Will this laptop be alright for playing pc games?

jpb82

Active Member
Hi

I have a budget of about £1250/£1300 for a new laptop
and im probably going to go for the SONY VAIO VGN-AR31M the reason being is that my brother has been using sony vaio laptops for years and in his opinion they are the best which is good enough for me.

Now im not looking to buy a gaming laptop because
as far as pc's go im only a casual gamer but could
everybody possibly take a look at the basic specifications for me and tell me how good or bad will this laptop be at playing games at a reasonable level.

CPU: Intel core 2 duo T5600 (1.83 GHz)
RAM: 2 GB installed
Graphics card: 128mb Nvidia geforce go7600
Hard drive: 120GB

I would appreciate any help anyone could give me

Thankyou
 

PD_BARBS

Active Member
Hi

I have a budget of about £1250/£1300 for a new laptop
and im probably going to go for the SONY VAIO VGN-AR31M the reason being is that my brother has been using sony vaio laptops for years and in his opinion they are the best which is good enough for me.

Now im not looking to buy a gaming laptop because
as far as pc's go im only a casual gamer but could
everybody possibly take a look at the basic specifications for me and tell me how good or bad will this laptop be at playing games at a reasonable level.

CPU: Intel core 2 duo T5600 (1.83 GHz)
RAM: 2 GB installed
Graphics card: 128mb Nvidia geforce go7600
Hard drive: 120GB

I would appreciate any help anyone could give me

Thankyou


Looks pretty good, but you may be better with a 256 graphics card. Depending on what games you will be playing, the likes of BF2 may be a chore
 

jezzer256

Novice Member
Hi

The 7600 Go 128mb should suffice, although it's adviseable to get a laptop with 256mb of graphics memory, especially if you're spending that sort of cash!.

However, overall Sony Vaios are very very expensive for what they are - you can get similar specs for just over half that price elsewhere (www.pcnextday.co.uk as an example, although these have 256mb x1600 gfx cards).

For £1300, I would buy an Alienware Area-51 m5550. For £1300 you could get a Core 2 Duo T7400, 256mb 7600, 2gb RAM, and a deadly 7,200rpm 100gb hard drive.

Jez
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
I know Sony are stylish and the screens are one of the best in the market, but money wise, this laptop isn't quite the best you can do

e.g.
Asus F3JA - C2D T7200 2ghz, 1gb, 160gb, X1700. You can add another gig of ram yourself and still save a couple hundred from your top end budget

Asus G1 - C2D T7200 2ghz, 2gb, 160gb, Go7700 - slightly better than the X1700 and the best in a 15.4" shell

But saying all that, what is the most demanding game you play or will play? I am very reluctant to ask you to splash your cash if the most demanding thing you will play is something like wow or Pro Evo. For something like that, a laptop with a X1400, Go7400 level GPU will suffice, with equally good CPU and other spec for £1k tops

Then again, if you have the money, I won't tell you not to splash it :p
 

jpb82

Active Member
LFC SL

As i said in my original post i am not buying a gaming laptop i have an x360 and ps3 for that, and anyway most pc games these days seem to find there way onto the next gen consoles which kind of makes spending a fortune on a top quality gaming pc now kind of pointless, at least thats my opinion but im sure that hardcore pc gamers will disagree.

As for your question about what will be the most demanding game i will want to play, well i have no desire of wanting to run powerful games like crysis or battlefield 2142, most of the games i will be running will be past games that will never be released on the consoles for example starwars:empire at war, avp, avp2, there are a few more titles from the last few years i want to get that graphically look better and are more powerful than the games ive just mentioned but i cant remember what they are at the moment but i'll
get back to you about that.

As for your surgestion about the ASUS G1, well i actually knew about that machine and am still considering it because it does seem to have everything the sony's got + a faster cpu and a better graphic card.
 
Z

zim_zimmer

Guest
Even Pro Evo 6 will run on a GMA chip!! You really don't need to spend £1300 on a laptop if you're not going to be playing 'demanding' games. I looked into getting a gaming laptop to play the likes of STALKER, COMMAND & CONQUER 3, etc... quickly realised that I could get a Desktop PC for less than half the price of a laptop sufficient enough to play these and switched to a desktop.

It really depends on what you want to play? Looking at the games you've mentioned above you could quite easily buy a £700/£800 laptop and be very happy.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
I really think you sould reconsider buying a laptop for gaming. Those 2 words just don't get togther. You could easily build or buy (for 1000 quid) a desktop PC more powerful than any laptop you could buy.
 

jpb82

Active Member
I really think you sould reconsider buying a laptop for gaming. Those 2 words just don't get togther. You could easily build or buy (for 1000 quid) a desktop PC more powerful than any laptop you could buy.

As i said before (im not buying a laptop for gaming) infact i will probably spend very little time gaming on it and even the games i do play wont be state of the art or power hungry like crysis, i just wanted everybody to look at the laptops specifications for me and tell me what kinds of games can or cannot be played on it?

sometime today i will post a list of most of the games i plan on using with the laptop, hopefully then everybody could take a look at the list and tell me what will play and what wont.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
From a cost > value for money perspective, laptops will never match desktops. That much is easily agreeable. It is when you require the portability of laptops that you need to compromise*

BUT jpb82, since you will not run the latest games and you have game consoles, save your money and get a laptop with an X1400/Go7400 max from around £600-700. Obviously the spec of the other components will affect the final cost

You could easily get a decent laptop for around £6-700 that will satisfy office needs on the road/around the house and allow for casual gaming. Or you could still choose to spend £1k+... pimp out on a top C2D, 2gb, large HDD :p

*17" laptops offer better GPUs; X1900, Go7900, Go7950... but again are called desktop replacements for a reason
 

jpb82

Active Member
LFC SL
Your right i dont intend to play current or future games on the laptop the only games i intend to play are some of my old favourites and most of them are not graphically or powerfully intense games, here is the list of most of the games i intend to use on the laptop.

AVP
AVP 2
Starwars: Empire at war
Starwars: Jedi Knight Dark forces 2
Starwars: Jedi Knight 2 Jedi outcast
Starwars: Jedi Knight Jedi academy
Worms 2
Worms: Armageddon
Worms: World Party
Worms: Forts under siege

I know that a lot of these games are a few years old
and should run on this laptop perfectly, its other more recent games like empire at war im unsure about, according to the system requirements it should run perfectly alright but i dont really know to much about modern pc games and there compatibility with pc's.

So could yourself or anyone else possibly tell me if you think i will have any problems running empire of war and similar games on the sony vaio, and what is your opinion on the other games i have selected.:)
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
My laptop has an X1600. It and the Go7600, X1700 and Go7700 runs Oblivion and F.E.A.R medium-high settings. Don't worry at all about Empire :) Its only newer games that you'd have to do major compromising
 

jpb82

Active Member
My laptop has an X1600. It and the Go7600, X1700 and Go7700 runs Oblivion and F.E.A.R medium-high settings. Don't worry at all about Empire :) Its only newer games that you'd have to do major compromising

I now have a good idea of what games will play
and what games wont play.

Thanks for all your help LFC SL:thumbsup:
 

RRB

Active Member
I would seriously consider looking at the Dell range. Im on my 3rd Dell laptop and never had any issues. I currently use an Inspiron XPS M1710. Dell can also be haggled with on their list prices.
 

jpb82

Active Member
Overall im happy with the specs on the sony VGN-AR31M but whatever laptop i end up buying is going to be with me for at least the next 4 years and im just not comfortable about only having 128mb of VRAM on my graphics card.

I still haven't counted out getting the sony but im currently looking around for a possible alternative and have come accross this, which is only about £20 more expensive than the sony (below is a list of its basic specifications)

Asus G1-AK005C

CPU: Intel core 2 duo T7200 (2.0 GHZ)
RAM: 2 GB (installed)
Graphics card: 512MB nvidia geforce go 7700
Hard drive: 160 GB - serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm
Display: Widescreen 15.4" TFT 1680x1050 (WSXGA+)
OS: Windows vista home premium

The screen size is smaller than the sony, however the CPU and graphics card are far better, which kind of makes me a little suspicious considering only the £20 price difference but that might be just because sony vaio's are a very well known brand and i have personally never even heard of Asus before.

Im going to be a little bit cheeky now and ask that if its not to much trouble could anyone go online for me and check the full specs of both laptops for me and tell me which one in your opinion is the better buy, below are the model numbers for both laptops.

SONY VGN-AR31M
ASUS G1-AK005C

Thankyou:thumbsup:
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Asus are an OEM. Original Equipment Manufacturer. They make laptops for others as well as themselves. Others just put their own branding onto the case. Well known customers that you may have heard of :)grin:) of Asus include Apple and Dell :) The thing with Sony is that like every other Sony product, you pay a premium for the brand and the style. Far as their laptops go, they have never been competitively priced or specced out imho. I would have no hesitation with buying from Asus. My next laptop would probably be an Asus given that they cater so well for the laptop gaming community

That Sony is so shockingly specced GPU wise, I nearly spat my drink out. I would either spend £780 on this here which has the same level gpu; Go7600, or spend £1200 on this here for a laptop with a X1900 which is a far better GPU and what one should expect in a 17" laptop. Only bettered by the Go7950. I apologise for not realising the Sony in the OP was a 17" laptop. That changes a lot. Do bear in mind I wouldn't like to carry a 17" around a lot. Its a trade-off - portability of 15.4" and medium-high gaming or 17" and the best gaming. Other 15.4" Asus considerations is the V series

If the links are dead, 1st is the Fujitsu amilo xa 1526 and the 2nd link is the amilo xi 1554 :)

And I do want you to consider whether it is necessary to spend so much money (see previous post). By all means its up to you, but if a powerful GPU is going to be redundant then...

P.S. GPUs roughly go
X1600/Go7600
X1700
Go7700
-------- 17" only below-----
X1900
Go7900
Go7950
from worst to best performance. But there are not that many differences between each. I doubt you would notice whilst gaming, its all theoretical based on tech spec. The line is to indicate what are 17" laptops only


If you have any more questions, feel free to ask :)
 

jpb82

Active Member
Thanks to everybody for your help so far
and after a couple of days of researching ive come
to the conclusion that the sony AR31M
is over priced for what it is, im still shopping
around trying to find something that is acceptable
and i have found this could anyone let me know
what you think?

Toshiba satellite pro p100 - 465 £1200

CPU: Intel core 2 duo T7200 (2.0GHz)
RAM: 2GB DDRII SDRAM - 533MHz (2x1GB)
Graphic card: Nvidia geforce go7600 (512MB VRAM)
Harddrive: 200GB - Serial ATA-150 - 4200 rpm
Display: 17" TFT 1440X900 (WXGA+)
OS: Windows vista business

There are only two things that concern me about
this laptop and they are as follows:

1. The operating system is windows vista business
now i dont know to much about operating systems
so could anyone tell me if this is alright?

2. The graphics card does have 512mb of video memory but apparantly its turbocache memory which i think means it has a 256MB dedicated graphics card, and 256MB shared RAM, making 512MB total, is this good or bad?
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
256mb shared ram does come out of your physical ram, yes. But your GPU doesn't "steal" it on startup. Only when necessary during gaming or demanding graphical apps. But 256mb dedicated is what you should aim for when it comes to the 15.4" GPUs I listed before

As for the Toshiba my one main concern is with the HD; 4200rpm is a little on the slow side... sorry, difficult this isn't it? :D
 

jpb82

Active Member
256mb shared ram does come out of your physical ram, yes. But your GPU doesn't "steal" it on startup. Only when necessary during gaming or demanding graphical apps. But 256mb dedicated is what you should aim for when it comes to the 15.4" GPUs I listed before

As for the Toshiba my one main concern is with the HD; 4200rpm is a little on the slow side... sorry, difficult this isn't it? :D

Unfortunately i have to agree with you, it certainly
hasn't been easy and to be honest for £1200 i haven't
found anything i really fancy, ill keep on looking but
i think what im going to do is spend an extra three months saving and instead of spending £1200 on a new laptop now ill have about £2000 or so to spend on a laptop i do like.

If i do decide to do this what king of laptop would you surgest, remember even though i do intend to play games on it every now and then, i am not buying a gaming laptop what ive always been after is an all purpose multimedia laptop that does everything well.

Ive only just started looking at £2000 laptops and have
found the following laptop perhaps you look at the key specs for me and let me know what you think?

Toshiba Qosmio G30-204 £2000

CPU: Intel core 2 duo T7400 (2.16GHz)
RAM: 2GB (installed) DDR II RAM
HDD: 400GB (2 x 200GB) s/w raid 5400 rpm
Graphics: Nvidia geforce go 7600 (256MB VRAM)
Display: 17" truebrite TFT (WUXGA) 1920X1200
OS: Windows vista ultimate edition
Other: HD-DVD Drive, supermulti (dual layer)
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
All I will say is that there is a reason "notebook" is used more often now - saying laptop is being overly generous when we get into 17" territory! :p

If you aim for 17", just be sure it is intended to be a desktop only system or very infrequently moved around.

I will repeat again for your needs imho you don't need to splash so much cash, but if you must, check out the Dell XPS gaming range. Stylish and better than normal consumer build. Also something like this

And be aware if you're willing to wait 3 months, all your research will be pretty much redundant. Santa Rosa will be out, DX10 cards may even be out by then and you will have summer sale prices to consider
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
Personally if it was my £1200 i'd spend £800 of it on a gaming desktop machine (C2D 6400, 2Gb, 8800GTS and 19"tft is do-able for £800) then get a normal laptop with the other £400.

C2D
 

RRB

Active Member
Unfortunately i have to agree with you, it certainly
hasn't been easy and to be honest for £1200 i haven't
found anything i really fancy, ill keep on looking but
i think what im going to do is spend an extra three months saving and instead of spending £1200 on a new laptop now ill have about £2000 or so to spend on a laptop i do like.

If i do decide to do this what king of laptop would you surgest, remember even though i do intend to play games on it every now and then, i am not buying a gaming laptop what ive always been after is an all purpose multimedia laptop that does everything well.

Ive only just started looking at £2000 laptops and have
found the following laptop perhaps you look at the key specs for me and let me know what you think?

Toshiba Qosmio G30-204 £2000

CPU: Intel core 2 duo T7400 (2.16GHz)
RAM: 2GB (installed) DDR II RAM
HDD: 400GB (2 x 200GB) s/w raid 5400 rpm
Graphics: Nvidia geforce go 7600 (256MB VRAM)
Display: 17" truebrite TFT (WUXGA) 1920X1200
OS: Windows vista ultimate edition
Other: HD-DVD Drive, supermulti (dual layer)

For £1900 through haggling with dell i got

Inspiron XPS M1710
17" 1920 x 1200 res
2.33 cpu
2 gig ram
512 mb 7950 nvidia card
120 gig hard drive
Dual layer burner
built in bluetooth module
3 yr onsite warranty
and other things i probably forget

and i also got a FPW 2407 24" lcd screen.

List price for it all was £2700 but with haggling i got it all for £1900 when the laptop alone listed at £1950.
 

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