The top pick among gaming laptops under $800 is the Acer Aspire V3-771G-6485.
Equipped with a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M graphics card, it allows users to enjoy lag free gaming on demanding RPG and FPS games including Diablo III, Mass Effect 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
In a price level where most gaming laptops afford medium to high settings on PC games, the Acer Aspire is able to run majority of the games at high to ultra settings. Certain games however, like Crysis 3, Hitman:Absolution and Metro: Last Light will only go smoothly above 30 fps at medium settings.
To complement, the gaming experience, the Aspire V3-771G-6485 offers 1600 x 900 maximum pixel resolution on its large 17.3 inch screen. Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor running at 2.6 GHz and 6 GB of DDR3 RAM it is able to take advantage of games that utilize multi-threading technology.
The following round out our top 5 affordable gaming laptops at this price level.
|Customer Rating||4.3 out of 5.0||4.2 out of 5.0||3.8 out of 5.0||4.0 out of 5.0|
|Max Screen Resolution||1366 x 768 pixels||1920 x 1080 pixels||1366 x 768 pixels||1366 x 768 pixels|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-3615QM 2.2 GHz||Intel Core i7-3632QM 2.5 GHz||Intel Core i5-3230M 2.6 GHz||Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4 GHz|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M||AMD Radeon HD 7730M||NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M||AMD Radeon HD 7670M|
|RAM||6 GB||8 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Hard Drive||500 GB 5400 RPM||750 GB 5400 RPM||500 GB 5400 RPM||1 TB 5400 RPM|
|Operating System||Windows 8||Windows 8||Windows 8||Windows 8|
|Battery Life||4.5 hours||4 hours||4.5 hours||4 hours|
|Dimensions||15 x 9.96 x 1.30 inches||14.9 x 9.9 x 1.34 inches||15 x 9.96 x 1.30 inches||14.96 x 9.53 x 1.31 inches|
|Weight||5.74 lbs.||6.1 lbs.||5.74 lbs.||5.5 lbs.|
What to Expect from Gaming Laptops under $800
1. Graphics & Gaming Capability
Gaming laptops under 800 dollars will allow users to run computing intensive games at an affordable price. The graphics cards included in these laptops fall between Class 2 and Class 3 categories. When possible take advantage of the Class 2 video cards as these mid range graphics cards allow you to play the newest games at medium to high settings at high resolution smoothly.
For the gaming laptop computers in this price range, the following graphics cards are available. Based on their class ratings, here is how they look:
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
- AMD Radeon HD 7730M
For the Class 2 graphic cards listed above, expect to be able to achieve these game setting details for these new and demanding PC games.
- AMD Radeon HD 7660M + HD 7670M Dual
- AMD Radeon HD 7670M
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
- AMD Radeon HD 7570M
The main difference between these two classes aside from price is Class 2 allows for both more detailed graphics quality during run time and higher video resolution. Very noticeable is that the Class 3 video cards perform at a notch lower compared to the Class 2 options. However, they are also more affordable which either translates into lower cost of the laptop or higher specifications in RAM, Hard Drive or other features.
2. Display Size & Screen Resolution
Most of the laptops found in this price range also have 15 inch screens except for a handful that offer the larger 17 inch screen. While the 17 inch screen provides better visual experience it also adds to the cost of the machine, which in the end can compromise how much is allocated for the graphics card.
As for screen resolution, all of them come in standard HD. Though, they are limited to the low end of this spectrum at 1366 x 768 pixels. There are a few exceptions like that Acer Aspire V3-771G-6485, which has a 1600 x 900 resolution that is seen more among gaming laptops under $1000. Rare is the full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel capability, seen in the Dell Inspiron i15Rse-4267ALU.
3. Processing Power
What’s under the hood are combinations of dual and quad core processors. Those running of Intel chips will often be of the Core i5 or Core i7 variety, while their AMD counterparts will be equipped with the A8 and A10 gaming optimized processors. When it comes to executing games fluently, the CPU takes a back seat to the GPU as graphics computations are what make the game engines run. Except for a few video games that are made to take advantage of the extra multi-threading capability of the processor, users aren’t going to see huge amounts of difference between the Core i5 and i7 CPUs during game play.
4. Hard Drives
In the ideal world, gamers will have SSDs or solid state drives, instead of the 5400 RPM hard drives. If not, the faster 7200 RPM at least. Having the faster disk drive removes the bottleneck caused by slow transfer of data to and from the hard disk to the memory. And because the graphics card, CPU and RAM move significantly faster than the hard disk, this is where the slowdown occurs.
However, as a compromise to its affordability, gaming laptops under $800 only come with 5400 RPM hard drives. For serious games, this can be upgraded or switched out in favor of any of the faster storage systems mentioned above.
While you aren’t going to be able to achieve the highest settings in all gaming titles as you would with $2000 notebooks from Sager or Razer, these affordable laptops offer an excellent means of getting a full video, audio and reactive gamine experience on good graphics quality and video resolution outputs.