Best Gaming Laptop under $1,000 in 2014

We have talked in other articles about the fact that you can buy laptops that are good enough to run virtually any game on, for under $600 and $500, but today we are going to look at a few laptops that are true gaming laptops. These laptops use the type of hardware configurations that you may not even find in some gaming desktops and they will allow you to run any game with all its graphic feature on high. In order to be able to feature such extraordinary performance we have had to raise the price tag bar to under $1000, but, if you are serious about gaming, you are going to be amazed with the performance level of these machines and will agree with us that they are worth every penny. We actually had a difficult time deciding which one of them should be crowned as the best gaming laptop under $1,000 but we did make a selection of the very best and will let you make up your own mind about which one fulfills your needs the best.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p 59388313 Laptop
4.4 / 5Under $1,000Click Here!

Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV 14-Inch Gaming Laptop
4.9 / 5Under $1,000Click Here!

Dell XPS XPS14-3182sLV 14-Inch Ultrabook
3.3 / 5Under $800Click Here!

ASUS Vivobook V551LB-DB71T 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop
3.5 / 5Under $900Click Here!

HP ENVY 15 (Non-Touch) 15.6" Quad Laptop Computer
4.2 / 5Under $800Click Here!

What to Look for When Purchasing a Gaming Laptop under $1,000

Paying 1,000 dollars may not seem like a lot, considering that you are getting the most versatile gaming station possible, and that there are much more expensive laptops on the market anyway, but that does not mean you should accept any piece of hardware that manufacturers are throwing out there. With one notable exception that we are going to talk about later on in this article, gaming laptops that cost close to $1,000 need to come with an i7 processor. The i7 is the best series of processors in the Intel armada of processors and they come with a quad core nucleus and a 6 megabytes cache.

Most laptop i5s, for example, only have a 3 or 4 megabytes cache and are usual just simple dual core processors. Furthermore, i7s support Hyper-Threading while i5 processors do not, which means that an quad core i7 can run 8 threads, 2 for each core, at the same time. Add to that the fact that i7 processors have a minimum of 2.4 gigahertz that can be maxed out to 3.4 gigahertz and you begin to get a picture of what beasts they are.

Of course the processor itself is not enough to make a great machine, and, if you are going to pay close to 1,000 dollars you should expect to also get at least a dedicated video card with its own dedicated memory. The i7 processor does come with its own GPU capabilities and all laptops featuring them will have an Intel HD Graphics 3400 video capability, but the best of the best, the ones we are going to feature here have they own video capability. That means your get a much more powerful graphics processor and a video card that has its own dedicated memory chips.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p Gaming Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p 59388313 15.6-Inch Laptop

 

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It is safe to say that, as far as technical specifications go, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p is the best gaming laptop you can get for under $1,000 on the market in 2014. It has so many great features that it is actually difficult to decide with which one we should start but let’s focus first on the fact that it uses the Intel Core i7-4700 quad core processor running at 2.4 GHz but capable of reaching 3.4 GHz. That is almost standard on this type of laptops so, although impressive it is not what caught our attention.

What really impressed us about the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p is that it comes with a Dual nVidia GeForce GT750M video configuration with 2 gigabytes of DDR5 VRAM graphics memory. This is the type of video configuration you would only expect to find in a desktop since you are basically using two distinct video cards, working together to take your gaming experience to that next level. Even more interesting is that you get the second video card in the box and you can plug it in it the extension bay instead of the DVD Rom, or you can leave it out to extend battery life if you do not need the boost in performance. So you are literally getting the video configuration capabilities of a gaming desktop in an easy to carry laptop.

Add on top of all that you get a series of other extremely interesting features like an 8 GB solid state drive or SSD where you can install your operating system for almost instant boot ups. You get a standard of 8 gigabytes of memory but those can be further upgraded to 32 gigabytes of RAM if you want to go crazy with your system. And finally, you get a 1 terabyte, that is 1,000 gigabytes, hard drive to satisfy all your storing needs.

Alienware 14 Gaming Laptop

Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV 14-Inch Gaming Laptop

 

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On paper the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p is one of the best gaming laptops on the market in 2014, but if you have some experience with the gaming world, you will know that the best gaming computers are made by Alienware. They are able to use the absolute best parts and build not only some of the sturdiest systems, but also the most powerful ones. They are somewhat similar with Apple in that their systems look weaker on paper than other systems of similar price and yet, when it comes to trying them out, their systems are far better than anything else in the same price range.

Case in point, the Alienware 14 is the only gaming laptop that we are going to feature here that only uses an i5 processor, running at a maximum of 3.1 GHz and yet it out performs in actual gaming conditions all the other laptops that we are going to feature from now on. It uses a single nVidia GeForce 750M graphics card with 1 GB of dedicated RAM and yet it is the only one to pose a challenge to the Lenovo and its much more powerful configuration.

The Alienware 14 uses 8 GB of RAM and, although you can upgrade that to 32 gigabytes, you will not have to because this laptop works so beautifully with any of the games currently available. You also only get a 750 gigabytes hard drive, but it does run at 7200 RPM. The truth is that we were so excited to include an Alienware in our list that we even went overboard with the price a little bit and you will have to pay just a little over 1,000 dollars to get it but we really think that it is more than worth the money.

Dell XPS 14 Gaming Laptop

Dell XPS XPS14-3182sLV 14-Inch Ultrabook

 

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The next couple of laptops we are going to look at are considerably cheaper than the first two we have looked at but they still offer that next gen level of performance that it would be fair to expect when paying close to 1,000 dollars for a product. The Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook is one of the most beautiful and yet powerful systems you could get for the money. It is extremely light at 4.7 pounds and has a battery life of 11 hours.

Of course those characteristics are just incidental in a gaming laptop but we though it better to start with them since everything else is pretty standard. With the Dell XPS gaming laptop you get an Intel i7 processor running at a standard 2.4 GHz but capable of reaching 3.4 thanks to its Turbo Boost capabilities, and 8 GB of RAM memory.

However, there are other goodies to consider when thinking about the Dell XPS 14 gaming laptop, like the fact that it has a 32 gigabytes SSD hard drive along with a 500 gigabytes storage hard drive. That means you can run your operating system and your favorite game from the SSD and that will give you a boost in performance that you cannot imagine. We were also impressed that, despite its relatively low price, with the Dell XPS you get a dedicated video card, the nVidia GeForce 630M with 1 GB of RAM. In case you were wondering the GeForce 630M is a weaker video card than the GeForce 750M we talked before.

The Dell XPS 14 gaming laptop is made out of machined aluminum so it is pretty sturdy and it uses Corning Gorilla Glass for its monitor just like the best smartphones do. So despite the fact that it is so thin the Dell is a very sturdy laptop that you can comfortable carry around with you to wherever the gaming action is.

ASUS Vivobook Gaming Laptop

ASUS Vivobook V551LB-DB71T

 

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The Asus Vivobook gaming laptop is in the same performance and price level as the Dell but they chose to go in a slightly different direction with their system. They chose an Intel Core i7 processor running at just 1.8 GHz and with a maximum 3 GHz through Turbo Boost. It also can only handle a maximum of 16 GB of RAM, and that is something you should consider if you were planning to upgrade the 8 GB of RAM that come standard with the laptop.

They went with that much weaker processor because that gave them the possibility to splash a little bit more money on the video card and, with the Asus Vivobook you get an nVidia GeForce GT 740M video card with 2 gigabytes of RAM. That is you get a video card that is almost as powerful as the GeForce 750M that our favorite, albeit more expensive laptops in the beginning of the article have.

Once more, thanks to that slight dip in processor power you also get a 1 terabyte hard drive for storage space and a 32 gigabyte solid state drive for your operating system. However, the battery life is of only 5 hours, under the best conditions, so you need to take that to into consideration. The bottom line is that the Asus and the Dell both deliver very powerful systems, but, because we think it is a little bit better balanced, we would recommend choosing the Asus Vivobook if you do not mind that it is a bit heavier and it does not have the battery life that the Dell XPS has.

HP Envy 15 Gaming Laptop

HP ENVY 15 (Non-Touch) 15.6" Quad Laptop Computer

 

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Finally the HP Envy 15 is the absolute cheapest laptop that you can get and still expect the performance level of a just under 1,000 dollars laptop. It uses the fourth generation Intel i7 processor running at 2.4 GHz and is capable of achieving 3.4 GHz if need be. That means you can upgrade the 8 GB of RAM it comes with as standard to 16 GB if you ever feel the need to get more power out of the system. And you also get a 1 terabyte hard drive, without the addition SSD for faster boot up speeds.

The biggest disadvantage you have with the HP Envy 15 is that this is the only gaming laptop we have featured here that does not have a dedicated video card. Instead it uses the Intel HD Graphics 4600 inherent to the function of the i7 processor. The i7 doubles as a relatively strong GPU and you should not have that many problems with most modern games but for the few dollars you would be saving, we really think it is not worth it. Still, for many gamers, every bit of dollar they can save is important so we decided to feature the HP Envy in our list as one of the best gaming laptops under $1,000.

Conclusion

If you are going to spend close to 1.000 dollars to buy the best gaming laptop, we think that you should not skimp out and go for the best. In this case the best has to be the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p with its dual video card capabilities, fourth generation i7 quad core processor and SSD drive for the operating system. However, the Alienware is a competitor that has to be taken into consideration, and, in the gaming world, having an Alienware is more than just having a powerful system, it is the emblem through which every other gamer knows that you need to be taken serious both in the real world and in the virtual environment.

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I am a long time gamer and i have had a chance to review most of the professional gaming gear on the market. Stay tuned for amazing reviews of the best gaming peripherals here at Best Gaming Advisor.

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