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Did you know that 78% of American households have a desktop or a laptop? It goes to show that even with the best consoles around, playing on a laptop or desktop is still the optimal choice.
If you want to take your gaming experience to the next level, gaming laptops are great starting points. A gaming laptop offers portability while maintaining a smooth gameplay thanks to its beefy specs.
But if you haven’t bought one before, you might not know what to look for. Don’t fret, we’re here to help you figure it out.
In this guide, you’ll learn what to look for in a custom gaming laptop. Read on and find out what to look for:
1. Look for the Appropriate GPU
Are gaming laptops worth it? It all starts with how much you’ll invest in a decent GPU. Some games will use the CPU, but the majority will rely on your GPU instead.
This should be your main decision driver. Right now, most gaming notebooks will either have Nvidia GeForce GTX or a higher-end RTX GPUs (which comes with ray-tracing capabilities).
For now, your choice of GPU depends on how hardcore you want to be. Here are some considerations:
As its name implies, this gaming level won’t need games to be at their highest settings. It means getting a GPU that would let you play most games using its middling settings. With this in mind, you can get the best gaming laptop under $1,000.
This gaming level requires you to play most games, even with high settings. A good example of a mid-tier GPU is Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060. Take note, this is the minimum standard if you want to play virtual reality games.
If you own an HTC Vive or an Oculus Rift, this GPU should be the lowest you’re willing to go. In most cases, these laptops will cost around $1,000 to $1,500.
At this gaming level, you’ll need beefy GPUs that let you play through anything using the highest settings. These enable you to have a smoother VR experience while enjoying the best special effects. With this, you can pump up effects using Nvidia Gameworks.
The starting price for these laptops is at the high end of $1,000. Depending on the other specs necessary, it can go well beyond $3,000. The price is worth it since you can play games at higher frame rates while enabling ray-tracing 4K resolution.
2. Look at the CPU and RAM
Over 43% of American adults play video games using their computers. So, you aren’t alone in your quest of perfecting your gaming experience. With that, the CPU and RAM will play a huge role in determining your computer quality.
If you want the best CPUs around, look for laptops using desktop-level CPUs. But since most games use the GPU more than the CPU, you can have a good gaming experience using something like a Core i5 processor. Also, you can’t upgrade CPUs in most cases, so consider saving money to get a top-of-the-line quad-core or Hexa-core processor.
Gaming can take a huge toll on your RAM, meaning you need 8GB as the minimum. To make your laptop a gaming computer, consider investing in 16GB RAM. The pleasant news is that even if you can’t get this RAM now, you can upgrade it in the future since it’s the easiest component to replace.
Storage is also another issue if you want a laptop specifically for gaming. Some budget options will only have a 1TB hard drive. But if you want to get the most out of your gaming experience, pick gaming notebooks with a small SSD for its boot drive.
It isn’t rare to see a combination of a 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD working together. If you get a bigger SSD, your loading times will get much shorter. The caveat is paying more, but this is easy to save for later since they’re also easy to upgrade.
3. Consider the Display Options
This component often gets overlooked, but their impact on your gaming experience is huge. If you aren’t using a separate monitor for your laptop, its built-in screen is all you have. The first thing you should think of is the size since most laptops will have 15-17″ screens.
The size is up to your preferences, whether you want an 18” screen or a measly 14” one. But with a larger screen, expect the laptop to be heavier and bigger. This consideration is important if you like gaming while on the go.
After the size, think about its resolution and refresh rate. Nowadays, the minimum resolution for gaming is 1920 x 1080, and anything less should make you run away. If you’re using beefy GPUs, consider getting better resolutions like 2560 x 1440 or even 4K (3840 x 2160).
Most laptops have a 60Hz display with a 1080p resolution. These are enough, but some brands will offer 144Hz or even 240Hz for a smoother gaming experience. But it’s better to top out at 60Hz unless you have a high-tier GPU.
4. Check the Battery Life
Gaming computers will have better capabilities since they can handle more tasks compared to their general counterparts. But regardless, don’t count on your gaming notebook’s battery to keep your gaming experience consistent. That’s why it needs a constant power source to keep the GPU at peak performance.
No matter what brand you choose, a gaming notebook only lasts for an hour or so for intense gaming. When performing other, less intensive tasks, you can extend it to a few hours. That’s why if you’re looking for a rig that can last 8 hours, you’re better off with a desktop.
Some laptops come with this capability, but it often sacrifices the quality of the display. It’s also unhealthy for you since playing games on a dim screen can damage your eyes.
Get the Best Gaming Laptops Today!
These are some things you should consider when buying gaming laptops. Use these to get the most out of your money.
Did you like this guide and hope to find more useful tips? If so, why not check out more of our content? You can start with this article about the best laptops to buy in 2020. We also have other posts that can help with your laptop buying experience.