Recently I sold my console and switched to PC gaming, but after about a year or so I've found I'm really lacking the hardware to play some games that have recently released. I know next to nothing about what's good or not when it comes to PC gaming, so I want your help in finding me a gaming laptop for around the £600 - £900 price range (I am willing to extend that, but they're the prices I'm looking for).
I'm looking to play games such as: Planetside 2, The Witcher 2 and Overgrowth.
The reason I want a laptop instead of a desktop is because I'm going to university soon, so I'll need to be able to travel with it.
I appreciate any help you can give.
Maybe buy PC for gaming and a cheap notebook for uni work etc?
I would really advise against going for a gaming laptop. They're more expensive, and a lot harder to upgrade, not to mention the cooling issues and lifespan.
Lifespan is a real concern but I wouldn't fret too much about price and availability. They've closed quite a bit in recent years and upgradability is a myth anyway, when your PC is too old it's too old, the only thing you get to keep is the case. Odds are anything bought this year will be redundant next anyway, requirements always skyrocket when a new wave of consoles come out.
I bought one for £400 last year, sadly they've increased in price a little since then and it fell just short of being able to run Witcher 2. The sites I used were
The former is just a store and really any will do but I found it consistently had the best deals. Delivered in a couple of days too so I had no complaints. The latter is the real help though, it benchmarks laptop graphics cards and cpus next to dekstop ones so you get an idea of what to expect. Its a real minefield, chips which reasonably seem like they should be an upgrade can be half as fast as chips with apparently lower denominations.
Id reccomend something from the HP Pavillion or Envy lines. If you can get a decent processor in them (i5 or better) then you can make do for a year or 2 until technology marches on.
Theyre also absurdly reliable. Ive subjected my current Envy to torturous operating conditions almost every single day since i got it back in 2010, and i can still count the number of times its only overheated on my fingers.
They do tend to be a bit pricey, but my last Pavillion lasted 4 years until it gave up the ghost and my Envy is nearing the end of its third year in service.
Oh, the one drawback is the keyboard. If it doesnt come with a proper one (equipped with a numpad and function keys) then you may want to use a USB keyboard instead.
I bought a mid-range Asus laptop in 2010 and it's still running pretty strong. Sure, I have to turn the settings down pretty low in Borderlands 2 to get it to be playable, but that means I didn't spend an arm and a leg on it, and it won't kill itself with bad cooling. It just doesn't get that hot.
I'd honestly recommend considering a mid-ranged laptop if you can also afford a good higher tier desktop. That way you spend about the same as you would for a single high-end laptop, you still have the portability, the power, and in addition, you get longevity. Just use the laptop for the situations you need one, and game all night on your desktop without a care.
Build a gaming desktop and use a notebook for uni, the upgradability will pay off even if it costs you a little more. Aim for £500 on the PC and a £200 notebook and use some form of cloud or effective storage system to keep your work in one easily accessed place.
Edit: I'd also advise springing for at least an i5 and either a 660ti or 7870 (the 7870 is about £20 cheaper and comes with bioshock infinite but you'll lose a bit of grunt (like 5 fps in a few benchmark titles) and it uses mo power), and consider your portability too since thats what you want try find a more compact case.
Or try to build a micro system but then you'll have issues with graphics cards being too big or some shit.
I got a Toshiba Qosmio for my birthday two years ago. $1000.
I'm still able to play games on max settings at 60 fps no problem.