We've just crowned
PC gaming, despite the lack of action on the software side lately, has been the one reliable area where manufacturers could get away with charging premium prices for premium products. Gaming rigs easily hit the $5,000 mark, but were stuffed with high-end components that delivered unbeatable performance.
Earlier this year, we saw a few 17-inch gaming laptops that managed to offer a decent gaming experience for a lot less than we'd been used to paying. Gateway's
We expected more of the same from the latest budget Gateway gaming laptop, the
Besides sporting a new Nvidia GeForce 9800 graphic card, the processor has been upgraded up to aIntel Core 2 Duo P8400--not the very top of the line, but close, and more importantly, the screen resolution has been bumped up to 1,920x1,200. Taken as a whole, that makes this new Gateway an excellent value for even high-end PC gamers (it pumped out around 60 frames per second in Unreal Tournament III at 1,920x1,200).
This leads us to wonder if there's room for high-end expensive gaming laptops any more. Are marginal increases in frame rates worth paying three or four times as much?
The only system we've looked at recently that comes close as a gaming rig is one we're testing right now. The new
To be fair, the Alienware m17x topped 100 frames per second in the same test, and also beat the Gateway (and everyone else) in our other benchmark tests (but not by a huge margin). But can most gamers tell the difference between 60fps and 100fps at 1,920x1,200 resolutions? Do they even care? Or are specialty gaming laptops doomed to become rare, ultra-expensive status symbols, produced in extremely limited numbers?