Recommendations for high midrange gaming – GT 650M / GTX 660M / GTX 670M and Radeon 7730M/7750M/7770M/7850M gaming laptops – 27/07/2012

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I suggest that you try the High End gaming laptops recommendations that include GTX 675M and Radeon 6990M and up recommended or alternatively go for the sub 1000$ gaming laptops recommendations

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There isn’t much change from last week. I’ve added the Acer Aspire V3 to the list and will add some more later.

The table below contains a list of top gaming laptops for this class. Below the table you’ll find my final recommendations. You’ll probably think that the recommendations are not decisive enough, but that’s because you have more than one good option and that’s good and all the laptops I recommend compose the top of the line in this class and price for a gaming. If you’ve searched already, you know that the top you’ll find around 1000$ is the GTX 660M and Radeon 7850M. For 1100$ you can already grab the GTX 670M.

That’s true that if you don’t know what you’re looking for, then this article won’t help you. True, and we’ll try to address this issue in another post, but if you know that you need a high-end midrange gaming performance then this post can help you. high-end midrange means that you’ll be able to run most of the games, even the more demanding ones, on high to highest settings on FullHD resolution. Some will run on medium settings on FullHD (BF3 is an example for a very graphic intensive game). In this post we’ll look into laptop offerings that sport GPUs like the nice GT 650M / GTX 660M from Nvidia or the still to be widespread AMD’s Radeon 7730M / 7750M and 7770M and especially Radeon HD 7850M (currently on the Envy 17t-3200). We’ll mainly see laptops with the former GPUs (650M/660M) as they are currently found in more laptops and have been reviewed thoroughly.

As for the performance of the 7730M and 7750M The 7750M and 7770M: The 7730M performance should be around the 7690M performance, maybe a bit more. Without the memory bandwidth limitation of the 7730M DDR3 memory, the 7750M/7770M should be considerably faster – around the GT 650M performance according to estimations over the net (1) plus the fact that it has a good >15% higher core clock than the 7730M + a much higher memory bandwidth (twice or more) => estimation for much higher performance than the 7730M. Anyhow, as I said in the other post – we’ll need to wait for more reviews and concrete gpu specs to know better.

Before I start, an important point – there is a real flaw to all these laptops and this is the missing SSD/mSSD. Great gaming laptops without an SSD. So do youtselves a favor and when you weigh the price and features against your budget, keep in mind that you might want a 50-60$ SSD just for the OS and such. It makes the laptop much more enjoyable.

 

I’ve added performance/price ratio indictor, but didn’t explain it. So here is some intuitive explaination:

Performance/Price Ratio statusMeaning
OKyou can easily find such performance for much lower price or find much higher performance for the price.For exmaple, getting GT 650M equipped laptop for 1200$.
GoodGood performance for the money. One level above OK (7750M vs GT 650M).
Very GoodOne class below the fastest laptop. For example, the difference between GTX 660M vs GTX 670M
ExcellentOne class lower than the fastest laptop for the money (GTX 675M vs GTX 670M)
BestThe fastest gaming performance for the money. For example. GTX 675M for 1420$ or Radeon 7970M for 1520$

If you want absolutly the best gaming performance for the money, look for the “Best” laptops. But, remember that the fastest laptops aren’t the overall best sometimes. For example, the GTX 675M equipped laptops are hot or noisy or both + battery lasts a short time only + weight.

 

Model (link to coupon)GPU/CPUStreet PriceWhyWhy notprice / gaming perf ratiosources
Alienware m14x R2 14.0″GT 650M GDDR5 / I5-3210M1100$ for basic configuration
  1. Compact 14.0″
  2. High performance
  3. Very high build quality
  4. distinct looks
  5. very good screen quality
  1. Not the best performance for price
  2. Compact, but not light
  3. distinct looks which might not suit everybody
  4. only typical 720p screen for base configuration
OKAlienware m14x-r2 review
Samsung 700Z5C-S03US 15.6″GT 650M / I7-3615QM1260$No in-depth review, but this machine has a very good price / performance ratio and the Samsung series 7 qualities Still unknownOK
Samsung  700Z7C-S03 / S01 17.3″GT 650M GDDR5 / I7-3615QM1350$
  1. High quality FullHD display
  2. High battery runtime
  3. Very good build quality
  4. Very good keyboard
  5. Very high gaming performance
  1. Gets warm in heavy use (but keeps quiet)
  2. Only one RAM stick is accessible. HDD can be replaced by removing the whole cases’ bottom part
  3. Not light
  4. For 1350$ you can get more graphics performance than this.
OKSamsung 700Z7C-S01 review
MSI GT780DX 17.3″GTX 570M / I7-2670QM1300$
  1. Very High Quality display
  2. Very good gaming performance
  1. Only average noise and heat handling
  2. Not very high build quality
  3. Not that good keyboard
  4. Short battery runtime in simple use
Very GoodMSI GT780 review
MSI GX683DXGTX 570M / I7-2670QM1250$
  1. High performance
  2. Very good display FullHD display quality
  3. Good sound
  4. 12GB DDR3 memory
  1. Not the best battery runtime for the price
  2. Not the best performance for the price
  3. Not the best build quality
Very GoodMSI GT683DXR review
MSI GT60GTX 670M / I7-3610QM1450$ Same as GT70 (see below) Same as GT70 (see below)Good to Very GoodMSI GT60 review
MSI GT70I7-3610QM / GTX 670M1400$
  1. High performace
  2. Very high FullHD quality
  3. Good thermals
  4. Nice battery runtime compared to the such a GPU equipped laptop
  1. Although better case than the GE70, still only average
  2. noise is not good
  3. Performance to price ratio isn’t that good.
Good to Very GoodMSI GT70 review
MSI GE70 17.3″GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5 / I7-3610QM1130$ (currently, usually 1200$-1250$)
  1. Very high performance for price
  2. Very good FullHD display
  1. Thermals are so good
  2. Build quality and connection ports set aren’t that good
Very Good (currently very good)MSI GE70 review (GT 650M version)
MSI GE60 15.6″GT 650M / I7-3610QM1100$, 1200$ for GTX 660M version
  1. Good performance for the price (but not the best)
  2. High quality FullHD display
  3. Same flaws of the GE70 – build quality, noise and heat
  1. You can get better performance + quality for the same price.
Very Good (660M)MSI GE60 review
Asus G75VWGTX 660M-GTX 670M / I7-3610QM1200$ (GTX 660M, w/o FHD),1400$ (GTX 670M, FHD)
  1. High build quality
  2. Very high display quality + FullHD
  3. Good keyboard
  4. Excellent noise and heat handling – the best there is for such a price and several hundreds above.
  1. 1400$ for GTX 670M – you can get such performance for lower price.
  2. 1200$ for the GTX 660M w/o FHD – why?
Very Good to ExcellentAsus G75VW review 1Asus G75VW review 2
Asus G55VWGTX 660M /  i7-3610QM1200$
  1. Excellent noise and heat handling – best of them all.
  2. High quality FullHD display
  3. High I7 + GTX 660M performance
  4. High build quality
  5. Good keyboard and very good mouse pad
  1. Weight (not more than others)
  2. Battery
  3. The usual – if you let off of things like build quality, you can get more performance for the price
Very goodAsus G55VW review
HP Envy 15t-3200I5-3210M / Radeon 7750M GDDR5 for basic configuration950$ or 1050$ with FullHD IPS display with coupon (Same as Envy 17, look for deals)
  1. Very High build quality
  2. Keyboard and mouse high quality
  3. FullHD *IPS* Screen upgrade option
  4. Good looks
  1. Heat and noise are so-so
  2. Radeon HD 7750M – you can get better for this price
GoodEnvy 15 review (previous model)
HP Envy 17t-3200I5-3210QM / Radeon HD 7850M1050$ with coupons
  1. High quality FullHD display
  2. Very high build quality
  3. Looks
  4. Above average battery runtime
  1. Not the best gaming performance for the money, but very high.
  2. noise
ExcellentHP Envy 17-3D review
HP Pavilion dv4t-5100 14.0″GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 / Intel Ivy Bridge I5-3210M714$ with coupon
  1. I5-3210M + GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 GPU – no competitors in the graphics department.
  2. compact 14.0″ gaming laptop.
  3. 32GB mSSD upgrade for under 800$
  1. Average build quality
  2. only typical 720p screen
  3. Heat or noise problems with the GT 650M. Although no in-depth reviews it’s probably true.
BEST
Lenovo IdaPad Y580 15.6″GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5 / i7-3610QM850$-900$ w/o FHD 1000$-1100$ with. Wait for coupons
  1. I7-3610QM cpu
  2. High Quality, 91$ Gamut, FullHD display option
  3. Good build quality and JBL speakers
  4. Good keyboard
  5. I7 + GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5 = top performance for money
  6. 1TB HDD
  1. Good battery performance (8 hours idle, 4-5 hours surfing)
  2. temps handling isn’t that good
Excellent to Best (660M for 850-900$)in-depth Lenovo Y580 reviews,user review no 1user review no 2
HP Pavilion dv6t-7000 select editionNvidia GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 / Intel Ivy Bridge I5-3210M780$ with FullHD display, 700$ without
  1. High performance: GT 650M + Intel IB I5
  2. High quality FullHD option and more
  3. TOP value/price ratio
  4. 6GB DDR3
  5. Nice looks
  1. Not that good heat handling
  2. Only one HDD bay
BESTreview of previous generation dv6tse,dv6t-7000 quad edition review
HP Pavilion dv6t-7000 quad editionGT 650M 1GB GDDR5 / i7-3610QM971$ with FullHD display + mSSD + backlit kb, 835$ without FullHD and mSSD, but extended battery
  1. High performance: GT 650M + Intel I7
  2. 1TB HDD
  3. High quality FullHD display (if you choose it)
  4. high value/price ratio
  5. 8GB DDR3
  6. Nice looks
  7. 1TB HDD
  1. Not the best performance/price ratio
  2. Not the best heat handling
  3. Sometimes HP has better coupons
Excellent-Bestdv6t-7000 quad edition review,Another one
Eurocom Monster 1.0 (W110ER)11.6″GT 650M 2GB DDR3 / I5-2410M825$ base price, 912$ with high quality display
  1. Top performance for a 11.6″ compact laptop
  2. Very compact 11.6″ form factor
  3. Very high quality FullHD display option.
  1. Screen
  2. Heat
  3. Bulky looks (not a problem for me)
ExcellentEurocom Monster review
Eurocom Fox 4.0 (W150ERM) 15.6″GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 / I7-2670QM825$ for base configuration (FullHD), 894$ with high quality fullHD display
  1. High performance
  2. High quality FullHD display for 900$ – hard to beat.
  1. Heat & noise level are on high side. more than other GT 650M laptops.
  2. 4GB DDR3 in base configuration. You’ll need to buy another 4GB yourself and plug it in because the 2x4GB upgrade is totally overpriced.
Very Good to ExcellentStill no in-depth review, but you can read other W150ERM based laptop reviews: Schenker A502
Eurocom Racer 2.0 (P150EM) 15.6″GTX 670M, GTX 675M, Radeon 7970M (and more options) / Intel I7GTX 670M (1412$), GTX 675M (1540$), Radeon 7970M (1650$)
  1. Very good build quality
  2. Very Good FullHD screen (The same AUO)
  3. Top performance/per ratio with the Radeon 7970M.
  1. Loud.
  2. Not the best heat levels.
Excellent to BestOther P150EM based laptop review
Acer Aspire V3 571 15.6″GT 640M DDR3 / I7-3610QM780$
  1. Good performance for low price, although not the top performance/price ratio.
  2. Good keyboard
  3. Good battery life compared to this laptop class
  4. Good noise levels
  1. Not the top you can get for this price
  2. typical low quality 720p screen
  3. only 1 USB 3.0 connection
  4. Somewhat average case
  5. Cooling fan might be inadequate for hot places
Goodreview on Anandtech
Acer Aspire V3 771 17.3″GT 650M DDR3 / I7-3610QM830$
  1. Good performance: I7 + GT 650M (DDR3) for the money
  2. Good keyboard
  3. Thermals and noise handling are not bad
  1. Battery runtime is low compared to competitors
  2. Not the best performer for the money (GT 650M is a DDR3 version) – although pretty good
  3. Typical low quality  900p TN screen
  4. Insufficient ports configuration
Very GoodAcer V3 771 review 
Sager NP6370 (W370ET) 17.3″GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5 / I5-3210MStarts 950$
  1. Clevo based laptop. No in-depth reviews, but this case probably good
  2. Top performance for the money (GTX 660M)
  3. FHD screen, option for matte display
  4. Easily customizable
  5. 17.3″
  1. There are better options from time to time, like the Lenovo Y580, with an I7
  2. High quality FHD upgrade is not cheap
  3. 17.3″
  4. Not light
  5. NO OS
Excellent to BestW370ET reviewand W350WT review
15.6″ Sager NP6165/17.3″ Sager NP6175Nvidia GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 / Intel I5-3210M870$-970$ : 970$ for the FullHD high quality display
  1. High GT 650M performance, 7200RPM HDD
  2. VERY VERY HIGH QUALITY FullHD screen upgrade option for 75$
  3. good upgrading options (I7 +70$ and many more)
  4. Very good price/performance ratio
  5. Two slots for HDD/SSD – that’s great
  6. 8GB DDR3
  1. Bulky looks
  2. Not that great heat handling
  3. NO OS
Excellent to BestSager NP6175 user review,Clevo P170EM review,
W150ER review
Sager NP9130 15.6″ (P151EM1)GTX 670M / I51100$
  1. Main highlight – top performance to price ratio with GTX 670M + I5
  2. Two slots for HDD/SSD – that’s great
  1. Bulky looks
  2. Not that great heat handling
  3. NO OS
BEST
Sager NP9150 (15.6″) / NP9170 (17.3″)GTX 670M (upgradable to GTX675M and 7970M) / Ivy Bridge I71270$-1600$ (7970M + Very High quality display)
  1. Good build quality
  2. Good display and great display upgrade option
  3. Top performance for price
  1. Bulky
  2. Not that good noise or heat handling, especially with such hot GPUs
  3. NO OS
Excellent to BEST (GTX 675M and up)User review

 

Note that some laptops were not mentioned here as they are no very cost effective compared to the others in this price range, like the Asus N56VZ which have 720p screen and the DDR3 version of the GT 650M and more. I’ll add some more models later, but don’t be afraid – you don’t miss anything. Anyway, models to be added to the list: Asus N56VZ, ibuypower and cyberpower models.

Recommendations:

1. If you want the highest gaming performance for your money (up to 1500$-1600$) go with:

  • One of the “best” price/performance ratio gaming laptops. Currently, the dv6t-7000 select edition offers a lot for its price, dv4t-5100 too. In the other end of the performance curve, you have the heavy duty Sager and 7970M for 1500-1600$. The Sager NP6165 and NP6175 offer
  • One of the other “excellent” gaming laptops, preferably the Lenvo Y580 with its good build quality, the Sager NP6165 or the HP Envy 17t-3200 (FHD, Radeon 7850M, I5). According to the in-depth reviews, but the Y580 has a good build quality, very good FHD TN panel, high temps during load (as many other 15.6″ laptops with such HW for this price), very high gaming performance. Without FHD you can get the GTX 660M for 850$-900$ (wait for coupons, changes every week) or 1100$ with + 1TB HDD.

2. If you want an all rounder with very high gaming performance (GTX 660M, GTX 670M, Radeon HD 7850M) but also overall good gaming laptop (build quality, screen quality, heat and noise) then:

  • For around 1000$, the Lenovo Y580 and the HP Envy 17t-3200 or the Clevo based Sagers are a sure bet. If you’re taking the Sage rNP6165, remember to choose the screen upgrade. The Y580 with coupons is the most features reach having I7+660M+FullHD+1TB HDD for 1000$. The HP Envy offers the looks and great build quality and the performance of the Radeon HD 7850M. The Sager offers a good screen and a good overall gaming laptop for great price.
  • The HP dv6t-7000 select edition or dv6t-7000 quad edition – Depending on coupons, both offer top features to price ratio.
  • Asus G75VW-TS2 offer high quality FullHD display, Excellent build quality, Very high I7 + GTX 670M performance and very good heat and noise levels for 1400$. If you’re looking for a good performer coupled with overall high quality then that’s your machine. That’s true that you can get the GTX 670M for less money, but the mix is excellent and rare for such price. Note: while the Sager NP9150/9170 offer same of better performance, their heat and noise level are much worse and the screen upgrade makes them more expensive the the G75VW-TS2.
  • Asus G55VW which offers quite a lot including excellent build quality and great heat and noise handling, but not long battery runtime. That’s a reliable machine.

3.  Gaming laptop in a netbook form-factor is definitely the Eurocom Monster 1.0. No real competition here.

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GPU Battle: GTX 560M vs GT 650M vs GT 640M vs GT 555MRecommendations for high midrange gaming - GT 650M / GTX 660M / GTX 670M and Radeon 7730M/7750M/7770M/7850M gaming laptops - 08/07/2012Charlie Recent comment authors

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is it more worth it to get i5+670M or i7+660M? Will the faster i7 make a difference in gaming?

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[…] GTX 560M vs GT 650M vs GT 640M vs GT 555M By junky On May 24, 2012 · 6 Comments Tweet(GTX 670M / GTX 660M / GT 650M / Radeon 7850M / 7770M / 7750M recommendations)(GT 650M deals, GT 640M deals, GT 555M deals)Two midrange gpus have burst into the world in the […]

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[…] gaming laptops – 12/07/2012 By junky On July 12, 2012 · 22 Comments TweetGO TO THE UPDATED POST for 28/07/2012 That’s true that if you don’t know what you’re looking for, then this […]