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A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Right Gaming Laptop

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JM enjoys sharing his knowledge about choosing the best gaming computers.

Which Gaming Laptop Is Right for You?

Dozens of new gaming laptop models are available in the market, tailored to specific needs partnered with efficient functionality.

If you are in the middle of this limbo searching high and low for the one that suits your gaming preferences but you don't know where to start, worry not, as this guide will walk you through the main items that you must have on your checklist.

Quick Check of the Top 4 Factors to Consider

Before beginning the great search, keep in mind that we will explore four primary considerations:

  1. Graphics Processing Units (GPU)
  2. Resolution and Speed
  3. Battery-life
  4. Hardware checks

All of these four still vary depending on your preference. You may begin by thinking of what type of games you play, the gamer you are, and your budget for purchasing a gaming laptop.

Understanding where you are coming from can exponentially help your search, and make it easier to navigate through the various options out there. If you have the answers to those already, then let us start.

1. Graphics Is Still Key

In most of the games you will have, your laptop's graphics processing unit (GPU) will determine its performance. At present, the graphical power needed for games is still at the top of the consideration as with a good GPU, you can multi-task adequately and have a better performance in your game.

At this stage, you need to understand that each game functions differently depending on your GPU, so do your research and see the requirements of your go-to game. You may need to read more on the AMD and Nvidia products available in the market.

Your laptop's graphics card has to be at least 6GB and may go up to 8GB or higher as you play at 1080p. For instance, if you will be playing Witcher 3, you may choose to have an AMD RX Vega 56 to play smoothly throughout the game.

Then for a decent overall run for most games, you have Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2060 to get you started. However, Intel is also working its way into the gaming scene, so watch out for that.

2. Display Is Just As Important

Gaming laptops may seem like options that are struggling to keep up with a good display screen. However, it is more about how you understand the hand-in-hand functions of your GPU and display screen for the game you will play.

First, check your preference for the screen size. Gaming laptop screens range from 15 to 17 inches, with a few available panels at 18 inches. Just keep in mind that with the size comes the weight as well, so check carefully. Then, see the resolution.

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Rule of thumb, get at least a 1920x1080 display and no less than that. Though you should tread carefully with 4K screens (3840x2160), these may look great but may become slower as you need to turn down some settings. This adjustment happens because the fastest displays that go up to 360 Hz only come at 1920x1080 resolution.

With those considerations, you may now look at the refresh rate. Many gamers are okay with laptops that have 1080 resolution and a 60 Hz display. That is the average display which means that you get 60 frames per second.

If you wish to pick anything higher, your GPU has to follow some changes as well. Other gaming displays may reach from 144 to 300Hz. However, the latter may be too much already. So, you may choose 144 Hz for a richer presentation in your game images and videos for a smoother run.

3. Battery Life Is a Preference

This may come as a surprise as you may be thinking that if you are gaming on a laptop, you can plug it in throughout its run.

However, the portability of a gaming laptop may be one other factor that you are considering. You do not want to be restricted as you are confined close to a power outlet. So, better check the average duration of your gaming laptop's single charge battery life.

Still, there is a downside to such a portable device. With limited battery life, you will not be able to play at the full performance of your GPU. If you want a smooth gaming experience, you need to keep your laptop plugged in. Also, some other available gaming laptops with longer battery life often last at the expense of a good display.

4. Gaming Hardware Check

Of course, aside from the GPU, resolution, and battery life, your laptop has to have the right hardware to work properly alongside those three factors. Gaming laptops will benefit best from their central processing unit (CPU) partnered properly with the GPU.

As you consider the processor for your next purchase, you also need to keep track of your budget. In most cases, gamers can play decently on an iCore5 processor as the GPU keeps the whole run strong. Your options? AMD or Intel, whichever is a good deal. In recent years, AMD performed better.

Nonetheless, each new Intel processor also works. Just remember to look at the number of cores for your processor. Why? Multiple cores divide processing data between them. This process increases the efficiency of your laptop for various tasks. However, not all games use up all of your cores, so still check with your game requirements.

Aside from the CPU, think of your laptop's random-access memory (RAM). A good RAM is an essential part of your laptop as it stores data temporarily as your laptop runs. If you get greater RAM, your device can multi-task a lot faster and more efficiently.

Remember that your GPU, CPU, and RAM work together to give you the best performance you can experience in gaming. So, if one or two of these falls behind, you may be disappointed with the result. Check the new generations of the processor and the RAM you are using as each has to be compatible to work excellently.

One Last Look

Begin your search for that gaming laptop that suits your preferences with the guidance of the four factors mentioned here. A laptop, after all, has a significant advantage to mobility and affordability compared to gaming desktops.

Even as a beginner, you can now set your needs and preferences clearly, and you will find the best match for your gaming performance. To further help you in this new journey, check out the latest gaming laptops from these brands: Razer, Asus, Gigabyte, Acer, and MSI.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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