Casual Gaming Laptop

MadelineMargaret

Estimable
Jul 5, 2015
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0
4,510
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I want a laptop under $500 that I can use to play Sims 3 and 4 with their expansion packs as well as possibly a few other games from Steam. I would also maybe want to be able to run some programs on it as I might need to when I start college. I'm not against buying it refurbished if it's from a trustworthy source but I'd prefer to buy new if possible. Any recommendations?
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
If you want a new laptop for less than $500, then you will need to settle for integrated graphics Core i5-7200u and Intel HD 620 graphics core. If you want a laptop with a 1920 x 1080 (FHD) resolution screen, then the least expensive would be the following ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 laptop for $499. It seems to be the least expensive laptop that has a Core i5-7200u and 1080p screen.

https://www.amazon.com/P2540UA-AB51-business-standard-Display-Fingerprint/dp/B06XJJG4PD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499109485&sr=8-1&keywords=ASUS+P-Series+P2540UA-AB51


If you want to spend less and you are okay with a 1366 xx 768 (HD) resolution screen, then you buy the following HP 15-AY103DX for $435 which is one of the less expensive laptops with a Core i5-7200u CPU and the integrated Intel HD 620 graphics core.

https://www.amazon.com/HP-15-AY103DX-Touch-i5-7200U-Memory/dp/B06X3X3FVL/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1499109534&sr=8-7&keywords=i5-7200u


The Intel HD 620 is decent enough for "casual gaming", you just need to keep your expectations relatively low. The link below has some game benchmarks for the Intel HD 620, and it includes the Sims 4 (base game only).

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-620.172256.0.html


If you are willing to purchase a refurbished laptop, then you can buy the following Acer laptop with a nVidia 940mx dedicated GPU for $443 with a 90 day warranty. While it is not considered a "gaming GPU", it is certainly a lot more powerful than the Intel HD 620. It also has a 256GB SSD; the capacity is smaller than the hard drives in the above 2 laptops, but it can read and write data much faster than a hard drive (HDD). For example, a laptop with a HDD will likely take 45 to 60 seconds to boot up. A laptop with a SSD can do so in about 15 seconds.

Note - I have read the Sims 3 can develop very long load time (over 30 minutes to load a game) when playing the same town for a long time. I do not know what the cause is (other than bad programming), the SSD will not fix that issue.

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-2-50GHz-GeForce-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B01N6UP55E/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1499106886&sr=8-5&keywords=940mx+laptop

The following link has game benchmarks for the nVdia 940mx which includes the Sims 4.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-940MX.156033.0.html
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
If you want a new laptop for less than $500, then you will need to settle for integrated graphics Core i5-7200u and Intel HD 620 graphics core. If you want a laptop with a 1920 x 1080 (FHD) resolution screen, then the least expensive would be the following ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 laptop for $499. It seems to be the least expensive laptop that has a Core i5-7200u and 1080p screen.

https://www.amazon.com/P2540UA-AB51-business-standard-Display-Fingerprint/dp/B06XJJG4PD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499109485&sr=8-1&keywords=ASUS+P-Series+P2540UA-AB51


If you want to spend less and you are okay with a 1366 xx 768 (HD) resolution screen, then you buy the following HP 15-AY103DX for $435 which is one of the less expensive laptops with a Core i5-7200u CPU and the integrated Intel HD 620 graphics core.

https://www.amazon.com/HP-15-AY103DX-Touch-i5-7200U-Memory/dp/B06X3X3FVL/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1499109534&sr=8-7&keywords=i5-7200u


The Intel HD 620 is decent enough for "casual gaming", you just need to keep your expectations relatively low. The link below has some game benchmarks for the Intel HD 620, and it includes the Sims 4 (base game only).

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-620.172256.0.html


If you are willing to purchase a refurbished laptop, then you can buy the following Acer laptop with a nVidia 940mx dedicated GPU for $443 with a 90 day warranty. While it is not considered a "gaming GPU", it is certainly a lot more powerful than the Intel HD 620. It also has a 256GB SSD; the capacity is smaller than the hard drives in the above 2 laptops, but it can read and write data much faster than a hard drive (HDD). For example, a laptop with a HDD will likely take 45 to 60 seconds to boot up. A laptop with a SSD can do so in about 15 seconds.

Note - I have read the Sims 3 can develop very long load time (over 30 minutes to load a game) when playing the same town for a long time. I do not know what the cause is (other than bad programming), the SSD will not fix that issue.

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-2-50GHz-GeForce-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B01N6UP55E/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1499106886&sr=8-5&keywords=940mx+laptop

The following link has game benchmarks for the nVdia 940mx which includes the Sims 4.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-940MX.156033.0.html
 
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