Is a Used Gaming Laptop Worth It?

– Hey guys, this is Austin We take a look at a lot of budget gaming laptops on the channel

But today I have something a little bit different in mind So this is a 2014 Alienware 13 And back when it came out, it cost well over $100000 Today though, I was able to pick it up on eBay for only five hundred

And ignoring a little bit of cosmetic damage, what you're getting here is a surprisingly decent gaming laptop On the other hand, we have this The Acer Aspire 5 Now I am a huge fan of this laptop I've already done a whole video on it, and the gist of it is, for $600

00, you're getting a quad-core processor, Nvidia graphics, 8 gigs of RAM as well as a full SSD But, does it make sense to save your $10000 and get a used option? One look at the Alienware and you'll be able to tell that this used to be a thousand dollar plus laptop Now it does have some minor scuffs and scraps on the outside, but importantly on the inside it's going to be clean And it's got all the good stuff, including a 13

3 inch 1080p panel that looks surprisingly decent And impressively this actually even has a Windows precision touchpad Something that a lot of even modern computers are barely starting to adopt Now for the most part, it's solid I don't think it's all that thick, or heavy

However, you are going to making a couple of compromises when you buy a used system Something like the Acer, well you're just not going to have to deal with it The idea of having a brand new laptop is definitely a big advantage But there also are some disadvantages to having something that's a little bit on the cheaper end So even though Acer was able to cram a ton of high end specs into this guy, it's sort of at the cost of some build quality and some design things

So for example, it's very plastic-y, there's some like screen flex And on the right side, instead of having a USB 30 ports, you have a pair of USB 20 ports Now sure, there's still going to be a USB-C and USB 3 on the other side, but there's just little kind of cost cutting measures here and there, that do start to add up

But, the important thing to keep in mind is that this is a brand new laptop, that comes with a full warranty If it comes broken you can return it Where as with something like the Alienware, you're going to be kind of on your own if something goes wrong On the Acer we're also getting a 1080p panel, this time at 156 inches

However it is a lower end TN display And honestly it's actually my biggest issue with the laptop I can live with pretty much all the rest of the stuff, like slightly flimsy build quality, but the screen is barely acceptable It would be really nice if they had an upgrade And it actually makes the Alienware display look pretty nice in comparison

Now the keyboard's going to be fine You get a full number row, as well as a number pad, as well as you're gonna be getting back lighting And it technically does have a Windows precision trackpad But the touchpad itself isn't so great What you're really buying this laptop for, are the really impressive specs of a $600

00 price point With the Alienware, not only are you going to be getting three USB 30 ports as well as Ethernet, there's also going to be HDMI, mini DisplayPort, as well as the Alienware graphics amplifier port Now this is something that's actually even found on current Alienware laptops And you can think of it as an old school version of Thunderbolt 3

So back before it was easy to be able to put an external GPU, and connect it to a laptop Instead Alienware made their own graphics amplifier Which you actually can still find on eBay for around a hundred bucks or so Now I don't know if I would necessarily wanna do it with this particular Alienware 13, but if you ever wanna upgrade with some graphics options, even an older laptop like this does have the ability to do so Now anytime you buy something used, the price is going to be a huge factor

So, for five hundred dollars we were able to pick up not only the Alienware 13, but it also came with some key upgrades, including 16 gigs of RAM, as well as a 500 gigabyte Samsung 850 Evo SSD Inside you'll find a dual-core i5-4210U So this is a Haswell chip from a couple of generations ago You can essentially think of it as an Ultrabook CPU Not exactly what you wanna find in your gaming laptop

However, thankfully it is going to be backed up by some pretty decent graphics The Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M While it won't make a big difference for gaming, that 16 gigs of RAM and SSD does make a big difference for normal day to day use But when it comes to actual gameplay on this guy, well the CPU is going to be a little bit of a bottleneck The GPU should be capable of some pretty decent modern games

Put the two side by side in Geekbench, and you'll see the new eighth generation Core i5 in the Acer Aspire 5, absolutely runs rings around the Alienware However, jump over to the GPU side of things, and it's actually surprisingly even So not only in the Time Spy benchmark, but as well as in Fire Strike, you're going to be getting very, very similar performance First up, we have CS:GO And here we're running it high at 1080p

Now we're getting a pretty decent 60 to 80 frames per second here, and this is one of the easy ways to be able, to tell that you're not supposed to walk around a corner (laughing) CS:GO's actually a pretty good game to test though, because while we do have that solid GPU, we're going to be missing a little bit on the CPU side Now CS:GO, even though it's easy to run at fairly low frames, especially when you get up in the like the 80's, 100's, 150 whatever the case is It actually is really helpful to have that solid CPU But so far it's actually not too bad

Move over to the Aspire 5, and on those same settings at 1080p medium, we are getting a noticeable bump in frame rate So, right now actually averaging about a hundred, which is pretty impressive And I think something else that's kinda nice, is that the Wi-Fi chip in this laptop actually seems to be a little bit more robust So especially because we're kinda little bit farther from the normal point, it actually does smooth out some of the latency as well Next up, because it is 2018 after all, we have Fortnite Battle Royale

So, again here at 1080p, this time at medium settings, we're getting decent frame rates in the 40's to upper 30's That's not going to be the most smooth playable experience in the world, but if you do want a little bit more frame rate, it's easy to knock down the graphics a little bit Or even bump the resolution back down to something like 720p I'm surprised that I haven't really noticed a lot of CPU limitation yet Now I'm sure this did have a quad-core CPU, or even a faster dual-core chip, we'd probably be getting slightly higher frame rates But it's actually not a crazy pairing with this 860M

It does seem to be reasonably balanced Although I'd like a little more power Of course if you guys wanna know more about Fortnite, I actually did do an entire video on it And how it can run on pretty much everything from a super high end gaming PC, all the way down to a $20000 laptop

Well, if you really try hard at least One of the nice things about Fortnite is that it does actually look nice, almost regardless of what setting you're running on I mean, come on, you can run it on your phone and it doesn't look that bad But here at 1080p, medium settings, on the PC, we're getting a pretty nice looking experience Move over to the Acer and with those same settings and Fortnite yet again, we are seeing a slight performance improvement

So as opposed to being in the high 30's and low 40's, we're mostly in the upper 40's here Not a massive change, but it is something you're going to be able to notice If I don't fall off this cliff Next up, we have PUBG, a game that is not particularly nice to lower end hardware I think this is actually a spot where we're going to see the dual-core CPU struggle here

Well that's not encouraging It's able to play the game, I mean we're seeing somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 frames per second now, but the stuttering is really bad It's weird, I feel like this game should be playable, but right now, I mean this is a stuttery mess Technically it's running, and I mean, again my frame rate is not too bad It's showing like 35, 36 right now

But there's something very, very wrong here Yeah, even reloading the game on very low settings, restarting everything, we're still getting that same stuttering issue Technically this actually is slightly below the minimum specs for PUBG, so I guess I can't be too upset, but come over to the Acer and we have no such problems So I did turn the graphics down to 720p on low, but we're getting a pretty consistent 45 to 50 frames per second And thankfully none of those weird stuttering issues

This is much, much more like it It's kind of disappointing, really So I like the Alienware, it's a good laptop, but at the end of the day you're probably gonna wanna play games like PUBG And while, sure, the GPU's not too bad, I do feel like that CPU does let it down Don't get me wrong

I really did wanna like the Alienware 13 But with options like the Aspire 5 at $60000, it makes it very, very difficult to recommend most gaming laptops that are going to be used Now this guy isn't too far off But the lack of a higher end CPU really does hurt it

Going new is always going to be a safer bet So not only do you get that brand new chassis, but you get the warranty, you don't have to worry about any kind of weird blemishes on your used laptop It's going to be a safer bet But if you do go used, my main piece of advice would be, be very careful what you pick So the idea of going something that's going to be slightly newer versus slightly older, especially in laptop terms, can mean a huge performance difference

Pick your choice wisely At minimum I would go with a quad-core processor, and don't skimp on the graphics either Something like the 860M inside the Alienware isn't going to be too bad, but a lot of times with gaming laptops, you can spend a little bit more money to get a lot more performance So I'm curious, would you actually ever want to pick up a used gaming laptop? Let me know in the comments below and I will catch you on the next one

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