A gaming laptop can make it easy to enjoy PC games on the go or in a home setup. These laptops often feature powerful hardware designed to handle demanding games with ease.
Look for designs that optimize for thermal efficiency and include features like brushed metal finishes and user-controlled RGB lighting. Also consider a display with a higher refresh rate than 60 Hz.
There are many gaming laptops on the market, with new models being released regularly. This can make it difficult for users to find the best one for their needs. To help, we’ve compiled this handy gaming laptop buying guide. It covers everything from the most important specs to luxury extras that will give gamers an edge over their competitors.
The processor is one of the most crucial parts of a gaming laptop. A powerful processor can allow the laptop to run high-resolution games at smooth frame rates without stuttering. Look for a processor with at least 4 cores and a maximum clock speed of over 3GHz. You should also check the amount of available RAM. While 8GB is enough for most, if you want to play at higher settings or multitask, then 16GB is recommended.
Some laptops also come with dedicated graphics memory (VRAM). While this isn’t upgradeable later, it can improve performance by reducing game loading times and allowing the GPU to handle more pixels. You should always compare the amount of VRAM with the system requirements of the games you plan to play.
The graphics card, or GPU, is the heart of a gaming laptop. It processes video data and transmits it to your monitor, so the better its performance is, the smoother your games will run. While integrated cards are fine for simple computer use, gaming requires a discrete GPU, which is why many gamers choose to buy separate graphics solutions like Nvidia GeForce or AMD Radeon and connect them via an external GPU (eGPU).
You’ll also want your laptop to have a high-resolution display. Look for IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels that deliver vibrant colours and wider viewing angles. If you’re going to be playing demanding games, go for a resolution of 1920×1080 or higher.
You’ll want a laptop with plenty of RAM, too. While 8GB is fine for older games, the latest triple-A titles will require 16GB or more to run smoothly. If you’re serious about gaming, ask if your prospective laptop offers a dedicated GPU or eGPU slot so you can upgrade when necessary. A dedicated GPU also uses less power than an integrated one, which helps preserve your battery life and allows your laptop to run cooler.
When it comes to gaming laptops, the most important specs aren’t the ones that go on the chassis or have bright LED lights. Instead, the CPU, RAM and GPU make the biggest difference in your gaming experience.
For the best performance, look for a gaming laptop with at least 8GB of RAM. Some even come with 16GB. If you’re a heavy multitasker, or have many tabs open in your browser, you may need up to 32GB. You should also check if the RAM is upgradable.
The processor (CPU) is the brains and hippocampus of your gaming laptop. It handles everything that doesn’t have to do with graphics, like a game’s physics calculations and controlling non-playable characters. A good CPU should have a high clock speed and multiple cores, with quad-core processors being preferred. It should also have a dedicated GPU for fast graphics rendering. If you’re looking for the best possible gaming experience, consider a laptop with an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen mobile processor. These are faster and will play most modern games at high settings.
Gaming laptops are a different beast to standard notebooks, offering powerful components that let you play demanding games like Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, or explore virtual worlds on the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. They also have a more distinctive look, featuring metallic finishes, large icons and prominent ridges to give them that high-tech ‘gaming’ aesthetic.
When comparing gaming laptops, pay close attention to the storage configuration. Look for an SSD drive rather than a hard disk drive (HDD) to get the best performance, especially if you want to install and run multiple games at once. Try to aim for a minimum of 256GB of storage on an SSD, with 512GB being better.
You may also want to consider a faster pixel count on the screen. 144Hz or 240Hz refresh rates can make games feel smoother and more responsive, particularly when using a keyboard and mouse for input. However, these features can add to the price of the laptop and reduce battery life significantly. So, if you’re on a budget, consider a lower-resolution screen.
When it comes to gaming, laptops are a different beast than desktops. Specialized laptops have more powerful components, which allows them to play demanding games at high frame rates and even explore virtual worlds with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
To get the best results, look for a gaming laptop with a screen that matches the resolution of your favorite games. You’ll want at least 1920 x 1080 pixels to avoid muddy graphics. Higher resolutions like 1440 x 900 or 4K push more pixels on-screen, which requires more computing power to render at consistent frame rates.
The CPU and RAM are the heart of a gaming laptop. They handle everything that doesn’t involve displaying images on the screen, such as a game’s physics calculations and controlling its non-playable characters. Look for a CPU that has a high clock speed and plenty of RAM to ensure it can handle your favorite games at a decent frame rate. Aim for a quad-core processor, since dual-core models aren’t as capable in gaming. Also, look for RAM that’s at least 8GB, as 4GB won’t be enough to run most modern games.