Asus K55N: Cheap Gaming Laptop

The goal for this project is to upgrade my Asus K55N laptop for gaming. The K55N is based on the AMD APU system which uses a combined CPU and graphics card. These systems can be found for $200 to $300 used on ebay.

The system will be benchmarked using

  1. Valley – A modern 3d benchmark (Basic Preset, fullscreen, 1366×768)
  2. The Final Fantasty 11 benchmark – This is an Playstation 2 era MMO that was ported to the PC. I’m including this score because I play this game a lot, but it will show how well the system handles older CPU tied games. (High Setting)
  3. The Final Fantasy 14 benchmark – I would like to start playing this game and it would be great if it the K55N can handle it. (Laptop (High), fullscreen, 1366×768)

Baseline System

  • APU: AMD A8-4500M
  • RAM: 8gb generic DDR3 675mhz 9-9-10-24

Memory Upgrade

The graphics card in the APU does not have dedicated RAM, it shares system memory. So it is important to use the fastest system ram you can support. I added a Crucial Ballistix Sport SODIMM 8GB Kit which I estimate will be about 20% faster. This ram is spec at 800mhz 9-9-9-24, but my system decided to run it at 809mhz 9-9-10-24.

APU Upgrade

I replaced the A8-4500M with an A10-4600M. This A10 is 400mhz faster and has 128 more shader cores than the A8. I tried to use an A10-5750M, this APU is pin compatible with the socket but the display does not work.

There is a great guide to this procedure on Inside my laptop. It will take about an hour.

Test Results

Base Memory APU Memory and APU
Valley 482 540 577 633
FF11 4662 5165 5725 5502
FF14 2588 2913 2729 3138


The upgrade gave me a 32% improvment in Valley Benchmark, 18% in FF11, and 21% in FF14. The total cost for the upgrades was around $95.


If you already own one of these older laptops any would like to get some more usage out of it before replacing it this may be a worthwhile upgrade. However, if you are looking for low-end gaming laptop you would be better off saving money for a little while longer and looking for a laptop with a discrete video card in the $500 to $700 range.