laptop for modded minecraft?
March 20, 2015 10:07 AM   Subscribe

It's time to replace my laptop that I use for basic internet/email/office stuff. I'd like to be able to run modded Minecraft on it as well. Help.

Hi all,

I am apparently one of the last people on Earth who is getting into modded Minecraft. Coincidentally my old laptop has been giving signs that she's about to go to the computer store in the sky. So I'd like to make sure the replacement is good enough to run Minecraft on it. I'd like to do random playing as well as things like Agrarian Skies and Blast Off on a server with some friends. I probably won't be doing much other gaming on it (other than maybe Cities Skyline) and other than Minecraft it will be just basic internet/email use and some random Office type stuff.

this question is 4 years old and the world has changed since then I assume.

I have a fairly large credit on amazon so have been looking there but would be okay buying at Best Buy or a local store or whatever. I have no interest in building my own. I don't want to spend more than I have to (duh) but am willing to spend enough to get a good machine that will last a good number of years. So up to $800ish? $1000ish? If there's a reason to go above that I'm all ears.

I did a "gaming laptop" search and then just kind of stared at the screen.

this one intrigues me and seems to have decent reviews. 8GB RAM seems like it would be good enough? IS the graphics card okay?

Or maybe this one?

this one looks like the second one but in a 17" flavor. That might be worth thinking about.

There are also the last 2 with an i7 core. Is that worth the upgrade?

I look at this stuff and I get hives. Help me, MeFi. You're my only hope
posted by bowmaniac to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
8 GB RAM is probably enough if you don't plan to do more than a bit of Minecraft and web/word processing use. I'd strongly STRONGLY recommend getting a SSD in your laptop. I don't think a core i7 is worth the price of upgrade for your uses, but I'd definitely pay a little extra for a medium-sized SSD.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:25 AM on March 20, 2015

Minecraft is generally pretty CPU-bound and doesn't really multi-thread well. That means a good processor is really desirable, but it can't use a whole bunch or cores (so don't fork over extra for a "workstation" grade). A high-end i5 works pretty well right now. The i7 won't hurt, but MC won't be able to take full advantage of the extra cores on the chip.

Similarly, "enough, but not too much" is the rule of thumb for MC's RAM allocation. Too much and Java can periodically cause high lag when it runs its memory cleanup garbage collection. Vanilla will do just fine with 2GB or so, and I've played modded that way just fine too, but 4GB is very comfortable right now. Add another 4GB for windows and 8GB is a nice minimum. More doesn't hurt though.

Most modern integrated graphics chips can handle MC now with reasonable success. Anything with a "discrete graphics" chip is likely more than good enough.

My wife has been very happy with her Lenovo Y520 (15" screen) for pretty much exactly the same use you propose. It looks like the new model of that is the Y50, which is right in your price range.
posted by bonehead at 10:46 AM on March 20, 2015

And yeah, SSD or "hybrid" drive all the way.
posted by bonehead at 10:47 AM on March 20, 2015

thanks, hadn't thought about the SSD thing. Good one to look for.

bonehead, when I go to that link it says this newer model is available

As near as I can tell it's:
old VS new
Intel Core i5-4200H 2.8 GHz Processor VS Intel Core i5-4210H 2.9 GHz Processor
NVIDIA GTX-860M 2GB Graphics VS NVIDA GeForce 860M Graphics
but the specs for the one you linked says 4GB graphics. Is that a misprint?

And is there a difference at all in the 2? (The price is within $20)
posted by bowmaniac at 11:28 AM on March 20, 2015

I'm hardly an expert on the fine details of current hardware, but the new one looks like a minor refresh on the old. It's probably just a model update, something Lenovo does every few months. If past experience is anything to go by, there won't be a huge difference between the two.
posted by bonehead at 1:12 PM on March 20, 2015

I bought this one a year ago and it's been fine for running modded Minecraft: if you get something equal or better, you should be in pretty good shape?
posted by The otter lady at 1:31 PM on March 20, 2015

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