Buying a gaming laptop is not as easy as it sounds. When it comes to it, there are a lot of things you need to understand, consider, and make sure of. Otherwise, you’d be wasting money if you fall for sales talk or end up buying either an outdated model or a non-gaming laptop. So, to make well-informed decisions, you need to do your research before heading out to your favorite computer stores or choosing to get one online here https://www.razer.com/gaming-laptops.
All this may sound a little overwhelming. But to make things easier here’s a simple guide that will help you find the gaming laptop of your dreams.
The GPU, known as the “Graphics Processing Unit”, is the key component that separates gaming laptops from the non-gaming ones. This advanced piece of technology plays a significant role in how well your laptop performs during games.
If you’re into action-packed, multiplayer games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, a GPU is just not something you can compromise at all. A GPU can supply the laptop with the intensive power and graphics needed for modern gaming.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of your entire laptop. In most cases, laptops will have a powered-down processor to prolong the battery life compared to a much beefier processor for desktop computers.
CPU also plays a major role in video gaming. This is something that you’ll have to let your budget go a little. We recommend looking for the latest processor from Intel or AMD and get at least a quad-core or Hexa core processor. Stay away from anything older than the Intel 8th Gen Core or AMD 2nd Gen Ryzen.
The most fun part of gaming comes from the visual experience. So for gamers, the display quality depends on a lot more than the basics. For instance, the resolution requirements are higher than normal, with the minimum being a 1920 x 1080 display
Apple has also launched the 4k retina display and Apple company now days selling refurbished phones for their users who can’t afford to buy new phones
As for display size, 15 to 17 inches is considered the norm for gaming laptops. But if you fancy it, you can even go bigger or smaller with 18 or 14-inch options. However, keep in mind that you’re adding extra weight for your laptop with larger screens.
Another important display characteristic to consider in a gaming laptop is their refresh rate. If you don’t know what this means – it’s the frequency at which images are refreshed. Ideally, your gaming laptop of 1080p resolution should have a 60Hz refresh rate.
While there are faster rates in the market, this usually requires more expensive and advanced technology.
Sound effects play a very important role in getting the full gaming experience. Whether it’s to immerse yourself in a race with the very realistic sound of revving engines or to hear your opponent’s footsteps in Battlefield – gamers should not compromise on sound quality.
To make sure the laptop you’re buying has good audio, try to find out whether the vendor has any deals with renowned audio brands like Dynaudio and Nahimic. These brands do a very good job of bringing the full speaker experience in something as small as a laptop.
With a gaming laptop, it’s not very easy to change your keyboard. So it’s very important to get a good one right off the bat. Now, there are a lot of things to factor in when assessing keyboard quality. Here are the three basic terms you should look out for –
Key Travel – Key travel refers to how far your keys can go. Usually, 1.5 mm does the trick, but the best option is to get a keyboard with 2mm of key travel. As gamers, we can press down on keys quite forcefully, out of excitement. And having a longer key actuation distance will prevent damaging the keyboard frame, in such situations. Even better is if you have mechanical keys, that work much faster. But these are obviously on the more expensive side.
Actuation and Backlighting – Actuation refers to the amount of force needed to press a key. Normally, 65 to 70 grams is ideal for gaming laptops. But even better is if you could get macro keys. As for backlighting, most gaming laptops should provide the backlight. However, the lighting choices might be limited to very limited to red or white. This is why some gamers invest in keyboards that have RGB lighting, for both aesthetic purposes as well as functionality.
Most triple-A games today require a large RAM capacity to simply make the game run. If you don’t have enough RAM, the game will either not run at all or lag badly. In worst cases, crash.
8GB is recommended for the everyday task but for a gaming laptop, we strongly recommend to have at least 16GB or if your budget permits, choose 32GB.
And for gaming laptops, try to get one that has 16GB of RAM or more. Do keep in mind that you can always upgrade the memory later, so not having the highest RAM is not a deal-breaker.
For storage, 1TB HDD is of a common spec that you’ll find in most gaming laptops. We recommend looking for those the uses an SSD over an HDD. Even if the storage is upgradeable, Solid State Drive will surely provide a significant performance to any laptop compared to a Hard Disk Drive.
You know how sometimes your games start lagging and no amount of clicking will make your laptop respond? Well, before panicking about the CPU or anything internal, you might want to check if your laptop has a proper cooling system.
Gameplay can be quite stressful on laptops, and cause them to overheat. And that’s very likely going to cause your game to freeze in crucial moments.
Unfortunately, a lot of brands just add a graphics card and processor into a normal laptop and call it a day, marketing their product to gamers. But a true gaming laptop will always have a mechanism for bringing your laptop’s temperature down, so it doesn’t interrupt performance.
So, keep an eye out on the cooling system, before you make any investments in the tech.
Gaming notebooks aren’t meant to be as portable as normal ones. They need to be plugged in at all times, or they might switch off from the loss of battery.
Usually, the very best laptops will last a few hours at best, without charge. But those who do have a better battery life often comes at the cost of the display quality.
I would say, choose your battles. Plugging your laptop to play games is a much better scenario than playing in dim light or with bad graphics.
Upgrading Your Existing Laptop for Gaming
Now, for those new to the gaming world, you don’t have to start by dishing out loads of money on a brand new gaming laptop. You can make do with your normal laptop or refurbished MacBook Pro too, with just a few upgrades and tweaks.
First of all, make sure all your drivers are up to date. Then, install the Direct X software, which will improve your video game graphics. It’s also a wise idea to overclock the Graphics card if possible, as this will give you much better performance.
If your laptop doesn’t have a proper cooling system, take extra measures by investing in a cooling pad as well as keeping it clean and dust-free. Try to fix the display settings so the least amount of battery is drained.
And of course if you have Windows 10, there’s a Game Mode that you can activate, that caters to all your gaming needs.
Buying a gaming laptop isn’t just about choosing the most well-known brand. There are a lot of nitty-gritty details you need to research.
A good quality gaming laptop is ultimately one that will last you a few years and has all the characteristics mentioned above. But do keep in mind that some things like storage and RAM are upgradeable.
So if the laptop of your dreams is weak on that front but checks off all the other things on your list, then don’t hesitate to make the purchase. Choose wisely and spend your money where it’s necessary!