See below for an in-depth review of these laptops but here is a quick product comparison of the best gaming laptops of 2011 – 2012:
*This article has been updated to include picks for July 2011. These gaming laptops (the first 3) are not included in our review section below the comparison table. Also make sure to see our comparison of the i7-740QM vs. the i7-2630QM CPU below if you’re wondering what the difference is between them.
i7-740QM vs. i7-2630QM CPU
Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between the i7-740QM and the i7-2630QM, two of this year’s most popular choices for PC Gaming Laptop manufacturers.
Clock speed for these two CPU is similar with the 740QM at 1.73 (2.93GHz turbo) and the 2630QM at 2.0GHz (2.90 GHZ Turbo). Both CPU have 4 cores and use Intel Hyperthreading for up to 8 thread performance. The i7-740QM is based off of the older 45nm technology/lithography while the 2630QM is a Sandy Bridge CPU and uses the 32nm technology. Because it’s the newer technology the 2630QM uses Turbo Boost Technology version 2.0 versus the i7-740QM’s standard Intel Turbo Boost Technology. The 2630QM also has integrated graphics while the 740QM does not.
Overall: At CPUbenchmark.net the 2630QM remains one of the fastest CPU to date while the 740QM lags behind. In this case we feel that going with the newer technology, if possible, is a must.
|Brand / Model Number||CPU/Processor, Ram||Graphics Card/ Display||Price/Product||Warranty/ Other|
|ASUS G74SX-3DE 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop - Republic of Gamers (Black)||Intel Core i7-2630QM (2.0GHz with Turbo Boost)/ 12GB DDR3 1333MHz , 4 SODIMM Sockets, up to 16GB/||Nvidia GTX 560M Graphics with 3GB GDDR5/ 17.3-Inch 3D 120Hz (1920x1080) LED Display||2 Year Standard Warranty and 1 Year Accidental Damage Warranty Included 1.5TB HDD 7200 RPM; Blu Ray Writer ODD; 802.11 b/g/n; Illuminated Keyboard/ Gaming Backpack and Gaming Mouse included/ 2.0M Webcam; 1x USB 3.0; 3x USB 2.0|
Alienware M14X 14" Laptop (2.0 GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM Processor, 8 GB RAM, 750 GB Hard Drive, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) Black
|2.0 GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM Processor/ 8GB DDR3 1333MHz||Dual graphics with Intel HD Graphics 3000 and 1.5GB DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M using NVIDIA Optimus technology/ 14" WLED HD 1366 x 768 resolution||1 year parts and labor limited. 750 GB HDD/ 2 - USB 3.0/ 1 USB 2.0/ 1 - HDMI 1.4/ 8-Cell Lithium-ion battery|
|ASUS G73SW-XA1 Republic of Gamers 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop (Black)||Intel i7-2630QM (2.0 GHz Quad-Core with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz)||Nvidia GTX 460M Graphics with 1.5GB GDDR5/ 17.3-Inch Full HD (1920x1080) LED Display; 2.0M Webcam||1 Year Standard Warranty and 1 Year Accidental Damage Warranty Included 750GB HDD 7200RPM, Super Multi DVD Drive; Illuminated Keyboard; 1x USB 3.0 + 3x USB 2.0 Ports; 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth; 8-in-1 Card Reader; Gigabit LAN|
|Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q8102 18.4-Inch Gaming Laptop (Omega Black)||i7-2630QM Processor / 6GB DDR3 1333MHz (up to 8GB)||GeForce GTX 460M graphics with 1.5 GB of GDDR5 video memory/ 18.4" diagonal widescreen TruBrite TFT display at 1680 x 945 native resolution (HD+) with 16:9 Aspect Ratio||1 year limited manufacturer's warranty from Toshiba. 640GB HDD|
|HP ENVY 17-2090NR Notebook - Silver||i7-2630QM/ 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 DIMM)||Radeon™ HD 6850M Graphics with 1024MB GDDR5 and up to 4083MB total graphics memory/ 17.3" diagonal Full High-Definition HP 3D Ultra BrightView Infinity LED Display (1920 x 1080)||1 year 1500GB Dual Hard Drive (2 x 750GB 5400RPM) SATA with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection/ Battery life Up to 2.25 hours/ Full-Size Island-Style Backlit Keyboard with Integrated Numeric Keypad/ Slot-Loading Blu-ray Player & SuperMulti DVD Burner|
|ASUS G73SW-A1 Republic of Gamers 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop (Black)||Intel Core i7-2630QM (2.0 GHz Quad-Core with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz), 8GB DDR3 1333MHz (4 x 2GB SODIMM Sockets, up to 16GB)||Nvidia GTX 460M Graphics with 1.5GB GDDR5, 17.3-Inch Full HD (1920x1080) LED Display; 2.0M Webcam||1 Year Accidental Damage Warranty and 2 Year Standard Warranty Included 1TB Hybrid HDD/SSD (2x 500GB 7200RPM/4GB SSD), Blue-Ray Combo Drive; Illuminated Keyboard; 1x USB 3.0 + 3x USB 2.0 Ports; 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth; 8-in-1 Card Reader; Gigabit LAN, Gaming Backpack and Mouse included.|
|Alienware m15x-472CSB 15-Inch Gaming Laptop||Intel Core i7-740QM 1.73GHz, 2.93GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache, 6GB RAM (1333mhz)||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 (1GB), 15.6" High-Definition Widescreen (900p)||1 Year Limited USB 2.0 Ports (3) RJ45 Ethernet IEEE 1394a (4-Pin) Port Audio-out Connectors (2) Audio-in/Microphone Jack Built-in Front Speakers (2), 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive; Slot-loading Dual-Layer (DVD+/-RW), 6 cell battery|
|ASUS G73JW-ROG Limited Edition Republic of Gamers 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop - Black||i7-740 QM, 16GB DDR3 Ram (1333 MHZ)||GTX 460M, 17.1 Inch LED||1 Year accidental Damage warranty and 2 year global warranty included 1 TB hybrid HDD/SDD,|
|Alienware m17x10-1847DSB 17‐Inch Gaming Laptop (Space Black)||i7-740 QM, 6 GB DDR 3 (1333 MHZ)||Radeon HD 5870,||1 year limited/ 500 GB (7200 RPM) HDD,|
|ASUS G73SW-A1 Republic of Gamers 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop (Black)||i7-2630QM (32nm lithography), 8 GB DDR3 (1333MHZ)||GTX 460M, 17.3 inch FULL LED display||1 Year accidental Damage warranty and 2 year global warranty included/ 1 TB hybrid HDD/SDD, comes with gaming backpack and mouse, illuminated keyboard|
|ASUS G53JW-A1 Republic of Gamers 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (Black)||i7-740QM CPU, 6GB DDR3 (1066MHZ)||GTX460M, 15.6 inch FULL HD (1920x1080) LED Display||1 Year accidental Damage warranty and 2 year global warranty included/ 750 GB HDD (7200 RPM)|
|Alienware AM11x-826CSB Gaming Laptop (Cosmic Black)||Core 2 Duo SU7300, 4 GB DDR3 (1066mhz)||GeForce GT 335M, 11.6" HD Widescreen||1 year limited/ 320 GB HDD|
Gaming Laptops – (Review Section)
Most gamers have a strong knowledge of what they need when it comes to desktop computers, it’s a fact. However, for those that need the flexibility of a laptop many don’t know where to start. If your research has brought you here, then here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Why are you buying a laptop? In other words is it for flexibility, traveling, or do you plan on this being your main gaming system? If it’s your main rig, then you probably are looking for a higher-end system. If it’s for flexibility, then are you ok with not running games at their high-resolution settings? Because gamers come here with different ideas in mind its impossible to say exactly what the “best” laptop for you would be, but in Best Gaming Laptops 2011 we’ll review and compare some of the bestselling laptops at each price point and show you where you can get the best bang for your buck.
Top 5 Gaming Laptops for 2011 – 2012
1.) ASUS G73JW-ROG Gaming Laptop (Limited Edition)
There are two big players in the gaming laptop area this year, but if you are looking for the best value, then you’ll most likely be able to find it with Asus. This laptop is our choice for over $2000. Where other brands make your laptop “look” cooler and charge you a higher price Asus continues to put the best hardware components in to make your laptop scream performance. The G73JW-ROG comes with an Intel i7-740 QM (boosts up to 2.93GHz) and a staggering 16GB DDR3 Ram (1333 MHZ). Yes, that’s right 16 GB on a laptop. It also comes with a Nvidia GTX 460M video card (1.5 GB GDDR5) which has the GF106 architecture. We also like that Asus threw in a TB hybrid HDD/SDD. Since Seagate has mentioned that SDD will most likely not completely replace HDD altogether for many years to come (not enough NAND Flash memory), we feel that you’ll see more and more hybrid drives in laptops and computers. Other nice features include a 1 year accidental damage warranty, and a 2 year standard warranty, a blue-ray burner, illuminated keyboard, USB 3.0 functionality (1x USB 3.0 3x USB 2.0), and an LED Display.
Cons: If there are any cons to the G73JW-ROG it would be that the Solid State portion of the drive simply isn’t large enough (2x500G 7200 RPM HDD/4GB SSD).
2.) Alienware m17x10-1847DSB Gaming Laptop
In this price range you’ll be comparing the M17x10-1847DSB from Alienware with the G73SQ-A1 from Asus. One of the main differences between the two is in the CPU. The Alienware laptop has a i7-740QM with the 45 nm while the G73SW-A1 boasts the newer i7-2630QM with the new 32nm microarchitecture. The Alienware laptop also comes with a Radeon HD 5870 GPU while the ASUS comes with a GTX 460M. Other features for the m17x10 include 6 GB DDR 3 (1333 MHZ), and a 500 GB(7200 RPM) hard drive.
3.) ASUS G73SW-A1 Republic of Gamers Laptop
If you had a choice in this price range between the Alienware M17x10 and the Asus G73SW-A1, then we really feel like you should go with the Asus. The hardware you get inside is clearly superior. Here’s some of the features; Intel Core i7-2630QM, 8 GB DDR3 (1333MHZ) (compatible up to 16GB), NVIDIA GTX 460M GPU, and 1 TB HDD/SSD with 2x500G/4GB SSD. It also comes with a blu ray combo drive, a 17.3 inch FULL LED display, illuminated keyboard, and even a gaming backpack and mouse. It comes with the standard Asus laptop warranty of 1 year accidental damage and 2 years standard warranty. If you are looking at the ASUS G73JW as a comparison, then it might even be a better option to purchase this laptop and upgrade the ram to 16 GB (if you feel you want to match the G73JW).
4.) ASUS G53JW-A1 Republic of Gamers Laptop
If you want a great gaming laptop below $1500, then consider the G53JW-AW Republic of gamers laptop from Asus. It comes with a i7-740QM CPU, 6GB DDR3 (1066MHZ) ram, GTX460M GPU, 750 GB HDD (7200 RPM), and USB 3.0 support (1x USB 3.0 and 3x USB 2.0). It also comes with a 15.6 inch FULL HD (1920×1080) LED Display and includes a gaming backpack and mouse. 1 Year accidental Damage warranty and 2 year global warranty included.
5.) Alienware AM11x-826CSB Gaming Laptop
At under $1000 consider the AM11x from Alienware. Specifications include a Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 CPU, 4 GB DDR3 (1066mhz), 320 GB HDD, and a GeForce GT 335M Graphics card. The screen is a 11.6″ HD Widescreen.
Overall bang for your buck our pick for best gaming laptop of 2011 – 2012 is the Asus G73SW-AW Republic of Gamers laptop.