It’s not easy to buy a Gaming laptop which suits your needs, mainly because there is a plethora of options to choose from. In a world where it is hard to earn cash, spending high on a very high-end laptop when there isn’t a need, or going cheap altogether can be both disadvantageous. Therefore, you need to find the right balance, and this is what this article is all about – helping you find the right combination.
To help you get started, there are some quick tips you need to know. First of all, if you are going to play low-end gaming titles like the World of Warcraft or Candy Crush, then you are better off with an integrated GPU like Intel’s. You really don’t need to go the extra mile, if the games you are going to play are pretty outdated as of now or just aren’t demanding.
Also, we would advise against going for touchscreen laptops, since compared with a non-touchscreen laptop, the touchscreen one would drain faster, all other things held constant. Second, they also tend to be more expensive. Therefore, unless you really need touchscreens we would advise against that.
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Now let’s get to the main course:
This one is totally up to you. If you want to carry around your laptop, and game where ever you want, you should rather go for the 13 or 14 inches laptops, and at most the 15 ones. Though there is a caveat involved. Generally, the larger the laptop, the more space it has for extra features and thus, is also generally more powerful.
Therefore, in case you are going to game on your game-space all day long, you can easily go for larger screen laptops like the 17 inches or 18 inches one. This would also give you a more immersive experience.
The perfect balance would be 15 inches one though, as it has enough portability as well as performance.
The main reason you are buying a gaming laptop is that of a dedicated graphics card because well, playing on the lowest settings on your dedicated Intel isn’t worth it or even might not run at all. Therefore, what you need is a laptop with its own discrete GPU, with its own VRAM which is the amount of available Video Memory. The average amount of VRAM these days is 4 GB, but the more the better. This totally depends on the titles you are going to play as some can be more demanding than others.
Most gaming laptops ship with a Nvidia GPU but you can also buy a one with an AMD, but for now, let’s stick with Nvidia. If you happen to be a mainstream gamer, then perhaps the laptop with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050/1050 Ti or 1060 would be a good buy. On the contrary, if you can spend a bit extra for higher performance, then perhaps Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is best-suited as it has excellent frame-rates.
Though of course for the hard-core gamers there is something else entirely. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 is a perfect candidate for such. It works pretty well even at 4K resolution and the VR would be a truly immersive experience as well.
Even if this doesn’t fulfill your hunger for power, you can opt for a laptop with an SLI configuration, in which there are two separate GPUs instead of one. These are though only found on a handful of laptops as of now like the Acer Predator 21 X and the MSI GT83 Titan SLI.
It should be noted that the better GPU you choose, the more battery draining it will be.
The display is something which can’t be compromised especially if you are running a gaming laptop. You should clearly avoid laptops with a low screen resolution. The minimum you are looking at is a 1080p display at 1920 x 1080, though these days, the trend has changed as more and more laptops are coming with a 2560 x 1440 QHD or a 3840 x 2160 4K display.
As we mentioned earlier, steer away from touchscreens. Furthermore, we know that it can equally hard to choose between a Matte or Glossy display, but you have to choose one. Though Glossy displays have more vibrant colors, since they are rather shiny, you will get to see glares often. Though with matte displays, there is the problem of washed out color and detail at some point in laptop’s life.
Perhaps your headphones are not working, so now what? A good gaming laptop should also feature good audio. Some good audio software out there is the MSI-exclusive Nahimic, Alienware’s Dell Audio software and the Dolby Home Theater v4 on some Lenovo laptops.
The keyboard should have good key travel ideally around 2mm. Also, the actuation force should be somewhere near the 60g mark. As for customization, there are laptop keyboards which offer great customizable backlighting. Not that it matters much, but you do want your gaming laptop to look cool, right?
SSD vs HDD (Solid State Drive or the good old Hard Disk?)
These days everyone is going for an SSD drive. The file transfer speed on SSDs is extremely high as compared to a Hard Disk. As a Computer Scientist would tell, the slowest thing on a laptop is perhaps the storage. Making that faster can essentially speed up your system a lot. You can install games much quickly, and they shall run rather smooth.
Though SSDs can tend to get expensive, and you won’t be getting much storage space. Therefore, if you plan on installing a lot of games, and don’t have a lot of cash, then at least buy a 7,200 rpm drive instead. Though you can also choose laptops which offer both a small-capacity SSD and Hard Drive. This way you can get the best of both worlds.
The Laptop’s CPU and RAM (The biggest difference-makers)
Essentially without these, forget gaming in the first place. You are restricted here to Intel processors only, and to be honest Intel processors are better. You shouldn’t go for anything below the 7th generation since the latest one is currently the 8th. Also, don’t even think of buying a Core i3- rather go for a Core i5 if not a Core i7 if you don’t have the money.
Furthermore, if you can get a Quadcore CPU then that’s ideal since that improves performance a lot. Moreover, do keep in mind the CPU’s clock speed as well- the more the better.
As for the RAM, 8 GB is the minimum you can go for, but we shall strictly advise you to go for a 16 GB one to future proof yourself, though right now it shouldn’t matter much.
After reading this article, you now have an idea of what a gaming laptop demands. It is now totally up-to you decide what suits you best according to the cash you have in hand.