All too often people believe that gaming can only be done on consoles or high-end systems. At AlwaysReview we love gaming. And we know our fair share of good gaming laptops under 600 that will not disappoint. On the contrary, there is a ton of fun to be had below 600. Yes, you might not be rocking the latest Crysis on NASA settings. But then, the fun is not dependent on the settings!
Number one in our review is the Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617. Packing a Quad Core 2.5 GHz CPU, the fantastic AMD Radeon HD 8650G GPU, and coming in at a price far lower than 600, this system has all the tech you need while still saving you a 100 bucks to spend on games! Oh and did we mention it has a touch screen as well?
What an amazing machine. The best gaming laptop under 600 dollars is the Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617 by miles. Having a Quad-Core 2.5 GHz CPU, 6GB of RAM and 750GB of hard drive space is nice. Really nice. But having the best graphics card in this price-class, the AMD Radeon HD 8650G GPU, is where the true heart of the matter lies. And as icing on the cake: it has a touch screen!
For our fellow geeks: The #3 in our comparison has a dedicated GPU (the AMD Radeon HD 8750M). However, in our rendering tests the integrated AMD Radeon HD 8650G outperformed its dedicated premium brother. Meaning in regular English: This machine offers you more value for less money! It can be such a wonderful world sometimes…
Carrying the same AMD Quad Core 1.5 GHz CPU, the same 6GB DDR3 RAM and the same AMD Radeon HD 8650G, it’s very similar to our number 11. It ended in second place of our comparison of the best gaming laptop for 600 dollars simply because it is heavier, has no touch screen, is more expensive and has a less premium package.
Overall, the Lenovo G505s 59373006 is a great laptop and in spec very similar to our #1, the Acer. Get the Lenovo it you care for the brand. Otherwise, get yourself the Acer.
Light, good looking and versatile; one of the very best gaming laptops for under 600 available today. Sporting a quad core AMD CPU at 2.5 GHz, means it’s fast. Backed up up by 8GB of DDR3 RAM, means it has the internal memory of an elephant. And carrying a dual GPU - the dedicated AMD Radeon HD 8750M next to the integrated AMD Radeon HD 8650G, means it has the graphical talent of an art gallery.
Then why is it not number 1? Great question. In our independent test we found out that the extra graphical rendering performance delivered be dedicated 8750M is actually not better than the standard integrated 8650G is able to deliver. In regular English this means that it’s simply not worth the extra 100 bucks! Better get yourself some cool games for that money.
In contrast to its less-than-sexy name, the HP Pavilion 17-e140us is a powerful machine. Recently discounted from a near 1000 dollars, this is a great deal. It looks good, combines an ok graphics card (the new and improved Intel HD 4600) with a huge 17 inch screen and carries a fair amount fire power in its processor (the 4th generation 2.4 intel core i3).
No doubt that the HP belongs among the best gaming laptops under 600 dollars on the market today. The biggest selling point of the HP is its 17 inch screen. We would however advise a smaller screen with a more capable graphics card like the AMD Radeon HD 8650G, as seen in the top 3 of our comparison.
The older horse in the stable, the HP was one of the best gaming laptops under 600 dollars. These days, it’s older A6 dual core processor has a tough time competing with the top of the class. The same is to be said for its AMD Radeon HD 7520G GPU which can no longer compete with the modern GPUs of both AMD and Intel.
Being one of the most popular gaming laptops for 600 dollars of the past, it deserves a spot in our top 5 ranking. But we wouldn’t advise it to anyone looking to play modern games.
What is the best gaming laptop under $600?
The Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617 is our favourite amongst the cheap gaming laptops under 600. Arguably, it’s not because of its sexy name. It is however due to the mother load of tech aboard. Coming in a very sleek and tailored cool steel suite, boasting a 2.5 GHz Quad Core AMD CPU, 6GB of RAM, 750 GB of hard drive space and the AMD Radeon HD 8650G Graphics Card, this guy packs both the punch and the competitive price.
Interesting to note is the difference with our number two, the Acer Aspire V5-552G-X852. This machine, being 100 USD more expensive, carries both a dual graphics card and 2GB of RAM more. Yet in our independent tests of both was not able to consistently outperform our winner on frames per second (fps). In some occasions, the single GPU of the winner of your test actually outperformed its bigger brother. Thus we would advice: Save yourself the 100 dollars on the hardware and spend it on some cool games like Assassins Creed, Crysis or Battlefield. All games your new gaming laptop will be able to run.
As you can imagine, there is no perfect answer here. Gaming laptops under 600 dollars will always be a compromise in some form or fashion. The trick therefor is, to make sure you compromise on the right factors. To help you do this, consider the following questions:
What type of CPU and GPU do you need?
Would you prefer a 15 or 17 inch screen?
What kind of hard disk capacity do you require?
It is very normal to not have a direct answer to these questions. So to help you select the best gaming laptop for 600 dollars, allow us to run you through each separate question in a little more detail.
What type of CPU and GPU?
A CPU (or central processing unit) is the processor aboard your laptop. It is the calculating brain. These days, all of the best gaming laptops for under 600 dollars come equipped with either two or four processors. As you know, these are called dual or quad core processors. As most experts will tell you, the dual core processors are sufficient for most gaming purposes. However, as more and more quad cores come into the market and games become consistently more complex, we would argue to opt for a quad core system to make your gaming station future proof.
A GPU (or graphics processing unit) is responsible for the creation of images in a very rapid manner. Whether it be to watch a DVD or in our case: play games. The GPU is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting your cheap gaming laptop under 600 dollars. And this is not an easy point. Many of the laptops in our test have what you call integrated GPUs. These are GPUs that use a portion of the internal memory (the RAM) instead of their own dedicated memory to create images. In contrast with the this, the #2 of our test has a separate, dedicated GPU. Meaning this GPU has its own internal memory used to create the graphical images.
Very often, a separate dedicated GPU will outperform an integrated GPU. Interestingly though, in our independent test between our number 1 (the Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617 review, now called Acer #1), and our number 2 (the Acer Aspire V5-552G-X852 review, now called Acer #2), this was not the case. Even though Acer #2 has a separate dedicated GPU (AMD Radeon HD 8750M) next to the integrated GPU (AMD Radeon HD 8650G) it didn’t out perform Acer #1 in achieving higher frame rates. Meaning the single integrated GPU will do the trick just fine. The guys at netbookcheck, one of the more thorough analysers of GPUs and CPUs, came to the same results. As such, we can only advise you to save yourself the 100 bucks and go for Acer #1, the Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617.
15 Inches of 17 Inches?
Screen size is a complex choice to make. For obvious reasons, many gamers would prefer a 17 inch screen over a 15 inch. But allow us to make three arguments for the opposite:
A 17 inch screen costs a manufacturer more than a 15 inch screen. This means that the money spent on the screen can not be spent where it truly matters: The parts, especially the graphics card.
A 17 inch screen, having a 1600 x 900 resolution, requires more from a GPU as it requires more pixels to be filled. A 15 inch, having 1366 x 768 resolution, has significantly less pixels. This can make a great deal of difference when speaking of medium-level GPUs.
A 17 inch screen, is significantly less portable. If you think those 2 inches make only a small amount of difference, try to find yourself a back that fits a 17 inch laptop comfortably.
Hard Disk Capacity?
There is no perfect answer here. Neither is it very important if you consider the constantly decreasing price of external hard drives and the availability of USB 3.0 on all laptops in our test. We would advice to keep 500GB as the minimum, 750GB as the optimum and 1TB to be the maximum required.
In short: In our review of the Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617 we found that the machine's integrated graphics card work just as great as its bigger brothers' dedicated graphics cards. On top of this, it carries 6GB of RAM, 750GB of hard disk space and has the optimal 15.6 inch screen size. Combine this glorious package with a 100 bucks lower price tag than its brother, and its easy to see why it is the best gaming laptop under 600 dollars.