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Technology today has made laptops so powerful that they can also be used for gaming. For a long time, desktops were known for gaming and laptops were considered too weak to game. While desktops remain superior of the two, sometimes, you need something a bit more portable.
These days, there are specific laptops made especially for gaming. However, these laptops are known to be bulkier than other laptops. With laptops, the more powerful it is, the bulkier it is. In this article, we are going to look at such laptops; what makes them special for gaming and what you should look for in a laptop for gaming.
There are a few factors to consider when buying a gaming laptop. The next section highlights these factors.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Gaming Laptop
There are factors you should put into consideration when looking for a gaming a laptop. A gaming laptop should be powerful to handle intense graphics and controls that games have. Because of this, there are features you should look out for in laptops. These factors are divided into: internal components (GPU, RAM, CPU and storage), the display, and keyboard and battery life.
The internal components of the laptop are the internal specification features of the laptop. They include the GPU, GPU, RAM, CPU and laptop storage.
The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is part of the computer processor responsible for manipulating and altering the memory to accelerate the creation of images and graphics. It is an important feature in gaming laptops as games require high speed manipulation of graphic data.
You might have seen the NVIDIA or AMD sticker on laptops. These are the two most common GPU systems in laptops. NVIDIA GeForce comes in majority of gaming laptops today.
The GPUs are categorized according to the level of gaming. For entry level gamers, highest settings are not needed and laptops go for about $900. While for mainstream gaming, a laptop costs $1200. For the highest settings such as virtual reality gaming, a laptop could go for up to $3000.
The CPU is responsible for processing of information and instructions in a computer. CPUs with powerful core processors are needed for gaming. Core i7s and i9s are the best for gaming. However, a core i5 laptop can be used if the GPU is powerful and of high quality.
Note that a powerful GPU is more beneficial than a powerful CPU when it comes to gaming. Also remember that CPUs are not upgradable so when picking, you’d rather pick the best as you have one shot. It is also better to buy a quad core or hexa-core processor when it comes to a gaming laptop. Avoid anything older than Intel 8th generation.
The Random Access Memory (RAM) is a physical chip in the processor that is responsible for temporarily storing data that the computer considers working memory. It also enables the computer to handle more information at one time which highly improves on computer performance. This means that a high RAM allows for more processes to take place at the same time.
For a gaming laptop, the minimum recommended RAM is 8GB. If you can afford more ram, say 16GB, the better. If you buy a laptop entry level gaming laptop with GTX 1050, it comes with 8GB of RAM. Fortunately, RAM is upgradable. So if you’re on a budget, you can buy an entry level laptop and later add RAM to it if need arises.
Laptop storage, also known as ROM, is the total capacity the computer can hold. Storage is divided into two main categories: hard drive and solid state drivers (SSD). Most entry level gaming laptops come with 1TB of hard drive storage while some high level notebooks come include an SSD that serves as a boot drive.
The most common combination includes a 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD. An SSD larger than this will decrease loading times greatly but will cost much more as SSD storage is quite expensive. Also, remember that the HDD works in revolutions per minute. So when choosing a gaming laptop, ensure that you get a 7200 rpm HDD rather than a 5400 rpm HDD. Memory is also upgradable so you can expand over time.
The display is a very important factor to consider when gaming using a laptop. Remember that you will always be looking at the screen and it is important that the images are in high quality to enjoy the full gaming experience. If you’ll be using the laptop screen instead of connecting to your TV or monitor, then there are a few factors to keep in mind.
Gaming laptops are huge and have 15 and 17 inch screens, some even go to 18. The size is a matter of personal preference. The larger the screen the less portable the laptop becomes.
Many devices with screens these days have high resolutions. For a gaming laptop, don’t go for anything below 1920 x 1080 pixels display. It’s actually even hard to find a laptop with less than this today. For even richer quality, you could go for higher resolution screens with 2560 x 1440 pixels. There are also 4K display gaming laptops with 3840 x 2160 pixels. Most games today support up to 4K, so this would be the best option.
Refresh rate is the frequency at which an image on a digital screen is refreshed, and is usually measured in Hz. Most gaming laptops have a 1080p resolution with a refresh rate of 60Hz. This is quite enough for many gamers worldwide.
Laptops with higher resolutions offer richer images but also have a refresh rate of 60Hz. This is why for many gamers 1080p is still the best option, it’s cheaper and still offers higher quality. Full HD laptops however have 144Hz refresh rate for smoother gaming. A high refresh rate coupled with a great GPU offers an amazing gaming experience.
Touch screens are not common for gaming and there are three main reasons for this. They kill the battery really fast. Touch screens are glossy. And playing most games on touch screen can be quite difficult.
Not many people consider the keyboard when it comes to gaming laptops. There’s so much to consider on the keyboard that can make your whole gaming experience amazing. They include:
Key travel is how deep the keys sink when you press down on them. The best keys dip between 1.5mm and 2mm. The 2mm is the better of the two.
Many gaming laptops have backlit keys in either red or white or blue. The best gaming laptops have RGB backlighting while some light different on different zones of the keyboard. Some even let you change the lighting depending on the game.
Anti-Ghosting and N-Key Rollover
Anti-ghosting means that when press multiple b=keys at once such as when trying to attempt a combo, all keys register at the same time. The n-key rollover feature ensures that each key pressed is independent and will register no matter which other keys are being pressed. These two will keep you performing your best in all games.
A gaming laptop should be powerful. Remember that regular laptops cannot game. If you want to game and you have your regular schoolwork laptop, avoid using it to game as you’ll only damage the internal components. Go for a gaming laptop for the full experience.