Gaming laptop for under $550?


Oct 10, 2012
Hello everyone I am a gamer who loves to game but travels often and I am no longer in possession of a laptop. One ofmy family members let me borrow their laptop which is brand new for a few weeks to see how good it is for my gaming on Steam and etc it is this laptop
I'm not very good with tech and this is a late Christmas present to me from some family but all I have to do is pick it out online. I have been mainly able to run most of my Steam games on their defayult settings and the bigger HDD the better prefer at least 750GB. I could care less if I have to play games on the lowest settings but better for cheap is also really nice too. Would appreciate any recommendations I would prefer amazon links (newegg is fine too!) Thanks1 :)

P.S. Also plan to get a gamig built desktop later on down the line. So a laptop will do just fine right now. :)


Nov 12, 2010
Gaming laptops have some special considerations, and at that price point, you're going to need to make some sacrifices.

First of all, the only thing that matters for gaming is the video card. Ignore the processor, ignore the memory, ignore the hard drive space and ignore the battery life. The video card is what determines your gaming performance. This is overwhelmingly the most important aspect of any gaming computer. So, when you compare two laptops, you need to compare their video cards. The one with the better video card is the better gaming laptop.

Mobile video card model numbers tend to be very misleading here (common strategy is to rebrand mid range or outdated desktop parts as brand new top of the line mobile parts), so you'll need to Google the video card's model number to find a comparison to see which is fastest. If you can find a chart of mobile graphics cards and how they compare (there's probably one on this site somewhere), that will make this a lot simpler.

So, once you've found the best video card at that price point, it's time to fit in all the other stuff you need/want. More memory is usually going to fall into the "nice to have" category because it's easy to upgrade and has a much smaller impact on performance than people think it does (used to be one of the most critical components, not so much anymore). Just be sure you get 4GB at least. 3GB is going to cause issues, more than 4GB is going to eat into the budget for more important components so unless you're comparing two otherwise very similar computers, I wouldn't spring for the higher memory capacity.

Hard drive is going to be harder to upgrade in the future for most laptops, so you'll want to hit your minimum mark there when you buy. 750GB seems like a pretty decent place for a laptop, but you may have to settle for a bit less in order to get better gaming performance. For reference, I use a single 120GB SSD for my Steam games, and can keep a handful of AAA titles installed, plus dozens of small ones. Media (TV and Movies) is going to be what really eats into your space.


Sep 12, 2011

The 630M isn't any better than the HD4000. Just because its dedicated doesn't make it good.

About the only thing in this price range on newegg that's any good is this

$20 bucks left to upgrade the ram to 8 GB. if it ever comes down to it swapping the harddrive in a few years is really easy too, just like ALL laptops


Dec 6, 2012

Thanks for the correction, saw a couple of benchmark and you were right. Hope the asker chooses your answer.


Apr 10, 2012

Clearly shows a dedicated gpu is superior