still the big behemoths that don’t skimp on the specs. However, weighing upwards of 8 pounds, those big boys are made for your home gaming station.
Screen Resolution: 1080p for high refresh rates, 4K for detail
Refresh rate: 120Hz is the sweet spot
Intel or AMD?
Battery Life: At least 4.5 hours
Specs: 1080p / Core i5 / 16GB Are Best Bets
You can spend a lot of time delving into specs, but here are the key components to think about. If you just want really good mainstream performance, go for a Core i5 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 1080p screen.
When Are The Best Gaming Laptop Deals
Gaming laptops are hot items, but theyre also pricey. Thats why its always a good idea to poke through any and all gaming laptop deals that are available when youre in the market for a new one. Even a budget-friendly computer isnt a small purchase by any means, and a good gaming laptop deal can easily save you hundreds of dollars on what is likely to be the most expensive piece of tech you own.
It shouldnt come as a huge surprise that the best gaming laptop deals are up for grabs during big seasonal sales. Retailers run big sales during holidays and especially during holidays that involve three-day weekends as people love to shop during these times. Presidents Day, July 4, and Labor Day are popular examples. But the biggest gaming laptop deals always come during huge retail events like Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday .
Oftentimes, however, if you need a new laptop particularly if you use yours for work or school you cant afford to wait weeks or even months for the next big sale to arrive. After all, the biggest blowouts like Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Monday only happen a few times a year. If you dont have the luxury of waiting, then the good news is that retailers are offering up good gaming laptop deals pretty much year-round. Just do your research and keep an eye on this roundup right here, as well always keep you updated with the best gaming laptop deals that are available.
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Hp Pavilion Gaming Laptop
HP Pavillion Gaming Laptops start at a mere $599.99. Aside from the gaming aesthetics, which we know many of you love, youll get pretty good specs too. At least considering how little these cost.
For that money, you get a 15.6-inch 1080p 60Hz display, an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, and Nvidias GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. You also get a USB-C port , three USB-A 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, an ethernet port, and an audio jack. The laptop also has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SDD.
Its sturdy, the green accents arent overwhelming, and like the previously mentioned HP Omen, this budget gaming laptop rocks Bang & Olufsen speakers.
How Much Is A Good Cheap Gaming Laptop
When it comes to gaming laptops, the skyâs the limit for how much you can spend. Between the initial laptop purchase and all subsequent hardware upgrades, software and gaming accessoriesâ¦ each of these elements play a crucial role in rendering a stellar gaming experience â at a price.
Top-of-the-line gaming laptops can set you back anywhere from Â£2,000 to Â£4,500. Anything less than this is considered cheap. And any new high-spec laptop under Â£1,000 is almost a miracle.
Still too spenny? It might be worth considering a refurbished laptop â there are plenty on the market, just make sure to do your due diligence first.
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Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i Webcam
The 720p shooter in the IdeaPad Gaming 3i took images that look like they came from a flip phone.
The test shots were pixely and blotchy to the point where all of the detail in my hair was a blur. It translated the blue tape on the wall behind me into pure black. To top it off, the poor contrast nearly blew out most of the window, save for a few patches of outside greenery. If you plan on streaming, take a look at our best webcams page.
Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i Battery Life
For a budget gaming laptop, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i offers a decent enough battery life. It continuously surfed the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness and stopped after 5 hours and 40 minutes, which is slightly longer than the 5:17 budget gaming laptop average. The Pavilion 15 and Nitro 5 didnt last quite as long, while the G5 15 kicked ass for an hour longer, surviving 6:53.
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Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i Performance
On the Geekbench 4.3 overall performance test, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i scored 20,911, flying over the 16,756 budget gaming laptop average. It defeated the Core i5-9300H CPU in the Nitro 5 and G5 15 with ease, but surprisingly, it barely lost to the Pavilion 15s Core i7-9750H .
The IdeaPad Gaming 3i transcoded a 4K video to 1080p on the HandBrake benchmark in just 10 minutes and 41 seconds, flying by the 13:34 category average. It also just beat the Pavilion 15 and tore up the Nitro 5 and G5 15 .
Lenovos 512GB SSD copied 4.97GB of data in 10.7 seconds, translating to 476 megabytes per second, which is over 100MBps faster than the budget gaming laptop average . The 256GB SSD in the Pavillion 15 and G5 15 scored 351MBps and 130MBps, while the Nitro 5s 512GB SSD climbed up to 536MBps.
Best Gaming Laptop Under $: Cheap Gaming Laptop Models 2022
The best cheap gaming laptop under 500 USD in 2022
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If youre looking for the most cheap gaming laptop on the market, this article will help you find the best gaming laptop under 500 USD to meet your needs. Each of the five budget gaming laptops listed has different strengths and weaknesses, as well as different retail prices. Our reviews focus on specifications such as GPU, CPU, memory, and display to help you decide between them. If you want to get the very best mobile gaming platforms available regardless of price, able to play the most high-end games, then take a look at our best gaming laptop page. If youre after the cheapest of budget gaming laptops, then read on.
Prime Day laptop deals are live! Get huge savings on gaming laptops on Best Buy or HP in 2022, on the likes of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16, MSI Delta, Lenovo Legion Slim 7, HP Victus, and ASUS TUF DASH gaming laptops. For more selections, check out our page.
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