Is the term "gaming laptop" really an overstatement?

Gaming laptops - just a gimmick? or a decent gaming machine?

  • Gimmick!

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Portable gaming console.

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Depends on the brand...

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • What are games?

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Decent gaming machine.

    Votes: 6 60.0%

  • Total voters
    10

hpfreak

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I've seen countless times on this forum users saying that laptops are not for gaming... that anyone interested in PC gaming should invest in a computer tower instead etc..
My discussion is not geared towards whether or not desktop computers are a better deal- because I think we can all agree we can get a lot more for our money if we invest in a desktop over a laptop.


I see many times people saying that gaming on laptops is a joke- But I find myself on the other side of the fence on this one. I have an older gaming laptop that has no problem eating out games- including new ones at high settings- and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg. The new gaming series of laptops coming out from mnfs like Sager, MSI, Asus... Have no problem playing the latest on the greatest settings. So really, I want to know why so many of you think that gaming laptops are just a gimmick.
 

sweetiebelle

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Aug 10, 2012
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Its mostly because the parts used in laptops have to be much smaller and respond better to being heated higher then desktop parts, thus desktop parts will always have a advantage dejour over desktop parts. In the same way your cell phones processer is worse then say your laptop or desktops.

The gap is quickly closing because of the advents of tablet computers meaning companies are now trying to make the smallest parts possible with the best preformance, so now the laptop becomes the "desktop" of the portable world
 

4745454b

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Another issue is most people think about the $300 walmart special. These game horribly. There are laptops out there that game rather well. But they aren't owned by many people.

I'd like to point out that I recently got an older "gaming" laptop myself. HP?Compaq 8510 with a C2D CPU, 3GBs ram and an old 2600M GPU. Surprising what this thing can do. I can't even max out older games like TF2 at its native 1680x1050, but it still looks good.
 

Smeg45

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Its a gimmick. For me anything less than 1080p, with all settings set to High and AA/AF x4 or disabled @ a solid 50FPS is it as an absolute minimum. Anything lower in any game on any PC/laptop and I won't pay for it. No laptop can hit that target currently and I will not pay $5000 for a system that gets close.
 

derekullo

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You don't buy a gaming laptop to game. You buy a gaming laptop to keep you entertained at times when it would be cumbersome to move around your desktop, for instance.

I could do puzzles on the way to grandmas or I could take out my gaming laptop and play starcraft / diablo / wow on the way there. If you have tethering on your phone you can even play online. Be wary of overages if you don't have unlimited. lol

But yeah you don't invest $5,000 on a gaming laptop unless you intend for it to be your mobile desktop. Most any current generation discrete graphics should be able make games playable, which is all you need for trips to grandma.
 

palladin9479

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"Gaming" laptops are not meant to replace high end desktop systems. They aimed for power users who don't live in their mothers basement and desire to play video games while on trips. I am a good example of this, I grew up playing video games on both consoles (NES / TG16 / SNES / SEGA) and PC (very early PC DOS). Now I'm working in IT and am required to travel on trips for business and what have you. During those trips I like to continue playing games in my hotel room, or at my friends home / ect. So I purchased a laptop with the intent on gaming.

Now previous to my current laptop I used a rather large Sony Vaio with a full size keyboard and 17 inch widescreen, this thing was huge and had a big power prick. After lugging it around airports and various hotels I eventually decided I would never get something that big again and have since upgraded to a HP-DV6z (A8-3550MX) with the dGPU being a 7690M and installing my own 256GB SSD. It's rather light (compared to the vaio), can game decently "on the go" and doesn't kill my back.

So there is definitely different "gaming laptop" segments for different folks.
 

Smeg45

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A gaming laptop is supposed to game. That is why it is a "gaming" laptop. Still if I'm outside I don't have my head buried in a screen.
 

palladin9479

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Umm ....

I do play games on my laptop .....

So .. your point is?
 

Smeg45

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I was replying to derekullo. Never mind. I'll never game on anything else buy my home built gaming system.
 

palladin9479

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So your telling me that when I board an airplane to Yokohama Japan, that I should bring my "home built gaming system" which includes,

Corsair 800D
Phenom II X4 970BE (@4.2Ghz)
16GB DDR3-1600
2 x EVGA Hydro Copper II GTX 580
256GB Samsung 830 SSD
2 x 320GB 7200RPM SATA HDD in RAID0 (data drive)
Bay mounted water reservoir
360mm top mounted radiator

23 Inch Acer 1920x1080x120hz monitor
Seriously .... you expect me to bring that when getting on an airplane?

Or am I expected to sit in my hotel room at night after work lamenting on how I would love to play something but that I can't possibly bring myself to play on anything less then my "home built gaming system".

Once you finish school and get into a career field with a vertical career trajectory, you will then understand why we buy a notebook that is capable of playing video games. Going on a two week business trip is no reason for me to not raid or attend events.
 

dudewitbow

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I usually tend to not say its an actual gaming laptop until it hits a 1k$ cost barrier, as the gpus along that price point are somewhat near a desktop 550ti level. (any laptop with a 7970m or 680m is automatically a gaming laptop in my eyes. Gtx 570 power in mobile form, which is technically stronger then a good handful of peoples desktops.)
 

Pyree

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I think people who just don't need the mobility don't see the point to spending more on less performance. But if you frequently need to play games on the run like away on a trip, playing games at different houses e.g. b/g/n friends, uni dorm, long transit e.g. 14 hours flight... then it is worth it. This segment of market become very competitive with the release of Y580 as well as other laptop with GT 650m which is suppose to be a very good overclocking card (the MBP overclock on GT 650m is higher than the reference GTX660m). Of course the performance is no where near a desktop, but if you compromise and play at 720p (well, most of the laptop in the $900-1200 price range only have 1366x768 screen anyway), modern games are very playable.
 

4745454b

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Yup. I spend a lot of time each week away from the house. I had to get something better then the crap Intel igp in my old laptop. It couldn't even handle TF2 at 800x600 with everything down. When you are like me and spend 4+ hours each week just waiting around at work, you'd like anything that games.
 

Kedeli

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There are certainly laptops that are capable of running almost all games currently available at max setting bar 1 or 2 titles. You just pay a lot more for the portability, I had to get one because I moved to a different country for a while and couldn't bring my giant tower. It serves me perfectly well and plays anything I want it to, although it did cost me a lot for the privilege. As far as them being a gimmick, the answer in no.
 

festa_freak

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Where the heck is the option for "decent gaming machine?" You don't need a top of the line beastly laptop to play games. I'm still using my Dell inspiron 6400 with an ATI X1400 to play games today. Can I play BF3? No, Can I play Deux Ex: HR? No. Can it run Crysis, most certainly not.

I can however run many other games that are recent. While it's a few years old, I can run sup com 2, as well as Sins rebellion (granted it's an older engine but it runs beautifully). I can also run COUNTLESS indie games which are just as much a 'game' as any AAA multi-million dollar game. Any laptop can be a gaming laptop, it's just how you use it and how good you expect the graphics to be. I just need to be realistic about the games I install and have very low expectations, I'm actually surprized sometimes!

All this said, I'm just now in the market for a new laptop. I have a nice desktop for my heavy graphics needs but I'm away from home a lot so I am shopping for a laptop where I can play skyrim, bf3 etc. well away from home. Until now, I've been fine with my gaming dell insipron 6400 but now I need a lot more power for graphically intense games away from home.

As for the actual experience of gaming on a laptop, it takes getting used to the new setup but you get used to it in a couple of days if not hours.
 

derekullo

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If you want a laptop with 20 inch widescreen AMOLED, 16 gigabytes of ram, i7-3770, 2 x Geforce 650M in sli, and 2 - 4 terabyte drives in raid 0 then go for it. You will have lots of space to store all your games and more power than most people's desktop. But you do have some disadvantages. A system like that is going to be incredibly heavy and hot. Because of all the heat being generated your going to need lots of fans and surface area to disipate the heat. I have no clue how long this system is going to last on battery, but i would imagine it wouldn't be longer than 30 minutes aka you would also have to carry around charged batteries with you if you had any hope of wanting to game on the go. Spare batteries may not add to the actual weight of the laptop while your holding them, but it is still another thing you have to worry about bringing if you want to "game". Another thing is your approaching that $5000 mark Smeg45 mentioned earlier.

If you didn't carry around extra battery packs you would be mostly tethered to an outlet. This defeats the purpose of having a mobile gaming system.

Now if you have a high end, yes you will need high end, DC / AC converter then you can game on your way to grandmas. You have partially solved your battery issues but you still tied to an outlet. You still have the remaining problems. Will you be comfortable having a 20+ pound laptop making crap-loads of heat sitting on your lap for lets say an average trip is 1 hour.

"Fun is subjective. Frames per second is objective." in reference to jaguarskx's capability of playing games.
 

sherlockwing

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If I had to spend 50+ hour a month in hotel rooms on flights(first class/first row Econ have outlets) on business trips. I could easily justify buying a MSI GT60 with a GTX680M(downclocked GTX670) for 1.9K. You are welcome to play it on your lap and burn a hole through you pants, there is this option called table. Same goes for a college students who want to use a computer to both take notes in class and game back at dorm/apartment, a desktop doesn't help there(granted if you can save enough for an Ipad you could try that route).
 

sherlockwing

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Not when the dude beside me is streaming porn :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: .
 
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