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Cheap entry level gaming laptop sub $400

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#1 blacksails23



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Posted 16 December 2014 - 01:52 PM

I have a friend who's looking for a cheap entry level gaming laptop for her brother. Now when I think inexpensive "gaming" laptop, I assume $800+ is the usual starting point. I'm honestly lost on what to recommend to her. Any of you guys rocking some cheap laptops that can play games on steam? I don't know what dude wants to play, and I don't think he does either but I can assume some MMO's (where I started!) and some source games. Thanks guys.




#2 SpikeSoprano


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Posted 16 December 2014 - 02:28 PM

I doubt you will even find a used one at that price point. :unsure:


#3 blacksails23



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Posted 16 December 2014 - 02:36 PM

That's what I was thinking. I told her I'd be better off building a desktop with more horsepower than a laptop.. but I'm not there so that can't happen.  :wacko:




#4 jimbo312



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Posted 16 December 2014 - 02:53 PM

You could always buy used from ebay or craigslist.  you might could even get a refurb directly from manufacturer for that price.  Ive sold several Alienware laptops over the last couple years for around the $500-$800 range on craigslist.  There are some older systems that are pretty capable of playing any game still yet and be well upgradeable too.

#5 TimeMachine


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Posted 16 December 2014 - 03:23 PM

Soltaire is a game . You can easily get 120000 FPS on it with a hp stream 11


#6 ir_cow


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Posted 16 December 2014 - 03:34 PM

check out newegg and the Asus lineup. I got the Asus S56C for $400 two years ago. Since than I put in a ssd and another 8gb of ram but It wasn't needed. The i3 chips has the HD4600 graphics and it plays games alright at 720p. If you are looking bang for the buck budget gaming Asus and MSI make laptops with a nvidia 850m in it (basically a GTX 750) which does just fine at 1080p. Those however start at $800 because the video is around $150 for the supplier.

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 04:16 PM

I got my Dell 15R Special Edition (Inspiron 7520) for $574 refurbished two years ago, it has a Radeon 7730M and an i5 3210M and was able to near max out New Vegas at 1080P if I remember correctly (might had to have turned down a couple things @ 1080P or lower the resolution to 720P and maxed them. I don't remember)


It's a great laptop though, 1080P Matte screen, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 8GB of DDR3, VERY good Skullcandy speakers, 750GB harddrive(which I threw into an external enclosure and I threw my Agility 3 from my last laptop into this one), decent battery life still (3-4hours), full size optical drive (I was able to upgrade it to a Bluray player without worrying about getting a slim model) and it's been reliable the whole time I've owned it. No problems at all with it.


Here's one for $410.79: http://www.ebay.com/...=item2edafa1992


My only gripes are, no numpad for a 15.6" keyboard (but it may be backlit on demand), wish the wifi card was 5GHz capable (I may upgrade this one day) and I wish it got a little better battery life. But you won't do better for the money!



TL:DR: Moderately good gaming laptop, but GREAT for any other use.

Edited by IVIYTH0S, 16 December 2014 - 04:19 PM.

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#8 gebraset


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Posted 16 December 2014 - 06:18 PM

Everyone here is about spot on with recommendations. While you'll be be hard pressed to play any of the latest titles on a machine that cheap, you could at least play older games. Intel has a decent integrated GPU, but I'm partial to AMD APUs for budgets. Personal preference, I guess.


This laptop goes just over budget, but would be good for what you're looking for. Add another stick of RAM if it supports it (APUs thrive on dual-channel memory) and you'd be set.



In the end, going used would be more beneficial for actual laptop gaming. More bang for the buck.


I myself got the laptop in my signature for under $400 (I think $360?) on a black Friday clearance special at Target roughly two years ago. I purchased 4GB of additional RAM for it as well, making it dual-channel. Just tried CoD:AW over this last weekend for the free multiplayer, and it was rough, even at the lowest of all settings. But, I can still play older titles like BioShock, GRID, Dead Space, Crysis, etc. So in the end, not a bad little laptop for a light/moderate gamer.

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