The Best Gaming Laptop of 2017 Recommendation and Buying Guide

Are you looking for a laptop for gaming that suits your budget? Our special laptop buyer’s guide will help you make up your mind.

First off, we will list and explain the different “choice criteria” before then proposing the best models of laptops currently available on the market.

The Possibilities of Upgrading a Laptop:

Let’s start from the end, since this is information you should keep in mind when making your selection.

What will happen when your laptop starts to have difficulty running games?
You should be aware that contrary to desktop PCs, the possibilities of upgrading (changing components) a laptop are very limited.
To simplify things, there are only 3 possible upgrades you can make:

  • Adding more RAM
  • Adding an SSD
  • Changing the hard drive

If you were paying attention, you will have realized that it is not possible to change the laptop’s graphics card!

GPU

When buying your computer, your priority should therefore be on obtaining the most powerful graphics chipset available, or else you run the risk of being left behind in very short order with the release of the next generation of even more resource dependent games.

More information: Hoping to revitalize your laptop by using an external graphics card is clearly not a good idea. (Price, technology, price to performance ratio). Avoid this option!

The Choice Criteria:

The Graphics Card, the Vital Element for Gamers!

As we have just seen, the graphics card is the most important element in a laptop for gaming.

It is the graphics card which usually defines what line of products a laptop falls in (high/low-end) and it is the component which most heavily influences the PC’s performance during game play.

In order to prevent your laptop from having a very short lifetime of utility, and in order to guarantee a decent game play experience, we have defined the GTX 960M as our minimum recommended graphics card.

(List of graphics chipsets for laptops, from the least powerful to the most powerful):

  • GTX 950M DDR3
  • GTX 950M DDR5
  • GTX 860M
  • GTX 960M => Entry level
  • GTX 870M
  • GTX 965M
  • GTX 1050
  • GTX 880M
  • GTX 970M
  • GTX 980M
  • GTX 1060 3Gb
  • GTX 1060 6Gb
  • GTX 980 Desktop
  • GTX 1070
  • GTX 980M SLI
  • GTX 1080

The new generation of “Pascal/GTX 10xx” graphics cards is shaking things up!

Traditionally, laptops were limited to the “M” version of graphics cards, which were less powerful than desktop versions. For example, Nvidia took advantage of the aura surrounding the desktop version of the GTX 980 to publicize the GTX 980M which was much inferior to the desktop GTX 970 in terms of performance.

For its new high-end mobile line, Nvidia has now decided to propose solutions similar to the desktop versions of the GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070 and GTX 1060, keeping the same names and matching their performance characteristics.

Nvidia estimates that their performance will be on average at least 90% as good as the performance of the desktop versions, which represents a gain of more or less 70% with respect to the previous generation! These are important gains which are the result of the improved energy efficiency of the Pascal architecture over the Maxwell GPU design.

gaming laptop

Why are there 2 coexisting graphics chipsets?

As you may have already realized, in our buyer’s guide there can be found 2 coexisting graphics chipsets: the old GTX 9xxM (Haswell) generation as well as the newer GTX 10xx (Pascal) generation.

  • The Maxwell (GTX 9xxM) can be found especially on entry and mid-level laptops.
  • The new Pascal (GTX 10xx) which offers significantly improved performance, is clearly to be found in the higher-end models. 1500$. (GTX 1060) / 1800$ (GTX 1070) / 2300$ (GTX 1080). The target audience is one with deep pockets.

GTX 10xx Graphics Chipset

In addition to better performance, the new generation has several other advantages:

  • A new form of battery management, using the Nvidia BatteryBoost technology in order to double the notebook’s autonomy even when using it for gaming. The Battery Boost technology is totally automatic. It is activated once a game is launched and when the notebook is not plugged into the mains power.
  • Less heat! The GeForce GTX series 10 GPU is built using FinFET 16 nm process, resulting in a previously unheard of level of energy efficiency.
  • Better overclocking capabilities (finally!)

GTX 10xx Graphics Chipset

The new Pascal (GTX 10xx) graphics cards provide a 70% performance boost over the old generation ( not 3x the performance as indicated by Nvidia, which was comparing the GTX 960M to the GTX 1080…)

The fight in numbers:

Graphics chipsets and their performance characteristics:

The computing power of a mobile graphics chipset can not compare to that of a desktop model.

As an example, a GTX 960M is not the equivalent of a GTX 960 desktop model, but things have changed a bit since the arrival of the GTX 10xx series (and newer).

GTX 9xxM graphics chipset, performance characteristics:

For the GTX 9xxM series, the general rule is that the computing power of a portable GTX 9xxM graphics card is equivalent to a “n-1” of the desktop version of the GTX 9xx series.

To simplify, here are some examples:

  • A GTX 960M is the equivalent of a GTX 950 Desktop.
  • A GTX 970M is the equivalent of a GTX 960 Desktop.
  • A GTX 980M is the equivalent of a GTX 970 Desktop.

Etc …

Benchmark

GTX 10xx graphics chipset, performance characteristics:

Nvidia estimates that their performance characteristics will be at least 90% as good as those of their desktop equivalents. For Gamers, this news is very promising since the potential improvement over the older generation is enormous.

Benchmark, GTX 1060 (notebook) VS GTX 970M:

GTX 1060 (notebook) VS GTX 970M

Which processor to choose? i5 or i7? Haswell or Skylake?

AMD is pretty much missing from our guide, but it is not our fault, AMD has completely deserted the domain of gaming laptops.

Your choice of processors will therefore be a simple one; Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7?

In reality, there isn’t really (or at least not always) the choice between even these two. For a gaming laptop, above 1200$, you are almost always going to find an i7 and under 800$, it will almost always be a Core i5.

The choice between i5 or i7 therefore appears only if your budget is between 1200$ and 1400$.

We had seen the coexistence of two generations of CPUs (Haswell and Skylake), however, since July 2016, no further reference is being made in our buyer’s guide to the older Haswell generation.

I5 Skylake (Blue) VS I5 Haswell (Orange) vs I7 Haswell (Green)

 

I5 Skylake (Blue) VS I5 Haswell (Orange) vs I7 Haswell (Green)

With or without Windows (Freedos)?

Do you want your laptop to be with or without Windows? If you need Windows, you should be aware that this requirement will increase the price of your computer by around 100$.

For example: a laptop sold for 1000$ without Windows will necessarily have better components than a computer sold for 1000$ and which has Windows installed.

Display size

15 inches, 17 inches, even 18.4 inches for the most well-to-do… The choice of screen size will depend on your particular needs and budget, but don’t forget – the bigger the display, the greater its volume and weight and the more powerful the graphics card and processor will have to be in order to play games properly! This is why someone on a tight budget should go for a 15 inch display!

What type of display? IPS or TN?

The two types of most widely available displays for laptops are IPS and TN.

IPS displays (In-Plane Switching) are the preferred displays of image professionals. The reason for this is their precision in the display of Adobe RGB colors and in the faithful reproduction of detail. But, this is not the only reason why they are preferred by photographers. Indeed, this technology provides very wide viewing angles (up to 178°). This means that the image’s colors won’t be influenced by the user’s relative position to the display.

The main criticism of this type of monitor, aside from its high price, is its slow response time.

If there is one characteristic that TN displays (Twisted Nematic) are known for, it is their fast response time. As a matter of fact, this type of display has the lowest response time on the market. This is what makes TN displays so widely used and appreciated by gamers. Indeed, since video games have such fast movement, TN displays are the only ones capable of keeping up with the fast pace without creating blur or lag effects.

Another noteworthy advantage of TN displays is their price. In fact, these displays are among the cheapest on the market to manufacture. For this reason, a laptop with a TN display will cost less to buy than one with an IPS display of equivalent size.

Disadvantages: in spite of their exceptional response rate and their affordable price, TN displays have one major downside, their limited color palette.

This is still one of this type of display’s major weaknesses. The color palette is restricted and will not be well suited to image work.

SSDs

SSDs allow for faster loading speeds, but do not improve a game’s graphical performance. It should therefore be a secondary consideration, especially since it can be added later to a laptop; indeed it is one of the only possible upgrades that can be made to a laptop.

SSD

The weight

If you will need to be transporting your laptop, think about comparing the weight of different models.

The higher up you go in a product’s line, the heavier the laptop becomes. Why? Because the cooling system components are more sophisticated and heavier.

The battery

The more cells the battery has, the more power it will be able to deliver and the greater the laptop’s autonomy will be. Obviously, the computer’s processing power and usage will have an influence on the real duration of the battery-life.

Battery

Careful with the first boot up: You must not completely discharge the battery as soon as you receive your computer. On the contrary, you should completely charge the battery, without interruption. Indeed, you should never entirely discharge the battery; doing so could result in the instant and permanent loss of up to 20% of its charge capacity! Afterwards, for the first times that you use your laptop, you should fully charge the battery and then drain it until you reach the laptop’s critical (5% charge) level without any charging in between, and without dropping below this limit. Once the limit has been reached, recharge the battery fully. Doing this will help to hone the systems that measure the battery’s charge. This is what is known as calibration.

Here is our selection of Best Gaming Laptops:

Gaming Laptops for 700 – 800 dollars

If you are looking for a laptops and your budget is between 700$ and 800$ you will find three possible options of computers using the i5-6300HQ + GTX 960M combination:

  • Around 700$: a 15.6 inch display without an SSD
  • Around 800$:
  • A 17.3 inch display with an SSD but without keyboard backlighting
  • A 15.6 inch display with an SSD and with a backlit keyboard

Gaming Laptops for 1100 dollars

Within this price range, the all new GTX 1060 is coupled with the i5 processor!!! => BEST PRICE TO PERFORMANCE RATIO 🙂

Asus FX502VM

Specs:

  • Skylake – i5-6300HQ (2.6 GHz)
  • Screen 15.6 “Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Ram: 16GB DDR4
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060
  • Storage: 1 HDD 1TB
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • 1 USB Port 3.1 Type C + 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • Weight: 2.24 Kg
  • Battery 4 cells
  • 2 years warranty

Get the Asus ROG FX502VM gaming laptop, and join the ROG (Republic of Gamers)! Weighing-in at 2.24 kilos and with a thickness of only 2.35 cm, it is undoubtedly geared towards mobility while still comprising quality components: an i5 processor (HQ version), a Pascal generation GTX 1060 graphics card as well as 16GB DDR4 RAM. There is no doubt that this laptop will warm any gamer’s heart!

MSI VR Ready GE62VR

Specs:

  • i7-6700HQ Skylake processor (2.6 GHz)
  • 15.6 inches IPS display, Full HD 1080 (1920 x 1080)
  • Ram: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB (7200RPM)
  • NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • 2.4 Kg
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Battery 6 cells
  • 2 years warranty

The new MSI GE62VR 6RF-213FR Apache Pro gaming laptop is a 15.6 inch muscle-bound model geared towards gamers who are looking for the ability to play on the go. Take control of this exceptional gaming computer which incorporates the latest generation of technologies such as the super powerful Pascal generation Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, not to mention its Intel Quad Core Skylake! You will especially love its superb IPS display capable of Full HD definition which will allow you to be at your best while gaming, wherever you may find yourself.

Acer Predator G9-593-72VT

Specs:

  • i7-6700HQ Skylake processor (2.6 GHz)
  • 15.6 “Full HD 1080 (1920 x 1080)
  • Ram: 16 GB DDR4
  • GTX 1060 6GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD & 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • Weight: 8.16 lbs
  • Battery: 8 cells
  • 2 years warranty
  • Possibility of having an additional fan

From the very first time that you see it, you will have no doubt that the Predator is a killer gaming computer; it asserts its dominance through its sleek aesthetic design which is harmonious and aggressive at the same time: a flat-black case enhanced by a red backlit Predator logo… The Predator does more than show off its gaming DNA, it asserts it! Proof can be found at the rear of the case which is one long ventilation grill and which fits perfectly into the overall aesthetic design. But, this monster also has a soft side which is evidenced by its “soft touch” case, redesigned to be highly resistant to picking up fingerprint smudges!

The Predator even allows you to add a third, additional fan for use during long gaming sessions. With a simple click, eject the optical disk reader and replace it with an extra Cooler Master fan which is supplied with the computer! Simple, ingenious, and efficient!

ASUS ROG G752VM

Specs:

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor (2,6ghz / 3,5Ghz)
  • 17.3 “resolution – IPS Full HD anti-reflective coating – Gsync
  • Ram: 16GB DDR4
  • New Backlit Keypad
  • GTX 1060 with 6GB DDR5
  • Storage: HDD 1TB + 256GB PCIex4 (M.2) SSD
  • USB 3.1 Type-C (gen 2)
  • Cooling: Mobile 3D Vapor Chamber
  • Asus Dust Release System
  • 6 cells
  • Weight: 4.06 Kg
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • 2 years warranty

Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, M.2 SSD, and the brand-new Nvidia GTX 1060(Pascal) are all present and accounted for. With its IPS display, capable of G-Sync and Full HD and its optimized cooling system, the G752 has some serious advantages!

Cooling the ROG G752 laptop is achieved through the use of a powerful ventilation system employing a new technology: Mobile 3D Vapor Chamber which can be found on certain desktop graphics card versions and which helps to significantly increase the cooling system’s performance. With this technology, your computer’s components are kept perfectly cool, no matter how long your gaming session lasts.

An innovative system called Asus Dust Release allows for the capture of dust, and its concentration in order for it to be automatically expelled. This technology prevents gunk from forming and maintains an optimal air flow. 

ASUS ROG GL502VS-DB71

Specs:

  • Intel Skylake I7 i7-6700HQ (2.6 GHz)
  • 15.6 “Full HD 1080- G-Sync
  • Ram: 16 GB DDR4
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • GTX 1070 with 8GB VRAM
  • Storage: 1TB  HDD+ 256GB SSD
  • USB 3.1 Type-C (gen 2)
  • Battery 4 cells
  • Weight: 2Kg
  • Windows 10 64 Bits
  • 2 years warranty

With the Asus G502VS-DB71 laptops, the ROG (Republic of Gamer) series has reinvented its slim, 15 inch line! With its “light” 2 kilos and its 3 cm thickness, it maintains all the characteristics of its predecessor, while giving it a serious new advantage: adding the Pascal generation GTX 1070 graphics card! A veritable revolution for a portable gaming computer of this size! And since good things always come in twos, the G502VS-FY087T comes with an ROG backpack and a ROG Sica mouse!

Asus G752VS

Specs:

  • Intel Skylake I7 i7-6700HQ (2.6 GHz)
  • 17.3 “Full HD 1080- G-Sync
  • Ram: 16 GB DDR4
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • Storage: 1HDD 1TB + SSD 256GB
  • USB 3.1 Type-C (gen 2)
  • Cooling: Mobile 3D Vapor Chamber
  • Asus Dust Release System
  • Battery 8 cells
  • Weight: 4.3 Kg
  • Windows 10 64 Bits
  • 2 years warranty

The Asus ROG G752VS laptop has stocked up on the latest generation of components in order to be able to play any game, anywhere! With its ROG design, recognizable at a glance, and its aluminum case, the G752 is a laptop with style! Since good looks are not enough, in order to fully satisfy the needs of gamers, it includes an Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, M.2 SSD, and the brand-new Nvidia GTX 1070(Pascal) graphics card. With its IPS display, capable of G-Sync and Full HD resolution, and its optimized cooling system, the G752 has some serious advantages.

In order to be sure that it wouldn’t lack gaming power, Asus selected a combination of components perfectly adapted to playing video games. The processor is a lightning-fast Quad Core Intel of the Skylake generation with a Core i7-6700HQ operating at 2.6 GHz or 3.50 GHz in Turbo mode. This processor is accompanied by 8 GB of DDR4 type (2133 MHz) RAM. If your needs change in the future, you can easily expand this quantity to 64 GB (4 modules of 16 GB each).

This collection of components will be able to handle any task you throw at it, even the most demanding ones. You will be able to play for hours at a time with total peace of mind.

To allow for a totally immersive experience, the Asus G752 portable gaming computer comes equipped with a Full HD IPS display which offers wide viewing angles as well as brilliant color rendition which will allow for the best possible gaming experience. Finally, this display incorporates Nvidia’s G-Sync technology for creating perfectly fluid images devoid of any visual artifacts.

MSI GT73VR 6RF

Specs:

  • Intel Core i7-6820HK processor (2.7 GHz / 3.6Ghz)
  • 17.3 Full HD IPS 120Hz 1080p screen
  • IPS 120 Hz screen
  • Ram: 64GB DDR4
  • Backlit Keyboard, Steelseries Keyboard
  • GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X VRAM
  • Super RAID 4 1TB SSD (PCIE Gen3 x4) NVMe [512GB *2] + 1TB (SATA) 7200RPM
  • ESS DAC Audio Converter
  • Cooling Cooler Boost Titan
  • Battery 8 cells
  • Weight: 3.9 Kg
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • 2 years warranty

MSI has introduced a brand-new portable gaming PC, the GT73VR 6RF Titan, which, as the name suggests, is a real monster. A direct descendant of the celebrated 18” series, this model now has a 17”inch display that has no cause to envy its 18” ancestor. This ultra powerful computer has an Intel Core i7-6820HK processor, 2 types of storage HDD and SSD, an IPS Full HD display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, and to top it off, a graphics card of the latest (Pascal) generation, the super powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8 GB GDDR5). The GT73VR will also open up the doors of virtual reality to you, allowing you to enter the new era of video game play.

MSI GT83VR 6RF

  • Skylake i7-6920HK (2.9GHz / 3.5Ghz Turbo) Processor
  • 18.4 Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Ram: 16GB DDR4
  • Design punctuated by LED stripes
  • GTX 1080 SLI
  • 2 SSD M.2 (Super raid 4) of 512GB for a total 1TB SSD
  • Blu-ray recorder
  • Mechanical keyboard with switches Cherry brown
  • Dynaudio with system 4.1 and Nahimic
  • 5 USB 3.0 ports
  • USB 3.1 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)
  • 3 whirlwind blade 29 fans and no fewer than 15 heat pipes.
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • 8 cells Battery
  • Weight: 5.5 kg
  • 2 years warranty

The MSI Titan GT83VR 6RF-037FR portable gaming PC has made a sensational comeback into the peculiar world of ultimate, 18 inch gaming computers. In keeping with those aspects which helped to give it its legendary status: an 18.4”display, a mechanical keyboard, an ultra efficient cooling system, the Titan is back and more powerful than ever; it is also more beautiful than ever after undergoing some aesthetic changes capable of seducing even the most demanding gamer. In terms of hardware, the GT83VR integrates insanely powerful components: an Intel Quad Core i7-6920HQ processor, 64 GB of DDR4 RAM (2400 Mhz), 1 TB SSD M.2 NVMe 2 x 512 GB with Super raid 4, and hold on to your hats, 2 Pascal GeForce GTX 1080 (8 GB GDDR5X) graphics cards fresh from Nvidia’s factories. Without a doubt, it is the fastest gaming configuration in the world!

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