Confusion over graphics card quality and which laptop to buy


Jul 30, 2014
Hi everyone :)

I am looking to buy a laptop for gaming but I am very confused. I figured the best way for me to explain things clearly is through bullet points, so here goes:

- it needs to be a laptop and not a desktop as I am nearly always bed bound

- I have a budget of £1,000 (although if I can spend less then awesome)

- I would like it to be future proof (i.e the graphics card will last a good few years while still playing new games well, and can be upgraded when it is no longer up to scratch - is it possible to upgrade graphics cards on all laptops or only some?)

- I don't mind if some of the bigger games can only be played on medium settings (but the card needs to be able to still do medium settings further down the line)

- I saw a laptop I like but the graphics card is a Nvidia GeForce 840m. I thought this is a good card (middle-range) but I then read it is only entry level. What are your thoughts on this card?

- I don't play graphics intensive games, instead more indie/The Sims/Witcher, but I am finding my gaming tastes are starting to involve bigger games (which I can't play on my current laptop - a MacBook with an Intel HD 3000)

- I don't need a big screen

- I would like it to not be a Mac as, although I love them, I can't upgrade my graphics card, and I just think, instead of having a Mac and switching between that and Bootcamp, it would be easier to simply go with a PC-type laptop (is Windows 8 really that bad, though?)

- I would like it to be quite lightweight since I sometimes will have to rest it on my legs (but it doesn't have to be super lightweight, as in a MacBook Air)

Do you think there is anything else I need to consider?

Thank-you for any help (if you reply, please put things as simply as possible as sometimes I get confused very easily) :)


- The 840M sits in 124th place on the notebook GPU rankings.

Mid-Range Graphics Cards
With these GPUs you are able to play modern and demanding games fluently at medium detail settings and HD resolution.
-Be aware that the more "power" or the ability to play more intensive games is goes hand in hand with increased weight and shorter battery life.

-Recognize that just about very brand you ever heard of does not actually "make" a laptop. Very often when you hear someone say they "like this brand" and "this other brand stinks", they were made in the same factory using much of the same parts.

The vast majority of laptops on the market are manufactured by a small handful of Taiwan-based Original Design Manufacturers (ODM), although their production bases are located mostly in mainland China.

Major relationships include:

Quanta sells to (among others) HP, Lenovo, Apple, Acer, Toshiba, Dell, Sony, Fujitsu and NEC
Compal sells to (among others) Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and HP/Compaq
Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to Dell, Acer, Lenovo and HP
Inventec sells to Toshiba, HP and Lenovo
Pegatron sells to Asus, Toshiba, Apple, Dell and Acer
Foxconn sells to Asus, Dell, HP and Apple
Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP
Clevo sells to WidowPC, XoticPC, FalconNorthwest and many other high end "boutique" suppliers.

- Laptop vendors depend on impulse buys based upon store or ad displays. To make their product appear more attractive than the competition and come in at a lower price point, the ads will oft highlight name brands of specific components while leaving others go unnamed. This is where the cheap stuff gets sneaked in like 5400 rpm HDs.

-I'd recommend that you find a Clevo distributor in your area and have your lappie custom made to your specifications.

1,000 £ is about $1,700 here.....I be back in a bit with a recomemdnation



Clevo P157SM-A

15.6” Full HD 16:9 LED-Backlit (1920 x 1080) Super Clear MATTE type
NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 870M 6GB GDDR5 Memory (+$150)
Switchable GPU by NVIDIA® Optimus™ Technology - NVIDIA® new generation GPU / Intel® GMA HD GPU
Intel® Core™ i7-4810MQ Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz) - (+$35)
Intel® HM87 chipset
Genuine Microsoft Windows® 8.1 64-Bit Edition ($+80)
16GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 2 X 8G (+90)
Crucial® M550 128GB SATA 2.5" 7mm SSD (+65)
750GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Disk Drive (+75)
8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7260 802.11ac 2x2 Plus Bluetooth 4.0* (+35)
8 cells smart Lithium-Ion battery pack 76.96Wh
High Definition audio interface
S/PDIF digital output
Built-in Microphone
Built-in two speakers
Built-in one sub-woofer
External 7.1CH audio output supported by headphone, microphone, S/PDIF and Line-in jack
Sound Blaster X-FI® MB 3
Amplified Headphone output
Full size illuminated keyboard with numeric pad
W/A/S/D gaming key
Integrated illuminated touchpad with multi-gesture and scrolling function
9-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)
Three MiniCard Slots,
- 1st for WLAN Combo module (Half size Mini Card with PCIe and USB interface).
- 2nd and 3rd slots for mSATA SSD Full size Mini Card with SATA interface).
1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)
1 DisplayPort 1.2 output Port
1 Mini DisplayPort 1.2
1 USB 2.0 Port
3 USB 3.0 Ports (One powered USB port, AC/DC)
1 eSATA Port (USB 3.0 combo)
1 Mini-IEEE 1394a Port
1 Headphone Jack
1 Microphone Jack
1 S/PDIF output Jack
1 Line-in Jack
1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)
Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Anti-Theft Technology
Rubber Painting
Kensington® Lock
Integrated Fingerprint Reader
Free Shipping

$1719 before discounts

CLEVO is a large Taiwanese computer company specializing in laptops. While the Clevo brand name is perhaps not widely known, their products are re-branded and sold by known boutique brand OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)… notably Sager, VoodooPC, Falcon Northwest, Eurocom, etc. They are also considered (by whoever knows about notebooks) to design and manufacturer the best of the best notebooks in terms of superior build quality and innovative designs.

Here's one UK distributors ... sure there is more


Jul 5, 2014

JackNaylorPE, I tip my hat to you when it comes to "going that extra mile". +1

...and that is a kick..erm...butt laptop.


Jul 30, 2014

Hi :) and thanks so much for the great response.
We don't have either of the Clevo laptops you suggested here in England, but we do have the P151SM1-A and the P150SM-A, but when I started with those and built them up, it became too expensive (unless I did it wrong, but I think it may be too complicated for me).

Could you suggest an already built laptop, please? What do you think to Alienware 14? Or would you suggest something else?


Jul 5, 2014
Alienware is utter garbage, I can't say where I work or with what *wink*, but the return rate of those laptops is offense. Clevo is by far the best laptop specs I've seen in forever, MSI and ASUS bring up the miles.

I think that if you speak to JackNaylorPE in private, he might be able to find some sort of solution for you, in regards to acquiring one.


Jul 30, 2014

I'll be avoiding Alienware, thanks for the advice :)

Does anyone think this looks good, please?
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