good gaming laptop under 800

Best Gaming Laptop Under $800

Gaming Laptops come in many shapes, sizes and forms. Knowing what to look for, especially in the 800 dollars price range, can make all the difference. Choosing the right machine means rocking the latest and greatest like Battlefield 4 on high settings. Choosing the wrong machine however, means being constricted to stuttering graphics at low settings. Luckily, you’re not alone on this. At AlwaysReview we have turned the market inside out and found the best gaming laptops under 800 dollars for you. 

#1 In our review is the MSI GP60 Leopard. Coming packed with a very fast processor (the i5 2.5 GHz) and a legend of a graphics card (the GeForce GT840M), it lets you take gaming under 800 dollars to a level no other machine can: Playing the latest games such as Battlefield 4 and the Elder Scrolls Online on high settings at Full HD resolution. Compare Prices here

Learn More Below
  • MSI GP60 Leopard-010
  • Acer Aspire V5-561G-9865
  • MSI CX61 2PC-499US
  • Acer Aspire V7-582PG-9856
  • Dell XPS XPS15-9168sLV

MSI GP60 Leopard-010

The MSI GP60 offers the maximum amount of gaming performance available in this price range. Coming packed with a mighty processor (the i5 2.5 GHz) and a card destined for much more expensive machines (the GeForce GT840M), means the MSI GP60 is a powerhouse. On top of that, it is the only laptop in our comparison that sports a Full HD (1920x1080) screen, giving you the action is all its glory. 

The MSI GP60 is the best gaming laptop under 800 dollars because it is the only one that allows you to play the latest games on high settings and on a Full HD screen. Sometimes, the choices in life van be that simple.

Acer Aspire V5-561G-9865

The Acer Aspire V5-561G is a great looking machine. Being only an inch thick and covered in a brushed aluminium appearance it definitely looks the part. Being a multimedia oriented laptop by nature, the Acer carries the versatile 4th generation intel i7 processor. Giving you enough performance for a wide range of tasks, both gaming and multimedia related, while offering great battery life at the same time. It is number 2 in our comparison  due its graphics card, the AMD Radeon R7 M265. Being the second best graphics card in our comparison, the AMD allows you to confidently play various of the latest games on medium setting and nearly all on low.

MSI CX61 2PC-499US

Number 3 in our comparison is the MSI CX61 2PC. Carrying the same processor as our number 1, the MSI GP60, means it has a strong foundation. The difference in price, nearly 100 USD, is explained by the rest of the technical specifications. In comparison to its more premium brother, the GP60, the CX61 has a less potent graphics card and no full HD screen. Although the difference in gaming performance isn’t huge, it does make the difference between playing the latest games on either low to medium on the CX61 vs medium to high on the GP60. Where this is worth 100 USD, is up to you. 

Acer Aspire V7-582PG-9856

The Aspire V7-582PG is an amazingly thin and light ultrabook with touchscreen. Straight of the bat this tells you the Aspire V7-582PG is meant for more than just gaming. And although the gaming technology (CPU, GPU and screen) are of great quality, the multimedia focus of the ultrabook means there are compromises to be made when it comes to raw gaming power. 

Definitely not the best at gaming performance, but by far the most versatile and impressive machine when it comes to weight, size and touch screen functionality. 

Dell XPS XPS15-9168sLV

Dell produces amazing game machines under its sub brand Alienware. And this Dell XPS15 has not learned a lot from those far away cousins. Coming equipped with a 2.5 GHz i5 is a good start, but topping it off with the rapidly ageing NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M as its graphics card, is not a good follow up. 

Although the Dell XPS15 will allow you to play some of the latest games on medium settings, by far the majority is best played on low settings. Choose the Dell if you’re a fan of the brand. Otherwise, choose a different option for your gaming purposes. 

best gaming laptop 2014 under 800

What is the best gaming laptop under 800 dollars?

Gaming laptops are a compromise by their very nature. Especially in the 800 dollars category. Knowing what to look for can therefor make or break your gaming adventure. To help you find the best options for 800 bucks, we have reviewed the best ones for you. Unsurprisingly, the number #1 in our comparison, comes from the gaming engineers at MSI. Having a long history of creating pure gaming machines, the brand MSI stands for value and gaming prowess. 

The #1 is on our comparison, the MSI GP60 is priced slightly outside the 800 dollar range. But by the beard of Zeus does it deliver value. Coming packed with i5 2.5 GHz processor in combination with the almighty NVIDIA Geforce GT840M means the MSI GP60 outperforms everything in this price class with ease. Its two direct competitors, the MSI CX61 and Acer Aspire V5, come at a 100 USD discount in comparison to the MSI GP60. The difference between the two is based on two very important aspects when it comes to gaming:

  • Although the same size, the MSI GP60’s screen is Full HD (1920x1080), where the MSI GX61 has a medium HD screen (1366x768). And more pixels, means more gaming details.
  • The MSI GP60’s graphics card, the NVIDIA Geforce GT840M, is a full blown powerhouse. The NVIDIA Geforce GT820M and AMD Radeon R7 M265 of the competition are also great cards, but graphically less talented. Although the differences are not dramatic, it does mean that high end games such as the Elder Scrolls Online and Battlefield 4 will run on high settings on the GP60 and only on medium settings on the competition.

 

Summing up, the GX61 and Aspire V5 are great machines at a great price. And will allow you to play nearly all the latest games on medium settings. A great achievement for good gaming laptops under 800 dollars. However, there is always a bigger fish. And the GP60 offers a lot more gaming performance at a 100 dollars premium, allowing you to play nearly all of the latest games on medium to high settings and at Full HD resolution. 

 

CPU

The calculation core of the gaming rig. Although a very important aspect of any computer, it is not comparable to the importance of the graphics card (or GPU). Still, for multimedia performance the CPU is an important factor to consider and not left out in our review. Conveniently, there are 3 different CPUs used by the top gaming laptops under 800. Below is the comparison of these three according to the independent statistics of the guys at CPU-boss, the go-to place for CPU benchmarks. 

 

Overall Score

  • Intel Core i5-4200M 2.5 GHz (MSI GP60 & CX61) - 7.3
  • Intel Core i7-4500U 1.8 GHz (Acer V7 &V5) - 7.2
  • Intel Core i5-3210M 2.50 GHz (dell XPS) - 7.0

 

Performance

  • Intel Core i5-4200M 2.5 GHz (MSI GP60 & CX61) - 7.3
  • Intel Core i7-4500U 1.8 GHz (Acer V7 &V5) - 7.1
  • Intel Core i5-3210M 2.50 GHz (dell XPS) - 7.0

 

Single Core Performance

  • Intel Core i5-4200M 2.5 GHz (MSI GP60 & CX61) - 8.8
  • Intel Core i7-4500U 1.8 GHz (Acer V7 &V5) - 8.6
  • Intel Core i5-3210M 2.50 GHz (dell XPS) - 8.5

 

Power Consumption

  • Intel Core i5-4200M 2.5 GHz (MSI GP60 & CX61) - 5.3
  • Intel Core i7-4500U 1.8 GHz (Acer V7 &V5) - 5.6
  • Intel Core i5-3210M 2.50 GHz (dell XPS) - 5.3

 

Features

  • Intel Core i5-4200M 2.5 GHz (MSI GP60 & CX61) - 5.6
  • Intel Core i7-4500U 1.8 GHz (Acer V7 &V5) - 6.0 
  • Intel Core i5-3210M 2.50 GHz (dell XPS) - 5.4

 

The numbers speak for themselves. All processors in this test are good, it’s that simple. Looking at the details, we can see that the i5 as featured in the MSI outperforms the others where it matters: Performance. 

 

GPU

The graphical talent of the gaming machine. The GPU is responsible for generating the graphics of the games and therefor the deciding factor in any gaming station. In our comparison, we find four distinctly different graphical cards. And just as with the CPUs, it is best to let the numbers speak. Based on the benchmarks from the guys at NotebookCheck, we can distinguish the different performance levels of the various cards in various games. Keep in mind that 30 frames per second (fps) is considered the cut-off point for playability. So you want your card to be able to generate 30+ fps on a given graphical setting. 

 

The Elder Scrolls Online (medium settings)

  • NVIDIA Geforce GT840M (MSI GP60) - 46.6 fps
  • AMD Radeon R7 M265 (Acer V5) - 43.5 fps
  • NVIDIA Geforce GT820M (MSI GX61) - 34 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT720M (Acer V7) - 37.9 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M (Dell XPS) - 37.5 fps

 

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (medium settings)

  • NVIDIA Geforce GT840M (MSI GP60) - 31.6 fps
  • AMD Radeon R7 M265 (Acer V5) - 13.1 fps
  • NVIDIA Geforce GT820M (MSI GX61) - 21.7 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce® GT 720M (Acer V7) - not tested
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M (Dell XPS) - 18.1 fps

 

Battlefield 4 (medium settings)

  • NVIDIA Geforce GT840M (MSI GP60) - 40.2 fps
  • AMD Radeon R7 M265 (Acer V5) - 26 fps
  • NVIDIA Geforce GT820M (MSI GX61) - 26.3 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT720M (Acer V7) - 21.4 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M (Dell XPS) - 21.1 fps

 

Total War: Rome II (medium settings)

  • NVIDIA Geforce GT840M (MSI GP60) - 47 fps
  • AMD Radeon R7 M265 (Acer V5) - 51.1 fps
  • NVIDIA Geforce GT820M (MSI GX61) - 38.6 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT720M (Acer V7) - 32.4 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M (Dell XPS) - 39 fps

 

To bring the graphical performance of all 4 cards into a simple format, we have taken the averages of them. And although this is not a perfect way of comparing the graphical talent of the cards, it does create a very actionable overview in performance ranking:

  • NVIDIA Geforce GT840M (MSI GP60) - 41.3 fps
  • AMD Radeon R7 M265 (Acer V5) - 33.4 fps
  • NVIDIA Geforce GT820M (MSI GX61) - 32.4 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT720M (Acer V7) - 30.6 fps
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M (Dell XPS) - 28.9 fps

 

Considering that 30 fps is the cut-off point for playability, the above is a very good reflection of which graphics cards will allow to you play the latest games smoothly on medium settings. Our vote goes to the NVIDIA Geforce GT840, allowing you to also play many of the high end games not only on medium, but also on high settings. And keep in mind, it is the only laptop with a full HD screen. 

 

Categories

For those gamers interested in either upgrading their performance from the best gaming laptops for under 800 dollars, check out our reviews of their counterpart under 1000 dollars or those under 1500 dollars. For those gamers on a budget, have a look at the options under 600 dollars. Keep in mind that in the latter, you will sacrifice a lot of gaming performance. 

 

To Conclude

Under 800 dollars there is a lot of gaming performance available. The MSI GP60 is even so good, that one doesn’t even need to consider it a compromise. Able to play the latest and greatest such as Battlefield 4 and the Elder Scrolls Online on high settings at Full HD, will allow you tons of gaming action at a very reasonable price. Happy gaming!