New gaming laptop hunt


Jan 22, 2004
Hey guys just thought I'd see if you guys could recommend a gaming laptop for me. I'll be buying it in about 2-3 weeks so I've got some time to read reviews and check around. My friend suggested I look at the Samsung 7 series because he has one and loves his.

Here's my criteria:

1. What is your budget?
$1200ish max. Can be plus or minus about 100 unless a super deal is worth it.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1600:900 or 1080

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
desktop (gaming)

5. How much battery life do you need?
As much as possbile. 9 hours ideally I think.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop?
If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium, High or Ultra)? Diablo 3 ultra, new games 2012-2014 on high.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
60-100gb ssd for OS, additional 500gb-1tb HDD for storage. I'm flexible on this.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links., I might use Best Buy or Microcenter locally.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3 years or more if possible. I take care of my stuff.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD, but blu ray reader at least would be nice.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I usually stay away from Sony and HP, but I'm flexible depending on reviews and all that.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Just looking for a good gaming laptop that will last me for a few years as a desktop replacement. As long as I'll be able to play new games above medium graphics for the next 3-4 years I'll be happy.


That looks like it'll last a few years and provide you with at least acceptable gaming for 1 or 2 of those years anyway (if not more). It is possible to install a second hard drive in that unit(one of the customizers has it as an option). Get a cooling pad for it if used for gaming, use it religiously. Enjoy


Oct 20, 2009
9 hours battery life is impossible for a gaming laptop. my modest gaming laptop with NVIDIA optimus only gets 4 at best and that pretty good.

I'd reccomend going with an i5 cpu, they run higher clocks than i7's but less threads. Current games only use 2-4 threads at most therefore the i5 will actually game better.

I reccomend this

And these upgrades
CPU: i5 2450m
Primary Hard Drive: 500GB (w/ 4GB SSD Memory) Seagate XT 7200RPM NCQ Hybrid
SECOND HARD DRIVE: 500GB (w/ 4GB SSD Memory) Seagate XT 7200RPM NCQ
And WINDOWS 7 64 bit Home premium OS

total comes to $1276.53


Gaming laptop:
The new Kepler GPU's are just starting to be released. It's definitely worth waiting for as they use much less power.

I recommend that your laptop have:
- NVIDIA's Optimus (turns off the gaming GPU when not needed)
- 600M Kepler series (warning. some 600 series will be rebranded 500M. Make sure it's Kepler).

Game performance:
you said "Diablo 3 on ULTRA settings"? You may have unrealistic expectations as to what a $1200 gaming laptop can do. You definitely should look at benchmarks but you won't get anywhere near that on a laptop of that price.

My advice:
I tend to recommend people who want light gaming get a $700 laptop with light gaming potential. Since it's a laptop my focus is on HEAT and NOISE which is why I recommend the higher-end APU laptops. They're almost completely silent.

There are lots of games that work great on a high-end APU, just not Diablo 3 on high settings or other demanding games. Examples:
- Deus Ex #1
- Sam & Max
- L4D2 (probably)
- Angry Birds/AB Space
- Torchlight
- Trine (probably)
- Magicka
- Serious Sam HD

- Diablo 3 on Ultra not realistic for $1200 laptop
- if set on Diablo 3 you may wish to WAIT and look at laptop benchmarks for it
- $700 high-end APU laptops are really cool/quiet and can play a number of games very well
- may wish to simply but the extra $500 towards a desktop PC or gaming console


I should add that I know someone who took my advice and got an HP laptop with a quad-core APU. He's a student in a dorm and he says his laptop is basically quiet.

He also bought:
- Samsung monitor (1920x1080, 22", HDMI input, speakers)
- Logitech mouse/keyboard (microUSB receiver he doesn't have to remove to fit his case)

So he simply plugs the HDMI input into the monitor for sound and video and moves the laptop out of the way and uses the keyboard and mouse.

He got STEAM and plays Torchlight, Deus Ex #1 and L4D2. He also got Angry Birds.


Jan 22, 2004
Thanks for the replies, but I'm looking for more help than criticism. I know a LOT about IT and hardware, and I'm not looking for a budget gaming laptop to play crappy games on. I want a gaming laptop that is going to play NEW games with GOOD quality.

I know some of you must have some niche sites and laptop models that are just above the par for this, so please, let's hear it! I'm welcome to all options, just not: "You can't get that for $1200, so you have to go with a crappy $700 laptop that won't do what you want".

I want the MOST gaming power for my money that $1200-1300 can buy right now. If I wanted to settle, I could have easily found a crappy model to buy on newegg. Feel free to show me ballpark figures with different models above and below my range, but please show me real options to accomplish what I want to do.

I know what I want, please help me find the right one :)

PS: Thanks for that Xoticpc link. I had no idea they were doing custom laptops now. I haven't seen that site since Highschool!!! :) It's all MSI brand right? I actually don't mind their laptops - their service is a little lacking but cant beat the hardware for the price.


Performance and battery life are mutually exclusive.....if ya wanna game , deal with 1.5 hours.

To meet ya $1200 budget, (well $1250) best I can do is a Clevo P151 EM, customized as you see fit.

15.6" 1920 x 1080 Full HD (16:9) Matte Type Display
Intel Core i7-2670QM Processor, 2.2 GHz (Max Turbo Frequency 3.1GHz), 6MB Smart Cache
8GB, PC3-12800/1600Mhz DDR3 - 2 x 4GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M w/1.5GB GDDR5 with Optimus Technology for Power Saving
500GB/7200rpm 16MB Cache Buffer SATA-300 (SATA II 3GB/s)
8X Max. DVD±R/RW Writer/Reader / 4X Max. +DL Super-Mulit Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit
8 Cells Lithium-Ion Battery Pack 76.96WH
Integrated 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth V3.0 Combo

Built-In 2.0M Pixels Digital Video Camera
Built-In Fingerprint Reader
Built-In Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Built-In 9-IN-1 Flash Memory Reader(MMC/RSMMC/MS/MS Pro/MS DUO/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)
1 IEEE-1394a Fire Wire
1 USB 2.0 Ports
3 USB 3.0 Ports
1 eSATA Port (USB 3.0 Combo)
1 HDMI Output
1 DVI-I Port
1 Display Port 1.1
1 Kensington Lock Port
Built-in Microphone, 2 Speakers and 1 Sub-Woofer
4 Audio Jacks for Headphone, Microphone-In, S/PDIF-Out, and Line-In
1 100/240V Autoswitch AC Power Adapter
Standard Carrying Case with Strap

Never heard of Clevo you say.....Clevo was the ODM for those super expensive Alienware laptops before Dell bought em. They also make all the boutique vendors laptops such as WidowPC, Sager, FalcolnNorthwest, etc......but you can buy same thing from Clevo distributor for about $1,000 less.

And if ya more comfortable with brands you know like Lenovo, Toishiba, Dell, HP etc....they don't "make " single laptop..... they buy from ODM's.

The vast majority of laptops on the market are manufactured by a small handful of Original Design Manufacturers (ODM). 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 (former manufacturing & design division of Asus) 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

You can find Clevo resellers at the end of the links below.....Avoid pro-star ... their service has tanked since the economy nosedived. is a reputable dealer.



Hey there, I'm actually on the same hunt right now, so maybe I can help a little.
Since you seem to have a good idea of the hardware that you want in your machine, you should check out They have more customization options than any other site I've seen so far, and the prices are very reasonable (5% off anything over $1000 with "SPRING0410"). You can play around with one of their Xplorer builds and see if you can get the GPU you want with your price range.

If you're not against HP, the Envy would be a viable option, depending on how much customization you'd require and if it will throw you over the monetary edge.

Also, that MSI you suggested had some great specs for $1300. It may have only had the 560M (as opposed to the 570 you'd have in the xplorer) but with a full 16gb of RAM, I'd say you'd run most newer games at 30+ FPS fairly easily.

Personally, I think I'm going to go with the MSI 683 just because of the hardware they've packed in there.

Alienware is definitely a miss since you pay about $300 more for the logo.

That's my 2 cents. Good luck with your search.


Apr 4, 2012
gaming laptop=oxymoron
That is an interesting comment. I have a gaming laptop that I use much more often than my gaming desktop. Probably for every 4 hours played on my laptop I put in maybe 30 minutes on my desktop. So I am thrilled that i have a "gaming" laptop. Performance is acceptable and mobility is an excellent feature for those who can't be chained to a desktop.

Also, new CPUs and GPUs are defintely brining mobile gaming to a much more enjoyable state. I know my i7-2720QM and 6970m handles games just fine @ the native 1080p.


Jan 22, 2004
Lol Thank you, Po1nted. People just don't seem to understand how fast technology is evolving. Hell most phones have more graphical power than laptops from 5-10 years ago.


Jan 22, 2004
Ok I think I have found the one for me. What do you guys think? My best bud recently purchased this for himself and he loves it. It's got the GTX 560m, which may not be the newest, but is one of the fastest out and has 3gb of dedicated ram.

Here's the link and basic specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz
Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 560M GDDR5
Screen size & res: 17.3" 1920x1080
Price: $1,379

*Edit: The main thing I'm worried about is that it's a GTX 560m vs a GTX 570 or 580, but it's basically a price point issue. The 570 and 580 are another 300-500, and I'm already pushing it with a $1400 laptop.

Hmm it almost looks like I can customize that xoticpc into a GTX 570m with all the same specs as the Asus for the same price ~ $1340.

Really going to need some advice on which way to go here. It's almost a toss up, but it looks like I might be able to get more for my money with XoticPC, but I'm worried about issues with things being out of stock or compatibility issues etc with their stuff since it's all custom..
Adding these mods:
CPU: i7-2670QM
HDD: 500GB (w/ 4GB SSD Memory) Seagate XT 7200RPM NCQ Hybrid 32MB Cache
OS: Windows 7 Home 64 bit
Price: $1300 (almost $100 cheaper, and better specs than ASUS!)
The main concerns I'm worried about with this model is heat. Some of them say it can get a little hot while gaming, while the Asus model people say it stays very cool due to the awesome venting.

Is going from GTX 560m to GTX 570m worth the risk?


Jan 22, 2004
So unless you guys have other thoughts - it just seems to me a no brainer to just go with to build the PC I want. It will allow me to get the GTX 570m, better specs all around, for less than the ASUS. The only thing I have to worry about is the actual final product since each one can vary.

Pretty sure this is what I'm going with at right around $1400.

FORCE 1761 / MSI 1761 FORCE 1761 / MSI 1761
- 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Matte Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Matte Screen (1920x1080) (SKU - X1R553)
- Contact us about our Significant Savings on our 30-Day No Dead Pixel Warranty. Heavily Discounted!
- 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM, 2.2-3.1GHz, (32nm, 6MB L3 cache) (SKU - X2N167)
- IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU (Cools better than all Compounds)
- nVidia GeForce GTX 570M 1,536MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11 (SKU - X3R454)
- 8GB DDR3 1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Memory (2x4GB SODIMMS) (SKU - X4N203)
- Standard Finish
- 500GB (w/ 4GB SSD Memory) Seagate XT 7200RPM NCQ Hybrid 32MB Cache (Serial-ATA II 3GB/s) (SKU - X5R429)
- Combo Dual Layer SuperMulti DVDRW/CDRW Drive w/ Software (SKU - X7R451)
- Internal 7-in-1 Card Reader (MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/MS Pro Duo/SD/Mini-SD/MMC/RS)
- Internal Bluetooth + EDR
- Built-in 802.11 Wireless B/G/N - Stock Wireless Card (SKU - X8R001)
- Integrated Digital Video Camera
- Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included
- Smart Li-ion Battery (9-Cell)
- Windows 7 Home Premium - 64-Bit
- 1 Year Complete Care Warranty - 1 Year Parts with Ground Shipping, 24/7 Telephone Tech Support & Lifetime Labor Warranty (SKU - X9R000)
- Standard Production Time


Jan 22, 2004
Lol Oh snap. I was just poking around online and noticed the GTX 675m is basically a faster 580m. I found this on the Xoticpc site..... I haven't seen video reviews of this yet.... but I think it's too sweet of a deal not to get. You guys said Clevo was good and Sager is their brand... Anyone recommend this? I am willing to shell out the extra now that I'm already this far in since it gets me the best vid card.

Sager NP9170 / Clevo P170EM
- 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen (1920x1080)
CPU - Sager - 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM, 2.2-3.1GHz, (32nm, 6MB L3 cache)
GPU - nVidia GeForce GTX 675M 2,048MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11 with Optimus™ Technology
RAM - 8GB - DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory
- Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell)
BONUS lol- Basic Black Business Case - Included


Here's stock link:

Anyone know how long standard delivery takes for a custom build like this? The rush order says 1-4 days so I'm assuming it's going to take 2 weeks standard?
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