Best bang for the buck gaming laptops

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
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Are there any resources that track gaming laptop deals? Looking to get 1 or 2 new laptops for the kiddos in the near future. I got a decent one for the wife in 2019 for about $600 (ASUS) back in 2019. Is a price like that unrealistic in the current climate?

Are there specific chips or specs I should avoid? Is ASUS still a solid choice? Any other manufacturers I should look at that are similarly reliable? What should I expect to spend? I don't need anything close to high-end but also don't want to throw my money away on complete garbage. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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I got Walmart Black Friday deal on this laptop for $499:


MSI GF63 Thin Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD Display, Intel Core i5-10300H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 MaxQ, 8GB DDR4, 256GB NVMe SSD, Black, Windows 10
 

fralexandr

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Apr 26, 2007
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www.flickr.com

Slickdeals and dealnews are decent places to look. Should be some decent 3050 laptops in that range. 3060s start around ~$800. If you're ok with preowned, other places to look are best buy preowned and dell outlet. Sometimes there are issues with the best buy preowned ones though. I bought and returned a <$500 gtx 1660 w/ quadcore 8 thread a while back because the gpu wasn't working.

best buy open box gaming computers
 
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lakedude

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I think you should try Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop comes with AMD Ryzen 3 3200U and to be considered the best laptop for gaming under $500, it's in trends now and everyone likes it.
No!

If you are going to recommend an Aspire 5 for under $500 at least suggest the current version with the 3350 and Vega 6 graphics not the old version with the 3200 and Vega 3 graphics. Screenshot_20220415-134251_Amazon Shopping.jpg

$370 on Amazon.
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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I would look for a decent Ryzen APU based laptop, and upgrade the memory and storage. Make sure this is possible/not too difficult first. 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD? No thanks.

In any case, shop based on CPU and GPU, as well as upgrade potential. The drive and RAM don't matter, as you should replace them. 1TB NVMe drives and 2x8GB SODIMMs are pretty cheap.
 
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lakedude

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Slickdeals and dealnews are decent places to look. Should be some decent 3050 laptops in that range.
The Dell G15 with a 3050 is a better deal than the Walmart MSI w 1650 at the current price. I was confused thinking the G15 was a refurbished unit but that is a good price if new.
 
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dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
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I was looking at some ASUS laptops on Amazon like this one. Are there any glaring problems with this?

Would the extra $200 for this be a waste?

Just trying to figure out what specs I should be looking for and what specs I should avoid. For example, Ryzen 3 vs. Ryzen 5 - is the performance jump worth the price jump? Would the performance jump even be noticeable on these laptop screens? It's not like they're going to be playing the latest AAA games or checking framerates. They mostly play Roblox.

Probably going to stick with 8GB/256GB. 512GB isn't much more but I kind of want to train them to use HD space wisely. Uninstall those old games you haven't played for months if you're getting low on space, that type of thing. I can always swap out a bigger one in 5 years or whatever if it becomes an issue.

That gives me plenty of room to get slightly better CPU/GPU if it is indeed worth it.
 

Shmee

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I would try to get a more recent generation of CPU/APU, such as the 5000 series, or at least 4000 series. The 2nd link, the Asus TUF, looks pretty nice though. Problem with the thin laptops is they are often harder to upgrade.
 
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lakedude

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The 2nd link, the Asus TUF, looks pretty nice though
The G15 w 3050 fralexandr mentioned is a much faster system for less money.
Fralexandr's deal is the best currently available deal mentioned in this thread so far.

My MSI w 1650 for $499 was also a good deal but at $642 current price the $612.99 G15 is the better deal.
 
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Shmee

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The G15 w 3050 fralexandr mentioned is a much faster system for less money.
Fralexandr's deal is the best currently available deal mentioned in this thread so far.

My MSI w 1650 for $499 was also a good deal but at $642 current price the $612.99 G15 is the better deal.
Yeah I agree. Just take into account you will want to upgrade the SSD and RAM on that Dell. From what I am reading on slickdeals at least, it is doable. So it seems like that is a good one to buy but you will need to put in a little work.
 
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dank69

Lifer
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What the heck is up with that G15 design?

So the i5-11260H is comparable to what Ryzen chip?
 

dank69

Lifer
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Bought the G15, it should be plenty for their needs so I went to order a second one but the deal was over. There is an almost identical one now for $625 everything same except 5600H. Thought about it for a day and went in today to order but there is another deal, for about $75 more they upgrade to 5800H and 3050 Ti so I ordered that instead.
 

Oyeve

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Oct 18, 1999
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This was the one.
I have the 17" 1660 TI version of this laptop. Got it a couple of years ago for just under $1k. I added 8TB ssd and bumped the ram to 32GB. I love this laptop. Use it everyday and do some heavy gaming on it. Its been really solid. Only recent issue is the right fan is grinding and making noise. I did order a new fan set but haven't done the swap yet. Maybe soon. Anyway, the GPU plays all current games at high/ultra settings without too much FPS sacrifice.
 
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dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
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Bought the G15, it should be plenty for their needs so I went to order a second one but the deal was over. There is an almost identical one now for $625 everything same except 5600H. Thought about it for a day and went in today to order but there is another deal, for about $75 more they upgrade to 5800H and 3050 Ti so I ordered that instead.
Just popping back here to say I will NEVER buy AMD anything again. Zero problems with the 11260H machine. I've had to factory reset the 5800H already after an update bricked it. Audio has been nothing but trouble. Texture issues in Fortnite that the 11260H rig never has. Very disappointed that the more expensive config is turning out to be a regret.
 

Shmee

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Just popping back here to say I will NEVER buy AMD anything again. Zero problems with the 11260H machine. I've had to factory reset the 5800H already after an update bricked it. Audio has been nothing but trouble. Texture issues in Fortnite that the 11260H rig never has. Very disappointed that the more expensive config is turning out to be a regret.
That is unfortunate, that you are having issues with the laptop. I hope you get it resolved. And everyone has their right to brand preference.

However, saying, 'I will never buy anything AMD ever again' reeks of ignorance IMO, and almost sounds like something a viral marketing troll would say. Now I am not saying that is you, but you may want to think about that hyperbole. Imagine if so many users who tried an Apple, Nvidia, Asus, Intel, Samsung, or whatever product had an issue and refused to buy ever again. Sounds like a silly response to me.

I try to always consider products not based on brands, but what features they offer, and how the actual product does. I have had many Nvidia, ATI, AMD, and Intel products over the years, and would consider all of these again, depending on what they offered. Well, except for ATI, as they are no more :p
 
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dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
33,341
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That is unfortunate, that you are having issues with the laptop. I hope you get it resolved. And everyone has their right to brand preference.

However, saying, 'I will never buy anything AMD ever again' reeks of ignorance IMO, and almost sounds like something a viral marketing troll would say. Now I am not saying that is you, but you may want to think about that hyperbole. Imagine if so many users who tried an Apple, Nvidia, Asus, Intel, Samsung, or whatever product had an issue and refused to buy ever again. Sounds like a silly response to me.

I try to always consider products not based on brands, but what features they offer, and how the actual product does. I have had many Nvidia, ATI, AMD, and Intel products over the years, and would consider all of these again, depending on what they offered. Well, except for ATI, as they are no more :p
I get that but I've only had one other AMD product before, an old Sapphire. I forget the exact model but it was the one with 6 mini DP. Even though it worked well enough I remember it always being quirky compared to the Nvidia cards I was used to using.

I'm just really frustrated that this particular choice seems to be a POS. What good is something half the price or twice as fast if it has issues? I'll gladly pay more to avoid these types of hassles.
 

Shmee

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I think I remember the card you are talking about, probably the HD 5870 eyefinity edition. It had 2gb of memory at the time, which was a lot. The standard 5870 only had 1gb. Anyway, this was a long time ago, I believe these were the first dx11 cards.

As for the laptop, we might be able to help. I looked earlier in the thread, and unless I am mistaken, the CPU is an AMD 5800H, the GPU is a GeForce mobile card. So unless you are using the integrated graphics on the Ryzen, if there are any, then texture or graphics issues are likely on the GeForce mobile.

As for the update breaking something, this sounds like it is just a windows or Dell software problem, but we would need more information to figure that out.

As for audio issues, my first guess would be old Realtek drivers as the cause, though again, more info would be needed.
 
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