You must be pretty much addicted to desktop PC gaming all day. But you may need a bit portable rig, sometimes like a portable gaming laptop especially, while on the go. You can take it anywhere and play your favorite games with optimal power and performance.
Now, you may ask ‘how to buy a gaming laptop obviously, the best one within budget?’ Buying a laptop for gaming would be a bit different than making a gaming desktop. Remember, here, we’re not only looking at the specifications but also as a whole like the display, cooling fan, or in-built keyboard it offers.
Today, we’re going to explain all the important factors that you should consider before purchasing a new gaming laptop.
Read more: How to Cool Down Laptop While Gaming?
For an average gaming laptop, you need a good GPU, keyboard, battery, processing speed, and display resolution. Consider future upgrade capability for some components like RAM, Hard Disk, or SSD. You need at least a 60Hz processing speed with a minimum of 4 hours of battery backup that would provide optimal performance.
We’ve also explained all the things describing how to buy a gaming laptop below:
You need an Nvidia GeForce GTX or RTX series GPU card. As these are the most graphics card and role players for a gaming laptop. The ultimate performance of the games depends on the GPU and it greatly impacts the performance. So, if you choose a weak graphics system with a laptop, then it won’t perform well on top games.
Don’t worry! our team thoroughly researched put an idea of what GPU power do you need with their prices:
|Gaming level||GPU(graphics processing unit)||Laptop price range (Approx.)||Remarks|
|Entry-level||GTX 1650, RX 5500M, or GTX 1660 Ti on mid-settings||$800 – $1150||The GTX 1660 Ti cards would provide comparatively good power and performance|
|Mainstream, mid-range modern games||Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 3060, and RTX 3070 on high settings. AMD RX 5600M||$1100 – $1500||We provide more priority on Nvidia than the AMD in terms of better performance|
|Virtual Reality(VR), Extreme, high-end||RTX-2070, RTX-2080 or RTX-2080 Ti, RTX-3070, and RTX -3080 Highest settings||$1600 – $3000||RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti will provide a smooth VR, faster frame rate, and other visual effects. The Price of this range depends on other specifications with that laptop as well.|
As you know some of the video games yet to depend on CPU only and they’re very rare in the count. But, most of the games use GPU-based performance, therefore you should choose them carefully before making a decision about a gaming laptop. Try to go for the nVidia force GTX or RTX graphics, at this time.
Besides a powerful GPU, it’s important to look for coming to a decision about the CPU, RAM, and Storage(SDD and/or HDD). We would like to suggest choosing a powerful CPU like Intel Core i7 or Core-i9-9980HK. You can still get a Core-i5 CPU processor-based gaming laptop that comes with a good GPU too. This type of laptops notebooks works well on some entry-level and mid-level games.
Remember, try to get an upgraded generation CPU, as of today, you’ll get intel 10th gen core available on the market. Besides, Intel is also an 11th generation launched in 2021, the H35.
Alternatively, you can for a notebook that offers AMD Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 CPU. In most cases, they provide almost similar power and performance. So, make your choice very carefully because it would be a tough job to upgrade it again.
We would recommend at least 8GB of RAM to perform entry-level or average tasks but 16GM is preferable. You can easily get an 8GB RAM gaming laptop with a GTX 1650 and 1660 Ti graphics system. However, for a 16GM gaming notebook, you have to go for GTX-2060 or higher.
Another good news is that most gaming laptops come with RAM upgrading capability nowadays. If you have a future plan to upgrade the RAM then get 8GB one it would let replaces in near future.
Which one you’ll prefer? An SSD or HDD? Or both at the same time? You’ll find some budget gaming laptop in the market that only offers HDD. But, in recent years, it’s common to have a 128GM with a 1TB performing parallelly. The SSDs can make your load time faster but cost you more in that case.
If you opt for an HDD then try to get a 7,200 RPM one rather than approaching a 5,400 RPM storage system. And don’t forget to update the HDD up to 2TB if need more storage space.
You can’t deny the importance of the displays, often it impacts a lot on your game playing performance. You’re playing games and that show in front of your eyes so, it’s crucial to have good characteristics.
First of all, you should look for the screen size of the laptop you’re going to buy. Mostly, you’ll find 15 and 17-inch screens besides some rare 18 and 14-inch gaming notebook models. It mainly depends on your personal choice and tastes what size you’re comfortable with.
Secondly, when it comes to the resolution then always try to get a display at 1920×1080 or higher. Another thing to consider is the Refresh rate. A 60Hz display with 1080p is common and enough for many games because it supports up to 1440 and 2160. However, if you need faster performance and a smooth experience, get a vendor FHD up to 144Hz, 240Hz, and 360Hz refresh rate.
A Keyboard plays a vital role when you’re using then while playing games on your beloved laptop. In recent days, you’ll find different chiclet and LED gaming keyboards. However, there are a few more things that you should take into account.
The ‘key travel’ distance is from 1.5mm to 2mm is ideal to hit the keyboard frame. You’ll find more travel accuracy in a mechanical keyboard with a nice gaming mouse at some extra cost. Another thing is to look for the actuation, the pressing force of a keyboard. The ideal force is from 60 to 70 grams.
The micro keys should be identifiable easily on a laptop. Therefore, you can complete the most common operation while playing a game. It comes with the manufacturer’s custom features and software. This is the contrast of n-key rollover that is responsible for assigning each key independently, especially while performing multiple actions.
While a desktops PC has much space to breathe and a larger airflow system, gaming laptop components struggle with the heat, often. The causes behind these issues are the compact size and coupling among the several components. As they’re working together, especially while you’re playing games for hours may fall into serious damage.
It may reduce the performance of your CPU and GPU, sometimes. So, try to avoid some low to mid-budget laptops that are built for gaming too. You’ve lots of options in the market with the perfect cooling solution. Some notebooks offer both cooling air and exhaust airflow at the same time. First, it helps to cool the components another fan eliminates the rest of the heat.
Therefore, read manuals, customer feedback, and review before about cooling system making a purchase decision. Otherwise, you’ve to carry an additional cooling case with you all the time.
The battery life isn’t a big factor for a gaming laptop as you don’t have to bother about it, sometimes. Because most of the time you’ve to plugged in while playing a game for getting the full performance. And there’s no such battery life for gaming laptops in real life but they last for a few hours between 1-3 hours in a single charge.
There are some laptops that last a bit long time but you have to cost GPU performance, especially when playing high-end games. So, we personally suggest to plugged in while playing any kind of game with no dark or inaccurate screen picture.
Yes, design matters! The design of a laptop is another significant and involves many aspects including materials, weight, and look & feel. They mostly come in different shapes and sizes. But, often, you’ve to deal with the weighted gaming notebooks because of their powerful hardware and configuration.
However, now you’ll find less tradeoff among the laptops that are made for gaming. They offer advanced features like thermal design and still has thin and lightweight with high-performance hardware. Therefore, a tradeoff is a must, especially when you’re looking for something featuring good configuration, power, performance, portability, ports, and others.
Here are some of the key design features while considering a gaming laptop:
- Quality Materials. Built quality is much more important. Try to grab one that comes with an aluminum body since they’re sleek and more durable than plaster or thermoplastic.
- Weight. A lightweight design makes them more portable, especially when you’re traveling a lot. But, some laptops are heavy, come with built-in extra features like input, output ports, or a cooling system.
- Look & Feel. Usually, the gaming laptops have an aesthetic and fancy look with a brush-metal finish. Some manufacturers offer built-in RGB lights with eye-catching graphical patterns.
Computer ports let you enjoy many additional functionalities, especially USB when it’s a gaming laptop. However, some manufacturers keep only a few of them to make the size compact and portable. So, keep an eye when getting one. The USB ports are one of them since now you can connect a mouse, headset, external drive, and other devices.
There are main TWO(2) types including Type A and Type C right now. Another important thing is to check the USB version, for example, 2.0, 3.0, or 3.1 responsible for the data transfer speed.
Other laptop ports include the display port for an extra monitor like HDTV comes with an HDMI port. Alternatively, it should have the Thunderbolt™ 3 technology, a versatile connection for transferring audio and video to multiple monitors.
When the data transfer is a crucial factor between devices then the SD card helps to expand SDXC storage. In recent days, you could easily transfer a file from one place to another with an SD card or I/O section. The media transfer is also possible like audio, videos, and photos frequently.
Audio and headsets: for gaming laptops can make your game playing more enjoyable. Since you can adjust the game sound and voice chat along with the built-in microphone system, especially while playing high-end multiplayer games.
The stereos and digital sound configuration are the main systems that you connect via a USB port or 3.5mm audio IO jack.
Speaker: You should have relatively less expectation from gaming laptop speakers than a traditional one. Doesn’t make big difference. But some brand features cool speakers and rich sound quality for gaming purpose. If you need more quality sound then getting a soundbar, woofer, or traditional speaker would be the best for amazing sound.
Mouse: The built-in mouse or mousepad is good for nothing for a gaming rig. Usually, they’re not perfect for gaming instead of some basic day-to-day operation. You should ask the seller if the manufacturer offers an extra gaming mouse. If not so, then get a precise mouse from the market
Read also: What Are the Benefits Of A Gaming Laptop?
If you compare them with the desktop PC then it wouldn’t provide the same power and performance. So, gaming laptops can’t be the best option for you, then. You can opt for such kind of laptop while using another desktop PC computer simultaneously. Then, it’s okay to have some mobility when you’re bored of using desktops or roaming outside for a while.
The one and only advantage of this gaming laptop is its portability. So, you can enjoy the gaming experience anywhere you go. But, you’re not missing any bits following the above specifications.
You’re not investing money on a rig that lasts for a few days only. Of course, you want a long life expectancy. Therefore, our advice is to you is to take a mid to high-end gaming laptop with a better GPU card. And you already know that a high-end GPU brings a better gaming performance.
Besides, A CPU is another core role player after the GPU. You should also pay attention to its cores, strong zone, and weak points. However, you’ve to think less about the RAM and storage space you’re going have. As they’re upgradable as well. So, we think the question ‘how to buy a gaming laptop’ should end here for now.
Henry is a technical advisor of a network-based institution in New York that provides internet service to its clients. He has achieved Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering and has been in the service for seven years. As part of his job, he needs to keep updated information on computers and different technologies. In this line, he always keeps himself updated with the latest technologies and devices.