i7 4700 series CPU paired with 8GB of RAM does a great job for gaming. Just looking up now to see if there is any worthwhile difference between 860m Maxwell and 960m.
Yeah, the 960m is just meant to be clocked slightly higher and its meant to be slightly better quality although thats mostly luck of the draw. In real terms maybe 2FPS difference at most. At worst exactly the same.
If you want a laptop that performs better and have money left over in your budget my recommendation is the 965m.
It has a lot more shaders and ROPs for a price that is still cheaper than a 970m. So you could play games at slightly higher settings or get noticeably more frames per second. http/gpuboss.com/gpus/GeForce-GTX-965M-vs-GeForce-GTX-960M
Something like this is in your price range if you ever see a 10-15% off sale. i7 4720HQ are selected from the best performing silicon wafer segments and give you an extra 200MHZ and often cooler temperatures at lower clock speeds compared to the regular 4700HQ. That 200MHZ doesn't matter now as 3.4GHZ seems to be as much CPU power as you need, but at least you know it can hit 3.4GHZ at turbo speed without pushing its limit.
i7 4720HQ runs at 2.6GHZ stock speed to max 3.6GHZ turbo speed compared to 4700HQ at 2.4GHZ stock to max 3.4GHZ turbo.
Main difference between the MQ and the HQ series that you will notice is a marginally faster clocked integrated graphics card.
Thanks for all the info guys i wasn't exactly looking to know the exact specs of the gpus or cpus or how fast they are clocked haha. Im just looking for a laptop that can run most, if not, all the modern day demanding games at above 30 fps. it should be around 1000ish dollars and be 15.6 inches at 1080p