Question Looking for a used gaming laptop

Ley

Reputable
May 1, 2016
176
11
4,595
2
Hello everyone!
I am going to study abroad for a full year and I don't have a gaming laptop, just one for uni. I was thinking about buying a second hand one, I don't want to spend a lot for it because I will just use it for a year and then super occasionally when I'm traveling.
I will mainly play Dota 2, Apex Legends, RuneScape, maybe some Minecraft or CS:GO so I don't really need a high end RTX GPU or anything, but I would still like to play them at 60 FPS. I'll prooobably play a couple of AAA games if I can run them on low.

So, what should I look for when buying a second hand laptop? Battery life isn't really important, I think, since it will be plugged in my dorm. What's the absolute minimum GPU, CPU and RAM I should aim for? Is a 1050 good enough? Is there a brand to avoid? How do I properly test the laptop when I meet the seller?
If there's anything else I need to know please tell me!

Thank you for your help.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
GTX1050, 1050Ti, or 1060 is a good bottom point. Screen resolution is important, probably don't want to go above 1080p otherwise it will be hard on the GPU if you choose to run heavier titles at native resolution (which will always look the best on a give screen)

8GB ram minimum, 16GB memory ideal. Most laptops with discrete GPUs will have upgradeable ram, so don't think to hard on that one. A relatively cheap upgrade you can do later. Same with storage.

Can't really say anything against any particular brand. Every design is different and most of them use the same assembly facilities anyway, and/or off the shelf designs provided by a third party. So they have to be judged on their own merits, so that will mean looking at reviews and teardown videos to better judge.

As for testing it, any game will work really, just have a known test from youtube or something to compare it to. So any laptop with the same rough specs, like 8th gen intel i5 + GTX 1050Ti and a game title. See what numbers they put up, and if it is within 10% of that, probably fine. Just make sure the frame limit is off so you can see real maximum performance. You can also use standard benchmarks like unigine valley (GPU only) or 3D Mark Firestrike (CPU and GPU test) ,both free.

I do not recommend something like Furmark, which is a very stressful GPU test. Can lead to rapid overheating and may make the system look worse then it really is.
 

jamzkang

Distinguished
Oct 3, 2012
85
6
18,635
0
The GTX 1050TI is really a low/mid end card in comparison to the GTX 1060 which is a better mid/high end video card for a notebook.

So yes, I'd go with the GTX 1060, you can play most modern games @ 50-60 FPS easily with that video card. Not so much with the GTX 1050.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY