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[Light Gaming] Laptop for Around $400?

budget laptop gaming laptop

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#1 Elessar

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 19:41

OK, so I need help choosing between two laptops (building a new PC is out of the question for now, I need a laptop for work). My budget is roughly $400 and I'd like to be able to do some light gaming (low settings at 30+ FPS is OK). The two options I've come to are below. I have $150 in gift cards for Best Buy so that's primarily why I'm looking there first...

Option #1
  • AMD A6-Series
  • 2.7GHz (with Turbo CORE up to 3.2GHz)
  • 4GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7520G
Option #2
  • Intel® 3rd Generation Core™ i3
  • 2.5GHz
  • 4GB
  • Mobile Intel® HD
After doing some research it appears the i3 is a better processor for encoding and such, but the 7520G is a better graphics card...looking for some opinions. I'm also open to other suggestions if they exist at or around $400.


#2 philcruicks

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 23:13

If its for gaming option one without a shadow of a doubt, you can game on Intel HD graphics but its not pretty. its so moviles and encoding fine, but its not for gaming.
Get the one with the Radeon.

#3 Mindovermaster

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 23:25

Double that RAM while you're at it...

#4 LUTZIFER

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 23:49

I'd say option 1.

#5 OP Elessar

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 15:23

I ended up getting this: http://www.bestbuy.c...=specifications

I decided to up my budget a bit and the A10 + 7660G seems like a good combination. So long as this thing doesn't overheat like a lot of HPs do...

#6 BigDavy

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 18:36

I have an AMD Llano-based HP laptop running a quad-core A8-3500M with an integrated Radeon 6620G - I get playable frame rates in Skyrim at 720p with Medium detail settings.

The 7660G in your laptop should run faster than mine.

#7 Arceles

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 18:39

I ended up getting this: http://www.bestbuy.c...=specifications

I decided to up my budget a bit and the A10 + 7660G seems like a good combination. So long as this thing doesn't overheat like a lot of HPs do...

That thing won't overheat, and I must say, nice choice! :D

#8 OP Elessar

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 19:12

I have an AMD Llano-based HP laptop running a quad-core A8-3500M with an integrated Radeon 6620G - I get playable frame rates in Skyrim at 720p with Medium detail settings.

The 7660G in your laptop should run faster than mine.

I'm hoping so :) 720p (768p I think?) and medium settings is more than enough for me :)

That thing won't overheat, and I must say, nice choice! :D


Thank you :) The brushed metal finish is quite sexy and the A10 + 7660G is rather speedy. Much better than my old C2D @ 2.53GHz. I've heard reports of other HPs wit the A8's and A10's overheating, but this thing has a 1 year warranty and I have a wood desk so it should have enough air. I'm still debating a notebook cooler base for it, but we'll see.

Thanks for the replies! Any opinions on the 6GB? I was hoping for 1 stick of 4 so I could double it up, but 6 should be enough for what I have planned. Right now I'm debating an pure SSD or possibly an SSD hybrid...any opinions on that?

#9 threetonesun

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 19:19

Thanks for the replies! Any opinions on the 6GB? I was hoping for 1 stick of 4 so I could double it up, but 6 should be enough for what I have planned. Right now I'm debating an pure SSD or possibly an SSD hybrid...any opinions on that?


SSD hybrid as in SSD + mechanical, or one of the Samsung mechanical drives with a buffer?

Full SSD is the way to go, if you can, but if you can stash a second drive in there for storage, that's fine too.

As for memory, the odds that you'll see the difference between 4, 6, and 8 Gbs in the near future is pretty slim.

#10 BigDavy

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 19:38

I had a 1Tb HDD in the laptop, but replaced it with a 240Gb Corsair Force 3 and upgraded Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 8 Pro. Under Win7 and the HDD it would take upwards of 40 seconds to boot, but under Win8 and the SSD it boots in under 5 seconds! The laptop is also much more responsive with the SSD.

#11 OP Elessar

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 22:39

SSD hybrid as in SSD + mechanical, or one of the Samsung mechanical drives with a buffer?

Full SSD is the way to go, if you can, but if you can stash a second drive in there for storage, that's fine too.

As for memory, the odds that you'll see the difference between 4, 6, and 8 Gbs in the near future is pretty slim.

I don't think I can put two HDDs in this, so I would probably need an actual hybrid HDD + small SDD portion,

I had a 1Tb HDD in the laptop, but replaced it with a 240Gb Corsair Force 3 and upgraded Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 8 Pro. Under Win7 and the HDD it would take upwards of 40 seconds to boot, but under Win8 and the SSD it boots in under 5 seconds! The laptop is also much more responsive with the SSD.


I hear a lot of negative things about SSDs in terms of life expectancy and such. If I could get...20GB for the SSD and then 40-80GB for a regular HDD, that would be perfect.

#12 +Brando212

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 22:51

Double that RAM while you're at it...

if you can, i know a lot of those lower priced laptops the 4gb that's included is also the max

I ended up getting this: http://www.bestbuy.c...=specifications

I decided to up my budget a bit and the A10 + 7660G seems like a good combination. So long as this thing doesn't overheat like a lot of HPs do...

seems like a decent computer to me. and if you have any overheating issues it's most likely gonna be from not enough or crappy thermal paste on the cpu
so if you do have that problem you'd most likely be able to take it in to a local computer shop (don't go to somewhere like best buy for this, they WILL over charge if they will do it for you at all) and they'll probably be able to open it up and apply some better thermal compound for you at a reasonable price.

I hear a lot of negative things about SSDs in terms of life expectancy and such. If I could get...20GB for the SSD and then 40-80GB for a regular HDD, that would be perfect.

it all depends on the controller used in the SSD, like I know sandforce is one of the controllers to be weary of

#13 threetonesun

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 22:52

I hear a lot of negative things about SSDs in terms of life expectancy and such. If I could get...20GB for the SSD and then 40-80GB for a regular HDD, that would be perfect.


Two things, 20GB will barely fit Windows. Yes, having the OS on SSD speeds up boot times, but you really want all of your often used applications on there.

Second, any of the SSD life expectancy issues are basically bunk. Plus, you don't run into any of the issues of having a mechanical drive in a laptop (i.e. no worries if you drop the computer, no heat / noise / vibration issues, especially if you go with a 7200 RPM drive, etc).

#14 OP Elessar

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 23:02

Two things, 20GB will barely fit Windows. Yes, having the OS on SSD speeds up boot times, but you really want all of your often used applications on there.

Second, any of the SSD life expectancy issues are basically bunk. Plus, you don't run into any of the issues of having a mechanical drive in a laptop (i.e. no worries if you drop the computer, no heat / noise / vibration issues, especially if you go with a 7200 RPM drive, etc).


I guess I could get away with a 60GB-80GB SSD. I'm currently looking for a 16GB-32GB USB 3.0 flash drive for media storage...anyway, I just dropped $535 on this laptop so I'll need to wait a bit before considering an SSD.

#15 Mindovermaster

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 23:48

if you can, i know a lot of those lower priced laptops the 4gb that's included is also the max


Both of those first notebooks are upgradable to 16GB. Do your homework, look at specs.