Buying a gaming laptop can be confusing. If you are in the market and searching for one, you would already have known this. This confusion doubles when you step out with a tight budget in hand. It feels like there are millions of different machines and you need to opt for one. The only question rises in your mind, “Can I run this or that game?
There is a deep knowledge of computers and laptops are required to get the best machine in your hands. If you are a novice and are determined to purchase the best gaming machine for you, this guide can be helpful for you.
Desktop computers are supreme:
Yes, if playing video games are your primary objective and you have nothing to do with portability, opting with desktop computers would be ideal. Desktop computers performance is awesome and a pro gamer would always choose desktop computers over laptops.
Unfortunately, desktop computers are not portable and it would be near to impossible to get your computers around you. It is pretty much impossible to get them on planes and trains to play video games, to listen to favorite music or to watch movies. So, one has to choose a laptop over computers if the mentioned aspects are accounted for.
Laptop computers have come a long way. They come in different shapes, color, prices, and configurations. You get a wide array of options while choosing a laptop and this is overwhelming. For purchasing a gaming laptop, you need to come with detailed research. They are expensive and cost you quite a penny; a tiny wrong move would cost your arms and legs. So, have a detailed insight into different aspects of a laptop, and what to look for a gaming laptop.
The features you should look for a gaming machine
These are some features you need to look for in a gaming laptop. These are the most important aspects, and must have a look into them, before putting your money in purchasing them.
GPU is the soul of gaming laptops
You need to know that some gamers use GPU, while most of the gamers find CPU mesmerizing. This is the biggest decision you need to take before stepping out to purchase a gaming laptop. The majority of the gaming laptop, even the market shares comes with NVidia GeForce GTX or RTX GPUs. This is what we will be using in our research and guide.
NVidia’s GPU aka Graphics card is a great hit and the latest entry RTX 20 has already week havoc in the market. There is plenty of laptops using older 10-series. As of now, if you are looking for today’s games you will have to opt for the latest generation of GPU.
There are three categories what we have divided the GPUs with gaming preferences. You should read this and choose which GPU you need as per your gaming needs.
- Entry level:
This is the first level of video gamers. If you see that you do not always keen to run the latest entries of video games, you can have GTX 1050; this will make you run most of the games with moderate settings. The add-on to GTX 1050 TI will give you more power than the roll-back. So, if you have to choose one among two mentioned, go with the letter as this would be the latest between the two.
- Intermediate level:
The intermediate level of gamers can have NVidia GeForce 1060 and this is good to go a graphics card to play most of the latest entries at high settings. This is the basic level of VR Gamers, and all titles of games will run like smooth sailing.
- High settings with VR:
GTX 1070 will allows you to run anything with high setting. This is the most powerful and demanding graphics card in the 10 series. Laptops at this cost would touch a grand normally, but the gaming experience would be above the roof.
The other specs you should look for:
Undeniably, the GPU is one of the most important and vital parts to look for in a gaming laptop. The other specs such as RAM, CPU, ample storage and Screen size and resolutions are also important.
The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of a computer and a good CPU is equally important for a good laptop. Today, the latest generation processor is an important and crucial part of the computer. The fact is today’s time of the games such as Watchdogs; Battlefield makes use of a high amount of horsepower compared to the previous generation of the games. The computer’s CPU generates processing and takes care of every aspect of processing.
Like, when you play multi-player games, different players come into account, this is the CPU which keep tracks of every player’s activity. So, it is recommended to choose the latest generation processor, if you can afford a good budget. If not, then go as per your affordability, but try it hard to catch the latest generation processor.
For Indie series of games, Intel Core i7 quad-core processor will do the job.
The latest generation of the process, Intel Core i9-8950HK would be ideal for you if you have a good budget in hand. If not, then gaming laptops benefit from GPU more than CPU, so core i5 can do a job quite efficiently if paired up with a good graphics card.
For a good gaming laptop, good RAM is crucial. This is imperative for gamers to amass a good sized RAM to get their gaming smooth sailing. We would like to recommend at least 8GB RAM for even average gamer or productivity. If you play plenty of games, 16GB RAM on a gaming PC would be ideal.
For a GTX 1050 graphics card, 8GB ram will do the job. If you have a GTX 1060 graphics card, then you should try to have a 16GB RAM. If you do not have a budget now, you can upgrade the ram up to 16GB later, but before purchasing the laptop, confirm that whether your computer has extra space to upgrade the RAM and storage.
These days’ laptops are coming with some extra space to extend RAM and storage, so consider boosting it later.
HDD or SSD hard drive, you can have both if want an SSD hard drive to install the operating system and HDD hard drive to store your files and folders. This combination is getting popularity and many machines are coming up with extra options. Like, they provide 1TB hard drive in the default price, for an upgrade the user will have to pay extra.
You can have 128GB SSD hard drive with 1TB HDD drive to get a boost to your gaming laptop. If you could afford a larger sized SSD get it done, as your machine will take so much lesser time in retrieving files and other data.
Make it sure you get a faster 7200 arm opposed to 5400rpm HDD.
Like, memory, the storage also can be upgradeable in gaming laptops. So, if you cannot afford it yet, get it extended up to your level later.
The display is vitally important:
In gaming machines, the display is often overlooked. So, let’s have a closes look at the display and other aspects of LCD.
An ideal size of the LCD screen would be your personal choice. Most of today’s laptops come with a 15-inch display. There are some brands with 17 inches even 18-inch screen size, the bigger the heavier and expensive laptop.
Resolution size matters a lot in a gaming laptop. You need to know the screen resolution size before actually purchasing it. For gaming never get impressed lesser than the 1920 x 1080 display. If you get the resolution lesser than this skip the machine and better go for others.
If you get a dedicated graphics card GTX 1050, you may go as high as 2560 x 1440 displays.
Most of the laptops come with 1080P resolution and 60HZ, which is adequate. It does not matter if the GPU renders games at 100 frames per second, the monitor will lock the FPS down to the refresh rate of the display.
Keyboard needs special consideration:
A good Keyboard gives extra life to a gamer. While playing games, if the Keyboard does not respond properly, you will be doomed.
The best backlighting will be the RGB backlighting. The budget gaming laptop only would offer you red or white lighting. Some do it by zone and some offers customization on a key press. In some laptops, you could change the lighting depending on the game.
Anti-ghosting keys and n-keyroller:
If you have been using a computer for a day-to-day task you might not have heard these two features of a keyboard.
Anti-ghosting keys meaning that you get a combo or do several actions using multiple keys, n-key roller means that all the keys are independent of the other.
Although, it will be a bit hard to find macro keys in budget gaming laptops it is not impossible. The macro keys will allow you to complete the most common tasks in games easily.
If you want to play plenty of video games on a gaming laptop, it would be better for you to understand the limitation of technology. We have not crossed that line yet, so you will have to put the laptop on charge while playing games for several hours.
In our test, I have not seen a budget gaming laptop lasting an hour gaming. In our experience, the laptop lasts only a few hours on charge performing other tasks.