You is perhaps on the lookout for one, however the arduous reality is: the very best low cost gaming laptop computer beneath $500 doesn’t exist—besides on eBay, which is the one place the place $500 can get you an actual gaming laptop computer with correct a one-year guarantee.
This text explains why used gaming laptops value little or no, and we’ll stroll you thru the method of shopping for an inexpensive gaming laptop computer that isn’t full junk.
Why Are Used Laptops So Low-cost?
Moore’s Law, loosely outlined, theorized that computer systems double in complexity (and pace) each 2 years. However Moore’s Regulation died round 2012. Since then, every following processor era noticed declining enhancements. In brief: computer systems aren’t obsoleting as quick anymore. (In reality, when you personal a sluggish pc, it most likely wants malware removal.)
Identical to CPUs, graphics processors (or GPUs)—the guts and soul of a gaming rig—aren’t getting a lot quicker both.
Older Graphics Processors Are Nonetheless Quick
Recreation builders know higher than anybody that computer systems aren’t getting a lot quicker. Take a look at free-to-play video games, like Fortnite. The required isn’t simply previous—it’s a midrange graphics processor from 2012. Even AAA titles, like Murderer’s Creed Odyssey, solely want an historic GTX 660 GPU.
However how have you learnt which laptop computer GPU can run a recreation?
Which Laptop computer GPUs Are Value Shopping for?
Each two years, Nvidia releases a brand new graphics processor structure they usually give it a reputation. The final three main releases have been as follows:
Maxwell (2014): Maxwell represented a major efficiency enchancment over the earlier era, Kepler. Maxwell noticed round 20% higher gaming efficiency, though it used the identical technology node. Maxwell processors have a seven, eight, or 9 on the entrance of their title.
Pascal (2016): Pascal represented an unusually huge leap in efficiency over Maxwell as a result of its denser 14nm expertise node. Pascal processors have a 10 within the entrance of their title, just like the Nvidia GTX 1050.
Turing (2018): For the needs of gaming, Turing presents a tiny efficiency benefit. Turing processors have a 20 in entrance of their title, just like the GTX 2060.
Of the three architectures, the very best bang-for-your-buck on eBay is Maxwell. Pascal and Turing are too new and costly on used markets. And Kepler, from 2012, is beginning to get much less consideration from builders.
Nvidia’s Maxwell Is a Good Deal
Maxwell was designed particularly round performance-per-watt, a bonus for laptops. Its former reputation additionally makes it cheaper on used marketplaces, like eBay.
On a cell gaming pc, a very powerful half is the GPU. However sellers not often listing the graphics processor within the title of the public sale—which ends up in used gaming laptops promoting for lower than what they’re price.
The best way to Determine a Maxwell GPU on Gaming Laptops
As talked about earlier, eBay sellers not often listing the graphics processor. Meaning you’ll have to look that info up your self.
Maxwell GPUs are recognized by an eight or 9 on the entrance of its mannequin quantity. For instance, have a look at a former midrange GPU, the GTX 950M:
The second quantity in a GPU mannequin quantity signifies its energy. For instance, the GTX 950M about equals the trendy Nvidia MX150, which is right this moment’s entry-level gaming GPU. And meaning the GTX 950M, or higher, is what you want in a used laptop computer.
In case you desire a beefier GPU, a cell GTX 870M/970M equals a desktop-class Nvidia 1050Ti. And a GTX 880M/980M falls between a 1050Ti and a GTX 1060.
Getting again to the Maxwell GTX 950M, it performs fashionable video games effectively sufficient. In benchmarks, it equals the MX150—which is right this moment’s entry-level gaming GPU for laptops. Kind of, while you’re shopping for from used markets, the GTX 850M or 950M are good beginning factors for an inexpensive gaming laptop computer. The benchmarks present it presents adequate efficiency on most free-to-play video games, with out costing an arm and a leg.
Fortnite Benchmarks for the GTX 850M
Fornite runs at 30+ frames-per-second (FPS) on an Nvidia GTX 850M with medium settings at 1080P. That’s the minimal acceptable pace for many video games:
For reference, the 950M is barely higher than the 850M. However they’re about comparable to one another. What you actually need to concentrate to is something with the next tier.
The Disadvantages of Shopping for a Used Laptop computer
There are some disadvantages to purchasing a used laptop computer: First, previous expertise makes use of extra energy so it requires a heavier cooling answer and a bigger (and heavier) battery.
Second, and this can be a huge one, the has three or 4 years of wear and tear and tear on it. Most parts are comparatively lengthy lasting—with two exceptions: the lithium-ion battery and the arduous disc drive (ways to use old HDDs).
Third-party warranties do cowl HDDs, however they don’t cowl laptop computer batteries. Even so, when you do purchase a laptop computer with an HDD, I like to recommend replacing the HDD with a Solid State Drive (SSD). And whereas laptops don’t want a working battery, most laptop computer substitute batteries value little or no.
Whereas a guaranty isn’t required, notably if you know the way to work on a pc, it could actually present peace of thoughts.
Warranties for Used eBay Laptops
Third-party guarantee corporations used to not cowl used electronics bought on eBay. Nevertheless, eBay and SquareTrade partnered collectively and now supply particular warranties on used electronics.
The best way to Purchase the Greatest Low-cost Gaming Laptop computer on eBay
There are three fundamental steps to purchasing used on eBay.
Step 1: Discover an Older Prime-Ranked Gaming Laptop computer
Search the web for phrases like “greatest gaming laptops of 2014” (2013 and 2015 additionally work). Among the best low cost gaming laptops, for the cash, is the Asus G750. However actually any good gaming laptop computer from this period works advantageous.
Should you don’t just like the G750, there are different examples of once-popular gaming laptops:
- Alienware M14x
- Razer Blade
- Lenovo IdeaPad Y500
- Alienware M18x
As a result of it launched between 2013-2014, the laptop computer comes with a Haswell quad-core CPU and wherever from an Nvidia Maxwell GTX 860M to a 970M GPU (keep away from any 700-series GPUs). The common used worth on eBay is available in for round $400. However if you are going to buy an $80 one-year SquareTrade guarantee, that comes out to lower than $500 for a gaming laptop computer that’s considerably higher than something you might purchase new in that worth vary.
Step 2: Search eBay Accomplished Listings
Now seek for that mannequin on eBay. For instance, a seek for the Asus G750 returns dozens of outcomes.
Sadly, when folks promote their laptops they oftentimes don’t describe graphics processor within the laptop computer. And since they don’t listing a very powerful a part of an inexpensive gaming laptop computer, meaning decrease costs for you.
However don’t purchase it but. You’ll wish to discover what the G750 bought for prior to now—that provides you with a good suggestion of what the Asus G750 sells for right this moment.
After navigating to eBay.com and trying to find “Asus G750”, within the left column, beneath Present solely, examine the field for Accomplished Gadgets. These point out what costs persons are shopping for comparable laptops for.
After getting an approximate worth, choose any public sale supplied by a good vendor (our best eBay buying tips) and purchase it.
Step three: Purchase a Used Laptop computer Guarantee at Checkout (Optionally available)
If you are going to buy utilizing Purchase It Now, you can too purchase a SquareTrade warranty. The guarantee has three essential necessities. Pay cautious consideration.
First, the laptop computer should operate on the time of buy. Second, you must use the Purchase It Now possibility on checkout. That means you’ll be able to’t purchase a laptop computer utilizing a conventional high-bid public sale. Third, the guarantee doesn’t cowl the lithium-ion battery. Thankfully, laptop computer batteries are often very straightforward and cheap to switch. For instance, a G750 replacement battery (with a considerable markup) prices little or no.
If the laptop computer meets these necessities, you’ll see the next message after clicking on the Purchase It Now button:
The SquareTrade guarantee is overpriced, particularly for a $400 laptop computer. However when you aren’t snug doing your own laptop repairs, it’s well worth the peace of thoughts.
What’s the Greatest Low-cost Gaming Laptop computer?
Some folks (not me) say “low cost gaming laptop computer” is an oxymoron or self-contradicting time period. That’s as a result of new gaming laptops value not less than $600—and often extra. What these folks forgot is the used market.
The very best low cost gaming laptop computer is all the time used.
The key disadvantages to purchasing older, used laptops aren’t extreme. Shopping for used means heavier laptops with higher element wear-and-tear, and higher battery drain—however you offset these issues if you are going to buy a guaranty.
For a lot of light-weight esports titles—similar to Fortnite, DOTA 2, and even video games like Grand Theft Auto V—the necessities are pretty minimal. Even an Nvidia GTX 750M performs these video games credibly effectively, however go up a tier and you may even play AAA video games.
Moreover, observe which you can squeeze much more efficiency out of any laptop computer utilizing these tips for improving gaming performance on any laptop!
Learn the complete article: How to Buy a Good Cheap Gaming Laptop for Under $500