The best gaming desktops come equipped with fast processors, robust GPUs and active cooling systems that collectively make them the powerhouses they are. However, if you want a machine with which you can play games while on the go, you’ll need a laptop.
Any interested individual can identify the modern-day gaming laptop from the rest of the notebooks in a lineup. It is more aggressively designed, with sharp edges and a multicoloured fiercely backlit keyboard, and under the surface is an ambitious set of powerful hardware.
As expected, all this comes at a hefty price. While the amount you spend will depend on your preferences and budget, a gaming laptop can cost as much as $5,000. A smart shopper should, therefore, envision to get the right laptop at the best deal possible.
Below are some tips to follow when out hunting for a new gaming laptop.
The main reason anyone would choose to buy a laptop over a desktop is portability. Gaming laptops come in different shapes and sizes, and it’s up to you to decide how thin and light you want your machine to be.
For instance, if you plan to keep your laptop at home and only move it between rooms, a 17 or 18-inch system like the ASUS ROG-G752VS should do just fine. Large laptops are typically the most powerful because they offer enough space for elaborate cooling systems that keep everything running smoothly.
On the other hand, if portability is among your top-most priorities, consider 13 to 15-inch laptops. The 14-inch Razer Blade RZ09, for example, is a favorite among gamers on the move because, despite its compact size, it manages to pack high-end hardware that includes an Intel Core i7-6700HQ and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060.
However, these smaller gaming laptops are often the most expensive and you should, therefore, consider your budget before making any commitments.
There’s no point in having the best processing power if your screen isn’t up to par.
For starters, the laptop you choose should have at least a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution display.
Sure, a panel with less than Full-HD resolution will offer increased frame rates when gaming. But for the best visual experience, it’s a good idea to aim higher. Laptops with QHD and UHD displays are also becoming increasingly popular among gamers, who praise them for their vibrant colors and remarkable detail.
Touchscreen capabilities may be useful for convertible systems or 2-in-1s, but for gaming laptops, they do nothing but drive up the price tag. What’s worth considering, however, is whether your notebook of choice features a glossy or matte display. Glossy screens offer more vibrant colors but are susceptible to glare when in harsh light.
The GPU is the heart of your gaming laptop. Because rendering intensive graphics can be strenuous to the CPU, a dedicated graphics card is essential. Currently, NVIDIA 10-series graphics cards offer the best gaming performance. Depending on your wallet, you can get a laptop with a GTX 1060, GTX 1070 or the high-end GTX 1080.
Some premium gaming laptops, such as the MSI GT83VR Titan SLI offer two GPUs, configured to work together through NVIDIA’s Scalable Link Interface (SLI), which can allow an integration of up to four GPUs in one system. These laptops offer unbeatable rendering at extremely high frame rates.
CPU and RAM
When it comes to processors, the choices are usually two: AMD and Intel. But when we’re talking gaming CPUs, you have only one choice: Intel.
A while back, clock-speed numbers were the primary factor in determining a CPU’s processing power. Today, however, the processor’s generation and the number of cores matter much more than the specified base frequency.
With that in mind, a sixth generation dual-core Intel Core i5 is the lowest you should consider when shopping for a gaming laptop. For ideal performance, however, go for a quad-core Core i7. To identify a quad-core CPU, look at the suffix ending of its model number. HQ and HK suffixes indicate a quad-core processor, with HK being the fastest of the two.
As for the RAM, anything less than 8GB is unacceptable. 16GB is a plus, but going higher than that will have an insignificant effect on your gaming experience, especially if you have a fast CPU or graphics card.
When buying a gaming laptop, keep in mind that faster is always better. Albeit expensive, SSDs are a lot quicker than optical drives. Newer SSD modules deliver lightning-fast file transfer, which translates to faster game load times.
If an SSD is too much for your budget, consider settling for a 1TB 7,200 rpm hard drive. However, scouring the market a little more diligently can get you a configuration that has both an SSD and a traditional hard disk. The SSD is usually smaller, so you can reserve it for your favorite games.
The above are the primary aspects to consider when buying a gaming laptop and you should use this information to determine what you want in your notebook, before approaching the retail store. Of course, the limit of having the ultimate gaming experience on a laptop is your wallet.
That said, you don’t need to break the bank to get a solid gaming laptop. There are many devices priced below $1000 with sixth generation Intel Core i7 CPUs, 8GB or RAM, 1080p display and, at least, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M GPU. You’ll hardly land a rig with an SSD, but a 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive will likely be in place.
With such a configuration, you can run pretty much any game on medium settings and get solid frame rates.