Gaming, in the true sense of the word – with high quality graphics and high FPS count, was traditionally reserved for desktop computers, which had the processing power to accomplish all the calculations and drawings. But today, the landscape is slowly changing – laptops are quickly replacing desktops of even the most resource intensive tasks, and it won’t be long until they’ve completely taken over.

With mainstream machines getting ultra-slim and ultra-light, the most powerful laptops have also shrunk considerably, and can now be carried around easily – no longer do they have to be stuck on a desk or lugged around in a huge sturdy backpack. This has led to the creation of a new niche for gaming laptops – powerful machines that can easily run the latest games, and still be portable enough for everyday commute.

If you like to play games and want to have one laptop for everything or just don’t want to invest in a huge desktop tower and display that will take up a quarter of your room, here are a few laptops that you should consider:

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MSI’s newest GT783 laptop line is the most powerful gaming laptop you’ll find on the market. As you may already know, the graphics adapter is often the culprit for low gaming performance, and MSI knows that too, that’s why they used a top of the line NVidia GTX 580M – a 100 Watts beast with 2 billion transistors, 2 GB of GDDR5 memory and the most powerful graphics card you can get on a laptop. It will definitely run all of your games at the highest settings, at least for the next couple of years.

The other specs aren’t bad, either: the GT783 has a 17.3 inch Full HD display, 2 hard drive bays (for SSD or RAID HDD), a Core i7 Sandy Bridge quad core processor and up to 32 GB of RAM, plus the exterior design is quite flashy with the colored backlights and brushed metal finish.

Sony Vaio F 3D

If you want to get both 3D capability and a more compact laptop that is easier to carry than the usual 17.3 gaming monsters, the Vaio F 3D could be a great choice. The laptop has a 16 inch display with Full HD resolution and active 3D (with active shutter glasses), a great design and enough processing power to run any new games at high settings: there’s a quad core Sandy Bridge i7-2720QM processor, up to 16 GB of RAM, a 128-256 GB SSD or 640 GB hard drive and the respectable NVidia GeForce GT 540M graphics card with 1 GB of video memory.

Asus G74SX

The G74SX is the latest in Asus G series of gaming laptops. It is a 17 inch monster of a machine that can run anything you want it to. The laptop uses the latest components available on the market, including Intel’s Sandy Bridge Core i7 quad core processor, up to 16 GB of DDR3 1600 MHz RAM, two hard drives or SSDs in RAID and a Blu-Ray combo drive.

As for the graphics performance, suffice to say that the graphics card is the GeForce GTX 560M with a whole 3 GB of GDDR5 memory. Best of all, the cooling system on the G74SX is monstrous – this laptop has no chance of overheating, even if you overclock it to the limits!

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Alienware M17x

Obviously, you can’t talk about gaming laptops without mentioning the Alienware brand and their M17x laptops. They are still among the best in class, although the latest M17x R3 uses a plastic body instead of the marvelous aluminum housing of its predecessors. Performance wise, the R3 is one of the fastest gaming laptops on the market, thanks to the quad core Core i7 processor, up to 32 GB of RAM, dual hard drive configuration and the Radeon HD 6970M graphics adapter with 2 GB of memory.

Dell Precision M6600

The Precision M6600 is Dell’s current top of the line business laptop and if you’re wondering what is it doing on a “top gaming laptops” list, well you should take a look at its specs. It has a wide choice of Sandy Bridge processors (including the top of the line Core i7-2960xm), it supports up to 32 GB of RAM, can use mSata SSDs in addition to two hard drives (separate from the optical drive!), and has the option for the new Fermi-based Quadro 4000M (the equivalent of the GTX 560M) with 2 GB of memory or if you have the money, the ultimate monster Quadro 5010M (pro version of the GTX 580M) with 4 GB of memory. The laptop is pretty compact and has a great cooling system, and since the price is similar to the Alienware M17x R3, it’s a perfect choice for those who want to game and do serious work on the same machine.

There’s actually not that much choice on the market at the moment, but laptops become smaller and more powerful every year, so there’s going to be a lot more of them in the near future. If you’re looking for a great laptop that can run the latest games and still be portable enough to be used at home and work, the above five models should be the first you look at.