Looking for a laptop that can play games (max £550

  mouche202 10:14 AM 10 Jun 08

Hi all,

I know that a desktop is preferable for playing games but I'm looking for a laptop right now. My budget is £550. I like playing games - the most graphics intensive one I play is The Sims 2 and ideally I'd like to be able to play The Sims 3 when it comes out next year.

Can you suggest some options on which I will be able to play these games? Thank you.

  The Brigadier 17:27 PM 10 Jun 08

PC World & Staples doing good bargains at the moment.

  GaT7 18:36 PM 10 Jun 08

Of course, don't just buy the best bargain there is - get one with a graphics card capable of playing Sims 3.

I think fairly low graphics does for Sims 2, but Sims 3 may be a different matter. Do you know the system reguirements - especially graphics - for the latter?

The lowest you should aim for with that kind of budget may be a 8600M GT graphics card (click here).

A few Dells with a 8600M GT to consider:

Go through a cashback site like Quidco click here to get 4% off.

• 17" Dell Vostro 1710
click here, select the 8600M GT graphics card, add to & view basket = £540, or £522 with cashback (cb)

• 17" Inspiron 1720
click here, select the 8600M GT graphics card, add to & view basket = £579, or £562 with cb

• 17" Dell Vostro 1710 click here, add to & view basket = £587, or £567 with cb

• 15" Dell XPS M1530 click here, select the 8600M GT graphics card, add to & view basket = £589, or £571 with cb

If you can find better spec for the money/better value with another branded laptop elsewhere, go for that. Keep the 8600M GT as the minimum graphics to go for though. G

  mouche202 09:59 AM 11 Jun 08

Thanks very much Crossbow7. Sims 3 isn't out yet and the minimum config for it isn't out either. And the laptop is a birthday gift that I need to get by the end of the month or I won't get it at all! Thanks for the info - very useful and I will take a look at the models you've suggested.

  GaT7 14:10 PM 11 Jun 08

No problem mouche202. Just so that you're aware, Dells deals change on a regular basis (you'll know when any of those links stop working!) - sometimes for the better/worse.

If still interested in buying a Dell when you're ready to purchase, just say so & I'll try to post the best deal for the money. G

  crosstrainer 16:14 PM 11 Jun 08

Specs for the Sims are below: But if you are thinking of playing games on a laptop, you really are a long way out of budget.

I'm not sure about the new sims game (don't play them myself) But any new "Games for Windows" title is going to need a lot more power than most laptops can deliver. Yes, the true gaming lappy does exist, but it cost's big time £1500-2500 quid, and it's still a laptop.

click here

  barca1 17:34 PM 11 Jun 08

mouche202 there was a great sony vaio that was in mint condition normaly priced around £680 but wne on ebay for £235...so its worth looking @ ebay..

click here

  GaT7 20:16 PM 14 Jun 08

crosstrainer, those specs are for Sims 2 - mouche202 needs specs for v3.

"But if you are thinking of playing games on a laptop, you really are a long way out of budget." - I agree. But if it's only for Sims & similar games, a 8600M GT will be more than capable enough. It'll begin to show it's age though as one plays more graphically-intensive games.

barca1, that laptop has integrated graphics so quite hopeless for most games except Windows own. G

  theDarkness 01:58 AM 18 Jun 08

if you are after a laptop to play the latest games including the sims 3, then you may have to save a little more if you are unwilling to chance trusting any ebay sellers or second hand stores for a cheap buy. Of course, the sims may not have a high requirement, will have to wait and see. I bought my msi laptop just over a yr ago for just around £500 (although part of that cost was for the extended guarantee). It only has on board built in graphics (something to avoid if you are wanting to play all of the latest games-you may need dedicated graphics on your laptop instead for that).. my own laptop can play grand theft auto san andreas, but thats as up to date as it gets for managing fairly recent gaming software. Other fairly new games it can play include pro evo soccer 5, and the need for speed underground (just!). To be honest for the system spec of my laptop at 1600mhz with 1 gig of ram, im fairly impressed that it runs games just as well as my desktop pc, which is of a similar spec (i bought in 2001 which is also 1600mhz with 1gig ram, but has a seperate dedicated graphics nvidia geforce graphics card). The laptop being able to run everything the desktop does even with the laptop only having built in graphics may be most likely be because of it having a dual processor, which the desktop definately does not.

  mouche202 09:09 AM 19 Jun 08

Thank you all for your helpful comments. I have gone ahead and bought the laptop I thought best met my needs without blowing the budget too much.

It is a Dell Inspiron 1720 and it has Core 2 Duo (2GHz), 3.2 MB RAM, NVidia GeForce 8600 graphics card with 256 MB dedicated RAM, and 17" screen. Tried playing Sims 2 on it last night and I'm very impressed with the clarity. Unless Sims 3 has much higher requirements, I dare say it will run ok as well. At any rate, I'm happy with it - thank you especially to Crossbow for suggesting this. Oh, and it cost approximately £580, though I will hopefully get cashback on it as well.


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