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EDIT:
I have now made my decision. I pulled the trigger on the PS4. I decided I really didn't want to mess around with all the hassles and headaches of a second computer with an unfamiliar OS (Windows), and I went for the plug-and-play simplicity. The PS4 will also be much better for family co-op (although such games are increasingly rare these days, thankfully the main game my son wants does have it, at least for some game modes). Plus my wife said if we had a TV she'd use it to watch movies, which was no small factor in the decision making :D.

Thank you to everyone for your helpful advice :)!

ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS:

I currently have a 2009 iMac, but I’m thinking of getting an additional new system which will be used primarily for gaming. (Sadly, many of the games I’m looking at are not available for Macs, which is why I can’t simply get a new Mac).

I looked at a PS4, and the cost of that system plus even a 40” 1080p TV (I do not currently own a TV) would run me around $1000. I would not get other use out of the TV nor the PS4 apps, I’m looking at these solely for gaming.

Then I got to thinking, for $1000 could I get a Windows laptop? Then I would have a lot more usefulness out of it other than gaming. I’m really not familiar with PCs at all, I tried looking around a bit at laptops online and I got totally lost. This is where you come in :). For around $1000, can I get a Windows laptop which can play recent AAA games (such as GTAV)? I’d basically like to know if I should really start buffing up my PC knowledge and begin looking into this option in earnest, or am I dreaming?

Budgetwise, I’m not really looking to save money. I want to spend the $1000, and I want the latest and the best that it can buy me. But is it enough?

Notes:
1) I am in Canada, but let’s just assume we’re talking US Dollars for the sake of simplicity.
2) I am only considering a laptop PC, I do not have space for a second desktop computer and I’m not giving up my Mac :).
Post edited May 10, 2015 by 01kipper
From just taking a quick glance at laptops available in that price range, I think the decision really comes down to games you want and how you feel about future compatibility (I prefer games, when possible, on PC simply because I can usually play them a decade later and am not bound by specific hardware).

I game on a laptop and while I like it, using the built in keyboard can suck because you have to extend your arm out further. And the screen is smaller. If you've got an extra mouse and keyboard (and preferably a monitor hook-up when you want to do longer gaming sessions), then it'll be fine. If it has to be solely confined within the laptop, then it's a bit of a drawback. Though the monitor aspect might be unique to me since I only have a 13" screen.

If you do go with a laptop, this is the best one in your budget that I could find with a short amount of time: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100025325%204022%20600555758
]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100025325%204022%20600555758
[/url]

The GPU in that should give you this level of performance (scroll down to see game benchmarks): [url=]http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-960M.138006.0.html[/url]

I'm also making the assumption that you intend to use the laptop exclusively for gaming- if it's going to be used for any general computing functions, then I'd say get the laptop.

EDIT: There was also a review of that model with benchmarks specific to that model (as opposed to general GPU benchmarks). [url=]http://www.notebookcheck.net/Acer-Aspire-V15-Nitro-Black-Edition-VN7-591G-Notebook-Review.140919.0.html[/url]
Post edited May 01, 2015 by SumoX
I would go with the computer, as that is what im doing right now. There is just no big must play games on consoles yet, and the ones that have perked my interest are also on pc. Nintendo titles of course being the exception.

I'm currently in the last leg of building my new rig (just need a video card and os) and it should be roughly on par if not beyond what consoles can do spec wise
If you were to pick the ps4 and you're not gonna give much use to the tv then it would be better just to pick a monitor instead, it would cheaper.

Since i can relate to that (i have a laptop from 2010) i bought a ps4, was a wise choice? I don't know, i honestly am not a big fan of playing on pc's and what bothers me (and i know it's a psychological thing) is that i will never get the full experience from the pc game, i have to reduce some graphical thing so it has a stable/decent framerate, at least on the consoles (ps4 in this case) i know that i'm having the full experience.

Anyway, i'd say that should be Desktop > laptop > ps4, besides bloodborne (well, and the last of us remastered) there isn't any advantage on having the console...
avatar
SumoX: From just taking a quick glance at laptops available in that price range, I think the decision really comes down to games you want and how you feel about future compatibility (I prefer games, when possible, on PC simply because I can usually play them a decade later and am not bound by specific hardware).

I game on a laptop and while I like it, using the built in keyboard can suck because you have to extend your arm out further. And the screen is smaller. If you've got an extra mouse and keyboard (and preferably a monitor hook-up when you want to do longer gaming sessions), then it'll be fine. If it has to be solely confined within the laptop, then it's a bit of a drawback. Though the monitor aspect might be unique to me since I only have a 13" screen.

If you do go with a laptop, this is the best one in your budget that I could find with a short amount of time: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100025325%204022%20600555758
]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100025325%204022%20600555758
[/url]

The GPU in that should give you this level of performance (scroll down to see game benchmarks): [url=]http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-960M.138006.0.html[/url]

I'm also making the assumption that you intend to use the laptop exclusively for gaming- if it's going to be used for any general computing functions, then I'd say get the laptop.

EDIT: There was also a review of that model with benchmarks specific to that model (as opposed to general GPU benchmarks). [url=]http://www.notebookcheck.net/Acer-Aspire-V15-Nitro-Black-Edition-VN7-591G-Notebook-Review.140919.0.html[/url]
Thanks, very helpful and you've also given me some other points to consider as well, regarding benefits and drawbacks of a laptop.

That laptop you linked looks a lot beefier than I was expecting! So great news for me in that I'm not off-base looking at laptops in this price range.

I would be using the laptop mostly for gaming, I don't really need a laptop for other purposes at the moment, but if I had one I'm sure other uses would pop up (unlike the PS4) which is what got me considering that option.
avatar
Necross: I would go with the computer, as that is what im doing right now. There is just no big must play games on consoles yet, and the ones that have perked my interest are also on pc. Nintendo titles of course being the exception.

I'm currently in the last leg of building my new rig (just need a video card and os) and it should be roughly on par if not beyond what consoles can do spec wise
Yeah, there aren't any console-exclusive games I'm looking at for the moment either. I don't think I have enough confidence or knowledge to build my own rig though :D, I'll be looking for something pre-built.
Post edited May 01, 2015 by 01kipper
Why not a PS3 or Xbox360?
I believe they're not too expensive these days, console as well as games.

I don't know what type of gamer you are but I really don't like playing on laptops and would recommend a desktop instead, hook it up on a big TV screen with remote keyboard with touchpad and play with a gamepad and you have sort of a console experience as well.
avatar
Cyraxpt: If you were to pick the ps4 and you're not gonna give much use to the tv then it would be better just to pick a monitor instead, it would cheaper.

Since i can relate to that (i have a laptop from 2010) i bought a ps4, was a wise choice? I don't know, i honestly am not a big fan of playing on pc's and what bothers me (and i know it's a psychological thing) is that i will never get the full experience from the pc game, i have to reduce some graphical thing so it has a stable/decent framerate, at least on the consoles (ps4 in this case) i know that i'm having the full experience.

Anyway, i'd say that should be Desktop > laptop > ps4, besides bloodborne (well, and the last of us remastered) there isn't any advantage on having the console...
I had not considered just getting a monitor, didn't occur to me. That is something to look into though, thanks.

I know what you mean about the PS4, I think the fact that it's so simple and you know that the game is going to run perfectly without messing around is the main advantage.

I'm hoping that I can find a laptop which is powerful enough that can run current games without the need to turn down some graphics, at least for a year or so until it becomes outpaced!
avatar
Strijkbout: Why not a PS3 or Xbox360?
I believe they're not too expensive these days, console as well as games.

I don't know what type of gamer you are but I really don't like playing on laptops and would recommend a desktop instead, hook it up on a big TV screen with remote keyboard with touchpad and play with a gamepad and you have sort of a console experience as well.
That. A PS3 will save you money and you'll have a gazillion more games to choose from... and you'll save a deal of dough on the purchase. With the extra money you can then invest in stock options or a Roth IRA.
avatar
Strijkbout: Why not a PS3 or Xbox360?
I believe they're not too expensive these days, console as well as games.

I don't know what type of gamer you are but I really don't like playing on laptops and would recommend a desktop instead, hook it up on a big TV screen with remote keyboard with touchpad and play with a gamepad and you have sort of a console experience as well.
I'm not considering the PS3/360 because I feel that if I'm going to pay money for this, I'd rather pay more and get the most recent/best.

I agree from a pure gaming perspective that a desktop PC is better, but the reality is that I simply don't have the space for it, and I think I would get more secondary use out of a laptop.
Been gaming on laptops exclusively for something like 10 years now. What I consider my baseline requirements:

- discrete GPU
- 17" screen at 1080 (or 1200) x 1920
- full keyboard with Number Pad
- 4x USB ports

If it doesn't have those then I look elsewhere. If it does, then other factors come into play.
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01kipper: I had not considered just getting a monitor, didn't occur to me. That is something to look into though, thanks.

I know what you mean about the PS4, I think the fact that it's so simple and you know that the game is going to run perfectly without messing around is the main advantage.

I'm hoping that I can find a laptop which is powerful enough that can run current games without the need to turn down some graphics, at least for a year or so until it becomes outpaced!
Just don't forget that you won't have sound coming out of it (well, at least some monitors) so you will have to connect a headphone to the monitor or the dualshock (if you decide to go that way).

The thing with laptops is that it won't have much power and it will overheat quicker so for 1000$ i would say that you can run most games at high but with some tweaks, a friend of mine bought a laptop for something like 1500€ so i'll ask him later how does the games that he have run.
Post edited May 01, 2015 by Cyraxpt
avatar
Strijkbout: Why not a PS3 or Xbox360?
I believe they're not too expensive these days, console as well as games.

I don't know what type of gamer you are but I really don't like playing on laptops and would recommend a desktop instead, hook it up on a big TV screen with remote keyboard with touchpad and play with a gamepad and you have sort of a console experience as well.
avatar
01kipper: I'm not considering the PS3/360 because I feel that if I'm going to pay money for this, I'd rather pay more and get the most recent/best.

I agree from a pure gaming perspective that a desktop PC is better, but the reality is that I simply don't have the space for it, and I think I would get more secondary use out of a laptop.
I don't know, the current generation is limping along, agreed the PS4 seems to go along nicely but its catalog isn't very impressive. In 10 years time they may refer to this generation as the lost one with hardly any succesful consoles and games and then keep in mind that in the current state they only want to suck all the money out of you. Forza 5 for instance you need to keep investing into stuff you got in one game if you got Forza 4 for instance. I would hardly call that the best even though it is the most recent.

As for the laptop, why own two, one of them will only become redundant and gather dust.
Post edited May 01, 2015 by Strijkbout
The advantage of the laptop is that it is multi-functional. You get games, web browsing, and office software.

My suggestion is to look up what games are available for consoles that you cannot get on PC or ones that play better overall on consoles or better yet which ones are exclusive to the PS4.

The only gaming laptops that interest me are the ASUS ones but I am not a big expert on that field.
avatar
01kipper: I'm not considering the PS3/360 because I feel that if I'm going to pay money for this, I'd rather pay more and get the most recent/best.

I agree from a pure gaming perspective that a desktop PC is better, but the reality is that I simply don't have the space for it, and I think I would get more secondary use out of a laptop.
avatar
Strijkbout: I don't know the current generation is limping along, agreed the PS4 seems to go along nicely but its catalog isn't very impressive. In 10 years time they may refer to this generation as the lost one with hardly any succesful consoles and games and then keep in mind that in the current state they only want to suck all the money out of you. Forza 5 for instance you need to keep investing into stuff you got in one game if you got Forza 4 for instance. I would hardly call that the best even though it is the most recent.

As for the laptop, why own two, one of them will only become redundant and gather dust.
And that's part of the problem with gaming laptops. They're pretty proprietary. Not a lot of options to upgrade. Plus they're expensive as hell. I've been waiting for years for a decently priced laptop that can keep up with modern games for a while. I'm still waiting.
Some things to consider:

A desktop PC lasts longer, costs less and is more powerful than a laptop.

I got a 40" Samsung for $350 USD. Shop smart and you can find a similar deal and shave a lot of money off the price.

A good TV can last 20-30 years. Your life situation will be very different through those years. So you may get more use out of a TV than you think you will in the long run.

A computer can also be used for a multitude of things. Those things could potentially help or hinder your life. So think about those attributes.

What do you like to play? Find the system that has the games you want to play the most.

How much do you want to invest into gaming? How much do you game?

You can game for a lot cheaper if you play a lot of games on PC.

You can game for cheaper if you play fewer games or you like just newly-released AAA titles on PS4.

A laptop is usually rated to last 2-3 years. A PS4, I would imagine, will safely last 4-5 years. But that's a guess on my part.


There's some food for thought. I personally don't know what I'll end up doing. My gaming habits have changed a lot and I think I'd be inclined to get a PS4 or XBONE (prob XBONE b/c everyone in my fam has one). But that's me and my gaming "needs." What are your needs and what do you think will fulfill those needs the most?