Jump to content

Laptop Recommendations?


Recommended Posts

So this laptop I have currently just isn't cutting it anymore. I've had it for 6 years and its really just a pain to have now. Everything runs slow on it and I can't even play games I like on it anymore.

So I need something new but affordable. Here's what I'd like feature wise:

-A laptop with a good fan, good amount of RAM, and a nice screen

-Needs to run my video editing software "CyberLink PowerDirector 13" well

-Can play games like Cities Skylines on medium graphics and have it run smoothly and Sims 2 on very high graphics running smoothly. 

-Has Windows 8 and can install Windows 10

Price? Under 1,000, preferably near the 500 hundred dollar range if that's possible.

Won't be getting this new laptop anytime soon, but it helps to have a good idea of what to look for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You will not find better hardware or build quality for that price. I will guarantee you that speaking as a former laptop repair tech for massive global tech repair depots, on both Apple and PC hardware.

There hasn't been anything built as well as this thing since the old 75 MHz Toshiba Satellite Pro CDS. Mine still works flawlessly, though the HDD is dead.

I'll give it more thought and keep it in mind

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Surface Pro line is definitely one of the best out there right now, although I'm not sure how appropriate a Surface would be for someone interested in gaming and video editing.

I think VAIO is independent of Sony now. I'm honestly not sure if they even still sell anything in western markets.

If you care about being able to do graphics intensive things on your laptop, like games and visual effects, then you need to think long and hard about exactly what kind performance you need, both now and through the lifetime of the laptop. Look for benchmarks and user reviews for different configurations to see what they can run and whether they can run it without melting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Surface Pro would have my recommendation if you wouldn't plan to game on it.
All of these Surface Pros have U-type CPUs build in which are meant for thin devices (e.g. Tablets, Convertibles) and won't keep these high turbo clocks over a long time.

Tech insight #1:

  • i5-4200M = Mobile (solid performance, good cooling required)
  • i5-4200H = Mobile high performance (good performance, lots of cooling required)
  • i5-4200U = Ultra low Voltage (low performance and cooling requirements)

They also don't come with a dedicated a graphics card (wich is pretty much necessary for gaming).

I would recommend some of MSIs GE or GP Laptops. Price/Performance wise they are good and the build quality is solid.
These all come with a big maintenance cover for easy RAM, Harddrive (SSD) or WiFi-Adapter upgrades and have proper cooling.
But not all of them come with Windows pre-installed!

Look out for a dedicated graphics card. A GT 840m should do the trick but i would recommend a GTX 850m or better.

Tech insight #2:

  • GTX 9??m = 9th generation cards (more features + performance and often less heat output than lower generation cards)
  • GTX ?5?m = 5th "performance grade" (the higher the better)
  • GTX ??5m = (not very common) something extra, like higher clockspeeds or video memory
But Benchmarks are your friend! Look out for them.

I don't know how serious you take the video editing stuff.
But you might want to get an IPS Panel (which have much better color reproduction than any LCD ever could).
So, some Lenovo Flex 2 Pros might also be something to look into.
Some of which even come with an SSD, even though they fox (they suck) a bit on the cooling side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was taking a look at MSI and such as well. Those would definitely be good for gaming. I don't play anything too graphically demanding since I'm primarily a console gamer. While the surface pro does look like a great buy I don't think it'd do well with the games I play

As far as video editing goes, its nothing hardcore. I just plan to do gameplay videos or reviews. I also do lots of writing.

Right now, I'm currently picking between MSI and Asus would either either be able to handle the 3 things I need: light video editing, gaming, and writing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ASUS solders RAM and Hard Drives to the fucking Mainboard.

CPU wise (at least on applications with good multithreading, such as cities skylines) both are on pretty much on par.
GPU wise i would throw a couple more bucks at it and get a 940m. (A 920m *might* work with minimal settings and low resolutions on cities skylines)

Writing and Video editing shouldn't be a problem (as writing doesn't need much power and editing isn't real time most of the time)

If you can life with cities skylines at low fps rates the MSI is going to do it.


The minimum built-in 4400 Intel HD is more than adequate for most stuff you would not typically find on a console in the first place; at medium detail settings, it is actually quite a capable IGP.

If this cities skylines weren't in the way pretty much every laptop with a sufficient CPU would do it.

My recommendation on the Surface Pro takes into account your primarily-console gaming status.

But he can't edit on a console.

The Surface Pro will have no problem handling that for like 15 minutes before the CPU will throttle and make the rendering process very slow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had zero problems when using the Surface Pro 3 I was testing for extended editing of videos or playing games. The HD4000 series is quite a capable GPU in reality and delivers decent framerates or transcoding rates.

At the company i work for 4 colleague have one:

1x i3-4020y < doesn't really throttle a lot
2x i5-4300u < throttles
1x i7-4650u < throttles

For an normal browse-the-web-doing-some-office-end-user this isn't going to be a problem.
But for editing its going to be annoying at least and for 1000$ you just can get better (cooled) equipment.

It's not like the Surface is total shit. I generally like these things (and my colleagues too ;3) but for the price point and workload there are just better alternatives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can disable the throttling through various methods.

DON'T do it!

Throttling is there to preserve the life of your hardware! Its carefully engineered to only happen if it's needed.
Especially in portable devices with limited cooling capability it should never be disabled.
Your stuff isn't doing to explode upon disabling it BUT over time it will degrade and may even soder itself off its PCB (because of the low-temp solder used in PCs).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yikes and here I though MSI could run that game at a decent frame rate. Gonna keep looking and come back with some other choices


I've got some good news for you!
At work i managed to get my hands on some Laptop with a 920m inside, so i could do some testing.
The GPU seems to be a little bit more powerful (not by far though) than what i had expected from this little Kepler chip without any hot clocking.

A GTX 260 is the minimum listed system requirement.
The Geforce 920m seems to just cut it by like +/- 1-5%.

But here comes the really good thing i only glanced over the CPU, GPU, and RAM specs.
You got a 768p screen!
I was aiming for gaming at 1080p (and the minimum system requirements probably do too). For 768p the 920m is going to be OK for what you are planning.



@6tails (the quote simply doesn't seem to work)

You know what a UPS is right? (And i don't mean the delivery service)
These things cost a little fortune for a bigger system.
There is a reason why every big company has those.
They save your ass (and data) from powerdowns.

Render a video in some tool (even really professional ones like avid)
Unplug your PC in the middle of the process (or make it crash by other means).
Boom: its gone (and the video data that is already written to the HDD is likely to be corrupted).

Another example you can try at home:
Get a friend over to your house.
Get your desktop or laptop (with the battery unplugged) and make him unplug the machine at random times while you trying to work on it.Thats pretty much how it would feel like sitting on a PC that has constant emergency powerdowns due to overheating. Would you recommend this? Even without dataloss?

Edited by Luccus
f*ck quotes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whats your opinion on Asus? I'm looking at those laptops as well

As for the 2014 it looks like that.

Personally I can recommend MSI laptops which are not included in that list.


And I agree with Azure. If you need a computer for playing games, then buy a PC. You already have a laptop, working one. Just sweep it, reinstall operating system and use it in case you need a mobile device for work, or playing simple games when travelling.

Just remember not to buy pre-assembled PCs, especially in high-street shops. If you want a good PC, then you need to assemble the parts on your own. There is a plenty of people who can help you with that, me included.


Edited by Ayattar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just remember not to buy pre-assembled PCs, especially in high-street shops. If you want a good PC, then you need to assemble the parts on your own. There is a plenty of people who can help you with that, me included.


Ayattar is spot on. Building your own pc not only saves you money in the long run but makes it easier to update and add hardware in the future. It's not as scary as it sounds and there are plenty of resources on the net that can help you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Plain and simple, 15 freaking watts TDP (or 11 if you go with the i3 version) = you're not going to cause thermal damage unless you entirely remove the cooling system. Your scenario is totally unfeasible.


Intel CPUs can get to boiling temps before you even have to worry about the chip getting close to hurting itself.

So you say:
"Its OK to have a piece of metal with a screen and a battery at boiling temperature."?

Smartphones throttle at around 35°C - 45 °C.
The CPU could hold much more. But you don't want to hold a piece of plastic at 80°C. And the battery doesn't like heat either!

This is the cooling system of the Surface Pro 3:


Yes it's active. But its tiny as hell. At first sight i didn't even thought it had actual fins on the heatsink.

Here's the MSI GP/GE Series Heatsink:


Just from this you can guess wich is more powerful.

Also for @Devilishly: You can get a good view at the upgradeable Hard Drive, RAM, m-sata and m-pci-e card from this.

The Surface Pro might be a powerful Tablet but it's not a powerful computer.
I mean we just started on this "cut or don't cut throttling" because the surface pro wasn't powerful enough.
It's done. For 1000$ you can get a pro-sumer grade laptop with much better Hardware. There's no reason for considering the Surface anymore.
It's simply not powerful enough - not for gaming and especially not for editing.
I'm not a salesman who wants to sell you this shitty "gold plated premium OMG so good" 99$ HDMI cable.

I'm raging because the thread isn't anymore about a good Laptop but if the Surface is going to heat up too much or not.
For our little hot-or-not discussion we can PM or even use Steam.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's graphics card is going to be completely outdated in 2-3 years, as it's barely making it at the very moment, it's best version being comparable to early GeForce 500 series. More specifically 540M.

Personally, I'm completely satisfied with MSI GP70 2PE, which I'm using at work. Good enough to work with Photoshop, Illustrator and Vegas Pro.

It costs ~750$ and it should be enough for the next few years. For playing top games I'd recommend getting a version with GeForce 860M graphics card tho.

Edited by Ayattar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Sager kicks ass. It's just a little expensive.

The NP5652 is pretty much the same with less bells and whistles and a 950m, which is more than well suited on what Devilishly is planning on.

But it's just 50$ less...

How about this one? (Sorry for linking a german site).

799€ is about 899$ and it comes with a SSD.

You might find a similar one available at your place. MSI has a lot of pretty similar products all over the world.

Edited by Luccus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I dont think I could go with surface pro on this one. I should have specified that I'd be more than happy with playing Cities Skylines on medium to low graphics, just as long as the frame rate is good. What @Ayattar suggested looks REALLY good for the price and seems like it could run Cities fairly well. Sager also looks great as well even though the price is high

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This adage hasn't been true in a decade.

The reality is most program designers can't optimize to save their lives, and that's why these newer games/video editing suites have such a huge minimum requirement load.

Meanwhile, I use software from a decade ago that does the same job as newer suites, and does it faster because it's not so bogged down with all the extraneous useless crap that isn't needed to perform the task at hand.

yeah well tell that to every laptop ive had overheat or chug out from just moderate gaming

its simply not the same environment, not the same equipment

in fact id be more loathe than ever to buy some of this plastic banana shit they are selling as laptops

esp a microsoft surface, or any of this tablet nonsense the industry has people embracing

for the price of that lemon you could build a desktop that literally kicks its dick off in every way

and it wont overheat like a piece of chinese cookwear

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey come on now, no need to get heated over this. Heated. Get it? Srsly tho

Anyway, I can't wait to build myself a gaming laptop when I'll have the chance. I have this ASUS laptop for now which almost always blue screens on start up, then reboots and if I'm lucky it doesn't blue screen again and I can use the damn thing. FUCKING THING SUCKS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone who works in the god damned film industry, I have to wonder what kind of crackpot pitches an Intel Atom for video editing.  At the same time, for even educational film editing, one can get away without some monster dual Xeon system that costs as much of a year's tuition... But an ATOM?

The OP specified a budget, up to $1000 but preferred the $500 range so this is a value-budget oriented post not 'So suggest something that costs $999!' . So it would be far more reasonable to pitch a low end quad core system, maybe something that isn't even super new but about to be discontinued.  In fact, the used market for like a 2-3 year old quad core laptop and you just get one with user replaceable batteries, just pop a fresh aftermarket battery in there (If it's even needed) and good to go.

Signed, someone who likes technology but also likes to have money for food.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get yourself a Surface Pro 3 laptop. Starts in the $700 range and it's goddamned solid.

Don't kid yourself, "starts at $700" but the base models are limited in RAM and storage capacity. To get a model with at least 8GB you're looking at over $1200, unless you can find it discounted somewhere.

Whats your opinion on Asus? I'm looking at those laptops as well

My advice, do your research no matter what manufacturer or model you go with, I've found the Asus 'Republic of Gamers' range to be absolutely solid both in build construction, performance and reliability although there have always been occasional niggles, I've had two of them so far and never once regretted buying it.

Another brand that might be worth considering, the name having come up a few times recently, is Eurocom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't kid yourself, "starts at $700" but the base models are limited in RAM and storage capacity.

Actually, the bare bones Surface Pro 3 is $799 USD.  So it only 'starts at $700' if someone takes a very liberal standing on when to round down and when to round up.


Edited by AshleyAshes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, the bare bones Surface Pro 3 is $799 USD.  So it only 'starts at $700' if someone takes a very liberal standing on when to round down and when to round up.


The point is, it pretty well blows the budget given here to smithereens when decently configured.

Edited by ArielMT
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point is, it pretty well blows the budget given here to smithereens when decently configured.

Just because the stock 1.5ghz dual core i3 in the lowest priced SKU Surface 3 Pro is inferior in all benchmarks to even the Q6600 from 2006, it doesn't mean it'd be a terrible choice for an $800 laptop!  It just... Oh yeah, yeah, it means it'd be a terrible choice for a $800 laptop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Watch out, he's not a n00b. He talks hardware and reality, and he knows how to OS. So he must be right. Doesn't matter that Surface Pro 3 is either just crap or a bit less crap but way beyond the maximum price. Just like Sager, being over 1000$. Weow.

Edited by Ayattar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we're going there, then pretty much every laptop made until you get into the mobile i7 series doesn't even perform as well as a Q6600. Which would mean every laptop is a bad buy.

This is a patently false statement.  The Sandy Bridge i5 2430M (2.3ghz, dual core), released over four years ago, even trumps the Q6600 in benchmarks.  There's lots and lots and lots and lots and loooooooots of mobile i5's that will beat out a Q6600.  So you CERTIANLY don't need an mobile i7.

But here's the kicker; The i3 4020Y that is in the base Surface Pro 3, which you are pushing in this thread, is inferior to the old E5450 by a margin of about 50%.  Yeah, it's half as fast.  Yet in that thread you refered to the E5450 as "quickly becoming the new Pentium 4, so to speak.", direct quote.  So why in this thread are you now singing the praises to a cpu that is by your own definition, only half as powerful as something "quickly becoming the new Pentium 4" in this thread?  ...And you think that $800 is a great PRICE for this as well.



Frankly, I feel like you have no idea what you're actually talking about but you believe that if you speak forcefully and authoritatively, you'll con people into believing you.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's see, 4 cores versus 2 for double the average passmark score... Well, except that i3 is half the clock speed as well. So reality, in both performance per watt and per clock, that i3 pulls ahead.

You're also not looking at the single thread rating right below it. The i3 is fairly close to the quad core desktop proc, and only the mobile i5 starts beats the old server processor, barely.

I don't believe you're taking every relevant number into consideration and weighing them versus each other, and it's unfairly skewing your idealized performance of these processors, and thus the systems that are based upon them.

So, your argument is 'Sure it's slow, but it's EFFICENTLY slow, and even when you look at single threaded performance, it's only BARELY the slowest CPU of the four benchmarked, so yeah, spend that $800 that I originally started as $700!'?

The Surface 3 Pro is a disgustingly underpowered machine for it's lowest SKU, it's pretty good but EXPENSIVE for the good SKUs, and there's no way you're going to argue yourself out of this simply reality.  All you're doing here is trying to convince someone to make a bad purchase.

Edited by AshleyAshes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, did some more searching and I found the laptop @Ayattar suggested at cheap prices...probably too good be true



And as for what @Carenath suggested for ASUS, I found a refurbished one for a cheap price, but I'm not sure if its a Republic for Gamers one


I took a peak at Eurocom and I'm still looking up more on those

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...