Gaming laptop or desktop needed - advice required

12 replies
Found 28th Nov 2016
My son needs a new laptop as his has just died
He plays mindcraft but also is getting into other games
I need to get him a new laptop or a desktop but I am lost as to what is good enough - having done some research I believe it needs to have:

a graphics card (Nvidia 960 or above)
min of 1920x1080 resolution (if getting a laptop)
SSD if possible but not vital
i5 as a min
8GB of ram

so thats all I know, I know very little about computing so this really doesnt mean anything to me and I have spent days looks at stats etc and also looking here and its a mindfield

I also dont have much to spend, my max budget is £500 but really looking for something much less if its possible - I already has a screen he can use for a desktop and the space for it so not bothered if its a laptop or a desktop

can you advise on what to get and if there are any great deals out there to be had

thanks in advance

12 Comments

Get a refurbished gaming PC, great specs for gaming and would reach into your budget.

Original Poster

are there any that you recommend and where to get them from?

I'm in the same boat, looking at AMD processor though

If you are getting a good graphics card then you don't necessarily need a high-end CPU, you could potentially save a bit of cash by getting an I3 or even an AMD processor. Mind you an I5/I7 will be a bit more futureproof and will offer a small increase in FPS (frame per second). However sinking more money into the graphics card will get you better results.

In terms of graphics card hierarchy - use this list to see how powerful your graphics card is: videocardbenchmark.net/hig…tml

You can get some really good pre-built PC's from Scan or Overclockers. They even offer overclocked bundles which will work quite well. Dell are okay but charge a premium and you will probably get better quality components with Scan or Overclockers. Currys are a little overpriced on the desktop front.

One tip is if you are local to either Scan (Bolton) and Overclockers (Newcastle under Lyme) then pop in. They are really helpful and will point you in the right direction. Though allow half a day as it can take ages to get served becuase they spend a lot of time talking to customers who are in the same boat as you

I would get a desktop if you don't need to portability as it is much easier to upgrade at a later stage. Also as a gamer myself I much prefer gaming on a 20"+ monitor than a tiny laptop screen.

You will be fine with £500, that's more than enough to get something

Finally be careful with some of these Cyber Monday offers, some are poor and you will probably save more money if you spend a bit of time understanding more about what you are buying and getting everything in say 2 weeks time.

poe.tuesday

are there any that you recommend and where to get them from?



shuggyyadobber

I'm in the same boat, looking at AMD processor though



This would fit your budget (runs Minecraft perfectly smooth) - awd-it.co.uk/amd…tml

Other shops worth mentioning are Ebuyer, Novatech and Eclipse Computers. Also, possibly the BT Shop (previously called Dabs), they were terrible in the Dabs days but have somewhat improved since the BT acquisition.

You could always build it yourself, it is quite fun, save you money, easy to learn (like flat pack furniture), will significantly improve your IT knowledge and will make it easier for you to upgrade your sons PC at a later stage! Loads of good guides on Toms Hardware which make learning a breeze.

poe.tuesday

are there any that you recommend and where to get them from?

shuggyyadobber

I'm in the same boat, looking at AMD processor though



cheers

shuggyyadobber

cheers



Just to make it clear, this AMD processor is equivalent to an i5 processor, and the graphics card is just underneath the GTX 960 by 1-3%.

Also, if you'd like to install an SSD, there's a cheap one on sale for £24.99 at the moment: hotukdeals.com/dea…164

SSD's are very easy to install and plenty of video tutorials on YouTube

Edited by: "phenooo" 28th Nov 2016

Original Poster

on some sites (about things to look out for on gaming PC's) some of them say not to get AMD and to get intel (i5 and above) - are they correct or is AMD ok? please excuse my lack of knowledge here, I really know nothing about computers

poe.tuesday

on some sites (about things to look out for on gaming PC's) some of them … on some sites (about things to look out for on gaming PC's) some of them say not to get AMD and to get intel (i5 and above) - are they correct or is AMD ok? please excuse my lack of knowledge here, I really know nothing about computers



At this price range AMD is fine, it's only when you want a high end CPU you would go Intel. (We're in the medium tier right now)

poe.tuesday

a graphics card (Nvidia 960 or above)min of 1920x1080 resolution (if … a graphics card (Nvidia 960 or above)min of 1920x1080 resolution (if getting a laptop)SSD if possible but not vitali5 as a min8GB of ramso thats all I know, I know very little about computing so this really doesnt mean anything to me and I have spent days looks at stats etc and also looking here and its a mindfield



Desktop and laptop components, although similarly named, are often quite different in their computing power so be sure to distinguish between exact models. A GTX 960M is quite different from a GTX 960 for example, it's a variant of the GTX 750 in fact.

There's also quite a lot of people with very high minimum standards, especially in desktop discussions. They're the equivalent of people who say a car can't possibly be any fun with less than 300 horsepower, or that any telly or sound system costing less than a thousand pounds is rubbish.

If you don't have any preference between desktop and laptop then a desktop will provide more performance and is the one to go for.

The key to gaming is a good graphics card. Integrated graphics is coming on in leaps and bounds but isn't yet at the point that it'll play the most demanding games. Generally it's not worth looking at cards costing less than £80-100 as the performance drops off sharply below that. AMD are generally a better choice for the low-end and mid-range at the moment in a desktop because of their freesync support. An RX 460 4GB or RX 470, or the older R9 380 or R9 380X are good choices.

Other components have much less of an impact. 8GB of memory is a sensible amount at the moment. You certainly don't need an i5 minimum for an entry level machine, An i3 or even a Pentium G4400/AMD 800-series is a reasonable choice. An SSD is nice for usability generally but won't particularly affect games.

EndlessWaves

Desktop and laptop components, although similarly named, are often quite … Desktop and laptop components, although similarly named, are often quite different in their computing power so be sure to distinguish between exact models. A GTX 960M is quite different from a GTX 960 for example, it's a variant of the GTX 750 in fact.There's also quite a lot of people with very high minimum standards, especially in desktop discussions. They're the equivalent of people who say a car can't possibly be any fun with less than 300 horsepower, or that any telly or sound system costing less than a thousand pounds is rubbish.If you don't have any preference between desktop and laptop then a desktop will provide more performance and is the one to go for.The key to gaming is a good graphics card. Integrated graphics is coming on in leaps and bounds but isn't yet at the point that it'll play the most demanding games. Generally it's not worth looking at cards costing less than £80-100 as the performance drops off sharply below that. AMD are generally a better choice for the low-end and mid-range at the moment in a desktop because of their freesync support. An RX 460 4GB or RX 470, or the older R9 380 or R9 380X are good choices.Other components have much less of an impact. 8GB of memory is a sensible amount at the moment. You certainly don't need an i5 minimum for an entry level machine, An i3 or even a Pentium G4400/AMD 800-series is a reasonable choice. An SSD is nice for usability generally but won't particularly affect games.



sound advice, cheers
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