Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top 10 Gaming Notebooks

Florian Glaser (translated by Martina Osztovits), 10/06/2014

October 2014 update. Here you will find the current best gaming notebooks reviewed by Notebookcheck in the last few months. Our list of top models is regularly updated, maintained and commented on and should assist in purchasing decisions.

For the original German article, see here.

We divided the Top 10 in two sections to meet the increasing number of lightweight gaming notebooks. You can now find a list with the best high-end laptops that weigh less than 3 kg here. Our "classic" Gaming Top 10 (witouth any restrictions in terms of weight) is obviously still availabe.

While there were six new additions in the last month (Acer Aspire V3-772GGigabyte P25X v2 or P27G v2, respectively, Lenovo Y50-70 UHD Lenovo Y50-70 UHDMedion Erazer X7831 & Schenker XMG C404), we only reviewed three gaming notebooks in September. However, they were really good. The first device is the Medion Erazer X7613, a 23 millimeters thin 17-inch device based on the MSI GS70. Because of the less powerful graphics card (GTX 860M instead of GTX 870M), the review unit was a bit quiter than the original. Considering the 16 GB memory and the integrated SSD, the price of 1,350 Euros is justified. In addition there were the MSI GT72 and the Aver V 17 Nitro that secured place 2 and 4, respectively. Tip: You should wait if you want to buy a new gaming notebook in 2014. We expect Nvidia's 900 generation in October.

Gaming Notebook Charts as of October 2014

Pos. RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionFinish
188%05/14

Asus G750JZ
Intel Core i7 4700HQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $2199 at Amazon

4.3 kg58 mm17.31920x1080matte
2

87%

new!

09/14

MSI GT72
Intel Core i7 4710HQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M
16 GB RAM, Triple-SSD
from $2499 at Amazon

3.8 kg48 mm17.31920x1080matte
387%05/14
Alienware 17
Intel Core i7 4700MQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $3289 at Amanzon
4.2 kg46 mm17.31920x1080matte
4

86%

new!

09/14Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro
Intel Core i7 4710HQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $1499 at Amazon
3.0 kg25 mm17.31920x1080matte
586%07/14
Asus G750JM
Intel Core i7 4700HQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M
8 GB RAM, HDD
from $1249 at Amazon
3.9 kg50 mm17.31920x1080matte
686%

05/14

Asus G750JS
Intel Core i7 4700HQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $1750 at Amazon
4.1 kg50 mm17.31920x1080matte
786%04/14MSI GT70 2PE
Intel Core i7 4800MQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M
12 GB RAM, HDD
from $1400 at Amazon
3.8 kg55 mm17.31920x1080matte
885%07/14

Asus GL550JK
Intel Core i7 4700HQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M
16 GB RAM, SSD
from €1399 at Cyberport

2.3 kg28 mm15.61920x1080matte
983% 08/14

Medion Erazer X7831
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M
16 GB, SSD
from €1650 at Medion

3.8 kg60 mm17.31920x1080matte
1083%03/14One K73-4N
Intel Core i7 4800MQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $1455 at Amazon
3.7 kg45 mm17.31920x1080matte

Top 10 of the previous 10 months at the time of writing - current articles are listed first

Editors' Comments

1st

Asus G750JZ
Asus G750JZ

Thanks to its comparatively low emissions (system noise + temperature) and the high performance, the top version of the G750-series can secure the first place in our gaming charts. Even though the device is almost six centimeters high and weighs almost 4.3 kilograms, the owner gets a first-class high-end product, which scores with a good picture and sound quality, a high build quality as well as great input devices. The connectivity (Thunderbolt, 4x USB 3.0...) and the battery runtimes are not bad, either.

Asus charges the corresponding price for the good overall package. Our review unit costs almost 2,000 Euros. It is unfortunate that the maintainability is pretty limited.

2nd

MSI GT72
MSI GT72

Despite the low rating advantage, the MSI GT72 can leave a much better impression than the 17-inch sibling GT70. The new design is just as convincing as the improved port layout. The GT72 looks more noble and sophisticated in general, which can justify the huge price point (2,700 Euros for the SKU7) to a certain extent.

As it is typical for MSI, the high-end device is advertised with several features. For example the 3-zone illumination of the keyboard, the RAID configuration with several SSDs or the multi-display support. This MSI is also the reference in terms of sound. That the Asus is ahead is not only caused by the integrated battery, but also the slightly worse input devices of the GT72. The lack of Nvidia's Optimus technology (manual GPU switching) is a matter of taste as well. Otherwise, there is hardly any criticism for the GT72. A height of 4.8 centimeters and a weight of 3.8 kilograms clearly indicate a desktop replacement.

3rd

Alienware 17
Alienware 17

While Alienware usually secured the first place in the past, the competition is currently slightly ahead. The Alienware 17 is a bit louder than the Asus G750JZ and MSI GT72, respectively, despite the bulkier chassis (4.2 kilograms). The temperatures under load are higher as well.

Dell's subsidiary is among the best devices in the other disciplines. It does not matter if you look at the keyboard, touchpad or the build quality: There are no issues in terms of quality. It also deserves praise for the maintainability and the comprehensive illumination. You get a serious gaming device if you like the unique design. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 880M was the fastest GPU at the time of the review.

4th

Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro

Acer's V 17 Nitro is a respectable entry into the gaming market. The notebook easily secures the 4th spot, even though the GeForce GTX 860M of the Black Edition is not even close to the performance of the GTX 870M or the formerly mentioned GTX 880M. Besides the nice design, the mobility in particular is an advantage. Most high-end devices weigh more than three kilograms, and the same applies for the height of 2.5 centimeters.

The V 17 Nitro does not offer a whole lot of ports, but other features like the illuminated keyboard or the IPS display with wide viewing angles can easily compensate this drawback. Another advantage is the noise development, the fans are pretty restrained during 3D operation. In short: Mobile gamers get the perfect device if they don't have a problem with the integrated battery.

5th

Asus G750JM
Asus G750JM

The places 5 and 6 are occupied by the less powerful versions of the G750. A GeForce GTX 860M is much easier to cool than a GTX 880M, so Asus was able to reduce the chassis height by a couple of millimeters. The weight is also lower compared to the G750JZ with 3.9 vs 4.3 kilograms.

Apart from the modified chassis, the G750JM has all the advantages and weaknesses of the more expensive sibling. The moderate emissions are an advantage, just like the usable battery runtimes. However, Asus waives an SSD to keep the price down, and that is definitely noticeable in practice. It is at least no problem to upgrade the storage solution. All things considered, the price of 1,400 Euros is just okay. If the performance of the GeForce GTX 860M is sufficient for you, then there are several (and often cheaper) 15-inch alternatives.

6th

Asus G750JS
Asus G750JS

The G750JS is between the G750JM and the G750JZ. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 870M is not based on the latest Maxwell architecture, but still powerful enough for smooth gameplay with the majority of titles in (very) high details and anti aliasing – even in the native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

The chassis is similar to the configuration with a GTX 860M, so it is not as bulky as the top version. The measurements in the sections display, system noise and temperature hardly differ from the top version. Our review unit costs around 1,800 Euros, which is pretty much, even for a gaming notebook.

7th

MSI GT70
MSI GT70

After the launch of the GT72 we would not recommend the old GT70 anymore. First because of the thicker chassis and the bulkier footprint (not to speak about the curious design), but also because of the much louder cooling solution during 3D operation. Instead of 40-50 dB(A), we measured 47-56 dB(A) for the GT70. This does not sound like a big difference on the paper, but it is a huge difference in practice. The new GT72 is also equipped with a more powerful PSU and not the weak 180 Watts version.

The only reasons to choose the GT70 would be the lower price and the directly accessible battery in our opinion. Or you are one of the few users that like the "Bling Bling" look.

8th

Asus GL550JK
Asus GL550JK

Only one 15-inch notebook is currently in our "normal" Top 10 list. Thanks to its bright IPS panel with accurate colors, the Asus GL550JK can surpass many 17-inch rivals (where TN panel are still standard). The compact chassis and the low weight (~2.3 kilograms) are other positive aspects of the product. One of the biggest highlights is the sound system, the provided subwoofer ensures a decent bass.

Potential owners will have to make compromises in regard to the performance. The DDR3 version of the GeForce GTX 850M is only suited for occasional gaming sessions without the maximum details and anti aliasing. Because of the comparatively slow GPU, we think the price is a bit high: For 1,400 Euros you already get a faster notebook – aluminum, Solid State Drive and illuminated keyboard or not.

9th

Medion Erazer X7831
Medion Erazer X7831

Medion uses MSI's MS-1763 chassis for the Erazer X7831. Except for some small and unimportant details (one-color illumination, no metal cover...), the 17-inch device is almost on one level with the original.

We were especially impressed by the price-performance ratio. What other rival offers a notebook with a GTX 880M for 1,650 Euros? There are no issues in the other categories, either. 16 GB DDR3 memory and a Blu-ray drive are adequate for the future. A combination of SSD and HDD is nice as well. Overall, we would call the X7831 an insider's tip for price-conscious gamers.

10th

One K73-4N
One K73-4N

Similar to many rivals on this list, the One K73-4N is a conventional gaming notebook that doesn't pay much attention on a thin silhouette. The configurable high-end chassis is provided by the barebone experts from Clevo (P170SM-A) and has – at least from the inside – similarities with the Schenker XMG P704 (P177SM-A), which was recently on place 10.

There were no big drawbacks in our review (only the noise development could be improved), but the One K73-4N still has a hard time against the top 3, it does not matter if you look at the sound quality or the touchpad. We want to mention some positive aspects at this point, including the port variety and the great maintainability (up to four hard drives!). A clean Windows installation is not a matter of course, either.

Recent Gaming Awards

Comparison of the Top 10 Gaming Laptops

Size Comparison

Measurement Results

Asus G750JZ-T4023H
MSI GT72-2PE16SR231BW
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
Asus G750JM-T4014H
Asus G750JS-T4064H
MSI GT70 2PE-890US
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
Medion Erazer X7831-MD98776
One K73-4N
Screen
Brightness Center275294302330286276324328314337
Black Level *0.490.280.490.590.570.480.350.430.320.35
Contrast5611050616559502575926763981963
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *3.3411.719.317.195.398.2410.553.999.9910.79
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *2.212.069.637.275.798.8311.015.1810.3610.73
Gamma *2.52.672.132.542.552.512.622.52.782.7
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)58545759585954595458
Noise
Idle Minimum *29.633.030.229.930.829.234.230.23029.2
Idle Average *31.233.331.230.732.23134.430.631.633.5
Idle Maximum *33.834.435.232.132.832.634.831.035.837.8
Load Average *41.140.243.938.138.241.346.840.247.449.0
Load Maximum *48.849.650.843.647.450.456.042.656.452.3
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *34.240.538.553.338.034.843.562.148.542.3
Maximum Bottom *4448.158.955.144.842.345.460.357.842.9
Idle Upper Side *28.827.628.83032.028.826.532.631.929.2
Idle Bottom *28.628.432.830.132.129.630.331.932.528.2
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle577535460522462617392299489280
Load7479691119188715754100
WiFi377170349220336323389201267209
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *11.626.014.15.412.81111.011.89.815.9
Idle Average *16.531.020.112.619.216.418.315.017.924.5
Idle Maximum *24.235.830.418.326.223.828.420.431.128.7
Load Average *115113.1121.084.282.7101127.581.2126.6121.3
Load Maximum *213.9204.0212.5127.6147.2181.2182.0115.8178196.0

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Asus G750JZ-T4023H
5746 Points ∼87%
MSI GT72-2PE16SR231BW
5846 Points ∼88%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
5464 Points ∼82%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
5808 Points ∼88%
Asus G750JM-T4014H
3570 Points ∼54%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
5348 Points ∼81%
MSI GT70 2PE-890US
3566 Points ∼54%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
5891 Points ∼89%
Medion Erazer X7831-MD98776
5597 Points ∼84%
One K73-4N
6017 Points ∼91%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus G750JZ-T4023H
3260 Points ∼66%
MSI GT72-2PE16SR231BW
4408 Points ∼89%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
3451 Points ∼70%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
3620 Points ∼73%
Asus G750JM-T4014H
3509 Points ∼71%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
3195 Points ∼65%
MSI GT70 2PE-890US
3978 Points ∼80%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
3588 Points ∼72%
Medion Erazer X7831-MD98776
3448 Points ∼70%
One K73-4N
3507 Points ∼71%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus G750JZ-T4023H
8418 Points ∼64%
MSI GT72-2PE16SR231BW
8492 Points ∼65%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
7816 Points ∼59%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
5178 Points ∼39%
Asus G750JM-T4014H
5545 Points ∼42%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
7151 Points ∼54%
MSI GT70 2PE-890US
8148 Points ∼62%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
4858 Points ∼37%
Medion Erazer X7831-MD98776
8294 Points ∼63%
One K73-4N
7151 Points ∼54%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GT72-2PE16SR231BW
126808 Points ∼13%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
84677 Points ∼8%
Asus G750JM-T4014H
107407 Points ∼11%
MSI GT70 2PE-890US
82289 Points ∼8%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
104745 Points ∼10%
Medion Erazer X7831-MD98776
92164 Points ∼9%
One K73-4N
108072 Points ∼11%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus G750JZ-T4023H
18412 Points ∼76%
MSI GT72-2PE16SR231BW
19052 Points ∼79%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
18307 Points ∼75%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
16299 Points ∼67%
Asus G750JM-T4014H
16389 Points ∼68%
MSI GT70 2PE-890US
19781 Points ∼82%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
14231 Points ∼59%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
14231 Points ∼59%
Medion Erazer X7831-MD98776
18884 Points ∼78%
One K73-4N
17139 Points ∼71%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus G750JZ-T4023H
5574 Points ∼56%
MSI GT72-2PE16SR231BW
5480 Points ∼55%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
5252 Points ∼53%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
3633 Points ∼36%
Asus G750JM-T4014H
3907 Points ∼39%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
4384 Points ∼44%
MSI GT70 2PE-890US
5577 Points ∼56%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
2836 Points ∼28%
Medion Erazer X7831-MD98776
5485 Points ∼55%
One K73-4N
4261 Points ∼43%

Legend

 
Asus G750JZ-T4023H Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 2x Sandisk X110 SD6SP1M-128G RAID 0
 
MSI GT72-2PE16SR231BW Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 3x Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD (RAID 0)
 
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M) Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
 
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q) Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
 
Asus G750JM-T4014H Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, HGST Travelstar 5K1500 HTS541515A9E630
 
Asus G750JS-T4064H Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
 
MSI GT70 2PE-890US Intel Core i7-4800MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
 
Asus GL550JK-CN391H Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
 
Medion Erazer X7831-MD98776 Intel Core i7-4710MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
 
One K73-4N Intel Core i7-4800MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Gaming Notebooks
Author: Florian Glaser, 2014-10- 6 (Update: 2014-10- 6)