My son wants his own laptop for Christmas. Partly for schoolwork, but mostly for games. He’s not a hardcore gamer, so I don’t need a full-blown gaming machine...not that we can afford one anyway. And he wants a laptop to be able to take it to friends’ houses, so a desktop is out of the question. He plays Minecraft online with a couple friends, but that’s not a big problem because it’s not too terribly graphics intensive. But those friends of his also play some games on Steam, one in particular, which are pretty graphics intensive.

He’s willing to forego gifts from everyone this year in exchange for cash. We’ll pool the money and it’s my job to pick one out that gets the job done, but also fits the budget. It’s hard to find one with a dedicated graphics card in the price range we’re looking at, but I think I found one. I’m just not sure if I should steer clear. It’s a Dell on sale for black Friday, but it doesn’t have a model name in the ad (ex. Dell Inspiron), just a model #. I looked up the model number and can’t find any information on this particular laptop other than the black Friday ad it’s in. So my only guess is that it’s a model exclusive to this retailer.

It has quality components. An Intel i5 processor (not the best, but for our budget, we can’t be too picky) and a NVIDIA dedicated graphics card. My biggest question is, should I be worried that there’s not much info about it and that it’s a bit of a nameless model, possibly exclusive to the store? Or, considering it has similar or same components as more well-known models, is it just as good?

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Also, I know nothing of graphics cards. This laptop has the NVIDIA GeForce 820M 2GB graphics card in it. I’ve learned that it’s on the low end, but does exceed the system requirement for the one game he really wants. Between the NVIDIA GeForce 820M and an integrated Intel Graphics HD 5500, is the dedicated card still better even though it’s on the low end? Or are they comparable? Because I see a lot with the Intel Graphics HD 5500 integrated card and their benefit is a little more RAM and bigger harddrive. Should I still go for the lower end dedicated card?

Thanks for the help.