Best laptop for 700-900 with SSD for moderate gamng


Nov 28, 2014
1. What is your budget?
$700-900 USD, I can stretch up to $1000 but would need to see a considerable performance boost.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I would like it to be moderately portable, e.g. could pack it for travel but would then be stationary in a hotel room for a week+

5. How much battery life do you need?
While gaming, it will pretty much always be plugged in so battery life shouldn't be an issue. Would be great to get 2-3 hours of battery life during normal usage (web browsing, streaming videos)

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
High settings- League of Legends, Hearthstone
Medium-high settings- Dota 2, Guild Wars 2, Stars Wars Online: The Old Republic
Other games- Mass Effect Trilogy, FF7 (Steam), Civ 5

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Normal web browsing, e.g. Redditing, watching Twitch streams, YouTube, etc.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Minimum 128 GB SSD is a must for boot + some games, with separate HDD for storage. Obviously the larger the SSD the better, but I understand this will probably be cost constrained

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Best deal I have found so far is the ASUS K501LX at Newegg

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Planning on cycling in 2-3 years, and potentially building a PC for more demanding games.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
No optical drive necessary.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I don't have any particular brand loyalty, but obviously do want to consider factors such as build quality, customer service, etc.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
SSD really is my non-negotiable, and I'm willing to compromise on the CPU/GPU for it since the games I play are less intensive. I can also consider separately buying and installing an SSD AS LONG AS it doesn't void the warranty and total cost remains in the price range. I'm currently using a 2012 Lenovo Y580 with a 2nd/3rd gen i7 and nVidia 660M, so expecting most laptops in the price range to be a decent upgrade.

One of my other major concerns is heating since I tend to game for 2-3+ hours when I do, and would like to avoid the keyboard getting uncomfortably hot. I'm willing to get a laptop cooler to help facilitate if necessary.

Lastly, if someone could help quantify the performance drop across CPU/GPU's it would be greatly appreciated! For example, I know that an nVidia 960 is about 10% up from the 860, and that the 970 is about 60% up from the 960.

Thanks for reading!
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