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Advice About Gaming Laptops Please

(36 Posts)
DaftMaul Mon 24-Nov-14 11:29:43

Can anyone help?

Ds(13) is keen to get a laptop that he can play his games on. He uses our current one but it is old and a couple of games he has bought (Plants vs Zombies and something from Steam) have just not worked on it - something to do with the video card?? He also needs to use it for school work and may or may not need to take it in to school.

Having had a quick google, it seems that there are many laptops which would work but they are ££££! I don't want to spend huge amounts of money - he's 13!

Can anyone give me any suggestions of laptops that would be suitable? Or at least what a laptop has to have in order to support gaming.

Many thanks

Ferguson Thu 27-Nov-14 23:23:28

Yes, but don't forget 13 is nearly 'grown up'!

To work well a gaming machine needs to be fairly high spec, so if you study this link you may gain some relevant information. (I don't play games, so no personal experience)

However, bear in mind all 'tech' these days is really incredibly inexpensive.

Twenty years ago, when our DS was ten, I was in the fortunate position to be able to buy him his first 'proper' computer; it was over £2000, and a Canon colour printer then was £600. He was also keen on music, and a professional keyboard was £1000.

Today you can pretty well knock a 'nought' off those prices, and still get an adequate product.

DaftMaul Fri 28-Nov-14 08:07:17

Thanks Ferguson. I have seen that link and gulped! The cheapest laptop on their list is £900. I was hoping to be able to find something suitable for half that! hmm

nerfgunsftw Fri 28-Nov-14 08:43:17

You are correct that a graphics card is needed to be able to play games.
for high end fps games he would need one of those expensive 900 quid laptops that you mention.
it is possible however to get a cheaper laptop with a graphics card that will let him play some games.
my wife got a dell xps for about 500 quid a few years ago and it plays wow, starcraft and lol ok.

one good place to look is pc specialist, the one below is 490 quid then you can customise it to add extra stuff that you need.
490 quid.

DaftMaul Fri 28-Nov-14 12:12:28

What are 'fps games'?

He has Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Zombies and Aliens that won't work on our current laptop. Is there a (relatively) inexpensive laptop that would support those two games.

Not sure I could 'build' a laptop, would not have a clue what to order - as you can probably tell!

Hoping to go somewhere easy like John Lewis or PC World!! grin

Ferguson Fri 28-Nov-14 18:47:25

'fps' I assume is 'frames per second' so like the frames in a movie. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the fast motion will be.

Does it have to be a laptop? A desktop PC could be cheaper, easier for an enthusiast to build or modify with suitable components. But of course, he can't take it around with him.

If I see anything else that might help I'll try and come back.

Ferguson Sat 29-Nov-14 19:03:37

Another thought occurs to me: it isn't fast and powerful, but a lot of people like the Raspberry Pi, a £25 computer that needs the addition of a screen, keyboard and mouse.

He could then write and 'code' his own games. There are Pi enthusiast groups all over the country, and lots of schools have them these days. Their web site has a lot of information and on-line support.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 01-Dec-14 22:21:32

He'd be better off with a desk top as the spec can be upgraded cheaply ish and easily when needed. More ram, etc. ime a gaming laptop lasts a couple of years and then isn't fast enough anymore. Especially at 13yo, if he gets into higher spec games which he probably will he's going to need a decent spec.

Whatever you do the main thingis to get a dedicated graphics card rather than an intragrated one.

Have a look at pcspecialist website. They have a forum where you can give them a budget and an idea of what you want it to be able to do and they will recommend a spec/build.

DaftMaul Sat 06-Dec-14 11:38:38

Thankyou for your continued advice.

Ferguson, he definitely will not be writing code any time soon. He hates computing at school and is struggling with coding!

Yes, I understand the argument for a PC but I think we need the flexibility of a laptop that can be moved around the house easily and he also needs desk space and a PC would take up too much room.

Is an Alienware laptop worth the money? Much more expensive than I originally wanted but wondering whether it would make that much difference? Are there loads of games that wouldn't work on a more basic (£500) laptop but that would work on an Alienware one?

MannUp Sat 06-Dec-14 11:46:10

I had mine made by a company called Cyberpower. Remember that it is not very easy to upgrade a laptop. Any money you save now will probably be felt when it becomes outdated sooner. A desktop would be a much better idea as you can upgrade by component. Our last Cyberpower desktop lasted ten years and could still run most new games!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 06-Dec-14 17:43:45

Alienware has a very good reputation.

chockbic Sat 06-Dec-14 17:53:16

Something like this ought to be good:

MoreBeta Sat 06-Dec-14 18:04:05

Alienware. High end laptop designed for gaming.

DS has one for that purpose but not cheap. It is like watching TV. Even a high end ordinary laptop you might use for say business will not do the job - its all about FPS.

Course now he has one we have long discussions about getting internet via cable as it allows even faster access. Its all about speed. By the time you have seen an enemy and pressed the trigger the professional gaming clan player who is geographically closer to the Russian server 1000 miles away has already killed you.

Just warning you where this is going. grin

TheDetective Sat 06-Dec-14 18:12:07

I'll ask my DH about ours. He has a gaming laptop from a company who made it to his specs. It was £600.

DS1 has one that was £400. He is 12 and plays lots of pc games.

He will be home from work soon. Ill post once he tells me where ours were from!

mumteedum Sat 06-Dec-14 18:39:21

Alienware is lots money. Paying a bit over odds in imo for flashy lights and styling.

If it's not high end gaming, like plants v zombies I wouldnt go ott.

Bought mine from scan. They were great.

Biggest thing to spend money on.. Decent standalone graphics card (not one integrated into motherboard), solid state hd if poss and good chip (processor).

I'd ring independent retailer like scan and ask best spec for your budget and what you want to do with it.

DaftMaul Sat 06-Dec-14 22:38:35

Thanks everyone. Scan look good.

Detective would be interested to know where your dh's came from too. Thankyou.

Definitely don't want to go down the PC route although I understand why it would be a good option for longevity.

Haha, MoreBeta, yes, whatever we have is never enough for them!

mumteedum Sun 07-Dec-14 08:44:51

Oh yeah had previously used company called overclockers for years but xhtb bought Alienware laptop which had problems from start and had to send lots of official letters and jump through hoops to get replacement, so don't think their customer service is great. This was about 4 years ago maybe. Replacement still going strong though.

DaftMaul Mon 08-Dec-14 13:06:24

What do you experts think about this laptop?

From PC World

mumteedum Mon 08-Dec-14 19:21:32


Not great chip. Needs more ram. You'd do better for that price elsewhere. Wait till Jan sales?

DaftMaul Mon 08-Dec-14 20:59:26

Any better?

ignominious Mon 08-Dec-14 21:09:48

I have £800 worth of gaming laptop (didn't pay for it!) and it does play games (fps on steam mostly) but not as well as the old xbox even. Would def get a desktop and then a crummy portable laptop or tablet in addition.

ignominious Mon 08-Dec-14 21:12:13

Fps first person shooter in this case in case that's confusing!

DaftMaul Mon 08-Dec-14 21:25:36

Thanks ignominious, definitely not getting a pc. So it's a case of finding a suitable laptop without the huge price tag!

chockbic Mon 08-Dec-14 21:34:23

Asus or median is my rec.

chockbic Mon 08-Dec-14 21:34:35


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