To buy, look at your specific needs, budget, and other features you may need to consider.
What is a Gaming Laptop?
Like when choosing a gaming PC, a gaming laptop initially looks like a regular laptop. The difference, however, is that a gaming laptop is designed with gaming in mind. An average laptop neglects to provide users with a dedicated graphics card and often has limited cooling systems, so it can’t handle the heat generated while gaming.
Instead, if you want to play the latest games on the go, you need a gaming laptop. Including hardware like a dedicated graphics card, effective cooling, and improved specs elsewhere means a gaming laptop can deliver the same experience as a gaming PC but on the go.
Five gaming laptop specs to consider when buying a gaming laptop
If you are starting a career as a Gamer or blogging then this is for you.
When buying a gaming laptop, there are a few key factors to consider that differ from buying a regular laptop. It’s essential to buy a balanced gaming laptop that offers all the specs you need for a good gaming experience, especially since it’s often impossible to upgrade a laptop’s hardware after buying it.
- Graphic card
- Screen and its characteristics.
A graphics card is at the heart of a gaming setup and is vital to ensuring you can play games at high resolutions and with the highest level of detail possible.
Look for a card capable of gaming at a minimum of 1080p resolution, and 4K resolution is recommended if you can afford it. Also, go for the most powerful GPU processor you can afford and the most GPU RAM you can afford.
Two companies offer graphics cards for laptops: AMD and Nvidia. Nvidia currently provides the best graphics cards, with the RTX 30 series leading the way. For notebooks, the highest-end graphics card you can find is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.
Usually, though, more gaming laptops include the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 or 3060 graphics card. The RX 6000 series range is well worth looking at and can be pretty high if you want to spend more. However, the RX 6000 series is generally better for gaming at 1080p resolutions at slightly lower detail levels.
However, if you want to play more advanced-looking games like Cyberpunk 2077, you’ll need a high-end GPU.
In general, the higher the card number, the better the performance. Older laptops may offer a GeForce RTX 20 series graphics card, which is powerful but older than the GeForce RTX 30 series. Ideally, you want to invest in newer technology as it is not possible to upgrade a graphics card in a laptop at a later date.
The more advanced RTX 3080 Ti graphics card can add around $1,000-$1,500 to the price of a laptop, meaning gamers are often better off opting for an RTX 3070 graphics card which brings the price down substantially.
It is impossible to upgrade VRAM later, and the more you have, the faster your graphics card can run.
What processor and RAM should a Gaming laptop have?
When choosing a processor, Intel and AMD are the two options for a gaming laptop. Both offer potent gaming processors; generally speaking, your budget is the deciding factor in which you decide to buy.
As with graphics cards, the higher the number, the better the processor.
It is about interpreting and executing data before displaying the results on the screen. Modern processors offer multiple cores that function as processors within processors. These cores can multitask more effectively, and each core offers a certain speed. Most CPUs have between four and eight cores.
Computer RAM works like VRAM, but instead of helping the GPU, it helps the computer’s CPU. Playing the game can mean that the levels load faster and the details load quickly in the game.
For a gaming laptop, you need 16GB of RAM. While people buying a budget gaming laptop can get by with 8GB of RAM, 16GB is required for good performance and to ensure no bottlenecks when loading new data.
As with regular RAM, the performance of RAM in a gaming laptop is not solely dependent on quantity.
What screen should a gaming laptop have?
A primary screen offers a refresh rate of 60 Hz, but a good gaming laptop screen offers 120 Hz or more. Combined with a low response time, like 1-3ms, the games you play run smoothly. A low refresh rate can cause problems with motion blur when playing fast-paced games, and a high response time can cause problems responding quickly to actions in a game.
There is also the issue of panels. Some high-end gaming laptops offer a 4K display much higher resolution than a standard HD display.
How portable should my gaming laptop be?
Gaming laptops are usually a bit bulkier than the average laptop, as the high-end hardware and cooling system required are more extensive than what you’d find in a typical laptop.
Look for a system that’s as thin as you can afford and light. Also, keep an eye on a laptop’s battery life. Gaming laptops often have pretty low battery life, so if portability is everything, you may need to look at a lower spec set to ensure the battery lasts more than a couple of hours away from a power source.
Are there better laptop keyboards for gaming?
Some gaming laptops, like those made by Razer or Alienware, offer mechanical keyboards.
A mechanical keyboard has physical switches below the keys, so they’re noisier but much more satisfying (as well as accurate) to use. They are highly durable and work particularly well when gaming and those extras can be a helpful way to gain an edge when gaming on your gaming laptop.
Who Should Buy a Gaming Laptop?
Not everyone needs a gaming laptop, but there are a few key types of gamers who will benefit the most.
- Students and travelers. If you regularly travel between two places, like school and home, or just for work, a gaming laptop means you can still play PC games on the go. It’s a great way to use your travel time more productively or to be able to take your gaming setup with you wherever you go.
- People with limited space. If you share an apartment with other people, live in a dorm, or just have limited space at home, a gaming laptop can help here. Instead of finding permanent space for a monitor, tower, and accessories, you can move your computer between rooms and find an easy place to store it.
- Players with mobility problems. Sitting at a desk while gaming is not always convenient and can be problematic for those with mobility issues. Sitting on a sofa with a gaming laptop can be easier and more comfortable.
What should I do after buying a gaming laptop?
After you buy a new gaming laptop, there are a few other things you might want to do. Here is a quick overview.
- Buy new peripherals. Even though your keyboard and mouse are built into your gaming laptop, buying a few extras is still a good idea. Buying a gaming controller and headset is almost essential these days. Using game console controllers with your gaming laptop and purchasing wired or wireless headphones to enjoy more immersive sound is possible.
- Buy some games. You need games. If there are games that you couldn’t run before, you can now.
- Buy a case. A gaming laptop is expensive but somewhat fragile. If you plan to travel with it often, buy a case to keep it safe. Look for one with reliable padding, military-grade protection, and straps to make it easy to carry. Extras like extra pockets or other ways to store accessories and cables are also helpful.
More Tips on Buying Guide Gaming Desktop
Before you buy a gaming laptop, there are a few final things to consider.
- Do you need a gaming laptop? Gaming laptops look cool and attractive, but not everyone needs them. Do you already have a gaming PC installed at home? In this case, you may not need a gaming laptop. Only buy one if you travel often or don’t have a desktop setup yet.
- Plan your budget. As with any major tech purchase, spending hundreds or thousands on a gaming laptop is possible. If you rarely play PC games, you don’t need a $4,000 laptop, but if it’s your primary source of entertainment and you can afford it, it might be worth a try in the future.
- Look for additional features. Some gaming laptops offer improved cooling or an ergonomic design that makes longer gaming sessions easier. If you’re the kind of gamer who loses a day with the latest version, it may be worth spending on these extra features.