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Best PC Gaming Laptops for the Money 2015

Updated on January 20, 2015

When I was younger I could sit at a PC all day and game. While I've grown up I still enjoy playing whenever I can. In order to do that I need a laptop capable of handling today's latest games anywhere I travel for work. In addition, the convenience of playing on the couch while my wife watches TV is priceless.

In this post I'll take a look at some of the laptops I've been able to get a hold of in the last year and tell you which are my favorites.

Razer Blade
Razer Blade

Choosing a Gaming Laptop

The last thing you want to do when forking over a significant amount of hard-earned cash is to buy a laptop with an outdated processor or GPU. This is not to say that there's not a lot of good budget gaming laptops with great performance that would play the latest games as there certainly are. However, if you're going to spend over $1,000 I highly recommend you take a look at the information below and purchase a laptop that is up-to-date.

Intel and AMD Laptop Processor Comparison

If you're going to purchase a gaming laptop with an Intel processor, then I highly recommend you take some time to look over Intel's complete list of laptop CPU on their laptop CPU comparison page.

Another valuable resource is CPUbenchmark.net which should give you a solid way of comparing processor performance for both Intel and AMD processors. Here's a similar list and comparison for AMD laptop processors.

Benchmarks for Your Games:

Graphics cards perform in a substantially different manner across various genres and games. For this reason you should crosscheck your GPU with benchmarks associated with the most graphically intense game you play. This will allow you personally to get the most bang for your buck for the games you play. Below, I've listed a few benchmarks for the GTX 860M and 870M as a reference point for where you may want to be.

7 Good Gaming Laptops for the Money in 2015

As someone who has competed in the FPS and RTS genres for several years I've gone through my fair share of laptops. Here's a look at my thoughts on 7 stand out laptops you should consider if you're on the market in 2015.

Asus ROG Laptops
Asus ROG Laptops

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500

ASUS Republic of Gamers ROG G750JM-DS71

If you're looking for a high-end gaming laptop without the high end price, then I highly recommend you take a look at the Asus ROG G750JM-DS71 in 2014. It features a Haswell i7-4700HQ, 12GB DDR3 memory, and a GTX 860M graphics card.

Expected FPS in Games:

As someone who builds PCs for a living and maintains a YouTube channel I'm always getting asked about the FPS that particular product will give in certain games. For this model we can use benchmarks on the GTX 860M to give us a pretty accurate indication of what we can expect. Here are a few of the more popular benchmarks available:

GeForce 860M Graphics Card Benchmarks:

Battlefield 4 High Quality:

1080p - 42 FPS Average

900p - 54 FPS

Arma 3 Standard Preset with No AA and Standard AF:

1080p - 79.4

900p - 102.9

Far Cry 3 Standard Alpha SSAO High Quality PReset with No AA:

1080p - 46.9

900p - 63.3

As you can see even a graphically intense game like Battlefield 4 is playable in 1080p on High quality. Lowering your settings in 1080p will net you the 60 FPS that most are looking for.

Performance Boost:

Taking everything into account your FPS numbers, on average, should be higher than what's listed above. This is because Asus uses an exclusive technology called TurboMaster which supports overclocking by an additional 5%.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion the G750JM is a clear winner in terms of performance and intangibles at the $1200 to $1400 price range. It should be on your list if you're looking in this category.

Under $2000

ASUS ROG G750JS 17-Inch Gaming Laptop [OLD VERSION]
ASUS ROG G750JS 17-Inch Gaming Laptop [OLD VERSION]

A step up from this model is the G750JS-DS71 which includes 16GB of ram, a 256B solid state drive, and the GTX 870M graphics card.

1080p performance (using similar specs as the laptop above):

Far Cry 3 64.9

Battlefield 4: 57.5

Arma 3: 99.8

While this laptop is about $500 more on average it gives you a substantial boost in games including a 33% FPS boost in BF4.

 
ASUS ROG G750JZ 17-Inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i7-4700HQ, 2.4Ghz Turbo 3.4 GHz, 1 TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive  Windows 8.1) Black
ASUS ROG G750JZ 17-Inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i7-4700HQ, 2.4Ghz Turbo 3.4 GHz, 1 TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive Windows 8.1) Black

Featuring the blazing fast GTX 880M the G750JZ-DS71 gives you another 25% performance boost vs. the 870M but also costs an additional $500.

 

Alienware 18 ALW18-2001sLV 18-Inch Gaming Laptop - Is Alienware's Quality Still Worth It?

There's a lot of good Alienware options available on the market right now. That being said you'll have to decide whether you're willing to pay a premium for this quality-focused machine.

It's important to keep in mind that the internal hardware for Alienware are built elsewhere and essentially are the same as many other laptops on the market.

The laptop featured below is the ALW18-2001sLV featuring the NVIDIA GTX 765M graphics card in SLI.

Razer Blade 14 Inch Gaming Laptop - A Premium Design and Lightweight Laptop Option

Design and features mean a lot more to a laptop than they do to a PC. Recently, Razer released the Razer Blade 14 which weighs just 8 pounds and is thinner than a dime with its 14" HD screen. It features the GTX 765M along with an i7-4702HQ processor and a 512GB solid state drive.

MSI GE70 Apache Gaming Laptop

MSI has been gradually getting a bigger presence into the laptop market over the last couple of years. They're doing this by offering quality and a similar price to performance ratio as the Asus' ROG series.

The GE70 Apache features the Intel Core i7-4700HQ and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 860M. Expected performance for this laptop should fall in line with the ASUS Republic of Gamers ROG G750JM-DS71. Like the Asus product MSI's includes Unlocked power and performance for what MSI says is up to a 15% performance boost.

Another solid plus to the Apache is that it features a SteelSeries gaming keyboard with fully customizable backlights.

Final Thoughts: Overall the Apache is a great value for the money and should definitely be in the running in the under $1500 category.

MSI G Series GS60 Ghost Pro-052 15.6-Inch Laptop (Aluminum Black)
MSI G Series GS60 Ghost Pro-052 15.6-Inch Laptop (Aluminum Black)

As a step up the GS60 features an Intel i7-4700HQ and GTX 870M with 3GB VRAM.

 

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Open Gaming Laptop Discussion Area

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    • profile image

      Sully 2 years ago

      Im looking for the best Laptop for me to play FSX on? Which one would you recommend for this

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: why dont u just costomise your own pc?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: That's understandable but who exactly does hardcore gaming on the go? The 17-18 inch gaming laptops are meant to be portable desktop replacements, not 'mobile' gaming machines. You put that puppy on a large surface in your house, plug it in, connect a gaming mouse to it and kick some ass.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Do you know if anyone will be putting out a hybrid crossfire out this year based on trinity?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      toshiba makes a great entry level gaming laptop L755-s5106 500gb hd 6540g 512mb dedicated/turbo 3d now 1gb sharedhd graphics quad core, will play all/most current games at med settings

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Had an Asus g55 for 2 days than my hard drive went, damnit seagate! Laptop was smooth and fast as hell though!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      yea but when the asus laptops go unpluged their fps go down a ton and still has a short battery life

    • masaad profile image

      masaad 5 years ago

      nice lens i am drooling all over :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      awesome lens! Love the Alienware computers for gaming.Blessed by a Squidoo Angel-Have a great day!