I'm looking to invest in a gaming laptop, but want a relatively basic spec. I found this non-gaming laptop (http/www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-17-3-inch-Blu-ray-Windows-Premium/dp/tech-data/B00863RI8A/ref=deasmtd) that has 8Gb RAM, a dedicated 1.5Gb graphics card and quad core processor, as well as HD screen. Given that it is about £100-200 cheaper than an equivalent 'gaming' laptop, am I missing out on something special or will this be OK for general gaming (no need for ultra-high graphics, I just want to play the games without lagging or low FPS)? Is there anything I should know regarding gaming laptops other than the basic 'high memory, good graphics/processor'? This page doesn't specify the harddrive rpm, is 7200 a must and what speed could I expect from this laptop?
That laptop should be perfect for your needs. You'll be able to run all current games and games in the years to come well with that laptop. Most "gaming" laptops cost more because you're paying for the brand name (i.e. Alienware). Because they are known for being "gaming" laptops, the manufacturer can charge more for them, knowing people will look there first.
560M is 1843
650M is 2090
660M is 2348
670M is 2734
675M is 3260
Keep in mind HP doesn't "make" a single laptop, neither does Dell, Lenovo or most of the major brands you'd know. These are all build by ODM's and it can be funny to watch people's reaction when they find out that the brand they love is made in the same factory as the brand they hate . The thing with "gaming" laptops or better known oin the industry as "boutique" brands is that they also are made by someone else.....and if ya cut out the middle man, you can oft cut ya price by a third.
750 £ is about $1,160 US. At that price, you could have a Clevo 170ER .... yes ...a 650M, Hybrid SSD/HD (w/ 16 second boot to windows)
17.3" 1920 x 1080 Full HD (16:9) LED Backlit Glare Type Display
Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor, 2.3 GHz (Max Turbo Frequency 3.3GHz), 6MB Smart Cache
8GB, PC3-12800/1600Mhz DDR3 - 2 x 4GB
nVidia GeForce GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 with Optimus Technology for Power Saving
750GB/7200rpm Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Drive w/8GB SSD Memory SATA-600 (SATA III 6GB/s)
4x Max. Blu-Ray Reader / 8x Max. DVD±R/2.4X Max. +DL Super-Multi Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit
6 Cells 62.16WH Li-ION Battery
Intel Wireless Lan N2230 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 Combo
Built-In 2.0M Pixel Digital Video Camera
Built-In Gigabit Ethernet LAN Card
Built-In 9-IN-1 Flash Memory Reader(MMC/RSMMC/MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)
2 USB 3.0 Ports
1 USB 2.0 Ports
1 eSATA Port (USB 3.0 Combo)
1 HDMI 1.4a Output
1 CRT Out Port
1 Kensington Lock Port
Built-in Microphone and 2 Speakers
3 Audio Jacks for Line-Out, Microphone-In, and S/PDIF-Out
1 100/240V Autoswitch AC Power Adapter
Do know that the laptop you are looking at has a GT 650M, which is fine for your needs, but if cost is an issue you can find others that give similar performance.
The Lenovo Ideapad Y580 (although 15") has very similar specs.
The Asus N76VZ (or N56VZ if you want 15") has a DDR3 version of the same card. It is not as good, but is probably one step below (3-5 fps depending on the game is probably a good estimate, which may be enough to deter you.)
The Sony Vaio S can also give similar performance as the Asus if you are willing to overclock the graphics card: http/forum.notebookreview.com/sony/677079-sony-vaio-s-bios-mod-gt640m-le.html It is also easily the smallest of these and gives the best battery life.
If you found Sager, that is the same as Clevo just rebranded . I would go with the Clevo if you can afford the cost and are willing to buy a purpose build gaming laptop. I have similar needs in terms of gaming I think, but I also want high levels of portability and decent battery life so I had to compromise for the Sony Vaio S.