What is the best laptop for The Sims 3 between $400 to $700?

by on June 20, 2009

Q: I am interested in purchasing a new computer. One of the things I’d like it for is to play The Sims 3. I’d prefer it to be a laptop but am not opposed to a small desktop. What I would like to know is what computers or laptops do you recommend for The Sims 3 that are in the $400-$700 range? Ideally the desktop price would also include a monitor.

6 Responses to “What is the best laptop for The Sims 3 between $400 to $700?”

    You’re going to have to pay a lot more money to get a laptop that performs at the same level as desktop pc, so I’d certainly suggest you stick with a desktop. The biggest determining factor for you is going to be having a good video card in the computer.

    Unfortunately a lot of PC Manufactures either avoid putting a good video card in their more affordable systems, or terribly overcharge for them. For example, Dell wants $150 to have a video card built into a system I priced out with them. You can buy the same card off the shelf for $60!

    So with that, my suggestions for you are going to depend a lot on what kind of access you have to someone you’d be comfortable with taking your computer apart. Most likely your best option for getting a lot of bang for your buck is going to be getting a baseline system from Dell or HP and then getting your own off-the-self video card installed in the new PC.

    So let us know your technical experience, or your access to someone with it, and we can go from there!


    Unfortunately the most technically savvy person I know lives about 3 hours away at present. Although if I had really explicit instructions (probably with pictures and express directions of what NOT to do) then I suppose I’d be okay to go ahead and install it myself. It’s my understanding that it’s actually pretty simple?

    In regard to the Dell vs HP base system, I know one of the things that is important for sims is the processor speed, so in terms of that which would you recommend? I’m ultimately looking for at least middle of the road graphics and performace.


    Okay, here are my suggestions.

    Dell is running a bunch of great daily deals this week, so I suggest you take advantage of those.

    First up, is your monitor:
    Dell S2309W 23″ Full HD Widescreen Monitor $149 (Normally $220)
    SKU: 320-7339
    Offer valid from 6am 6/23 – 5:59am 6/25 CT)
    This is a very nice monitor at a fantastic price.

    Now, for the PC, here is my suggested build for the Dell Inspiron 530: https://ecomm2.dell.com/dellstore/basket.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&itemtype=&cart_id=1008275018747&toEmail=ecomm@dell.com

    However, there is going to be a sale on the Inspiron 537 series starting 6am on 6/24, with a starting price of $350 ( E-Value Coupon Code – 6M301-DDPDQT2 )

    No idea how the sale on the 537 will compare to my suggested build until 6/24.

    After shipping and tax from dell, this pc and monitor will give you enough left over for a video card upgrade.

    I’ll post some video card suggestions later.


    Drop in this video card for $60, and you’ll be good to go.



    I’m interested in this same topic and looking at laptops in this price range. I’m not in a position to get a desk top, so does your response suggest that a laptop is okay to use for SIMS 3, but it’s smart to invest in a video card? I understand that the manufacture will overcharge, but that would probably be my best option giving my lack of tech resources.



    A good video card is going to have the biggest impact on how high you can crank up the detail settings and still have smooth game play. Just understand you can pay close to double the price to get a laptop that would perform similarly to the desktop pc discussed above.

    Here are the official System Requirements for Sims 3: http://www.thesims3.com/game/systemreq