Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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I'm looking to buy a gaming laptop. Can anyone list some good sites to browse? If you have a recommendation, I'd also be happy to hear it (I'm looking for a price somewhere in the area of $1200).
As mentioned in the guide, for your budget, consider an MSI-1762 based builders like one of them listed in the guide. You can also consider ASUS and Clevo-based laptops too.
This guy just saved me 800$ thanks man
Thanks for your help! I think I'll be going with that MSI GE60
Hi there Kal,

Just wanted to say wow. I just read your post and it is quite amazing how much thought and detail you put in your post. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity for all new builders finally build a comfortable (or high quality) computer at a decent price.

My question to you relates to other computer builds posts on another website. I have been following the MMO-Champion Builds of the Month and finally manage to convince myself to build their Dolphin build for my parents. (I did this to get a handle on building computers and will be building their narwhal build in November/December. I get to play all the Blizzard IPs on it so that's another plus). Is there anything you can comment on their recent build (for dolphin) and what do you recommend as far as gaining the components for a future build.

MMO-Champion link -
The builds are similar to what I recommend for the price.

If I was to make a comment, the power supply is an odd choice for a budget build without the intention to SLi/XFire.

Case is a really bare bones and barely comes with any fan, I'd get a cheaper power supply then buy a HAF 912.

They did not consider whether the user is going to SLi / XFire, or overclock their CPU (if they ever get an i5). If the user wouldn't do either of those, then user could have saved $$$ by going with a cheaper B75 motherboard.

Western Digital drives tend to be more expensive than the competition.

DVD burners should not cost more than $18
Well that was a huge slap in the face, lol.

Thanks for your response, hope to hear some more feedback at a later date.
Have you tried running the beta of MoP?

I have an AMD Phenom II X 4 965 ~3.4GHz, 4GB RAM and an Radeon HD 4870.

I ran the MoP beta, and it seems more sluggish than Cataclysm.
Is it just in my mind or is the MoP client more taxing for the system than Cataclysm?
I wouldn't worry about it too much, MoP is still in beta, and its engine code is likely to be improved a bit more before its release

That said, with every WoW expansion, the client pushed the limits of the system every time, so it wouldn't be too shocking if MoP doesn't run as well as it did with Cataclysm

Jugeum's system is weaker than yours, so.
Do you think the "lenovo IdeaPad Z575 (12992PU) Notebook AMD A-Series A6-3420M(1.5GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory DDR3 1333 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD±R/RW AMD Radeon HD 6650M" is worth buying for its $500 price if I want to be playing games at average or good settings with an fps of 25+ (in combat) on newer games like Skyrim or BF3? I'm guessing that laptops every year advance majorly in quality because I believe this computer I bought 3 years ago (HP Pavilion Dv6 notebook PC with Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB ram and Intel Graphics Media Accelerator) was around $1000+?
Hey Kal, I just found a link on NVIDIA's website where you can get an idea of the FPS based on the optimal video settings in WoW. So for instance, at 1920x1080 (?) you should see 67 FPS with a GTX 560 and 73 FPS with a GTX 560 Ti. Thought it might be a useful addition to the video card section.

Trying to play BF3 on a laptop is an exercise in frustration unless you dunk more than 1k on a laptop.

That said, Skyrim can run on that laptop with good-high settings with great FPS.

As for the quality advancement... not really so, it's just that HP is not intended as a gaming PC -- you can find a lot of other 1k laptops with Intel integrated graphics, as a "business laptop".


I probably wouldn't use that site because for WoW's performance, lot more than GPU will factor in.
Nice guide man. That's a lot of work. I actually read it all too just not the posts after it. I wish you had written it before I built my latest system. I might have saved a few bucks. I have a couple questions for you.

I assume the only reason you go with 1920x1080 is for the 1080p compatibility? I would have to modify or replace my desk to go with a monitor that does better than 1650x1050.

Is there something in particular you don't like about Asus mother boards or do you just think they are too expensive? I've had really good luck with them and likely will go with them again. I have heard horror stories about MSI motherboards.

No, you don't have to. You can find 21" monitors with 1080p resolution.

ASUS motherboards are just too expensive, but I don't stop people from buying them if they really want to.

Every motherboard vendor has their fair share of horror stories; I've only bought MSI motherboards for all my personal PCs since Athlon XP era, and none of them has failed on me. Does this mean MSI is the best and will never have issues? Certainly not.

In the realm of consumer computer hardware, whether it will go bad or not is usually totally RNG. Even the most expensive ASUS board you buy might be a dud, and yes, it does happen.
This a great post and you sound like you really know your stuff. I on the other hand am very new at building compts. In fact im just about to build my first so seeing this post couldn't have come at a better time. I am building 2 comp one for the wife and one for myself. Now for my wife all she does is read radar, perez and play wow. She loves wow so i want her to be able to play mop in high or better. I don't want to spend more than i have to on her comp bc all she really uses it for is wow so which of your set ups would you recommend for her to do that but safe a buck or two? My other question is for the comp im building for myself. You said anything over 8g of ram isnt needed for gaming well i was planning on frapsing and streaming will i need more than 8g for all that? I know Im asking you about an expansion that isnt out yet but im assuming you played on beta and if anyone would know it seems like you would know what one would need for it. Ty you for your time and for your great work.

Do not worry about MoP, your system will run it just perfectly fine as I mentioned.

Sleep mode is really for those who don't want to wait for their PC to be ready to use after a while. If you want to keep the heat down / save power, use hibernate, rather than sleep.


You still don't need more than 8GB of RAM really.

I'd probably go with build 1 for your wife.
As for you, I'd consider build 3.

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