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Looking for an Entry Level Laptop

#1 Flacksguy  

Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:04 AM

I'm looking to buy my son a Laptop for Christmas this year, but unfortunately I don't really know much about some of the specifications.

What he is looking to do, is play Skyrim & Minecraft on medium settings, maybe a few smaller games, and download a few mods. My price range is in the $500 neighborhood.


There are a couple that I had narrowed my search down to, but I just wasn't sure if they could do what I need them to.


The first was this HP Pavilion 17-e020dx for $399. It has an AMD A8-Series processor, 4G RAM, AMD Radeon HD 8550G Graphics and 750G Hard Drive. It also had a 17" screen, which I really liked.

However, I was told that 4G of RAM would not be enough for Skyrim, and I should go with at least 6.



The second was an HP ENVY Sleekbook for $579 with 6G RAM, AMD A10-Series processor, AMD Radeon HD 8610G and 750G. Which I believe the guy at BBY told me had a dedicated graphics card and was a better card than in option 1. Not that I have any idea why that is better, I just know the card  has a higher number.



The third at Best Buy was a Lenovo IdeaPad with a TouchScreen (he certainly does not need that) $529 6G RAM, 500G HD, Intel® 3rd Generation Core™ i5 which also had a faster speed at 2.6 as opposed to 2.1 for the others, and Intel® HD Graphics 4000

Thought this one was nice because it was a little cheaper than option 2, and the touchscreen was a cool feature. Just not sure about the graphics card, and it has the smallest screen at 14"




I also found something on Newegg:

An Asus F75VD-NS51 $499, Intel Core i5 3230M(2.60GHz), 6GB Memory 750GB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce GT 610M 17" screen. Which looks like a really nice Laptop, but again, I have no idea about that Graphics card. Plus I already have a ton of credit at Best Buy. But the more I look at this one, it has many of the features I'm looking for: larger screen, 6G, 750G HD. I just want to be sure about the graphics card.





Any advice about the these four and about graphics cards would be greatly appreciated.

...or any advice on whether I should forget these four and go with something else would be welcome too.


"Once a year,
go someplace you've never been before"

#2 62t   Zune Duck! CAGiversary!   19856 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:32 AM

Can your son just play Skyrim on PS3 or Xbox 360?  To run Minecraft and smaller games you don't need that much.

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#3 Flacksguy  

Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:58 AM

We do have a 360, but he would like to try Minecraft and Skyrim with Mods.
He also plays a couple of online games with friends like RoBlox.
"Once a year,
go someplace you've never been before"

#4 Mako1215   Mr.OneOfWonder CAGiversary!   7249 Posts   Joined 10.9 Years Ago  

Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:01 AM

Skyrim with mods will not be possible on a entry level laptop.

First, how can you claim prior non-existance to devalue a movement? I am sure the civil rights movement would love that. "Well, there was no movement to free the slaves before, so why is it relavent now?"


#5 WindyCityGamer   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   228 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  


Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:43 PM

Check GotApex.com every day, they have really good deals on laptops.  If you work, also see if your job has any discounts deals, like with Dell or somewhere, sometimes they'll give a login for company discounts (but always compare to the vendor's ordinary sales).


IMO, don't pay more than $500 for a laptop.  They are disposable technology.


Also, if you want to game on it, make sure to get a laptop with an NVidia chip. Problem with ATI (AMD) is you can't just install reference drivers, for some reason they make it the manufacturer's responsibility to provide updated video drivers for that laptop.  I see Intel has been improving their chips and drivers, but I can't say how good it is or not.


You won't see a LOT of sales on laptops with NVidia chips, but they do pop up occasionally.

#6 pacifickarma   Master of Orion CAGiversary!   2296 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  


Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:32 AM

I've installed reference drivers on my wife's AMD laptop many times. I'm not sure where you heard that they can't be installed.


#7 Yagami   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1202 Posts   Joined 9.8 Years Ago  

Posted 04 October 2013 - 01:11 PM

What he's talking about actually applies to all video cards, ATI nVidia and Intel. It's based on the brand laptop though.


Almost all Sony laptops require Sony drivers, which they hardly, if ever, update. Even if it has an Intel HD 3000 chipset, it will not accept Intel's drivers. Toshiba does this too but not on all laptops.


I know offhand that Dell, HP, Asus, Samsung do not do this.

#8 Monnov  


Posted 25 October 2013 - 04:02 AM

You should get desktop. If you dont want spend much and want to play games.

#9 ludus   CAG Ultra Noob CAGiversary!   643 Posts   Joined 5.1 Years Ago  

Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:18 PM

You should build a custom desktop PC. I hear it's cheaper to build a gaming PC rather than buy one. I know you wont be able to get a cheap laptop and expect to play many games on it with mods. I will one day build my own gaming PC and I suggest doing that. :)