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  • - 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 $1000.00.

  • 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 $100.00

  • 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 3.0 ports,

  • you have a pair of USB 2.0 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 15.6 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 3.0 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 $200.00 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 $600.00,

  • 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