Laptops – powerful or not – can be equipped with two video cards: discrete and integrated into the shipset of the processor. There are a lot of low-performance platforms with Intel Core i3 6006U processors equipped with Intel HD Graphics 520 (less often – 620). With this GPU, the laptop can work successfully, but manufacturs additionally installs a discrete GeForce GT 940MX graphics card. It turns out that there are 2 video cards in the system.
This is a good solution, because the power of the built-in chip is enough for simple tasks: watching video, working with office applications, launching undemanding games. But when you run a “heavy” game, which can not cope with the built-in graphics, connect a discrete graphics card GeForce GT 940MX. The system carries out switching between chips independently, the user does not need to do anything. It is enough to have drivers of both video cards in the system.
Now we can present a rating of the best models, based on customer feedback.
1 place – Lenovo IdeaPad 520 15 ($900)
There are various modifications of this model. For $900, a modification is available with an Intel Core i7 processor and a high-performance GeForce 840MX video card.
- Intel Core i7 7500U 2.7 GHz frequency – a 14-nm processor based on Kaby Lake architecture and has 3-level cache memory of 4 MB. This is not a top processor – there are at least 8 more chips in the i7 lineup above it.
- Embedded in the core of the processor Intel HD Graphics 620.
- Discrete graphics GeForce 840MX with average performance. It was introduced in 2014, got the Maxwell architecture, a 64-bit bus, and a 28-nm process technology.
- 256 GB SSD.
- The screen with a diagonal of 15.6 inches and a resolution of 1920×1080.
Taking into account the cost, the laptop turned out to be cool – it collected positive reviews and by the middle of 2018 is one of the best in its price category. It is equipped with a class screen, high-quality body and hardware based on an energy-efficient and simultaneously powerful Core i7 processor. The GeForce 840MX video card is connected when the Intel video core does not cope with the load. This will allow you to play the games of 2015-2016 release at high settings. For modern “heavy” games of 2017-2018, the device is too weak.
- The cooler constantly works and rarely slows down. It provides a chip temperature of 45 degrees (rarely – 50), but also creates noise.
- Only 2 USB-interfaces.
- A quiet microphone.
We recommend this model first of all – the laptop got an excellent combination of performance and energy efficiency, two video cards that complement each other.
2 place – ASUS ROG GL552VW ($840)
The second place gets a laptop with game design. It received hardware, that can also be called gaming, but it’s not enough to launch new products on ultra graphics settings. It got two video cards and high-quality body.
- The display of 15.6 inches, the resolution is Full HD.
- Intel Core i7 6700HQ.
- 8 GB of RAM.
- Built-in processor core graphics Intel HD Graphics 530 and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M.
- HDD 1000 GB.
Chipset Intel Core i7 6700HQ – a productive processor with a third level cache of 6 MB. Its built-in graphics Intel HD Graphics 530 copes with the simply tasks. Discrete graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M connetcs, when there is need to run games and other demanding applications.
This system allows you to run games in 2018 release at low graphics settings:
- Far Cry 5 at low settings and resolution 1280×720 will start at 56 FPS. If average setting in Full HD resolution you’ll got 28 FPS.
- Kingdom Come: Deliverance (2018) – 68 FPS on low settings in HD and 28 FPS on average parameters in FullHD.
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017) – 60 FPS for HD and low settings; 30 FPS at medium settings.
The model got a cool screen and an assembly, a comfortable keyboard. The disadvantage is HDD. Modern and especially gaming laptops should be equipped with an SSD-drive.
Nevertheless, the device has collected positive reviews, it is really good as a laptop, and HDD can easily be changed to SSD.
3 place – ASUS VivoBook Max X541UJ ($420)
Another good device, created for work. It is based on Intel Core i3 6006U processor and two video cards – built-in Intel HD 520 and NVIDIA GeForce 920M, and also got 4 GB of RAM and HDD for 500 GB. The display with a screen diagonal of 15.6 inches and a resolution of 1366 × 768 is not particularly impressive, but the parameters of the laptop quite match the low price.
The device can run office and engineering programs (Autocad, etc.), and the discrete graphics card will allow to play in “light” games of 2017-2018. The laptop quickly gets charge, equipped with a cool keyboard and high-quality sound from the speakers.
- Works only for 3 hours at maximum brightness.
- The matrix doesn’t belong to the highest level, there is the deviation of colors when viewing at an angle.
- Marcus body.
The laptop is one of the best in its price category, and the availability of a second video card is not entirely appropriate. Discrete graphics are usually put in the models with a high-performance processor, but this device got a weak Core i3 with low power consumption.
This rating is subjective and based on feedback from customers.