The Good: AMD Quad-Core 2.5GHz, 6 GB DDR3 RAM, 750 GB Hard Drive, Windows 8, Touch Screen and AMD Radeon HD 8650G GPU. In both our tests and the tests of NotebookCheck the Acer was able to perform equally on frame rates to its bigger brother (the 552G), which contains a separate dedicated GPU and is a full 100 dollar more expensive.
The Bad: At a price of 500 dollars, there is no competition for the Acer at the moment.
The Verdict: Being able to outperform its 100 dollar more expensive premium brother (#3 in our comparison) is nothing short of a marvel. So save those 100 dollars and get yourself some a few amazing games. The best gaming laptop under 600 dollars is the Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617, by miles.
Why is the Acer the best gaming laptop under $600?
The Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617 is not just the best gaming laptop under 600 dollars. It is a thin, sexy, light, touch-screen operated, windows-8 carrying, price-fighting monster. Sure, one can find similar specs or better in an equally sexy package. But at this price… No way. The Acer Aspire V5-552P has all the tech performance to take gaming under 600 dollars to where it should be: The Valhalla.
Let’s talk some tech. The Acer Aspire V5-552P packs the AMD A10-5757M CPU, which is the quad core processor carrying the codename Richland. Based on the micro-architecture called Bulldozer, AMD sets it at a base speed of 2.5 GHz while allowing it to be increased to 3.5 GHZ using Turbo Core. Coming standard with 6GB of DDR3 RAM, you will most likely not need the optional expansion space of 12GB. But hey, it never hurts to have some backup space.
All this computing power is gorgeous. But it is not the reason why the Acer has been crowned the best gaming laptop for 600 dollars. It is the AMD Radeon HD 8650G integrated GPU that works so well, that it makes the upgrade to the Acer Aspire V5-552G, carrying a separate dedicated GPU (the AMD Radeon HD 8750M), completely unnecessary. Both in our tests and the test at NotebookCheck, we were able to confirm that the integrated 8650G was able to render images equally as good as the dedicated 8750M. And in some cases, even outperform his bigger brother.
Normally, two GPUs are used together in a so-called Crossfire setup allowing both to calculate rendered images. Often the integrated GPU takes on less demanding tasks, while the dedicated GPU is used for the heavy work, such as games. However, through a setting in the driver menu, it is possible to disable the dual-GPU setup completely and test whether the integrated GPU can handle the task equally as well. After finding out that the Acer V5-552P performed as well as it did, we decided to test whether the extra dedicated GPU on the Acer V5-552G was really necessary. And well, you guessed it. The integrated CPU renders the images equally as well as the dedicated GPU.
What games will you be able to play?
On Minimum Settings: Serious Sam 3, Need for Speed: The Run, Elder Scrolls Online, Battlefield 3, DiRT Showdown, Max Payne 3 Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Red Faction: Armageddon.
On Recommended Settings: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fable 3, Diablo 3, Medal of Honor, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield 1943, F.E.A.R 3, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
The lists go on and on of course. The biggest take-away is that even most hi-end games are playable on low spec using the Acer as your gaming laptop under 600 dollars.
By the beard of Zeus: What an amazing machine. Capable of the same graphical performance as its more expensive premium brother at 100 dollars less. This it the best gaming laptop under 600 due to its unbeatable value proposition. The Acer Aspire V5-552P-X617 is king.
The Key Facts:
Processor / CPU: 2.5 GHz AMD A10 Quad Core
Graphics Card / GPU: AMD Radeon HD 8650G
RAM: 6 GB DDR3
Hard Drive / HD: 750 GB
Screen Size: 15.6 Inches
Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
Operating System: Windows 8
Weight: 4.8 Pounds
Number of USB 2.0 Ports: 2
Number of USD 3.0 Ports: 1
Battery Life: Lithium-Ion with up to 4 hours and 30 minutes