Mine Krapht
August 4, 2012 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Minecraft laptop on a budget; Please help me choose between these two before tomorrow!

I'm trying to get a laptop for someone to play Minecraft on, for about $500. I am not tech-savvy, and I'm running out of time (need it for a birthday). Some of my friends say it should have a fast CPU, like an i5 and lots of RAM, but others (like the previous AskMes on this) say the most important thing is to avoid an integrated video card.

Given that, I've found two good deals in my price range. Of these two, which should I buy (given that this is "a computer to play Minecraft on" and nothing else.) (Also given that I am not allowed to get a Dell or an Acer or a Toshiba because apparently "they suck".)

(Also please understand I know it would be better to have a desktop, better to run Linux, better to have more money, better to get the parts and put it together myself... but let's just say that none of those are options... sorry)

I know neither of these will give world-class perfect performance, but which would give a better overall experience? I think she mostly plays offline, making her own worlds, if that matters.



Thank you!
posted by Pastor of Muppets to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Without a doubt get the Lenovo laptop. The video card is definitely the most important factor, plus Lenovo laptops are generally indestructible. Minecraft will run great on that laptop.

I have an older computer that has a slower processor and the same amount of memory as that laptop (with a slightly better graphics card) and Minecraft runs great on it (200+ frames per second on multiplayer). I also have a laptop with a faster processor, more memory and crappy integrated graphics and I only get about 30 frames per second on multiplayer.
posted by Hey Judas! at 6:01 PM on August 4, 2012

Just for reference, I wouldn't put an IdeaPad in the same class as a ThinkPad. And they aren't nearly as indestructible as they were when they were IBM. (Not that anything is anymore.)

But when buying portables, look at service and what you have to do to get the thing repaired. I would never buy one that requires me to mail it back to them. And I believe that's ASUS's way of doing things.
posted by gjc at 6:07 PM on August 4, 2012

The ASUS has a 17" screen and 8G of RAM which would make any game playing more fun than the puny 14" screen (4G RAM) on the Lenovo. Unfortunately the ASUS doesn't list its graphics part which probably means it just has the crappy integrated Intel part.

I, too, would suggest the Lenovo but only just a bit. There just isn't enough information on the ASUS to make a decision.
posted by chairface at 6:17 PM on August 4, 2012

Both of those probably have awful screens, to be honest. The Lenovo has 1366x768 pixels on a 14" screen? That's absolutely pathetic - my 11" netbook has the same. The 17" is probably similarly size/resolution disproportionate, but we'll never know, because it doesn't say (!?).

But get the Lenovo, between those two, if only because the stunning lack of specific detail regarding what's actually in the Asus should not be rewarded with purchasing dollars.
posted by zjacreman at 7:51 PM on August 4, 2012

Unfortunately the ASUS doesn't list its graphics part which probably means it just has the crappy integrated Intel part.

Sandy Bridge integrated graphics are not that bad. The integrated GPU of the Core i5 2430M used in that notebook is the HD Graphics 3000 at 1200 MHz, which supports the unified shader model and is DirectX 10.1 / OpenGL 3.1 compatible. Tom's Hardware puts it in the same performance bracket as the Radeon HD 5450 or the GeForce 9400 GT. That's certainly nothing to write home about as far as discrete graphics goes, but it's far ahead of what used to pass for integrated graphics. It's enough to play Minecraft fine, although you'd have to avoid the highest render distance setting.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:39 AM on August 5, 2012

And I forgot to say that in no way should that be taken as me suggesting that Asus notebook; I have no opinion of that. If Minecraft at the highest settings is really the top priority then perhaps HD 3000 is not going to be enough, but it's enough to get by.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:41 AM on August 5, 2012

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