Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 – 2015

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Hello. Today I will be writing about gaming laptops under 500 dollars but I am first going to start with a disclaimer. These laptops should allow you play most of the current games on low settings but I can’t guarantee you will be able to play every game. If you want a gaming laptop that will allow you play any of the latest games on medium or high settings, check out my ranking of best gaming laptops under $1000. One thousand dollars is the minimum price (in my opinion) for a good gaming laptop. But if you still want a laptop under 500 bucks AND that will allow you to play games then I will do my best to help you.

Processor

As most of you probably know currently, the Intel mobile processors are superior to the AMD ones in terms of processor performance but AMD A10 and A8 processors have superior integrated graphics. Since playing games is all about GPU then AMD processors are much better for playing games, as long as the laptop doesn’t have dedicated GPU.

Memory

The second important consideration is RAM. You have to have at least 8GB RAM because almost all modern games require at least 4GB and many of them at least 8GB but in budget gaming laptops the RAM level is reduced because of the integrated GPU, whereas dedicated graphic cards have their own RAM and this make 4GB RAM a very small amount for a good gaming experience.

Best affordable gaming laptop – Dell Inspiron 15 i5545-2500sLV

Retail Price:
$469.00
Amazon Price:
$469.00

The Dell Inspiron design is nice. It features a 15.6-inch screen with 1366×768 resolution which is standard in this price range. It has a pretty decent viewing angle but unfortunately it has a glossy display screen and it is hard to use it in sunlight. But this is very common problem in this price range.

The Dell Inspiron laptop has a Quad Core A10 processor with integrated Radeon R6 GPU, 8GB RAM and 1000GB hard disk. It has the very best integrated GPU available in gaming laptops under 500. The R6 performance is comparable to GeForce GT720.

Why have I chosen the Dell Inspiron as the best cheap gaming laptop? Inspiron has definitely the strongest available GPU of any laptops at this level and GPU is THE most important part of any gaming laptop. A10 processors are inferior to Intel’s i5 processors but integrated R6 GPU beats Intel’s solution by far, none of Intel’s integrated graphic cards can compare to the R6, even the ones in much more expensive I7 processors.

Comparison Chart

nameManufacturerPriceScreen SizeResolutionProcessorCPU clockNo. coresGraphic Card
Graphic RamRAMSSDHDDSizeWeightSystemUSB portsOther ports

 
Dell Inspiron 15
i5545-2500sLV
Dell

Retail Price:
$469.00
Amazon Price:
$469.00

15.6-Inch1366x768AMD A10-73001.9 GHz4Radeon R6No dedicated RAM8 GBNo1000 GB14.90" x 10" x 0.90"5.2 lbsWindows 8.12 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI
Lenovo Z50Lenovo

Retail Price:
---
Amazon Price:
$727.95

15.6-Inch1366x768AMD A10-73001.9 GHz4Radeon R6No dedicated RAM8 GBNo500 GB15.12" x 10.43" x 0.98"5.3 lbsWindows 8.11 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI
Dell Inspiron 15
i5545-1250sLV
Dell

Retail Price:
$459.00
Amazon Price:
$459.00

15.6-Inch1366x768AMD A8-7100 APU1.8 GHz4Radeon R5No dedicated RAM8 GBNo1000 GB14.90" x 10" x 0.90"5.2 lbsWindows 8.12 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI
Toshiba Satellite
C55-B5142
Toshiba 15.6-Inch1366x768i5-5200U2.16GHz2Intel HD 5500No dedicated RAM8 GBNo1000 GB14.96" x 10.20" x 1.05"4.8 lbsWindows 8.11 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x VGA
1 x HDMI
Dell Inspiron
15 i3543-3750BLK
Dell

Retail Price:
$508.88
Amazon Price:
$508.88

15.6-Inch1366x768i5-5200U2.16GHz2Intel HD 5500No dedicated RAM8 GBNo1000 GB15" x 10" x 1"5.3 lbsWindows 8.12 x USB 3.01 x HDMI

2nd best budget gaming laptop – Lenovo Z50 (80EC0087US)

Retail Price:

Amazon Price:
$727.95

The Z50′s design is conventional, it features a 15.6-inch TN screen with 1366×768 resolution but unfortunately, the laptop has a glowing screen and it is very hard to use it in full sunlight.

The Lenovo Z50 laptop has a Quad Core A10 processor with integrated Radeon R6 GPU, 8GB RAM and a 500GB hard disk. It has the very best integrated GPU available in gaming laptops under 500. The R6 performance is comparable to GeForce GT720.

Why have I chosen the Z50 as the second best cheap gaming laptop? Lenovo Z50 has very similar specs to the winner. It has the same A10 processor with R6 integrated GPU. But it has less storage space and the Z50 has a little less comfortable-to-use screen, with a smaller viewing angle. But it is still a very good inexpensive gaming laptop.

 

3rd best cheap gaming laptop – Dell Inspiron 15 i5545-1250sLV

Retail Price:
$459.00
Amazon Price:
$459.00

This laptop is a lower spec version of our winner with exactly same design. It features a 15.6-inch screen with 1366×768 resolution and has a pretty decent viewing angle, unfortunately this laptop has a glossy display screen and it is hard to use it in sunlight.

The Dell Inspiron laptop has a Quad Core A8 processor with integrated Radeon R5 GPU, 8GB RAM and 1000GB hard disk. It has quite a nice GPU that is comparable to the GT710.

Why did I choose Dell Inspiron 15 i5545-2500sLV as the 3rd best budget gaming laptop? Inspiron has a less powerful CPU and GPU than the two better laptops but still, an R5 graphic card integrated into an A8 processor is better than the Card integrated in the Intel i5 processors.

While this is the 3rd best laptop I have found, I  don’t think it is worth buying since you can get a more powerful version of same laptop at a similar price.

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