A gaming laptop for $250.00

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Sara Nyn

Community Resident
Community Resident
Jan 1, 2018
I used to do these from time to time on another grid, I hope someone finds them useful. Here is how to build a gaming laptop for cheap.
Start with an Hp 8740w (Preferably one of the quad core models) I managed to find one for $110.00 on Ebay. Odds are it will come with an Nivida FX 2800m in it. These gpu's can get you by for gaming, but are certainly not ideal. I picked up an Nvidia GTX 860m (W/ 4 GB VRAM) for $95.00 on ebay. I also added 12 GB DDR 3 12800 ram for $40.00. I also had the advantage of having a 120 gb ssd sitting around and used this 6 dollar device to replace the CD.-rom drive with a 500 GB HDD I wasn't using. New Egg has SSD's ridiculously inexpensive these days. It may have taken an hour, total, to install the upgrades...these machines are quite easy to work on.
When it comes to OS selection I recommend either LXLE Linux or Windows 8.1 pro.
LXLE doesn't care what the laptop came with....it just installs the proper Nvidia driver...... Windows 8.1 will accept the latest Icafe drivers from Nvidia which also don't care about the machine type. If you must have Win 10 there are site which describe how to mod the Nvidia drivers to work, I know how to do it but it's such a PITA I just installed 8.1 (same code base as Win 10) and added start menu X which gives me a slightly *better* start menu than Win 10.
Once all that is done you have an *excellent* gaming laptop for under 250 with the added bonus of the really nice 16:10 ratio screens these machines have.