Best Affordable Gaming Laptop for Noobs

Electronics & Computers

Modern computer games are becoming increasingly detailed. Even relatively simple titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty require tremendous processing power and dedicated graphics cards to run. In years gone by you could get by with any laptop, so long as you were willing to lower the graphics settings and run at a lower frame rate.

However, standard computers can’t even operate at a passable level with modern games. Therefore, gaming laptops are becoming far more popular. The problem is that these graphics cards and processors are quite large and therefore it’s tough to fit them into most laptops. Consequently, they tend to be expensive when compared to desktop computers.

Gaming laptops can cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are cheaper alternatives, and we’ll be showing you the seven best affordable gaming laptop. These machines will give you the power that you need to run the latest games so that you can play with your friends.

How We Chose Our Rankings

To begin with, it’s essential for us to define what we mean by affordable. What is cost effective for me, might not be for you, and vice versa. For the sake of this guide, we considered affordable to be between $600 and around $1,500. While still expensive, it’s a fraction of the cost of top tier gaming laptops which can cost double this range.

Given that you’re searching for an affordable option, we have a significant weighting to the value and price of the machine. Therefore, the best and most powerful devices aren’t necessarily ranked at the top of the list because they might be more expensive and offer worse value for money. We want to give you the very best deal and bang for your buck.

After considering the value, we looked at performance. Gaming laptops are tools that allow you to play complex titles. Therefore, the graphics card, RAM, CPU and power supply are all vital components. Typically, we looked at them in that order. Most games are hardest on the GPU, and that’s why standard laptops fail to play them.

For this reason, a dedicated graphics card is necessarily a prerequisite to getting onto this list. While a good CPU is useful, most games use surprisingly little processing power and are far harder on the GPU. Notable exceptions would be World of Warcraft, Starcraft and EVE Online.

We also know how important the screen is. There’s no point having a powerful device if it’s projected onto a terrible monitor that isn’t even full HD.

To create this list, we did extensive amounts of research into what makes laptops excellent or bad. We looked through a considerable number of reviews to see what customers though and then used cumulative scoring to rank the products in list order.

Choose Your Best Affordable Gaming Laptop

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6" FHD IPS w/ 144Hz...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Overclockable Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC )

As one of the leading computing companies in the world, Acer is generally an excellent choice. They are renowned for their high build quality and relatively little bloat when compared to other brands. This gaming laptop is a good budget pick because it offers you excellent computing power for a relatively competitive price.

Although not the cheapest choice on this list, coming in at around $999, we think it’s the best affordable gaming laptop. The screen measures in at 15.6-inch and is full high definition. It also has a 144Hz refresh rate. This figure means that the screen refreshes that many times per second, giving you a smoother picture with no blurring or jumping.

Under the hood, you’ll be incredibly impressed. It uses an Intel 6-core i7-8750H CPU. Intel is well-known for its quality processors, which offered more power than its competitors. The i7 is ideal for gaming because it provides a lot of processing power and multiple cores for threading, which is vital for complex programs.

Most importantly, the graphics are presented by an overclockable GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB. As an overclockable GPU, you can increase its performance to get even more out of the card. Plus, with 6GB you can be confident that also detailed and complicated games will look beautiful on this large laptop screen.

As for the RAM, you get 16GB of DDR4, which is a high-tier memory. Most desktop motherboards will only accept a maximum of 32GB of RAM, and therefore you’re getting a lot, especially for a laptop. RAM is critical for video games because lots of information is needed temporarily and then dumped, which is where this type of memory is useful.

You’ll also notice that it has 256GB of SSD space. Reviewers noted how vital this SSD was to them. Unlike hard drives which have moving parts, an SSD is reliable and much faster. Therefore, reviewers noticed little to no loading screens, more rapid starting and games opening much quicker than with a comparable HDD.

Finally, you’ll also notice that it comes built-in with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit. This software alone can cost hundreds of dollars, making this an affordable option. For us, it’s the best affordable gaming laptop on the market and is likely to run every game that you want to play, at good to great settings, all for a bargain price.





HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15.6" Core i5-8300H 15.6-inch Diagonal Full...
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories

In many cases, HP has wholly dominated an area of the market. Perhaps the exception is the gaming industry. However, this model is designed to change that. With a 15.6-inch screen, it’s nearly identical in size to the laptop above from Acer. The difference is that it’s much cheaper, but with slightly reduced stats and performance.

For customers looking for the best affordable gaming laptop, this is a fantastic choice. It’s about as cheap as you can get, for a machine that’s going to play modern games. Therefore, it’s incredibly affordable. Plus, given the price, we think that the hardware you receive is quite competitive and sufficient for most people.

Notably, it uses an Intel Quad-Core i5-8300H capable of 4GHz with an 8MB cache. While significantly slower than the i7 used in the Acer, most games don’t need more than an i5 to run smoothly and efficiently. Therefore, you can save money by choosing this HP model which uses an inferior processing unit. 

Likewise, it only has half of the RAM, with 8GB of DDR4 memory. Again, it’s not ideal, but it’s more than enough for most cases. If you’re playing very complex titles, you’ll need to consider increasing your budget to purchase a more expensive machine with greater processing capabilities.

Having read many reviews, customers were pleased that it uses a 1TB SATA hard drive. While slower than SSDs, hard drives tend to have more storage at an affordable cost. Therefore, you’ll have a larger drive to store more video games on. The problem with small SSDs is that they may only have enough room for three or four games.

Although perhaps not as important, reviewers noted how they loved the design and feel of the machine. With its sleek charcoal and neon green backlighting, it certainly looks awesome. When playing in a dark room, the keyboard backlighting will help you to play more accurately and to improve your gaming performance.





ASUS TUF FX504 Laptop

Asus TUF Gaming Laptop FX504 15.6” Full HD IPS-Level, 8th Gen Intel...
  • Value - comes with gears of War 4 and age of Empires Definitive Edition
  • Durability - Dual fans with anti-dust technology. Red-backlit keyboard rated for 20-million keystroke durability
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8300H Processor and GeForce GTX 1050 2GB for superior gaming performance and multitasking

This ASUS laptop, one of the  best affordable gaming laptop, is very similar to the HP Pavilion above. To begin, the significant difference is that it uses a 256GB SSD instead of a hard drive. If your biggest turnoff from the HP machine was the lack of an SSD, this ASUS is a great choice for you. It has a slightly inferior graphics card, but the difference won’t be noticeable for most.

It utilizes a GeForce GTX 1050 instead of the 1050 Ti that the HP machine uses. The Ti version is slightly improved and has an overclocking ability. Whereas the standard 1050 doesn’t allow you to overclock, according to our research, and has slightly worse performance.

The price of the ASUS is comparable to the Pavilion model by HP, but with slightly worse graphics we think it doesn’t offer quite the same value for money. Saying that we believe it’s still an incredible machine. But in our opinion, the only reason to choose this over the HP model is if you are looking for an SSD instead of an HDD.

Perhaps a huge benefit to those who travel, it’s less than an inch deep. It also weighs only 5.07lbs, making it one of the lightest gaming laptops, especially on this list. With more powerful processors, machines for playing on are typically cumbersome, but because it uses an SSD, they can save space and size to make it more portable.





Dell G3 15

Dell G3 15.6" FHD Gaming Laptop Computer, 8th Gen Intel Hexa-Core...
  • 15.6" FHD(1920x1080) IPS Anti-Glare, LED-Backlit Display;Powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 graphics memory...
  • 8th Gen Intel Hexa-Core i7-8750H 2.2GHz(9MB SmartCache, Max Turbo 4.1GHz) provide responsive, powerful performance...
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4; With 128GB Solid State Drive (Boot) + 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive (Storage) ensure faster performance and...

Once the definite leader, Dell computers are less common than in years gone by. Despite this dip, they are still very capable of creating incredible machines that combine power by beauty. Unlike most gaming laptops, this one isn’t with sharp edges, dragons, bright neon keyboards, and dark colors. It’s a little bit more sophisticated and discrete.

Available in both white and charcoal, it looks like any other Dell machine. The difference is what’s under the hood, which is quite impressive. It utilizes a Hexa-core i7-8750H which is capable of up to 4.1GHz and more than enough processing power for complex video games, movie editing, and spreadsheet work.

Like the HP Pavilion, it uses a GTX 1050 Ti. As with the HP machine, reviewers of the unit love this CPU because it offers great performance without breaking the bank. For most games, it will be more than enough horsepower and should ensure that they run smoothly without jumping or experiencing overheating and loud fans.

The only reason we ranked it lower than the ASUS and HP models is that it’s more expensive. For that extra couple hundred dollars, you don’t get a lot. While you do get a jump from an i5 to an i7 CPU, for most games, the difference isn’t huge. Given that we’re looking at the best affordable gaming laptop, the i5 is probably the best option for most customers





Dell Inspiron 15 5000

2019 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5570 Intel Core i7-8550U 12 GB DDR4 1TB HDD...
  • Amazing Touch Screen Quality. 15. 6" Touchscreen LED-Backlit FHD (1920 x 1080) Display, Intel Integrated UHD Graphics...
  • Ergonomic and Intelligent Design. Full Size keyboard. Stereo Speakers with MaxxAudio Pro Audio Processing,Integrated...
  • More power. With Intel Core i7-8550U Processor at 1. 8GHz, 12GB DDR4 1-DIMM 2133MHz RAM, 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

Although not a gaming laptop, this is a powerful machine with plenty of capability. It uses the Quad-core i5-7300HQ, a similar processor to the ASUS model previously. Likewise, it uses the same NVIDIA GTX 1050 4GB graphics card, which is enough to run the vast majority of video games.

We don’t believe that the screen is comparable; it’s inferior. However, at a similar price point, you get a lot of different customization options. Unlike other machines which cannot, you can customize this to your desires. From 8GB to 32GB of RAM, and 128GB to 1TB of SSD or HDD. Due to this customization, we think it’s an option that’s worth considering.

If you’re going to choose low specs, you might be better to choose the ASUS or HP models before. Whereas if you have specific needs, having the choice to customize and only spend money where you need it is fantastic. In our opinion, this alone makes it the best affordable gaming laptop, especially given how affordable the base option is at around $699.






HP Omen 15" Gaming Laptop FHD IPS Intel i7-8750H GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4...
  • Play the latest games, including Fortnight, PUBG, and Overwatch, from anywhere—without sacrificing performance.
  • 8th Generation intel(r) core(tm) i7-8750H Processor, 6-Core, 2.2GHz up to 4.1GHz for superior gaming performance.
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4 GB GDDR5 dedicated). 15.6-Inch diagonal FHD IPS Anti-Glare micro-edge WLED-backlit (1920 x...

There top-tier gaming machine, the OMEN by HP,  gives you top of the line performance, at an equally high price. Almost double the amount of the HP Pavilion and ASUS models, it doesn’t give you twice the performance, but it will play the latest games at much higher settings. If you are crazy about speed and smoothness, this is an option to consider.

We still believe this sneaks in as affordable at $1,249 because many gaming laptops can be double this price. While not cheap, we’ve listed lower priced alternatives above, but for many, this is within their budget and could give them a better experience.

For this extra expense, you get yourself a 6-core, i7-8750H processor capable of 41.GHz. Perhaps more interestingly, you’ll also get a GeForce GTX 1060, the best GPU on this list by far. It has 6GB of GDDR5 memory, which is going to give you blistering speed and the ability to play on ultra high graphics settings.

As well, you’ll receive 16GB of DDR4 RAM, with space to upgrade and double the amount. Likewise, there is a 1TB HDD and a 126GB SSD. Indeed, you get everything you could want in a gaming laptop. Although it’s possible to get better GPUs and CPUs, you’ll be able to play every game you could want with this machine.

Reviewers noted how despite the expense they found it was good value for money. Given this, we think this would be a good choice for people who want to play new games for years to come, and who can stretch their budget to this price point. For the ultimate gaming experience, without breaking the bank, the OMEN is worth considering.





MSI GV62 Laptop

MSI GV62 8RD-200 15.6" Full HD Performance Gaming Laptop PC i5-8300H,...
  • Display: 15.6" Full HD EDP IPS-Level | Operating System: Win 10 Multi-language
  • Processor: New Intel 8th Gen Core i5-8300H 2.3 - 4.0GHz
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050Ti 4G GDDR5

Surprisingly popular, this machine might be the most popular gaming laptop, that MSI has ever created. A lesser known brand, they have a few niche machines, also one of the best affordable gaming laptop, which have seen widespread success. Despite being less popular, people respect MSI for their decent build quality and affordability.

We don’t think this is the best affordable gaming laptop, but we do think it’s quite good. It has an i5-8300H processor, which is inferior to the i7 used by some machines, but still plenty good enough for most games. As with the HP Pavilion, it uses a GTX 1050 Ti, which can be overclocked and has slightly better results than the standard GPU.

We’re impressed by the 8GB of RAM and 16GB of Intel Optane memory, but some reviewers complained about overheating issues. Likewise, one reviewer had two of these, and one died because of power surges and failures, probably caused by excessive draw from the GPU.

Despite some quirks, it has a 1-year warranty, which means you’ll have protection should there be a fault. The standard model comes with Steelseries red backlit keys, which gives it an edgy look and helps you to play in the dark. It also comes with Windows 10 already installed onto the 1TB hard drive, a huge benefit because the software itself is costly.

Overall, we think it’s a decent laptop with surprisingly good performance. The main downside is that it doesn’t offer amazing value for money. At nearly $800, it’s considerably more than the ASUS and HP Pavilion models, which have comparable hardware and performance. However, the MSI machine is better looking and comes with a 1-year warranty.





Buyers Guide:

Choosing the Best Affordable Gaming Laptop

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Image via Pixabay

When it comes to gaming laptops, you need to consider first what you intend to play. While buying a machine purely for a single game might not be wise, understanding what genres you play is helpful.

If you mainly like 2D scrollers and pixel games, you don’t need a lot of power, while complicated and realistic games need far more processing strength.

You must consider:

  • What games you intend to play?
  • How long you wish to play?
  • Whether you need the laptop to be portable?
  • How much you can afford to spend?

Typically, the more detailed the graphics are, the better the device needs to be. Therefore, you’re unlikely to be able to play the latest Battlefield game on the highest settings with a $600 machine; you’ll need to spend double.

For this reason, the phrase ‘best affordable gaming laptop’ becomes very dependent on what you’re aiming to do. 

Featured mage via Pixabay

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