Laptop advice for work/light gaming around $600-70ish

May 1, 2012
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Just like the title suggests I’m looking for a laptop that can do office work and some light gaming, specifically Civilization VI. I bought a Thinkpad E450 with an intel i5-5200u (HD5500 GPU), 720p screen, 8GB of RAM and a non-SSD HD and it works...barely...but the screen is a MAJOR letdown.

I DO have a 2014 15” MacBook Pro (iris pro graphics) but my wife has a fit whenever I take that out of the house, so looking for something in the $600-700 range seems like the better option. I’m stuck in this price range since I have a kid on the way and can only really justify spending this much.

I was looking at a Dell Inspiron 7567 (1050ti) that was on sale at Best Buy for around $700 as well as some of the ryzen laptops but that’s at the top of my price range. I’m a little overwhelmed at the sheer volume choices as well as junk in this price range, so any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


FYI: I’m not adverse to used or open box and have a spare sata SSD I can install.
 
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lakedude

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Costco has Dell laptops with GTX 1050 graphics as cheap as $550. They have a GTX 1060 model for $799. I almost bought that one but they tacked on $40 non member surcharge and another $15 shipping and handling. Still some of the best deals around, especially if you are a member...
 

lakedude

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I ended up with the Acer Nitro 5 sporting the GTX 1050 Ti as a compromise for $650. The 7th gen GPU models are selling cheaper because the 8th gen is arriving.
 
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Thebobo

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Yea I would be interested as well I play some older games BW 2 and WOT.
 

lakedude

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The screen on mine is a 1080p IPS which sounds great on paper. Evidently it is a compromise that isn't very bright and does not have the full range of colors. It is massively better than the screens on my previous laptops but there are better available.
 
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lakedude

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The GTX 1060 will run most all games perfectly at 1080p while the 1050 or 1050ti might require reduced settings in some games. I've been playing BioShock 2 with the 1050 ti and it has been flawless.

The 1060 is a good deal more expensive and out of the range of the stated budget so the 1050ti is likely the best we will find in this price range.
 
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lakedude

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Last edited:
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lakedude

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Thebobo I should think the GTX 1050 or 1050 ti would work just fine for the games you play unless you are connecting your laptop to a 4k screen or something.
 

Thebobo

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Thebobo I should think the GTX 1050 or 1050 ti would work just fine for the games you play unless you are connecting your laptop to a 4k screen or something.

I don't mean to hijack Seraphimcaduto post but BW I think needs a CD player. And I would need one to load the game. Also I always have to have the BW CD in the slot to play. Have to check around to see if needed. But yea the graphics 1050/Ti should be fine for me.
 

lakedude

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You may be able to enter your CD key into Steam and convert the game over to Steam. I was able to do this with about 50/50 success rate. If it works you will no longer need the CD or an optical drive!
 
May 1, 2012
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I just looked at Costco and the landscape has changed a bit. The $550 1TB GTX 1050 model is gone. They do have the Dell sporting a GTX 1050 with an SSD for $600

https://www.costco.com/Dell-Inspiro...VIDIA-Graphics---1080p.product.100397512.html

Also the GTX 1060 equiped model dropped to $750:

https://www.costco.com/Dell-Inspiro...VIDIA-Graphics---1080p.product.100397555.html


I completely frogot about costco as an option. I am a member and they add in a free two year warranty to all electronics purchases. Ill have to swing by there this week. You went with the Acer nitro 5 and you were happy with it, i was kn the fence with the hinge and flex of the chasis. I know a bit picky at this price range. That 1060gtx is SO tempting however...you’ve given something to think about for sure, thank you!
 
May 1, 2012
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I do like the Nitro. In some ways it is just amazing. Read more here if you haven't already:

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/new-laptop-came-with-gtx-1050ti.2544444/

Being a member and getting another $50 off since the last time I looked would make that GTX 1060 very tempting even if it is a hair over budget.

It’s very tempting since it’s the update to the Dell Inspiron I was originally looking at Best Buy. The ironic thing is this would be on par with my desktop, but with a far newer processor.
 

lakedude

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The ironic thing is this would be on par with my desktop
This is exactly the amazing thing about the Nitro. It beats my desktop in the GPU department, for now. Eventually I'll upgrade the desktop for VR but for now the little laptop is the big man on campus.

The desktop is noisy and blows hot air all the time (I'll measure it) while the laptop runs cool and quiet. The laptop does spin up a bit in game to perhaps 100 -130 watts. That is just amazing from a historical perspective. Of course the new 8th gen laptops will be even better...

My "best" gaming system ever had dual HD 6950 cards. This required a ton of power and cost a small fortune. The Nitro laptop would trade punches with that old system depending on how well the SLI worked.
 
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May 1, 2012
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This is exactly the amazing thing about the Nitro. It beats my desktop in the GPU department, for now. Eventually I'll upgrade the desktop for VR but for now the little laptop is the big man on campus.

The desktop is noisy and blows hot air all the time (I'll measure it) while the laptop runs cool and quiet. The laptop does spin up a bit in game to perhaps 100 -130 watts. That is just amazing from a historical perspective. Of course the new 8th gen laptops will be even better...

My "best" gaming system ever had dual HD 6950 cards. This required a ton of power and cost a small fortune. The Nitro laptop would trade punches with that old system depending on how well the SLI worked.

My desktop is a modified Alienware X51 case with a 3rd gen core i5, nvidia 1060GTX 6GB, SSD and 16GB of Ram. RAM prices kept me from upgrading the rest so it’s a bit lopsided.
 

lakedude

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You know a mobile GTX 1060 is not going to keep up with a desktop 1060 but it will at least be in the ballpark.

It is a bit strange a that a mobile GTX 1050 ti is the best video in the house. Being married with children plays a part, plus video card prices never really came down as the technology aged. I expect this is due to a lack of competition and mining. Both companies seem to be selling as many video cards as they can make.

I was going to buy a desktop GTX 1070 for $420 but Walmart botched the order. Maybe now I'll wait till the 11 series comes out and get one of those or pick up a 10 series at a discount.

So which one are you more temped to buy? I'm sensing the 1060 Dell...
 
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May 1, 2012
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You know a mobile GTX 1060 is not going to keep up with a desktop 1060 but it will at least be in the ballpark.

It is a bit strange a that a mobile GTX 1050 ti is the best video in the house. Being married with children plays a part, plus video card prices never really came down as the technology aged. I expect this is due to a lack of competition and mining. Both companies seem to be selling as many video cards as they can make.

I was going to buy a desktop GTX 1070 for $420 but Walmart botched the order. Maybe now I'll wait till the 11 series comes out and get one of those or pick up a 10 series at a discount.

So which one are you more temped to buy? I'm sensing the 1060 Dell...

I’m more tempted to buy the 1060 dell and make up the difference by selling a collectible or a finished side project. Seems like it would be worth it since I’d likely use it every day, unlike my desktop that mostly collects dust.
 
May 1, 2012
43
1
71
You know a mobile GTX 1060 is not going to keep up with a desktop 1060 but it will at least be in the ballpark.

It is a bit strange a that a mobile GTX 1050 ti is the best video in the house. Being married with children plays a part, plus video card prices never really came down as the technology aged. I expect this is due to a lack of competition and mining. Both companies seem to be selling as many video cards as they can make.

I was going to buy a desktop GTX 1070 for $420 but Walmart botched the order. Maybe now I'll wait till the 11 series comes out and get one of those or pick up a 10 series at a discount.

So which one are you more temped to buy? I'm sensing the 1060 Dell...

I ended up buying the Dell Inspiron 7577 from the Dell outlet this past Memorial Day after Costco ran out of stock. The model I got was the core i7-7700 with 1 x 16GB Ram and the 256GB NVMe SSD+ 1TB HD for ~$720. The screen on it is OK, nothing to write home about but the gaming performance is unreal for the price. Thanks for all the help everyone!
 

lakedude

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Does that have a GTX 1060? If so you got a great deal! GTX 1060 to my 1050ti, i7 to my i5, 16GB to my 8, both at 256 GB SSD but my mine has no additional 1TB storage drive. All for $70 more, heck yeah!
 

you2

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With regards to prices you might also check MS store and if you are buying an HP hp direct. Last week I noticed that many of the laptops were 200 to 400 off at the ms store and likewise for hp. I was looking at laptops a bit more expensive like the xps 13.3 (which was $1100 for the touch 4k screen with i7) and 360 spectre. Anyway I didn't check prices of the inspiron as I was looking for something sub 3 lbs. Also I've been thinking I shoudl wait for the hardware fix for meltdown this fall but thought would mention some alternative places with regards to prices.
 
May 1, 2012
43
1
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Does that have a GTX 1060? If so you got a great deal! GTX 1060 to my 1050ti, i7 to my i5, 16GB to my 8, both at 256 GB SSD but my mine has no additional 1TB storage drive. All for $70 more, heck yeah!

It has the 1060 maxQ variant with the single stick of 16GB single stick (so I only need to buy a single stick instead of replacing two 8GB sticks). It was a “scratch and dent” model with a very light 1 1/2” scratch that I can barely see; for $30 over my budget, it was worth the extra HDD, ram and processor bump.
 
May 1, 2012
43
1
71
With regards to prices you might also check MS store and if you are buying an HP hp direct. Last week I noticed that many of the laptops were 200 to 400 off at the ms store and likewise for hp. I was looking at laptops a bit more expensive like the xps 13.3 (which was $1100 for the touch 4k screen with i7) and 360 spectre. Anyway I didn't check prices of the inspiron as I was looking for something sub 3 lbs. Also I've been thinking I shoudl wait for the hardware fix for meltdown this fall but thought would mention some alternative places with regards to prices.

I did see those as well however the graphics cards on those models were either underwhelming or massively out of my budget range of ~$700. The XPS has a FAR better screen but for the model with the nvidia 1050, it was $350 more and 50% slower. I am fully aware that laptops aren’t as powerful as desktops but I couldn’t put something together myself in that price range (on a desktop) and I needed a laptop’s portability this time around.