It can be tricky to choose a gaming laptop, especially with the countless options on the market. Whereas desktops are still a viable option, many gamers now seek more portable machines.
Several brands are increasingly addressing these needs and offering more options for you. The downside: now much harder to choose.
Well, this article will simplify things for you. We will look at how to choose a gaming laptop and discuss all the factors you must consider to make the best choice.
Key factors when choosing a gaming laptop
Your choice of a gaming laptop depends on your specific needs. The kind of games you want to play will influence your choice. Similarly, if you plan to use an external monitor, your needs may also vary, among others.
So, when you get to the store, look at:
Standard laptops come in a 1080p resolution. But, newer ones now feature 4k and 1440p resolutions, which display striking colours and more detail for a much better viewing experience. That said, you should stay away from anything below 1920 x 1080p.
Otherwise, you will have blurry pictures as you play, and it won’t exactly help you enjoy your games.
However, as you check out the resolution, take note of the refresh rates. Good laptops feature about 120Hz or 144Hz rates or even higher. A high refresh rate makes your images smoother on the screen. But then, you need high processing capacity to keep up with the high refresh rate.
Most gaming laptops range between 14-inch to 17-inch screens, and some even bigger. Remember that the bigger the screen, the heavier the laptop. So, it depends on how portable you want your device to be.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The CPU of your laptop processes instructions and sends signals to your device. So, it significantly affects everything you do on your computer, including battery life.
The features you prioritize with the CPU will depend on how you use your machine. Key specifications to consider are clock speed and core count.
Core count; Nowadays, multiple core processors are the norm. Cores act like individual processing units that help your computer get more done at one time.
Clock speed refers to how fast your CPU processes instructions measured in GHz. Higher clock speeds, therefore, help your computer complete more tasks faster.
Both these factors are essential to your CPU’s performance, and having them both at high rates sounds ideal.
Higher clock speeds over 4.0Ghz are incredible for high-power games like Assassin’s Creed or Grand Theft. It would run such games more smoothly.
Higher core counts allow you to run more functions. For extensive gaming, you might need up to 8 core processors. However, the multiple cores mean that the computer will be bigger and bulkier. That’s okay if portability is not a priority for you.
You can choose between AMD processors or Intel processors. However, AMD works best for beginners and mid-level users. On the other hand, Intel produces faster and more efficient chips, making it the best option if you are a pro.
Graphics Processing Unit
The GPU of your laptop is responsible for the images on your screen. It is essential for high-resolution pictures and smoother frame rates as you play. Higher resolutions will therefore enhance the visual experience as you play, making your game time more enjoyable.
For a gaming laptop, you will need 8Gb or 16Gb of RAM. Still, this depends on the intensity of your activities. If you are using it for average tasks and have a tight budget, 8Gb will work for you. And you can always upgrade it later when the need arises.
If you are the high-end intensive gamer and your pockets permit it, you can get the 16Gb straightaway.
Having more ports on a gaming laptop increases its functionality. Yet, some models reduce the number of ports to reduce size. So, it depends on which factors are more important to you: the size or functionality.
A multiport USB hub will work just fine to resolve this issue. However, if you want to eliminate this hassle, then the key ports you want to check for include:
Display ports are mostly HDMI ports that connect external monitors to your laptop.
Ethernet ports provide a stable connection, especially if you are not using WI-FI. If you require one, be sure to check out for it.
The USB port, which connects external devices like hard drives, headsets, mice, etc. they come in different types based on transfer speeds like 2.0, 3.0, etc.
Audio ports often come with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Thunderbolt™ 3 technology works like a USB, except it can transfer data about 4 times faster.
Pro tips when choosing a gaming laptop
All these factors considered some key issues you should remember as you go shopping include:
Touchscreen: Touch screens are cool and all, but not for gaming laptops. Not only do they kill your battery faster, but they also give you a glossy screen display.
Upgradeability: Whichever laptop you choose to buy, check if you can update the RAM. Not all laptops have this provision, but such a computer will stick with you for up to 7 years or more.
Keyboard: A lot of people initially ignore the keyboard factor, but it is crucial. You want to get a comfortable keyboard so that you enjoy playing and not get tired of it. Try it out first; it shouldn’t be too stiff or too mushy.
Battery life: For a gaming laptop, battery life is critical because it consumes a lot of power. Most of them cannot even go 8 hours without charge. So you want to get the highest you can find, probably 5 hours or more.
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There are several gaming laptops on the market with varying specifications. Your choice ultimately depends on your gaming habits and your budgets.
For most average laptops, you will have to make the trade-off between portability, performance, and price. However, more high-end advanced laptops can give you the right balance between the two if you have a higher budget.