Buying a Laptop for Games?

AW_42

Prominent
Aug 7, 2017
3
0
510
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Hello all. My 5-year laptop might need to be replaced; the fan is not working & the repairman said it costs $160 to order a new one without a guarantee it will help with the overheating. So I'm thinking about getting a new computer.

In terms of programs, I use Photoshop casually, and play games frequently. No online games, just 1-player. Some of my high-resource ones include Sims 3, Dishonored 1, Fallout 3, Deux Ex: Human Revolution, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect, Witcher 1.

My questions are:
-What are some things to look for? Like in terms of RAM, Video Card, CPU, disk space, OS, producer, etc.

-Desktop is better for gaming than laptop?

-I'm not planning on buying the cheapest computer on the market, or the tippy-top either. Somewhere above the middle range probably. About how much should I spend?

-Windows or Mac?

-If you have any suggestions on Get or Avoid, please include. Also if you have any URLs with a good system that is helpful too!
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
A desktop is better overall because if necessary it can be upgraded; especially the GPU if you are concerned about playing games. Laptops basically restricts you to upgrading the RAM and storage. However, they are portable so if you go away you can bring the laptop with you to play games or do whatever. But if you want a laptop that has a GPU which is comparable to a GPU in a desktop you will be spending more money on the laptop compared to a desktop.

Windows is better for games than Macs primarily because the vast majority of games are programed to run in Windows. You need an emulator program to play games but to the best of my knowledge these emulator programs does not fully support DirectX 11 yet. But the games you listed can be played using DirectX 9. A better solution is to buy a Windows license and install Windows on a Mac to play PC games.

Since you listed older games a laptop with a nVidia 940mx should suffice to get good performance (40+ FPS) at 1080p or 1600 x 900 resolution and medium settings. Such a laptop generally starts at $550. If you are going to playing more modern games then you need to bump up your budget. The GTX 1050 is considered the "minimum" GPU for a gaming laptop which generally starts at $850.

However, if you want to eventually play the Witcher 3, then be aware that the 940mx is only good enough to run the game at 1366x768 resolution using low settings to get about 30 FPS on average. The Witcher 3 is a very graphically demanding game and I believe it runs better on a quad core CPU vs. a dual core CPU.

 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
A desktop is better overall because if necessary it can be upgraded; especially the GPU if you are concerned about playing games. Laptops basically restricts you to upgrading the RAM and storage. However, they are portable so if you go away you can bring the laptop with you to play games or do whatever. But if you want a laptop that has a GPU which is comparable to a GPU in a desktop you will be spending more money on the laptop compared to a desktop.

Windows is better for games than Macs primarily because the vast majority of games are programed to run in Windows. You need an emulator program to play games but to the best of my knowledge these emulator programs does not fully support DirectX 11 yet. But the games you listed can be played using DirectX 9. A better solution is to buy a Windows license and install Windows on a Mac to play PC games.

Since you listed older games a laptop with a nVidia 940mx should suffice to get good performance (40+ FPS) at 1080p or 1600 x 900 resolution and medium settings. Such a laptop generally starts at $550. If you are going to playing more modern games then you need to bump up your budget. The GTX 1050 is considered the "minimum" GPU for a gaming laptop which generally starts at $850.

However, if you want to eventually play the Witcher 3, then be aware that the 940mx is only good enough to run the game at 1366x768 resolution using low settings to get about 30 FPS on average. The Witcher 3 is a very graphically demanding game and I believe it runs better on a quad core CPU vs. a dual core CPU.

 
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