Anyone looking for a gaming laptop will know that there are countless models on the market, all with different features and price points. It can be difficult to know where to start, or even what to look for in a gaming laptop or how to buy a gaming laptop.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of choosing the right gaming laptop for your needs, and give you some tips on how to get the best deal.
So whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced gamer looking for an upgrade, read on for everything you need to know about buying a gaming laptop.
Things to Keep in Mind While Buying a Gaming Laptop
Do you need a gaming laptop? Maybe you’re not sure if it’s worth spending money on something like this just yet? If that sounds like you then keep reading. We’ll walk you through in detail about how to buy a gaming laptop.
Gaming laptops aren’t just for gamers anymore. For the past couple of years, several different types of people have embraced and integrated them into their everyday lives.
They’ve become more than just a luxury item, they’ve become necessary work tools as well as something you can run any sort of treadmill or workout app on.
And if that’s not enough to convince you how much fun it is to own one as well as how practical they are, think about this: owning your own gaming laptop will make everyone think that you’re rich and successful!
How to Buy a Gaming Laptop?
So how do you know if buying a gaming laptop is right for you? Here are some things to consider:
How Much Can You Spend?
The biggest issue when buying a gaming laptop is not knowing how much you should spend in order to get the features that you want.
The good news here is that most gaming laptops have dropped in price over the past several years.
You can pick them up for a reasonable price but how much you spend will depend on how many bells and whistles you want to include with your machine.
Do you need an ultra-high-definition display?
Do you prefer a large screen or a small one?
What about touchscreen compatibility, another cool feature that some gamers love to use while playing popular games like The Sims 4 or Minecraft?
When buying a gaming laptop, how much you’re willing to pay is really going to dictate how far down the list of options your choices are going to be reduced.
What Are You Planning On Doing With Your Laptop?
This is very important when it comes to buying any laptop, but when it comes to a gaming laptop the focus on how you plan on using it has a little more of an impact.
Are you going to be playing a lot of games?
Will you need to run extremely heavy-duty programs for work or school?
Maybe your goal is to use this machine for both gaming and business applications. In that case, you’ll definitely want to get one with enough horsepower behind it so that you can accomplish all of your tasks without losing too much processing speed.
How Much Gaming Are You Planning On Doing With Your Laptop?
This is another area where how much you’re planning on spending will probably go hand in hand with how many hours a week you plan on putting into your machine.
If you only intend to use it for an hour or two a week, you’ll be fine with the lower-end models.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on using it for several hours each day then how much you spend will be less of a concern for you as long as your budget is within reason.
What type of games are you planning on playing?
A powerful gaming laptop that can run very detailed and demanding games at high settings might not be what you need if all you’re going to play are casual mobile titles.
Gaming laptops have come a long way but they still cost more than most people want to pay so the key is buying something that suits how you plan to use it.
Look For A Dedicated Graphics Card
Everyone wants to play their favorite games at as high of resolutions and as many frames per second as possible. Some of you might want to know more about your options for doing so.
Here at Laptopfirst, we’ve been testing graphics cards for over a decade, so we’re confident that our advice will be useful for both novices and advanced gamers alike. Our latest tests have shown the best graphics card overall, and the best options.
The Nvidia Geforce RTX series brings truly game-changing performance along with innovative new features.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super/Ti, which replaced the GeForce GTX 1660, is one of few amazing graphics cards in the budget category. With 1080p resolution and high graphical settings, you can achieve around 80 frames per second. This makes it extremely suitable for playing Middle Earth: Shadow of War.
At the end of the day, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti came out on top overall. Currently, that’s the card to beat if you’re planning to do 4K gaming or more.
Gamers who want something cheaper will likely have a better time with last gen’s 2080 Ti which is still very capable. And of course, there are some wildcards in AMD’s 7nm Navi GPUs and Intel’s upcoming 12th-gen CPUs which could shake things up. But as it stands right now nothing comes close to Nvidia’s performance-per-dollar value proposition and high generational jump.
The CPU in a gaming laptop is the part that handles how many tasks your computer can do at one time. It also helps determine how fast a game will run once it’s been installed on your computer.
There are two types of CPUs:
- Gaming CPUs have high RAM and faster clock speeds. This means more tasks can be done at once.
- Standard CPUs have less RAM and lower clock speeds. This means fewer tasks can be handled at once.
A fast CPU is needed when playing games on a computer, this is how they work faster.
Standard CPUs are still used for many everyday things such as browsing or email, so buying a gaming laptop with a standard CPU would not be best.
When choosing a new CPU, always make sure you strike the right balance between clock speed and core count. The higher the clock speed per core vs. total number of cores, the better!
For those who want to spend less time waiting, we recommend going with the faster processor. Some people go for a slower one if either they don’t have the budget, or they are willing to sacrifice clock speeds for additional cores and threads that can better handle many different applications at once.
When choosing a new CPU, look for at least 4GHz of frequency and at least 4 cores/8 threads. This will help you operate more efficiently because you’ll have more cores on your side to handle the workloads you throw at them.
The good news about online gaming is that today there are new options for those who want to stream and play at the same time. Successful game streaming comes from a good Intel processor with plenty of RAM, which is why choosing an Intel® Core™ processor is a smart choice.
To play games and stream without lag or jitter, you need a machine with a powerful processor. If you want less impact on your gaming performance, consider the latest Intel® Core™ i7/i9 processor.
AMD vs Intel – we know you’ve heard this many times before but which is better for gaming? The answer is – that depends on your budget, your build, and your needs.
They both offer different technologies such as various RAM capabilities and AMD’s AM4 chipsets support its recent AGESA update to improve memory compatibility across the board. Both brands have new processors, with “Raven Ridge” APUs providing Ryzen 3 performance at a much lower price point than the Intel competition.
RAM capacity is how much data can be stored in the RAM at once, how fast it processes information, and how many programs you can use at one time. Gaming requires a lot of memory because games are so graphics-heavy.
Know how much RAM you need in your gaming laptop? You should have at least 8 GB of RAM to run the latest games smoothly. 16 GB is better, but you will likely still be fine with just an 8GB model if you’re on a budget.
Alternatively, if it’s possible, go for 32 GB of RAM.
More RAM means you are able to run more things at the same time. This means you’ll have faster speeds when playing games on your newly purchased gaming laptop.
For budget-conscious gamers, the speed of RAM is just as essential. For Intel CPUs 3,200MHz+ RAM (16GB or 32GB) is sought after because it means more information is processed at once allowing for more multitasking and faster playtime. While 3,600 MHz for AMD’s latest CPUs would be ideal.
Storage is how much information your laptop can hold. This is how you will store all of your games, videos, music, and other files.
A bigger storage play on a gaming laptop not only means you’ll have plenty of space for every game you want to play at the highest quality settings, but it also provides faster loading times.
Gaming laptops can come with one (or even two) M.2 and/or SATA SSDs that you can take advantage of.
Some gaming laptops may only have one or the other, while others might include both! These extra drives allow for faster speeds when loading games and motion throughout how you use your laptop as a whole.
HDDs and SSDs are both fine for gaming. If you want to use an HDD to store your games, make sure it has enough capacity to handle the size of modern AAA games (which they do).
HDDs also need to be fast enough to support the graphics and if they can’t, then you may experience some load times. However, SSDs have a sort of “instant on” effect that takes place – so in terms of gaming sessions with frequent loading screens; SSDs score better here.
Choose A Better Display
Gamers who are looking to get the most out of their laptops need to look at how crisp and clear the screens are. They also need to know how many frames per second (FPS) they will get during gameplay on that specific laptop screen.
Having a 15 or 17-inch monitor for your laptop is great because it means you can use it while you’re playing games so you don’t miss out on what’s happening in the game.
The first thing you should do is look at how many pixels your screen has. The more pixels, the crisper and clearer your games will be.
A standard resolution of 1920 x 1080 (FHD) or higher would be great, especially if you want to enjoy how high quality your games will be.
With a higher resolution display, you’ll also get a better frame rate. The more FPS a gaming laptop can provide, the smoother and more fluid your gameplay will be.
One of the key factors most gamers look at is how many frames per second they can get on their gaming laptop. So, if you want one of the best gaming laptops on the market today, look for something with at least 60 FPS.
But how do you know how many FPS this laptop will give? To find out how many FPS your laptop is currently giving or how many it can provide, check websites like Notebookcheck to see how many FPS your laptop is giving.
Choose Your Screen Size With Care
When it comes to gaming laptops the size of your screen is important because how much you’re going to enjoy looking at whatever images are displayed on it will go a long way in how well all of your other components work together.
The longer the display, the less your PC is going to have to struggle in order to keep up with how much information you’re giving it.
The drawback here is that bigger screens are more expensive but how big of a screen do you actually want?
For gamers who play popular games like Minecraft or League of Legends, there are laptops made for them that provide lots of space for their screens. For those types of gamers, anything less than 17 inches would probably be considered small by many standards.
The ideal screen size for casual gamers is probably going to be something between 15 and 17 inches while gamers who play more demanding titles will probably prefer a laptop that has at least a 19-inch display.
Also, the 4k display is a very high resolution. If you’re planning on watching HD movies, etc., then 4k would work for you.
If you’re just looking to use your laptop to browse the web and other basic things, then 1080p should suffice.
Size and weight are something else to look for in a gaming laptop. After all, how comfortable would it be to have a giant laptop on your lap?
Weighing less than eight pounds is what most gamers aim for when buying a new laptop. If you want the best possible speeds while playing games, you’ll need something lightweight that’s easy to carry around.
A smaller laptop is also important because it’ll help save space on your desk or wherever you play games at. You can even take your gaming laptop with you while traveling if you want to!
Do You Need A Touch Screen?
This is another thing to consider if how much you can spend is your main concern because it does increase the cost of any machine.
Many casual gamers are perfectly fine with how current games play on a regular screen so in most cases they won’t really need to pay the premium for touch.
Gamers who have extensive experience playing titles that feature touch-only controls will probably want to look at how much your options cost if you’re set on getting one with this feature.
Your budget matters when buying a gaming laptop. If all of these other things matter to you, how much are you willing to spend on a gaming laptop?
There are many different price points for different laptops. It’s important to consider how much money you’re willing to spend when buying one of the best laptops for games.
The three main price ranges include: $1,000+, $700-1,000, and $500-700. You can expect to get something that’ll perform well at the lowest end of that price range ($700-$1,000), while the highest-end ($1,000+) should have everything you need for an optimal gaming experience.
If you go too low or high on your budget it may not even be worth it to buy a gaming laptop. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t spend too much on something that’s still only sufficient for how you play games, or how much you pay for something that can’t perform how it should be expected to.
Once you have all of these things in mind, finding the perfect machine should be easy so good luck!
To conclude, how to buy a gaming laptop is important for gamers who are looking to get the best out of their games.
Many buyers make mistakes when buying a gaming laptop because they don’t know how many FPS it can give, how big or how light it is, what size the screen is, and how crisp its display will be.
Be sure that your display has at least 1920 x 1080 resolution while you’re playing games so that your screen will have better image quality while you play. Ask how many FPS your laptop can give before buying one if speed is what you want most in a gaming experience.
Buy something lightweight with less than eight pounds of weight if you want portability while traveling or playing at home on your lap or desk.
And lastly, how much you spend on a gaming laptop is important to consider when buying one.
Now that you have read this article, how much do you know about how to buy a gaming laptop?
What are some things that gamers should keep in mind when looking for a new machine to play their favorite games on?
Leave your comments below!