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What Is A Decent Gaming Laptop

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What Should I Look For In A Cheap Gaming Laptop

The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

This is completely subjective, depending on what type of games you want to play and what kind of level of performance you want. Specs-wise, we’d recommend determining the level of specs you need by checking out the recommended and minimum system requirements of your favorite or upcoming games. This can give you a general idea of what you need, as well as stop you from buying that new gaming laptop that’s not going to be able to play new releases.

Just for good measure however, we’d recommend the following as a minimum if you’re strictly on a budget:

  • Minimum – Intel Core i5 / AMD Ryzen 5 processor or later
  • Minimum – Nvidia GTX 1050 / AMD RX 560x graphics card or later
  • Minimum – 8GB of RAM
  • Optional – 512GB solid-state drive
  • Optional – 120Hz refresh rate display monitor

Anything lower than the above and you’ll tend to struggle with modern games at 1080p settings. You can, of course, get away with lower-level or older components if you’re just planning on playing older games, but for new releases, definitely consider the above as a bare minimum.

Hp Pavilion Gaming 15

It’s the bright screamin’-green backlit keyboard that really gives away that HP’s 15.6-inch Pavilion Gaming laptop isn’t just a normal midsize notebook. Sure, there are some pretty large rear fan vents, but otherwise the chassis is fairly tame and all black except for a slight green tint to the HP logo on the lid. Inside the gaming notebook is an excellent mix of components that are good for gaming as well as work. You can find ready-to-ship options at Walmart and , or configure your own at however, the current shipping wait time is about a month.

Are Gaming Laptops Good For Work

A gaming laptop is still a laptop and can do everything that a laptop computer can do that includes work. In fact, even a gaming laptop can offer some advantages: Faster processors and increased RAM will make all of your non-gaming software run noticeably faster, and graphical work such as video editing and rendering will go much more quickly with a dedicated graphics card. Even if you mostly use your PC for work first and only light gaming, it might be worth it to shell out a little more cash for a gaming laptop for the better hardware youll be getting.

Editors’ Recommendations

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Solid But Needs More Gpu Power For The Money

The IdeaPad Gaming 3i starts strong with a sturdy and restrained physical build, but it doesn’t hold up as the best value on the graphics-performance side. It’s not a bad laptop, just tough to recommend in a competitive field. At this price, the MSI Bravo 15 is our Editors’ Choice for a superior value, while the MSI GL65 9SC and Acer Predator Helios 300 are our top picks at the lower and higher ends of entry-level pricing, respectively.

S And Performance Testing

Best 17 Inch Laptop 2020: 6 Excellent Large Screen Gaming Laptops

Now, on to the parts and performance. Our $989.99 model includes an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 8GB of memory, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, and a 512GB solid-state drive. The latter’s capacity is a bit small, in a big-picture sense, for modern gaming, but it’s not bad for a budget gaming laptop. You may have to pick and choose which favorite games you install. As you’ll see, the GPU is modestly capable, but it can’t hang with some entry-to-midrange alternatives.

Our test unit is actually the most expensive Intel-based configuration Lenovo offers. The $839.99 base model gets you a Core i5-10300H and drops the storage capacity to 256GB, but is otherwise the same. There are two more versions in between, as well as a host of AMD-based alternatives. As mentioned, the AMD models drop the “i” from the product name, but were not yet available from at the time of writing.

To pass judgment on the IdeaPad Gaming 3i’s performance, I gathered a group of competing laptops to compare benchmark results. You can see their names and specs in the table below.

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The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Right Now

TheDell G3 15 is currently our top overall pick for best cheap gaming laptop 2021. Looking for solid endurance? The G3 15’s got you covered lasting over 6 hours on our battery test. The latest refresh of the system, this new laptop offers powerful performance on the gaming front. And best of all, it comes with Alienware Command Center, so you can customize several features of the laptop.

Speaking of Dell, check our our review of the recently refreshed Dell G5 15 SE. Although the all AMD gaming laptop is currently $1,199, we’re expecting a price drop in the near future. We’re excited about this system as it delivered stellar overall performance and battery life as well as solid gaming performance.

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 particular impressed with its agile SSD and it stays cool why 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 doesn’t hold up to the systems on this list.

See our picks for best cheap gaming laptops of 2021 below.

Realistic Expectations Of Gaming Performance

The unfortunate reality is that when you reach budgets of $500 for a gaming laptop, you are unlikely to get good FPS performance on even moderately demanding games. Most gaming laptops under $500 will come with integrated graphics instead of a separate, dedicated GPU, so you cant expect the same level of performance.

Older games may run on decent Frames Per Second on medium-high settings, but for anything new, unless it has low requirements , you will generally need to fork out more money. Our best gaming laptops for under $1,000 guide may be your best port of call. Alternatively, if mobility isnt that big a priority for you, wed suggest looking at desktop machines such as our $700 self-build gaming PC, or pre-build gaming PC for under $800. Ultimately you will nearly always get at least 50% more performance out of a desktop machine for the same price as you would from a laptop, as the power and cooling restrictions of the laptop chassis limit performance substantially.

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Where To Get The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops In The Uk

It is definitely possible to game on a budget, and these magnificent laptops will certainly help you get there. Thankfully the vast majority of laptops on this list are also available to purchase in the UK, with just the one exception. Otherwise, take your pick, as there are plenty of great options to choose from. Don’t see the laptops below? Click here.

Performance Of Gaming Desktops Vs Laptops

This $450 Gaming Laptop is AMAZING

A lot about performance has to do with the specs you pick. If you buy a $3,000 gaming laptop, sure it will outperform an $800 gaming desktop.

But all things being equal, a gaming desktop will be more powerful. Similar components will perform better on desktops. A bigger chassis and more fans allow for better cooling and heat dissipation, and lower temperatures mean stronger performance. Desktops also allow for liquid cooling, if you prefer.Intel, AMD and Nvidias mobile CPUs and GPUs arent as strong as the desktop parts, though in some cases they do come close. And some innovations in the laptop space have definitely closed the gap. But the highest end parts with the best overclocking potential are on desktop platforms right now.

Winner: Desktop

2 3

A gaming desktop is still the most powerful, upgradeable, and, in some ways, affordable way to play games on a PC. You can use full-sized desktop components, swap out almost anything, and, if you build it, save some money.If youre looking to save space or take your computer with you, a gaming laptop makes far more sense. And while you may not get the same raw power, there are laptops at every price point, and at the top-end they can still run games at their highest settings. But gaming laptops are less upgradeable and ultimately need to be replaced entirely when they are out of date in a few years.

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What Are The Most Important Specs For A Gaming Laptop

Gaming laptops are powerful machines, so you need to know which specs to look out for when you buy one.

Entering the world of gaming laptops can be very excitingalongside playing a vast library of games whenever you like, you’ve also got an incredibly powerful machine for everyday tasks.

However, finding the right gaming laptop for yourself can be a little tricky. To help ease your decision, let’s explore some of the most important specs you should look for in a gaming laptop.

Cpu And Ram: The Brains Of The Operation

If the GPU is the heart of a gaming laptop, then the processor and RAM are the brain and hippocampus. Your laptop’s processor handles everything that doesn’t have to do with graphics, such as performing some of a game’s physics calculations and controlling its non-playable characters. It also affects the performance of all of your non-gaming applications, including your browser, OS and productivity apps. When picking out your CPU and RAM, keep the following tips in mind.

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Best Performance: Msi Gl66

MSI not only makes mid-range laptops but also some high-end options. The GL66 has plenty going for it, including the latest Intel processors and NVIDIA GPUs. It’s the perfect companion to take along with you to LAN events to enjoy some downtime with friends. It’s also not bad looking.

Even though we’re only looking at budget-friendly laptops, the MSI GL66 is here if you have a little more to spend. Inside is an Intel Core i7-11800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. This all powers content to a 144Hz 15.6-inch 1080p display, allowing you to enjoy some butter-smooth gameplay.

Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Ram

The best gaming laptops under $1,000 for 2019

Yes, actually. For most games, you won’t need more than 16GB of RAM. And while some models support up to 32, 64 or even 128GB, chances are that unless you’re going to also use your laptop for things like video editing or 3D modeling and rendering, you’re just spending money to show off at that point.

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What Is The Best Budget Gaming Laptop

MSI GF65 Thin 15.6-inch RTX 3060 gaming laptop|.

  • MSI Crosshair 15.6-inch RTX 3060 gaming laptop|.
  • HP Omen 15.6-inch RTX 3070 gaming laptop|.
  • Gigabyte Aorus 15.6-inch RTX 3080 gaming laptop
  • |Gigabyte Aero 17.3-inch RTX 3070 4K gaming laptop|.
  • What is the best gaming desktop under 1000?

    CyberpowerPC Wyvern AMD Gaming PC

  • ADMI i5 9400F Gaming PC
  • Acer Nitro N50-610 Gaming Tower with GTX 1660
  • PCSpecialist Tornado R3
  • Enigma Essential Ryzen 5 3600
  • HP Omen 25L
  • How To Pick A Cpu For A Gaming Laptop

    There may be real competition between AMD and Intel when it comes to gaming CPUs in desktops now, but in gaming laptops, the world is still very much 95-percent Intel. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, as Intels laptop CPUs are excellent. Still, there are a few things you need to consider about the CPU for your gaming laptop.

    A typical Intel laptop CPU will pack from four to eight processor cores. Most will feature Hyper-Threading, which lets the CPU offer virtual CPUs to use its resources more efficiently.

    Gaming laptops today mostly give you a choice of 8th-gen H or 9th-gen H high-power CPUs. Thats led to a lot of confusion for consumers. We recommend that you not sweat the difference between 8th-gen and 9th-gen laptop CPUs. Outside of security mitigations, the change is mostly a clock speed bump on Core i7 and Core i5 models. The key difference is at the high end, where the 9th-gen Core i9 gives you two more cores than the Core i7.

    If youre shopping in that zone of do I buy 8th-gen gaming laptop? or do I buy a 9th-gen gaming laptop? weve broken out each models differences. For contrast, we also break out that the biggest performance improvement was going from Intels 7th-gen to its 8th-gen chips.

    Its pretty had to live up to the huge performance boost the 8th gen chips gave us, but 9th gen Core i9 gives it a good try.

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    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.

    What To Look For In A Cheap Gaming Laptop

    Gaming Laptops 2021 – How Good?

    Below I’ve sketched out which graphics card and what other specs you need in a cheap gaming laptop. I also go over the main features to consider when shopping for a cheap gaming notebook.

    For screen resolution, a 1080p display hits the sweet spot between price and required GPU beefiness. It is really the only option for a value-oriented gaming laptop. Even if you could score a cheap laptop with a high-resolution 4K panel, the GPU inside won’t be able to run games at that resolution, so prepare yourself for 1080p gaming.

    When it comes to storage, try to steer clear of laptops with a lone solid-state drive. Heck, even a model with a 256GB SSD offers barely enough space to keep multiple games installed and at the ready, so you might be stuck getting a system with a slower, yet much more spacious, spinning hard drive.

    You can also get a sweet deal by going with something older sporting previous generation processors, as they are usually available at fire-sale prices and there’s not a huge difference in performance between 8th Gen Coffee Lake and 9th Gen Coffee Lake Refresh for gaming. You won’t be quite as future-proof down the line, but you’ll still enjoy several years of solid 1080p gaming at a low price.

    Jason Cipriani has covered technology full-time for the past 8 years. During that time he has freelanced for the likes of CNET, Fortune, Time, ZDNet, Macworld, Wired, and TechRadar.

    Was this article informative?

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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.

    Hp Gaming Pavilion 15

    The $799 base model of the HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr has an Intel Core i5-9300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 3GB of VRAM. The $909 model we reviewed, the 15-dk0046nr, has an Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 12GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

    Meanwhile, the $889 model gives you an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of VRAM.

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    Performance Testing: Hail To The Victus

    We’re still building up our database of test results with our updated benchmarks, so we compared the Victus 16 to a variety of 15.6-inch gaming laptops. The Dell G3 15 comes in below the HP’s price while the XPG Xenia 15 KC almost doubles it. The Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 and MSI Delta 15 are in the $1,700 neighborhood. You can see the contenders’ basic specs in the table below.

    How To Choose One Of The Best Gaming Laptops

    Take a look at the best gaming laptops under $2000

    Power or portability? Youll need to consider what type of gaming and where youll be doing it before you decide whats the best gaming laptop for you. Do you plan to mostly play triple-A demanding games at home and on a desk, but have the scope to occasionally move your machine, then a chunkier and more powerful gaming laptop, like the Alienware Area 51m might be best. But if you plan to carry your gaming laptop around a fair bit, say for LAN parties, then a thinner and lighter laptop like the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin could be for you.

    Display: These days theres a wide range of display choice for gaming laptops. You can get a standard 60Hz 1080p panel that might come with built-in anti-screen-tearing features like Nvidias G-Sync. But if youre willing to pay more, you can get gaming laptops with high refresh-rate displays, often sitting at 144Hz. But the latest machines can hit 240Hz, with those on the cutting-edge sporting 300Hz displays. HIgh refresh-rate displays are great for people who play fast-paced games such as Overwatch or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. But if you mostly plan to plug in an external monitor, then you might be better off saving money by going for a 60Hz Full HD screen.

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